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Old Wives Tales: Women’s Fairy Tale Art and Literature

By Terri Windling

“There exists a European convention of an archetypal female storyteller, ‘Mother Goose’ in English, ‘Ma Mere l’Oie’ in French, an old woman sitting by thefireside . . . . Obviously, it was Mother Goose who invented all the ‘old wives’ tales,’ even if old wives of any sex can participate in this . . . → Read More: Old Wives Tales: Women’s Fairy Tale Art and Literature

The Fairy Faith: An Ancient Indigenous Religion

By Carolyn Emerick

There are two different meanings to the term “Fairy Faith.” On one hand, it simply refers to the old folkloric belief in fairies, and the practices found therein. This meaning is usually ascribed to the modern Celtic nations of Ireland and Scotland, where belief in fairies lingered long into the modern era.

. . . → Read More: The Fairy Faith: An Ancient Indigenous Religion

Breaking The Mother Goose Code

Reviewed by Lia Hunter

Imagine… What if Mother Goose was the ancient European Mother Goddess in disguise, hidden from the patriarchal, monotheistic church that took over Europe, appearing in print just as the Inquisition and Witch-hunts drove anything non-Christian underground? What if the Mother Goose “nursery rhymes” taught to children over the last few centuries . . . → Read More: Breaking The Mother Goose Code

An Slua Sí

By Morgan Daimler

Whenever the subject of the fairies comes up it is best to remember that they are not the twee little things of pop culture. Even among the diverse groups of fairies though some deserve more caution and respect than others. One group that was particularly feared is the slua sí, the fairy . . . → Read More: An Slua Sí

Offerings and “Elves”

By Morgan Daimler

Last month I taught several classes about the Daoine Maith (Good People) at the Changing Times, Changing Worlds conference and one of the most common questions I was asked was about offerings. I thought it might be helpful here to blog a bit about the most common traditional offerings and the way . . . → Read More: Offerings and “Elves”

Meaning and Use of Cowrie Shells

By Lilith Dorsey

This is a story of a simple shell that is used as money, a tribute, and a way to know the future. Some historians believe the Cowrie shell was one of the first systems of money used, and it’s importance is wide reaching. Fertility, ease of use, and blessings of all kinds . . . → Read More: Meaning and Use of Cowrie Shells

Women of the Sea, Muses of the Ages

By Carolyn Emerick

Mermaids, sirens, selkies, water nymphs. Female mythological figures of the sea were a source of both inspiration and fear for seagoing men for hundreds of years. Perhaps they represented the allure of the open sea, the way it beckoned to those young men who left life at home behind. The sea is . . . → Read More: Women of the Sea, Muses of the Ages

Understanding the Fylgjur

By Pollyanna Jones

Fylgjur (plural of Fylgja) are described as supernatural guardian spirits, bound to a family line, said to accompany a person throughout life. Like many concepts in Norse mythology, the Fylgja is sometimes hard to comprehend or explain.

Fylgja, translated from Old Norse, means “someone that accompanies”. They can appear in two ways.

. . . → Read More: Understanding the Fylgjur

Sacred Wells and Wishing Trees

By Carolyn Emerick

Trees and wells have been places of wonder, wishes, offerings, and miracles in Britain since time immemorial. In many cases we can only speculate how long folk customs have been occurring. Northern and Central Europeans did not leave written records, apart from pictograms, sparse runic inscriptions or ogham carvings. Add to that, . . . → Read More: Sacred Wells and Wishing Trees

Enchanted Entryways – Elf Houses and Fairy Doors

By Carolyn Emerick

Belief in fairies was common in many parts of the world. Although “fairy” is a European word, many other cultures used different words to describe similar beings. And, different classifications of beings had different attributes.

The word fairy comes from the Old French faerie, which is etymologically descended from the Latin fata, . . . → Read More: Enchanted Entryways – Elf Houses and Fairy Doors