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.