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#31 mellilotflower

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 03:50 AM

I don't know much about the phooka, but that they're deffinatly irish...  I have found this article though:

The Phooka is a harmless Irish kobold who appears in a great diversity of animal shapes. He can be seen in the shape of a dog or horse, usually pitch-black with fiery eyes. As an apparently tame and shabby pony, the Phooka offers careless travelers a ride on its back. But as soon as the traveler mounts the horse, he is in for a hell-ride through marshes and thorn-bushes. Then suddenly, he is thrown into a ditch or mudpool and the chuckling he hears is the Phooka galloping away.

Sometimes he appears in the form of an eagle and carries people away on his back.

How reliable it is, I'm not sure, but I've also read stories with phooka's that are tricksters, riddlers and sort of associated with fairy courts, but not entirely.  That kind acts much like Puck from a midsommer nights dream, who is supposed to be a version of the phooka, or bwca the welsh version

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#32 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 09:41 AM

Hey-ya, Hawkies...I thought their taste and wisdom was evident that they had jackals guiding souls...the rest is kind of filler :)

Hullo, Melillotflower, If I remember my faerylore*I don't have a life so I do*it sounds like there's a link to the each visage*water horses*only the phouka didn't dump the rider in the lake then eat them
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#33 mellilotflower

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 08:30 AM

yup whispers, very similar, there's the kelpie too.. they're all supposed to entice wary travellers onto their backs, some drown them, some don't even bother doing that... the only way to know that someones been eaten by a kelpie is if you find their liver... because kelpies don't like that bit.
you can capture a kelpie if you mannage to get a bridle on it, but they don't take too kindly to servitude even if they are almost limitlessly strong... and if you ever release the kelpie its likely to turn on you and curse you and your family (can anyone tell I'm a little into the folklore??? ;D sorry if I'm annoying anybody... :-/)

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#34 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:03 AM

Hi, Melillotflower,
Faerie lore's fascinating, Hun and the UK's got more haunts and Fae/square mile than any other place in the world :) besides, its always a good idea to know something about one's neighbours...no matter what their plane of origin ;D

TY for the bit on kelpies, I'm afraid that I knew the name and that they tried to seduce travellers, but that's about it.

So, what's the story on Phouka, is it just their own mischieviousness or is it a curse for breaking their Oath to Danu? I've heard both, as the thought that they were denied taking the shape of men as well as being cursed with never telling the truth???
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#35 mellilotflower

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:34 AM

although I can't be sure, as I don't think I've come accross that story before, Danu (or Dana, or anu, or brigit) could well have caused them to be troublesome, they were related to brownies and so something must have caused them to be more mischevious than their cousins...
Dana was a goddess of prosperity though, so why she would send a creature to plague the irish, I'm not sure.

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#36 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 09:45 AM

Hi, Mel,
This is pure speculation, Luv, but I agree that the Queen of the 4 Cities would deliberately send something to plague
her children, but there are tales of brownies turning into boggans due to lack of appreciation or proper payment, so this may be the case with phouka. Its a bit like basic psychology, Luv, if you're denounced as mean or lazy or cruel, sometimes you become just that, believing it of yourself...just my $.02
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#37 mellilotflower

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 05:40 AM

hey... I'm now looking into the will o' the whisp. And I found in British Goblins (actually about welsh fairies) by Wirt Sikes 1881, that the pooka is an extended form of the welsh spelling pwca which is a type of will o' the whisp, which Shakespeare, apparently having great knowledge of welsh fairies based his puck on in a midsummer nights dream.
The most well known tale about pwca involves him luring a peasant in the middle of the night by holding a lantern or candle at arm's length over its head as he is walking home.  He leads the peasant to a treacherous precipece before jumping over it and blowing out the candle...

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#38 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 06:58 AM

I never would have guessed that Robin Goodfellow was a Phouka or of the link between phouka and will o the wisps unless there's a seelie/unseelie link :-/
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#39 mellilotflower

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 09:12 AM

I don't think that the unseelie/seelie courts would come into it, as they're scottish and the pwca is welsh...  THere were many other courts aside from the two usually thought of as the good and the bad.  Wales, surprisingly had the most courts- which seems silly as I think its the smallest area.  And not all the "fairies" were necasarily associated with any court...
Though through association with Oberon/auberon (who I have read in at least one source is the head of the seelie court????) I guess puck would be considered as being a member of the seelie court.
If we go through the courts though, we could find an answer to your earlier question; Some sources say that the Tuatha Da Danaan, the people of Dana(danu/anu) split into two groups... The seelie and the unseelie when the Milesians arrived forcing them away from Ireland or underground...

I'm not at all sure about any of that though, none of the sites I find list reasonable sources...  

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#40 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 05:11 PM

Hi, Mel,
You know, Amiga, now I'm wondering if the fae courts of Seelie vs Unseelie wasn't a creation of the humans as it does seem to be more a creation of human morality, not to say that the Good Folk are capable of cruel/compassionate acts, but they were aspects of nature, so of course they're capable of both, but to categorize such acts as good/evil is very much a human trait? Did our ancestors personify Nature? Did they see a wildfire/lightning strike a wrong-doer/taboo breaker and imagine the Redcaps' savagery? Are they part of myth, a Shaman's story to explain the mysteries
of the world around them to his clan?

You do have a legitimate theory here, Mel and it is one I heard, not only the incursion of men into Faerie Dun and rath, but also of the new religion gaining momentum and over
shadowing the Many
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#41 mellilotflower

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 07:48 AM

"You do have a legitimate theory here, Mel" BAD_WORD, you got a theory out of the garbled nonesense :-/... sorry, I was a little incoherent yesterday... blame multitasking in the extreme and lack of sleep (I'll not mention the beer if you don't :D)

*collects thoughts ::)*
Right so we have the phooka/bwca/pwca/puck, which as far as I can tell from all of the contradicting sources I've found is essentially a brownie like creature.  It is known to help out around farms, attaching its affections to a particular person rather than family or household, but when it is offended (this is usually when the girl providing it with milk and bread eats them herself leaving only crusts and water) it becomes aggessive and acts much like the boggart (not the harry potter version).  But unlike the boggart the phooka ventures out of the house, and has been known to attempt to lure people over cliffs.  At this point I think its shapeshifting abilities come into play, as they can be large black dogs with fiery eyes, black horses, eagles and appear as a little man about the size of a child with fair white hands.
The creature seems built for mischeif.  
Boggarts and Brownies are very rarely ever connected to a court, basically because they aren't considered noble enough and the fraternise with humans too much.  
But if we consider puck, based upon the phooka, does similar things as the phooka is ascribed to do in Brittish Goblins and in The Pwca of the Trwyn; "Are not you he,
that frights the maidens of the villagery,
skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn,
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm,
Mislead night wanderers, laughing at thier harm?"
Puck acts as Oberon's jester, not really part of the court? but just abiding in it for a while...??

Depending on which sources you consider we again have different information concerning the "goodness" or other wise of the seelie and unseelie courts.  Most of the older (by older that's generally only as far back as the 19th centuary) claim the unseelie to hate all humans, holding them in contempt- on Halloween they travel through the scottish highlands and anyone they meet they'll take to their underworld with them, never to be seen again.  Traditionally, and this is pre 19th centuary, bonfires were lit on Samhain (is that right, I always get mixed up) to guide the fairies and keep them away from your home.  Wheras the seelie court was thought to help humans, offering gifts and helping farms etc.
More recently people have begun to question this black and white view of the two courts (an excellent example of this would be Tithe,by Holly Black which also explores the relationship between court fairies and non court fairies), and as I said before there are more courts in Britain, Ireland and Brittany than just those two... each interacts with humans as they see fit.  
You also have to consider the fact that the unseelie and the seelie court are both supposed to be factions of the Tuatha de danaan- considered to be gods by those who followed them in the Irish Invasion stories, there were no good nor bad, just successors, those that followed.

Many of the "fairies" are explanations for everyday things, what else is a boggart but explanation for particularly bad luck, and away to account for the things that go bump in the night.
Have you ever read any of Grimms fairy tales- I pick on those in particular because they're the most well known- they are tales to tell children to keep that child at home, safe, insight and not in the woods.  Almost all of the bad things that befall the children in those stories happens in the woods, and at that time trees would have covered a huge amount of europe, and wolves, bears, wilderbeast and other such dangerous animals lived in them.  The woods were a place to be feared by adults as well as children, they were dark, seemingly untamable, not our natural habitat.  Strange noises filled those woods, noises with no visable source... and lets face it, in those situations its gonna be hard to hold onto your imagination and not let it get the better of you.

Okay, a little more coherent now, I think...

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#42 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 08:39 AM

*Doffs hat to Mel's insight*Its a little hard to judge with the Merry Wanderer of the Night, he was perhaps the most complicated of characters, my own take is that he was like Coyote in Native American myths and lore, the pranks were lessons that the person needed to learn or somehow guided them on the path that would ultimately benefit their journey
into themselves, no matter how painful some of those discoveries could be*snickers*of course with Coyote, it depended on what tribe the person you were talking with was from.

The role of fool or jester supports this statement, kind of a touchstone to what is real*Lear's fool, Touchstone*and ofter were instrumental in guiding them to themselves. Oberon was kind of a wank, he was lustful, guided more by his own desires and passions, not exactly an admirable trait
in a king. His Queen was the opposite, Tatianna was, at best, described as frigid and calculating, the two polar*pun
intended*extremes, rational mind and the heart.

I can't help but agree, Mel, that faeries were an explanation for more mysterious happenings, milk unexplainably going bad or cheese not curdling was the doing
of boggans, brownies that had gone bad*though the boggan transformation was usually due to the fact that their host had broken the contract*I actually feel humbled by your knowledge, Luv :-[
Remember...vote for New Orleans for our '05 Reunion...this is not a subliminal message...New Orleans! Obey Whispers of Fire! New Orleans

#43 mellilotflower

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 08:58 AM

*curses* I'm reading Lear next...
But knowledge is nothing in the age of the computer, what is valuable is the connections made with that knowledge... and yours seem a lot quicker and less addled

I still can't find reference to Dana's curse... do you happen to remember where you found it?  I've still to read in detail (as opposed to skimming for names) the Irish Invasion myths...

The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

#44 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 05:41 PM

OMGOSH...Lear was one of my favorites and I think you'll enjoy it Mels*blushes*you're far too kind, Amiga, I'm just a Geek with a fashion sense, no more. No less.

Irish invasion? When the Sons of Nemed arrived in Eire? Do you remember the race they described encountering, dark of hair and eye, they called them the Firbolg, the men of the bogs, there are accounts of Phoenicians landing in Western Europe. Hun, I can't remember the source of the Phouka's curse, I think the pledge was in fighting Balor of the Burning Eye and they bailed
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#45 mnemosyne

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 07:41 PM

Hi,
I might be coming into this a little late, but i've heard many stories about these black dogs from my grandmother (I actually thought they were just figments of her imagination made up to scare me into behaving  [smiley=cwm17.gif]) Anyways, she used to tell me this story about one of those dogs who came into a church in England and like flew around the parishoners or something, and I think a boy was killed and the dog flew back out the doors leaving burn marks on the wood (sorry, I can't remember the details very clearly).  She also claimed that these dogs quard cemetaries like was said before and that there is one in the cemetary behind my house, although i've never seen him.  She used to tell me probably over 20 stories about these things, it's good to see that more people know about them than just me and her. [smiley=cwm27.gif] [smiley=cwm27.gif]
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.Friedrich Nietzsche




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