Dear Fairy Friends,
The weather has been gorgeous at Dragon Dell. The leaves are turning lovely golden tones, glinting in the Fall sunlight. It is a time for harvests, for enjoying the world before winter settles in. It is my favourite time of the year, leading up to Samhain – many humans call it Halloween.
Fairies are out in full force, more and more as October 31st approaches. It is a very busy time of the year and the peak for fairy activity!
I’ve had a few children very sadly write to me that they have not seen a fairy. I believe this may be because many people expect a full-bodied, glittery, clear apparition. In reality, you probably have seen a fairy and didn’t realize it!
For example, do you have a cat or dog? We have both, as well as ferrets. Have you ever noticed them paying attention to something that did not make sense? Cats will often stare at or chase invisible things, dogs will suddenly go sit and stare at a wall, ferrets will run off after something (they are a poor example because they are always doing this anyway!). Often, this is a sign that there is fairy activity in the house!
For instance, I will be doing dishes in the kitchen and notice something flit outside, only to take a better look and see nothing at all. Things moving out of the corner of your eye or subtle shifts you can’t be sure you saw are often fairies.
If you would like to be more attuned to fairy sightings in your home, garden and in the wild, the book Fairies, A Spotter’s Handbook by Alison Maloney, illustrated by Patricia Moffet, is an excellent guide for children and adults interested in starting to build up their fairy lore.
Unlike some other fairy books for children and youth, this handbook is not too sugary-sweet that you develop a toothache while reading it. Having once been Fey myself, I appreciate that it points out that there are both good and bad fairies. These terms are very stiff and often, a benevolent fairy might behave in a manner we might classify as bad or evil. However, we often forget that our concepts of good and bad have no meaning to the Good Neighbours. I am fond of this book because it touches on this lightly, but does not paint all Fey in a shiny, squeaky clean light.
Having read the majority of the book that discusses Queen Titania, the ruler of Faerie, her court, the different types of fairies, my daughters were eager to test the handbook in the great outdoors.
We had with us mason jars for collecting and the guide. I need to be very clear about one thing when venturing out to look for fairies: please, never, ever try to jar them! I am pretty sure most of us would not like to be contained in a sealed jar, even with holes poked in the lid. I can assure you, neither do fairies. There are dire consequences for all who try to trap fairies and Fairy Hunters are one of our greatest fears at Dragon Dell. This is strictly a guide too spotting, not hunting! Great things to have with you would be a container to collect things in, a magnifying glass, a little cup and some milk, honey or cake. Keep an open mind and an open heart!
If you have a garden, look under shrubs or bushes, you may find some fairy clues there. A tidy pile of leaves, for example, may have been a fairy bed.
Other signs of fairy visits include toadstool rings or a circular area of flattened grass. Rings of toadstools are Fairy Rings and these are sacred ritual and celebratory spaces for The Gentry. They must not be destroyed or you will have bad luck! Flattened grass in an open area where there are no tracks and the grass surrounding it is upright is another sign that there has been a fairy celebration!
You will also want to examine trees in your yard. All trees have fairy spirits inhabiting them and you just need to look for signs! We have a crab apple tree that we often find little piles of twigs under. This is a sign of a fairy dwelling.
If you are in the woods and spot bluebells, foxglove, lavender, snowdrops or forget-me-nots, these plants are irresistible to the Fair Folk and you can wager that they are around.
We collect things we find such as feathers, acorns, fallen leaves. These we keep and make little beds out of in the garden before we go in, to let the fairies know they are welcome and will be during the cold months. Our hearth is fairy-friendly! I appreciate very much that Fairies, A Spotter’s Handbook offers the reader protection against the wrong sort of fairy making themselves feeling welcome. The book recommends putting springs of either rosemary of thyme near the front door and offers this spell to bless the home:
We’ve rosemary, thyme and sweet-smelling flowers,
Good fairies can enjoy,
To this clear house we call ours,
Bring love, peace and joy.
It is very important when forming friendships with fairies to do something like this, to make your invitation very clear. This is where I want to note that just as we wish to come to no harm in our household, when you are out in theirs, do not harm or destroy things. When collecting items in your jar, please do not break off branches, petals, trap bugs nor harm any animals. These are very serious offences and the equivalent of someone entering your home and smashing your furniture and throwing everything around. Littering is also a great offence so if you bring snacks, please remember to tidy up after.
Lastly, if you wish to show good faith to the Fey, leave them a small offering of milk, honey or cake. This can also be placed in the kitchen window, it is a great treat for the Fey and they will be very pleased. We may have experienced some Fey tampering with our picture above, no matter what angle we took the picture from, the little friendship bowl we filled with milk would not photograph clearly!
I hope that this helps give you hope going forward, looking for signs of magic and open your eyes to fairy sightings you might already have encountered!
Your Lady Star