Sunday, 19 March 2006

The Origins of Faeries

I take up this tale around the year 1100 bc. in a country just west of England. I refer to Ireland. Early Irish history was retained orally causing some conflicting information as to what did happen. When Irelands history was chronicled to paper it was done so by Monastic chroniclers of the newly founded Christian Church. Though these chroniclers were churchmen, some were not Monastic causing some of the events to be altered in accordance to the clergies religious beliefs. The tale has been taken from several ancient manuscripts.

Early Irish history is thick with tales of war and great hero`s. We are going to start with what is now known as the Five Waves of Invasion.

The first group of "invaders" to land in Irelands coast was a group of people lead by Partholan . Partholan had fled his country after killing his Mother and Father. Partholans descendants settled between Tallaght and Howth as they are called now. There time in Ireland was short lasting around 30 years before they all contracted a plague and died.

the second group to settle in Ireland was lead by Neimheadh they origionated from Scythia. During the stay of Neimheadh`s people the Fomorians settles in the Northern coast of Ireland and started to try and subdue the Neimheadhians.
Neimheadh later died in Ireland, leaving his people to suffer greatly, eventually leaving Ireland in three groups. (Two of these groups decendants will return).
The third group of people to invade Ireland were some 217 years later were the Fir Bold, escaped Greek slaves. These were the first of Irelands settlers to create an agricultural life style with set laws and a social structure with its Monarchy based at the Hill of Tara. The Fir Bolg are counted as the first to start recording Irelands history.
The Fir Bolg had three leaders who split Ireland into four Provinces, these three leaders had thier own tribes who were later known as the Fir Domhnann, the Fir Gaileon and the Fir Bolg.
They lived at peace in Ireland some 36 years or there abouts before the fourth set of invaders The Tuatha De Danann arrived.
The Tuatha De Danann defeted the Fir Bolgs in the first battle of Mag Tuired. the Fir Bolg fled to the islands of Rathlin, Man, Islay and Arran, later to return ain peace at the start of the Christian era. It has been infered by some that the battle of Mag Tuired ended with both sides agreeing to Peace and friendship.
The Tuatha De danann are thought of as the Fourth wave of invaders. They are known as a people who have mastered all the arts of Wizardry and Magick. It is believed that the tuatha De danann spent some time in the Northern Islands before comming to Ireland, were they learned vast esoteric knowledge. When the Tuatha DFe Danann arrived in Ireland they came with four Talismans.
The Liah Fahil - a graet stone which is said to screech when the King of Ireland stood on it.
The Spear of Lugh - No person could loose a battle regardless of the odds if they held this weapon.

The Sword of Nada - No one could escape this blade once it was drawn.
Finally The cauldron of the Dagda - noone who ate from this cauldron would go away unsatisfied.
The first three groups to invade Ireland came by ship, but it is said that the Tuatha De Dannan were first seen in Ireland when after three days of cloud and rain around the mountain of Conmaicne they decended from the mountain. They are described as being fair of form and gifted in the arts of music, weapon smithing and all the magickal arts.
During the reign of the Tuatha De danann there were many battles for the rulership of Ireland. After years of peace, during the reign of The Dagda, just before the comming of the Milesians (The Celts) is known as the greatest of the De Danann, Lord of knowledge, the Sun and all Sciences.
The Fifth Wave came from the Milesians, lead by Miled. Before the Celts invaded Ireland Ith, Miled`s Uncle was sent to Ireland to report on th Tuatha De Danann. The De Danann thinking that Ith was a spy killed him. On hearing of Iths death the familys of Miled set forth to invade Ireland. After the Sons of Mil as they are also known were hit by a great storm summoned by the De Danann, There fleets were scattered, eventually to Land on Irelands shores.
A great battle ensued were Eremon, Eber joined forces with Meath and eventually defeating the Three kings and Three Queens of the Tuatha De danann, loosing many of their own people in the process. After some time it is said that Taillte left Amergin, (a poet and judge) to devide Ireland equaly between the Milesians and the Tuatha De danann, Amergin having the final say on how this was tio happen as the Milesians helkd the upper hand in the Graet battle having not lost all their leaders.
So it was after carefull judgement that Amergin was to devide Ireland equally in half, The Milesians taking everything above ground and the Tuatha De Danann taking everything Below ground. The Geat immortal Manannan mac Lir was seen to assemble the hosts of the Tuatha De Danann and through the council it was agreed that they should go to their Spirit lands, it was then that the Tuatha de Danann left for the hills of Sidbrugaib so that the Sidh (Faeries) under ground were subject to them, It is still noted by scholors that the Tuatha De Danann still reside in these hills being a magickal race. In time the lack of light and outside influences caused the Tuatha de Danann to deminish in size and their form to change.
Before this time there was no mention of small magickal people in the hillsd of Ireland.

Source: most of the information above came from the book Feary Wicca by Kisma Stepanich

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