What are Faeids?
The term “Faeids” is a loosely referenced term by those connected to the belief, lifestyle, culture, and faith in the fae, faeries, fairies, and “the good neighbours”. The belief in “faeries” is extremely diverse with a variety of perspectives from fantasy and science fiction to real-life belief systems. The term “Faeid”, was put together by Anthropologist Tom Baurley in 1986 while working on his degree and studying the Neo-pagan movement in North America. As he was continually approached by individuals in the Pagan movement who reported stories of experiences with physical faeries or believing that they themselves were not “human” but rather “fae”, or knew an extreme amount of information about this ancient folklore that it led him to a extensive ethnographic research project on people, communities, folklore, and beliefs surrounding these theories.
The term “Fae”, “fay”, or “Faerie”, come from French linguistics replacing the Old English term of “elf” that was used during the Tudor period. Spenser and Shakespeare popularized the change during their era. According to Brian Froud, the terms “Elfland”, “Faerieland”, “Elf”, and “Faerie” were and still are interchangeable words for Faerie. Anthropologist Wentz went on to explain the beliefs of a distinct separate species or race from that of humans. There are numerous spellings for the fae ranging from fae, fairy, fayerye, fairye, fayre, faerie, faery, and often represent the world of Faerie, as a noun, as a geographical location, and for its inhabitants, as well as an adjective describing faerie culture. In some ways, the term “faeid” is no different. Baurley took this term, and combined it with the greek work “id” meaning “to know” developing the term “Faeid” meaning “Faery knower” or “Faery communicator” to describe these individuals who kept bringing him information about the race(s) and culture(s) of fae. No matter where he would move or travel, strangers would come up to him and tell him they were “fae”, had messages to relay to him about the “fae”, about “the awakening” or that they themselves were half-human, half-fae (i.e. ‘changeling’) or a human meant to assist the fae bridging realms and were in direct communication with the fae.
In this anthropological sense, as a ad-lib ‘pseudo-science’ term for “faerie knower”, the term “faeid” refers to any individual who distinctly believes that they are either fae, half-fae, or an individual meant to assist “faeries” and “humans” in understanding the realm of fae. Since the 1980’s the term spread like wildfire and have been used to define pieces of art, became the subject of fantasy novels, movies, and video games. There is also a corresponding movement, culture, ethnicity, and/or race(s) that claim much of the same, but are diversified beyond the subject of Fae/Faeries. These are the Otherkin, a sub-culture or “an assortment of people who have come to the somewhat unorthodox, and possibly quite bizarre, conclusion that they identify themselves as being something other than human. It is also the label used by a number of communities both on and off line” (as defined by the Otherkin.net website). Back in the 1980’s, the Faeid community and Otherkin community were developing alongside one another without knowing of each other’s existence until years later. In many ways “faeid” would be a more distinct term for the “faerie” branch of “otherkin” as a broad envelope for the variety of fae and not narrowed down to “elves”, “angels”, or “dragons”. This diversity can range from elf, pixie, sylph, naiads, dryads, gnomes, dwarves, mer-folk, selkies, nymphs, centaurs, fauns, and thousands of other species that fall under the Genus of “Fae”. A “Faeid” is simply a “faery knower” or “communicator”.
Today however, more or less, the “faerie” sub-culture has left the “otherkins” and the “faeids” as a forgotten memory. Tens of thousands of “fantasy” enthusiasts, faeries, kids, and adults celebrate “Faeries” in their own way, and those who believe themselves to be of “faerie” blood, usually simply refer to themselves as “fae”. This sub-culture has become so mainstream, that dozens of annual festivals attracting thousands of attendees take place all over the world, the largest being Faerieworlds, Faeriecon, and Karen Kay’s Faerie Events. Events can be found throughout Europe, Australia, and the Americas. The belief in “fae” as a human-like race that lives amongst us has become absorbed in science-fiction and fantasy culture, saturating books, e-books, music, and media. Today, you don’t find many television series about vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural without the inclusion of a “fae” in some sort – such as “True Blood”, “Lost Girl”, “Sanctuary”, “Charmed”, “Buffy”, “Angel”, “Being Human”, and hundreds of other shows. “Fae” as a separate race or species is becoming “common”place in western fantasy and media.
Beginning in the 1980’s, the studies around “Faieds” led to the development of “Faeidism” or “Faeidry” as a way of life, culture, belief system, and or faith to those identifying with the “Faeid” label. These are the rites, rituals, practices, and knowledge of the “faeids” who live a lifestyle or path in life that seeks constant connection with the Fae and Faeries.
Faeids as a Living Myth
Faeids are those selected by the Fae living in the Otherworld (Middle Earth, Tir Na nOg, Faerieland, etc.) to help prepare for “the Great Awakening”. These are Humans, Faeries, or Faerie/Human Breeds (changelings) or those communicated with by Faeries for the purpose of bridging the gap that has developed between humans and Faeries long ago. As the mists separated our realms of understanding, belief, and physical contact long ago; the only means to travel between the worlds today are “gateways” that either sporadically appear on the planet, exist within magical grids, ley lines, and/or sacred places naturally, or are created through magic and ritual. Faeids are those who walk between these realms or have had invitation or faerie luring to do so. Some say this is in preparation for a “Great Awakening” that is to come, when “humans” and “fae” would live alongside one another again like in the days of the epic Irish mythology of the “Tuatha de Danann”.
Faeids usually wear the Elven or Faery Star as their symbol. This symbol, given to humanity as a symbol for Faeids to recognize each other by the Fae is ever growing in popularity in the new age, Neo-pagan, and folk communities. The more you see of these will be signs in the times to come as the understanding of Faeries and their world merge. The bridge between the realms are being built.
The Faeid Fellowship is an organization for Faeids. It was started in 2000 by Leaf McGowan for the betterment and understanding of the realm of Faery.