Leanan Sidhe
Also ‘‘lhaiannan sidhe,’’ Gaelic words for ‘‘fairy sweetheart’’
either male or female. According to one tradition, mortals are
advised to have nothing to do with such beings, as no good ever
comes of the connection. So long as the fairy lover is pleased
with his or her mortal, all goes well, but when offended, life
may be the forfeit.
In Ireland the fairy mistress has sometimes been considered
the spirit of life, inspiring poets and singers but making their
lives short through their all-consuming burning vision. Another
tradition regards the leanan sidhe of a man as more like a
vampire or succubus. (See also genius)
Sources
Arrowsmith, Nancy, and George Moore. A Field Guide to the
Little People. New York Wallaby, 1978.
Briggs, Katherine M. An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins,
Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures. New York
Pantheon Books, 1976.

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