Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

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Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by Spiritwind »

About 13 years ago I had some of the biggest most incredible looking zucchini plants. I had done a lot of work to connect with nature spirits and all summer kept seeing apparitions of what I called the little green zucchini guy. Two other friends had also seen him when they came to visit. I was sharing my story with a native woman who was a tenant at the mobile home park we managed. She was from a tribe up by Victoria, Canada, and with a surprised look told me her tribe had many stories about the “little people”, but said they generally never shared that information with outsiders. Anyway, I enjoyed the article below and thought it was informative enough to share. You’ll have to go to the link to see all the images.

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Belief in Fairies Spans Cultures
When we hear stories and older legends about fairies or the “wee folk,” many of us usually get the picture of green pastures in Ireland or maybe the highlands of Scotland. How many people actually think of fairies being residents of the Americas? Did you know that many (if not most) of the Native American tribes, in both the United States and Canada, had their own beliefs in fairies? They called them “little people.”

I was surprised to learn that Native Americans also believed in fairies, and, then again, not so surprised. It seems that almost every culture has their own version of fairies or “little people.” With the Native Americans being so in tune with nature, why would their beliefs be any different from the ancient Celts and other Europeans?

The Little Person Mummy
There is a mystery surrounding a “little mummy” that was discovered back in the 1930s in the San Pedro Mountains. Because the little mummy was discovered in a cave, it was speculated that there was a tiny race of humans that lived in caves within the mountains. This little mummy was sitting upright and had a flattened skull. It also had very tan skin and sat about 7″ tall. So, if it stood up it would have been a little over a foot tall!

Could this little mummy have been proof of the “little people” so greatly believed in by the Native Americans? Unfortunately, the little mummy has disappeared since its discovery, so no further testing has been done on it since the 1950s. Most scientists who have studied the photographs claim that it is simply the mummy of an anencephalic fetus. But the question was posed as to why the little mummy would have a full set of adult teeth?

If someone was to turn this little mummy into science, would we find that there was such a thing as the “little people?” Could they have been related to the many legends of the wee folk and faeries from the European continent across the Atlantic Ocean?

Beliefs of ‘Little People’ in the Americas
If you watch the documentary The Fairy Faith, a Native American tribe in Canada called the Eskasoni has many legends of the “little people.” There is one particular hill in Nova Scotia where the Eskasoni claim the little people have lived for centuries. Many of the townsfolk warn their children against going to this mountain, for fear that the little people will take them away. Remarkable stories of the Eskasoni people coming into contact or encountering these “little people” can be seen in the film.

The United States
The Shoshone tribe in the United States have their own name for the legendary little people: the Nimerigar. The Nimerigar were a race of little people who lived in the Rocky Mountains, specifically in the Pedro Mountains, and were also thought to live near the Wind River. The Shoshone believed that these little people were actually quite protective of their homes and would use bows and arrows as weapons. Of course, they were poisoned arrows. The little mummy found in the San Pedro Mountains is actually theorized to have been one of the Nimerigar who the Shoshone tribe so strongly believed in for many years.

All the way on an island range in the Pacific, in our beautiful state of Hawaii, the Native Hawaiians also believed in a fairy race or “little people” that they referred to as the Menehune. Again, their beliefs are very similar to the Shoshone’s Nimerigar and the Eskasoni’s little people. The Menehune of Hawaii were thought to live in untouched forests and mountains on the Hawaiian islands. Legend has it that they were the main residents of the Hawaiian islands before Polynesian people came to reside there. They were also thought to have built the Menehune fishpond in Niumalu and the Kikiaola ditch near Waimea.

Now, the Choctaw Natives also believed in the little people and called them the Kwanokasha. The natives were generally quite afraid of these little people. There was a legend that told of the Kwanokasha carrying away little boys to their caves in order to test their spirit. Three wisemen would wait at the cave for the Kwanokasha and the little Choctaw boy, and they would present the boy with three things: a knife, a bag of poisonous herbs, and a bag of healing herbs. If the boy chooses the knife, he would be destined to be a killer. If he chooses the bag of poisonous herbs, he would only provide bad medicine to his people. But, if he chooses the bag of good healing herbs, he would be a very powerful medicine man to his people. Just like the Hawaiians and the Shoshone, the Choctaw also believed that the little people lived in caves. The Kwanokasha were thought to be between one to two feet tall.

There were three kinds of little people to the Cherokee tribe: the Laurels, the Rocks, and the Dogwoods. The Rock People were the malicious ones, stealing children and wreaking havoc because they feel that their space has been invaded. The Laurel People are friendly, but also mischievous, and like to play common tricks on us (the bigger people). They say that the Laurel people will tangle your fishing line with a stick and make you think it is a huge fish, until you reel it in and see only a tiny stick. They want to make you laugh and keep you young-at-heart, just as they are. And, as for the Dogwood people, it is said that they are good-hearted and enjoy taking care of us when they can. Some even relate the Dogwood people to the Scottish “brownies.”

The Crow believed in little people that they called the Nirumbee. They were thought to have lived in the Pryor Mountains and may have given visions to Plenty Coups (an early twentieth century Crow chief). According to some Crow Natives, due to a vision that the little people gave the Crow chief Plenty Coups, the little people are accredited with keeping the Crow people safe and together. It is said by some members of the Crow that, even to this day, if they pass through the Pryor Gap, they will leave offerings to the little people in remembrance of their aid to the Crow nation.

There are many more legends of the little people told by dozens of Native American tribes. Many of them are very intriguing and include stories of how the little people came to the Natives’ aid in times of great need. Most of the time, the little people were feared, as they were unpredictable and mysterious to the Native Americans. In most of the legends (if not all), these little people looked similar and acted in similar ways.

In my opinion, how can we discredit all of these cultures and legends, and merely brush off the idea of these “little people’s” existence? Maybe the fairies of Ireland and various places in Europe were simply a type of little people that the Native Americans believed in. Maybe, they weren’t fairies at all, but actual people who were quite small and knowledgeable in the areas of magic and healing.

Whomever these little people actually are will probably never be known, but one thing is for sure: there are too many legends and beliefs in these little people to ignore the possibility of their existence.

A Fairy Melting Pot
It is my belief and understanding that there were fairies in North America before the white man came, and those are the little people that the Natives speak of in their legends.

But, I also believe that when the white man came over from Europe and other places, he brought with him some of the house/home and garden fairies from his native land. Some of these fairies that were brought over to North America from elsewhere could have included the Scottish Brownie, the Pixies, the Gnomes, and many more.

This has created a melting pot of fairies in North America, very similarly to the way people have evolved on this continent. We have a melting pot of cultures, and so we, therefore, have a melting pot in the faerie realm as well.

Modern Real Fairy Encounters in North America
So what about in today’s age? Have the little people of Native American beliefs disappeared? Many people, both native and new to this continent, have had encounters with these “little people” or what many call faeries or fairies. I am one of those people.

Even in my suburban home in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, I have had three experiences with the “little people” or faeries. And, I believe in them, to say the least. I don’t truly consider my real fairy encounters as significant as others’ when I compare them.

My favorite fairy encounter story is one about a woman and her children. While the children were picnicking in the forest one day, the mother began hearing sounds of a very strange magnitude. It sounded unlike any music she had ever heard in her entire life, and she thought it was utterly strange, especially because she hadn’t seen anyone in the area, and no one lived in that area of the woods. The music got louder and closer and the mother asked her children if they heard it too. They said they did. The mother didn’t want to stick around to see what was making the strange, enchanting music, so she gathered her children and left. The little girl, who is now a grown woman, admits that there was something even stranger than the sound of the music that day. As their car was driving away from the site of the experience, she looked back (even though her mother told her not to) and she saw a circle of little people, all dancing together and looking quite merry! She didn’t tell anyone for years for fear that no one would believe her or that it would be bad luck to tell others about her fairy encounter.

Another story is one told to me by a woman on HubPages about her when she was a little girl. The little girl and her sister awoke one morning to see a tiny group of faeries dancing above the wall of their toy shelf. They were tiny, with wings, and seemed to be quite friendly and happy. To this day, the woman swears that fairies indeed exist.

Are the fairies with wings related to the little people of Native American legends, or are they two entirely separate beings? Do the little people of Native American legends actually have some sort of ties with human beings or are they otherworldly beings? We might never find the answers to these questions. But, if you ask me…that is good. Why ruin a good thing? If we were to find a living little person or a living fairy, society and the world would simply experiment and exploit it until the magic was gone.

So, for now, the idea of fairies and little people will remain alive in my imagination and in my reality, too. I don’t need science to prove or disprove their existence.

Source: / Author: Nicole Canfield
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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by Spiritwind »

The Fairy Faith: An Ancient Indigenous Religion" onclick=";return false;

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.

In this sense, it is analogous to other places where belief in fairy-like creatures continued even into the present day, such as in Iceland and even in some Native American or Canadian First Nations traditions.

The second meaning is found in the modern neo-pagan community. It seems that the neo-pagan Fairy Faith sprung from the Wiccan community somewhere around the 1970s in California.

As the modern pagan movement proliferated, many different paths developed. Some were divergent variants branching off of Wicca, while others were born in the reconstructionist movement (reconstructionist meaning attempts to reconstruct the ancient indigenous religions of Europe, the Mediterranean, and elsewhere, with historical accuracy).

Yet more versions of neo-pagan paths emerged that were influenced by these, but took their own shape and form. So in the modern pagan community, the Fairy Faith has various incarnations and meanings. This article will focus mainly on the first definition.

The Origin of Fairy Belief
The modern notion of fairy is vastly different from that which our ancestors knew, and even antiquated descriptions vary widely. While it’s fair to say that the image of the fairy has changed a number of times, its origins sprang from the murky haze of the Neolithic period.

In those times, ancestor worship was a common feature among Indo-European groups. Both the Celtic Sidhe as well as the Germanic Alfar were originally both associated with burial mounds, and therefore appear to have derived from ancestor worship. Human remains, and especially highly revered ancestors such as tribal leaders, chieftains, and great warriors were interred in mounds.

A chieftain or hero of the tribe would have been considered a tribal ancestor to everyone within the tribe, especially as tribes were built around the structure of kinship.

Some scholars speculate that one possible origin of indigenous European deities are persons of renown whose legends grew as they continued to be remembered and honored by subsequent generations. The word sidhe originally meant the mound itself, but eventually came to mean the spirits who dwelt therein. And, alfar is the Norse word from which the modern English word “elf” derives.

Spirits of the mound are one direct foundation of elf and fairy belief. But, the connection may have also come about indirectly by the demotion of pagan gods during the conversion to Christianity.

It has been noted that belief in “small spirits” continued on in folk belief for hundreds, and in some cases even a millennia, after conversion. The epic gods may have been diminished into smaller spirits of the land. By small, I don’t necessarily mean stature. But their power and roles were lesser than the mighty and central role that the great gods once played. For example, the Irish gods of the Tuatha De Danann were later associated with fairy lore.

Even into the modern era, fairies continued to be associated with the dead. In fact, some folklorists have noted that in folk accounts, there isn’t a clear differentiation between ghosts and fairies (Spence, 87).

The Otherworld inhabited by fairies was often associated with the land of the dead, and spirits of dead relatives and ancestors were often said to be existing in the land of the fairies. Some folklorists speculate that the notion of fairies could be a cultural memory of the original inhabitants of Britain before they were pushed aside by the incoming Celts.

These people may have been smaller in stature, and took to hiding in the forests and mounds as their numbers became increasingly less. They may have engaged in guerrilla war-like tactics as they became ever more adept at disappearing into their wooded environment.

Because they had less resources than the Celts, the idea of the indigenous people swapping their sickly infant and stealing a healthy one from his cradle is one hypothesis for changeling tales.

So we can see that there are numerous influences and hypotheses for the origins of fairy lore. To complicate things, the term fairy would later be used to describe all manner of otherworldly spirit. There are tales of demon or ghost dogs, for example, that are described as fairy.

The word “fairy” itself is a departure from the early notions of sidhe and alfar ancestor spirits. It comes from fatae, meaning the Fates from classical mythology. Fatae evolved into the noun fay. Those who wielded the power of the fay could bring about a state of enchantment called fay-erie, which developed into the modern fairy (Briggs, 131).

So, we can see that in the modern English speaking world, the concept of fairy has numerous foundations, notwithstanding the fact that most cultures worldwide contain their own unique beliefs about fairy-like beings.

As Christianity arose in Celtic and Anglo Britain, the indigenous fairy beliefs were grafted into the Christian lexicon, altering beliefs further. Not only did powerful deities of mythology become shrunken into fairy lore, but ideas about fairies changed to fit the Christian paradigm.

Instead of being spirits connected to Earth-centered spirituality, it began to be said that fairies were the fallen angels. Another story is that they were angels who had refused to take a side during Lucifer’s revolt, so they were damned to exist between heaven and hell for eternity.

Because the Judeo-Christian pantheon has only God (as trinity), Satan, angels, demons, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, these extra-biblical indigenous spirits had to be made to fit into a biblical context. Thus, they were relegated as demons by Church leaders.

And while this may sound very medieval, later Protestant Reformation writers were especially forceful in their condemnation of fairies as demons. People found to be interacting with fairies could be charged with witchcraft. In fact, fairies feature prominently in Scottish witch trial records and were discussed in detail in leading demonology texts written during the witch hunt era.

Fairies and Faith
The image of the sweet little pixie with butterfly wings comes strictly from the Victorian Era. In folklore, fairies have many different descriptions.

Spirits who live closely with humans, such as domestic elves, tend to look like little old men dressed in antiquated clothing. This likely connects to the alfar’s evolution from an ancestor spirit as described above. In an age when property was handed down through the generation, it was believed that the original owner of the homestead lingered on as guardian.

The propitiation of domestic spirits was common all across Europe, as well as elsewhere in the world. Due to early Christianization of Celtic lands, domestic spirits are not as common in Celtic folklore as elsewhere – except for in Scotland. This is due to the heavy (but sadly overlooked) Germanic heritage in Scotland. The brownies of Scotland fit snugly into the house-elf tradition seen elsewhere in Germanic culture.

Another change in the modern view of fairies is their role as benevolent and spritely elemental spirits. While these supernatural beings were long associated with nature, it was often in a frightful way.

Far from the gentle winged fairy, we might have the gargantuan leshy, guardian of the forests in Russian folklore. Leshy is thought to be a cousin of the Celtic green man, another ancient guardian of the forest.

Forest spirits were known to be wily. They might lead the careless wanderer off their path and then disappear leaving only their echoing laughter as the traveler finds himself lost in the wilderness. Likewise, water spirits might seduce a young fisherman only to pull him to his death beneath the waves.

Just as fairies evolved into innocuous, playful sprites in modern times, they also went through transformations in the past. It seems that every major age in civilization brings with it a change in fairy belief.

From ancestor mound spirits in the Neolithic, to more advanced and god-like notions in the Bronze and Iron Ages, and then another change when Christianity swept through Europe. Great and powerful spirits were relegated to smaller realms. And, good or neutral spirits became seen as strictly demonic.

We tend to view fairies, and the like, as not only innocuous, but fairly silly. Those who profess to believe in them today are laughed at by mainstream culture; derided as not only misguided, but even dim-witted.

Yet, from the beginning of Europe’s conversion to Christianity, which began in the 7th century in England (13th century in the Baltic, elsewhere in between) up through the Early Modern Era (circa the 16th and 17th centuries), belief in fairies was quite dangerous.

The Church (both Catholic and Protestant) recognized fairy belief as a vestige of pagan religion, which therefore made it a threat to Christianity’s control over the peasantry. And, during the turbulent years of The Reformation, fairy belief could get an individual accused of witchcraft.

An excellent book on this is European Mythology by Jacqueline Simpson. Rather than focusing on the great gods of classic mythology, this book focuses on fairies and folk tradition.

She explains that there is a huge difference between fairy belief found in folklore and the other genre that often gets lumped together with it; fairytales. Simpson says that fairytales are told mainly for entertainment, while folklore “is concerned with supernatural forces as real entities, to be reckoned with in the everyday world, and not just as material for entertaining…” (Simpson, p8).

These supernatural beliefs were part of the “folk religion” of the common people.

Folk religion is the corpus of beliefs held by masses, which usually combines the formalized religion of the elite (typically Christianity in the West and lands colonized by the West, but also seen with other major world religions in other parts of the world) with the indigenous beliefs of the people.

This phenomenon is also called “popular religion.” Another scholar who has studied the merging of pagan and Christian beliefs in Britain is Karen Louise Jolly. She explains:

Popular religion, as one facet of a larger, complex culture, consists of those beliefs and practices common to the majority of believers. This popular religion encompasses the whole of Christianity, including the formal aspects of religion as well as the general religious experience of daily life. These popular practices include rituals marking the cycles of life (birth, marriage, death) or combatting the mysterious (illness and danger) or asserting spiritual security (the afterlife). Popular belief was reflected in those rituals and in other symbols exhibited in society, such as paintings, shrines, and relics” (Jolly, 9).

So, popular religion did not imply that the people held a notion of self-identity as being pagan. They considered themselves strictly Christian.

But, many of their beliefs, traditions, and practices retained elements of ancient pagan spirituality mixed with Christianity. And, a large part of that in Britain, and elsewhere, hinged on the belief in fairy spirits.

Spiritual Practices
As noted in the above quote, popular religion was expressed in the folk practices of the people. One practice found all over Europe that demonstrates the religious nature of fairy belief is the act of making offerings.

Offerings are made to deities in many world religions through the ages to today. Even in Christianity, Jesus is called “the sacrificial lamb” and his act of dying on the cross is supposed to replace the Jewish practice of animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifice also occurs today in Islam, as well as other religions.

The kinds of sacrifices traditionally given to propitiate fairy spirits are more akin to offerings found in some Eastern faiths, such as Hinduism or Buddhism today. Rather than slaughtering an animal for blood sacrifice, offerings given to the fae are typically in the form of food and drink, with grains and dairy featuring prominently. This is true for both domestic and certain types of nature spirits.

French scholar Claude Lecouteux studied folk practices related to domestic spirits (such as brownies and other house elves) from all around Europe for his book The Tradition of Household Spirits. He states:

In all these rites, what stands out is that the domestic spirit receives a portion of the household’s food as an offering. It is regarded as a family member and treated as such. It has a marked preference for dairy products, a feature it shares with fairies who often perform the same duties as it does, even if they do not remain in the house and only stop there during Twelve Days or other dates (Ember Days, All Saints’ Day, and so on). (Lecouteux, p146).

(As an aside, note the similarity between what is described by Lecouteux and our modern day custom of leaving cookies and milk out for Santa Claus, that “jolly old elf.” We are not as separated from our ancient customs as we might think!)

Offerings were not restricted only to domestic spirits, but also given to fairies residing in nature as well.

In her book, Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, scholar Carol Rose mentions that salt and bread are traditional offerings given to the Russian forest guardian, the Leshy (Rose, p197).

And, lest we assume that a Slavic custom has no bearing on beliefs and practices of the Celtic and Germanic people, Jacqueline Simpson reminds us that:

[Folk tradition]is ‘European’ because its main features are pretty consistent throughout Europe, despite political and linguistic barriers; the range of activities ascribed to fairies, for instance, remains much the same everywhere, whatever names they are known by (Simpson, p8).

This is not to say that all European cultures are identical. But, simply that they are related and share many characteristics, especially as it pertains to folk tradition.

Offerings could take form other than food, especially when given to nature spirits. Coins are a common offering to water deities and fairies. You have probably given this offering yourself, throwing a coin into a wishing well.

Pagan belief carried a heavy dose of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” If you desire to receive something from a spirit, i.e. make a wish, then you must give it something in return. And, so, we still toss coins into wishing wells for the water fairies in return for wishes granted today.

Ribbons and pieces of cloth strewn about the branches of trees are another such custom that continues clear across Britain today.

Fairy Faith Today

The Fairy Faith lives on today, even if it is not recognized among world religions. Many of us engage in certain behaviors without even realizing we are acting out an ancient pagan fairy rite, such as leaving out a food offering for Santa or tossing coins to a water well goddess.

Folklore lives on in many remote corners of Europe, where people still insist that they have had an interaction with or siting of a fairy.

With the rise of neo-paganism in the past thirty or so years, fairy beliefs have regained a home inside the lexicon of religion. While many modern pagans assert a belief in fairies and other similar spirits as one component of their wider belief system, others make fairy spirits the central aspect of their religion.

And, while this may seem like a niche cultural subgroup, online book sellers offer numerous titles on this subject, demonstrating that this niche has an ever growing following.
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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by Spiritwind »

I captured this picture in January of 2017, just several months after moving onto the property. I know what it looks like to me. Of course, maybe it’s just the trick of the light...

I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by LostNFound »

Aye, the little people and the totem, I see him.

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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by Spiritwind »

This one isn’t about Native American beliefs, but the Irish were, and still are, well know for their wealth of stories going far back to before Christianity took over and tried to stamp out such beliefs.

Irish Folklore: Traditional Beliefs and Superstitions ... erstitions" onclick=";return false;

Traditional Irish Folklore
A central aspect of Irish folklore is the wealth of traditional beliefs and superstitions which have been held by Irish people over the centuries. Many of these beliefs can be traced to Celtic traditions which the Catholic church failed to erradicate completely.

Looking back at my childhood in Ireland, I find it amazing that so many traditional superstitions and cures were believed in, alongside Catholic doctrines and the modern scientific world. Belief in these old superstitions is no longer as strong as it was in the days before modern science, but they nonetheless continue to be part of the richness and uniqueness of Irish culture.

While Irish fairy figures such as the Leprechaun and the Banshee are well-known around the world, some of the more everyday traditions of Irish folklore are in danger of being forgotten - from belief in magical cures and holy wells to superstitions about unlucky omens and fairy trees. While these beliefs might seem strange and out-dated to outsiders, I believe they give richness and meaning to life and I hope that they will continue for many years to come.
Read on for an overview of some of the most common Irish beliefs and superstitions...

Traditional Irish Beliefs
* Belief in fairy folk: These beliefs are almost died out now, but for many centuries the Irish were convinced of the existence of magical creatures such as leprechauns, pookas, selkies (seal-folk), merrows (mer-people) and the dreaded Banshee. Older folk will still tell tales of hearing a Banshee, or even of an encounter at night with a fairy sprite. You can read more about these fairies at my article: Forgotten Fairies of Irish Folklore.
* Magical cures: I can remember being quoted a variety of bizarre remedies to cure a wart when I was a child - that's only twenty years ago. Most of them involved potatoes, chanting certain words and then burying the potato. In fact there are still people in Ireland who will go to healers today, where they can be recommended to try traditional cures such as saying certain prayers, taking herbs, or visiting a holy well ...
* Holy wells: Belief in the magical healing ability of natural springs dates back to pre-Christian times in Ireland. The Celtic people of Ireland believed springs were sacred places where the underworld met our world, and where the power of the Goddess Aine was particularly strong. With the advent of Christianity these springs became known as 'holy wells' and their reputed healing power (for anyone who drank their water) was atrributed to local Christian saints. People still commonly visit these wells today, to take the waters and leave an offering - whether a few coins or a prayer card.
* Blessings and curses: Another Celtic tradition which survived long into Christian times was the belief in blessings and curses. There are ancient stones, called bullaun stones, which were believed to lend power to a blessing or a curse - if the person saying the words was touching a bullaun stone at the time, their words were thought to come true. With the coming of Christianity to the island, the tradition of curses gradually dropped away due to its potential to be associated with black magic, but the tradition of Celtic blessings continued in Christianized form and has produced many beautiful blessing-prayers. The Irish spiritual writer, John O'Donohue drew on this tradition in his writings, creating beautiful modern blessings rooted in the traditions of Celtic spirituality.

Common Irish Superstitions
* Fairy trees: Interestingly, these trees can still be found across Ireland today. While most people avow they do not believe in fairies, neither will they risk the bad luck believed to stem from cutting down one of these trees! The trees are recognizable because they often stand in the middle of a field, where normally they would have been cleared - stories abound of bad luck following the cutting down of known 'fairy trees' and so they are left alone. Hawthorn trees in particular are associated with fairies, and it is also considered bad luck to bring a branch of hawthorn blossom into your house.
* Sea-going superstitions: Sailors and fishermen have held onto superstitions longest in Ireland - as a form of protection against the unpredictable and dangerous moods of the ocean. Red-headed women have traditionally been considered to bring very bad luck to a boat or ship. Changing the name of a boat was believed to bring better luck. In some coastal communities it was believed that blowing out a candle was extremely bad luck as it meant that a sailor somewhere at sea would die - and instead they let their candles burn down and die out naturally.
* Bad omens: Many sights were believed to be an omen of bad luck to come in Irish folklore. For example seeing a single magpie is considered to be unlucky, but even worse is if a bird flies into your house. This is said to be a warning sign that someone close to you will soon die. Other events considered to be omens of bad luck are if a chair falls when someone stands up, breaking a mirror (thought to cause 7 years bad luck) and sighting a black cat.
* Protection against bad luck: Fortunately, with all this potential for bad luck, Irish folklore also contains many recommendations about how to improve your luck. While spilling salt brings bad luck, throwing a handful of that salt over your left shoulder will cancel out the bad luck. Shamrocks, a rabbit's foot and holy objects such as crosses, holy water or saint's medals are all believed to be lucky and can protect against life's misfortunes.
* Halloween: Is considered to be the most magical and dangerous night of the year in traditional Irish folklore. Halloween (or Samhain as it was known in Celtic times) ushers in November, the month of the dead when souls walk free on earth and you are best not to venture outside your house after dark. Bonfire, lanterns and masks were believed to protect the living from predatory ghosts and ghouls. One activity I remember from Halloween as a girl was peeling an apple in a single piece and throwing it over my shoulder in the belief that the peel would arrange itself into the first letter of my future husbands name. I'm still waiting to meet a man whose name starts with an unreadable squiggle!

Me - By the way, my husband and step son who were doing an emergency rope and pulley system to steer the sailboat we used to have after the rudder broke had to stay with it all through the stormy night to get us to shore both saw something interesting. After resting and finally getting to compare notes it turns out they both saw what looked like an apparition of a pirate in tattered clothes on the bowsprit looking from side to side, as if trying to make sure they didn’t hit anything and made it into the bay safely. It was a night I will never forget (even if I did spend a good deal of it hugging a bucket).
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

Post by Spiritwind »

This is a good article if you are interesting in having your own experience with the faerie realm.

Tales of Real Experiences of Meeting Real Fairies ... f-fairies/" onclick=";return false;
I see your love shining out from my furry friends faces, when I look into their eyes. I see you in the flower’s smile, the rainbow, and the wind in the trees....

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