The Forbidden Dark Forest

„Hansel and Gretel“: If it wasn’t already before, the Brother’s Grimm definitely made the forest a most dangerous place. In the fairy tales the forest is not any longer the seat of the Elder Gods but became a place of unspeakable horrors long before the „Evil Dead“. There is no doubt that forest horror has a long tradition, it was feared by the Romans, even it was not so much because of any speculations about supernatural powers but because of the surprise attacks of the German Babarians. Forest lore is full of dangerous or even deadly encounters. There is even a German word „Waldangst“ describing a phobia connected with the forest. Today it seems the opposite when national park managers desperately try to figure out ways to protect our last primeval forests from trampling crowds of tourists and campers. The forest has lost much of its intimidating qualities but maybe also lost its soul.

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In our days „forbidden forest“ however has become a different meaning. Take the old English word „Werifestia“ – meaning „wandering longingly through the forest in search of mystery“. It’s certainly not forbidden to do that neither there are any magical forests, which we aren’t allow to enter. But there is only limited thinking allowed about mysteries.

The forbidden forest of our days is the terra incognita which we don’t allow ourselves to think to often about . And somehow I feel the Brother’s Grimm paved the way for that; either we identify the dark forest as the unknown realm of our own psyche (a narcissistic thought) or (in our stories) as the playground of monsters, witches and demons – no need to say that Hansel and Gretel had a lot in common with The Blairwitch Horror. The problem here is we reduce the supernatural realm in a way it becomes minimazed into a thin layer closely connected to our realm. Our realm dominates the world in the modern stories and fairy tales where the magic world appears to be the last artifact of the other world.

Luckily it’s not always the case: Tolkien portrayed the visible world and invisible world in a different way in „Lord Of The Rings“ where unimagible powers seem to hide behind a thin veil and execute an increbible influence in the material world. In ancient spiritual thought and greek philosophy it was common thinking. Plato explained in the Timaeus the world itself as a living creature: . “Wherefore, using the language of probability, we may say that the world became a living creature truly endowed with soul and intelligence by the providence of God” (30a-b). We could say our material world is only a shadow of the real world, the realm of our everyday world the thin layer on the surface of an unknown ocean of consciousness – in the Lord Of The Rings we feel somehow the great thoughts of the Greek philosophers.

It’s certainly true that the forest is often a metaphor for the unknown. But there is no need to reduce it to some little sublevel where the Cenobites or Freddy Kruger wait for us nor to some kind of psychological Bate’s Motel within our brains where we store our innermost fears or neuroses. The universe is beyond our imagination, but the forest has always be the place to connect both with light sides and the dark sides of the cosmical forces. In the best sense it can be the place of transition and development.



Mediators between the Otherworld and the visible realm, humans which are not what they seem, humans which are not aware what they really are, shape-shifters, travellers between the world, daemonic humans with superhuman forces. Are they fiction? Doing further research for my movie project I came across more legends and maybe a hidden reality which leads to disturbing conclusions.

The Sidhe are important figures in Irish Folklore. They are in many ways similar to the Fairies mentioned in “The Secret Commonwealth” by Reverend Kirk and in countless other stories. There are some very interesting aspects about the Sidhe, which makes it worth to take a closer look following the ideas about demons and daimons and how they have not only a close connection with humans but influence on human history . They are supposed to be fallen angels and even they retreated into the Otherworld they are very close to us: “In the realm of folklore we constantly meet with the idea of intercourse between the human and the fairy kingdoms, or the marriage of a human being with a fair spouse, or the theft, or a child by the fairies, an impish changeling being left in its place” (Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense).



Anthropologist and mystic W.Y. Evans-Wentz collected the fairly-lore on his field trips to Scotland, Ireland and other countries and provided us with a description of the Sidhe in his book “The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries”: “They are not a working class, but a military-aristocratic class, tall and noble-appearing. They are a distinct race between our own and that of spirits, as they have told me. Their qualifications are tremendous. “We could cut off half the human race, but would not,” they said, “for we are expecting salvation.” And I knew a man three or four years ago whom they struck down with paralysis. Their sight is so penetrating that I think they could see through the earth. They have a silvery voice, quick and sweet. The music they play is most beautiful. They take the whole body and soul of young and intellectual people who are interesting, transmuting the body to a body like their own. I asked them once if they ever died, and they said, “No; we are always kept young.” Once they take you and you taste food in their palace you cannot come back. You are changed to one of them, and live with them for ever. They are able to appear in different forms. One once appeared to me, and seemed only four feet high, and stoutly built. He said, “I am bigger than I appear to you now. We can make the old young, the big small, the small big”.

We might have nearly forgotten these old belief if not modern stories of alien encounter brought back many of the motives we find in the more frightening aspects of the Sidhe. These fairies are certainly part of the universe of daimons and demons which seem to accompany human kind from its early beginnings. There is a very obvious connection here with modern Ufo-lore.

In Scotland Evan-Wentz found a poem which is supposed to be a song by the fairies:

On certain nights when their bruthain (bowers) are open and their lamps are lit, and the song and the dance are moving merrily, the fairies may be heard singing lightheartedly:–

“Not of the seed of Adam are we,
Nor is Abraham our father;
But of the seed of the Proud Angel,
Driven forth from Heaven.'”

“Fallen angels”, “Fallen from heaven” could means they descended from the skies originally – or some alien planet. It seems wise not to take the historical accounts nor the modern reports too literal. If we would imagine an alien visitor or an alien race only a bit similar to life-forms on Earth the behaviour of fairies wouldn’t make some sense.



However there are some very serious aspects to consider. The Sidhe are different but also mirroring humans in many ways. If we follow the belief-system of fairy-lore they have strong powers; it’s like they can shape reality in a way. They are also close to humans and have mingled with them. But mostly they may have their part in shaping history. The question is if there is a plan behind this? Are they guardian angels or more like a secret sisterhood keeping a strong influence on us like the Bene-Gesserit Order in Frank Herbert’s Dune? A darker variation of the fairies or Sidhe could be found in Northern mythology: the Norns.

“The Norns in Norse mythology are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, possibly a kind of dísir, and comparable to the Moirai (also called “The Fates”) in Greek mythology. There were both malevolent and benevolent norns, and the former caused all the malevolent and tragic events in the world while the latter were kind and protective goddesses. Recent research has discussed the relation between the myths associated with norns and valkyries and traveling Völvas (seiðr-workers). The norns were thought to have visited newborn children in the pre-Christian Norse societies. Norns within skaldic references are often seen as negative beings that are mostly associated with transitional situations such as violent death and battle” (Wikipedia).

We might say this is interesting in terms about anthropological research and like the older beliefs became fairy-tales maybe future generations will see some of the alien encounters one day as fairy tales of their ancestors, but the stories are too consistent and even more the striking similarity of stories about the Sidhe with stories in other cultures like India cannot be ignored. Something is going on right here and now even the Sidhe are supposed to have retreated into a forest dark very far away in the age of science. However this is not the case. Their closeness with us suggests that some of them walk among us right now, and some people have a hidden identity they will maybe one day understand.

Our loss of second-sight, of awareness of the invisible world could made us more vulnerable to an impending darkness coming both from the inside and the outside.  The more frightening encounters with the Sidhe (or whoever they are) in modern times in alien abductions could be a result of human ignorance, maybe a warning, since the fairies are ambivalent but certainly not the darkest creatures we might meet one day. One of the most disturbing revelation of alien-abduction researcher Mack was the second identity, an alien identity the abductees discovered in their experiences. This goes along often with severe warnings. We are connected with the fairy kingdoms in a way which seems not really understood til today, and there is a connection which should not be broken.