Erin's Isle has always been somewhat of a mystery. Its people are so different from the English just across the channel that one who spends some time in London and then crosses over to Dublin will at once see the vast gulf that in the matter of temperament separates the two peoples.
And any one who studies the Irish, especially on the West Coast, and lives among them, will soon discover a deeply-seated belief in what is commonly called the supernatural that can only come from some distant past. Even the educated Irish are not free from this.
There is a willingness in the peasant to express belief in fairies, ghosts, and the like, which in the better classes is covered up from sight but still there. In the country districts the people will stone the lights out of the windows of a newly-vacated house, and in the city the educated man may frequently be found who will say, when his attention is called to such an occurrence, "And why shouldn't they? Do you want the devil to stay in the house?" The theory of course is that the elementals of the departed tenants can only escape through the broken window panes unless they have been used — as is not always the case — to open doors.
Belief in fairies is the old Hindu belief in the "devas" or lesser gods. I know many educated people who have declared they often heard fairy talking and singing. In fact, unless we take in the northern Irishman — who is not truly of that blood — we will never find a native of that land who is not born with a slight or greater touch upon the borders of the unseen or with a belief in it.
It is called the Isle of Destiny, and its hill-men will tell you that it has always been a "saintly island". It teems with tales exactly duplicating those of Hindu yogis; the very grass seems to whisper as with the footfalls of unseen beings. One tradition is that in very ancient times, before the island of Albion rose from under the water, there was an ancient college — or Ashram as the Hindus would call it — on the island, where great adepts lived and taught disciples who from there went out to all lands. They stayed there until a certain great cataclysm, and then migrated to * * * *. In connection with this the following quotation from some remarks by H. P. Blavatsky in Lucifer will be of interest, in reading which one can also profitably remember the Greek tradition that near Britain there was an island called Ierna to which men went in order to learn more about the secret mysteries. She says: (1) "It is a tradition among Occultists in general, and taught as an historical fact in Occult philosophy, that what is now Ireland was once upon a time the abode of the Atlanteans, emigrants from the submerged island mentioned by Plato. Of all the British Isles, Ireland is the most ancient by several thousands of years. Inferences and 'working hypotheses' are left to the Ethnologists, Anthropologist, and Geologists. The Masters and Keepers of the old science claim to have preserved genuine records, and we Theosophists — i. e. most of us — believe it implicitly. Official Science may deny, but what does it matter? Has not Science begun by denying almost everything it accepts now?"
1. Lucifer, June 15 1889, p. 347. (return to text)
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