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Alphabe Thursday … F is for fairy, fae, faerie or fay a diminutive supernatural being.

December 27, 2012

I can and do wax lyrical about the gods and goddesses who hung out on Mount Olympus and wreaked havoc on the ancient world. I even have some sort of understanding on the deities who swan about on Mount Meru and put the world to right or wrong in Ancient Tibet.

greek god

Its fairies; those sweet dainty things with delicate wings, wands and magic dust that I cannot take too seriously.  There those that sparkle on the top of the Christmas tree, my mother said some loitered at the end of the garden; which I found kind of stange as we lived on a houseboat and didn’t have a garden. Fairy godmothers flitted about in the school pantomime doing good turns while the wicked stepmother and old crones bullied and metered out despair. Still the tooth fairy tends a child with a new penny or a pound when she looses her first tooth.
So not only can they make a fine coach out of a pumpkin and mend a broken heart, I have discovered that fairies like gods and demons are capable of harmful deeds. They can bring all sorts of trouble, they snatch children, they will replace a human child with a changeling. They are responsible for seduction and confusion of travelers.
Through the ages nymphs, satyrs, elves, gnomes and angels have been held responsible for and represent our deepest fears and desires regarding birth, sex, disease, mental health and death etc.
Although I have a better understanding of fairies, it is still not so easy to put them on a mountain in the Himalayas or on some far away Greek island and allow them space in the ancient world.
I have a little carved wooden fairy who sits by my desk her silly smile cheers me like no other.  I attribute my good fortune to a fairy godmother and my bad luck on the bogeyman.

Fairies  still seem to have a function and show up from time to in many guises and I suppose they will until we know ourselves better and understand where we have been and know where are going.

Images from Nymphets & Fairies ; Three Victorian children’s illustrators by Graham Ovenden and The illustrators ; the British art of illustration 1800-1997


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alphabet thursday

10 Comments leave one →
  1. jfb57 permalink
    December 27, 2012 10:58 am

    Beautiful illustrations! We all need a fairy in our lives!

  2. December 27, 2012 1:03 pm

    Lovely post and very informative ~ love the vintage illustrations ~ Believe in it all ^_^

    (A Creative Harbor ~ aka ArtmuseDog and Carol ^_^)

  3. December 27, 2012 1:50 pm

    Lovely illustrations of the fairies. Like humans, fairies can be good or bad or a combo of both (very much like humans!). Great info about the whole genre. Excellent F post.

  4. December 27, 2012 7:21 pm

    the illustrations are very neat.

  5. January 9, 2013 6:44 pm

    Your illustrations are fantastic! My Grandmother believed in fairies! She would always swear she had seen them dancing on the lawn.

    This fun post brought back lovely memories of her!

    Thank you!

    Happy New Year and thank you for linking.


    • January 9, 2013 7:03 pm

      I am a grandma now and I think there are fairies … not dancing on my lawn but they appear now and again. I know when they have been around. So how can a a sensible Nana explain that to her boys! Yep Dancing fairies.

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