The name "Sylphs" is often used as a generic term to include all types of Air Elementals. Angels, Fairies, Air Sprites, Flower Fairies, Spirit Guides of Birds and Flying Insects, Valkyrs, and Griffins are all examples of Air Elementals that may sometimes be grouped under the category of "Sylphs", although most often the name is used in reference to Air Fairies.
However, there is also a specific type of Air Elemental that are called Sylphs. They are more connected to the world of the Fae, and some even say they are members of the Sidhe race who took to the skies instead of the Underworld when the Sidhe were driven out by the Celts. Slyphs are shape-shifting, flying, angelic beings of the sky... made of Air itself. In their truest form they are described as tall, humanoid beings with huge wings; a wingspan more than double the length of their body, flying and swooping high in the sky like eagles. They are said to make patterns in the clouds with their wings. The Sylphs are not really interested in human affairs - although they are very concerned about Air Pollution and the health of the skies. Some people claim that the Sylphs can clear away chemtrails left by jets and airplanes and can also have an effect on the weather because of their large, forceful wings.
Since they are made of Air, Sylphs are usually invisible - so sightings are rare, especially since they often remain high in the skies and do not usually reveal themselves to humans. Their presence is usually noted by intricate patterns in the clouds that look like they have been swirled and brushed by large feathers; often into the shape of wings, birds, or angels. Their presence is often indicated by strong gusts of wind that seem somehow "different" than the normal wind that day... a wind that suddenly gusts and swirls from a different direction or that appears on a calm day when there was no wind.
Even though the Sylphs are not very concerned with human affairs (unlike the Angels, who are fully interested in human life), sometimes a human will gain their attention and favor. People who show an interest in weather patterns, clouds, nature, birds, and a shared concern about Air Pollution might have results in calling upon Sylphs to help them. Others may gain the attention of a Sylph, uncalled for... either way if they appear to you they are most likely trying to help you be aware of your connection to the air and wind, take notice of your breathing and the health of the air in your environment, and to help you learn to be truly free. There is a certain symbiotic relationship between humans and Sylphs - we breathe the air - the very stuff they are made of, and they need our help in protecting and healing the skies. Recognize that these powerful beings need your help too, and they will certainly be happy to return the favor. You may feel the presence of a Sylph as a soothing, peaceful breeze or gust of wind that seems somehow to speak directly to you - a wind that whispers in your ear and makes you suddenly aware and alive, your heart fluttering. You may suddenly have clarity of thought or suddenly think of a solution to a problem with a gust of wind - perhaps a Sylph has smiled on you. Though they rarely "land" on the earth, if they do they are sometimes seen as tall slender figures that are glanced as shadows or shapes out of the corner of your eye... yet invisible or flying away when you look directly at them. They can shapeshift to much smaller sizes if they want to and appear as small breezes playing in a garden or swirling up dust in a mini-whirlwind.
Below are some pictures of Sylph activity in the clouds above my house. These pictures were taken just a couple days ago, as I began researching the Sylphs and preparing for this blog post. Do you see the shapes of angels and birds in these clouds that look like they have been brushed into shape by large wings?
For further reading on Sylphs, here are two links to sites I found very helpful;