Is she a species of supernatural creature placed somewhere between humankind and the Divine? Is she an elemental creature? Is she and angel, a devil or a fallen Goddess? Is she willing to help humans or is she indifferent or even unkind to mortals? Where did she come from?
Lewis Spence in British Fairy Origins equates Faeries with the dead and brings plenty of evidence to support his theory. The fairy knolls near churchyards were supposed to be the places where the soul of the dead lodged waiting to rejoin their bodies on the Day of Judgment. Their small size is accounted for by the primitive idea that the soul is a miniature replica of the person it’s attached to.Ban Sidhs’ are sometimes described as ghosts.
A less common belief was that the faeries were actually humans, founded on the memory of a more primitive race driven into hiding by the invaders, lurking in caves or fens.
Another view held that the fairies were an intelligent species, distinct from humans and angels. In alchemy in particular they were regarded as elementals, such as gnomes and sylphs, as described by Paracelsus. This is uncommon in folklore, but accounts describing the fairies as “spirits of the air” have been found popularly.
Could the Faeries be a class of “demoted” angels? One popular story held that when the angels revolted, God ordered the gates shut; those still in heaven remained angels, …
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