The term Faerie can be spelled two ways. Google “F-a-e-r-i-e” and you will get over 10 and a half million results. Google “F-a-i-r-y” and they will exceed 74 million. I personally prefer “Faerie”, but both are correct. Brian Froud uses “Faerie” to refer to the group and “Fairy” to refer to small, winged female Faeries. It should be noted they can be further divided into specific types of Fairy and even within those types there are variations among the individuals with regard to personality and temperament.
The book “Faeries” by Brian Froud and Alan Lee undoubtedly had the greatest impact on my work.
The same Faerie species may have various names, depending upon the region it’s found. Faeries are seen in all cultures and thus have names suited to that culture, usually reflecting a description of their physical appearance, temperament or where they are at that particular time.
The pronunciation of many of the names of specific individuals or tribes may also prove difficult. This is due in part to the Faeries themselves, who often change names as we would our hairstyles or our mood. It is very rare that a Faerie would reveal their true name because to do so gives power to the one who holds it. The best example of this is Rumplestiltskin, who I consider to be a Faerie, although I am not entirely sure what type. Perhaps that warrants further research on my part.
Faerie is a world where everything seems magnified. A place of dark enchantments, captivating beauty, enormous ugliness, callous superficiality, humor, mischief, joy, inspiration, terror, laughter, love, and tragedy.
Appearances can be deceiving in the realm of the Fae. The most beautiful may be the most dangerous ( Leanansidhe ) and what some may consider the most unattractive may also be the most friendly and helpful ( Urisk ). All Faeries have dark and light aspects to them, as they reflect the balance in Nature.
Urisk – from the book “Faeries” by Froud and Lee.
Brian Froud summed it up best when he wrote the following:
“Faeries are the spiritual personification of the hidden aspects of the world’s workings.”
This is why the magic and mystery of the Faeries has survived and is once again thriving in the world. Thanks to the “magic” of the internet, it is now easier than ever to connect with others who also feel a draw to the realm of the Fay and to learn more about them than ever possible. Having said that, there is nothing better than curling up with a Faerie book and a cup of tea.
Speaking of books, my library boasts over 30 on the subject, with a growing wish list of more to add to the shelves. It’s always exciting to find a new book, to open the pages and discover even more about the world of the Fae.
I look forward to sharing their world with you and hope to learn a few things as we go along.