When Rubeus Redcap appears
He’ll force you to face darkest fears.
There’s danger ahead
But go forth in dread.
Or live your regret in arrears.
Favorable For: Violence, Passion, Intoxication.
Unfavorable For: Peace, Civility, Clear-thinking.
Associations: Mars and Scorpio
Elements: Water and Air
Latin Translation: Rubeus = Red
The Redcaps are from Scotland where fairies are not known for their pleasant dispositions. There was a time that the humans living in Scotland would warn you to avoid their indigenous fairies at all costs! And this would be especially true of the Redcaps, for their caps are colored from the blood of their murdered victims.
With that grisly image in your head it may be difficult to see Rubeus the Redcap in anything but a negative light. But it would behoove you to remember that fairies are not human, and therefore operate from a different ethical and moral culture. Rubeus the Redcap serves a purpose. To correlate towards Rubeus the Redcap’s point of view, you must consider a cancerous growth – often the only way to treat it is to cut it away. Rubeus the Redcap sees himself as being like a surgeon - he excises what he views as malignant growth. Another example to help explain his moral compass is to consider the process of growing vegetables; often some of the stock must be culled for the health of crop. Rubeus the Redcap sees himself as a vigilant caretaker and gardener.
An encounter with Rubeus the Redcap is a warning that there may be something (or someone) in your life that needs to be excised. No matter how much you may think you want this thing or person, they are clearly not good for you.
Rubeus the Redcap is also a messenger of fear. Like Rubeus the Redcap himself, humans will often warn that the emotion of fear is to be avoided at all cost. Here the fae vehemently disagree with humans. Fear is a warning to be sure and certainly not one to ignore; but the question Rubeus the Redcap aggressively presents is: Are you afraid or what you may lose? Or are you afraid of what you may gain by going forth? A terrifying quandary to be sure.
Leshiis For Literacy
Laetitia the Leshii did some careful consulting with Rubeus the Redcap to come up with these literary selections for you to consider if you would like to know more about the Scottish Redcaps. If you have read any books about Redcaps not featured on this list, please email me!
Diterlizzi, Tony and Holly Black. The Spiderwick Chronicles (Book Series). Simon and Schuster. Recommended reading age: 7 years and beyond.
Gruenberg, Sidonie Matsner, editor. Favorite Stories Old and New. Doubleday & Company. Recommended reading age: 7 years and beyond.
Briggs, Katharine. The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends. Pantheon Books. 1978.
Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 2000.
Rosen, Brenda. The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings. New York: Sterling Publings. 2009
Young, Simon and Ceri Houlbrook. Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500 AD to the Present. London: Gibson Square 2018