Thursday, July 28, 2011

Faeries come in all sizes

I tend to forget that most normal people don’t know that faeries can be as large as humans. I just assume that everyone knows all about faeries because it’s something that I’ve got stored in my brain. But thankfully not everyone has a brain like mine filled with odd, and in some cases, useless information like faery lore. As my husband said to me, “Why don’t you learn something useful like how to read a map?” Why not, indeed.
snow fairy
Most of my books have faeries in them, usually the Irish fae, the Tuatha de Danaan (Tribes of the goddess Danu). These are the faeries that J.R.R. Tolkien based his elves on, and as you can see, they are human size fae. I think that’s why I like them so much. The Danaans look human and so I can relate to them. They are also shapeshifters and sometimes appear in my stories with wings.

My favorite quote about the Tuatha de Danaan: ‘Tribes of the goddess Danu are indeed tall and noble, and they can take shapes and sizes that are not their true shapes and sizes.’ W.B. Yeats.

I could write many pages on these faeries, but to summarize it, they are mentioned in the Book of Ivasions as one of the earliest conquerors of ancient Ireland, ruling for many years until the Milesians landed. The Book of Leinster records that they were ‘faery’ peoples, while The Book of the Dun Cow describes them as ‘gods, but not gods.’ After one final battle with the Milesians , the Tuatha de Danaan retreated underground beneath the mounds to the sidhe where they remain today. In the Irish language ‘sidhe’ means faery. I do have a page dedicated to them on my website here: http://kelleyheckart.com/Tuatha_de_Danaan.html
nemu_close300 DPI
I think people think of all faeries as tiny because the only role model we have for faeries is Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. Another type of faery that appeared in my first books is an Ashray. They are found in Scotland and are water faeries. They can only be seen at night because the sunlight will melt them. They are often mistaken as sea ghosts because of their white skin. Ashrays cannot live on land and it is believed they were cursed to live under water. These fae are smaller than the Irish fae, about 4 1/2 feet tall, but are still human size.

So the next time you pick up a book with faeries in it, they might not be tiny, gossamer winged creatures, but more human than you realized.
For more information on all kinds of faeries, I have a page on faery lore on my website here: http://kelleyheckart.com/FaeryLore.html
Kelley Heckart
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4 comments:

legendsofgreenisle.com said...

Great Blog today! Love fairys, use them in my stories too.

plblair said...

Loved your blog. Tevis, one of the detectives in my Portals fantasy/detective series, is an elf - and ... human-sized. I love that you have all this information stored in your mind. So do I, and it's nice to find a kindred soul.

hotcha12 said...

HEY TABS! SIZE DOES MATTER!! LOL

Lisa Kumar said...

Great post! All my stories have elves or other fae characters. Lol, can't tell I'm a little obsessed with the subject, can you?