Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sendings, Abduction By Fairies, Witches Hats & Elf Arrows -- Oh My!

What Is a Sending? 
Magicians and witches were able to send out thought forms in what was called “sendings” as in an act of sorcery or malevolent magick. For instance, if the magicians felt another magician was persecuting him, he might send an idea, a thought, or a ghost that might intimidate the other one into backing down.
            Pennsylvania Dutch Powwowers practiced the art of “sendings” causing what was then called "witch wars" in the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains. Some of the German “hexenmeisters” or witches ended up murdered.
            “Sendings” can also involve positive intentions generated by love. For instance, if one wanted to send another one kind thoughts, comfort and aid. It has to do with whatever thought or intention takes form. A sending is considered a particularly powerful type of a spell. 

Abduction by Fairies

In ancient times, especially among the Celts and early British tribes, a belief in fairy abductions was common among the population. Fairies, during those periods, were thought to have guardianship over the realm of the dead and also the underworld.  It was then that fairies were given the task of guiding the souls of the dead departing earth by helping their transition into the afterlife. Because fairies were associated with death and were not viewed as the friendly sprites we now see them as, superstitions and fears surround them.  
 In the children’s classic “Peter Pan,” Tinkerbell is characterized as a jealous fairy.  Those who suffered from malingering illnesses (see “Hag-ridden” and “fairy led”) were believed to be victims of malevolent fairies (and sometimes their mortal kin witches) who stole people from their beds at night and rode them through the night sky like horses. (Here we see the relationship between the words “hag” and “nag” both tied to horses.) Even so, not all fairies had unkind intentions toward their fellow mortal human beings and often acted as helpmates and agents for good such as granting wishes and even doing housework when the owners were away!     Scotland, it was held in great esteem for a Scotsman to marry what was called a “faery witch,” insuring a life with fine children and other comfort rewards. Fairies were still feared by some and blamed for outbreaks of fires, bad crops, or livestock going dry, becoming diseased, or crops experiencing blight.
                                                       
When certain individuals woke up drained or tired in the morning, many sincerely believed to have been abducted by fairies the previous night. Fairy children or “changelings” were placed in the beds of children, while the real human child was stolen away to Fairyland.

Where Do Witches Hats Come From?

The symbol of the typical Halloween witches hat is extremely ancient. It represents the witches “Cone of Power” and has been found in Celtic graves in parts of China, where an elderly female shaman, with spiral tattoo and tartan plaid, was entombed with a black hat that anyone would recognize as a typical witches hat. Conical hats made of gold have also been unearthed in Ireland thought to be thousands of years old belonging to an group unknown, so far. The Dunce cap, used to humiliate schoolchildren in the 19th Century probably had its ancient purposes as well. It was thought the conical shape drew down wisdom from the heavenly bodies. In essence, the conical was thought to make people more attuned and of course, this made them a little smarter. Such a hat was also worn by people in the Middle Ages, but soon it grew out of style, except for the country folk, of
course, who were poor and could not afford a newer hat. Therefore, the hat was called a pagani, or a “hat worn by pagans,” another witchcraft connection for the conical hat.
What are Elf Arrows?
Fairies have always been believed to be capable of great mischief and even evil, so the same holds true for elves who sometimes take on an even darker energy or intent. People brought down by sudden strokes were thought to be victims of elf darts. Elves were believed to be capable of stopping any work or building over their own fairy territories, especially when a Christian or another type of church was built on top of fairy areas by defending them with their elf darts of elf arrows.
After all, the fairies are not all good and can be territorial or jealous. The name given to these elf darts or arrows, which are said to be triangular shaped flints, is Beleminites, found in many countries but most often in Scotland where the fairy magick was once particularly strong.
Elf arrows were thought to be fatal to cattle, and other forms of livestock. In fact, horses can be leveled and break their legs if hit by an elf dart or arrow.  After the British Isles were Christianized, elves were turned in to the Devil’s imps who were thought to bring paralysis on the Christian clergy with such darts. Later, witches were accused of using such darts to also bring destruction on their enemies. It is important to remember most accused of these charges were seldom witches, instead was the result of superstition and religious paranoia

What Is A Fairy Thorn?
Fairy thorns are bushes growing alone in fields, and are thought to be homes to the fairies. This is especially true in the British Isles. Fairies were once believed to live in trees and only come out at night.  It’s believed if anyone cuts down a fairy thorn, or fairy tree, he or she will bring about the wrath of the fairy folk. This can mean the person will grow sick with a lingering illness, die, or will be taken away by the fairies. It is especially bad luck to damage or cut a fairy thorn on Friday the 13th. If this should happen, even accidentally, the fairy thorn must be given a funeral else wise, the person who maimed the tree will be forever haunted by the fairies. 

-- Susan Sheppard

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