Accepted paper:

Faeries and faery pedagogy in neopagan spiritualities in Croatia


Marina Tkalcic (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka)

Paper short abstract:

Paper focuses on fairies and fairy pedagogy in Croatian neopagan spiritualities, trying to underline effects of old folk tales about faery existence in the present. Through research of individual practices paper will try to connect alternative ways of today's living with educational role of faeries.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will try to detect continuity of belief in faeries in Croatian neopagan spiritualities as well as continuity of aspects of faery pedagogy based on this beliefs, but also on spiritual, magical and everyday practices of Croatian neopagans. I observe faery pedagogy like practice which implies learning from faeries. This learning is in most cases based on questioning the dominant forms of (bio)power, and faeries here are opposed to capitalism, imperialism, and to numerous forms of oppression. The emphasis is mostly on ecology - on learning how to, using faery cultures, relate to the land and to nature in a different, less aggressive manner. In the contextualization of faery pedagogy the emphasis is on neopagan communities in Croatia. Through member tellings about their spiritual and everyday practices, I'll try to show the existence of some aspects of faery pedagogy in Croatia, and only their compatibility, not commonality. Even if belief in faeries is noticed in spirituality of most of the examinees, usually this belief doesn't have direct impact on their religious and everyday practices in educational context which is present in faery pedagogy in Great Britain and USA. Activist, social, and spiritual worldviews of Croatian neopagans usually are indirectly initiated by experiential relationships with faeries. Belief in the existence of faeries like nature energies and manifestations is a part of the complete spirituality system of neopagans in Croatia and related way of living like complex and encircled worldview.

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