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The History of Fairies

Staring in stories from the former Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Britain and sometimes Germany, many believe that fairies might now be extinct, but that they lived among humans a long time ago. While few have claimed to spot a fairy for quite some decades now, fairies continue to exist in worldwide folklore as well as in many Celtic traditions. But the question is not whether or not fairies still roam the earth today, but rather what did they do while they were here, how did they exist among us, and why is their magic is still so intriguing?

While history holds tons of tales of fairies in its folklore, a somewhat confused and jumbled mix of several separate superstitions has blended together to give us our present day conception of what a fairy is. The oldest stories about fairies tell us that fairies are very much like humans; they lived in ordered societies with rules and law-making, fought wars, believed in religion, got married, had children, and were affected by death. Fairies were magical but not immortal. They were small enough to creep through keyholes, and a single potato is as much as one of them could carry. They worked for a living, specializing in a variety of trades and handicrafts. They require food, sleep, clothing and shelter, just like us. It is said that their familiar occupations were very similar to those in our old society; the women partook in spinning, weaving, grinding meal, cooking, baking, and churning, while their husbands dealt with governing affairs, went dancing, and spent nights being merry around a blazing bonfire.

Fairies particularly enjoy feasting on ‘brisgein’ the grain root of a silver weed. They also eat stalks of heather, field weeds, barleymeal, and goat milk. For entertainment, they sing and dance by the light of the moon in ‘fairy rings.’ Legend has it that when a human is lured into the center of a fairy ring, he becomes so enchanted that he can not shake his hypnosis until he is pulled out of the circle by a human chain. Time does not exist inside the fairy ring as we know it to in the outside world. To a human captivated inside a fairy ring, what feels like a few minutes may very well be, in actuality, days and days.




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