If my Coat is Inside Out....

If my Coat is Inside Out....

There are many many ways to get into the Irish Otherworld. The folk lore of Ireland is littered with tales of fairy rings, stray sods, fairy trees, mist walls, sidhe steeds, and boats. Each of these mundane appearing things are more than what they seem, functioning as a doorway or stepping over point from our world to the Other.

Time and again we read tales of heroes, like Barn and his voyages across the Otherworld islands, or Oisin and the white steed that bears him away to the land of eternal youth. Yet for each of these epic sagas there are many many more experiences recorded about regular folk stumbling into a fairy ring either through misadventure or being lured by the strains of enchanting musics. These regular folk find themselves in some place or event full of wonder an delights, yet the wise among them know the danger for what it is.

The stories serve as a warning for the people of Ireland so that they can be forearmed with knowledge to prevent accidental transgression upon the Sidhe folk. Interrupting the revels can lead to terrible retribution upon you or even a welcome to feast and dance that will see a person spend every breath of life they have left ensnared in the wiles of the Otherworld. Indeed you will still find protective measures placed around households such as horse shoes above doorways or flowers strewn on a step.

Yet for all that prevention is the safest method of survival, one must know a little more should a person fall a foul of the Sidhe folk. It is said that there are few ways to escape once you find yourself in the Otherworld. One should neither eat nor drink whilst on the Otherside lest you become trapped to the infinite 'hospitality' o the immortals. That doesn't get you home though. In some tales of nightly sidhe revels a person would need to last until the dawn comes, either through cunning, guile, or musical endeavor, keeping the sidhe folk engaged and entertained until the light of a new day would see them retire and a person saved, but even this is no guarantee.

One of the few things that is said to confuse the sidhe and allow a person to escape their gaze, and indeed their power, is turning ones coat inside out. This act of reversal could in some way undo the binding and allow a person to make a hasty retreat for the freedom of home.

Should we meet whilst walking the land and if my coat is inside out... tell me I made it back?


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