Monday, March 14, 2011

Luck of the Leprechauns

This week, one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick's Day, happens (March 17). Some of my ancestors came to America from Ireland, so I saw this as a perfect opportunity to devote this Mythological Monday post to one of Ireland's most popular myths: the leprechaun.

From The Fairy Ring Oracle

What do you know about leprechauns? You may be thinking, Well, they look like little old men and they wear a green jacket and they're somehow associated with St. Patrick's Day because they show up on a lot of beer commercials this time of the year.

But did you know that the leprechaun's key job was to make shoes for the fairies? That's actually how you can find a leprechaun because they blend in so well with their green surroundings; you can hear the sound of their hammering on the shoes.

Speaking of knocking, the phrase "Knock on Wood" is said to have come from the leprechaun myth. If you ever find yourself out in nature in Ireland someday, just knock on some wood and the leprechaun will bless you with good luck on your journey.

Catch a leprechaun, and he'll grant you three wishes. But this isn't easy, as they are tricky and super fast. Some good bait to try is gold coins. They possessively carry a pot of gold and sometimes leave a trail of glittery money behind them, so they do like coins. If you don't want to use real coins, you can cut out bits of cardboard and paint them gold.  Another good bit of bait is to set up a trap involving a shoe box since they are cobblers and making shoes is their passion.

Here's a great slide-show video of fairy art for you. It includes the beautiful leprechaun picture from above.

Irish blessings to all this week!


  1. Ooh, I like this. I'm big on Leprechauns and facts in general. I look by babbling brooks during dog days of summer. I find it's best to sit still for quite a while and then when compelled by an intuition look to the right quickly.

    There is a spot in The Catskills near where Rip Van Winkle was bedeviled that I know of and there is the most coolest abandoned Castle ever in the vicinity. Both areas are heavily wooded but not spooky (except for the castles).

    Signed, hobo

  2. Abandoned castles, ooo, one of my favorite things.

  3. In that case, wait till you see the photos that I am going to set-up on a web page for you to view. I got married to Wendy (my fourth wife) on the first day of summer in a castle (Bolt Castle) that is on an island in the St. Lawrence Seaway between Canada and America. We visit a new castle every June 21 to celebrate our anniversary.

    You and I have much in common C.J., I will cue you when the photos are assembled so that you can enjoy them too.

    Signed, hobo

  4. Oh, please do! I'm looking forward to it.