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Puer the Pooka

Beware of the Pooka Puer

A shapeshifting beast with a dare

He offers a change

Prophetic exchange

It’s risk when you seek out his lair.

Favorable for: Transformation, Quests, and Sensuality

Unfavorable for: Peaceful resolution, and Diplomacy

Associations: Aries and Mars

Elements: Fire and Air

Latin Translation: Puer = Boy

The Pooka is featured in Irish folklore. He is a shapeshifter who most commonly appears in the form of a rabbit or horse or sometimes a garish human-animal hybrid. It is said that if he is offered the last harvest of blackberries, he will reward the giver with prophecy for the coming year. But there is great risk involved in seeking out Puer the Pooka as he can be unpredictable. Not to mention the fact that he is rather fond of causing trouble, delights in pranks, and relishes in terrorizing the countryside.

Puer the Pooka can choose to be helpful if he feels the cause is just. This shapeshifter is an omen of transformation and he appears when a quest is afoot. He will demand a commitment to one choice over another. Puer the Pooka will never mock a seeker for turning down a quest for veracious reasons, it is the regret for what “could have been” that is sure to anger him. The path not taken is useless to Puer the Pooka. He is not a creature of regret. He is independent and reclusive and as such, he favors the solitary quest. In fact, when he appears, seeking help from others may be unwise as he is an omen that those others should not necessarily be trusted. Even if they mean well, others may be motivated to derail the seeker from their quest in order to maintain the comfort of the status quo.

Seeing Puer the Pooka is a favorable omen where conflict has already begun or an immediate (and perhaps violent) change is desired. He will lend his courage and strength for the battle ahead. He can also be helpful in social matters when one wishes to appear confident, sensual and engaging.

However, Puer the Pooka can be rash. He is a creature of action and may not think things through. He is an unfavorable omen if the desire is to avoid conflict. Trouble may be ahead. In this case, it is best to face the danger head on. Accept no handouts or free rides. In his horse form, the Pooka (like his cousin the Kelpy) was said to lure travelers to ride upon his back. Once the ride had been accepted the victim was magically fixed and could not free themselves as the Pooka then galloped into the lake to drown them.

Leshiis for Literacy

Laetitia the Leshi has put together a list of books on the fae beings featured in the Fairy Fortunes oracle deck. If you would like to learn more about Pookas, Laetitia and Puer recommend these literary gems:


  • DePaola, Tomie. Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka. Puffin Books. Recommended reading age: 4-8 years.

  • Diterlizzi, Tony and Holly Black. The Spiderwick Chronicles (Book Series). Simon and Schuster. Recommended reading age: 7 years and beyond.

Non-Fiction Folklore Resources

  • Briggs, Katharine. The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends. Pantheon Books. 1978.

  • Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 2000.

  • Rosen, Brenda. The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings. New York: Sterling Publings. 2009

  • Young, Simon and Ceri Houlbrook. Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500 AD to the Present. London: Gibson Square 2018

Have you read a book on Pookas or other fae that you do not see on Laetitia the Leshiis' list? Please email me at

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