Observations placeholder

Dr Douglas Hyde - The Sidhe or Tuatha De Danann

Identifier

013957

Type of Spiritual Experience

Vision
Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 1

Background

The source is Dr DOUGLAS HYDE, LL.D., D. Litt., M.R.I.A. (An Craoibhín Aoibhinn), President of the Gaelic League; author of A Literary History of Ireland, and a university lecturer  at the time this was recorded.  This was recorded from RATRA FRENCHPARK, COUNTY ROSCOMMON, IRELAND, September 1910.

A very interesting observation as it implies that the memory of the appearance of all these spirit beings is passed from one generation to the next and helps reinforce the appearance then presented to people when they do actually 'see' them - the template is presented back to them.

 

A description of the experience

The Fairy Folk in Celtic Countries - from the Introduction to Chapter II. Taking of Evidence: II. In Ireland

Of all the beings in the Irish mythological world the Sidhe are, however, apparently the oldest and the most distinctive. Beside them in literature and general renown all other beings sink into insignificance.

A belief in them formerly dominated the whole of Irish life. The Sidhe or Tuatha De Danann were a people like ourselves who inhabited the hills--not as a rule the highest and most salient eminences, but I think more usually the pleasant undulating slopes or gentle hill-sides--and who lived there a life of their own, marrying or giving in marriage, banqueting or making war, and leading there just as real a life as is our own. All Irish literature, particularly perhaps the 'Colloquy of the Ancients' (Agallamh na Senórach) abounds with reference to them. To inquire how the Irish originally came by their belief in these beings, the Sidhe or Tuatha De Danann, is to raise a question which cannot be answered, any more than one can answer the question, Where did the Romans obtain their belief in Bacchus and the fauns, or the Greeks their own belief in the beings of Olympus?

But granting such belief to have been indigenous to the Irish, as it certainly seems to have been, then the tall, handsome fairies of Ben Bulbin and the Sligo district, about whom Mr. Wentz tells us so much interesting matter, might be accounted for as being a continuation of the tradition of the ancient Gaels. I mean, in other words, that the tradition about these handsome dwellers within the hill-sides having been handed down for ages, and having been perhaps exceptionally well preserved in those districts, people saw just what they had always been told existed, or, if I may so put it, they saw what they expected to see.

Fin Bheara, the King of the Connacht Fairies in Cnoc Meadha (or Castlehacket) in the County Galway, his Queen Nuala, and all the beautiful forms seen by Mr. Wentz's seer-witness all the banshees and all the human figures, white women, and so forth, who are seen in raths and moats and on hill-sides, are the direct descendants, so to speak, of the Tuatha De Danann or the Sidhe. Of this, I think, there can be no doubt whatever.

But then how are we to account far the little red-dressed men and women and the leprechauns? ..... Is not the Mermaid to be found in Greece, and is not the Lorelei as Germanic as the Kelpy is Caledonian. If we grant that all these are creatures of primitive folk-belief, then how they come to be so ceases to be a Celtic problem, it becomes a world problem.

The source of the experience

Celtic

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References