A few weeks ago, I was with Rinpoche and we were watching a really good documentary on Youtube. It was about elves, faeries and all manner of supernatural beings in Iceland called “Enquête sur le monde invisible” – Investigation into the Invisible, a 2002 documentary by French director Jean-Michel Roux. Naturally, the dialogue was all in Icelandic and we had to rely on the subtitles but I must say that it was still just as immersive and long after the credits rolled, you are left with a sense of wonder.
What’s interesting about Iceland and apparently in other Norwegian countries as well, they are extremely open and receptive to the paranormal. A lady on the documentary said that its quite normal for a person to see ghosts in Iceland as compared to other western countries where everybody would think you must be mad. This is really true because this documentary shows quite a number of Icelandic people narrating their experiences with elves and all but none had expressed any doubts about what they saw. This sharply contrasts to most American documentary films I have seen that almost always experience doubt upon their initial contact with the paranormal. They would almost always attribute it to stress and they would always doubt that it was real until the evidence was overwhelming.
Back on the subject of elves and faeries, several people on the documentary attest to the fact that they do exist and they had personal encounters with them. In Iceland, elves and faeries are commonly accepted that roads, houses and other human structures are built around trees and rocks that are commonly accepted to be homes to these unseen beings. However, they do not look like how they are popularly portrayed as beautiful beings with pointed ears and wings. They are often other-worldly looking that is closer to alien than human. Not all elves are friendly and welcoming like how cartoons and children’s books often portray them. Some are even dark, sinister, conniving and can play really nasty tricks on the unsuspecting traveler on the road.
Enquête sur le monde invisible ~ Investigation into the Invisible…
Here are some of the diverse artwork that depict faeries in their natural state…
Celtic Monster – Faeries…
Another documentary we watched that night was Celtic Monsters – Faeries, which was a BBC program that featured several people who narrated traditional faery tales in thick Irish accent. My favourite is the third story which was about the lady who appeared mysteriously from a lake and married a son of a farmer. She would agree to marry on the condition that the marriage would be over after three unwarranted blows from her husband. She came with a herd of cattle as dowry for the marriage and they lived happily while bearing him three sons on a farm.
The first unwarranted blow came when they were invited to the christening of child in the church and she complaint that it was too far for her to walk. He laughed and lightly tap on her arm while telling her to take the horse. The second blow came when she attended a wedding and started to weep. People turn to stare at her and the husband elbowed her while asking, “Why are you crying? We are at a wedding!?!” She replied that she could see the amount of grief that lies ahead for the newlyweds.
The third and final blow came during a funeral they attended. She laughed and the husband elbowed her to keep quiet. She said that she was happy because the deceased had finally left all his troubles behind. Then, she said that she needs to leave now as that was the third unwarranted blow from her husband. She left for the lake and called her cattle with her. They disappeared into the lake but she would return a few time to her children and taught them how to heal all manner of diseases.
Faeries, elves and all manner of beings definitely do exist as many people across time has seen them. However, they are not always the benign beautiful creatures that we are used to in children’s books today. Most old celtic tales talk about them being deceitful and dangerous. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they do not exist and their existence along with those of other supernatural beings point at the existence of other higher awakened beings as well.