May 1st, also known as May Day or Beltane, is a time when the veil between worlds is thin. The same is true at Samhain on October 31st, but instead of spirits of the deceased coming to visit we have magickal beings from the land of fae – faeries, elves, gnomes, leprechauns, etc. Music, dancing, revelry and time out in nature are all part of regular Beltane celebrations, and not only is this attractive to the fae – but you are close to their territory! Though finding a pathway or portal into the faerie realm is rare (and quite frankly, inadvisable), there is plenty you can do to welcome the fae into your life, garden, home, and Beltane celebrations.
Why Work with Faeries?
I’ll be honest – I’m terrified of faeries. I mean honest-to-god scared. My mother read me real fairytales right alongside with my disney favourites and I always knew faeries were just like people – good and evil all rolled into one. That said, there is good in there. Many people have faeries as guides, rather than angels or ancestors, and even more celebrate the faerie realm in their magick.
So why invite faeries into your life an magick?
Well for one thing, faeries are beings of earth. They live on, and are made from, all the same star stuff you are. They are beings that are deeply connected to the planet, and even when they leave our plane of existence they’re still here.
Faeries are literal. This is something that shows up a lot in fairytales – a tendency for humans to misunderstand that faeries are actually being honest. Unfortunately our way of thinking and communicating is very different, but if you can learn to take what they say at face value and read between the lines they can save you a lot of time.
Faeries encourage indulgence in the finer things in life and treating yourself. This is something people can forget – that letting your hair down, laughing, dancing, and celebrating is vital to our survival. Fun is not frivolous, it’s a necessity! No one knows this better than faeries. If you’re struggling to find fun and playfulness in life, faeries can lead you in the right direction. They can also make you laugh your brains out.
Finally, faeries weave magick into every facet of life on earth. That rare bird you saw today, that feather in your path, that field of flowers that wasn’t there before? Faeries. The use all of the tools the earth has to offer to bring you magick and messages.
Of course, if you have trouble viewing faeries as something real and tangible, that’s ok! For many people, the faerie world isn’t something physical, but something subconcious. Something that we all have access to as beings of this planet. You can work with faerie archetypes in meditation or in meditative states, view them through your third eye, or communicate with them as an unseen guide.
Words of Warning!
If you’ve never read an honest-to-goodness fairytale in its original form, your idea of faeries might be a little sugar-coated. You probably imagine gorgeous, tiny, apple-cheeked, butterfly or dragonfly winged humanoid beings with sparkly auras. Or maybe jolly little leprechauns, or even the gorgeous elves from films. In reality, most faerie stories ended in tragedy and gruesome deaths. Though some faeries are elemntals or nature spirits, such as gnomes, salamanders, and wood nymphs – you also have Incubus and Succubus faeries who drained energy from their lovers; Banshees who’s screams fortold an imminent death; Merfolk and Sirens who dragged sailors to their deaths; Red Caps with sharp teeth and nails who could over-power even the largest man; The Bendith Y Mamau who would kidnap healthy babies and replace them with deformed and sickly changelings; and even the spirit of Death himself was said to reside in the land of fae. The Wild Hunt is a faerie hunting party that would lure restless souls from their beds on dreary nights and never allow them to return. In short: faeries aren’t all sweetness and light. They’re powerful magical beings with an endless life, and a very fragile sense of pride. Treat faeries with respect, and don’t demand anything from them. Ask, don’t demand.
The Magic of Flowers
The one thing all of the stories get right is that faeries love flowers! Much like bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, faeries dine on the sweet nectar of flowers. Though any flower, in any colour is able to attract faeries, there are a few they prefer.
All clover blossoms are in tune with the faery realm. In fact, clovers act as small doorways that allow us to communicate with faeries. Spend time outdoors near clover and allow your mind wander into the dream world and pay attention to what you see – this is a message from the fae. Never use poison to kill wild clover if you’re interested in attracting faeries to your home or garden. If you wish to collect clover blossoms and leaves, leave behind a small silver token as a gift.
Clover would make an excellent flower essence – use it to communicate, and put it in body and room sprays to attract the fae to you.
Foxglove is a highly protective, slightly wild, mystical flower that faeries absolutely love. Unfortunately, it’s also FATALLY TOXIC if consumed. (DO NOT CONSUME EVER). The best way to connect with faeries using foxglove is simply by caring for it. Plant foxglove in your garden, cultivate from seedlings, and always spend time with Foxglove while it’s blossoming. Be warned that killing a foxglove could be seen as a slight!
If you consume foxglove flower essence (never make this yourself unless you are adept at this craft!) you may find yourself living that faerie life – a little wild, and extra bewitching.
Lupine is hearty and whimsical, earthy and magical, and aligned with both the sun and the element of water. These conflicting properties make it a bridge between ours and the realm of the fae. When growing wild, Lupine usually marks the place of a portal to the faerie realm. Try finding the plant and spending time there, with an open mind ready to drift off.
Lupine is the flower of imagination, and would be a welcome addition to faerie games with children – grow it in the garden where they play or mix the essence in with paint, bubbles, and in the bath.
Verbena, or Vervain, has long been associated with magic, medicine, and faeries. Verbena serves as the ultimate gateway to the faerie realm. Grow a patch of it in your garden, and on a warm day lie on your back in your patch of Verbena and prepare the drift. Hold on to the verbena either in your gaze, your hand, or just your mind and focus on the scent of the flowers and your intention to travel. Pay attention to everything you see and smell, remember everyone you meet, and accept (almost) all gifts with happiness and reverence.
Be careful! Don’t eat any food offered to you! Eating the food of the faerie realm will trap you there indefinitely. Also be wary not to wander back to where you started without first reconnecting to your body. When you return, leave a gift in the patch of Vervain. This could be something shiny like a coin, something you’ve made, or a walnut shell full of champagne or beer. Make sure your offering matches the value of whatever you’ve brought back.
Faeries are consistently angry with humans for their treatment of and destruction of the natural world – this may be why they can be hostile at times. In addition to the flowers above, plant flowers that help feed bees, butterflies and hummingbirds such as milkweed, bee balm, daffodils, lavender, butterfly bush, borage, cosmos, cinguefoil, columbine and petunias.
Other Natural Friends To Faeries
- The Oak Tree is the ultimate spiritual tree and is considered to be the home of the faerie king – Gwyn Ap Nudd.
- Hawthorne trees often act as a physical portal to the faerie realm.
- Ash trees are often believed to serve as homes for entire clans of faeries. If you ever come across a grouping of all three of these trees tread carefully, you may have found the entrance to the faerie realm. A cluster of these trees often serves as a meet up point for The Wild Hunt.
- Wild mushrooms – especially the (very poisonous!) fly agaric red and white “toadstool”, but any wild mushrooms are said to house faeries. If you find a ring of them in your yard, this is considered a faerie ring and should be protected!
Making Space for Faeries
Planting a faerie garden can be a fun way to attract fairies to your yard, while giving them a place of their own to stick around. Plant the above wild flowers and focus on drawing insects and other flying animals to your garden as well – faeries don’t live alone after all! Try and leave one part of the garden fairly wild – tall grass, natural earth, full of stones and even weeds. This will let the faeries you know you love the earth just the way it is. Try building the following faerie-friendly decorations and structures in your garden to let them know they’re welcome.
🌷 Faery Houses! Make small houses with wood, sticks, pebbles, leave, moss, and flowers. Tuck them under flowers, bushes and in shady spots to give faeries a rest after exploring your garden. These can be as low-key as a small stone cave or as elaborate as you like! Just make sure everything on the house is safe for the garden once it begins to decompose.
🌷 Faery Furniture! What, do you think faeries just like to flap and trudge around all day? Give them someplace to sit! Get tiny chairs, couches, and tables for faeries. Maybe even some small dishes? Paint them spring colours or wrap them in vines and moss to make them comfy.
🌷 Faery watering hole! Make sure you put up a little fountain or wishing well for fairies to drink from, bathe in, and soak their tired feet in. This can be a bird bath, or something small just for them. Always make sure the water is clean, and clear!
🌷 Faery Circle! Collect pretty stones and pebbles and create faery circles. This is especially good if you have wild mushrooms and toadstools around your yard – surround them in a circle of stones. Leave whatever grows within the circle to grow wild.
🌷 Faery Calls! The fae LOVE music! Get bells and wind chimes and hang them from trees and hooks around your garden. Make sure they all feature different, but lovely high tones. Stick with glass or metal. Tiny bells for holiday decorations can be hung from tree branches and on strudy flower stalks to blow in the wind. Leave small instruments out for the fae and listen for music. If you’re a musician, make a space in your garden for you to regularly play your music or dance.
🌷 Faery Hospitality! Making a space to leave out food and treasures for the faeries is always appreciated. Leave out sweet breads and cakes, milk, honey, champagne, beer or a flower wine (like dandelion!), and sparkly objects like coins and jewellery. If you find pretty stones on your travels, consider bring it home for the faeries. Never throw these offerings out the window like you would food for animals, place them in designated places that you keep clean and tidy.
Make sure to keep these things clean, tidy, and in proper working order. Never leave broken toys or bells around your faerie garden – repair them. Try and use natural materials that will biodegrade, or stand up to the weather. As far as the actual garden goes – though a little wild and weedy is good, never neglect your garden. Faeries take neglect of the natural environment very personally. Tend to your garden regularly, talk to your flowers and plants, and sing while you do it. If you see that your garden’s had visitors, try not to pry. That being said, always make time to hang out in your garden and play with the faeries. Sing, dance, make music, blow bubbles, make crafts and be creative – do things that make you smile and laugh.
Appeasing, Apologizing to, and Protecting Yourself from Faeries
If you’ve stopped making good on your promises to the fairies, halted your offerings without notice, or made a bargain you can’t keep – they can get angry. This can cause problems in your yard and home that might be described similarly to a haunting. Children in the home may start having nightmares, jewellery and valuables may disappear, and the natural landscape around your home may begin to wither. The easiest way to correct the situation is to appease and apologize to the faeries. Leave out special offerings in large amounts just for the faeries. Write a song or make music just for them. Get incenses and room sprays with floral scents that they love. Leave bread, milk, and ale out on the back porch every night before you go to bed. Make sure to tend to your garden, repair any broken houses, bells, or other faery things you’ve put out.
If you’ve done something wrong while traveling to their realm, or gone back on a deal the only way to make amends is to pony up – either go back and face the court or try and negotiate with at least one foot firmly in our world. Don’t ever try to re-negotiate or re-deal with faeries – they are smarter than you.
If you’ve had a negative experience and want to make the faeries leave you and your property alone, there are a few talismans you can put around to make your property less appealing.
Peonies are said to protect against faeries and the aroma is toxic to them. Planting these around your garden, bringing them inside, and using a spray or oil of peony essence and aroma is a gentle way to get the faeries to leave. Take down all bells and faery houses and places for them to hang out. If you really need them gone and you’re feeling a bit mean – get iron. Stones with a high iron content, iron pipes and metal pieces, iron infused water, etc. Put it everywhere. Put it in the yard and around the house. Put iron shavings along doorways, windowsills, and any other entrances. Take iron supplements to increase the iron content in your own blood if you feel you’re under personal attack. St John’s Wort flowers can be put in the garden and around the home and yard to make faeries leave and feel unwelcome.