Friday, November 20, 2009

Fairy Cool Stuff!

Originally I was going onto a completely different type of "mythical/imaginal" creature. I do want to do a great deal about the plethora of beings or creatures under the "fairy," "gnome," "elemental," "nature spirit," or "elf" label-but I don't feel I have the quite all the right information to work from yet. However, yesterday I was compelled to write this information down and post it. I do not try to fight intuitions-hunches whatever have you so I wanted to do the following quotes from W.Y. Evans-Wentz's The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries from page 112 to 116 before going onto the next subject/creature: The Testimony of Murdoch MacLean: The husband of Marian MacLean had entered while the last stories were being told, and when they were ended the spirit was on him, and wishing to give his testimony he began:

Lachlann's Fairy Mistress- "My Grandmother, Catherine MacInnis, used to tell about a man named Lachlann, whom she knew, being in love with a fairy woman. The fairy woman made it a point to see Lachlann every night, and he being worn out with her began to fear her. Things got so bad at last that he decided to go to America to escape the fairy woman. As soon as the plan was fixed, and he was about to emigrate, women who were milking at sunset out in the meadows heard very audibly the fairy woman singing this song: "What will the brown-haired woman do. When Lachlann is on the billows?" 'Lachlann emigrated to Cape Breton, landing in Nova Scotia; and his first letter home to his friends stated that the same fairy woman was haunting him there in America.' note: This curious tale suggests that certain of the fairy women who entice mortals to their love in modern times are much the same, if not the same, as the succubi of Middle-Age mystics. But it is not intended by this observation to confuse the higher orders of the Sidhe and all the fairy folk like the fays who come from Avalon with succubi and fairy women in general were often confused and improperly identified the one with the other. It need not be urged in this example of a 'fairy woman' that we have to do not with a being of flesh and blood, whatever various readers may think of her.

Abduction of a Bridesgroom.- I have heard it from old people that a couple, newly married, were on their way to the home of the bride's father, and for some unknown reason the groom fell behind the procession, and seeing a fairy-dwelling open along the road was taken into it. No one would ever find the least trace of where he went, and all hope of seeing him again was given up. This man remained with the fairies so long that when he returned two generations had disappeared during the lapese of time. The township in whihc his bride's house used to be was depopulated and in ruins for upwards of twenty years, but to him the time had seemed only a few hours; and he was just as fresh and youthful as when he went in the fairy-dwelling.

Nature of Fairies.- Previous to his story-telling Murdoch had heard us discussing the nature and power of fairies, and at the end of this account he volunteered, without our asking for it, an opinion of his own: 'This (the story just told by him) leads me to believe that the spirit and body [of a mortal] are somehow mystically combined by fairy enchantment, for the fairies had a mighty power of enchanting natural people, and could transform the physical body in some way. It cannot be but that the fairies are spirits. According to my thinking and belief they cannot be anything but spirits. My firm belief, however, is that they are not the spirits of dead men, but are the fallen angels.'

The his wife Marian had one more story to add, and she at once, when she could began: The Messenger and the Fairies.- 'Yes, I have heard the following incident took place here on the Island of Barra, about one hundred years ago: A young woman taken ill suddenly sent a messenger in all haste to the doctor for medicine. On his return, the day being hot and there being five miles to walk, he sat down at the foot of a knoll and fell asleep; and was awakened by hearing a song to the following air: "Ho, ho, ho, hi, ho ho. Ill it becomes a messenger on an important message to sleep on the ground in the open air."

And with this, for the hour was late and dark, and we were several miles from Castlebay, we bade our good friends adieu, and began to hunt for a road out of the little mountain valley where Murdoch and Marian guard their cows and sheep. And all the way to the hotel Michael and i discussed the nature of fairies. Just before midnight we saw the welcome lights in Castlebay across the heather-covered hills, and we both entered the hotel to talk. There was a blazing fire ready for us and something to eat. Before I took my final leave of my friend and guide, I asked him to dictate for me his private opinions about fairies, what they are and how they appear to men, and he was glad to meet my request. Here is what he said about the famous folk-lorist, the late Mr. J.F. Campbell, with whom he often worked in Barra, and for himself:

Michael Buchanan's Deposition Concerning Fairies: 'I was with the late Mr. J.F. Campbell during his first and second tour of the Island of Barra in search of the legendary lore strictly connected with fairies, and I know from daily conversing with him about fairies that he held them to be spirits appearing to the naked eye of the spectator as any of the present or former generations of men and women, except that they were smaller in stature. And I know equally that he, holding them to be spirits, thought they could appear or disappear at will. My own firm belief is that the fairies were or are only spirits which were or are seen in the shape of human beings, but smaller as regards stature. I also firmly believe in the existence of fairies as such; and accept the modern and ancient traditions respecting the ways and customs of various fairy tribes, such as John Mackinnon, the old piper, and John Campbell, and the MacLeans told us. And I therefore have no hesitation in agreeing with the views held by the late Mr. J.F. Campbell regarding the fairies:

The Reciters Lament, And Their Story.- The following material, so truly Celtic in its word-colour and in the profound note of sadness and lamentation dominating it, may very appropriately conclude our examination of the Fairy-Faith of Scotland, by giving us some insight into the mind of the Scotch peasants of two generations ago, and in their prevailing happy social enviorment under which their belief in fairies flourished. For our special use Dr. Alexander Carmichael has rendered it out of the original Gaelic, as this was taken down by him in various versions in the Western Hebrides. One version was recited by Ann Macneill, of Barra, in the year 1865, another by Angus Macleod, of Harris in 1877. In relation to their belief in fairies the anti-clerical bias of the reciters is worth noting as a curious phenomenon:

'That is as I heard when a hairy little fellow upon the knee of my mother. My mother was full of stories and songs of music and chanting. My two ears never heard musical fingers more preferable for me to hear than the chanting of my mother. If there were quarrels among children, as there were, and as there will be, my beloved mother would set us to dance there and then. She herself or one of the other crofter women of the townland would sing to us the mouth-music. We would dance there till we were seven times tired. a stream of sweat would be falling from us before we stopped-hairful little lassies and stumpy little fellows. These are scattered to-day. Scattered to-day over the wide world! The people of those times were full of music and dancing stories and traditions. The clerics have extinguished these. May ill befall them! And what have the clerics put in their place? Beliefs about creeds, and disputations and churches! May lateness be their lot! It is they who have put the cross round the heads and the entanglements round the feet of the people. The people of the Gaeldom of to-day are anear perishing for lack of the famous feats of their fathers. The black clerics have suppressed every noble custom among the people of Gaeldom-precious customs that will never return.' (Now follows what the Reciters heard upon the knee of ther mother):

' "I have never seen a man fairy or a woman fairy, but my mother saw a troop of them. She herself and the other maidens of the townland were once out upon the summer sheiling (grazing). They were milking the cows in the eventual gloaming, when they observed a flock of fairies reeling and setting upon the green plain in front of the knoll. And, oh King! but it was they the fairies themselves that had the right to the dancing, and not the children of men! Bell-helmets of blue silk covered their heads, and garments of green satin covered their bodies, and sandals of yellow membrane covered their feet. Their heavy brown hair was streaming down their waist, and its lustre was of the fair golden hair of summer. Their skin was as white as the swan of the wave, and their voice was melodious as the mavis of the wood and they themselves were as beauteous of feature and as lithe of form as a picture, while their step was as light and stately and their minds as sportive as the little red hind of the hill. The damsel children of the sheiling-fold never saw sight but them, never aught so beautiful.

" 'There is not a wave of prosperity upon the fairies of the knoll, no, not a wave. There is no growth nor increase, no death nor withering upon the fairies. Seed unfortunate they! They went away from the Paradise with the One of the Great Pride. When the Father commanded the doors closed down and up, the intermediate fairies had no alternative but to leap into the holes of the earth, where they are, and where they will be." I heard upon the knee of my beloved mother. Blessings be with her evermore!"

I hope people will enjoy this detour before going into the next creatures. I should be able to start the next series of articles pretty soon. All the best to anyone stopping by and thanks so very much for your wonderful comments! Without Michael Skaggs at The Hidden Agendas blog there would be no My Favorite Monsters-it was his encouragement that led me to start a blog of my own-so if you have ever seen anything you like here- thank Michael! This bit should have been in the post where I mentioned my year blogging on 16 November. The Hidden Agendas is an amazing blog with a huge variety of topics but I had always intended to point out this series he did last December -Great work Michael and thanks again!


Anadæ Effro said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent, Devin. Only just quite recently the Prime Imprimaturs, [i]altho' they'd deny it 'til the end[/i], of the Starry Race them(s)elves, Zardoa Silverstar & his missus, Silver Flame Love, both elves & both Ph. D's, BTW, whose website for their system of Magic, The Elven Tree of Life Eternal, you've so kindly linked here, recommended to me Freda Warrington's otherworldly novel, "Elfland". I [i]do[/i] believe that one of the lead protagonists therein, Auberon Fox, is based on the real-life Faery Mage, Orion Foxwood, whose Faery sanctuary, Moonridge, in Laurel, Maryland, is something he & his adherants are very much invested in.

Might I also recommend Mr Foxwood's recent Faery grimoire release, "Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magic Practices of the Faery Tradition", to you? Yay, Devin! It's great having a friend like you! All the very best Elfin-Faery wishes to you in the far-swooping years ahead.

From Elsewhere, definitely,
Anadæ Effro (•8-D}

Autumnforest said...

I love these stories! When I was a kid, I used to find empty wasp nests in the boxwoods and empty mud nests in the barn and I thought they were fairy homes. I decided to start collecting twigs and pine cones and grasses and things and use them to make may own little fairy houses for the garden--to attract fairies. I figure some day when I'm bless with grandkids, when they come to their grandma's house they can check the fairy houses to see what things they have stolen from mortals, change, candy, combs, and Lego people...let the kids claim them back. There really needs to be more magic in the world. Thanks for the fantastic post on a favorite subject!

Devin said...

Anadae-as always I can't thank you enough for the incredible amount of information you bring in your thoughts and links!!
I will check them out asap !!-they sound wonderful!!
all the best in the world to you my friend!!

Autumnforest I am very happy you enjoyed this -all credit should go to Mr Evans-Wentz-but something really nagged at me to post that part of the book-i have been trying to find this book for years -and finally after all this time about a week ago -a copy was checked back into Tempe library -so i have that -i have only been able to skim through parts of it -but I am very much hoping there is not a hold placed on the book and i can renew it in December -all the best in the world to you my friend and i will try to get caught up at your place too!!

Devin said...

O forgot to mention-apologies once again for taking so long to publish comments!! i was flat on my back for a couple of days with alternating (and sometimes together) back pain and insomnia -then when i tried to get online today for the first time in two days the connection wasn't there at first-so I am glad it came back as i have posts to do at my other blogs and research for this one -and trying to see what blogpals have done -hope the connection stays-all the best!!

Julie said...

Loved those fairy stories, Devin. When we lived in Germany and I was 3 or 4 years old, I believed that there were fairies, like Tinkerbell, there to protect me. I had a pretty good imagination. Thanks for the memory.

X. Dell said...

You know, when I think of fairies, I usually think of something like Tinkerbell, or the fairy in the Link series of video games. This is a very different view. I had no idea that one might compare them to succubi and incubi. For one thing, I wouldn't see them as sexual entities because my understanding of them (that is to say, the Disney portrayal of them) is so sexless.

I have thought about fairies in comparison to the grays, however. The example of the missing bridesgroom, for example brings to mind an alien abudction aboard a swift starship that results in the twin paradox.

Michael Skaggs said...

Wow, great info here, I am going to have to print this one out!

Nicely done a great sidetrack!

Thanks for the kudos bro, keep up the wonderful work!


wv = laybe

Alex Robinson said...

Lovely Devin!
And I did like the straight talk about what religion & clerics have done to dampen the soul & the eyes so that we can't see any more. Thanks for bringing back the magic.

All the very best to you my friend. I hope you will very soon will be feeling 'a box of birds' again :) xx

Devin said...

Alex,Michael, Xdell and Julie-thanks so very much for your wonderful comments!! and once again sorry for keeping them in a holding pattern haha-back is bothering me something fierce lately and i wasn't online again yesterday
it is indeed so interesting how the "fairy" world has some intersections with the ufological world-everything from missing time-baby swaps -a whole bunch of things -and for Julie I am so glad it brought back some pleasant memeories -thanks to all of you for stopping by and commenting -i appreciate it so much and i will try to get to all of your sites today -your friend here in good ole Ariz forver -all the best!!xx

Nina said...

very cool stories of those who have experienced fairies, devin. there is so much we don't know about our own world (likely due to system repression). i believe such things exist in different dimensions or, perhaps, they are also in our own dimension and once that belief is formed of their existance, they suddenly begin to appear to us. i once knew someone who insisted he saw gnomes and fairies. i thought he was a nut at the time but i've since come to realize likely not. we have a gnome (statue) in our garden and now and then, when it's sunny and warm, i will ask to 'see' those beings of the 'underworld'. so far i haven't had such an experience, but i haven't given up. (sorry i haven't been around much. as you know, i've been focused on other things the past couple of months, namely an expanding belly!) : )

Devin said...

Nina -thanks so much for your wonderful (as always!) comment!!
I agree-system repression both from our own minds and the people who really run the show down here!!
I have received a magical book that a friend ordered for me!! it is called
"The Fairy Faith of the Celtic Countries" in other words the book that generated this post -so now that i actually own a copy i would like to look into this subject much more deeply
I am doing so many different things now I really get confused sometimes -plus my disability hearing is coming up soon on the 17th of December -so that is really on my mind a lot and i am not online near as much as i used to be so please dont apologize for not getting by as often -I am very much guilty of the same thing!!
And you have a much bigger issue to worry about right now -I will try to get by your place today or tomorrow if nothing else to see how things are going with you and to say hi -also back pain has been worse and that keeps me offline more than it used to-so I am really behind keeping up with friends too-all the best in the world to you my friend and I hope your "gift" you are carrying is treating you good and life itself -and I hope to chat very soon!!!