DEFINITIONS

Faery (noun) : the realm of the faeries or state of being in that realm; a faery (pl. -ies).

Faërie (adjective, adverb) : indicating a quality or condition of experience of Faery or of something associated with it.

20140716

Japanese Ship of Souls


They say the sea always roughens during the period of the Festival of the Dead in the seventh month of the old lunar calendar. After the Ships of Souls have been launched no one dares enter it: no boats can be hired : all the fishermen remain at home. For on that day the sea is a highway for the dead, who must pass back over its waters to their mysterious home, and therefore upon that day is it called Hotoke-umi - the Buddha Flood - the Tide of the Returning Ghosts. And ever upon the night of the sixteenth day, whether the sea be calm or tumultuous, all its surface shimmers with faint lights gliding out to the open, the dim fires of the dead; and there is heard a murmuring of voices, like the murmur of a city far off, the indistingshable speech of souls.

Lafcadio Hearn (1891)

20140318

Meilyr and the Lady

Meilyr was visiting the annual fair when his eye was caught by a young woman whose charms seemed to him incomparable. To his delight he managed to engage her in conversation and they spent some time together at the fair. He asked her if she would meet him again and she agreed. So they met at the trysting tree and walked together in the forest. Then lied down together on the soft moss on a flat rock above the flowing stream. There Meilyr took her in his arms. At first she warned him that no good would come of it, but he persisted so she allowed him to continue. As they lay together - fulfilled - on the moss she turned in his arms into an old crone of extreme ugliness with warts and hair sprouting from her nose. She left him then but said they might meet again in her own country.

For some time after this Meilyr lost his wits and wandered the land as a deranged vagrant. Eventually he recovered and resumed his former life. But although he seemed to others to be restored to what he had been, he found that he could see things that others could not see and he had the power too see events before they happened. And he saw his lover again, though not as he had seen her before, as she passed through the veil between the worlds and spoke to him so that he found, in repeating her words, that his speech was inspired. So he became a great poet, and a seer, and gained a reputation as a wise man, and a possessor of cunning arts.

All for the love of his lady.


Giraldus Cambrensis told a version of this tale in his twelfth century Journey Through Wales summarized HERE

20131206

Waters from the Source




So, searching for the source, Gwyn sought the spring from where waters welled up from the Otherworld, though it was said to be a perilous place with a veil of spell craft around it. It was because he knew certain words of power that he did not worry about that, and he spoke these words as he approached the place where the spring was reputed to be, though no spring could be seen. As he spoke the air about the place became like a clearing mist that shone diffusely as he drew near and he saw before him a bed of fine gravel from which water bubbled up out of the earth and out of this water a women taking shape before him.

In her hands she held a vessel of transparent crystal into which water flowed so he approached her to ask for a drink of the water, but as he spoke she began to dissolve once more back into the welling spring. He reached out for the vessel and tasted just a few drops of the water before she was gone and the well itself began to draw back the flow of water.

But it was enough, for great knowledge and wisdom had welled up within him with those few drops and he was overcome both with bitter grief and with great joy as he saw clearly how things were. He knew he must retreat from that place or be carried off for all time to the Otherworld as the place shifted its form once more. So he fled, but with him was a vision that never left him, though it was the cause of a trouble that he carried with him for all his days with his deep seeing into the weave of the world that others could not see and it took great strength to bear it.

20130925

In a Sunken Lane


There is nothing but the sense of something as you tread on the damp leaves of the sunken lane and know that the deep quietness contains a tune that calls to you from beyond the range of hearing , from deep in the twilight which contains a world that is there and not there, here and not here, everywhere and at a fine point of intersection between this world and another.

So you tread, tentatively, again and the tune calls you on ….



Where were you? Do you remember? Or only have the faintest trace of memory of another place, a perilous place, but one to which your heart would have you turn again. If only you could. But the tune is silent now. The intersection opening somewhere else, in some other lane.

And this lane, though still deeply mysterious, seems shallower than it did just then  … when?

20130829

Witch Road

To begin at the beginning it’s an ordinary lane
and the hedge alongside it a common hedgerow
bordering a field until the twined spindles
of its twisted branches bind the shifted light
around leaf and stem along another path through
the spaces between here and there, the shafts
that bend past thorn and bramble, turning
the glimpses caught in the eye’s corners away
into lines of sight, seer sight, lit by witch light
so each dark interstice of hedge is a step
through to another place, snickets running
deeper with each turn from one to another
into the lane that runs, no ordinary course,
just where the first lane runs but elsewhere
a half-step away from familiar things
spellbound now as the road slips through
and finds a way into Faery.

20130814

The Lonely God


"I want you," said Angus Og, "because the world has forgotten me. In all my nation there is no remembrance of me. I, wandering on the hills of my country, am lonely indeed. I am the desolate god forbidden to utter my happy laughter. I hide the silver of my speech and the gold of my merriment. I live in the holes of the rocks and the dark caves of the sea. I weep in the morning because I may not laugh, and in the evening I go abroad and am not happy. Where I have kissed a bird has flown; where I have trod a flower has sprung. But Thought has snared my birds in his nets and sold them in the market-places. Who will deliver me from Thought, from the base holiness of Intellect, the maker of chains and traps? Who will save me from the holy impurity of Emotion, whose daughters are Envy and Jealousy and Hatred, who plucks my flowers to ornament her lusts and my little leaves to shrivel on the breasts of infamy? Lo, I am sealed in the caves of nonentity until the head and the heart shall come together in fruitfulness, until Thought has wept for Love, and Emotion has purified herself to meet her lover. Tir-na-nog is the heart of a man and the head of a woman. Widely they are separated. Self-centred they stand, and between them the seas of space are flooding desolately. No voice can shout across those shores. No eye can bridge them, nor any desire bring them together until the blind god shall find them on the wavering stream--not as an arrow searches straightly from a bow, but gently, imperceptibly as a feather on the wind reaches the ground on a hundred starts; not with the compass and the chart, but by the breath of the Almighty which blows from all quarters without care and without ceasing. Night and day it urges from the outside to the inside. It gathers ever to the centre. From the far without to the deep within, trembling from the body to the soul until the head of a woman and the heart of a man are filled with the Divine Imagination. Hymen, Hymenaea! I sing to the ears that are stopped, the eyes that are sealed, and the minds that do not labour. Sweetly I sing on the hillside. The blind shall look within and not without; the deaf shall hearken to the murmur of their own veins, and be enchanted with the wisdom of sweetness; the thoughtless shall think without effort as the lightning flashes, that the hand of Innocence may reach to the stars, that the feet of Adoration may dance to the Father of Joy, and the laugh of Happiness be answered by the Voice of Benediction."
from The Crock of Gold by James Stephens

20130730

The Sex of the Moon

Another Archive item from the Pagan Movement newsletters by Tony Kelly:

The sex of the Moon is a trick of language, but this trick of language must itself have its origin in myth. The Moon tends to be masculine in the Teutonic and Slavic languages and feminine in the Romance and Celtic.

I thought the Moon magical for as far back as I can remember and have many happy memories of her. When I was young I used to stay with my grandmother, who had many fascinating tales to tell me about all sorts of things that were old, and my uncle lived there too and did astrology and told me about the pull of the Moon on the tides, and I was in awe for the mysterious force that the Moon exerted, and I don't know if this was for the sheer wonder of it, or because my uncle was himself in awe of it and his awe was infectious. But I used to lie in bed at night, just under the window and next to my grandmother who slept in a big bed alongside, and more often than not, the Moon would be high in the sky, always it seemed, big, bright and full. She sailed high in the clouds, dashed from cloud bank to cloud bank, and I was saddened when she was hidden, and elated when she burst through in a dazzle of silvery light again. It was beautiful, but it was also magical, serene, and strangely powerful. It seemed liked hours that I used to lie there watching her, and though I didn't put it into words, it was then that I fell in love with her and I've been deeply in love with her ever since. They say you go mad' if you sleep in the light of the Moon. I'm not surprised. If they'd told me that before I'd done it, I'd have done it purposely! But I wouldn't call it madness. Rather I'd call it enchantment. It's a strange feeling. Ancient. And beautiful.



Deep Faërie Lore