The Fool of the Forth; The Stroke Lad

Also known as: Amadan Mor; Amadan na Bruidne; Amadan na Briona

Origin: Ireland

Classification: Sidhe

Amadan may be the most dreaded of all Sidhe. To be touched by Amadan is to be felled by a stroke. Amadan’s stroke is no mild stroke; inevitably it is severe, devastatingly debilitating and resists all manner of healing. Even Biddy Early (1798-April 1874), among the greatest of Ireland’s Fairy doctors, was unable to heal Amadan’s victims. Victims may simultaneously suffer lost wits.

Lady Gregory (1852–22 May 1932) chronicled Amadan in her book, Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland. Eyewitness reports derive from those who have escaped him or have seen him touch others. Amadan injures through touch; his presence alone does not cause harm. His attack doesn’t derive from a casual, careless brush against someone: instead he reaches out and deliberately touches someone, who is then immediately seized with a sudden stroke.

Because Amadan may be a crazy fool, there is no reasoning with him, no successful method of appeal. The best course of action is to avoidhim if you see him coming, although, as he is a shape-shifter, this is a challenge. (He is visible, at least some of the time.) Lady Gregory suggests that constant repetitions of the prayer, “The Lord be between us and harm,” counteracts his power, at least until you can escape or he leaves. Unlike most disease spirits, Amadan does not heal the affliction he transmits.

Time: He is most active and at the peak of his powers in June.

See also: Sidhe

From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

Irish Mythology

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Irish Mythology

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