Lir’s Cloak: The Obscuring That Reveals

Lir’s Cloak: The Obscuring That Reveals September 27, 2010

In Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth’s Faeries Oracle there is a card for a faery called Sylvanius who bears the Mask That Reveals. He tells us that sometimes things must be hidden before the truth can be revealed. It’s an interesting bit of wisdom.

As I look out my bedroom window the mountains in the distance are obscured by mist, fog, cloud. A stranger to this land would never know they exist today, when visibility is limited to seeing only the other side of the street and no farther. The day is limited, hidden and veiled. This is a day of restrictions and that is a good thing.

In tales of old Manannaan mac Lir has a cloak made of fog and mist that he can use to protect, to obscure and to cause forgetfulness. When I see mist outside my window I know that this a day when”Uncle Manny” wants me to focus and meditate. He is telling me something is about to change and I need to be grounded, centered and mindful of all around me.

Today is a day when things need to be hidden. Laptops, cell phones, televisions and radios turned off. Lights turned off and candles lit. A day to let go of the world, to don a mask and revel within. Today is a day for a spiritual adventure. The mountains are obscured, as is the busy road, sounds of town are muted by fog. Yet revealed is the world of the fantastic. The fey world, the land of the sidhe. The Gods are close and the spirits are dancing in your kitchen.

Like most of the world, today is also a work day for me. But be assured that the first chance I get I plan to hide from the world, put on a mask and see what the day will reveal…

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  • HR Mitchell

    “Today is a day when things need to be hidden.”

    Sounds like a plan, to me. Think I’ll do just that!

  • Hate to be a perfectionist like this, but that’s why I have a Ph.D. in these subjects.

    Manannán Mac Lir (“son of the sea,” which is an epithet, not a patronymic) is the Irish god to whom you’re referring, who is sometimes said to have the cloak of mists and the like.

    Manawydan uab Llyr is the Welsh counterpart to Manannán, and may in fact be based directly upon him (as detailed in John Carey’s Ireland and the Grail and elsewhere). Manawydan does have his own difficulties with magical mists, but mostly to his detriment–he neither causes them, nor is able to do anything against them (at least initially), and when they appear, they always do so in ways that devalue his kingdom and his position, and by implication his rulership.

    Because there is both magic and meaning in words and names–including every letter that makes them up–spelling them right and distinguishing between related but separate forms becomes extremely important when working with these beings!

  • You’re right. I misspelled it and I should have known better. Fixing now.