The Sicilian Faerie Tradition

There is so very little written down about the various faerie traditions of Sicily that I love when I come across an entry.  So much of it is close to the accounts of the faerie lore in other parts of the world and has the hallmarks of Traditional Witchcraft that it makes me wonder how modern Sicilians find it hard to believe that there really was an “old faith” or Witchcraft being practiced on the island.




Here is a wonderful wiki entry on one of the “Donne delle Fuori” (Donne da fuori, etc.)

The fisherwife of Palermo (
The fisherwife of Palermo was an unnamed Italian woman who was put on trial for witchcraft by the Sicilian Inquisition in Palermo in Sicily in 1588. She claimed to associate with fairies and her confession was among the first that describes contact between elves and humans on Sicily. Her case was among the first of many witch trials in Sicily associated with elves and her confession was typical for such elf-related cases.

She told them that when she was a child of eight, she had flown through the air with a group of women on goats to a vast field on the mainland of the Kingdom of Naples called Benevento, where a red-coloured teenage boy and a beautiful woman sat on a throne.

According to her confession, they were called the King and the Queen. She said that the leader of the women who took her there, who was called the Ensign, told her that if she fell to her knees in front of the King and Queen of the elves and gave them allegiance, they would give her riches, beauty and handsome men, with whom she could have sex, and that she was not to worship God or the holy Virgin. The Ensign also added that she should not mention the Virgin Mary, as it was bad manners to do so in the presence of the Elves.

The fisherwife then agreed to worship the King as a god and the Queen as a goddess, and she swore her allegiance in a book containing many letters which was held for her by the ensign, and promised her body and soul to the divine couple. After this, tables with food were set forward, and everyone ate, drank and had sex with each other. She also claimed that she had sex with multiple men in a short period of time, after which she reported that she had awoken as if from a dream.

She claimed that she was not aware that this was sinful before the priest told her, after she had told him this, that such things were the work of Satan. She said that she had continued with it anyway, because it had made her so happy. On some occasions, she said, the elves had fetched her before she had gone to sleep for the night to prevent her husband and children from noticing anything. She claimed that she was awake the whole time. She also stated that the King and Queen had given her medicine to cure the sick, so she could earn money and alleviate her poverty.

I believe that the entry originally came from “The Esoteric Codex: Witch Hunting By Samuel Covington”:

Leave a comment