Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Miscellaneous Q & A
I thought it would be fun to do another question and answer blog today so I asked for questions on social media and here they are along with my answers:
Rei asks: On the subject of fairies, do you think there are wildly different beings in different parts of the world with different 'rules of engagement' as it were? I've had some experiences here in Appalachia that do not seem to hold to the same rules like for example apologizing/thanking seems OK even polite depending who you're dealing with.
My answer: wildly different no, but different yes. I think we can find beings throughout the world that might fit the wider definition of what we would call in English 'fairies', that is Otherworldly beings that come into our world and follow specific patterns of behavior including interacting with humans in specific ways. When it comes to the etiquette I like to compare it to human culture. If you travel around the world what is good manners in one place may actually be rude somewhere else, so it's always good to try to learn the local customs as it were.
Rebecca asks: Do you have any fairy resources that are not Irish? I have some Scottish based books that I got from your bibliographies but can't find much on Welsh or general British.
My answer: there's an older book called 'British Goblins: Welsh Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends, and Traditions' by Wirt Sykes. I would also recommend checking out this site http://www.fairyist.com/fairy-places/welsh-fairies/
For British I'd recommend British Fairies by John Kruse as well as the blog of the same name here https://britishfairies.wordpress.com/
David asks: In old Irish tradition the good people like the finer things which were available at the time; cream, butter, meat and so on.
If we accept for arguments sake that they exist in a different time realm, so to speak, then would you say that today's offerings should now also be the finer things available to us, such as champagne, fine wine, delicacies and so on?
My answer: I tend to think the times change but their preference for quality hasn't. But then I also think that the whole point was always twofold - to make sure humans remembered that the Good Neighbours were owed a portion, and that they expected the top of the harvest not the bottom. Or put another way I'd never risk giving skimmed milk
Maggie asks: Are there any references to Brighid and fairies?
My answer: Not that I know of but I will dig a bit deeper and see what I can find
Pamela asks: I know there's lots of theories as to why they dislike iron, l was wondering what your personal opinion is about why they dislike it so much?
My answer: my personal theory is that iron is very grounding and disrupts their magic. They avoid it because it reduces their ability to effect the world and control things and may also be directly harmful to them. Rev. Kirk theorized their bodies were partially made of energy and if he is right then a grounding material like iron might physically harm them. Although I'm starting to wonder if it may not be a more straightforward and literal allergy to the metal, but I also tend to believe they are or can be physical beings as much as tehy are or can be non-physical beings.
Eliza Marie asks: What are your thoughts on comparisons between older accounts of encounters with the Gentry and modern day "alien abduction" experiences?
My answer: I personally think that alien encounters are modern interpretations of fairy encounters. I think that as humans stopped believing in fairies as real powers who were dangerous and could take people, and started to believe in dangers from other planets we start to see fairy abductions and encounters shifting into alien ones. Since fairies have always been known for using glamour to effect what humans see and perceive it would make sense that humans expecting outer space monsters would get them.
Kathryn asks:Do you have an suggestions for further research on Yeats and the Fellowship of the Four Jewels?
My answer: Not something I'm familiar with relating to Yeats, but looking into Ella Young's writings may prove more fruitful. If you haven't already I'd read Graf's book 'W. B. Yeats Twentieth Century Magus: An In-Depth Study of Yeats's Esoteric Practices & Beliefs, Including Excerpts from His Magical Diaries.'
Pamela asks: In the remscéla where the Morrigan meets Cuchulainn and has the one legged horse with chariot pole sticking through it's head, do you have any idea what that description is supposed to translate to the reader other than super otherworld weird?
My answer: The Tain Bo Regamna is one of my favorite stories. Often in mythology we see one eyed, one limbed beings as symbolic of cthonic forces - for example the Fomorians are described this way in some instances. We also see the corrguinecht or crane-wounding-magic being done in a position of standing on one foot with one hand behind the back and one eye closed. To me this indicates that not only is the horse clearly Otherworldly but it is also rather ill-aspected, either cthonic in nature or sinister. I suspect a person hearing the story told would have immediately identified this description with a being that is unsainly or otherwise of a dangerous Otherworldly nature, foreshadowing what happens later in the story.