Lady Alice Kyteler, Joan of Arc, and the Wee Folk

Spenser_Fairy_Queen

In Ireland, in 1324, the accused Lady Alice Kyteler was said to have met one Robin, son of Artis (aka Robert Artisson), he being “in specie cuiusdam aethiopis cum duobus sociis ipso maioribus et longioribus.” [1]

Dame Alice Kyteler is immortalized in William Butler Yeats’ poem, “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”:

But now wind drops, dust settles; thereupon
There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
That insolent fiend Robert Artisson,
To whom the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought
Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks.

Lady Kyteler reportedly made sacrifice of nine red cocks, and nine peacocks’ eyes. Various sacrifices were reportedly distributed at cross-roads. [2]

Margaret_Alice_Murray

The placement of the animal sacrifices at cross-roads may have some connection with the ancient holy day of Roodmas, said by Margaret Alice Murray (image) to be April 30th. The Christian Roodmas (from Old English ‘rood’ rod, cross, and ‘mas’, mass) is an archaic English word meaning “Mass of the Cross”. It commemorates the supposed finding by Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, of the True Cross in Jerusalem on September 14th in the year 355. [3] But the cross-roads used by Lady Kyteler may have symbolized a sinister inversion of the “True Cross.”

Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac would have been “an abomination; but it was represented so far as it could be, namely, even to the attempt, but not to the act…. To this abomination even the sons of Israel were inclined, and Abraham also; for no one is tempted except by that to which he is inclined. That the sons of Jacob were so inclined is evident in the Prophets; but lest they should rush into that abomination, it was permitted to institute burnt-offerings and sacrifices.” [4] In place of Isaac, “a ram caught up in a thicket by his horns” was slaughtered. (Genesis 22: 13)

The ancient use of animal sacrifice was established to represent correspondence between the celestial and the earthly. “No one who thinks sanely can believe that the various animals which were sacrificed signified nothing but sacrifices; or that an ox and a bullock or a calf signified the same as a sheep, a kid, and a she-goat, and these the same as a lamb; and that a turtledove signified the same as young pigeons; the fact being that every animal had its own special signification.” [5]

Other representatives involved sacred groves. “So long as that church, namely, the Ancient, was in its simplicity, their worship at that time on mountains and in groves was holy, for the reason that celestial things, which are those of love and charity, were represented by things high and lofty, such as mountains and hills; and spiritual things, which are therefrom, by things fruitful and leafy, such as gardens and groves; but after representatives and significatives began to be made idolatrous, by the worship of external things without internal, that holy worship became profane; and they were therefore forbidden to worship on mountains and in groves.” [6]

Rural persons, among them Joan of Arc, could not be so easily controlled however. In Britain, its so-called conversion by St. Augustine “meant the conversion of the rulers only.” Margaret Alice Murray concluded that, “underlying the Christian religion was a cult practised by many classes of the community” which “can be traced back to pre-Christian times, and appears to be the ancient religion of Western Europe.” [1]

Arthur-Machen

“And the hint came,” writes Arthur Machen (image) in his “fictional” tale, The Shining Pyramid, “of the old name of fairies, ‘the little people,’ and the very probable belief that they represent a tradition of the prehistoric Turanian inhabitants of the country [England], who were cave dwellers…”

“This dwarf race which at one time inhabited Europe has left few concrete remains, but it has survived in innumerable stories of fairies and elves.” [1]

1431. Joan of Arc. She had “never done anything with, or knew anything of, those who came in the air with the fairies.” [1]

Joan of Arc, of rural origin, in her youth had not been formally instructed in “the primitive faith”, but had learned at the knee of “certain old women.” Up until the time of her trial, Joan innocently claimed she never knew the “fairies” were “evil”. [1]

1566. John Walsh, of Netherberry, Dorset. He “saith that ther be iii (3) kindes of Feries, white, greene, and black.” When Walsh is disposed to contact the little people, “hee speaketh with them upon hyls (holes), where as there is great heapes of earth, as namely in Dorsetshire.” [1]

1653. Yorkshire. Reports of a man using some sort of “magic dust” to heal the sick. “What this man did was with a white powder, which, he said, he received from the Fairies, and that going to a Hill he knocked three times, and the Hill opened, and he had access to and conversed with a visible people…” [1]

The man from Yorkshire first encountered the little people when walking home from working, and feeling sad. He “met a Woman in fine cloaths, who asked him why he was so sad, and he told her it was by reason of his poverty…” The “Woman in fine cloaths” offered to help the man. She met him the next night. “Thereupon she led him to a little Hill and she knocked three times, and the Hill opened, and they went in, and came to a fair hall, wherein was a Queen sitting in great state…” She gave the man a white powder, said to have healing properties. Thereafter, when the man needed more of the powder, he went to the same hill and knocked three times. [1]

And so, “the love-lorn Lady Kyteler” sacrificed nine red cocks and nine peacocks’ eyes. But why was she “love-lorn”? Her first husband, William Outlawe, had died. Her second husband, Adam le Blund, also died. Also dead was her third husband, Richard de Valle. And then, Sir John le Poer, her fourth husband, he too died. [7] Thus it was that the love-lorn Lady Kyteler brought to Robert Artisson “Bronzed peacock feathers, red combs of her cocks,” there at the cross-roads.

(A version of the above first appeared at my Melchizedek Communique web site on April 14th and 15th, 2009.)

——- Sources ——-
[1] Witch Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology, by Margaret Alice Murray. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921
[2] “DAME ALICE KYTELER, THE SORCERESS OF KILKENNY”
http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/iwd/iwd03.htm
[3] “Roodmas”, Wikipedia, April 14, 2009
[4] Arcana Coelestia, by Emmanuel Swedenborg. n. 2818
[5] Arcana Coelestia, by Emmanuel Swedenborg. n. 1823
[6] Arcana Coelestia, by Emmanuel Swedenborg. n. 2722
[7] “Alice Kyteler”, Wikipedia, April 14, 2009

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About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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