Keshalyi - Fairies

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005


Keshalyi are the Romany fairies. Their name is believed to derive from a word for “spindle” and so they may be associated with those deities who spin the threads of fate.

They live in remote forests and mountain glades, especially in Transylvania.

The Keshalyi are gentle, beautiful, and benevolent, but theirs is a tragic saga:

Ana, the beautiful, kind, generous Queen of the Keshalyi lived in a fabulous castle in her mountain paradise, until the King of Demons fell in love with her. (These aren’t Christian demons but malevolent spirits known in Romany as Loçolico.) She refused his advances and proposal of marriage until the King with his horde of evil spirits stormed her palace and began devouring her fairy entourage. To spare the rest, she agreed to the marriage.

Ana as the spirit of fertility is marvelously fertile herself. Unwillingly, she becomes pregnant time and time again. The fruits of her union with the King of Demons are horrific disease spirits. A lengthy fairy-horror tale cycle recounts each pregnancy and names the child and the diseases it causes. Some but not all her pregnancies result from sex. For instance, Ana develops a skin infection. A cure is suggested that involves mice licking her sores; one mouse enters her body to be reborn as the disease spirit Lolmischo who, in the form of a demonic red mouse, inflicts eczema and other skin ailments.

The saga of the liaison between Ana and the King of Demons is the history of the introduction of diseases, both physical and emotional. However, the detailed saga may also be used by shamans and fairy magicians for purposes of diagnosis, and to affect magical cures via negotiation and control of the spirits.

Utterly horrified and in despair following the birth of her ten children (including one, Lilyi, who sounds remarkably like Lilith reborn as a Romany disease demon; she inflicts catarrhal infection), Ana finally convinced the King of Demons to liberate her. In exchange she agrees that whenever a Keshalyi reaches 999 years of age, she will marry one of his Loçolico. Consumed with remorse and shame, Ana now hides within her palace, only very occasionally venturing out in the form of a golden toad.

See below Fairy Magicians, Sicilian Fairy Cult; ANIMALS: Frogs; DIVINE WITCH: Herodias, Lilith.