Dancing with the Fairies

Literally every culture in the world has tales and stories of small mysterious creatures that cause mischief and intervene in the lives of humans.


Fairies, also known euphemistically in literature as “wee folk,” “people of peace,” “good folk,” “fairy folk,” “fay” or “fae,” are described as magical gossamer forms of spirit. Fairies are included in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Fairies and other “little people” also figure prominently in the ancient folklore, mythologies, and legends of Germany, China, Russia, Japan, Egypt, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Britain.

Some Scandinavian mythologies describe fairies as unbaptized souls, somehow caught in a limbo between heaven and hell. Their works and deeds have not qualified them for admittance to heaven, yet their sins are not distressing enough to merit eternal damnation. German folklore describes fairies as fallen angels, cast out from heaven because of their misguided allegiance to Lucifer. Cast from heaven in mid-flight, suspended in time, some fairies have wings and fly through the heavens while others remain earthbound making their homes in forested woodlands, rivers, lakes, and streams.

Other myths describe fairies as a conquered race, living in hiding. Diminutive in stature, these “little folks” are prevalent in the folklore of Europe, the British Isles, and the South Pacific.

In Ireland, the “people of peace” were known as the Thuathe de Danaan, which means "People of the Goddess Dana." Driven into hiding when the Celts invaded Ireland, the “wee folk” avoided conflict and tried to live peacefully in shelters burrowed into the hillsides or coastal caves.

In the mythology of Wales, fairies lived in an invisible, magical world of a different dimension than man. The invisible Fairy world was known as “Tir Na Nog”, a special place of spectacular beauty yet extremely dangerous for humans to enter.

Hawaiian legends describe the extraordinary feats accomplished by the mythical Menehune, a race of tiny people of superhuman strength that worked only in the moonlight to create wondrous stone dams, walls, and water diversions. Evidence of this unique masonry work is a frequently visited tourist attraction on the Garden Isle of Kauai. Folklore from Ireland and Scotland offers similar tales of “little people,” small in stature, but incredible processing strength, stealth, and cunning.

Today, many people hold the belief that fairies are extinct but that they lived amongst and interacted with humans centuries ago. Others with the gift of seeing beyond earthly dimensions confidently report fairies and wood spirits exist today. The real question is not whether fairies do or do not exist today, but rather, how do they interact with humans and why is their magic so compelling?

Suspend your disbelief. The truth is that many people have had an encounter with the fairy realm, yet did not realize it at the time. As a child, did you have an imaginary friend? As children, it is much easier to see fairies as our minds invite new experiences. Fairies are drawn to the innocence and openness of children. Children have not yet been “programmed” to rationalize and not believe in the unexplained mysteries.

Have you ever noticed movement out of the corner of your eye for which there was no logical explanation? Do small personal items within your home disappear and reappear in unexpected locations? Fairies are said to be mischievous and love to play tricks to get our attention.

A rapidly growing number of fairy believers are willing to talk about their encounters and share their knowledge of attracting and communicating with fairies.

Today, fairies are perceived as nature spirits or elementals, a part of the vast network of spirits that inhabit all places and things on earth. Hard working, exceptionally strong but shy and reclusive, nature spirits live a secretive life. One with nature and possessing keen psychic senses, they use their creative talents and exceptional strength to accomplish mighty tasks that benefit mankind and the earth we call home.

It requires immense patience, respect, and conviction to interact with the fairies. Remember, only true believers can see the fairies. Wary of humans because of the collective damage we have done to our precious planet, fairies and other elementals are reluctant to reveal themselves. It requires respect and patience to see fairies. Time and effort must be expended to earn their trust. If your acts and deeds reflect a kind and tender compassion for Mother Earth and a genuine concern for her well-being, the fairies will soon make themselves known.

Have you had a fairy sighting? Fairy queens, fairies, wood spirits, and elves live in my woods because I tend the plot with loving care, making sure that all creatures are sacred and welcome. Creating a distinctive nurturing space in your garden is the best way to attract fairies. The more fairies you attract, the greater your chances of an encounter. Do not take the meeting lightly.

Do not expect to see miniature people with little wings. Dismiss the images you have seen of fairies in literature, art, cartoons and movies. Fairies are natural spirits formed from pure energy. They can be any size, shape, color or form they desire. To “see” these spirits and be touched by the presence of the fae, you must practice, exhibit patience, and have an enthusiastic confidence they will appear.

Building A Fairy Garden

According to ancient legends, if you build a tiny fairy house and place it in your garden, you may attract a fairy to take up residence. Even if, you scoff and don’t believe in fairies, creating a tiny fairy landscape is a delightful creative challenge for anyone that loves miniature projects and enjoys working in the garden. Crafting a fairy garden is also an excellent project to inspire the imagination of children.

Craft your fairy house from weather durable materials. You may use a wooden birdhouse or old cigar box for a base. Decorate with twigs, cones, leaves, bark, pebbles, acorns, shells and moss. Use only natural materials and non-toxic, waterproof glue to decorate the fairy house. Cover the interior floor of the little house with sand, moss, grass or other soft natural padding material. Place the fairy house in a shaded spot in the garden. Be creative and add wooden furniture or anything you think a fairy would need. Provide a source of water and an acorn full of honey. Landscape the area around the fairy house creating a welcoming pathway and a clear area where your guests can build a fairy ring. A fairy house should blend with the landscape and be anonymous. Do not add signage or bright colors. Fairies like to remain mysterious.

How to Meet A Fairy

An encounter with the Fey Folk is serious business. Wild creatures with wily ways, fairies should be approached with care. Folklore from many different countries tells that while a fairy can never lie, they can trick you with their words. Many tales report that fairies will bite if provoked. If approached correctly with respect, the fae can be an honorable friend and a forceful ally.

To see a fairy, relax your mind, close your eyes and focus on the darkness. As you meditate you will see an orb of glowing green light. Feel the warm green mist swirl around you, cloaking you in its magic. Hear the tinkling of tiny bells. Listen for the whispered voices of the wind. You may just catch a glimpse of sparkling light out of the corner of your eye or smell their sweet flowery fragrance in the air. Sing, dance and ask the fairies to join with love and good will. Do not demand their appearance. You cannot control the fae; they will appear or not appear upon their whim.

A fairy may appear as a flickering light or a shadowy face in the leaves of a tree. Don’t be afraid to talk to a tree. When a fairy arrives, greet him/her kindly and ask for their help. However, be careful of making an agreement with a fairy. They are sticklers about their word and take any commitment literally. Remember, fairies can be tricksters and often have an unusual view of what life should be like. You and your fairy friend may not want the same things. Be careful what you ask for.

Never thank a fairy for their help. They feel that words of thanks are worthless and a dismissal of the act. They prefer a token of your appreciation. Leave a flower, a sweet treat, or a pretty pebble. At the end of the visitation, bid a fond farewell. Continue to lovingly care for your fairy garden and perhaps your fairy will be a permanent friend and resident.

Marlene Affeld
Marlene Affeld

“A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld’s passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle.”

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Dancing with the Fairies