The Sprites

The articles below appeared in the June and July 2001 issues of “The Open Line“.

The Sprites, Part I

This article focuses on the most diminutive of the Faire Folke, the Sprites. They have also become perhaps the most well-known of the Faire Folke, through the images portrayed in our childhoodTake the Fair Face of Woman, Sophie Anderson, c. 1869 books and in the paintings of the Victorian era. Almost everyone has heard of the famous encounter of the two young girls with the Cottingley Faeries.

Our two Sprite guests today will be Mira Hummingbird and her sacred mate, Gwionbach Dragonfly. They are the queen and king of the Sprite kingdom in Tir na n’Og. Mira has long blonde hair, which flows down below her waist. Two golden braids encompass her youthful, beautiful, heart-shaped face. Her compassionate brown eyes, like those of all Faire Folke, are tilted upwards. Her nose is small and well-formed, and her lips are full and prone to smile often. From her back sprout four wings the color of stained glass windows, which flutter with her every gesture or with their own accord, much like a cat’s twitching tail. Like all Sprites, she tends to shy away from any form of clothing, except for the occasional leaf or flower hat or scarf. Even such minimal clothing is worn only for a very brief time, as Sprites do not understand the Human nature of prudishness and why we tend to cover our bodies, since they find our clothing restrictive. To help my ability to focus and conduct this interview, she has graciously clothed her slender and well-formed figure in a thin, gossamer robe of blue. Her sacred love, Gwionbach, sits beside her.

Gwionbach’s appearance, like all Sprites, is angelic in nature. When I look at Gwionbach, I am reminded of Michelangelo’s statue of David, for his features and form are perfect, without flaw. His light brown halo of hair is curly and flows downwards to rest between his shoulderblades. Gwionbach jokes that if his hair was as long as Mira’s, he would constantly get it tangled in the limbs of trees. His upward-slanted eyes are golden brown. His nose is strongly formed, and his full lips, like his mate, Mira’s, are always to be found laughing or smiling above his square, dimpled chin. As I closely observe Mira and Gwionbach in order to record their descriptions, I suddenly realize that all the female Sprites have dimples in their cheeks and all the male Sprites have dimples in their chins. I suppose I would expect nothing less from these beautiful people. Gwionbach, to be as considerate as Mira, has briefly donned a gossamer robe of green. His four wings are presently shimmering with the color of sunlight passing through spring’s green leaves. From this point onward, Mira and Gwionbach will speak for themselves to explain the nature of Sprites and their relationship to the Mother and Father Creator and to Mother Earth and her children. Mira begins:

“Being a small people, many times we are not given the credibility or the respect that is shown to spiritual beings of larger stature. I, Mira Hummingbird, humbly offer the following thoughts to our readers. I know it may appear to you from the words that follow that I am like a squirrel, scolding you from the treetops about some imaginary injustice. Yet, I feel the Mother and Father speak through me, for these words are important, and these thoughts need to be brought to your attention. I promise, however, if you ever travel to our home in Tir na n’Og, you will not be greeted with a scolding, but, instead, treated to the food and drink which befit an honored guest. During your stay, no scolding finger will point your way.

“Long ago, before the Great Separation, the tragic separation of Humanity from the Mother and Father Creator, Humanity left the Garden (better known to some as the Garden of Eden) to set forth upon their own journey away from the Mother and Father, away from the Holy Child, and away from their other brothers and sisters, which included the Faer Folk. We Sprites existed even then, and we tried to speak to our Human brothers and sisters, pleading with them to turn back and ask forgiveness of the Holy Family. We tried to help them understand they were not gods and that they needed the companionship of the Mother and Father Creator, so that their spirits would thrive and their existence on Mother Earth would be lived in harmony and beauty. We pleaded with them to ask forgiveness for their hard-hearted arrogance and their belief that they were superior to all creation and an equal of the Mother and Father Creator, but Humanity did not heed our pleas.

“Many millennia later, history once again repeated itself, and others of the Faer Folk, those who would later become known as Gnomes, Elves and many of the other Faer Folk tribes, decided that they, too, did not need the constant guidance of the Mother and Father Creator in their lives. Like their Human brothers and sisters, they, too, left the Garden. Again, our pleas went unheeded, and, with great sadness, we watched our Faery brothers and sisters march out of Eden, or Tir na n’Og. In anguish, we flew to our Mother and Father Creator, and, standing upon their knees and resting gently upon their open palms, in great sorrow, we wept and pleaded with them to call back our Faery family. We could not bear the loss of those who were so close to us in nature, for we still grievously mourned the passing of our Human family many, many millennia before. The Mother and Father Creator wiped away our tears, but they told us that all of their children had free will, and that the Human and the Faery had made the decision to leave their presence and set out upon their own pathway, which would lead them far from their true hearts’ home. To ease our sorrow, they promised us they would always watch over their children and would send our Angel family to watch over our Human and Faery families. One day, they told us, our big brother (who would later become known to the world as Jesus) would come to Mother Earth and be born in a human body. Through his love and sacrifice, he would provide a pathway, so that the Faire Folke and Humans might find their way home to the Mother and Father Creator and back to Tir na n’Og.

“We Sprites, before our Mother and Father and before our loving big brother (who we will henceforth refer to as Jesus), asked if it would be possible that we, like the Angels, could be given the ability to travel between the worlds of spirit and the more physical world of Mother Earth where our families had fled. We asked this of them that we might still be able to plead with our Faery and Human families to return home. Even though they had not listened to our counsel while we were in the presence of the Mother and Father, we hoped that eventually, with our determined persistence (and I do say that we are the very Gnats of persistence), our families would hear our words and turn their hearts back to the Mother and Father. The Mother and Father and Jesus gladly gave us permission to carry out our mission, so that we and other spirit companions and all living things of Mother Earth, including all animals and green things and stone things and all the rest of Mother Earth’s children, would act as counselors to our Human and Faery families.

“Happily, others of our Faery family heeded the Mother and Father’s call first and, over many millennia, began their journey back home to the Mother and Father and Jesus, back home to their beloved Tir na n’Og. Sadly, Humanity has been rather stubborn, but we do find, especially within these last few years, that Humans are beginning to awaken. Like their Faery family before them, some Humans are turning their eyes back to their spiritual home of the heart, back to the Mother and Father Creator. We have had many encounters with Humans over many thousands of years; yet, oddly, in what you refer to as this industrial age, this time of the great destruction of Mother Earth, some Humans have begun to notice our presence and the presence of our other Faery family, as we and other spiritual beings strive to show them the way home.

“An example of this would be the two young girls mentioned at the beginning of this article. To act in their defense or, as the Human phrase goes, to set the record straight, these two young girls did, in fact, have a Faery encounter, not with myself or Gwionbach personally, but with other Sprites. Had they kept their encounter to themselves until they were older, they would no doubt have blossomed into beautiful, spiritually-gifted young women, who would have lived rich, fulfilling lives as spiritual teachers. Because their encounters, instead, reached the attention of men of a cynical nature, the beauty seeded within their spirits from these early Sprite encounters did not have the chance to grow and blossom into its full potential. Tragically, this beautiful flower became wilted by the malign interest of the media of that time and the skeptical disbelief of Humans with no magic in their hearts.

“We of the Faery believe the encounter of the two young girls with the Cottingley Faeries was meant to be a historical turning point for Humanity, for this Faery encounter was to be an opening of the door between the world of Spirit and the physical world. It was the intent of the Cottingley Faeries, through these young girls, to teach Humanity the old ways—how to live in spirit and in harmony with all creation. The Cottingley Faery encounter was to be the first of many encounters, not only with these little girls, but with many other Humans as well. This simple event, which holds a small place in the history of Humanity, was meant to crack open the Garden gate leading back to the Mother and Father Creator. Tragically, Humanity hearkened to the puppets of the Evil One, who, in that day and time, controlled the media and your scientific community. This fragile, spiritual flower, just as it appeared above the soil of Mother Earth, was crushed by the heavy heel of Human skepticism, and a wonderful spiritual opportunity was missed. This caused great grief, and still does to this day, among those of the Faire Folke and other spiritual beings who serve the Mother and Father Creator.

“Humanity demands proof of all things spiritual, but true spiritual matter is so pure that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prove its existence by your scientific methods. Happily, I would say most of Humanity believes in a Father God (though they do not believe in the Mother, more to their shame), and I would say most of Humanity believes in Angels. Still, that belief in God and Angels does not depend upon scientific methods. I do not think many Humans say, “I will not believe in God or Angels or in God’s son, Jesus, unless I see a photographic picture of them. I will not believe in God or Angels or Jesus unless my machines can measure or weigh their existence.”

Obviously, we of the Faire Folke cannot compare ourselves to the Mother and Father Creator, nor to our beloved brother, Jesus, nor to the Angels, for we hold a place in Creation which is equal to Humanity. Like you, we are merely humble children of the Mother and Father Creator. Yet, because you cannot measure and weigh us with your machines, and you cannot photograph us, in the minds of Humans, we cannot exist. Sadly, those who do believe in us, if they are children and especially if they are adults, are ridiculed, and, it appears, if they hold to their belief in our existence, they become persecuted. But I tell you, my Human family, we do exist, just as surely as the Angels do. We exist just as surely as do your mother or father, your brother or sister, your husband or wife, or your daughter or son. We are part of your family. We are your neighbors. When is the last time you ventured outside to weigh and measure your neighbor? We are just as real as they are, and we pray and long for the day when our beloved Jesus will return to Mother Earth, so that the physical and spiritual Mother Earth may once again become whole. When that day comes, our Human family will be able to see us and believe in us, so that we may feast together and become a family once again.”

As Mira finished speaking, I realized Gwionbach, Mira’s beloved sacred mate, was resting upon my knee. Clearing his throat for attention, with a wry sweet smile on his face, he spoke:

“Hello, I am Gwionbach. My beloved Mira has said many important things. It has been brought to our attention, however, that your newspaper can contain only so many words. Therefore, I ask, with all humbleness, that you will allow me to join you next month for a trip into the Sprite realm in our beloved Tir na n’Og. There, I will take you on a tour of our Sprite community and discuss with you how we live and perhaps some of our social customs. Mother and Father’s blessing upon you all.”

The Sprites, Part II

Last month, a Sprite we sometimes refer to as Mira Hummingbird provided some history concerning how Humans and others of the Faery came to leave the Garden. This month, Mira’s sacred mate, Gwionbach Dragonfly, Book of Fairy Poetry, Warwick Goble, 1920speaks more about the Sprites themselves. We described Mira and Gwionbach last month, but, as a reminder, Gwionbach is about twelve inches tall and has long, curly, light brown hair and upward-slanted golden brown eyes. Like many Sprites, four shimmering wings are to be found resting between his shoulder blades. Gwionbach now begins:

“We Sprites live in one of the great forests of Tir na n’Og. The forest is referred to as the Singing Forest or Mother’s Lullaby Grove. Human legends of long ago spoke of the magical forest of Broceliande, and perhaps this forest can be found hidden within those tales. The roots of the great trees in the Singing Forest reach deep within Mother Earth, their massive trunks rise high into the sky, and their giant limbs unfold to touch the face of the Mother and Father Creator. So tall are these trees that the clouds pass through their upper limbs, so that those who dwell high in the treetops live above a sea of white, rolling clouds, while gentle cloud waves lap at the steps of their doors. I would guess that the height and circumference of these trees would be even greater than the tallest buildings in your cities. Naturally, hollow chambers are always contained within such massive trees, and it is within these naturally-formed chambers that we make our homes. I would say that our homes are not so dissimilar to your homes. We have windows and doors, like you, and tables and chairs, beds and bookcases, and other furniture. If you are having trouble imagining what our homes are like, perhaps you would like to visit one. Come with me now, if you wish, and I will take you on a Sprite journey.

“Within the mind of your spirit, please give your body permission to become smaller and smaller and smaller still, until you are about as tall as a Sprite. Once you have accomplished this magical feat, I want you to allow your small wings to unfold from your back. These wings can be any type of wings you wish-the wings of a butterfly, the wings of a hummingbird, the wings of a bumblebee, or any other type of wings you can think of. Now that you have accomplished these tasks, my much welcomed traveler, please follow me through the sky and through the beautiful, green cathedral of the forest.

“Soon, we find ourselves standing, or fluttering, before a small, round door. Within this door is a window shaped like a teardrop from the sun. The glass within this small teardrop-shaped window is crystalline, and it acts as a prism to reflect rainbow colors inward to the interior of the house. The Sprites who live in this house have gone out to complete some errands, but also to graciously allow us to wander about their lovely home freely. Please do not feel self-conscious as you gaze about the rooms of their home, for the holders of this house do wish you to enjoy yourself.

“We still wish to observe the rules of polite society, however, so we will knock on the door three times. The door silently opens for us, and we enter into the greeting room, where prisms of bright sunlight filter through round, stained glass windows. Within the greeting room, as is proper, we find comfortable furniture, which, you may discover, resembles in some ways your own couch and chairs, except that they are much lower to the floor. As is usual for Faire Folke, the furniture is very ornate. The wood used in the sofas is carved to resemble oak leaves, and, among these oak leaves, you will find an inquisitive squirrel running along the limbs here and there, or perhaps poking its head out from amidst the foliage in an inquisitive manner. Though these leaves are carved wood, you almost sense that they are gently moving with the breeze, and you are nearly certain you can hear the rustling of the squirrels among the leaves.

“In this particular greeting room, three long couches encircle a round table. This table is enameled with tiles picturing a very beautiful pond inhabited by a large, colorful, green frog resting on a lily pad. The frog appears to be engaged in a philosophical discussion with a learned fish, which has just chanced to raise its head from out of the water. Also pictured on this table are dragonflies engaging with Sprites in a circle dance through the air over the sparkling waters of the pond. Were you to gaze into this pond long enough, you might find yourself spiraling downward, past the circle dance of the dragonflies and the Sprites and past the frog and the fish and their philosophical discussion. Deeper you would travel into the cool, clear waters of the pond, passing through a school of fish swimming to and fro, following the pathways of the invisible currents, until you glimpsed, far, far down at the bottom of the pond, a small light-filled cave. Were you to enter this cave of light, you could find yourself journeying for hours to a wonderful place of your dreams.

“Still, being the very rude Sprite that I am, and not wanting you to become separated from our company, I must suddenly pull you upwards to the surface of the pond and back to the dry lands of the greeting room and your seat, that you may partake of the small feast of food and drink we are about to offer you. A greeting room must always have sofas and a table, for the hostess and host will always wish to provide their guests with food and drink. A delicious treat awaits you today in the form of a hot, moist, spice cake with a creamy interior, resting within a bed of cream. Accompanying this appealing dish is a cup of hot, spiced apple cider, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The spice cake is placed before you on a beautiful, ornate plate, which depicts a scene of a mother deer and her fawn moving through a leafy forest. The cider is served in a ceramic cup depicting a stag bellowing from deep within the heart of the forest. These are Faery dishes, and so, on occasion, you might find the deer, fawn or stag leaping off the plate or cup to go dashing across the table. We realize such a thing could prove rather distracting for a Human, so we are letting you know what to expect, for we do not wish to give you cause to spill your cider.

“Hopefully, you will now have had time to enjoy your cake and cider. If you have not yet finished, please feel free, if you are wearing clothes, to place the food in your pocket. If, like most Sprites, you are wearing very little clothing, then we will provide you with a small satchel to place the food in, so that you may take it with you upon your return to the mundane world. We will pass quickly now through the kitchen where our wonderful food came from. Please take note that there are, again, colorful, round windows, for there are round windows through all the rooms of the house. You see a large, open fireplace, where much of the food is prepared. Its chimney rises upwards and outwards, disappearing through the wall of the kitchen. Hanging on the walls of the fireplace are ornately designed pots and pans and other kitchen utensils. In the kitchen is found the water basin where we receive pure, clear water from a spout designed to resemble the long, graceful neck and head of a swan. The water pours forth from the swan’s open beak, and the levers on either side of the spout are shaped like the swan’s wings. When the wings are up, the water is off, and when the wings are down, the water is on. Off to the side of the kitchen, you will find a large room, which you might refer to as a larder. Faire Folke do not partake of meat, so you would find none in the larder, but you would find there many other kinds of foods which are very nourishing and tasty.

“Now we move out of the kitchen to pass through a round, open doorway, which leads us straight into another room, which you might refer to as a family room. Neatly arrayed on shelves, you will find many games and books and musical instruments. Here, the family gathers to tell tales, accompanied by musical instruments, and to read or play games. As usual, there are three round windows of colorful stained glass, one smaller window up high and two larger ones below, which form a triangle. Every room in a Sprite house has three windows. The smaller upper window always symbolizes the star which rose over Jesus’ birthplace, and the two lower windows represent the merging of the spiritual and physical realms. The three windows project three tunnels of light which merge into one and fill the room with light. The three windows also represent the Awen or the light of inspiration, the liquid light of divine love which flows from the Mother and Father Creator and our beloved brother, Jesus.

“Let us now pass through another round doorway into a room filled with bookshelves filled with books. These bookshelves flow upwards and curve around the three windows of the room. If you take time to gaze about this room, you will see another open doorway which leads into a room containing an easel upon which to create paintings. This room also holds a potter’s wheel to spin formless clay into pots. Together, we have discovered the craft room. In this room, the parents and children enrich their spirits with feats of artful craft to give honor to Mother Earth and all her children.

“Now we will move quickly past the bedrooms. In this house, as we pass down the hallway, we see, through the round, open doors, three bedrooms on the right for the children and four bedrooms on the left. Next to the children’s bedrooms is a large room which we refer to as the bathing room. The three windows in this room allow the sun to shine his light down upon a large pool of water, where the children and parents may swim. This bathroom, though it is beautiful, is used rarely by the family, for most Sprite bathing and swimming is done outdoors in nature. The bathing rooms of Sprites are used more frequently by visiting guests, who are oftentimes more private in their bathing habits, although a Sprite family will sometimes gather together for a family soak in their indoor pool. The pool becomes heated, so that the water bubbles and steam rise up from it. The pool itself is like a large, tiled bowl. This particular pool displays within its tiles a scene of fish and mermaids playfully swimming about. In fact, the spout from which the water fills the pool is made in the shape of the head of a fish, while the tail of the same fish controls the water flow. When the tail is up the water is off, and when the tail is down the water is on.

“Sadly, there are too many details in our homes to point them all out to you in one short visit. I would guess there are many things you would find quite unique and mystifying if you had the time to study them. There are other rooms in this home we might visit, but I would like to take this time to show you a bit more of the forest in which we dwell. Please take hold of my hand or Mira’s hand, and, together, we will gently fly out of this room and down the long, winding hallway, until we find ourselves standing once more before the front door of this home. I have already expressed our gratitude to the Sprite family who holds this home for allowing our brief visit.

“As stated earlier, the great forest where we have our homes is called the Singing Forest or the Mother’s Lullaby Grove. The reason for this is that the trees gently rock in the wind and, as the wind passes through the leaves, they make a sighing, singing sound. When you are in the forest, whether flying high in the trees or resting in your home, you hear the trees singing gently to you, soothing and calming your spirit like a very quiet lullaby a mother would sing to her child, combined with the very gentle rocking motion of the trees. This is why our forest is called the Singing Forest or the Mother’s Lullaby Forest.

“Our forest surrounds a great, great meadow which is longer and wider, perhaps, than some of your major cities. Within this meadow grow many splendid, colorful wildflowers and herbs and edible foods. This is how we help those Faire Folke in other realms, for this meadow is known as Mother’s Herb Hollow, and here you can find any herb that is needed for healing. It is from this place that the herbs in your realm are born. They appear first in our realm, and then they pass from the spirit into physical to be used by Humanity, and then they pass back once more from Humanity to spirit, where they return again to Mother’s Herb Hollow. This is because Mother and Father Creator have created these plants so that all Creation can survive, for these plants nourish the animals and all life. All life follows the harmonic, circular pattern created by the Mother and Father. These plants, because they wish to serve and heal and nourish, have, in their spirit, volunteered to enter the harsher, physical realms where Humanity lives, to be used by them and by all life on the physical Mother Earth. Then, after performing their duty, they will return to the spirit realm, where they may dwell as long as they wish. Out of love for the Mother and Father Creator, these plants maintain a circular cycle, spirit to physical and physical to spirit, as you find reflected in the life and death and life of the seasons in your physical world.

“It is growing late now, in the Human world, and it is time for you, our wonderful guest, to return back to the mundane world. The Sprite wings on your back are growing smaller and smaller and smaller until, like a snowflake in the sun, they disappear. Your small Sprite body is beginning to grow larger and larger and larger, until, once again, you regain your physical Human body. If you have enjoyed this journey and return unwillingly to your Human body, do not weep, for with the love of the Mother and Father Creator and faith in Faery magic, you may one day fly once more with Sprite wings under the light of the full moon above the enchanted meadows and forests of Broceliande.”