- ~Faerie Size,
Shape & Number~
- The giants of the earth may have counted the Tuatha Dé Dannan
among their number. Mighty gods they were, of gigantic proportions, and
humans honoured them as such. But when they went underground and became
known as the fairies, human perception of them altered: their heads no
longer bumped the heavens but were crowned with diminutive foxglove caps.
size with which fairies appear to a mortal is proportionate to the belief
that the mortal has in them. Fairies have little desire to parade before
unbelievers; and since humans have become so arrogant as to believe in
nothing greater than themselves, fairies have ceased to be seen as greater
than mortal heights. It takes a high-minded mortal to endure the sight
of the fairies in all their majestic beauty. A tale written about the cute
"wee people" is one that can be dismissed as fiction. But if
fairies were accepted as gods, as awesome gods, they would stand before
- Fairies physically resemble mortals in every way, save that not
a one resides among them who is defective in beauty or grace. It is possible
for faeries to suffer certain debilities, but the defective ones are rejected
forthwith from the community. Some declare that fairies actually old, deformed
and withered and therefore wear lovely but false forms so as to tempt mortals
to mate with them; but who can heed the words of the jealous? Yet
enough that a fairy can assume any form - sometimes as a furious, fire-breathing
horse with eagle wings and dragon tail; sometimes as a rumpled hag, oftentimes
as a baby with an old man's face.
in great troops they ride out from their forts, their horses kicking up
whirls of dust, they cannot be seen for the dust cloud that surround them,
and all that is heard is a loud monotonous sound like the buzzing of innumerable
bees. Contrary to speculation, fairies have neither wings nor cloven feet,
being neither angels nor devils. Being immortal, fairies never submit to
autopsy, and hence it has never been determined of what material fairy
bodies are composed. Most speculators agree that they are not formed of
flesh and bones but of some ethereal but otherwise undetermined substance,
like that of a condensed cloud which, being light and thin, enables them
to appear and disappear at will. Although these immaterial bodies are subject
neither to decay nor destruction, they have all the sensuous advantages
of pleasure, and, one supposes (although this has not been recorded), the
disadvantages of pain. A Scottish minister claimed that they did not ingest
food through the mouth, but rather absorbed 'fine spiritous liquours' like
oil and air through the pores into the veins, arteries and vessels, and
hence had no need of our messy manner of digestion. But this fine man never
saw a fairy lustily attack a mutton at a feast. Their senses, if such they
can be called, are splendidly developed; the love embrace or the draught
of finely aged wine excites such extremities of delight that few mortals
the generations faeries have rapidly disappeared from mortal view, mostly
because of mortal disbelief. Smugly content with themselves, humans have
broken the dialogue and put a wall of blindness between the two worlds.
And with the loss of the Irish language the faeries probably find few they
can talk to. Although the Irish National Schools encourage the language,
they have, to some degree, driven fairies from the country because the
good people hate to associate with those who have so cluttered their heads
with ideas that they are no longer comfortable with their senses and emotions.
Thought alienates the good people, while human emotions excite their attention.
- Although unseen, fairies still exist and are considered more numerous
than the human race; more fairies are added to their number each year and
few are ever taken away from them.
Source: Carolyn White "A History of Irish Fairies"
Background courtesy by Rowan
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