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From the helpful Fairy Godmother to the terrifying Baoban Sith, fairy women never cease to enchant, amaze and terrify us.

The night is dark and the hour is late, and you find yourself wandering a lonely country road with only the moon and stars to guide you. You are still hours away from home, and the darkness seems to be moving around you with a life of its own. You take a deep breath and quicken your step, but still have the feeling that someone, or something, is watching you.

Then out of the darkness appears a woman. Clad all in green, with a gentle smile, she seems to radiate light. At first you feel relief but this quickly turns to fear as you realize that instead of feet this lovely lady has the hooves of a deer. She is a Baoban Sith, a woman of the fairy who lives off the blood of humans. Akin to a vampire, she believes that human blood carries the vital life force, and she thrives off this.

Fortunately for you, you have in your possession an iron horse shoe and the Baoban Sith cannot tolerate iron, so she flees into the darkness.

A far cry from the frightening Baoban Sith, Fairy Godmothers, also known as the Bean Tighe or the Béfind, are here to make life pleasant and more enjoyable for their chosen families. The Béfind presents gifts to newborn babies and the Bean Tighe watches over families and mothers.

There are also fairy women in the wild places. The Lady of the Lake resides in the enchanted waters surrounding Avalon and it is said that Vivienne and Morgan Le Fey are both Ladies of the Lake.

The White Ladies reside in the woods, and are ethereal enchanting beings dressed all in white. They are not known to interact very frequently with mortals, and tend to keep to themselves in the quiet of the forest.

The Silky is a house fairy and a gentle loving spirit. As she bustles about the house, taking care of things that may have been forgotten, you can hear the rustling of her silk skirts. And though she is known to be gentle, woe to the intruder who may mean the family harm. He will find himself face to face with a very angry, and sometimes deadly, house spirit.

Storytellers have been enchanting wide-eyed listeners for thousands of years with tales of beautiful (and terrifying) fairy women. These stories enrich our lives and deepen our creativity. And if we are lucky enough to meet one our lives are forever changed and our spirits forever strengthened, for an encounter with a fairy woman is to stumble upon a secret door into the realm of the fairy.

 

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