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    Doon Hill Fairies : You’re not going there at night ?

    “Do you believe in Fairies”? That’s a good question Janice and, indeed, isn’t that the title of one of our posts? What I’m sure of anyway is that many people do, and not only children, I can tell you!

    Doon Hill Fairies

    Doon Hill Fairies - Scotiana.com - 2004

    Take a look at the photos we’ve taken on Doon Hill.  Aren’t they a most touching expression of folk beliefs in our very materialistic world?  The Scottish touch of magic!  Mind you, that does not mean that the Scots are not a rationalistic people ! Think about their scientific performances.

    Doon Hill Fairies

    Doon Hill Fairies Fairies-Scotiana.com-2004

    To the question “Do you believe in fairies?”, I would certainly have answered YES to save the life of Tinker Bell in the story of Peter Pan and I’m inclined to believe that there is more beyond appearances than what we generally believe …

    Doon Hill Fairies picture

    Doon Hill mysterious woodland-Scotiana.com-2006

    In Scotland the frontier between the visible and invisible worlds seems to be thinner than elsewhere.  I remember asking our way to Doon Hill to a young man working at the Tourist Office in Aberfoyle. “You’re not going there at night ?”, he asked us with some anxiety.

    Doon-Hill path

    Doon-Hill Trail - Scotiana.com -2004

    In 2004, we went to Doon Hill at about 5 p.m. and we met nobody on our way up the hill and when we climbed it up again, in 2006,  it was past 9 pm and we were alone or, at least,  we didn’t see anyone, which doesn’t mean that there was nobody around us in the woods. The wind played gracefully on the little bells hanging in the trees. The atmosphere was silent and quiet. Quite pleasant. We’ve made a little film there. It’s not a very good one but it gives an idea of the place. We’ll insert it soon in our blog.

    Doon Hill Fairies

    Doon Hill Hanging Bells -Scotiana.com-2004

    Now, if we want to understand better the local legend we must  go back to its source and that leads us to Reverend Kirk’s life and writings.  Not only does the Reverend seem to have been a very learned man (he is the first one to have translated the Psalms in Gaelic)  but he also appears to have been a very open-minded minister. The Reverend used to listen to and note down  all his parishioners’ accounts of their supernatural experiences. This must have not only aroused the Reverend’s curiosity but also confirmed what he had always believed about the Other World.  Reverend Robert Kirk spent more than 20 years in Balquhidder parish,  from 1664 (aged 20)  to 1685 (aged 41) before moving back to the family manse, in Aberfoyle, where he stayed until his death, seven years later.

    Balquhidder Romantic Churchyard

    Balquhidder New & Ancient Churches - Scotiana.com- 2004

    We first went to Balquhidder in 2004. It’s a very picturesque place and rich in history too. A nice little church has been built near the ruins of the ancient one and you can walk among very old graves (some of them are very beautiful)  in a most romantic churchyard. Of course, the most famous grave is that of  Rob Roy, just in front of the ancient church. Inside the church, we found many old religious memorabilia and also a book entitled Robert Kirk, Walker Between Worlds edited by R. J. Stewart.

    The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies

    Walker Between Worlds-R J Stewart-Ed 1990-Scotiana.com-2004

    After our first incursion “au pays des fées”, at Doon Hill (or Fairy Knowe as the place is more commonly known), we wanted to know more about Reverend Kirk  but we didn’t find his book The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and  Faeries. The book had  not been published until 1815,  first by Sir Walter Scott and then by Andrew Lang. In Wigtown Byre Books shop we were said that the only book available there was a very expensive one. Of course, we didn’t buy it. Only recently did we search the web for the book and finally  found several interesting editions of The Secret Commonwealth.  Here are some of them.

    Walker Between the Worlds-2007

    Walker Between the Worlds-Edition 2007

    First a new edition (2007) of the book we had seen in Balquhidder church. On the cover there is the coat of arms which can be seen on Robert Kirk’s grave, in Aberfoyle cemetery. We’ll try to know more about it.

    The Secret Commonwealth Reverend Kirk fac simile

    The Secret Commonwealth Reverend Kirk- Facsimile Edition 2005

    The above facsimile edition of the book has become rare but some other ones are still available.

    A New Edition of The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies

    A New Edition of The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies

    It’s not easy to make an idea about this Scottish legend though Janice has already said a lot of things about it in her last post. What we must try to keep in mind is that the facts date back to the 17 th century. That was a long long time ago and life must have been quite different from what we live today. The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Faeries is supposed to have been based on Reverend Kirk’s own experiences and observations. So, to begin let us read his book.

    Bonne lecture ! A bientôt.

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    2 comments to Doon Hill Fairies : You’re not going there at night ?

    • Early this year I travelled up to Scotland with a friend, and one of the places that I was taken as a tourist was Doon hill. I had learned of the story of the reverends spirit being trapped beneath the tree at the top of the hill, and I was told the full story about the history of the hill.
      During the my time in scotland, I was somewhat ill, and the strange thing was while wondering around on top of the hill, something very odd happened that had me shouting out and left a quite confused friend! I experienced every one of my Chakras being litterally blasted clean at the same time. If anyone has been within a factory environment and used strong compressed air to clean some thing and then imagine that air being much stronger, and then haveing that air shooting through your head, throat chest, abdomen etc, all the way through the body and all at the same time (and it wasn’t a breeze because the air was still that day) and; it was centralized, and pin point accurate to your chakcras and only on those parts, you can imagine what it was like!
      Being a medium I am aware of the use and the importance of our Chakras needing to be maintained for the good of our health.
      Well since the day after the experience I have not had my illness and so I owe a debt of gratitude to that hill and what ever it was that caused the experience. I will return soon to pay my respects for the ‘happening’ and leave an offering like so many others befor me. I may even stay the night up there! I give my respects to the ‘Unseen’. Brian

      • Thanks, Brian, to have shared with us such an extraordinary experience. No wonder you want to go back there ! But beware not to be trapped inside the Reverend’s tree if you spend the night there ,-)

        Our walk up Doon Hill was a peaceful one along the forest path, at the end of the day. The weather was bright and on reaching the summit we were quite delighted to discover so many moving testimonies lovingly displayed around Reverend Kirk’s tree ! Of course, we had come with our little presents too… The little bells hanging in the branches jingled under the light breeze and, with the singing of the birds, it composed a nice and gentle melody…

        Scotland seems to be a very special place indeed, quite favourable to the kind of experience you describe, especially the wilder parts of the country. The mountains and the solitary glens, the islands can give people the opportunity to face the elements, far from the noise of our society… We’ve felt the magic very often there. Maybe it partly explains why so many hermits settled in these places. In the cities, the atmosphere is quite different, and it can be rather dark sometimes, but the friendliness of the people do compensate for the lack of silence and peacefulness. Be you alone or not there, you rarely find lonely…

        All the best,
        Mairiuna

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