Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fairies/Spirit of Place

OK I'm heading into dangerous territory as far as many Pagans as my belief in fairies is minimal to say the least, well at least in the conventional form. I tend to put fairies in the spirit of place category. I believe in spirit of place, why would graveyards feel gloomy when ghosts tend to inhabit places where they were most comfortable (unless we have a load of Goth ghosts floating around) or when you get lost in a wood it is unnerving, this is where spirit of place comes into its own. Spirit of place is everywhere that is a place & different places have different spirit. Perhaps the ancient time folk who didn't really separate magic from science could see them, which would explain why if you were to take a proper look into fairy lore they are so different in looks & character, we will never know. Perhaps faces & forms were put on to them as a sort of comfort blanket, people are less creeped out by what they can see or at least put a face too, however grotesque it might be. I personally don't need to put a face on it, I sometimes imagine a face for it admittedly but escapism is a wonderful thing. It could be that the original fairies were perhaps an echo of homo neanderthalensis, which existed all be it briefly in terms of palaeontology at the time as homo sapiens, they were shorter & sturdier & it would only take a few Chinese whispers to make them into something else. I have also heard that fairies are aliens I think I need a large pinch of salt for that one or possibly a ladle of it. Some fairies are almost definitely mistaken identity, the Gooseberry Mother is a just an extremely hairy caterpillar such as the garden tiger moth, the buff ermine or if you are in America a giant leopard moth. The second most explainable would be the Will O' the Wisp which is a ball of self igniting marsh gas.

Perhaps I have taken the magic out of some this for some people by rationalising it. For those interested in faeries/fairies please research beyond Flower Fairy books as Cicely Mary Barkers portrayal were a set of children's tales to get them interested in flowers & were based on pre-Raphaelite paintings rather anything that she would have seen ethereally. You may find out the shocking truth that they are according to to the tails mischievous at best & down right unpleasant & dangerous at worst. It does make wonder why there aren't as many horror films about fairies as there are about ghosts, werewolves, vampires etc. So look up your redcaps, boggarts & pixies & don't tell them to your children until they are out of the flower fairy stage.

1 comment:

  1. As usual you've elucidated some lesser-known corners of folklore for me. If you see the fairies on the road, kill them.