Loo-Wit, Mount Saint Helens

Photos and Tales to come – coming soon ….

Story of the Bridge of the Gods: Geologically this is one of the shortest crossing areas between Oregon and Washington over the Columbia River. It is believed that a thousand years ago there was a massive landslide from the north shore of the Columbia River that slid into the river and blocked the Gorge. It created a natural dam and inland sea that extended between Oregon, Washington, and into Idaho. As river pressures began carving out natural bridges and tunnels under this landslide to outlet into the Pacific, eventually the blockage dam was washed away. Some say it originally carved a large natural stone bridge that the Native Americans believed was created by the Gods. Legend has it this land bridge eventually collapsed back into the Columbia River, destroying the inland sea, and creating the Cascade rapids.

Native America legends tell a tale that the Great Spirit Manito created this bridge so his peoples of the Columbia River could cross the river from bank to bank, and it was so called the “Giant Crossover”. This Great Spirit assigned the Wise woman Guardian Loo-Wit to watch over it and protect the river, bridge, and peoples of the area. Out of fear and respect for the Great Spirit, the tribes would appeal for protection while crossing the river. It was eventually called the “Bridge of the Gods” translated and nicknamed as such from the white westerners who came through the area. Manito had sent his sons to earth – the three great mountains: Multnomah the Warrior (Mt. Rainier), Klickitat the totem maker (Mt. Adams), and Wyeast, the singer (Mt. Hood) who all presided over the river and the bridge peacefulling for many years until the beautiful Squaw Mountain moved into the valley between Klickitat and Wyeast. She fell in love with Wyeast while still flirting with Klickitat, causing rivalry and jealousy between the two causing the mountains to fight over her. Their arguing, growling, trembling, and feuds caused lava, ash, and earthquakes to form in their path – and each other hurling white hot rocks at each other. This destroyed the forests, environment, and beauty of the valley – and broke the bridge causing it to fall into the river never to be seen again. Manito was so upset by this, he formed huge rapids in the Columbia River to separate the feuding brothers. Klickitat won Squaw Mountain’s heart and Wyeast admitted defeat, much to the dismay of Squaw who loved him so, and although at the side of Klickitatt with a heavy broken heart, became depressed and fell into a deep permanent sleep and sits today as “Sleeping Beauty” lying just west of Mt. Adams. Klickitat under such shock from Squaw’s depression, once with a high straight head like Wyeast, fell with grief that he dropped his head in shame and never raised it again. Loo-Wit got caught up in the cross-fire during this battle, and fell with the bridge. the Great Spirit rewarded her with a wish, and she asked to be made young and beautiful again – but being old, she did not require companionship so chose a lonely location. She became the most beautiful of all mountains and made her home far west as the beautiful and powerful Mount Saint Helens.

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The Blarney Witch: Her Kitchen and Stone in the Rock Close

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The Witches’ Kitchen

Witches Kitchen
* The Rock Close * Blarney Castle, Blarney, Ireland * http://www.blarneycastle.ie *

In the enchanted grounds of Rock Close in the fabled lands of Blarney Castle is the infamous Kitchen of the Blarney Witch. Archaeologically it is believed to have been a prehistoric dwelling potentially as old as the Neolithic (3,000-5,000 years old) if there is any connection of it to the The Rock Close Dolmen (Blarney Castle) or the Druid’s Cave and Circle. Atop her wishing steps is her kitchen. It has a chimney and fireplace within.

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The Witches’ Kitchen

Offset from the kitchen is her stone. Apparently by legend she is bound and entrapped in the rock in servitude to bestow wishes upon those who walk up and down backwards the wishing steps while thinking only of their wishes and not letting any other thoughts drift in. In exchange, the Blarney guardians provide her firewood for this very kitchen so she can continue her spell craft and crazy brews while staying warm at night for when darkness falls she is magically released from the stone she is trapped within. Some say if you arrive early enough you can still see the dying embers of the fire as she lights a fire every night. Many believe that it was the Blarney Witch who really told McCarthy about the power of the Blarney Stone while others claim it was her who enchanted the stone as a “thank you” to McCarthy for saving her from drowning in the river. No one seems to know how she was entrapped into her rock. The Echoe Ghost Hunters investigated this area in 2010-2011 and claimed very strong EMP’s were recorded in the area of the Witches’ Kitchen. Most of the lore in this area is centered around the Witch of Blarney.

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The Witches Stone

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The Rock Close of Blarney

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Rock Close

Rock Close
* Blarney Castle, Blarney, Ireland * www.blarneycastle.ie *

A mystical portal in the heart of the castle grounds of Blarney Castle is Rock Close, a place where faeries dance, Witches’ bless and answer wishes, Druids weave magic, stone monuments made, and magic is alive. The Rock Close garden is not only a site of myths and legends, but of romance and art. A dolmen greets you as you walk along the river after walking through a weaved willow tunnel, with misty meadows, moss covered rocks, and waterfalls. As you walk up the Witches Wishing steps to the Witches Kitchen and where the Witch is trapped in the stone, overlooked by the Druid Cave and by the Druid Ceremonial circle where you can walk around where the faeries play. This is one of the most fun and condensed folklore heavy sites I’ve encountered in Ireland – of course its history is a mystery in of itself. It is also a great romantic getaway from the tourist heavy section of Blarney Castle. Prehistoric dwellings adapted by 10th, 13th, and 19th century adaptations lead a lot to the imagination in this garden. In 1824, Croften Croker wrote in his “Researches in the South of Ireland” about the mysteries of this spot.

    “In this romantic spot nature and art (a combination rather uncommon in pleasure grounds) have gone hand in hand. Advantage has been taken of accidental circumstances to form tasteful and characteristic combinations; and it is really a matter of difficulty at first to determine what is primitive, and what the produce of design. The delusion is even heightened by the present total neglect. You come most unexpectedly into this little shaded nook, and stand upon a natural terrace above the river, which glides as calmly as possible beneath. Here, if you feel inclined for contemplation, a rustic couch of rock, all festooned with moss and ivy, is at your service; but if adventurous feelings urge you to explore farther, a discovery is made of an almost concealed, irregularly excavated passage through the solid rock, which is descended by a rude flight of stone steps, called the “Wishing Steps,” and you emerge sul margine d’un rio, over which depend some light and graceful trees. It is indeed a fairy scene, and I know of no place where I could sooner imagine these little elves holding their moon-light revelry. ~ Croften Croker, 1824

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It was a highly popular in the early 19th century with antiquarians. The mysteries of the Blarney Witch, the Fairies, the Druids, and the Dolmen are sure to enchant you. Blarney Castle does document that this was a place for Druidic worship. The sacrificial altar of course is hearsay, the Druid’s circle is probably, the hermit’s cave or Druid’s cave is a mystery as is the Witches’ kitchen and wishing steps. It has been documented that in the late 1700’s C.E. (Common Era) that the Rock Close was made into the garden area upon which foundations are walked upon today. Apparently the castle owners landscaped around already existing prehistoric dwellings, stone monuments, and Druid circles to make the magical faerie glen it is today.

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Binne the Giant and his grave

Binne’s Cairn, The Giant’s Grave, Curraghbinny Hill, Ireland

The Giant’s Grave: Binne’s Cairn
* Curraghbinny Woods, County Cork, Munster, Ireland * Latitude: 51°48’41.35″ * Longitude: -8°17’52.72″ *

Atop the summit of Curraghbinny Hill in Curraghbinny Forest Recreation Area lies a mound of giant stones/ cairn that is locally called “The Giant’s Grave”. The grave overlooks Cork Harbour. It was excavated by an archaeological team in 1932 by archaeologist Sean P. O’Riordan. During this excavation, a large circle of giant boulders were uncovered beneath a spread of stones. Within the cairn was an arc of smaller stones closer to the center. In the center of the monument was a heap of stone and clay. That is all found within the cairn. Nearby however were found cattle teeth, cattle bone, charcoal, cremated human bone, a small bronze ring, and two collections of water-rolled pebbles imported from elsewhere. The cremated human bone found nearby was carbon dated roughly to be 4,000 years old. No one knows the exact date of the cairn, but it is estimate to be Bronze Age (2000 B.C.E. to 400 B.C.E.). The name of the woods “Curraghbinny” in Irish is “Corra Binne” named after the legendary giant called Binne. It is believed that this cairn is his burial chamber atop the hill (called a “Corra” in Irish). The stone most likely was deposited naturally during the Ice Age 20,000 years ago. The Giant’s Stone in Crosshaven went missing after the slob in the town center was filled in and was recently recovered and brought back to be displayed in the middle of Crosshaven.

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Binne’s Cairn, The Giant’s Grave, Curraghbinny Hill, Ireland

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The legend of the Giant named Binne
According to Robert Day who told the tale in 1892 about a giant named Mahain who threw two stones from Monkstown landing in Ringaskiddy and the other in Crosshaven. It is believed this was the Giant named Binne. Another local tale tells a similar tale, but this time the Giant was called Binne, and lived locally in Currabinny. He was the giant who cast the stones into Crosshaven years ago. The stone apparently has a set of fingerprints embedded into the stone leading viewers of it to believe they belonged to a giant.

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Binne’s Cairn, The Giant’s Grave, Curraghbinny Hill, Ireland

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Staurolite: Fairy crosses/stones

FC-005: Celtic Cross Fairy Cross from Taos, New Mexico.


Purchase one here

Fairy Stone / Fairy Cross / Staurolite

Localities: Fairy Stone State Park, Virginia, USA; North Georgia, USA; Little Falls, Minnesota, USA; Taos, New Mexico, USA; Switzerland; Russia; Australia; Brazil; France; Italy; Scotland.

Description: Popular to its folklore and legends, this stone has a State Park in Virginia named after it as it is home to its namesake “fairy stones”. It is also the official stone of the state of Georgia in the USA. Most commonly shaped like Celtic crosses or the St. Andrew’s cross, as an “X” or as a “T” shaped Roman cross, and square Maltese crosses. Color of the Staurolite varies to the region it comes from but can be dark brow, brownish black, grey, or reddish brown.

Geology:Staurolite are a combination of silica, iron, and aluminum. A silicate mineral, with the Chemical formula of Fe2+2Al9O6(SiO4)4(O,OH)2, and a Strunz classification of 9.AF.30, possessing a monclinic prismatic crystal symmetry. It’s H-M symbol is (2/m), with a Space group of C 2/m, and a unit cell a = 7.86, b = 16.6, c = 5.65; ? = 90.45; Z=2. Coloring ranges from yellowish brown, rarely blue, dark reddish brown to blackish brown, pale golden yellow in thin sections with a subvitreous to resinous luster, white to gray streaks, transparent to opague diaphaneity. Specific gravity is 3.74 – 3.83 meas. 3.686 calc. Twinning is commonly as 60 twins, less common as 90 cruciform twins. Subconchoidal fracture, brittle tenacity, mosh scale hardness of 7-7.5. Common to have penetration twinning, or a characteristic cross-shape. It occurs with almandine garnet, micas, kyanite; as well as albite, biotite, and sillimanite in gneiss and schist of regional metamorphic rocks. It is only found in rocks once subjected to great heat and pressure. A rare mineral occurrence in nature, it is only found in certain areas of the world in the fairy cross or Celtic cross shapes. Each are unique and never are identical. True Staurolite crosses are hard enough to scratch glass.

Folklore: Named after the Greek word “Stauros” for “cross”, they are commonly known as “fairy stones” or “fairy crosses”. According to European and Christianity influenced Native American legend on the state park website, “hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan’s reign, the fairies were dancing around a magical spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when a elfin messenger arrived from a city far away bringing the news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept, as their tears fell upon the earth they crystallized into beautiful crosses”. During the first meeting of John Smith and Pocahontas, it is said the Indian princess gave John Smith a good luck charm made out of a “fairy cross”. Legend has it that Richard the Lionheart used them during the crusades to heal the wounded. Some say these are the tears of the Cherokee who wept over the loss of their homeland during the exodus on the “Trail of Tears”. Others talk of an ancient race of mountain faeries who were dancing at their favorite meeting places, and upon finding out that the “Great Creator” had died, shed tears, so moved, were crushed in heart and cried, as they wept their tears crystallized into the “fairy crosses”. Others say that during the defeat of the Tuatha de Danann and other faerie races when they were forced under-ground to live in the hills, the faeries around the world shed tears, made of Iron to represent the Iron Age destroying their race, in the shapes of crosses as an omen of the peopling that would destroy the planet next.

    Ay the charms of the fairy stone make you blessed
    through the days of labor and nights of rest
    Where ever you stay, where ever you go,
    May the beautiful flowers of the good Fairies Grow.
    ~ Little Falls Minnesota web page

Well known that Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Thomas A. Edison, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, and other prominent people carried one of these on their person(s).

Magical uses: For centuries these were believed to protect the wearer from sickness, accidents, disaster, and witchcraft. Used to find lost objects. Placed under the pillow to help induce lucid dreaming and astral travel. Used as amulets for good luck. Used to aid stress, anxiety, fear, considered soothing energy, and helpful with grounding. Many believe they embody an energy that will help you make contact with faeries or nature spirits. Some believe wearing the stones will help one stop smoking. Astrologically associated with Pisces. Associated with the base chakra. Healing qualities, good luck, rituals, protection, fever, defeat of malaria, stress, depression, addictive personality traits, time management, smoking cessation.

By Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions and Research Facility.

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Tiveragh Fairy Hill (Cushendall)

The Tiveragh Fairy Hill
Cushendall, Northern Ireland

Legend and lore has it that this very broad sided hill with steep sides overlooking the small village of Cushendall in Northern Ireland is the gateway to Tir na nOg. A place very well known locally to be haunted by faeries, leprechauns, elves, and pixies … this giant hill is a natural fortress all in its own and easily seen to be claimed as a stronghold by the fae. Fairy tales mention many stories about it rising up on pillars during the twilight evening with glimmering meriment of faeries frolicking and dining. Many believe that the wee folk live in this hill that is accessed by a nearby cave. As the warning goes, if ye are mortal, regardless of how appeasing the faerie music may sound, if you wander within, you’ll never be seen again on this plane of existence. Time holds a whole different rhythm in Faerieworlds.

We however, of fae persuasion, did venture up the hill at the turn of twilight just as the sun was going down. We spied the hill with visions of faerie impressions while across the valley atop Ossian’s Grave – the Megalithic tomb believed to be the burial spot of the fabled poet and bard Oisin. Now Oisin was lured into fae, into Tir na nOg where he lived until he requested to return to the land of mortals to visit his family. Of course due to faerie time, he came back several hundred years later to find them all gone and deceased. He fell off his faerie steed and became a blind old man wandering these fields eventually dying. If the faerie tale is true, this would be the hill he would have rode out of and across the valley would have been his grave overlooking it … curiouser and curiouser. Midway along the way up the base of the hill is one of the most magnificent Faerie Thorn Trees I’ve ever encountered. As usual with these faerie hills, I always find a wee hole just big enough for the Victorian sized fae to enter within, usually lined with heavy rocks, making it look peculiarly like its a miniature mine rather than a animal hole. We climbed atop as the sun was going down, empowered by the feelings of the ancient ones. Archaeologically though, this may be a massive hillfort. I’m looking for those records and will post my findings here.

    On Tiv-ra Hill near Cushendall,
    I heard a commotion behind a wall,
    I stopped and looked over, and boys-o-boys!

    Now what do you think was making the noise?
    Twas a Hurley match – and may I choke -–
    It was two wee teams of the Fairy folk
    That was rippling’ and tearing’ and weltin’ away
    In the light of the moon was bright as day.

    And their playing pitch was hardly as big
    As my Uncle Barney’s potato rig;
    And me there watchin’ them puck and clout –
    At the back o’ the wall with my eyes stuck out.

    When all at once, like the squeal of a hare,
    A wee voice shouted, “Who’s that up there?””
    And a bit off a thing about nine – inch tall
    Came climbing up to the top of the wall.

    And he stood there; he stood about pot -size
    With his two wee fingers up at my eyes,
    And its God’s own truth that I’m speakin’ mind ye,
    “”Get out o’ that,” says he, “or I’ll blind ye!””

    Aye that’s what he said, “I’ll blind ye,” says he,
    And by Jing what he said was enough for me,
    Did I run? Aye surely; I didn’t miss -–
    And I haven’t seen Tiveragh from that to this.

    ~ H.Browne

    The Fairy Hill Tiveragh is a fairy hill and near to Cushendall,
    And nobody goes there at night, no nobody at all.
    The hill is small, the sides are steep.
    And I have heard it said That flickering lights go in and out While everyone’s in bed.
    And on the top two hawthorns grow, A white one and a red.
    ~ John Irvine Desmond

~ Yours truly, Leaf McGowan

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Shakefest 2012: May 26th – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

Shakefest 2012
May 26-27th, 2012 * Charleville Castle * Tullamore * Ireland * Shakefest.net *

This year will be Shakefest’s “7th” Annual Dance and multi-cultural festival held at the historic epic Charleville Castle. The festival grounds is starting to bustle with activity as preparations are in the flow to welcome local and international community, visitors, friends, and family to celebrate culture. Since 2006, Shakefest has been bringing together an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Cultural Dance, and Artistic Workshops ending with a multi-cultural evening of dance performances. This year, Shakefest is expanding into more folklore, diversity, performance art, crafts, and themes for all ages, sexes, and cultures. This year features numerous workshops, classes, performances, and activities such as a “Faerie Glen” to get lost in, A “Madhatter’s Tea Party”, A bouncy Pirate Ship, Indian Cuisine, Performances by Tullamore’s “The Red Embers”, Galway Bellydance, Appolonia Tribal Bellydance, Sheeoneh, Nicole Volmering, and Aoife Hardiman.


Joana Saahirah ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

This year’s International Guest Instructor is Oriental Dancer Joana Saahirah of Cairo, Egypt providing authentic education on Egyptian History and Folklore as well as Oriental Dance instruction in Classical, Saiidi and Alexandria of Mellaya styles. Declan Kiely will host a special workshop on how to “Dance like Michael Jackson”. Hip Hop, Jazz, Poi & Ribbon Dancing, Bachata and Argentinian Tango classes are also offered. There will also be African dance, poetry, open-mic sessions, a kid’s gigantic Dragonfly and butterfly hunt, punch and judy, juggling & stiltwalking by Stagecraft Ireland, Drum Circles, and a magic show. This year will also be breaking ground on a live history section with the KHI Medieval Re-enactors treating audiences to combat simulations of the Crusader’s Knight’s Templar with medieval tents, a full try-on armoury and archery for all ages.



KHI Medieval Re-enactors ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

Featured musical performances by 40’s Swinging The Bugle Babes, Our Annual Multi-cultural Hafla, daring fire show by The Red Embers & Babylon’s Inferno, The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin. Dazzling Romanian and Bulgarian instrumental band is expected to finish off the fest with explosive energy and lively dance accompanied by original and traditional tunes from clarinet, saxophone, trombone, keys, banjo, double bass, and drums. If you’re travelling through Ireland this weekend or live in the magical isles, this event is not to be missed. Gates open at Noon on Saturday the 26th with admission only €10 general entry, €10 camping, €20 family day pass or only €15 for evening entertainment.  All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund – Operation ‘Raise The Roof’ project in which money will be raised towards putting a protective roof on the castle chapel. We’ll be covering this event, so come back here for photos, review, and the stories we weave from the experience …


North Strand Kontra Band ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

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Visit us at the 2012 ShakeFest!

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

Come visit us as the Tree Leaves Oracle and Pirate Relief will be teaming up to present a Faerie Glen on site as well as activities. We encourage you to dress up in your finest Faerie, fantasy, Medieval, and Pirate garb! Discounts for admission if in costume or fancy dress!

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Irish Fairy Forts

Irish Faerie Forts

These intriguing fortresses of old has always fascinated me conceptually once I read about them in the many legends and folklore of the Irish Faeries. However, it wasn’t until the last two years that I’ve had the chance to explore these raths of myths and tales in-depth and personally wondering if they are truly gateways into the Land of the Young, Tir Na Nog or the Faerie Otherworld. “Fairy Forts” are the names given especially by the Irish, Cornish, and other residents of the Isles around Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Britain who strongly believe in the faerie folk. This is a localized term for the “raths”, “ringforts”, “lios”, “hillforts”, “rounds”, “earthen mounds”, or circular dwellings found in England, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, and Wales.

Fairy Forts / Ring Forts

Fairy Forts / Ring Forts (People's Park, Ireland)

Archaeologists will tell you these came to be around the late Iron Age and used upwards to the domain of early Christianization of the land when the Island’s residents dwelled in circular structures (perhaps “roundhouses”) within earthen banks or ditches that were used for defense. These were believed to have been topped with wooden palisades, stone or wood buildings, roundhouses, or structures. Many archaeologists believe that these were primarily made of wooden structures that would have decayed and is the reason none of the structures remained leaving only vague circular marks in the landscape. These “fairy forts” or “raths” are simply large mounds of earth, clay, grass, hedges, bushes, gorse, and thorn that is circular in shape like that believed to be a round banked enclosure. Archaeology tells us the circular bank was formerly the base for a high fence or wall of sharpened logs sometimes with or without a moat filled with water. Inside the circular enclosure, more often than not, are round wooden thatched dwellings. Also within this enclosure was kept livestock during bad weather as well as to prevent raiding. There is believed to be over 40,000 ringforts in Ireland alone. In 2009 a team of four photographers supported by the Wales Arts International took a road trip across Western Ireland to record and photograph fairy forts. These can be seen at www.fairyfortproject.com. Actual “Sidhe” or Hills, are most commonly interpreted as burial mounds, passage tombs, or tumuli. Human remains have been found in these to support archaeology.  Some claim the Tuatha de Danann were actually the “Danes” who were legendary “fort builders”.

Passage Tomb - Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Passage Tomb - Slieve Gullion Forest Park

This however is disputed by many folklorists and archaeologist as most of the forts took on Gaelic names. According to Archaeology, the forts are attributed to all sorts of times and races. Legend even attributes them to belong to the Firbolgs, Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celts, the Vikings, as well as mythological individuals such as Aenghus, Eerish, Eir, Farvagh, Cuchuallain, Midir, Croaghan,  Lachtna (820-840 C.E.), Brian Boru (980-1014 C.E.), and  King Conor (1242-1269 C.E.). Place names throughout the Isles are named after faeries, banshees, and other beings or myths surrounding them.  tells a different story opposing the archaeologists’ perspective. The myths, legends, and lore of the land tell that these ringforts were “fairy forts” blessed and protected with Druidic prayers, spells, and magic to protect the “faeries” that lived within or under them. Those who believe in Faeries do not alter or trespass on them.  Legend states that the Tuatha Dé Danann and Fir Bolg had originally inhabited Ireland as a mythical race of magical folk who dominated Ireland. Around the time of the Iron Age (oddly enough corresponding to archaeology’s dating of raths) when the Milesians came to Ireland and defeated the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Tuatha was forced to relocate to the Other World, A Faerie dimension, or down below the hills, to Middle Earth as a agreement that only the Milesians ~ the humans ~ could dwell above ground. The Faeries, the “Good Neighbours” had to move underground or to their “Faerie Isles”.  They were to retreat into the hills or mounds called “sidhe” which became a word for the “faeries“. These were often described as circular barrows or ringforts. These “hollow hills” have traditionally become known as the home of Faeries. “Sidhe” in Gaelic means “people of the hills”.  According to the Book of Armagh, they are the Gods of the Earth known as the Tuatha de Danann. Sometimes seen as God/desses, other times as Druids or sorcerers, and on an odd occasion as aliens, the Tuatha have a rich mythology and is strongly embedded into Irish lore. Some Irish call them the “Sidheog”. To many Christian groups, faeries are believed by some to be fallen angels who are too good to ever be allowed in Hell, and too devilish to ever be accepted into Heaven. It is from these myths, that these defensive forts, were seen to be the domain of the Tuatha Dé Danann as entrances to their world. Out of respect and fear of “war” taking place again between faeries and humans, they are to be respected and avoided. The actual mounds are also seen as potential burial mounds or sacred resting places. As Archaeology has found many burials within such mounds, such as at Newgrange and Tara, hillforts and mounds are avoided out of superstition.  A good farmer wouldn’t even mess with the moat, the walls, cut brush from it, remove stones, or damage it in any way. If they did, hard luck and even death could follow. Most respected on these “fairy forts” were the whitethorns, the ash, the gorse, or the “sceach” around its boundaries never to be cut for that would most likely lead to death. In MacCraith’s “Triumphs of Torlough” the “fairy forts” are labelled as the lodgings of appalling apparitions. There are many stories of the hills being lit up by strange lights at night. Sometimes this is described as the hill rising up on pillars, opening to the night sky, revealing brilliant lights of Faeries processing from one hill to another, especially during Lammas tide (August 2nd through 7th). November 11th, during Hollantide, is when the Manx fear their Hogmen or Hillmen the most as it is the time these particular Fae choose to move from one hill to another.

Hill of Tara

Irish lore and ghost stories tell much about the supernatural stature of “Fairy forts”. Many believe “leprechauns” live in them and hide their pots of gold within the mounds as has been expressed in Rudyard Kipling’s 1906 novel “Puck of Pook’s Hill”. In addition to the Ringforts, Dolmen reputedly were also believed to be faerie homes or dwellings.  A legend tells of a lady who lived in one became deranged, thought her lover was a dragon, and jumped at him. Many unexplained phenomena takes place in or around the fairy forts. Local lore tells tales of a man who tried to blast down a dolmen resulting in a septic hand while the dolmen remained unscathed; the local astronomer who tried to blast the Inchiquin Barony dolmen was badly injured with his hand as well; a Templenaraha oratory demolition (which was in a ringfort) collapsed a calf shed onto its occupants for building the unstable structure; the 1840 tale of workmen at Dooneeva who were trying to level earthworks in a fairy fort had apparently turned up dead (though his mystic wife ran to a “fairy spot” to work magic to bring him back to life); The Lissardcarney and Ballyhee fairy forts in Templemaley Parish were always known to be faerie strongholds with troops of faeries garrisoned within them (1839 stories); Songs were reputedly heard from the Cahernanoorane in Inchiquin and Liskeentha near Noughaval; tales of faeries haunting the Tobersheefra holy well; the 1892 tale of Nihill a farmer who wrecked and removed the out wall of a triple stone fort near Quin leading to his father stricken with acute pain and only recovering from it when the work was stopped; a landlord losing the use of an eye from the dust of an explosion when blasting a rock in an earth fort being removed in northeast Clare;  and in 2011 developer Sean Quinn found financial ruin after he moved a fairy fort. Another tale tells of a cow that grazed in a fairy fort was found with broken legs whose owner then ate its meat only to find the cow in the fairy fort a year later. The farmer was told by the faeries they substituted an old stray horse to make him believe it was his cow as they needed his cow’s milk, and they then let him take his cow home afterwhich he became very prosperous for the loan. Another tale tells of a another farmer who couldn’t understand why none of the cows would enter the fairy fort on their property, and upon investigation by his son, found an old fairy in the fort who asked the man to help him get a young human girl to become his wife. The farmer’s son would not give a young girl to the old fairy but instead married the girl himself, leading to rage from the old fairie who thereby destroyed the farmer’s property. Outraged, the farmer’s son and the girl rode to her parent’s house to tell her three brothers. Her brothers then went to the fort to dig for the old fairy’s house, upon finding his large flat stone, he begged for them to save him his home, which they did in exchange for restoring for what he had taken.  There are some ringforts that are more dangerous than others, such as in the case of the Croaghateeaun stone ring wall near Lisdoonvarna.  One of the most modern cases of faerie wraith for damaging faerie forts was believed to be the invocation of an ancient curse of the Hill of Tara when  the government destroyed sites by construction of the M3 Motorway. In 2007 the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche supposed befell against bad financial luck after signing a order to destroy the Lismullion Henge. By Faerie wraith, he lost his job, was demoted, and held up by an armed gang in the Druids Glen Hotel. The Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen afterwards nearly got sucked out of a helicopter when the door fell off. The Chief Health and Safety officer was seriously injured by a falling tree at Rath Lugh. A worker was killed while being trapped at Fairyhouse where there have been many accidents on that particular stretch of road.  There is much concern about being taken by the faeries.  Fears from stories such as these may be responsible for the incredible preservation of these forts, hills, raiths, and mounds across the countryside.    In many areas, the raiths and fairy forts are protected by Irish law for reasons of heritage preservation, preventing construction or building within 30 meters of them. The Irish government and larger corporations however somehow skirt these laws often when they find need to destroy them for construction projects or building motorways.

Drumdowney Fairy Fort in Ireland

Drumdowney Fairy Fort in Ireland

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The Dreaming and Dreamtime


Australian National Museum, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Dreaming and “Dreamtime”

As I take a career and life journey’s “Walkabout” around Australia and Europe during the Summer of 2011, during my visit to the Australian National Museum I really for the very first time embrace the concept of the Australian Aborigine “Dreaming” and “Dreamtime” that I was first introduced to during my Anthropology of Religion class I took during my college years at Florida State University. Nevermore did the concept “sink” and “settle” in me more than at this time of my life that I could truly say in a “Stranger in a Strange Land’s” true essence of “grokking” the concept fully and spiritually. “The Dreaming” tells of the journey and actions of the Ancestral Beings when they were creating the natural world. An animistic narrative telling of a “timeless time” of formative creation and perpetual creating. This took place during a mythological era called “Dreamtime”. This is a sacred era when the ancestral Totemic Spirit Beings formed “The Creation”. The philosophy is infinite and demonstrates how the past and present is linked together to prophesize the future. The concept of “Dreaming” is often used to refer to a person’s or group’s set of beliefs and spirituality. The Australian Aborigine might refer to “Shark Dreaming”, “Kangaroo Dreaming”, or “Eucalypus Dreaming” and this would refer to particular natural items or life forms in their resident area or country, laying down patterns of life from which to follow. This creates their mythos, their creation stories, and their folklore as to why certain things have come to be. They believe that every person exists eternally in the Dreaming and represents both the spirit that existed before physical life began and is the spirit that exists after death as a “Spirit Being” or “Spirit Child”. The Spirit Being can only exist physically by being born from a mother, entering the fetus during the fifth month of pregnancy. Upon birth, that child is to become a special custodian of the land and country to which s/he was born, required to learn the stories, lore, and songlines of that particular place. Our natural world, especially that which is within one’s cultural heritage, race, and species, is what provides the link between the people and “The Dreaming”. The Act of Dreaming and the stories that are within them carry the truth from the past, blended together with the code for the Law, to operate and facilitate the present. Every story within “The Dreaming” weaved as creation through the “Milky Way” is a complete long complex tale, many of which discuss consequences and our future being. During the Dreamtime, the Australian Aborigines believed that the creators were both men and women who took on spiritual forms. These “cultural heroes and heroines” sometimes defined as spirits, other times as “God/desses”, would travel across a formless land, create sacred sites and significant places of interest during their travels weaving story and songlines that would guide the spirit beings they birthed in Creation. They joined together with various spirits to create the land, the waterways, the geographical features of the land, the skies, the seas, the plants, the animals, the stones, and all the other wo/men that exist. Every event that takes place would leave a record in the land. To the Dharawal, “Biami” the Great Spirit, went up into the skies to watch over their people and to make sure they obeyed his rules. Spirits habitating in waterholes, caves, and other spirit places to watch over or affect those people that lived near them. This was one of the reasons that another tribe would not conquer tribal lands for doing so would place them in a land full of strange and potentially hostile spirits. The Australian Aborigines believed in both good and evil spirits they called “Goonges”. Children would be warned not to go to certain areas for the “goonge will get them”. Same for the oceans, for they too contained spirits underneath the waters and explained deaths at sea, getting caught in a rip current, or attacks by various sea creatures. The Creators, or the Ancestral Spirits, were shape-changers who were half-human, both male and female, who used the powers, great wisdom, and intentions to create all of being. They lived and retired in the sky clouds. The Aborigine believed that every living creature were created by the Creators as “spirit-children” and/or “spirit animals” during the Dreamtime and were assigned to live in particular spirit places. They believed that their own birth was the result of a spirit child entering into the mother’s body and was brought into being during conception by the specific actions or designs of the creators to make spirit children in the Dreamtime. They also believed that after death their spirit would return to the spirit-place to await rebirth. It was in Dreamtime that the Creators and ancestral spirits created the world which we all live. The Australian aborigines embrace all of life and the phenemena that affects if as part of the vast and complex system of relationships that go back to the original acnestral Totemic Spirits of the Dreaming. The Dreaming establishes a culture’s and regional country’s laws, taboos, structures, and history in order to ensure the continuity of life and land in that area. Breaking these cause destruction to the areas that one’s spirit is meant to guard or caretake.


Australian National Museum, Canberra, ACT, Australia

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