Seelie court and Unseelie court

In Scottish folklore, the seelie court and unseelie court are the two groups of the fairy folk. The seelie is good and the unseelie is evil. The seelie, or blessed, court is made up of beings that tend to be benign and kindly toward humans. Members of the seelie court sometimes can be seen at twilight, often in elegant, courtly processions. The seelie court may help humans in need by offering gifts of magic or food, and they will be sure to repay any kind deed. However, they are just as swift to avenge any wrongs or insults. Fairy folk who are members of the seelie court usually are beautiful. The unseelie, or unholy, court is made up of beings that are evil in nature and despise humans. They sneer at kindness and have no understanding of mercy. These beings are rarely seen, at least not by humans who live to tell the tale. There is no way for a human to appease them, but there are many ways to anger them. So avoidance is the safest defense. Members of the unseelie court are usually ugly and sometimes outright hideous.

Sources

  • Briggs, Katherine. An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures. New York: Pantheon, 1976.

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  • impson, Evelyn B. Folk Lore in Lowland Scotland. Norwood, PA: Norwood Editions, 1977.

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  • entz, W.Y. Evans. The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. New York: H. Frowde, 1911.