Nature Angels: Fairies and Leprechauns

Are They Imaginary Characters or Real Elementals?

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Are fairies and leprechauns just fun folklore characters, or real angels who are earthbound and work through nature?. PhotoStock-Israel / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

A fairy and a leprechaun are nothing more than cute and funny folklore characters in today's popular culture. But in ancient Ireland, fairies and leprechauns were real beings who interacted with people often. Unlike the currently popular images of tiny, sprightly creatures playing jokes on people, Ireland's ancient pagans considered fairies and leprechauns to be earthbound nature angels who used supernatural powers to influence people's lives.

Some people still believe today that earthbound angels (who are also called either nature angels or "elementals") manifest in the form of fairies or leprechauns and interact with human beings.

While far fewer people believe in earthbound angels than in heavenly angels, those who do say that fairies (female beings), leprechauns (male beings), and other types of diminutive natural angels serve as the guardian angels that God has assigned to watch over animals and plants.

The rampant unbelief in the fairy world causes the creatures real harm, believers say, because people often destroy their environment without considering how damage to nature inflicts harm on fairies. In her book Healing with the Fairies: Messages, Manifestations, and Love from the World of the Fairies, Doreen Virtue writes that "...the fairies' existence is threatened because we don't believe in them. We destroy their homelands every time we kill a wild plant or tree, and we cause them to suffer with our toxic pesticides and cleaning supplies.

The fairies, unlike the angels, have a physical body. It is a very light, etheric body, yet it has many of the same needs as a human body."

Fairies and Leprechauns in History

The belief in fairies and leprechauns originated in Celtic nations such as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, both as a way to explain the mysterious activities of the natural world, and as part of the ancient Druid pagans' beliefs in angels whose home was on Earth rather than in heaven, say tour guides who tell ancient fairy and leprechaun stories at the National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, Ireland.

They say that all fairies and leprechauns act in both good and evil ways, similar to human beings, but in contrast to heavenly angels (who are split between faithful angels who always work for good purposes and fallen angels who always work for evil purposes).

"Among the Ancients, who deal so largely with psychical sciences, there seems to have been a common language which could be used to explain the invisible world and its inhabitants," writes W. Y. Evans-Wentz writes in the book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries: The Classic Study of Leprechauns, Pixies, and Other Fairy Spirits, and that language involved identifying fairies and leprechauns.

Pagans long ago told stories about two fairy races of "little people" called the Tuatha De Danann and the Sidhe, who lived underground in Ireland and played mischievous pranks or even caused dangerous situations to befall human beings who disturbed their natural habitat, according to the National Leprechaun Museum. Yet, while some fairies and leprechauns (who are traditionally the fairies' shoemakers) interact with people in evil ways, some have good intentions and help the people who approach them wisely, the ancient stories say.

Those stories became a part of folklore known as "fairy tales." As stories of fairies and leprechauns spread around the world, people chose different beliefs about them.

"Some people believe faeries [an alternative spelling for fairies] to be nature spirits, while others believe them to be spirits of the dead caught for unknown reasons on the earth plane, doomed neither to be in it nor out of it. Some have even claimed them to be fallen angels," writes Edain McCoy in her book A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk: Reclaiming Our Working Relationship With Invisible Helpers.

Fairies and Leprechauns in Today's Popular Culture

Books, plays, movies, television shows, and other forms of popular culture celebrate both fairies and leprechauns as fun-loving characters who may either help human beings or play tricks on them.

Many parents tell their young children about the Tooth Fairy, a character who picks up the baby teeth that kids lose when their bigger teeth grow in. They instruct their children to leave the teeth under their pillows when they go to sleep at night, and then in the morning, they'll find money that the Tooth Fairy has left as payment for their teeth (the money actually comes from parents who sneak into children's rooms to take the teeth and replace them with cash while the kids are sleeping).

People worldwide know about Tinkerbell, who may be the most famous fairy character in a popular show. Tinkerbell is the fairy from Peter Pan, the tale of a boy who never grew up and the children he visits to encourage them to believe in magic.

Leprechauns are also often portrayed in shows, but perhaps the most famous leprechaun in popular culture is Lucky the Leprechaun, whose image is featured on the boxes of Lucky Charms cereal. Lucky is known worldwide for proclaiming that the oat and marshmallow cereal is "magically delicious."

Fairies and Leprechauns as Nature Angels

But fairies and leprechauns aren't just characters; they're real, say people who believe that they're the guardian angels of nature.

In Healing with the Fairies: Messages, Manifestations, and Love from the World of the Fairies, Virtue writes that fairies "are part of God’s wondrous creation -- a branch of the angelic realm that is assigned to watch over plants, animals, and the earth as a whole. ... The fairies and the other elementals live on an astral-plane level just above the animals and the plants, so they are half incarnated, and half in the spirit world."

"Irish fairyland exists now," writes Carolyn White in her book A History Of Irish Fairies. "It has always existed alongside mortal borders. And there has always been considerable intercourse between the two realms, although the traffic has diminished in modern times. But although few mortals have the ability anymore to see those of fairyland, fairies still live in immortal good health and will yet manifest themselves to those sincere of belief and simple and passionate in nature."

In A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk, McCoy writes that "Many faeries can, and often will, aid human work, ritual, and magick if approached properly. How to approach them depends entirely on the individual faery and what we ask of it."

So how can you connect with the nature angels of the fairy world? Virtue writes in Healing with the Fairies: "At first when working with the fairies, you will sense them in a breeze blowing through the leaves, while inhaling the scent of flowers, or in the fragrance of the lawn and soil. You’ll revel in the fairies' presence when you gaze upon moonlight bushes, or stare at newborn flower buds. In time, as you and the fairies get to know each other, they become increasingly visible."

McCoy writes in A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk: "To find and communicate with faeries you must open your mind as well as your heart. ... Your best chance to see faeries is to shift your consciousness to enable you to peer into the astral world where these beings live. By shifting your focus you will slow the frequency of your brain waves, and your mind will expand so that your consciousness can traverse other realms of existence." McCoy then suggests techniques such as scrying (gazing at an element such as a candle flame or the surface of water to slow down your mind), meditation, or lucid dreaming.

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Hopler, Whitney. "Nature Angels: Fairies and Leprechauns." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2016, Hopler, Whitney. (2016, February 26). Nature Angels: Fairies and Leprechauns. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "Nature Angels: Fairies and Leprechauns." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 17, 2017).