Morgan Daimler is writing a new book about Celtic Fair Folk and their role outside of Celtic countries. They recently released a video that gives a short (~30 minutes) introduction and explanation on why the answer is yes, no, and maybe all at the same time.
I wanted to share this here because this has been a difficult subject for me to research. Some people, both Irish and non-Irish, say that no, the Fair Folk are landlocked and can’t travel outside of Ireland. Other people say that yes, the Fair Folk can go wherever they want.
It’s actually pretty complicated, and I don’t think I have a full enough understanding to formulate my own belief. What’s interesting is that there is actually older folklore that details stories of people fleeing Ireland to get away from a specific sídhe being. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
In the video, Morgan talks about some of the folklore, the Celtic diaspora, and cultural exchange.
I just wanted to share it with you all today for anyone that’s interested!
I am always interested in anything Fae! My daughter has been working with Faries for several years now, I will ask her if she has Celtic Fairies. We visited several holy sites in Ireland and left gifts for them! So maybe…
This is a really interesting topic and one that I honestly never gave much thought before!
Thinking on it now, I guess I always thought faeries could be anywhere and everywhere- I’ve seen fairy rings in Poland and the US and I imagine they appear anywhere that mushrooms grow in abundance Perhaps the trolls of Iceland or the elves of Norway could also be considered as “Fae” of some type (though I’m not sure on this).
But at the same time, I wouldn’t consider Greek sirens or minotaurs or other creatures from Greek folklore to be fairies, nor the creatures of Slavic mythology to be Fae. So there’s definitely a line, at least in my mind- “fairies/faeries” are a certain type of creature orignating from North/North-Western Europe? And within the fairy category, the “Fair Folk/sídhe” are specific to Celtic folklore?
I’ll watch the video and continue to ponder on this- it’s a really interesting topic, and I’m excited to hear what others think of it too!
@marsha – It’s definitely interesting! I’ve got Morgan’s book about Celtic Fair Folk and I just haven’t had a chance to make my way through it. I don’t personally work with fairies or the Fae, and I don’t believe I’ve had experiences with them myself. Maybe one day when I make it to Ireland my experience will be different!
@BryWisteria – I’ve heard mixed things about Celtic fairies and where they will or won’t be. Some things make sense, like certain Fae-entities that are directly related to certain places. And then others, like the Bean Sí A Herald of Death, are directly tied to familial lines. It’s something to ponder, for sure!
I also wouldn’t classify sirens or nymphs to be fairies or Fae. They’re more of a land spirit, in my opinion. And then it’s even more complicated to think about when you consider the fact that what we know as the Irish Fair Folk used to be the Gods of the land before the Milesians (I think? I could be wrong on that one) invaded and forced them underground. I agree with Morgan that it would be hubristic to think I could tell a God or powerful entity where they should and shouldn’t go.
Fascinating. Living in the West country in England, I grew up with constant tales of the Fae, fairies in the garden, beware of the dark Fae if they call on you etc. So I found this article in one of my witchy books about fairies in stories all over the world. Thought I’d share, (now I’ve another book to add to my reading list ). I don’t work with the Fae so say, but I do have a Fae garden where I leave offerings. I love the Fae but am cautious of them, they’re not to be trifled with.
The travels of faeries across borders is really fascinating to ponder about, but I think if I walk away with one thing from this topic it ought to be this! I completely agree with you both that, at the end of the day, it’s up to them to decide where and when they go
Ohhh this looks like an awesome book!
Interesting about the Russian leshiye- I don’t know if it is anything like the Polish leszy, but if so, then I would personally drop that one into the “monster” category rather than the “Fae” category (Although I suppose that’s just a matter of personal definition again haha)
Ooh he looks little scary. My Grandad used to tell me bedtime stories, although they were more like horror stories at times , they were tales of dark Fae, shape shifters, all manner of fairies and elves and goblins, but always with a warning. He never told the Tinkerbell version.
I don’t work with the Fae I don’t believe I have any around or at least anymore… at 1 time I did come across what I believed were Fairy Rings, but definitely didn’t bother/cross them or anything & kept the area pretty tidy. They seem to have moved along. Or as far as I know anyway
Sounds like your Grandad was quite the storyteller- I would have been too chicken to hear stories like that before bed haha, but I bet they would make for fun Halloween/Samhain tales!
Same here! Some tales depict the leszy as more of a guardian spirit of the forest and that he will only bother those who hurt the woods and the creatures in it. But other tales (including The Witcher, where the leszy is a monster the main character fights) aren’t quite so nice haha.
Always happy to share the nightmares around- sharing is caring!
I think at some point in time, at least here in the United States, many people (but not all) have lost touch with the traditional folklore that keeps places like forests and nature safe and sacred. Now, if everyone knew of a creature such as the leszy – not sure what the US creature would be – then you’re right! Maybe people would have more respect for the world and nature.
There’s also something to be said about belief fueling existence. I’m not saying that these beings don’t exist - I am fully of the opinion that yes, there are spirits and entities much more powerful than I can imagine. But if someone doesn’t believe in these beings or know them to be real, then they may not care about what they do. They would also be more likely to explain away experiences they have rather than face the idea that there’s something out there bigger than them…hmm…
Just thoughts not sure if it makes any sense at all, but I can tell you that after telling my daughter the story of the Wendigo, she’s much less likely to be selfish at the expense of others.
You and me both… I wonder if there’s a deeper reason why we don’t hear about mythical creatures and entities in the US. We always hear about other beings, such as Celtic Fae, rather than the creatures here. Entities like Bigfoot or the Wendigo get brushed off as myths and legends, yet people connect to the stories of the Fae or even the Loch Ness Monster.
Oh yeah, I’m sure there are plenty. We just don’t hear about them often or learn about them. I believe there’s even a book that came out within the last few years about North American creatures and folk magick. I would have to look again, to be sure!