Sprite (creature)

Sprite (creature)

The term sprite is a broad term referring to a number of preternatural legendary creatures. The term is generally used in reference to elf-like creatures, including fairies, dwarves, and the likes of it, but can also signify various spiritual beings, including ghosts.

The word "sprite" is derived from the Latin "spiritus" (spirit). Variations on the term include "spright" (the origin of the adjective "sprightly", meaning "spirited" or "lively") and the Celtic "spriggan". The term is chiefly used in regard to elves and fairies in European folklore, and in modern English is rarely used in reference to spirits or other mythical creatures. Sprites can also be lightning strikes and problems including electricity.

Belief in sprites

The belief in diminutive beings such as sprites, elves, fairies, pixies, gnomes, Japanese yōkai, The Spanish and Latin-American duende and various Slavic fairies has been common in many parts of the world, and might to some extent still be found within neo-spiritual and religious movements such as "druidism" and Ásatrú. The belief in spiritual beings, particularly ghosts, is almost universal to human culture.

In some elemental magics, the sprite is oft believed to be the elemental of air (see also Sylph). Another variation is the water sprite.

prite traps

A sprite trap is a magical device used to capture troublesome or harmful spirits and ghosts. These devices refer to a sprite as a preternatural creature.

The sprite trap is created from a blackthorn stave and copper wire that has never carried electricity. During a ritual process, the copper wire is bound to the stave with red thread and the stave is marked with a Dag (or D) rune.

Sprite traps are used at night, when the trap is set at the entrance to a home, church, graveyard, or other location where disturbances are taking place. To attract the troublesome entity, a cleft blackthorn stave with a lighted candle is placed in front of the trap.

After the sprite trap has captured a spirit, it is removed from the location and the red thread is cut with a consecrated knife; the thread is then placed into a prepared witch bottle. If the bottle has been prepared to imprison the spirit, a spell is recited while the thread is placed in it. Finally, the bottle is corked and sealed with red wax before being buried. A thorn bush will be planted on the site.

It is said that if a witch's bottle containing a sprite is opened, a very angry spirit will escape.

However there is another way to rid yourself of a sprite: they do not like to be ignored and so tend to leave the person they are in pursuit of when that person no longer gives them the attention they want.

In popular culture

*Famous fictional sprites include Shakespeare's Ariel and Puck.
* In "Power Rangers Mystic Force", the Pink Ranger turns into the Sprite Titan. This is based upon MagiFairy, the Majin form of MagiPink in Mahō Sentai Magiranger
* In the animated film "Fantasia 2000", there is a segment based on Igor Stravinsky's ballet "The Firebird", about a Spring Sprite and her elk companion bringing the spring season to life until they wake up the fire bird sprite, whereas he destroys the forest. The forest is soon brought back by the sprite. In this Disney adaptation, the sprite is shown to be more of a goddess of the forest rather than an elf or fairy.
* In "Harvest Moon", it is possible to have 7 sprites help around the farm.
* In "The Legend of Zelda" cartoon series, Sprite is the name of Link's small flying friend
* In "Commander Keen IV" Sprites are underwater enemies.
* In Eoin Colfer's "Artemis Fowl" series, sprites are one of the eight fairy families; they are small and green with wings. There are also water sprites. Chix Verbil is a sprite that is wounded by a bullet to the left wing and rendered unable to fly.
* In "Golden Sun" (Game Boy Advance game) a player collect sprites (called Djinni) to increase his or her magical power.
* In R. A. Salvatore's book "Sojourn" a sprite is an enemy of Drizzt Do'Urden and an ally of a barghest.
* In "" (a game boy advance game) sprites are inhabitants of Riviera.
* In The Heroes of Might and Magic series of computer games, Sprites are the weakest troops available to the Sorceress class.
*The song 'Red Rabbits' by The Shins includes the line 'we've pissed on far too many Sprites and they're all standing up for their rights'.
*The children's television show "Johnny and the Sprites", as the name implies, is focused on the lives of several muppet sprites.
*In "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You", there are 12 individually named sprites.
*In World of Warcraft sprites are often referred to as Wisp.
*In the 1993 SNES game Secret of Mana, the Sprite is one of the three playable characters, specializing in attack magic.
*The short educational film "A Case of Spring Fever" featured a "Spring Sprite" named Coily, who upon hearing a man wish there were "no more springs," promptly removed all springs from the world to teach the man (and the viewer) about the importance of springs. It was mocked on the series "Mystery Science Theater 3000".
*In the "Rainbow Brite" cartoon series, sprites populate Rainbow Land as helpers of Rainbow Brite and the color Kids. They dig out Color Crystals in the Color Cave and even make them in their factory. Twink is the leader of the sprites and is Rainbow Brite's partner.

External links

* [http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/tigris/567/id51.htm Fae Dictionary]
* [http://www.morion.com/morion/wood/beings.html Swedish Myths]

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