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Many will find this difficult to believe, but faeries are quite real. Most humans simply cannot see faeries because they are not attuned to them or their frequency.

That's the way the faeries like it.

As her book is apparently difficult to come by, I will provide some of what Barbara Walker writes regarding faeries in her book, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets so that more people will be able to study what she has written. In this one exception, I will use her spelling of faerie which she spells thusly, ‘fairy or fairies’ because I do not want to have to put my spelling of the word and then [sic] all throughout her study of faery. I prefer the more ancient spelling of the word, not the more common spelling that implies innuendoes of ethnocentrism as well as the popularized Walt Disney movies. That said, I think you will find she has quite interesting things to relate regarding faeries. This may inspire you to try to find her book. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets is (or was) published by Harper & Row, San Francisco et al. The copyright is 1983 by Barbara G. Walker. For information address Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. The ISBN numbers are –hardback—ISBN 0-06-250926-8 and paperback—ISBN 0-06-250925-X It is one of my most valued books in my personal library.

The following is an excerpt from the above mentioned book and can be found on pages 298-301 of said book. (You really need to purchase this book for your studies.) By the way, I have absolutely no monetary interests in this book. I just think everyone should have a copy of it. Where you see words or comments enclosed within brackets [ ], just know that these are my inserted comments/words. Enjoy.


Pagan gods and goddesses, tribal ancestors, and those who worshipped them all became “fairies” in the traditions of France, Germany, and the British Isles. The Irish still say fairies live in the pagan sidh (burial mounds and barrow graves), several hundred of which still stand in the Irish countryside. The Welsh knew their ancestors had a matriarchal society. Like the Irish, they called fairies The Mothers, or The Mother’s Blessing; and fairyland was always the Land of Women.

Fairies came out of their fairy hills at Halloween [Samhain, Hallow’s Eve], Celtic folk said, because the hills themselves were tomb-wombs of rebirth according to the ancient belief, and Halloween was only a new name for Samhain, when the dead returned to earth with the help of the priestesses—who, under Christianity, were newly described as witches. [I believe Witches were called such before this, actually.] Respect for the pagan dead endured to a remarkably late date, even among Christians whose church taught them that the old deities were devils. Cornish miners refused to make the sign of the cross when down in a mine, for fear of offending the fairies in their own subterranean territory by making a gesture that invoked their enemy.

In the Book of the Dun Cow, the fairy queen described her realm as “the land of the ever-living, a place where there is neither death nor sin, nor transgression. We have continual feasts: we practice every benevolent work without contention. We dwell in a large Shee (sidh); and hence we are called the people of the Fairy-Mound.”

The pagan after-world was a golden “dream time” of long ago, when heroes were deified by sacred marriage with the Goddess. The great God Lug, father of Ireland’s dying savior Cu Chulainn, came “out of the chambered undergrounds of Tara where dwell the fourth race of gods who settled Ireland. They are the glorious and golden giants, Tuatha De Danann. These people of the goddess Dana first used gold and sliver in an Age of Bronze. They first cleared the land, first drained the swamps. They built the great temples of stone like the one they sent to Britain—Stonehenge. [Always keep in mind that Stonehenge was first a Moon Calendar before it was converted into a Sun Calendar.] When conquered, they retired to their underground barrows or Sidhe where they still live today. [I wrote a work of fiction relating to this and may provide it elsewhere on my website.]

Fairy mounds were entrances to the pagan paradise, which might be located underground, [brings to mind the Hopi kivas] or under water, or under hills on distant islands across the western sea where the sun died.

The fairy queen was obviously the ancient fertility-mother, like Demeter or Ceres. William of Auvergne said in the 13th century she was called Abundia, or Dame Abonde: “Abundance.” She was also called Diana, Venus, Hecate, Sybil, or Titania—a title of Cretan Rhea as ruler of the earth-spirits called Titans, predecessors of the Olympian gods. (See Titania.) [She is referring to other information in her book.] She had all three personae of the Triple goddess, including the death-dealing Crone—which is why an Irish title Bean-Sidhe, “Woman of the Fairy-Mounds,” was corrupted into banshee, the shrieking demoness whose voice brought death. In the form of the triple Morrigan, she sang of blood sacrifices related to springtime renewal of vegetation. A variation on her title was the notorious Morgan le Fay or Morgan the Fairy, also know as the death goddess, “Morgue la faye.”

The Romance of Lancelot du Lac spoke of the fairy queen in another incarnation as Lady of the Lake: “The damsel who carried Lancelot to the lake was a fay [or fae], and in those times all those women were called fays [or faes] who had to do the enchantments and charms—and there were many of them then, principally in Great Britain—and knew the power and virtues of words, of stones, and of herbs.” Their knights were forbidden to speak their names, for fear of betraying them to Christian persecutors.

Secrecy attended many aspects of the fairy-religion, for the very reason that it was carried on clandestinely under a dominant religious system that threatened its practitioners with torture and death. One of the charges that sent Joan of Arc to the stake was that she “adored the Fairies and did them reverence.”

A legend repeated by the gypsies said if a man found a statue of a naked fate (fairy) in the ruins of pagan temples or tombs, he should embrace it with love and eject semen on it. Then, like Pygmalion’s Galatea, the fate would come to life in his dreams and tell her lover where to find buried treasure, and she would become his “fortune.” He would be happy with her forevermore, provided he agreed never to set foot in a Christian church again as long as he lived.

This idea of fairy-fortune might be traced all the way back to ancient customs of matrilineal inheritance and matrilocal marriage, characteristic both of Bronze Age myths and of fairy tales. The fairy-tale hero rarely brought a bride to his own home; instead, he left home to seek his “fortune,” which usually turned out to be a foreign princess won by trial and wedded in her own country, which the hero afterward helped rule. As in the pre-patriarchal system, a woman was the “fortune” or “fate” of the young man, words which also meant “fairy,” through such intermediates as Fata, Fay [Fae], Le Fee or the “fey” one. Fairy and Fate were further related through fear and fair: Medieval Latin fatare, “to enchant,” became Frenchfaer or feer.

Many believed fairies lived in the deep woods where their sacred groves had been hidden from priestly interference. Romanians still speak of the Fata Padourii, Girl of the Woods, a fairy similar to the Irish banshee. At night she makes eerie sounds that portend death to the hearer. In Brittany, there were many groves dedicated to the Moon-goddess throughout the Middle Ages, [sic] fairies were sometimes called man-devent, “Moon-goddesses.

It seems the fairy-religion was practiced secretly thought most of the Christian era, especially by women, whose Goddess the patriarchal church kept trying to take away, giving them no substitute but Mary, who lacked the old Goddess’s powers.

Certain French leaders of the Old Religion were described as “great princesses who, having refused to embrace Christianity. . .were struck by the curse of God. Hence it is that they are said to be animated by violent hatred of (Christian) religion and of the clergy.” Sometimes they were called Korrigen, Korrig, or Korr, perhaps devotees of the Virgin Kore. A Breton layman said: “There are nine Korrigen, who dance, with flowers in their hair, and robes of white wool, around the fountain, by the light of the full moon.” They seem to have been old women who used masks or makeup: “Seen at night, or in the dusk of the evening, their beauty is great; but in the daylight their eyes appear red, their hair white, and their faces wrinkled; hence they rarely let themselves be seen by day.”

As late as the 17th century it was said there were shrines kept by “a thousand old women” who taught the rites of Venus to young maidens, and instructed them in fairy feats like shape-shifting and raising storms. They were known as fatuae pr fatidicae,”seeresses,” or sometimes bonnens filles, “Good girls.”

Norwegian, Scottish, and Irish Christians claimed the fairies were offspring of the fallen angels. Like the non-fallen angels, they carried off souls of the dead. Any who happened to die at twilight, the fairies’ hour between day and night, would find themselves in fairyland between life and death, or between heaven and hell. Such legends reflect ancient views of the after-world as without either punishment or reward but only a way-station in the karmic cycle, which is why fairies were like the un-dead---able to emerge from their tombs at will. As psychopomps, they were the same as Valkyries or Hindu apsaras, the heavenly nymphs who became peris,, “fairies,” in Middle-Eastern countries where the Old Religion was also maintained as a sub-current in patriarchal culture.

Certainly one of the strongest attractions of the fairy-religion was its permissive view of sexuality, typical of ancient matriarchal societies, living on in contrast to the harsh anti-sexual attitudes of orthodoxy. Fairyland was the heaven of sexy angels, as opposed to the Christian heaven where “bliss” was specifically not sexual, not even in matrimony (Matthew 22:30). The fairyland called Torelore in the romance of Aucassin and Nicolette was a home for lovers, as opposed to the Christian heaven of “old priests, and halt old men and maimed.” The fairy king lay in bed pretending to give birth to a child [a practice repeated in many ancient cultures.] in the ancient rite of couvade (see Fatherhood) [another reference to her other listings in the book]; the queen led an army against their enemies in a bloodless battle, the combatants pelting each other with symbolic foods such as apples, eggs, and cheeses. The king said, “ it is nowise our custom to slay each other.”

Toward this paradise the Fairy Queen led her lovers on a “broad, broad road across the lily lea,” as Thomas Rhymer’s ballad said, which some called the road to heaven, and others the road to hell: a prototype of the famous Primrose Path. The Queen herself was addressed as Queen of Heaven. Sometimes her earthly angels were more spirit than mortal, like the fairies called Little Wood Women wudu-maer) in Bavaria, to whom dumplings and other foodstuffs were offered. Yet most sources admitted that the fairies were real live women. [A good way to protect to is to turn it to myth.] Prior wrote, “In Danish ballads fairies are full grown women and not the diminutive beings of our English tales.” Said Andrew Lang. “There seems little in the characteristics of these fairies of romance to distinguish them from human beings, except their supernatural knowledge and power. They are . . .usually of ordinary stature, indeed not to be recognized as varying from mankind except by their proceedings.” In other words, they were women practicing heathen rites.

Ms. Walker also gives us some interesting notations in the margins of her book. I will be giving these at another time, but I think everyone would be interested in Book of the Dun Cow. Vegetarians such as myself might find it a little off-putting, but that should keep us from discovery. Book of the Dun Cow (Lebar-na-Heera), is [sic] so called because the original manuscript was written on vellum made from the skin of a prized cow: a collection of 11th century Irish tales and poems, complied by Mailmuri Mac Kelleher. Also, Aucassin and Nicolette is a [sic] French medieval romance based on an Arabian love story. [We could use a few of those these days 10-23-01]. Aucassin’s original name was Al-Kasim. One more notation is as follows: Tasso’s list of Fairy-ladies showed them indistinguishable from wither Goddesses or Witches, for they had names of both, including the titles of Fata, Maga, Incantatrice, or wise woman. They were Oriana, She of the Mountain; Silvana or Silvanella, She of the Wood; Filidea, She Who Loves the Goddess; Mirinda, the Warrior Woman; Argea, called Queen of Fate; Lucina, called the Lady of the Lake; Urganda, called the Wise One; tow Fates of Fays [Faes] named Dragontina and Montana, and Morgana with her three “daughters,” the Morrigan.

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Note: This link (Spirit On Line) appears to be broken and the website defunct. It is too bad because it was a very good website and quite helpful. It helped me tremendously when I first started my website in 2000 C.E.

If you would like to learn an intriguing twist on the history of faeries, I recommend you visit a most interesting site called, The Faery. Be sure to bookmark my site or use the ‘Back’ button on your browser so that you can return to my website.

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