The traditions and lore of fairies has existed in highly diverse cultures around the world for centuries or even millennia. In some cultures, fairies have been viewed as mischievous little sprites, whereas in other cultures they have been given god-like stature. Fairies are said to appear to humans in ways that meet their own cultural expectations. Fairies and fairy-like beings are also known as nature spirits, house spirits, dwarves, elves, gnomes, mermaids and leprechauns.
Fairies can be divided into four basic types based on their primary association with the four aspects of the four esoteric elements: earth, fire, air and water. Earth fairies include gnomes and trolls. The symbol of the earth element and earth fairies is the stone. Fire fairies are known as salamanders or dragons. The symbol of the fire fairies is the spear. Air fairies are known as sylphs. The symbol of air fairies is the sword. Finally, water fairies are known as undines or mermaids. The symbol of the water fairies is the cup or cauldron.
Some traditions claim that certain types of fairies have a group consciousness while other types of fairies are individual, exalted beings very close to the angelic kingdom. The fairies with a group consciousness, or trooping fairies, have a fairy queen that serves as their spokesperson.
Other traditions emphasize the immortality of fairies. Due to this immortality, the fairies have a different perception of time than humans. The story of Rip Van Winkle is a demonstration of this myth. When Rip Van Winkle went to the fairy realm, he thought he had been gone only a short time. However, when he returned to the realm of mortals, nearly one hundred years had passed in his absence.
Another common fairy tradition is that the fairies are rarely seen in modern times because they have left the earth due to the negative consciousness and wars among men. This tradition is portrayed very clearly in J.R.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring. When war breaks our in Middle Earth, the elves depart for a place of immortal safety. Fortunately, the tradition continues that fairies and nature spirits will later return to the earth to aid mankind in times of cataclysm and spiritual crisis.
Kathleen Karlsen, MA, is a freelance writer, professional artist and website consultant. For more information about fairies and nature spirits, please see http://www.theheartscenter.org. The Hearts Center offers an opportunity for seekers to receive up-to-date inspiration from the ascended masters and other spiritual beings. To purchase books, audiotapes and art, please visit http://store.heartscenter.org. Learn about the ascension, karma and reincarnation, the benefits of meditation, the use of the violet laser light and much more.