Who Are The Fae?

The realm of the fae is a world shimmering just beyond the veil of our own. Tales of the fae, passed down for centuries, are also rooted deeply in Celtic beliefs and lore. Fairies are not just the whimsical creatures of bedtime tales but entities of profound significance, interwoven with the natural world and its ancient mysteries. One place where these beliefs converge with captivating stories is Glastonbury, a town steeped in myth, mists, and magic – and the captivating allure of the fae.

The fae themselves are as varied as the natural world they inhabit. From the regal Sidhe, who rule the faerie palaces beneath the hills, to the mischievous pixies and the elusive pookas, each type of fairy has its own traits, stories, and lessons to teach us. They are custodians of nature, capable of both benevolent acts and (if disrespected) playful retribution.

Pixies & Pookas

Pixies and pookas hold a special place in fae lore. Pixies, often depicted as small, mischievous creatures with pointed ears and colourful wings, are renowned for their playful antics and love for nature. They inhabit secluded areas such as forests, hills, and meadows, where they frolic and dance under the moonlight. While generally harmless, pixies can become vindictive if offended, leading to pranks and mischief akin to someone taking your microwave plate or all the forks from your cutlery drawer. Simply put – they can be annoying when they want to be!

Pookas, on the other hand, are shapeshifting entities, often taking the form of black horses with fiery eyes. They are known for their unpredictable nature, sometimes assisting travellers or farmers, and other times leading them astray or causing chaos. Despite their sometimes sinister reputation, pookas are not inherently evil but rather embody the capriciousness of nature itself, teaching lessons about respect, humility, and the unpredictable forces that govern the world. 

The Tuatha Dé Danann

The Tuatha Dé Danann, whose name translates to “the folk of the goddess Danu,” are a faerie race in the Celtic pantheon, revered as deities and skilled wielders of magic. They are said to have descended from the heavens, bringing with them four magical treasures: the Stone of Fal, which roared under the rightful king of Ireland; the invincible Spear of Lugh; the Sword of Light of Nuada, which guaranteed victory to its bearer; and the Cauldron of Dagda, from which no one went unsatisfied. The Tuatha Dé Danann are celebrated for their wisdom, prowess in the arts and battle, and their deep connection to the Irish landscape, ruling Ireland from the Otherworld and interacting with humans through the mists of folklore and legend. After being defeated by the Milesians, the ancestors of modern Irish, the Tuatha Dé Danann were said to retreat into the Sídhe, enchanted mounds that dot the Irish countryside, where they live on as the aos sí, the “people of the mounds,” continuing to influence the world and its inhabitants from their supernatural realm.

The Sídhe

The Sídhe (pronounced “shee”) are an integral part of Celtic folklore – they are what became of the Tuatha Dé Danann once they descended into the earth. They transformed into the Sidhe, residing in the magical mounds that dot the Irish landscape. These mounds, also known as fairy forts or hills, are portals to the Otherworld, a realm of eternal youth and beauty, parallel to our own yet invisible to the human eye.

The Sídhe are known for their stunning beauty, powerful magic, and a penchant for both benevolence and malevolence towards humans, depending on their whims. Tales tell of their magnificent underground palaces, filled with treasures and enchantments, and their celebrations that last for days. The Sídhe wield influence over nature and the wellbeing of the land, rewarding those who respect their domains and punishing those who dare to disturb them. 

Fairy Portals

Knockma Woods: Located near Tuam in County Galway, Ireland, Knockma Woods is a place of ancient legend and faerie lore. It is the burial place of Queen Maeve of Connacht, and within the woods, there are portals to the Otherworld.

Newgrange: Newgrange is a prehistoric monument located in County Meath, Ireland. It’s a passage tomb dating back to the Neolithic period and is aligned with the winter solstice sunrise. Legend has it, when celestial events align, it becomes a portal to the fae realm.

Glastonbury Tor: Beneath Glastonbury Tor, there is a hidden cave. The cave serves as an entrance to Annwn, the realm of the fae, guarded by Gwyn ap Nudd – the Lord of the Underworld and the King of the Fae.

The Isle of Skye: Located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland are the Fairy Pools that beckon like liquid sapphire, and the unique natural formations of the Fairy Glen. Here, the veil is thin and visitors often report feeling enchanted.

As witches, we can connect with the fae through respect for nature, offerings, and rituals that honour the fae and their realms. These practices are not just about seeking the fae’s assistance but mostly about acknowledging and participating in the deeper magic of the world, a synergy where humans and the fae work together in maintaining the balance and health of our planet.

In the end, the fae remind us of the importance of awe, respect, and harmony with the natural world. As we seek to connect with them, we also rediscover the enchantment of our own reality, a world where every leaf and stone holds the potential for wonder. The fae, in their myriad forms, guide us back to that primal magic, inviting us to explore, to believe, and (in true fae nature) to be forever changed.


Jade is a shadow worker and lunar witch, an experienced witchcraft facilitator, and hosts the 8-week High Priestess course: Dedicant.