Otherworld Wanderings

February 25, 2021

The Light Of Ancient Wisdom


The faery folk presence was not limited to Hawthorn trees. According to Irish lore and legend they were ubiquitous in the landscape with an affinity for faery forts, hills, springs, pools and lakes, caves, rocky places, forests, and small valleys. Which seems to encompass most of Ireland, frankly. Basically they were everywhere. And they were by no means place bound. 

Folklore accounts are filled with their movement, generally traveling from place to place along pathways of straight lines between locations. Folklore accounts are also filled with warnings of what happens should humans interfere with these pathways, especially making the grave mistake of building on top of one of these faery paths. Writer and folklorist Lady Augusta Gregory found locals using the phrases in the way, in a contrary place, and in a path when talking about houses that had unlucky reputations. It was clear to her that the phrase referred to the obstruction of faery paths. Here is just one story reported by author Paul Devereux.

Dermot McManus recorded several such instances personally known to him in western Ireland. One case he cited involved a fellow called Michael O’Hagan whose children were being taken ill and dying for no reason that the doctor could identify. O’Hagan sought advice from the local wise-woman. She came to his house, and immediately saw that an extension the man had built to the dwelling “obtruded into a straight line between two neighbouring fairy forts”. The extension was demolished and it was said that the man’s remaining children grew up healthy.

Again, this is just one story. Irish folklore is filled with them. W.B. Yeats, Augusta Gregory, Lady Wilde and other antiquarians collected hundreds of similar accounts. Their writings are both easily found and fascinating.

Yet in all of these faery stories there is another level of encounter to consider. For within these tales of the wanderings of otherworld entities, there is the movement of otherworld energies. 

Judith – judith@stonefires.com