Saturday, July 28, 2012

Forest Fairies (Pic 3)




























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Japanese Shamanese


































One of the most common themes I draw for is the encounter between the person and the ancients of fairy realm. Such encounters are a mixture of the Cheshire Cats meeting with Alice and the meeting with The Godfather. They are both helpful and nerve racking, annoying and insightful. For this is what the fairy realm is.

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Enter Fairy Land

Enter the woods, for the air we breath within is that of fairyland, that of secrets and whispers as old as life itself.

Take a breath, feel the touch of cool bark beneath the shade of trees older than we.

Enter the land of fairies and be free.














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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garden Fairy

Fairy Art

Fairies love gardens, in Japanese tales many trees in gardens were believed to contain Kami (spirits which are similar to fairies)

This little fairy pranced beneath the flowers during the spring.


















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Daily Fairy Picture

The Vampire and the Fairy

The vampire is creeping out it's fellow forest creature, the fairy.
Though legends of vampires were likely related to fairies before people separated the undead from fairies in recent history.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fairy Images

(Image of a Moss Women)

Images of fairies are deeply ingrained within the human psych because humans are always seeking for something more, something magical. It is perhaps one of our most compelling desires to want a magical world, a world where things are better than our own, where we can explore and discover beauty and mystery.

As the modern era of exploration told us what was in the world, thus taking away its mystery we came to realize that there weren't really dragons at the edge of the map, that there wasn't a magical kingdom with fairy godmothers. Further as people found the wilderness disparaging around them, being replaced by the complexity of the modern world they sought something simpler, something they found in images of fairies.


The fairy world is so much more, however, with tales of the Peter Pan, The Dark Crystal and the Labyrinth these tales became more than an escape, fairies became something strange, something unusual that made us think and ponder.

In the modern era than fairies are not mythology, nor are they pure whimsy, rather fairies are our desire for beauty, our desire for something more.




Fairies and Vampires

There is a strange connection between vampires and fairies... In Ireland people were afraid of bleeding because they were scared that it would make the vampires hungry, elves in folklore stalked the night drinking blood from peoples breasts (See Vampiric Elves for More on this).

Fairies were rarely bright, happy little sprites. Rather, they tended in tales and mythology to be much darker and dangerous and can in many ways be likened to vampires. Indeed, many fairies were the spirits of the dead which were often angry and at times blood thirsty.

There is a Celtic tale and a Slavic tale about people who go to work for a fairy and a vampire respectively. In both these tales the person discovers that their master is going to attempt to steal someone's soul, so to prevent this they say bless you to the person when their master makes them sneeze. In other words both fairies and vampires took power over people by making them sick, and in Vampires and Fairies shared tales.

Rusalka were often the spirits of dead women who would seek to drown their victims or steal their souls.


Similar to the Rusalka is the nymph of Greek mythology who would lure men to the water side in order to drown them. While in Celtic lore, the Glaistig were beautiful fairies with the legs of a deer or goat that would lure men to dance with them so that they could drink their blood.

Worse still were the angry spirits of the unclean dead throughout Eurasia which trooped about and in Celtic lore were often called fairies and are associated with fairies by most scholars. These spirits of the dead were  condemned to walk the world between heaven and hell, between the living and the damned, just as Vampires are supposed to be today. Further such dark spirits were often blood thirsty draining human life and or blood. In fact given that the writer of "Dracula" was Irish he was likely more inspired by the Celtic and Germanic fairies that drank blood than he was by the Eastern European Vampires.

Part of the challenge in understanding the relationship between fairies and vampires is that words fairies and vampires are both amorphousness, altering meaning to fit the desires of society, further both terms are new terms which have drifted from their original meaning in a short period of time.

There are a few things to keep in mind however;

1- Both fairies and vampires are often times the spirits of dead people.
2-Both evil fairies and vampires can be kept at bay by running water, garlic (or other magical herbs), and the cross.
3-Both fairies and vampires can be driven away by the cocks crow
4-Both fairies and vampires would drink blood.
5-A human killed by a fairy or a vampire is often doomed to walk the earth as a similar spirit.

What we see then is that there is a clear connection between some fairies and the mythology behind the vampires. This similarity runs so deep that one could argue that vampires are a form of fairy, either having come out of stories about fairies, having a similar source, or getting their stories mixed up and blended together.


From Deviant Art





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Asian Fairies

A servant looses an object in a pool of water and dives down after it to find his employers deceased daughter spinning at a spinning wheel in a tiny house at the bottom of the lake. In return for his silence she gives him supernatural luck at gambling.

Another man sees a women in a dress with patches of leaves emerge from the woods floating above the ground. A girl is given leaves by a tall red man and she gains the power of foresight.

Some have argued that there are no Asian fairies, that the term fairy and the species of mythology is isolated to the Celtic lands. And while it's true that the word fairy is Celtic, the word is used to describe a much older set of beings. In China these beings are called Shin and in Japan they are called Kami.

To understand Asian Fairies we must understand the meaning of the word fairy. One must also understand that fairies have a much older origin in the Indo-European, Altaic, and Ugric beliefs who lived in Central Eurasia and spread into Asia and Europe. In Asia these people became the Japanese, Koreans, Mongolians,  The Indians, the Kalasha, and more.


As with European Fairies Asian fairies are most often connected with nature, living in the mountains which in many Asian countries were the other world in mythology, the realm of spirits and the dead. Fairies, Kami, Shin, etc often live within trees, rocks, springs of water, rivers, the sky, under the earth, and of course in old houses or with their decedents on earth.



Understanding the nature of Asian Fairies is complex and so I'll be releasing an art gallery to describe them in there various countries.


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Definition of Fairy

According to the Websters Dictionary the definition of fairy is;

"a mythical being of folklore and romance usually having diminutive human form and magic powers"

Such a definition clearly shows the Victorian influence on modern society. During the Victorian era many tried to create a cute magical world for children, or to tell moral stories through childlike beings.

Fairy beliefs have much more complex origins however. At one time the religions of Europe viewed the most important supernatural/deity like beings as being not much greater than humanity. Nymphs, Fee and Rusalka would help crops to grow, provide humans with magical inspiration, cure illness, bring rain, etc. In Iceland the fairies of rocks and mountain fairies would protect people and make them wealthy. Thus people would pray to these magical beings, asking them for help or in cases when it was determined that fairies were dangerous people would try to drive them away.

One could argue that in European mythology deities are simply another form of fairy. Zeus was raised by a nymph, Odin would seek aid from nature spirits who knew more than he did, and the earliest Roman and Celtic deities were essentially nothing more than fairies. 

Because fairies had such influence over humanity the original definition of fairy was "the bringers of death (or life)." In other words fairies were considered to be the beings which controlled human fate.They were the most important deities to many people of ancient Europe.


Fairy Pictures

Related Articles: Fairy Art    Types of Fairies     Fairies    Fairy Songs

There are a few things I keep in mind when I draw fairy pictures. First I remember that in myth fairies rarely lived in another world. Rather the world of fairy was alongside our own world; on islands, in forests, in hills, farms, and even our hearths and hobs.

Second the fairy world is very organic and morphable, for although fairies don't like to change they are able to do so even more easily than humans do. Thus when drawing fairy pictures one must consider how fairies might have changed over time.



In this fairy picture for example we see a tree spirit returning from shopping, hidden in their human form.

In this picture the Rusalka (a form of Russian Fairy) inhabits man made canals. As an agricultural and water fairy, this fairy would spread into new fields through man made water, which in turn would send it through small cities.

In this picture we see weed fairies. Everything in the fairy world has a spirit and thus weeds within a city and garden would as well.

On entering a park a person would come to be surrounded by fairies of all kinds.

Fairies are whimsical, playful. This is why they love children and this is why  they are so difficult for humans to understand. Because we constantly seek a reason, but the truth is that there isn't always a reason. Sometimes fairies are just playing with us.

Still as this fairy picture shows it's from fairies that we can seek wisdom, that we can seek to learn. household fairies after all are our ancestors who remain on earth to help us. 

Mari-El

The Mari-El Fairy Tale I translated is now available on http://108.167.136.112/~treespir/essays.
I'm very pleased to see my stories being used. If you're interested in using my fairy tales please feel free, only provide a link to my site so that I can continue to translate these stories.