Tricksters & Fools, The Curse Of Amadan Dubh

Aah Summer, joyful energies of magic, enchantment, celebration, delight, fun, light, illumination and clarity.

The Irish fairy Amadan na Briona is at his most active in Summer playing mischievous tricks. Also called the Fool of the Forth, he changes his shape, knocks on doors late at night and pops up from behind hedges.

The Queen And The Fool

I have heard one Hearne, a witch-doctor, who is on the border of Clare and Galway, say that in ‘every household’ of faery ‘there is a queen and a fool,’ and that if you are ‘touched’ by either you never recover, though you may from the touch of any other in faery. He said of the fool that he was ‘maybe the wisest of all,’ and spoke of him as dressed like one of the ‘mummers that used to be going about the country.’ Since then a friend has gathered me some few stories of him, and I have heard that he is known, too, in the highlands. I remember seeing a long, lank, ragged man sitting by the hearth in the cottage of an old miller not far from where I am now writing, and being told that he was a fool; and I find from the stories that my friend has gathered that he is believed to go to faery in his sleep; but whether he becomes an Amadán-na-Breen……..The Celtic Twilight, by William Butler Yeats

Amadan Dudh

Amadán Dubh, also known as the “‘Dark Fool'” or “Fairy Fool”, is a trickster fairy found in Irish folklore, and is the “bringer of madness and oblivion.” It is also said that Amadán Dubh “haunts the hills after sunset playing reed pipes to work his magic.” Seeing as how he cloaks his deeds in shadow, myth, and deliberate obfuscation the lack of a coherent myth about The Amadán isn’t surprising. One of the mighiest of the folk of the mound his powers are in poetry, the creation of Geases and music rather than battle. There are some indications that he is at odds with some if not all of the fae folk although the reasons are unclear, mythical, imaginary or simply incomrehensible from a human point of view. He allegedly delights in passing himself off as others of the Fae and it has been suggested it was Amadán not Morrígan who twined about the heels of the hound of ulster at the ford. There are also allegedly beliefs among those who study the allocation and effects of Geases that The Amadán regards history as a poem still being written – perhaps what we would describe as performance art. In this he is similar to certain aspects of trickster gods like Raven or Loki. The Amadan, The FATAL Fool is far darker.

Fool of the Forth

We’ve heard of faeries and banshees and the walking dead but as to the fool in this world, the pity for him is mingled with some awe, for who knows what windows may have been opened to those who are under the moon’s spell, who do not give in to our limitations, and are not “bound by reason to the wheel” as they say.


In many cultures those that used to be called insane held a special place of reverence, and were treated almost as envoys from another place, or as though they could see something nobody else could, or were dancing to music only they could hear and the rest of us were deaf to. People would remove their hats and bow their heads to see one such passing by.

And so it was in Ireland, where they were called the touched, and it was not meant that they were touched by the moon, unless it be that same moon that shines on our world and the Otherworld, but touched by one of the most powerful fairies of all, the high jester and adviser to the midnight court, the Amadan Dubh, or the Black Fool!



Journey now to the Fool and all his helpful insights into letting go and getting in touch with your inner child and passions. He allows you to be spontaneous, feel pure joy, and believe that you can achieve anything you put your heart and soul into. Take that leap of faith.


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