Reports about and from the faerie world in fact and fantasy. Includes stories about historical faeries, website recommendations, book reviews, and other faerie-related news.
Where do faeries live?
In this three-minute mini-podcast, Fiona Broome discusses classic ways to reach faerie realms and why it's not as important to visit their world right now.
Believing in Faeries
Putting aside her usual scientific and sociological tone, faerie researcher Fiona Broome explains why believing in faeries is so exciting.
She starts by explaining that people around the world believed in faeries (or entities like them) through the early 20th century. Then, the tidal wave of science smashed the dreams of faerie believers by calling their ideals mere "fantasies."
However, despite the disapproval by many, people continue to believe in faeries and the fae world. This goes beyond the "Ooh, cool!" exclamations of some science fiction enthusiasts. It's more of an affinity for faeries, mermaids, dragons, and the ideals (and personalities) of King Arthur's court.
Faerie believers aren't just wishing that faeries were real. They believe in them. From the first time they encounter a "fairy tale" or something related to the faerie-fantasy realm, there's a deep sense of recognition. It's an "ah-HA!" moment, and sometimes a sense of finding home.
Science changes its mind
Keep in mind that the rules of 20th century science don't necessarily apply today. Look into the discoveries and mysteries of gravity, and how that relates to quantum science and membrane studies.
Also consider Dr. Fred Wolf's views on dreams and alternate realities, as presented in What the Bleep? and other intriguing studies. He presents wonderful "what if..?" questions.
Fiona talks about topics like these, and how they may related to the real world of faeries.
This podcast includes a brief review of The Ultimate Fairies Handbook, by Susannah Marriott. (Fiona's more complete review is at FaerieMagick.com.)
For more information about faeries, visit Faerie Magick.
Music: The Moods of Man, written and orchestrated by James Underberg.
Flying Faeries - fairies that fly!
Learn more about flying faeries: Winged faeries, those who fly on flower stems and bulrushes, and faeries that levitate.
Explore the different kinds of entities that fly, and why they are -- or aren't -- like faeries. From Tinkerbell to succubus to vampires to shapeshifters, this 14-minute podcasts takes you on a whirlwind tour of faeries (and other entities) that seem to fly.
For more information about faeries: FaerieMagick.com
Music: The Moods of Man, written & orchestrated by James Underberg
Have you tried to contact faeries, and were you disappointed? In this podcast, faerie researcher Fiona Broome answers readers' questions.
She explains what works -- and what doesn't -- when you'd like to make contact with the faerie world.
From the basic steps of observation, to the extremes of highly dangerous faeries, Fiona describes what to do and what to watch for.
She also reminds people what faeries like and don't like, and why you must be very careful when you first encounter a faerie of any size or form.
Additional topics in this podcast include:
Where to look for faeries.
What kinds of faeries you can contact, and whether Asian people can meet Native American faeries, etc.
Dangerous and "bad" faeries.
Tidy rooms to attract faeries.
How and why to avoid iron when you're on a faerie vigil.
For more information, see Faerie Magick, the website.
Music: The Moods of Man, written & orchestrated by James Underberg
Brownies in Faerie Lore
Brownies are a kind of faerie. They're in the category of Hob, a "house spirit" in the U.K. (Possible connection with Hobbits?)
A Hob may be a word that evolved from the English given name of Robin, related to Robin Goodfellow, another name for a Brownie in southern England.
Hobs appear to be related to the Swedish Tomte or Tomtars, with a history similar to Ireland's Tuatha De Danann. In both cases, these faeries retired to the "hollow hills" or Brughs: Hollow faerie mounds in which several families live (or lived).
A Hobgoblin is a cousin of the Brownie, and -- perhaps because he's more of a practical joker -- the Hobgoblin is sometimes considered a poltergeist rather than a faerie.
Dobby in the Harry Potter stories seemed to be related to hobgoblins; a Dobie is another term for a brownie, in some areas, or it can mean a ghostly entity in other areas.
Brownies are usually:
Solitary faeries, seen alone or in very small groups.
Male (but some are married, and that's usually the only time a female Brownie is seen).
2 1/2 to 3 feet tall, but some are described as being six or seven inches tall.
Naked and very hairy, or dressed in brown clothing, with shaggy brown hair.
Associated with a pond, pool or stream. (Brownies may have webbed fingers, making swimming easier.
Brownies may become attached to a family or one member of the family. Brownies usually prefer rural homes and farms, where they may work at night, farming or cleaning.
Brownies are most prevalent in northern England and in Scotland.
Favorite Brownie foods include a bowl of cream or rich, whole milk; cakes with honey; and corn muffins, possibly served with honey.
However, you must be very clear when you set out the treats for the Brownie: This is not a payment for his (or her) work. In most cases, if you try to pay a Brownie, he'll leave. He doesn't work for payment.
In contrast, areas such as Lincolnshire have Brownies that like to be paid, and specifically with clothing. On New Year's Eve, Brownies in Lincolnshire have each been paid with a traditional white linen smock.
Other Brownies will leave if you try to give them any kind of clothing. This raises the question: Do they resent the payment, or does the gift of clothing set them free, as with Harry Potter's Dobby?
Similar names and words
"Brownie" may be spelled Browney, Brouny, or Browny. However, the Brownie should not be confused with the Cornish Browney, a spirit or faerie that protects (or perhaps is) the bees.
Brownies may be related to the Brown Man of the Muirs, a spirit or faerie that protects and guards the wild beasts along Scotland's Border Country.
Brownies and devils
In his book, Daemonologie, King James I said that brownies are devils, but they do no harm.
Devil's Bridges are a category of bridge from Medieval (not Roman) times. They exist in England and in Europe.
The name may come from one of three sources:
1. The bridge was built by the Devil.
2. The bridge was built with the Devil's help.
3. The bridge proves the might of the bridge builders, and makes less of the Devil.
This kind of folklore relates to fairy (faerie) tales. In the typical story, the bridge builder makes a deal with the Devil: If the Devil will build the bridge himself, in one night, the Devil can then take the soul of the first person to cross the bridge.
After the bridge is built, the Devil tricks the bridge builder into crossing the bridge, so the bridge builder loses his own soul as payment.
This relates to stories such as Rumplestiltskin, in which flax is spun into gold overnight, and the young woman must guess the name of Rumplestiltskin, or later give up her first child to the dwarf or goblin. (Of course, she outwits Rumplestiltskin and declares his name, so she forfeits nothing.)
One bridge called "the Devil's Bridge" is in Carnforth, in Lancashi
Dwarves in Faerie Lore
In this week's Faerie Magick podcast, Fiona discusses dwarves.
Roots: Dwarves are mentioned around the world in a variety of cultures and societies. In Western culture, most folkore traditions seem to be rooted in Germany, Switzerland and England.
Classic examples: Leprechauns, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, and the ladies' attendants in King Arthur's court. The latter are sometimes associated with ghosts, and the distinctions aren't clear.
Appearance: Generally male, and human-like but diminutive, ranging from six inches tall to the more usual two to three feet tall. The men look old and wise and often have long gray beards, but they aren't "old" since dwarves are immortal.
Dwarves generally own some magical item of clothing such as a cap, a ring, a cloak or cape, or a belt. It usually gives the invisibility, which is a form of glamoury.
Most (but not all) dwarves are also shape-shifters. (That's different from glamoury, which is largely an illusion.) They usually turn into a creature with wings. Light or benevolent dwarves turn into butterflies; dark, mischievous or malicious dwarves are supposed to turn into screech owls.
There may be some connection between dwarves' transformation and the Badb or Mhorrighan stories of Ireland, in which she appears as a crow.
When dwarves shape-shift, they can readily turn back into their usual form. However, if a wizard casts a shape-shifting spell on them, the dwarf must be very clever to outwit the wizard (and his spell) or wait for the wizard to reverse it.
Dwarves are able to shape-shift the world immediately around them, too. That may be a form of glamoury, but it's usually described as a physical change, such as a castle that suddenly appears as a quaint cottage. This may relate to Cinderella's carriage that was shape-shifted from a pumpkin.
Dwarves and vampires: Both dwarves and vampires can transform into flying creatures. Both dwarves and vampires have problems with sunlight. Some dwarves have been identified with ghosts, or as beings that were once human or human-like.
Some dwarves turn to stone if sunlight touches them. They're okay with the light, but the rays of the sun are an issue. So, they live in caves, caverns, underground palaces, and dark forests that don't allow direct sunlight through.
Dwarves and treasures: Dwarves are usually associated with some kind of work or career. That work usually -- but not always -- involves working with metal. (Example: The seven dwarves were miners. Rumpelstiltskin -- or Rumpelstilzchen -- spun straw into gold.)
Dwarves may protect a treasure in their caverns, castles or forests. That treasure often includes (metal) coins, such as the leprechaun's pot of gold.
Dwarves may also craft magical metal objects. Though the objects can work magic (or magick), they may also carry a curse if the object is misused... or used by someone not authorized to handle it.
Categories of dwarves: In many cultures, dwarves are divided into three categories, depending on how benevolent, mischievous or malicious they are. White dwarves are good, brown dwarves are pranksters or unreliable, and black dwarves are evil. (Literature is inconsistent in explaining those color notes, as the dwarves aren't colored that way and their clothing may not match the colors, either.)
In Ireland, the three groups aren't quite so dark or dangerous. There, an example is the leprechaun, cluricaune, and the fir darrig (or fir dhearga - literally, the red man, but that form of the word "red" is usually associated with red light, not red hair).
The fir darrig/dhearga is usually about 2 1/2 feet tall, wears a red, conical cap and generally looks like a garden gnome figure.
The best references for information about dwarves include The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Andrew Lang's fairy tale books.
For more infor
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I LOVE IT
The faerie magick podcast helped me learn more about the "wee folk" and this is one of my favorite podcasts! I understand it takes a lot of research and time to make podcasts, but if you could make a few more that would be great!😊
Excellent discussion points. Great voice. Great personality. Thank you for doing this.