Someone asked this question in the Faery Adventure Facebook group, and can I just say how much I love the question? This is the kind of conversation I love to have about the faery realm. And I had never considered it before. Here are my thoughts, below, and I'd love to hear what you think...
What is a Soul?
I thought we'd start there and see if we're all on the same page about what it means to have or be a soul. And then, we'll move forward with the elf question.
the spiritual or immaterial part of a person or animal, regarded as immortal.
In the quote above, the dictionary gives souls to humans and animals, and says that the soul is immortal. Can we reason that anything immortal would have a soul? I'm not sure we can.
And the dictionary doesn't mention beings that are neither human nor animal. So the dictionary doesn't really have an opinion on elves.
The idea that something has a soul suggests that it is a part of the something that exists without the physical being. So if an elf did have a soul, it would be a being that contains elven physicality + a soul. But where would the soul go, if anywhere? Do elves live forever - are they eternal? If so, that might mean that the soul never leaves because elves never die.
Those who believe that humans and animals can have multiple lifetimes seem to also believe that the soul moves on when they do and goes with them into each new lifetime.
If elves are not eternal and they don't have souls, then they would cease to exist whenever their lifetimes ended. If they are eternal, then how did they come to have a soul? Perhaps, they are simply essence embodied with no separation?
What If Everything Has a Soul?
Soul is not just an abstract theological idea but something concrete as well. But, the concrete object cannot be detached, traded, divided, or transplanted. It cannot be passed on to someone else. Yet it is like a living thing, which can grow or evolve, and also mutate into something different. - Quora.com
Do all beings have souls? What do you believe?
If all do, then that would include not just humans and animals, but plant life and possibly, divine beings, too - elves included.
This seems especially likely when soul does not have to bear the weight of separate piece of the self, or part that reincarnates. What if that is a limited way of looking at the concept of having a soul? What if it is broad enough to include beings who do not incarnate but simply exist? Are there other ways to envision soul?
Sentience – the capacity of an organism to feel – is fundamental to being alive. If human beings have souls, they must be more about sentience than consciousness. We are motivated far more by passion than by intellect – what we feel deeply is what drives us, for good and ill. -aeon.co
If sentience is part of what indicates that a being has a soul, then maybe all sentient beings have souls. To be honest, I believe that ultimately, these are theological questions and a matter of faith. Because there isn't much proof.
But deciding what you believe is worth it, whether you can prove it or not. So let's continue...
Who are the Elves?
Different cultures have different interpretations of the term elf. In England, they are commonly perceived as cheeky, young boy faeries. In northern Europe, they are more similar to leprechauns, ...helpful & friendly to humans....In Norse legend, they are tall, human-like supernatural beings...elsewhere they have been diminished in size and power, such as Santa's hard-working little helpers. - Lucy Cavendish, The Book of Faery Magic
Who do you believe the elves are? It is said that they are shapeshifters, and that is what I believe accounts for different perceptions of who they are, what they look like and what they do.
I also tend to believe that scary stories about them, similarly to ones about children-stealing faeries, have been made up by scribes wanting to diminish the faery faith in the hope that more people would turn to Christianity.
But despite differences in opinion on what they look like, etc., many people who believe in elves, consider them to be among the eternal divine. Do you agree?
And if that's true, do they have souls?
Because Google & I are very close friends, I did a search on that question, and found the opinion that they do not. And that once they are no longer with you, you have to wish in order to bring them back?
Say what, now? But that seems to be connected to Dungeons & Dragons? Do let me know if it is also a religious or spiritual belief.
I also found out that not everyone believes that elves are immortal, but instead, some believe they are merely long-lived. I wonder if that is because some people believe they were elves in past lives or have elven ancestry?
I have always tended to believe that any spirit being could choose to incarnate, and then, of course, they would be mortal-ish, but that that would not be descriptive of who they are when they are not incarnating. To be honest, that is what I believe about all of us.
What about you? What do you believe?
Elves and fairies have supernatural powers, allowing them to move through space and change their shape into any form they choose and while in the fairy realm, elves and fairies are immortal. -witcheslore.com
I agree with that quote.
But do they have souls? I definitely believe they are sentient beings, and that they are spirit beings who can take on whatever physicality they want. And who they are stays the same no matter which "body" they are in, and that essence is what makes them who they are throughout time.
Is that non-physical essence a soul? I think we could call it that. keeping in mind that we are humans using human words to describe what is true about an Otherworld we can't know completely.
What do you believe? Do elves have souls?
See you next time!
The faery path is a personal relationship with the faery realm and cannot be found in books. -Orion Foxwood
Someone in the Faery Adventure group asked how to know what you're meant to do when it comes with the faeries. How do you if they're calling you to do faery work in the world?
It's a great question and I think it can sometimes be difficult to know, for sure. At least, at first.
Because I think their call is subtle. And I believe it can be a process.
First, they have to get our attention and overcome any limiting beliefs we might have just so we consider that they might be real. Then, once we believe they are real, and maybe realize that they were our "imaginary friends," when we were children, they have to help us figure out how to reconnect with them.
Once we are reconnected, they nurture the relationships we create with them until we can hear their guidance and trust it. Only then can they say, "we want you to work for us!" and get us to believe it.
So I think our biggest clues outside of that process can come from how we feel. If we have a longing in our hearts to know them, to spend time with them, to learn about them, to learn their ways, all of that is a big clue that we might be meant to do faery work in the world.
When you imagine having the faerie divine as a boss, or doing faery healing or faery readings, etc., if the idea delights you, it is probably what you're meant to do. If you don't like the idea, it probably isn't.
Another way to know whether or not you are meant to work with the faeries is to move toward doing so and see what happens. Give it a try.
If you love it, you'll never look back. And if you don't, the faeries will guide you toward whatever is your calling.
Finally, I have created a faery path assessment that may help you clarify whether or not you're being called. Try that, if you're still not sure, and let me know what you think.
Keep your heart open, and listen closely as you spend time with the faeries. Staying close to them is the best way to know for sure if you are called to work with them.
See you next time!
Welcome to the Faery Adventure Group
After pouring my heart out in the recorded audio welcome, there's not a whole lot left to say. But I do want you to know the group is there for you, if you have questions, if you want to share a faery moment from your day, or if you want to start a conversation about what you believe about our faery beloveds.
I plan to post something here at least once a month, maybe more often than that, so check back if you'd like.
And if you are reading this, and you love faeries, but are not yet in the group, the link to join is just to your right, on the side. And you are welcome here, too!
As I mentioned in the video above, when I was growing up, both my parents taught at a local university. So I was told that I had a wonderful, and vivid imagination whenever I share a thought or experience that seemed "fanciful."
And on my mother's side of the family, there were lots of ministers. So if you were going to believe in something that science couldn't prove, it better be a religious belief.
So you might understand that it took me decades to find my way out of all that confusion and discover that magic was real, that faeries were real and that I could have a relationship with them. What followed was a long period of time when I would rather be "away with the faeries" in meditation and pathworkings, then here in the "real world."
And then, in the middle of a guided meditation led by one of my spiritual mentors, about something else entirely, my faery guides took over the screen in my mind and told me that I was to work for them, as a priestess. Though I have occasionally avoided all things spiritual - when life was so stressful, it was hard to stay centered - I have been connected to them ever since, and I knew that my commitment to them was forever.
Part of my faerie purpose is to help connect faeries and humans, helping them create deep connections and build lifelong relationships with them.
If you have walked the path to faery, tell me your story, in a comment. How did your interest in faeries begin?
See you next time!