Tags: faerie

"Hundred years be nothing to They."

R.L. Tongue, 'Watching Folklore Grow' (1964):

'Hinckley Point, on the Severn Coast, where an Atomic Power
Station has been built within the last few years, was considered for
centuries to be fairy-haunted land. The neighbourhood is full of
pixy tales and beliefs, and the Quantock people are quite outspoken
in their expectation of disaster for the intruding Power Station. It
has had, and is still having, a more than reasonable number of
setbacks. There have been some bad accidents which are freely
ascribed in the countryside to its being built where it is. Usually,
West Somerset people will not discuss their still-remembered
fairy-beliefs, but in this case their speech is suggestive and indicates
a full knowledge of the tradition.

...I received many hints of
disaster in the years preceding the Station's erection, but decided
to remain quiet and listen, until in 1963 I have heard such beliefs
openly voiced in several localities. The elderly, and not so elderly,
find a ghoulish pleasure in recounting the accidents and dangers
attendant on its building. One or two grim watchers have tallied
up deaths and near-deaths at one a year since the beginning of the
desecration. Of these they say, "Ah! They won't stop till there's
seven." Are these victims to placate the River Severn or the vengeful
pixy-people? An answer to modern boasting about the triumphs
of science is: "You and I won't be here come a hundred years time.
But They'll have 'en! Hundred years be nothing to They. They
can bide."

The same belief in ancient places resenting the rush and racket
of modernity is quite widely held among hill-people. The unparallelled
winter of 1962/3 was attributed by some to the anger
of nature-spirits. At Crowcombe, there was fifteen feet of snow,
and the village was cut off by road for several weeks. Deer, sheep
and ponies were fed by helicopters. One old farmer said to me,
looking out over the western hills, with the rash of holiday camps
and bungalows over their feet, and the curve of the Severn coast
broken by the Hinckley Point Power Station: "The hills is getting
angry. These may still be about in a hundred years - if that! The
hills, they've been a standing vor thousands, and they don't care
about being disturbed by noisy ways. They'll put up with we so
long as we'm quiet-minded, but they vulish lot as is allus in a girt
hurry-push, they'll all have to go."


Elves, Ghosts, Sea Monsters & ETs In Iceland - Investigation Into The Invisible World
""Enquête sur le monde invisible", a 2002 documentary by French director Jean-Michel Roux. In Towns like Hafnarfjörður and Reykjavik, Iceland a large percent of the population believe in elves, ghosts and other paranormal entities. In fact, many claim to have seen them, and some even claim to engage in frequent contact with them. This rare documentary is the first outside look at the strange, but seemingly common events that take place on this small, remote island country."

Documentary: "The Fairy Faith" (2000)

A documentary from the Film Board of Canada (2000). The filmmaker John Walker travels to Ireland, Scotland, and Nova Scotia to visit various fairy/faerie sites, and talk with some of the people who have seen them or who study their folklore. Some really interesting cool people and thought-provoking interviews, English, Irish, Scot, and Mi'kmaq Indians in Canada. Of varying lengths, each part runs up to about 14 minutes or less.

"A fairy is a tiny being with wings that looks like a person but possesses powers of magic and enchantment. According to legend, fairies can change the weather, alter aspects of nature and bestow magical gifts such as intelligence and plenty. They can also lure humans to their islands where all is happiness and no one ages or gets sick...however, once brought to these mystical places, there is no escape. Join filmmaker John Walker on a quirky and compelling journey through Ireland, England, Scotland and Cape Breton in search of the child's imagination in a rational world. This unique look into the realm of fantasy traces the popular fascination with fairies and is vividly brought to life with gorgeous cinematography and an enchanting soundtrack."

This segment introduces the filmmaker and his personal search for understanding about the faeries. He travels from Canada where he speaks with a retired policeman to Britain, and speaks to a man who claims to see them and who speaks with them.

This segment continues with the harpist, historical changes in how faeries were viewed, Froud the author/illustrator, and a Scottish storyteller.

This segment is set in Ireland, with a visit to a faerie mound with a dowser, more on faerie music, and Eddie Lenihan.

This segment is set in Ireland, speaks to several Irish folks, including Eddie Lenihan (the thorn tree controversy) and a scholar whose little daughter is a descendant of selkies and she tells the tale. (Have you see "The Secret of Roan Inish"? Then you know what selkies are).

After a fascinating story from a construction worker from Glasgow, this segment goes to Nova Scotia and talks to several Mi'kmaq people who have seen them, including elders, and visits a mountain of the Little People.

This segment has an interview with a Mi'kmaq mother and her grown daughter in a faerie place in Canada.

Do I believe in fairies? Yes, I do.

'Sheep of Another Fold'

"Whenever a place has had prayers and concentrated desires directed towards it, it forms an electrical vortex that gathers to itself a force, and it is for a time a coherent body that can be felt and used by man. It is round these bodies of force that shrines, temples, and in later days churches are built; they are the Cups that receive the Cosmic downpouring focused on each particular place.

That there was a danger was recognized by the Druids and Romans, for they raised altars and offered sacrifices to these woodland peoples, and it was an act of propitiation, for if you don't give, they take, and what they take is unfortunately something that you cannot spare. It is life-force, for they seek ever to come closer to man, to mingle with him and to take on his ratio, for it is said therein lies their hope of immortality.

Should we wish to help these 'Sheep of another fold', we can do so by a wish to understand their needs and by bringing to them a knowledge of the finer ideals of our later times, and that in that way the sacrifice need not be one that is hurtful to our health and sanity.

We must remember, however, that they are of an older and more elemental race, that they belong to another country, and that their laws are quite different, so that we might be seriously injured in mind and body by such encounters, for our bodies are not adapted to bear the brunt of the violent impact of those who differ in almost every way from ourselves.

It is said that there are fairy marriages, but these can only happen between those whose ratio is the same, but therein generally lies sadness and heartbreak, unless entered into with understanding.

Pan and his fellows are still to be seen and heard, though these encounters are not so spectacular as story would have us believe, and are generally disagreeable and frightening, and not to be encouraged or wished for. We may enter these unknown regions lightheartedly, but to get away from them and rid oneself of unpleasant attachments is not easy, and help is not always at hand when required." -Dion Fortune, Aspects of Occultism, pp. 18-19.

Adapting Your Spiritual Path to the Place Where You Live

Someone asked this question on a forum I read: "If you follow a European based tradition, but live outside of Europe, how do you incorporate the place where you live into your practice? Or, how do you accommodate your practice to the place where you live?"

I am an American and have developed my own way that works for me. The three legs for me of my own beliefs are:

1. Deity -for me, this means the Creator High-God (most indigenous peoples have a Creator-God, which many consider the same as the God of monotheism), and the Helpers (like Thunder, Earth, Night, Ocean, 4 Directions, Sun, etc.), --but many of the deities are also either place-based -like the river goddesses, or were once human ancestors who went through apotheosis in legend and deed, and sometimes are identified with natural elements like Thunder (ex: Thor, Sango) or offices like the Hearth (ex: Hestia, Brighid).

2. Ancestors -my own bloodlines, my DNA going all the way back from our earliest human ancestors in Africa, through numerous European countries, and several Native American tribes. I embrace ALL my ancestors, I don't pick and choose, because I am ALL of them.

3. The Land where I am, where I live now, and its wights, spirits, sacred sites, etc. I do not follow a cycle of the year that does not hold to this land. I do not really look at Europe very much for these practices, although certainly I enjoy reading about those practices and sites, as they do help illuminate some questions I have. Mostly I follow Native American ways for the place-spirits and nature-spirits here. But here in Montana, I don't even look much at my OWN tribal lore for this, because my Ioway tribe lived in the forested woodlands and tallgrass prairies of the midwest and along the Upper Mississippi and Lower Missouri. Instead I look at the lore about sites and land spirits from the lore and traditions of the tribes here in on the East Slope of Montana, the shortgrass prairies, mountain valleys, coniferous forests, and Rocky Mountains. The lore and spirits ARE different. Generic "Native American" doesn't wash.

My recommendations to someone trying to figure out your own path?

1. Worship the Deity/Deities you prefer or have made oath to.

2. Remember and honor your ancestors and their origins, through altars etc., and at the graves where they are buried. The graves where they are buried are your link to the land here; it is where have become American.

3. Read the ethnographies and folklore of the tribes where you live. If you live in Maine, read up on thethe lore and spiritual folklore of the Penobscot, Abenaki, etc., not the Navajo or Sioux. Don't try and copy Native American ceremonies. That is a no-no. Just read up on the rhythm of the land, the tribal calendars of natural processes and events, and the different animals and nature spirits and sites that were noted by the resident tribes to be important to the land where you reside. And every time you move, do this again for the new place you live.

There are some further ideas in an excellent article at AODA's website, called Wildcrafting the Modern Druid.

The Hidden Folk

This film is from Iceland, but the Hidden Folk are all about us, in wild places from which they have not been driven, including Montana, and places in the mountains around Helena. Cliffs, odd lonely stones, formations and outcrops. Caves, peaks, glacial lakes, talus slopes, dark ravines and canyon rifts. Meadows and whispering groves. Springs, and rivers, and more.

Up the airy mountains
Down the rushy Glen,
We dare not go a-hunting
For fear of little men.

Strangers in the Land

"But about the Strangers…you know what they be- aye- you’re gettin’ ready with the word, but it’s chancy to call them such! No, and if you’d seen them as much as I have, you’d twist your tongue into another shape, you would. Folk in these parts, they call them mostly the Strangers, or the tiddy people, or the Greencoaties from their green jackets; or maybe the Yarthkin, since they dwelled in the mools. But mostly the Strangers, as I said before, for strange they be- in looks and in ways...

On summer nights they danced in the moonshine on the great flat stones you see about, I don’t know where they come from, but my grandmother said how her grandmother’s grandmother told them that long ago the folk set fire on those stones and smeared them with blood and thought a deal more on them than the passion bodies at the church...

And on winter evenings the Strangers danced at nights on the fireplace when the folk went to bed; and the crickets played for them with right good will… Folk thought the Strangers helped the corn to ripen, and all the green things to grow and that they painted the pretty colors on the flowers and the reds and browns on the fruit and the yallerin leaves. And that’s how, if they were fratched (offended) things would dwindle and wither and the harvest would fail and the folk would go hungry. So, they did all they could think to please the tiddy people and keep friends with them.

In the gardens, the first flowers, the first fruit, and the first cabbage or whatnot, they’d be taken to the nearest flat stone and laid there for the Strangers; in the fields, the first yearn of corn or the first potatoes were given to them and at home, before you began to eat your vittles, a bit of bread and drop of milk or beer, was spilled on the fireplace to keep the Greencoaties from hunger and thirst.

...According to the Story, all went well with the people and the Land as long as they kept up these habits. But as time went on, the people became careless. No libations were poured out, the great flat stones were left empty, and even sometimes broken up and carried away. There was more church-going, and in time a generation sprang up that had almost forgotten about the Strangers. Only the wise women remembered.

At first nothing happened; the Strangers were reluctant to believe that their old worshippers had deserted them. At last they became angry, and struck. Harvest after harvest failed, there was no growth of corn or hay, the beasts sickened on the farms, the children pined away and there was no food to give them. Then the men spent the little they could get on drink, and the women on opium. They were bewildered, and could think of nothing to do; all except the wise women.

They got together and made a solemn ceremony of divination, with fire and blood. (presumably on the stones) And when they learnt what was making the mischief, they went all among the people, and summoned them to gather at the cross-roads in the deep twilight, and there they told them the cause of the trouble, and explained the usages of the older people. And the women, remembering all the little graves in the churchyard and the pining babies in their arms, said that the old ways must be taken up again, and the men agreed with them.

So they went home, and spilled their libations, and laid out the firstings of the little that they had, and taught their children to respect the Strangers. Then, little by little, things began to mend; the children lifted their heads, the crops grew and the cattle throve. Still, there were never such merry times as there once had been, and the fever still hovered over the Land. It is a bad thing to forsake the old ways, and what is once lost can never quite be recovered.”

(Katharine Briggs, “The Encyclopedia of Fairies”, pp. 384- 385; From Artisson, http://www.robinartisson.com/scarespite/strangers.html)

Faeries, Devas, Nature Spirits

I don't have any particular attachment or problem with the terms "fairies" or "devas" even though both have cultural baggage, at least not since when I was a kid reading some of the Findhorn materials. But then some people have baggage for terms like "spirit" and "soul". Let's face it, most terms have baggage to one person or another. But when language gets in the way, it stops achieving its purpose of communication.

I don't know what these "Others" are. I don't like to put boxes on beings I don't know about. My native american background doesn't even use the term "nature spirit" and we certainly don't use "fairy" or "deva." I think the European mind is more prone to creating classifications of beings, hierarchies (such as the choirs of angels, etc.)

The native groups I know of don't do that. We don't think we can put a label on another Being. From sun, to moon, to human, to whatever odd "Other" we come across, they are either "Beings" or "Persons" or we refer to them by respectful kinship (grandfather, grandmother) if beneficient, and we ignore it if maleficient. We only put names of convenience on things, powers, etc. in stories based on their behavior or observed characteristics, "shoots-things-from-the-trees", "the-little-black-men", "the underwater People", "stands-around-the-earth-man," "bull-in-the-water." That sort of thing.

We do use the words in English "Little People" and "Giants" but that is just for the one group of Beings we see in the form of miniature human beings or larger than life human beings. My tribe actually called the Giants, "waruska", lots of different translations, but one relates to peeling off the skin, because they hunted Indians like we hunt rabbits or deer. Of course the one they call "bigfoot" or "sasquatch" is also one of these kinds of Persons, not a biological apeman, but a Being whose appearance is a warning of change and disaster in the air.

Yes, we see some "Others" as different lights true, different colors, but generally we see things as 100% dimensional, as real as you or I see each other, when we see them. Like those "wolf" type things on the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. They are real, and can even bleed, but they don't die the same as normal animals do.

So I think there is a cultural lens on these Persons as there are different Beings, just as there are different environments, plants and customs from region to region. Plenty Coups the last true Crow chief said, we are not to think too much about them, we are not to bother them, but just realize they also were made by the Creator and have a place here on earth, so when we meet them, we acknowledge that right to be here, and go on our way.

Of course, interaction is always risky, depending on the kind of Being it is. Maybe you will make friends with it. Or maybe you will have to struggle with it or even be killed by it, that is nature, but that does not mean we see them as demons as christians do or something to be hunted and destroyed like most of white culture seems to destroy anything like wolves or weeds. They have their place on earth just like us.