Cornish pixies, did you know, magical powers, mythology, pixie dust, pixie powers, pixies, Trevose Head in Cornwall, Trooping Fairy, wingerd fairy
The mythological pixie has many of the same base attributes as the others in the fae kingdom. Traditionally, pixies are seen as benign, mischievous, and childlike, which their small stature helps perpetuate. They’re also often described as having pointed ears and wearing green outfits with a pointed hat and shoes, although some stories dress them in rags that they merrily discard for new clothes. Legends also describe pixies as disguising themselves in rags to lure children to play.
Another depiction of the pixie describes them as a Trooping Fairy with red hair, pale faces, and turned-up noses. They also may tend to take on many guises to hide themselves. Other, less traditional portrayals of the pixie shows them as blue or green creatures with brightly stripped stockings. They can also have beautiful wings like a butterfly or dragonfly. And some can shape shift, commonly into the form of a hedgehog. Most agree that they are near ageless and uncommonly beautiful.
Pixies love to dance and often gather in large numbers outdoors to dance or wrestle. In general, they’re said to be helpful to humans, sometimes helping needy widows and others with their housework. But if they consider a member of the household lazy, the wee fae will nip, chase, and moving objects to scare them. At times, they are known to give misleading directions to travelers. This is often referred to as being “pixy-led,” which can be fixed by turning your coat inside out.
With a preference for bits of finery, pieces of ribbon seem to be highly appreciated by the pixies. A bowl of cream is also an excellent reward for them. They are also drawn to horses, riding them for pleasure and making ringlets in their manes as they explore hidden caves and streams and recesses of land. Although they love to travel, they are particularly connected to their homes, and threatening their homes is one sure way to invoke a pixie’s wrath. They have been known to defend their homes from monks and other fae on numerous occasions.
Although pixies are tiny little creatures, they are rich in magick, often using their powers to bring a smile to the face of a friend. They have an extraordinary ability for casting charms that affect human behavior. In fact, the queen of the Cornish pixies is considered to bring good luck with her pixie dust. Nature is also affected by the pixies’ close proximity: “plants grow more quickly, flowers bloom more brightly, and wild animals are tame when nurtured by pixies.”
The history of the pixie predates Christianity in Britain, but during the Christian expansion, these fae were believed to be the souls of unbaptized children, who would transform after their belongings were placed in clay funeral pots.
Before the mid-1800s, pixies and the other fae were taken seriously in Cornwall and Devon. They were believed to populate the hills of Britain. A group of rocks was named after the pixies because they were said to reside there. Six hundred pixies were once seen dancing and laughing at Trevose Head in Cornwall until one lost his laugh. But as we progressed further into the nineteenth century, the pixies’ contact with humans diminished severely.
Do you have a favorite pixie legend or story? Let me know about them in the comments below!
What a very enchanting posting. If a Pixie Queen decides that you are the one for her, there will be little you can do about it, or will want to do about it once She puts on Her most beautiful face to get your attention. Once seen, you never forget, you can never get enough of seeing that face. But time spent in Her company teaches you that there is no fun in it for Her if She always comes to you with the same recognizable identity.
It’s much more fun for Her, and, in the long run, for you too, if She can be free to approach you, awake or asleep, in whatever form She likes. In dreams, this will quite often be in the form of a mystery female companion whom you don’t recognize but in whose presence you feel comfortable. The facial features may change as can the hair colour, but always there is that sense of being at ease with one another. Sometimes, you may suspect that the rest of Her Troop is ‘in on the dream’, particularly if it is of an adventure type where there are more personages involved than just Her.
Of course, your susceptibility to fall for the first pretty face that comes your way makes you a potential target for a love rival. She may have been keeping Her eye on you down the years, and been aware of a rival inhabiting the water that borders Her field. This rival and likely acquaintance or friend even from the watery realm has been biding her time. For she too has been watching your comings and goings for just as long. Finally, she makes a move by placing an enchantment spell on you which renders you powerless to resist. She puts on a show for you. Each transformation topping the last, until she takes the form of a plump seal. You only have one thing on your mind by this stage – even though it is a seal! Just in the nick of time, a little humanoid figure appears dressed in Her Lincoln Green. She curtly asks you whether you intend to have sex with that entity.
Your anger rises as your lust diminishes – just as She intended. For She is very skilled in feminine wiles. Did She not best this rival years before and suggested as much after you had cooled down? Shortly afterwards, She gives you a shot of Her ‘Glamour’ as if to say, “Why do you bother with a water fairy who can only manage a seal transformation when I at least can appear human?”. Her reasoning is beyond reproach.
Who can say why two powerful fairy entities would contend over a mere human? After all, down the centuries, there must have been many humans far better-looking than he who will have passed their way. We can speculate that when belief in the Fae was more prevalent, there were enough humans to go around and that, with the coming of modernity, humans with those beliefs grew scarcer and scarcer.
Thus, when a teenage human soul strode into their domain one cold winter’s day, and, because his fishing was proving fruitless with only an hour of daylight left, decided to call upon the ancient fairy names from Arthurian Legend to prove their existence by yielding to him a fish (something they did with alacrity, it has to be said), it is not hard to imagine the attention he garnered from both land and water!
Although he got his wish, at the price of having to retrieve his hooks from the maw of a gorged fish, he nevertheless thought better of issuing such challenges in the future. But, too late! He was now on their radar. He didn’t know it, but he was already a marked man!
Nothing happened for years after. The local pixies sported with him and chastised occasionally when he got too disrespectful to Mother Nature to whom they tend. Then, one warm still moonlit summer’s night, when he was alone fishing in Her field, She announced to Her Followers within his earshot, “This One”. He froze in shock when he heard these two words spoken within six inches of his ear. It was a full half minute before he turned around to behold the moonlit field devoid of all presence except his own – and the horses that grazed there and which ‘they’ liked to gallop at night in true pixie style …
She tried to make good her statement of intent the following night by trying to approach with Her Troop via a dream. All he heard was a loud clamorous throng getting louder and louder as it approached. Just when he felt he was done for, there was a sudden ferocious yowling of a cat – for his family’s black cat had just passed over. Rebuffed, She and Her Troop withdrew.
It was to be a full five years (nothing to them – a mere blink of the eye) before they made the same approach. Watching from the side lines in the dream, he saw himself impersonating a wizard decked out in a bright white robe and pointy hat hurling incantations towards them at the
top of his voice. Once again, they
withdrew. Several years passed by, and this time, She got the better of him (and has done so ever since – sigh!) by sending him a dream wherein he thought he was going to meet some friends at the local harbour to go sea fishing. He was excited about it. Abruptly, the dream changed, and there they were standing in a huddle in this badly-lit room, hoods over their faces, clad in their favoured green. He was very angry with them for breaking off his dream whilst
loudly proclaiming that he knew
why they were there. His waking self recalled something being mentioned about a marriage, but not much more than that.
For many years, She was content to ‘flit in and out of his life’, sporting with him, throwing in the odd manifestation which She knew he would pick up on. But even someone as patient as She has her limit, or could it be that my span of mortal years is running out? Who can say? She makes the decision to take this ambivalent human in hand and place their relationship on a more formal level. This seems to require some undertaking from him, which he readily gives, before this can happen.
She will always be a mystery to him – demanding of respect, fiercely loyal, quick to anger, even quicker to forgive, and so forth. But above all, fun-loving. Life is never dull when She is around, that’s for sure.