Whenever I go out into the world with my mobile ‘Adoption Center’, I am bound to be greeted by one inescapable question. “Where are their wings?”As you’ve noticed by now, not many of my faeries are gifted with ‘visible’ wings. There is method to my madness with this artistic choice and it is based in the traditional Irish folklore that I draw the majority of my inspiration from.

Exhibit A: A faery without the familiar gossamer wings, but STILL a faery.

The fairies we have all come to know and love are a bit different than those of our ancestors. Every culture has their own version of fair folk, from Ireland to pre-colonial America and beyond, but they aren’t always a friendly sort who grant wishes and the like. Just think of the fairies from Jim Henson’s ‘Labyrinth’, they look sweet until you go to pick them up. In Irish folklore, fairies are known by a couple of different names, some of which include ‘Sidhe’ (Shee) or ‘Tuatha De Dannan’ (Two-ah day Dan-an). According to legend, the Tuatha De Dannan were the very first people to rule Ireland, but were defeated by another race (which I can’t for the life of me remember the name of at the moment) and forced to retreat underground to their stronghold, known as “the Land of Eternal Youth” or Tir na nOg. There they remain to this day, coming out to play tricks on the unwary or egotistically. If there’s one thing they do best, it’s humble those who get a bit too cocky by knocking them off their high horse and into the mud. They are a proud race and demand respect. If respect is shown, they are more inclined to grant favors. If not, all hell breaks loose. For example, one story tells of a milk maid and a costly prank she plays on the family’s sprite. Every night, she’d leave a bowl of porridge, with a pat of butter on top for the faery who lived on their land. When she had left, he would come out, eat his porridge, and provide the family with a plentiful supply of sweet milk from their one milking cow. One night however, the maid came onto the notion that she’d play a harmless little trick on the faery. That night, when she set out the nightly offering,  she made sure to put the pat of butter at the bottom of the bowl, as opposed to on top of the porridge. When the faery arrived for his snack, same as always, he was surprised to look inside the bowl and see no butter. He looked once again to be sure, then in a fit of rage he killed the family’s only milking cow, as punishment. Still in a bit of a tizzy, he begrudgingly ate his porridge. However, when he reached the bottom of the bowl, he found to his utter dismay… the missing butter. Guilt-ridden and full of remorse for what he’d done out of anger, he went to the farm of a neighboring family and stole one of their milking cows to replace the one he had so rashly killed.

Their appearance is said to be anything from young and uncommonly gorgeous, to old and unbelievably ugly. They are also capable of transforming themselves into any creature, human or not. As for wings, we don’t hear of fairies with wings and magic wish-granting wands until the Grimm Brothers in the 17th century. Since my faeries are from Tir na nOg…they remain (for the most part) wingless.

That being said…the odd wing’ed one has been known to make an appearance. Kind of like Rose:

Today’s “Faery history 101” lesson brought to you by: large amounts of chia tea and a flurry of felt scraps.

Until next we meet, have a fantastic Tuesday!

Magically Yours,

Jesse Alora, **The Faery Lady**

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