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  1. #1
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    The Banshee In Ireland


    Banshee (bean-sidhe) means ‘Faerie woman’ or ‘woman of the Faerie mound. Many legends exist surrounding the Banshees and just how evil is she meant to be.


    The Legends of the Irish Banshee


    The first is that she is the ghost of a young woman who was brutally killed and died so horribly that her spirit is left to wander the world watching her family and loved ones warning them when a violent death is imminent.

    This particular type of Banshee appears as an old woman in rags with dirty grey hair, long fingernails and sharp pointed rotten teeth. Her eyes are blood red and filled with so much hatred and sorrow that to look into them will cause instant death. The Banshees mouth is permanently open as she emits a long and painful scream to torture the souls of the living.

    According to legend there are a few Banshees that relish in taking a life and will stalk their victim wailing and screaming at them to the point that the victim goes insane or die. It has been told that the Banshee has ripped many a brave man to death with her bare hands. This is the type of Banshee portrayed in Hollywood ‘horror’ films.

    Here in Ireland we have a much less gory view of the Banshee. She does attach herself to families usually with an O or a Mc in the surname such as O’Brien or McNeill etc, and she does indeed foretell a death in the family.

    The Banshee does not ‘bring’ death but warns that death is near and this gives the family a chance to prepare and it is not necessarily a violent death it may be of a family member that has lived to 106 years of age! She is there as an escort to ensure that the loved one passes safely to the other side.

    Stories have been passed down through generations of families of ‘O’s and ‘Mc’s of their personal experiences with their own Banshee and my family are no different.
    I remember being told of an uncle who was walking home one cold blustery night (probably three sheets to the wind after partaking of a snifter to keep the cold out!) and on arriving home told my grand-mother that he had tried to comfort an old woman, dressed in black with a veil over her face, who was crying and wailing outside the house but every time he went over to her she moved away and kept pointing at the house.

    My grand-mother knew straight away what this old lady represented and sent my uncle to bed telling him she would have a look. Needless to say she didn’t dare look herself. Three days later my grand-mothers brother died peacefully in his sleep. As children we used to plague my uncle to recount the story of the night he tried to invite the Banshee in for tea!

    The Banshee may sometimes only be heard keening (an Irish word used to describe the wailing that women used to do over the body of a deceased person to ward off evil spirits) but when the Banshee decides to appear she may take the form of the following:

    An old woman dressed in black with long grey hair and covering her face with a veil.
    An old woman with long white hair, red eyes and dressed in a green dress.
    A deathly pale woman with long red hair dressed in a white dress sometimes a shroud.
    A beautiful woman wearing a shroud.
    A beautiful woman with silver-white hair wearing a long shimmering silver dress.
    A headless woman naked from the waist up and carrying a bowl of blood.

    Of course no-one wishes a visit from a Banshee no matter how alluring she is but she does serve a purpose to the family by letting them know that they should start making preparations for a traditional funeral .
    Póg mo bán Irish thóin !

    Is gairid ár gcairt ar an saol seo ,,,

    Sláinte !

    "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
    Sigmund Freud about the Irish

    Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.
    George Carlin




  2. #2
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    Ireland has some bitchingly wicked history unlike my country. Thanks for giving a peek into the history of your country.
    WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!!!!! _Step Brothers

  3. #3
    Sub Rosa Gardens

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    Awesome Donny, can't believe I 'Mist' this
    soo fitting for the Banshee Mist!
    Vince Semilla AKA The Baked Crusader
    SUBROSAGARDENS

  4. #4
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    Here you go Tre,

    The Banshee


  5. #5
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    The Pagan Banshee is also one of the Triple Goddesses in the Morrigan. The Morrigan is the Old Crone people some times see when they wake up paralyzed with the Crone on their chest. She would also be known as Lilith and Succubus.

    The Banshee, Bean-Sí, Bean-sídhe.



    The Banshee or 'Bean-sidhe' is an Irish familiar spirit - ban (bean), meaning a woman, and shee (sidhe), and means fairy woman or more literally means Woman of the Hillside. (The Hill referred to is a burial hill).

    Traditionally, when a person died a woman would sing a lament (in Irish: caoineadh, meaning "to weep, to wail") at the funeral. These women are sometimes referred to as "keeners" and the best keeners would be in much demand.

    Here is where fact turns into myth: as with most myths and legends their beginnings start in something that happened way back in history. In its retelling and retelling, it turns fact into legend, then myth.
    Legend has it that for five great Gaelic families — the O'Gradys, the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, and the Kavanaghs — the lament would be sung by a fairy woman; having foresight, she would sing the lament when a family member died, even if the person had died far away and news of their death had not yet come, so that the wailing of the banshee was the first warning the household had of the death.

    The Banshee can appear in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, (pron. bov) Macha and Mor-Rioghain. Badhbh is the Irish war Goddess, said to be able to shape change into a crow or raven. (Badb Catha meaning Battle Raven) whereas Macha means "battle". She is also one of the Triple Goddesses in the Morrigan.



    She looks like an old woman with deep-set, glowing red eyes, and wears a cloak over a green dress. Another description places her with wild, long, red hair and in a long white dress. Another, still, described her as a beautiful woman, veiled, with a posture conveying great sadness.

    Or she can wear either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe or washing woman. She always has long flowing hair and eyes red from crying.


    When someone is about to die, the Banshee appears at the family's home during the night and weeps and wails. Sometimes, the Banshee cries for several nights in a row, as she cannot know the exact time of death. Her sharp, cries and wails are also called 'keening'. The wailing of a banshee pierces the night, as it announces a mortal's death.

    She is a solitary woman fairy, mourning and tradition has it she forewarns only those with most ancient Celtic lineages, whose names begin with 'Mac/Mc' or 'O'. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.


    Each Banshee has her own mortal family and is familiar to the person, so if they move to another land, the banshee also moves. When a familiar Irish person is dying, she paces the dark hills about his/her house.

    Dressed in white with long flowing silver grey hair, which reaches to the ground, she stands out against the night's blackness. Her face is pale, and her eyes are red from centuries of crying. The caoine, or the Irish funeral cry, is said to be an imitation of her own cry.

    She is also known as White Lady of Sorrow and Lady of Death. Unseen, banshees attend the funerals of the family dead. But, out of love or respect, she never forgets her blood ties. And sometimes she can be heard wailing, as her voice blends in with the mournful cries of others.




    peace,

    DSF.

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