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Carol Calvert. The Faerie Bard. Cash Bond. As you know, there are many different kinds of fairies to be felt, heard, and seen. Some of them live in trees, some in the water, and others live in great hives underground, led by their fairy queen. Some say they are creatures of fire and air. But I can feel them everywhere. I learned the many ways to attract the fairies; for example, by their love of shiny objects. My teachers told me to make a habit of carrying cristall glain and also ametis, the purple stone of the fairies, as a way to develop my inner sight.
They said that any white stone belonged to the fairies, and I would set out such stones in a tiny circle on the forest floor to draw the fairies to me and bury them in a ring around my fairy altar. My altar was a simple tree stump surrounded by foxglove and evening primrose flowers. I would pop the evening primrose blossoms and leaves right into my mouth in the summer and harvest the roots and seeds in the fall.
The roots were simmered and eaten with butter; the seeds were sprinkled on porridge or added to bread dough. My teachers said that they were an aid to developing the Sight when eaten. It is said that the fairies gave that plant to the foxes so they would have little gloves on their feet to hunt silently.
My teachers were very insistent that the fairies and the land spirits had to be kept happy in order for the animals, crops, and tribes to prosper. I would pocket bits of bread and cheese for them at supper and bring sweets to my fairy altar on feast days. The mogae and free farmers showed respect for the good folk in their own way; every garden and field had a small corner set aside for their exclusive enjoyment, where no human would dare to tread. I learned that the fairies love music of any kind.
Often I would sit by a tree or pond and play my wooden flute for them. I had a bell branch too, nine tinkling bells affixed to an ash wand. Sometimes I would walk through the woods just shaking the branch for their pleasure. At times I could hear them singing in a perfect three-part harmony in their own ancient language.
I noticed that if I sang a song for them or if the household bard was outside singing, the fairies would quickly pick up the tune and weave it into a complicated harmony for their own enjoyment. I concluded that their singing was what caused the 8. I was especially thrilled when I found a fairy ring, a circle of mushrooms growing on the grass or on the forest floor. When I found one I would dance around the circle counterclockwise, because moving in that direction dissolves the barriers between the worlds.
Sometimes I would step right into the ring, but I always leapt out quickly, because everyone knows that if you linger inside a fairy ring, you might be taken for seven years. I learned that where oak and ash and hawthorn grow together is a good place to find fairies. Other such places are where two streams meet and at the edge of a pond or lake. Dusk and dawn are the best times of day to encounter them, because those times are between night and daylight, neither one nor the other.
That was how I knew they were near. My teachers gave me a holey stone, one that they had found by the sea, with a natural hole in it. They taught me to gaze through it to see the past and future and the land of the fairies. They also taught me to meditate and to focus on my third eye, the point of energy between my brows, and then slightly open my eyes.
That was a great aid to seeing the fairies and other spirits. It seemed a very peaceful place, and Tuilelaith would often go there to sit on a wooden bench in the sun to calm herself after a trying day at court. One time I followed a white cat out onto the lawn and noticed where she sat. When the cat got up to leave, I sat down in the exact 9. Much to my surprise I could feel intense activity all around me, even though there were no people or animals to be seen.
When I closed my eyes and then reopened them just a bit, I clearly saw four golden pathways stretching in front, behind, and to the sides of me. I sensed that I was sitting at the crossroads of a busy fairy highway, and I could even see the evidence of tiny footsteps in the grass. Yet when I opened my eyes wide and focused on the grass, there was nothing there.
There was a whole other class of creature that lived inside of our roundhouses and barns. The dairy maids were forever weaving little wreaths of milkwort, butterwort, dandelion, or marigold, and binding them with a cord of ivy or red thread, placing them under the milk pails to prevent the milk from being stolen by the fairies or charmed away by evil spirits.
It was well known that the failure to make the milk offering would result in sickness for the cattle. In the kitchens the cooks would bank and smoor the fires at night and then leave the bread dough to rise on the warm stones of the hearth. Sometimes things in the kitchen kept disappearing and then reappearing in the most unlikely places. Then the cooks would have to make offerings at their own fairy altar, a small wooden affair hidden in a corner of the kitchen, to placate the house spirits.
I hope that I do not bore you when I tell you these things. Mainly I was taught by the Druid to have great respect for the land spirits and the fairies, to develop my relationship with them and to do everything in my power to keep them happy. But I would never mention them in the presence of the Cristaidi for fear of causing offense. In Cristaidi times the fairies were not to be spoken of, as if they no longer existed. But everyone knew they were still there. She had no children of her own and as a result was devoted to me with a deep and abiding love.
Her hair was braided into two tight brown coils and always pinned neatly behind her ears. She said that the wild berries I was always picking belonged to the fairies. Somehow the berries growing in the carefully tended gardens inside the rath were the only acceptable fare, and then only if handed to me on a plate. Unbeknownst to me, the day of my fourteenth oenach was to be something very different. She pulled me out of the byre and shoved me towards my sleeping house, loudly ordering a hot bath and clean clothes from the mogae. When she had my hair plaited and golden ornaments tied onto the braids she always made tight braids that hurt—the reason I wanted to wear my hair loose , she shoved me roughly against a wall.
This is no time for you to be wandering into cow sheds and around the countryside like a beggar. Your father wishes to speak with you about it this evening, before the feast! I recall that I was speechless. I thought marriage was only for great ladies like my mother, never for the likes of me. See More. LaFond, Druid harper and professor of languages, Boston College A beautiful glance back at Pagan culture, Druidic practices and rituals, and daily Celtic life.
She liked to oversee his dressing and made sure he had golden earrings and 6 circlets of gold on his arms and fingers whenever he went outside of the rath.
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I concluded that their singing was what caused the 8 plants and trees to grow; it was as if they were weaving the forests, fields, and gardens into being with their songs. When the cat got up to leave, I sat down in the exact 9 same spot, facing the same direction the cat had faced. Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD. Published on Feb 2, Go explore.