Fairies have been part of many cultures mythology for centuries and many people believe they exist in nature today. In the media the fairy has become a creature that makes wishes come true and pays for children's teeth. They are seen as wise, and kind. Check out stories about sleeping beauty, Cinderella and Peter Pan to see how we got to think of them as these wonderful creatures! But look back a century or so and fairies were far more suspicious creatures, mischievous, chaotic and even, and evil.
So are we wrong about fairies and what are they? There are a few theories about that –
Fairies were minor goddesses, like nymphs, but with the coming of Christianity, they were demonised and became a force of evil. Many ancient deities and beings like sprites and leprechauns have now become fairies in folk lore. The wings and cute pictures of fairies are all from Victorian illustrations these creatures were once gods and goddesses.
They are also thought to be spirits of the dead, ghost or a class of un-dead beings. They lived in ancient burial mounds and graves waiting for other fairies to join them. Sprites, elves and banshees are all examples of this kind of fairy.
The church tried to remove the ancient beliefs in fairies by classing them as fallen angels, or even mini demons who paid a tithe to the devil. Pan and the hobgoblin are key examples of evil fairies.
Finally they are thought to be a race of small folk who were driven into the woods by us larger humans. They came to be seen as another race, or spirits, and were believed to live in an Otherworld that was underground or hidden in burial mounds. Check out King Arthur and his legends of Avalon where mortals to enter and withdraw from the Otherworld.
And apart from the fairy tales what do they do? Legend has it that the queen of the faeries pays a debt to Hell every seven years and this is a human soul. They collect the souls of drowned seaman and of course they have a hand in drowning them. The fairies often stole young women as brides, or perhaps for other, less honourable purposes, if the King of the Faeries takes a shine to a young bride he will ensure her marriage does not take place! Fairies steal mothers after giving birth and leave a doppelgänger in their place that would appear to die, making the women serve as nurse maids in the fairy realm. Handsome men are often seduced by fairy women, once seduced they are trapped by the fairy until they find another to take their place. Like witches they can place a curse on you or your family and are known to take offence at the slightest thing.
So a fairy is a pretty powerful creature for good or evil and if you have them living at the bottom of the garden it’s best to treat them with care.
Love & light