Cicely Mary Barker Christmas tree fairy
When I inherit our family “Star Fairy” a 1930s painted doll of my Mothers, I shall make sure that she wears a star ribbon headband around her forehead. I periodically replace her star wand, which I craft from paper, card and foil.
Thank you for the inspiring link to the Christmas Tree Fairy statue of Cicely Mary Barker.
My heirloom star fairy is still packed in my parent’s attic and will remain so. My Dad is visiting our Scottish family for the festive period and New Years/Hogmanay.
I have purchased a Christmas Tree Fairy statue of Cicely Mary Barker from the USA, as even with postage it is more affordable than the sole one that I found in Britain!
She arrived all the way from Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States, last week, in a gigantic box – therefore I did not realise that it was her!
I have also purchased a 925 silver locket, Christmas Tree Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker, with silver 5 pointed star underneath.
Traditions and Thealogy of the Star Fairy
From ArchMadria Pamela Lanides posts with additions by Sophia Ruth
We prepare our hearts for the coming of Our Lady through unselfish acts, devotion, contemplation, scripture readings and prayer. We cook special foods for the season. We set our homes alight with candles and colorful bulbs (which represent the Eternal Light and the Angelic powers) in the midst of the ever-growing darkness while awaiting the One Who reflects our Mother’s Light to us.
The Silver Tree/Fir Tree is symbolic of the World Tree/Axis and, in our tradition, is decorated with stars, moons and suns. It is topped with the Star Fairy with her chariot and her team of seven white horses with silver hoofs, and her train of sylphs. It is a tradition to leave bread, milk and cheese for the Star Fairy.
From Madrian member, David Kay, we read: What I have read about the Star Fairy in Madrian writings is that she visits houses on Nativity Eve to increase the sense of joy in that household, and it is customary to place some refreshment under the Nativity Fir to refresh her on her travels.
From The Coming Age Issue 1
118 years after Lourdes apparition of 1858
Legend has it that throughout the period of the Advent, the sylphs of air elements travel about the period of the Advent, the sylphs or air elementals travel about the earth spreading the peace and joy of our Lady’s coming Nativity. The chief among them was always depicted as carrying a symbolic representation of the Star of Nativity, and is called the Star-Sylph or Star-Fairy. Some later traditions say that she and her followers become semi-visible on the night before Nativity-dawn, and fly in and out of every house and dwelling-place, creating presents out of the air for all who have deserved them through the year. Some have doubts about this last point, but the most sensible section of the community has always believed it – that is, the children!”
From The Coming Age Issue 17
“The Star Fairy, the bright, regal princess of the air sylph-folk, who drives her chariot abroad on Nativity Eve with its seven white horses giving presents to all who have deserved them. There was also the possibility that she might leave nothing but a rod, which our mothers by this would know that we had not been good throughout the year.”
From Madrian traditions, it is usual for the Fir to be named (usually by the youngest child).
This is an internet found illustration of another Madrian belief: the Star Fairy always lights the tree candles for the first time.
Again, thanks to our sister in the Faith, Sophia Ruth, who has provided us with the following research and information:
There are those in the British Isles who still give due respect to the Fair Folk who are Elementals of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Near a cultivated garden or field would be left a wild area for the land fairies to live, this is where water soaked bread, cake, biscuit crumbs were scattered for the Fair Folk and the wild birds.
So the Star Fairy with her magic wand in certain households, was honoured at Midwinter. Other children had tree dolls.
I (Sophia Ruth) also wrote a short note of good deeds and intentions which was held above the hearth fire and the updraft carried it up the the Star Fairy (Dea). Etymology: cheminée (chimney) is closely related to chemin (way or road). The chimney in the house is like the fontanelle in the head (the opening we have as babies that symbolically opens up to heaven) or the sun-door in the universe which is the way out of the material world to the higher realms.
Therefore the Deanic/Filianic tradition of the Star-Fairy was a continuation with added religious significance, the Divine Spirit entering the World through the Northern Portal.
I have just found this on Fellowship Of Isis
Juno Covella Perpetual Calendar of the Fellowship of Isis
By Lawrence Durdin-Robertson
All formatting has been retained from the original.
Goddesses appear in BOLD CAPITAL letters.
THE STAR FAIRY; THE GODDESS OF NATURE. (Doreen Valiente, ABC of Witchcraft, p. 323) on the Yuletide tree:
“With its bright, baubles and the star on the top, fir is a miniature version of World Tree of our pagan ancestors, with its roots deep in earth, the sun, moon and stars hung on its spreading branches, and the Pole Star on its topmost point. Sometimes the star is replaced by a fairy doll, who represents the goddess of Nature ruling over the world”.
(The Coming Age, No. 13) on the Yule tree: “The fir tree, with its ruler the: Star Fairy, stand always in the heart of the home”.
All legends have their beginnings, including Santa Claus. While our legend of the Star Fairy may be of more recent origin, from the above statement, we can see that this has been a long-standing tradition with some families in the British Isles.
The Christmas Tree Fairy
The little Christmas tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Someday it’s boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.
O little Fir! Your forest home
is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright
For this is Christmas Day
A dolly-fairy stands on top, Till children sleep, then she
(A live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes gliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!
French: DAME ABONDE. (Brewer, Dict.) “Abonde (Dame). The French Santa Claus, the good fairy who comes at night to bring toys to children while they sleep, especially on New Year’s Day”.
DECEMBER 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Oh, Thank you, Ruth! You have found the Star Fairy of my paternal ancestors! (Lorraine). I will add this to a new post. Thank you. This information will also be nice to have for MidSummer’s Eve and the Feast of the Fairies.