|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?