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Because the moon revolves around the Earth once every 28 days, or so, we may, on occasion have a year with 13 moons (rather than 12). The fourth full moon within a season, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, is known as a Blue Moon. (Note, some call the second full moon in a calendar month a Blue Moon). The Blue Moon is celebrated as a time to charge dreams and wishes with power so they may come into being.

However, there is another rare moon occurrence that seems to slip by, unnoticed. It’s known as the Sidhe (pronounced shee) Moon or Faery Moon (aka Black Moon). The Faery Moon is the second new moon in a calendar month, and this only occurs once every two to three years.

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Celebrations and festivals are an important part of life. They provide opportunities for initiations and give us the chance to celebrate the happy occasions in our lives. They uplift us in times of trouble and help us to remember we are part of a community; that we truly aren’t alone in this world.

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“Christianity knows them as angels, saints, demons, and souls of the dead; to un-civilized tribes they are gods, demons, and spirits of ancestors; and the Celts think of them as gods, and as fairies of many kinds.” W. Y. Evans-Wentz ~ The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries

When you think of the term fairy you may think of a delicate being with the wings of a butterfly or dragonfly, darting from flower to flower. Or you may think of Tinkerbell and her Pixie friends as they dance across the Disney Channel for children. But it would probably never cross your mind to imagine that a glowing, red-eyed horse that chose to drown mortals for sport on dark eves, could ever be a fairy.

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There is nothing quite so terrifying as the cry (or keening) of the Banshee, for to hear her cry is an omen of death. She is known throughout Scotland and Ireland by many names, including Badbh, Cyoerraeth, the Washer Woman, the Bean Nighe and Bean Sidhe. The Banshee, which literally means fairy woman, has been portrayed as both a frightening old woman with glowing red eyes and a beautiful woman with a veiled face. She is always in mourning and wailing for those about to die.

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“She kept a stir in tower and trench,
That brawling, boisterous Scottish wench,
Came I early, came I late
I found Agnes at the gate.”

She was called “Black Agnes” because of her dark hair and complexion, though she could have just as easily received the nickname because of her fierce determination to protect her home, Castle Dunbar in Scotland, from invasion by the English.

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We have all come to know and love the red bearded little trickster sprite that sits perched on a mushroom guarding his pot of gold. But the Leprechaun has not always been a wee humorous wizened old man smoking a pipe.

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A little way off from Camelot there stood a lonely castle on the island of Shalott. High in a tower was the beautiful fairy woman, Elaine, also known as the Lady of Shalott. Under a powerful curse, Elaine could not leave the castle, nor even look out the window. Instead she spent her days weaving into a tapestry all that she saw while gazing into a magical mirror that reflected the outside world.

Her singing could be heard by those who passed by, yet none dared to disturb her. And she continued weaving, until one day she saw the knight, Lancelot, reflected in her mirror. He was singing, and she immediately found herself overpowered with love for the man whose reflection she’d never seen before.

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Mankind seems to have a fascination with stories of romance, especially tragic romances. Sure, the stories with happy beginnings along with happy endings get a little attention, but true romance, once in a lifetime love where the two lovers must overcome great obstacles in order to be together are much more likely to get made into a modern day mini-series.

Nearly everyone has heard the tale of King Arthur and Lancelot, and their love of the beautiful Queen, Guinevere. But there are actually many lesser known, romances centered upon the Knights of the Round Table, and their kin.

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Every child is taught of the great wizard Merlin; the sorcerer to King Arthur, but did you know that many of the tales of Merlin are relatively unknown?

In one tale, Merlin is traveling by night, and he stops at the cottage of a kindly couple. They take him in and feed him and Merlin is very touched by their kindness. Yet he cannot fail to notice that they seem to be rather in a state of despair. When he questions them about their sadness the couple tells Merlin that their despair is due to the fact that they have no child. The woman even goes as far as to say “if we but had a child, I would not even mind if he were no bigger than my thumb.”

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A Celtic goddess of love, harmony and fertility, Aine of Knockaine is an Irish fairy queen and is associated with the great Celtic mother goddess, Dana.

She was once the wife of the Earl of Desmond, and promised to stay with him as long as he kept his word to never show surprise at any of their son’s antics. Unfortunately, the Earl of Desmond couldn’t help but to be gob smacked when he witnessed his son jumping in and out of a bottle, so Aine promptly left him and returned to the land of the fairy, Cnoc Aine (Aine’s Hill) in County Limerick. The Earl of Desmond didn’t fair quite so well, and was turned into a wild goose.

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