Faeries in Scottish Folklore

The spirit of the Scottish people originates from a proud and turbulent heritage. Living and fighting their way through the centuries, with tales and folklores that have become the core of their beliefs and the backbone of communities. It is therefore important to understand and to respect the folklore, in order to show respect to the Scottish.

Faeries play a prominent and very important role in the Scottish folklore, from the time that every waterway, well and loch had a name, and an ancient faerie that protected it. They are also important in rituals and are believed to be responsible for failing crops when someone has violated or upset them, and known to be onlookers of the human nature. So before you decided to go walking into the fields or forests by yourself, it is advised to educate yourself on the various faeries and their significance.

First rule, is never let a faerie overhear you calling them faeries, they do not take kindly to this. They prefer to be called fair folk and are very sensitive creatures, so do not be rude, or you might suffer the consequences. Always be honest with a faerie as they will know if you have lied to them, and not surprisingly, they don’t take kindly to that either. Wearing the color ‘green’, is also not advisable, as faeries see this as a color that belongs to them. But you will be relieved to know that not all faeries are impatient when it comes to humans and some even try to avoid us at all costs. Faeries are the balance between good and evil.

The Ashrays are water dwellers and the Black Angus faeries are better known as the faerie dogs. Not all faeries take on human form, such as the Boobrie who are water birds that are able to live on land and in water. Fin Folk also live in bodies of water and are affectionately known as Sea Gardeners and will not make contact with humans. Coming across folk like Buachailleen, Brownies, Gnomes, the Gruagach, Heather Pixies, Pixies and Seelie Courts can be a very rewarding and magical experience, as most of these faeries enjoy being mischievous, shy and friendly.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Ghillie Dhu, Kelpies, Nucklelavees or Fachans. Most of these faeries dislike humans intensely and an encounter with one of these folk could end badly, for you. Some will fool you with comical antics, some will lure you with beauty and some will just plainly let you know how they feel about a human intrusion.

In general, faeries are extremely private, and see any invasion of their privacy or space, as an act that can be avenged by taking away a humans’ sight, bringing illness or destroying their crops. As long as you stick to rules, respect the faeries and do not enrage anyone, you should be safe on the Scottish plains. But, on second thought, maybe take a faerie reference book, just to be safe.