Did you know there is a long-held belief that the fairy are repelled by iron?
In fact, many of our ancestors walking late at night would carry an iron rod in their coat pocket for protection in case they were to cross paths with a fairy on their journey.
I’m not sure how they would use this iron rod to rid themselves of a pesky fairy, surely not try to whack it?
Certainly, if you whacked the fairy it might buy you time to run away, but if you swing and miss, you could have a very angry fairy on your hands with nothing but your wits to help you.
Perhaps the idea was to hold the bar between yourself and the fairy and this would cause the fairy to simply go away. We know that in days gone by it was common for parents to lay an iron rod or open scissors over the cradle or bed of their baby or young child.
It was said this would prevent the fairy from abducting the baby. But would it really work?
The answer could be found in this story provided by Grace from Toronto, Canada.
Don’t believe in Fairy abductions? My Granny would have a sit down with you and soon set you straight.
From the very day of her birth, Granny’s parents carefully lay their iron fire-poker across the basket she slept in. They were believer’s you see, in the Good People. Well, wasn’t everyone back then? But times have changed and now there are fewer who believe. Who knows, maybe the Good People like it that way. My Granny thinks so and she says she should know.
“I’ve lived one foot in our world and the other foot in theirs” so she says. You see, when Granny was but a few months old, the Good People tried to steal her away.
Without a drop of whiskey on her breath, she’ll tell you that she was asleep in her wee basket when there was a commotion out back of her parent’s cottage. They lived in County Limerick at that time, it was a farm, with mainly sheep she says, and anyway, all hell had broken loose tween sheep and dogs and Granny’s Mam and Pop upped and ran outside to see the damage.
As it happened, there was nothing to see, nothing at all. It had been nothing but bluster, for the sheep and dogs were only calm and dozey. Which was strange in itself.
Granny’s Mam was pretty canny, and she hightailed it back to the cottage to find Granny, still wrapped tight in her blanket, laying at the threshold at the front door. Fast asleep. Across the room from her basket.
When she was older, Granny was told by her parents that the Good People had distracted them so they could steal her away for she was ‘touched’, having one blue eye and one green you see. Only they couldn’t get her out from the cottage on account she’d been baptized.
Granny will tell you the iron bar did nothing to keep the Good People from reaching in her basket and what's more, it wasn’t true, her being baptized. It’s what her parents told anyone who asked, but in truth, she was yet to be baptized and only a day or two after the ‘visit’ as Granny calls it, her parents took her on the quiet to the Priest for to get the job done.
So we can only guess that the Good People dropped Granny to the ground when they heard her Mam approaching. I think Granny enjoys telling the story and wears it as a kind of badge actually.
It is remarked by many who have known Granny that she has lived a charmed life on account of her touch by the Good People. There could be something to that, she is nearing 100 years old after all and as bright and feisty as ever before.
- Toronto, Canada.
If we are to believe Grace’s Granny, neither iron or baptism will provide protection from the Good People. It seems if they have their mind set on abduction, or meddling in the lives of Humans, there is little we can do to stop them.
But, there may be plenty we can do to appease them.
We know that the Good People favor ancient sites such as ring forts, standing stones, and wells. It is also widely accepted they dwell in or near places of natural beauty, rivers, woodlands, oceans, forests and the like and treasure particular trees such as the Hawthorn and Rowan.
There is much we can learn from this. Clearly, if you want to avoid the Good People altogether staying within the concrete and steel of an inner city is your best bet, but even then you shouldn’t get complacent. For every city has its trees and parks, ponds and lakes. You never know who might be lurking up a tree or behind a bush.
Surely the best advice to avoid ‘wicked’ attention from the Good People is to live your life in a way which does not offend or annoy them. It’s not so hard to score some Brownie points (‘scuse the pun) and keep the Good People on the side. Here are 2 quick and easy tips to help you on your way:
Tip One: We know they love nature, so it follows no self-respecting Faerie would bring harm to the door of a Human who cares for their environment. Tidy up after yourself, recycle, upcycle, downcycle, cycle to work or school, pick up rubbish in the park, in drains or grates to avoid waste entering the sea or rivers and tend your own garden, even if it’s a single pot plant. This is certain to please them.
Tip Two: It is known that Faerie will take vengeance on Humans who are cruel or neglectful of animals and even each other. Be kind, in words and actions. Particularly to those who are vulnerable, the very young and very old, the injured, the lost or lonely. If the Faerie see your kindness, who knows, they might leave some good fortune at your own door.
Bonus Tip: Do not try to hit a Faerie with an iron bar, or anything else for that matter. There may be much we don’t know about the Faerie but one thing is absolutely certain, you would live to regret it.
If you would like to read more tales of Faerie encounters, or share your own story of an encounter, sighting or experience regarding the Faerie of Ireland, contact Kitty at faerieofireland.com
Or if you fancy a friendly chat about the Faerie of Ireland, tune into Kitty’s Podcast ‘Encounters with the Good People’ at faerieofireland.com/podcast
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