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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in elves

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fairy Folks Are in Old Oaks

It's well-known in Iceland that elves make their homes in certain boulders.

Some years ago, a certain farmer near Reykjavik resolved to blow up a particular boulder in order to make room for a new henhouse. With this in mind, he went out and bought some dynamite.

From that day, his hens began to lay fewer and fewer eggs.

Every day there were fewer eggs, until finally there were none.

The farmer called in the vet. The vet examined the chickens. The chickens were in fine health; nothing was wrong with their feed. There was no organic reason why the hens should not be laying.

The farmer decided not to blow up the boulder after all. He gave the dynamite away.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Elf-Shine

They call it “elf-shine.”

I've seen it; I'm sure that you have, too.

It's the beauty that shines from someone in those moments of great joy or deep understanding: an illumination from within.

The ancestors of Northwestern Europe accounted the elves as the most beautiful of peoples, and so this beauty is named for them: for the shine of elf-shine—in Old English, ælf-scýne—is kin to German schön, “beautiful.”

“Beautiful as an elf,” the ancestors used to say.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Elf Shot in Scotland

In the collection Scottish Charms and Amulets George Black recounts a variety of folk practices, many of which linger on not only in word but in material form. Amulets always draw interested audiences in museums where they are on display and bring together the traditions captured in words as charms with a tangible force. Arrowheads are one popular example.

As in many places, Black notes that 'the prehistoric flint arrowheads so numerous in Scotland were long considered by the peasantry to have fallen from the clouds, and to have been used as weapons by the fairies to shoot at human beings' and also especially cattle. Like the well-known Anglo-Saxon charm Wið færstice for elf-shot cattle, there were a variety of ways to battle the illnesses presumed to be caused by the folk too small to be seen. 

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Rock on! (Pun, oh, I just noticed, cool.) Thanks!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
That Blood

It's a credo of the Fairy Faith.

If ever you should happen into That Land, Don't eat the food.

To eat it would be to bind yourself irrevocably to that world, from which you can “never return to your ain countree.”

Witches excepted.

All the stories agree that the Tribe of Witches are exempt from this taboo.

We have, shall we say, a special relationship with the Secret Commonwealth. As people of the betwixt-and-between, it is given to us to pass from world to world with something (dare I say it) akin to impunity.

Scottish witch Isobel Gowdie said of her visit to Elfhame: There I got meat, more than I could eat, nor did this hinder her comings and goings in the least.

Old Craft would have it that this right of free passage derives from being ourselves of That Blood, half-elven, from whence we draw our Otherness.

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Who or What are the Fairies? (The Soundbite Edition)

"The Kingdom of Faerie lies within."

(Tony Kelly, 1949-1997)
 

We are the outside looking in.

They are the inside looking out.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
American Faerie Story

According to Cal State folklorist Sabina Magliocco, author of Witching Culture, fairy belief is alive and well among American pagans.

In a recent talk at the University of Minnesota, she told numerous tales of first-hand 21st-century encounters between modern pagans and the inhabitants of what Robert Kirk called the “Secret Commonwealth.”

Of them all, the following was my favorite. It bears all the hallmarks of classic fairy narrative.

Including the ambivalence.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Twilight People

Who are They, the Twilight Kindreds, the Neighbors, those other peoples in the land?

Called by many names, more felt than seen, once known by everyone everywhere: who are they?

They are the Interiority, the Inwardness of things, the Inside looking Out.

Environmental? Yes. In them, environment looks back at us.

Truly, the kingdom of Faerie lies within.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the balancing voice, Chloe. Myself, I was always more of a Jenny Greenteeth kid than a Tinkerbelle one, but maybe that'
  • Chloe
    Chloe says #
    On the other hand, the Victorian depiction of faeries as children with butterfly wings (ala Cicely Mary Barker) appeals more to ch
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Yes, part of the practicum is exactly what you have described. My only caveat at the moment is to distinguish the spiritual and
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The boustiers and butterfly wings of so much contemporary "fairy" "culture" are indeed symptomatic of our problematic relationship
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    Quite apt. And if the fae are in the inwardness of environment, place, Nature looking back out at us again, then the manner in w

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