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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 28,370,969  

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Question of the Week: 73 - 12/31/2001

Do You Believe in Faeries?

Faeries, the Good Folk, the Sidhe and many more Otherworld beings of this type populate the folklore and tales of the world. So such beings exist? Did they ever? Are they an archetype, a memory of a long-lost people or simply that thing that we catch out of the corner of our eye? Have you ever had a Fae Encounter? Tell us your favorite 'faery tale' and point us to it if the source is on the net. And don't forget your pixie dust.

 Reponses:   There are 44 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

I Have No Choice To Respond To The Question Of "do You... Dec 23rd. at 10:04:56 pm EST

Rev. Carolyne Kleinman (Round Rock, Texas US) Age: 43 - Email

I have no choice to respond to the question of "Do you believe in faeries?" with a resounding "YES! Don't you?" and give the questioner that Look...the one that makes you feel sheepish for asking in the first place. The Fey are the most precious part of my childhood memories, for it was they that brought the magick to my early youth. They protected me from all the harm an innocent can court, and they blessed me with not one but two offspring that (I SWEAR!) are fey in all but wings...and I think those will hatch out someday, just haven't found the right combination of chocolate and what-have-you.
The fey bless my gardens, wherever we are. I am blessed to have their presence in the morning glory vines outside of my kitchen door, and they always allow me the greatest joy of being able to plant varietals that "aren't supposed to grow down here"...Pfft!
You ask for a favorite faery tale? Hmmmmm, perhaps the one often told to anyone willing to listen to my Mom will suffice.
We had a large continous wall of crepe myrtle bushes in the back yard of my earliest childhood home, and it was my favorite place to play. Of course, it was chock full of my "little friends" who sang to me, played wonderful music, and best of all played with me tirelessly until I grew sleepy and sweaty, and just plain ol' pooped out. Then, with a warm sweet voice buzzing in my head, I distinctly remember being told it was time to "go home" and before I knew it I was on the back porch, tugging on the screen door. Later, at bath time, I would relate my tales of high adventure to my Momma or my Nana. I'm sure that they listened with a smile, not really giving credence to the tales of a 4 year old. Then came the day in early spring when I heard the music playing through my bedroom window, and told Momma that I JUST HAD to put on my bestest dress and go to my "Friends". She smiled indulgently, allowed me to slide on my velveteen frock and skip barefoot out the back door towards the crepe myrtles....and watched me DISAPPEAR into them. It was then that she, too, heard the music of the fey briefly as I went into 'their world'. Needless to say, Momma always watched a bit closer after that, but I don't think she ever doubted any 'faery tales' I related after that either.
Now, I'm the 'Mommy' - and I have the signal honor of two fey children blessing me with what I blessed my Momma with, Goddess bless us all! On the other hand, I get to hear that lovely music time and again as my younglings wander with their 'friends'......

Are There Faeries? I Most Certainly Believe So. I Have Often Believed... Dec 23rd. at 10:53:31 pm EST

Ldy Rhiannon (Hesperia, California US) Age: 38

Are there Faeries? I most certainly believe so. I have often believed as a child and now that fearies are and have been present here on earth. I know for a fact that I have one as a guide (he is a leprecaun in fact). He has this habit of hiding a mundane object in his game of "I hide it and you must try to find it". He usually wins the game when I say alound "Alright Paddy (that's his name) give back the _____." In a few minutes the missing item will be put in plane site where I know I looked at least 3-4 times. His favorite object to hide though is my room mate's cigarettes ( I don't smoke ).

Also with the diversity of life and new ones being discovered who is to say that the denizens of myth and legend were never given life by the goddess. All legends and myths have some seed of truth for them to be born from. They have even found proof that Merlin may of actually existed, and if that is the case....

Do I believe? Most certainly, do they exsist now yes but in a realm in between ours and the Summerlands. We see them when they wish to be seen, and we hear them with the mysterious chimes ringing when there are none to ring.

Hi!; Faeries? Are You Guys Going Fluff-bunny In Your Old Age? Are... Dec 23rd. at 11:33:00 pm EST

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 59 - Email

Hi!; Faeries? Are you guys going fluff-bunny in your old age? Are we to see you on Llewellyns list of hack writers, soon?

Being Pagan does not equate with newagesewage, although some want to turn it in that direction.

I'll bet you even have a copy of Lady Coddington's Pressed Fairy Book!

Those things are better off left in Celtic folklore and we can venture there, if we want.

I Wouldn't Say That Belief In Fays Is Neccisariy "fluffy Bunny", Or... Dec 24th. at 12:23:12 am EST

Dolphinsmile (Allen, Texas US) Age: 20 - Email

I wouldn't say that belief in fays is neccisariy "Fluffy Bunny", or "newage", but belief that fays are here to help us and it's a good idea to go look for a fay buddy to help you find your lost keys certainly is.

All I've read about fays aside from some newage stuff says that they don't like us! Now, I don't know if they exist or not, and I'm not going to go to much trouble to find out, because if they do, I am sure they are best left alone. There's all these stories of people getting lost in the woods because they are confused by faeries, or faeries stealing people's babies, or leading children into lakes and then drowning them. These are not friendly creatures!

Anyway, if such creatures do exist, I will respect them by leaving them alone. Maybe they aren't as scary as the folklore suggests (wolves do have a pretty bad rep in old folktales too), but considering how humans act, I don't see any reason why faeries would like us, and I wouldn't be surprised if they actually dislike us.

Being The Skeptic I Am, Before I Began Attuning Myself To Earth... Dec 24th. at 2:27:39 am EST

Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) Age: 16 - Email

Being the skeptic I am, before I began attuning myself to Earth I would say no way are there Faeries. However, I always remeber playing in my room by myself, talking to my invisible friends, my mother thought it was normal, you know being five and all. And as I grew older, like many children, Faeries became fairy tales.

When I was fourteen, before I found the Craft, when I was embarking on my everlasting soul search, I began really looking at the world around me and inside me.
I discovered that my hair, in summer in home to a Fay that loved singing (I am not joking people!), and all year round my Cat chases invisable things, and I've gone on the prowl with him, there was "nothing" there.
Cats, like most animals, have Fay sight.
I have yet to actually see a Faerie, but I've heard them, maybe I have Fay hearing instead of sight.
Anyway, I have one book about Fay and that's Brian Froud's Good Fearies/Bad Fearies, an art book, that has folklore in it. what I'm saying is to me Fearies exist not because the Craft says they do, but because I know they do. You can'r *believe* in something you *know*

So far in my soulsearch I know these things for sure: Magic works, Meditation works, I can Shapeshift (not physically) and Fearies are close.

blesses Be and have a good year.

Ofcourse I Believe In Faeries. If There Is Science, Then Why Not... Dec 24th. at 2:29:44 am EST

carrie (seattle, Washington US) Age: 15 - Email

ofcourse i believe in faeries. if there is science, then why not magik? if there are robots, then why not faeries? if u had told someone in the middle ages that someday people would be able to fly in the sky or dive deep in the water, they would have called u crazy. the same goes for trying to convince faeries and magik exist. they don't want to believe it because science is so much easier to see and recognize. but i think if everyone opened their minds and their hearts, they would be able to see magik too. i don't think magik is as obvious as the people of "charmed" like to portray. i think it works in much more subtle ways. in everything, there must be a balance, an action and a counteraction. science and magik balance each other out. ofcourse there are faeries just as there are trees or cars! and tho most would have u believe there aren't b/c its preposterous to believe in something uve never seen or had any proof of it being there, just ask them about God. are faeries more ludicrous than the idea of God? ofcourse not.

For Me There Is Little Question. The Day I Stop Believing In... Dec 24th. at 3:05:03 am EST

Tanais (Auburn, Washington US) Age: 21

For me there is little question. The day I stop believing in the mystical, unexplained, and downright weird is the day I hang up my flying broomstick for good. I may never have had the honor of seeing the otherworld (or so I may remember) but I still believe. Faith is knowing something as fact without proof. Witches are supposed to believe in magic as a real tool to understanding ourselves and our realities. That requires a leap of faith and who is to say what the gods choose to give power to and create? Every day I hear about how there are species of bird or fish we haven't discovered yet so why not Faeries? The only thing I know for sure is my world would be a lot more boring if I stopped believing.

PS my favorite faery tale is still Cinderella. It's nice seeing the good-natured doormat persevere.

For My Initiation, I Went West To Spend The Week With My... Dec 24th. at 10:36:13 am EST

RuneWolf (Reston, Virginia US) Age: 43 - Email

For my initiation, I went West to spend the week with my teacher and his partner at their new home. As dusk drew down on the day I arrived, my teacher said "Come - I want to show you something."

We went about half-way down the steep slope that bordered their front yard, to where a stand of trees began. There stood a low outcropping of whiteish rock, about 9 or 10 feet in diameter. The rock was cleft in the middle, the notch forming a rough V.

"What do you feel?" my teacher asked. I grounded, centered and opened myself. At first I was startled, and I had to move around the rock to convince myself that what I was feeling wasn't just imagination.

"Its open!" I said at last, looking wide-eyed at my teacher. "There's an opening on this side, but not on the other." My teacher, grinning like a fool, just nodded and laughed.

Later that night, as the Moon rose, I went and sat before that Doorway. The rising Moon was framed exactly in the V of the notched stone. As I sat, and opened myself again, I could hear, albeit distantly, the sound of horns...

Yes, I belive in the Aes Sidhe, the Fair Folk. They exist as surely as you or I, though they dwell, for the most part, in a different World, a different Reality. If you have any doubt, find a Doorway yourself, and listen there for the sound of their horns. Once you have heard that sound, you will doubt no more.

Disclaimer: It's A Bit Long, Sorry!) "she...thought About The Idea Of... Dec 24th. at 10:55:26 am EST

Gray Jay (Mount Pearl, Newfoundland CA) Age: 27

(Disclaimer: It's a bit long, sorry!)

"She...thought about the idea of conceptual reality, that things only existed because everyone agreed that they did. If one were the only person present, then it wouldn't take much of a forum to dictate what was real and what wasn't. Which was all very Zen, and didn't explain psychoses at all, except that maybe bag ladies who walked along the street talking to themselves really were talking to Elvis. Perhaps childern's invisible companions really did exist, fading only when the more emphatic adult consensus finally convinced the child that the friend wasn't-couldn't-be real. UFO's, tabloid headings, appearances of Virgin Mary...perhaps they could all be explained this way. Perhaps they were all part of faerie and, in their own way, they were all real. Or as real as they had to be."

- Eithnie - From "The Wild Wood" by Charles DeLint

Like the character who's thoughts are quoted above, most of us who perform magick have wrestled with the belief of things not readily accepted by mainstream society. Spells and faerie fall under this category. A belief in one doesn't necessarily mean belief in the other, but the world of faerie usually does play a big part in our belief system from the watchtower guardians to leaving offerings for gods, goddesses and other spirits. Even in my parents generation, walking out in the country in Newfoundland meant bringing a piece of bread with you to offer to anything fae that may cross your path. Different plants were used to ward off the evil and the unseen. We maybe aren't as quick to claim faeries as we do magick spells and encounters with various deities because of the stigma of madness that can come with it. Faery lore tells that if you venture into faeryland you will either come out mad or a poet. The story of Thomas the Rhymer (beautifully redone by Ellen Kushner a few years back) and Tam Lin (redone recently by Pamela Dean) warn of the dangers of being enticed by Faeries. Telling people you are a witch will not earn you the looks you get when you tell people you believe in Faeries. Tell enough people you believe in Faeries and they may start thinking you have a few screws loose. I think most of us believe in faeries, but some view it as a threat to their sanity and conformity and would never admit it. With the popularity of monster movies, vampire shows/movies, etc. one has to think that more people believe in the fae than anyone wants to admit and unfortunately more the unseelie side. As for me, I always share my snack with whatevers around when walking on the barrens or in the woods; belief in the little people begins with respect.

"so more than just the stories came over to Canada, " Eithnie speculated." I mean, if we're going to accept faerie as real, then why couldn't they have emigrated here just like the people did."

Back When I Lived In Springfield, Illinois (usa), My Best Friends There... Dec 24th. at 1:20:40 pm EST

John ("New Naumkeag", Ohio US) Age: 34 - Email

Back when I lived in Springfield, Illinois (USA), my best friends there, T. and her husband R., and I had a conversation that touched on this very subject. T. and I are Witches; R. is not but has a very open mind.

T. said she believed in fairies.

I said that I hadn't seen any, but who knows...

R., in a moment of delightful lucidity, said this. He said he believed everything comes down to science: human beings observing what is really going on. And he said that maybe people used to believe in fairies because, for example, to explain where morning dew on the grass came from. And then somebody sat outdoors all night and reported back then next day "I don't see no [bleepin'] fairies." And so the explanation for a phenomenon changed as people observed more of what really is going on.

R. swayed me with his opinion, which has become my opinion on a great many psychic and spiritual and mystical things. There are plenty of things that happen in Nature for which we don't (yet?) have a scientific explanation. And so we have stories to explain them. Some of those stories are just that, stories. Others have a kernel of truth. And a few of those stories are far more accurate than the modern era gives credit for.

Things are in Nature (and we are parts of Nature) and our observation of them or not has little bearing on their existence. But empiricism -exterior (science) and interior (mysticism) is the best way yet people have invented for describing what is out there and, more importantly perhaps, what is within.

So whether fairies or whatnot are what the stories say, or whether we are perceiving stuff as imperfectly as we can (like a blind man feeling sunshine on his skin), etc. - there *is* something really going on. And, even (especially?) with people gifted with a little extra sensory perception and understanding, the question often becomes what we *do* more than what we believe.

For, magic to the ignorant is simply knowledge to the wise. And belief and knowledge ultimately serve best when they lead to good hearts and good deeds. Truth is verb as well as a noun.

To the Formless but through Forms, we realize the Essence; in the World Between the World, we Craft our path of Truth.

(even fairies. )

Blessed Yule; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Yes, The Faeries Do Exist, This Much Can Be Proven By Archaeological... Dec 24th. at 1:36:23 pm EST

Raven Prince (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 20

yes, the faeries do exist, this much can be proven by archaeological research. okay, so, let me break it down to you: prior to the arrival of the invading Celtic/Norse peoples in Western Europe, the lands were inhabited by the 'elven' peoples, pigmy peoples (like the pigmy aboriginals of Australia) with so-called 'elven features', e.g. pointed ears, often but not always short of stature. the existence of these people can not be denied, they left the proof of their existence behind for archaeologists to uncover, and what they have uncovered is this: the pigmy peoples of Western Europe share as commonality with all other pigmy races the reputation for long lives, legendary warrior prowess, weapon building, architecture, and wielding great magick. like the aboriginals of Australia they built their dwellings into trees or hills, and like the aboriginals they wielded poisoned arrows and darts for battle. these peoples probably built the great megalithic structures such as Stonehenge. when the more technologically advanced races appeared in Western Europe these peoples adopted their clothing and dyes, prefering the greens and browns that enabled them to blend more easily into their environment (which is the origin of the legendary green-skinned faeries and brown-skinned wood nymphs). after being driven into a barren wasteland in the north, these peoples fought back against the invading Celts/Norsemen, going on a legendary campaign that very nearly brought down the Roman Empire, and earned them a reputation as otherworldly warriors, warriors renowned even among the already renowned warriors of the Celts and Norse. they were eventually defeated by the Romans, Celts, and Norse, but continued to inhabit some of the lands of Western Europe until new invaders arrived and literally drove a large segment of the elven peoples underground, such as the Tuatha De Danaan (Children of Danu), the 'picts'(from which we derive the word 'pixie') who were defeated in Ireland by the invading Spaniards (Milesians) and struck a deal diving the lands of Ireland in half between the surface and the subterranean substratum (which in the UK is vast enough to support underground populations, and did). however, those who were driven underground began to loot and plunder from the surface dwellers, who took up the tradition of making offerings to the 'little folk' in an arrangement that mirrored the Hopi Indians, who raised extra livestock so that another tribe, i believe it was the Nevajos but don't quote me on that, would not steal the livestock they themselves needed (apparently the other tribe believed God had made the Hopi to raise livestock for them). eventually of course the underground populations vanished, though i can't guarantee some may not have lived on in deep caverns far away from the surface to this day (an interesing fact to note is that it may be theoretically possible for the underground dwelling pigmy to have migrated under the surface all the way from Western Europe to the Appalachian Mountains, which used to be a part of the same mountain chain as that in western europe and is still connected by vast underground passageways, therefore the natives here in America may have encounted either these people in either their physical or ethereal forms). due to their legendary status among the other peoples of Western Europe, the elven people passed into folk lore and became renowned as the ancestors/gods/nature spirits of those people, thus shaping Celtic-Norse and Graeco-Roman society and spirituality.

now, that covers all the facts about the elven races that can be established by archaeological research. i go further to theorize that the elven races were indeed a different breed of the same race to which humans, elves, and dwarves (yes there is evidence the dwarf races existed once as well) all belong. i believe the elves exist in a higher state of consciousness than average humans, that they exist in a theta wave (dreamy) consciousness even when they grew to adulthood, unlike humans who usually move towards a more materially grounded consciousness as they grow. i speculate that that is why faeries guard and accompany young children, who all exist in theta wave consciousness.

my favorite 'fairy tale' is that of The Battle at Faerie Bridge. North and South England used to be separate warring kingdoms, and during one famous battle the North Kingdom pushed the South Kingdom back to Faerie Bridge, at which point the picts started shooting them with poison-tipped darts and arrows and they ran away screaming 'the little people are shooting at us!'

If There Are Faeries Among Us, They Don't Deem Me Worthy Of... Dec 24th. at 4:03:27 pm EST

Manda (Memphis, Tennessee US) Age: 21 - Email

If there are faeries among us, they don't deem me worthy of their attentions right now (unless, of course, they're the ones who move things while I'm not looking), but that doesn't stop me from believing. No one can deny that there is something there. Perhaps what our ancestors called "faeries" are nothing more than elementals or spirits. Perhaps they are exactly what I imagine them to be, a race unto themselves. I'll get back to you on that one once I talk them into showing themselves. :)
The most interesting definition of faeries I have ever heard is that they are from a different plane and able to pass through to ours at will.

"I think that people who can't believe in faeries are worth knowing" - Tori Amos

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