Folklore is Necessary, Bigotry is Not, and How to Spot an Expert
Hello everyone. Yes, I know it’s been a long time. This year has had both beautiful and tragic things changing my plans. This blog was also attacked by a racist troll. That has been handled, and their comments will never be seen. I don’t even have to read them, as they are instantly deleted. Yay! This is MY space, and I am honored to share my experiences and expertise with you, and it is my right and obligation not to put up with racism and bullying on my blog because it doesn’t just affect me. I do not give a single shit about what your genetics are. Your DNA determines your physical makeup; it is not a weapon to be used for false superiority. I will not give it space to breathe. Neither will Tadhg.
This is a queer-friendly, anti-racism, culturally-sensitive place where there is a mix of my personal experiences and spirituality grounded in centuries worth of documented folklore and mythology. I do my best to highlight native creators, which is what this post is about! (Check it out!)
Why Folklore Matters
Folklore research is so essential if you are actively dealing with fairies of any kind. Not all of your experiences will align with everyone else’s, but enough should if you give it enough time. Understanding when and where your experiences differ from the norm is essential. This can help keep you safe in your practice, conscious of your cultural explorations, and understanding if you are dealing with what you thought or if it may be something else entirely. Not every non-corporeal being is “spiritual” and has your best interest in mind. Having a well-grounded knowledge base and practice can help you develop a true sense of Self, where you can still thoughtfully examine your beliefs (and accept others’) without your world collapsing. You’ll be less likely to be misled and manipulated.
Finding credible sources is crucial to having that foundational knowledge. Yes, there are experts. Some people have academic degrees or publish in academic journals. They are vetted by their peers and deemed worthy of credit. There are people whose native knowledge and practice of a culture’s beliefs make them experts and valuable resources. Some people have academic and personal experiences (like many of the people I go to for information and like me.)
How do you know someone is an expert, not a scam artist?
They will provide legitimate sources for their knowledge. They have some work to show that has been evaluated by other knowledgeable people in their field. This can be, but isn’t always, a degree in the field or a body of publications. They can point to other experts to follow and cross-reference. They surround themselves with people who know more than they do. They acknowledge what they do and don’t know (even experts don’t know everything.) They differentiate between opinion and fact and distinguish between their own experiences and gnosis and what is considered fact. When presented with legitimate criticism, they examine it and make necessary adjustments. Experts constantly learn and push themselves. They don’t make claims that “there really are no experts, so it doesn’t matter anyway.” If you hear this, run.
As this blog has grown and changed, I’ve placed more and more emphasis on finding and sharing great sources. I have left some older posts up to show my own growth and areas where my understanding was a little clumsy because it’s important to see that this is a progression. People become experts over time and experience. And we don’t exist in a bubble or echo chamber. So please, check out an updated list of some resources! And refresh yourself on some of the red flags I wrote about here.
I still need to set a posting schedule, but events are coming up that I will be sure to put here.