Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tylwyth Teg or The Fair Folk of Ancient Welsh Legend.

The Tylwyth Teg--or the Fair Folk--are the ethereal, fair-haired, beautiful fairies of ancient Welsh myth. They were kindhearted as well as mischievous, and they were a curious mixture of both good and evil. However, according to Owen's Welsh dictionary, unlike other fairies that dwell within Great Britain, these fairies are not your typical Tinker Bell Fairies which fit nicely in the palm of your hand. You see, as a whole, these fairies are quite tall.




Take the Fair Face of Woman by Sophie Anderson 1823-1903



These lovely beings are said to live very happily in lakes or streams or in the hollows of the hills. The women folk are called y mamau or mothers. They dance gracefully in the moonlight, make fairy rings, heap treasures on those they favor, steal little children (especially those with fair hair) and substitute them for gifts or changelings. They also create fairy paths and those that follow such a path should do so with caution.


According to legend, the lake Llyn Y Fan Fach, which is located in Carmarthenshire, South Wales is one place the Tylwyth Teg called home. On a specific day each year, a rock near this lake opened.  Those who who were brave enough to enter, could follow a secret passageway, which came to an abrupt end at the small island in the center of the lake. 

The guest would then behold an exquisite garden filled with amazing fruits, delicious to the taste, and beautiful flowers that filled the space around him with delectable perfume. If the visitor pleased the Fair Folk, he or she would be entertained with heavenly music, made privy to future events, and be invited to stay for as long as they pleased. However, once they made the decision to return to the human world, they had to promise to keep their visit secret. 

That shouldn't be too hard, really. After all, the island wasn't all that distinct, and except for that one day (some say May Day), the entrance was never visible to human eyes. The only tell-tale sign that something otherworldly might exist, is the fact that the birds would never invade the area.

Nonetheless, despite the graciousness of his host, and his vow of secrecy, the last visitor on record, stole a flower from the garden, hid it away inside his pocket, and made his way to the surface. In the very moment of his arrival, the flower disappeared and he lost his senses. An act of revenge or outrage perhaps? Most likely, for according to the legend, the door has never again been opened. Most certainly the Tylwyth Teg are still there because at times, one can still hear ethereal music carried by the wind and the birds still keep their distance.

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I am telling you all of this because the Fair Folk of ancient Welsh legend, in my own way and interpretation, are very much part of The Court of the Hawk, due out April 15th!



So tell me, do you believe in Fairies?


5 comments:

  1. Legends of the Fair Folk have always intrigued me...or perhaps I should say then enchant me ;-) Another great legend. Can't wait to see how they factor into COURT OF THE HAWK. And a blogging friend tells me that whenever she sees faeries scampering beneath the mushrooms near her garden, she thinks of me, so they must be real! :)

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    1. Most definitely! I had such fun writing this story! Thanks for stopping by Mae! I always look forward to your visits!

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  2. I would love to check out this myth myself .A trip to Wales I would be all over that. I'm in looking forward to the new book as always.

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  3. I would love to check out this myth myself .A trip to Wales I would be all over that. I'm in looking forward to the new book as always.

    ReplyDelete