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Elf Yourself or Interesting Things You May Not Know About the Elf

Updated on February 28, 2012

Elven Lady

ELFONANTIC By lorencedajour
ELFONANTIC By lorencedajour

Interesting Things You May Not Know About the Elf

In the world of imagination, the elf holds a very special place.  They are somehow related to the fairy although, they themselves are not really sure how.  Their culture is conservative and cautious and rightfully so as they are capable of having a long life so they contemplate things deeply of how their actions may affect their future.

An elf is from Germanic mythology and they were thought of as divine beings with magical power that they could choose to use for the injury or the benefit of mankind.  They were once even divided into dark elves and light elves in pre-Christian mythology.

Due to modern folklore, they became affiliated with fairies from Roman folklore, both being small in size and living underground in rocks, hills, springs or wells.  In the 20th century, elves became characterized as high fantasy, primarily due to publication by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the literary genius of Lord of the Rings.

Lord Of The Rings Elves LOTR

Light Elves and Dark Elves

Light elves were from Norse mythology.  They lived in a place that was called Álfheim up in the heavens but under God.  These beings were brilliant and radiant and are said to have been fairer than the sun to look at.  Álfheim was lead by Freyr who was the god of the sun and since they were positioned between man and heaven they were sometimes thought to be related to angels.

The dark elves were supernatural beings that resided in Savartálfheim, which was an underground world.  They were similar to trolls and correlated with the dwarfs.  They were troublesome and greedy and nothing at all like the light elves.  These dark elves would turn to stone if they were exposed to daylight and were described as human-like but misshapen and ugly.  The dark elves and dwarfs seem to be interchangeable, as a valid distinction between the two has not been drawn.

Dark elves were often blamed for nightmares.  It was believed they would sit on the chest of someone that was sleeping and whisper bad dreams in their ears.

Elf In The Forest

Elf 2 By lorencedajour
Elf 2 By lorencedajour

Elf Folklore

The elves from Norse mythology survived mainly as females in modern folklore living in either mounds of stones or hills.  These were stunning girls that lived with an elven king in the forest.  They were light-hearted and long-lived and typically fair-skinned with fair hair.

In Scandinavia mythology, which was a blend of Christian mythology and Norse mythology, they believed they could protect themselves against any malevolent elves with an elf cross that was often carved into various objects including buildings.  There were two forms of this cross.  The first one was the shape of a pentagram and the second was a traditional cross carved on an oblong or round silver plate.  The second form was often worn as a pendant but in order for it to have an adequate amount of magic, it needed to be created during three evenings and be from nine sources of inherited silver.  Another variation was that it was required to be on a church altar for three Sundays in a row.

Elves were quite often seen dancing over meadows on misty mornings and clear nights and they left a circle behind where they danced.  It was believed that if you urinated in one of these left behind circles, you would acquire venereal diseases.  On lake shores you could often find elf circles where the grass was flattened to resemble a floor from their dancing.  If a human actually watched elves dance in a circle, he would feel as though it was only a few moments but in reality several years had passed by.

Tribute to Elves

Swedish Folktale

Elves were not always beautiful and young.  Little Rosa & Long Leda is a Swedish folktale in which a heroine is saved by an elvish woman and she is described as a beautiful but very old woman.

Elves are so common among Scandinavians that the legends and myths of them are a part of their everyday lives.  They still believe in these hidden people and go far out of their way and are extremely careful to  not disturb them.  A soccer game being played outside of Reykjavik in Iceland was literally called to a halt because a ball rolled next to a sign marking an area of stones where elves were believed to live at some point.  No one would dare retrieve the ball and risk disturbing them

Night Elf

Night Elf Cosplay By Enchanted Collection
Night Elf Cosplay By Enchanted Collection

Elvin Influence

Natives of Iceland believed that elves dwell somehow in rock formation. The University of Iceland did a study on superstition in 2006 and 2007 and it was revealed that natives would not rule or disbelieve the existence of elves. On a recent episode on the Sci-Fi channel, a crew traveled to Iceland to investigate these myths that the natives believed in so strongly. The crew found that many of the electronic devices that they took malfunctioned or turned over and strange noises were even heard by the crew and recorded in a parabolic microphone.

English folktales often portray elves as elusive, small people that had very mischievous personalities. They were never described as evil but they would be happy to annoy any humans that chose to interfere with them. They were also said to have the ability to turn invisible which accounted for their relation to the fairy.

In many countries, elves are thought of as being Santa's helpers, described as green-wearing with long noses, pointy ears and pointed hats. They assist Santa by making toys in his workshop in the North Pole. This representation of elves has influenced modern conception of them and allowed the elf to somehow live on.

Santa & Elves

Santa & Elves By Calsidyrose
Santa & Elves By Calsidyrose


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