Mythical Monday: More Pixies!

Last Monday here on the blog, I talked about the mischievous pixies and how they can lead you astray on your travels. I’m sure this has happened to me numerous times in Costco, but luckily I have never gotten so lost that I couldn’t find my way back home!

EnglandSouthWestToday on Mythical Monday, I’d like to talk about some legends and stories surrounding the pixies and what they look like. I realized that this post was getting extremely long, so I decided that a third post is in order for next Monday.

There have been some really cool stories and traditions in the west country of England. In fact, there are still those that firmly believe in the pixies and practice traditions to this day!

For now, let’s talk about what are said to look like!

What do pixies look like?

Pixie by Malcolm Brown (Ravenscar45)

Pixies have been described as mischievous looking and child-like with pointed ears and noses and red hair. They wear green or red clothing and a pointed hat, though sometimes their cap is of foxglove or a toadstool although some sources describe them as being dark and having wings. 

Their eyes slant upward toward their temples and they are shorter than humans, ranging in height from two feet to the size of a small child.

Traditional stories of pixies describe them wearing dirty rags which they happily discard for gifts of new clothes and they have a penchant for adornment, finery and lovely ribbons. Sounds like a Harry Potter house elf, right?

They are sometimes reported as having shiny translucent wings, and sometimes they are wingless.

Pixie Foxglove
Artwork by Margaret W. Tarrant, 1924

They prefer to live out of doors in gardens or the hollow of a fallen log, and they are also  believed to inhabit ancient underground ancestor sites such as stone circles, barrows, dolmens, ringforts or menhirs.

They can sometimes be spotted alone, but tend to gather in groups of three to five.

Pixies have always been portrayed to look like fairies, although they are themselves a distinct race. In fact, there has been a traditional enmity or even war between the two races.

Besides looking like fairies, contact with metal is said to harm pixies and fairies alike. They are especially repelled by iron or iron ore. 

Pixies moonlightPixies are extremely fond of music, especially when it’s played by frogs and crickets. They love dancing by moonlight in a circle. They dance and frolic around mounds, stone circles, menhirs and dolmens and their bells are often heard on the moor.

If a Dog barks for no reason while staring at an empty spot along a fence or a Cat chases something unseen in a garden, it is very likely that the yard in question is infested with Pixies. There is, however, a way to be sure. Simply take a clod of grassy dirt and turn it grassside down. If, when you return later on, it has been flipped back, there are definitely Pixies in the area.

They are most active in the spring and are found in flower gardens or among wildflowers particularly in the spring and around Beltaine.

Come back next Monday for my post on How Pixies are Celebrated Today!









2 Replies to “Mythical Monday: More Pixies!”

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