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Wiccan Fae Dictionary - Page 11

 


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Lamiñas -
Lamiñas are evil faeries of the País Vasco. They live in the woods and in the shores of streams and rivers. They usually appear as women (they can also appear as men, but that is rare). The only means to distinguish them from normal people is to see that part of their body which is fish or bird. Of course, usually it is easy beacuase it is fifty-fifty, but the animal detail can sometimes be as small as a goat leg or a chicken foot.

Lares -
Roman guardian spirits of house and fields. It was believed that he blessed the house and brought fertility to the fields. Just like the Penates, the Lares were worshipped in small sanctuaries or shrines, called Lararium, which could be found in every Roman house. Here people sacrificed food to the Lares on holidays. In contrast to their malignant counterparts the Lemures, the Lares are beneficent and friendly spirits.

There were many different types of guardians. The most important are the Lares Familiares (guardians of the family), Lares Domestici (guardians of the house), Lares Patrii and Lares Privati. Other guardians were the Lares Permarini (guardians of the sea), Lares Rurales (guardians of the land), Lares Compitales (guardians of crossroads), Lares Viales (guardians of travelers) and Lares Praestitis (guardians of the state). The Lares are usually depicted as dancing youths, with a horn cup in one hand and a bowl in the other. As progenitors of the family, they were accompanied by symbolic phallic serpents.

Leanan Sidhe -
On the Isle of Man, the Leanan Sidhe is a vampiric female spirit, while on in Ireland she is the muse of poetry. Those who are inspired by her usually live a glorious, but short life.

 

 

Lemures -
The Roman equivalent of bogeymen. They are Roman spirits of deceased family members. These malignant spirits dwell throughout the house and frighten the inhabitants. People tried to reconcile or avert the Lemures with strange ceremonies which took place on May 9, 11, and 13; this was called the "Feast of the Lemures." Their counterparts are the Lares, friendly and beneficent house spirits.

Leprechaun -
Very small sprites who sometimes live in farmhouses or wine cellars. They are known to aid humans and perform small labors for them. Sometimes they ask humans for supplies and furniture, in return they give objects which bring luck and fortune. Leprechauns are called fairy cobblers, because they make shoes for elves (but always one shoe, never a pair). They are seen quite often by humans and are described as merry little fellows gaily dressed in old-fashioned clothes; green, with a red cap, leather apron, and buckled shoes. When they finish their daily tasks, leprechauns like to organize wild feast, during which time they are referred to as cluricauns. These (often drunk) cluricauns can then be seen riding in moonlight on the back of a dog or a sheep. According to popular belief, a leprechaun possesses a treasure (usually a pot of gold) which a human may obtain if he succeeds in capturing one, which is extremely difficult. Even after capture, a person may not take his eyes off of him for an instant, for then he will vanish. Leprechauns are mainly found in Irish folklore.

Little people -
Collective name for earth fairies. They can be found living in rocks, caves, quarries, mineshafts, under rivers, and inside burial mounds. They are found in stories in many cultures and are called many names, including gnomes, knockers, and dwarves.

Liosalfar -
In Norse mythology, liosalfar are the light elves that emerged from the dead body of the giant Ymir. See also Dockalfar and alfar.

Lliannan-She -
In the Isle of Man, a spirit friend, a female fairy who waited to encounter men. If one spoke to her she followed him always, but remained invisible to everyone else.

Lorelei -
According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over a faithless lover. Upon her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar. Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen, Germany.

Lunantishee -
The Lunantishee, or Lunantishess, are a tribe of fairies who guard blackthorn bushes (one of the Fairy Trees). They will not allow a blackthorn stick to be cut on May 11th (originally May Day) or November 11 (originally All Hallows Eve). Should a person manage to cut a stick, some misfortune will surely befall him or her.

Lutin -
In the folklore of Normandy, a goblin, similar to the house-spirits of Germany. The name was formerly netun and is said to be derived from Neptune. When the lutin assumes the form of a horse ready equipped, it is called Le Cheval Bayard.

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Mab -
Mab is the Queen of the Faeries. She is often portrayed as a trickster who robs dairies and steals babies. Mab first appeared in post-sixteenth century English literature, in the poems Nimphidia, and Entertainment at Althorpe by Ben Jonson. The origin of Queen Mab is most likely Celtic, either from Mabb of Welsh Mythology or Maeve (Maebhe) of the Cuchullain tales.

Makara -
Just as the mermaid is half human half fish the Makara is half animal half fish. For example, he is sometimes described as having the head of an elephant and the body of a fish. He is generally large and lives in the ocean rather than in lakes or streams.

Mamur -
El Mamur. Of the family of imps, it is a small dwarf, sometimes horned, that wears a red, pointed hat (as all imps) and red chausses. Mamures have many names: diablillo ("little devil") in Galicia, familiar in most parts of Spain, maridillo, maneiró in Cataluña, pauto in Asturias, mengue ("small") in Cantabria, carmeno in Andalucía. In fact, marmeños appear as black beetles, and not dwarves. Mamures are so small they can dwell in a pin's box. They belong to a human, not to a house, and they work hard, and help and obey their master. This one can sell them or give them to one of his children or other relative. Mamures and pautos also protect the human they serve. They are so good, that they will never be evil and they will work hard, without ever expecting anything in return.

Manitou -
Fairy folk in Algonquin Indian legend. These fairies of eastern North America are tricksters with antlers or horns who make magic by drumming.

Manes -
Fairy spirits of the dead in Roman mythology. See also lares and lemures.

Mara -
A goblin from Scandinavian folklore who seizes men in their beds and takes away all speech and motion.

Margot-la-fee -
A treacherous water spirit from France, found in the bodies of salt water .

Meigas -
Meigas are the Galician witches. They are women, but that is nearly the only thing that is defined. They can be good or evil, ugly or of incredible beauty.

Mekumwasuck -
According to Passamaquoddy Indians they are little people of the woods with ugly, hairy faces. They dress outlandishly and bring sickness or death to anyone they look directly at.

Mermaids -
A marine creature with the head and upper body of a beautiful young maiden and with the lower body of a fish. She can be found in seas and lakes, or lying on a rock and combing her hair with one hand while holding a mirror in the other. Mermaids sometimes foretell the future and are often accompanied by seals. According to myth, they lure sailors by singing and with lovely music. They live in a kingdom on the bottom of the sea, and it is here they take their prisoners to. From this story, the fear amongst the sailor grew and they thought that seeing a mermaid would cause bad luck: it could predict death by drowning. The belief in mermaids is not limited to a few countries, but there are tales from all over the world.

Merrow -
The Irish mere-folk distinguish themselves from other sea-elves by wearing red feathered hats which they use to find their homes. Should such a hat be stolen, the Merrow would be unable to return to his home. Although the males are ugly, they are very friendly and cheerful. The females are gentle and beautiful creatures who often fall in love with fishermen. Merrows appear as portents of oncoming storms. Sometimes they come ashore in the shape of small, hornless cattle.

Mimis -
The Mimis are rock spirits of Arnhem Land in northern Australia. They are very thin creatures, for they live in the tiny crevices of rocks. Because they are so thin and fragile, they keep a close watch on the weather for a strong wind might blow them away, or even break their bones if they emerge from their hiding places. Mimis only leave their homes to seek food, usually roots, but a man passing by might be eaten by them.

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