Practical Pagans

Paganism…with Common Sense

Celtic Cosmology: Perspectives from Ireland and Scotland

Title: Celtic Cosmology: Perspectives from Ireland and Scotland Editors: Jacqueline Borsje (Editor), Ann Dooley (Editor), Séamus Mac Mathúna (Editor), Gregory Toner (Editor) Publisher: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies Published: April 1st 2014 ISBN: 0888448260 (ISBN13: 9780888448262) Pages: 324 including Bibliography. Synopsis: From the deep sea to the waters above the sky, from the world beneath our feet to the promised […]

Fairies of the Battlefield

In Irish mythology, particularly the Ulster cycle we see references to certain groupings of fairies that appear on the battlefield, although they are obscure figures. For example in this passage from the Táin Bó Cuiligne: “Crothais a scíath & cressaigis a slega & bertnaigis a chlaidem, & dobert rém curad asa bragit, co ro recratar […]

Oisín – Liminal Lord

  One figure form Irish mythology that doesn’t tend to get as much attention in modern paganism is the Fenian hero Oisín, son of Fionn Mac Cumhail. Oisín falls into the grey area that many of the characters in the non-Mythic cycles may fall into, where he is not obviously a God but he is […]

Ljósálfar, Dökkálfar, and Svartálfar; A Brief Overview of Elves in Norse Myth

Discussing the Álfar is complicated because they appear in mythology as both one cohesive grouping and subdivided into more specific groupings. Often in Norse myth we simply see references to the Álfar, often paired with but distinct from the Aesir, giving us phrases like in the Voluspo “How fare the Aesir? How fare the Álfar?” and […]

Seeking Advanced Practice

  I see a lot of people who are looking for more advanced material – and fair enough the market is glutted with beginner books that often enough repeat the same things over and over. People read one or two beginner books and then want to move on, to read that next step that will […]

Fairy Resource List

When it comes to studying fairy beliefs and trying to learn about fairies finding good resources can be real challenge. I’ve offered suggested reading lists before but this time I wanted to take a more multi-media approach. This is only a small list of suggestions, as a truly comprehensive one would take more space than […]

Purification and Cleansing of Baneful Energy

People sometimes ask about the concept of purification and cleansing in a Celtic worldview, and like most Indo-European based cultures there did seem to be one. The idea that the world contains both energy that is beneficial to people and should be encouraged and energy that is harmful to people and should be protected against […]

What Do Fairies Look Like?

The idea for today’s blog was partially inspired by a discussion with a friend on social media that sprung from a quote I posted, from my book ‘Fairies’: When you imagine what a fairy looks like, what do you picture? For most people the mental image is strongly shaped by pop-culture and artwork, and these […]

Excerpt from the Cath Maige Tuired

Cath Maige Tuired 1. Batar Tuathai De Danonn i n-indsib tuascertachaib an domuin, aig foglaim fesa ocus fithnasachta ocus druidechti ocus amaidecchtai ocus amainsechtai, combtar fortilde for suthib cerd ngenntlichtae. 2. Ceitri catrachai i rrabatar og fochlaim fhesai ocus eolais ocus diabuldanachtai .i. Falias ocus Gorias, Murias ocus Findias. 3. A Falias tucad an Lia […]

Fairylore in the Ballad of Tam Lin: an overview

One of the most significant Scottish ballads, from a fairylore perspective, is undoubtedly Tam Lin, which can be found under variant names and versions dating back to 1549. As eminent folklorist Katherine Briggs puts it “It is perhaps the most important of all supernatural ballads because of the many fairy beliefs incorporated in it.” (Briggs, […]

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