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Little People of the British Isles (The)

32 33 The ancient mounds and barrows of Scotland, England and Wales, and also the raths of Ireland, have an intimate association with the little people. Ancient tribespeoples were sometimes buried in the soils of such places so that their souls would pass into the realm. Upon the sacred eves of the ritual year and under the light of a full moon these ancient places are still occasionally host to the midnight fairy dance. Upon finishing, the little people quickly enter their subterranean world through a magical door, which quickly closes as the last one passes into it, mysteriously disappearing to the inquisitive. Tradition states however, that if such a place is run around nine times, and the right prayers vocalised, the door to their world may be revealed and open to the welcome. Some of the last borders between the domesticated world and the wild untamed forces of natures were the high places of our ancient islands, their mountains, hills and mounds, and many fairy species found themselves occupying such habitations. The Irish Tuatha d Dannan, the people of the goddess Danu, come to dwell in the mounds called Sdhe, which later became the collective name for the fair folk in Ireland. The Bean Sdhe were the gentle and graceful fairywomen of the mounds, later reduced in human eyes to the banshee, a wailing portender of lifes end. Having supreme magical powers they could grant luminous blessings, healings and foretell the future of any mortal. Beautiful and intelligent, they would sometimes take captivated mortal men as their companions. doors In holloW hIlls round mounds and upon the hills
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