Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fountain Women

Woman at the Fountain by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 

I don’t believe he had the Korrigan in mind when he painted this, but it’s what I thought about when I saw it.  I realize that she is very naked. If this upsets your delicate sensibilities, I don’t care.  It’s a striking painting.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

It’s not March yet so I have a few more hours to post a new blog post for Faerie Lovers month.  I haven’t decided what next month’s theme will be.  It’ll probably be Faeries associated with luck and treasure in honor of St. Patty’s Day.  I thought about doing Irish Faeries in general, but I discovered I had already written about most of my favorites though I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to Irish Faerie Lore. Here’s hoping I stick with my self-imposed blog schedule next month!

I have been reading D. L. Ashliman’s “Fairy Lore: A Handbook.”  There is a great quote that made me laugh out loud. 

The study of fairy lore is an exercise in evaluating contradictory opinions.

To most people, they wouldn’t LOL over this, but to someone who spends a lot of time reading about Faeries and creatures of lore, this one is a “Ya think?” statement if I ever heard one.  Not only are we dealing with is contradictory opinions, we are dealing contradictory accounts and tales, multiple names for the same thing, not to mention different meanings for the same term and name and whole lot of misinformation.  By misinformation, I mean common beliefs about Faeries that are completely false if you take the time to look at the lore.  But that’s a whole different blog post.

Like with many Faerie species, the name Korrigan can mean different things in different times.  In some stories the Korrigans are Dwarf-like creatures and in other stories they are Siren-like Water Sprites.  For the purpose of this exercise I am going to go with the later.   It’s sexier and fits into this month’s Faerie Friday theme.  Besides, how many Dwarf-like creatures can a girl write about?  They are short and wear caps. They often live in the earth. They mine for gems.  Some of them are nice. Some aren’t.  I think I covered the basics.

The Korrigan is a figure in Breton folklore.  The Bretons aren’t just a race in the Elder Scroll video games (I almost always play a Breton), but are rather the Celtic people’s of Brittany.  And like many creatures of lore, there are two sides to the Korrigan – what you see during the day and what you see at night.

At night, the Korrigan is stunningly beautiful.  She can be found by fountains (Hence the term Fountain Women) bathing in nothing but her birthday suit and brushing her long hair.  She is wanton and impish and looking for a little human loving.  If a man sees her naked body he obligated to marry her within three days or faces a certain death.  Death by what I am unsure of, but some of the lore casts the role of the Korrigan like that of the Love Talker.  Once a man sees her beauty, he pines away for her, withering away to nothing.

During the day, this once alluring creature is a horrible stooped over hag with weathered skin and red eyes.  A legend goes, if man is able to love her in both of her forms, she can stay beautiful forever.  It’s a real test of true love that most men would fail.

The Korrigans are reported to be the granddaughters of the nine Druidesses of ancient Gaul.  They are almost always considered anti-Catholic.  Seeing a priest can really set them off into fits of rage and never, never say the name of the Virgin Mary in their presence. 

What was your favorite Faerie of Faerie Lover month?  Is there a Faerie you think I should have mentioned?

My favorite was the Love Talker.  I am working on a story (only in the planning stages at this point) about a Lover Talker.  Wish me luck!


  1. Hey Buffy, saw you on Twitter, and joined your blog. I too, love fairies/faeries, and wrote about them in past book. Feel free to check out my blog

  2. Interesting faerie post btw. And good luck with that story!

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa. I'll check out your blog right away!