Psychic Readings The Faeries Oracle
Unless you’ve been living deep underground for the past month you’ll know that today is celebrated in Ireland and around the world by Irish emigres and ex-pats – and anyone of any race or nationality who wants to join in the merriment – as St. Patrick’s Day. City streets are awash in green and Shamrocks and Leprechauns decorate shop windows as people celebrate (especially in America) with green tinted beer, pistachio ice cream, cakes covered in green icing and various versions of imagined Irish meals like the revolting Colcannon (unheard of in Ireland by the by) whilst the Lenten fasting rules are suspended for 24 hours. Somehow, March 17 seems to have grown into a multi-national holiday of vast proportions.
Psychic Readings The Faeries Oracle
Frankly, however, I think the hoopla is mis-placed. After all, what Patrick did to Ireland was to help replace the optimistic, hospitable Faery Faith of the Tuatha Dé Danaan with a lugubrious liturgy devoted to expiating alleged ‘sins’ and worshiping a deity in agony from scourgings and crucifixion. Now, I’m not claiming that Patrick is single-handedly responsible for the melancholic strain in the Celtic personality; that was there before Paddy ever left Brittany as a slave. In fact, it was when he was serving as a slave in Eire that he himself was converted to Christianity. Condemned to servitude and with no means of escape, it must have seemed to him to be a fair trade to surrender his Gaulish gods and submit to the Janist strain of Christianity that had seeped into the very soil of Eire like the cold grey rain that led in time to a glorious re-birth of the landscape in Spring. It would happen anyway, so why not please his Roman captors by adopting their religion and claiming for it the redemption of the sins of all humankind when the feast of Oestre rolled around? In his lifetime he made a number of missionary journeys and no doubt could claim a fair number of converts. But as many others also contend, I believe the old gods and goddesses prevailed at the deepest levels of the Celtic psyche in the form of Faery Folk of all kinds -brownies, ghoulies, selkies, pookas, pixies, sprites, and yes, even leprechauns.
The Faerie Paths
In the Celtic imagination the gloom of Christian life had to be lightened somehow, like drawing a distinction between mischief and sin, transferring responsibility for mishaps from humans onto the ‘wee folk’ playing tricks or directly punishing human misdeeds with various mishaps until the Faery sense of justice was restored. The Faery Folk inhabited every nook and cranny of the Irish countryside, protected wells, guarded the entrance to the Otherworld, left signs of their visitations on the landscape and the country folk who tilled the soil, cut peat for the fire, built the dry stane walls and brought seaweed from the shore to dry against the day when season’s crop had all been consumed with winter showing no sign of departing, knew the Faery Folk best and they had the wisdom – and just enough irony – to sneak them back into everyday life under the noses of the monks and priests as harmless ‘superstitions’. All of which is to say, that today is also an opportunity to commemorate a time when we humans retained the memory of folk beliefs and reverence for the animating power of nature in the raw; it’s a great day for the Faery Folk!
The Faeries Oracle
The true test of a culture’s worth is in its native wisdom. For the Celts, the source of their wisdom is the realm of Faery, the unseen world that surrounds us all the time but that we can only catch glimpses of occasionally. Whether we see them or not, Faeries abide in the vicinity of streams, ancient trees, menhirs and cairns, wells, earth mounds, hidden entrances to caves, in meadows of wild flowers, near waterfalls, and of course, around faery rings – those odd deep green rings that seem to pop up of their own accord on the landscape. It is rumoured that the faeries like to dance in these rings on Midsummer’s Eve and if you want to see them you must bring a token offering to honour them – some wildflowers or a daisy chain are their favourite tributes.
Another way to may contact with the faery folk is through their own wisdom. It is said that the Queen of the Faery Realm chose a mortal to visit the land of faery and record what he saw and learned there. Artist Brian Froud (whose wife Wendy is the creator of Yoda as well as co-creator of The Faery Tale, above) kept his half of the bargain by creating several books about faery life. But the Faery Queen demanded more: she wanted him to create an Oracle that would allow humans to consult the wisdom of the faery world directly. In this way she hoped to draw the human world away from its preoccupation with constructing big noisy cities and belching factories that are destroying faery habitats faster than they can find new ones. If humans could be reminded of the bond they once shared with the faeries, they would come once again to appreciate the deep nature wisdom and all-seeing knowledge of the earth that is unique to the faery folk. So the artist set about his task and produced The Faeries Oracle, a repository of the best of faery insight into what humans need to learn and do to bring their lives – and their world – back into a state of balance and harmony with the Faeries and the planet.
The books and Faeries Oracle are available HERE.
Image credit: Edward Hughes’ Midsummer Eve courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons.