Celtic Culture

 

 

Fairies

 The fairy has been a lifelong companion of most Anglo Saxon, Asian and European races throughout the centuries. Therefore, I have added this page to bring to you a piece of the magic that the little people have given us.

But what do Fairies and the Celtic's have in common? It seems a lot!

Throughout history and throughout Ireland and most of the world for centuries we have a lot about the "wee" people or "little" people woven into all cultures. Like so many things from eons gone by myths and legends were, at one time, based on some semblance of truth.

As you may remember, from reading Ron's Celtic Adventure page, his mother would tell him stories of the little people as told to her by her mother. You will find the word fairy spelled in many ways depending on the area they come from. Therefore you will see some of these varied spellings in this page.

His mother would tell tales of Tinker Belle, the wood fairy and Finyarra, the king of the fairies, who would meet in the misty glens of Ireland. Tinker Belle would sing songs for the little fairy people to dance to.

Throughout our history there are fairytales from places all over the globe and many people believe whole-heartedly, in the existence of the little people. Not only from their childhood fairy tales but also from their own sightings and even their own experiences.

Good Luck and Bad luck

In north Wales there is a little place called 'Swallow Falls" and on a visit to the waterfalls, Ron says he asked a group of visitors, who where looking in the trees and grass, what it was they were all searching for? They told him they wanted photographs of the fairies they had been told lived there by the water.

There are various locations in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, where you must say good morning to the fairies as you pass by for fear of bad luck.

Ron's wife Donna' Marie and sister Paula have a large collection of fairies both traditional and that of "Disney" fame. His home is filled with collectors items from "Sweet Pea Fairie" to "Mushu the Dragon" and various other fairytale characters. He says they fill his home with "warmth and memories of a time in your childhood when all around you there was magic and excitement".

I will add some photographs later for your enjoyment. The next section of this page is written by a true believer in fairies and fairytales I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.




Faerie Folk

Okay I admit it -I AM a believer.

Mock me if you wish but I steadfastly believe in the little people. They are everywhere. They influence nature, our environment and our attitudes to life. In fact, your own childhood belief system rested on what you read in fairy tales. You'll be surprised at how influential fairy tales and faeries themselves have been, and still are, over our culture, religions and morals. Even the most cynical of you out there cannot deny it.

Still not convinced?

Well, just for you, I'm going to share my own experiences with faeries, beginning at the beginning, when I first encountered a faerie of my own. I hold the hope that your imagination will once more be touched by the folk at the bottom of the garden. But, first, I shall fill you in with the tale of faerie folklore that has affected our culture for centuries.

Where to start?

The Beginning

In the United Kingdom, faerie legend mainly began in Celtic Scotland, Ireland and Southwest England, with its roots leading back to Paganism. The peoples of ancient Ireland were split into two races, the visible race (Celts) and the invisible race (Faeries or Sidhe).

In Irish legend the Tuatha de Danann branch of the spirit race, or Sidhe ("shee"), were forced to take refuge from the Milesian people to the land of Tir na nog (Land of Eternal Youth). This is a place few mortals’ escape from alive. In fact, the Tuatha de Danann knights were said to be giant in size, but over the course of time, legend has dwindled them into diminutive beings but with huge power and beauty.

Finvarra, king of the Sidhe and thought to be King of the Dead too, still holds court in his palace, Tara, in the Hill of Knockma, the Tuatha de Danann world.

As well as this race, ancient Irish folklore tells of a race of Fenian heroes. They were noble warriors who fought for the Fiana, a great fighting force of Ireland. In Scotland, the Seelie Court is said to be home of the Daoine Sidhe (deena shee). They are supposedly fallen angels who live underground and underwater.

From the Sidhe legend derived such faerie legends as the Heroic Faeries and the Medieval Faeries. King Arthur of England was said to be of Heroic Faerie descent and was even tended by four faerie queens on the island of Avalon. He is said to still be waiting deep within the hill to this day; more proof that faerie folklore continues to be as strong today than ever.

The Middle

The Medieval faerie of England is a romantic race of magick (Pagan magic), witchcraft, and wizardry. The faerie size was now varying, from tiny, to hideous monsters. Monks of Christianity wrote most records of this time, so the faerie legend of Celtic times was adapted to the more modern "fairy", said to enjoy revelling in Medieval occupations of chivalry.

Fast forward to Elizabethan England. This was the first time faeries were seen as mischievous, bothersome little flower faeries and goblins. Just as witches were burned at the stake, in Elizabethan England, faerie believers were taken seriously too, and in 1576, Bessie Dunlop was burned for receiving herbal cures from the Queen of Faeries.

By the 17th century, the Jacobean faerie had begun to evolve even more into the modern day faerie. They were depicted as invisible to the human eye. Although the image of flower faeries and hobgoblins continued, puritans regarded them all as demons. They were seen as having the power to control the weather, replace mortal babies with changelings and even fly.

Each branch of faerie was given a different name and they were blamed for drought, disease and kidnappings. All these beliefs still exist today and are all part of the faerie stereotype.

The 18th century faerie is more of a gentle, child of the earth spiritual character. They punish the bad, reward the good, and dwell in flowers. Cottages in Ireland were built with front and back doors directly opposite, so they could be left open in case the house was built on a faerie pathway. That way faeries could pass straight through without interference. People still believed in bad faeries, but there were now many superstitions believed to ward them off (i.e. always keep at least one foot outside of a faerie ring to avoid being kidnapped by faeries).

It was around the 18th century that fairy tales were born, when moralists started to include witches, faeries and goblins, like Rumpelstiltskin, into children's stories. Fairy godmothers, like that in the tale of Cinderella, became a popular moralist symbol.

It's interesting how, even today, children are taught right from wrong with tales based on the ancient legend of faerie good and evil. They are threatened with bad goblins if they are bad and told that if they are good, they will see a flower faerie in the garden.

History may have changed our perception of faeries, but who's to say which version is correct and which isn't? Nobody can prove whether small flower faeries or huge Tuatha de Danann knights are closer to the real faeries.

As for my own experience of elemental beings, I spotted my first faerie ring a year ago and knew instantly what it was, due to my vast thirst for all faerie knowledge. Until this point, for me, seeing wasn't, necessarily believing, as I had believed in faeries without tangible proof of them at all for many years until stumbling across the ring.

It wasn't for another few months that I saw an actual faerie. Like a leaf, it darted through the air, close to the ground. It had a subtle light, a visible aura that convinced me it had to be a faerie and nothing else. It was these sightings that sent my heart a fluttering and I felt like a child again. I had a renewed belief in the existence of magic and the land of make believe. I hope you too will some day be touched by faerie and uncover its secret. Only those who believe know the secret.

As for now, I still watch out for signs of faerie life when near woodland or flowers. They are subtle things, but those who also belief will agree with me that the signs are obvious if you simply allow them to call out to you.

It's a privilege to be shown a snippet of faerie life but if you haven't as yet, it really doesn't matter. As long as you allow the faeries to tug at your imagination and your heart strings and keep believing, you'll be forever closer to uncovering the truth behind what lives at the bottom of the garden....

The End

Written by Victoria Crouch

Check out the information I have here on Fairies and Fairy Tales. These are all available for instant download if you would like to get them! 



Fairy Tales have been around almost as long as man has anywhere you may have travelled around the globe. It seems that not only the Celtics but most other races had their own versions of fairies and fairy tales. In the next pages we will delve further into the subject PLUS I have assembled a collection of very old Celtic, Irish, Scottish and English fairy tales you may find interesting.

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