Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The rustle of the wind reminds us a fairy is near...
The term Fairy was coined in the Roman and Grecian times and derives from the Late Latin word fata, meaning, one of the personified fates. In other words a guardian or tutelary spirit, or just a spirit in general. The word soon entered the French vocabulary meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity (i.e. enchantment) of the legendary people of folklore and romance called faie or fee. Then as the great country of England began to form, they took the term for the mischievous folk they believed came from this magical land faie and call them fairies.
And as their belief in them grew so did their fear. For you see fairies weren’t always little balls of lights that jingled while they flew. Those creatures you have read about in Peter Pan were Pixies. The fae (or the original fairy) on the other hand were tall, beautiful, sloth like, lustful tricksters who found pleasure in tormenting the humans. In fact our ancestors of this time would leave them gifts to keep their crops safe and their children from being usually with a child of the fae or a plank of wood. And honestly, if your children had to be stolen, you want the plank of wood. It was way less deadly.
since they were all superstitious they wouldn’t even say their names, afraid that by saying it they were giving the fae the opportunity to come into their homes. Instead they would call them things like the wee folk, the good folk, people of peace, the fair folk, or the people who live on the hill. And sometimes, if humans could afford it, they would even install iron gates to surround their property, the only true repellent for the fae.
Toward the beginning of my days upon this earth my parents would tease me saying that I was one of them and that only reason they kept me was because the fae, my people, had left me in a basket on their front step. In the end they had no other choice but to take me in. And being a child I believed every word of it.
Growing up I was told a lot of Irish folk tales and stories about fairies, so the idea of me actually being wasn’t too far fetched. When I was little I also believed that with my fairy blood came special powers like controlling the weather or conversing with trees or even flying. My imagination was so vivid, that I have a vague memory of me flying around my grandmother’s house. Of course my powers of flying and talking to plants deceased as I grew older and I was forced to face reality, but my love for the fae and their mythology did not.
At young age I decided I want to either write books about them when I grew up or become an anthropologist and study the artifacts found dating back to the renaissance era (one of my favorite times in history because of their superstitions). So when I went to the Renaissance Faire I was excited to find that some of the workers were dressed as the fae. For most of my time there I watched how each of them played the part. Each playing it exactly how the Renaissance made them out to be and not how modern times perceives them. Each was ominous and terrifyingly beautiful in their own way, helping bring the magic of the Renaissance to life.
Hudson Kelly x
The title is quoted from an unknown author