Fairies: The Old Gods

Posted on Aug 6, 2015 by   3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized · Workshops

Walt Disney would have you believe that fairies are sweet little creatures with wings and wands. Helpful entities like Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy. Walt was wrong. In Celtic lands people believe it’s not wise to go about your business in a manner which offends them–they are very touchy. Dead scary in fact.

The fairies are the old gods, the gods of the ancient Celts. Some say the idea of fairies was just too useful to be abandoned. Some say they are still around because they are the old gods, and they can do what they want.

Fionn MacCumhaill was responsible for creating the Giant’s Causeway in the north of Ireland. Fionn was the giant! And don’t the ancient stones called ‘beds of Diarmaid and Gráinne’ prove that these gods were huge? But there were wee ones as well–they haunted people’s houses. You don’t see them much because they’re tiny.

Time flies by and what changes the gods have undergone. Lugh, the sky god good at doing many things, became the luprachan (leprechaun), the little fairy good at only one thing — making shoes while guarding a pot of gold. And did you know that Highlanders don’t believe that ghosts, the spirits of the dead, inhabit the houses (and castles) of the living? Nope. Their homes are ‘haunted’ by other, equally frightening beings. The definition of fairies is broad, you will learn something about kelpies, selkies, the washer woman of the ford and other supernatural entities.

The course includes self-quizzes and simple research projects to generate story ideas. Discussion and questions are encouraged, but lurkers also welcome.

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