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Observations placeholder

Eddie Mooney digs up fairy ring



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Joe Cassidy

The Diviner

Eddie Mooney made his living by driving machinery. He was getting plenty of work, so he borrowed money to buy new machinery. He was doing work for a property developer and for the first few weeks he was paid regularly and there was no problem.

Then, one day, he was asked to dig up a piece of land. When the developer pointed the land out to him, Eddie noticed that it had a fairy ring on it. He mentioned this and the man made it clear that this wasn't a request, it was an order, and that if Eddie refused to do the job he would not get his final payment, which included money he had already earned.

Now, Eddie was a country man. He knew that such sacred land should never be tampered with. He knew that if he did so, he would be inviting bad luck. But he needed the money. Nevertheless, he said, 'I can't touch that land. I won't. Under no circumstances.'

The property developer went red with anger. 'It's up to you. If you don't do it, you won't get paid. End of story.'

And he walked off.

Eddie walked round, deep in thought. He wondered how he would go home and tell his wife there was no money. How would he explain it to the hire purchase company?

'I was put in this terrible position,' he told me. ‘I drove my machine to the fairy ring and dug the bucket down into the earth, then I had second thoughts. I decided to think it over during the night, so I left the site. That's all I remember.

‘Why? What happened?'

'Well, I was still thinking about my dilemma as I was driving home. I thought, I'm in a fair predicament here. And the next thing I remember I woke up in hospital.'

'In hospital? Whatever happened?'

'I ended up in a ditch. I don't know how'- I don’t remember. I was found at nine that night by a passer-by.’

Eddie was badly injured and spent a long time in hospital, so there was no money coming in anyway.

'When I eventually came out of hospital, I went down to collect my machine. I knocked on the property developer's front door, and he answered. He'd obviously been made aware I’d had an accident. When I told him that I was there to collect my machine, he said, "I've bad news for you.’’ "What do you mean?" I asked him.'

‘And what did he mean?'

‘Well, he told me that the evening I'd left there, the evening I’d had that crash, I'd not been long gone when he smelt smoke. He looked out of the window of his house and saw that my machine was on fire.'

'I don't believe it! Hadn't you enough bad luck already?'

'Hadn't I. The machine was destroyed - and there was no reason for it that I could see. It hadn't been doused with petrol and it hadn't ever given any trouble before. I'm just glad I went with my gut feeling and didn't do any further digging that day.'

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Sacred geography

Activities and commonsteps



 Cassidy, J. The Diviner, Dublin: Penguin 2012