Sunday, January 15, 2012

Concerning Fairies, Part II


Alright! Let's get back into it!

In our last fairy installment we left off with Asia. Little did I realize that I’d left out a little magical spirit of Russia, the Bannik. Their favorite hangout is your family’s bathhouse. If you manage to spy them through the swirling steam, they may appear as a close family member. To show him respect you should always leave after the third firing so he can have his own bath.

Now that we’re all done with Asia, I think we’ll head down to Africa, starting with South Africa. They have the Abatwa. Curiously enough, they live with ants and only reveal themselves to wizards, children, and pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is lucky enough to see one in her seventh month, she’ll be guaranteed a boy.

In West Africa you can find in the forests of the Dahomey, the Aziza. These tiny, shy spirits are bringers of luck and stories say that they’ve taught humans much over the years.

I really wanted to include these next fairies from Europe because not all of Europe’s mythologies are equally represented in today’s fantasy. I’ve chosen three different breeds of fairy that I personally found interesting. The first comes from Spain and Catal├ín mythology. These are called Aloja and preside over human fate (much like the famous Greek fates). Their power also extends over childbirth.

For our second European example, I found an interesting Saxon fairy, the Altercroppe. It’s a malicious little thing whose name means “Little Poison Head.” Unlike many fairies that have a humanoid shape, these look like snakes with human arms and legs. Creepy!

Finally, I want to introduce a Slavic fairy called the Vila. They appear as nymphs in streams, lakes, fields, and forests. It’s believed that they’re the spirits of virgins and children. Each night they leave their graves to dance. People should be very wary of joining in their merriment. Once you join their dancing ring you’ll dance until your death! (I think villainous laughter should go here.)

Next time we have a little discussion about I think I’ll cover dragons. Or would you prefer something a little more obscure? *waggles eyebrow*