Scottish myths 14


Curiously, many Highland fairy legends repeat the theme of secret places where time stands still. Places where, if one is favoured by the Fairy folk, enchanted by sweet music, carried away in an elated trance for what seems only an hour, one finally awakes to the truth of what we call 'reality'. The incredible realisation that the magic has lasted for as long as a year, or sometimes even several years.

A Gaelic belief is of Tir-Nan-Og where the secret of eternal youth is to be found. The Celtic Ever, or Never Land.
The ancient Celts called it The Land of Light, or The Land of Ever-Living. It was sometimes thought to be deep below the sea, then they would call it The Land Beneath the Waves. At other times it was called the Isle of Joy, vaguely located in the midst of the ocean's immensity and shrouded in glittering haze. Or it was alleged to be found far beneath the pristine waters of a majestic loch where brown trout would flash as they turn to rise.

Or it was believed to be a Shian, one of the many mossy or heather covered knolls that, as Celtic legend relates, hides a Fairy dwelling.

Fairy dwellings of Tir-Nan-Og. Yet it is also said that a few, favoured humans manage to reach this magic Land. Only those blest with the mystic vision, those able to see the messenger. Only those who can hear or feel the magic call.

The haunting Celtic music that wavers on timelessly, like a spirit that softly touches those chosen, wherever they might be. Surely it would be similar to the spirit that curls up with the swirling mists to embrace the craggy hill tops above the glens, or descends to engulf and slowly caress the lochs' dark surface.

It can bring back lost loved ones for an age of an instant, and make one shudder with that precious feeling of goodness, confidence and wholeness, for then indeed time no longer exists, in Tir-Nan-Og.
The blissful state of oblivion, there, in The Land of the Ever-Young, where Fairy mounds and Islands grace the Hebrides. The Land of Magic Music, Haunting Beauty and Eternal Youth. 

Scottish myths 15
Scottish myths 13

Text and image (from Arisaig) © Mirino. Source- The Road to Rannock and the Summer Isles T. Ratcliff Barnette (1868-1946) from- A Book of Scotland (Collins). April, 2012

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