Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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As the Fairies Take, So Shall You Receive

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Until I  moved to this magical place first settled by the mythic Tuatha dé Danaan I, too, was a fairy agnostic.  But when the land energy is so potent and palpable my disbelief was easily suspended. So yeah, I believe and have also come to know.  Unlike the Doubting Disciple of the Christian gospel I don't need to have seen to believe.  It's enough to feel.  But once you do get the vibe the communication in my personal experience gets more direct. 


The nearest fairy sighting I've had was on a dark night as we crossed over the Bellavally Gap. It's wild moorland with the 'gap' between Cuilcagh and Slieve Anieran said to have been made when the Tuatha dé Dannaan's magical smith, Govannan, had a green cow (Bo Glas) of Paul Bunyanesque proportions ran amuck.




Anyway, we are driving in the dark one clear April night when we see lights approaching. Tony dipped the headlights anticipating an oncoming vehicle on this lonely stretch. But no car approached. Rather the light drifted across the road onto the boggy moor.


Now there are no turning points just moorland and road on the Gap so it absolutely was not a vehicle. We both did a reality check on what we had seen and corroborated each others version.  In hindsight I reckon we had a will o the wisp manifest itself for our delectation.


Fairies are renowned for having a strictly reciprocal morality.  You need to politely request and offer an exchange.  This is why you often see accident 'black spots' (literally, a sign posted at the roadside alerting motorist that this is an accident black spot) along highways where a fairy tree was cut to  make way for tarmacadam.  These often are posted on the straightest stretched of road in a country that excels itself on the definition of the long and winding road. Any Irish country person knows that one cuts a fairy tree down you do so at your peril.  There is 'no luck' in it.  Of course, this is only strengthened when you hear about business titans like Sean Quinn or DeLorean being brought low by not respecting fairy trees and sacred stones.


This sense of reciprocity has been manifest most recently in my own life.  I was up for a Writing Course scholarship to the UK and needed to travel to our county town for an interview.  I pinned my favourite broach, a Celtic boar, onto my jacket. For luck like.  In Celtic lore boar is sacred to poets and musicians so it seemed a good charm for an Arts Office interview.    Later in the day I discovered that the broach was gone.  The fairies must have fancied it and decided it was a worthy price in exchange for my heartfelt wish.




Now I got the scholarship and when I discovered the loss what came to mind that this was the fairy price for granting my fervent wish.  It also reminded me of a friend who 'lost' some earrings straight after an interview that brought her to Ireland.  She also knew instinctively that the 'loss' was the price for granting her wish of getting the job.


I'm still working on refining the formula for retrieving items the fairies have 'borrowed' but you do need returned.  A ring and a debit card have turned up.  The first I needed back since it is the only ring given me by my beloved.  The second I suspect was either a tease or just post-menopausal absentmindedness.  


However, I'm still turning the house upside down for an important document they seem to be holding hostage.   It may take more than honey, milk and dark chocolate for a ransom.  I'm probably going to need to reach out to my faery shaman friends.





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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


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