Away With The Fairies: Danu, The Tuatha Dé, The Land & Me
Unsuspecting, fairy agnostic Bee landed in Ireland in 2001 and settled in the shade of Slieve Anieran, the mountain where the Tuatha dé Danaan first arrived in what was known as Erin. Over the years a relationship with the goddess they worshiped has unfolded with the land, even more than the myth associated with this band that latterly became the fairy race of Ireland, being spirit guide and mentor.
Don't Frack With The Fairies
At Equinox we visited a holy well on the eastern foothills of Slieve Anieran, or Iron Mountain here in Leitrim, Ireland. I arrived here in Ireland, after a fourteen hour journey involving changing three trains, boarding a ferry, and finally getting a lift in a car, twelve years ago at Mabon. I didn't know then that I would settle permanently in the shade of the Tuatha dé Danaan's own point of arrival in Erin.
If you are unfamiliar with the myth of the people who became Ireland's fairy race then here is the flash version. The People of the Goddess Danu left their four cities of Falias, Gorias, Finiias and Murias. They chose to land in their ships on Iron Mountain because for them to break ties with worlds they need iron; it's sort of their ultimate banishing tool. They are said to have burnt their boats creating such a thick mist that the sun was blotted out for three days.
These gods of light involved themselves in a sort of Star Wars struggle with the forces of darkness, the Formorians, whom they ultimately came to intermarry. The immortal Brigit is said to have married the mortal Formorian Bres. When the Milesians invaded Ireland they were vanquished and headed back to their Mother Mountain to go to ground and enter the sidhe, breaking their ties with this plane.
Slieve Anieran is 585 metres high. Not high by some standards but locally only Cuilcagh is is higher. It overlooks Lough Allen which is the epicentre of a glacial basin stretching from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, through West Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon. Foreign companies have applied to use the controversial method of shale gas extraction, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in this landscape.
Once again it feels as if the Tuatha dé are about to struggle with the forces of darkness since in other parts of the world fracking means air, water and noise pollution as well as negatively impacting agriculture and tourism, the two economic mainstays of not only these counties but the nation as a whole. With this limestone landscape, riddled with shake holes, pot holes, and caves I imagine the land as a granny who has osteoporosis.
The water that is so abundant in this landscape has worked to hollow out Her bones. I imagine the heavy equipment drilling down a mile, where we already know from test fracks they will meet groundwater, doing such a violence as to give Granny compression fractures and so she will crumble and quake. In other parts of the world earth quakes are not uncommon 'side effects' of this process.
But in a way, despite the wickedness of this industrial process and the nefarious financial mechanics behind it, I do feel rather sorry for them. Because you really, really do not want to frack with the fairies on their home ground.
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