Fairies and Fairy Folklore
Fairies and their kin folk are small magical creatures who live nearby us. Some are winged and some are not. It is believed that they are generally not much taller than four feet in height. They are often viewed as elfin like sprites who look much like tiny winged people.
They are most often very beautiful or handsome creatures. This external beauty and a fairy's ability to create magic draws us humans to them like metal to a magnet. They fascinate us. Fairies have magical powers as well as the mystical ability to take the form of any creature that they may desire to replicate.
They exist within all countries of our planet and are referred to by many names depending on their country of origin. These tiny creatures of magic exist in all locals although within each they take on distinct features specific to that area or culture. Most countries similarly agree that fairies are mystical, magical, and mischievous creatures of legend and folklore.
In the west we often refer to a fairy as a changeling, sylph, gobblin, gnome, hobgobblin, brownie, elf, or elfin creature. In Scotland a fairy woman is called Bean Nighe yet in Ireland she is known as Banshee.
A sprite is just as apt to bless you with mischief as they would be to bestow you with luck so do be careful if you suspect that one is nearby. If one should settle near your local be forewarned that you may be in for a strange visit from this creature. A fairy can enchant those she chooses to but can also be a being of harmful intent as well.
Fairies are well known for their mischievous nature. All fairies are magical beings but for some their enchantment is overshadowed by their mischief and trickery. Some are intentional little tricksters that simply cannot seem to help but get themselves in and out of trouble on a regular basis. It is a natural aspect of a fairy's character and no matter how hard they try to stay out of it, fairies just cannot escape their mischievous ways.
Fairies seem to spend a great deal of their time getting into all forms of mischief. Some of this is to our benefit but much more is not. At one moment a fairy can be in the form of a beautiful angelic creature with wings and then in a flash of light she can become a warted old garden toad.
At another time the fairy may be disguised as a rock lying at your feet then within the space of a breath and a bright flash from a colored rainbow the fairy changes into the shape of a bird to quickly fly away. Perhaps she carries with her the words that were just spoken in her presence. Words heard and carried away to be shared with others?
It may be that fairies are really not so sinister and it is only their ability to change shapes which is the reason that we as humans do not trust them. There are many tales told of the fairy folk and their mischievous ways.
There is also a very dark side to their magic. Stories of fairies who sneak into rooms in the dark of night to tangle hair into elfin locks as people sleep. Tales of items stolen from beneath a persons very eyes and tales of crops that fail for no apparent reason.
These sprites are not all the beautiful fairy tale pixie dust they are often portrayed to be. There is also the darker more sinister ways of a fairy's trickery and it is this which makes people wary of a their presence.
Often heard are whispered warnings of fairies who have stolen the breath from children or the old when they were asleep and too weak to fend the visitor off. There are frightening stories of people who have been led away from their chosen pathways never to be seen or heard from again.
There are also tales of children and adults who disappear into the very air about them. Stolen by fairies and whisked away to a land where humans cannot venture without a fairy's express permission, they are lost forever more from our world. It is this dark folklore that keep us watchful of this creature's mischievous magical ways.
Fortunately there are ways that a human can find protection should it be necessary to acquire this respite. Forms of protection from a fairy's magic are cold iron, running water, the sound of ringing bells, four leaf clovers, St.Johns Wart, and wearing your clothing inside out.
The thought that a fairy may be warded off by the sound of ringing bells is somewhat ironic though because the fairy queen is often depicted as adorning her horses in bells.
Carrying bread on your person is also something which will keep a fairy away from you. It is believed that this very traditional symbol of the home also symbolizes the taming of nature and this is something which a fairy absolutely cannot tolerate.
They like to make themselves at home when they find a spot they like so watch for the signs that one may be living in your home or garden. They like to think that they are helping out but often times they wind up making a few mistakes while they are at it. Fairies are well known for their mischievous nature but many simply do not understand our human ways.
If you come across a broken dish, spilled sauce, or dirty dishes it is most likely that a wee spirit may have been visiting within your home. If you notice that last piece of pie has disappeared or that the half full cookie jar is now empty well you just might be able to figure out who was visiting there.
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