GEOMANTICA magazine no. 59

Geomantica 59

June 2014

Geomantica is an international web magazine of geomancy, dowsing, eco-sensitivity, esoteric agriculture and eco-living, published three times per year.

Editor: Alanna Moore.

Editorial G59

Whether you are enchanted by the fairy Otherworlds or the practice of an Earth spirited permaculture, you will be not disappointed by this issue of Geomantica!

It’s wonderful to be back in rural Ireland where I am ‘going with the flow’ and allowing life to unfold magically! Will be here until the end of September, then back to Australia. So if you are around these parts, do come along to a Fairy Walk, the odd geomancy workshop or presentation on the dangers of EMFs. (See the What’s On at the end.)

I forgot to note in the last issue the sad demise of two organisations. The Sydney based Australian Dowsers Society has now folded. Without a groundswell of support, it proved too hard to keep up the momentum. And, after some 19 years the Natural Resonance Group, based in Perth, Western Australia, has also shut down, leaving that state without any dowsing group at all. After their instigator Maria Felsenreich of Austria died it proved hard to find a focus, and members of both organisations were not getting any younger, with several of them passing or moving on.

While not in Australia I cannot always supply everything that is listed on the Geomantica site, so always check on availability before ordering.

If you are new to the site you may wish to subscribe to the occasional Geomantica Newsbriefs that will inform you of the uploading of the latest magazine or any relevant events that may be happening in your region. (You need to tell us what part of the world you live in to be put on the correct list.) This is a free service!

Enjoy the rich treasure of news, reports, articles and insights in G59.

Happy reading!
Alanna Moore

Pic – Traveling in Europe for an electro-sensitive such as myself can be a daunting task! But my new veil that repels electromagnetic fields (it’s impregnated with copper and silver) provides me with a mobile Faraday cage for day use and also for wrapping myself in during sleep when necessary (as determined by my RF meter). Here in Amsterdam I also found myself in accordance with fashion! But some people thought I was a nun or a Berber woman. I’m not worried what people think and have come to enjoy wearing my veil. It keeps me healthy and happy, along with other strategies for self-protection. So that’s a great relief!



News – ‘Singing to the Land’ by Alanna Moore.

Feature Articles -

‘Dowsing Rods, Capacitors, the Memory of Water and Static Electricity’, by Miroslav Provod.

‘Permaculture and Nature Spirits’, by Michael Michael Pilarski.

‘Herbal Lore, Fairies and Seers in Old Ireland’, by Alanna Moore.

What’s On? – Geomantica & Living Architecture Events (in Europe).



Hi there Alanna -
How I love your work! Facinating, inspiring and gives me hope.

I got your book “stone age farming” 2. ed.
In Kivik in Sveden (the appelorchard of Sveden) I got the impression that used  and positioned correctly the stonecircles ( and other structures) create a torus. The energy comes down in the center spreads out in the ground and comes up an shapes a doughnut shaped energyfield. We humans can accelerate the energy by meditating on the flow. Of cause this has to be in cooperation with the “deva” and the “troll” at the place.
here is a link to a picture and description of a local place.
Thanks for a informative book

I’m very excited to learn all about this extremely interesting and important topic. I study urban & Regional planning and am looking for ways other than guide lines in a local Development Plan to help determine the best spot for house site etc.I think it’s important to work with earth energy and devas in this process. I’m also into permaculture design so hope to incorporate dowsing here too and on our own property.

All the best,

News -

Singing to the Land

by Alanna Moore

Deeply connecting to the land that sustained them, the Aboriginal people of Australia developed long song cycles that wove around the landscape and, in segments, were sung by each land owner in turn. No-one knew the full story, but everyone was aware of the connectivity that the song bestowed on the land and between its various clans of land owners.

In modern days the beautiful songs of Aboriginal songwriter Kev Carmody elicit those same connections. ‘This Land is Mine’, is a classic where we hear that also ‘this land owns me’. (See his concert DVD ‘Cannot Buy my Soul’, available online.)

Meanwhile in Africa the indigenous peoples have songs for every occasion, from sweeping the floor, to songs for ceremonial occasions. Work becomes joyful when singing together with traditional lyrics and common values as a wonderful glue for community wellbeing.

Likewise we can connect to the land and each other through songs. Not commercial or traditional songs of love and angst, and loss and mourning. We need to craft songs that inspire positivity and joy!

To craft songs and chants of one’s own and sing them as a blessing to the land, life and the community is the way to go!

A few years ago in Ireland I wrote a musical about ancient Irish harvest traditions, inspired when I was here in 2009 by the fragmentary stories that are barely known today. It was performed twice at a Fringe Festival with a dozen people and twice afterwards with just myself and Peter. Such a great buzz to do!

Now on another extended stay here in Ireland I would love to find people interested to also learn and perform this ‘street opera’ again, for the end-of-summer harvest season. Please make contact if you are!

You can also explore singing to the land at one of my Fairy Walks in Ireland this summer. You just need an open heart and good waterproof walking shoes!

The next date set is for Sunday June 29th, 2.30 – 5pm in south County Leitrim. Otherwise it’s best if people organise their own little group to attend a Fairy Walk and organise a date when it suits them. (I have retired from organising events by myself!)

Enquiries –


Dowsing Rods, Capacitors,

the Memory of Water and Static Electricity

One A-level student in Sussex carried out an interesting experiment with a microwave. Filtered water has been divided into two jars. The first has been heated in a pan on the stove to boil, and the second in a microwave oven. After cooling to room temperature the water was used for watering two identical plants placed in flower pots. On the third day there was a noticeable drop of leaves on the plant watered with water from the microwave. This trend increased in the following days and the plant died on the ninth day. This experiment has been performed with the same result by the students in Sussex repeatedly.

William P. Kopp commented that the food prepared in a microwave oven is accompanied by a destructive process. Molecules of food are set into rapid motion by microwaves and their mutual friction denatures the original natural properties of the food. This results in the destruction of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and creates new unknown substances. There have been numerous discussions on the influence of microwaves on human health. It is also known that during the Second World War microwaves were banned from use to prepare food for soldiers.

During my experiments I found that water heated in the microwave gains an energy charge that I describe in other articles. It was concluded from further research that charges have different energy values, which can be beneficial to human health in some cases, but can cause damage in others. It appears that charges have a scale of values ranging from 1 up to some high unidentified value, which may be the SHC (Spontaneous Human Combustion) value. Charges are constantly influenced by zones of other charges (see my other articles). The transfer of magnitude of such charges, however, does not work linearly.

I think it could be useful for further research to concentrate on the memory of water and unite it with the known results. Let me give an example: A bottle of tap water is placed in or near the bed where we spend at least six hours overnight. During that time, water gains energy of the human body. The energy gain can be measured by a dowsing rod, which can show a radius of aura in centimetres. This can give us some informative knowledge, which can be used together with the given value of electric charge on cell membranes – approximately 30 –  80 mV. This experiment should be repeated and an average taken, so that we can exclude undesirable effects of other charges, which can cause fluctuations. These are for example: Increase in bodily charge due to alcohol consumption, charges of surrounding objects, changes in charge of the building we sleep in (e.g. due to wind friction, which may affect it), charges of possible convective- (thunder-) clouds in the vicinity and similar effects.

We then compare our results obtained with a dowsing rod with those obtained by the use of a large capacity capacitor (having a capacity of one to several Farads) and a very accurate voltmeter. A very useful result would be a relation in the diameter of aura and the charge measured by the voltmeter. Both of these can be purchased at any electronics store. In my experiment I have used two capacitors – 1 F and 3.5 F. For laboratory experiments where the source is a small aquarium pump (see my other articles), a lower capacity capacitor is sufficient. For higher charge sources such as a streams, trees, Megalithic structures, sacred buildings, etc. the use of a higher capacity capacitor would be recommended. In all kinds of experiments it is most important to obtain the results with the dowsing rod. The capacitor only confirms the results. This may remove the shadow of doubt that is currently cast on a dowsing rod. Dowsing rod is currently the only device that can be used to search for energy sources such as underground springs or ore-rich locations. Expensive digital measuring devices that can measure charge of static electricity can be used only in a small distance from the source, but can show more precisely the size of the charge and can therefore be applied within industry, but can also be used together with a dowsing rod.

It needs to be reminded that transitions of energy take place in the range of hours. The statistics of the length of time it takes for energetic transition to take place as well as the changing resistance of water could also give us some new information. Tap water has an electrical resistance of 1 Ohm, water from a circular pool that has been pumped around and hence charged by friction with walls of the pool by the use of an aquarium pump kit has a resistance of 2.1 Ohms, and water that has been microwaved to 80 ° C and cooled has a resistance of 9 Ohms. These results were obtained by using the same pool of water and the same experimental set-up, just the water was perturbed in the specified ways. Heating of the water was performed in a different jar. It will not be easy to find the optimal charge that could be used for curative processes, which is suggested by the pond of Jerusalem (see GOOGLE – the Jerusalem pond), which hides many hints like other megalithic structures. In order to have enough information to design a measuring device, a large amount of experiments must be performed by groups that deal with this issue and consist of specialists of various professions. I wrote this article for dowsing supporters who can use this new information in their research experiments. I will not write more about this in this article as all the information is described on the website given at the end below.

When writing this article I have heard the news about the missing Malaysia airlines aircraft. If this can not be sufficiently explained, I recommend searching in history. There have been five aircraft that disappeared together with the plane, which was deployed to search for them. This case is similar to the one that occurred at sea on a boat Mary Celeste, which was rapidly vacated by the entire crew. The energy of sea currents can adversely effect brain cells and human thinking.

Miroslav Provod



By Michael Pilarski

How can permaculture benefit from nature communication? Anyone who has worked closely with indigenous peoples cannot help but notice their respect for nature, other lifeforms and the natural elements of water, earth, air, and fire.  All are given respect.  All are talked to. All (or almost all) indigenous cultures had shamans who were the tribe’s ambassadors to the nature spirit realms and other spirit realms. The animals, plants, etc have spirits which we can communicate with.  We communicate with these spirits (intelligences) to seek their aid and/or to placate them.

I have been studying and teaching permaculture since 1981. I have been studying and teaching about nature intelligences since the mid-1970s. Both of these studies have been ongoing concurrently for three decades now and I see no dichotomy. They fit perfectly well together. I do not know anyone into nature intelligences who denies the usefulness of permaculture, but I have met permaculturists who deny the existence or usefulness of working with nature intelligences.

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  It is only religious fundamentalists or fascist states that try to outlaw spiritual beliefs. Science scoffs at nature intelligences, but at least it does not make it a crime to believe in such.

Here are some ways to work with nature intelligences in designing or implementing permaculture.

* Ask nature intelligences for input into plant selections, placement, companion planting, fertilizing, crop rotations, etc.

* Ask for input into placement of buildings, ponds, infrastructure, etc.

* Ask for help in bountiful harvests, good plant growth,

* Ask for help in controlling pests and diseases.

* Use dowsing or awareness of subtle energies to find ley lines, power points and places to put (or not put) elements in the landscape. Australian permaculturist Alanna Moore talks about this in her chapter in the 2011 book Permaculture Pioneers and in her 2009 book Sensitive Permaculture.

* People can use ceremony, prayer and intent to heal the energies of places which have been abused or atrocities were committed on.

* People can seek information from nature intelligences in how to restore degraded or contaminated land.  For instance, a restoration team working on cleaning up soil contamination on Vashon Island from the ASARCO copper smelter in Tacoma worked with a nature intelligence communicator to get practical ideas on soil remediation.

* Weather shamanism is about communicating with the forces behind weather.

The indigenous worldview incorporates many of these things.  In our contemporary western society there are more and more sources of information on these things including the Findhorn material, Maechelle Small Wright’s Perelandra material, Peter Tompkin’s books and many more.

In my work I use both the science of permaculture and nature spirit communication. We need to use our brains and intellect. We can use our finely-tuned senses of observation both physical and non-physical.  Mind and spirit working together are better than either one alone.  Sometimes we refer to it as heart and mind working together.

Nature intelligences come in all sizes. There are small, local, nature intelligences which are sometimes referred to as fairies.  There are large and powerful nature intelligences which work with larger areas and processes in the landscape (and waters, atmosphere and fire). Sometimes referred to as devas. Some of us believe that all physical manifestations have spirit intelligences behind/within them.  We can talk to bear, salmon, raven, coyote, cedar, etc. The planet Earth/Gaia has its planetary logos. There is a lunar logos, a solar logos, etc.  From tiny individual flowers to whole ecosystems, to planets, stars and galaxies each has their spirit counterparts.  Intelligent, cognizant, powerful and deserving of our respect. As my friend Eileen Kilgren tells us, “Praise the little ones and placate the big ones.”

This tiny little article just touches upon the vastness of the spirit realms.  Humans are, or can be, powerful beings in their own right.  Our ability to love, communicate and collaborate with these realms has been the study of shamanistic cultures and mystery schools back into antiquity. The recent age of Christianity and materialistic science has largely drummed these abilities out of most people, but some people never lost these abilities and countless people today are taking up these studies and practices anew.

There are a number of us within the permaculture movement. A few of us are willing to talk about this publicly.  I am one of them. Alanna Moore is another one and I recommend her books and writings as a bridge between permaculture and the spirit world of nature.

I firmly believe that permaculture along with nature communication can restore the world’s ecosystems and create an abundant future for all life forms on earth.

If you would like to read more along these lines check out my website  It is the website for the Fairy & Human Relations Congress. In 2013 we held our 133h annual Congress (in North-central Washington).  It is the foremost event in the world focused on exploring communication and collaboration between nature intelligences and humans.

With respect for all life,
Michael, 2010.

Author Bio – Michael Pilarski is the editor of “Forty Years with the Fairies.” He is also a farmer who has been studying and teaching Permaculture as well as introducing people to the nature spirit realm for 35 years. He has taught 34 Permaculture Design Courses around the US and abroad including Nepal, Belize, Hawaii, and Canada. Michael is the founder of the Fairy & Human Relations Congress and the Kauai Gathering of the Realms.


Herb Lore, Fairies and Seers in Old Ireland

by Alanna Moore, June 2014.

From where did herbal cures derive from? When I was studying herbal medicine 30 years ago I think they said it was by trial and error. Yeh, maybe!

But if you read of the herbal medicine traditions of old you will get a completely different take. It was not so much experimental at all. Healers consulted the intelligences of nature who advised them accordingly.

A star amongst herbalists

Messegue was one of the greatest of modern herbalists in not just his native France but famed right across Europe in his time. His cures were simple, but they often had miraculous effects on people who had been given up on by their doctors. At the peak of his career he was consulted by the likes of Winston Churchill, a French president, top military people, plus stars of the stage.

In his autobiography, Messegue speaks of using a pendulum and dowsing for remedies. He had nothing to lose with such honesty, patients were plentiful, bringing him fame and fortune. (This is in stark contrast to a time in the 1980s when I had to secretly train a well known Sydney herbalist in the art of dowsing, which she would do in a cupboard in her office. She didn’t want patients to think that her remedies were determined by anything other than rational thinking!)

As an unschooled peasant healer, he had a great love for the plants that he collected in the wild places, where they grew much better and stronger than in cultivation. Messegue also acknowledged that herb lore was traditionally acquired from a plants’ deva, it’s consciousness or spirit aspect. The living intelligence of nature was just natural to this down-to-earth man.

Irish Fairy Doctors

The sheeogue, as the devas are collectively called in Irish, were treated with great respect and caution lest they become displeased and cause mischief or illness. They could also take people ‘away‘ with them for years at a time. But if unmolested they were considered to cause no harm to humans, who usually referred to them simply as them, themselves, the good people, the little people, the others, the gentry etc.

For the Fairy Doctors of the Irish peasantry they provided invaluable help with curings, often divulged when the healer was away with them. These wise people used herbal remedies and charms, curing chants and simple rituals to help them focus their intentions. One recommended that a man to go and touch certain rocks in the local quarry to gain a cure.

Writing in 1870, Reverend John O’Hanlon explained that Irish Fairy Doctors “usually lived a solitary and retired life, no ordinary share of mystery shrouded their motions. They professed a familiar acquaintance with all secrets, past, present and future; to cure all diseases effecting men and beasts, to discover and restore lost goods, to give a description and procure detection of the thief if property had been stolen, fortune-telling, and a knowledge regarding all matters of personal concern.”

Certainly the old tales passed down orally through the ages speak of incredible clairvoyance and psychic ability by the great seers of Ireland. And one thing is for sure. Fairy Doctors were mostly active in times when the death rate was very high amongst the peasantry. Death in childbirth and from typhoid was common in Ireland. It was rare to live to a ripe old age. The fairies copped a lot of the blame, probably unfairly so!

Ireland’s Herbal Hospitals

Back during Ireland’s Iron Age, some 2000 years ago, there were special herbal hospitals for the wounded warriors of many battles, who would convalesce in amongst the herb gardens. Irish people used to call these Formaoil na bhFianna – the hospitals of the Fianna, the famed fighting men of those legendary times. (Most people in Ireland would not be aware of them these days, however. They are  merely mentioned in the ancient annals.)

In some reading research, I discovered that one such hospital once existed on a hill near the site of the mythical Battle of Moytirra site in County Sligo, near Lough Arrow, at a high vantage point on Carran Hill in the townland of Barroe North. From there Lugh was said to have looked down on the battle of Moytirra from an 18m diameter stone cairn called Seelewey (from Suigh Lughaid, Lugh’s seat), before he went on to kill the one-eyed Balor. As this is close to where I am l currently living, I had to go there!

Nowadays cattle graze peacefully around the hill’s pastures, which have telltale signs of the past, if you know your herbs. The limestone formations which inspired the name of the area, Moytirra = Plain of the Pillars, make for ideal habitats where cattle cannot trample the beautiful wildflowers and herbs, thus they have survived, in the multitudes! Unlike your average cow pasture, medicinal herbs were everywhere evident on my visit in June 2014.

Breathtaking views of lakes and mountains surrounded us as we wandered along the Historical Trail, trying not to walk on the delicate wildflowers. Of medicinal herbs, we noted the presence of Tansy, Red Clover, Tormentil, Fairy Flax, Birds Foot Trefoil, Plantain, Lady’s Mantle, Hogs Bit, Milk Wort, Foxglove, Wood Sorrel, Chamomile, Herb Robert, Stitchwort, Speedwell and Mary’s Fingers and many more we could not identify, growing amongst the cow trampled grasses and up safe on rocks.

There was a magical feel here as we imagined the environment back in the Iron Age, when trees would have filled the horizons around us, the songs of birds would have been deafening and the ancient peoples would have lived above the tree line on hill tops, with a different climate and better soil conditions, thanks to the trees. (Nearby in Carrowkeal there is evidence of a large Neolithic village on top of a hill.) This place would have made a perfect place for wounded warriors to recuperate from their wounds, wandering the high plains amidst the healing plants. (There is also a legend of a herb-infused sacred spring in the area, where warriors were magically healed. I will have to return to find this!            

Famed Fairy Doctors

The most well known and acclaimed of Irish Fairy Doctors and Seers was Biddy Early of County Clare.  “Biddy Early surely did thousands of cures. Out in the stable she used to go, where her friends met her and they told her all things. … Her brother was away for a while and it was from him she got her knowledge,” an informant of author Lady Gregory was told around the end of the 19th century.

Another said that “the priests were greatly against Biddy Early. And there’s no doubt it was from the fairies she got the knowledge.” Another said of her that she was  “a red, red woman”. This saying used to connote a wild witchy woman in Ireland and it comes down, no doubt, from the days of powerful goddesses.

One Mrs Sheridan, interviewed by Lady Gregory, claimed that “I can bring back the dead with the same herbs our Lord was brought back with – the slanus [plantain] and the garblus [dandelion].” The curers often injected a smidgen of Catholicism into their applications and explanations of cures.

Some Fairy Doctors specialised in cases where the patient was given a touch or stroke from a fairy. One can imagine that the fairy wand depicted in Victorian era children’s literature was the medium for this stroke to be dealt out with, usually when they were displeased for some reason. A far cry from those sickly sweet images of fairy wands bestowing sweetness and light!

“There are some things I can’t do,” Mrs Sheridan told Lady Gregory. ” I can’t help anyone that has got a stroke from the Queen or the Fool of the Forth.” A forth is also known as a rath, liss or fairy fort, being the circular banked homesteads of the Iron Age and before, that became wilderness zones ideal for fairies to reside in after their human inhabitants had abandoned them.

The Fairy Queen has been described as a glowing human-like spirit being with a golden crown on her head, while the Fool  (in Irish – the Amadan na Briona) has been said to look like a very large, half naked man, or as a “sort of clown”, or as a shape shifter sometimes looking “like a youngster..the worst of beasts”. Shape shifting being a common attribute of devic beings.

The most famous Fairy Doctor in Wales was associated with a mountain lake, Lyn-y-Fan-Fach in the heart of the Black Mountains in Carmarthenshire. This lake was traditionally the home of a beautiful fairy woman. A young cowherd fell in love with her and he pursued her affections ardently. Eventually they married and had 3 sons, the story goes. When he accidentally broke a promise to her she went back into the lake, taking all their fairy livestock with her.

The 3 sons of the ‘lady of the lake’ often went there to look for her and one day she appeared to the eldest. She told him that he and his family would become healers, herb doctors. She went on to teach him herbal medicine lore at nearby Pant-y-Meddygon, the Physician’s Dingle. The family became known as the physicians of Myddfai and their valuable knowledge was passed down through the generations, such that the family became famous across all of Wales and beyond for their cures.

Fairy territory

The very first book on the deva kingdoms was written in the 17th century by Rev. Robert Kirk in Scotland. His generic description of the devas still stands true. “Their bodies of congealed air are sometimes carried aloft, other whiles grovel in different shapes and enter into any cranny or cleft of the earth where air enters to their ordinary dwellings, the Earth being full of cavities and cells.”

“Rarely do the fairies intrude upon any farmstead or cottage,” explained Rev O’Hanlon, “unless it happens to lie on a direct line between two raths. Then it’s said to be their passage and many think it might prove dangerous to obstruct the fairies entrance or egress.”

I have written of my own experiences with a fairy pass (pathway) that flowed through the centre of a building site on my husband’s land in County Leitrim (in my book Sensitive Permaculture). Also known as green ribbons, these energy paths provide a super highway for the devas to travel along, although they are not restricted to them. I was able to negotiate a new route for it, to avoid the path going through the building site. Now all is well. But you have to know what you are doing to attempt such a thing.

But there is more to be cautious of than this. Traditionally the fairies own the wild places, unworked by the plough. (This could possibly be because the plough is iron, which is anathema to them.) An informant of Lady Gregory’s told her that “of course they wouldn’t like you to touch a bush that would belong to them. They might want it for shelter, or it might only be because it belongs to them.”

Mrs Casey told Lady Gregory of a little girl whose mother had died. Afterwards she would go to speak to her spirit at a nearby Fairy Bush. Often a Hawthorn tree, the Fairy Bush left standing in the field today is one of the few tangible reminders of these past paradigms. They were considered a favourite haunt for the fairies.

Likewise one needed to avoid a Fairy Hole, another portal to their underworld homes. Lady Gregory relates a story of a boy who was out digging the field, who went down into a Fairy Hole. “And there was a woman came before him and says she ‘What are you doing here trespassing on my ground?’ The fairy woman threw a rock at his head that killed him… All the people said it was by the fairies he was taken,” the story concluded.

Fairy Geomancy

It was always considered wise to keep on the good side of the fairies. “That their friendship must be secured, by civil language and decorous behaviour, is an opinion deeply grounded in the minds of the peasantry,” Rev O’Hanlon wrote.

A house where there was much death and misfortune was said to be in the way of the fairies. Thus it was essential to consult a Fairy Doctor on the location for a new building. One such woman was called for in the Aran Islands, Land Gregory reported. She made five heaps of stone in five places and she told her client that “Whatever heap isn’t knocked in the night – build it there.”

Another healer, called Fagan, was known as “a great warrior in this business and no man within miles of the place will build a house or cabin or any other thing without him going there to say if it’s in the right place.”

Fagan’s dead sister was said to have given him the ‘second sight’ and ‘the cure’. He would consult the others when a problem was determined to have been caused by them. Another healer told Lady Gregory that “there are many can do cures, because they have something walking with them, what one may call a ghost from among the Sheeogue.” Apparently when the young died they were considered to spend time in fairyland, whereas the elderly, after dying, did not.

Fairy Herb Lore

It was common knowledge in the past that a Fairy Queen or Mistress ruled every ‘”house or regiment” of fairies, that either a Queen or King ruled each plant species and that such devic beings were consulted by and assisted fairy friendly individuals.

It wasn’t just any herbs and plants that were used medicinally by the Fairy Doctors. Where they were growing was considered important as well. Rev O’Hanlon reported that “herbs and plants in raths or dells are collected with various kinds of mummery and used for charms and cures by ‘bone setters’ or ‘fairy doctors’. These herbs are considered specially impregnated by some mysterious fairy influence, efficacious for the healing art… Sometimes the ‘fairy man’, also known as a ‘charmer’ or ‘cow doctor’, undertakes to remove fairy influences from sick cattle, by some prepared herbs, and nostrums performed at a spring well. He will not allow anyone to approach during the progress of his operations. …In the west of Ireland cows are often driven into certain springs or loughs reputed holy, in order to restore the usual supply of dairy milk and butter, supposed to have been supernaturally abstracted. Fresh butter is thrown into the water as a necessary part of these incantations.”

When a healer gathers a plant, Lady Gregory was informed, they call on the king or queen of the plant. “There is a king and queen and fool in each house of them…kind and gentle, and whatever you’ll ask them for they’ll give it. They’ll do no harm at all if you don’t injure them.”

One of Biddy Early’s favourite remedies was acquired from moss growing between the two wheels of the water wheel on the mill at Ballylese. The remedy could “cure all things brought about by them“, except, of course, the stroke given by a Fairy Queen or Fool.

To bring back anyone from being in the fairies you should get the leaves of the lus-mor [mullein] and give them to him to drink.” Lady Gregory was told. A Mrs Ward told her that her grandmother used to put a bit of mullein “with everything she took and she lived to be over 100.”

Other herbs reported to be used by Lady Gregory include dwareen (knapweed) for “pains in the bones”; atair-talam (wild chamomile), the “father of all herbs…[which] is very hard to pull – “you must use a black handled knife”; camal-buide (loosestrife), which will “keep all bad things away”; fearaban (water buttercup), “good for every bone in your body”; bainne-bo-bliatain (wood anemone) – “good for headache, if you put the leaves of it on your head”; dub-cosac (lichen), “that’s good for the heart, very good for the sore heart”; garblus (dandelion) is also; wild parsnip – “good for gravel”; and slanugad (rib grass) that will “take away lumps”.

For harvesting ribgrass Mrs Quaid stated that “you must go down when it’s growing on the scraws and pull it with 3 pulls, and mind would the wind change when you are pulling it or your head will be gone. Warm it on the tongs when you bring it and put it on the lump.”

Fairies and the Church

Healers usually picked herbs before dawn. They assigned certain days of the week as best for picking them, but these differ. Mrs Quaid said that “Sunday evening is the best time to get them, and I was never interfered with. Seven ‘Hail Marys’ I say when I’m gathering them and I pray to our Lord and to St Joseph and St Colman. And there may be some watching me, but they never meddled with me at all.”

As you can imagine, these activities were barely tolerated by the Church, so Fairy Doctors were careful to appear to work within a religious framework, even though their acquaintance with the fairy world was very much frowned upon. Sometimes even priests became Fairy Doctors, who were sometimes prosecuted and spent time in special gaols for their unsanctioned curing work.

“The last priest that was here told us a lot about them, but he said not to be anyway afraid of them, for they are but poor souls doing their penance,” Lady Gregory was told.


Fairy traditions are rich in Ireland, but they are not exclusive to that magical country. Lady Gregory was informed – “There’s no doubt at all but that there’s the same sort of things in other countries; but you hear more about them in these parts because the Irish do be more familiar in talking about them.”



Of People and Plants, Maurice Messegue

Irish Folklore, Rev John O’Hanlon, 1870, EP Publishing.

The Travellers Guide to Fairy Sites, Janet Bord, Gothic Image, 2004, UK.

The Secret Commonwealth, Rev. Robert Kirk, Scotland.

Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland, Lady Gregory, Colin Smythe, Gerrards Cross UK, 1920.

Hand of History, Burden of Pseudo History, Tom O’Connor, Trafford, 2005, Ireland.

A Guide to Carrowkeal/Keshcorran Megalithic Complex, Arrow Community Enterprise Ltd, 1996, Ireland.


What’s On?
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In Ireland:


Drumsna area of south County Leitrim

Sunday August 17th, 11am – 1.30pm (includes vegetarian lunch)

(and that could well be the last one in Ireland)

with practical training in Deva Dowsing and nature spirit attunement

Fee: 25 euros


Cahir, Tipperary
July 19 – 27th
‘Earth Song’
A week long festival of things alternative. Alanna Moore and Peter Cowman will be presenting.

South Tipperary, 19th July
“Out of the Woods” Event.
A day celebrating the Tree at a new ‘green glamping’ (sustainable glamorous camping) venue in South Tipperary. Alanna Moore will be giving a talk on Sensitive Permaculture at 3.45pm. For bookings contact Tom Pollard, Caravantasia, Crohane, Killenaule, Thurles, Co Tipperary, 086 8627 306.

*English Events

September 5 – 7 British Society of Dowsers annual conference.

The 2014 Annual Conference will be held at Keele University.  Keele offers greater space and flexibility, a larger lecture theatre, better accommodation, improved catering facilities and many other benefits. 

The BSD will be announcing the full line up of impressive speakers shortly but the global lineup includes the ‘Barefoot Doctor’, Stephen Russell;  Alanna Moore from Australia; Raymon Grace from the USA; Philippa Langley (Richard the Third) and many more!

Look out for full detail and early booking discounts on the British Dowsers Website

In Germany (and around that region)

2nd weekend + in September 2014.
Alanna Moore will be teaching geomantic subjects. Details to follow.





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