Episode 40: Water Fae: Nixies
The folklore of Nixies in a nutshell, how I reimagined them for my writing, and these fae translated into Afrikaans.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2022 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about Nixies 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 nearly 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 book Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie available in eBook, audiobook and paperback. Learn more at ronelthemythmaker.com/my-books.
We’re continuing our exploration of Water Fae.
Today’s Faery: Nixies
Folklore in a nutshell by Ronel
In Germanic and Scandinavian folklore, nixies are water fairies who live in rivers and lakes. Usually the males are referred to as nix; they are excellent musicians and shapeshifters. The females are most often seen resembling mermaids. Both genders can assume human form and are extremely attractive.
Just before a human drowns, nixies are seen dancing on the surface of the water. It is believed that the nixies suck humans down to the deeps, drowning them, and keep their souls in upturned urns.
Nixies are more allergic to iron than other fae. Long term exposure will kill them.
On occasion, nix take mortal women as their wives. They need to hire mortal midwives to assist in the birth of their children.
Nixies live in underwater palaces – like most water fae – and hold lavish banquets to which they sometimes invite humans (who always complain about the lack of salt in the food).
Nixies might seem benevolent at times, warning about storms, but they, like all water fae, should be treated with caution.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an origin of the fae: nixies
Nixies are water fae who prefer living in lakes and rivers. They are shapeshifters – they can turn into any animal, look like any monster, be perfectly alluring to humans. Despite what folklore says, they do not abduct humans – either children replacing them with changelings, or women, keeping them as wives. Nixies do keep human souls captive, but only as a kind of purgatory for those who didn’t live life with any kind of conviction: they weren’t particularly good or bad. Those humans invited to banquets are the loved-ones of the captive souls, brought to torment the dead. Also, they eat human flesh, which is why they are alluring to their prey. The palace of nixies is one place accessed through the water ways of the Otherworld and is where they keep the souls and hold their banquets. Nixies don’t live in the palace, preferring the wilds of their rivers and lakes. Their mission is to keep their home clean – which means if a human pollutes their river or lake, they will torment their soul until Ankou, king of the dead, absolves the soul and allows it to continue to its destined afterlife.
Translation of nixie into Afrikaans: no need, as this is the name of the creature in German and Dutch (root languages of Afrikaans).
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
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