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The Heart of the Matter: Fairies, Love, and Valentines

February 14, 2013

ImageAt Fairy Woodland, we always like to ask the Fairies about their thoughts on human customs and holidays – we find interesting perspectives on our culture that way. So we asked them what they thought about Valentine’s Day.

“Who’s Valentine and why does he or she get a special day?” they wanted to know.

We explained that there are differing legends but the one we like best is that St, Valentine was a priest who lived in the Roman Empire almost 2000 years ago. The Emperor at the time had decided that married men made poor soldiers so he issued a ban on marriage. Valentine defied the ban and married couples anyway and was arrested for his actions. The legend says that, while in jail, he fell in love with the jailor’s blind daughter, healed her blindness, and wrote a final note to her before he was executed signed “from your Valentine.” He was later declared a Saint by the Catholic Church and February 14 was declared his “feast day” because that was supposedly the day of his execution.

“So that’s why he gets a special day?” the Fairies chirped.

“Well, partly. There have always been pagan festivals in the middle of February that had to do with fertility and . . .”

“Of course!” they interrupted. “It’s the time that seeds and trees start to wake up and birds find their mates! It’s a time to think about Spring and creating new life!” (They get very excited about some subjects, hence all the exclamation marks.)

“That’s right. Well, the Church didn’t like people observing pagan rituals, especially ones like this that involved young men and women pairing up for a day or even the whole year because that often involved . . . well, you know . . . sex.”

Silence. “???????”

“OK, let’s skip that part. The important part of the story here is that somewhere during the course of human history, the legends of St. Valentine got connected with mid-February fertility rituals and tied to romantic love.” [We actually filled in a lot more of the various legends, including Chaucer and the Middle Ages, but there’s no point in repeating what you all can find on Wikipedia.]

Sarafina-Wings-UpSarafina, who some of you may be familiar with because she’s insisted on having her picture on our  Facebook page (please “like” us!) in her attempts to become a star, was the first one to get the point.

“So the day is about connecting with people you love. Touching hearts.”

“That’s it exactly!” we told her, very pleased. “So, what do you all think of having a special day set aside for that, where we send special cards with hearts on them and give each other gifts?”

The resulting discussion was still going on when a gentle rain started and we humans decided to adjourn to a drier environment but we’d learned a lot about love and heart from the Fairies’ perspective.

The main thing is that a heart connection for them is not about romantic love – it can be, but that’s not the core. A connection that involves the heart is a bond of pure joy and a celebration of the very existence of the other. It’s how a Fairy feels when riding the wind or coaxing a seed to sprout. In fact, love, that connection from the heart, is how Fairies navigate the world and work their magic. Everything they do comes from that link they feel between their heart and the heart of every creature and element they come in contact with. They honor each other and the life around them with their love every day.

We humans are not always as skilled at that kind of heart connection so perhaps it’s a good thing that we declare a special day to honor that in ourselves and each other. We hope that, beyond the flowers, chocolate, jewelry, teddy bears, and candlelight dinners, we can all remember that the symbol of Valentine’s Day is a heart and make a connection from that place with each other and all the living things around us.

If there’s no special human in your life with whom you can share Valentine’s Day, the Fairies suggest you find a tree or a stone or a weed growing through a crack in the sidewalk and let your heart connect to the Fairy energy that lives there. The Fairies will be delighted to be your Valentine, every day of the year.

We wish you joy in your heart.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. liz permalink
    February 15, 2013 8:23 am

    thanks for the email; always enjoy peeking into land of fairies…

  2. Ngleek permalink
    February 7, 2014 7:40 pm

    Hi dear Fairywoodland,
    By chances of life I am here reading your posts. I am writing here because I don’t like facebook so I decided to write some words for Sarafina.
    “Dear Sarafina,
    You are perfect as you are. You can make any change that you might think but I am sure that you will look as beautiful as you already are. Sometimes we cannot see our beauty but believe me you got it. Thank you for your existence. You are already a star, a wonderful one for sharing too much with us. Please keep shining for us.”
    With love,
    Ngleek.

    Some words for you Fairywoodland,
    THANK YOU. You are the reason and many more who bring these fantastic and shiny species to our reduced-thought world. I am so happy to pass by your picture, your webpage and your post. I believe that nothing occurs by coincidence and I am so thankful because of that.

    Ngleek.

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