Monday, April 29, 2013

Ogma, master of poetry and inventor of ogham writing

Ogma, master of poetry and inventor of ogham writing



Another son of Brigit's was Ogma, master of poetry and inventor of ogham writing, the word being derived from his name. It is more probable that Ogma's name is a derivative from some word signifying "speech" or "writing," and that the connection with "ogham" may be a mere folk-etymology. Ogma appears as the champion of the gods, a position given him perhaps from the primitive custom of rousing the warriors' emotions by eloquent speeches before a battle. Similarly the Babylonian Marduk, "seer of the gods," was also their champion in fight. Ogma fought and died at Mag-tured; but in other accounts he survives, captures Tethra's sword, goes on the quest for Dagda's harp, and is given a síd after the Milesian victory. Ogma's counterpart in Gaul is Ogmíos, a Herakles and a god of eloquence, thus bearing the dual character of Ogma, while Ogma's epithet grianainech, "of the smiling countenance," recalls Lucian's account of the "smiling face" of Ogmíos. Ogma's high position is the result of the admiration of bardic eloquence among the Celts, whose loquacity was proverbial, and to him its origin was doubtless ascribed, as well as that of poetry. The genealogists explain his relationship to the other divinities in different ways, but these confusions may result from the fact that gods had more than one name, of which the annalists made separate personalities. }Most usually Ogma is called Brigit's son. Her functions were like his own, but in spite of the increasing supremacy of gods over goddesses, he never really eclipsed her.

Celtic ( Tuatha Dé Danann) Gods of Knowledge

Celtic ( Tuatha Dé Danann) Gods of Knowledge



Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharba, who give a title to the whole group, are called tri dee Donand, "the three gods (sons of) Danu," or, again, "gods of dán" (knowledge), perhaps as the result of a folk-etymology, associating dân with their mother's name Danu.Various attributes are personified as their descendants, Wisdom being son of all three. Though some of these attributes may have been actual gods, especially Ecne or Wisdom, yet it is more probable that the personification is the result of the subtleties of bardic science, of which similar examples occur. On the other hand, the fact that Ecne is the son of three brothers, may recall some early practice of polyandry of which instances are met with in the sagas. M. D'Arbois has suggested that Iuchar and Iucharba are mere duplicates of Brian, who usually takes the leading place, and he identifies them with three kings of the Tuatha Déa reigning at the time of the Milesian invasion—MacCuill, MacCecht, and MacGrainne, so called, according to Keating, because the hazel (coll), the plough (cecht), and the sun (grian) were "gods of worship" to them. Both groups are grandsons of Dagda, and M. D'Arbois regards this second group as also triplicates of one god, because their wives Fotla, Banba, and Eriu all bear names of Ireland itself, are personifications of the land, and thus may be "reduced to unity." While this reasoning is ingenious, it should be remembered that we must not lay too much stress upon Irish divine genealogies, while each group of three may have been similar local gods associated at a later time as brothers. Their separate personality is suggested by the fact that the Tuatha Dé Danann are called after them "the Men of the Three Gods," and their supremacy appears in the incident of Dagda, Lug, and Ogma consulting them before the fight at Mag-tured—a natural proceeding if they {}were gods of knowledge or destiny. The brothers are said to have slain the god Cian, and to have been themselves slain by Lug, and on this seems to have been based the story of The Children of Tuirenn, in which they perish through their exertions in obtaining the eric demanded by Lug.Here they are sons of Tuirenn, but more usually their mother Danu or Brigit is mentioned.

Celtic Fertility Goddesses

Celtic Fertility Goddesses



The Matres, goddesses of fertility, do not appear by name in Ireland, but the triplication of such goddesses as Morrigan and Brigit, the threefold name of Dagda's wife, or the fact that Arm, Danu, and Buanan are called "mothers," while Buanan's name is sometimes rendered "good mother," may suggest that such grouped goddesses were not unknown. Later legend knows of white women who assist in spinning, or three hags with power over nature, or, as in the Battle of Ventry, of three supernatural women who fall in love with Conncrithir, aid him in fight, and heal his wounds. In this document and elsewhere is mentioned the "síd of the White Women."Goddesses of fertility are usually goddesses of love, and the prominence given to females among the síde, the fact that they are often called Be find, "White Women," like fairies who represent the Matres elsewhere, and that they freely offer their love to mortals, may connect them with this group of goddesses. Again, when the Milesians arrived in Ireland, three kings of the Tuatha Déa had wives called Eriu, Banba, and Fotla, who begged that Ireland should be called after them. This was granted, but only Eriu (Erin) remained in general use. The story is an ætiological myth explaining the names of Ireland, but the three wives may be a group like the Matres, guardians of the land which took its name from them.

Celtic War Goddesses

Celtic War Goddesses



Although the (Celtic) Irish gods are warriors, and there are special war-gods, yet war-goddesses are more prominent, usually as a group of three—Morrigan, Neman, and Macha. A fourth, Badb, sometimes takes the place of one of these, or is identical with Morrigan, or her name, like that of Morrigan, may be generic. Badb means "a scald-crow," under which form the war-goddesses appeared, probably because these birds were seen near the slain. She is also called Badbcatha, "battle-Badb," and is thus the equivalent of -athubodua, or, more probably, Cathubodua, mentioned in an inscription from Haute-Savoie, while this, as well as personal names like Boduogenos, shows that a goddess Bodua was known to the Gauls. The badb or battle-crow is associated with the Fomorian Tethra, but Badb herself is consort of a war-god Nét, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who may be the equivalent of Neton, mentioned in Spanish inscriptions and equated with Mars. Elsewhere Neman is Nét's consort, and she may be the Nemetona of inscriptions, e.g.at Bath, the consort of Mars. Cormac calls Nét and Neman "a venomous couple," which we may well believe them to have been.To Macha were devoted the heads of slain enemies, "Macha's mast," but she, according to the annalists, was slain at Mag-tured, though she reappears in the Cúchulainn saga as the Macha whose ill-treatment led to the "debility" of the Ulstermen. The name Morrigan may mean "great queen," though Dr. Stokes, {72}connecting mor with the same syllable in "Fomorian," explains it as "nightmare-queen."She works great harm to the Fomorians at Mag-tured, and afterwards proclaims the victory to the hills, rivers, and fairy-hosts, uttering also a prophecy of the evils to come at the end of time. She reappears prominently in the Cúchulainn saga, hostile to the hero because he rejects her love, yet aiding the hosts of Ulster and the Brown Bull, and in the end trying to prevent the hero's death.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Aine-Celtic Fairy Queen of Fertility

Aine-Celtic Fairy Queen of Fertility



     Aine, one of the great fairy-queens of Ireland, has her seat at Knockainy in Limerick, where rites connected with her former cult are still performed for fertility on Midsummer eve. If they were neglected she and her troops performed them, according to local legend. She is thus an old goddess of fertility, whose cult, even at a festival in which gods were latterly more prominent, is still remembered. She is also associated with the waters as a water-nymph captured for a time as a fairy-bride by the Earl of Desmond. But older legends connect her with the síd. She was daughter of Eogabal, king of the síd of Knockainy, the grass on which was annually destroyed at Samhain by his people, because it had been taken from them, its rightful owners. Oilill Olomm and Ferchus resolved to watch the síd on Samhain-eve. They saw Eogabal and Aine emerge from it. Ferchus killed Eogabal, and Oilill tried to outrage Aine, who bit the flesh from his ear. Hence his name of "Bare Ear."In this legend we see how earlier gods of fertility come to be regarded as hostile to growth. Another story tells of the love of Aillén, {71}Eogabal's son, for Manannan's wife and that of Aine for Manannan. Aine offered her favours to the god if he would give his wife to her brother, and "the complicated bit of romance," as S. Patrick calls it, was thus arranged.

Brigit-Celtic Cult Goddess

Brigit-Celtic Cult Goddess



Brigit, or goddesses with similar functions, was regarded by the Celts as an early teacher of civilisation, inspirer of the artistic, poetic, and mechanical faculties, as well as a goddess of fire and fertility. As such she far excelled her sons, gods of knowledge. She must have originated in the period when the Celts worshipped goddesses rather than gods, and when knowledge—leechcraft, agriculture, inspiration—were women's rather than men's. She had a female priesthood, and men were perhaps excluded from her cult, as the tabued shrine at }Kildare suggests. Perhaps her fire was fed from sacred oak wood, for many shrines of S. Brigit were built under oaks, doubtless displacing pagan shrines of the goddess. As a goddess, Brigit is more prominent than Danu, also a goddess of fertility, even though Danu is mother of the gods.

Celtic Danu is also identified with Brigit, Goddess of Knowledge


Celtic Danu is also identified with Brigit, Goddess of Knowledge




Danu is also identified with Brigit, goddess of knowledge (dán), perhaps through a folk-etymology. She was worshipped by poets, and had two sisters of the same name connected with leechcraft and smithwork.They are duplicates or local forms of Brigit, a goddess of culture and of poetry, so much loved by the Celts. She is thus the equivalent of the Gaulish goddess equated with Minerva by Cæsar, and found on inscriptions as Minerva Belisama and Brigindo. She is the Dea Brigantia of British inscriptions. One of the seats of her worship was the land of the Brigantes, of whom she was the eponymous goddess, and her name (cf. Irbrig, "power" or "craft"; Welsh bri, "honour," "renown") suggests her high functions. But her popularity is seen in the continuation of her personality and cult in those of S. Brigit, at {}whose shrine in Kildare a sacred fire, which must not be breathed on, or approached by a male, was watched daily by nineteen nuns in turn, and on the twentieth day by the saint herself. Similar sacred fires were kept up in other monasteries, and they point to the old cult of a goddess of fire, the nuns being successors of a virgin priesthood like the vestals, priestesses of Vesta. As has been seen, the goddesses Belisama and Sul, probably goddesses of fire, resembled Brigit in this. But Brigit, like Vesta, was at once a goddess of fire and of fertility, as her connection with Candlemas and certain ritual survivals also suggest. In the Hebrides on S. Bride's day (Candlemas-eve) women dressed a sheaf of oats in female clothes and set it with a club in a basket called "Briid's bed." Then they called, "Briid is come, Briid is welcome." Or a bed was made of corn and hay with candles burning beside it, and Bride was invited to come as her bed was ready. If the mark of the club was seen in the ashes, this was an omen of a good harvest and a prosperous year. It is also noteworthy that if cattle cropped the grass near S. Brigit's shrine, next day it was as luxuriant as ever.

The Celtic Earth Goddess- Danu

The Celtic Earth Goddess- Danu



Danu gave her name to the whole group of gods, and is called their mother, like the Egyptian Neith or the Semitic Ishtar. In the annalists she is daughter of Dagda, and has three sons. She may be akin to the goddess Anu, whom Cormac describes as "mater deorum hibernensium. It was well she nursed the gods." From her name he derives ana, "plenty," and two hills in Kerry are called "the Paps of Anu." Thus as a goddess of plenty Danu or Anu may have been an early Earth-mother, and what may be a dim memory of Anu in Leicestershire confirms this view. A cave on the Dane Hills is called "Black Annis' Bower," and she is said to have been a savage woman who devoured human victims. Earth-goddesses }usually have human victims, and Anu would be no exception. In the cult of Earth divinities Earth and under-Earth are practically identical, while Earth-goddesses like Demeter and Persephone were associated with the underworld, the dead being Demeter's folk. The fruits of the earth with their roots below the surface are then gifts of the earth- or under-earth goddess. This may have been the case with Danu, for in Celtic belief the gifts of civilisation came from the underworld or from the gods. Professor Rh[^y]s finds the name Anu in the datAnoniredi, "chariot of Anu," in an inscription from Vaucluse, and the identification is perhaps established by the fact that goddesses of fertility were drawn through the fields in a vehicle. Cormac also mentions Buanann as mother and nurse of heroes, perhaps a goddess worshipped by heroes.

Fairies and Spirits at Ohio's Burial Mound Sites

Fairies and Spirits at Burial Mound Sites

Many times orbs can be seen in photographs of burial mound sites.  The spirits of the ancient dead still linger at these venerated sites and are the home of ghosts, spirits and fairies.


The formation of the legend was also aided by the old cult of the gods on heights, some of them sepulchral mounds, and now occasionally sites of Christian churches. The Irish god Cenn Cruaich and his Welsh equivalent Penn Cruc, whose name survives in Pennocrucium, have names meaning "chief or head of the mound."Other mounds or hills had also a sacred character. Hence gods worshipped at mounds, dwelling or revealing themselves there, still lingered in the haunted spots; they became fairies, or were associated with the dead buried in the mounds, as fairies also have been, or were themselves thought to have died and been buried there. The haunting of the mounds by the old gods is seen in a prayer of S. Columba's, who begs God to dispel "this host (i.e. the old gods) around the cairns that reigneth." An early MS also tells how the Milesians allotted the underground part of Erin to the Tuatha Déa who now retired within the hills; in other words, they were gods of the hills worshipped by the Milesians on hills. But, as we shall see, the gods dwelt elsewhere than in hills.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Supernatural World of the Tuatha De Danann


SUPERNATURAL WORLD OF THE TUATHA DÉ DANANN


The meaning formerly given to Tuatha Dé Danann was "the men of science who were gods," danann being here connected withdán, "knowledge." But the true meaning is "the tribes or folk of the goddess Danu,"199 which agrees with the cognates Tuatha or Fir Dea, "tribes or men of the goddess." The name was given to the group, though Danu had only three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharbar. Hence the group is also called fir tri ndea, "men of the three gods."200 The equivalents in Welsh story of Danu and her folk are Dôn and her children. We have seen that though they are described as kings and warriors by the annalists, traces of their divinity appear. In the Cúchulainn cycle they are supernatural beings and sometimes demons, helping or harming men, and in the Fionn cycle all these characteristics are ascribed to them. But the theory which prevailed most is that which connected them with the hills or mounds, the last resting-places of the mighty dead. Some of these bore their names, while other beings were also associated with the mounds (síd)—Fomorians and Milesian chiefs, heroes of the sagas, or those who had actually been buried in them.201 Legend told how, after the defeat of the gods, the mounds were divided among them, the method {}of division varying in different versions. In an early version the Tuatha Dé Danann are immortal and the Dagda divides the síd.202 But in a poem of Flann Manistrech (ob. 1056) they are mortals and die.203 Now follows a regular chronology giving the dates of their reigns and their deaths, as in the poem of Gilla Coemain (eleventh century).204 Hence another legend told how, Dagda being dead, Bodb Dearg divided the síd, yet even here Manannan is said to have conferred immortality upon the Tuatha Dé Danann.205 The old pagan myths had shown that gods might die, while in ritual their representatives were slain, and this may have been the starting-point of the euhemerising process. But the divinity of the Tuatha Dé Danann is still recalled. Eochaid O'Flynn (tenth century), doubtful whether they are men or demons, concludes, "though I have treated of these deities in order, yet have I not adored them."206 Even in later times they were still thought of as gods in exile, a view which appears in the romantic tales and sagas existing side by side with the notices of the annalists. They were also regarded as fairy kings and queens, and yet fairies of a different order from those of ordinary tradition. They are "fairies or sprites with corporeal forms, endowed with immortality," and yet also dei terreni or síde worshipped by the folk before the coming of S. Patrick. Even the saint and several bishops were called by the fair pagan daughters of King Loegaire, fir síde, "men of the síd," that is, gods.207 The sídwere named after the names of the Tuatha Dé Danann {65}who reigned in them, but the tradition being localised in different places, several mounds were sometimes connected with one god. The síd were marvellous underground palaces, full of strange things, and thither favoured mortals might go for a time or for ever. In this they correspond exactly to the oversea Elysium, the divine land.

The Fairy Faith In Ireland


The Fairy Faith In Ireland

If anyone would know Ireland and test these influences—influences which have been so fundamental in giving to the Fairy-Faith of the past something more than mere beauty of romance and attractive form, and something which even to-day, as in the heroic ages, is ever-living and ever-present in the centres where men of the second-sight say that they see fairies in that strange state of subjectivity which the peasant calls Fairyland—let him stand on the Hill of Tara silently and alone at sunset, in the noonday, in the mist of a dark day. Let him likewise silently and alone follow the course of the Boyne. Let him enter the silence of New Grange and of Dowth. Let him muse over the hieroglyphics of Lough Crew. Let him feel the mystic beauty of Killarney, the peacefulness of Glendalough, of Monasterboise, of Clonmacnois, and the isolation of Aranmore. Let him dare to enter the rings of fairies, to tempt the ‘good folk’ at their raths and forts. Let him rest on the ancient cairn above the mountain-palace of Finvara and look out across the battlefields of Moytura. Let him wander amid the fairy dells of gentle Connemara. Let him behold the Irish Sea from the Heights of Howth, as Fionn Mac Cumhail used to do. Let him listen to the ocean-winds amid Dun Aengus. Let him view the stronghold of Cuchulainn and the Red Branch Knights. Let him linger beside that mysterious lake which lies embosomed between two prehistoric cairns on the summit of enchanted Slieve Gullion, where yet dwells invisible the mountain’s Guardian, a fairy woman. Let him then try to interpret the mysticism of an ancient Irish [myth, in order to understand why men have been told that in the plain beneath this magic mountain of Ireland mighty warfare was once waged on account of a Bull, by the hosts of Queen Meave against those of Cuchulainn the hero of Ulster. Let him be lost in the mists on the top of Ben Bulbin. Let him know the haunts of fairy kings and queens in Roscommon. Let him follow in the footsteps of Patrick and Bridgit and Columba. When there are dark days and stormy nights, let him sit beside a blazing fire of fragrant peat in a peasant’s straw-thatched cottage listening to tales of Ireland’s golden age—tales of gods, of heroes, of ghosts, and of fairy-folk. If he will do these things, he will know Ireland, and why its people believe in fairies.
As yet, little has been said concerning the effects of clouds, of natural scenery, of weird and sudden transformations in earth and sky and air, which play their part in shaping the complete Fairy-Faith of the Irish; but what we are about to say concerning Scotland will suggest the same things for Ireland, because the nature of the landscape and the atmospheric changes are much the same in the two countries, both inland and on their rock-bound and storm-swept shores.

The Mythological Nature and Origin of the Fairy Faith


Theories of the Fairy-Faith

We make continual reference throughout our study to this Psychological Theory of the Nature and Origin of the Celtic Fairy-Faith, and it is one of our purposes to demonstrate that this is the root theory which includes or absorbs the four theories already advanced to account for the belief in fairies. To guide the reader in his own conclusions, we shall here briefly outline these four theories.
The first of them may be called the Naturalistic Theory, which is, that in ancient and in modern times man’s belief in gods, spirits, or fairies has been the direct result of his attempts to explain or to rationalize natural phenomena. Of this theory we accept as true that the belief in fairies often anthropomorphically reflects the natural environment as well as the social condition of the people who hold the belief. For example, amid the beautiful low-lying green hills and gentle dells of Connemara (Ireland), the ‘good people’ are just as beautiful, just as gentle, and just as happy as their environment; while amid the dark-rising mountains and in the mysterious cloud-shadowed lakes of the Scotch Highlands there are fiercer kinds of fairies and terrible water-kelpies, and in the Western Hebrides there is the much-dreaded ‘spirit-host’ moving through the air at night.
The Naturalistic Theory shows accurately enough that natural phenomena and environment have given direction] to the anthropomorphosing of gods, spirits, or fairies, but after explaining this external aspect of the Fairy-Faith it cannot logically go any further. Or if illogically it does attempt to explain the belief in gods, spirits, or fairies as due entirely to material causes, it becomes, in our opinion, like the psychology of fifty years ago, obsolete; for now the new psychology or psychical research has been forced to admit—if only as a working hypothesis—the possibility of invisible intelligences or entities able to influence man and nature. We seem even to be approaching a scientific proof of the doctrines of such ancient philosophical scientists as Pythagoras and Plato,—that all external nature, animated throughout and controlled in its phenomena by daemons acting by the will of gods, is to men nothing more than the visible effects of an unseen world of causes.
In the internal aspects of the Fairy-Faith the fundamental fact seems clearly to be that there must have been in the minds of prehistoric men, as there is now in the minds of modern men, a germ idea of a fairy for environment to act upon and shape. Without an object to act upon, environment can accomplish nothing. This is evident. The Naturalistic Theory examines only the environment and its effects, and forgets altogether the germ idea of a fairy to be acted upon; but the Psychological Theory remembers and attempts to explain the germ idea of a fairy and the effect of nature upon it.
The second theory may be called the Pygmy Theory, which Mr. David MacRitchie, who is definitely committed to it, has so clearly set forth in his well-known work, entitled The Testimony of Tradition. This theory is that the whole fairy-belief has grown up out of a folk-memory of an actual Pygmy race. This race is supposed to have been a very early, prehistoric, probably Mongolian race, which inhabited the British Islands and many parts of Continental Europe. When the Celtic nations appeared, these pygmies were driven into mountain fastnesses and into the most inaccessible places, where a few of them may have survived until comparatively historical times.
]Over against the champions of the Pygmy Theory may be set two of its opponents, Dr. Bertram C. A. Windle and Mr. Andrew Lang. Dr. Windle, in his Introduction to Tyson’s Philological Essay concerning the Pygmies of the Ancients, makes these six most destructive criticisms or points against the theory: (1) So far as our present knowledge teaches us, there never was a really Pygmy race inhabiting the northern parts of Scotland; (2) the mounds with which the tales of little people are associated have not, in many cases, been habitations, but were natural or sepulchral in their nature; (3) little people are not by any means associated entirely with mounds; (4) the association of giants and dwarfs in traditions confuses the theory; (5) there are fairies where no pygmies ever were, as, for example, in North America; (6) even Eskimos and Lapps have fairy beliefs, and could not have been the original fairies of more modern fairy-lore. Altogether, as we think our study will show, the evidence of the Fairy-Faith itself gives only a slender and superficial support to the Pygmy Theory. We maintain that the theory, so far as it is provable, and this is evidently not very far, is only one strand, contributed by ethnology and social psychology, in the complex fabric of the Fairy-Faith, and is, as such, woven round a psychical central pattern—the fundamental pattern of the Fairy-Faith. Therefore, from our point of view, the Pygmy Theory is altogether inadequate, because it overlooks or misinterprets the most essential and prominent elements in the belief which the Celtic peoples hold concerning fairies and Fairyland.
The Druid Theory to account for fairies is less widespread. It is that the folk-memory of the Druids and their magical practices is alone responsible for the Fairy-Faith. The first suggestion of this theory seems to have been made by the Rev. Dr. Cririe, in his Scottish Scenery, published in 1803. Three years later, the Rev. Dr. Graham published An identical hypothesis in hisSketches Descriptive of Picturesque Scenery on the Southern Confines of Perthshire. Mr. MacRitchie suggests, with all reason, that the two writers probably had discussed together the theory, and hence both put it forth. Alfred Maury, in Les Fées du Moyen-Age, published in 1843 at Paris, appears to have made liberal use of Patrick Graham’s suggestions in propounding his theory that the fées or fairy women of the Middle Ages are due to a folk-memory of Druidesses. Maury seems to have forgotten that throughout pagan Britain and Ireland, both much more important for the study of fairies than Celtic Europe during the Middle Ages, Druids rather than Druidesses had the chief influence on the people, and that yet, despite this fact, Irish and Welsh mythology is full of stories about fairy women coming from the Otherworld; nor is there any proof, or even good ground for argument, that the Irish fairy women are a folk-memory of Druidesses, for if there ever were Druidesses in Ireland they played a subordinate and very insignificant rôle. As in the case of the Pygmy Theory, we maintain that the Druid Theory, also, is inadequate. It discovers a real anthropomorphic influence at work on the outward aspects of the Fairy-Faith, and illogically takes that to be the origin of the Fairy-Faith.
The fourth theory, the Mythological Theory, is of very great importance. It is that fairies are the diminished figures of the old pagan divinities of the early Celts; and many modern authorities on Celtic mythology and folk-lore hold it. To us the theory is acceptable so far as it goes. But it is not adequate in itself nor is it the root theory, because a belief in gods and goddesses must in turn be explained; and in making this explanation we arrive at the Psychological Theory, which this study—perhaps the first one of its kind—attempts to set forth.

The Celtic Fairy-Faith

The Religion of the Fairy Faith



      By the Celtic Fairy-Faith we mean that specialized form of belief in a spiritual realm inhabited by spiritual beings which has existed from prehistoric times until now in Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, or other parts of the ancient empire of the Celts. In studying this belief, we are concerned directly with living Celtic folk-traditions, and with past Celtic folk-traditions as recorded in literature. And if fairies actually exist as invisible beings or intelligences, and our investigations lead us to the tentative hypothesis that they do, they are natural and not supernatural, for nothing which exists can be supernatural; and, therefore, it is our duty to examine the Celtic Fairy Races just as we examine any fact in the visible realm]wherein we now live, whether it be a fact of chemistry, of physics, or of biology. However, as we proceed to make such an examination, we shall have to remember constantly that there is a new set of ideas to work with, entirely different from what we find in natural sciences, and often no adequate vocabulary based on common human experiences. An American who has travelled in Asia and an Englishman who has travelled in Australia may meet in Paris and exchange travelling experiences with mutual understanding, because both of them have experienced travel; and they will have an adequate vocabulary to describe each experience, because most men have also experienced travel. But a saint who has known the spiritual condition called ecstasy cannot explain ecstasy to a man who has never known it, and if he should try to do so would discover at once that no modern language is suitable for the purpose. His experience is rare and not universal, and men have developed no complete vocabulary to describe experiences not common to the majority of mankind, and this is especially true of psychical experiences. It is the same in dealing with fairies, as these are hypothetically conceived, for only a few men and women can assert that they have seen fairies, and hence there is no adequate vocabulary to describe fairies. Among the Ancients, who dealt so largely with psychical sciences, there seems to have been a common language which could be used to explain the invisible world and its inhabitants; but we of this age have not yet developed such a language. Consequently, men who deny human immortality, as well as men with religious faith who have not through personal psychical experiences transformed that faith into a fact, nowadays when they happen to read what Plato, Iamblichus, or any of the Neo-Platonists have written, or even what moderns have written in attempting to explain psychic facts, call it all mysticism. And to the great majority of Europeans and Americans, mysticism is a most convenient noun, applicable to anything which may seem reasonable yet wholly untranslatable in terms of their own individual experience; and mysticism usually means something quite the reverse [i]of scientific simply because we have by usage unwisely limited the meaning of the word science to a knowledge of things material and visible, whereas it really means a knowing or a knowledge of everything which exists. We have tried to deal with the rare psychical experiences of Irish, Scotch, Manx, Welsh, or Breton seers, and psychics generally, in the clearest language possible; but if now and then we are charged with being mystical, this is our defence.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

First Peopling of Ireland by the Daughters of Cain

Ireland First Peopled by the Daughters of Cain




Various stories were told of the first peopling of Ireland. Banba, with two other daughters of Cain, arrived with fifty women and three men, only to die of the plague. Three fishermen next discovered Ireland, and "of the island of Banba of Fair Women with hardihood they took possession." Having gone to fetch their wives, they perished in the deluge at Tuath Inba.155 A more popular account was that of the coming of Cessair, Noah's granddaughter, with her father, husband, a third man, Ladru, "the first dead man of Erin," and fifty damsels. Her coming was the result of the advice of a laimh-dhia, or "hand-god," but their ship was wrecked, and all save her husband, Finntain, who survived for centuries, perished {51}in the flood.156 Cessair's ship was less serviceable than her grandparent's! Followed the race of Partholan, "no wiser one than the other," who increased on the land until plague swept them away, with the exception of Tuan mac Caraill, who after many transformations, told the story of Ireland to S. Finnen centuries after.157 The survival of Finntain and Tuan, doubles of each other, was an invention of the chroniclers, to explain the survival of the history of colonists who had all perished. Keating, on the other hand, rejecting the sole survivor theory as contradictory to Scripture, suggests that "aerial demons," followers of the invaders, revealed all to the chroniclers, unless indeed they found it engraved with "an iron pen and lead in the rocks."158

Mounds, Ghosts, Fairies and Paranormal Activity

Mounds, Ghosts, Fairies and Paranormal Activity


Some of the most active paranormal sites in North America are located in Ohio.  Many of these places are at or near burial mound sites.  This burial mound is located north of Columbus, Ohio





Tumuli may already in pagan times have been pointed out as tombs of gods who died in myth or ritual, like the tombs of Zeus in Crete and of Osiris in Egypt. Again, fairies, in some aspects, are ghosts of the dead, and haunt tumuli; hence, when gods became fairies they would do the same. And once they were thought of as dead kings, any {67}notable tumuli would be pointed out as theirs, since it is a law in folk-belief to associate tumuli or other structures not with the dead or with their builders, but with supernatural or mythical or even historical personages. If síde ever meant "ghosts," it would be easy to call the dead gods by this name, and to connect them with the places of the dead.