I feel that in my previous list that I did not stress enough how important this book is.
The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, fauns and fairies by Robert Kirk was written in the 17th century, and is one of the most important texts when it comes to fairies, interacting with them, and the “Second Sight”.
For those curious in the fairy faith or wish to practice with fairies, I highly suggest reading it. Its definitely a difficult read if you take a look at one of the original copies (has ye olde English); however, there are many updated copies with translations that make it a lot easier. This is my favorite copy of it.
The Text talks about the following subjects
- fairies, what they are, and where they exist
- the second sight, what it is, who has it, and how is it obtained
- fairy land and the underworld
- various fairy ailments and blessings, and how to deal with them
- fairies, fairyland, and their relation to the Dead
It is worth noting when reading this that the texts suffers from the misogamy and prejudices of the time. A lot of the modern copies and updates do rather well removing some of these that do not contribute to the actual content.
Some passages from the book…
With their weapons they [the fairies] also gon or pierce cows or other animals,
usually said to be Elfshot, whose purest substance, if they [subsequently] die, these
subterraneans take to live on, [which is to say] the aerial and ethereal parts, the most
spirituous [of] matter for [the] prolonging of Life, Leaving the Terrestrial [parts] behind;
such [that is, just] as aquae-vita [distilled spirits or whiskey] moderately taken, is [the
purest] among liquors. The cure of such hurt is simply for a man to find out the hole [of the
Elf-shot] with his finger, as if the spirits flowing from the man’s warm hand were antidote
sufficiently against the poisoned darts.- (Page 30)
Women are yet alive who tell [that] thy were taken away when in child-bed to nurse
fairy [spelt ffayrie] children, a lingering voracious image of theirs being left in their place,
like their reflection in a mirror, which, as if it were some insatiable spirit in an assumed
body, made first semblance to devour the meat, that it cunningly carried by, then left the
carcass as it expired, and departed thence, by a natural and common death.- (Page 25)
4. A charm [is] spoke[n] in[to] a napkin, and [then] the napkin is sent many miles off to
be tied about a child’s open-head to lift it up, as they speak [the charm], and it does the fact
[that is, does work].
I will lift up thy bones as Mary lifted up her hands, as the Forks are lifted under the
Heavens, as the priest lifts up the upright Mass, up to the crown of thy head I lift thy cheek-
bones, the bones of thy hind-head, thy Brow before and behind.- (Page 68)