13 Signs You’re one of the Fae (The Fairies)

“Are you a witch, or are you a fairy?

Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?” – Irish children’s rhyme

Poor Bridget Cleary, in 1895 she was burned alive by her husband in front of witnesses because they believed she was a ‘changeling’ a fairy substitute for the real Bridget, abducted by the fairies.

Changelings, puca’s, the banshee, the Tuatha de Danann (Irelands mythical race), the fae, I grew up with these, and I write about them now.

My first novel Cailleach~Witch is an outsider tale about a family of women with special abilities or powers, such as healing, second sight, and communication with the other world. In Ireland they would be known traditionally as Bean Feasa meaning Wise Women. It’s a modern gothic story with paranormal elements. Inspired by Irish folklore, mythology, and the landscape I grew up in. In particular that of the Sliabh an Iarainn mountain, my fathers home. Where I spent much of my childhood.

While the book crosses a number of genres, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, Irish fantasy & mythology, and Irish magic realism – where magical events occur alongside daily life without much notice being taken. 

You only have to look at Irish attitudes and laws around fairy trees and forts as well as the still prominent role of healers to see Ireland is like that. For those who don’t know, fairy trees and forts (any ring of trees) are protected by law in Ireland and there’s not many people would feel comfortable with damaging as much as a twig in case it would bring them bad luck. We think we don’t believe these things but superstitions run deep. 

While walking in Sligo in the early 1900s, WB Yeats asked an elderly man he met on the road if he believed in fairies. “I do not,” replied the man, “What do you take me for? What kind of eejit would believe in the little people or in witches and goblins and leprechauns? Don’t be ridiculous. I do not believe in them. Not at all…” There was a pause. “But they’re there,” the man concluded…’

Much of this reality, of our rootedness in superstition and folklore, is so woven in our collective experience it is largely unconscious. For example, in my case I did minimal research before writing the book and was surprised, at times shocked, to find support for almost every idea I’d included. Even with artistic license of fantasy it would make you wonder. The latent knowledge that lies inside us and might never be brought forth. Where did it come from? 

Among the characters in my novel are otherworld creatures but also humans with close ties to the otherworld. And I have at times been struck in real life by people with what you might call ‘the look.‘ Much like some people remind me of birds there are some I would call fairy people, a look, but also a vibe, a ‘way of going on,’ which is a definition of culture in itself is it not? Where did they/these ideas come from? My idea of what they are, is almost certainly not mine at all.

Stories, imagination, popular culture, and our subconscious all play a part. Check my list below, I’ve adapted it from some of my characters, and from the stories of my youth. See if you are or you know a fairy woman or a man. Word to the wise, elf on the shelf it isn’t…

‘The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.’ – W.B. Yeats

13 Signs You’re One of the Fae…

  1. You’re tall and slight of build with sharp features.
  2. You most likely have pale skin and black, red, or fair hair.
  3. You have small, bright slanted eyes.
  4. You’re what people would call different in many ways, indefinable, eccentric, aloof.
  5. More still than quiet, with an intense quality/presence.
  6. Your favourite mode of transport is mist and your movements, walking, or in repose, are both awkward and graceful.
  7. You feel more affinity with landscape and elements than people.
  8. You’re from another world and so don’t quite fit and it shows.
  9. Lover of art, music, dance, and beauty.
  10. Free spirit.
  11. Both youthful and ancient.
  12. Lover of trees.
  13. Shy, kind, but with a cold/detached streak, possibly playful, and wise…

Does this sound like you or anyone you know?

If this is a subject that speaks to your soul you will enjoy my novel Cailleach~Witch. It’s available now on Amazon. You can find it HERE You can even read a free sample + all the brilliant reviews before you buy.

Here’s the blurb…

Dark destiny, forbidden love, and the quest for freedom…

An immersive re-imagining of gothic fantasy, in this haunting, atmospheric mystery.

West of Ireland, 1990’s. The Cleary sisters return to the remote, wilderness home of their mother, where the aunts still live.

It’s been ten years since they were all but driven out of town, and the disappearance of Sean Mannion, father of Dara Cleary, still haunts the place. Now the girls have come back, casting ripples of fear in their wake.

Dara wants answers and revenge, but a dark destiny awaits this daughter of tragic lovers, Sean and Caer. For the sisters are Bean Feasa, wise-women, bound to the fearsome Cailleach: spirit of winter and the land.

The aunts have vowed, this generation will be the one to win their freedom, and Dara is the chosen one. It’s a battle that cost her parents their lives. And the forces that support her, sisters, aunts, the wild mountain landscape, the house, and even the Cailleach, are not always what they seem…

While Dara and her sisters feel the strange lure of Sliabh Earrach, we go back in time and learn, what really happened…

‘For what is a witch but an outsider woman, and that is all a witch has ever been.’

A spellbinding whirlwind from start to finish, in a wild and vivid Irish setting.

Recommended at the 77th World SF & Fantasy Convention, Worldcon 2019, as ‘a great example of modern Irish, gothic fantasy.’ ~ Author, Dr. Máire Brophy.’

Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton, meets ‘Practical Magic’ and ‘Charmed,’ in the West of Ireland. ~ Best Selling Author, Nicola Kearns.

~ Readers Love Cailleach~Witch (The Cleary Witches Book 1) ~

‘This is genre-bending stuff, that weaves together fantasy, fairy-tale and Gothic to deliver a fast-paced, atmospheric thriller. As with many Irish writers (e.g. John McGahern, who incidentally comes from the same county as Jane) the sense of place and tradition is very strong. The atmosphere is broody and foreboding, while the plot moves quickly, forward and backwards through time, with many unexpected twists and turns. I was reminded more than once of Daphne du Maurier, especially Jamaica Inn: Cailleach too creates a beautiful and desolate setting for love, tragedy and maybe a new beginning.’

‘A tale of magic, forbidden love and a family curse. Reading this book I was swept away to a dark mountain in the west of Ireland where the Cailleach lives. This is a beautifully told story of three sisters who must return to the home of their aunts where they have to break free from the curse of the Cailleach. An enchanting read of forbidden love, family secrets and dark magic. It was hard to put down and come back to the real world. The story had me under it’s spell right until the very end.’

‘Spellbinding, unconventional storyline spread acrossa group of strong women and across generations. Dark, light, complicated. Honestly the most refreshing story I’ve read in ages. If you like something a little different in your pot of fairytales, this is for you.’

‘This book is a spell – a spell cast with a deep understanding of humanity, its relationship to nature and to women who embody the power of difference. It is not a singular story, it is a multiple of lives woven together to compose a larger story and the author has done this weaving with great dexterity.


You may also enjoy my latest book THAT CURIOUS LOVE OF GREEN ~ NOTES FROM A WRITER’S JOURNAL. Only 99p for kindle.  Click HERE for more.

You can also follow That Curious Love of Green on FB for regular updates plus oodles of creativity goodness and inspiration HERE. To read more about me and my incredible journey click HERE. 

Thanks for dropping by, xo Jane.

What people are saying about Cailleach~Witch on Amazon…

32 thoughts on “13 Signs You’re one of the Fae (The Fairies)”

    • Can relate to 6 out of 13. According to the internet i was born a white witch or natural witch. However i want to know more about myself.

      • That’s wonderful! Where did you find the information that told you so? I’m curious about myself as well.

    • I meet all but one of these, my girlfreind is a green witch but I don’t know if I believe this stuff as I’ve never seen anything paranormal even when my sister and my girlfreind could. Does this stuff mean anything I should know?

  • Yes,,,I do believe I am,,, 🙂 I am obsessed with fairies,,have so many photos of fairies on my computer as well. And I so want to make a fairy garden. One night my husband and I were arriving home,,and it was not lightning bug season yet,,which is summer. A light whisked across my yard,,right before we turned into the drive,,small and only one. But I just know it to be our Fairy. :)Fun and good to believe!

    • It’s spelt faerie. And no, it’s not just how someone wants to spell it. I am the faerie of wind from Crystoria and I can assure you that we faeries take great offense in the wrong spelling of faerie.

    • My family has long history with fairy gardens. My dad had a beautiful and majestic fairy forest.. When my mother moved out, she also made a fairy garden. And, once I own a house with a yard, the first thing I’ll do, will be a fairy garden.

  • I so love this, Jane!
    (I have all but 1, 2, and half of #3, hehe. So perhaps there is something else for those of us without “the Look”… 😉 )

  • I fit only 7 of those boxes, so alas although I think of wild nature as my religion and am at my happiest in a forest or in the bush collecting and finding inspiration for my art or decoration for our home, sadly I guess I am not. 🙁

    • Strange I would have said you had that look across the eyes but what do I know! It’s just a thought, an impression, a story like any other.

  • Jane, I really enjoyed reading this ! I definitely have traces of the Fae running through my veins ! I look forward to reading your book! I am hooked already! Love and light and faery hugs to birthing it soon xx

  • I am a CHANGLING. Glory Be. I finally found the reasons I am the way I am. Although I don’t have blue or green eyes I am Irish. Very fair skinned and a loner was most say. When the weather is warm you will find me in anyone of my three gardens. Will be adding a forth this summer. I am at my happiest outside walking my dogs, going to the mountains or a lake. Hopefully moving to northern CA where I find the most relief from my MS and arthritis. There I can enjoy the outside more.
    I really enjoyed your article. I try to live green as much as possible.
    Fairy Kisses to You

    • I can’t believe it I have blue eyes pale skin and crooked small eyes My features aren’t really sharp. I never seem to fit in I love the sun and I go to bed at 9 wake up at 7 I walk my dog a lot and I love tree there like my best friends nd my skin kinda reflects in the sunlight, ad my room is filled with shiny objects! I can’t believe it I feel so happy I finally realize that I might be somewhat fairy-ish yay! 😀😁🤗

  • Hi All,

    I have all the signs and it spooks me, i was told yesterday that i was half human half fairy, i met this person and 30 minutes later he could read me entirely by the sound of my voice and my eyes. He’s an angel half Demon but totally nice. he asked me to read tarot cards to him, which ive never before btw! and i was able to read or more so to feel what the cards were telling me.. he was so happy, he was expecting me in a way.. i always knew i was different since a small child, my nan was a witche and she did practice white spells before you freak out lol I always new i had something extra and that i didnt belong to this realm or even my family i couldnt relate to them. I am now practicing as a healer using crystals and also going into reikei.. i hope i will finally meet my calling.

    Thanks Jane lovely blog

    • Only in one sense Livy. While the word does mean ‘from’ in Scottish that’s not the meaning in this instance. I’m talking about ‘THE FAE’ as a group/elemental beings/a mythical race. Not about someone being fae/from. Here’s more if you’re interested.
      ‘The English fairy derives from Old French form faierie, a derivation from faie (from Vulgar Latin fata) with the abstract noun suffix -erie. In Old French romance, a faie or fee was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs.

      “Fairy” was used to represent: an illusion or enchantment; the land of the Faes; collectively the inhabitants thereof; an individual such as a fairy knight. Faie became Modern English fay, while faierie became fairy, but this spelling almost exclusively refers to one individual (the same meaning as fay). In the sense of “land where fairies dwell”, archaic spellings faery and faerie are still in use.’ Or Fae in the case of Ireland, and Scotland too I’ve no doubt. Considering how close the two are in every way.

  • I have been drawn to faeries since Tinkerbell from Peter Pan when I was little. I find Faeries and what they are just so beautiful! When I was a teen I had faery statues everywhere in my room. I truly believed in faeries and wanted to see them so badly. All my life I’ve felt different, I never quite fit in with others. I’m known for being really shy, kind, sweet, bubbly, goofy, naive, very child-like and I have such a youth about me. I have had so many people tell me “you’re the kindest person I’ve ever met” and “I’ve never met anyone like you” and that there is something about me but can’t quite place their finger on it.. and tell me that I’m unique and rare and that I have his innocence/ sweetness about me, I also have a very wild imagination and constantly live in another world in my own head where anything is possible and always seen life through rose colored glasses, I love Celtic music and faery music and faery gardens and nature and animals and children! To me nothing is more beautiful than making a child laugh, just bringing joy. And I’m 27 and look like a teenager still to most people. I truly believe I’m something out of this world, I’m very spiritual and believe there is so much beauty in this universe than meets the eye. The more I meditate and call for other realms to show themselves to me the more I feel awaken. I defiantly think I either have faery dna in me or I was once a faery in another realm. I never understood this world like maybe I was never meant to be apart of it.

  • I have always know about my family’s fae bloodline, I am a fae wilder, as is my daughter and we both score 13/13.

  • Write about us and we turn up.
    Try not to use Yeats too much though.
    He had a strong case of affection or hatred for the Byron’s
    It dredges up really old emotions and to be honest it hurts my heart so consider this Fae PTSD.
    The family we failed and regret not being able to protect.
    Thank you for speaking of our world, you will receive a reward in the coming week though I know not what.
    Someone is looking for you that is not I.
    So consider this a calling card to welcome you into the fold, whichever fold you choose, may your path be fruitful and loving and may you find recognition among those who transgress against you for they are now more open to hear what you say.
    I’ll not be back and make sure you don’t use my email unethically, I’m showing you trust and this is your test.

  • I’ m mixed blood english irish scottish wales norse. I meet all check marks, because of my blood i believe im in danger, s.o.s.

  • Alright Cleary cousins, which one of you blabbed outside the clann to Ms. Jane Gilheany-Barry? As the soul of discretion, despite being an historian and story teller, would never give that much information out to Jane. And it’s mostly accurate! I rarely get that even in family meetings. NOTICE TO ALL CLEARYS: do not give out interviews without a press agent present. That’s how Clearys in California handle things.
    the ever sphinx like Guire John Cleary

  • I can’t believe it I have blue eyes pale skin and crooked small eyes My features aren’t really sharp. I never seem to fit in I love the sun and I go to bed at 9 wake up at 7 I walk my dog a lot and I love tree there like my best friends nd my skin kinda reflects in the sunlight, ad my room is filled with shiny objects! I can’t believe it I feel so happy I finally realize that I might be somewhat fairy-ish yay! 😀😁🤗

  • I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome with Marfanoid habitus. I’m also on the Autism spectrum and the “13 signs,…” describe me spookily well! Especially No. 6, “… and your movements, walking, or in repose, are both awkward and graceful.”, as I’ve been told that, even though I fall over, A LOT, I often do it quite elegantly!
    When I was small, before I got my diagno,… sis,… ess,… diagnosees,… ers,… before I was diagnosed with anything, I did research to try to work out what was “wrong” with me, why I was the way I am. The only answer I could ever come up with was that I’m a Changeling! So maybe my self-diagnosis was right all along?
    Thank you for this. I needed cheering up.

    Fluffy x

  • Wow! I feel like I’ve found my tribe. I relate to all your comments. My mom called me Puca because she said I looked & acted like a a little faery. I played in the forest. I never fit in. I was sensitive, creative , playful & shy… I have had many magical moments. If I feel strong emotions. It’s like focusing energies to make things happen. Very weird. I am 70 now & still collect faeries, have a faery garden & believe in magic😁

  • Never thought of being fae, but there’s always been something weird about me and it would be cool to be fae. When I was little I use to think I could fly if I concentrated hard enough. My brother told me that he really believed I could for a second as a little girl and I would jump off of play grounds over and over practicing. Needless to say my parents were called to the school and I never did that again. In another instance and I was hanging out at the bottom of a pool for a really long time. I guess no one explained to me all the laws of the physical world because I clearly remember breathing under water. I got in trouble because I was under the water so long, no one could find me. I was told to never do that again, and i never did nor could I once I was told it was impossible. When I was 8 I drew 200 faeries in an art book they all had warrior powers and names. I don’t know why I did it. When I was traveling the world I met a friend while in Hawaii and we were in a group of friends and she told everyone I was a wish faerie and that if they told me their wishes they would come true. I laughed and thought she was ridiculous, and she told me it worked for her, she told me all her deepest desires and it all come true. My friends lined up and wished on me, and their wishes came true… when they told me their wishes I had to clear my mind and purely want it for them, with out any other intention behind it. I had an imaginary friend as a child, for some reason, he was very real to me, I was blown away when my mom told me that he was imaginary, because I can remember his face in my mind, but he wasn’t normal, I called him Pinocchio as a child, maybe because he wanted to be real too. I also have been told I have glowy skin by tons of people, or that I look like a porcelain doll. When I was in Hawaii once I called to the dolphins, not really on purpose I was just talking to the ocean in my mind and was trying to share my feelings of gratitude to it for letting me visit and 26 wild spinner dolphins swam all around me and we swam together for a long time my friend was about 40 feet away but was able to get some pictures. I remember feeling overjoyed by them, but suddenly overwhelmed with fear because there were so many and they were jumping out of the water at great speeds and when the fear kicked in the swam away from me. When I was a little girl I walked in the creeks by my house collecting frogs and snakes in buckets to play with and I got warts all over my feet. The doctors said they would have to be surgically removed, and there were so many that it may cause scarring and even deformities. My mom said she would buy them from me and they would come to her as freckles. She gave me a nickel for each one and they disappeared with in days. The dr said he had never seen anything like that in his life and wished he had documented it, because he wouldn’t even have believed it if he wasn’t a first hand witness. My last weird other worldly experience I feel like sharing is once I left my body on accident. I forgot who I was and then realized I had the great privilege of existing as the girl I am in this life, and in order to return I had to convince myself to forget what I knew and try to remember the fundementals of what made up my human life, my parents names, where I was born… there tons of stuff that has been weird in my life like this. My mom and dad use to tell me not to use my magic because it’s dangerous and can cause harm, and told me to never speak of these things… but they happened, it was real and I have whitnesses and pictures… I don’t know. I just don’t understand any of it, but this made me feel good reading that there are other strange things in the world

  • i have 12 out of 13. and i have always been attracted to the idea that i was a faerie. maybe it’s incorrect but who knows, right?!

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