Elves and Gnomes

There seems to be  so many” little people” of myth and legend in our reality, classified as devas, but very hard to pin down. Of all the Devas I have looked at, elves and gnomes, apart from fairies of course, are among the best known. The trouble is that any search for the truth about elves and gnomes info gets soon caught up in the world of fantasy. I came across Christmas helping Santa Elves, middle earth Tolkien Elves, and the Elves and Gnomes of German folklore. There are even Lego Elves and, of course, garden Gnomes! It is very hard to distinguish elf and gnome fact from a rich tradition of elf and gnome fantasy.

Elves and gnomes

Stories of elves and gnomes abound mainly in Scandinavian, Icelandic and German folk lore and stories. They are said to live underground in the mountains, lakes and forests of these areas. The consensus seems to be that they are mischievous small beings, looking like miniature humans.

 Elves

Elves are supposed to be small individuals, juvenile in appearance, but with small pointy ears. All the illustrations I have seen show them to be male. They are said to have with magical powers, who can help or hinder human kind. In some quarters elves are considered to be skilled at music and art.

There does seem to be two main types of Elf. Light Elves and dark Elves. Those that work for humanity and those that work against us. There was a theory at one time that Elves could deliberately make you ill. (The Elf shot!).

Gnomes

Gnomes are said to be also short but  dumpier and grumpier, again also almost always shown as male. They do not usually look juvenile but like wizened old men, and  are often shown with beards and pointed hats.  Gnomes come from the Latin genomos- earth dweller. They are reluctant to interact with humans and are said to guard underground mines and treasures.

They seems also to be a cross over in belief and myth between Elves and Gnomes and even Fairies. People refer to the same beings by different names.  Fairies are lighter and winged, but they are often clumped together in practice.  All are supposed to be helping our environment and all can be ambivalent, at least, about human kind.

Something even stranger

When I was researching ancient aliens  I came across a set of theories that some of the small blueish gnomes of German folklore were actually the small blue alien beings. As I said before, distinguishing fact from fantasy is even more difficult than usual!

Next time Leprechauns and goblins.

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