Fairys... what are they?

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Morchid
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Fairys... what are they?

Postby Morchid » 06 Dec 2009, 21:59

Hiya,
I've been thinking alot about fairys recently.
I've been drawn to them by the books and poetry that I have read but I just can't seem to understand them.
I'm still not sure if I believe in them or not.
You see, I don't necessarily believe in Gods/deitys, I'm more a believer of gaia and the forces of nature. To believe in fairys would seem as though I'm contradicting myself, would it not? As they are of a different realm to human or animal?
I really don't understand what they are, or what they do, or wether I believe in them really.

Silly questions really, seeing as I don't usually delve into the mythology side of druidry.
What do you guys think?

Morchid XXX
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Duellist » 06 Dec 2009, 22:50

I think that when I lose my car keys and ask the faeries to put them back where they found them, I end up finding them in laces that know I already looked. My wife looked at me funny the first few times I did it, but it works...

On a more serious note, I have to say that 'fairies' might be a bit of a troublesome term. I mean, the term is a catch-all for everything from the Aes Sidhe and Tuatha de Danaan to the Cornish knockers, from the red-caps to the Tinkerbells. I suppose a fairly safe definition is 'the ones that live in the place called faerie', but I am not sure of the authenticity of the term itself. It's... complicated...
Sanity is overrated...

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Eilthireach » 07 Dec 2009, 08:27

Hello!

The OBOD style would of course be to set out and gather one's own experiences. Once you have met a god you know what he is like, and many/most/all of your doubts fall away. Once you have met a tree talking to you, you know if trees can talk. Once you have experienced a crow leading you when you have lost your way, you know that crows can do that.

As Duellist already mentions, one problem with the Fairies is that the term is used somewhat summarily, as a headline under which all kinds of beings are gathered by different authors and people. Another problem probably is that Fairies have been heavily romanticized with books about Flower Fairies where graceful little people are dancing on moonlit meadows. At this point it may be healthy to remember that our ancestors were afraid of Fairies and there are numerous protective incantations and spells known against them, from the early Middle Ages up to the 20th century.

In your place, I would start out with a little historical research about them and what our ancestors thought.
Then I would try to work out for myself what and who they probably could be.
Next, perhaps work out a text that can be directed towards them, a prayer, an incantation, a poem, something that expresses your respect towards them, and that assures them that you don't want to harm them.
I would take this text to a place where I think they could probably be and recite it, together with a small appropriate offering.
See what happens on the spot and over the following days and decide how to continue from there.

This may be surprising advice for a forum where we are supposed to look at mythology from a scientific and scholarly viewpoint. But a scholarly viewpoint does not necessarily mean that the entities of our study are dead and silent, and if they are not, we may communicate with them.

Good luck!

Eilthireach /|\.

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Explorer » 07 Dec 2009, 17:25

Hiya,
I've been thinking alot about fairys recently.
I've been drawn to them by the books and poetry that I have read but I just can't seem to understand them.
I'm still not sure if I believe in them or not.
You see, I don't necessarily believe in Gods/deitys, I'm more a believer of gaia and the forces of nature. To believe in fairys would seem as though I'm contradicting myself, would it not? As they are of a different realm to human or animal?
I really don't understand what they are, or what they do, or wether I believe in them really.

Silly questions really, seeing as I don't usually delve into the mythology side of druidry.
What do you guys think?

Morchid XXX
I think many people see 'stuff' that doesn't really register well in their minds. Ghosts, paranormal things. Nowadays it also translates as UFO's, but before we had a concept of advanced technology it was probably fairies, angels, gods, mother mary, things like that. I think it is just stuff that doesn't register and triggers the imagination. I'm not judging that by the way, it probably plays an important role in our psyches, like dreaming. I think we even consciously try to get into that state if we meditate, do trance work. Even when we use magic. I mean, even I see stuff that doesn't exist ;-).

Good question. Think first, believe later ;-).
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby treegod » 09 Dec 2009, 11:17

I take the symbolic route. For me they are psychological symbols.

Fairies appear when humans are detached from nature. It's a part of the human psyche still embedded in nature that doesn't go away until we re-identify with them; themselves in us and us in them. Thus reestablishing a healthy relationship between humans and the rest of nature.

For me the fairies represent the magical, creativity, mischeviousness, irrationality, imagination, sensitivity, innocence (as in natural or primal), and the unusual. They also represent how interrelated we are with nature. These qualities aren't always valued by society, at least not in a healthy way, and so they are rejected and projected onto nature (as another form of the Shadow). By "working with fairies" you integrate their qualities into you.

I think the same goes for any spiritual beings or entities; gods, angels, demons, totems, mythical creatures etc etc etc. They represent human qualities that have become fragmented from the human personality and projected "out there". The work is to become empowered in oneself to re-identify with the qualities they represent.

My only question (if it's at all relevance for you personally) is what qualities do fairies (or perhaps other "spirits") embody for you that are actually your qualities? Do they hold anything of yours hostage? Not a question to answer here, just something to think about.

My girlfriend inspired this view for me. She builds fairy houses and presents them on her blog. Here's the article she wrote about what fairies are to her: http://fferylltales.wordpress.com/2008/ ... are-to-me/
Art is a good way of working with fairies.

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby cursuswalker » 09 Dec 2009, 16:54

Fairies are six-limbed chordata and thus lie outside the purview of evolution by natural selection.

In the absense of any verifiable evidence for their existence, and bearing in mind the above, a reasonable conclusion, that takes Occam's Razor into account, is that they are mythical creatures that do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word.
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby treegod » 09 Dec 2009, 22:27

*being a cheeky fairy* hehehe :grin:
Fairies are six-limbed chordata and thus lie outside the purview of evolution by natural selection.

In the absense of any verifiable evidence for their existence, and bearing in mind the above, a reasonable conclusion, that takes Occam's Razor into account, is that they are mythical creatures that do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word.
Blimey, I was talking about a simple disassociation, and now they're amputating fairies from the psyche with razors???!!! Occam's Razor no less!!! :wink:

I once said to someone that things like fairies, gods, spirits etc are imaginary.
They asked me "Are you saying they don't exist?"
To which I replied "Are you saying the imagination doesn't exist?"

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby cursuswalker » 09 Dec 2009, 22:36

*being a cheeky fairy* hehehe :grin:
Fairies are six-limbed chordata and thus lie outside the purview of evolution by natural selection.

In the absense of any verifiable evidence for their existence, and bearing in mind the above, a reasonable conclusion, that takes Occam's Razor into account, is that they are mythical creatures that do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word.
Blimey, I was talking about a simple disassociation, and now they're amputating fairies from the psyche with razors???!!! Occam's Razor no less!!! :wink:

I once said to someone that things like fairies, gods, spirits etc are imaginary.
They asked me "Are you saying they don't exist?"
To which I replied "Are you saying the imagination doesn't exist?"
A truly terrifying prospect, given the mind of such as H.P.Lovecraft.

Thoughts exist, but they are no more the thing they describe than a painting literally contains its subject.
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby cursuswalker » 09 Dec 2009, 22:38

I am, however, interested in initiating a Fairy Breeding programme, the first stage of which is to get people down to the right size.

to that end I am trying to persuade Kylie to start dating Ronnie Corbett.
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby treegod » 09 Dec 2009, 23:13

A truly terrifying prospect, given the mind of such as H.P.Lovecraft.
*Shudders*
Thoughts exist, but they are no more the thing they describe than a painting literally contains its subject.
Just imagine(!), the objects which have been created by the human hand started off as imaginary models in the human mind. In this way I inhabit the mind of an architect, or rather the product of their mind in its physical form.

When it comes to fairies, I won't take their existence as physical or spiritual entities, separate from the human mind, seriously, not even for scientific scrutiny. But as a symbol of the dynamics of the human psyche, as it expresses itself through art and mythology, fairies are something that have absolute relevance to life and mind. Without "fairies" we'd be dead thinking machines. They give us the excuse we need, to do things that "normal humans" don't :wink:

For me the imagination isn't just a fiction factory, it is a psychologically significant faculty that indicates something of the human mind, especially the unconscious (H.P.Lovecraft comes to mind and Western society's "obsession" with horror). Fairies embody qualities that many humans have lost and need to reclaim; "the magical, creativity, mischeviousness, irrationality, imagination, sensitivity, innocence (as in natural or primal), and the unusual."

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby treegod » 10 Dec 2009, 00:07

I think it is just stuff that doesn't register and triggers the imagination. I'm not judging that by the way, it probably plays an important role in our psyches, like dreaming.
Sounds about right :)

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Vapour Trail » 10 Dec 2009, 00:29

I don't' think the question of the existence of faeries is a silly think to think about. I have also considered exactly the position described: that to believe in them is contradictory to many of my other beliefs, etc...and there's no hard evidence, etc, etc.

But let me put it in this kind of a perspective for you. Since I realised I was a druid I have battled with the questions of the existence of other sentient entities on many occasions. It was a real philosophical problem for me, especially as I was schooled in philosophy and felt I had a good grasp of what's "real".

Things all changed this year. I underwent a process whereby I allowed myself to believe. Just that - to believe. I said to myself, "Just to try it out, try suspending disbelief." Then I would approach a subject like faeries, or nature spirits as I prefer to term them, and I would experiment with the topic. As an example, I was reading "Walkers Between The Worlds" by Caitlin and John Matthews, thinking that I was on some kind of a shamanic path. At the end of each chapter they ask you to go through an exercise. Normally, or should I say, before I suspended disbelief, I would have skipped things like that. You know - why bother with that nonsense - that was for those New-Agey types? I wanted hard facts, historical facts, philosophical reasoning.

But I did it, with a mindset of suspended disbelief, I tried their experiments. You know what? Every one of them worked! How's that for "fact"? There was nothing I could do about it now - I had experiential evidence. I use dowsing rods to confirm or deny things (a tricky enough thing to believe in, but the proof is easier to trust when the rods turn without your conscious intervention) and this helped me find out what was going on to my own satisfaction. I had asked for a nature spirit, any nature spirit with beneficial intent, to enter into my plain wooden staff. Weeks later I remembered I had done that, and used to rods to test what the results were. I was honest with myself, and didn't pre-judge the outcome. I let the rods do the talking. They confirmed that a spirit was in my staff. WHAT? I re-tested, many many times, each time with the same result.

From that moment on I have been on the craziest journey, and the most difficult of tasks trying to make this new evidence fit into my world. Frankly, my worldview has had to change to accommodate it (and subsequently many other similar encounters).

All I can really say is: for me, I found a nature spirit, and I work with that spirit now, and it helps me in my magical work. Everything has had to grow from that point. But I can testify to this: I am now a believer. In what exactly I can't say. Whatever this sentient spirit is, it has its own intelligence, feelings, thoughts and actions that are beyond my ken, but together we work true druid magic, and I will never go back to the dull world of 3D existence ever again.

So I say to you. Allow yourself the space to try out belief - you can always revert back if you're unconvinced, then whole-heartedly TRY to make contact. See what happens. The results may surprise you, and change you forever. Oh, so be prepared for that too!

This thread is going to attract a great deal of criticism and sarcasm from people who are higly intellectual and who have a grounding in psychology, but there's one thing they may never have tried psychologically, and that is the mechanism of "un-grounding" themselves, of truly letting the mind open up to belief without prejudice. Their criticisms are to be expected, anticipated, and ultimately ignored, Disbelief is their mental construct. You have the freedom to choose your own experiments in these subjects, so allow yourself to do that, if only then to reject it if you choose. At least you can say you honestly tried, whatever the result for you.

Truly,
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby katie bridgewater » 10 Dec 2009, 01:35

There is a huge amount of lore in Britain to do with faeries, and almost all of it is about how to keep them away, how to rescue people they have kidnapped, how to make them leave you alone and how to keep them happy in the hope that they will not be unkind to you. They are generally depicted as having a very different sense of morality from humans. By all accounts, nothing is ever a gift, most things they provide have a price and my own experience has not given me any reason to doubt the wisdom of my ancestors on this. I advise caution, and care in all matters relating to the Fey.

I recommend Anna Franklin's book 'Faeries' as a good place to start. It is well researched and interesting. There is nothing wrong with intellect or psychology and I have personally found both very useful tools in understanding the world of the Fey. There are many ways of interpreting spiritual experience and it is possible to remain open to several simultaneously.

For a different approach altogether, there is a great novel called Jonanthan Strange and Mr Norrell which although fictional, I thought really captured the mind of fairy and the cultural difference between the English and Fairies. It is well researched, well drawn and brilliantly constructed, weaving folklore, fact and fantasy in a brilliant way. I really enjoyed it, couldn't put it down,

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby treegod » 10 Dec 2009, 10:32

I have a book called The Faeries' Oracle with art by Brian Froud and text by Jessica Macbeth. There's wonderful art (Brian did design things like the creatures in The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal). Not a traditional view of fairies but a synthesis of folk, fantasy, archetype and stereotype. Oh, and a good dose of fairy humour!

There's some good quotes from Brian Froud found throughout too;

"Faeries are not a fantasy but a connection to reality."

"Faeries cannot be pinned down to a page, a list, a single definition. To grasp their elusive nature requires direct experience, personal engagement."

"Faeries are not seen by the eyes but through the heart."

Vapour Trail's right, experimentation and suspending disbelief is a way to connect with the energies that fairies represent. And as Katie says, there are many different views of what they are. Experiment with any and all the views you come across.

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby cursuswalker » 10 Dec 2009, 16:09

So I say to you. Allow yourself the space to try out belief - you can always revert back if you're unconvinced, then whole-heartedly TRY to make contact. See what happens. The results may surprise you, and change you forever. Oh, so be prepared for that too!
I have walked that path and am very familiar with how conformation bias works.

I now find that the power of imagination/visualisation, properly understood, is just as effective. Except that anything I might have been tmepted to externalise before is now acknowledged as actually coming from within.

It is far more empowering.
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Vapour Trail » 11 Dec 2009, 00:21

Ahh...the good old "confirmation bias". I had forgotten about that. Well, all explained then.

I would be more interested in hearing about your personal experiences than reading you express an opinion. Your personal experience may be something we can all learn from. Your opinion is just balast on the scales of some fruitless argument.

Of course it comes from within. And without. And through. And any other positional preposition you may care to throw at the argument. All sides. All sides at once. Of course. We agree. Just not ONE side. Just not ONLY within. Or without. Or "up there". Or "out there", or "from the other side". All places, at once. Why, how, upon what authority do you decide which "side" this information/sentience comes from?

Tell us your experience, then maybe we'll undestand why you choose a side.

Blunt as ever. :hug:
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby cursuswalker » 11 Dec 2009, 00:58

Ahh...the good old "confirmation bias". I had forgotten about that. Well, all explained then.

I would be more interested in hearing about your personal experiences than reading you express an opinion. Your personal experience may be something we can all learn from. Your opinion is just balast on the scales of some fruitless argument.

Of course it comes from within. And without. And through. And any other positional preposition you may care to throw at the argument. All sides. All sides at once. Of course. We agree. Just not ONE side. Just not ONLY within. Or without. Or "up there". Or "out there", or "from the other side". All places, at once. Why, how, upon what authority do you decide which "side" this information/sentience comes from?

Tell us your experience, then maybe we'll undestand why you choose a side.

Blunt as ever. :hug:
My experience?

I used to feel the presense of deity very strongly.

The funny thing is that I can still get the same feeling now.

Only I just call it a wonderful state of mind.

I used to be convinced that events that occured around a certain period of my life were somehow connected in a way that was guiding me in a certain direction.

Only now I realise that it was just my mind connecting random events. and that that is just FINE. It's what the human brain does. And coincidences are a LOT more common than most people realise.

So how do I decide which "side" this information/sentience comes from? Simple. I go for the simplest explanation given the known facts:

There is a thing called the brain.

It is the only thing that has been demonstrated to be sentient.

It evolved this ability, and animals that have brains can just as easily lose them given the right environmental adaptations.

The reason for the evolution of sentience is fairly clear: Organisms that can manufacture their own food don't evolve it as they can feed where they stand. Organisms that have to consume ready made nutrients, and have to move around in their environment to do so, do evolve it. We call the former plants and the latter animals.

Sentience is a wonderful thing. But it is not the reason why the Universe exists. There is no reason why the universe exists other than the correct circumstances having arisen.

If you have any verifiable evidence to the contrary please present it, as I am prepared to change my mind on all the above upon presentation of such evidence.
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Greygnome » 23 Dec 2009, 23:17

Hello, just to say that there is always going to be something you can't get your head round. For example, just to describe anything there has to be a value ie one or two, real/imagined, something or nothing etc. So what is very hard to get round is the barrier of value. It always seems to me that it's like a wall which limits our perception, our whole being. Buddhist, Sufi, even some Christian and certainly pagan ideas seem to jar the conciousness occassionally to allow a glimpse then it's gone and you can't rationalise the moment, the experience of the moment, back! I read a quote from Wittgenstein which was along the lines of: What is astonishing is not what it is but that there is anything at all. For me, though from a philosopher, it's like a statement which suddenly expands your view, I remember walking along on a windy, cloudy day and this quote popped in to my head and it was as if for a moment I was going to comprehend it all...even though I am I know quoting him out of context and probably inaccurately.

As for fairies, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but it makes it tough to prove. Perhaps one might expect that if these beings do exist, they might react differently to a person who believes in them as a real presence as compared to a person who believes in them as a useful mental fiction or device. Or maybe not, p'raps they don't care!

Has anyone had what they believe to be a direct experience with a fairy/fey?

Greygnome

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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Vapour Trail » 08 Jan 2010, 13:52

If you have any verifiable evidence to the contrary please present it, as I am prepared to change my mind on all the above upon presentation of such evidence.
If you could tell me what dimension or level of reality these experiences exist in, then perhaps we could agree upon a trusted piece of scientific instrumentation with which it capture such evidence or experiences of such? Perhaps you have knowledge of how this equipment could be used? Then we could examine it together and derive our conclusions from that, I suggest.

:where:
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Re: Fairys... what are they?

Postby Vapour Trail » 08 Jan 2010, 18:11

Actually, CursusWalker, I've decided that if I haven't got anything positive to say, I won't say anything, so please ignore that last post. I have no evidence. I've never seen a faerie, and it's all in my mind. I can positively say that faeries do not exist. There - settled.
:gulp:
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