scottish fairy belief…

p. 8 Scottish Fairy Belief -Lizzanne Henderson and Edward J. Cowan, John Donald/Birlinn Ltd. 2001

‘There is, arguably, as much evidence of one kind or another for the activities of the fairies from the 15th to the early 19th centuries as there is for the existence of either the Picts, the Britons, the Angles or the Scots during the first millennium of Scottish history.’

p.13 ‘The fairies of Scottish folk, and for that matter the learned, tradition bear little or no resemblance to the vast majority of modern stereotypes of fairies’

‘…they (early modern/pre-industrial scots/english) would deny that there was anything very merry, or coy, or playfully mischievous about the fairy folk in there experience. The fairies were dangerous, capable of inflicting terrible harm, even death, upon people and their livestock…their proclivity towards cruelty and general malevolence meant that they were best avoided…’


About drcarlsonalbion

Musician in band earth. Folklore/History/Occult enthusiast, especially about British Isles.
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2 Responses to scottish fairy belief…

  1. Phillip says:

    good day
    thanks a lot for the information that you are giving myself.
    i live in east texas.
    my ancestry is from Spaxton on the Quantocks Hills in south west England.
    i plan to return to the homeland one day as well.
    thanks for the inspiration an the like.
    angels of darkness demons of light II is amazing. thanks again
    Phillip Hastings-Hill

  2. COLT says:

    This comment relates both to this post and to the post entitled ‘Quotes from favourite book…” from 17 February:

    Shapeshifting – this is one of the themes of ‘Tam Lin’:

    “They’ll turn me in your arms, lady,
    Into an esk and adder;
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    I am your bairn’s father.

    They’ll turn me to a bear sae grim,
    And then a lion bold;
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    As ye shall love your child.

    Again they’ll turn me in your arms
    To a red het gaud of airn;
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    I’ll do to you nae harm.

    And last they’ll turn me in your arms
    Into the burning gleed;
    Then throw me into well water,
    O throw me in wi speed…”

    The full text of ‘Tam Lin’ can be accessed here:

    ‘Thomas Rymer’ contains a lucid treatment of the ‘ambiguous moral nature’ of fairies:

    “O see ye not yon narrow road,
    So thick beset with thorns and briers?
    That is the path of righteousness,
    Tho after it but few enquires.

    And see not ye that braid braid road,
    That lies across that lily leven?
    That is the path of wickedness,
    Tho some call it the road to heaven.

    And see not ye that bonny road,
    That winds about the fernie brae?
    That is the road to fair Elfland,
    Where thou and I this night maun gae…”

    See for versions of ‘Thomas Rymer’.

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