Website of the Grove of Manannan Mac Lir of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids

The Four Cities

There are four cities* that no mortal eye has seen but that the soul knows; these are Gorias that is in the East; and Finias that is in the South, and Murias that is in the West; and Falias that is in the North. And the symbol of Falias is the stone of death, which is crowned with pale fire. And the symbol of Gorias is the Dividing sword. And the symbol of Fineas is a spear. And the Symbol of Murias is a hollow that is filled with water and light.

Fiona Macleod (William Sharp, 1855-1905) used an obscure model of four cities in several poems. These are said to be the original dwellings of the Tuatha De Danann, and are listed in early Irish poetry. The concept is closely related to the ancient provinces of Ireland (see fig 6) and the Four Implements or magical weapons of the Tuatha De Danann, the ancient Irish gods and goddesses who in later oral and written traditions became identified with the High Faery race (Wentz, 1911).

In ancient Irish tradition their gods and goddesses, the Tuatha De Danann, came to Ireland from four sacred cities associated with the four elements (earth air fire and water) and the four directions. In some mythos it is believed that the Tuatha De Danann came from the stars located in the four directions of the sky..


Wind comes from the spring star in the East; fire from the summer star in the South; water from the autumn star in the West; wisdom, silence, and death from the winter star in the North. -from The Divine Adventurer, by Fiona Macleod

The ancient Irish gods and goddesses, at a later point during the Christian era, became the High Faery of the Irish traditions. They retreated into the faery mounds, and the underworld.

Part of this tradition is the belief that the fairy people of each of the elements and directions brought with them from the stars a sacred tool of power. These sacred tools are known as the sword of the element of air and the direction of the East, the spear of the element of fire and the South, the cup or cauldron of the element of water and the West, and the stone of the element of Earth and stone and the direction of the North.

RJ Stewart in his book, Earthlight, recommends the using of the four fairy cities or realms in visualizations in order to lead one to experience deeper levels of the fairy realm and connect to powerful forces within the sacred land.

In neo-fairy traditions, the four fairy realms are used extensively. All of the four fairy realms are associated with categories or groups of faery beings or tribes, which are connected and manifest each of the four directions and elements.

* From The Little Book of the Great Enchantment, Fiona Macleod