Archetypal Polytheism 


October 27, 2015 / by Todd

We have a clear right to set up under scientific authority these tentative conclusions: (1) Fairyland exists as a supernormal state of consciousness into which men and women may enter temporarily in dreams, trances, or in various ecstatic conditions…(2) Fairies exist, because in all essentials they appear to be the same as the intelligent forces now recognized by…researchers, be they collective units of consciousness…or more individual units, like veridical apparitions.

W.Y Evans-Wentz, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries

The Celtic bards, in the times before literacy recorded and remembered everything poetically…The poetic vision of the landscape, ensouled with spirits is a particularly human…vision of the world.  It describes Carl Jung’s enigmatic “unknown topographical law that rules a man’s disposition.”  Humans are at one with nature, we are part of it, not separate from it.  To the bard, the powers of nature, animals and the human psyche are best personified in anthropomorphic forms that exemplify these qualities, archetypes, and images, and because their existence is implicit rather than explicit in the material world, they are “otherworldly.”  Nevertheless, their existence is real:  events, thoughts, ideas, physical objects and places can be understood in terms of their essences.

Nigel Pennick, Celtic Sacred Landscapes

We should always bear in mind that, whilst many descriptions render the perceived reality very well, we should never take them literally.  For once they become literal, perceptions take on a life of their own, separate from the reality they once attempted to describe.  The important principle is recognized by ancient bardism and modern psychology alike.  Homer remarked, “Harsh are the Gods on him who sees them manifestly,” and millennia later Alfred Adler echoed his warning with “What makes madness is literalism.”

Nigel Pennick, Celtic Sacred Landscapes


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