What Do Fairies Look Like?
Do all fairies look the same?
Hundreds of years ago our ancestors believed in fairies so much so that fairy sightings were often shrugged off as if the eyewitness had merely seen her neighbor pass by. Our ancestors were quite familiar with how the fairies acted, talked, and even how they looked. In this day and age most of us have forgotten who the fairies really are and even what they may look like.
So in favor of bringing back the ways of our ancestors and their strong beliefs in the fay, this article will focus on the question "what do fairies look like" in hopes of rekindling the ability for us to see the fay in their many brilliant and mysterious forms.
- What Do Fairies Like to Do?
If you are studying fairies or simply are interested in fairies, maybe you want to know the answer to the question
Fairies as Beings of Light
Many times fairies will appear right in front of our very eyes without us ever noticing them. I think the problem is that we have a certain image in our heads as to how fairies look, when in reality there are dozens (possibly hundreds) of various forms that the fay can take. The fairies are master shapeshifters, but most of the time they come through to our realm in the form of pure energy...pure light. This is their easiest method of metastasizing on the mundane plane (our world).
For centuries the phenomenon known by many names but originally called "will o' the wisp" or "willow whisps" is a prime example of what fairies look like in their light form. A will o' the wisp was a bright, sometimes flickering, ball of light that appeared out of thin air taunting nearby humans with its beauty only to disappear when followed. Will o' the wisps have been known by other names on other continents, and in the United States they are usually called "spooklights" or "ghostlights" but all of these things are essentially the same being...a fairy in its purest energetic form. If you'd like to read more about will o' the wisp legends, click here.
So if you see a bright ball of light of any color flitting about through the dark woods, over a pond, or dancing about in a meadow, you'll know that this is one way the fairies can look. But there are more answers to the question "what do fairies look like". Follow me.
Fairies as Little People
In addition to the fairies looking like streaks and balls of light, fairies have also been known mainly for appearing in the form of little people. In fact, "little people" is another one of their many names. Fairies in the form of little people have been seen in almost every country, including the United States. The Native Americans believed in the little people so strongly that many of them feared traveling into certain mountain ranges, as this is where they knew certain kinds of the little people lived. Some of these Native American tribes still believe in the Little People of the mountains, and they claim these little people stand between a foot and a half tall to about three feet tall. They carry little bows and arrows and will attack if they feel their land is being invaded. If you want to read more about the Natives' beliefs in the little people click here.
In Ireland and Scotland, the little people have been seen dozens of times. One Scottish man who is alive today tells the tale of walking home along the hills of Scotland and seeing the little people in his shadow. He stopped to watch what the little people were doing and it looked as if they were trying to disconnect his shadow from him. One was a little man with weathered "wizened" skin, dressed in all brown leather. The other appeared to be a little woman of similar appearance...both of them standing below two feet tall.
These little people tend to fit the bill of what many people refer to as "dwarves" or "gnomes". Dwarves and gnomes are thought to be a type of fairy by many modern authors and researchers on the subject. But we also know that sometimes the fairies appear as even smaller beings, perhaps standing no taller than the length of our hands with their backs adorned with tiny wings. This is perhaps the most popular depiction of a fairy in modern times (think Disney's version of Tinkerbell).
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Fairies like Humans
So what do fairies look like? Can they look like us?
Besides the cute pixies with glittery wings, gnomes with pointed hats, and wisps of light, the fairies can also appear in the form more like that of a human. Dozens of fairy shamans and magicians know these types of fairies as "the fay". Some believe that the fay are an entirely different type of fairy being as opposed to the "little people" or the nature spirits that show themselves as light. I tend to believe that the fairies can appear in almost whatever form they please, including that of a human's.
Usually when the fay appear in human form, one can still tell the difference between a human and a fairy. The fairy will have a glowing appearance, and they are usually ethereal to a certain degree with long, silvery hair and almond-shaped eyes. Some say that the legends of elves are the same as the fay, as this appearance does indeed sound like that of a human-sized elf (similar to the depiction of an elf in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy). When I met a fairy in my dreams, she appeared to be a human but was quite surreal in the same breath. She had long, flowing white hair, and her skin had an unnatural glow to it.
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of fairy sightings all over the world, all of which share similarities but also have profound differences on what a fairy actually looks like. If you see a fairy, let me know how that fairy looked!
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Fairies have the innate ability to shift their shapes whenever they feel the desire or need to. In this way, they are some of the oldest of the shapeshifting beings on this planet. Instead of seeing the fairies in a tangible form, such as a small person or elf-like being, you just might see them in a totally different form.
Fairies often like to shapeshift into beings that reflect the part of nature that they most enjoy helping. For instance, the flower faeries and garden faeries most usually shapeshift into creatures that also have wings like themselves. Some of these fairies will shapeshift into some or all of the following forms: dragonfly, butterfly, bee, birds of many different kinds, moths, beetles, and more.
Forest fairies that aid in the protection of wild animals might take the form of those animals, particularly of large animals that can protect themselves if the need arises. Some of these shapeshifted fairies might appear as: deer, bears, wolves, mountain lions, hawks, eagles, and more. They do this in order to protect themselves from oncoming invaders of some kind or to simply mingle with the animals and aid them in some way.
Written and copyright © KittytheDreamer (May Canfield), 2013. All Rights Reserved.
© 2012 Nicole Canfield
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