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We get asked the same question or hear the same comments about fae over and over again to the point it makes our blood boil and we wish we could scream it out to the world that isn't true, its a misconception, a rumor, a wives' tale! We've found ourselves getting irate when responding to them, having to put down the keyboard and take a breath, explaining why that's a lie, wearily brushing it aside, or even laughing at them, these falsities of fae. Every kin has these falsities and goes through trying to spread the truth through word of mouth, forum posts, discussions, and even articles and its time the fae do it too; here is a list of fae falsities and their explanations.
Misconception: Fae are kind and friendly
The first thing you need to know when dealing with fae is not all of them will be friendly, welcoming, helpful, and great company; just as many of them prefer to be left alone to do what they want to do and can become angry or violent if you mess with them. That's like someone saying all humans are kind and friendly, sure there are a bunch that are, but there are many that are the opposite. Its best to let the fae come to you on their own, and don't automatically assume they will answer every question you have or help you with something.
Misbelief: Seelie are good and Unseelie are bad
If you start looking into the fae you'll learn there are two ruling bodies, or courts, that many fae are lumped into, Seelie are seen as the friendlier and more light hearted whereas Unseelie are seen as evil and dark, but that isn't the whole truth. The word Seelie means happy, lucky, and blessed, Unseelie would be unhappy, unlucky, and cursed, but fae are just like us in personality and just because they are prone to being happy or lucky doesn't mean they don't get upset or make bad things happen (and the same goes for the Unseelie being happy or friendly or helpful). A person who is normally good natured can have a bad day or be irritated, and that fluctuation of mood is the same for fae.
Misbelief: Fae are seelie or unseelie
This is a common falsehood, this stems from outsiders' view into the world of fae, and can be confusing to understand; fae can align themselves with one of the two courts (seelie or unseelie) but can also remain neutral. There are fae that aren't actively a part of either court and go about their lives as they want, but when an outsider looks in they often fall to labeling fae based on their nature and not on their political alignment, yes political. The courts are the fae's version of political parties that adhere to different laws, some fae don't find interest or actively avoid the politics and remain neutral, and this fact goes under the radar of many that lump the fae into 'seelie or unseelie' by their nature, I refer to this as having a (un)seelie nature instead of lumping them into one party or another.
Misconception: Fae are tiny, beautiful humanoids with butterfly or dragonfly wings
That is a myth made up in the Victorian era when artists decided to give fae an artistic twist to sell art, in fact there are very few (but some!) that look like that; fae encompass a huge number of beings ranging from goblins and trolls to pixies, and many aren't what humans normally call beautiful. They also widely vary in size from being the size of your thumb to being literal giants, many fall into the range of roughly a foot to human size but there are always types that reach the extremes. Very few have wings in the true form, the wings can also vary to feathered, bat, draconic, fin-like, or look like elements formed into wings, and other fae can look like mermaids, have horns, or animal traits.
Falsehood: All fae fall into one of the four types: Air, Earth, Fire, or Water
Fae are very close to nature and because of such are more often known to have some connection to at least one element, but it isn't a requirement. There are a lot of fae that are element based or have strong connections to elements; air,earth, fire, and water are not the only elements that a fae can be linked to, and there are some that aren't linked to an element in any way.
Misconception: Fae are demons
This misbelief as well as the 'fae are fallen angels' misconception stem from their natures, going back to the fae courts, seelie natured fae are prone to moods where they welcome others company and generally offer aid to amuse their self and appease their curiosity but still go through moments of extreme anger or mischief which leaves behind some damage, and earned them the slightly better misconception of fallen angels as they aren't quite good enough for heaven but still too good for hell by christian belief. On the other side the unseelie natured fae are prone to moods where they cause mischief and grief with little care of the path of destruction and are given the misconception of being demons even if they do have moments of being kind or helpful; in the end many fae are different from the christian depictions of angels and demons and many fae dislike being referred to as such since it seems to wipe away their rich histories and identities.
Falsity: Fae are immortal
This misconception is a little harder to explain, its more truthful to say fae are timeless; fae come from a different dimension in which time passes radically different than in this dimension and it is not well known how or when a fae dies of old age as it is far more likely it would die by some other means, I don't mean this physically but strictly spiritually. From myth and lore it is said that a human that is enchanted by the songs of a fae celebration will dance the night away only to find a decade has passed without so much as touching them and that hints at the human, unknowingly, having been carried into the fae realm where time passes a great deal slower.
Misbelief: Fae are shallow
This isn't so much a known misconception but the thought that follows after learning fae love beautiful things, whether it be a beautiful maiden or handsome man to the untouched beauty of nature, fae have a weakness for it; humans are notorious for coveting beautiful people but the fae don't see beauty the same way as humans. Fae find beauty in everything as it is a part of nature or a thing of curiosity made by the hand of another, fae can look at a rose bush and call it beautiful but turn around and call a brier bush beautiful in the same sentence; to fae there is beauty everywhere.
Myth: Fae can not lie
This is an amusing falsehood for many fae that started out an old wives' tale, fae can and some often do lie, this may be a simple omission of information or half-truths to elaborate and detailed lies all dependent on the individual; all in all they are the exact same as humans in this regard.
Misbelief: Fae are spirits of the dead
This falsity and the misconception 'the fae realm is the realm of the dead' most likely stemmed from the issue of mistaken words, fey which is also pronounced like fae means fated to die or point of death in old Scottish and German; it probably doesn't help the issue when sighting some fae there was the legend that the one that saw them would die.
Falsehood: Fae and cats hate each other
There are several different reasons this misconception came about, whether it be the old wives' tale that cat's could ward off magic to the Victorian inspired issue of cats hunting tiny fae like prey, but many fae not only love cats but are cat owners and their companions love them back (and also share the trait of amusing their selves at the expense of others).
Misconception: Fae have issues with certain metals
This misconception stems from the same myths and lore that the fae themselves stem from, in some cultures its iron or steel and others it is lead, physically this isn't an issue unless the individual has an allergic reaction or intolerances for cheap or impure metals; on the subject of spiritually this can vary from person to person on what metals neutralize their power or is harmful.
Falsehood: Fae are flighty and impossible to take seriously
While Disney has no doubt helped this along with their fairy characters this also comes from the fae's unpredictable and entertainment seeking nature, but fae take great offense to not being taken seriously when serious and this can lead to knife-edge situations with their temper. It is best to get to know the individual before making calls on what is a joke and what isn't to better save yourself the trouble of meeting their darker side, and by getting to know the individual you also may save yourself from more of the boredom induced antics.
Tags: Newcomers, Kintypes & Theriotypes