Leanan Sidhe, or Dearg-due, or leanashe, often considered the Irish version of the Manx Lhiannan Shee, is a source of inspiration for young artists.
Often considered the Irish version of Scottish version of female vampires and succubi (as they lure men through sexual attraction), Leanan Sidhe is an opposite of her Manx counterpart Lhiannan Sidhe, a life-giving spirit inspiring artists, mostly poets and musicians.
Corporeal to the beloved artist she chose as her mate, sometimes the Leanan Sidhe took the form of a woman, who gave men valour and strength in battle thanks to her songs. It is said that those inspired by it live brilliant, though short, lives.
Dearg-due translates as red blood sucker. A Celtic legend tells that a famous female called Dearg-due is buried next to Strongbow's Tree in Waterford.
Leanan Sidhe instead means both fairy mistress or fairy sweetheart for she used to take an artist as lover.
The Fairy Mistress seems to be fond of poets and musicians, inspiring them with her muse like power. It is said that her lover gives her the vital depth of emotion that she craves and she in turn gives inspiration to his genius.
Leanan Sidhe is intelligence, creativity, art and magic. She was the embodiment of all that as well as so beautiful and sensual to cause fear and be considered dangerous as well as evil for she didn’t conceal her power, beauty and mystery.
Her purpose is revealed through the creative works she inspired in poets, painters, and musicians. Her beauty gave so many emotions that she taught her lovers love and despair, longing and desire.
According to Irish lore, the way to prevent the undead, such as Leanan Sidhe, to rise it’s to put a cairn of stones over their grave. Like most fairy creatures, iron is lethal to the Leanan Sidhe.
Leanan Sidhe is the famous Celtic muse with such a dark and incomparable beauty that her lover was often distraught with longing and suffering for her absence. Because Gaelic poets died at a very young age, this spirit is considered an evil fairy. As W.B. Yeats states in his book Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland she grew restless and carried them away to other worlds, for death does not destroy her power.
On the other hand W.Y. Evens-Wents, in his book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, reports of a similar tale about a fairy woman mistaken for a succubi, suggesting that at the time (Middle Age) fairies where often mistaken for succubi. He clearly states