CHANGELINGS IN EUROPEAN FOLKLORE

      Changeling myths and legends abound, predating the written word, and in European folklore, while descriptions vary from culture to culture, changelings were believed to be otherworldly fairy or troll children left in place of healthy human babies. Today, it is generally accepted that changelings were human children born with physical deformities, developmental disorders, or both, that in more superstitious ages, rejected by their parents, were abandoned to the elements, including foraging carnivores. Tragically, changelings believed to be possessed by demons, were frequently subjected to torture and even ritual infanticide.

But while every sort of changeling was suspect, some surviving changelings seem to have been uniquely gifted with superior strength and/or intellectual brilliance. Foundlings who appeared to be normal, healthy human infants abandoned by single mothers, superstitious, or poverty-stricken parents, were sometimes left where they might be taken in and reared by childless, enlightened, or more financially secure parents.

Irish folklore allows for some changelings to be otherworldly infants deliberately placed where kind humans would be sure to find and foster them, and who, as they grew to maturity, would discover their gifts of poetry and music, and share their enlightenment and hope for the human race.
Travis Edward Pike, 22 August 2021, Otherworld Cottage

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