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Monday, 10 March 2014

Celtic Faerie Tradition

Celtic Faerie Tradition

Perhaps more than anywhere on Earth, faeries have influenced tradition, spirituality, art, literature, and everyday life in the lands now considered part of the Celtic world, particularly in Ireland. Irish creation myths are populated with faeries called the Tuatha de Danaan (tribe of the goddess Danu), and faeries remain a vital part of daily life in many parts of Ireland even today, though the forces of modernization are rapidly erasing their traces. "Faerie Forts" are still respected by Irish farmers who do not dare disturb these natural habitations of the fae on their lands. And of course we have all heard of Leprechauns!

The faeries of Avalon are woven into Arthurian legends, including the mysterious Lady of the Lake, sometimes equated with Nimue, Morgan le Fay and, according to some sources, the Lady Guenevere. Scottish and Welsh myths, such as the Mabinogion, also feature frequent faerie interactions. British and Scandinavia, faeries are often called elves, as found in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In Ireland faeries are called the Sidhe, and they are still said to live under mounds in the earth such as Newgrange. World renowned writers and poets such as William Butler Yeats, Lady Charlotte Guest,William Sharp, Ella Young, and many others often wrote about faeries, and these tales were not intended for children!

Ireland seems to have more than its fair share of faeries, but the truth may be that the Irish were simply more open and intuitive when interacting with the fae. Many Irish people today are believed to carry the faery bloodlines of their Tuatha de Danaan ancestors.

No matter where you happen to live, there are faeries and nature spirits working to help the trees grow, to push up the flowers in the spring, to break down the rotting leaves into compost (faery gold), to orchestrate weather patterns and the flowing of streams and rivers, to enliven the animals, and to heal the oceans. They are called by many different names in different parts of the world, but they are all part of what we call the faery realm which can be experienced through our inner journeys to the Underworlds.

Faeries are powerful beings who care more for the welfare of nature than for that of individual humans. Yet we can form working friendships with them for our mutual benefit. This sort of co-creation may be the saving grace of humanity. Humanity is now very much out of balance in the Western World, and our technologies threaten the harmony of life on Earth. It is time that people the world over take a lesson from the ancient Irish.

* Leave offerings for the fae - food, drink, pretty things
* Respect natural habitats and leave some places wild
* Honor the living beings active in all aspects of nature
* Ask plants for permission before picking them
* Respect the welfare of animals
* Learn to listen to the voices of nature
* Share live acoustic music and dance
* Believe in magic!

If you are specifically interested in Celtic Faery Magic, 

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