One thing that I tend not to go into depth about on Tumblr is my huge love of the works of Jim Henson and in particular his collaborations with the insanely talented Brian Froud.
I have a small but respectable collection of Froud`s work and have poured through the pages on numerous occasions. Studying every image and always managing to find something I had never noticed before.
It`s a shame that Jim Henson died so young and never again had the opportunity to collaborate again with Brian Froud. The two times they did work together the results were magical.
I love, love collecting pretty much any books that mention faeries. Here’s some different titles I’ve checked out before if you’re looking for any ideas of what you might like to read yourself!
The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey: My absolute favourite book for faerie information. Advice for interacting with different faeries, folklore and traditional tales, multiple faerie spells, lots of relevant info. Writing is thorough without getting too lengthy.
The Faerie Book by Samantha Gray: General information about faeries. If you’ve read a lot about fae before, this won’t be as useful, but if you’re just getting started it’s a nice overview about different types of faeries and some lore.
A Complete Guide to Faeries and Magical Beings by Cassandra Eason: Lots of detailed folklore and history. If you want an in-depth guide, this is a good place to start. Each chapter also ends with an activity/meditation you can use for drawing closer to the fae.
The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Baker: Even though CMB states she never saw faeries and the images are imagined, the art and poems are still pretty, and if you want to draw close to flower faeries this book could help you appreciate them and their flowers.
Fairies 101 by Doreen Virtue: Not much info, but many personal stories of different people’s interactions/sightings with faeries, which are positive to read.
Fairies: A Spotter’s Handbook by Alison Maloney: This I picked up in the children’s section but it surprisingly has correct info about different faeries and the things they like. Plus cute little faerie spells you can do!
Good Faeries / Bad Faeries by Brian Froud: Not your Cicely Mary Baker faeries, a book of art that’s more in the traditional view of fae. Contains stories from the author’s personal experience with faeries.
13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison: A YA book based on traditional faery lore. The faeries in it are of the dangerous, tricky kind, and you can feel the atmosphere of them lurking in a dusty mansion, surrounded by overgrown gardens. Story uses/mentions various ways of dealing with faeries.
Faery Dance by Amy Brown: Any Amy Brown art book is good, IMO! Lovely paintings and cute poem about a girl recalling meeting faeries in her childhood.
Faery Magick by Sirona Knight + Faery Folk by Edain McCoy: I was only able to read a few chapters of these (online), but they seemed to be good sources of information on attracting and warding against faeries, plus general lore.
Have any book recommendations? Please let me know! 😃💕
Is it possible, in theory, to give the Others a backstory in a way that does not ruin their mystique? Any backstory, not necessarily the show version.
Sure! They’re an exaggerated omnicidal version of the Unseelie Court, aka the Bad Faeries, to the Children’s Seelie (or Summer) Court.
The faeries of the Seelie Court are rarely presented as an unambiguous good from the perspective of their human neighbors, and neither are the Children. The Unseelie Court and its various inhabitants, however, bring the true nightmares. They require no offense from humanity before attacking (check), they regularly abduct humans into their Horde (check), they enjoy toying with mortals and occasionally taking a particular one as pet (check), and they’ve been known to transform mortals into faeries (possible check).
Of course, the Others are considerably more destabilizing to the overall cycles of nature than your traditional Bad Faeries, so one must also reckon with the enormous influence of Terry Pratchett, felt all over ASOIAF but especially in the echoes of Pratchett’s Elves in GRRM’s Others:
A land of ice…
Not winter, because that presumes an autumn and perhaps one day a spring. This is
a land of ice, not just a time of ice.
And three figures on horseback, looking down the snow covered slope to a ring of
eight stones. From this side they look much bigger.
You might watch the figures for some time before you realised what it was about
them that was strange-stranger, that is, than their clothing. The hot breath of their
horses hung in the freezing air. But the breath of the riders did not.
“And this time,” said the figure in the centre, a woman in red, “there will be no
defeat. The land will welcome us. It must hate humans now.”
“But there were witches,” said one of the other riders. “I remember the witches.”
“Once, yes,” said the woman. “But now…poor things, poor things. Scarce any
power in them at all. And suggestible. Pliant minds. I have crept about, my deary. I
have crept about o'nights. I know the witches they have now. Leave the witches to
"I remember the witches,” said the third rider insistently. “Minds like…like
"Not anymore. I tell you, leave them to me.” The Queen smiled benevolently at the
“And then you can have them,” she said. “For me, I rather fancy a mortal husband.
A special mortal. A union of the worlds. To show them that this time we mean to
"The King will not like that."
"And when has that ever mattered?"
"The time is right, Lankin. The circles are opening. Soon we can return."
The second rider leaned on the saddlehorn.
"And I can hunt again,” it said. “When? When?"
In the older folklore, faeries were frightening beings. In fact, it was such a bad idea to get their attention that people would use flattering euphemisms for them, such as ‘the people of peace,’ 'the little people,’ and 'the good neighbors.’ - Holly Black
Witches Salt, or Black Salt, is a very cheap and powerful ingredient in protection spells. It has independent origins in Hoodoo, Western Alchemy, Appalachian Folk Magic and European folk magic, and is made of ingredients friendly to even the tightest budget.
Combine coarse salt (purifying), black pepper (protection from bad people), cast iron scrapings (protection from bad spirits/Faeries), campfire/wood ashes (concealing and protecting) and ground-up charcoal (filters bad magic), in varying measures until you have a nice, black salt.
Tip: Add a protective sigil to the container you keep it in.
Try using it for things like:
-Draw lines across your windows and doorways to keep out bad magics/people -Mix it in water and pour it over your car tires to protect your car -Put it in a sachet along with other protective herbs, and hang it somewhere to protect that area -Pour a pile under your bed to protect you from nightmares/bad spirits
You inspire me to be a faerie doctor. It seems like you're also the type who believes that not all faeries are bad. I been seeing that alot on here that the people are preaching constantly that the fae are evil and that they are deceitful. Is there any favorite links or books would you suggest to someone wanting to be a fae doctor.
Just like anything else, there are malicious and benevolent ones. Fairies are just so different from what we understand as normal, so it can be hard to figure them out.
what she means:
Emma Cordelia Carstairs has been in love with her best friend Julian Blackthorn since they were children and always believed he would never return her affection so when her parents dIEd she quickly became his parabatai to keep them from being separated, when the whole time Julian actually loved her and now they can't be together because bad things happen to parabatais who fall in love so now Emma is going to start a relationship with Mark, Julian's brother, to make Julian believe she doesn't love him and to help Mark forget that he loves Kieran, a bad-mouthing, selfish bastardous faerie who caused Emma to get whipped in the back by a blood thirsty talking tree twenty times, but Mark also might love Cristina who came from Mexico because she found out her future parabatai and love of her life only were with her to take her family name but she found out the love of her life, Perfect Diego, loves her and would never harm her and do you see where this is going because I don't and we still haven't talked about the Blackthorn children...
Did you do your thesis on a particular Pratchett book, a series, his work in general? The way you described the main argument felt incredibly broad, and I'm wondering if your text was narrow as a result.
I’m still in bed and typing from mobile so excuse any bleary eyed typos ❤
I broke my thesis down into one chapter per series arc for what was then 38 books. This enabled me to cover as many texts as possible while also focusing on concise themes and delving into the mythology behind them whilst tracking the evolution of the myths as the world changes.
So the Witches and Death focus on a very much blood and bone ancient magic mythos, while the Moist Von Lipwig series (and the Watch to a lesser extent) sees the gods take a bit of a step back unless provoked, and instead we see the rise of popular spiritualism that emerged in the 19th century (the intervention of “Angels”. Moist pretending to be possessed and delivering letters to the gods. The belief that people’s souls can live on in the real world through objects like the Clacks etc etc) following the Industrial Revolution in the west.
So for example, with the Witches my main focus was on the need for every day mundane magic that didn’t seem like magic and to us now looks like quaint ritual or custom. Like scattering lavender over your doorway or through clothes in storage to prevent bad luck, when what it actually does is repel certain types of biting insects likely to cause sickness.
Of course some of the things that were done make absolute sense now that we know the logic behind it and marvel that they managed to figure something so complex like that out—because of course women’s “magic” (aka knowledge) was always considered base and dangerous in comparison to their male counterparts. Even though you were more likely to die at the hands of a doctor than a midwife—a sentiment often echoed when a doctor needs to be called on the Disc and Vimes quips back “Are you mad?! We want them to live!” with the exception of Mossy who wasn’t trained by traditional “western” standards.
It was a good mixture of placebo and actual knowledge at play—like Granny giving someone sugar water to give them a little boost of energy whilst performing a spinal realignment with her knee but knowing it has to look like magic or it won’t work in their head because people want to believe something will make them better.
For instance, many healing potions prior to the 18th-19th century required for the water in use to be boiled with iron in it, iron believed to be a magical metal used to repel evil. Which is why in certain parts of Scotland it’s still common for a newborn baby to have an iron key placed under their pillow even though no one really knows why. It was originally believed it would stop evil faeries from swapping the bairn for a changeling, and you’ll nearly always find an iron horseshoe above the door for similar reasons. Except if you ask anyone they just sort of shrug and say “grandma did it…it’s traditional…”
So what was the importance of boiling iron? Well we now know it helps anemia, you can even buy little iron fish shaped utensils to put into soups and stews where meat is scarce and anemia is a chronic condition. So the purpose of boiling iron and forcing an invalid to drink it might have looked like you were imbuing the water with the properties of iron e.g. strength, resilience and the all important ‘keeps the devil at bay’ magic, when what you were actually doing was treating the anemia which was weakening your patient. And anemia would have been common and sometimes fatal due to food shortages and food regulations put into place by class systems—rare for peasants to eat meat but there was generally always iron about, even just nails and such—clever, yes? To us certainly, but to your commoner it must have looked like magic. Which is a huge part of how Pratchett’s witches operate.
The practice fell out of use when medicine became more formalized, and doctors began taking over things like child birthing without any real understanding of how such things actually worked (like making women lie flat to give birth because it let them use pliers, when nature wants you to either be sitting up or kneeling so gravity can do most of the work) and other more “civilized” things. The irony that they were bleeding people for conditions like anemia will never not provoke horrified laughter from my chronically anemic self.
Incidentally the shift towards modern medicine also ties in with the fall of understanding where some of our traditions came from. Sprites and elves were commonly believed to exist but it wasn’t until the 19th century when they became romanticized in parts of the western world into not only being benign but benevolent creatures, which is something Pratchett goes into heavily in Lords and Ladies, where you see people are initially excited for the Elves, only to realize there was a very good reason great grandma slept with an iron poker under her pillow.
“Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder. Elves are marvelous. They cause marvels. Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies. Elves are glamorous. They project glamour. Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment. Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if
you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed
their meaning. No one ever said elves are nice. Elves are bad.”
Elves, pixies and faeries were god damn terrifying for most people. They stole away husbands, they killed women in childbirth, they drowned children in lakes and stole crying babies away in the night. They were the explanation for everything they couldn’t fathom, like deep marshy bogs where a man might fall and never be found, like sepsis or a hemorrhage, like hidden currents in not so deep waters and what we now know to be cot death.
So people did things to counter them, things like “don’t go near that marsh at night or the elves will get you!” and getting a woman in labor to drink water that’s been kept in a bowl made of zinc because zinc is a natural blood thickener and can help prevent bleeding to death.
And of course times change and we don’t need to do these things anymore because we have pills and sterile surgical implements and GPS that lets us know not to walk through the marsh because there’s a foot path five miles that-a-ways so you have this sort of wonderful thing where survival instincts become quaint traditions and the mythos lives on by doing silly things like hammering iron above your doorway and throwing salt over your left shoulder because…because…the human hive mind remembers the night, it remembers the winter and the wolves at the door and the fear that a baby might not wake up in the morning because faeries took them away so you’d best keep some iron close by and prop their pillow up with a wedge of birch wood and never tell anyone your middle name because…because…well just because okay, it’s just something we do…
And that’s fascinating.
I’m going to cut this off now because my mobile won’t let me keep going haha, but yea. I tried to fit as much into my thesis was was physically possible by doing it via arcs and themes because it was incredibly broad. I could probably spend my entire life trying to do it justice.
So, Kieran’s definitely going to end up as King, right?
We know the king of the Unseelie can’t have a mortal consort, but rules are made to be broken and Cristina really loved Faerie. Plus, she has that handy heirloom that helps manage time dilation. It could allow her and Mark to live with Kieran in Faerie and still keep in touch with their family in the realm of men.
Unseelie doesn’t mean unkind. It means unfortunate. Seelie derives from the same word as silly, it’s more a matter of demeanor than temperament. No one can deny that these three have had hard lives. They could acknowledge the cruelty of the world, the cruelty of people, and not be cruel themselves. They could grow up to be the rose full of thorns, the beautiful and dangerous thing acknowledged and recognized and respected.
Kieran would be terrible at politics, let’s not lie, but he’d kind of rock at faerie politics. He’s got the right mix of supercilious, ridiculous, and stubborn. Give him his own semi-Shadowhunter squad of bodyguards and he might survive. They could buy him a few years, at least, until he settled into his power and learned how to wield it. They’ll age of course, but he’ll burn that bridge when he gets to it.
Letting Mark explore faerie, this world he was forced into against his will, on his own terms would be such a good resolution. Letting him reconnect with his aunt, his blood, the Hunt, in a way that gives him power, would be important. He’d be able to do that as Kieran’s lover.
It would also be a good ending for Cristina to be allowed to help, to be a politician, to fulfill her dream not as a Shadowhunter bringing peace to faeries but as a faery adjunct bringing peace to her fellow Shadowhunters. She could fulfill the lost traditions of her family, respect her name, and bring honour to the Rosales in her own way. You can’t marry much higher than a King, after all.
Let these kids preside over revels together. Let Mark be at peace, knowing Cristina is right there in her Shadowhunter gear getting wildly drunk on faery wine and Kieran is next to him supporting him, and they have brother-in-laws to spare, some good, some bad, all loved, because faeries are easy to love (and fear). Let them grow up magical and bright and a little bit unfortunate in a world they make all their own.