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Angels and Faeries

What's the difference between an angel and a fairy?

The nature of both creatures has been debated over the centuries and it is still not clear what they actually are.

Angels began (in the Old Testament) as anonymous messengers of God but evolved, via St Dionysius, Aquinas and Islamic scholarship, into immortal denizens of the heavenly realm and, in effect, a limited manifestation of the mind of God.

Their appearance, though guessed at by medieval artists, is never really described, although there are some early Israelite representations of sphinx-like cherubim.

Fairies, on the other hand, tend to be associated with pagan myth or religion and most cultures contain within their folklore creatures that approximate to fairies.

They are generally thought of as supernatural beings who live alongside humans, possibly within a slightly different dimension to ours. Fairies are either immortal, or extremely long-lived, and come in a variety of usually humanoid shapes and sizes.

On a lighter note four-year-old Arthur explained the difference at Christmas: he said an angel is white and a fairy is pink.