Whispering Woods Faery Lore Course: Lesson Ten – Elves

Whispering Woods Faery Lore Course

Lesson Ten

Elves

 

Elves were thought to cause sicknesses such as the “aelfsogotha” or “elf disease” which made a human’s eyes go yellow (possibly jaundice), or “elf cake” consisting of a hardness in the side (perhaps a hernia) and the waeteraelfadl or “water elf disease” (this could have been linked to chickenpox for in Germany it is still known as waterpox or wasserpocken). The Scottish word “eldritch” means uncanny and is either formed from the Anglo-Saxon aelf and ric referring to a place rich in spirits, “orelfrice” meaning the fairy kingdom, or Fairyland. Elb is an Old Germanic term for a female elf. Erl is that of a male elf. In the Christian belief, elves have White blood to distinguish them from humans. They are considered not worthy enough to enter the Christian kingdom of heaven and the white blood gives them away. This is why they steal human babies in order to dilute their blood and thus be able to sneak in. Anglo Saxon doctors (Leeches) would use “Aelfthone” (Circaea lutetiana) in order to counteract the power of evil elves) when administering care.

Leprechauns: The leprechaun is known as the fairy shoemaker of Ireland and is often portrayed working on a single shoe. Among the most popular of beliefs about leprechauns is that they are extremely wealthy and like to hide their gold in secret locations, which can only be revealed if a person were to actually capture and interrogate a leprechaun for his pot of gold. The name leprechaun may have derived from the Irish “leath bhrogan” (shoemaker), or its origins may lie in the Irish “luacharma’n” (pygmy). A family branch of the leprechaun is the Cluricaun who are known to steal or borrow most anything, as well as raiding wine cellars and larders. They will also harness sheep, goats, dogs and even domestic fowl and ride them throughout the country at night.

Wayland Smith: He is a well known elf rumored to live in Waylands Smithy. This is a chambered Neolithic barrow located in Berkshire in the South of England. He is said to be a skillful blacksmith. Legend has it that if a rider leaves their horse tethered there on a full moon, that the next morning the horse will be newly shod. Some believe that he is the King of elves in that area of the world.

Aelf: is a Scandinavian elf, the name meaning something like “White Spirit” or “shining spirit”. Aelfs were originally nature or fertility spirits, with a great many varieties such as the dunaelfen or hill elves, wyldaelfen or wild-elves, field elves, mountain elves, sea elves, wood elves and water elves. Aelf or elf appears as a component of many human names including Aelfgar (elf-spear), Aelfhelm (elf-helmet) Elfrida (threatening elf), Alvin (elf friend) and Aelfric (elf King), which survives as Aubrey. The most famous elf name belongs to King Aelfred, better known as Alfred the Great; which means “elf-counsel”. This was a famous early English king’s name and indicates that he was cunning in council, or as crafty as a supernatural being. One Archbishop of Canterbury was called Aelfhaeg, meaning “high as an elf”.

Prometheus – This Elf is considered to be the first of his kind. In turn he married a female elf from the Gardens of Adonis and thus created a nation of elves.

Alfheim – According to Scandinavian folklore, this is the home of the Light Elves known as the “Liosalfar”. It is located in the Middle world and is ruled over by the Norse God “Frey”. It is one of the nine worlds and is located on the highest level of the Norse universe.

Svartalfheim: According to Norse mythology this is the home of the Dark elves. It is located on the same level as Midgard. The Dark elves are known as the Svartálfar (black elves) or Dökkálfar (Dark elves). These are Dark elves that live below ground. They are known to be very evil and are no friends of humans.

Vattaren – These Swiss elves dress in brown fur and are said to have long arms and legs along with rather round bodies. When they adopt a human house they are mischievous to the point of being considered poltergeists. If placated with gifts they will perform chores much as a House faery will.

Erlkonig – This German elf is often seen wearing dandy clothes and a gold crown. He sometimes leads the Wild Hunt. It is said that the Erlkonig is a omen of death. If he is seen with a painted face then the one about to die will do so very painfully. But if he is of clear face then the destined one will die peacefully.

Xindhi – These male Albanian elves are said to be good natured to humans. Yet they have been known to be mischievous on occasion. If one sees a flicker of flame or hears a door creaking, it is said that they are about. The females are known as “Xindha”.

Elves of Light: – These are the Algonquin faeries who hail from the Quebec area of Canada. They are ruled over by “Queen Summer”.

Garconer (Love Talker) – This Irish elf is a sweet talker who has a fancy for human women. He has bright black eyes and smokes a pipe. Should a mortal woman fall prey to his charms they inevitably end up dying upon his departure in pursuit of another mortal woman.

Gimle (Fire Proof) – In Norse mythology, this is the home of the Light Elves. It is a shining hall located in the Third Heaven.

Landalfar – These Icelandic elves are considered to be protective elves. If ever they are driven from the land, then Iceland would become vulnerable to invasion.

Mannikin (Little Man) – This is a German term for elves.

Psotnik – These are Slavonic elves. They are said to be very mischievous.

Elf Arrows – These are Neolithic arrowheads that elves shoot at humans.

Elf Bolt – This is a disease of farm animals caused by Elf Arrows.

Elf Bore – A piece of wood that is missing the knot(s).

Elf Cake – This is a disease elves inflict upon humans that causes the spleen to enlarge.

Elf Child – Also known as a changeling.

Elf Cup – This is a stone that has been hollowed out by dripping water.

Elf Fire – Another name for a Will o’ the Wisp.

Elf Locks – Tangles and knots in the hair caused by elves playing with your hair at night.

Elf Marked – Birth marks and other natural birth defects caused by mischievous elves.

Elf Taken – Bewitched or enchanted humans.

Elf Twisted – Elf-inflicted strokes and other attacks, which leave humans in a state of deformity or fasciations; deformed vegetation.

 

Quiz:

1. The Scottish word “eldritch” means ________.

2. Wayland Smith is said to be a skillful _________.

3. Mannikin is a German term for _______.

4. Female Albanian elves are known as _______.

5. Vattaren are ______ eleves.

6. An elf sickness that cause hardening in the side is known as a ____ _____.

7. The leprechaun is known as the fairy _________ of Ireland.

 

 

Whispering Woods Faery Lore course

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