Types of Fae & Faery Paths


Faery, Nature Spirits, Elementals - Are they all the same?


“Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.” 

― J. R. R. Tolkien, Tolkien on Fairy-stories 


This beautiful quote by Tolkien gives you a brief insight into what you are dealing with when entering the world of Fae. It is a vast topic, and therefore I thought I’ll start the obvious way by trying to define what these beings actually are. 

In my House Healing report, you will come across a section which is for simplicity's sake called Nature Spirits, and we discussed already in an earlier blog post what to do if you suspect Fae beings creating mischief in your home.


Find the article here


However, when dealing with Faery, the beings and the realm, there are often misunderstandings and sometimes a little clarification can help… or not, we are dealing with the Fae nature, after all.


There are different types of faeries, and you can find many variations of them throughout every culture in the world. What most people do is listing the beings from Ireland, England, or Scotland, but those are not the only ones. Therefore, I will offer you a list that includes a broader terminology for the different beings you might encounter in the Faery Realm. Also, notice I use the term faeries here for visibility’s sake. Traditionally they don’t appreciate being called that, and terms like good neighbors, the fair folk, seelie wicht, and so on are used. 

Nowadays, they are often referred to as reflected aspects of our personalities, or expressions of our psyche. Please know that the faeries are not that. They are independent beings, with a purpose of their own. They live their own life; they have an ego, and they have their own goals. In the old tales, we often see that their own culture and their traditions are comparable with our own. They even have a hierarchy, which you will soon discover when we address the different types, but it is still slightly different from our ideas of kings and queens. 


They are said to be the first spiritual beings in the world, and it doesn’t matter if we believe in them or not, they will not cease to exist. Faeries are shapeshifters and they may appear to you in many forms, sometimes in a form well-known to you, and sometimes in an utterly unexpected form. 

Faeries are closest to our kin, and they are often referred to as our co-walker or cousins. They are the intelligence behind the living force of the planet. They live in a world within our world, yet hidden from our sight. Faeries are with us at any time at any place. 


Hive Fae


A term used by Robert Kirk, and later also by Orion Foxwood in his book “Faery Teachings”. They are the High Fae, if you like. They have a hierarchy and they are organized within a courtly structure. Yet, their titles of King and Queens are not to be confused with our political ideas. 

They are all part of the hive, therefore all their experiences and knowledge are shared between them. If you meet one of them, you will meet all of them. 

They are very powerful and not to be underestimated. If you come into contact with them, you might experience a buzzing sound, or even see a row of tiny light orbs floating in a natural environment. 

If you need a visual, you could imagine them like Tolkien’s elves. But beware, they are not always what they seem to be. Generally, I want to say they are friendly towards humans, or at least curious. 


Trooping Fae


Another type of Fae are the trooping faeries. They can be felt or even seen, along the Faery Paths or the Ley Lines. Perhaps they even use other Earth Energy lines on their journeys. As with many Fae beings, they vary greatly in size, shape and form, and even in their temperament, especially towards us humans. They can either bless us or curse us. The trooping faeries are often associated with the Faery Rade, that you can encounter on the night of Samhain or during the Twelfth Night. They are often accompanied by hounds. They can be black or white with red ear tips. 

There is many a folk story about the Faery Rade, from different countries and different regions. All in all, it is always better to stay out of their way. That’s not to say that there has never been a benefit by engaging with them, but proceed at your own risk.


Solitary Fae


Traditionally, the solitary faeries are to be met with caution, or at least a good chunk of them. They have more of a temper and if you have a fixed image of beautiful Victorian flower fairies in your mind, you might have to brace yourself. Their appearance could frighten you. Some are known to kill and eat humans, like the Kelpie.

There are, however, also solitary faeries that can be friendly towards human, for example, the house faeries like the brownies, or in Germany, a Heinzelmännchen. 

The best advice is to not seek them out, and if one would approach you for whatever reason, you can always directly ask what they want. Faeries are always honest, yet they are also known to play with words, so listen carefully and read between the lines.

If you ever find yourself in a natural environment and you sense a strong feeling of being unwelcome, trust your gut. This might be a faery showing you clearly that you are crossing a boundary. 

Many of the faeries are very private beings and do not wish for any intruders. So always be respectful. 



Nature Spirits 


We have discussed some of these beings already in a previous article that you can find here.

Nature Spirits are the Guardians of a place, like the Genius Loci, or the Guardian of the Land. They can also be local spirits, like river spirits, spirits of stone and rock formations, or tree spirits that are attached to either one tree or overlook several of them. They are wonderful beings to connect with, as long as you are respectful. When you begin working with Faery, they can be a great entry point, as they can help you to connect deeper with the land. They know all the history of a place, an area and root networks allow to spread out even further. 

At sacred sites you can either connect with the Genius Loci, but you can also try to connect with other beings that dwell there. 

Nature spirits do not wander, they remain within their area, so they can’t move around freely, like other types of Fae. You can even encounter them in your own garden, or invite them in to help you tend to the plants and trees. 


House Faeries


The house faeries, or domesticated ones, are generally the friendliest towards humans. As we discussed already in the previous article, they sometimes can create a bit of mischief if you don’t pay attention to them, and things might start to disappear in your home or you experience some poltergeist activity. However, they usually don’t want to harm you. The best you can do is to acknowledge them by leaving offerings. Traditionally, it is said to either leave these offerings under the stairs or at the hearth. Maybe you even have a small Faery Altar where you can leave it. They usually don’t move house, but if you desire so, you can ask them to accompany you into a new home (this move should then not cross hemispheres, though). 

There are many different house spirits, and some might even dwell in a statue or figurine. They will protect the home and the family from any intrusions. They are very devoted to their task, so, as always, treat them with respect.




Elementals are in the traditional sense, not faeries, but they dwell in the Faery Realm. Most know them by the name of the gnomes, the sylphs, the salamanders, and the undines. They also sometimes find their way into your home, but then please guide them outside again and pay attention to their messages as they try to get your attention to something that is going on outside. 

The elementals are not 100% pure in their element, but also contain other elements. It is said that they are only pure when created by a magician, sorcerer, conjurer and so on, or if found in very deep places of the Underworld (R.J. Stewart). We humans interact much more with the effect of these beings, rather than the beings themselves.


Sylphs can be found in high places, in tornados, a light summer breeze. They are associated with motion, air, breath, the life force and the opening and entering through the crossroads. 


Salamanders can be found in the deserts, in or near volcanos, when there is lightning, they also travel electrical currents and sometimes Ley Lines. They are associated with warmth, illumination, and invigoration. 


Undines are found in rivers, oceans, creeks, wells, and springs. They are associated with patterns (ripple effect), depth, harmony, emotions, the workings of the soul.


Gnomes are found in the mountains, in mounds, near stones, in rock formations, in graveyards, and in the woods. 

They are associated with crystallization, decay, regeneration, and embodiment. 


Often when we think of elementals, we might have a cute vision of them and therefore lessen them somehow. But elementals are powerful. Sylphs and salamanders can be playful but also dangerous. The undines will touch upon your emotions and lay them bare, whereas the gnomes might come across more sombre, yet with great knowledge about the physical life and its workings. 



Faery Paths 


There are different ideas and definitions of Faery Paths out there. They are also called the secret paths, or the hidden paths. They are said to connect the Faery places or the Faery forts. Faery thorns (such as Hawthorn) were used as markers along these invisible routes in the physical world we know. However, Faery paths were also known to begin in the Otherworld, emerge in our world, only to disappear again into the Otherworld. Faery paths are vitally important for us. They feed us with the life force of the inner world and experience from our surface world is taken inward. They are still open today and we can help to re-energize them.

As we have seen above, these paths are used by the trooping faeries. If you go deeper into folklore, it is not always clear if these paths are straight or crooked, but most evidence of them, although sparse ones, leads them to being straight, at least for the different sections on the path. 

You can work with these paths to build and deepen your relationship with the land and the Fae. 

It was considered bad luck to build on a Faery Path, and precautions needed to be taken. Otherwise you could experience poltergeist activity, misfortune and illness.

 First, you needed to warn the faeries of your intention to build on that spot. Before building a house, four stones were placed in the corners of the intended building. A smaller stone was then placed on top of every one of these and left overnight. If they were still in place in the morning, then work could proceed, but if any had been knocked down, then the faeries objected and another spot needed to be found. 

Other methods were also used. 

If you were unlucky to live in a house that was built on such a path, you were advised to leave the front door and the back door open over night so the faeries could pass through at night. 


Faeries and their Realm will always remain a fascinating topic, and certainly not only for me. 

I hope this brief overview of their races could offer you a better understanding of them.


If you want to learn more about the Fae and how you can work with them, you can go to my Free Faery course

Working through it can take several months, even longer, so this is not your usual brief summary of 4 or 5 pages. Have a look at it, no strings attached. 


I hope your world is kind 


Much Love


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