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When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Edge
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Post: #1
When I talk about faeries, I mean...
I often get the impression that when I talk about faeries and someone else talks about faeries, we are talking about two different things entirely. (The new agey view in particular makes me want to smash things and, yes, I know I should learn to be more tolerant, but I don't want to.) This has led me to wonder... who else is like me?
Do others here read folk tales and take their understanding of faeries from them?
When I think of faeries, I think of the Nuckelavee, fuaths, trolls, púcas, alps, maras, strigoi, huldrefolk, kelpies and other water horses, hags, goblins, spriggans, red caps, etc. Who else does?
When I say I identify as a faerie, I mean I identify as like those. I can't pinpoint which kind exactly (other than being some kind of chaotic shapeshifter) and I'm not in a rush to, but I know I'm one of the monsters. Is anyone else?

(Insert usual disclaimer about how there is no scientific evidence and I am most likely nuts.)

I'm the one with the power around here. -Rumplestiltskin
2013-05-26 6:56
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Elinox
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Post: #2
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
It really depends on who I'm talking to and the context of our conversation. For example, if we're discussing Disney movies, I'm more likely talking about the Disney version like Tinkerbell (the more kid-friendly version of faeries that is). If I'm just talking in general, it's more than likely I'm referring to faeries as a collection of all sorts of critters like trolls, elves, imps, pixies, kelpies, etc.

The problem with faeries (wouldn't that make a cool poem title?) is that they're as varied as nature itself. I usually use it as a broad term for human-like mythological critters who are either shiny and kind or mischievous and naughty.

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2013-05-28 17:28
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Post: #3
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Elinox Wrote:The problem with faeries (wouldn't that make a cool poem title?) is that they're as varied as nature itself. I usually use it as a broad term for human-like mythological critters who are either shiny and kind or mischievous and naughty.
Yeah I get what you mean. I've met a lot of people with that view. It's a little weird for me (not saying it's wrong, just different) since the shiny faeries I'm familiar with were infamous for kidnapping people on a regular basis and have been known to kill people on a whim. (Not saying I'm right either. It's just that those are the stories I'm familiar with.)

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2013-05-29 6:31
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Elinox
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Post: #4
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Edge Wrote:Yeah I get what you mean. I've met a lot of people with that view. It's a little weird for me (not saying it's wrong, just different) since the shiny faeries I'm familiar with were infamous for kidnapping people on a regular basis and have been known to kill people on a whim. (Not saying I'm right either. It's just that those are the stories I'm familiar with.)

I'd always assumed faeries, at least in the folklore sense, specifically of Ireland, fell into one of two categories: Seelie (light and shiny) and Unseelie (dark and naughty). That's not to say there's never any overlap, or that dark/naughty always means killing humans, just that there are two distinct groups.

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2013-05-29 14:30
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Post: #5
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
I read that the Seelie and Unseelie courts were specifically Scottish (except in modern day YA novels where they tend to be in the U.S.) and the Seelie court, although considered more benevolent than the Unseelie court, was dangerous as well. Most faeries I've read about in folklore didn't belong to either court. It just goes to show that there is so much variation in folklore.

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2013-05-29 15:56
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Post: #6
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Anyone with any sort of ability to pick up a book or go to Google would be able to find out the wide variety of myths involving fae-type creatures so it just gets me when someone wants to say they're all fluffy and good when they're not, but then again I seem to expect too much if I believe that. When I think of faeries, I think of a variety of creatures that range from dark and mean to light and good. The names that come up vary from country to country as well so what I think of specifically is inherent to what country is being talked about. It also depends on if we're talking about movies, like Disney ones (like Elinox said).

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2013-05-29 19:04
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Post: #7
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Edge Wrote:I read that the Seelie and Unseelie courts were specifically Scottish (except in modern day YA novels where they tend to be in the U.S.) and the Seelie court, although considered more benevolent than the Unseelie court, was dangerous as well. Most faeries I've read about in folklore didn't belong to either court. It just goes to show that there is so much variation in folklore.

I could be getting my Celtic mythology confused with Irish versus Scottish fae, sorry.

And I think you misunderstand, I didn't say the Seelie court was all lights and sunshine, I recognize that each individual can have a darker nature as well. Just that generally speaking they're more in line with helping humans than hurting them outright. Does that make a little more sense?

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2013-05-29 19:17
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Post: #8
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Yeah it makes sense.

I'm the one with the power around here. -Rumplestiltskin
2013-05-30 11:33
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Post: #9
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
I don't identify particularly with any of those more specific (what I call) "folkloric" types. When I speak of myself as faery I do mean something more resembling modern mythic conceptions, in its image anyway. I like to call it "the modern infestation." When I talk about myself as sidhe I don't mean those Tuatha De Danann who went Under-hill, but something else that was already there and not specifically described in those myths and stories of that warrior race - more like the shining ethereal beings mystics like Yeats and AE talk about encountering - but I find that sort of imagery, ironically enough, to be more like modern faery and mystical art than the tales and old folklore of the various specific types you listed.

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2013-06-30 1:40
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Edge
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Post: #10
Re: When I talk about faeries, I mean...
Ah that brings up another thing. One source can be viewed different ways by different people as well.

Sorry for the convo change. I'm just curious. The Tuatha De Danann were the fifth group of people to invade Ireland right? According to the myths (what we know of them) anyway. Sorry it's been awhile since I looked at Irish mythology, so I probably have that wrong.

I'm the one with the power around here. -Rumplestiltskin
2013-06-30 4:15
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