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Nature Spirits – Elves and Fairies of the Forest

By Carolyn Emerick

In the days when folklore and legend were a very real part of every day life for the ordinary common folk, spirits were thought to be everywhere. From household spirits, to land, forest, and water spirits, they were a very real part of the daily lives of our ancestors.

A great canon of lore built up around these “wee folk” (who were often not actually very little!). Mythologists have tended to study the pantheons of great gods and goddesses who’s adventures were chronicled in epic legends. But, the average person interacted with the smaller, more local spirits who surrounded their home, land, and the wilds. Lore surrounding these Wee Folk also survived as living folklore for centuries after conversion to Christianity, when mythologies of the large scale deities were stamped out. These “small” spirits (small in comparison to the great deities of myth) represent remnants of the Old Religion that carried on at local level for many hundreds of years.

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