I never thought too much about fairies until I read Ellen Dugan’s Garden Witchery. In this book, she describes some brownie trouble she had when doing some garden construction. Up to that point, I’d pretty much dismissed working with fairies as a bunch of New Age hooey. I’m still a bit on that side of the fence, really.
But fairies are real, at least to some people. Roderick largely conflates them with sylphs in his description of them, saying that they are “one of four orders of elemental, magical creatures” and that they “reside in (and are made up of the astral energies of) the element of air” and align with the east and the time of dawn. I don’t think all fairies are air creatures (those brownies seem pretty keyed to earth to me), but I don’t think that has much to do with the practice for today.
Take time to explore a natural setting today where you sense that you might find fairies. While you are there, sit on the ground, close your eyes, and silently invite the fairies into your presence. Do not make sudden moves or open your eyes. Simply sit and allow the energies to surround you. You may feel tingling or a tickling sensation on the skin or internally. This is how many folks report they first experience the elemental energies.
After a few minutes of experiencing the fairy energies, silently thank them and let them know that you will be leaving their magical plane. Open your eyes and place an offering on the ground. Then leave the spot and do not return. In Ireland, traditional offerings include bits of cheese, eggs, apples, or bread.
Roderick notes that fairies are drawn to most untamed natural settings, but are especially fond of ferns, toadstools, small grassy mounds, near or in wells and springs, in fields of wild flowers or herbs, forests, deserts, and near fireplaces and bonfires. I decided to head out to Hendricks park and see what I could find, and I found a nice little circle of ferns surrounding a growth of three trees. That seemed fairly auspicious, so I parked myself against the middle tree.
It was really hard to make myself feel open to the fairies and to be completely still. I found myself noticing the hundreds of little forest sounds around me–distant drops of water falling on the dry leaves below and coming closer, the steady hum of traffic under the hill and of I-5 wending through the mountains. After awhile the water got closer and began to fall upon me. I did begin to feel a tickling sensation across my legs, which were stretched out in front of me, but that was soon outweighed by the rain. I drew out a roll I picked up from the Eugene City Bakery, opened it up in half and pinched out a bit. I said, “I share this with you in appreciation of you sharing your world with me,” ate my bit, said my thanks, and left.