Different kinds of faeries

Someone asked me if the faeries are basically all the same.

The resounding answer is, “No.”

They are very different kinds of beings, and different kinds may have starkly different ancestry.

Here’s what I explained to the person who asked the question…

Especially in the British Isles, there are many words for beings who are able to readily move between the worlds: fae folk, faeries, fairies, the good folk, Daoine Sidhe (said “DEE-neh shee” or “DAY-nah shee”), and more.

(In parts of Ireland, some of those words also specifically refer to one kind of “faerie.”)

People can call them all “fae” or “faeries,” and it’s sort of like saying “humans.”

If someone takes it a step further and insists that the fae folk are interchangeable, they’re mistaken.

Leprechauns and banshees and so on, are each very distinct and different kinds of beings. They may all be members/descendants of the Tuatha de Danann, according to some legends, but they’re all very different beings.

(Personally, I’m not convinced that they’re all members of the TDD [Tuatha de Danann].)

There is one exception: Leprechauns may be the same beings as cluricauns. They’re among the “little people,” and they are the only ones known to actually look industrious.

Leprechauns make the shoes for the fae folk, and sometimes make clothing.

(The Bean Tighe, the “little woman of the hearth” or “our housekeeper” is also known to be industrious, but she’s rarely seen doing any work. The leprechaun is actually heard–and sometimes seen–tapping nails into little shoes.)

The cluricauns may be what leprechauns are called in the evening hours… and they only live where there’s a good wine cellar, or at least some good wine.

For amusement, they tend to ride small animals (including cats & dogs) around the house/apartment, as if they’re horses. Pets don’t like this much, after awhile.

In some parts of Ireland, the traditions clearly state that cluricauns and leprechauns are the same beings. And there certainly seem to be plenty of them, although disbelief and a fear of humans makes them harder to find in recent years.

Both leprechauns and cluricauns are small (aka “little people”), usually wear clothing of fine materials & tailoring (if old and shabby now), and they often have a pipe clenched in their teeth. The pipe is never lit; fae folk generally hate smoke.

Continued in Elves, gnomes and faeries

14 thoughts on “Different kinds of faeries”

  1. When I was little (ie, about six or seven), I was writing this story that I insisted was true: It was about this girl by the name of Joanalivia, who lived in the forest. The forest in my mind (I remembered the imagery when I re-read the story later) was old, with tall oaks stretching on into the sky and a carpet of old leaves and acorns. The girl, like the others of the story, lived under the trees, the roots being the support for the roof and the guarentee that everything wouldn’t just collapse (there were half-size wooden doors they hid under the leaves that led to their homes). At night, Joanalivia and the others would feast on the spoils of the forest, arrayed on leaves on a long table, listening to music of drum, flute, and seven- and nine-stringed violins. Just before morning, the musicians would retreat below ground, the remenants of the feast would be scattered, and the table would be literally taken apart, each bit of wood pulled away from its fellows, and stored underground – each person would take a disassembled section. The following night, the table would be re-assembled and the party would commence. There were lanterns hung in the trees, but I didn’t describe them well when I wrote about it. I left off with Joanalivia eagerly awaiting something the next night, reading because she couldn’t sleep; I remember neither what she was waiting for nor any ther part of the story, just this bit. In the story, when I pictured it, Joanalivia was not me, but later I couldn’t remember who or where I was in the story, if I was there at all.

  2. “For amusement, they tend to ride small animals (including cats & dogs) around the house/apartment, as if they’re horses. Pets don’t like this much, after awhile.”

    This may explain the “kitty crazies” that housecats get, where they do a mad dash around the house. When Gracie does it, she looks as though she’s trying to dislodge… something… from her back. And my parents’ house is a bit… haunted.

  3. Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew how to get a brownie to come to your home, or how to check if you had one living with you.

  4. Hi Fiona,
    What a lovely, well thought out sight this is!
    I am an avid believer in faeries and have two queries;
    1, I would like to know, if possible, what are some main types of fey and how to distinguish them? Also how to distinguish the malicious from ‘nicer ones’.
    2, How do you attract faeries? If possible (I live in Australia)

    1. Hello, Emma!

      There are different ways to categorize faeries. For example, in Scotland they’re grouped into the Seelie and Unseelie. In some studies, they’re grouped as “trooping” and solitaries. In others, they’re sorted by size, color, habitat, clothing, etc.

      I think of them like people: There are many ways to organize them by what they have in common. However, each faerie is distinct and it’s difficult to create any absolute groups. Even if I were to group them into animal-like (dragons, etc.) and people-like, there are the ones who can shape-shift! *LOL*

      Some articles at this site talk about attracting faeries. https://fairies101.com/believe/category/faerie-basics/how-to-attract-faeries/

      The most reliable way is to create a faerie door and prop it (or display it) on an exterior wall that’s above ground. https://fairies101.com/believe/how-to-make-a-faerie-door/


  5. I’ve always been fascinated by faeries,its nice to think that they exist. I tried seeing them, because I really believe they’re there, but I just don’t see them. Any advice?

  6. how do I know if I’m a faerie? i love crystals, and at different times in my life, my eyes change color. and my hair grows really quick.

  7. Hello, my name is Maria and I’m 13 years old. I wanted to say that I absolutely love this website! I love writing in my fairy journal about the fairy information that I’ve learned in the website. I also draw little pictures as an example about the fairy I’m writing about. Such as the Brownies, they are know to be very hairy and/or wear shaggy brown clothes.

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