Faeries, They Stand To Reason

Returning to Benbulben to explore the faery lore that abounds there through the words of W.B. Yeats. By the time he was gathering and writing stories of mystical encounters the evolution of Earth and Otherworld spirits to faery was well established. This is from his book Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore written in 1902, just one of many writings where we find reference to fallen angels, the church’s explanation for the Tuatha Dé Dannan, Ireland’s indigenous spiritual ancestors, who were so embedded in the Irish psyche they could not be neatly or completely demonized.

There are some doubters even in the western villages. One woman told me last Christmas that she did not believe either in hell or in ghosts. Hell she thought was merely an invention got up by the priest to keep people good; and ghosts would not be permitted, she held, to go “trapsin about the earth” at their own free will; “but there are faeries,” she added, “and little leprechauns, and waterhorses, and fallen angels.” I have met also a man with a mohawk Indian tattooed upon his arm, who held exactly similar beliefs and unbeliefs. No matter what one doubts one never doubts the faeries, for, as the man with the mohawk Indian on his arm said to me, “they stand to reason.”