Welcome to the 1st ever Faerie Friday. I’m not going to yammer on about how excited I am or how much fun it’s going to be – I’m just going to jump in.
Ambiguity is one of the most frustrating aspects of studying faerie and folk lore. One name can mean so many things and some names seem to be interchangeable but are completely different. I know that makes no sense. See why I’m confused?
Today’s subject is Wood Wives. They are in both Scandinavian and Germanic folklore. According to Carol Rose in the “Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins,” there are many other names for Wood Wives such as Moss Woman or Wish Wives. Wood Wives are described as petite, blond and very pretty. They often give wood chips to humans that have helped them in some way. If they human takes the woodchips and isn’t a dick about it, the chips turn into gold. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that they whine and cry and moan a lot.
Kveldulf Gundarsson in this book, “Elves, Wights and Trolls: Studies Towards the Practice of Germanic Heathenry, Vol 1” describes the Wood Wives as helpful to humans, teaching them herb craft and milling. The cool thing about studying folk lore is that you have books called “Elves, Wights and Trolls: Studies Towards the Practice of Germanic Heathenry, Vol 1” in your home library.
From there, I decided to research Moss Woman and Wish Wives. Guess what, Moss Woman have skin like moss and limbs like twisted tree roots. Not exactly the paragon of feminine beauty that is the Wood Wife.
The Wish Wife, she’s like a genii waiting around the woods to grant wishes and favors for someone, and in some mythologies, they are succubae.
None of these faerie creatures seem to be the same. They do have some similarities. All three creatures seem to have an inherit connection to the forest they inhabit and in the case of the Moss Women their very lives are tied to a specific tree. Oh, and that little scamp, the Wild Huntsman, finds them all irresistible. Apparently, he likes wood chips and isn't particular about skin conditionsJ.