Mythical Monday: The Problem with Faeries

Brian Froud2
Artwork by Brian Froud

Faeries are unique supernatural beings that have their own hierarchy amongst themselves. Some types of faeries are more powerful than others, and have their own powers, strengths and temperaments.

They are capable of bringing good fortune to humans or bad luck if they become offended. It can be dangerous to anger them, even some of the weakest ones.

They can heal injuries and cure the sick, but they can also cause blight on plants and illness in animals and humans.

Problems Faeries can Cause

fairy-knotsHave you ever woken to find your hair in tiny tangles? These are called Elf-locks or Faery knots.

They may have the power ofΒ Glamour, making people see what they wish for them to see. Or,Β not see what is actually there.

They can cause people to get lost by changing landmarks, or disguise treacherous ground to make it appear safe.

They have been known to steal small items or lead travellers astray, but they are also

Brian Froud1
By artist Brian Froud

capable of more dangerous behaviour.

Consumption, also known as tuberculosis was sometimes blamed on the faeries forcing men and women to dance at their revels every night, and waste away from lack of rest.

Kidnapping and Changelings

Some believe that a sudden death might actually be a faery kidnapping, the corpse being a wooden stand-in or stock, about the same size as the kidnapped person. It would be crudely carved and then glamoured to make it look like the victim. Humans bury it, and the victim is not missed nor is rescue attempted.

Women were kidnapped to be used as midwives, nurse maids or nannies. Stories are told of the woman being asked to rub the eyes of the faery child with Faerie ointment, said to be made from shamrocks. When she inadvertently touches her own eyes, the ointment allows her to see through the Faerie glamour, and see the Faery world as it is. Grease on the fingers from a meal will have the same effect.

Artwork by Brian Froud

Humans can be taken to be used for their skills at a craft, music or singing.

A man might be kidnapped to participate in a war or ball game, or he may have caught the eye of a Faerie lady. He may be used as a lover, and possibly as a stud.

Women, as well might be used as breeding stock.

Sometimes faery children are left in place of stolen human babies, called changelings. It’s likely that these children may have been afflicted with unexplained diseases, disorders or developmental disabilities, and changelings were used to explain their infirmities.

A more sinister reason for taking captives is to pay a teind or tithe to the Devil. Every seven years, one of their own must be given as tribute, and many legends hint that humans are used so the faeries may be spared.

As long as the human captive does not eat or drink any Faerie food, he or she may be rescued. He or she will be otherwise trapped forever.

Faeries have no scruples about stealing grain, milk or even cattle. They believe they are entitled to take whatever they need. Yet, they become furious if humans take from them.

They delight in playing tricks on people, but when the joke is on them, they usually do not take it in good humour.

Even when faeries are being kind, their goodwill can be embarrassing.Β  It is not unusual for faeries to reward a human friend by stealing from his neighbours.

Locations known to be faery haunts are to be avoided. Even cutting brush on faery forts was said to be the cause of death to those who did so.

Mythical Monday is part of series of posts on myths and legends. I hope you enjoy learning about Faeries and the legends and folklore surrounding them. Next week, I will continue the series with How to Win the Favour of the Faeries and Faults Condemned by Faeries.

See my other Posts on Mythical Monday:

Oberon: King of the Faeries

The Rise and Fall of Vortigern

Seelie and Unseelie Courts

Trooping and Solitary Faeries



8 Replies to “Mythical Monday: The Problem with Faeries”

    1. Thank you Stephanie! ❀ You're so sweet to say that. And I just realized that I haven't responded to your comment from wayyyy back…I'm awful, I swear, if it's out of sight its out of my mind. So, I'm sorry for being so late in asking but how are you and Kayley doing? I hope you both were able to say good riddance to strep. I hate to say it but getting rid of the tonsils might be the best thing. Poor kid! Poor momma, too!

      How is work going for you, btw? Take care and chat soon! ❀ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! Haha! I know I have a comment from somewhere to answer you, but I can’t find it, lol! They pop up on my phone sometimes when I’m in the middle of a lecture and I can’t answer them HAHAHA! Then I forget about it later in the evening or the next day and by then WP has scrolled it off my screen πŸ˜› (to WP not you). So I’m lost going “wait..I had a comment to answer…somewhere…on my blog or their blog???” Urgh! I just hope you know I don’t mean to ignore it! Sometimes though I answer you in my head and realize that I never actually wrote it…I know 41 is too young for a senior moment, but goodness!

        Oh!! I know what it was about!! My having B12 anemia…yes!! You know I have the autoimmune gastritis w/ the precancerous cells? Well, the pernicious anemia (autoimmune B12) goes along with that. Oh yeah, the autoimmune diseases love me. They do say that once you get one, especially Hashimoto’s that you are most likely to have multiple autoimmune diseases. I’m a believer now!
        Well, Kayley and I finish up the 10 days of antibiotics tomorrow..yippee! She’s feeling better so that is good. The antibiotics have given me oral thrush as they always do so I want to say a bad word but won’t, just insert it here___. They started me on a new drug therapy for my lupus early in Feb because the steroid/plaquenil combo wasn’t working the way they hoped, and the Imuran (the new drug) is an immunosupresssant, which is one reason why I’ve been getting so sick lately. They did bloodwork and it had lowered my WBC to 3.2! I’m on a lowered dosage now, so I hope I won’t get sick again so soon and that my WBC will go back up!

        Yes! Her tonsils need gone asap, but she is terrified. She goes to the ENT on the 27th for the consult. They’ll have to sedate her to get an IV in her though. I’ve tried to bribe her with money, toys, you name it when talking about the surgery and she freaks out.

        Works is going ok! I’m really enjoying teaching the new Interpreting Lit class; it is interesting, and I actually had to read books that I’d never read before, lol!I’m exhausted though but I’ve been sick with something or the other for…well since June? July? I’ve lost count, lol! I do miss school though, so I’ve enrolled for 2 classes over the summer-2 5 week mini-sessions from May 14-June 19. The kids will still be in school for all but the last 8 days, and I’ll be done teaching my classes, so it should be doable (maybe?). I’ve not taken an accelerated class since I was 20 something, so this will be very, very interesting!! The blog will likely have to be on a break during those weeks though; I can’t see myself blogging and doing (2) 16 weeks worth of assignments in 5 wks while blogging, hahaha! Which is sadly insane since I have 8 ARCS for May…

        I hope you are well! I need to send you a DM! I do have a question for you! I’ll try to do it tomorrow if I think of it πŸ™‚ Take care!! ❀ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know all about it, Stephanie! I’m the worst offender so don’t ever worry, i won’t get all upset if you don’t answer a comment! lol I’d never put that much pressure on you…you have enough going on in your life!

        Ahhh…yes, I’ve heard autoimmunes tend to travel in packs. Between the steroid and the antibiotics, you are almost guaranteed to get thrush…i used to get thrush from my steroid asthma inhaler if I didn’t rinse my mouth properly and I know how awful it feels! Good old nystatin to the rescue! I hope your WBC comes up to a healthy range. Sounds like a constant struggle with the medications 😦 Hopefully this new one will do the trick.

        Good for you for enrolling in classes! You got this girl! What will you be taking? Surely by then you will be feeling much better. Fewer bugs around and the warm weather will help.

        Poor Kayley. My heart breaks for her 😦 If only there was an easier way. Like on Star Trek.

        I’m doing okay. Dr made a few adjustments on my meds but I’m still having good and bad days. Usually its a stressful event (well stressful to me, anyway!) will throw me off for a couple of days. No energy, low mood and body aches. This week started with me reacting to some stress that I let get to me and I feel like my week was shot because of it. I need to get better at letting things go!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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