The Full Wiki

Fairy: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Fairy

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fairy
(Faery, Fay, Fae, Wee Folk, Good Folk, Fair Folk)
SophieAndersonTakethefairfaceofWoman.jpg
Claudia by Sophie Anderson
Creature
Grouping Mythological creature
Data
First reported In folklore
Country Western European
Habitat Woodland
Gardens

A fairy (also faery, faerie, fay, fae; euphemistically wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, etc.)[1] is a type of mythological being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.

Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions. Sometimes the term describes any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature.[2]

Contents

Etymology

The word fairy derives from Middle English faierie (also fayerye, feirie, fairie), a direct borrowing from Old French faerie (Modern French féerie) meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity (i.e. enchantment) of the legendary people of folklore and romance called (in Old French) faie or fee (Modern French fée), derived ultimately from Late Latin fata (one of the personified Fates, hence a guardian or tutelary spirit, hence a spirit in general); cf. Italian fata, Spanish hada of the same origin.

Fata although it became a feminine noun in the Romance languages, was originally the neuter plural ("the Fates") of fatum, past participle of the verb fari to speak, hence "thing spoken, decision, decree" or "prophetic declaration, prediction", hence "destiny, fate". It was used as the equivalent of the Greek Μοῖραι Moirai, the personified Fates who determined the course and ending of human life.

To the word faie was added the suffix -erie (Modern English -(e)ry), used to express either a place where something is found (fishery, heronry, nunnery) or a trade or typical activity engaged in by a person (cookery, midwifery, thievery), and in later usage generally applied to any kind of quality or activity associated with a particular sort of person (as in English knavery, roguery, witchery, wizardry).

Faie became Modern English fay "a fairy"; the word is, however, rarely used, although well known as part of the name of the legendary sorceress Morgan le Fay of Arthurian legend. Faierie became fairy, but with that spelling now almost exclusively refers to one of the legendary people, with the same meaning as fay; in the sense "land where fairies dwell", the distinctive and archaic spellings Faery and Faerie are often used. Faery however is also used in the sense of "a fairy"; and the back-formation fae, as an equivalent or substitute for fay is now sometimes seen.

The word fey, originally meaning "fated to die" or "having forebodings of death" (hence "visionary", "mad", and various other derived meanings) is completely unrelated, being from Old English fæge, Proto-Germanic *faigja- and Proto-Indo-European *poikyo-, whereas Latin fata comes from the Indo-European root *bhã- "speak". Due to the identity of pronunciation between the two words, "fay" is sometimes misspelled "fey".

Characteristics

Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers. Their origins are less clear in the folklore, being variously dead, or some form of demon, or a species completely independent of humans or angels.[3] Folklorists have suggested that their actual origin lies in a conquered race living in hiding,[4] or in religious beliefs that lost currency with the advent of Christianity.[5] These explanations are not necessarily incompatible, and they may be traceable to multiple sources.

Much of the folklore about fairies revolves around protection from their malice, by such means as cold iron (iron is like poison to fairies, and they will not go near it) or charms of rowan and herbs, or avoiding offense by shunning locations known to be theirs.[6] In particular, folklore describes how to prevent the fairies from stealing babies and substituting changelings, and abducting older people as well.[7] Many folktales are told of fairies, and they appear as characters in stories from medieval tales of chivalry, to Victorian fairy tales, and up to the present day in modern literature.

Although in modern culture they are often depicted as young, sometimes winged, humanoids of small stature, they originally were depicted much differently: tall, radiant, angelic beings or short, wizened trolls being some of the commonly mentioned. Diminutive fairies of one kind or another have been recorded for centuries, but occur alongside the human-sized beings; these have been depicted as ranging in size from very tiny up to the size of a human child.[8] Even with these small fairies, however, their small size may be magically assumed rather than constant.[9]

Wings, while common in Victorian and later artwork of fairies, are very rare in the folklore; even very small fairies flew with magic, sometimes flying on ragwort stems or the backs of birds.[10] Nowadays, fairies are often depicted with ordinary insect wings or butterfly wings.

Various animals have also been described as fairies. Sometimes this is the result of shape shifting on part of the fairy, as in the case of the selkie (seal people); others, like the kelpie and various black dogs, appear to stay more constant in form.[11]

Origin of fairies

Advertisements

Folk beliefs

Dead

One popular belief was that they were the dead, or some subclass of the dead.[12] The Irish banshee (Irish Gaelic bean sí or Scottish Gaelic bean shìth, which both mean "fairy woman") is sometimes described as a ghost.[13] The northern English Cauld Lad of Hylton, though described as a murdered boy, is also described as a household sprite like a brownie,[14] much of the time a Barghest or Elf.[15] One tale recounted a man caught by the fairies, who found that whenever he looked steadily at one, the fairy was a dead neighbor of his.[16] This was among the most common views expressed by those who believed in fairies, although many of the informants would express the view with some doubts.[17]

Elementals

Another view held that the fairies were an intelligent species, distinct from humans and angels.[18] In alchemy in particular they were regarded as elementals, such as gnomes and sylphs, as described by Paracelsus.[19] This is uncommon in folklore, but accounts describing the fairies as "spirits of the air" have been found popularly.[20]

Demoted angels

A third belief held that they were a class of "demoted" angels.[21] One popular story held that when the angels revolted, God ordered the gates shut; those still in heaven remained angels, those in hell became devils, and those caught in between became fairies.[22] Others held that they had been thrown out of heaven, not being good enough, but they were not evil enough for hell.[23] This may explain the tradition that they had to pay a "teind" or tithe to Hell. As fallen angels, though not quite devils, they could be seen as subject of the Devil.[24] For a similar concept in Persian mythology, see Peri.

Demons

A fourth belief was the fairies were devils entirely.[25] This belief became much more popular with the growth of Puritanism.[26] The hobgoblin, once a friendly household spirit, became a wicked goblin.[27] Dealing with fairies was in some cases considered a form of witchcraft and punished as such in this era.[28] Disassociating himself from such evils may be why Oberon, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, carefully observed that neither he nor his court feared the church bells.[29]

The belief in their angelic nature was less common than that they were the dead, but still found popularity, especially in Theosophist circles.[30][31] Informants who described their nature sometimes held aspects of both the third and the fourth view, or observed that the matter was disputed.[30]

Humans

A less-common belief was that the fairies were actually humans; one folktale recounts how a woman had hidden some of her children from God, and then looked for them in vain, because they had become the hidden people, the fairies. This is parallel to a more developed tale, of the origin of the Scandinavian huldra.[30]

Babies' laughs

A story of the origin of fairies appears in a chapter about Peter Pan in J. M. Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird, and was incorporated into his later works about the character. Barrie wrote, "When the first baby laughed for the first time, his laugh broke into a million pieces, and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies."[32]

Pagan deities

Many of the Irish tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann refer to these beings as fairies, though in more ancient times they were regarded as Goddesses and Gods. The Tuatha Dé were spoken of as having come from Islands in the north of the world, or, in other sources, from the sky. After being defeated in a series of battles with other Otherworldly beings, and then by the ancestors of the current Irish people, they were said to have withdrawn to the sídhe (fairy mounds), where they lived on in popular imagination as "fairies."

Sources of beliefs

A hidden people

One common theme found among the Celtic nations describes a race of diminutive people who had been driven into hiding by invading humans. They came to be seen as another race, or possibly spirits, and were believed to live in an Otherworld that was variously described as existing underground, in hidden hills (many of which were ancient burial mounds), or across the Western Sea.[4]

In old Celtic fairy lore the sidhe (fairy folk) are immortals living in the ancient barrows and cairns. The Tuatha de Danaan are associated with several Otherworld realms including Mag Mell (the Pleasant Plain), Emain Ablach (the Fortress of Apples or the Land of Promise or the Isle of Women), and the Tir na nÓg (the Land of Youth).[33]

The concept of the Otherworld is also associated with the Isle of Apples, known as Avalon in the Arthurian mythos (often equated with Ablach Emain). Here we find the Silver Bough that allowed a living mortal to enter and withdraw from the Otherworld. According to legend, the Fairy Queen sometimes offered the branch to worthy mortals, granting them safe passage and food during their stay.

Some 19th century archaeologists thought they had found underground rooms in the Orkney islands resembling the Elfland in Childe Rowland.[34] In popular folklore, flint arrowheads from the Stone Age were attributed to the fairies as "elf-shot".[35] The fairies' fear of iron was attributed to the invaders having iron weapons, whereas the inhabitants had only flint and were therefore easily defeated in physical battle. Their green clothing and underground homes were credited to their need to hide and camouflage themselves from hostile humans, and their use of magic a necessary skill for combating those with superior weaponry.[4] In Victorian beliefs of evolution, cannibalism among "ogres" was attributed to memories of more savage races, still practicing it alongside "superior" races that had abandoned it.[36] Selkies, described in fairy tales as shapeshifting seal people, were attributed to memories of skin-clad "primitive" people traveling in kayaks.[4] African pygmies were put forth as an example of a race that had previously existed over larger stretches of territory, but come to be scarce and semi-mythical with the passage of time and prominence of other tribes and races.[37]

Christianised pagan deities

Another theory is that the fairies were originally worshiped as gods, but with the coming of Christianity, they lived on, in a dwindled state of power, in folk belief. In this particular time, fairies were reputed by the church as being 'evil' beings. Many beings who are described as deities in older tales are described as "fairies" in more recent writings.[5] Victorian explanations of mythology, which accounted for all gods as metaphors for natural events that had come to be taken literally, explained them as metaphors for the night sky and stars.[38] According to this theory, fairies are personified aspects of nature and deified abstract concepts such as ‘love’ and ‘victory’ in the pantheon of the particular form of animistic nature worship reconstructed as the religion of Ancient Western Europe.[39]

Spirits of the dead

A third theory was that the fairies were a folkloric belief concerning the dead. This noted many common points of belief, such as the same legends being told of ghosts and fairies, the sídhe in actuality being burial mounds, it being dangerous to eat food in both Fairyland and Hades, and both the dead and fairies living underground.[40]

Fairies in literature and legend

Fairies of the meadow, by Nils Blommér

The question as to the essential nature of fairies has been the topic of myths, stories, and scholarly papers for a very long time.[41]

Practical beliefs and protection

When considered as beings that a person might actually encounter, fairies were noted for their mischief and malice. Some pranks ascribed to them, such as tangling the hair of sleepers into "Elf-locks", stealing small items or leading a traveler astray, are generally harmless. But far more dangerous behaviors were also attributed to fairies. Any form of sudden death might stem from a fairy kidnapping, with the apparent corpse being a wooden stand-in with the appearance of the kidnapped person.[7] Consumption (tuberculosis) was sometimes blamed on the fairies forcing young men and women to dance at revels every night, causing them to waste away from lack of rest.[42] Fairies riding domestic animals, such as cows or pigs or ducks, could cause paralysis or mysterious illnesses.

As a consequence, practical considerations of fairies have normally been advice on averting them. In terms of protective charms, cold iron is the most familiar, but other things are regarded as detrimental to the fairies: wearing clothing inside out, running water, bells (especially church bells), St. John's wort, and four-leaf clovers, among others. Some lore is contradictory, such as Rowan trees in some tales being sacred to the fairies, and in other tales being protection against them. In Newfoundland folklore, the most popular type of fairy protection is bread, varying from stale bread to hard tack or a slice of fresh home-made bread. The belief that bread has some sort of special power is an ancient one. Bread is associated with the home and the hearth, as well as with industry and the taming of nature, and as such, seems to be disliked by some types of fairies. On the other hand, in much of the Celtic folklore, baked goods are a traditional offering to the folk, as are cream and butter.[31]

“The prototype of food, and therefore a symbol of life, bread was one of the commonest protections against fairies. Before going out into a fairy-haunted place, it was customary to put a piece of dry bread in one’s pocket.”[43]

Bells also have an ambiguous role; while they protect against fairies, the fairies riding on horseback — such as the fairy queen — often have bells on their harness. This may be a distinguishing trait between the Seelie Court from the Unseelie Court, such that fairies use them to protect themselves from more wicked members of their race.[44] Another ambiguous piece of folklore revolves about poultry: a cock's crow drove away fairies, but other tales recount fairies keeping poultry.[45]

In County Wexford, Ireland, in 1882, it was reported that “if an infant is carried out after dark a piece of bread is wrapped in its bib or dress, and this protects it from any witchcraft or evil.”[46]

A resin statue of a fairy

While many fairies will confuse travelers on the path, the will o' the wisp can be avoided by not following it. Certain locations, known to be haunts of fairies, are to be avoided; C. S. Lewis reported hearing of a cottage more feared for its reported fairies than its reported ghost.[47] In particular, digging in fairy hills was unwise. Paths that the fairies travel are also wise to avoid. Home-owners have knocked corners from houses because the corner blocked the fairy path,[48] and cottages have been built with the front and back doors in line, so that the owners could, in need, leave them both open and let the fairies troop through all night.[49] Locations such as fairy forts were left undisturbed; even cutting brush on fairy forts was reputed to be the death of those who performed the act.[50] Fairy trees, such as thorn trees, were dangerous to chop down; one such tree was left alone in Scotland, though it prevented a road being widened for seventy years.[51] Good house-keeping could keep brownies from spiteful actions, because if they didn't think the house is clean enough, they pinched people in their sleep. Such water hags as Peg Powler and Jenny Greenteeth, prone to drowning people, could be avoided by avoiding the bodies of water they inhabit.[35]

Other actions were believed to offend fairies. Brownies were known to be driven off by being given clothing, though some folktales recounted that they were offended by inferior quality of the garments given, and others merely stated it, some even recounting that the brownie was delighted with the gift and left with it.[52] Other brownies left households or farms because they heard a complaint, or a compliment.[53] People who saw the fairies were advised not to look closely, because they resented infringements on their privacy.[54] The need to not offend them could lead to problems: one farmer found that fairies threshed his corn, but the threshing continued after all his corn was gone, and he concluded that they were stealing from his neighbors, leaving him the choice between offending them, dangerous in itself, and profiting by the theft.[55]

Millers were thought by the Scots to be "no canny", owing to their ability to control the forces of nature, such as fire in the kiln, water in the burn, and for being able to set machinery a-whirring. Superstitious communities sometimes believed that the miller must be in league with the fairies. In Scotland fairies were often mischievous and to be feared. No one dared to set foot in the mill or kiln at night as it was known that the fairies brought their corn to be milled after dark. So long as the locals believed this then the miller could sleep secure in the knowledge that his stores were not being robbed. John Fraser, the miller of Whitehill claimed to have hidden and watched the fairies trying unsuccessfully to work the mill. He said he decided to come out of hiding and help them, upon which one of the fairy women gave him a gowpen (double handful of meal) and told him to put it in his empty girnal (store), saying that the store would remain full for a long time, no matter how much he took out.[56]

It is also believed that to know the name of a particular fairy could summon it to you and force it to do your bidding. The name could be used as an insult towards the fairy in question, but it could also rather contradictorily be used to grant powers and gifts to the user.

Changelings

A considerable amount of lore about fairies revolves around changelings, fairy children left in the place of stolen human babies.[4] Older people could also be abducted; a woman who had just given birth and had yet to be churched was regarded as being in particular danger.[57] A common thread in folklore is that eating the fairy food would trap the captive, as Persephone in Hades; this warning is often given to captives who escape by other people in the fairies' power, who are often described as captives who had eaten and so could not be freed.[58] Folklore differed about the state of the captives: some held that they lived a merry life, others that they always pined for their old friends.[59]

Classifications

In Scottish folklore, fairies are divided into the Seelie Court, the more beneficently inclined (but still dangerous) fairies, and the Unseelie Court, the malicious fairies. While the fairies from the Seelie court enjoyed playing pranks on humans they were usually harmless pranks, compared to the Unseelie court that enjoyed bringing harm to humans as entertainment.[35]

Trooping fairies refer to fairies who appear in groups and might form settlements. In this definition, fairy is usually understood in a wider sense, as the term can also include various kinds of mythical creatures mainly of Celtic origin; however, the term might also be used for similar beings such as dwarves or elves from Germanic folklore. These are opposed to solitary fairies, who do not live or associate with others of their kind.[60]

Legends

In many legends, the fairies are prone to kidnapping humans, either as babies, leaving changelings in their place, or as young men and women. This can be for a time or forever, and may be more or less dangerous to the kidnapped. In the 19th Century Child Ballad, "Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight", the elf-knight is a Bluebeard figure, and Isabel must trick and kill him to preserve her life.[61] Child Ballad "Tam Lin" reveals that the title character, though living among the fairies and having fairy powers, was in fact an "earthly knight" and, though his life was pleasant now, he feared that the fairies would pay him as their teind (tithe) to hell.[61] Sir Orfeo tells how Sir Orfeo's wife was kidnapped by the King of Faerie and only by trickery and excellent harping ability was he able to win her back. Sir Degare narrates the tale of a woman overcome by her fairy lover, who in later versions of the story is unmasked as a mortal. Thomas the Rhymer shows Thomas escaping with less difficulty, but he spends seven years in Elfland[62]. Oisín is harmed not by his stay in Faerie but by his return; when he dismounts, the three centuries that have passed catch up with him, reducing him to an aged man.[63] King Herla (O.E. "Herla cyning"), originally a guise of Woden but later Christianised as a king in a tale by Walter Map, was said, by Map, to have visited a dwarf's underground mansion and returned three centuries later; although only some of his men crumbled to dust on dismounting, Herla and his men who did not dismount were trapped on horseback, this being one account of the origin of the Wild Hunt of European folklore.[64][65]

A common feature of the fairies is the use of magic to disguise appearance. Fairy gold is notoriously unreliable, appearing as gold when paid, but soon thereafter revealing itself to be leaves, gorse blossoms, gingerbread cakes, or a variety of other useless things.[66]

These illusions are also implicit in the tales of fairy ointment. Many tales from Northern Europe[67][68] tell of a mortal woman summoned to attend a fairy birth — sometimes attending a mortal, kidnapped woman's childbed. Invariably, the woman is given something for the child's eyes, usually an ointment; through mischance, or sometimes curiosity, she uses it on one or both of her own eyes. At that point, she sees where she is; one midwife realizes that she was not attending a great lady in a fine house but her own runaway maid-servant in a wretched cave. She escapes without making her ability known, but sooner or later betrays that she can see the fairies. She is invariably blinded in that eye, or in both if she used the ointment on both.[69]

Fairy Funerals : There have been claims by people in the past, like William Blake, to have seen fairy funerals. Allan Cunningham in his Lives of Eminent British Painters records that William Blake claimed to have seen a fairy funeral. 'Did you ever see a fairy's funeral, madam? said Blake to a lady who happened to sit next to him. 'Never, Sir!' said the lady. 'I have,' said Blake, 'but not before last night.' And he went on to tell how, in his garden, he had seen 'a procession of creatures of the size and colour of green and grey grashoppers, bearing a body laid out on a rose-leaf, which they buried with songs, and then disappeared'. They are believed to be an omen of death.

Literature

"Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen" by Johann Heinrich Füssli; scene from The Faerie Queene

Fairies appeared in medieval romances as one of the beings that a knight errant might encounter. A fairy lady appeared to Sir Launfal and demanded his love; like the fairy bride of ordinary folklore, she imposed a prohibition on him that in time he violated. Sir Orfeo's wife was carried off by the King of Faerie. Huon of Bordeaux is aided by King Oberon.[70] These fairy characters dwindled in number as the medieval era progressed; the figures became wizards and enchantresses.[71] Morgan le Fay, whose connection to the realm of Faerie is implied in her name, in Le Morte d'Arthur is a woman whose magic powers stem from study.[72] While somewhat diminished with time, fairies never completely vanished from the tradition. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late tale, but the Green Knight himself is an otherworldly being.[71] Edmund Spenser featured fairies in The Faerie Queene.[73] In many works of fiction, fairies are freely mixed with the nymphs and satyrs of classical tradition;[74] while in others (e.g. Lamia), they were seen as displacing the Classical beings. Fifteenth century poet and monk John Lydgate wrote that King Arthur was crowned in "the land of the fairy", and taken in his death by four fairy queens, to Avalon where he lies under a "fairy hill", until he is needed again.[75]

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Noel Paton: fairies in Shakespeare

Fairies appear as significant characters in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream, which is set simultaneously in the woodland, and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon.[76] and in which a disturbance of Nature caused by a fairy dispute creates tension underlying the plot and informing the actions of the characters. According to Maurice Hunt, Chair of the English Department at Baylor University, the blurring of the identities of fantasy and reality makes possible “that pleasing, narcotic dreaminess associated with the fairies of the play”.[77]

Shakespeare's contemporary, Michael Drayton features fairies in his Nimphidia; from these stem Alexander Pope's sylphs of The Rape of the Lock, and in the mid 1600s, précieuses took up the oral tradition of such tales to write fairy tales; Madame d'Aulnoy invented the term contes de fée ("fairy tale").[78] While the tales told by the précieuses included many fairies, they were less common in other countries' tales; indeed, the Brothers Grimm included fairies in their first edition, but decided this was not authentically German and altered the language in later editions, changing each "Fee" (fairy) to an enchantress or wise woman.[79] J. R. R. Tolkien described these tales as taking place in the land of Faerie.[80] Additionally, not all folktales that feature fairies are generally categorized as fairy tales.

Fairies in literature took on new life with Romanticism. Writers such as Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg were inspired by folklore which featured fairies, such as the Border ballads. This era saw an increase in the popularity of collecting of fairy folklore, and an increase in the creation of original works with fairy characters.[81] In Rudyard Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Puck holds to scorn the moralizing fairies of other Victorian works.[82] The period also saw a revival of older themes in fantasy literature, such as C.S. Lewis's Narnia books which, while featuring many such classical beings as fauns and dryads, mingles them freely with hags, giants, and other creatures of the folkloric fairy tradition.[83] Victorian flower fairies were popularized in part by Queen Mary’s keen interest in fairy art, and by British illustrator and poet Cicely Mary Barker's series of eight books published in 1923 through 1948. Imagery of fairies in literature became prettier and smaller as time progressed.[84] Andrew Lang, complaining of "the fairies of polyanthuses and gardenias and apple blossoms" in the introduction to The Lilac Fairy Book, observed that "These fairies try to be funny, and fail; or they try to preach, and succeed."[85]

Fairies are seen in Neverland, in Peter and Wendy, the novel version of J. M. Barrie's famous Peter Pan stories, published in 1911, and its character Tinker Bell has become a pop culture icon. When Peter Pan is guarding Wendy from pirates, the story says: "After a time he fell asleep, and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on."[86]

Fairies in art

"Momentarily, she was trans-formed into a little, exquisitely beautiful fairy". Illustration from Alfred Smedberg's The Seven Wishes among Gnomes and Trolls by John Bauer.

Images of fairies have appeared as illustrations, often in books of fairy tales, as well as in photographic-based media and sculpture. Some artists known for their depictions of fairies include Cicely Mary Barker, Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Amy Brown, David Delamare, Meredith Dillman, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Warwick Goble, Kylie InGold, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Myrea Pettit, Florence Harrison, Suza Scalora,[87] Nene Thomas, Gustave Doré, Rebecca Guay and Greta James.

The Victorian era was particularly noted for fairy paintings. The Victorian painter Richard Dadd created paintings of fairy-folk with a sinister and malign tone. Other Victorian artists who depicted fairies include John Atkinson Grimshaw, Joseph Noel Paton, John Anster Fitzgerald and Daniel Maclise.[88] Interest in fairy-themed art enjoyed a brief renaissance following the publication of the Cottingley Fairies photographs in 1917 and a number of artists turned to painting fairy themes.

Fairies in religion

Theosophy

In the teachings of Theosophy, Devas, the equivalent of angels, are regarded as living either in the atmospheres of the planets of the solar system (Planetary Angels) or inside the Sun (Solar Angels) (presumably other planetary systems and stars have their own angels) and they are believed to help to guide the operation of the processes of nature such as the process of evolution and the growth of plants; their appearance is reputedly like colored flames about the size of a human being. Some (but not most) devas originally incarnated as human beings. Less important smaller-in-size less evolutionarily developed minor angels are called nature spirits, elementals, and fairies. [89] The Cottingley Fairies photographs in 1917 (revealed by the "photographers" in 1981 to have been faked) were originally believed to have been real by many Theosophists. It is believed by Theosophists that devas, nature spirits, elementals (gnomes, ondines, sylphs, and salamanders), and fairies can be observed when the third eye is activated.[90] It is maintained by Theosophists that these less evolutionarily developed beings have never been previously incarnated as human beings; they are regarded as being on a separate line of spiritual evolution called the “deva evolution”; eventually, as their souls advance as they reincarnate, it is believed they will incarnate as devas.[91].

It is asserted by Theosophists that all of the above mentioned beings possess etheric bodies that are composed of etheric matter, a type of matter finer and more pure that is composed of smaller particles than ordinary physical plane matter.[91]

Fairies in popular culture

See List of fairy and sprite characters

See also

Bibliography

  • D. L. Ashliman, Fairy Lore: A Handbook (Greenwood, 2006)
  • Brian Froud and Alan Lee, Faeries, (Peacock Press/Bantam, New York, 1978)
  • Ronan Coghlan Handbook of Fairies (Capall Bann, 2002)
  • Lizanne Henderson and Edward J. Cowan, ''Scottish Fairy Belief: A History'' (Edinburgh, 2001; 2007)
  • C. S. Lewis, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1964)
  • Patricia Lysaght, The Banshee: the Irish Supernatural Death Messenger (Glendale Press, Dublin, 1986)
  • Peter Narvaez, The Good People, New Fairylore Essays (Garland, New York, 1991)
  • Eva Pocs, Fairies and Witches at the boundary of south-eastern and central Europe FFC no 243 (Helsinki, 1989)
  • Joseph Ritson, Fairy Tales, Now First Collected: To which are prefixed two dissertations: 1. On Pygmies. 2. On Fairies, London, 1831
  • Diane Purkiss, Troublesome Things: A History of Fairies and Fairy Stories (Allen Lane, 2000)
  • Tomkinson, John L. Haunted Greece: Nymphs, Vampires and other Exotika, (Anagnosis, 2004) ISBN 960-88087-0-7

References

  1. ^ Briggs, Katharine Mary (1976) An Encyclopedia of Fairies. New York, Pantheon Books. "Euphemistic names for fairies" p. 127 ISBN 0-394-73467-X.
  2. ^ Briggs (1976) p. xi.
  3. ^ Lewis, C. S. (1994 (reprint)) The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. p. 122 ISBN 0-521-47735-2.
  4. ^ a b c d e Silver, Carole B. (1999) Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness. Oxford University Press. p. 47 ISBN 0-19-512199-6.
  5. ^ a b Yeats, W. B. (1988) "Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry", in A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore. Gramercy. p.1 ISBN 0-517-489904-X.
  6. ^ Briggs (1976) pp. 335–6.
  7. ^ a b Briggs (1976) p. 25.
  8. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 98.
  9. ^ Yeats (1988) p. 2.
  10. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 148.
  11. ^ Briggs, K.M. (1967) The Fairies in English Tradition and Literature. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. p. 71.
  12. ^ Lewis (1994) p. 136.
  13. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 15.
  14. ^ Briggs (1976) pp. 68–9.
  15. ^ Henry Tegner, Ghosts of The North Country, 1991 Butler Publishing ISBN 0946928401.
  16. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 15.
  17. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 141.
  18. ^ Lewis (1994) p. 134.
  19. ^ Silver (1999) p. 38.
  20. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 146.
  21. ^ Lewis (1994) pp. 135–6.
  22. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 319.
  23. ^ Yeats (1988) pp. 9–10.
  24. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 9.
  25. ^ Lewis (1994) p. 137.
  26. ^ Briggs (1976) "Origins of fairies" p. 320.
  27. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 223.
  28. ^ Briggs (1976) "Traffic with fairies" and "Trooping fairies" pp. 409–12.
  29. ^ Lewis (1994) p. 138.
  30. ^ a b c Briggs (1967) pp. 143–7.
  31. ^ a b Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (1966, 1990) The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. New York, Citadel. pp. 167, 243, 457 ISBN 0-8065-1160-5.
  32. ^ J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy, Oxford Press, 1999, p. 32.
  33. ^ Witchcraft and the Mystery Tradition.
  34. ^ Yolen, Jane (2000) Touch Magic. p. 49 ISBN 0-87483-591-7.
  35. ^ a b c Froud, Brian and Lee, Alan (1978) Faeries. New York, Peacock Press ISBN 0-553-01159-6.
  36. ^ Silver (1999) p. 45.
  37. ^ Silver (1999) p. 50.
  38. ^ Silver (1999) p. 44.
  39. ^ The Religion of the Ancient Celts: Chapter XI. Primitive Nature Worship.
  40. ^ Silver (1999) pp. 40–1.
  41. ^ Terri Windling, "Fairies in Legend, Lore, and Literature".
  42. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 80.
  43. ^ Briggs (1976) p. 41.
  44. ^ Briggs (1976) "Bells" p. 20.
  45. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 74.
  46. ^ Opie, Iona and Tatem, Moira (eds) (1989) A Dictionary of Superstitions Oxford University Press. p. 38.
  47. ^ Lewis (1994) p. 125.
  48. ^ Silver (1999) p. 155.
  49. ^ Lenihan, Eddie and Green, Carolyn Eve (2004) Meeting The Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland. pp. 146–7 ISBN 1-58542-206-1.
  50. ^ Lenihan (2004) p. 125.
  51. ^ Silver (1999) p. 152.
  52. ^ Briggs (1976) "Brownies" p. 46.
  53. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 34.
  54. ^ Briggs (1976) "Infringement of fairy privacy" p. 233.
  55. ^ Briggs (1976) "Fairy morality" p. 115.
  56. ^ Gauldie, E. (1981) The Scottish Miller 1700 – 1900. Edinburgh, John McDonald. p. 187.
  57. ^ Silver (1999) p. 167.
  58. ^ Briggs (1976) pp. 62–66.
  59. ^ Yeats (1988) p. 47.
  60. ^ Briggs (1976) "Traffic with fairies" and "Trooping fairies" pp. 409-12.
  61. ^ a b Child, Francis The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.
  62. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/ch037.htm
  63. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 104.
  64. ^ Briggs (1967) pp. 50–1.
  65. ^ De Nugis Curiallium by Walter Map, Edited by F. Tupper & M.B Ogle (Chatto & Windus, London 1924)
  66. ^ Lenihan (2004) pp. 109–10.
  67. ^ Northumberland Folk Tales, by Rosalind Kerven (2005) Antony Rowe Ltd, p. 532.]
  68. ^ "The Good People: New Fairylore Essays" By Peter Narváez. University Press of Kentucky, 1997. Page. 126
  69. ^ Briggs (1976) "Fairy ointment" p. 156.
  70. ^ Lewis (1994) pp. 129–30.
  71. ^ a b Briggs (1976) "Fairies in medieval romances" p. 132.
  72. ^ Briggs (1976) "Morgan Le Fay" p. 303.
  73. ^ Briggs (1976) "Faerie Queen", p. 130.
  74. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 174.
  75. ^ The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies, Anna Franklin, Sterling Publishing Company, 2004, p. 18.
  76. ^ Shakespeare, William (1979). Harold F. Brooks. ed. The Arden Shakespeare "A Midsummer Nights Dream". Methuen & Co. Ltd.. cxxv. ISBN 0415026997.  
  77. ^ Hunt, Maurice. "Individuation in A Midsummer Night's Dream." South Central Review 3.2 (Summer 1986): 1–13.
  78. ^ Zipes, Jack (2000) The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm. W. W. Norton. p. 858 ISBN 0-393-97636-X.
  79. ^ Tatar, Maria (2003) The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales. Princeton University Press. p. 31 ISBN 0-691-06722-8.
  80. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. "On Fairy-Stories", The Tolkien Reader, pp. 10–11.
  81. ^ Briggs, (1967) pp. 165–7.
  82. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 203.
  83. ^ Briggs (1967) p. 209.
  84. ^ "Lewis pp. 129-130".
  85. ^ Lang, Andrew Preface The Lilac Fairy Book.
  86. ^ J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens as well Peter and Wendy, Oxford Press, 1999, p. 132.
  87. ^ David Gates (November 29, 1999). "Nothing Here But Kid Stuff". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/90381. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  88. ^ Windling, Terri, "Victorian Fairy Paintings".
  89. ^ Hodson, Geoffrey, Kingdom of the Gods ISBN 0-7661-8134-0 — Has color pictures of what Devas supposedly look like when observed by the third eye — their appearance is reputedly like colored flames about the size of a human being. Paintings of some of the devas claimed to have been seen by Hodson from his book "Kingdom of the Gods":
  90. ^ Eskild Tjalve’s paintings of devas, nature spirits, elementals and fairies:
  91. ^ a b Powell, A.E. The Solar System London:1930 The Theosophical Publishing House (A Complete Outline of the Theosophical Scheme of Evolution) See "Lifewave" chart (refer to index)

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Fairy article)

From Wikisource

The Fairy
by Charles Perrault, translated by Charles Welsh
From Tales of Mother Goose, translated by Charles Welsh
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The younger, who was the very picture of her father for sweetness of temper and virtue, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the same time had a great aversion for the younger. She made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.

Among other things, this unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.

"Oh, yes, with all my heart, Goody," said this pretty little girl. Rinsing the pitcher at once, she took some of the clearest water from the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while, that she might drink the easier.

The good woman having drunk, said to her:—

"You are so pretty, so good and courteous, that I cannot help giving you a gift." For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country-woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. "I will give you for gift," continued the Fairy, "that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel."

When this pretty girl returned, her mother scolded at her for staying so long at the fountain.

"I beg your pardon, mamma," said the poor girl, "for not making more haste."

And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.

"What is it I see there?" said her mother, quite astonished. "I think pearls and diamonds come out of the girl's mouth! How happens this, my child?"

This was the first time she had ever called her "my child."

The girl told her frankly all the matter, not without dropping out great numbers of diamonds.

"Truly," cried the mother, "I must send my own dear child thither. Fanny, look at what comes out of your sister's mouth when she speaks. Would you not be glad, my dear, to have the same gift? You have only to go and draw water out of the fountain, and when a poor woman asks you to let her drink, to give it to her very civilly."

"I should like to see myself going to the fountain to draw water," said this ill-bred minx.

"I insist you shall go," said the mother, "and that instantly."

She went, but grumbled all the way, taking with her the best silver tankard in the house.

She no sooner reached the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood, a magnificently dressed lady, who came up to her, and asked to drink. This was the same fairy who had appeared to her sister, but she had now taken the air and dress of a princess, to see how far this girl's rudeness would go.

"Am I come hither," said the proud, ill-bred girl, "to serve you with water, pray? I suppose this silver tankard was brought purely for your ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of it, if you have a fancy."

"You are scarcely polite," answered the fairy, without anger. "Well, then, since you are so disobliging, I give you for gift that at every word you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad."

So soon as her mother saw her coming, she cried out:—

"Well, daughter?"

"Well, mother?" answered the unhappy girl, throwing out of her mouth a viper and a toad.

"Oh, mercy!" cried the mother, "what is it I see? It is her sister who has caused all this, but she shall pay for it," and immediately she ran to beat her. The poor child fled away from her, and went to hide herself in the forest nearby.

The King's son, who was returning from the chase, met her, and seeing her so beautiful, asked her what she did there alone and why she cried.

"Alas! sir, my mother has turned me out of doors."

The King's son, who saw five or six pearls and as many diamonds come out of her mouth, desired her to tell him how that happened. She told him the whole story. The King's son fell in love with her, and, considering that such a gift was worth more than any marriage portion another bride could bring, conducted her to the palace of the King, his father, and there married her.

As for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother turned her out of doors. The miserable girl, after wandering about and finding no one to take her in, went to a corner of the wood, and there died.


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FAIRY (Fr. fee, (aerie; Prov. fada; Sp. hada; Ital. fata; med. Lat. fatare, to enchant, from Lat. fatum, fate, destiny), the common term for a supposed race of supernatural beings who magically intermeddle in human affairs. Of all the minor creatures of mythology the fairies are the most beautiful, the most numerous, the most memorable in literature. Like all organic growths, whether of nature or of the fancy, they are not the immediate product of one country or of one time; they have a pedigree, and the question of their ancestry and affiliation is one of wide bearing. But mixture and connexion of races have in this as in many other cases so changed the original folk-product that it is difficult to disengage and separate the different strains that have gone to the making or moulding of the result as we have it.

It is not in literature, however ancient, that we must look for the early forms of the fairy belief. Many of Homer's heroes have fairy lemans, called nymphs, fairies taken up into a higher region of poetry and religion; and the fairy leman is notable in the story of Athamas and his cloud bride Nephele, but this character is as familiar to the unpoetical Eskimo, and to the Red Indians, with their bird-bride and beaver-bride (see A. Lang's Custom and Myth, " The Story of Cupid and Psyche"). The Gandharvas of Sanskrit poetry are also fairies.

One of the most interesting facts about fairies is the wide distribution and long persistence of the belief in them. They are the chief factor in surviving Irish superstition. Here they dwell in the "raths," old earth-forts, or earthen bases of later palisaded dwellings of the Norman period, and in the subterranean houses, common also in Scotland. They are an organized people, often called "the army," and their life corresponds to human life in all particulars. They carry off children, leaving changeling substitutes, transport men and women into fairyland, and are generally the causes of all mysterious phenomena. Whirls of dust are caused by the fairy marching army, as by the being called Kutchi in the Dieri tribe of Australia. In 1907, in northern Ireland, a farmer's house was troubled with flying stones (see Poltergeist). The neighbours said that the fairies caused the phenomenon, as the man had swept his chimney with a bough of holly, and the holly is "a gentle tree," dear to the fairies. The fairy changeling belief also exists in some districts of Argyll, and a fairy boy dwelt long in a small farm-house in Glencoe, now unoccupied.

In Ireland and the west Highlands neolithic arrow-heads and flint chips are still fairy weapons. They are dipped in water, which is given to ailing cattle and human beings as a sovereign remedy for diseases. The writer knows of "a little lassie in green" who is a fairy and, according to the percipients, haunts the banks of the Mukomar pool on the Lochy. In Glencoe is a fairy hill where the fairy music, vocal and instrumental, is heard in still weather. In the Highlands, however, there is much more interest in second sight than in fairies, while in Ireland the reverse is the case. The best book on Celtic fairy lore is still that of the minister of Aberfoyle, the Rev. Mr Kirk (ob. 1692). His work on The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, left in MS. and incomplete (the remainder is in the Laing MSS., Edinburgh University library), was published (a hundred copies) in 1815 by Sir Walter Scott, and in the Bibliotheque de Carabas (Lang) there is a French translation. Mr Kirk is said (though his tomb exists) to have been carried away by fairies. He appeared to a friend and said that he would come again, when the friend must throw a dirk over his shoulder and he would return to this world. The friend, however, lost his nerve and did not throw the dirk. In the same way a woman reappeared to her husband in Glencoe in the last generation, but he was wooing another lass and did not make any effort to recover his wife. His character was therefore lost in the glen.

It is clear that in many respects fairyland corresponds to the pre-Christian abode of the dead. Like Persephone when carried to Hades, or WainamoInen in the Hades of the Finns (Manala), a living human being must not eat in fairyland; if he does, he dwells there for ever. Tamlane in the ballad, however, was "fat and fair of flesh," yet was rescued by Janet: probably he had not abstained from fairy food. I-Ie was to be given as the kane to Hell, which shows a distinction between the beliefs in hell and in the place of fairies.

It is a not uncommon theory that the fairies survive in legend from prehistoric memories of a pigmy people dwelling in the subterranean earth-houses, but the contents of these do not indicate an age prior to the close of the Roman occupation of Britain; nor are pigmy bones common in neolithic sepulchres. The "people of peace" (Daoine Shie) of Ireland and Scotland are usually of ordinary stature, indeed not to be recognized as varying from mankind except by their proceedings '(see' J. Curtin, Irish Folk-tales). The belief in a species of lady fairies, deathly to their human lovers, was found by R. L. Stevenson to be as common in Samoa (see Island Nights' Entertainments) as in Strathfinlas or on the banks of Loch Awe. In New Caledonia a native friend of J. J. Atkinson (author of Primal Law) told him that he had met and caressed the girl of his heart in the forest, that she had vanished and must have been a fairy. He therefore would die in three days, which (Mr Atkinson informs the writer) he punctually did. The Greek sirens of Homer are clearly a form of these deadly fairies, as the Nereids and Oreads and Naiads are fairies of wells, mountains and the sea. The fairy women who come to the births of children and foretell their fortunes (Fata, Moerae, ancient Egyptian Hathors, Fees, Dominae Fatales), with their spindles, are refractions of the human "spae-women" (in the Scots term) who attend at birth and derive omens of the child's future from various signs. The custom is common among several savage races, and these women, represented in the spiritual world by Fata, bequeath to us the French fee, in the sense of fairy. Perrault also uses fee for anything that has magical quality; "the key was fee," had mana, or wakan, savage words for the supposed "power," or ether, which works magic or is the vehicle of magical influences.

Though the fairy belief is universally human, the nearest analogy to the shape which it takes in Scotland and Ireland - the "pixies" of south-western England - is to be found in Jan or Jinnis of the Arabs, Moors and people of Palestine. In stories which have passed through a literary medium, like The Arabian Nights, the geni or Jan do not so much resemble our fairies as they do in the popular superstitions of the East, orally collected. The Jan are now a subterranean commonwealth, now they reside in ruinous places, like the fairies in the Irish raths. Like the fairies they go about in whirls of dust, or the dust-whirls themselves are Jan. They carry off men and women "to their own herd," in the phrase of Mr Kirk, and are kind to mortals who are kind to them. They chiefly differ from our fairies in their greater tendency to wear animal forms; though, like the fairies, when they choose to appear in human shape they are not to be distinguished from men and women of mortal mould. Like the fairies everywhere they have amours with mortals, such as that of the Queen of Faery with Thomas of Ercildoune. The herb rue is potent against them, as in British folk-lore, and a man long captive among the Jan escaped from them by observing their avoidance of rue, and by plucking two handfuls thereof. They, like the British brownies (a kind of domesticated fairy), are the causes of strange disappearances of things. To preserve houses from their influences, rue, that "herb of grace," is kept in the apartments, and the name of Allah is constantly invoked. If this is omitted, things are stolen by the Jan. They often bear animal names, and it is dangerous to call a cat or dog without pointing at the animal, for a Jinni of the same name may be present and may take advantage of the invocation. A man, in fun, called to a goat to escort his wife on a walk: he did not point at the goat, and the wife disappeared. A Jinni had carried her off, and her husband had to seek her at the court of the Jan. Euphemistically they are addressed as mubarakin, " blessed ones," as we say "the good folk" or "the people of peace." As our fairies give gold which changes into withered leaves, the Jan give onion peels which turn into gold. Like our fairies the Jan can apply an ointment, kohl, to human eyes, after which the person so favoured can see Jan, or fairies, which are invisible to other mortals, and can see treasure wherever it may be concealed (see Folk-lore of the Holy Land, by J. E. Hanauer, 1907).

It is plain that fairies and Jan are practically identical, a curious proof of the uniformity of the working of imagination in peoples widely separated in race and religion. Fairies naturally won their way into the poetry of the middle ages. They take lovers from among men, and are often described as of delicate, unearthly, ravishing beauty. The enjoyment of their charms is, however, generally qualified by some restriction or compact, the breaking of which is the cause of calamity to the lover and all his race, as in the notable tale of Melusine. This fay by enchantment built the castle of Lusignan for her husband. It was her nature to take every week the form of a serpent from the waist below. The hebdomadal transformation being once, contrary to compact, witnessed by her husband, she left him with much wailing, and was said to return and give warning by her appearance and great shrieks whenever one of the race of Lusignan was about to die. At the birth of Ogier le Danois six fairies attend, five of whom give good gifts, which the sixth overrides with a restriction. Gervaise of Tilbury, writing early in the 13th century, has in his Otia Imperialia a chapter, De lamiis et nocturnis larvis, where he gives it out, as proved by individuals beyond all exception, that men have been lovers of beings of this kind whom they call Fadas, and who did in case of infidelity or infringement of secrecy inflict terrible punishment - the loss of goods and even of life. There seems little in the characteristics of these fairies of romance to distinguish them from human beings, except their supernatural knowledge and power. They are not often represented as diminutive in stature, and seem to be subject to such human passions as love, jealousy, envy and revenge. To this class belong the fairies of Boiardo, Ariosto and Spenser.

There is no good modern book on the fairy belief in general. Keightley's Fairy Mythology is full of interesting matter; Rhys's Celtic Mythology is especially copious about Welsh fairies, which are practically identical with those of Ireland and Scotland. The works of Mr Jeremiah Curtin and Dr Douglas Hyde are useful for Ireland; for Scotland, Kirk's Secret Commonwealth has already been quoted. Scott's dissertation on fairies in The Border Minstrelsy is rich in lore, though necessarily Scott had not the wide field of comparative study opened by more recent researches. There is a full description of French fairies of the 15th century in the evidence of Jeanne d'Arc at her trial (1431) in Quicherat's Proces de Jeanne d'Arc, vol. i. pp. 67, 68, 187, 209, 212, vol. ii. pp. 39 0, 4 0 4, 45 0. (A. L.)


<< Fair Oaks

Fairy ring >>


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to fairy article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

A faerie, illustrated in 1938

Alternative spellings

Etymology

From Middle English fairie, from Old French faerie, from fae, from Vulgar Latin Fāta (goddess of fate), from Latin fātum (fate)

Pronunciation

Noun

fairy (abstract noun)

  1. Land of the fae, state of enchantment, associated with fays (as in fairy gold, fairy queen)

Noun

Singular
fairy

Plural
fairies

fairy (plural fairies)

  1. A mythical being who had magical powers, known in many sizes and descriptions, although often depicted in modern illustrations only as small and spritely with gauze-like wings; A sprite.
  2. (Northern England, pejorative, slang) a male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
  3. (paganism) A nature spirit revered in modern paganism.

Synonyms

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms


Simple English

File:Falero Luis Ricardo Lily Fairy
A painting of a fairy by Luis Ricardo Falero

A fairy or færie (Old English spelling) is a supposed magical being that flies in the air. They are usually depicted as small girls or women. Some færies are supposed to do certain things, such as the Tooth fairy, which is supposed to give money or treats under the pillow of small children who have had a tooth fall out. A fairy tale is a story with a plot involving fairies. These stories are usually for children. Fairies can also be found in folklore, for instance, in Ireland and Scotland, fairies are still held as creatures that were defeated by the human race thousands of years ago and now live in caverns in the world of faerie. These mystical creatures are believed to be made after a kind of angel. Fairies come up in many fictional books such as "Peter Pan" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles".



Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message