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Rådande or löfjerskor are tree spirits in Swedish faerie mythology, similar to the dryads and hamadryads of Greek and Roman mythology.

In Swedish folklore, a is a spirit connected to a place, object or animal; examples are the skogsrå (a forest being) and sjörå (a water being). Thus, the word rådande or råande may derive from and ande, "spirit".[1] It may also be a corruption of trädande (plural trädandar), meaning tree spirit). and råd-ande (with a hyphen) are attested in Jacob Mörk's political satire novel "Adalriks och Göthildas Äfventyr" published in Stockholm in 1742.

Benjamin Thorpe translates rådande as "elf" and identifies them with löfjerskor, or grove-folk. He explains that sacred groves were supposed to be protected by deities. A tree that grew unusually fast was a "habitation-tree" or boträd, and an invisible Radande was believed to live in its shade, rewarding those who cared for the tree and punishing any who harmed it.


  1. ^ "RÅDANDE". Svenska Akademiens ordbok. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  • Mörk, Jacob-Henrik (1742). Adalriks och Göthildas Äfventyr. Stockholm.
  • Thorpe, Benjamin (1851). Northern Mythology, Comprising the Principle Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands. Vol.2 Scandinavian popular traditions and superstitions. London: Edward Lumley. pp. 71–73.