Monday, August 31, 2015

Neptune--Dance of Deception: What Are You Fooled By? How Do We Deceive Ourselves?

  By Susan Sheppard
Astrologers have long recognized the qualities of the planet Neptune as ones that govern the mystical sides of life, the riches of the imagination and our ability to be compassionate. Neptune dissolves boundaries which means it is the planet of oneness. But Neptune's lack of clarity can also bring on confusion and self-delusion.  We’ve all been there, seeing what we want to in the face of what reality shows us, which does not align with the vision.
Since Neptune is connected to fantasy and story-telling, the placement of this watery planet in our natal chart is where we tend to lie to ourselves. If Neptune is strong enough, you may also lie to others without the awareness of doing so.
We all have a Neptune which falls in one of the houses in our natal birth charts. So how is it that we plunge into Neptune’s self-deception? What are you fooled by? Where is your basis of reality and truth challenged?
You will need to have your natal birth chart to find out where Neptune was when you were born. You can get a free chart by going to this link:  Look for the symbol which looks like a pitchfork and see which house it falls in.


Neptune in the 1st House   This placement causes you to be greatly talented, connected, even visionary but it truly circumvents your ability to see clearly and reason effectively. The shadow side to this would be a belief that religion, being spaced-out or drugs can somehow save you from harsh realities.  As a lover of peace and all things beautiful, shunning the ugliness of what life on this cosmic bit of dirt can sometimes send you into escapism-- instead of facing your issues head on. Best use of this Neptune placement is through art and showing love to the infinite which you see in all people. In many ways you are a savior. Be sure to also watch out for yourself while you are saving others. Also, be careful when it comes to medications.
Neptune in the 2nd House  Money is a problem area. You don’t have as much as you need or you tend to spend more than you have. In many ways, you do not attach much value to money and handle it in ways that to others may deem irresponsible. Much of this is related to your own self-worth and what value you see in yourself. With more discipline and paying closer attention to your finances, you actually have the ability to draw vast amounts of resources into your life --- they key is, understanding what money is for – not for thrills or escape. Just make sure you don’t squander or give it away as soon as you have what you have worked for.
Neptune in the 3rd House This is the placement of the poet, the singer or the psychic medium. It is also the position for a fantastic liar whose skills are best served in writing, storytelling or acting. Frankly, life is bland because bland people make it that way – when Neptune falls in the 3rd House in the birth chart, the native is going to invent to make life more tolerable. So, the person here fools herself with her own embellishments and believes them, too. Positively, this is a powerful position for a medium to have – it is the human voice divinely linked to the vast ocean of cosmic consciousness.
Neptune in the 4th House Unfortunately, your area of deception and being misled relates to your family or early childhood. Perhaps a parent proved to be confusing, absent, preoccupied by other matters or was substance addicted.  Perhaps substance abuse plays a role in family problems. Maybe your family lied about who they were, or projected a false image to people outside the family. This position of Neptune also indicates a rich inner life, being prone to isolation and involvement in fantasies. You are likely very nurturing as an adult due to the fact over lack of proper nurturing given as a child. Be clear about who you family really is, what their motives are and what you can truly expect from them.
Neptune in the 5th House You do not view romance and romantic partners very accurately. This can bring a great deal of confusion in your life, especially when it comes to those you are attracted to for love and passion. It could be you attract some who intentionally fool you, or you are just not seeing potential lovers in a correct light. Part of the problem, you are highly romantic by nature, plus, wildly creative and imaginative. You may expect too much from lovers who cannot be anything more than just ordinary. Of course, you see the dream and this is how you are fooled. It could be no one has really mis-led you…you saw things that may not have been there. However, profound love with a lover you are connected to in a deep and involving way, can happen. Romance for you will not be dull.
Neptune in the 6th House Having to keep up with a job and daily routine may prove to be a living hell. Here is Neptune in your house of organization, causing your life to be “anything but.” Your daily job may also be an area for chaos. Thus, you may find yourself moving from job to job without the satisfaction you hope for. Managing anything is an impossible task and you may lie to yourself about what you are really good at.  You are a helper by nature. A job or career in the health fields may ideally suit you. Helping others out of rough spots, and caring for those whom others have forgotten is a part of your angel nature.  You may also fool yourself about co-workers, allowing them to take credit for your work and even help them take advantage of you. You would do well working in the arts, or showing kindnesses toward others.

Neptune in the 7th House  The people you choose as partners tend to be not very trustworthy and it is likely they are not at all who you think they are. This is especially true when it comes to romantic partners, or those individuals you allow to creep into your life and latch on, even before you realize what is happening. You are unable to see their manipulations and sleight-of-hand tricks. Many of them will rely upon pity in order to use you. Even worse, a number of them might even be substance abusers. Sometimes you are aware of this and sometimes you are not. Your real gift though, is bringing out the good in others and showing them the positive in themselves. It’s a good idea to be more careful over allowing some who force their way into your life. Vampires stay away when you don’t invite them in.
Neptune in the 8th House  The 8th House governs money and sex. Neptune in the 8th indicates you are likely a very giving person, sharing all that you have with partners, as well as others, but this can set you up for fraud, especially of a financial nature. There may be imbalances in your sex life, whether you give too much and your partner gives too little or vice versa. Neptune in the 8th House can sometimes indicate indiscriminate sexual practices, where you could end up being used. Make sure everyone else’s intentions are as good as yours are. Where you fool yourself is believing there are no boundaries between you and others. This can be suffocating, to yourself and others. This placement causes you to be greatly psychic but the supernatural should be an area of caution.

Neptune in the 9th House The 9th House is the home to religion, metaphysics and philosophy in the zodiac wheel... and these are areas in which you tend to lose yourself.  You tend to be easily tricked when it comes to spiritual movements, churches and even New Age philosophies. This can have you turning your life over to some higher power, wanting your problems and issues to be fixed by spiritual doctrines or religions, when the bottom line is the fact that you have to do it on your own. You are the only one who can make these needed changes. Your strong points are your idealism and a belief in the importance of concepts that go beyond just you.  Indeed, you are not selfish, just the opposite. Just be clear in the spiritual discipline you decide to follow and understand it is for the inspiration. It is you on the quest – inspiration is fine but you are your own guru or master.

Neptune in the 10th House  When it comes to the 10th House, we are talking about the world, fame and the public at large, so you are not so much of a self-sabotager as you are a victim of other people’s views and distorted thinking. A visionary, an artist, a public official, humanitarian, psychic, whatever way you decide to use your 10th House Neptune— the public will tend not to see you accurately or even fairly. This can be frustrating, leading to feelings of being unfairly judged time and time again, and being at the mercy of other people’s shadow-side projections. You do have some distorted thinking about one or more of your parents, either believing them to be much worse or much better than they really were. The good news is, whatever you do, people pay attention. You have a charismatic influence over the masses and are talented in the arts, especially anything that deals with a stage or public arena. You could also become famous.
Neptune in the 11th House  You can look at this two ways, you may feel you have the best bunch of friends in the world or the worst crowd of dead beats and latch ons that even a stake through the heart couldn’t drive away. Here is a possibility: the way you fool yourself is that your friends drag you down but you aren’t so cognizant of it as it is happening.  Such friends waste your time and your energy, but still you can see some good in them, thus, you don’t’ want to cut them off—and so, it festers. This, of course, is the shadow side. The good news is, you also attract artists, creative folk, those who move in their own way, their own time and not according to society’s standards. You should be wary of any groups you join, as they may not be what they claim. They exception to this would be artistic or spiritual groups, in which you would excel. 
Neptune in the 12th House  What you can’t seem to see about yourself is how your tendency to isolate yourself does not serve you. In fact, in keeps you from making the professional and social connections you need to have in order to achieve your most cherished dreams. After all, your dream life is very powerful and you have a whole list of visions you hope to manifest into reality. But they tend to either go to waste or you never finish them. Your imagination is so very potent it almost seems to make your body weak. You do suffer a lot from low energy or poor health. Others seem to deplete your energy, while in being alone you seem to grow stronger. The real truth is, you etheric or spiritual body is quite open and easy to penetrate. You are highly sensitive to any negative influences, whether they be actual people or even spirits. Meditation and skills at psychic self defense would truly be an asset. You can accomplish much in solitude but not everything. You fool yourself into thinking other people don’t like you when in reality, they really do.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hand of Glory: A Grisly Oddity

In past times, the “Hand of Glory” was a grisly talisman used by thieves in a very corrupt and illegal form of magic. Used mostly 18th century France and England, the Hand of Glory was the severed hand of a thief who had been freshly executed at the crossroads.        
The night after the hanging, other robbers would sneak in, cut off the hand of the dead man, take the hand home and soak it in lamp oil, then marinate it in pepper, nitrate, salt, the blood of a screech owl, human fat and other dastardly ingredients.
            The severed hand was made into a candle that would render sleeping people powerless once the thieves broke into their homes, using the severed hand not only as a magical charm, but also a torch to light the way. In some cases, another candle was fashioned from the blood and fat of the dead man. Then the candle was wedged between the fingers of the hand.
            In any event, as the thieves would collect their loot, they would light a fire and recite this rhyme while the dreaded hand burned as a taper against the darkness:
Hand of Glory shining bright lead us to our spoils tonight!
Under the power of the dreaded Hand of Glory, no one in the house would wake up to discover the crime in progress. It had the unusual capacity to unlock doors. All in the home would sleep on as the thieves would flood in with their gorey charmsthe family would be unaware of the burglary.
            These grisly talismans may seem to have no place in our modern age but there are dozens Hands of Glory displayed in museums in England and France. The poet Robert Graves wrote that “Hand of Glory” translated from the French main de glorie is derived from the word mandragore, related to the mandrake root, a plant also said to help thieves stay anonymous with its powers.
It was believed that during the dog days of summer, households could protect themselves from Hand of Glory spells by creating a special unguent made from the fat of a white hen, the gall of a black cat and the blood of a screech owl.  The ointment was then spread on thresholds, window panes, and any other entrance of a home. On a mundane level, it might be the robbers also believed that since the first thief was already caught, his ghost might watch over them as their “Hand of Glory,” which is no doubt one of the most gruesome magical talismans in the world.
Here are just three fascinating Hand of Glory narratives from a book of "Hand of Glory Stories" published by Pittsburgh Press:
One evening, between the years 1790 and 1800, a traveler, dressed in woman's clothes, arrived at the Old Spital Inn, the place where the mail coach changed horses, in High Spital, on Bowes Moor. The traveler begged to stay all night, but had to go away so early in the morning that if a mouthful of food were set ready for breakfast there was no need the family should be disturbed by her departure. The people of the house, however, arranged that a servant maid should sit up till the stranger was out of the premises, and then went to bed themselves.
The girl lay down for a nap on the longsettle by the fire, but before she shut her eyes she took a good look at the traveler, who was sitting on the opposite side of the hearth, and espied a pair of man's trousers peeping out from under the gown.
All inclination for sleep was now gone; however, with great self-command, she feigned it, closed her eyes, and even began to snore. On this the traveler got up, pulled out of his pocket a dead man's hand, fitted a candle to it, lighted the candle, and passed hand and candle several times before the servant girl's face, saying as he did so: "Let all those who are asleep be asleep, and let those who are awake be awake." This done, he placed the light on the table, opened the outer door, went down two or three of the steps which led from the house to the road, and began to whistle for his companions
The girl (who had hitherto had presence of mind enough to remain perfectly quiet) now jumped up, rushed behind the ruffian, and pushed him down the steps. She then shut the door, locked it, and ran upstairs to try and wake the family, but without success: calling, shouting, and shaking were alike in vain. The poor girl was in despair, for she heard the traveler and his comrades outside the house. So she ran down again, and seized a bowl of blue (i.e., skimmed milk), and threw it over the hand and candle; after which she went upstairs again, and awoke the sleepers without any difficulty.
The landlord's son went to the window, and asked the men outside what they wanted. They answered that if the dead man's hand were but given them, they would go away quietly, and do no harm to anyone. This he refused, and fired among them, and the shot must have taken effect, for in the morning stains of blood were traced to a considerable distance.
These circumstances were related to my informant, Mr. Charles Wastell, in the spring of 1861, by an old woman named Bella Parkin, who resided close to High Spital, and was actually the daughter of the courageous servant girl.
Two magicians, having come to lodge in a public house with a view to robbing it, asked permission to pass the night by the fire, and obtained it. When the house was quiet, the servant girl, suspecting mischief, crept downstairs and looked through the keyhole. She saw the men open a sack, and take out a dry, withered hand. They anointed the fingers with some unguent, and lighted them. Each finger flamed, but the thumb they could not light; that was because one of the household was not asleep.
The girl hastened to her master, but found it impossible to arouse him. She tried every other sleeper, but could not break the charmed sleep. At last, stealing down into the kitchen, while the thieves were busy over her master's strongbox, she secured the hand, blew out the flames, and at once the whole household was aroused.
One dark night, when all was shut up, there came a tap at the door of a lone inn in the middle of a barren moor. The door was opened, and there stood without, shivering and shaking, a poor beggar, his rags soaked with rain, and his hand white with cold. He asked piteously for a lodging, and it was cheerfully granted him; there was not a spare bed in the house, but he could lie on the mat before the kitchen fire, and welcome.
So this was settled, and everyone in the house went to bed except the cook, who from the back kitchen could see into the large room through a pane of glass let into the door. She watched the beggar, and saw him, as soon as he was left alone, draw himself up from the floor, seat himself at the table, extract from his pocket a brown withered human hand, and set it upright in the candlestick. He then anointed the fingers, and applying a match to them, they began to flame. Filled with horror, the cook rushed up the back stairs, and endeavored to arouse her master and the men of the house. But all was in vain--they slept a charmed sleep; so in despair she hastened down again, and placed herself at her post of observation.
She saw the fingers of the hand flaming, but the thumb remained unlighted, because one inmate of the house was awake. The beggar was busy collecting the valuables around him into a large sack, and having taken all he cared for in the large room, he entered another.
On this the woman ran in, and, seizing the light, tried to extinguish the flames. But this was not so easy. She blew at them, but they burnt on as before. She poured the dregs of a beer jug over them, but they blazed up the brighter. As a last resource, she caught up a jug of milk, and dashed it over the four lambent flames, and they died out at once. Uttering a loud cry, she rushed to the door of the apartment the beggar had entered, and locked it. The whole family was aroused, and the thief easily secured and hanged.
This tale is told in Northumberland.Pittsburgh Press.
by Susan Sheppard

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Granderie Witches, Nyx, Goddess of Night, Old Hob & Lunantishee Fairies

The Granderie Witches

Granderie was a power of sorcery that the Orkney Scottish witches were supposed to wield.  It was said to be a special command of the heathenrie or the pagan folk, deeply frowned upon by the Christian church and witch inquisitors. It was believed that granderie was brought to Scotland by Finnish witches. The Finns were so deeply entrenched in their magical and shamanic traditions that being called a “Finn” in Scotland was the same as being called a witch. It was basically the demonization of wise-women’s crafts. During the witch prosecutions, it was believed the further north a region was the closer to hell, therefore, the northern regions of Scotland was very suspect when it came to witches and the practice of witchcraft.


Nyx, Goddess of Night

Nyx is the Greek goddess of night. All of the mysteries belong to her. With her dark veil shimmering with stars, she also represents the underworld, which is a river that ebbs and flows beneath earthly consciousness—the consciousness of being awake. But there is another consciousness of those who sleep and that is what Nyx rules over. Nyx was born from Chaos and Eros, and later bred the darkness with the light. She favors mischief and duplicity, hiding thieves and fugitives in her dark cloak of night. Nyx is also tied to the muses who are said to sing to her from the dark. She often inspires both poetry and song, though such poetry and song tends to be melancholy.

Old Hob

Hob was once claimed to be the witches name for the Horned God. In truth, the name Hob is related to the French “Robert” and the English “Robin” and is associated with Robin Goodfellow (also called Puck) a woodland spirit later demonized by the Christian Church. Hob is an old English word related to the word for hearth. Interestingly, ‘hearth’ is derived from the word for ‘heart,’ a name which meant at the center of the home.  Hob, as the name for his elven self, is known to help with housework in the house and associated with Scottish brownies and the German Knecht Ruprecht, which was alternate name for Santa Claus, another kind of elf.


Lantern Man

"Lantern Man” was the East Anglia name for a type of “willow-o-the-wisp” but this ghost was considered extremely fierce and dangerous. They were believed to lure lonely travelers into marshes causing the travelers to become disoriented and drown. It was once suggested that one should not whistle after dark as this will entice the Lantern man to locate you and perhaps even kill you. It was also thought that if one encountered the Lantern Man in the evening or late at night as a protection, you should lie down as flat as possible on the ground, so he can pass over your body, not suspecting that you are there.

(Interestingly, warding off the Lantern Man is exactly the same as escaping the Bhuta ghost in India. It is claimed when encountering a Bhuta ghost one should lie down flat against the ground so the ghost can glide over without harming or possessing you.) 

Lantern ghosts have always been reported along railroads and tunnels, sometimes leading the lost through passageways or by swinging lanterns as a warning to train engineers of obstacles along the paths, therefore, preventing train wrecks and other accidents.

Lunantishee Fairies

Lunantishee are a host of fairies in Celtic lands that are said to guard blackthorn bushes, considered in the British Isles to be ancient fairy trees. In legend, the Lunantishee do not like the blackthorn to be cut on Beltane or before “Samhain” (Halloween). Should a person ignore this fairy law, he or she will be subjected to serious misfortune until some penance is paid, either by leaving bowls of sugar and milk at the back door, under tree or by planting another blackthorn bush.

What Is a Portent?

A “portent” is an omen of early or unexpected death, usually experienced in the form of an animal appearing suddenly or by some other natural event. Birds, for instance, that enter a home, such as flying down the chimney or through an open doorway were once thought to mean that there was to be a death in the family, or at least one associated with the household. An example of a portent is one recalled by a woman friend of the 19th century American poet Edgar Allan Poe.

 In late September of 1849, Poe was leaving for Baltimore when he paid a call to a lady friend whom had earlier proposed marriage to. After a pleasant visit, she followed the poet into the foyer and then walked him out on the front porch.

As Poe turned to leave, he paused for a moment and then stared back at his friend. An unusually bright shooting star dazzled the night sky over the poet’s shoulder.

The woman then realized she would never see Edgar Poe again. He later died in Baltimore after being found delirious in an alley a week or so later. He lingered for two days and expired at the age of thirty- nine. The cause of Poe’s death has never been entirely determined.

by Susan A Sheppard


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Strange Beings From the Half-Lit World

Although we are all familiar with the creatures of the sun lit world, there are beings which have never stood in the full light, seemingly hovering between this dimension and another. Perhaps doorways slip open when the conditions are right and it easier for them to step through. Ancient people gave these creatures different names. Modern humans may call them something entirely different. We do know this, since humans became conscious we have been aware of these beings from a half-lit world. Here are just a few to ponder.

The Foreboding Far Dorocha

Far Dorocha, or the “Dark Man,” is an Irish ghost that rides a black horse throughout the countryside to kidnap the mortal human beings that the Fairy Queen desires. At the request of the Fairy Queen, Far Dorocha will capture a human for her. He never speaks directly. But his commands are understood in such a way that most people surrender to his will and mount the black horse behind him.  If the human being is released from Fairyland and gives out fairy secrets, Far Dorocha will pluck out that person’s eyes to take away their fairy sight or makes his or her arm or leg wither, as a penance for betraying the fairies.

Glastig, or Goat-Footed Women

In the Scottish Highlands, there are stories of goat-footed women who feeds upon the life blood of the men they tempt.  Glastigs are vampirical fairies that drink the blood of lonely farmers and shepherds left alone at twilight in the fields. They often appear at nightfall when beings are most able to slip through the dimensions. Glastigs are said to wear long, flowing, green gowns to cover up their goat parts so no human will be able to recognize them as anything other than a normal human being.

The Glastig is a seductress of sorts. She lures men to dance with her in the mist covered fields and woods. Through her dancing, as the man swoon from tiredness, the Glastig will pounce and feast on his blood. Even though the Glastig is generally considered to be a rather wicked fairy she is known to herd cattle for farmers and tend to old people or children when they are sick. 

Deathly Dullahan

The Dullhan is an especially unnerving Irish fairy more akin to a ghoul, with some relationship to the banshee. From the Gaelic word Gan Ceann, meaning “headless” the Dullhan is rather wicked and is one of the unseelie fairies. This scary fairy appears riding a black horse while carrying his rotting head under his arm. He uses the spine of a corpse as his whip and if he drives a wagon it will be made of funereal objects or parts of other dead bodies he has collected from the graveyard. The moldy flesh on the Duhllan’s head is like cheese. Corpse flies buzz about his body. His eyes bulge and he shows a hideous grin that is more like a slash in face which extends from ear to ear.  Whereever the Dullhan stops a person is said to die. When calling out the name of the doomed individual, the Dullhan then vanishes into nothingness.

Deer Women

A shape-shifter with the body of a deer and the face of a woman, Deer women appear in Native American mythology in North America and Mexico. The Deer woman can be a young maiden and sometimes an elderly woman. At times she is described as a beautiful human female, but with the hooves and large dark eyes of a deer. In some legends, the upper torso is human while the lower body is a white tailed deer. Deer women are sirens who lure men off their trails, sometimes hiding behind a shrub while calling the men to follow after them.
Once the Deer women attract the men to the area where they are  hiding, it is said they sometimes stomp men to death. Other legends claim that if you see a Deer woman, she comes with a warning. Usually, the warning is about a calamity or almost tragedy. During dances, Deer women will sometimes join the group  of people and only leave when the drums have ceases. As she runs away, the dancers may notice her white tail and hooves while she retreats from the crowd.
Since strange beings are usually feared, the Ojibwe use tobacco and chanting to banish her from areas. It is recommended if one encounters a Deer woman, you should stare down at her feet, which will sometimes break the spell and she will vanish.

In Scotland, there is another creature who is a type of vampire with the lower body of a goat. In India, there is another female creature who will seek out travelers to journey alongside them. Much to the traveler’s surprise, when they look down they will notice the women to have the hooves of a cow.

These part-bovine (cattle, goats) and part-cervine (deer) women are often associated with fertility and birthing. Deer women are said to sometimes help women in childbirth. However, Deer women are shy and not often seen.

Clootie the friendly Demon

Clootie is a Scottish name for the Devil or some other diabolical imp that is intent upon pestering human beings. Clootie simply means “cleft-footed” alluding to the Devil’s hoof.  Also called “Auld Hornie” it is likely Clootie is a remnant of the older god Pan or other pagan gods denigrated by the church as fallen angels or demons.  However, the Scottish believed Clootie was the Devil himself.

Interestingly, “clootie” is also the name of prayer rags tied to Hawthorn trees near holy wells in Ireland and Scotland. It is theorized the clootie rag is derived from the old Scottish word for cloth, however, in common folklore God and the Devil as actual beings that are never very far apart.  The cloven-footed god Pan was the one who tended flocks and sheep in early mythology. With his horns and pointed beard, the one who peacefully herded sheep, just like Christ, otherwise known as Clootie, or Pan in the Mediterranean world, came to be a symbol for the Christian Devil.

The “Clootie Croft” in Scotland is an untilled area of land that is left over as a gift to the Devil to occupy him so he won’t cause trouble for humans.



A changeling child is a questionable fairy, one that is switched for a human child shortly after birth, typically by elves or goblins who wish to introduce new, human blood into their fairy race. After the human baby is stolen away, a changeling or a fairy which looks like a child is left in its place. Often the changeling turns into a type of monster within a few hours, sucking greedily at its mother’s breast. Afterwards, the changeling is capable of stretching so tall that within a few short days that its head reaches the rafters.

Martin Luther, as a man influenced by the superstitions of this time, believed in changelings, but thought them to be soulless children of Lucifer, sent to offended and disrupt the lives of pious Christians. Populations in Muslim countries also had a belief in a type of changeling children, but considered them as offspring of the jinn or genies, so feared them. In reality, changelings are not really fairy children, but they are old fairy souls, some howling and dangerous just like any force of nature can be.

According to superstition the only way to truly get rid of a changeling is to boil eggshells and hold the changeling baby over the steam. This is supposed to fill the fairy imposter with peals of laughter that he won’t be able to control. If the changeling laughs, his true nature will be revealed and the fairies will be forced to return and retrieve their changelings, leaving their original human child in its place.  The British Isles, Scandinavian countries and Germany are filled with such accounts of these strange, scary fairies that pose as human babies.

Etheric Revenants

Etheric Revenant is a term made popular in John Greer’s book “Monsters,” referring to creatures of darkness that exist simultaneously in the physical world as in the ethereal realm. They are part-spirit, part-physical beings that are able to slip through dimensions.  This would explain vampires, as well as other tales of ghouls, and creatures like banshees. According to Greer, Etheric Revenants are, at times, completely ethereal, but manage to take shape in some physical way, able to feed upon the living for vitality or energy.
In one West Virginia banshee tale, a small girl in the early part of the 20th century reported that when the banshee visited her grandmother’s farmhouse on a white horse during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic she stood so close to the banshee’s horse that she could feel the animal’s hot breath on her face. When the banshee made the proclamation that one member of the family would die that same night, the banshee wailed and she and her horse instantly vanished.

With appearances of ghosts, there is sometimes a material component such as the overwhelming smell of roses in the morgue of the abandoned Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky. Some “etheric” beings can even touch or scratch. An Etheric Revenant may explain this type of encounter.
In some Celtic lore, the banshee is associated with vampires and lamias. She is also tied to clans, her fairy powers passed down through the blood and “blood ties.” The West Virginia Mothman, clearly a physical entity when he appeared, might also be partly explained by Greer’s theory of Etheric Revenant.

Herne the Hunter

 Herne the Hunter is a mythic English character that is alternately a ghost and a pagan god. Herne is often associated with Cernunnos, an early Celtic divinity often depicted with the horns of a stag, and the “Green Man” just one other aspect of this nature figure. In folklore, Herne the Hunter, much like Robin Hood, was believed to have been an actual person. He served the king (sometimes written as Richard II or Henry VII) as a royal huntsman but died under unhappy circumstances.  Before dying, Herne was said to have saved the king from an attacking stag.
After killing the stag Herne took the antlers and placed them on his head. Herne recovered for a short while and appeared to be infused by the spirit of the slain stag. 

Afterwards, Herne fell out of favor with the king and in his dejection, was said to have hung himself from an oak tree in Windsor Great Park near Windsor Castle. Later Herne the Hunter became a type of a wandering spirit. His ghost is seen there at Windsor Park wearing the horns of the great stag. Sightings of Herne the Hunter have been reported even into current times. It takes no theoretical leap to realize Herne the Hunter serves as a modern aspect of the much earlier Celtic/Druid mythologies of divinities borne out of much more ancient times.   

Men in Black
Sinister beings, in human form, who typically appear as two or three men dressed entirely in black. They often show up to intimidate witnesses who have had encounters with UFOs or aliens. Often the MIBs (Men in Black) will issue subtle threats to anyone who talks in public about the “saucers” or other alien encounters.
            Over the years, some have theorized the Men in Black work for the U.S. government, hence, the entirely inaccurate Hollywood movies “Men in Black. Others who have actually encountered the M1Bs describe them as something entirely different, something alien, if you will. Most Men in Black speak with a strange robotic pitch to their voices and what they express, aside from the vague threats about “saucers,” is typically nonsense. Witnesses have described the MIBs as at first seeming incredibly stupid, even about the simplest of matters.
            During the famous 1966 Mothman sightings in West Virginia, two MIBs were seen in a local restaurant in Point Pleasant attempting to drink the plastic cups of Jello that came with their meals. The strange men acted entirely confused over what to do with the silverware but were fascinated by ballpoint pens. At another time, one MIB was witnessed “chirping” and singing to the birds in the trees overhead.
            Mysteriously, some of the “nonsense” uttered by the Men in Black often turns out to be prophetic. For instance, they may speak off-handedly of certain surgeries, specific operations or hospitals. Later, the person threatened by the MIBs may have the very same surgeries, quite unexpected, months later. Witnesses describe meeting the MIBs in completely unexpected ways, such as encountering one in an elevator, or passing another in a car, and generally being stalked by them.
            Typically dressed entirely in black, or dark tones, MIBs are deeply tanned, or the opposite, extremely pale. They wear unusual hairstyles with parts of their
heads shaved in odd places. They will have almond-shaped dark eyes or watery blue ones. Interestingly, their first appearances coincided with the exodus of the Dalai Lama from Tibet in 1948. The Tibetans are said to have their own name for the Men in Black.             Albert Bender, a UFO researcher and author, first encountered the Men in Black in 1953. He later stopped writing about the MIBs warning others to do the same. Apparently, Bender suffered excruciating headaches as well as further threats in the form of phone calls from his encounters with the MIBs.
            West Virginia UFO contactee Woodrow Derenberger of Mineral Wells believed the Men in Black who visited his farm were “Mafia types” and was frightened of them.     Derenberger had earlier reported being stopped by a tall, dark-haired man named “Indrid Cold” (many recognize as a typical “Man in Black”) who stepped out of a spaceship near the intersection of I-77 and route 47 in West Virginia to interview him for about fifteen minutes in early November of 1966.
 Author John Keel received reports of MIBs being seen with “Gypsies” or dark- skinned people around Manhattan. If this sounds like pure science fiction or a Lovecraftian horror tale, characters similar to the Men in Black have been reported and written about throughout history.
In the Middle Ages MIBs were thought to be demons or even the Devil, himself. Often met at the Crossroads in the Middle Ages, as Woodrow Derenberger met Indrid Cold at the Crossroads of Route 47 and I-77 in Novemer of 1966 this devil in black will bargain for your very soul. Woodrow Derenberger surely found this out for himself. Strangely enough, the strange, alienated men have never disappeared from folklore. MIB encounters occur to this very day throughout different parts of the world.
--by Susan A Sheppard