Say hello to Christy Nicholas who’s in the Hot Seat today. She’s currently doing a book tour to promote her latest book titled Mythical Ireland.
Be sure to leave a comment because Christy is awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly selected reader-
The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W. Y. Evans-Wentz – in research for a guide to Mystical Scotland! The author travelled the countryside, getting fairy stories from the folk in the villages, all around 100 years ago.
I mostly watch BBC shows, I’m a horrible anglophile. I’m catching up on back episodes of Masterchef UK, even though I can’t cook to save my life. My husband is a chef, though, so I don’t have to.
Guilty Pleasure…Travelling to Ireland, seriously! I’m addicted. I go even when I can’t really afford to do so.
Best Advice You Ever Got… Learn something every day. The day you stop learning is the day you start getting old. – my grandfather told me this once, and I have taken it to heart. I was in college for 14 years!
A Country or Town You’d Like to Visit…I’d love to explore Iceland – such stunning landscapes! I’ve always been fascinated by this tiny island. Even as a child, my favorite place name was Reykjavik, because of how fun it was to say.
Highly Recommend You Read This Title…If you are interested (as I am) in the UK and Ireland and it’s archeological history, I highly recommend Bryan Sykes book on the DNA genealogy of the islands, Saxons, Vikings and Celts.
Shameless Self Promoting….
IRELAND: MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, MYSTICAL
Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday.
The Magical Facet The Fair Folk
Everyone has heard of fairies, of creatures with supernatural powers to curse, to bless, to find gold, or to cause mischief. Literature and art is full of them from Shakespeare to contemporary artists Amy Brown or Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. Western culture, especially in the US, is bred on Disney’s Tinker Bell, children’s books of flower fairies from Victorian artists, and grim tales of the darker side of these Fae folk.
In Ireland, fairies, known as the Sídhe (pronounced shee) or the Good Folk, originate from the Tuatha Dé Danann, the people who immigrated to the island before the Sons of Míl. Supposedly full of powers, the Tuatha Dé Danann could not bear to be near iron, and therefore their superior skills were for naught. Rather than leave the land they loved, they agreed to reside below the earth. For this reason, caves are said to be entrances into their underworld homes. Traces of this legend can be seen in the classic film, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, where Darby is led under a mountain to the Fairy King’s palace.
Ireland has countless portals, be they hills, hawthorn trees, caves, wells, or other sacred places.
A more Christianized origin of these creatures claim they are angels which fell to Earth before humans resided there. They live beneath the waves or gardens, and while some are evil, others can be helpful as long as they are treated with respect.
While many modern legends show the fairies to be sweet, kind, magical creatures, this is really a Victorian creation. The traditional views in Ireland and Scotland show the Sídhe to be mischievous to the point of cruelty a force to be reckoned with. They are not sought out by the wise. In fact, most of the herb and spell lore of an almost forgotten era is meant to instruct how to keep you from coming to the Folks’ attention.