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Okay, considering that I advertise this as a Faerie Faith website, I should probably talk some about my own experiences with Faerie.

I haven’t had anything like they say in the stories – actually getting pulled between the worlds, or seeing little maidens with bright butterfly wings, etc. But I have felt their presence in my life, more and more as I have come to accept my belief in them. Here is some of how that has happened for me.

Up until the last few years, I tried very hard to force myself into predetermined religious systems – first Catholicism in my childhood, then Wicca in my teens and college years. I had a lot of fairy imagery around me in my adolescence, but didn’t take it as a spiritual option because (for whatever reason) the parts of Paganism that encouraged belief in Faerie were not part of my early Pagan experience. Its funny how things don’t show up for us until we need them, right?

To make a long story short, neither of those specific religious systems worked for me and though I didn’t talk about it much, the more I thought about the truth of my heart, the more I felt drawn to Faerie things. Especially  (and more noticeably) in these last few years.

Around 2011/2012, while continuing to practice eclectic Paganism in a very lazy way, things started to change. Faerie started asserting Itself more and more, until finally I started paying attention. Below follows a semi-linear account of those experiences – both before I devoted myself to them, and after.

The Faerie gift and Car Troubles

Most of my thinking and developing toward the Faeries started after I moved to Ithaca, NY in 2011. The first instance I can remember clearly happened with a Faerie gift of my wife’s (then-fiancee’s), that she had displayed on a small broom on our entryway door. The broom hangs on a peg there that’s not exactly sturdy. The gift, some lovely dried flowers, was perched on top of the broom handle’s end. Unfortunately, its really easy to knock the broom down, and due to my carelessness one day, that’s exactly what happened – crushing the Faerie gift in the process. At that point I had taken very few steps into Faerie, so I didn’t think to apologize.

Shortly afterward, my wife’s car started having mysterious trouble, which wasn’t too uncommon because she has pretty spotty luck with cars. She took it into the shop, and for some reason I stayed home that day. In being home alone, it finally struck me, what I had done.

I had already begun to create space for them (what is now my Altar, see below) so I sat before it and formally apologized for the destruction of what they had graciously given my love.

Scant moments later, the phone rang – it was my wife, at the garage, telling me there was nothing wrong with the car after all.

The Altar and the Sprout Station

Over the next few months/the next year, I got very soul-sick. Instead of actively seeking the faeries more and more, I stagnated. I let the beginnings of my Faerie Altar sit unused, ignored. This went on for months, even as I started to get help for my illness in early 2013. Eventually, in reorganizing things in the house, an abandoned bean-sprout-growing-station was placed in front of the altar, blocking it from view or any further use. Because I wasn’t paying attention to the faeries,  I didn’t think anything of it.

A few days passed. Then one night, after my wife and I were settling down for the night, we heard a crashing noise from that room. I went out to check, but absolutely nothing seemed out of place. It wasn’t until a bit later, when I went to feed the cats, that I saw what had happened.

Walking barefoot across the carpet, I felt and then saw that there was a tiny amount of dirt around the bottom of the sprout station, prompting me to look up and discover that it had been inexplicably disturbed. On top, there was a tray of plain dirt with a lid on it.That tray had been completely flipped over – the lid was still on, it sat pretty much exactly as it had been, only a bit of the dirt had fallen to the floor. It was just perfectly flipped upside-down.

Nothing else on the station had been moved. We hadn’t done anything with it, so that left the cats, and they would have had to have climbed it, soundlessly, then developed extra strength and opposable thumbs in order to have done it themselves.

I moved the sprout station right away and cleaned and refreshed the Faerie Altar the very next day. I’ve been using it regularly ever since, and no other physical disturbances have happened.

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Beltane, 2014

I don’t often do full on, structured ritual anymore, so a lot of the time celebrating the Sabbats comes down to a walk in the woods and thinking on the meaning of the holiday, or a drawing that encompasses the meaning of the day, etc. I’m lucky enough to live out in the country, on the edge of small woods and some farm fields beyond, and it just so happens that our property has a wild hedge-lined path, that goes out to a small pond between those woods and those fields. I go out there to think and try to connect to the Mother, sometimes. So on Beltane, 2014, I took a walk out there, planning on sitting at my altar and lighting candles for the holiday afterward.

On the way to the pond, I took pictures of some of the new life around me, slowing my pace down. In that slowness I noticed some movement – like a displacement of the air – around some particular purple flowers that grow in small, solitary cluster-stalks here. I leaned down to look closer (without my camera), breath-taken, and for a moment I felt like I was on the edge of seeing something. Then I got the impression that whatever was there didn’t want to be seen, so I stepped back and continued to the pond.

When I got there, I was stunned and delighted to see a dance of red-winged blackbirds circling and weaving above the water. It went on for several minutes. I’m not familiar with those birds, so I don’t know if that behavior was out of the ordinary, but something about it felt different and significant to me. It called to mind the stories of my ancestors, of Faeries shapeshifting into the forms of birds, and I couldn’t help but feel touched and so blessed at having witnessed such a thing.

I learned afterward that blackbirds in general are connected to Faerie, especially, which also makes me think that “dance” was something more than mundane.

The Filing at work

Months later, an odd thing happened at my day job twice in one week. We have a filing system for customer information, specifically organized by number, and suddenly one day the numbers and names were messed up – wrong files were in wrong number slots, and vice versa. There was absolutely no reason for it, but it was enough of them that it couldn’t have been one simple mistake from employee error or something like that. And to make things weirder, it happened again a few days later. Nothing had happened at home in a while, but I can’t help but feel that something (or someone) had followed me or somebody else at work who’s also blessedly attuned, to cause a bit of mischief.

The Orchid at work

Another small thing at work happened very shortly after that. A customer was leaving with a couple orchids they had brought with them, and set them on the counter near my computer station while they pulled their car up. I wasn’t paying specific attention, but still I saw a stream of light – faint but colorful – fly from behind the orchid to behind my computer monitor. I don’t work near any windows or other light sources that would have changed and caused anything like that, so there was no obvious mundane explanation. I didn’t see it again, but I said hello and stepped back to leave it alone until the customer came back for the flowers and left the building. I kept an eye out for the rest of the day, but saw no other signs of the being that caused the light.

Midsummer, 2014

This one, I’m not too proud of or too sure of. I might have met a faerie in human form and didn’t realize it until it was too late.

I was again at work, having my lunch break in a park that’s just a block away, and I noticed a raggedy-looking middle aged man roaming around, looking for something in the grass. Unexpectedly, he came up to me, a four leaf clover in his hand.

He asked me what I would pay for it. And out of fear of human violence, I politely turned him down.

It was only after he walked away that I realized he might have been more than he seemed (especially on Midsummer, of all days!). I tried to forgive myself but didn’t manage it, and selfishly, tried to get his attention again by dancing around a tree-branch sculpture nearby. At this point he was talking to other people around, and he did watch me for a moment, but he was clearly not having it. I had missed my chance, and I just try to be grateful that he didn’t take offense, if he was truly Fae.

The Faerie in the Bathroom

More months passed, and I hadn’t seen any evidence of faeries in a good while – I was going through a troublesome time in which I needed to clear out my lifelong stores of anger, in order to clear a path for a true connection with the Goddess (and the faeries, too). I’ve read in multiple spiritual practices now that clearing out anger is key for a healthy connection to the Divine, and I fully believe that my own anger was causing roadblocks in my own connection. But at the time, I was feeling really separated because my anger was constantly present, and I looked forward to the process of releasing that after I’d done a thorough look.

That process got interrupted, and the morning after I expected it to be over, I woke up feeling very, very hopeless. I’d expected to feel better, and I didn’t.

I was having a lot of trouble praying as a result. Any reading I tried to do about my spiritual path set me to weeping and I couldn’t stop the tears once they’d started. Then finally, as I showered, I was able to reach out to the Great Mother just a little bit, like half a prayer. When I turned off the water and pushed back the curtain, my eyes set upon my Faerie pentagram pendant (one of two holy symbols I alternate between wearing), which had been hanging off of my hairbrush handle while I bathed.

Suddenly, something shot into my vision. A small, bright, purplish metallic shape hovered a few inches away from me near my pendant, quickly darted zigzag toward my right eye, and then was gone.

I looked for it around and behind me, but didn’t see it. So I thanked it, and left the shower curtain partly open and the bathroom door cracked as I went about getting ready. And, unsurprisingly, I felt much, much better.

The Brownies in the Hair Salon

I don’t get my hair cut very often,  so when I do it’s usually because my mother is helping me out. As such, that usually happens back in my hometown. In the summer/fall-ish of 2014 she started taking me to a new salon she was using at the time. It was a lovely place, and at first I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

On my second visit, I was more relaxed and found myself aware of many spirits in the place – in my mind’s eye, I saw that they were small and round, dressed in flowing, well worn but well cared-for clothes, very rustic looking, with floppy caps on their heads and large noses. They were no taller than my ankle, as far as I could tell. They also wore satchels, loose ones made from one piece of fabric (like some parents carry babies around, strapped over their chest) with the pouch section in front. I saw that they were going around picking up the fallen hair clippings off the floor. And I knew without question – they were Brownies!

Soon after I realized what they were, they started to notice me noticing them, and a few of them lined up to observe me too. I said hello mentally and tried to express how delighted and grateful I was to see them. Most of them went back to their work after a few moments, but one – a girl – did linger to keep staring at me, and was scolded back to her own work by the others after a few more minutes.

This is the best I could do, in terms of drawing one of them. I feel it still doesn’t do them justice but at least its a general idea:

Pencil sketch, "Hair Salon Brownie"

The next time I visited, several months later, I tried to keep an eye out for them without expecting anything….but still hoped to see them. Too strongly, I guess – I introduced myself more formally this time, but they did not reappear. I did, however, sense paths of energy where they had recently been about, so I believe they were still there.

I learned recently that the salon has since been sold. I hope that they are appreciated by whoever is in that space now, or that they were able to move on to somewhere else.

“Don’t Make Me Your Experiment!”

At my day job, after a while, I ended up with the task of taking care of the plants in the lobby area. At the time, I didn’t know very much about plants (I still know very little, honestly), and it turned out that I wasn’t watering them enough for how much the heat was on in the winter. After I realized that I tried to be better to them, knowing how much it means to the Fae.

There was one plant in particular that had some dead leaves on it, and being unfamiliar with plant care, I wasn’t really sure what to do about it. It was the last plant I had to water, too, before getting back to the usual tasks of my job. So I thought I would wait until next time and see what it looked like then. I emptied my jug of water and turned to go back to my station.

As I did, I heard a distinctive voice in my head – Don’t make me your experiment!

I’d learned enough, and had enough direct experiences by then, to take it seriously. I turned right back around, attended to the plant as best I could with my hands, and returned with scissors to cut away the dead leaves very shortly afterward.

The next time I set about watering them, I was delighted to find that that plant had an unexpected blossom, one that was not there before at all.

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I continued to do my best to take care of the plants in the lobby, especially with this one in mind, and that has gone well enough for just over a year. I regret to say, though, that someone has removed this particular plant recently. No one seems to know where it is or what happened. I’m very worried for it, but trying to keep positive energy in my heart and thoughts.

The Bird Feeder

A couple years ago, I got a bird feeder as a gift to myself. I’ve started getting more interested in birds the more spiritually connected I get, which I don’t find surprising, since the Celts had many stories in which Faerie and birds were linked (as I mentioned earlier). The best place I could think of, at the time, to hang it was a tree near my home’s screen porch.

I’d been using it regularly for months, and it had attracted crows and chickadees and other songbirds and squirrels and even deer, which are one of my power animals. All seemed okay, but then one morning the branch it was on broke, draping the (now empty) feeder on the ground along with it. I was worried that this would somehow anger or offend the Fae, and didn’t quite know what to do about it, especially since I couldn’t attend to it right away.

As I was heading out of the house, I was surprised to see it surrounded by birds and a squirrel or two, with a red winged blackbird in the branches above. They were still going after the seed on the ground.

This may not seem odd, but as I watched the blackbird took flight – right at the window I stood in front of, then swooped across the doorway next to me, which was also windowed, and followed me overhead as I stepped outside, before flying off into the woods.

The only other experience I’d had with these blackbirds was nearly a year before – at Beltane, when they significantly flew in patterns like a sacred dance above me, and I witnessed. So this moment, too, struck me as something otherworldly. As if the Fae were trying to tell me they knew I was doing my best to do the right thing for the birds and the tree itself.

I didn’t suffer any negative consequences from the experience, as far as I know, so I still feel like that experience was reassuring. The tree itself is still doing well, and I was able to apologize to it directly sometime later. It now holds a different bird feeder, specifically for finches, which gets less attention from the entire yard and as such, seems to be in less danger.

Tree Friends

(Speaking of trees…)

Since I became serious about believing in the Fae, I’ve been keeping an offering bowl on my altar for any tribute I offer them, and when that’s full, I take it out to the pond in the woods behind our home. I empty it at the base of a tree there, one with three trunks so close together they all might BE the same tree, I don’t know.

Early in spring 2015, on the first day where it was sunny enough and warm enough, I did just that – taking the bowl out with everything I’d given over the winter. It was beautiful outside. I passed snowdrops, more red winged blackbirds flew out from the brush and underbrush as I passed. The moisture from the ground reached up to cleanse my bare feet as I walked.

I asked permission to enter the pond’s space, since it had been so long since I’d been there, and continued after seeing a warm red glow behind my closed eyes – one of the signs of reassurance I sometimes get. I went over to the tree as usual and emptied the bowl.

Then, unusually, I reached out and lay my left palm flat against the tree. Immediately I felt a gentle sense of calm and peace flow quickly up my arm, stopping about 3 inches from my armpit.

I stayed that way for a few moments, just trying to connect to the being there and so grateful it was reaching back at my gesture. Then I took my hand back, after stating that I meant to do so, and that sense of calm stayed with me as I walked back to my house.

A few months later, I went back to again empty my offering bowl, prompted by the sight of a doe – deer being one of my spirit animals – at the beginning of the path to the pond. I spoke again to the tree and offered my energy through touch, and this time I learned her name.

I’ve also been able to introduce myself to another tree closer to the house, a maple who feels very much like a grumpy old man and finds me mildly amusing. I’m grateful to know his name, too, and to have a known spirit close-by that I get to see every day. As for the tree from the bird feeder story, I have not yer learned its name, but I hope to in the future.

I seem to find connecting to tree spirits particularly rewarding, and I recommend it as a good place to start. Just remember to approach with respect, and introduce yourself. And in fact, there are lots more recommendations of how to be respectful in the following book:

Faerie Meditations, the Great Glyph of the Sidhe, from “Faery Craft” by Emily Carding

I have been trying to make meditation more and more of my daily spiritual practice, which usually means just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation, but sometimes also means more guided meditation like the amazing ones by Wendy Froud (which you can find on Spotify, awesomely, but can be purchased easily here too).

I’ve only gotten to do Mrs. Froud’s meditation once, and I chose the Troll one, and all I can say about it comfortably is that I was profoundly moved and given a meaningful story and guidance.

Every time I enter Faerie through meditation, its really clear to me that a) Faerie is not so far removed from us as we think, and b) they need us. They do. As the planet needs us, as things are now.

What I’ve done most often lately (though still only a handful of times) has been the Great Glyph of the Sidhe meditation from Emily Carding’s “Faery Craft.” In that practice, you focus on the Great Glyph until the spiral turns into a tunnel, which leads into the Faerie realm.

There’s no specific direction other than that initial focus to create that mental portal, so each experience I’ve had with this meditation has been different. I’ve been through tunnels of red clay, seas of stars, temples made of clouds, so many places that are so different from each other but all so Faerie. And most times I have met beings there, who have communicated to me – whether by words or by impressions – and sometimes given me chances to ask questions. Again, I don’t feel comfortable sharing the details of my encounters, since it would violate the privacy of the beings that graced me with their presence. But I will say that each experience has been powerful, and I believe that guided meditation of all kinds takes us places beyond the physical, beyond our selves, so I believe in what I’ve seen each time I’ve done this.

Also, “Faery Craft” is a great book and I recommend checking it out. It has many many activities designed to strengthen one’s connection and actual daily practice with the Fae. So I definitely suggest it, especially if you’re having trouble connecting to Faerie on your own.

NY Faerie Fest

Shortly after moving to Ithaca, before I had truly started devoting myself to Faerie Spirituality, I was delighted to find that that the only Faerie Festival in my state is only an hour from where I now live. I started going right away, and have had some experiences there – when not so excited to be among like-minded folk that I’ve inadvertently blocked myself off, that is.

First and foremost, in my second year there (2013) I had a significant visit from a robin, while walking the labyrinth near the end of the festival grounds. There are standing stones, about knee/thigh high, that form a ring around the labyrinth itself. As I walked the path, the robin followed me, hopping from standing stone to standing stone as I made my way. Since then robins have been special to me, and seem to show up whenever I need hope – for example, in Spring 2015, during a few weeks where I was having a lot of mental health issues, I saw them everywhere. Not just in the normal “oh, its spring, the robins are back” kind of way. And this happened again over a couple of rough days earlier this spring (2016).

In my third visit, 2014,  I didn’t have any blatant experiences, but I was given the gift of a new magickal necklace, not knowing that I’d been looking for one at the time. This was a few months after I had truly started taking my Faerie Faith seriously, and back in those enthusiastic moments I had looked for a new pendant with the Faerie/Elven star online. I’d found a few that looked wonderful, but I’d heard that such things have more magic if they’re given to you or come your way unexpectedly, so eventually my searching petered off without any purchases.

I had completely forgotten about that intention while at the festival that day, until I found myself asking a random vendor if they had any Faerie star pendants. She had to dig for a minute (so many lovely things there!) but she did find one, a black and white star under a glass dome, small, and when light hits it – it sparkles! Absolutely perfect and unexpected. I wear it almost daily, and gratefully, to this day.

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And if you’re interested, you can read more about my experiences there here and here.

The Park Behind Work

Most days when its nice out, I take my lunch break out at this small park a block behind my workplace, in order to be in nature more often. Most of the time its just a nice, peaceful experience and I try to keep the faeries in mind, but don’t usually notice anything.

Once, though, I chose to go out there early to take out some trimmings from the lobby plants, that they might decompose more naturally and beneficially than if I had thrown them in the trash. I prayed to the Fae to show me where best to leave them, keeping mind that someone likely takes care of that park’s landscaping. They led me to a cluster of trees that was actually more of a grove – planted in an oval, they hid a small clearing within themselves, enough space for about 4 or five people to sit in. I’d been going there for nearly a year at this point, and had never realized it was there! Among the branches of the tree furthest from me was a large, round, fluffy robin – as I mentioned, one of my personal symbols of hope. I greeted and thanked it, then draped the clippings (as they were from vines) throughout the trees’ trunks and branches. The robin stayed until I came at last to the tree it sat in, leaving only as I finished the draping. I left feeling extremely blessed.

Grabbing paper

This is a small thing, but still of note. Where I work, we deal with a lot of paperwork, and one day one was grabbed from my hands as I moved one piece from one place to the other. It might have been a normal trick of physics and air, but it flipped around a whole lot and slid perfectly underneath the nearby phone. And in the moment, I felt such delight….and it was a difficult day, so moments of delight like that were very welcome. As such, I choose to believe there was more to it than science or logic would say. Especially since I’d had experiences at work before.

The Faerie Fest Candle, and the Fairy Deck reading

In early November 2015 I hit a kind of small breakthrough in my recovery work, which led to the week after being very magickal and witchy for me. In that week, I was very inspired by divination, and one morning felt called to spend more time with the tarot deck I use for my daily readings (just a general 3 card pull about how the day is going to go). That morning I’d happened upon a spread designed to get to know your deck better, which – embarrassingly – had not occurred to me to do before. I felt very excited about trying it, and set about doing that as soon as I had gone through my morning routine and daily meditation.

Now, that deck had come to me in a significant way – I had been given a gift card to a particular store by one of my caretakers in December 2013, just after going into recovery, and after entering the store with no particular item in mind I was called to it (as if it appeared before me, on the shelf. Really). Being both Faerie AND Victorian it is really, really up my alley. I’ve been working with it, mostly just on a personal basis, ever since.

Also, in this particular witchy week, I had put new Goddess and Faerie candles on my altar. Usually I have two candles in place for the faeries, one for the Seelie and one for Unseelie, but at this time I finally felt called to put a single candle from this year’s Faerie Festival there instead. It was intended by its makers to call faeries to you, and I lit it in honor of all Fae, Seelie and Unseelie and everything in between. I had been using it for a few days before this incident and felt very strongly about it, and expected to be using it for a while, as it was a votive candle.

It’s possible that what happened was just something odd in the candle itself. The kind of wax, or something, maybe. But I have learned not to take anything for granted and I do not lean toward cynicism. If you don’t believe in magic, you’ll never find it (as the saying goes).

While I was doing that working to get to know my Victorian Fairy Deck (which went amazing, by the way), that Faerie candle burned out entirely. It left a thin wall of its wax just as tall as it had been originally, and all the inner wax had leaked out through a crack it has formed on one side, spilling out and down the front of my altar as I did the reading. This took about 20 minutes to half an hour, tops. In my experience, votive candles usually last longer than that and behave a LOT differently in general.

I don’t really know what it means yet, but I do feel positive about it. A couple days beforehand, I had finally started feeling faeries around me again, after months of not feeling as connected anymore. Again, there might me some more mundane explanation for the candle’s behavior, but the timing of it – with my investigation of one of my strongest Faerie tools, which was explained even more to me in that investigation – is not something I can ignore.

Synchronicities

Lastly and more generally, things happen sometimes and someways that can’t be ignored.

Sometimes there are small matchups – like seeing a doe in a moment when I need a sign. Or crossing paths with wild turkeys unexpectedly after I choose to be hopeful in the face of my illnesses. Sometimes there are clearer things, like finding someone like-minded to work with and getting signs toward that project. As I’ve said, my work with Faerie has really taken off since I moved to Ithaca, NY, but most of that has happened in the last three years, even though there were trickles before that.

One of those trickles was a book from my wife – then fiancee – called “Faery Tale,” by Signe Pike, given to me just after we moved here in 2011. I was being pulled more and more towards Faerie and my Llady’s always been very good at finding things I need, even if I don’t know I need them yet. I devoured that book, thoroughly enjoyed it, then went back to developing at my own slower-than-molasses pace.

Around Thanksgiving 2014, a good friend gifted me with another copy of the same book. Much had changed since my first reading of it – I am now sober, on a path to try and live a spiritual life and connect to the Divine Mother, and the faeries, honestly and truly. So getting that gift prompted me to read the book again.

And reading it now, I’m finding that even though I couldn’t relate or make use of the information in it before – since I was still very spiritually sick – I somehow wound up on a VERY similar path anyway. Many of the books the author read, movies and documentaries she watched, artists she studied are the same as ones I found and finally started reading myself in the last two years, well after having failed to recognize those titles in her experience.

I’m flabbergasted and so, so SO grateful that even though I missed that first chance three years ago, I was still somehow steered on this path to the faeries anyway.

 

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So how about now?

(Pictured above is a recently-begun outdoor Faerie shrine, by the way.)

A lot of these specific events happened a while ago, and while I didn’t include a lot of recent stuff, little things have still happened every now and then in my practice. I go in and out of intense experience, as one does, but I maintain my daily spiritual practice and still occasionally have moments where I feel them near. Some of those most recent ones involve my wife again, so I don’t feel comfortable elaborating, but I will say that even though I’ve had periods in which my own personal pain or laziness has blocked me off from them, they are always still there when I return to the purity of my heart.

Please seek, if you so desire. I promise you’re not crazy. And I promise the experience is amazingly worth it.

Recommended reading:

“Faery Tale” by Signe Pike

“Faery Craft: Weaving Connections with the Enchanted Realm” by Emily Carding

“The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies,” by Rev. Robert Kirk

“Healing with the Fairies” by Doreen Virtue

Anything by Brian and Wendy Froud, but especially “Trolls,” “Faeries,” and “Faeries’ Tales.”

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