Exactly what is the Fae?

I am confused on so many levels. I'm doing research, but I'm getting different answers. I tried looking for a specific book on folklore creatures, however, I cannot find one that ONLY describes them and not about the folklore. So far, I've learned the general information about the Fae and their abilities. They said Fae is also known as fair folk and fairy. The part I'm confused about is that looking up fairy it's like they're a being or race all on their own. Taking that into account they said the different types of fae are Aes Sidhe, Mermaid, Pixie, Will o'wisp, etc.

I can understand that part, but does that mean "fairy" is a term like "mammal"? So any abilities for Fae or fairies, it applies to every other fae type to a certain extent? Also, are Elves included in this? I'm getting 50-50 on that. (Elves being a fae or not.) Then to make things worse they said Aes Sidhe is a type of Fae BUT their types include banshees, puca, leprechaun, etc.

So is this how it is? Fae - Aes Sidhe - Banshee

If that's the case, how does this work? Fae - Pixie - (?)

or is it, Fae - (?) - Pixie

If we were talking about nymphs, it would be: Fae - Nymph- Dryades

So, how does this work? Are there are books on this? 

5 Answers

  • Cousin
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    The little Stone Age autochthonal people of Britain, variously called the Creithne or Pictish so-called by the Romans. During Kenneth Macalpine's time there were 7 hidden entrances to 7 underground or subterranean cantreves or sietches of the little people who herded reindeer underground in Alba. Kenneth's mother and his father Alpine's mother were both urguisticca or princesses of the Fae and he was therefore able to betray the Picts and lead tall Scots underground to massacre them. The few left alive by the twelfth century were used as slave labour in the building of Glasgow Cathedral and then executed. See too the history of the Green Children at Wolfpitts in Suffolk and their part of the underground country.

  • 4 weeks ago

    The confusion is understandable. Fairy folklore is a mixture of lots of different stories from different places, different cultures and different time periods. You mentioned nymphs and dryads, they are from Greek folklore. A "pixie" is actually pyske in Sweden and piskie in Cornwall. 

    "Fae" or "fey" is from the French, as in Morgan le Fay" in the King Arthur / Camelot legends (the name was given to her in the 15th century by Thomas Malory from the French la fée, "the fairy"). 

    I've always heard that the term "fairy" comes from "fair folk" which is a term used in Ireland to placate or pacify what are actually not "fair" at all but malevolent, wild spirits that steal children and lovers, and cause all sorts of mischief and grief. But over time, "fairy" came to apply to a load of different supernatural creatures. "Fairy" has been a noun or an adjective, to describe the land they come from (the realm of Fairy), the general type of beings that they are (magical creatures, the Fair Folk), the powers they have (magical, enchanted), how they put spells on humans ("he's away with the fairies" = not dealing with reality), or a specific type of creature (particularly literature and art of the Victorian period, they are little women with wings). 

    I wouldn't consider a mermaid a type of fairy. It's a magical or mythological creature, yes, but fairies tend to be associated with forests and trees. Some stories show them as having green skin, for this reason.  

    The aes sídhe are a supernatural race of beings who were thought to live underground or in mounds (which we now know were ancient burial sites). They are a bit of a confusing mix of actual history, ancient religion and centuries of folklore, identified as ancestors, spirits of nature, goddesses and gods. 

    Are there books? Yes, there's tons of information about this sort of thing. I've been reading about it all my life, and I'm nearly 50. 

  • 1 month ago

    This is very helpful. Marco Pogacnik is very advanced. 


  • 2 months ago

    "Fae" are a European catch-all term for creatures from folklore and legend. There are many different answers because what each culture and city called "fae" were sometimes the same things but equally as often different things.

    A core example is that modern academia recognizes the tale of "shapeshifters". A child might get lost in the woods, and when they come back they are declared by their parents as being "different", almost like they literally "aren't the same" child who wandered into the woods. The folklore attributes this to fey abducting the child (typically to consume or sacrifice) and employing a young shape-shifting fae in the child's place.

    Given the writings around supposed incidents, it's clear to psychologist and those on the spectrum that what's going on is the parent is noticing symptoms of autistic conditions they had previously ignored. I mean, hell, we're talking about the stories beginning with a child allowed to go into the woods outside of town without supervision, because the parents are too busy working and/or too rich to pay attention to their child for the first few years of the child's life. It's not unreasonable that the children always acted that way and the parents just didn't care enough to notice until forced to notice their child.

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  • 2 months ago

    Fae is just another word for fairy, usually a young fairy. The plural is faes. 

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