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The Cottage Special Fairie Issue

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What are Fairies?

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Plant life is so vital to mammals and their survival. They are not only a source of food, but they are a source of home, peace, health and beauty. In the earlier days, back to the prehistoric time of human history, many people
believed that each plant was either inhabited by a spirit or protected by a god or goddess. These beliefs had been passed down such as knocking on wood for luck.
Fairies, plant people, gnomes, little people, garden spirits, wee folk, and elves are just a few of the names given to describe the dwellers of the plant world. Almost every culture in the world has their version of fairy-like
magical beings. Enchantment tales and plant lore are universal and amazingly similar. References to fairy tales go back a long way. Chaucer wrote that in the "ancient times" fairies danced on the village greens but that in his
"modern times" they were no more to be seen. Shakespere was one of the many who allowed us to explore the world of fairies in his "Midsummer nights dream".
Many folk tale has been created about the existence and nature of fairies. Some believe that fairies are shadowy images of nature spirits leftover or a folk memory of a time when people believed that each living thing contained a spirit deserving of recognition and respect. Stories tell of the good and bad magic. The dark hours of the night, the mischeivous nature, and the natural phenomena are just a few of the characteristics used to describe the
mystical beings.
Basically, the greatest belief is that humans used the fairies to explain and understand the natural creations around us. Fairies, part nature spirit,part ghost, and part memory of forgotten races. It is important for us to
believe and never forget their traditions, nor downplay their importance in the lives of all those who have preceded us on this beautiful planet. They help us to enrich our lives and expand our understanding of our world in such a wonderous and beautiful way.

Children and Fairies

Gondolas in Venice; Actual size=240 pixels wide

"I believe in fairies, do you?" As adults we lose our spirit of imagination,our peace, and our curiosity of life. We live day to day, chore to chore and obligation by obligation. Children are rich with fantasy and life when
allowed to be. They are able to see things that we are not able to see anymore. Why? because they believe.
What better way to introduce children to the worlds of horticulture, botany, natural science, and ecology than to share with them the stories of the fairies who lived in each and every garden and wooded area. These wonderful
creatures who dance in fairy rings on summer nights and who reward you if you live a good and gentle life and treat the world around you kindly? What better way to teach your children arts and crafts and giving back to the earth than to teach them to utilize the scraps of bark, nuts, leaves and twigs by teaching them to make fairy furniture and homes.

A FAIRY LOVER:

In 1923, an English woman by the name of Ms. Cicely Mary Barker published the
first of al long series of little books about "flower fairies". Her books taught children about the growth habits and lifecycle of common plants while introducing them to the imaginative world of fairies. Her work still lives on today.

Lifestyle of Gardens and Woodland Fairies

There are three types of Fairy rings:
1) Circular area of moss and lichen growing in a sunlit clearing in the woods
2) rounded mound of tiny flowers of thyme at the edge of a garden
and 3) A circle of mushrooms

The most commonly known fairies are Trooping Fairies are the most commonly
known fairies. They generally live together in large groups. They wear
green clothes and love to sing and dance while creating fairy rings in the
woods and meadows where they gather by the moonlight. Most of the trooping
fairies are garden and woodland fairies whose activities follow the seasons
of the year. Some trooping fairies live in human homes but those are rare.
Most live in the woods and forests, gardens and meadows. They slumber
through the cold winter and gradually awaken in spring.

Fairy government

Have you all heard of Queen MAAB? She is one of the many well known fairies.
She is part of the fairy government. It is said that the fairy government
does exist. Their castles embedded with glitter and gems hidden deep inside a
hollow hill or a wild secluded hilltop. Headed by a king and queen who are
attended by their courtiers, knights, ladies in waiting and soldiers. The
ordinary citizens of the fairy kingdom diligently pursue their chosen tasks
and trades as spinners, weavers, mealsmiths, shoemakers, tailors, bakers,
midwives and homemakers. Their homes are simple. How exciting!
Woodland fairies usually live in the trees, shrubs, mosses or ferns of the
woods and forests. Garden fairies love their flowers and mounds of fragrant
green thyme. Other fairies can be found by the side of a remote country
lane, deep in the heart of a dense wood.

Fairy Mannerism

No offense to the humans but fairies prefer not to be near us. Why? They
view humans as noisy, smelly, and destructive. A race lacking in values and
ethics and love for nature. This is why it is important for us to know their
code of etiquette. They are sensitive to human behavior and offended by it
tremendously.
Fairies become very vindictive depending upon their judgment of the
seriousness of the offense. They believe a human cannot and should not claim
ignorance of fairy ways since they are expected to know the ancient rules of
good manners and fairy dealings of life.

First and foremost, these gentle folk do not like being called fairies. They
prefer being called, the wee folk, the gentry, the people of peace, the
little folk, and the good neighbors. Their is an old Scottish rhyme that
goes:
"....If you call me a fairy,
I'll work you very hard;
If good neighbor you call me
Then good neighbor I'll be..."

These wee folk are extremely private. They do no like to be spied upon or
studied. They will make themselves seen if and when they feel that you have
obeyed the laws of nature and have a clean and honest spirit. If you happen
upon one do not stare Look quickly away and leave as quietly as you can.
Never be tempted to steal form them. Those caught are severely punished. By
nature these gentry's are known to be neat and tidy. They value only those
mortals which are like. They also respect hard work, thrift, kindness, done
with no thought of reward and total honesty. We as mortals cannot begin to
compare ourselves with a fairy. If they find a human that has a combination
of ALL of these qualities with an open and loving nature and a passion for
living, then it is possible for a friendship to develop.

How can you tell if a fairy has befriended you? Well, it is rare for a fairy
to show themselves to you, but if they feel you are worthy then you will find
little homely tasks done to perfection by unseen hands. Beds made, dishes
washed, gardens weeded or babies rocked. Businesses may prosper and
relationships deepening with love. A grateful human may naturally want to
deliver thanks for their kindness. This should only be done as follows: a
bowl of fresh water or milk, a piece of good bread, and a bit of your best
cheese. These and only these things will not offend the fairies. Furniture
and other things shouldn't be left as a thanks but can be left randomly as
just an act of kindness on your behalf.

When do Fairy's Celebrate?

Tales have it that fairy's can be seen three specific times throughout the
year; May Eve, Midsummer Night's Eve, and All Hallows Eve.
May Eve is a joyful night for children and fairies. Swarming, singing and
dancing are parts of the celebration. This is their way of celebrating their
awakening from the winter slumber. In the old days, people would light fires
all night and decorate their doorways with branches of blooming Hawthorne and
bunches of primrose flowers to protect their families from the merry making
fairies.
It is good for children to leave a plateful of thimble sized undecorated
cakes in the flower garden. At night, fairies will decorate the cakes with
tiny flowers and sugar frosting as a springtime present for the children.

Midsummer night's eve is when human decorate all doors and gateways with
bunches of fennel and mugwort and herbs powerful enough to keep most fairies
at bay. They were afraid that the celebrating fairies would cause havoc with
their celebrating. This is the time when the Fairy king and his court
would parade through the countryside with their fairy horses. If a mortal
wanted to witness this, s/he only needs to stand quietly next to the
protective trunk of an elder tree in total silence until the cavalcade has
passed.

On All Hallows Eve, the laws of nature are in suspension for a 24 hour
period. The veil that separates the human world from the supernatural world
has gone. Fairy mounds, underground dwellings burst open with all the
fairies trooping out on their last round of merry making through the
countryside before a long winters slumber. Bonfires are lit to keep them
away and keep the wandering spirits at bay. The difference this time is that
people leave out food and drink so that the fairies and spirits can refresh
themselves. This is the one night of the year that humans who have been
abducted from their homes can find their way back.

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Faeries and Lunar Correspondence

January:Wolf Moon,gnomes, brownies

February:Ice Moon,house faeries, both of the home itself
and of house plants

March: Storm Moon, Mer-people, Air and Water beings who are connected with spring,rains and storms

April: Growing Moon,plant faeries

May: Hare Moon,faeries, elves

June:Mead Moon,sylphs, zephyrs

July:Hay Moon,hobgoblins (small, grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures, faeries of harvested crops

August :Corn Moon,dryads

September:Harvest Moon, trooping faeries

October:Blood Moon,frost faeries, plant faeries

November:Snow Moon, subterranean faeries

December:Cold Moon,snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries

Variable:Blue Moon,banshees and other beings who
carry messages between worlds