More on my travels through the Celtic pathways.
I have always found it interesting to look at the progression from god and demigod into little winged flitty thing on a t-shirt. Most of the modern concepts for fairies, or the Fey, come from the British Isles and in fact are derivatives of their ancient pagan traditions. The Sidhe were one of the celtic divine pantheons and were known for living in barrows, or mounded hills. With the christian invasion of the isles followed on the heels of the mass slaughtering of the druids by the roman armies much of the lore related to these places began to devolve into superstitions and they became "fairy mounds" and these mounds began to be populated with all sorts of creatures. Because the majority of the oral tradition was wiped out with the druids, and strongly discouraged by the christians( *cough* inquisition*cough*), these creatures took on more of a mythical and playfull nature than their original forms. As my favorite author Terry Pratchett pointed out in his book Hogfather- old gods do new jobs. The celtic gods and goddesses adapted and found a way to stay connected to the people that they serve in a way that they accept. For example - one of the most revered of the celtic goddesses was Brid. She was found in one form or another throughout the different celtic lands. Currently she is known as Saint Brigid and is considered to be one of the most holy saints in that pantheon.
But to my mind all this begs a question- Considering that the gods are with us in different forms throughout the day you gotta wonder what they think about being portrayed as a six inch tall sex symbol with wings?
In case you've angered the pixies lately here is a spell I picked up that will appease the Fair Folk and is a whole lot of fun to do with kids:
Calming of the Fairies
This spell is for an unruly mob - the fairies.
For this spell you need an offering:
a small piece of cake
a thimble of honey
anything you think a fairy might like.
Place the offering in a clearing in your garden and whisper the following verse:
Little fairies with tiny feet
Play in this garden - but leave it neat
Little fairies with hands so sweet
I leave this offering - for you to eat
Little fairies, if this garden is neat
Ill leave more offerings at your tiny feet.
Continue to leave little fairy treats about once a month. This spell is best done at dusk as fairies are usually asleep in the day and dancing at night.