Faeries – Little faeries in history

Faeries podcast - freeFaeries have been documented in history.  Around 1000 B.C., the Greek poet Homer wrote The Illiad, in which he describes, “watery fairies dance in mazy rings.”  (“Mazy” means maze-like, or like a labyrinth.)

In the 12 century, Gervase of Tilbury described portunes (one variety of small faeries).  He said that some are as tiny as one half inch tall, or as little as a small finger.

Later reports confirm his descriptions.

Shakespeare popularized the image of playful, tiny faeries in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  However, he didn’t invent them.  (Nobody invented faeries.  They already existed.)

There are many theories about the origins of faeries, going back to the time of Genesis in the Bible.  We know so little about faeries, it’s difficult to be certain what’s true about them, except that they exist.

In this 13-minute podcast, Fiona Broome talks about many topics.

* Little faeries in history
* The possible importance of our belief in them
* Early descriptions of faeries as “pygmies”
* William Allingham’s poem, The Faeries, and the clues in it

Listen to this podcast on your computer (MP3)

Mushroom photo by Steve Knight, U.K.
Music: Moods of Man, written & orchestrated by James Underberg

Faeries – An Overview

Fiona Broome relaunches her faerie-related podcasts with this 12-minute overview of faeries and popular misconceptions about them.

This podcast repeats many concepts from her earlier (2006) podcast series, with some updates.

Key points:

1. Faeries are not ghosts, and though they may be related to humans, they aren’t actually human, either.  Faeries are not divine, but may seem so, particularly when compared with the idea of guardian angels and other popular spiritual concepts.

2. Faeries may live in or under our world (this includes Hollow Earth ideas) or in a parallel reality.

3. Faeries can be small — like the Tinkerbell images — or even larger than humans.

4. Faeries may be sweet (Tinkerbell), pranksters (Puck or Rumplestiltskin), or even malicious and demonic.  However, they aren’t related to traditional concepts of Satan or the devil.

5. The location — specifically the characteristics of the landscape — seems to relate to the kinds of faeries associated with that landscape.  Darker and dramatic landscapes seem to be the home of darker and more dramatic faerie lore.  One example is the “green women of the Highlands,” notably different from “green lady” ghost lore.

6. Though there may be minor differences in the stories, faeries are described consistently across many cultures and on every continent, even though there’s no evidence of contact between those cultures when the stories emerged.

One example is the “red cap” faeries (like garden gnomes) mentioned in stories from Native America to Scotland, or the feather-garbed faeries of Northern Ireland’s coastline and the Maori culture of New Zealand.

7. Some faeries seem linked to the land.  Others can move from one place to another, such as the Banshees… which are not evil and don’t cause tragedy or death.

Faerie Magick podcast: Listen online (MP3)

Music: The Moods of Man, written and orchestrated by James Underberg