And as the season come and go,
Here's something you might like to know...
There are fairies everywhere -
Under bushes, in the air,
Playing games just like you play,
Singing through their busy day.
So listen, touch, and look around –
In the air and on the ground.
And if you watch all nature's things,
You might just see a fairy's wing.
Where Magic and Nature begin...
…somewhere in the depth of the golden waves, inside the green walls of the bushes, behind the cheerful bright flowers They live.
The secret beauty of this world, the silent keepers of nature treasures, the ones not notable, but so much essential. The Fair Folk. With an incredible power of fair and never-ending devotion to the harmony of nature.
You will be able to meet them, but only if you listen with all your heart, if you look with all your sincerity, if you smile with all your soul and the main thing…if you believe, without any questions, doubts or demands, believe consciously and sincerely, believe with undemanding and unhesitating faith and... if you are careful enough not to trust all of them too much!
They have different names...
They come from the past...
(Painting: "The Fairy Festival" by Gustave Doré
Taken from http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/dore/wc/1.html)
Ireland, the green land of dreams, is considered the motherland of Little Folk. Celtic nations describe them as 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 are believed to live in an Otherworld, in hidden hills and burial mounds, or across the Western Sea. The Otherworld realms include Mag Mell (the Pleasant Plain), Emain Ablach (the Fortress of Apples or the Land of Promise or the Isle of Women), and Tir na nÓg (the Land of Youth).
Another theory is that Faeries were originally worshiped as goddesses and gods, spirits of nature, but with the coming of Christianity these beliefs were disappearing. They lived on, in a dwindled state of power, in folk belief.
With Christianity, the perception of Fair Folk creatures was changed, and sometimes all Faeries, good or malicious, helpful or dangerous, came to be indistinguishable from devils, were viewed with superstition and blamed for all that went wrong: sour milk, failed crops, difficult character of the child, drowning and deaths from the unknown diseases.
The time went by, anyway, and some of the few traditions and beliefs survived, others were modified and adapted to the actual period, yet many have been forgotten. The continuous development of the industrial society, the decreasing consciousness of damages caused to nature, the growth of the consumerism at a loss of the spiritual values and traditions – all that makes Fair Folk avoid people, hide, escape and gradually disappear from our world.
They live in the present...
Fair Folk Classification on this website
Picture: Richard Doyle. Fairy Rings and Toadstools.
Taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_Doyle_-_Fairy_Rings_and_Toadstools.jpg
To give the idea and more detailed description of the particular representatives of Fair Folk we offer our own division of folk creatures according to their habitats to simplify the narration.
Please pay attention that the division suggested here above is not pretending to be exemplary, as any other division of Fair Folk. The difficulties of their classification are explained by the great variety of the faery creatures, many local differences of their names, habitat, looks. You will often meet creatures referred to several groups. There are still creatures missing in our pages, because it is evidently impossible to list and describe all of them, and besides... as we know a part of the Faery World should always be left as it is, in respectful mysterious shade. So take on a friendly smile and with fully open heart step into the magic world of Fair Folk. And have a nice journey!
Bibliography of Fair Folk Section
Bibliography of Fair Folk section
- Alexander Carmichael. Sidhe. Antiche leggende sui Fairies. 2002. Keltia Editrice, Aosta.
- Alfred Perceval Graves. The Irish Fairy Book. 1994. Senate, United Kingdom.
- Anthony S.Mercatante. Dizionario universale dei miti e delle legende. 2001. Newton Compton editori, Roma.
- Brian Froud, Alan Lee. Fate. 1978. Rufus Publications, Inc., New York. Edizione italiana 1997. RCS Libri S.p.A., Milano.
- Brothers Grimm. Fairy-tales. 1992. Digest, Minsk.
- Celtic Fairy Tales. Selected and edited by Joseph Jacobs. 1994. Senate, United Kingdom.
- Dario Spada. Le creature del Piccolo Popolo. 2007. Gruppo Editoriale Armenia S.p.A., Milano.
- Edain McCoy. A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk. 2004. Llewellyn Publications, USA.
- Edda di Snorri. 1975. Rusconi Libri S.p.A., Milano.
- Fernanda Nosenzo Spagnolo. Il Piccolo Popolo. Fate, elfi, gnomi, folletti e altre meraviglie nelle tradizioni dei popoli d’Europa. 2004. Edizioni L’Eta dell’Acquario.
- Il Tamburo Magico. Miti e leggende dei popoli artici. Testi scelti e curati da Mario Marchiori. 1997. Edizioni San Paolo srl, Milano.
- Ismaël Mérindol. Trattato sulle fate, elfi, gnomi e altre creature fantastiche (1466). Introdotto e adattato da Edouard Brasey. 2010. Cairo Publishing S.r.l., Milano.
- Katharine Briggs. Dizionario di fate, Gnomi, Folletti e altri esseri fatati. 2009. Avagliano Editore Srl, Roma.
- Katharine Briggs. The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. 1967. London.
- Lady Gregory. Complete Irish Mythology. 2000. Chancellor Press, London.
- M. Radford. Encyclopaedia of Superstitions - A History of Superstition. 2006. Read Books.
- Oleksa Voropai. Customs of the Ukrainian folk. 2009. Shkola, Kyiv.
- Red Art e Dario Spada. Il Fantastico mondo degli Gnomi. 2008. Gruppo Editoriale Armenis S.p.A., Milano.
- Rossella Camerlingo. Eagh-Uisge. Leggende di Scozia degli Spiriti delle Acque. 2006. Keltia Editrice, Aosta
- The Book of Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland. Edited by W.B.Yeats. 2000. Chancellor Press, London.
- Thomas C.Croker. Racconti di fate e tradizioni irlandesi. 1999. Neri Pozza Editore, Vicenza.
- Tourist Magazine. Vol. 26. 2000. South-East Norway. Publisher Grieg Reiselivsforlag A/S, Valkendorfsgt, Bergen.
- William Bottrell. Traditions and hearthside stories of West Cornwall. 1873. England
Sources of the pictures used to illustrate the section