Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dark Faeries - Glaistig and the Dockalfar...

[image courtesy: C. Shy (Phantastic faeries)]
There are lots of them, from many different countries, but for the sake of this post I will refer to them collectively as the the Dark Fae.

In recent years there has been a rise in the popularity of the Fae in paranormal romance, particularly the Seelie and the Unseelie, but of course, there are many more different creatures of legend that fit the category of the Dark Fae.

The first interesting one I'd like to introduce to you is the  Dökkálfar, the dark elves in Norse Mythology (also known as the Dockalfar). These fae, in a manner similar to the Seelie and Unseelie, have a lighter counterpart, known as the Ljósálfar (who are apparently fairer than the sun and seem to be linked somewhat with the anglicized "Angel").
The Dokkalfar however, have a more intimidating appearance, sometimes depicted with red eyes. They are said to dislike daylight, but there is some contention as to whether they lived under ground. There is yet another Norse Fae creature called the Svartálfar which literally means "black elf" and they do apparently live completely under ground. The Dockalfar, it seems, are frequently confused with dwarves and the Svartalfar. However, general concensus indicates that the Dockalfar's skin is dark, but not black. The Dockalfar's abilities are fairly standard as far as mythology goes. They are powerful beings, capable of malevolence but are kind when the mood strikes them. Interestingly enough, legend has it that a human male could be transformed into a Dark Elf after death.
[image courtesy: 30 Characters]
The next very interesting Fae-like creature I'm posting about today is the Glaistig, a mythological creature that hails from Scottish legend. The Glaistig is a female solitary creature, commonly described as the upper body of a woman with the lower half of a goat... yep, a Scottish female Satyr! But wait, there's more! The Glaistig is a shape shifter, and a stunningly beautiful one at that. She is capable of enchanting any man she chooses. If the whim strikes her, she may lead the man to highland cave with sexy songs and dances. When she gets him there, what does she do? Sorry to disappoint you, but she does not have sex with them. Instead, she drains their blood just like a vampire. Indeed, some versions of the Glaistig have drawn her has a sexy Scottish Vampire Satyr. What a combination!

Having told you all that, the Glaistig can also be quite kind, watching over women's children as they worked.

[image courtesty: Candra]
As with all mythological creatures, there are a number of interpretations of the Glaistig. The other interesting one is that of the Glaistig as the Green Maiden. The Glaistig is regularly portrayed as a Satyr-like but wearing a long green dress to hide her legs. Yet, another legend has it that she was once a noble woman, who was turned into a fairy/given goat legs/made immortal and was thereafter called "The Green Lady". In this incarnation, the Glaistig seems to be consistently benign, watching over houses and looking after the weak of mind. In this form, there appears to be several legends surrounding her in several places in Scotlnd, namely Ardnacaillich, Donolly Castle, Loch Fyne, Crathes Castle and in Wales at Caerphilly.

Anyway, I hope you found these creatures interesting, I certainly did.

Enjoy your weekend.


  1. Very interesting. I love reading about all the lesser known beings you blog about here. Some of them may even end up popping into some of my own novels. :)

    Actually, I have decided for NaNoWriMo to base my story around the Sandman, Mares (as in nightmares) and the Baku. So that should be a fun month.

  2. Thank you! I love researching them... I spend far, far too much time doing it. Your NanoWriMo plan sounds awesome Alice, I loved playing with the Sandman and Baku, and I'd love to see what other authors do with them. Good luck with it.

  3. Thanks. Yeah, before I get to November, I still have both sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo to tackle (June and August). So, this year I'm writing novels dealing with the Angel of Death and a race of beings known as Resurrectors, and then in August I'll be writing about people who gain special abilities after drinking holy water. So, hopefully when November rolls around I will be ready to delve into the dream world.

  4. My goodness, you must have your hands full. Good luck with them ALL! :)

  5. I like having my hands full and I really enjoy writing novels. What I need to do is spend the other months of the year editing and polishing those novels so I can attempt to publish. So far I haven't done all that much with that bit. When I'm not at work I tend to be working on novels, job searching, or reading.