The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sylph

Sylph (also called sylphid) is a mythological creature in the Western tradition. The term originates in Paracelsus, who describes sylphs as invisible beings of the air, his elementals of air. Though they are somewhat flighty and temperamental, Sylphides are highly intelligent. Their mischevious personalities make them somewhat akin to pixies, though their is no true relation between the two species. They can control the winds, help birds in their migrations and flowers in their pollination. These airy creatures are aggressively territorial, and when a flight of Sylphides are angered, they can cause devastating natural disasters such as storms and tornados.

Appearance
Because their natural state is invisible to the human it, it is often difficult to get an accurate description of a sylph. Only during a rainstorm, when the water can outline their features more clearly, can one observe a sylph for a few brief moments. However, research indicates that a common sylph has elongated proportions, giving them a lithe appearance and somewhat angular features. Because they have the ability to shapeshift into birds, Wilder sylphs are intense and direct, like the birds of prey they resemble. They soar endlessly through the skies, looking for something to attract their interests and allow them to prove their worth. Their skin ranges from a pale green to a light yellow, with a slight translucent sheen.

History

Ancient China
In ancient China, as Buddhism was just beginning to take hold, another more shamanistic religion (though not thought of in this way in the west) Taoism held teachings that Sylphs were elemental Devas that could help highly advanced practitioners who had awakened their consciousness or siddhis. References to this can be found within the recently translated Medical Chi Gong texts of Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson. Between the 1st and 2nd century A.D.when Buddhism was still migrating to China, it was in strong competition with the more ancient doctrines of the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu. During this time the doctrine of the Sylph (Shen Hsien) was still held in high regard. Sylphs are mentioned in various literature regarding the early histories of China and it seems highly probable that highly developed mythos did exist within ancient Taoist teachings yet such sources have not yet been translated into English.

Alchemy and literature
As alchemy in the West derived from Paracelsus, alchemists and related movements, such as Rosicrucianism, continued to speak of sylphs in their hermetic literature.

The first mainstream western discussion of sylphs comes with Alexander Pope. In Pope's poem, women who are full of vanity turn into sylphs when they die because their spirits are too full of dark vapors to ascend to the skies. Belinda, the heroine of Pope's poem, is attended by a small army of sylphs, who foster her vanity and guard her beauty. When the Baron of the poem attempts to cut a lock of Belinda's hair, the sylphs interpose their airy bodies between the blades of the scissors (to no effect whatever). The chief sylph in "The Rape of the Lock" has the same name as Prospero's servant in Shakespeare's The Tempest: Ariel.

Special Thanks to Wikipedia and to Nvsexiieriee for the information--and to Darvete of Deviantart.com for this slightly stolen picture.

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