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Category Archive for 'Irish Folklore'

Cluricauns

There is much debate about whether cluricauns are simply leprechauns out on an all-night bender after work or a more rambunctious ill-tempered, nocturnal cousin. Cluricauns do resemble leprechauns, aside from a rosy, inebriated blush around the nose and the fact that they are never seen in work clothes. They are known to drunkenly entertain themselves […]

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Irish Love Fairy

The lianhan shee is an Irish love fairy. She seeks the love and dominance of mortal men, and most men find they cannot refuse her. She never yields to them on earth, and they must accompany her to Tir-na-n-Og, the land of forever young, where his passion will destroy him. Many great poets and musicians […]

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Fairy Forts

Fairy forts are found all over Ireland.  They are what remain of the ring forts, dwellings originally dating from the Iron Age to early Christian times.  According to legends, they are magical places, entrances to another world. The white thorn bush which grew in them are also considered magical and anyone who cut the white […]

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Celtic Feast of Imbolc

Feb 1 is the Celtic Feast of Imbolc.  This was celebrated as the beginning of spring and fires were lit in the homes and on the hillside. Cailleach, the hag of winter, would be taken over by Bridget.  If this day was bright and sunny, Cailleach would be seen gathering firewood for a longer winter […]

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Changeling Continued

In 1895, a woman named Bridget Cleary went missing.  After a week of searching the police found her charred body in a shallow grave.  Bridget was the wife of Michael Cleary, a local cooper.  After questioning, they arrested him for his wife’s murder.  Michael insisted that wasn’t his wife, but a changeling who had taken […]

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Changelings

A changeling is a supernatural creature, usually a fairy and often described as ugly and nasty tempered, that has been secretly exchanged for a human baby. In medieval folklore, the idea of a swapped child was quite common, indicating deeply rooted concern about misunderstood reasons for infant death, disease, and disorders. One supposed way to […]

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The Banshee

This female fairy or spirit is often considered to be a harbinger of death or a messenger from the Otherworld. Her loud, sharp wailing is meant as a lament for the foretold death of a member of certain families in Ireland, those with most ancient Celtic lineages. Her cries are also called keening which comes […]

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Celtic End of the Calendar Year

According to the Celts, the calendar year ended on Oct 31 and was considered the most sacred of festivals.    They believed that all laws of time and space were suspended during this time allowing the spirits of the other world to mingle with the living.  The living did not find this desirable so they dressed […]

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Time of the Vine Moon

September 5 to 29 was known in Celtic lore as the time of the Vine Moon. Pictures of grape vines were drawn on garden walls as a symbol to promote fertility in one’s garden.  A common use for vines was to heal burns. The wound was dressed in leaves soaked in spring water.  Each leaf had […]

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Merrows

Good or bad weather, the male merrow sits on a rock scanning the sea for cases of brandy lost by wrecked ships. He’s a friendly fellow with a red nose, probably the result of too much drink. He is a bringer of good luck, wears a red cocked hat and has a green body, green […]

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