Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Friday, 15. February 2008
Faeries - Supernatural Creatures - neither Gods nor Humans
Is it another dimension?
Are the Fairies spiritual not physical?
Artwork © James Browne
When the 19th century Anglo-Irish poet Richard Allingham wrote his poem 'The Fairies', he was replicating a belief about supernatural figures who steal children that stretched back to ancient Persian myths that date from 3000 BC. So universal is the terror of losing a child that the images of a lonely lost child and a mother who loses her child to fairies exist in civilisations everywhere.
Demon Figures and Fairies have undergone a series of transformations according to their historical context, but what remains constant is their supernatural power and their association with the very human concerns of marriage, death and loss.
In what way have fairies changed in guise and purpose throughout history? How did ancient fairy lore sit with the Christianity of the Middle Ages? How were fairies appropriated for the purpose of the 16th century witchcraft trials? And why did fairies obsess so many Victorian artists and writers?
Host Melvyn Bragg and his expert guests discuss Fairies. The contributors are:
Diane Purkiss, Fellow and Tutor of English at Keble College, Oxford
Nicola Bown, Lecturer in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck, University of London
then listen to this programme in full here (45 minutes):
Broadcast was on May 2006 at BBC 4, 'In Our Time'.
Also available for RealPlayer.
In Pictures: Maharishi Cremated
Thousands of followers of the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, have attended his cremation in the northern Indian city of Allahabad.
The Maharishi, thought to have been 91 years old, died in his sleep last week in his home in the Netherlands. (see related entry: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Died)
The Maharishi's followers paid tribute to him over the last weekend, filing past his body which was placed in traditional cross-legged meditation posture, draped in white.
The body was cremated on a pyre by the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, a site revered by Hindus.
Correspondents say some 2,000 followers from other parts of the world joined the crowds. Among them was the filmmaker David Lynch.
"In life, he revolutionised the lives of millions of people," Lynch told the Reuters news agency. "In his passing away he is bringing the West and East together as well."
Devotees of the Maharishi, who is credited with bringing meditation techniques to the West, chanted prayers and hymns during the ceremony in Allahabad, northern India.
The Maharishi's body was prepared according to traditional customs and carried through crowds of people from all over the world.
The cremation took place at the Maharishi's retreat overlooking the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, a holy site in the Hindu religion.
Members of the Maharishi's family lit the funeral pyre, which had been decorated with flower petals and flags.
The ceremony was also watched by leaders - known as rajas - from the Maharishi's group who have vowed to continue his work aiming to bring peace and healing through meditation.
Source: BBC News
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