The Wee Folke
   
  by Morganlafey
The Seventh Planet of MorganLaFey
Posted with Permission



The name Fairy is used in many different ways to identify many different kinds of "elemental" spirits and creatures. They are a race somewhere between Angel and Human, and they come in various forms and classes. Here is a few of them:

ASRAI

(Or Water-Fairies) - Are a race of Water-Fairy, much like the Mermaids. They are said to have been caught by fishermen. In one instance, a Water-Fairy was caught by a fisherman who bound her in wet weeds. She pleads to be let go, but her language is strange, and she is not understood. The touch of her cold, wet flesh is said to have burned the hands of the fisherman and marked him for life. As the Fisherman brought his boat back to shore the Asrai lay on the bottom of the boat and moaned. Her moans grew softer and softer until finally, she melted away. When the fisherman reached the shore, all that was left of her, was a small puddle of water.


BANSHEE

(Or BEAN SI, Fairy-Woman) - In Ireland, they are the Spirits of the Dead, who wail for the members of the old families. Banshees are said to have long streaming hair and red eyes that continually weep. They are usually dressed in a green or grey cloak over a green dress. When several come together at once, it is believed that someone very great or holy is about to die. The Banshee it is sometimes said is very ugly and other times she is said to be a very beautiful young virgin (someone in the family who died previously)who sings a sweet song. In any event, the Banshee is the harbringer of approaching doom. She is sometimes called the Little-Washer-By-the-Ford because she is often seen by the side of a river, washing the blood-stained clothes of someone about to die.


BLUE-CAPS AND BROWNIES

As industrious as any BROWNIE, the BLUE-CAP is said to have worked in the mines. He would demand that he be paid a man's wages for a day's labor. If he did not receive his pay he could be very indignate. It was always best to pay him what he was due.

The BROWNIE, sometimes referred to as a PIXIE OR PIGIE, are said to be about three feet tall with brown faces and shaggy heads, dressed in brown clothes, hence their names - Brownie. They are said to appear at night and do the tasks of the "household" that has been left undone. They make themselves responsible for the place where they live - whether it be barn, house or farm. In addition to performing farm larbor, they also run errands and give good advice when asked. There are many explainations about why the Brownie behaves as he does. One is that he is here to ease the burden of man; another is that he is either too proud or too unworthy (depending on the tale) to accept wages from man. Instead, it's the duty of the housewife or farmer to leave food and other stuff out for the Brownie to collect for himself when no one is looking. The more generous the handy out, the more likely it was that the Brownie would remain. But should the handout be meek, then the Brownie would leave taking his good luck with him never to return. A Brownie is not one who likes to be taken advantage of, but can be a good friend to have.


BOGARTS AND BOGIES

When a Brownie goes bad it becomes a BOGART. Like a poltergist, Bogarts do mischievous deeds and accompany the family should they move to try to get rid of him. The victim of Bogart retribution often feels as if he is being tormented by the Borgart's evil tricks. Sometimes Bogarts do merely annoying things, such as turning the butter sour and sometimes they do very wicked things, such as nearly killing livestock or people with their magic.

Now most of us were told as children to "beware the Bogie-Man," and there is a good reason for this. Bogies are a class of fairy that are said to take great delight in tormenting and frightening humans. They are sometimes thought to be Evil Brownies who shape-shift and can be very dangerous. Sometimes Bogies are thought to be minor-devils who are simple and gullible and this is usually how most are able to rid themselves of Bogies. Bogies are often found on the losing side of a bet.


CAPTURED FOLKS IN FAIRYLAND

Woe to the human who finds himself alone with fairies who mean to capture him. It is oft' times written that mortals have been carried off by fairies if they ventured into fairy territory, usually a secluded hill or valley, and proceeded to drink and eat fairy food and drink. There are many reasons why people often find themselves captives to fairies. Sometimes babies are taken by fairy women and brought up to be fairies; sometimes older children are taken to perform hard labor; women can be taken to serve as wet-nurses for fairy mothers because human milk is said to be a better quality. Other times young maidens are taken to become the brides of fairy kings and princes. But there is also a very sinister reason that some humans were taken by fairies - to be sacrifices to hell, for it is said that perhaps once in every seven years a tribute had to be paid. The fairies simply preferred to offer up a human rather than one of their own kind.


CAPTURED FAIRIES IN MORTAL-LAND

Most tales of captured faries in the mortal world revolving around the marriage of a man to a fairy wife. Usually she has been captured and often she ends up being returned to fairyland after her husband has violated a taboo. Most fairies when captured will try to bargan their way out, others simply fade or melt away. Most fairies seem unable to avenge the great wrongs that humans have done them, but other fairies seem to be able to avenge even the most minor of infractions. Usually, it is best not to capture a fairy or be captured by one.


CHANGELINGS

One of the most persistent beliefs about Fairies is that they had a strong desire and drive to possess human children. Children and babies were taken for several reasons. One was to satisfy their tribute to hell; another might be to increase the stock of the clan; and the third was that human babies were thought to be beautiful and better then fairy babies, who are described as being tiny, wrinkled and hairy. Often it is told that fairies stole human babies, especially those that had not been christened, right out of their craddles and leave a subsitute behind. The Changeling could be a stock of wood shaped into the figure of a child and enchanted with "Glamour" to give the impression of life. The Glamour would fade, and the "child" would appear to die and was buried. Often when a fairy mother could not feed her baby, it would be left behind and raised by humans, while the human baby would be taken by the fairies. There were also times, when a human baby was desired and once taken, in its place an ancient fairy would remain to be cared for the human parent, unless through trickery, the human parent was able to detect the folly. Now discovered the ancient fairy would fly out the window at once and the human child would be returned.


DIMINUTIVE FAIRIES

Also known as PORTUNES, they are the traditional, very tiny fairy that was believed to be the soul of the dead. They are also believed to be tiny creatures that comes out of sleeping humans and wander about the countryside at night. Thier adventures are believed to be the sleeper's dreams. They are further known as the "pinching" fairies, because they would often pinch villians to gain justice. They are the fairies of many tales. They ride mice or insects, and often have fairy palaces that have been constructed underground. They frequently have fairy parties and balls and often are seen dancing in the moonlight to sounds of tinkling fairy music.


ELVES

In Scandinavia, the fairy people were elves that were divided into two classes - good and bad! The good elves or light elves were like the Diminutive fairies who played fairy games and partied in the moonlight. The bad or dark fairies stole humans, destroyed cattle, and avenged any wrongs done to them. As a whole their diet was toadstools and fairy butter, a fungoid that is found at the base of of roots and limestone. In some parts of the world it is the almost human size elves that are called Elves, while the diminutive fairies are referred to as elfame. The word Elf, among fairies, was unpopular as it was considered to be tactless. One should never call a Fairy an Elf!


FAIRY GODMOTHERS

Fairy Godmothers go back a long way in folktale tradition. It is somewhat out-of-place in a Chrisitian ceremony, but it is a long standing custom to have influential fairies invited to royal or courtly christenings. Often the pretty and kindly fairies are invited while the ugly and haggish ones are ignored. Who can blame them for wanting to avenge this social faux pas. The baby then grows up with a curse upon her or him, and has to overcome it in order to go on. Usually the baby has also been give many charms and blessing as well that help it to overcome any difficulties. The Fairy Godmother is just one of several supernatural patrons of human beings.


GNOMES AND GOBLINS

Gnomes and Goblins are not really fairies, but rather a classification of elementals that belong to the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The Gnome is associated with Earth, as he is an Earth-Dweller. He lived underground and moved freely through the earth as we move through Air. Their only function was to guard the various treasures of the earth. Goblins are usually thought of as being evil spirits who are described as being small and grotesque.



THE LADY OF THE LAKE - NIMUE or VIVIEN

The Lady of the Lake is one of the mysterious fairies of the Arthurian Legends. In some versions of the story she is a real lake maiden who lives in the middle of an enchanted lake. Here winter never comes and no ones knows sorrow. She is said to have brought Lancelot to her home to protect her cowardly son. She is known as Nimue or Vivien, and is said to have learned her arts from Merlin, whom she later enchanted, imprisoned for a time, and later stole some of his power from him. Sometimes she is thought to have been Morgan Le Fay, who is said to be a sorceress and gives Excalibur to Arthur (who is also said to be her half brother). She is also one of the fairies that takes Arthur to Avalon after he has been mortally wounded.


MAGICIANS AND WIZARDS

Often learned men whose areas of knowledge included magic. They frequently had doings with spirits of various natures. Some Magicians of old restricted themselves to higher magic, and they attempted to approach God through their exchanges with Angels and spirits of the dead. Others were involved in dangerous exchanges with devils whom they tried to confine in circles of magic. Often this lead to tragic results as many a time, the devils would make good an escape and cause great havoc. Some Magicians made contracts with the devil and thus became Evil Wizards. Alternatively, instead of dealing the devils, some Magicians dealt with fairies, which was of a more friendly nature.

Wizards can be either good or evil. Merlin was a wizard but he was certainly not evil, although he did demonstrate bad judgment now and then. He is considered to have been a supernatural Wizard and is said to have been the child of an incubus and a princess. He is also noted as having the skill to move through time.


PIXIES

Also called Pigsies or Piskies. There are many varying stories of Pixies and their appearance. Most accounts relate that they are usually dressed in green and homlier then fairies. They are easy to recognize even when they take on human dimensions because they are said to have red hair, turned-up noses and pointed ears. They are real pranksters. It is said that they like to steal horses and ride them round in circles in the crops...thus causing crop circles or fairy rings. These rings can entrap a person if they should put both feet inside. They are real jokers and enjoy playing tricks on travelers. It is advised that one should carry a cross and a piece of bread with them when traveling in Pixiland otherwise one might become Pixy-led - or lead astray by the Pixies.


REDCAPS

Redcap is one of the meaner Border Goblins. He lives in the old ruined towers and castles where terrible deeds have been done and takes pleasure in dyeing his cap red in human blood. Human strength means nothing to him, only a cross held high or the reading of scripture will abate him. There have been others known as Redcap, one whom it is told brings good fortune to see and another that is really a Brownie.


ROBIN GOODFELLOW

An English Hobgoblin of the 16th and 17th centuries he is also known by the name PUCK. He is noted as being half-fairy, the son of a great fairy and a country girl. She was kept very well by the fairies until he ran away from home at the early age of six. Nothing is known what came of her, but from this point forward he was given special powers by his father including that of shapeshifting. From then on he engaged in a life of pranks and jokes.

Copyright 1999 by Morganlafey, All rights in the above article are reserved.
No portion may be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the author.

E-mail: morgan@iswest.com



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