Are There Mean Fairies?
Mean Fairies Exist
Beautiful, blue flickering lights dance across the fairy bridge at dusk. A group of pixies bounce off the cottony tops of lilies in a field of crisp white and greens. What a magical picture...but fairies aren't always beautiful and sweet, sometimes certain fairies can be mean. Perhaps they are not evil, no...evil would be a harsh word. But perhaps these fairies are merely protective, or perhaps they've been embittered by the world.
Or perhaps their little fairy heads aren't screwed on just right, but no matter the actual cause for their mischievous ways...one thing has been shown throughout the centuries. Sometimes fairies are mean. So to answer the question, are fairies mean? That is a resounding yes, but not all fairies are mean. On to fairyland to find out which fairies could very well be malicious, ready to spoil your milk or play other horrifying dirty tricks on you. Some mean fairies have even been said to have led humans off a rocky cliff and to their ultimate demise...
Are All Faeries "Light Beings"?
This is a common misconception of fairies among the New Age community. I am not sure where the idea came from, but it is incorrect to believe that all fairies in the fairy realms are all about love and light. They are a spiritual being, yes, but they can also be resistant to the light. This means that they can become selfish and resistant of good, thereby turning them to be more of a mischievous type of being.
Throughout history, the faeries have been proven to be quite mischievous, sometimes down-right malevolent and violent. Usually, they turn to the malevolent side when they are provoked or when they feel their space or territory has been invaded by human beings with ill thoughts or ill will towards them or nature. You wouldn't like it if someone came into your home and knocked down your furniture without caring, would you? Well, it's the same for the fairies when humans come into their forest and knock down their trees and plants without showing a care in the world about it.
Just keep these things in mind when working with the fairy realm. They are all beings of the light, just as we all are, but they are not always working in the light...hopefully this makes sense.
Goblins & Hobgoblins
Are there mean fairies or are they just misunderstood, one might wonder. Especially as a fairy-lover, you might find yourself not wanting to believe that fairies could be mean...but folklore has shown us that indeed fairies can be mean. One of those typical mean fairies are known as goblins. Yes, goblins could be considered mean fairies. Goblins are usually depicted in folklore as short, distorted or somewhat mutant little men or dwarves. These creatures have also been called hobgoblins in England and Gobelins in Germany. They are similar to Boggarts.
English legend tell of the mean fairies known as hobgoblins who would take up residence in a home and would play cruel tricks on the home's human inhabitants by pinching them or messing up a freshly-cleaned house. Sometimes they are pictured as evil looking elves or even dark blobs of energy. However they manifest, one thing is for sure...these mean fairies have been known to be mischievous and downright malicious in temperament. According to modern day fairy tales and literature, goblins are baby-thieves as shown in the popular 80s film The Labyrinth. This ties into the old Changeling beliefs.
Ogres & Trolls
Are there mean fairies? Ogres are said to have been one type of mean fairies. They are believed to be related to giants but are almost always told in stories to be either stupid or downright evil. One particular ogre of legend in Slavic lore is Baba, and he literally is a mean fairy who was said to feast on human flesh and had a magical power to turn creatures into stone. A real ogre hasn't been spotted for many years and so it is possible that the ogres could have died out or totally slunk back into the faerie-land realm. What do ogres look like? Ogres were said to be of the same size of humans but look extremely deformed. They were almost always unfriendly or downright mean (or had a monstrous appetite like our friend Baba). And in some cultures ogres were shown as being larger than humans...almost of a giant-stature...but indeed these were mean fairies.
What about trolls? Are they considered mean fairies? Why, yes they are. Dating back centuries the tales of trolls in Germanic and Nordic mythology show us that trolls have an animosity towards humans. Maybe they are fearful of us, or perhaps they are angry at us for taking over their territory here on the earthly plane...no one is quite certain. But trolls are said to be very ugly mean fairies, many times smaller than humans but larger than other fairies and are said to be covered in hair. Many trolls were said to guard bridges or paths, as illustrated in the fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Are these fairies mean? Yes, they enjoy throwing rocks at other creatures (especially humans) and tend to have a rotten appetite for live goat and mutton.
The Kelpie is a mean fairy of Scottish legend. Why were these fairies considered mean? They would cannibalistic and would eat others of their kind and whatever large game they might come across. They were said to reside in the waters of lochs in Scotland and favored humans and deer as their dinner. These mean fairies are excellent shapeshifters and usually appear as a beautiful black or pure white horse, and they offer rides to unsuspecting humans only to carry them into the depths of the lochs...and finally tearing them to shreds as their meal. These mean fairies were also believed to be able to shape-shift into good-looking young men and women in order to seduce and lure humans to their doom.
There are also legends of a similar mean fairy in Ireland known as the Uisges or Fuath. When seen in their native form, they are quite ugly and mean-looking. These mean fairies are round, dumb, and have pointed ears. Some legends say they are actually water spirits with webbed feet and the mane and tail of a horse. The one thing that will give these shapeshifting mean fairies away to you should you be approached by a kelpie in its horse-form is that the mane and tail will always be dripping with water. Never hop onto a kelpie's back lest you be dragged into the depths and eaten!
The Unseelie Court
The Unseelie Court was the evil counterpart to the Seelie Court, which was a group of fairies that were believed to ride on the winds. The Seelie Court was known to be happy, silly, and friendly...while the Unseelie Court was exactly the opposite. These mean fairies would ride on the winds but would be known to induce storms...or perhaps just bring storms with them. They were mean, unfriendly, and "unblessed" as their name suggests.
Many times the Unseelie Court would go to battle with the Seelie Court for reign over the air and sky...the mean fairies of the Unseelie Court have been said to capture humans while on their way home at night. They lift them up into the air and either kill them by beating them, or these mean fairies force their victims to commit acts of insanity and evil. Again, perhaps these mean fairies aren't exactly evil...but perhaps they are.
What do you think? Are there mean fairies or are they simply all misunderstood and their stories misconstrued throughout the centuries?
Pictures of Mean & Mischievous FairiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
There is a phrase that dates back centuries in Scotland and other Western European countries that is known as "being pixie-led". What does this phrase mean exactly? It basically meant that someone was lured away from the beaten path and lost due to being led by fairies. The fairies were thought to sometimes lead men so far from their original path that they would end up lost for hours...or even days. Even sometimes still the fairies would lead men to the side of a cliff...as if trying to lead them to their doom. Would you consider a fairy that led you to the side of a rocky cliff a mean fairy?
The only remedy to avoid being pixie-led is to stay close to home or civilization during the eight holy days (the sabbats) or if you must go out at night during these days you should turn your coat inside out. There were mean fairies in centuries past, and perhaps there are still mean fairies out there today. Don't trust any fairy you meet...you don't trust every person you meet on the street so why trust every fairy you meet in the forest?
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© 2012 Nicole Canfield