Older Folkore

[Ed: This was originally a soc.religion.paganism post (thus the creation date).
I belive the outside perspective is a useful one. You may also wish to read Shadow of Myth which touches on the same

Much that I see presented in newsgroups and websites about
‘otherkin’ shows precious little awareness of the HUGE body of
folklore and tales from around the world for dealing with the Fair Folk of various stripes. There are some strong commonalities built up over centuries of gathering and writing down such lore. Most of it has to do with the danger in dealing with the Fey Folk. They are neither bad nor good, they have their own priorities and you just may be a good tool for their workings to be used and even used up. This makes you dangerous to others from a culture that shares your belief in the Fair Folk.

It is one thing to put on a persona of a character from Faerie that you
take off at the end of the day or convention of others who share your
fondness and knowledge of the more modern fantasy lore, it is another thing entirely to make a claim to such blood in your body as a living reality 100% of the time, and with an awareness of only the more modern fantasy writers versions of Faery. Some folk come onto this newsgroup (soc.religion.paganism) and others and present this as a living reality, not a persona.

I grew up with an awareness of the folklore, as have others on the
newsgroups. To anyone with that background, people who make claims of elven blood are playing a very dangerous game and if they actually do make connection with the real land spirits known as the Si, they are going to be in for a rude shock. The Si have been known to destroy the lives of those who annoy them by making such claims. But before doing so, they often have a habit of using the humans to their own ends, and befuddlement and glamour leading the humans
into making great fools of themselves is a big part of the older lore.
The People of Grace are formidable foes, they are grand allies, but they are not dealt with casually, with rose-colored glasses or with deceit, even self-deception safely according to the body of lore. You do not need to be paranoid of them – only cautious, respectful, courteous and rare.

Much of the fantasy writing in the last several decades does focus on the grand and glorious allies, it links into a feeling of alienation many
people feel from the flesh and blood human beings around them. Failing to approach the Fey with a full respect and the highest form of formal courtesy even in the smallest of things is an invitation to serious trouble from the older folklore and I seldom see that presented in any kind of depth lately. Anyone who makes a claim of ‘Faery’ blood of any stripe and believes it in all seriousness is in danger of failing to give full respect according to the folklore.

Further, until Professor Tolkien’s work was published in Great Britain and North America in the sixties, those who were dubbed as being part fey were looked upon with grave suspicion and faced serious discrimination. It was NOT a compliment, it was often used for those who were developmentally disabled, autistic or in other ways different from the norm. You did not claim to be Fey, it was a name given to your by your community, and it meant that lots of doors and opportunities were closed to you for the rest of your life. At times and in places it could mean you lost that life.

Outside of the fantasy role playing realms, outside of the modern fantasy writers version of Faery, this suspicion and discrimination still exists. The wariness comes from centuries of dealings with the Si, that according to the folkways of the world is justified. Ignoring such widespread themes is foolish and short sighted if you are intending to work with land spirits in any capacity.

Most folk who come here (soc.religion.paganism) do not present it as a persona, but as a reality or a bloodline they ‘live’ with present a
seeming lack of awareness of the older lore. They are greeted with the
older suspicion and seem shocked, surprised that they are not welcomed with open arms or even take on the attitude of ‘well, what can you expect, they are only Human.’

Failure to be aware of this older body of lore or the culture in which it
was a living part just 30 years ago will bring you and your knowledge
under suspicion in many parts of the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan community. Now, if you are aware that you are dealing with a persona you put on and take off when you are not with fantasy role playing gatherings, if you are aware of the older body of lore with as much familiarity as the modern fantasy writings on the subject you may be able to add a great deal to the discussion of folkloric practices in your community.

People do rarely do energy work with the land spirits, with the Folk they call Si even here in North America as part of certain religious traditions and certain types of energy work in the Neo-Pagan community. But if someone comes to me with only a persona based on modern fantasy role playing and asks me to teach them how to work with the Si I am going to give them a long booklist to read and engage them in years of intense discussions before giving them even a hint of a clue because until they ken in their very bones the limitations of the modern fantasy lore, they are unsafe to themselves in such a working, and that makes them unsafe for the others who would work with them, including the land spirits.

    @}->-  ;)  Tinne  :D  Laughter Heals  :)  -<-{@

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