Albion, Art, Folk Tale, mythology, symbolism

Bean-Sidhe…

***

Incidentally… Regarding Bran’s ‘fairy-woman’… As a banshee… Casts a slightly different light… On that particular entities ‘death-wail’… As this is the pre-eminent extant Irish text on the after-world… It may be as well to list the other-worldly realms mentioned… With the caveat… That the translation for any of these places… Is less than secure… There appear to be nine of them… Plain-of-Sea… White-Silver-Plain… Very-Gentle-Land… Silver-Cloud-Plain… Many-Shaped-Evin… Plain-of-Sports… Many-Coloured-Land… Land-of-Promise… And… Plain-of-Pleasure…

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It is worth noting… That all of these descriptors… Are three-fold… Some of them… May be general terms… For the other-world itself… Whilst others… Clearly designate particular realms… Within that dimension… There are some exceptions, most glaringly… There is no mention of… the Land-of-Youth… Although Manannan does describe the inhabitants of his realm as… ‘Present at creation’… ‘Without old age’… And ‘Uneaten by earth’… It remains a matter of conjecture whether Bran actually made it to any of these places Is the Isle of Women the Plain-of-Pleasure… Or… the Land-of-Promise?

***

What becomes clear… Is that once Bran has embarked on this particular adventure… He cannot ever return to his native-land proper… After relating his tale… He again departs never to be seen or heard of again… In that sense, then, the ‘fairy-woman’ really was an ‘angel-of-death’… This conception of the after-life… Is overwhelmingly positive… With the notion of hell… Or punishment for wrongs done… In this world… Utterly absent… While the prospect is one not to be feared… There is yet no sense either in running towards ones end… Nor indeed… Being hurried there… Against one’s will.

 

 

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