What Say The Silver Elves About the Difference Between Seelie and Unseelie Fae?

“…the primary difference between the Seelie and Unseelie….is not
that one is good and the other evil but is a difference
in our approach to mankind and the normal folk.”

The terms Seelie and Unseelie come from the Scottish Faerie Traditions, but the idea that there are elves of light or light elves and elves of dark nature can be found in other traditions as well. It really isn’t much different in essence from the whole idea that permeates society of a conflict between good and evil, the light and the dark, although in reality the manifestation of the Seelie and Unseelie and the difference between us is more nuanced and varied than that.

Take, for instance, the whole idea of the Tao and the interplay of opposing forces that creates Life and the Universe, as popularly represented by the Yin-Yang symbol of two swirling energies each with a touch of the other at its center. There are many folk who commonly mistake this symbol for a conflict between good and evil and say that we can’t have one without the other. But this is an inaccurate interpretation. The two primary forces of the Tao are not good and evil but action and assistance or reception to action, or the idea and its fulfillment in reality. Evil or disease results from a failure of the two primary forces to cooperate and assist each other. The two primary forces are like a marriage. If the partners live in harmony, all is well, if not great conflict and suffering ensues. The two primary forces of the Tao are both positive in expression when in harmony with each other.

So it is that some folks might see those in the Seelie Court as being the force for light in the world and those of the Unseelie Court as being the force for evil, and while there is some truth to this, it is only a partial truth. We would like to say that we Seelie Elves are good people but surely we are not perfect beings and we have also done things in the past that we regret. We strive to be better spiritual beings but alas we are not always successful. Yet still we strive onward. It is our experience that the Unseelie also endeavor to better themselves as people. Their idea of what makes for a better person may differ from our own however. And because the Unseelie are, in part, composed of orcs, goblins, dark faeries and dark elves (although not all dark elfae are necessarily Unseelie) and so forth, it would be easy to fall into the notion that they are the evil side of Faerie, they are usually surely the scarier side of faerie in an outward fashion, although we Seelie have our scary aspect as well.

But really the primary difference between the Seelie and Unseelie, as we have written elsewhere in our books, is not that one is good and the other evil but is a difference in our approach to mankind and the normal folk. The Unseelie are often hostile to mankind, wish to take revenge upon them for the ill that has been done to our folk, which we quite understand, and in general they don’t mind taking advantage, conning and deceiving man and his kind, since from their point of view he deserves whatever he gets for all the ill he has and continues to do in the world. And this includes his down right rudeness in denying the existence of the Fae at all.

We Seelie folk surely have sympathy for this point of view for we have been brutalized, marginalize and mistreated by man for aeons as well but we have come to the conclusion that cursing man and making him even worse than he is does him or us little good. Our position has ever been to help enlighten and uplift man in hopes that his kind will transform and become less hostile in general to everything and everyone that is different from them, including other men.

That, besides all the trivial differences between the Seelie and Unseelie, is the primary difference between us. So let us all, dear kindred of the Light and Dark, be in harmony and balance together on the elven path and live with the awareness of both the need for the active and receptive principles to be in balance within each of us.

Where do you stand on this issue?

Fardas Lovur Tae Lan (Arvyndase for “Dancing Toward the Dawn”),
The Silver Elves


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11 Responses to “What Say The Silver Elves About the Difference Between Seelie and Unseelie Fae?”

  1. magickmermaid Says:

    I agree with you. I understand the Unseelie point of view, but I believe it is better for all to continue to spread light.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. silverelves Says:

    Dear sister, thank you for being here with us and commenting. Spreading Light and Love is surely our Seelie perspective. We are also aware of the need for balance within us of the active and receptive principles.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. silverelves Says:

    Dear Chana, in your response about the safety of the Faery Realm: Surely it is so that if one is dealing with the Faerie Realm, it is important to be somewhat careful since there are within it both Seelie and Unseelie. We Seelie elves are the Faerie Realm and not afraid as it is our neighborhood, so to speak, and we are accustom to moving through it. Unseelie can certainly be dangerous, but certainly not always. And Seelie are not harmful but they can bring change into your life and that can be frighting for some people. Not everyone wants their lives to change, even if it is for the better.


    The Silver Elves


  4. highelvenwisdom Says:

    Such an important article about us Elvenkin. It is true, us Seelie or Light Elves surely are not perfect…and perhaps having something vulnerable and willing for change inside of us is what actually makes us “light” Elves in the first place. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amergin Ó Kai Says:

    Wah-o’-t’ah-waya My Relations!

    It’s funny, I’ve been pondering what to write about next in my recently resurrected blog and I stumbled upon this. (Will have to explore your blog further.) Here I will remain more strictly on topic since, as you will see, it touches upon nearly everything else with regard to the Fae. Since first remembered contact with us by humans after our worlds grew separate, there has been much confusion as to the polar spectrum referred to as Seelie and Unseelie. Faerie lore has been couched in human terms describing human concepts, often incorrectly. Understandably so, they didn’t know what they were encountering in the first place and described it as best they could relative to what they did know, i.e., human society. So the references to these “courts”, and a number of other misunderstandings, is due to human lack of comprehension (and in ages past, inability to imagine) the most fundamental aspect of Fae culture and society, indeed of the Fae ourselves. That is, the Fae mind is diffferent from the human mind – we *think differently*. The most significant difference is that we participate in a distinct, shared group mind (I’ve re-appropriated the term Hosting for this) in each of our tribes. The Hosting defines, *is* the tribe. (R.J. Stewart appears to be the first human to have perceived this – see his book, “Earth Light”.) Naturally then, our culture and social structure reflect this difference. In short, we don’t really have kings and queens, courts, etc.

    So the “Seelie and Unseelie Courts” of course are something different as well. Because our culture, like humans’, varies geographically and is shaped by the Land itself within which we dwell, I will limit my discussion to the tribes within Turtle Island, specifically my own Hosting, the K’Ar (Children of Voice) nation – mediating primarily the Land of the Great Plains spanning from the Spine of the World to the Great River. Because I am still limited linguistically to human terms by which to make comparisons with human concepts, I find that those of the indiginous humans of Turtle Island are more similar and usefull to this end than those of European origin. So first off, the two poles are *not* separate things at all – they are different positions relative to the Hosting of a given tribe. In European terms, we are all both Seelie and Unseelie and belong in both courts. The actual difference observed by humans is the degree to which any given Fae encountered are engaged in their Hosting at that time, that is, where our attention is currently directed. We are always at some point between (*not incuding*) our awareness being completely engaged (and absorbed) in the Hosting and attention solely upon the self – complete disconnection from the Hosting. The two extremes themselves are actually the states in which a Faerie’s mind is deemed insane. (Separation can be healed, absorption is irreversable.)

    Among the K’Ar then will be found the Winter and Summer Councils; the key words for which would be group participation and individual effort. The Winter Council in the Hill of Memory upon the Plain of Winds is by far the most commonly encountered. Here one may seek a trail companion (often called a “co-walker” in the Faerie lore of humans) and engage the Council with regard to matters of the Land itself and the creature beings who dwell there. The Summer Council moves about the UrLand and so is harder to find (and is generally less useful to the human journeying there). So what you refer to as Unseelie is a Fae in Summer – they are currently engaged in something particular to themselves. For the most part these activities still benefit the tribe – they are typically expressions of individual talents and abilities. It is this self-absorption however which leads to their reputation among humans. Most of the time when you encounter one you simply don’t matter to them.

    N.B., Fae who have become disconnected from their Hostings are extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Disconnection is usually caused by some deep trauma – often trauma inflicted upon some portion of the Land of special significance to them. Since nearly all such trauma is inflicted by humans (e.g., clear-cutting and strip mining), it follows that any Broken One you may encounter will be pissed off at you with an unfathomable rage and fury engaging the full intensity of Fae emotions. The only thing more dangerous and terrifying in the UrLand is the Summerchief when she has to put a Broken One down.

    Finally, in addition to the two extremes when attention is roughly balanced between the two councils a Faerie is Turning. Among the K’Ar, each of these states is expressed through seven medicine lodges and we all belong to one of each. As I mentioned at the beginning, I will be posting further and in more detail about these matters soon in my own blog, Deep Green Peacefaerie. Understanding the existence and nature of the Hosting it is easy to see that this changes everything. . . Sileyan na showah!

    In Winter, Wa-o’-t’ah-weyah!
    Arrak ramirea K’Ar

    Liked by 1 person

    • fhaene Says:

      we participate in a distinct, shared group mind (I’ve re-appropriated the term Hosting for this) in each of our tribes. The Hosting defines, *is* the tribe.
      Very interesting way to put it! Some years ago at a ‘kin gather, in a journey under-Hill (or sort of an overlapping bringing-it-here thing, really) I remember thinking, “Aha! I can hear Everyone Else again!”

      (WordPress is seeing my Google login, I guess, to call me fhaene; I’m Arethinn.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amergin Ó Kai Says:

        Yup, that connection is like a missing piece falling into place. When I entered the Hosting I realized, so *that’s* who I’ve been hearing calling my name all my life!
        (Btw, WP sees your Gravitar.)

        Liked by 2 people

  6. silverelves Says:

    Thank you, dear Arrak,
    Ver nesidas mellun vari te (our SIlver Elves magical language Arvyndase for ‘In shimmering starlight ever be’),
    The Silver Elves

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amergin Ó Kai Says:

    Of further note re: etymology, the word “seelie” is retained, with slight change in pronunciation, in common modern English as the word “silly”. And that we often are!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Can Anyone Be An Elf and Why Don’t All Elves Choose Elven Bodies In Which To Reincarnate? | The Silver Elves Blog Says:

    […] What Say The Silver Elves About the Difference Between Seelie and Unseelie Fae? https://silverelves.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/what-say-the-silver-elves-about-the-difference-between-… […]


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