THE REALM OF FEY
The Realm of Fey can be classified into four groups:
THE FEY: The term fey is mainly used to signify enchanters and enchantresses with supernatural powers. They can be mortal, supernatural, or part human and part supernatural. Two of the best known fey are the Lady of the Lake and Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legends.
MONSTERS, DEMONS, OR BEINGS ASSOCIATED WITH FAERIES: The Djinn (genies) of Arabic lore is an example of faeries from this category. Another faerie being is Tim Tit Tot, “a black thing with a long tail” and is an English version of Rumplestiltskin. Dragons and giants are also sometimes classified in this group.
THE NATURE FAERIES: Nature faeries make up a broad range of beings associated with the natural world. Some of the beings are mermaids and water spirits, tree spirits, and supernatural hags such as Cailleach Bheur, a personification of winter.
THE FAERIE PEOPLE: Faerie people can be divided into two groups, communal faeries and solitary faeries. Communal faeries either have a loosely organized social structure or have a hierarchy with a king and/or queen. An example is the Tuatha De Dannan, a group of faeries that conquered the Firbolgs, the original inhabitants of Ireland. When the Tuatha De Dannan were later conquered by the Milesians, they went to live in palaces underground where they hold court and enjoy feasts and revelry. Solitary faeries are creatures like the brownies. A brownie is a small faerie who wears ragged clothes of brown color and is associated with a household. He will perform many tasks if well treated but will
do some damage if mistreated. If he leaves a house, the good luck associated with him goes as well.
Some faeries are friendly to mankind while others are hostile. In Scotland, the Seelie Court often does good deeds such as giving food to the poor. The Unseelie Court (the unbatpized dead) fly through the air at night and kidnap humans. In general, faeries are usually indifferent to mankind, but faeries are sensitive and will punish or harm those who violate their rules. Once must never call faeries by their true names but instead use a complimentary substitute name such as the Good People, the Gentle Folk, the Gentry, or the Wee Folk. It is dangerous to enter an area the faeries regard as theirs or they will pinch a trespasser black and blue or inflict more serious harm. Most faeries do not see anything wrong with stealing from humans or kidnapping them. Faeries steal women to serve as midwives, and many abduct men and women to be their lovers. In some cases human beings go willingly into faerieland with never a desire to return to the real world. Most faeries have a reputation for stealing human children and
leaving a changeling in the child’s place.
The Child and the Faeries
The woods are full of faeries!
The trees are all alive;
The river overflows with them,
See how they dip and dive!
What funny little fellows!
What dainty little dears!
They dance and leap, and prance and peep,
And utter fairy cheers!
To keep it on a shelf,
And dress its little self.
I’d teach it pretty manners,
It always should say “please”,
And then you know I’d make it sew,
And curtsey with its knees!
Fascination with faeries stems from lore and legends dating back to the Middle Ages. As with many parables, some faerie tales were used to explain the unexplainable or to teach moral lessons. Or, faeries and their antics offer a perfect subject for a storyteller’s flight of fancy. Needless to say, the popularity of faeries persist to the present day along with other magical beings such as unicorns, mermaids, angels and many others. In the face of a world becoming more science oriented with each new decade, many individuals are still yearning for the more elusive, mystical side of the soul.