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© andrew paciorek :: strangelands :: 12 – Another World: Fairies, Ghosts and Witches

A ghaoil, leig dhachaigh gum mhàthair mi;
An tòir chrodh-laoigh a thàine mi.
Troididh m'athair 's mo mhàthair riut,
Troididh mo chinneadh 's mo chàirdean riut,
ach marbhaidh mo thrùir bhràithrean thu
mura tèid mi dhachaigh mar thàine mi.


WHAT IS a water horse?  And is that the same as a kelpie? Why were people said to be "away with the fairies" and what can changelings have to do with that parallel world?  Where do the Fingalian heroes feature in all of this? And what is the connection with the story of Rip van Winkle?
Despite today's confused mass of spirits, goblins, sprites, stories of heroes and second sight, and a plethora of other phenomena, the Gaelic otherworld was a carefully classified series of parallel worlds, one of which has been perceptively described as performing the same function as today's TV soaps.
We unravel the mysteries and confront the mysterious at famous witch sites like Beinn a’ Bhric and the Sound of Mull and the location of fairy hills at Schiehallion to show you why these beliefs were so important.
My love, let me go home to my mother;
I came only to fetch the cows.
My father and mother will scold you,
my friends and relations will scold you,
but my three brothers will kill you
if I don't go home intact.

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