The Old Corpse Road Folklore Collective
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Fay or Faery are sometimes divided into two classes which includes the trooping or solitary fairies. Solitary generally being the less friendly of the two. It is a distinction that hold good throughout the British Isles, and is indeed valid wherever fairy beliefs are held. The trooping fay can be large or small, friendly or sinister. They tend to wear green jackets, while the Solitary Faery wear red jackets. They can range from the Heroic Faery to the dangerrous and malevolent Sluagh, or to Diminutive Fairies who include the tiny nature spirits that make the fairy rings with their dancing and speed the growth of flowers.
Trooping Faeries: A. They can be large or small, friendly or sinister. They
tend to wear green jackets and love hunting and riding. The smaller ones
make faery rings with their circular dances.
The Urisk is an extremely hideous creature with deeply wrinkled skin, patches of hair, feathers that grow from their backs and
huge misshapen heads. If human stumbles upon them they are struck with fear and runaway to safety. He haunts lonely pools and waterfalls. Sadly, the Urisk is a lonely being who longs for human company. And will often seek out human company but his peculiar appearance terrifies those he approaches.Solitary faerieA Water Elemental
Corpse candles and other related phenomena
A Corpse candle or light is a flame or ball of light that is seen to travel just above the ground on the route from the cemetery to the dying person's house and back again. A Corpse Fire is very similar as the name comes from lights appearing specifically within graveyards where it was believed the lights were an omen of death or coming tragedy and would mark the route of a future funeral, from the victim's house to the graveyard.
The name of the fairies in Gower of Wales. In some parts of Wales Tylwyth Teg is never used to describe fairies; Verry Volk is used instead. Verry Volk were always little people who dressed in scarlet and green; and they generally showed themselves dancing on moonlit nights. By nature they are benevolent.
Sailors dreaded the melancholy cry of a curlew, for they believed that it was a warning from a drowned friend. In parts of Scotland the bird is called a whaup, and it is associated with a long beaked goblin who carries of evil doers at night.
Stroke - The word 'Stroke' for a sudden paralytic seizure comes directly from fairy belief. It is an abbreviation of 'fairy stroke' or 'elf stroke', and was supposed to come from an elf-shot or an elf-blow, which struck down the victim, animal or human, who was then carried off invisibly, while a Stock remained to take its place. Sometimes this was a transformed fairy, sometimes a lump of wood, transformed by glamour and meant to be taken for the corpse of the victim.
Cramps - These were often the penalty for annoying the fairies. Scolding and ill-temper were specially punished in this way.
Elf Shot - Everywhere it seems small round fossils known as an echinite is a 'fairies loaf' and flint arrowheads are fairy darts or elf shots. In North Yorkshire if cattle suddenley became excited it was because elves where shooting at them ; to cure an 'awful shtten' beast it was necessary to give it water in which an elf shot has been dipped.
(Unblessed Court) The Unsellie Court contains the most malicious, malevolent and evil of the faeries, and a number of monsters of horrible appearance and fearsome abilities as well. The Unseelie Court are the malignant Faery of the negative polarity, made up of Solitary Faery. It is one of the only groups of faeries which is known for being thouroughly evil without exception. They are either solitary evil faeries or bands of faeries called the Sluagh, or The Host, that is, the band of the unsanctified dead. Every night around twilight 'The Host' emerge fly above the earth, stealing mortals they find and take great pleasure in harming humans. The unfortunates who are brought back to their realm are rarely heard from again.
One of the Scottish and Irish names for the fairies.
The cauldron was the prime female symbol of the pre-Christian world. Among the Celts, the Three Matriarchs kept the Magic Cauldron of Regeneration at the bottom of a lake, until it was brought up by Bran the Blessed to resuscitate men slain in battle. This Celt god moved on into the Grail cycle of myths, as Bron the Fisher King, and his cauldron became confused with the Christian version of the lifegiving, blood-filled vessel. There can be no doubt that the cauldron represented the womb of the Great Goddess, who was often a trinity. It is certain also that men used to believe their reincarnation and rebirth depended upon entering such a uterine vessel to be reconstituted by its magic. Celtic cauldrons of regeneration came from the Land Beneath the Waves because the Sea Goddess was held to be the universal birth-giver. The god Cernunnos was dismembered and boiled in a cauldron in order to rise again from the dead. A boiling cauldron gave rebirth and/or magic power to Taliesin.
Cauldrons continued to be worshiped as symbols of the universal womb even into Christian times, as long as pagans met together to carry on their religion.
In ancient Celtic myth there were several cauldrons dispensing variously the properties of life, death, inspiration and wisdom. It is generally understood that these gave way in time to the image of the Holy Grail and became incorporated into the Hallows of Britain. Arthur went in search of such a cauldron to the very gates of Annwn. Bran possessed a cauldron which re-animated dead men. In the story of Taliesin, Ceridwen owned a cauldron which gave inspiration.