Fairies and Little People
The existence of fairies in some cultures is not questioned. For some who believe in fairies, they say that fairies are part of nature and that we have lost a certain sense of sensory perception over the ages which leaves modern man (mostly) incapable of seeing, hearing and feeling the presence of fairies in our world. A few people who are still capable of sensing fairies will say that these entities are around all the time but we just don't 'tune in' to old sensory functions or believe our senses even if we DO think we have seen something like a fairy in our midst.
Some say that fairies are real but are spiritual entities much like angels so that only certain people are aware of the existence of fairies.
Others say that fairies exist...in stories - and in the minds of believers, which isn't a bad thing if the existence of fairies gives the believer some sort of sense of adventure and hope that there is more to this world than meets the eye.
Many people believe that there is a whole realm of 'little people,' of which 'fairies' are only a small portion of 'peoples,' that make up a whole range of 'little people' personas in legend, folklore, mythology, folk and fairy tales.
Some other little people include:
Numerous classifications of 'fairy'
There are several sorts of Little People, but the above are some of the most common that most people have heard of before, either in tales, legends or through film, tv and books.
There are many folklorists and anthropologist who suggest that fairies were originally people of small stature who lived long ago and whose race was oppressed and conquered, leaving few members of the race to survive. In some cases, perhaps none of the race survived, but it is possible that through oral tales, the memory of these peoples has been perpetuated over generations and centuries.
Evidence of small-statured peoples of what seem to be more than one race have been uncovered in areas of Europe by legitimate anthropologists. Some of these findings date back to before certain areas of Europe were populated by Celts. This would mean that the races in question lived and are dated approximately back to the Bronze Age and Neolithic periods.
* Note, some of the 'history' of fairies is like 'pseudo-history' because, in an attempt to get to historical roots concerning fairies, stories, folklore, legends and mythology play a necessary part of research into the existence of fairies. In short - it's a blurry area of study complicated by the fact that a myriad of fairy races are alive and well in several generations of oral traditions in a great number of cultures...
...you can see where the point above is going, can't you?
It's COMPLEX and INVOLVED...the study of fairies.
A race of people small in stature is said to have existed in Ireland and are called Tuatha De Danaan. They are said to have lived in shelters made of mounds of earth, and to have burrowed into the sides and undersides of hills in order to make shelters. When other people, larger people, arrived where the Tuatha de Danaan people were, they retreated into the forests...
Of course, a whole bunch of mythology and lore surrounds this particular people, so it is hard to know, for sure, whether or not the Tuatha De Danaan were a real race of people or not.
Are Fairies Fallen Angels?
Fairies may be Fallen Angels, according to Scandinavian lore, and also according to folklore in Scottish and Irish regions of the world.
According to Biblical Scriptures, a portion of the angels were cast out of heaven long, long ago. For those who believe in fairies, the fallen angels mentioned in the Bible are what we know now as fairies.
Some fallen angels who fell very far became devils, demons and death-maidens, having fallen into the deep caves and recesses of the earth.
Goblins, imps, thumblings, gnomes, dwarfs and similar fairy-folk were said to be the cast-out angels who fell to the general surface of the earth.
Some angels fell into the forests when they were cast out of heaven by God. These became wood-sprites, wood-spirites, hey-men, wild-women and wild-men, etc.
Many cast out angels fell into the water and became mermen, mermaids, etc.
For those who believe that fairies are fallen angels, these entities inhabit all realms of nature in some form or another. There are earth (dwarves, gnomes, etc) fairies, air fairies (general fairies, fairy-spirits, woodland fairies in the forests, etc), water fairies (mermen, mermaids, etc), and fire fairies (some demons, fire-spirites, etc), and many of the fairies are not nice/good entities, because they are condemned to stay in their new realm and are eternally angry at being cast out of heaven.
In some ancient Christian traditions, the belief that the unbaptized went to neither heaven nor hell accounts for some thoughts that deceased pagans who wander about, having no resting place, are the reason for fairy-sightings and the existence of fairies.
One Man's Explanation About How He Came To Believe in Fairies
Seelie and Unseelie Courts
Some folklorists and 'faery-fans' group the multitude of types of fairies into two groups - the Seelie and the Unseelie types of fairies.
The Seelie types are generally considered less harmful to humans and can even be kind and helpful toward human beings.
The Unseelie types are considered detrimental toward, unkind and harmful toward human beings.
Fairies of either type are still perceived to be mischievous, so even Seelie types can harm humans - although usually the harm is unintentional and is caused by whatever mischief the Seelie types are engaged in.
- Bogies, Bogles, Bogeymen, types generally feared by humans
The line between what are considered Seelie versus Unseelie fairies is quite blurred, with some folklorists claiming that almost all manner and type of fairies can be of either Seelie or Unseelie variety
For some folklorists and fairy enthusiasts, the temperament of fairies is the deciding factor in what makes them either Seelie or Unseelie - rather than 'type' of fairy. For those who hold with this theory, then - Brownies, Bogeymen, Leprechauns and Bogies ALL come in both Seelie and Unseelie varieties!
What makes a fairy Seelie (mischievous, emotion-charged, high-spirited, usually light-of heart, and generally harmless toward humans) is the time of their birth, emergence into the world. Summer-born and Spring-born fairies are considered Seelie in type.
Unseelie fairies emerge into the world during Winter and Fall months of the year. A harsher environment makes for a harsher fairy, and Unseelie fairies are noted to be bad-tempered, governed by inner greed and vices.
Unseelie fairies tend to be motivated more by their instincts and impulses, which is another reason why they can be more dangerous and detrimental to human beings than Seelie fairies are. Seelie fairies - though emotion-driven, usually have more control of instincts and impulses, and are almost always more capable of rational thinking than Unseelie fairies.
"Trooping" versus "Solitary"
Other ways in which folklorists place fairies into 'types' is to place them in the categories of either Trooping Fairies or Solitary Fairies.
Trooping fairies are aristocratic, elite members of 'fairy-dom' or the fairy realms. They often travel in processions and fairies of this type can be either 'good' or 'bad' sorts of fairyfolk.
Solitary fairies are what their names imply...lone and solitary figures. Perhaps it is their 'alone-ness' which makes them malicious, unfriendly, and often dangerous to humans.