Posts Tagged ‘fey’

Written by:
Wendi Friend

Faerie fantasies, elf encounters, gnome sightings, pixie dust, enchanted realms… we’ve all tickled our minds and dazzled our imaginations with the tales of magic and mayhem. But are they real? Do they exist, and if so, how can we see them? Where did they come from? If they’re real, why are they shrouded in doubt and disbelief? Does wanting to believe in faeries mean you’re delusional?

Stories and beliefs about the history, legend, and lore of faeries are as varied as a Las Vegas Buffet line! Peppered with curious riddles and rhymes, salted with cynicism and skepticism, spiced with vivid details that lead to renewed hope and wonder, the seasons of faeries are many. Though never scientifically proven or captured for display, and though varied in size, shape, color, origin, purpose, and other factors including diversified spellings of the word faerie itself, one thing is fact: Seasoned stories of faeries have appeared in every culture, in every era, in every part of the world throughout human history. In that sense, faeries are very real.

The spellings of the word faerie are as flavorful as the varieties of faeries themselves. You’ll find it spelled faerie, faery, fairie, fairy, fay, fey, and then some. You’ll also hear them referred to as the wee ones, the wee folk, the little folk, the little people, and more. There really is no right or wrong way to spell or define faeries. Much like religion, the relationships one has with faeries is based on personal spiritual connection and personal definition or preference. In fact, in some cultures, belief in faeries is so strong that it is a religion in and of itself, The Faerie Faith. Other religions, such as druidism and paganism, incorporate faerie beliefs into their faiths as well. This certainly adds to the spice rack of faerie flavor! Whether you’re just a fan of Walt Disney’s Tinkerbelle, or your belief is so strong it ranks as worship, there’s a way for you to believe in faeries.

The druid faith is said to believe that when a human dies, they’re reborn or reincarnated into the enchanted realm known as faeryland, another word with diversified spellings and aliases. In the druid version of faeryland, all faeries are born as adults and there are no faerie children. In that same belief system, when a faerie dies, they are born into the human world, the earthly plane, as mortals. Thus, according to druid faerie faith, death is the gateway to immortality, and the portal between the human and faerie realms. However, the religion of Wicca has another view.

According to the concepts of Wicca, faeries were a creation of the deities, the gods and goddesses, just as humans and animals were created. In the faith of Wicca, the plane (or frequency) on which faeries vibrate is known as the astral plane, a place experienced by the psychic eye (or Third Eye) and spirit, not by mortal eyesight. Wicca faith is said to teach that in the long ago past, humans and faeries worked quite closely with one another, often even forming friendships, relationships, and producing offspring. As the stories go, humans began mistreating the faeries, taking advantage of their gifts, and causing rifts in human/faerie relationships. Eventually, the two forms of life were no longer able to peacefully co-exist, and so the veil between the worlds was drawn closed, to be opened only by those with the utmost belief and respect for the faerie kingdom, the astral plane, and for magic. But you don’t have to be part of a religion or “movement” in order to experience faerie enchantments. All you have to do is open your mind to the possibilities, and the possibilities are many!

In the faerie kingdom, according to no-one specific faith yet supported by many, is the concept of a hierarchy system. Humans tend to group anything immortal or with wings attached into one category called “Angels and Faeries”. The truth is, there are as many varieties of enchanted creatures as there are animals on earth! To group them all into one general human-tainted stereotype is unfair. Most who take the faeries and other “fantastical” creatures seriously respect the fact that these life forms bring to the table a wide variety of seasons and spices in the ways of gifts, talents, offerings, purposes, and human encounters. Among these diversified entities is a hierarchal system.

To be considered when speaking of the faerie realm, faerie kingdom, or faeryland are Elementals, which are a higher concentrated energy and more deity like than human; Nature Spirits, which govern the seasons and the environment; Elemental Faeries, which are the Sylphs (Air faeries), Undines (Water Faeries), Gnomes (Earth faeries), and Salamanders (Fire faeries). The Elementals, also known as Devas and closest to deity in likeness, are the highest rank in the faerie kingdom. Though they are divided by elemental properties (air/earth/water/fire), the directions (North, South, East, and West), and the Seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring), they are united in their purpose, power, and processes. When it comes to “seeing” faeries, it’s unlikely for an elemental or deva to be spotted. Instead, they’re felt, absorbed like a sponge, permeating the being and causing goose bumps.

After devas and elementals, we must return to the Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders, and Gnomes. Each of these names is general, and each has a wide variety of faeries, pixies, trolls, and other creatures under its description. However, each of the four groups has a King and a Queen, and so those kings and queens follow devas in the hierarchy of faeryland. Another thing to be considered is that each of these groups of creatures has its own “prime time”, its own season in which its energies are strongest, it’s most apt to be experienced, and its potential is highest. All of the creatures in faeryland exist all year round, but they take turns in regard to who amongst them is strongest in power throughout the year. It’s a cycle, much like the wheel of the year.

So if there are levels and tiers of faeries, diversified concepts through time and history of faerie origins and ways, and nearly every culture in all human history has some version of faerie lore, what are the chances that you have been in the presence of a faerie in your lifetime? Granted, there are common tales like the tooth faerie and we’ve all seen a Tinkerbelle character or two, as well as artwork, collectibles, tee shirts, and other faerie kissed merchandise. But I mean what are the chances that you have been near enough to have seen a faerie… if you knew what you were looking for?

Jack frost, frost faeries, snow faeries, the Snow Queen, the Frost King, Old Man Winter… these are all varying types of faeries that are associated with winter. Has Jack Frost ever nipped you on the nose? The snow faeries are most active in late autumn to early spring, and have nocturnal tendencies. These faeries are responsible for the delivery of winter as they breathe frost onto windows and sprinkle snow.

What about the Green Man, Jack in the Green, or the persona of Robin Hood? Are you familiar with those? How about Mother Nature, Father Time, tree spirits, or flower faeries? Every single plant, flower, and tree is manned by a faerie. Spring faeries bring forth new life; they encourage the blossoming of flowers, the colors and textures in fields, crops, meadows, and forests. They are responsible for everything alive and growing, all the way down to the shape, size, color, and feel of a single blade of grass. Surely you’ve come close enough to have seen one of those… if you’d have known what to look for, that is.

Salamanders are fire faeries, and there’s a salamander in every single flame ever sparked, from campfires to candles to cigarette lighters. When the great ball of fire shines hottest and brightest in the sky, there’s a salamander nearby.

There are many spices and seasons of faeries, but there are also faeries for every season, and varying stories of which faeries go with which seasons, depending on the source. Learning about the types of faeries, their legend and lore, likes and dislikes, peak and off-times, origins, customs, and what their gifts are can increase your chances of seeing faeries, and can also bring you closer to being able to work with them on a mutually beneficial basis.

Do you believe?

Sources Used:


Title: Moon Magick
Author: D.J. Conway
ISBN: 1567181678
Format: Paperback, 320pp
Pub. Date: July 1995
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Title: Faery Folk
Author: Edain McCoy
ISBN: 0875427332
Format: Paperback, 384pp
Pub. Date: April 1994
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Title: Enchantment of the Faerie Realm
Author: Ted Andrews
ISBN: 0875420028
Format: Paperback, 216pp
Pub. Date: April 1993
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.



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