San Diego Scottish Highland Games Scottish Highland Games of San Diego
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net
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Spooky Scotland?! by Marilyn McPhie Nowhere on earth is so full of goblins, ghosts, witches and other such creatures.  Scots have long sought deliverance from all "ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night." The Scottish beasties are many, from good-natured brownies to malevolent water kelpies. Perhaps you have sighted --- or searched for such creatures yourself on a trip to Scotland.  Have you seen Nessie?  Have you shivered at the ghostly refrain of a lone piper on the ramparts of the castle in Edinburgh?  Have you wondered at the fairy flag of Skye? As October approaches , I think of a favorite Scottish tale of fairies, shape-shifting, a bold heroine. The story of Tam Lin is at least as old as the mid 1500s, and it has been told and retold countless times in story and song.  And it has a bonus.  My sister Janet once complained to me about her name.  "No one famous is ever named Janet," she said.  "Janets are always so ordinary."  So I told her the story of Tam Lin and its brave heroine who challenged strong and evil magic in the name of love - -- and won! Here's a brief version of the story: Janet had grown up with the dark warnings.  "Do not, do not, do not ever go into the woods in Carterhaugh.  At the peril of your life."  But Janet did not heed the warnings.  After all, Carterhaugh was, or should have been, hers --- an inheritance from her father.  It had been stolen years before by the dark and dangerous fairy queen, who made the place her own fairy realm. So one day when she had come of age, Janet determined to boldly go (as a modern story puts it) into Carterhaugh to reclaim it for herself and her family.  The woods were said to be dark, the path twisted, with tree branches to scratch and claw at anyone who entered.  But the woods Janet found were quite different.  The autumn sun shone through the trees.  The path was bright and beckoning .   And the roses?  The most amazing, the largest, the most intoxicating she had ever seen.  She paused to pluck a particularly spectacular double rose.  In an instant, there before her was a man, Tam Lin.  And not just any man.  He was the handsomest man she had ever seen -- black, curly hair, clear blue eyes, a dazzling smile and more than that, there was something about him that drew her to him.  "How dare you come into Carterhaugh?  Do you not know that it is the realm of the fairy queen?  As her own man, I challenge you, for anyone who enters must pay the price -- a chain, a ring or something else of value." The story tells us that when Janet left those woods that day, she had given neither chain nor ring and yet a price had been paid.  In the following days and weeks, she returned often to Carterhaugh and Tam Lin.  They fell in love in that enchanted place, and Janet dared to dream of a "happily ever after."  But as the October days slipped away, Tam Lin grew distant, and when questioned, he finally told Janet that every seven years on Halloween, the fairies were required to pay a tithe, and this year he felt certain that he would be the sacrifice.  Their days of bliss in Carterhaugh were numbered. Janet reminded him that she had been bold enough to come into Carterhaugh, in spite of dire warnings.  "How can I save you from this fate?" she asked.  At first Tam Lin said there was no hope, no hope at all.  But Janet pressed him, and finally he told her that there was one possibility.  On Halloween night, there would be a fairy procession.   If she could drag him from his horse and hold him close, the enchantment that bound him to the fairy world might be broken.  "I'll do it, " said Janet.  But Tam Lin warned her that it would not be so simple.  He would be difficult to hold, perhaps too difficult.  Janet insisted that she could and she would.  So when Halloween night came, Janet was in the woods, frightened, but determined.  As the procession appeared, the fairy queen rode by on her horse, followed by the fairy folk.  When a white horse appeared with a rider with one hand gloved and one hand bare, Janet knew it was Tam Lin.  She burst from her hiding place in the bushes, grabbed Tam Lin and pulled him down from the horse.  But what she held twisted in her arms and changed into first a fierce lion, then a writhing snake, and finally into red-hot iron.  As her arms burned, she flung him into a nearby well.  And when he emerged from the well, he was her own Tam Lin, freed from the fairy spell.  She wrapped her cloak around him.  The fairy queen was furious.  She said, "If I had known that this would happen, I would have plucked out your eyes and put eyes of wood in their place." But it was too late.  The powerful queen had to admit defeat.  Janet had won her true love and her rightful land with strength and determination.  And they did finally have a happily ever after. May our own  October days be filled with such joy and contentment.
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net
San Diego Scottish Highland Games Scottish Highland Games of San Diego
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084
Join Highland Happenings!
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust
Spooky Scotland?! by Marilyn McPhie Nowhere on earth is so full of goblins, ghosts, witches and other such creatures.  Scots have long sought deliverance from all "ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night." The Scottish beasties are many, from good- natured brownies to malevolent water kelpies. Perhaps you have sighted --- or searched for such creatures yourself on a trip to Scotland.  Have you seen Nessie?  Have you shivered at the ghostly refrain of a lone piper on the ramparts of the castle in Edinburgh?  Have you wondered at the fairy flag of Skye? As October approaches , I think of a favorite Scottish tale of fairies, shape-shifting, a bold heroine. The story of Tam Lin is at least as old as the mid 1500s, and it has been told and retold countless times in story and song.  And it has a bonus.  My sister Janet once complained to me about her name.  "No one famous is ever named Janet," she said.  "Janets are always so ordinary."  So I told her the story of Tam Lin and its brave heroine who challenged strong and evil magic in the name of love --- and won! Here's a brief version of the story: Janet had grown up with the dark warnings.  "Do not, do not, do not ever go into the woods in Carterhaugh.  At the peril of your life."  But Janet did not heed the warnings.  After all, Carterhaugh was, or should have been, hers --- an inheritance from her father.  It had been stolen years before by the dark and dangerous fairy queen, who made the place her own fairy realm. So one day when she had come of age, Janet determined to boldly go (as a modern story puts it) into Carterhaugh to reclaim it for herself and her family.  The woods were said to be dark, the path twisted, with tree branches to scratch and claw at anyone who entered.  But the woods Janet found were quite different.  The autumn sun shone through the trees.  The path was bright and beckoning .   And the roses?  The most amazing, the largest, the most intoxicating she had ever seen.  She paused to pluck a particularly spectacular double rose.  In an instant, there before her was a man, Tam Lin.  And not just any man.  He was the handsomest man she had ever seen -- black, curly hair, clear blue eyes, a dazzling smile and more than that, there was something about him that drew her to him.  "How dare you come into Carterhaugh?  Do you not know that it is the realm of the fairy queen?  As her own man, I challenge you, for anyone who enters must pay the price -- a chain, a ring or something else of value." The story tells us that when Janet left those woods that day, she had given neither chain nor ring and yet a price had been paid.  In the following days and weeks, she returned often to Carterhaugh and Tam Lin.  They fell in love in that enchanted place, and Janet dared to dream of a "happily ever after."  But as the October days slipped away, Tam Lin grew distant, and when questioned, he finally told Janet that every seven years on Halloween, the fairies were required to pay a tithe, and this year he felt certain that he would be the sacrifice.  Their days of bliss in Carterhaugh were numbered. Janet reminded him that she had been bold enough to come into Carterhaugh, in spite of dire warnings.  "How can I save you from this fate?" she asked.  At first Tam Lin said there was no hope, no hope at all.  But Janet pressed him, and finally he told her that there was one possibility.  On Halloween night, there would be a fairy procession.   If she could drag him from his horse and hold him close, the enchantment that bound him to the fairy world might be broken.  "I'll do it, " said Janet.  But Tam Lin warned her that it would not be so simple.  He would be difficult to hold, perhaps too difficult.  Janet insisted that she could and she would.  So when Halloween night came, Janet was in the woods, frightened, but determined.  As the procession appeared, the fairy queen rode by on her horse, followed by the fairy folk.  When a white horse appeared with a rider with one hand gloved and one hand bare, Janet knew it was Tam Lin.  She burst from her hiding place in the bushes, grabbed Tam Lin and pulled him down from the horse.  But what she held twisted in her arms and changed into first a fierce lion, then a writhing snake, and finally into red-hot iron.  As her arms burned, she flung him into a nearby well.  And when he emerged from the well, he was her own Tam Lin, freed from the fairy spell.  She wrapped her cloak around him.  The fairy queen was furious.  She said, "If I had known that this would happen, I would have plucked out your eyes and put eyes of wood in their place." But it was too late.  The powerful queen had to admit defeat.  Janet had won her true love and her rightful land with strength and determination.  And they did finally have a happily ever after. May our own  October days be filled with such joy and contentment.
Join our Newsletter
San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans (760)726-3691 / 619-884-2940 / 619-884-3157/ 760-505-5254 Email: sdshgchief@sbcglobal.net PO Box 3682, Vista, CA 92084