Banshee

Banshee 

The Banshee from the Irish bean sí (“woman of the side” or “woman of the faerie mounds”) is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. Her Scottish counterpart is the bean shith (also spelled bean-shidh) The asos sí (“people of the mounds”, “people of peace”) are variously believed to be the survivals of pre-Christian Gaelic deities, spirits of nature, or the ancestors. Some Theosophists and Celtic Christians have also referred to the aos sí as “fallen angels”. They are commonly referred to in English as “faeries”, and the banshee can also be described as a “fairy woman”.

In Irish legend, a banshee wails around a house if someone in the house is about to die. There are particular families who are believed to have Banshees attached to them, and whose cries herald the death of a member of that family. Traditionally, when a citizen of an Irish village died, a woman would sing a lament (in Irish: caoineadh, [ˈkiːnʲə] or [ˈkiːnʲuː], “caoin” meaning “to weep, to wail”) at their funeral. These women singers are sometimes referred to as “keeners” and the best keeners would be in much in demand. Legend has it that, for five great Gaelic families: the O’Gradys, the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, and the Kavanaghs, the lament would be sung by a fairy woman; having foresight, she would sing the lament when a family member died, even if the person had died far away and news of their death had not yet come, so that the wailing of the banshee was the first warning the household had of the death. In later versions the banshee might appear before the death and warn the family by wailing. When several banshees appeared at once, it indicated the death of someone great or holy. The tales sometimes recounted that the woman, though called a fairy, was a ghost, often of a specific murdered woman, or a woman who died in childbirth.

Banshees are frequently described as dressed in white or grey, and often having long, fair hair which they brush with a silver comb, a detail scholar Patricia Lysaght attributes to confusion with local mermaid myths. This comb detail is also related to the centuries-old traditional romantic Irish story that, if you ever see a comb lying on the ground in Ireland, you must never pick it up, or the banshees (or mermaids – stories vary), having placed it there to lure unsuspecting humans, will spirit such gullible humans away. Other stories portray banshees as dressed in green, red or black with a grey cloak.

Air Witch Lore – Sylphs and Fairy Folk

Air Witch Lore – Sylphs and Fairy Folk

Sylphs are the nature spirits that inhabit air. They weave together the fabric of thoughts, dreams, communication, breathing, destruction and secrets. Thought to be offspring of the Sidhe, sylphs are small in stature, transparent, and winged and they move very quickly. Sylphs sometimes take on the form of birds and other times clouds. At one time they were believed to favor virgins with their kinship. It is thought that sylphs control the winds and weather.

The Banshee is a member of the fairy realm that particularly relates to ai. Described as a wailing shrouded figure with red eyes, the Banshee is thought to warn of impending death. Considered by some to be an aspect of the Morrigan, the Banshee is seen as a withered old crone with unkempt gray hair.

Italian folklore presents fairies that like to ride the noonday winds and steal kisses. Similar fairies appear as grasshoppers or as short gentlemen and women who are well dressed. Wind spirits are known to be playful and mischievous.

Modern society views almost all fairies as being of an airborne nature. Tinkerbell, the Disney character, is  manifestation of that view. Magick transports itself primarily through the vehicle of air, although in an etheric form, so the correspondence between the two is reasonable, if a bit misguided.

THE LEGEND OF THE MAIDEN

                    THE LEGEND OF THE MAIDEN

                       The Mysts of Annwfn
                         Book of Shadows

     In Ages long past, the lovely Lady Brighid came to Hibernia
to dwell in that land among her people.  She brought to them many
special treasures from the Outer Realms to enrich their lives.
She gave them the art of Smithcraft, Poetry, and Inspiration.
Brighid also shared a sacred Cauldron that overflowed with
inspiration and love.  She was adept at the healing arts, and in
the Magick of Medicine.  Her people loved her deeply, and kindled
a fire in her honor which was constantly attended by nineteen
maidens, and was never allowed to go out.

     The Lady Brighid eventually became a mother, and her people
rejoiced, knowing their lands would be fruitful just as their
Goddess was fertile.  However, Brighid also knew the misery of
loss.  When one of her beloved sons was killed, the whole land
wept.  She lamented so deeply that she invented “keening,” the
mournful song of the bereaved women of Erin.  Her Flame burned so
brightly, however, that happiness soon returned to the land.  She
bestowed upon her people, yet, another gift:  The Art of
Whistling.

     However, in the fullness of time, the beloved Lady could no
longer dwell openly with her people, and she made her home in the
Sidhe.  There, she would dwell close to her people and her land,
and they could call upon her name at the appointed times, and
keep her Flame burning within their hearts.

              The Eternal Flame continues to burn!