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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Well, friends, the Christmas season has come and gone, and Santa spoiled my children rotten. I, personally thought they were naughty enough to at least get a pearl onion, but he filled their stockings to the brim with chocolate and all manner of flavored honey sticks (what Faeries call candy) anyway. In fact, they were so full, he couldn't fit their traditional pomegranates into the toe, and he left them on the table by their letters instead. I guess that the Naughty Faerie really DID give them more than their fair share of knocks and bumps this last year, though.
The season rolled it's way fluidly into the new year like a silken red carpet, spewing us all out at the end of it. We spent new years night with good friends, scary movies, and a toast to each other: Just PLEASE let it be better than last year.
New years day was actually fairly warm, with a brilliant, cold blue sky and a fresh, sparkling layer of snow from a huge storm that accompanied the black clouds of the day before. With high hopes, I set out with my husband in search of Winter Faeries, and found the abandoned hut of a Summer Faerie. Of course, Winter Faeries do not live out under the sky where the cold wind can chill their bones each night, and though we caught one who was warmly dressed for a day of exploration in the same secluded mountain ravine as ourselves, the hut was left alone for the winter, too slick to climb on, too wet to sit on, and yet, I cannot wait to visit the place this summer to meet the Faeries who play there.
I have been asked hundreds of times about the preferred clothing of the Faerie Folk. All experts have a different answer. One expert, Rev. Robert Kirk from the 17th century, who visited the land of Faerie often, and eventually disappeared into it's depth detailed their 'style' in his manuscript, saying "...the apparel and speech of the Subterranean races are like those of the people and country under which they live.....yet as to their native dress, if so it may be termed, they spin very fine cloth, dyed with most varied shades, and they embroider; but weather it be from manual operation of substantial refined stuffs with apt and solid instruments, or only curious cobwebs, impalpable rainbows and aphantitic imitation of the actions or more terrestrial mortals, I leave to conjecture." In a sense, Faeries, to some degree, dress like us.
This is another fact that I think dashes some Faerie fan's hopes and dreams. They imagine tiny, beautiful, angelic and friendly creatures flitting around in rose petals with morning glories as hats, and leaves for shoes. (Thank your Tinkerbell.) But don't cry about it just yet. It does in fact, depend on the Faerie.
First of all, though, I have to throw a thought out there, just from my own musings. Why wouldn't a Faerie be prone to wear clothing that resembles a humans? Many of the Little People are Tailors and Shoe Smiths. Leprechauns are known to wear little green suits and vests and leather shoes with big gold buckles. Brownies wear clothes and are known by housewives to mend human clothes and darn human socks. It is not such a surprise that one should find a faerie in a flowy, lacy little thing as she spends an afternoon gazing up at clear blue skies through a canopy of deep green foliage. This is not to say that I've ever seen anything with more than just a touch of Fae in them (me, for example) wear jeans or a t-shirt.
Faeries are always wild and untamed. Though their clothing may be exquisite and delicate, expert of cut and seam, even possibly sewn with the silk of spiders webs or the light that caused the last rainbow, per Rev. Robert Kirk, everything they wear is sensual, loose and has a distinctive look to it. There are a lot of asymmetrical lines, their hats tend to come to point, and they rarely wear shoes at all. If they do, they most certainly are not out of flowers as flowers would fall apart as they walked. The Nymphs, Dryads and the High Sidhe, of course, their stature being human in size and shape, would never find flower petals big enough for their blithe bodies. For certain they are able to create their own clothing masterpieces that must resemble the human kind.
And all of this is assuming they wear anything at all. As hedonistic as Faeries can be, nakedness is not lewdness. Not to them. A warm summer day spent in the cool water of a Nymph's pool is really just a lot of self confidence. After all, they don't have any reason not to have it in perfection. Water Sprites and Nyxies, who spend all their time in the water blatantly refuse to wear clothes, as it interferes with their life's ambition- to revel in the water as though they were mere fish. But then, neither of them really exhibit any obvious form of gender anyway, so I guess it matters to a lesser degree.
Of course, Winter Faeries wear more clothes than the Summer Faeries, but a human would probably freeze to death in an afternoon wearing just what a Winter Fae would.
Rest assured, though, that those blessed little Fairies that are always painted into pictures of quiet gardens and on the pages of children's books do likely adorn themselves in the satin petals of roses and the soft fuzz of leaf buds. And being so tiny, they actually do very little walking, so velvety shoes of curly petals would cover their tiny toes for days before becoming too thin. But then, in the summer time, there is always an abundance of flowers. So what if their shoes wear out in three days?
Pixies, and possibly Bramble Fairies, though, are really the only Fae that I can possibly imagine wearing very much fur. Even in the winter, Faeries are connected by blood ties to nature. I can not fathom a Faerie hunting down and skinning anything simply to clothe themselves. Pixies are feral, and primally freakish. They're just short of becoming cannibalistic, and if any group of Faeries were to hunt anything, it would be them. Bramble Fairies, an off break of the Pixies, are not quite so feral or lawless. But they consider themselves Warriors. (Often, when you find your thumb pricked by a really large thorn or splinter, you can attribute it to the never-missing bow of a Bramble Fairy on whose territory you have trodden.) Still, these creatures are less than 3 inches high. It would take an entire family of them to chase down and kill a rabbit. However, it would certainly clothe the lot of them. Few Faeries actually eat meat.
Just for future reference, though, Faeries do not wear tutus. It's really cute on your sweet, fat, rolly baby, but it's just not fathomable.