Did you know that there are hundreds of different types of fairies? And most of them are not the cute, sassy Tinkerbell variety, though most are considered magical (rest assured, I’ll be featuring many of them in future posts)! Fairies throughout history have been so feared that at one time, people wouldn’t even mention their names, referring to them only as The Little People, Hidden People, or sometimes The Gentry (https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/The-Origins-of-Fairies/, https://fiveminutehistory.com/the-history-of-fairies/). All that aside, I’d still sign myself up for a Fairy Godmother given the chance.
Because fairies encompass so many different forms, there seems to be a fairy for literally every shape, size, occasion, and country (Tinkerbell, Lucky Charms, Cupid, jinnis/genies, anyone?). And fairies are a lot older than you might expect—the earliest fairies are featured in Greek mythology (https://www.timelessmyths.com/celtic/faeries.html)! While not on par with the gods and goddesses, think of fairies as spiritual beings one rung down the ladder—more like a demi-god.
Most dismiss any Fae creature (anything belonging to the realm of the fairies) as purely imagination, though there are many (and several current) accounts of run-ins with the Wee People. Do please share your story in the comments if you’ve had such an experience! I’ve not yet been so lucky myself (although I do have friends who have found fairy rings—places fairies are said to dance). Historically, these tiny creatures transcend the corporeal realm into the spiritual one. Many stories associate the Fae with angels, or their equivalents in other religions (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Fairy).
Fairy lore seems especially prevalent in Britain and Ireland (which probably accounts for most of my fascination). In Ireland, some buildings had their corners cut off so they wouldn’t be in the middle of fairy paths. And in some houses, front and back doors were built perfectly aligned and left open certain times of the year so the fairies could traipse through undisturbed (https://fiveminutehistory.com/the-history-of-fairies/). All legends aside, the word fairy didn’t appear until the middle ages in Europe. The word probably comes from the Latin word fata—The Fates (https://www.etymonline.com/word/fairy). Regardless of the origin, fairies continue to fascinate people on a global level. Why are we so preoccupied with these tiny magical beings?
Do we long for a simpler time of childhood when all fairy tales were real? Do we catch glimpses of them from time to time that give us that strange feeling in the pit of our stomachs? Are they simply figments of human imagination created to explain the misunderstood? Or are they perhaps real, waiting just beyond our realm?
Do you believe in fairies?
Creative Writing Prompts:
If you were a fairy, what’s the first thing you’d do with your magic?
The wind whispered through the grass, ruffling my wings like shimmering gossamer. Spring was coming, the time we fairies danced on the lawn, sprinkled the grass with dew, and opened the flowers each morning. But this year, there was a problem.
I am the reason humans fear the Fae folk. It all started as an accident…
(Ya’ll, I LOVE a good Fae read, please leave any other book suggestions in the comments! Go to the top of the post, in the grey text above the title, click “Comments” and you’re good to go!)
The Creepy Hollow Series, by Rachel Morgan
The Goblin Wars Series, by Kersten Hamilton
Pippa of Lauramore, by Shari L. Tapscott
No post on fairies would be complete without these two classic scenes from Peter Pan–apologies, the first is really grainy.
I do believe in fairies!
Beautiful dance of the fairies