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...

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

Post by Spiritwind »

I thought this was an interesting and thought provoking article about a subject for which I have an enduring interest.

The Faerie Phenomenon in Folkloric and Modern Experience
(You’ll have to go to the link for images)

Faeries have been an important part of the folkloric repertoire for hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of years, and while they are portrayed in the popular imagination through faerie tales, and have become disneyfied through the 20th century, their main presence is in the myriad of folklore from every part of the globe. They usually (though not always) take a humanoid form, and interact with human societies as amorphous supernatural entities, appearing in our world to both co-operate with people and as general arbiters of discord, while also living in their own Otherworld, sometimes accessible to humans either through accident or design. While the phenomenon is ancient, the belief in these metaphysical beings continues, and there are thousands of encounter reports from all over the world every year, as demonstrated in the recent survey by The Fairy Investigation Society, which includes c.500 testimonies.i

But folklorists are often ambivalent about the faeries; they are likely to keep their distance from them, so to speak. While happy to record and discuss the beliefs of people who tell stories and anecdotes about them, most folklorists speak the language (at least in official publications) of the reductionist, materialist worldview, and they’ll often be reticent about assessing the potential actual reality of supernatural beings. In the materialist’s world, faeries simply cannot exist. They must be reduced into a categorised cultural belief system, and any discussion of them will usually be couched in the accepted language of scientific rationalism. This creates a problem for any folklorist (or anybody else) who wants to look behind the stories and investigate the possibility that the faeries can be incorporated into our consensus reality as a genuine phenomenon.

But the reductionist scientific orthodoxy has been challenged recently by a range of philosophical hypotheses such as Panpsychism and Idealism, backed up by quantum theory and experiment, which reinstates consciousness (not matter) as the primary mover and creator of reality.ii When this is done, entities such as faeries are allowed back into the universe as a potentially authentic phenomenon.

The Origins of the Faeries in Altered States of Consciousness
Our earliest known artistic portrayals of the world, and how human consciousness interacted with it, come in the form of cave paintings from all parts of the globe, starting c.40,000 BCE.iii Many of these cave paintings include humanoids and therianthropes; otherworldly entities that have been recorded alongside geometric imagery, stylised animals and landscapes. The paintings are in effect our earliest known folklore. But what state of mind were our Palaeolithic ancestors in when they were painting these strange entities in often difficult to access caves and shelters?

The anthropologist David Lewis-Williams has made the convincing argument that these cave and rock-shelter paintings were produced by shamanic cultures to represent reality as perceived in an altered state of consciousness.iv Thirty years ago this idea was anathema to anthropologists, but since the work of Lewis-Williams, and many others, the theory has tipped over to become more orthodox. There are hundreds of motifs in the cave paintings that correlate with the visionary states of people in an altered state of consciousness, brought about most especially by the ingestion of a psychotropic substance. The basic premise is that the shamans of these Palaeolithic cultures transported themselves into altered states of consciousness and then painted the results of their experiences on the walls of caves and rock shelters — experiences that frequently included therianthropic beings and supernatural humanoids that correlate in many ways with later faerie types.

In his 2005 book Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Graham Hancock vividly utilises Lewis-Williams’ work to discuss the continuity through time of entities experienced in altered states of consciousness, coming to the conclusion that the faeries of our historic period are perhaps one and the same as those portrayed in prehistoric caves.v And writers such as Carlo Ginzburg and Emma Wilby have argued that there is a direct link between prehistoric shamanic storytelling and the folklore embodied in classical, medieval and later periods, that often incorporate entities such as nymphs and faeries; supernatural beings that interact with humanity when the conditions are

Those conditions may well be reliant on the human participants undergoing an altered state of consciousness as a result of the ingestion of psychotropic compounds. There is certainly a preponderance of mushroom imagery associated to historic depictions of faeries, most especially the highly psychedelic red and white Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) mushroom, and the psilocybin mushroom, both prevalent in Europe and Asia. If these historic folkloric manifestations of interactions with supernatural entities can be linked to the cave art of prehistory and preliterate societies, then we have a continuation of relationship with an alternative reality, accessed through altered states of consciousness, over a very long period of time.

Many of the European faerie motifs repeated in stories and anecdotes through the centuries to the present day were already in place during the medieval period. When folklorists began to collect these stories in earnest from the 19th century onwards, they found a belief in faeries amongst rural populations that was probably very close to the medieval belief and understanding of what faeries were and how they interacted with humanity. Many of the stories include situations where the protagonist(s) interacts with the faeries in what seems an altered state of consciousness; consistently inhabited by strange humanoids and therianthropes (the faeries), and there are lots of recurring story motifs that are highly suggestive of an autonomous reality being described. But this is not consensus reality, this is the folklore recording stories from people operating outside consensus reality. The folklore about faeries has been overlain with much allegorical storytelling, but at their root the realities they describe are of people in altered states of consciousness (facilitated by a range of agents), perhaps not too far from the realities experienced by the Palaeolithic cave painters and shamanic practitioners.

Clairvoyance and the Memory of Nature
When the folklorist WY Evans-Wentz travelled around the Celtic world at the beginning of the 20th century, collecting stories and anecdotal experiences about the faeries, it was clear that many of his interviewees rated clairvoyance as the best way of altering the conscious state to a position where it could interact with the faeries.vii Seership or second-sight was the method of entering, or at least viewing, an alternative reality inhabited by a relatively consistent cast of characters, usually recognised as the faeries. He met one such (un-named) Irish clairvoyant in Rosses Point, County Sligo. This seer talked about various types of faeries that inhabited the landscape of Sligo, ‘making them sound like a cross between nature spirits and mystical visions.’ But Evans-Wentz was just as interested in the mechanics of interacting with the faeries as he was with the stories themselves. How did the seer interface with them?

‘I have always made a distinction between pictures seen in the memory of nature and visions of actual beings now existing in the inner world. We can make the same distinction in our world: I may close my eyes and see you as a vivid picture in memory, or I may look at you with my physical eyes and see your actual image. In seeing these beings of which I speak, the physical eyes may be open or closed: mystical beings in their own world and nature are never seen with the physical eyes.’viii

The rural people interviewed by Evans-Wentz consistently affirmed that clairvoyant alteration of consciousness was the best sure-fire way to see the faeries. By the time Evans-Wentz visited these communities, there was a sense that the number of people gifted with second-sight was dwindling; cutting down on communication with the faeries. But at the same time as these rural communities were feeling the increasing pressures of modernism there was a reaction by organisations such as The Theosophical Society (first founded in 1875), which attempted to incorporate supernatural entities into an understanding of reality.ix And their prime metaphysical technology was clairvoyance. The Austrian Theosophist Rudolf Steiner attempted to explain the mechanics of clairvoyance, when a person must transform their usually passive thought forms into something more dynamic. In normal consciousness, thoughts:

‘… allow themselves to be connected and separated, to be formed and then dismissed. This life of thought must develop in the elemental world a step further. There a person is not in a position to deal with thoughts that are passive. If someone really succeeds in entering the world with his clairvoyant soul, it seems as though his thoughts were not things over which he has any command; they are living beings… You thrust your consciousness into a place, it seems, where you do not find thoughts that are like those in the physical world, but where they are living beings.’x

Steiner described the specific elemental animating forces at work in the natural world, when perceived clairvoyantly, in what he calls the Supersensible World. For Steiner the elementals in the Supersensible World existed as a range of beings, from devas, which are responsible for entire autonomous landscapes, through to the smaller nature spirits charged with the growth of vegetation. Steiner (basing his epistemology on that originally developed by the 16th-century alchemist Paracelsus)xi divides these entities into four main types corresponding to earth (Gnomic), water (Undines), air (Sylphs) and heat/light (Salamanders). This is the faerie realm, existing as a non-material autonomous reality that crosses over with ours, and which can be accessed via a clairvoyant altered state of consciousness. Steiner thought everyone has this innate ability, but they had to be taught how to use it; it had somehow become almost forgotten amongst humanity.

This idea finds common ground with the recent work of biochemist Rupert Sheldrake, who proposes that morphogenetic fields are the formative causation allowing life on earth.xii Sheldrake’s description of this organising principle behind the natural world is issued in the language of biochemistry, but in effect, what he postulates is the same as Steiner’s vision of nature spirits in action. There are invisible forces that are as essential in ordering life on earth as accepted non-material forces such as gravity. Sheldrake calls these morphogenetic fields ‘the memory of nature’ (echoing Evans-Wentz’s Irish seer). In effect, Steiner saw nature spirits as anthropogenic representations of these morphogenetic fields, imposed upon them through the thought forms of the observer, who perceives them clairvoyantly.

(It’s a long article, so I’m breaking it up into two posts)
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Re: Native American Indians Beliefs in the ‘Little People’ or Fairies

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The Faeries and DMT
But what allows this access to otherworldly realms and the entities that seem to exist there? What causes clairvoyance, or second-sight? Many of Evans-Wentz’s respondents and Theosophists such as Steiner seem to suggest it is a natural attribute — a gift of consciousness. However, there may well also be a chemical component: N, N-dimethyltryptamine – DMT. This molecule is one of the main active ingredients utilised by Amazonian shamans: the Psychotria viridis and Diplopterys cabrerana plants, containing DMT, are used in conjunction with the Banisteriopsis caapi vine to produce the brew usually known as Ayahuasca, which invokes radically transformed states of consciousness, and often entity encounters.xiii But DMT is also produced endogenously in everyone’s brain, potentially in either the lungs or the pineal gland.xiv It seems that under certain circumstances, it can be released in higher quantities, causing an altered state of consciousness. This would require the DMT to be released in conjunction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI), which inhibit naturally occurring enzymes in the human body. This may allow a surge of DMT production to have full effect and create radically transformed states of consciousness.

While there remains a lack of definitive evidence that endogenously produced DMT might be responsible for altering states of consciousness and potentially allowing experiences with non-human intelligence, there is no doubt that when DMT is insufflated or injected the results often invoke entry into non-physical realities inhabited by a range of entities, many of which adhere to a faerie taxonomy. The late Terence McKenna was an enthusiastic user of the synthesised form of DMT to access different realities, and coined the term ‘self-transforming machine elves’ for the creatures he regularly found there.

As if to confirm Terence’s assertions, a research study conducted between 1990 and 1995 in the General Clinical Research Center of the University of New Mexico Hospital, by Dr Rick Strassman found that volunteers on the study injected with varying amounts of DMT underwent profound alterations of consciousness.xv This involved immediate cessation of normal consciousness and transportation to a different realm of reality with divergent metaphysical properties, and inhabited by a range of creatures described as elves, faeries, lizards, reptiles, insects, aliens, clowns and various therianthropic entities. One woman even describes a pulsating entity that she called ‘Tinkerbell-like’. The experiences, especially at higher doses, represented to the participants a parallel reality that was ‘super real’; not an hallucination, not a dream, but a substantial built reality with full sensory interaction and often telepathy with the resident entities.

The experience reports from the study are irrational, absurd, frightening, illogical and surreal. There is no question of any of the volunteers physically leaving the hospital bed during their experiences, but for all of them (without exception) the DMT-world was every bit as real as the one their minds left behind. After the injections participants frequently talked about ‘blasting through’ or ‘breaking through a barrier’ after which they found themselves in a realm with its own laws of physical space and movement, and its own inhabitants.

There are over a hundred recorded experiences from the study, where the participants all engage in a non-physical reality directly with their consciousness, seemingly separated from their physical selfs. There have been several more surveys (although no further clinical research) delineating the faerie-type entities experienced through DMT, most recently by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, where 2561 testimonies were assessed.xvi Many of the experience reports do correlate closely to the folkloric faerie phenomenology.

But what the research demonstrates is that under the right conditions, human consciousness can operate within a distinct and separate universe inhabited by a range of apparently autonomous entities. These entities may be one and the same as those recorded in prehistoric cave art and historic folklore, by people who were describing the beings encountered during various types of altered states of consciousness, brought on either actively or passively. The faeries may change superficially through time, adapting to the expectations of the culture they are part of, but if it is human consciousness they are interacting with, this is no surprise. Underneath the cultural masks, the faeries begin to reveal their true selfs.

Certain medical conditions also seem responsible for periodically transporting people into a non-material environment inhabited by entities. This is certainly the case with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. This condition may be the root of the unusually well-documented 17th-century Cornish story of Anne Jefferies’ abduction by diminutive faeries when she suffered a ‘convulsion fit’ and was transported (at least in her mind) to a numinous world inhabited by the faeries.xvii The author Eve LaPlante has used historic and contemporary examples to demonstrate that Temporal Lobe Epilepsy can provide access to an altered state of consciousness where the human mind participates in a reality several steps removed from the consensus material world.xviii This often includes full immersion in alternative landscapes and contact with non-human intelligence.

Perception via the brain certainly gives us a very limited view of what is actually going on around us. Altering the usual transmission of consciousness through the brain (actively or passively) seems to allow non-material awareness more of a free rein. As in a dream, an altered consciousness is able to construct metaphysical realities. It is able to communicate with the entities it finds there, and bring back a report. The relative consistency of the inhabitants of this alternative reality may suggest that they live there all the time, non-physical, and only able to interact with our physical world when conditions are right for an individual’s consciousness. This is the crux: does consciousness create physical reality, or is consciousness an epiphenomenon of the brain? If the former, then the realities experienced in altered states of consciousness can be accepted as potentially real, with their own autonomous existence. If the latter, then while entities such as the faeries may be subjectively real, they do not exist objectively within the electromagnetic spectrum.

Faeries and Aliens
The ontological reality of faeries has in recent decades also become linked to other ‘paranormal’ activity types, primary of which is the intrusion into our consensus reality of entities usually known as aliens. The first person to suggest a definitive link between the the reports of folkloric faerie experiences and alien encounters was the astronomer and computer scientist Jacques Vallée. In his 1969 book Passport to Magonia he put forward the theory that the faeries were one and the same as the alien beings who had been purportedly abducting people around the world for a couple of decades by that date.xix His hypothesis is that there is a commonality to the experiences reported in alien abduction scenarios, and the reports of interactions with faeries in folklore.

He suggests the aliens and the faeries are essentially the same phenomenon, tuned through the cultural receptors of the time and then interpreted accordingly. He makes special reference to the regular motifs in folklore of the abduction, by various means, of humans by faeries. There’s a lot of data here – it’s the commonest motif in faerie folklore. For a variety of reasons humans are taken to an alternative faerie reality, either as midwives or nurses for faerie children, as servants to the faeries, for sex, as punishment or reward, or just because the faeries feel like it. These motifs, of course, coincide with many aspects of the consistently strange phenomenon of alien abduction, reports of which have grown at an exponential rate since the early 1950s. Vallée uses a range of evidence to tie-up faerie abductions from folklore and alien abductions from modern reports, and goes as far to state:

‘… the modern, global belief in flying saucers and their occupants is identical to an earlier belief in the fairy-faith. The entities described as the pilots of the craft are indistinguishable from the elves, sylphs and lutins of the Middle Ages. Through the observations of unidentified flying objects, we are concerned with an agency our ancestors knew well and regarded with terror: we are prying into the affairs of The Secret Commonwealth.’xx

The Secret Commonwealth was the term coined for the faeries by the Reverend Robert Kirk in a manuscript of 1691, which includes a detailed description of their appearance, habits and exploits, gleaned from both his own experiences and those Scottish Highlanders purporting to have second-sight, or clairvoyance.xxi As Vallée points out, Kirk’s descriptions of the faeries and their modus operandi bear more than a passing resemblance to the alien visitors of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Among their attributes was an ability to float through the air with insubstantial and fluid bodies, that they could make appear and disappear at will. This allowed them to ‘swim’ through the air and carry off mortals, usually to large circular abodes, that Kirk presumed were underground, and which were lit by a dim, unknown illumination. They even had ‘ætheriall vehicles’ to carry them around the sky. Kirk also asserted that the faeries had a nature intermediate between humans and angels. Their habit of abducting humans was usually for the purpose of wet-nursing faerie children or as midwives; a theme that fits in with the deluge of recent alien abduction reports (subsequent to Vallée’s investigations in 1969) that would suggest one of the main reasons for abduction is to obtain both parents and wet-nurses for hybrid human-alien offspring. Vallée quotes the 19th-century folklorist Edwin Hartland’s suggestion that such a programme of hybridisation was a primary reason for faerie abductions:

‘The motive assigned to fairies in northern stories is that of preserving and improving their race, on the one had by carrying off human children to be brought up among the elves and to become united with them, and on the other hand by obtaining the milk and fostering care of human mothers for their own offspring.’xxii

In 2005, Graham Hancock followed Vallée’s lead and took the comparison of faerie and alien abduction much further in his book Supernatural (after dealing with the elements of prehistoric shamanic cave-painting depictions of entities, discussed above). He compiled a range of faerie abduction reports from various time periods and geographical locations and set them against modern-day alien abduction events. He pays special attention to the faerie abduction of young women, such as Mrs Sheridan, an Irish woman, who seems to have spent much of the last decade of the 19th century being whisked off by the fairies for wet-nursing duties:

‘Where they brought me I don’t know, or how I got there, but I’d be in a very big house, and it was round, the walls far away that you’d hardly see them, and a great many faeries all about… but they wouldn’t speak to me nor I to them.’xxiii
These ‘long-faced’ faeries had a definite purpose for kidnapping her and weren’t too concerned with her tearful appeals to release her – she had a job to do, and that was feeding their faerie babies. The correlation between these types of folkloric encounters and the alien abductions of women is striking. Hancock surveys the work of the late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack and the cultural historian David Jacobs, who have made extensive studies of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, often using hypnotic techniques to extract memories from amnesic events.xxiv

It’s a minefield subject (mostly due to the vagaries of extracting memories from hypnosis), but John Mack in particular is a convincing advocate of the notion that whatever the experiences represent, they are genuinely real to the participant. A typical scenario might involve the abductee being floated or beamed aboard a UFO, and then taken to a part of the ship where there seem to be drawers or tanks of hybrid alien-human babies, which they are sometimes expected to nurse. There is a consistency to these experiences that provides a dataset of testimony that Mack insists must be taken seriously as a phenomenon. For the abductees, the experience is often highly traumatic (Mack states that the best psychiatric diagnosis for many abductees is post-traumatic stress disorder), and no wonder, when they are confronted with alien hybrids often described as more like foetuses than babies. One abductee described to Mack their appearance, which is fairly typical:

‘Their bodies were short for their heads. Their heads seemed oversized. They had very blue eyes. They had very thin, wispy hair… I would say they were probably three and a half feet tall, but they all looked the same age. ‘You’re our mother and we need you,’ they said.’xxv

The evidence presented by Jacques Vallée and Graham Hancock makes a convincing argument for the tight relation between faerie behaviour in folklore and alien abductions in the 20th/21st century. The experiences are culturally coded to time and place, but the correlations and similarities are intriguing, and suggest the possibility of a common source for the phenomena. But what is that source and where is the metaphysical intersect?

Ontological Faeries
This brings us back to the ontology of faerie experiences; what are these entities that have been a part of humanity for thousands of years, and where do they come from? They may be adapting to cultural codes, even evolving into new forms, but at what level of reality do they exist? An answer may be to utilise David Luke’s three-part interpretation for non-physical entity contact.xxvi He used it to assess a study into the otherworldly beings (many of which had faerie-attributes) encountered by people who had altered their states of consciousness with DMT, but it is also a valid tool to evaluate what may be happening to anyone who reports a numinous experience that includes interaction with non-human intelligent entities such as the faeries:

1.They are hallucinations. The entities are subjective hallucinations. Such a position is favoured by those taking a purely (materialist-reductionist) neuropsychological approach to the phenomena.

2. They are psychological/ transpersonal manifestations. The communicating entities appear alien but are actually unfamiliar aspects of ourselves, be they our reptilian brain or our cells, molecules or sub-atomic particles.

3. The entities exist in otherworlds and can interact with our physical reality. A numinous experience provides access to a true alternate dimension inhabited by independently existing intelligent entities in a stand-alone reality, which exists co-laterally with ours, and may interact with our world when certain conditions are met. The identity of the entities remains speculative.

Of course, all three interpretations may be true at different times and under various circumstances. From a materialist-reductionist standpoint, all faerie experiences could be reduced to hallucinatory events. There is no physical residue as an after-effect of the interactions, and the reports are all limited to visual and audio experiences. While the specific adjuncts allowing for the hallucinations to take place cannot be properly analysed, seeing them all as aberrations of visual and audial fields remains one legitimate interpretation.
This explanatory model is reliant on the theory that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain. The implication is that the brain, for whatever reason, is simply misconstruing sensory input from a physical world where things like faeries simply do not exist. This is the hard and fast materialist-reductionist standpoint, which is deeply embedded in Western culture.

But, as discussed above, it is a standpoint that is now challenged at a fundamental level not only by religious and mystical traditions, but also by the recently reinvented philosophy of Kantian Idealism and by a growing number of quantum physicists, who (using a wide range of methodologies) suggest that the brain is a reducer of consciousness, not a creator of it.xxvii

This model sees consciousness (not matter) as primary; it is everywhere and it is everything, and individual human (and animal) brains are merely conveying it within the remit of what then becomes physical reality. For the most part, this physical reality has a closely defined rule-set, but under certain conditions the usual laws break down and supra-normal events can occur. These supernatural occurrences are thus as legitimate as any natural occurrence.

This helps us to perhaps understand preternatural faerie experiences as something non-material being allowed to ‘pop in’ to physical reality from either a greater, transcendent form of consciousness, or from an alternative reality to which humans do not usually have access. This would fit with either of David Luke’s second and third interpretations for supernatural entity contact. Simply put, a numinous zone has been entered and the participant is able to make contact with what usually resides external to their ordinary consciousness.

Experiences in numinous zones could be extended to a variety of preternatural encounters, from ghost apparitions through to Near Death Experiences and UFO abduction scenarios, but it would seem that the faeries, as an ontological taxonomic, remain a consistent, even persistent, form of entity that interact with our consensus reality. While reports of the faeries from history have often been turned into allegorical folkloric stories (frequently with a moral lesson inserted into the plot line), modern encounters usually take the form of simple anecdotal testimony. But the phenomenological types of faeries retain an adherence to their folkloric roots. They can receive an updated appearance, and cultural coding, but they remain recognisable as faeries. Graham Hancock has summed up what may be happening if we allow the faeries some type of metaphysical reality:

‘If we are prepared to set aside the automatic scepticism and reductionism of our age, and if we spell out the problem in plain language, then we find that we are contemplating the existence — and powerful intervention in our lives — of highly intelligent discarnate entities belonging to an order of creation fundamentally different than our own… it really is almost as though the beings we are dealing with have been changing and developing alongside us for thousands of years, and that they therefore cannot simply be mass delusions, but must have a definite, independent reality outside the human brain.’xxviii
Whatever their true nature, it seems that for the faeries to make contact with humanity they require our consciousness to become loosened from the usual restraints, and to enter an altered state — a numinous zone.

If the model of reality affirmed by Idealism is correct, then this zone may be allowing us to access a greater Over-Mind, where exist entities that represent either a stand-alone autonomous class of their own, or perhaps aspects of the human collective unconsciousness (as explicated by Carl Jung), which is usually filtered out through the reducing valve of the brain.xxix Either way, it appears that the faeries are here to stay, functioning in some nebulous region where any interpretation of them is reliant on us finding a way to incorporate consciousness into physical reality. This is something that has eluded both philosophers and scientists for millennia, and so perhaps it is no surprise that faerie entities – whether nature spirits, inter-dimensional beings, aliens, or products of our collective imagination – for the moment, remain an intangible, but enduring, part of our cultural zeitgeist.
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