Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Life in the Dead of Winter

   Tomorrow will be New Year's Eve in human Western culture.  When I moved to Baile Eile from Cu Tailte as a young Faerie, I found it strange that humans, at least most of those in the Western hemisphere, celebrate the first day of the New Year during the winter.  This seemed entirely out of step with nature.  In Cu Tailte, the New Year is celebrated at the start of Spring.  This emphasizes the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  Think about it. Spring is the time of new life. It is the time when most plants begin to grow and trees begin to flower.  Many animals are born in the Spring.  It is a season of new life, hope and promise.  Then that life comes to full blossom in the Summer and either is harvested or begins to fade or wither in the Autumn.  Winter is a dark, cold season when the trees are bare, food is scarce, and life seems to be buried  by the snow. Everything seems dead, but then in the Spring, color and abundance return to the earth. There is new life and new beginnings, a chance to start fresh.

     How strange, then, that humans celebrate the New Year in the dead of Winter.  Having spent some time now among humans, I've begun to realize that starting the new year in the middle of the season of dormancy is not so strange and is perhaps quite a good idea.  Winter can seem very long and sometimes it's hard to remember that Spring will come.  Celebrating the New Year, then, in the midst of Winter dreariness can be a call to hope and to the belief that, even in the midst of grayness and difficulty, the seeds of good things to come are being sown.  The song, "The Rose," points this out:

          "Just remember, in the winter,      
           Far beneath the bitter snows,
           Lies the seed that,             
           With the sun's love
           In the Spring becomes
           the rose."

     So, in the midst of Winter, as the New Year is about to begin, hope in the good things that will come to fruition this year.  Welcome the promise that comes with new life and rebirth.  Let go of discouragement and anything that keeps you in the darkness of winter.  You have the opportunity to come to new life, to start again.  What will you do with it?  What do you hope for?  What do you promise for yourself and for others?

I wish you a New Year of peace and joy.


*If you are new to this blog and are wondering who Keena is (since Christine Dorman is listed as the person who does the posts) she is a guest blogger.  Please see the posts "The Faerie Who Lives Down the Block" and "Culture Shock" to learn more about her.  And in case you're wondering about the fact that I have a Faerie as a guest blogger...she is a character in my novel Music of Dragons. Which isn't to say that she isn't real :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Undependable Human Magic--Technology

Although I have marveled at human technology (cell phones, computers and even televisions) ever since I arrived in Baile Eile, I have to say magic is more dependable.  Once you know how to perform a magical task, you can depend on using it effectively whenever you need it.  The only time it won't work is if you are not focused.  Even if you are sick, you can still use your magic.  In fact, it's when I'm sick that I appreciate my magical abilities the most.  I can clean dirty dishes by just saying a few words over them.  Works every time.

Computers, on the other hand, are not so dependable, especially in regards to the Internet.  It works often enough that I have come to depend upon it.  It works often enough that I am frustrated when it doesn't.  There are a variety of ways in which the Internet will suddenly become a road block rather than a path to information and / or communication.  "Can't connect to the website."  "Oops! The address no longer works." "The server has failed."  Then there are the times when the wind changes and there is no signal, no Internet access. Even when the Internet is available, there can be other problems. I've spent time carefully composing an email and have sent it off in the belief that I have communicated only to get a message the next day saying that the mail was undelieverable.  At times, picking up the phone is quicker--unless it's a cell phone and there is no signal.  Or the number, which I've successfully dialed before, comes up as a call restriction.

I use the computer for more than just the Internet and email.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this.  At this point, I have patient records in it, files containing my own personal information and a couple different calendars.  Also, I have written down many of the Cu Tailte myths and lists of important persons and events in Cu Tailte history. All of my music and many photographs and drawings are in my laptop.  Imagine my frustration, then, when the computer suddenly stopped working.  And I do mean suddenly.  I used it and two hours later it no longer worked.  I won't go into the details.  Suffice it to say, I was not only aggravated, but handicapped.  Abruptly I had no access to information and tools that I use on a daily basis.  Yes, there were alternatives. I could use the Internet through the computers at the library and use backup disks to view my patient files.  Even so, I felt the loss, most keenly in regards to my music.  Although much of the music on my computer was downloaded from CDs that I still have, I no longer have a CD player.  So I spent nearly three weeks without my music.  Music is vital to a Faerie.  Without regular exposure to music, our souls wither.  Not only did I quickly begin to lose energy, I became less patient and increasingly irritable.  A very bad condition for a healer to be in.

What I have learned from the experience is to have a backup.  Not just those disks or an external hard drive, but another way to save and access my music and important information.  I have discovered that I am more dependent on the computer than I had realized and so I am working on ways to return it to the status of  a tool rather than a vital necessity.

Oh!  I can hear some of you questioning why I didn't just use magic either to fix the computer or to make music for myself.  A gentle reminder: Faeries are not omnipotent.  Each Faerie has particular gifts.  It is possible to add to these by learning other magic from a generous mentor, but there is so much to learn that no Faerie will ever know every kind of magic.  I cannot create music magically, but since there is musical ability in my family, I have decided to learn how to play an instrument.  That way I can have music whenever I want or need it.  The instrument I've chosen to learn is the Irish whistle.  Fortunately I live alone.  No one should have to endure listening to me play at this stage.  The sound I am making is definitely not yet music!  Still, I trust that I will improve.  I found a wonderful tutor.  She gives lessons via the Internet--LOL!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Adorably Deadly Capall Agamecht

     Happy Spring and welcome to my fantasy blog.  My name is Christine and I am writing a fantasy novel currently titled Music of Dragons.  For a while I had one of my characters, Keena Mythweaver, "writing" posts for this blog.  The post below is on a character in the book, the Capall Agamecht.  He is my invention, but is based on a couple of water horses from Celtic folklore.  Recently, he made his re-entry into my main character's life and I thought it might a good time to re-post his story.  I hope you enjoy it and enjoy getting to know a little about Keena.
The Capall Agamecht
       Many apologies for the blog silence over the past few weeks.  As I said previously, flu season hit in Baile Eile and my life got hectic with tending the sick.  Then I caught the flu myself.  After all these years of  treating ill humans, I would think that I should have built up an immunity to viruses such as the flu, but apparently I haven''t.  Not only that, but the flu wreaks even more havoc with a Faerie's body than it does a human's.  My body flirted with the idea of transforming the flu into pneumonia.  It nearly succeeded too, but fortunately, an extract of Willow bark, many doses of mint and chamomile tea, menthol vapor and a bit of rest turned the course of the infection.  It isn't entirely gone, but I am able to work again.

     I've started telling you a bit about my homeland of Cu Tailte, the five magical lands.  Today, I want to tell you about one of the creatures who lives in Ghost Sprite Grove: the Capall Agamecht.  He is beautiful to look at and has quite a charming personality.  The Capall Agamecht is a Water Horse.  Well, he falls into the category of Water Horses, magical horses that live in or near water.  He is a kin to the Irish Kelpie, the Irish Each Uisge and the Welsh Cffyl Dwr.  Those three actually are horses.  The Capall Agamecht, however, is a pony.  His pony size makes him particularly cute and harmless-looking.  Don't be fooled though.  He is far from harmless.  Indeed, he is both dangerous and malicious.  The Capall Agamecht is, by nature, black with a red mane.  His eyes burn with flame and he has two, large, feathery black wings.  If you saw him in his terrifying natural form, you would know instantly to avoid him.  Unfortunately, he has the ability to change his coloring.  Often, he appears as a purple pony with a silver or multicolored mane and large, innocent-looking violet eyes, looking something like those adorable stuffed Pegasus toys many human girls have had as childhood friends.
Want to go for a ride?
    Unlike human horses, the Capall Agamecht can talk and he will speak in honeyed tones pleasing words that you want to hear.  He is quite a charmer, as I mentioned above, and he will offer to give you a ride on his back.  Don't do it!  Once someone mounts his back, the Capall Agamecht flies high into the air then disappears, leaving his victim to fall to his or her death.  And that is his goal: to murder. Despite the toy Pegasus appearance he often adopts, he is, in the words of my sister, Keira, a cree du nathar--a serpent-hearted monster who kills for no reason other than the sport of it.

Want to reconsider?

     Blessings on your week.  I will leave you with one last thought, some advice that Cay the Unicorn once gave my niece, Siobhan: Beware of those who promise to give you all that your heart desires.

Keena Mythweaver, Faerie Healer

*Please note: Capall Agamecht, Cu Tailte, Baile Eile, Cree du Nathar, and Keena Mythweaver are copyright Christine Dorman and Christine Fallon

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quick Questions from Keena

     Hi!  I hope you are well.  There has been an outbreak of intestinal problems here in Baile Eile among the humans.  Of course, not all of the residents come to me.  Some go to traditional doctors and others treat themselves.  But I've been busy helping people through their distress.  It's hardest on the children.  They feel miserable and they get dehydrated so easily.

In the midst of the busyness, I have been thinking and here are some questions that I offer for you to reflect upon this week:

     We Faeries have gifts that are magical in nature, but all beings have gifts.  What are some of your gifts and how do you share them with others?

     What helps you get through times of distress?

     Who needs your help right now?  Is there anyone who needs you to reach out to him or her?

     How comfortable are you with asking for help when you need it?

I'd love to hear your answers, but the questions are primarily for you to mine for surprise treasures.



Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Tour of Cu Tailte

Hello again!  I am Keena Mythweaver, guest blogger. Please check out the posts "The Faerie Who Lives Down the Block," "Faerie Among Humans," and "Culture Shock" if you're meeting me for the first time.

Today,  I thought I would show you a map of my homeland of Cu Tailte and its neighbor, Baile Eile.  Poor Ghost Sprite Grove isn't counted as a land, well not by Cu Tailte residents anyway.  It's considered a "natural barrier" between Cu Tailte and the human world.

Please allow me to take you on a brief tour of the different places that make up The Five Lands (the English translation of Cu Tailte).  First stop: my birthplace, Willowsong Woods.  It's as pleasant and as safe as it sounds, filled with Willow trees as well as Holly, Hazel and Ash.  It is a beautiful, peace-filled woodland.  The animals and other residents live together in relative harmony and respect.  Humans would recognize many of the animals that inhabit Willowsong Woods: squirrels, rabbits, deer, several species of songbirds, foxes, some free horses (humans would call them "wild" horses, but in truth, they are just free rather than conscripted to do work).  Among the two-legged beings, by far the largest number of residents are Faeries.  Now, as I've said before, there are different kinds of Faeries.  Many of the Willowsong Woods Faeries come from the same species as my family--human-sized and without wings, but there are a handful of Wood Sprites who might remind humans of Disney's Tinkerbell.  There are a few families that are middle-sized Faeries.  They stand about two-to-three feet high and some humans might mistake them for dwarfs, but they are Faeries.  The dwarfs up by the mountains just north of Cu Tailte so they can mine.  Some Pixies live in Willowsong Woods too.  These Pixies are not cute.  They are mischievous and some are simply malicious.  It's best not to have too much to do with them.  The southeastern portion of Willowsong Woods is rumored to be the home of Wood Elves, but I have never seen one, so I cannot verify this.  It is also rumored that the land of the Unicorn can be reached through a portal in Willowsong Woods, but no one can say exactly where the portal is.

To the northwest of Willowsong Woods is Nightshade Thicket.  This wooded area is more dense, a bit darker and less safe than my home woodland.  The land gets progressively darker and more dangerous the closer it is to Dragonsword Forest.  Nightshade Thicket is home to numerous Tree Spirits who are basically good and benevolent--except to those who threaten their trees!

Shadow Ash Glade is a delightful place, dotted with Ash, Hazel and Rowan trees, a variety of flowering shrubs and a number of animals, some of which are magical.  The Glade straddles the boundary between Willowsong Woods and Nightshade Thicket.

Silverleaf Meadow is a shining and peaceful open area at the center of the five lands.

Dragonsword Forest, in the North, is renowned for being treacherous and filled with evil beings.  As Cay, the Unicorn says, it's not a place that one should wander into lightly or unprepared.  No one has been known to return from there.  At its northern boundary sits Shadowshield Mountain, home to the powerful Dragon King, Riordan.  More about him another day.

You may have noticed two streams, one in the south and the other in the north.  In the south is Ice Thistle Brook.  It is fairly safe to cross on foot and is inhabited by a number of beings, most of whom are friendly.  My niece, Siobhan, has a friend who lives in the brook.  Her name is Kayla Reedtender and she is a Water Sprite.  She's a tiny Faerie of the winged variety and she is joyful and full of life.  Kayla also knows a good deal about healing, especially about how to use the leaves and berries from the Elder tree near the brook to make salves for healing and charms for protection.  Moonbreaker Creek, in the north, is quite the opposite of Ice Thistle Brook.  Its current is swift and changeable.  Its riverbed is jammed in places with tree roots which will wrapped themselves around the feet of anyone who tries to cross the creek and hold the person prisoner.  Some beings have died of fright, but most have been killed by some of the malevolent beings who live either in the creek or near it.  The worst, to my mind, are the Glashtyns, water goblins who love to lure children into the creek then drown and eat them.

Well, that's my short tour of Cu Tailte.  As I said, Baile Eile, which is a human town, and Ghost Sprite Grove are not a part of Cu Tailte.  I will write about them next time.  I hope you enjoyed this glance into my homeland. What do you think?  Would you like to live in Cu Tailte?  If so, where and why?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Culture Shock

     Athas aditch!  This is a Cu Tailte greeting meaning approximately "Joy to you!"  My name is Keena Mythweaver and last week I began writing a series of posts for this blog at the invitation of Christine Dorman and SOBS.  I am a Faerie who lives in the human town of Baile Eile and I "work" as a healer.  I think of it as service rather than work.  Christine and SOBS have asked me to share what it is like to be a Faerie living among humans and to tell a bit about my homeland of Cu Tailte.  It's a little difficult to talk about what it's like to "be a Faerie among humans" because I have been living in the human world for so long that it seems natural to me now.  I guess I've become acculturated.

     Recently, though, my niece, Siobhan, came to visit me.  Siobhan is my sister Keira's daughter.  She came just after the start of Beltane (about Mid-May) and stayed for two moonsongs--oh, sorry!  I mean two months.  Sometimes when I'm around my family or even think about them, I slip into Cu Tailte expressions.
Siobhan felt prepared to interact with humans.  I had given her a book of human fairytales when she was seven and she has been interested in humans and their world ever since.  As she grew up, she searched through the thousands of books in the Cu Tailte Basic School Book Keep for more stories by or about humans and read everything she could find.  So she felt quite the expert.  As soon as she stepped out of Ghost Sprite Grove and into Baile Eile, however, culture shock hit her. It started with something as simple as the way I was dressed.  I wore a lightweight summery blouse, a lavender skirt that came to my mid-calf and sandals.  Nothing unusual for a "middle-aged" human woman.  But Siobhan had never seen anyone dressed like this.  The people in the fairytale book illustrations dress a bit like the residents of Cu Tailte.  It is customary for Faerie women in my homeland to wear skirts that go to the ground and shoes that encase the whole foot.  Outdoors, most Cu Tailte residents--male and female--wear cloaks with hoods.  The hoods are left down except in cold or inclement weather.  My hair shocked my niece as well.  Cu Taitle Faeries only trim their hair to keep it healthy and neat. Although the women may wear their hair up, they never cut it short.  I, however, have cut it to just above shoulder length and I've put a permanent wave in it for body and bounce.  Although clothes and hair are superficial in themselves, they still can communicate many things about a culture.

     My sister, Keira, gave me a couple stern warnings about Siobhan.  She didn't want her daughter wearing short skirts or becoming "too human" during the visit.  Well, I dealt with the first edict (Keira's my older sister) by introducing Siobhan to jeans, which she quickly came to love.  The not letting Siobhan become "too human" part was harder to control.  Siobhan felt a bit awkward at first around human teenagers, but she soon began to enjoy hanging out with them.  All of the technology--cell phones, DVDs, the Internet and YouTube--were as magical to her as anything in Cu Tailte would be to a human.  Did she become "too human"?  Probably from my sister's perspective, but at least I kept her from cutting her hair and getting an Emma Watson "pixie" cut!


More stories next week.  For now, two questions.  What run of the mill human thing do you think a Faerie would find magical?  Can you imagine anything that would be culture shock for you if you  moved to live with Faeries?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Faerie Among Humans

    Mae fein!  It has been a busy time in Baile Eile.  I've hardly had a moment to breathe.  I am Keena Mythweaver and, though I am a faerie, I live among humans in a town called Baile Eile.  It is what humans call a "rural" community.  I am a healer.  The past couple of weeks, I have been busy helping both humans and animals, treating everything from allergies to an early outbreak of flu to calfing issues and "frozen foot," a Baile Eile name for laminitis in horses.
For the next few weeks, I will write posts for this blog, sharing a bit about my life in Baile Eile, as a faerie living among humans, and about my home world of Cu Tailte, a place humans erroneously refer to as "Fairyland."  I say that the term is erroneous because we Faeries are not the only ones who live there.  Many races of beings inhabit Cu Tailte and we Faeries neither rule it nor own it, so it is not our land.

     First, you might wonder how a faerie could live among humans and be accepted as one of them.  After all, faeries are only a few inches high and have wings, right?  No, that is incorrect.  Some types of Faeries, such as Pixies and certain Sprites, resemble butterflies: small, winged beings.  But Faeries come in many different sizes. My family's "species," if you will, are human-sized and we don't have wings, much to the disappointment of my niece, Siobhan.  If you have been reading this blog for a while, you have met my sister, Keira Nightsinger.  Siobhan is her daughter.  Siobhan loves dragons (don't tell her mother) and yearns to be able to fly. She is one faerie who would be thrilled to have wings.  Unfortunately for her, they don't run in our family.  On the other hand, this "lack" is a great gift to me.  It means I can enjoy a life among humans without their knowing that I'm a Faerie.  Why is that important?  If you are a human, I'm sure you can think of several reasons.  Just think about the typical human response to "aliens."  A magical alien?  Most human communities would react to that either with fear (and possibly violence) or they would try to exploit the magical being.  I love humans, which is why I am here, but they do sometimes have strange reactions to those they consider different.

     I come from a family of banshees, so we had more frequent contact with humans than most other beings who live in Cu Tailte.  From an early age, I had a great interest in and a growing love of humans.  I have a gift for healing, so when I was sixteen, I decided to leave Cu Tailte and move to Baile Eile to help heal humans of illnesses and problems that "modern medicine" struggles with.  The humans call me an herbalist since generally I use herbs in my treatments.  At first, most people were hesitant to come to me.  Some simply didn't believe in anything other than the traditional doctor / hospital route.  Others were wary of taking herbs, and some people actually suspected me of being a witch.  That was a worrying time for me considering the history between humans and people they thought were witches.  I've been in Baile Eile for ages now, though, and most people have accepted me.  Some think I'm a "quack," but at least now very few consider me dangerous.

     I am looking forward to sharing with you more about the people of Baile Eile, my experiences among humans and in my native land Along the way, I will tell you a bit about my family.  Please ask questions. Ask me whatever you'd like to know about my family, Cu Tailte and Baile Eile or my life as a faerie among humans.

Gurra mah aguth! *  Blessings on all who read this!


*The language of CuTailte has many things in common with the Irish language.  It is not Irish, however, so if you are an Irish speaker, don't think, "Oh, that's spelled wrong."  You may recognize words here and there, but many words are spelled differently than in the Irish, some might look similar to Irish or sound similar to Irish words but have different meanings.  I say this in the hope of clearing up any confusion.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cu Tailte Preview

This is the magical land of Cu Tailte (with the human town of Bile Eile to the right).  Faerie healer, Keena Mythsinger, who grew up in Cu Tailte and who now lives among the humans in Baile Eile, will talk this week on the blog about the two worlds: human and magical.  Don't miss it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Faerie Who Lives Down the Block

Artist Conception of Cu Tailte

   What does "fairyland" look like to you?  What kinds of beings live there?  What goes on there?

     I don't know what your image of "fairyland"is  but mine is fairly concrete.  I just picture my home.  I grew up in Cu Tailte, a place most humans would call "fairyland" or "an enchanted forest."  Yes, many faeries live in Cu Tailte, but we aren't the only race of beings there.  We share the Five Lands with many other races.  Most of them are magical.

     My name is Keena Mythweaver.  SOBS and Christine Fallon have asked me to talk a bit on this blog about my native land.  But I won't just talk about Cu Tailte.  I have lived for ages in a human town called Baile Eile.  This town is situated right beside Cu Tailte, although few humans are aware of Cu Tailte's existence.  I am a faerie healer and I offer healing to humans who seek it.  Almost none of the humans know that I am a faerie.  They accept me as one of their own and they refer to me as an "herbalist."  I love living in Baile Eile.  It has helped me come to an understanding of human beings that I never would have gotten had I stayed in Cu Tailte.  SOBS hopes that if I talk a little about my land and people, as well as my experiences among humans, that you who read this will gain a bit more understanding of those of us who come from the Otherworld, or as you would say, the magical world of the enchanted forest.    If you have been reading this blog for a little while, you have met my sister, Keira Nightsinger, who is a banshee.  Hopefully, she helped clear up the rumor that banshees are evil and dangerous.  Most are not.  Most are quite compassionate, loving and gentle.  Perhaps I can shed some light on faeries and the others who live in Cu Tailte.  I am a myth weaver, so I know a great many stories, some sad, some humorous.  Please join me next week as I begin to share them with you.  Meanwhile, have a blessed week.

Happy Labor Day!  (Oh, yes, I do know about Labor Day, after all, I labor too!)  Please stay safe.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Banshee Interview #3

An Gra Keira Nightsinger, Banshee

SOBS: Thank you, Keira, for letting us interview you once more.

Nightsinger:  You are most welcome.

SOBS:  When we began the first interview, I addressed you as An Gra Nightsinger.  You have graciously let me call you "Keira."  Let me ask you, though, what does "An Gra" mean?  We use titles such as Mr., Ms. or Dr.  Is it similar to those?

Nightsinger:  An Gra means "Beloved One."  It is not so much a title as it is a term to indicate that you are an accepted member of the community.  It is a custom of the place I come from and has nothing to do with being a banshee.

SOBS:  What a beautiful custom!  Would you tell us a little bit about the land you come from?

Nightsinger:  Yes.  I'm glad that you have asked because many humans think that there is a single place called "Fairyland" where all faeries or so-called enchanted or magical beings live.  There is no such place.  We live all over the world, sometimes near humans, sometimes with them.  Most are unaware of us.  I come from Cu Tailte, which means "The Five Lands."  In four of these lands live beings that humans would call "magical."  There is a fifth land nearby, a human town called Baile Eile.  We refer to ourselves, that is those of us who have what humans would consider magical powers, as the Cinn-gnath.  This means "the normal ones."  We call the humans The Cinn-gann--"those without."

SOBS: Interesting. There is a human folklore belief that if a person sits under an Elder tree on a Midsummer's evening, he or she has a good chance of encountering fairies.  It's said that the chances increase if the person plays music, particularly playing a flute made from an Elder branch, because the fairies love music.  What do you think of this?

Nightsinger:  It's nonsense!  As I said, there is no such place as "fairyland."  If a human wants to encounter magical beings, we are all around.  Humans who want to see us simply need to lower their defenses, let go of disbelief and silly notions and open their eyes.  What I mean by "silly notions" is thinking that all faeries are tiny and have wings and that all banshees are ugly old hags.

SOBS: Speaking of appearances, you do not look at all like the typical Hollywood image of a banshee.  We wanted to put a photo of you on the blog but...

Nightsinger: Yes, I'm sorry, but I don't photograph.

SOBS: So we have an artist's rendering of you.  I'm afraid it doesn't do you justice.

Nightsinger:  That is kind of you to say.

SOBS:  It is true.  You have a light about you that is difficult to describe or portray.  I know that you can't speak with us next week, but we are excited to hear that your sister will be here.  She is not a banshee. Is that correct?

Nightsinger:  No, Keena is a healer and a mythweaver.  She is a keeper of stories and can tell you a great deal about Cu Tailte, if you like.

SOBS: We look forward to meeting her.  Thank you once again, Keira, for clearing up some misconceptions about banshees.

Nightsinger:  Thank you for your graciousness in asking me.  Blessings!

What have you learned about banshees that surprised you?

What would you like to know about Cu Tailte?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Real Emergency

Due to a family emergency, I am unable to write the blog this week.  I'm sorry.  Please check back this weekend for a new post.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Interview With a Banshee Part 2

An Gra Nightsinger is here with us for a second round of interviews.  There are so many questions and so little time for each interview!  We, at SOBS, hope she will be able to come back a few more times.

SOBS: Welcome, Keira.  Thank you again for your willingness to let SOBS interview you.

Nightsinger: You are most welcome.  There are many misconceptions about Banshees and it gives me joy to clear some of them away.  Banshees--well, most of us--love humans and I hope that these interviews will help remove the fear of banshees.

SOBS: Last time, we touched on the question of what exactly a banshee is.  You said that you are a fairy.  I think that would surprise many people who picture banshees as ghosts.

Nightsinger: Well, as I mentioned last time, the word banshee actually means "fairy woman" or "woman of the fairy mound."  It comes from the Irish bean sidhe.  Banshees originate from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although many now live in other parts of the world because they follow their families wherever they go, even across the ocean.  The Scottish Gaelic name for us is bean sith.  I hesitate to mention that because the word sith has come to mean something particular to those who follow a story called Star Wars.  From what I understand, this story world has a race of beings called The Sith who are evil.  It's important that humans understand that we Banshee are no relation to these fictional Sith characters.

SOBS: No, in fact, The Sith of Star Wars and the Banshee have as much in common as the erstwhile band The Beatles and the insects of a similar name.

Nightsinger: Yes.  Now the ghosts that you mentioned and the Banshee do have some things in common.  For example, both generally appear to humans only at night.  This is not because we're only allowed out in the nighttime.  We are around in the day as well.  Humans tend to see us at night because that is when they relax and let their defenses down. This helps them to see through the thin veil that divides the worlds.  Some sensitive humans are able to do this at any time of day, but they are the exception.  There are some ghosts, as I mentioned last time, who take on the duties of a banshee.  The Banshee serves her family by warning them of the impending death of a member.  Then, when the soul passes on, she keens over the body.

SOBS: Keen?  What does that mean?

Nightsinger: To keen is to grieve, to weep and wail over the one who has died.  Until recently, some families in Ireland who didn't have a banshee of their own, would pay women to come keen at the family's funerals. And perhaps this is why some ghosts started acting as banshees--because their family didn't have one.  Whatever the reason, these are usually the ghosts of young women who have died suddenly.  Some have drowned.  Some have been murdered.  Some have died in childbirth.  It's always an unexpected death, a young life cut short.  Perhaps that's why they stay close to their family.  They are not ready to move on.  And then they begin to perform the functions of a banshee.  I don't know for certain, but I believe that in all cases, these are women from families that do not have a banshee of their own.

SOBS: Oh!  There is so little space for these interviews.  Keira, will you please come back again next week and continue to enlighten us about banshees.

Nightsinger: Certainly--unless my family needs me.  I thank you and your readers for your interest and for your willingness to learn the truth about us.  Have a blessed week!

Until you read this interview, how did you picture banshees?

We haven't described Keira.  What do you imagine she looks like?

Monday, July 30, 2012

At Last--Interview With a Banshee

Last Wednesday, SOBS excitedly announced that Banshee Keira Nightsinger had agreed to do a series of interviews with us.  In her eagerness, An Gra Nightsinger had said she would to like start the interviews over the weekend, but early Saturday morning she was called to an emergency and the interview was delayed.  The situation has been resolved and we are delighted now to share the transcript of our first conversation with her.

SOBS: An Gra Nightsinger, thank you for agreeing to talk with us about the true nature of banshees.  

Nightsinger: You're most welcome and please give me joy by calling me Keira.

SOBS: Thank you.  Keira, you were called to an emergency.  Please tell us what happened.

Nightsinger: Oh, yes.  It was a near-tragedy!  My family, the McAshinaghs, has five children.  The youngest child, Ciaran, sleepwalks.  Early Saturday morning, about two o'clock your time, the little boy--he's only four--wandered out of the house.  There is a stream nearby and river goblins inhabit a part of it.  The miserable things usually prey on young women but at seeing little Ciaran, they took the opportunity for easy food and pounced on the poor boy.  Grabbing him, they pulled him into the stream to drown him.  Thankfully, Kyla Reedtender, a Water Sprite who guards another part of the stream heard the commotion and rushed to help the boy, but she couldn't fight all of the goblins herself.  She enlisted the help of a number of Tree Spirits who began battling the monsters.  I, of course, was alerted to the mortal danger Ciaran was in and went to warn the McAshinaghs that the boy was close to dying.  On my way, I asked the Sluaghshee from the grove near the stream to come fight for Ciaran and I called out for my sister, who is a faery-healer.  Well, when the goblins saw the Sluagshee coming, they decided the bit of food wasn't worth it and gave the boy up.  The poor little thing was near-drowned and looked past saving.  But my sister, Keena, is a skilled healer and she worked hard on the boy.  In the meantime, I had awakened the family with my cries and, discovering that Ciaran was missing, they began to search for him.  By the time they found him, Keena had him almost completely healed, just wet, shivering and tired.  The family took him home, dried him off and put him to bed. He's told them about the goblins and the battle, but they think he dreamt it all.  They believe he fell into the stream while he was sleepwalking, that the water awakened him and he pulled himself out.  They will never know how close they came to losing him.

SOBS: Well, thank heaven that there were members of the magical world who fought to save the boy.

Nightsinger: Of course!  Just as with the humans, there are some bad magical beings, but most of us are good.

SOBS: I know that you've gotten very little rest since early Saturday morning, so just a couple more questions today.  First, you talked about the Slughashee.  What is that?

Nightsinger: The Slugashee are a host of faeries.  Some bands of Slugashee are vicious and violent by nature, but the one that lives in Ghost Sprite Grove is made up of well-meaning faeries who only attack those who threaten to harm the Grove or its inhabitants.

SOBS: You mentioned that your sister is a faery.  Most people believe that Banshees are ghosts.  Are you a ghost or a faery?  

Nightsinger: I am a faery.  The word banshee actually means faery woman.  There are some human women who died young, some violently, who have stayed near their families and performed the duties of a banshee.  This might be why humans have come to believe that Banshees are ghosts.

SOBS: Perhaps we can talk about that in more detail next time?

Nightsinger: I would be happy to.

Did anything Keira said surprise you?  What would you like to ask her?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Banshee Emergency

Keira Nightsinger had wanted to do her first interview with us this weekend, but she has been called away on a family emergency.  As soon as she gets back to us and completes the first interview, we'll get it online.  We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Banshee Interview Set

Immediately after I posted the announcement about the banshee interviews, An Gra Nightsinger contacted me to say that she wants to move the date of the first interview up.  Instead of waiting until next week, she is wants to start the interviews this Saturday.  The time hasn't been quite worked out yet, but the first interview post should be out by Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning at the latest.  Exciting!

If you have any questions you'd like to ask An Gra Nightsinger, be sure to post them in the comments section.  Thanks!


C.F., SOBS founder

Banshee Confidential

     Are banshees evil?  Cruel?  Predatory?  Murderous?  If you answered yes, you've been mislead by movies and television.  Unfortunately, this distorted view of banshees has become prevalent in American society.  That is why SOBS (the Society of Banshee Supporters) was formed: to help people understand that banshees are not harmful.  On the contrary, they are compassionate, caring souls who perform an important service for the families they are attached to.

     The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines banshees this way: "a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die."  This definition is accurate.  Notice that it says the banshee's appearance or wailing warns the family.  Somehow, people have come to believe that the banshees cause the person's death. This is completely false.  The banshee doesn't harm the person.  She comes to prepare the family and perhaps the person himself or herself to get ready for the inevitable.  Think about it this way.  A doctor may have to tell someone, "I'm sorry, but you have an incurable cancer."  The doctor has warned the person that he or she is going to die, but the doctor does not bring about the person's death.  The cancer does.  So cast away the thought that banshees seek people out to murder them.  There is a belief that banshees kill people with their screams.  Again, no.  The banshee's wail is not a lethal weapon; it is a cry of mourning and a song of grief.  Can you hear the compassion of these beings?  They want to prepare the family for a death and then they grieve for the person who has died.  Why have people in the entertainment industry portrayed them as evil beings who seek out victims, feed on their sadness, then murder them with a piercing scream?  In a word: money.  A thriller or a horror movie needs a villain and the misunderstood banshee has been shanghaied for this purpose.

In an effort to set the record straight and restore honor to the name of Banshee, Keira Nightsinger, who has served as a banshee for over 20 ages has agreed to be interviewed by SOBS and she is willing to share some of her diary with us.  So please come back for the next blog post as An Gra Nightsinger shares with SOBS her innermost thoughts and feelings, including how she feels about the corruption of the name of Banshee.

If you had an opportunity to interview a banshee, what would you most want to ask her?

Friday, April 13, 2012


     It's time to take action against the defamation of the banshee.  So  I'm forming a new activist group: SOBS (Society of Banshee Supporters).  Please help spread the word that banshees are compassionate, gentle, noble souls, not evil stalking murders as they are often depicted on t.v. shows and movies.  Please join my blog and comment on ways that we can combat the corrupted image of the banshee.  Alternatively, tweet comments to @looneyfilberts on Twitter.  Please consider adding #banshee or #SOBS to the comments to make them stand out.

All ideas to help the banshee are welcome!

Thanks much.  

Blessings, CF

(Note: this movement is meant to be a fun, creative exercise but who knows?  The banshees might thank us for it anyway!)

Fight for the Banshee!

This is a brief extra blog today.

 It happened again.  Another misrepresentation of a banshee.  Another slander to the the good spirits who do such noble work!  A couple of days ago I was watching a t..v. show (I won't mention which one) and the episode was centered around banshees.  The banshees in this show were presented as ugly, vicious beings who fed on the pain of suffering people and then murdered them.  The banshees in the story were made up to look something like anemic vampires, fangs and all.  And the screaming was horrible!  I know that this has become a part of the lore of the banshee but it is inaccurate.  Banshees are not hunters, murderers or vampires.

So today I'm calling for action.  Stop the Banshee Bashing!

Spread the word on whatever social media you use.  Let's set the record straight.  Banshees are good, compassionate souls (see Bane of the Banshee on this blog if you've only ever heard that banshees are bad).

Please join me in fighting to restore the reputation of the banshee!

Intersection of Worlds

    The first time I heard the expression "thin places" was at a Celtic Spirituality workshop.  As soon as the facilitator began to explain what thin places were, I knew exactly what she was talking about.  I had grown up with the belief, but in all honesty, I thought it was just a family belief.

     So what are thin places?  They are spots where the veil between the natural and supernatural worlds is so thin that sometimes you can see or at least sense the other side.  I've mentioned my mother's belief that heaven is not "up there," but is actually all around us.  This fits right in with the concept of thin places.  In Irish folklore, the faery world is thought to be a parallel world that exists in the same space as the natural world.  Most humans, however, aren't able to see or even sense the faeries.  This is similar to what I mean by saying that heaven is all around us.  So all those who've "moved on" are actually still here.  We just don't normally see them.  A thin place, then, is a place where it is easier to connect with them.

     Previously I've mentioned that I believe in ghosts, however, I don't believe in wispy, transparent things or spots of ectoplasm.  I believe in ghosts because I've seen them and and the ones I've seen have been three-dimensional and solid, even though sometimes I've only seen a head rather than a whole body.  From early childhood on, I have had encounters with spirits.  This hasn't been an everyday thing nor is there a pattern to it.  Whenever I've seen a ghost, the experience has been unexpected and usually brief.  Some have been relatives.  Some have been strangers.  Only two have been malevolent.

     Today, the only story I will share is about my father.  He died in 2002.  Both of my parents have gone to heaven now, but Dad was the first to go.  He had  pulmonary fibrosis and died gasping for breath even though he was wearing an oxygen mask.  Of course it wasn't easy to let him go, but I wanted him to be out of the suffering more than I wanted to hold on to him. I firmly believe in heaven, so I knew he would be going to a better place.  Also, I didn't think he was going too far. Since early childhood, I have prayed and I have felt the presence of God, the Blessed Mother and some saints.  I felt an absolute connection with them.  I was shocked, therefore, when my dad died and I couldn't feel him anymore.  I prayed and prayed and tried to talk with him, but I all I felt was emptiness.  This not only depressed me, it shook my faith.  Had that "connection" with God et al just been a creation of my imagination?  This went on for a while.  My mom also was in distress.  She had been visited by her older brother when he died.  Her mother had come with a comforting message when she died.  My dad had been her soul mate, so she expected a reassuring visit from him, but...nothing.

     Then one day I was sitting on my couch, praying with everything that was in me.  I wasn't praying about my dad.  I was upset about some other things that were going on in my life and I was in a great deal of distress. Generally I pray with my eyes closed, but for whatever reason, I opened them at one point and was startled to see my dad's face looking at me.  "Daddy!" I exclaimed.  He seemed surprised that I saw him and he literally pulledl his head back behind the curtain.  I was frustrated that he left and called after him, but didn't see him again. Since that time, however, I have been able to feel his presence when I talk to him.  At times, I will suddenly feel his presence when I haven't been thinking about him.  I don't have to be in distress.  Sometimes I just feel the joyfulness of his presence.  My mom, by the way, also got "a visit" in a dream.  He came and kissed her, then smiling and wrapped in light, he left.

     Now my mom has left to join him.  I only can feel their presences now and then, but I know they are always nearby, right behind the thin curtain.

     Have you ever experienced the presence of someone from the other side?

  Have you ever been in a place where you could sense that there was more going on than you could see?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fairy Ghost?

Is a banshee a ghost or is she a fairy?

Banshee (bean sidhe) means "fairy woman" or "woman of the fairy mound" according to most translations I've seen.  So logically, a banshee is a fairy.  However, some legends say that banshees are women who died in childbirth or were murdered, which would make them ghosts. Right?  Many drawings of banshees picture them as spectral figures.

So what's your position?  Is a banshee a ghost or a fairy?  Could she be a combination?  And what would be the implications of that?

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Bane of the Banshee

Don't make her angry or she'll turn into a banshee.

Have you ever heard anyone say something like this?  I have.  Somehow, in recent years, the word banshee has come to connote a shrew or a woman who is out of control.  Similarly, I've read about about a woman screaming like a banshee.  The poor banshees!  How have they come to be so maligned?

Banshees are not crazy, wrathful, or evil.  They are souls of compassion.  A banshee is devoted to a particular family and appears when the death of a family member is imminent.  She appears both to warn the family of the death and to mourn for the one who will die.  Often she is described as having a wailing cry similar to a strong wind whipping around a house or ripping across moors. Sometimes she is seen.  Sometimes only her cry is heard.  Never have I heard of a banshee who screamed or flew into a crazy fit. Well, on second thought, maybe the "crazy fit" part isn't entirely unjustified.  According to "The Banshee in Ireland," after the family member has died, the banshee may be heard "keening (an Irish word used to describe the wailing that women used to do over the body of a deceased person to ward off evil spirits)" (  Someone wailing over a dead person's body may sound a little crazy.  But the banshee's not crazy; she's only doing her job.

Numerous sources, such as "Wail of the Banshee--Harbinger of Death" by David Kubichek, say that the banshees only attach themselves to members of "one of the five major families of Ireland" (,).  Other sources, such as and, say that if your last name begins with an O or a Mc, you might have a family banshee.

My family, to the best of my knowledge, is not blessed with a banshee, and honestly, I am thankful for this.  Nevertheless, tales of banshees have been passed down in the family.  My mother told me stories she heard from her grandmother, Catherine McGuire Fallon of County Leitrim, Ireland.  I was taught, as I said above, that the banshee's cry, like the sorrowful sound of the wind around the house, can be heard just before someone in the family dies. One element of my family's story that I have never heard nor read elsewhere is knocking. My mother told me that a mysterious knocking, like a knock at the door when no one was there or a knocking in the house that couldn't be explained, would be heard just before someone in the house died.  As a child, having complete faith in my mother's words and a vivid imagination, I spent many sleepless nights after hearing a knocking sound.  Of course it was probably just the house "settling."  But I lie awake, worried that the knocking was for me.  I thought that I had outgrown this fear until the other night when I heard a knocking in my bedroom wall.  Three knocks in the middle of the night.  I still don't know what it was. Whatever it was, no one in the house died, thankfully.

So, as much as it saddens me to see the banshee defamed the way she has been in recent years, I have to admit, I'm happy never to have heard or seen one.  And I hope I never will.

Do you have a family banshee?

Would you consider a banshee a blessing or a curse?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome Lovers of Fantasy!

Welcome lovers of fantasy, Celtic lore, and tales of the mystical!

I am a second-generation Irish-American who grew up with stories of banshees, faeries on the hill, thin places and the Sight.  In my family, the mystical and otherworldly was interwoven with sensible reality.  By "sensible" I don't mean that which is logical or practical.  I am referring to that which is understood by way of the five traditional senses: hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell.  Of course, as any good Celt will tell you, there are more than five senses and, if you allow yourself to be open to your intuition, you will become aware that there is much more to reality than those five senses perceive.

In Irish culture, there is a fascination with the supernatural.  This fascination often goes hand-in-hand with Christianity.  And why not?  For example, I believe in ghosts.  And I see nothing in my Christianity that is incompatible with that belief.  After all, as a Christian, I believe all people have souls and that there is life after death.  And what are ghosts but the souls of those who have passed on?  My mother once told me that she didn't think that heaven was "up there" somewhere.  She thought that heaven was all around us.  I liked this idea of being surrounded by loved ones who have crossed to the other side of the veil, as well as by saints and angels and God.  A couple of years ago, I went to a Celtic Spirituality workshop and discovered that this idea is not unique to my family.  In fact, it seems to be a long-held Irish worldview.  

Given my cultural upbringing, it's perhaps not surprising that my favorite literary genre is fantasy.  I love stories that take me into enchanted forests filled with dragons, unicorns, faeries and other magical beings.  I've also enjoyed the real life banshee, faerie and ghost stories that have been gifted to me from my family and friends.

This blog, then, is dedicated to exploring, remembering and celebrating banshees, ghosts and all things magical in lore and in life.

What is your favorite magical or mystical being or memory?