Fairies, who are they? Origin, mythology and hierarchy of these magical beings

Fairies are one of the most popular mythological beings in the world. Certainly their characteristics have variations in every place in the world, but their essence is the same. The best example is in pop culture, because these legends are represented at all times in audiovisual and literature.

Most of the time, these mythological beings are used to calm and enchant children all over the world, mainly European ones.

Currently fairies are associated with characteristics such as sympathy, magic and protection. One example is Tinker Bell, faithful fairy in Peter Pan’s famous story. Nevertheless, its remote origin from a time when nature was not so pleasant.

Origin of fairies

First of all, it must be made clear that the exact origin of fairies is not known. In practice, there are theories that try to explain their origin.

The most accepted is that the origin of fairies goes back to Greek mythology, partly inherited by the Romans. Initially they were known as the protectors of nature. In addition, they were known as fantastic creatures that interacted with human beings, completely related to destiny.

In northern Europe, these beings known as the lumens of nature, walked side by side in the mythological world with goblins, gnomes and goblins.

In mythology closest to our times, fairies belonged to the underworld. Consequently, they were close to the human being’s belief in life beyond death. This myth only disappeared with the appearance of science.

In the Middle Ages, they also appeared in the books of cavalry. Consequently, they left the underworld to become aristocratic ladies.

William Shakespeare transformed fairies into small, flying, ethereal beings. An image very much appreciated by other playwrights, and which is close to the one we know today.

Robert Kirk’s studies ensured that the size of fairies was due to the belief that the soul was replicated in miniature of the human body. These souls lived near the tombs, waiting to meet their bodies on Judgment Day.

Hierarchy of the invisible world

Theosophy is a set of mystical, occult, and speculative doctrines that seek knowledge of the presumed mysteries of life and nature. According to it, the spirits of nature are categorized hierarchically.

First the angels or Devas. These are intelligent luminous beings who act as orientators of Nature and supervisors of lesser spirits. In addition, then come the Elementals, Nature Spirits or Fairies. They are spirits of the four elements.

Air Elementals

First they are divided into cloud fairies and storm fairies. The first live in the clouds, are endowed with high intelligence and their main activity is to transfer light to the plants. Moreover they are protectors and guides of men and animals. The fairies of the storms also possess great energy and circulate over the forests and around the mountain peaks.

Elementals of the earth

Initially this class includes gnomes, small creatures that live inside the earth. The Kobolds are more friendly and helpful to humans. Giants are huge entities that are usually connected to mountains, although they can also live in ancient forests. Finally, the Devas of the Mountain, are the most evolved elementals of the earth, entities that permeate and work with a mountain or an entire chain of mountains.

Elementals of fire

The salamanders or fire spirits inhabit the volcanic subsoil, the lightning and the bonfires. They are more powerful than the garden fairies, but they are more distant from humanity as well. They are spirits of transformation, responsible for the conversion of matter in decomposition into fertile soil.

Water Elementals

Represented by nymphs, undines, water spirits and naiads. They are responsible for taking energy from the sun to transmit it to the water.

The nymphs regulate the flow of water in the earth’s crust and give personality and individuality to aquatic sites. They can take the form of fish, which they protect. The undines appear to be restricted to certain localities, being responsible for waterfalls and the surrounding vegetation.