Wearing your clothes inside out is supposed to protect from faerie charms! Never dance in a faerie ring or you are apt to be pixie-led (charmed) and never find your way back to our land again.

Faeries often make homes in broken eggshells, take care if you see any in your yard or your might get shot with an elf bolt if you disturb it!

Never, ever act in a rude or uncivil manner around faeries, they may charm you and lead you to their fairy rath underground as punishment.

Fairy folk are near old oaks!

Fairy country is also known as Tirnanogue, which is the land of perpetual youth.

If a man is tempted to kiss a Sighoge, or a young fairy spirit, he is lost forever, the madness of love will fall upon him.

From Irish Cures, Mystic Charms, & Superstitions.

Lady Wilde

from the FTM Movie Site

It would be easy to say that very little is known about fairies, but it would NOT be true. A great deal is known, since stories of fairy-folk have come down to us through the centuries from many parts of the world. Information ranges from folk-legends to scientific proofs (and dis-proofs!) to first-person accounts of meetings with fairies and journeys to Fairyland itself. You could find a wide variety in any public library. The problem is that the stories do not always agree, so it is difficult, indeed, to know what is true and what was simply "made up".

There seem to be two main reasons why it is hard to pick the facts out of the fairy tales. First, there was a great effort made by Christian churches, for well over a thousand years, to banish fairies from human territories and end all contact with them. Churchmen of old often believed that any power that was not Christian must be from the devil himself, and fairies were said to be powerful. The fact that the fairies were known to people before the dawn of Christianity only made these churchmen more suspicious. Fairies were also generally thought to live underground, and beneath the earth was generally understood to be the realm of Satan. So they linked fairies with witchcraft, and spread the word that fairies drew their magic from the devil. And in the process, much of what was known became obscured or twisted.

Second, the fairies themselves do not seem to want their secrets to be known. People who stumble upon fairy ceremonies and revels are often warned by the fairy folk not to tell what they've seen or, worse yet, punished severely if they do tell. There are innumerable stories of people who enter Fairyland being kept there forever. The fairies seem to be a private, downright secretive lot, at least as far as humans are concerned.

The word "fairy" or "faerie" seems to come, through a series of changes, from the three Fates of classical times, the daughters of Night who spun the thread of each person's life, twisted it into different shapes, and then, eventually, cut it off when the person was due to die. But that is the origin of the name; the origin of the fairies themselves is not known.

There are many, many tales and tidbits, and from these, a few ideas seem generally agreed upon. First, fairies are not humans. They are a different sort of creature. But whether they are magical beings, or merely beings who exist "in a different plane from our own" seems to be still under debate. For centuries, it was always assumed that they are magic. Many reports attribute to them magical powers such as changing shape, or flying through the air on a stalk of ragwort. Not the least of these powers is Glamour, the ability to make an ordinary person see fairies and fairyland only as they choose to be seen... even to appear completely invisible to ordinary humans. Only special people, often children, or those grown-ups gifted with what was called "second sight" could see them... But Glamour is more than that, for a man under its power might see fairyland all about him, and yet not see the very place in the real world where he stood. There are many stories of men who set foot by accident in a fairy ring and suddenly heard wonderful music and saw the fairies dancing there, and could not resist joining them. To his companion outside the ring, the man had disappeared. As we have pointed out, some of these reports were passed from mouth to mouth for thousands of years, and now it is hard to know which are true.

Towards the end of the 19th century, a group of scientifically-minded people with nevertheless strong spiritual beliefs, began to theorize that the worlds often labeled "magic" were actually as natural as the one we live in, but that they vibrate at a different speed, and so they can exist alongside us, unseen. There were different groups who pursued these ideas, but they can generally be called The Spiritualist Movement (although the Theosophists who were so instrumental in bringing the Cottingley photographs to public attention, always denied that they were a Spiritualist group.) When Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths photographed fairies in Cottingley in 1917, the grown-ups who believed in them were mostly of this movement. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, despite having created that most cold and un-spiritual thinker Sherlock Holmes, was a devout spiritualist.

The fairies of Cottingley seem somewhat different from those described in the oldest tales. In stories written down as long as 800 years ago, the experiences of people encountering fairies were often frightening, and fairies acquired a reputation of being quite dangerous. The fairies in Cottingley did not seem in any way menacing or prone to mischief. Going back equally far are reports that the fairies had left Ireland, Scotland, or England. Numerous witnesses described their "final" departure at different times. It is possible that the few fairies remaining in the British Isles by the early 20th century, such as those at Cottingley, were either more benevolent or less powerful than the fairies of olden times. Perhaps both. In any case, the smaller fairies are generally thought to be less powerful and less mischievous as a rule.

More recently, a different kind of "scientific" theory has been offered to suggest that the stories about fairies are all based on specific groups of ordinary mortals. This idea supposes that one ancient group of people was pushed off the land by a different, conquering group. Perhaps the "native" group was merely a weaker tribe who were conquered by a stronger tribe, or perhaps they were truly a different, ancient form of humans somewhat smaller than we modern humans. The old group fled to the forests and fields where they hid. There, they lived for centuries in underground, or partly underground huts, moving stealthily, often by night, and keeping to themselves as much as possible. When in need they are supposed to have robbed the conquerors of food or odd items. They may also have worked for the conquerors, doing household chores in exchange for food or for the use of tools they could not make themselves, like iron kettles. This theory offers many explanations for most of the wide-spread beliefs about fairies. Unfortunately for this "scientific" notion, there is no scientific evidence of this earlier people to support it, only the very stories that it seeks to disprove.

The simpler explanation, of course, is that the vast array of fairy-stories are, to some degree at least, true.

"The Legend of the Earth Faerie"

by Diane Seago Atkins

The Earth Faerie is a tiny creature who brings abundance to those who respect the Earth.

The Earth Faerie was once a beautiful woman who walked the forest paths in search of healing herbs and tiny mushrooms. As she gathered leaves and wildflowers she often stopped to feel the muted, twinkly light of the sun making its way through the tall trees down to the earth below. Each creature was grateful for blossoms and seeds that fell to the forest floor, for it meant another day with abundance of food.

One night this beautiful woman walked from the forest far, far away to the ocean to watch the silvery moonlight and the reflection of Mother Moon in the dark waves. Her mermaid sisters greeted her from the waters. She liked the sand grains and snuggled up next to a sea vine for the night. Alas, when morning came, she waited to see the clear, turquoise waters before her journey back to the green forest.

One day she found a magic wand glistening beside a patch of berries. Of course, she could not resist touching it! She looked into the crystal hilt and waved it over the berry patch. The berries grew larger and larger. That night, she held the wand in her hand and was transformed into a tiny Earth Faerie so that she could live eternally and bless the plants and creatures of the Earth. As she flew towards the ocean this time, every plant below her grew greener and richer. The forest creatures rejoiced. She slept with the wand beside her and, in the morning, the sea vines opened with purple flowers.

To this day the Earth Faerie is there to protect the Earth and bring Abundance to all beings living in harmony with the Earth. With each acknowledgement of the Earth's natural beauty, the Earth Faerie waves her wand over your life.

   Clover ---- anyone who wears a four leaf clover will be able to see fairies.

   Crooked ----- Farmers have been known to plough crooked furrows so the fairies may not aim their arrows along the ridges towards their horses and oxen.

   Green ----- Fairies and other malicious wood spirits are said to wear green, and it is suggested that anyone who dons green or otherwise favors the color will come under the fairies evil influence.

   Hats ----- A person who passes a fairy ring should reverse their hat to confuse any fairies who might attempt to make them join in the fairy dance.

   Sun ----- If a person hears the sound of the fairies laughing and talking they should run nine times round such a ring, this must always be in the direction that the sun takes, or the runner will fall prey to the fairies power.

   Hawthorn ----- It is unwise to set under a hawthorn on Halloween. This risks enchantment by fairies who are apparently often found in the vicinity of the tree.

   Mistletoe ----- A little mistletoe hung over a cradle is supposed to ward off fairies and to prevent the child from being replaced by a changeling.

   St. Johns Wort ----- It is dangerous to step on a St. Johns wort. A fairy horse may rear up under the person's feet and carry them off on a wild  ride that will last all night before the hapless rider is unceremoniously dumped in some far off spot.

Back to the Faery Pool