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The myths and legends about Faerie are many and diverse, and often contradictory. Only one thing is certain~ that nothing is certain.All things are possible in the land of Faerie.

Faerie Origins

The mystery of Faerie has been, from the earliest times, a subject of human speculation. What are Faeries? Where did they come from?

Norse mythology relates how the maggots emerging from the corpse of the giant Ymir transformed themselves into the Light Elves and the Dark Elves. Light Elves, living in the air, are benign, happy creatures, but the Dark Elves, whose domains are the underground regions, are swarthy, evil and blighting.

The Icelandic version, on the other hand, states that Eve was washing all her children by the river when God spoke to her. In her awe and fear she hid those children she had not already washed. God asked if all her children were present there and she replied that they were. He then declared that those she had hidden from him would be hidden from man. These hidden children became the Elves or Faeries and were known as Huldre Folk in the Scandinavian countries. Huldre girls are exceptionally beautiful, but with long cowstails; or else they are hollow Behind, presenting only a beautiful front. Thus they fulfil the deception of their origin.

Elsewhere Faeries are believed to be fallen angels;or the heathen dead, not good enough for Heaven, but not evil enough to find a place in Hell~compelled to live forever 'in between' in the twilight regions, the Middle Kingdom.

In Devon for instance Pixies are considered to be the sould of unbaptised children. However, these beliefs stem only from the advent of Christianity, baptism being unknown prior to that time, and hence cannot be regaurded as reliable.

Faerie is very ancient and predates Christianity by several millenia. Moreover it exists, and has existed, in varying forms, in many countries all over the world.

The Realm of Faerie

Where is 'Faerieland'? Its position is elusive. It is sometimes just over the horizon and sometimes beneath our feet. Yet there have been periods when faerieland was thought to be an actual geographical area, although even this has tended to shift. For instance, the Welsh first thought it was to the North of their mountainous land, and then in the mysterious rocky and misty west peninsular of Pembrokeshire.

Later it moved to an island lying in the Irish Channel off the Pembrokeshire coast. It was seen sometimes by sailors, and even landed on, but would then disconcertingly disappear. Nevertheless, its faerie inhabitants were said to be frequent visitors to the markets of Laugharne and Milford Haven. The Irish called the phantom isle Hy Breasail and, for them, it lay to the West. To Britons it was the Isle of Man that was the faerie isle. The Isle of Man is a rich source of faerie lore.

Faerie can revel itself, bright and glittering without warning, anywhere and just as suddenly disappear. Its frontiers of twilight, mists, and fancy are all around us and like a tide running out, can momentarily reveal Faerie before flowing back to conceal it again. The inhabitants of faerieland can be divided into various different species according to habitat. In addition to the solitary-living faeries, there are many rural elf types who make their homes in the forrests (or sometimes, more specifically 'adopt' a tree to such an extent that the faerie and the tree become more or less synonymous), fields, hills and mountain caves. There are those that live on faerie islands or in countries under the oceans while there are also water faeries inhabiting the seas, lakes and rivers. Finally there are the domestic and house-spirits(brownies and so forth).

FAERIE RINGS

Faeries often dance in circles in the grass which are called faerie rings and this spells danger for the passerby. The wild enchantment of the faerie music can lead him inexorably twords the ring which, like a faerie kiss or faerie food and drink, can lead to captivity for ever in the world of Faerie. If a human steps into the ring he is compelled to join the faeries in their wild prancing. The dance might seem to last only minutes, or an hour or two, or even a whole night but in fact the normal duration would be seven years by our time and sometimes longer. The unfortunate captive can be rescued by a friend who, with others holding his coat-tails, follows the faerie music, reaches into the ring(keeping one foot firmly outside) and pulls the dancer out.

OISIN

TO BE CONTINUED.......

Follow Tinkerbelle My Friends to other Faerie Ways!

The Secret Realm!
Enter My Realm of the Faerie
Another Journey into Faerie
Dryad's Tree

Information and pictures on this page comes from the book FAERIES By Brian Froud and Alan Lee (with the exception of Krysta..She came from Ferngully! ;-) Please come back and visit my page again..I am not yet finished..

Page updated August 17, 1999

As of January 30th, 1997 you are wanderer #

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