Elves are Fairies? Wait, what?

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Elves are Fairies? Wait, what?

Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar, light and dark Elves; Seelie and Unseelie, Light and Dark Fae…

 

To begin and in general regarding Elves, this this blog has this to share with it’s readers. “The elves are luminous beings, “more beautiful than the sun,”[2]whose exalted status is demonstrated by their constantly being linked with the Aesir andVanir gods in Old Norse and Old English poetry.[3] The lines between elves and other spiritual beings such as the gods,giants, dwarves, and land spirits are blurry, and it seems unlikely that the heathen Germanic peoples themselves made any cold, systematic distinctions between these various groupings. It’s especially hard to discern the boundary that distinguishes the elves from the Vanir gods and goddesses. The Vanir god Freyr is the lord of the elves’ homeland, Alfheim,[4] and at least one Old Norse poem repeatedly uses the word “elves” to designate the Vanir.[5] Still, other sources do speak of the elves and the Vanir as being distinct categories of beings, such that a simple identification of the two would be misguided.” (1)

 

At the earliest point it seems there were generally two types of elves:

“Ljósálfar” (“Light-elves”) of Álfheim…In Norse mythology, the light elves (Old Norse: “Ljósálfar”) live in the Old Norse version of the heavens, in the place called Álfheimunderneath the place of the Gods. The idea of the light elf is one of the most ancient records of elves (Old Norse: “álfr” singular, “álfar” plural) preserved in writing, as close to the prototypical idea of the elf as we might get (Nordic mythology preserved an ancient German paganism).

According to the early Nordic source that mentions light versus dark elves, the Nordic Eddas of the 13th century, the light elves are bright and radiant. The Edda “Gylfaginning” by Snorri Sturluson, says that they are “fairer to look upon than the sun” (Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur’s translation).” (2)

 

Also in Norse mythology, Svartálfar (“Swart-elves” or “black elves”), sometimes considered synonymous with “duergar” (“dwarves”), are subterranean creatures who dwell in the world of Svartálfheim. They may be either benevolent or malevolent. The original Svartalfar worked the forges on the lowest level of the world tree. Their roles and countenance vary throughout Germanic folklore but are sometimes mentioned with Black or Dark skin as a result of working at the forge.

The Dökkálfar (“Dark-elves”) are male ancestral spirits who may protect the people, although some can be menacing, especially when one is rude to them. They are generally light-avoiding, though not necessarily subterranean. (3)

 

The lines of distinction are pretty vague now but probably was a bit more clear during this ancient time. Then the legends of the Germanic Dwarfs is intermingled with the Dark Elves. On top of that, the Greco/Roman pantheon later had some affect on how things were interpreted into more Forest like spirits for the High Elves as the Dark elves had altered with the Germanic Dwarves. Time passed. Countries and cultures changed. Legends and myths were exported and then reimported with a new interpretation and influence from that culture, then exported again! This happens a few times, including various changes from religion to religion, their appearance, stature and very nature. We have our current classifications or what we think they are now because of this, later writers and romanticism.

 

So, how does this relate to or have anything to do with Elves being Fairies?

“Fairy comes from the Old French word faerie. The word has been overused to describe a supernatural being….” (4) Early Fae had no wings and had much in common with elves, both having light and dark races. The Fae has history from France and all over Britain. In the Scottish traditions, There were two kinds of Fae, the Seelie or Beings of light and the Unseelie or dark beings. This is also true of the elves, as already mentioned.

 

In summary, we have the wonderful and rich culture of the Norse mythos to draw from giving us  the Elves, and all magical beings in their pantheon. In emphasis, I also repeat how we have seen how they altered with time, culture, religion on top of being, again, exported, altered and reimported several times too so they became all under the umbrella of the “Fairy” title. Now today, we see them as separate beings, thanks largely to, again, popular and wonderful fictional authors.

 

 

(1) http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/elves/ (I highly recommend you visit this blog packed with Norse myths and information.)

(2)  http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/167247

(3) http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/179251 (Check out this page/link/site for more info on this, sources and info relating to Scottish Trow and Drow “Elves” !)

(4) http://www.timelessmyths.com/celtic/faeries.html (I highly recommend you visit this blog packed with fairy mythos and history, including types of fairies and from what countries and cultures!)

 

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way, other than small additions. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

Art title: ‘Differences” by artist: liiga @ http://liiga.deviantart.com/art/Differences-87959548

 

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“The 13 Wiccan Principles”

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“The 13 Wiccan Principles”

The following set of thirteen principles was adopted by the Council of American Witches, in April, 1974.

— We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

— We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

— We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

— We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity ~ as masculine and feminine ~ and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to each other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

— We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. ~ and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

— We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

— We see religion, magick, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it ~a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft.

— Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, not the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

— We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

— Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only way”, and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

— As American {Or World-Wide!} Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

— We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as Satan or the Devil, as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the sufferings of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

— We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being….”

http://www.mysticmooncoven.org/rede.htm

 

(Check out this source for more that inspires you in your life and personal journey)

Source: http://www.mysticmooncoven.org/rede.htm

 

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

Art title: “Daybreak” by artist: patriciabrennan @ http://patriciabrennan.deviantart.com/art/Daybreak-66741791

”CELTIC BLESSING OF THE NINE ELEMENTS”

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“CELTIC BLESSING OF THE NINE ELEMENTS”


“May you go forth under the strength of heaven,

under the light of the sun,

under the radiance of the moon;

may you go forth with the splendor of fire,

with the speed of lightning,

and the swiftness of wind;

may you go forth supported by the depth of the sea,

by the stability of earth,

by the firmness of rock;

may you be surrounded and encircled, with the protection of the nine elements.”

from: The Celtic Blessing of the Nine Elements
June 27, 2012 by Sapphire Witch

— Source: Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings by Caitlin Matthews (Harmony Books, 1996). @ http://thenemeton.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/the-celtic-blessing-of-the-nine-elements/

 

Moro

 

Art title: ‘Infinity’ by sasha-fantom @ http://sasha-fantom.deviantart.com/art/Infinity-255630416?q=gallery%3Asasha-fantom%2F14457360&qo=68

Paganism and Pantheism:

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Paganism and Pantheism:“Pagans are pantheists.

Pantheism (Greek pan=Everything, theos=God) means regarding the universe and nature as divine, or equating the universe with God.

There is a close link between pantheism and modern paganism. Many pagans proclaim themselves to be pantheists. “I embrace Pantheism, acknowledging that the Divine is everywhere and in everything” says Selena Fox in I am a Pagan. “My worship takes the form of Divine communion with Nature.”

“The world is holy,” writes Margot Adler in Drawing down the Moon. “Nature is holy. The body is holy. Sexuality is holy. The mind is holy. The imagination is holy. You are holy….Thou art Goddess. Thou art God. Divinity is immanent in all Nature. It is as much within you as without.”

On its Web page, the pagan Church of All Worlds says it “embraces the theology of pantheism, as we experience what has been called `God,’ as an immanent quality inherently manifest in every living Being, from a single cell to an entire planet–and likely the universe itself.”

Finally, could there be a more beautiful expression of pantheism than Wiccan Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess:

I who am the beauty of the green earth,
and the white moon among the stars,
and the mystery of the waters,
call unto thy soul:
Arise, and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed,
and unto Me all things must return;
and before My face, beloved of gods and of men,
let thine innermost divine self be
enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices;
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Pantheists are not always pagans.

But pantheism and paganism have not always been so closely linked. The word pagan was already in use in the later Roman empire, to mean a non- Christian believer in the traditional pantheon of Rome.

The name pantheism was not used before the early eighteenth century – but the belief that nature and the universe are divine can be dated back to the Greek philosopher Heraklitus of Ephesus. “The cosmos is, and was, and always will be ever living fire,” he wrote. Heraklitus was no pagan: he had nothing but contempt for the worship of “statues” and for the Bacchic Mysteries of Dionysos.

The strongest school of pantheists were the Stoics, founded in the fourth century BC. They included Epictetus, Seneca and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though many of them called their cosmic divinity Zeus, they thought of it as the totality of the material universe. They were not polytheists.

Modern pantheism has had many distinguished representatives, ranging from Spinoza through the Lakeland poets to Albert Einstein and Gene Roddenberry. These well-known pantheists, however, were not pagans either.

Paganism and pantheist “theology.”

So if ancient pagans were not pantheists, and ancient and many modern pantheists were not pagans, why do so many modern pagans say they are pantheists?

First of all, the times are a’changing. The rise of pantheistic religions is one of the key religious trends in the West. Not just pure pantheism, but a whole range of religions that see divinity out there in front of our noses, in nature and the night sky: Taoism, Zen Buddhism, paganism, deep ecology, Native American religions, or forms of Christianity verging on pantheism such as Creation Spirituality.

This pantheistic wave is fed by the destruction of nature and the earth proceeding all around us – the more we risk losing it, the more of us realize how deeply we value it. Many of us too are fed up with life-hating religions from ancient times that tell us that this earth is no more than a staging post on the road to heaven, and this body is just a cage for our eternal souls.

Love of nature, and feelings of a pervasive divinity in nature and in ourselves, are possibly the strongest reasons why many people are attracted to paganism in the first place. I would guess that for most people the need for a religion that affirms life, the body, sex, nature and the universe is more powerful than the need to have a variety of gods to worship. Pantheism is instinctive: it is every child’s reaction of wonder to the world around it. Polytheism comes later, if at all, and it is learned….”

Practice of scientific pantheism* by Paul Harrison.
Featured, Dec. 12, 1996.
This article was first published in Pagan Dawn, Summer 1997.

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/pagan.htm

Moro

Art title: ‘Deep Songs’ by artist: elreviae @ http://elreviae.deviantart.com/art/Deep-Songs-308926669