Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse,
Bachelor’s buttons, Lady’s smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.
Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!
Beltane, is an annual celebration which marks the day between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. In the wheel of the year. Beltane is opposite from Samhain (Halloween) in the wheel of the year. In Celtic lore both of these times of year are when the veils between the spirit and earthly dimensions are the thinnest. In Autumn we can more easily commune with the spirits of the dead and in the spring, with the living beings who inhabit these realms.
These beings are known primarily as the Shee, Fae, faery and fairy folk. Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh traditions are rich in the legends and descriptions of the faeries. Some are tall and human like, some very small, some helpful, some sinister. They can appear to us in various forms and are occasionally seen, heard or sensed. And sometimes they have been thought to interact with humans in incredible ways. It has been proposed that modern day alien encounters and abductions are one and same with what were fairy encounters in historical times. The Djinn (genies) in Arabic legends are said to be types of faeries, and also leprechauns, mermaids, banshees, certain angeles, and even some pagan gods and godesses.
It had been rumored that fairies could abduct healthy babies and leave old sickly fairy changelings in their place. This is likely just an early explanation for many infant illnesses that were not understood during past centuries, and it led to incidents of frightening behavior of people harming their babies. And tales like this make believing in the fae sound like a crazy thing to do. But just because certain superstitions about faeries can be disproved with rational science, should we throw the baby out with the changelings... so to speak? It has also been proposed that notable phenomenon in quantum physics such as quarks are a modern day experience with the faeries. So it seems that science could actually aid us to understanding better what faeries are and what they are not.
Children often report seeing faeries playing in gardens and woodlands. In the documentary The Fairy Faith, UK harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry tells of seeing them often as a child and then not so much as she grew into adulthood. Actually until yesterday, I would have said that if I had any experiences with them at all it was while I was very young. I played out in the our backyard garden a lot as a child, and I could spend hours with my mini tea sets and other fanciful games near an unusual tree stump that had grown up tall on two sides creating a very pretty place for me to play. I remember lively positive energies surrounding that place in nature and inspiring me to create imaginative worlds of my own. So if I had any encounters with fairies it would have certainly been there. Throughout my life I have always gravitated to special nature places near where I lived, a place to sit and commune with the trees and the earth energy - could these be faery places too?
For it is said that one can "see" them with the heart and they are often found at "in between" places in nature and also at "in between" times such as dusk and dawn. Also that they play enchanting music, love mischief and frivolity. But NEVER NEVER disrespect them or their homes or they will turn their mischief into malevolence against you. Many a tree in Ireland still will not be cut down if it has legend as a fairy dwelling for fear of retribution from the angry fae, even when the local people claim that they don't believe in them any more. Many agree that it is just best to be on the safe side. And for that, the nature lover in me appreciates the faeries very much.
So as dusk rolled in yesterday, I was watching the video The Fairy Faith (see below) about such a tree. And I must admit I was spooked by the thought of vengeful shapeshifting faeries. My mind started to wander to my own city of Los Angeles where millions of natural faery type dwellings have been destroyed. Surely we have offended them to the point that they would never exist in LA any longer.
Or maybe not? As I looked toward the kitchen where my cat was, and about 5 feet from me directly under a door arch I clearly saw something about the size of a large butterfly appear to leap from the side of the door arch to the floor in the center and then disappear into the shadows. It was no trick of my eye or the light, I was staring squarely at it for a brief moment. And it was also no insect or small creature that my cat felt like chasing because she would have noticed. It was a brown grey shaded thing and I then remembered the a kind of fairy called Brownies which are said to be house fairies, and helpful ones. Could this be *my* glimmer of proof, gifted to me by the otherwise unseen fairies because I had finally started to be awakened to their presence?
I think that tonight I will take this advice of Laura Daligan who has a beautiful and informative series of videos about the faery folk (see below). I will set up a small area of my home to invite them in and leave small libations for them to enjoy. She says that they enjoy mead which I do not have. But, I do have some absinthe I can offer. If I hear bells and music as dawn rolls in, I will know that it is the brownie and the green fairy celebrating!
In honor of our enchanting kindred, I have put all of the Faery/Fairy items at the Moon Age Gazette Store 30% off for the entire month of May. We have beautiful faery jewelry, elemental statues, tarot card decks, music CDs, books, candles and more all inspired by the magical faery realm. Bells and wind chimes are on sale too. It is told that fairies like small bells with light sounds, so if you want to attract them put those in your garden. And if you wish to rid your space of any of the sinister sorts of fae, large metal bells particularly iron should help to chase them away.
I wish you all a faery;) enchanting Beltane and spring!
The Fairy Faith - (In Search of Fairies - Documentary) - YouTube
Laura Daligan - Faerie Magic - YouTube
fff to 4:15 ..see Faery shoe found in 1834
Legend of the Isles - Fairies and Leprechauns 2 of 3 - YouTube