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The Secret Commonwealth

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posted on May, 2 2014 @ 05:32 AM
I had a read of The Secret Commonwealth written by Robert Kirk and Andrew Lang in 1893, a Scottish take on all things Fairy based on the traditional lore after seeing this refered to in Jacque Vallee's Passport to Magonia, it's an interesting work so i'd thought i'd share it and some thoughts and considerations derived thereof, and illustrate with some of my own drawings which have something of the Scottish mist about them.

The Nature and Actions of the Subterranean and, for the most Part, Invisible People, heretofioir going under the name of ELVES, FAUNES, and FAIRIES, or the lyke, among the Low-Country Scots, as they are described by those who have the SECOND SIGHT

It is mentioned throughout the work that the Fairies are generally only seen by those with second sight or seers, that it thus takes a certain sort of mind or condition of such to see them.

These Siths, or Fairies, they call Sleagh Maith, or the Good People, it would seem, to prevent the Dint of their ill Attempts, for the Irish use to bless all they fear Harm of, and are said to be of a middle Nature betuixt Man and Angel, as were Dæmons thought to be of old; of intelligent fluidious Spirits, and light changable Bodies, (lyke those called Astral,) somewhat of the Nature of a condensed Cloud, and best seen in Twilight. Thesee Bodies be so plyable thorough the Subtilty of the Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear or disappear att Pleasure. Some have Bodies or Vehicles so spungious, thin, and delecate.that they are said by only sucking into some fine spirituous Liquors, that peirce lyke

Their Bodies of congealled Air are some tymes caried aloft, other whiles grovel in different shapes, and enter into any Cranie or Clif

This relationship to the seers is reinforced by the suggestion that the nature of their form is that of the Astral.

They remove to other Lodgings at the Beginning of each Quarter of the Year, so traversing till Doomsday, being imputent and impotent of staying in one Place, and finding some Ease by so Journeying and changing Habitations. Their chamælion-lyke Bodies swim in the Air near the Earth with Bag and Bagadge; and at such revolution of Time, SEERS, or Men of the SECOND SIGHT, (Fæmales being seldome so qualified) have very terrifying Encounters with them, even on High Ways; who therefoir usually shun to travel abroad at the four Seasons of the Year

This i found very interesting in that they are understood to migrate in some sense with the seasons, that their powers would fade if they stayed in one place, that the phenomena could in some way relate to solar activity.

The Tramontains to this Day put Bread, the Bible, or a piece of Iron, in Womens Beds when travelling, to Save them from being thus Stolen; and they commonly report, that all uncouth, unknown Wights are terrifyed by nothing earthly So much as by cold Iron. They delyver the ReaSon to be that Hell lying betwixt the chill Tempests, and the Fire Brands of Scalding Metals

Metals, and Iron of the North, (hence the LodeStone causes a tendency to that Point,) by ane Antipathy thereto, these odious far-scenting Creatures shrug and fright at all that comes thence relating to so abhorred a Place, whence their Torment is eather begun, or feared to come hereafter

More interesting in that they are given as having aversion to magnetic iron, that this in some way will disrupt their activities and keep them away.

Some Men of that exalted Sight whither by Art or Nature have told me they have seen at the Meetings a Doubleman, or the Shape of some Man in two places; that is, a superterranean and a subterranean Inhabitant, perfectly resembling one another in all Points, whom he notwithstanding could easily distinguish one from another, They avouch that every Element and different State of Being have Animals resembling these of another

The shape shifting doppleganger that walks amongst us was a common theme as was the child exchanged at birth, as well as the women taken to be midwives to fairy offspring, common themes also in the modern UFO phenomena were abduction relates to some ongoing programme to inter-breed with us and pass unseen

Their Apparel and Speech is like that of the People and Country under which they live: so are they seen to wear Plaids and variegated Garments in the Highlands of Scotland, and Suanochs therefore in Ireland. They speak but little, and that by way of whistling, clear, not rough. The verie Divels conjured in any Countrey, do answer in the Language of the Place; yet sometimes the Subterraneans speak more distinctly than at other times. Ther Women are said to Spine very fine, to Dye and Embroyder: but whither it is as manuall Operation of substantiall refined Stuffs, with apt and solid Instruments, or only curious Cob-webs and impalpable Rainbows

With regards to this they were always seen to blend in wherever they lived, they prefer to communicate in whistles though it seems, or perhaps their presence was associated with high pitched frequencies.

if any Superterraneans be so subtile, as to practice Slights for procuring a Privacy to any of their Misteries, such as making use of their Oyntments, which makes them invisible, or nimble, or casts them in a Trance, or alters their Shape, or makes Things appear at a vast Distance, they smite them without Pain, as with a Puff of Wind, and bereave them of both the natural and acquired Sights in the twinkling of an Eye,

They had the ability to put people into a trance and induce general sensory distortion, to alter recollection of time, place and distance.

They are distributed in Tribes and Orders, and have Children, Nurses, Marriages, Deaths, and Burials, in appearance, even as we

Their Men travel much abroad, either presaging or aping the dismal and tragic Actions of some amongst us; and have also many disastorous Doings of their own, as Convocations, Fighting, Gashes, Wounds, and Burials. both in the Earth and Air. They live much longer than wee; yet die at last, or at least vanish from that State.

They are said to have aristocratic rulers and Laws, but no discernible Religion, Love, or Devotion towards God, the blesed Maker of all: they disappear whenever they hear his Name invoked, or the Name of Jesus

In many ways they were seen as a shadow of ourselves, that their affairs are inter-twined with ours, but that they have more concern with magic rather than religion. It will generally be considered these days that they are but a product of our imagination and there's the explanation for it all, but in terms of their modern manifestations they certainly lack nothing in persistence and ingenuity.

I'd certainly agree with Vallee that whatever the modern UFO phenomena is it certainly is the modern equivalent of the Faeries, but the greater question is that the dark shadow of our own mind or does it have it's won independent reality...?

edit on Kam531121vAmerica/ChicagoFriday0231 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 06:48 AM
Hmmm, ya know, Ive never really given this topic much thought. Kudos, my friend.

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 07:32 AM
a reply to: Kantzveldt

Hi Kantzveldt

I love this subject, it's one of my favourites. There's lots of stories in Scotland of fairies, and originally they were normal sized like people - it would be very difficult to tell them apart. There was the Seelie (good) and the Unseelie (not so good) court and it was the really the luck of the draw who you bumped into. There are also peculiar stories of men marrying banshees, the fairy that would wail at the river forewarning of a death.
They do hate iron, which is partly why people used to hang up horseshoes to keep them away - we still remember this although now we just think of it as good luck.
They might just be remnants of stories about more ancient people, but there is a very otherworldly quality about them. They could seduce you with music and then use their 'glamour' to keep you with them. Men who went with them nearly always went for an hour or two, only to find that years had passed on their return to our earthly realm.

Thomas the Rhymer is probably the most famous of those stories.

They are a bit like the ufo stories you hear today - time lapses, wanting items from us etc. Maybe they've just updated

eta: a link to my mother's MIB/fairy story
edit on 2-5-2014 by beansidhe because: ETA link

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 09:18 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

Hi Beansidhe,

how much do you think the hating of iron tradition could relate to local magnetic fields having an affect on their manifestation or not...?

I know you were never supposed to take food or drink off them as that would ensnare you into their world, but yet a lot of their activities were about taking these from ours, which would suggest they want to interact. This might be derivative of eating and drinking certain portions and herbs which took one into the mystical realms as it were, thus a taboo about that, perhaps also music in conjunction as you suggest.

I do think a lot of what is discussed around these parts particularly in the UFO forum with regards to abductions and such forth is the Faeries revisited

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 09:18 AM
The Unseen.

For they frolic in the mysts
leave us unaware of their trysts
No known rhyme or reason
of the madness within a season
To which we belong whistling their songs
I have forth wit been caught within their throngs
Dancing, so entrancing both lithe and lean
All but for a few they are left unseen

They love bananas and oranges, together the creamy sweet and citrus make them laugh...

We often kill our own kind not to mention the life around us so how barbaric we might seem to another race?

You have to wonder that any life form that would live among us would be quick to conceal, to hide and deceive for we can be so violent, cruel and unthinking. But there are those who are not like the herd, who don't understand the society of their peers who do not revel nor find thrill in savage sports inhuman or run the brutality of the race. Perhaps they are allowed a sneaky peek, or perhaps they allow those who would be deemed a loon? In any case they certainly would not announce their presence without the certainty they would be treated properly.

But then they have been here all along...

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 09:37 AM
a reply to: abeverage

Much that goes bump in the night is due to their sense of humour, which could be a little odd by repute, but they could always mimic our ways and suggest any form, generally they don't seem to mean much by it, indeed the crazier the better it often seems...perhaps just want to entertain like Toons.

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:

edit on Kam531121vAmerica/ChicagoFriday0231 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 09:41 AM
a reply to: Kantzveldt

Yes, and there's stories of them wanting milk left out and things because they wanted our food.
As far as iron goes, I'm not sure. I only know they hate it, but I hadn't given it much thought really, as to why they wouldn't like it.
Magnetic fields is...well, very possible. There's a researcher whose name escapes me, but who has spent the best part of 20 years proving that the so-called Roman roads in Britain and France are no such thing. They were made by the 'Celtic' clans who lived and migrated here, and these roads follow magnetic fields. I'll go and dig about and find his story for you.

The other strange thing about magnetic fields is an undecipherable symbol which appears on dozens of the Pictish stones around Scotland - the tuning fork:

Arguably, it's not a tuning fork, just something else we no longer recognise but on every stone it appears on, it looks the same -exactly like a tuning fork. Whether it was for sound or for 'dowsing' energy fields, I couldn't say, but all these links are interesting and suggestive of people who thought about 'fields' of sorts.

They're also only seen by 'seers' as you say, or when otherworld/real world edges blur - like at a death. So whether we just project our unnameable thoughts outwards and then personify them or whether sidhe actually exist is an interesting question. But yes, there's definitely something about an 'unseen plane' about it. I'm just not sure which side is looking through at the other, lol!

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 09:52 AM
Ok, for 20 years, read 5 years and for magnetic fields, read solstice lines lol!
In fact disregard the bit in my post above about the bloke and his celtic roads, but the rest of the post still stands

Link to book review

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 10:01 AM
Is it just childish fancy, wishful illusion? I think for those of us that believe in these things, those doubts are always present. Once upon a time, we didn't always have to doubt ourselves. It was ingrained in provincial life; superstition wasn't always looked upon with disdain as it is now. An old man telling of some strange encounter in a twilit glade was treated with reverence and deference, rather than being mocked. Maybe we just live in the wrong time to believe these things.

As a child I was always attuned to the character of the land, especially land I was intimately familiar with. If I spent enough time in a quiet meadow or by a trickling brook, I called it my own. I knew it like the back of my hand. I heard music in the wind through leaves and the water over stones.

If it was marred by plastic bags, human carelessness and apathy, I was aware. I spent time pondering things, and I spent time just walking, sitting, not thinking at all. I caught every little critter I could find, just to look at it up close and figure out just what kind of a thing it really was. I saw the intricacies of every rock, every minnow, every June-bug and every tree. I heard the birds sing and I could discern every note, I knew which bird called to the other. When the they started building a new house just a 50 yards across the way, the din was obnoxious and irreverent.

All the while I knew there were things I couldn't see, vague shapes flitting through the leaves, just out of sight. A ponderous, wise, towering presence perceived as I sat beneath an old oak tree. And I knew what they were. It didn't matter if other people would believe me, I was sure and that was enough.

edit on 2-5-2014 by Gallowglaich because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-5-2014 by Gallowglaich because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 12:17 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

That's interesting the tuning fork, there is some suggestion the phenomena might be related to electro-magnetic fields and stones with conductivity such as granite but all that pseudo-science is beyond me

a reply to: Gallowglaich

There is the sense of magic of place which turns one's mind to contemplating such things and the presence sensed, and if as you say a place is spoiled then that sort of magic is destroyed, those faeries manifest through natural phenomena then, but i wonder about those that haunt the urban landscape performing nefarious acts of the night...?

edit on Kpm531121vAmerica/ChicagoFriday0231 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 12:58 PM
a reply to: Kantzveldt

Aye it's weird one, the tuning fork, I have to say. Can't help you with conductive stones, sorry, I have absolutely no idea.
I had a quick look through Vallee's book you linked and he seems to think they're the same thing as UFO phenomena, which I suppose they are.

I was having a think about them earlier and the sort of common theme that runs through all the stories is that they exist and that's that - they just do. And secondly, not to be fooled by them. So for example, the fairy horse, like the Kelpie, would try and trick you into riding it so it could drown you by riding into the water. Or they would trick you into raising their babies by leaving a changeling, or trick you into visiting their world or eating their food. They always want to trick you and confuse you so you do what they want, even if their plan seems stupid or pointless to us.
So the 'moral' if you like, was not to listen to any of their 'nonsense' and try not to annoy them, just put up with them and try to live alongside them. Outsmart them if possible, avoid them at best. A strange moral for stories of imaginary beings, I always thought!

posted on May, 2 2014 @ 01:50 PM
Once while tumbling down one of the various rabbit holes I came a across Isobel who swore she could turn herself into A Hare...A Rabbit if you will. She told of the Faerie Queen (Mab, Titania, Lady in White) and her mystical court. She was of course convicted of Witchcraft...

Now if you excuse me, I must quickly forget all this! They say dead men tell no tales, nor do poets escape a tithe to hell when telling a Faerie Tale.

Moth delivers her message unexplained on your collar, crawling in silence a simple excuse...

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 04:48 AM
a reply to: abeverage

It's an excellent case study of what happens when you align yourself with the Elves and Faeries, when you eat and drink what they offer and dance with the lunatic rabbit

Visions of Isobel Gowdie

Maybe this 'White Goddess' is a projectionist that likes to show cartoons...?

a reply to: beansidhe

And don't let them have your teeth or they'll surely clone you and get up to all sorts of mischief...
edit on Kam531122vAmerica/ChicagoSaturday0331 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 05:03 AM
a reply to: Kantzveldt

Oh yeah! OMG!! I hadn't thought of that.......

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 10:58 AM

originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: abeverage
Maybe this 'White Goddess' is a projectionist that likes to show cartoons...?

9th Ray...Blue...Blu-Ray...

When you put this into the context of this universe being a Holographic projection things get really wonky...

If we are a projection or the sprites are, what does that make of consciousness? Are we inhabiting these projects? Are we just playing out the role, our lives, moves and words already scripted yet believing we are making decisions, having our free will?

Waltzing our dance as it were, and if viewed from outside the constraints of linear time all orchestrated previously, each step preplanned written, scripted and executed like clockwork?

I personally like to believe in a multiple choose your own adventure reality. That if this is a learning simulation we are able to get glimpses of alternate realities or true reality (by altering our minds or consciousness). Possibly there is an overlap of realities and the bleed through are the Faerie folk?

Meanwhile I came to the conclusion reality does not matter, only the experiences do! How we live, what we love, what we are put through...

I will just keep saying to the Blue Fairy I only wish to be a real boy...

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:53 PM
a reply to: abeverage

I don't know but i get the general impression 'faeries' are like cartoon characters, light, bright, do all sorts of crazy things but never come to any harm, in some ways they represent archetypes of our and greater nature as projected, can dwell within forms that reflect their qualities, and in some sense retain individuality.

Take for example Snow White and her seven dwarves, aspects of character that needed to work together. In Mesopotamia i think this is what was understood as having all the 'Fifty Divine Powers' which were your fifty secret names also for any self respecting Divinity, the equivalent of having fifty faeries on your team.

This gets stranger when Gilgamesh in his epic puts his head to the ground, and his teeth are as dragons teeth that are sown in the Earth and rise as fifty warriors to fight for him, but it does indicate the fifty as aspects of self in some way, so i don't think life itself is projected but that in some way these can be projected on to an individual.

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 01:57 PM
a reply to: Kantzveldt

I'm quite a fan of Lang's work; it's a great book to read and gives us a slice of a slice of a cultural niche from the past. The sub-cultural consciousness of the regions have changed so much that, for me, it's interesting to compare our period beliefs with theirs. There appears to be an imperative (or incentive) for humans to populate their wildernesses and dark corners with wonderful creatures and entities. In a sense, the 'secret commonwealth' are like players on a stage as they appear in different guises throughout time.

That isn't to say I believe folkloric explanations have all the answers. There are far too many unexplained incidents to rule out the possibility that there's more to the world than we currently know.

Whether the Folk from Elsewhere are real, imaginary or liminal it appears we're slightly overdue for a visit and all the cultural impact that comes with it. Throughout the ages we often seem to have a parallel 'commonwealth' of otherness that defines our humanity and also makes us question our place in existence. I wonder if UFO sightings were the last expression of the otherness? For example, in the late 19th Century and early 20th, we had the seances and spiritualists telling parts of society that the dead walk among us and forcing questions about the value of life. From the 1940s until the 1970s we had the UFOs suggesting superior visitors and forcing some questions upon science.

I sometimes wonder how this otherness will express itself next?

posted on May, 3 2014 @ 01:59 PM
Im just about to dive into all of this, but wanted to thank you for the thread.

I have been looking for information in these regards for a while, though admitedly, not TOO much effort has been put in.

Hopefully some answers will be present.

posted on May, 4 2014 @ 05:12 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

Yes in some ways the 'UFO phenomena' can be seen as a mocking of our activities with regards to space exploration, scientific experiments upon animals and humans, cloning, secretive agendas toward world control, a blurring of lies and truth, black and white, with the resultant 'grays', it is perhaps more the case that we are becoming alien to our own selves rather than aliens are involved, and the faeries kindly point this out.

edit on Kam531123vAmerica/ChicagoSunday0431 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 4 2014 @ 12:21 PM
So, I read the whole The Secret Commonwealth, and honestly, couldnt find anymore information than I already had, which is a bit of a shame. The author seemed far too wary of the Church at the time, but didnt seem to display the outright bigotry either.

I think this mans story may very well be more interesting than The Secret Commonwealth. Actually, Id say he got quite a few things wrong, unless I am something special (there is a chance of that, I suppose).

I used to spend massive amounts of time alone in the mountains and forests, as well as with other people. Undiscovered fauna seemed to have a rather strong attraction to me the entire time, and interestingly, they never had an issue making "contact" without anyone else knowing. Except for a couple times, but I am guessing those were intentional.

One time, when I decided to go backpacking in the dead of winter with a friend, I had one of the more interesting experiences. We had a relatively rough day, since we had to forge through hip deep snow for a few miles (no snowshoes this time, cant remember why). Actually, it was rough because the friend with me was a greenhorn, so to speak. Very frustrating when they can make mistakes like this one did.

Anyway, right when I went to lay down to go to sleep, I saw what appeared to be someone shining a flashlight at the tent. Given the weather, I found this rather odd, but figured it was someone who saw us earlier in the day and decided to check-in (for better or worse). I always sleep with a couple things in my bag, one being a flashlight. So, inside my bag, I tested to make sure it worked and got ready. The light shining on our tent got closer and closer for about 10 seconds until it.. *gasp* came inside the tent! It had the form of a Faerie with a wand. They were floating, but stood about 18 inches tall. I could tell it was a peaceful encounter, and I simply smiled. She then touched my forehead with what appeared to be the wand, and then *poof* was gone.

My flashlight did turn on, fwiw.

My friend had not noticed a thing the next morning. All he wanted to do was get out of the creepy woods. He said he felt he was being watched the entire time, and kept hearing whispers running through the trees. I never did tell him what I experienced though.

Ahhh, what a strange, strange world.

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