My Interview about Time Slips, Synchronicity, and a ‘Fairy Portal’

As promised, my interview with host Timothy Renner of the Strange Familiars podcast has now dropped: “Episode 395, Time Slips and Portals.

You can play it on the site or download it. [1]I always download podcasts and shuffle them onto and off of my iPhone, because I do not always listen in sequence and I don’t want the petty tyranny of some app saying, “Do you still want … Continue reading

I tell three stories of “time slips” that happened when I was much younger — just making a start as a journalist, just married . . .

One happened in a medieval castle in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, which apparently is well-known to paranormal investigators now, but maybe not so back then, when it was quiet and dusty.[2]And the Celtic Tiger was just a blue-eyed kitten. Not only was my experience temporarily overpowering, but it was “sealed” by a knock-out synchroncity the following year.

One occurred at highway speed on the I-95 bridge over the Susquehanna River. Again

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, it looped around and re-appeared over a business lunch in Colorado Springs.

The third, closest to home, happened when I was gathering the stories that went into a little book called Ghost Tales of Cripple Creek.[3]The cover photo was taken from a house owned by the famous astrologer Linda Goodman, for what that is worth.

And then jump forward to 2019, when M. and I were mushrooming, and, it would appear, Someone decided to teach me to be a little more respectful. Or something.

I did not see Anyone, but I did see “the ravine that was not there,” and for a moment almost entered it. The thought of doing that — and beckoning M. to join me — gives me chills even now three and a half years later.

And if my voice sounds a little scratchy, you can put that down to spring allergies.

Notes

Notes
1 I always download podcasts and shuffle them onto and off of my iPhone, because I do not always listen in sequence and I don’t want the petty tyranny of some app saying, “Do you still want to subscribe to Podcast X? You have not listened in three weeks!”
2 And the Celtic Tiger was just a blue-eyed kitten.
3 The cover photo was taken from a house owned by the famous astrologer Linda Goodman, for what that is worth.

My Next Possible Podcast Appearance

The “Awoken Tree” logo of the Strange Familiars podcast.

I like to listen to podcasts. Where were all these good ones when I had to drive an hour and a half each day, three days a week?

But I don’t have the time or desire to make my own. Being more of a behind-the-scenes guy these days, not a group spokesman or online influencer or (currently) having to book to promote,  I don’t get asked to appear on them either.

There was one time last October, or “Pagan History Month” as you might call it, when I was contacted by a staffer for Alie Ward’s Oologies podcast to talk about Paganism.

It did not go well. She seemed like a blank slate without even a list of questions for me. Judging from some of her other episodes (I tried to get a feel for the podcast), she wanted a fairly serious approach, so I start in discussing nature religion, polytheism, etc.

Then I discover that there was a chat room going all the while – which I could not see — and people were asking questions like “How do I start a coven?” Which is perfectly fine, and I would have been happy to come in on that level too. (I did co-found a coven, after all.)

The episode never aired, surprise, surprise. No one bothered to tell me it was shit-canned, but silence speaks volumes.

But I have hopes for Strange Familiars. This paranormal-focused podcast has been one of my top three faves since early 202o or whenever I discovered it. That’s the logo up above

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, the “Awoken Tree.”

If all goes well, I will be interviewed next week about three “time slip” experiences and one “fairy portal” experience. No actual members of the fair folk. Sorry. At least not that I saw. I seem to be fairy-adjacent, just like I am Bigf0ot-adjacent.

I’ve been writing notes all day, which leads into things like looking at drone videos of Irish villages that I visited before there were commercial drones or internets. Back when the “Celtic Tiger” was just a kitten.

If it happens as planned, I will post a link.

Forget Ecotourism—Try Fairytourism

Part of Pat Noone’s farm (Agriland)

Ecotourism often involves naturalist-guided tours of relatively wild areas, but also visits to small-scale agricultural producers, also called “agritourism.” Sometimes this operates in a B&B fashion. See, for example, the state of Vermont’s guide.

But never mind milking cows and picking berries. Suppose you could offer encounters with the Other Crowd?

Pat Noone, a Irish farmer in County Galway, is almost there already.

A lot of people come here to see the fairies in this field and they get great experiences here.

“I have the porthole to the fairy world, where the blackthorn meets the whitethorn.”

Noone says that people come to the area and get great experiences of peace, joy, healings and some “find emotions here”.

According to Noone, the members of the aos sí (fairy world) speak normal English to him, as it is the only language he has – but that they “will speak any language you want to speak”.

The fairy fort is a place where the fairies “live and congregate”.

I’ve seen the fairies here on a lot of occasions – playing music, having a drink and dancing.

“They look like the image of yourself – whatever height you are, they will be that height. They are the very same image as us, when they want to show themselves.

“A lot of the time they don’t show themselves and they have shown themselves to people that were here and didn’t show themselves to me.”

Pointing to the branches of the fairy tree in the field, Noone explains that a lot of people tie bits of material as a “thank you or a wish to the fairies”.

“I generally give them [visitors] pieces of rushes from now on; I don’t give them anymore cloths because the whole place was covered in cloths.”

Noone feels that he gets great inspiration when he goes to the field.

I go in here [wondering] about when to sell livestock and that’s only the farming end of it. Just to know when to sell and be ahead and thank God this year I obeyed them [fairies] – I’m well ahead before the lockdown.

“Of course I believe in it – it has helped me in farming a lot.”

I like that this article appeared on Agriland, “Ireland’s Largest Farming-News Portal.”

How the Irish Invented Halloween (But Americans Saved It)

Friend-of-this-blog Jenny Butler (University College Cork) leads off this RTE video on “How the Irish really invented Halloween.” (You can watch a larger version at the link.)

Also, divination with snails.

The Morrigan, Therapy, and Female Self-Narration on Social Media

Idealized interpreation of the Morrigan
The Morrigan (great queen, sometimes seen as a trio of goddesses. (DePaul University.)

From The Pomegranate’s special issue on Paganism, art, and fashion, here is a link to Áine Warren’s article, “The Morrigan as a ‘Dark Goddess’: A Goddess Re-Imagined Through Therapeutic Self-Narration of Women on Social Media.”

Áine Warren
Áine Warren, U. of Edinburgh

It and other Pomegranate articles are currently available as free downloads.

Here Áine Warren talks about her research on women and the Dark Goddess.

A related blog.

An article on Pagans, the Morrigan and YouTube,
from the Journal of Contemporayr Religion.

Bejayus, It’s the Eco-Fairies

In the last of the four-part post about “the cousins” (start the series here), I raised the question of what do fairies look like.

Here is the man who knows, says the (Irish) Independent:

“I kind of expect it. When I was younger if I hadn’t seen them, you’d think there was something wrong. I’ve seen them on a good few occasions after that.”

Galway farmer Pat Noone is used to encounters with the Good Neighbors, and he says they sent him a message.

“I was coming down after looking at the cows in that 16-acre field. I heard the music and saw the fairies dancing and I went over and got talking to them. They talked English to me, I had no problem talking to them. They told me they just wanted me to keep the land the way it was, and told me not to take any of the bushes out. I listened to the music and I went home.

“I have great luck with the stock, with farming, you’ll have your ups and downs with sick animals and nature takes its course, but overall I’ve had very good luck with the farm. And I don’t use any chemicals or sprays. That’s what the fairies told me. I use no weed killers at all whatsoever. It’s not the modern farm that people expect, I let the ditches grow naturally and then trim them back with the saw. It’s left naturally here.”

Chemical-free farming. That is what They want, and you should know better than to cross them.

A Festschrift for Ronald Hutton

Magic and Witchery: Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of ‘The Triumph of the Moon’ will be published in September by Palgrave Macmillan.

I love rolling the word Festschrift around, and if you are not used to it, this is what it means: “In academia, a Festschrift  (plural Festschriften) is a book honoring a respected person, especially an academic and presented during their lifetime. It generally takes the form of an edited volume, containing contributions from the honoree’s colleagues, former pupils, and friends” (Wikipedia).

From the publisher:

This book marks twenty years since the publication of Professor Ronald Hutton’s The Triumph of the Moon, a major contribution to the historical study of Wicca. Building on and celebrating Hutton’s pioneering work, the chapters in this volume explore a range of modern magical, occult, and Pagan groups active in Western nations. Each contributor is a specialist in the study of modern Paganism and occultism, although differ in their embrace of historical, anthropological, and psychological perspectives. Chapters examine not only the history of Wicca, the largest and best-known form of modern Paganism, but also modern Pagan environmentalist and anti-nuclear activism, the Pagan interpretation of fairy folklore, and the contemporary ‘Traditional Witchcraft’ phenomenon.

Here are the contents:

1. Twenty Years On: An Introduction — Ethan Doyle White and Shai Feraro, editors

2. The Goddess and the Great Rite: Hindu Tantra and the Complex Origins of Modern Wicca — Hugh B. Urban

3. Playing the Pipes of PAN: Pagans Against Nukes and the Linking of Wiccan-Derived Paganism with Ecofeminism in Britain, 1980–1990 — Shai Feraro

4. Other Sides of the Moon: Assembling Histories of Witchcraft —Helen Cornish

5. The Nearest Kin of the Moon: Irish Pagan Witchcraft, Magic(k), and the Celtic Twilight — Jenny Butler

6. The Taming of the Fae: Literary and Folkloric Fairies in Modern Paganisms — Sabina Magliocco

7. “Wild Nature” and the Lure of the Past: The Legacy of Romanticism among Young Pagan Environmentalists — Sarah M. Pike

8. The Blind Moondial Makers: Creativity and Renewal in Wicca — Léon A. van Gulik

9. “The Eyes of Goats and of Women”: Femininity and the Post-Thelemic Witchcraft of Jack Parsons and Kenneth Grant — Manon Hedenborg White

10. Navigating the Crooked Path: Andrew D. Chumbley and the Sabbatic Craft — Ethan Doyle White

11. Witches Still Fly: Or Do They? Traditional Witches, Wiccans, and Flying  — Chas S. Clifton

12. Afterword — Ronald Hutton