Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

By the Grace of Thalia

Go not to the hills of Erinn
When the night winds are about,

Put up your bar and shutter,

And so keep the danger out.

For the good-folk whirl within it,
And they pull you by the hand,

And they push you on the shoulder,

Till you move to their command.

— from The Wind on the Hills, by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Perhaps some reading my words feel I am being overly cautious or even negative in my advice about your alliances with the People of Peace. But our ancestors lived much closer to the land than we do, and their encounters with the Good Folk were nothing like the Disney-ish, commercialized stories that we find today. All the sparkly, glittery, sweet pixie images aside, the fact is that our forebears spent a lot more time and energy finding ways to ward off attention from the Gentry than attempting to invite it.

In other words, many of the ideas I am suggesting here run absolutely counter to what prior generations would have thought prudent. Some of that fear was certainly imposed by the Church, eager to turn all vestiges of Pagan and old magical beliefs into evil and devilry. That distortion was certainly exaggerated in most cases. Most, but not all, I daresay.

In any case, I believe that now is the time to repair the old difficulties between our worlds, as much as possible. But make no mistake, this is a delicate business, and good intentions alone will not protect you from possible misfortune. Solid knowledge and respect for the power of these ancient races is required.

Which is precisely why I am discussing this under the auspices of the Goddess Thalia, Grace of flowering and mirth. With Her guidance and blessing, I believe that tolerance, good humor, and blossoming understanding can prevail. If you feel comfortable doing so, I would urge that you invoke Her presence as you proceed.

So what are some don’ts? First, let me emphasize again that any object that may contain iron is absolutely out. The theories behind this vary. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it was the metal-wielding invaders who drove the Tuatha Dé Danann into the hollow hills. Or it may have to do with the iron that runs in the blood of humans, so there is a magical taboo of some sort related to this.

And remember that money, unless it is exceptionally beautiful, is a gray area that has the potential to offend, so I would personally steer clear of using it, at least until you know your own Good Folk well.

Some lore, though, is quite contradictory. For more about that, stay tuned!

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  • June 6, 2008, 1:40 pm Greg Fletcher-Marzullo

    I’ve often wanted to do some research about the “faery” traditions of other nations. So much of our information is filtered through royal/hierarchical and British culture – what’s going on with the Fae here in the Americas, in Africa, India, etc.? What are their stories? Only the ones I know of through my own experience.

  • June 6, 2008, 9:20 pm Thalia

    I always figured the iron taboo, or the Faery’s dislike of it was because it was a symbol of “civilization” and the severing of humans from nature.

  • June 7, 2008, 12:32 am Anonymous

    Perhaps Iron was poisonous for them.

    Interesting tidbit-there are blood disorders, namely Cooley’s Anemia, where people can not process iron and in the major expression of this genetic disorder, people die from Ferrite poisoning, since their bodies literally become toxic from iron and shut down.

    I know, since I was diagnosed with a minor expression of it as child. My Dr. mistook it for Leukemia. Iron pills make me ill, and all the extra Iron they gave me as a kid turned my baby teeth brown. To this day, it still freaks new physicians out when they run blood tests on me, because my blood just doesn’t look right.

    The Cooley’s Anemia came down through my grandmother, to my mom, to me, and now my daughter. One of my Uncle’s and a few of my cousins also have it.

    Just thought you might find this interesting about Iron. Love your site and check it daily.

    Also, am currently reading my kids a book called
    “The Hidden Folk” by Lise Lunge-Larsen. It covers fairies, selkies, gnomes, and nisse. The introduction had the most amusing story for the creation of the Hidden folk. God went to visit Eve after she left Eden. She was embarrassed by her messy house and dirty kids. So she hid all the dirty kids, and only showed God the 2 that were clean. God knew what she’d done and told her that all the children she’d hidden would remain hidden from other’s site.

    Why does the woman always get blamed? Also, God should know better than to make unannounced phone calls.

  • June 7, 2008, 5:46 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Greg — I posted a bit about the Native American Folk last year, and there are probably a few tidbits here and there about some of the Japanese nature spirits as well..This is a great suggestion, though, and I’ll try to see if I can come up with some stuff.

    Thalia, that’s what I thought, too, and I still think there is a lot of merit in that idea.

    Anonymous (??) – that is a powerful story.. I had no idea, and I think you may be on to something. And you are so right – God really should have known better. Poor Eve sure gets a bad rap every time! 🙂