My understanding of a Fairy/Faery is this: They were a race who once lived on Earth in physical form and were bonded with nature in a very real way. They could talk to trees and plants and find healing cures; they were and still are intuitive, magical, and telepathic. They are incredible artists and craftspeople. Some theories say they were a race here before humans and there was some crossover; the Fae and the humans co-existed on Earth in in physical form. Fairies eventually chose to live without incarnating into physical bodies. Some call them our ‘ancestors’ and ‘cousins,’ or our ancient kinfolk.
The Fae now live on the astral pane, the band of energy that is a higher and faster vibration than our current physical world. The astral plane is also where human souls who have left their bodies dwell before they seek the higher light. The Fae are like us, they have good and cheeky souls and are still evolving, so that’s why some like to help humans and others like to frighten them! Our coarse human energy is repugnant to them, especially as we continue to clear forests and natural landscapes for profit.
The movie Avatar comes very close to explaining what the Fairy race may have been like when they were inhabiting this Earth – not in looks, but in attitude and being deeply connected to the land.
A note on Faery vs Fairy. I use both terms. Fairy come from the Latin term ‘fatum’ which means ‘Fate’. Faery is from the Gaelic term ‘Fear Sidhe’ which means ‘Man of the Sidhe.’ Sidhe is the name given to the ancient Faery race of the Celtic Isles. You will find that many cultures have their own form of Fairy legends, and here in Australia there are many Aboriginal stories that speak of Fairies.
The following is an account of my journey with the Fae Folk in this lifetime.
I can clearly blame Enid Blyton for my fascination with fairies. From the age of seven, I started reading her books. The green lushness of a magical English forest was a world away from the red dirt and searing sun of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. There are fairies here in Australia according to Aboriginal legend. When I was in Brownies (a faction of Girl Guides), my group sported the emblem of a small yellow bush fairy with wings called a “Moora Moora.’ The Moora Moora care for sick and injured animals. I truly, truly believed in Fairies when I was young.
All throughout primary school and high school, my fascination with fairies was channeled into drawings and paintings. I had an intellectual view of them at this point – never really ‘felt’ their energy or saw one, I wanted to believe …I hoped that they existed but never had any proof. I did not actively seek them, but I spent a lot of time reading about them and wandering in nature talking to trees (not out loud, that would be crazy *ahem*). I particularly loved The Enchanted World’s book ‘Fairies and Elves,’ and referred to it often.
At the age of 21, I moved to Scotland, and by this time I was actively seeking the Faery Folk. I mean, this was the land of my ancestors, where the myths and legend I read about had come from! The forests of Scotland did not disappoint and with a little practice and patience, I began to feel their presence. Their ‘otherness.’ Gentle, playful, powerful, mischievous, and curious of us humans. It helped that I went to places that were renowned for Fairies; usually cemeteries and hills surrounded by forest.
Tapping into Fae energy, I found a strong link between nature and spirituality, the sacredness of trees and woodlands and a respect for the divine beings that control the natural world.
I visited Ireland as well, another part of my family history, and discovered the triple spiral at the Neolithic site of Newgrange, which is my sacred symbol and one I have tattooed on my left arm.
I found that spending time alone in nature, surrounded by trees and standing stones, and creating rituals using rocks, and plants and flowers so peaceful and healing, that I knew this was the perfect way to express my spirituality. A deep respect for, and a working relationship with the Fae is part of this. My belief had morphed from an intellectual one into a heart felt one.
The places I found with the biggest Faery energy (should you wish to go there) are as follows:
- Findhorn Foundation
- Isle of Skye
- Craigmonie in Drumnadrochit
- Tomnahurich Hill in Inverness
- St Brigid’s Well
The Park, Findhorn, Forres IV36 3TZ, United Kingdom
Findhorn is a spiritual community in the Scottish Highlands. It attracts many new age visitors and seekers from around the world. You can take day visits there and guided tours. It’s a gorgeous place with forest and sea. When Eileen and Peter Caddy first started a community there in the 1970’s, the residents claimed to ‘speak to the fairies’ for help in growing produce in the barren, sandy soil. The foundation is renowned for producing the most amazing fruit and vegetables, despite the poor conditions. I went there 25 years ago so the details are a little hazy, but two main memories stick out.
- The man taking us for a guided tour was very tall with a booming voice and had wild white hair. He claimed to have seen Pan in the Findhorn forest one evening and Pan asked him,
“Why are humans so stupid?”
I drew a picture of the incident when we got back to our hostel that evening.
- We went down to the seashore. It was covered in beautiful smooth stones of different colours of grey. I selected one, and in return, sang a song in Gaelic to the Sea Fairies as thanks. I still have it. It is my Yes/No stone which I painted a triple spiral onto. It’s a very special treasure.
Isle of Skye
Ironically, the places touted by the tourist board as Fairy Hills and Groves are the places I felt the least fairy energy! The Fae I found were in secluded groves and bubbling brooks. The Isle of Skye is an incredibly magical place and worth a visit if you love your Fairy legends. Isle of Skye folk tales tell of the humans (Scottish Lairds) marrying Fae women and producing half faery/half human offspring.
Drumnadrochit, Inverness Shire
Craigmonie is a small hill at the back of Drumnadrochit with a magnificent view of Loch Ness. The locals say, “I’m going up the rock,” when they want to admire the view. I lived in this part of the world for 18 months and was bewitched by its magick.
Craigmonie is part of Balmacaan Woods and is the site of an iron age fort. It was infamous in the past for executions, but to me it just feels peaceful and full of Faery energy. The surrounding woods are strange. There used to be a stately home there called Balmacaan House, and when it was demolished by explosives, the staircase stubbornly remained – apparently the staircase was notoriously haunted even whilst the house was still standing!
Balmacaan forest is creepy, overgrown, rich, green, and fecund with flying insects, with many sacred groves and paths. My friends and I went walking through there one fine Summer’s day and got completely lost for about an hour. Scarily lost because it seemed like the trees kept repeating themselves and corralling us into circles. The weirdest thing was my two friends were village locals who had grown up playing in this forest and even they were lost! The whole adventure left me with a weird, spaced out feeling. In retrospect, I think we were being messed with by the Fae!
Tomnahurich Cemetery Hill Inverness IV3 5BD, United Kingdom
Tomnahurich means “hill of the fairies” in Gaelic. Tomnahurich Hill is a cemetery situated southwest of the Inverness town centre. According to legend, Thomas the Rhymer, the famous 13th-century seer is buried there. There are many old Victorian graves are there too, and it is surrounded by lush forest. The energy there is incredible. I used to go walking and picnicking there to read my tarot cards and just enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
One time, I was in a bit of a tizz and had gone hoofing up the hill to seek some solitude and headspace. Well, such was my haste, I tripped and was about to go rolling down the steep hill when I felt my whole body being pulled upright by…something. What was it? I still don’t know, but always assumed it was a kind Fae who stopped me from substantial injury. A helping hand, just at the right time and I am still grateful!
I don’t have any pics of the Hill, although I went there often. Here’s a link to a cool blog about the place. https://graveyardsofscotland.com/2014/01/20/fairy-hill/
St Brigid’s Well
Churchtown Mountbriget, County Clare, Ireland
Have you noticed that many of the sacred Pagan places in the UK and Ireland have become sites of religious significance? None more so that the Holy Well of St Brigid, in County Clare; a sacred place for Catholic pilgrims, but I’m here to tell you that place is teeming with faery energy! The Well has a wishing tree, groaning with rags and ribbons, where people have asked favours of the faery folk to help make their wishes come true. I did this myself 25 years ago. I can’t remember what I wished for, but I hope it came true!
Back in Australia at my parents place, which backs onto a bush reserve full of gum trees and native plants, my sister and I and a good friend were sitting on the veranda overlooking the reserve and enjoying an evening cigarette (yes, I used to smoke, and I enjoyed it, but I gave up 12 years ago). Suddenly, a bright light about the size of a five-cent coin came zipping up to my face, and flitted from left to right, to left again and then scooted away as quickly as it appeared. I was stunned.
“Did you see that!?” I shouted.
“What?!” said my sister and friend.
“That light, that thing!”
“No…are you sure it wasn’t just the light from your cigarette?”
“No! It was different, it moved left and right and then just zoomed off!”
Clearly, something odd had happened and we all got a little freaked out and decided to go inside and be nice and quiet and never speak of this again.
Honouring the Faery Folk
My own practice honours the Faery energy ‘whatever that may be.’ It might be different for you, but this is my experience. My favourite way to connect with them is to go to a beautiful, secluded place in nature and just listen. I take my tarot or oracle cards with me and ask them questions, and they speak through the cards.
A word to the wise. When working with the Fae and/or asking favours, do not demand or be grabby. They can see into your heart and your true intentions and do not like being bossed around! I mean, would you?
I have five Oracle Card decks in print, with two more in development, and every single one has a card dedicated to the Fae Folk. I like to honour them for the joy and delight they bring me, the quiet communion with nature, the insights and the sense of magick.
Books on Fairies that I recommend:
Witta, an Irish Pagan Tradition’ by Edain McCoy (1993)
This is a good source of information on the faery folk and their role in Celtic Paganism.
The Faery Teachings by Orion Foxwood (2003)
Orion Foxwood is a renowned Faery Seer, who also incorporates Hoodoo into his spiritual practice.
The Sidhe: Wisdom from the Celtic Otherworld by John Matthews (2004)
This book is about the discovery of a special ancient symbol called the ‘Great Glyph’ etched onto a stone in a burial tomb in Ireland, and its power to channel messages from the Fae.
I’d love to know about any experiences you have had with the Fae Folk!