Today, when picturing a fairy, most people see a little being with gossamer wings, flitting about from flower to flower. However, this being did not really exist in Irish mythology until the ancient Faery Lineage of Ireland began to diminish. By the late 14th century, the Heroic Faery and the Medieval Fairy had merged and dwindled, becoming the Diminutive Fairy.
The Nature of the Diminutive Fairy
The people of Ireland, Britain, and Scotland viewed the Diminutive Fairy with some admiration, but they were also wary of them. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the fairies were spoke on kindly, just in case the might be listening. The fairies were called the Gentry, the week folk, the Good Neighbors, and many other flattering names.
This wasn’t done because fairies were feared. However, it was generally known that the fairies would seek justice if a wrong was done to them. Their idea of justice was usually swifter and more severe than what a human might consider acceptable. For this reason, care was taken to avoid offending the fey.
The Diminutive Fairy was generally quite benign, but they were prone to some mischief. They mischief was usually confined to simple pranks and jokes, and it was considered rare indeed for a human to be harmed by a fairy.
The Diminutive Fairy and the Soul
By the 16th century, the vision of the Diminutive Fairy had grown to encompass a relatively new idea. Some began to believe that the soul inside every human was really a tiny being that emerged from a sleeping person to wander aimlessly about. It was said that the adventures of this creature were the sleeper’s dreams. This belief didn’t last long, but it did serve to cement the Diminutive Fairy into the minds of the general populace.
By the end of the 15th century, the Diminutive Fairy had changed again, not necessarily in appearance, but in nature. This new breed of fairy was pesky and bothersome, and rarely helpful of kind to humans. This new fairy eventually came to be known as the Elizabethan Fairy.
Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.