The Great Sabbat of Beltane is just one week away, and I invite you to join me in preparing for this joyful celebration of the life force and the flowering time. It is one of the most auspicious times for meetings between the human and Fey realms, so while I am traveling for the next several days, I am sharing some lore about some of my favorite Good Folk, the brownies.
Brownies are nocturnal, but not because they cannot tolerate sunlight (although some of their non-Scottish cousins do not easily endure daylight). In fact, they can travel about in daylight if necessary, but for the most part, they simply prefer the dark half of the day.
Roosters, long sacred to the Druids for their association with the Sun Gods, represent resurrection and rebirth, as well as courage in battle, and are the familiars of brownies. In fact, some Scottish grandmothers will tell you that the brownies can shape-shift into the form of roosters and it is in this physical form that they will help around the house. Roosters have learned to crow at dawn, not to tell humans to wake up, but to remind the brownies that it is time for bed.
The brownies are very picky about who they live with, and may test you (and your patience) before they settle in with you. In particular, they seek homes that they feel are deserving, and family members who have generous, kindly dispositions. They cannot abide miserliness or dishonesty, and will only live with humans that honor Nature and other living beings. And beware to family members or visitors who are pompous or pretentious!
They seek warmth of heart and hearth. While they are more outgoing than many others of their race, they need privacy. So if you have an attic, basement, or garden shed, be sure that it is warm, dry and comfy, as that is probably where they will set up residence. I have read that they will not live in a house with cats, but that has not been the case for me. Perhaps that is because our brownies were with us before the cats arrived, so they were introduced as kittens and learned to respect our friends.
If you have to ask why anyone would want brownies living with them, I am pretty sure you’re not their type. Nevertheless, I will tell you that they are incredible helpers, and fill our house with delightful surprises. While they are certainly mischievous (occasionally hiding my reading glasses or car keys), their fun is always gentle, and they do us many favors around the house and garden.
Tomorrow, I’ll explain!