My love for all things fae started as a child with my introduction to Tinkerbell; I don’t know why Tink appealed to me so much, maybe it was her small stature (I’ve always been petite), or maybe it was because she could fly. Either way, she sparked my love, so much so every December my ringtone gets changed to “March of the Sugar Plum Fairies” and I’ve named my website Wicked Lil Pixie. But what do we really know about fairies? I have done some research into all things fairy, so sit back and see if you knew half as much as I didn’t.
The term fairy encompasses anything from goblins to actual “wee folk.” Even their appearance varies—from little itty bitty things the size of a dragon fly to full sized “humanlike” creatures without wings. The one standard is that they look very similar to humans (yet some have blue or green skin, huh?) and have magical powers. There really is no certainty after that in terms of description, nor is there a standard behavior.
Some think of the fae as evil, which comes from the word “Fey” which means “fated to die,” which has people believing if they see a fairy, it’s a bad omen. Yet some of the origins of fairies point at angels, or that they are a lost race of humans. The only thing that is one hundred percent certain is that fairies don’t like iron because it is like poison to them. But faeries do love fruit and anything natural; they are not fans of junk food. No wonder they are all so beautiful! They get their junk food fix from honey, and it’s known to get them drunk. (I’m looking at you, Jenks!)
Weirdly enough, various animals have been described as fairies, from the barghest (a large scary dog type thing) to the selkie (see Jane True Series). So you can never tell if that were-creature is really a were—or a fairy in glamour!
There are a ton of legends about the fae, anything from they snatch your children and leave you with a changling who looks identical to your child but is evil to leaving them snacks so they don’t bother you. It’s also said Brownies like to clean for you, but don’t thank them or make a comment about their ability to clean or they will never come back. I need some Brownies, don’t you?
Another legend is that faeries will capture a human by music and dance. Once the human hears the music, it becomes impossible not to dance. The human then has to dance for a year and a day, but thinks only minutes have passed. Humans also should never eat or drink anything the fae have offered them because it is usually poison to us.
Fairy Fast Facts:
- Fairies possess unpredictable and humorous mischief.
- Fairies do not like the idea of having their names known.
- Fairies can assume any form.
- Only certain people gifted with Faery Sight can see a fairy.
- Cats do not like the fae.
- Yellow butterflies are messengers from faeries.
- The tangles we get in our hair at night are from faeries playing pranks.
- Iron Horseshoes: hang one over your door and fairies can’t enter.
- Four Leaf Clovers: protect against fairy spells and may allow you to see them, if you remain very still.
Fae artists to check out:
- Nene Thomas (her art is used at the top of the post)
- Jasmine Becket-Griffith
- The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor Michigan
Faeries in PNR/UF/YA:
- Jenks in Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Series
- Various fae in Nicole Peeler’s Jane True Series
- Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr
- The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
- The Southern Vampires Series by Charlaine Harris
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.