BEWARE OF FAERIES - the message in my new paranormal fantasy STORM BOUND



I know what you’re saying. Why would you need protection against a cute little faery? The truth is, in most countries where legends of faeries exist and where the belief in faeries lingers, many of the Fair Folk are not all that cute. Or little.

And they definitely are not nice.

Legend has it that the term “fairy”, "fairie", "fae", or "faery" can be applied to a wide range of supernatural beings who possess considerable magical powers. Sprites, boggarts, pixies, banshees, brownies, hobgoblins, elementals, trolls, elves and many, many other creatures can all be lumped under the single heading of “faeries”. 

According to the old stories, faeries could be so beautiful that mortals were unable to resist them, or so ugly that mortals could perish from fear. There were light faeries who were mostly good and dark faeries who were mostly evil. Still others were both friendly and hostile, helpful and mischievous, kind and cruel. This amoral unpredictability made most faeries very dangerous creatures. Your only hope as a mere mortal was to avoid the faeries, repel the faeries or appease the faeries.


AVOIDING FAERIES

Fairy Mound in Ireland
In the Celtic countries (Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England), children used to be cautioned to stay away from faery mounds. These are strange solitary hills in odd places, such as the middle of a field. These round grassy knolls were believed to be entrances to the underground faery realm. Venture too close and you could disappear, never to be seen again. It was especially dangerous if you were a beautiful woman or a handsome man. You might be spirited away by faeries looking for a mortal mate!

Steer clear of certain trees late at night, especially hazel, thorn, alder and oak, because they’re favorite haunts for faeries. You could find yourself pinched and hit as you walk by – or tangled in the branches until morning.

Farmers knew better than to enter a mill at night. That was the time that faeries brought their grain to be ground. Interrupting faeries when they were working could earn you a failed crop or other curse.

You needed to watch where you were walking because a strange tuft of grass or stray bit of sod could trigger a spell if stepped on. Your path through the woods could suddenly disappear. If you were crossing an open field, you might keep veering in the wrong direction or cross it only to arrive on the same side you started from. It’s called “being pixie-led” and it could happen in broad daylight.

Certain ponds, lakes and rivers were said to be the haunts of kelpies and other water faeries. If you came to these waters alone, you could be pulled in by these nasty creatures and drown. It was said that your spirit would then be forced to live in the faery realm forever. Stay away or use the buddy system.

REPELLING FAERIES

St. John's Wort
Garlands were often made of marsh marigolds and hung over the barn doors to protect the horses from being ridden to exhaustion by faeries. Flowers, especially primroses, were spread over windowsills and hung above the door-posts of the house for safety. Your best bet, however, was a plant called St. John's Wort. Wearing it was said to provide strong protection from faery magic and mischief.

Faeries could vanish at will and remain invisible to mortal eyes as long as they pleased. Carrying a four-leafed clover would allow you to see the faeries – but only once. A Celtic tradition was to sew several of the clovers into a tiny bag to be worn around the neck. You could then discern the faeries once for each clover in the bag. In some legends, the clover was said to allow you to see through faery glamors and magical disguises.

Iron in any form has always been the best protection against faeries – it was like kryptonite to Superman. If you kept an iron nail in your pocket, you couldn’t be carried away by them. A pair of iron shears hung on the wall near a baby’s bed was said to prevent the child from being swapped for an ugly faery baby. Horseshoes could be nailed over doorposts.

Red berries kept faeries at bay, especially if they were from rowan trees, mountain ash or holly.

Even humble oatmeal was said to be a faery repellent, if you carried it in your pocket or sprinkled it on your clothes. As long as you didn’t mind looking flaky, you’d be safe.

APPEASING FAERIES

In many cultures, protection from faeries was achieved by cooperation and respect.

If you were Welsh, for instance, you might leave bread and milk on the back porch at night as an offering for the faeries. This was said to prevent them from playing pranks on the family and might even gain their favor. (Note – they liked butter, cream, and ale too. Especially ale.)

If you spilled salt in Ireland, you might throw some over your shoulder in order to give the faeries their share. If you passed a body of water, or even a well, you could drop in a piece of silver for the faery that lives there. If you were milking a cow or goat by hand, you would probably let the first few squirts fall to the ground to appease any unseen faeries that were thirsty.

Many of the kindlier faeries were said to be offended when they saw a lack of hospitality and courtesy among human mortals, and would punish such offences severely. On the other hand, if you were fair and honest with your fellow mortals, and practiced generosity, the faeries were likely to treat you in kind. Or, at the very least, leave you safely alone!
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My new GRIM SERIES deals with the dangerous unpredictability of the Fair Ones, the Tylwyth Teg of Welsh faery folklore -- and the hapless mortals who run afoul of it. 

Book 2, STORM BOUND, releases March 18th. 

When a faery-cursed blacksmith meets a modern-day witch, 
will he choose love -- 
or vengeance?


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DANI'S GIVEAWAY
(international)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 comments:

  1. i love the october daye series by seanan mcguire it show us a lot of different kind of fae and a lot we wouldn't want to meet.
    i must say i more on the side of cooperation with them than fear but belgium is part celtic ( once upon a time;) and teh legends we have say that as long as we don't bether them we are quite safe but we must be kind with animals ( because here the fae are stronly linked to them)

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  2. I've been reading Christine Warren for years and she has books in her Other series with many paranormal beings including faeries. Love her books! Also Nina Bangs has faeries in a book...so many others but those 2 I enjoy very much!

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  3. I just explained to my daughter what the "Fae" are. She had a hard time getting the image of "Tinkerbell" out of her head, until I mentioned Legolas (not sure if I spelled that right) from the Rings trilogy. Then she immediately decided that the Fae were"hot." The joys of having a preteen. *smiles*

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  4. Hi Dani! I love reading stories where the central character are Fae. I think the most unusual and interesting I've read are by Author Jet Mykles. She has a very dark series which has several different breeds of Fae. Wishing you much success Dani! *big hugs* Shelbie =)

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  5. Hi Dani! I always loved stories with fairies! There was a small lake near where I lived that was called "Fairy Lake". It was said that two young Indians lovers used to met at that lake, and when he accidentally drowned, the Indian girl committed suicide to be with him for eternity.

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  6. I have always loved stories involving the fae. I used to read A Midsummer Night's Dream and pretend I was Titiana. The fact that your stories feature Welshmen makes them so much better. I cannot wait for the next one.

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  7. I remember my mum saying that her granny, my great granny, used to leave food and drink on the doorstep of her house to gain the good graces of the wee folk!

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  8. Love the fae. Know that a lot of the original stories come from Ireland and Scotland. I know in the books I have read that there are good fae and bad fae

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  9. I love reading about the fae b/c the stories and legends about them are so vast!!! And I love how authors can take the old stories and make them fresh and original again :) Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I love reading about the Fae. Last week I read 2 books on them! I have read some of the really old stories- out of copyright by 100 years - they were kind of hard to read but still just fascinating! Thanks for the give away! I've read Storm Warrior. :)

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  11. When I was about 12 ( billion years ago ) I bought a book titled Faeries. It was a pen and ink work with facts about the fae. I got such an awakening because I had always thought of all fae like Tinkerbell :). I've loved them even with the nasties ;).

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  12. Love reading about the Fae. There are so many myths about them.

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  13. It is amazing how many of the traditions continue today. Thank you for another wonderful and informative post :)

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  14. like fairies; haven't read many books about them

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  15. My Grandmother was a great believe in fairies living at the bottom of the garden. I always wanted that to be true.

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  16. Fairies are so magical and mysterious. I enjoy reading their stories. I've heard many of the beliefs you talked about above and still throw salt over my shoulder if I spill some. My grandsons love it...smile.

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  17. I have found several books that have fae/faeries. The Elder Races series and The Others series are a couple of series that I really like and the fae characters are great! Thanks for the giveaway!

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Love your comments and read every one of them! Thanks for taking the time to write!