Episode 85: Solitary Fae: Dark Muse
The folklore of leannan sìth in a nutshell, how I reimagined her for my writing, and this faery translated to Afrikaans.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2023 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about leannan sìth in folklore here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With almost a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.
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We’re continuing our exploration of Solitary Fae.
Today’s Faery: Leannan Sìth
Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel
Seen as the “fairy mistress” or “fairy sweetheart” of Celtic artists, writers, poets and singers, the Leannan Sìth bestows the gift of artistic genius to her chosen one, but at a great cost. Some of these men go insane or die after a brief, yet brilliant, career in the arts. She appears as a beautiful young woman and takes her victim as her lover once he falls in love with her; as she inspires him, she also drains him of his life-force. If the victim spurns her advances, she’ll quickly kill him and drain him of his blood which she then stores in a red cauldron for uses unknown. In some tales, she is invisible to all but her victim.
This dark muse is difficult to refuse, but those who succumb are her slaves for all of eternity. Beware!
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Leannan Sìth
This Dark Muse has beautiful red hair to go with her strikingly good looks.
There are only female Leannan Sìth.
She offers inspiration to an artist in exchange for his love and complete devotion. Lovers of the Leannan Sìth live brief, though highly inspired, lives. This union always ends in madness, despair and death.
If her advances are spurned, she’ll take action against the human with unpleasant results. (Better to devote oneself to this Faery and die young than go against her and have her cause a fate worse than death for all you know.)
She drains the sanity and life-force from the men she inspires to greatness.
She drains the blood from those she deems unworthy of her love (which is a gift and a curse of itself). She drinks their blood from a huge cauldron in which she gathers their very essence and vitality along with their blood – this is the source of her power and good looks. (This technically makes her a vampire.)
With one kiss from her, a man is her slave even beyond death (she takes possession of his heart and soul).
She only goes after young, handsome men.
As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Donker Muse.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.
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No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.