Atlantis Online
June 18, 2019, 11:41:42 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Ruins of 7,000-year-old city found in Egypt oasis
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080129/wl_mideast_afp/egyptarchaeology
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

the World of Fairies

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 17   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: the World of Fairies  (Read 2349 times)
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« on: July 28, 2007, 06:00:49 pm »




Take the Fair Face of Woman... by Sophie Anderson

Report Spam   Logged

Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 06:02:46 pm »

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

Much of the folklore about fairies revolves about protection from their malice, by such means as cold iron or charms of rowan and herbs, or avoiding offense by shunning locations known to be theirs.  In particular, folklore describes how to prevent the fairies from stealing babies and substituting changelings, and abducting older people as well.

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.

Fairies are generally portrayed as human in appearance and as having supernatural abilities such as the ability to fly, cast spells and to influence or foresee the future.[8] Although in modern culture they are often depicted as young, sometimes winged, females 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. Even with these small fairies, however, their small size may be magically assumed rather than constant. Wings, while common in Victorian 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.

Various animals have also been described as fairies. Sometimes this is the result of shapeshifting 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

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2007, 06:04:02 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2007, 06:04:49 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 06:05:43 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2007, 06:06:46 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 06:09:42 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 06:11:59 pm »

Etymology

The word fay came to English around 1400 (as fai, fay) from Old French faie or fee (Modern French fe), earlier from the Vulgar Latin feminine fata, referring to one of the Fates, personifications of destiny (the Greek Moirae); cf. the Italian Fata Morgana used as a translation of Morgan le Fay. The concept of a fate, an overseeing divine force who determines the length and eventualities of one's life, had changed over the years to refer to a spirit guiding or directing a given person (cf. guardian angel), and thence broadened to refer to local protective spirits, or nature spirits in general.

English fairy (Middle English faierie) was borrowed ca. 1300 from Old French faerie "land of the faie, enchantment", an noun denoting the general class, activity or habitation of the faie (faierie being related to fai as e.g. yeomanry to yeoman, foolery to fool, or nunnery to nun). From adjectival use ("fairy gold", "fairy queen" etc.) from the 15th century applied to the class of supernatural beings inhabiting faerie, re-interpreted as derived from fair, singular fairy with a new plural fairies. The term fairy tale is a translation of the Conte de fes of Madame d'Aulnoy (1698). The spelling faerie first appears 1590 in Spenser's Faerie Queene. From Spenser's use, the spelling with -ae- came to be used in a dignified or poetic sense as opposed to "vulgar" tales. J. R. R. Tolkien makes use of the distinction, in On Fairy-Stories defining Farie as "the realm or state in which fairies have their being", depicted (under the name of Faery) as a mystical or visionary state in his Smith of Wootton Major. Fairy Land is used by Shakespeare as an apposition, in the 19th century contracted to fairyland.
Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 06:13:59 pm »

Folk beliefs

People who believed in the existence of fairies often did not always ascribe to them a definite origin, and explanations varied culturally, regionally and temporally.

One popular belief was that they were the dead, or some subclass of the dead. The banshee, with an Irish or Gaelic name that means simply, "fairy woman", is sometimes described as a ghost or as a harbinger of death. The Cauld Lad of Hylton, though described as a murdered boy, is also described as a household sprite, like a brownie. 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. 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.

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

A third belief held that they were a class of "demoted" angels. 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. Others held that they had been thrown out of heaven, not being good enough, but were not evil enough for hell. This may explain the tradition that they had to pay a "teind" or tithe to Hell; as fallen angels, though not quite devils, they are subject to the Devil.

A fourth belief was the fairies were devils, entirely. This belief became much more popular with the growth of Puritanism. The hobgoblin, once a friendly household spirit, became a wicked goblin. Dealing with fairies was in some cases considered a form of witchcraft and punished as such in this era. 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.

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

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
Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2007, 06:15:38 pm »



Sources of beliefs

One theory for the source of fairy beliefs was that a race of diminutive people had once lived in the Celtic nations and British Isles, but 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. Some archaeologists attributed Elfland to small dwellings or underground chambers where diminutive people might have once lived. In popular folklore, flint arrowheads from the Stone Age were attributed to the fairies as "elf-shot". 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. 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. Selkies, described in fairy tales as shapeshifting seal people, were attributed to memories of skin-clad "primitive" people traveling in kayaks. 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.

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. Many beings who are described as deities in older tales are described as "fairies" in more recent writings. 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.

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 Sidhe mounds in actuality being burial mounds, it being dangerous to eat food in both Fairyland and Hades, and both the dead and fairies living underground.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 06:18:06 pm by Moira » Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2007, 06:16:32 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2007, 06:17:28 pm »



Cottingley Fairies 2...
Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2007, 06:18:58 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2007, 06:19:58 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Moira Kelliey
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2256



« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2007, 06:20:55 pm »



Edmund Dulac
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 17   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy