Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Cyclopedic of Fairies: Dryads, Hobgoblins, & Banshees

First off, I'd like to say that I meant to get this post up a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, instead I had my wisdom teeth pulled. It really sucks. My face was so swollen for the first 5 days. I still can't really eat anything that isn't mushy (thank God for mashed potatoes and pudding). I slept a lot the first few days, but I somehow still managed to begin and finish reading The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Oh.My.Gosh. Such a beautiful book. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

I also highly suggest you check out THIS post I wrote back in November of 2015. It is one of my most viewed posts about the fairies from my book, Beyond The Veil. The only way that post is relevant to this post is that this post is also about fairies, which I'm guessing you already knew if you read the title. :D As many of you are probably aware, I have shared knowledge with you about pixies, pillywiggins, and sprites. But those aren't the only fairies featured in my book, which you already know if you have read my first chapter. Here I am going to share with you a few things you may find interesting about dryads, hobgoblins, and banshees.

Type: Dryad
Habitat: the Forest

A dryad is a tree spirit and originates from Greek mythology. Originally, dryads were only the spirits of oak trees, though now the term is lightly used to refer to any tree spirit. While some tales say that dryads can move from one tree to another, some believe that a dryad is tied to one tree and if that tree died or was cut down, the dryad would die. Their appearances vary, taking on a humanlike figure with elfin features, green or pale skin, and roots or leaves for hair. Some say that they have no physical body, but they can only be seen through leaves blowing in the wind. Like all nymphs (nature spirits), dryads are only female.

"And there are spirits. Not evil transparent ghosts with chains. They are tree spirits, dryads as they care called. They are the soul of the tree. Unlike a human soul, a tree spirit can leave its body whenever it wants, but only for short periods of time. If you listen to the wind, you can hear soft whisperings. This is how they communicate to one another, using a lost language once known to man, now understood only by the fairies and the dryads themselves." ~ Beyond The Veil. First mention of dryads in the book.


Type: Hobgoblin
Habitat: the Forest

Hobgoblins are thought to be of Welsh origin. The word goblin comes from the Greek word "kobalos"meaning rogue. Since a hob is a part of a fireplace, the hobgoblins were believed to be household fairies, unlike goblins. Perhaps the most famous hobgoblin today is Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream. In folklore, hobgoblins lived in people's houses, hiding in the walls, closets, and chimneys to remain unseen. Like most fairy creatures, hobgoblins did not particularly like humans. Yet they did household chores, from dusting and sweeping, to darning socks. Usually the only thing they would take in return was food. Hobgoblins were believed to be more closely related to brownies than to goblins, but some believe that hobgoblins take on the dwarf-like appearance of old men, even though they are able to shape-shift according to some.

"...strangest of them all, are the hobgoblins. The size of a small child, but hairy like a beast, with the face of an elderly man, they are able to shape-shift. Though pleasant enough, they can be very ill-mannered, bad tempered, and greedy. They spend nearly every night in the village, never taking anything without first having earned their loot." ~ Beyond The Veil. First mention of hobgoblins in the book. Brakt, amongst others, is the hobgoblin featured in the story.

Type: Banshee
Habitat: Unknown

A banshee is a female fairy creature from Irish folklore. The banshee was an omen of death. Some believed that her scream, or wail, was a prediction of a death in one of the major Gaelic families, while others believed that a banshees keening meant that she was already mourning one's death. One thing to be perfectly clear on, is that banshees never caused one's death; they only warned of it. Banshees could not be seen by the dying, but by loved ones surrounding that person. The family then knew that that person would die soon. However, if the banshee became aware of humans watching her, she would disappear as mist. The origin of the banshee is unclear, but it is widely believed that folklore about them came from ancient Irish traditions where women would sing laments for those who had died, and get paid in alcohol. It is said that the church frowned upon this, that when the keening women died, they became banshees; forever having to grieve the dying as punishment for their false grieving. Some say that a banshee is the spirit of a woman who was murdered or who had died in childbirth. The banshee changes slightly with Scottish folklore and Welsh folklore. Sometimes she was depicted as an old hag and sometimes she was a beautiful young woman with red or green hair and pale skin. The Irish usually depicted her as having a comb in her hair, as finding a comb was considered bad luck. In Scottish folklore, she was believed to wash the grave clothes of the dying in a wash bucket or a river.

I have not written about a banshee in Beyond The Veil, and since the story is set in England, I haven't entirely decided if I will or won't put one into the story. I know I would like to write about one. I know exactly where she will appear and how I will use her, I'm just not that far into the story yet. It also depends on where the story is at by that point and my mood. :D
So I guess you can look forward to seeing or not seeing a banshee within the story.

I always have so much fun doing research about fairies. I hope you found some of this interesting, thank you so much for reading!! I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!! ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment