Maria’s friendship with the Fae was delightful, joyous and, of course, magical.
The Fae taught that magic was an art and skill that anyone could learn if they wished. It had taken the Tuatha dé Danann centuries of practice and mental discipline to develop the skills of transformation, flight and time travel, so no one expected perfection at first! Maria observed that the art of magic had raised the Fae to a high level of awareness, wisdom and understanding. She felt herself growing every day as she observed and learned these new ways of thinking and living. She saw that love and balance with universal harmonies kept the Elven people grounded and able to create wonderful changes in the physical world.
As the years went by, Maria honed her mental and spiritual skills so that she was able to create the appearance (or disappearance) of anything she desired. It was not instant, and it was not always perfect, but she could do it. She insisted the Fae not help her on projects—she wanted to accomplish them on her own.
BéChuille had explained that aside from the development of magical skills, there wasn’t much difference between humans and Elven people. Except, of course, immortality. “Its a matter of belief. Humans believe they die, and Tuatha don’t,” she said.
But Maria was unable to stretch her mind to believe in her own immortality. She never mentioned it, but secretly she was convinced that one day she would grow old while her husband would stay young and handsome forever. She spent many hours longing for the chance to spend eternity with her husband and lovely daughter, Áine.
Little Áine was beloved by all the Elven and the Fae. Even the Fomorian would greet her with a smile. Under the guidance of Scota and BéChuille, she learned all of the skills a faery princess should. She was very talented, much to the pride of her teachers.
Maria laughed as she watched her daughter transform butterflies and chipmunks into talking butterflies and chipmunks.
“Try and see if you can do it too!”
Maria would always try, but her skills were far from effective. She laughed, “I guess I need more practice.”
“Don’t mind any of that,” Flidais explained. “Its much easier for the younger ones. They’ve never been told that they can’t do magic, like humans have. You simply need to un-learn what you thought you knew and start from scratch, believing you can do it.”
Angus wrote a song about it not too long ago. Let me sing for you.”
And so, to the music played by birds and rhythm of the crickets and the nesting noisy squirrels, she sang:
If you believe it
You can do magic
You just have to unlearn
What you thought you knew
And then when you try it again
It’s so much easier
Just imagine in your mind what you desire
And it will come true
“It’s wonderful. Our children will make their husbands and wives among the mortal people. It is a chain that cannot be broken now.”
And that was how the Fae tutored Áine in the magical arts, just as her father had been. Her first lesson was this: all is illusion, so any reality can be changed. And the second lesson was this: that love is the first step of any creation and the greatest weapon in any battle.
Each of the Fae had specific lessons for her, too. From Scota, she learned the charm and power to enter any situation and change it from negative to positive. From Flidais, she learned the power of silence and intention and speaking to the animals. From BéChuille, she learned the skills of transformation and how to materialize anything she might ever need. Best of all, she learned from the sisters who had been enchanted wrens for so many years, how to undo charms and enchantments.
“OK, Bran. Hold still. I know you are not really a dog and I am going to disenchant you!” Áine wrinkled her little brow and put her face up close to his, staring into his eyes. Bran licked her face and nuzzled her with his wet, black nose. He rolled over on his back, looking up at her longingly with his big golden eyes, hoping she’d scratch his belly instead of practicing magic on him.
Áine kept turning him over and trying to get him to stand on his feet, which was not easy, since Bran was nearly the same size as she.
Scota found them struggling in the glen and laughed. “What are you trying to do, Áine?”
“I am trying to change Bran into a handsome prince. But he just won’t stand up!”
“Well, my dear. You have to give him a good cause for changing. And even then it may not be easy. After all, he has decided to be a dog.”
Bran glared at her.
“I mean, once, long ago, at the time of enchantment, of course!”
“Well, then he should be able to change into an Elven man today!” Áine struggled and pulled the lazy dog back to his feet.
“No, you see, the resistance of the time passing has worn upon him. He no longer believes he is a man or that he could become one.”
“Come on, Bran! I wish you to be a man… then you can fall in love with a beautiful maiden!”
Bran sat and scratched his head with his paw.
“Again, my Dear, remember that disenchantment happens only when the being himself, wishes it to be so. But you can help. Imagine Bran as you wish to see him.”
So Áine spent that day walking in the forest, practicing lesser spells but mostly, imagining Bran as she wished to see him—an Elven prince, tall and handsome, young and in love.
The next day she awoke and Bran was gone. Áine looked everywhere for him, calling his name. Finally she sat down on a fallen tree and sighed. “I guess he ran away.”
At that moment, a young and handsome young man came through the forest, his long black hair falling to his chest. “Hello.” The young man spoke.
“Hello.” Áine was curious since they had no visitors in this place. “Who are you?” she asked.
“I—I was walking along the seashore and I wondered who lived here.”
“What is your name?” the girl asked kindly.
“My n—name? Why, I don’t know!” The young man looked a bit confused yet he sat down beside her on the log. When he turned to her, his deep golden eyes seemed to embrace her and ask for her friendship.
Áine turned to him met his eyes. She smiled, “I shall call you Bran.”
He smiled. “Glad to meet you.” He certainly was handsome. But he seemed preoccupied. “I should like to inquire if you have any older sister living here with you?”
Áine led him toward the cottages so he could meet the others.
Practice brought Áine greater confidence in her skills. Her talent was never taken for granted. Every opportunity was created for her to learn and develop her mental and spiritual strength and to gain confidence in her unique spiritual guidance.
Áine was nearly seven when she knew she was ready to guide her father to discover the enemy he sought.