Monday, January 23, 2006


How many delicious tidbits about our ancient ancestral faiths are lying out there, somewhere, still waiting to be discovered? Since Christian peoples did their best to set fire to every last trace of these ancient faiths, it’s been a chore to unearth clues to how our ancestors actually worshipped.

Take fairy folk for instance. It’s only recently I’ve discovered that fairies represent an actual, ancient religion. Check out this book:

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries W. Y. Evans-Wentz

“[This] classic study of traditional Celtic spirituality ties ancient Paganism, medieval myth, and traditional Fairy beliefs into a powerful celebration of Celtic wisdom and magic.... This magnificent book is a collection of stories, anecdotes, and legends from all six of the regions where Celtic ways have persisted in the modern world: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. It examines how Fairy spirituality survived in the face of hostility caused by modern science and religion. It celebrates how beliefs (which only a century ago were dismissed as quaint and superstitious) were, in fact, powerful principles of ancient Pagan magic that remained essential features of the Celtic world for generation after generation.
The Goddess, the gods, the faeries and other more-than-human beings all dwelt together in a land the Celts called the “Otherworld.”

Is this -- once again – a matter of our ancestors cleverly hiding the truth of their religion in innocent children’s tales -- in this case, inside sweet, delicate little things with wings? I’m glad they did – we mightn’t have a clue of the old fairy religion otherwise.

BTW, if you ever get your hands on a copy of the original 1911 edition of The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, be advised that it sells for from $250 to $702. Ouch. Go HERE to see. Fortunately, there's a new edition out under $10, used.


Anne Johnson said...

Way ahead of you on this one, Athana. I've got a copy of that book. It's awesome, and the best part about it is that it's authentic, having been written by a certified scientist.

Athana said...

And I thought I was bringing you something new, Anne.

I'll try harder next time.

Morgaine said...

I've got the book, too, but there's more to the story. The Picts were the indigenous people of Ireland. When the Celts arrived, the Picts were driven into the woods or hills or whatever. They became known as the Faery who worshipped the Faery GodMother, ie the Mother Goddess of the Faery people. Morgaine LaFaye was a triple-aspected Goddess or the Faery people also known as the Morrigan.

Pictish Descent said...

Actually, the Picts were the ancient people of Dalriada, more commonly known nowadays as Scotland. They were a fierce fighting people who fought the Romans alongside the Celts, and populated Scotland until they were basically assimilated into the Celtic race. The Celts originally came from ireland, and inhabited Scotland, where they basically took over the Picts. The Picts were a tattoed people, and the Romans gave them the name, which is where the word "picture" comes from today. All around Scotland there is evidence of the ancient Picts, various stone croppings still display Pictish art. there are still Pictich place names eg Pitlochry; the Picts were not faerie people, nor did they become faerie people!