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Glaistig – The Green Lady

The Glaistig may be a Highland Fairy or a once-mortal woman who has joined them. Her name literally means “water sprite” or “water imp.” Several kinds of Glaistigs exist. The most famous may originally have been a goddess of herds: cattle, goats, and sheep. Some Glaistigs are extremely helpful and benevolent. Some are not. It is advised to always be polite to her as earning her enmity can be dangerous. There are legends of once-benevolent Glaistigs who transformed into vengeful spirits when the milk given them as offerings was so hot it burned.

The Glaistig protects cattle, herds, and herders. She may guard children while their parents milk and care for livestock. However, Glaistigs also have associations with death, at least as harbingers. They are witnessed laundering linens in streams and so are classified among the spirits known as Washers at the Ford. They are also classified among the Green Ladies.






The Glaistig is a goat woman. Her upper half resembles a beautiful, longhaired woman. Her lower half is that of a goat; however, this may not be immediately apparent as she usually dresses in long, flowing green garments.


Fresh milk ideally served in a naturally hollowed-out stone.


  • Aisba Qandisba
  • Diablesse
  • Fairy
  • Flidais
  • Fuatb
  • Green Lady
  • Washer at the Ford


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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