Cumbria: land of the lakes, land of the fells, land of the... fairies?
Well, the first two certainly, but you may need more convincing over
the presence of the little people. However the more you look, the more
you find — until it seems that our county is overrun by the little
Lamplugh in West Cumbria was the place not to be if you were
unfortunate enough to suffer with fairy-phobia, for it was in this
parish that four unfortunates were “frighted to death by fairies” some
time between 1658 and 1662. This compares with three old women who met their deaths when they were
“drownd upon trial of witchcraft”, a man whose demise was caused by a
sprain in his shoulder sustained while saving hisdog and a curious
collection of other strange deaths
For a village which had a population of only about 400 people at the
time, the fairies seem to have been pretty prolific serial killers.
This information is recorded in an old manuscript held at Cumbria
Record Office, Whitehaven, and purports to be a list of deaths taken
from the parish register of Lamplugh from “Janry ye i, 1658 to Janye ye
The foolscap-size document is undoubtedly old, and browned with age,
but there’s not too much evidence to back its authenticity, and any
campaigns for justice for the Lamplugh Four may run in to murky waters.
But that’s not to say that four people weren’t so scared that they
dropped dead on seeing the little people — stranger things have
happened.Like a calf floating through the air, high over the sea, coming from the direction of the Isle of Man, as seen by aWhitehaven man standing on what used to be called Fairy Rock near Saltom Pit. What this unnamed man was witnessing, according to William Dickinson’s Cumbriana, 1876, was the “last fairy to be seen in Whitehaven”. The calf landed on the rock next to the man, who was so astonished that he exclaimed: “G-d! weel loppen cofe!” At the sound of the sacred name, the calf disappeared, and no fairy has been seen from that day to this in Whitehaven. Fairy rock was broken up in one of the violent storms of January, 1872, so clearly Whitehaven has been forsaken by the fairies for a very long time. But why an apparition of a calf should be described as a fairy is unknown. The last appearance of fairies in Cumbria is said to have been in 1850. Jack Wilson saw them pack up and leave for good one moonlit night, at Martindale, above the shores of Ullswater. His tale is told in Jeremiah Sullivan’s......
: He was said to have predicted the death of King Alexander III, the battle of Bannockburn and the succession of a Scottish king to the English throne. Such is the chilling accuracy of his supposed soothsaying that the fame of Thomas the Rhymer, Scotland's own Nostradamus, has lasted more than 700 years after his death.The folk-rock band Steeleye Span sang of him, and the 19th-century Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov claimed to have been descended from him.The rhymer - Thomas Learmont of Erceldoune, now Earlston in the Borders - certainly had a lastingeffect.
As late as the 1600s, his prophecies were still significant, being used to shore up James VI's claim to become the monarch of England as well as Scotland, and even in the 18th century they were consulted before both Jacobite rebellions.
goes that Thomas, who is thought to have been born around 1220, had a
favourite tree that he liked to sit under and one day he "beheld a lady
gay, a lady that was brisk and bold, coming riding o'ver the ferny
The woman in question
turned out to be none other than the Queen of the Fairies and,
according to a ballad written 50 to 100 years after his death, the pair
engaged in enthusiastic love-making before riding off to her home in
Elfland, although some more chaste accounts say they merely kissed.
After seven years in
Elfland, Thomas returned to theland of mortals and was given an apple
as a parting gift by the Queen who told him it would "give thee a
tongue that can never lie". And so "True Thomas" was born as a
soothsayer, which means truth-sayer, with the power to predict the
future. Scottish historian Professor Ted Cowan of Glasgow University
says: "The thing that really impressed people was he was supposed to
have predicted the death of Alexander III, who was a contemporary. That
gets him up a few notches because Alexander actually died [when Thomas
predicted]. I imagine there were people who said they were around when
Thomas the Rhymer told Alexander he wasn't to visit his lady [the
Queen] that night. Also, he is known in the Highlands and the Lowlands,
which is unusual. Usually these guys are very local."
The death of Alexander in
1286 and subsequent death of his last remaining......
The Faerie Faith is a complex Pagan tradition, with its own mystical system, that of the Beth-Luis-Nion Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar. It is impossible to understand any one part of the tradition without looking at all of the tradition's different components. I will try to introduce some concepts that should be kept in mind while reading this paper.First, the Faerie Faith is a Dianic tradition, and as such places emphasis on the feminine in humanity, in nature, and in God. For ease of reading, all pronouns will be in the feminine, according to that tradition.For example, "High Priest or High Priestess" will be referred to simply as "High Priestess, " unless noted otherwise. Similarly, pronounssuch as "he or she, " and "his or her, " will be referred to as "she, " or "her, " respectively.
It should be noted that individuals of both genders can and do enter the training of the Faerie Faith.
Beth-Luis-Nion system is a mystical system, and therefore it is
difficult to understand in a purely intellectual way. In many ways it
is comparable to the Qabalah. Israel Regardie describes the Qabalah as,
"a trustworthy guide, leading to a comprehension both of the Universe
and one's own Self" (Regardie i). Similarly, the Beth-Luis-Nion system
is a beneficial system that leads to an understanding of Nature, and a
personal transformation of the student. It is this goal of personal
transformation and balance that all students work towards on their
journey through the mysteries of the Celtic Lunar TreeCalendar.
This paper serves as a
simple introduction to the Faerie Faith and the Beth-Luis-Nion system.
The Faerie Faith is a living, evolving tradition, and therefore may
change in the future. This paper describes the Faerie Faith as it is
currently practiced, as well as the current understanding of the
Beth-Luis-Nion calendar. Also, much of the information I present here
may appear juvenile in the future, as I learn more. This is not an
exhaustive paper. Please consult the bibliography to learn more on the
research presented here.
The Faerie Faith is a
tradition that has branched off from the McFarland Dianic tradition.
Through Mr. Mark Roberts and the High Priestess known as Epona, the
Faerie Faith has been handed down over the years. What follows is a
summary of the historicaldevelopment......
Fairies have been dancing in the garden of a Staverton couple, according to ancient English folklore. A large fairy circle has appeared in the lawn of Tom and Sue Gaylard's home in School Lane. Mrs Gaylard, 85, said: "It amazed me. I had never heard of it or seen anything like it before and I couldn't believe it."The perfect ring of mushrooms, know as a fairy or pixie circle, first appeared about three years ago and has re-appeared annually, each time getting bigger.Mr Gaylard, an 85-year-old retired railway worker, has lived in Staverton with his wife for more than 20years. He said: "We don't believe in fairies of course but it is known as that.
We didn't really pay much attention to it but then our daughter-in-law saw it and ran out to make a wish in it."
gone past the rings, some of which are hundreds of years old, defied
explanation spawning a host of legends in countries around the world to
explain their presence.
In English folklore the
rings were said to be caused by fairies dancing in a circle, wearing
down the grass beneath their feet. Toads would then sit on the worn
down areas, poisoning it and allowing the fungus to grow - hence the
In Sussex, fairy rings were
called hag tracks', while in Devon it was believed that fairies would
catch young horses in the night and ride them round in circles.
InDenmark elves have been
traditionally blamed for the rings while in parts of Austria they were
thought to be the result of land being scorched by the breath of
The rings are in fact
naturally occurring circles of fungi that can grow up to 10 metres in
diameter. They are caused by fungi under the ground casting out spores
in a circular pattern resulting in the distinctive ring.
In some cases the fungi remain underground and the ring is marked by discoloured patches of grass.
The circles, which can appear anywhere, can be formed by an estimated 50 different species of mushrooms and toadstools.
Most cultures regard the rings as lucky, with their benefits as diverse as granting wishes to improve your looks.
Although their true origins
have been known since the 18th century thecircles ar......