Whether it is Leprechauns of Ireland, Menehune of Hawaii, Gnomes of Germany, or Pixies in England, all cultures have oral traditions and wonderful tales about a race of beings that co-exist with humanity. These beings are so diminutive in size and furtive in their actions that very few people actually get to see them.
For centuries, stories have been the way one generation teaches another certain truths. So why would cultures around the world have such similar stories, and what are they really trying to teach?
Biologists have confirmed that plants have reactions and communicate, that they are even aware of a fish dying in a bowl in another room. Physicists have recently discovered that even the smallest of the smallest particles makes choices and therefore can be considered to have consciousness. Cultures around the world prior to the "rationalist" era we now live in believed all things of the world had sentience… rocks, water, air, fire, plants, animals…everything…and that furthermore that all things had the ability to communicate and affected each other. Ecologists are currently struggling to teach modern man the same ideas.
This is what the stories of “wee” people in all cultures were designed to teach. It is difficult for the average person to understand or believe that a rock can talk...but if one is taught there are gnomes that live deep in the mountains who mine and protect their precious ores...one might think twice before indiscriminately pillaging a mountain. And if one was sensitive and actually did hear or sense communication from a rock, they would not be as frightened believing it was a gnome.
The Celts have a rich tradition of "wee" people: leprechauns, fairies, sylphs, undines, salamanders, elves…all with an involved lineage, history and sometimes even human dimensions. If one looks pragmatically at the stories of leprechauns and fairies, one can learn a great deal about life and earth. The beings in these stories always live in nature and they leave an area when it is populated with humans who build cities and destroy their natural surroundings. The teaching here is obvious: we need to build to incorporate nature, not cement over it. The beings disappear when we create our modern form of communities...we can’t interact with them, for they are no longer present, and we are less because of the loss of the connection.
Leprechauns teach a humorous tale. The stories are all about gold...greed...how when men grasp for material things they find it turns to "fairy dust." Material things are transient...nature teaches that constantly through its seasons...to force holding on to something puts the cycle out of balance. When things are out of balance, as with a wheel, they don’t run smoothly. When we translate that lesson to the stories, we see that those who are able to gain, through trickery, the leprechaun’s gold, have a miserable future. The tales are as true today as they were when first told.
So why do people even today sometimes believe they "see," or even communicate with these "wee" people? Basically, because they do. Some people have an extended awareness that is sensitive to the communication of consciousness from non-human sources. Just as a musical note can be translated into a vibratory pattern of light (color), this communication is sometimes translated in our psyche into a physical picture of light and color. Personally, I see elementals as points of light...and angels as huge columns of vibrating light...but I have observed others who look at the same physical point and describe wonderful pictures much like the paintings of angels and fairies we are familiar with. I believe the translation is in accordance with our psychological disposition, as to how we can receive information consciously. One vision is not more "right" than another. Just as color is not more "right" than sound...just a different way of sensing the same thing.
So the next time you hear a story about the "wee" people, listen closely…all things are interconnected… what we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.
Rev. Kythera Ann
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