Fairies are mythical, magical beings, usually depicted as tiny human-like figures, who can be found throughout the rich folklore of Europe.
The word fairy comes from a mixture of the Latin fata meaning fate and the old French fae meaning magical powers. Fairies love to dance and have fun, and are closely associated with nature, living in small hills of earth, woodlands or near rivers and streams.
Contrary to our modern view of fairies as sweet, lovely, ethereal beings, however, the fairy folk of myth were feared as dangerous, cunning and sometimes cruel beings.
Traditionally, fairies did not have wings, but they did move easily through the air, much faster than a human eye could follow, almost instantly switching from one place to another.
Capable of being very charming, fairies would often trick unsuspecting humans. Sometimes their trickery took the form of harmless pranks, such as tangling someone’s hair or causing to them to become lost, but if the fairy folk were wronged, they could cause illness, great misfortune or even death. Fairies were also though to kidnap human babies and to leave their own babies – changelings – in their place.
To avoid offending the fairies, people would avoid fairy glens, hills and paths, and would go to great lengths not to disturb them. Talismans and amulets to repel fairy attention were popular, and it was thought that iron would protect you from fairy magic.
Sometimes, however, the fairies were known to favor people, particularly by granting them the power of second sight or premonition. Of course, this is a mixed blessing in itself, as knowledge of the future can be both promising and frightening.
On the face of the Fairy card, we see a fairy dancing in the light of the Full Moon as it reflects off a woodland stream, with her shadow on the rocks revealing the darker, trickster element of her myth.
The Fairy card reassures you that you can adapt to your circumstances, just as the fairy of folklore zips through the air. It is also a warning, however. There could be trickery in the air, and all may not be as it seems. Someone may have ulterior motives towards you. Sometimes, the Fairy card can also represent your skills in precognition or a development in your psychic abilities.