As I look back, growing up in an Irish Catholic home, superstition and myth were taken as part of life and often mixed with religion. The wee people were never mixed with religion but being Irish certainly was.
It seems like leprechauns were taken for granted. While no one believed they existed, few of us would have been shocked if one was to suddenly appear. Maybe I could say we were more like leprechaun agnostics than non-believers.
In this case, I developed a mental image of leprechauns regarding appearance and spirit, or morality, and I hold to that even today. I did not know the history, but I understood that they could be blamed for everything – good and bad, mostly mischievous. I continue to see leprechauns as childish pranksters. They’re sort of like gremlins on airplanes or motorcycles. (Ever see a motorcycle with a small bell tied to it? It’s there to annoy the gremlins who delight in causing mechanical malfunctions on bikes).
Leprechauns have a folklore family tree. That enchanted race of mythical fairies and leprechauns of Irish folklore are descended from the ancient divine race called the Tuatha Dè Danaan, or “peoples of the Mother Goddess Danu.” The Tuatha Dè were a race of gods that inhabited Ireland before they were defeated by the Celts/Gaels, the ancestors of the present-day Irish and those of Irish descent around the world.
I have no idea how leprechauns procreate since they all seem to be males. But given the family ties with fairies of other natures, I suspect that can be worked out.
Often referred to as The Folk, The Good Neighbors, The Fair Folk, or the Wee People, they can be appeased with offerings. Never anger or insult them. They are often thought of as stunningly beautiful, though they can also be terrible and hideous.
The movie, Leprechaun, relies on some of this myth. Here is the trailer for your review. It’s not too scary, but a wee bit.
Look both ways as you travel to the pot of gold at the end of rainbow.
Be mindful of the wee people and the gaps.