Episode 59: Workers of Death: Vilas
The folklore of vilas in a nutshell, how I reimagined them for my writing, and these fae translated into Afrikaans.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2023 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about vilas in folklore here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
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We’re continuing our exploration of the workers of death.
Today’s Faery: Vilas
Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel
The Vila from Slavic mythology is a creature from a race of female spirits of the dead who are forever young and beautiful. Condemned to float between realms for living a frivolous human life, she is a beneficial being who loves to dance and sing. Vilas are beautiful young women with long, flowing hair and they wear either white or blue dresses. They have healing powers that they usually reserve for animals. There are various tales of vilas marrying mortal men, though they tend to stay away from humans. Vilas live in forests and hills, have revelries beneath ash or cherry trees to which they sometimes invite mortal men, and can converse with animals. They are great archers and shoot those who intrude on their revels with deadly accuracy.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Vilas
Vilas are captivatingly beautiful Fae who live in both the Otherworld and the world of the living.
They have beautiful singing voices and are mesmerising to watch when they dance – which they love to do.
They are excellent archers and usually display this skill when mortals interrupt their revels. They have their revels beneath cherry trees.
Vilas have long flowing hair and typically wear white, though they are partial to shades of blue. They are the Keepers of the Blue Festival where all Fae who are blue can enjoy a revel designed to pay their Tithes and build their glamour.
They do not particularly like humans, though they know that it is necessary to enthral them to take part in their revels as sacrifice. They’ll do what they must to lure humans to their special revels. A thick ring of grass, a type of faery ring, remains after such a revel and those who are wise know not to pass, for their life-force will immediately be drained and they will become part of the forest.
They are the peacekeepers of the forest. Any animal or Fae with a problem can go their sacred Ash trees and have the Vila waiting there decide judgement. Though they love all animals, they are partial to dogs.
They delight in creating storms just for the fun of it. Though they’ll heal the injured and sometimes use their prophetic powers to avert tragedy.
Vilas are shape-shifters, a trait they share with most Fae.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.
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No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.