5 Quick Tips About Irish Faeries

That hat is red. Trust me.

I’ve been so busy learning about screenplays this past week, that I almost forgot to write today’s post!

With all due respect to the movie The Labyrinth, which I grew up watching over and over… and over, I’ve learned that faeries command more respect than from a fear of being bitten by them as if they were nothing more than beautiful bugs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My Grandma Caroline didn’t talk about the faeries often. But when she did, she spoke about them as if they were real. She gave me W. B. Yeats book on Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore, and on page one I saw why she might have been so silent on them – “Beings so quickly offended that you must not speak much about them at all,…”

Huh, but we lived in America at the time. I guess old habits die hard.

But silence on the subject puts a damper in my story, so I did take a few liberties. I hope The Good People can forgive me. Which leads me to my first tip (many of these come from Yeats, some come from The Stone of Kings):

  1. “…never call them anything but the “gentry,” or elseย daoine maithe,ย which in English means good people,…”ย I’d much rather refer to them as Good People than Bad People anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  2. They are “…so easily pleased, they will do their best to keep misfortune away from you,…”ย I think I’d want these guys on my side…
  3. Don’t mess with the rath! – A rath is the faery’s fort. This can be a simple mound of earth. My mom says that the Irish even build some of their roads in such a way to avoid destroying a rath. And yet – we come to a bit of inspiration for my book – Yeats says, “Carolan,…slept on a rath, and ever after the fairy tunes ran in his head and made him the great man he was.” This leads us to…
  4. They love good music!ย My account of how O’ Carolan acquired his abilities is not completely accurate (you’ll just have to wait for my book to come out ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). But I believe that it encompasses the ideas of how the faeries are easily offended yet appreciate a good tune. For more on this, read the story of Lusmore and the Fairies.
  5. If you want them to visit your garden, plant red foxglove. I believe this is something I borrowed from the story of The Priest’s Supper, found in Yeats’ book. When the priest comes along, “…away every one of the fairies scampered off as hard as they could, concealing themselves under the green leaves of the lusmore, where, if their little red caps should happen to peep out, they would only look like its crimson bells;…” In my book, anyone associated with fairies has red foxglove (lusmore) in their garden so the faeries have a place to hide. ๐Ÿ˜€

What are some tips you’ve picked up Irish faeries? Have you ever had a run in with them? Share your story! ๐Ÿ˜€

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2 Comments

Filed under Books I Love, The Stone of Kings, Writing

2 responses to “5 Quick Tips About Irish Faeries

  1. Sasha

    I will admit I had never even heard of the Irish faeries before this. Thanks for teaching me something new today!

    • Anytime! Oooh are you in for a treat! My favorite stories are Lusmore, which I linked above, and Frank Martin and the Fairies, which you can read here http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/yeats/fip/fip05.htm. I really like the Frank Martin one, because here you have a fellow who in a logical aspect is really insane. But if the fairies are truly real, then he isn’t and he is a man who should be highly respected instead. It’s that ambiguous quality that I love so much about the stories. ๐Ÿ™‚

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