Today we have an Ask A Witch question that addresses a favorite topic of mine. I have been working with the fae for many years and have come to find that many of the notions and ideas that we have about them, especially those that we may still carry with us from childhood, are not exactly accurate in the magickal world of working with the faeries. We often think of pretty wee ones, dressed in flowing dressings with gossamer wings, usually thinking fondly on the idea of the child like creatures from bedtime stories. And while the fae can certainly be that, they can also be dark creatures with a whole other, less sweet side to them. While some people might find this fearful and reason to give pause, really it’s just a matter of getting to know about the true mythos of the fae and then taking the time to connect to the individual faery folk that reside in the natural world around you. Then you can create a wonderful, mutual, working relationship with them.
How should I relate to the local fae in my daily life, so as not to offend them?
Hi Linda! Thanks for your question.
Learning to relate to the faeries that are resident in your local area is one of the keys to working with the fae. If you have a specific place that you can begin working with them outdoors such as a back yard or garden, then you’ll have a great chance to connect with the faeries that are in your own personal space. You can also set up a space in your home for them as well if you live in the city or don’t have a private place in nature to work. If you set up your altar or faery space in the home, be sure to include potted plants and flowers that will be kept and maintained with love and care. By bringing in a little nature to your indoor space they will feel very “at home”, but it’s important to remember that the fae are very protective of nature and their natural environment. If you begin working with them indoors and have plants and flowers and let you them die or you don’t place cut flowers right away this could show a sign of lack of respect for plants and nature. So just be sure you can do your best at caring for such things. If you have a black thumb, so to speak, which I do, I have found that when working with plants as part of working with the fae they will help a bit as you build that relationship and soon you’ll find that plants you never thought would live will thrive for a long time.
Once you determine where you’re going to work to honor and connect with them, you’ll want to decide on what sort of offerings you’d like to give them. The fae prefer and enjoy offerings that are sweet; things like milk, cream, honey, cakes, mead, even butter, all work as great offerings. When making offerings you want to use something that is the freshest you can find and the finest you can afford. When you’re working to connect to the local fae it’s ideal to use locally produced items for offerings such as local honey or local milk or cream. If you’re doing an offering of baked sweets it’s best to bake them yourself from scratch. Something that I have long done and found works well is to find a sugar cookie recipe and cut it in half and make small 1-2″ round cookies for the fae. Make up a batch and store them in an air tight container and then you will have cookie offerings for the fae for a little while. Again, because of their connection and roles in nature, anything you leave should be biodegradable, especially if the offering is left outdoors, which is one reason that food is a great offering. If you’re making your offering outside in a garden, under a special tree, or at an outdoor altar space, simply find a time that works best for you to leave an offering daily. Liquids don’t need to be more than an ounce in size if you use them. Having a special shell, dish or cup to put them in is also ideal; something that is special and chosen just for them like a tiny tea cup or a particularly pretty sea shell are great ideas.
Keep in mind that, when leaving an offering, especially of food, the fae (and any other magickal being for that matter) are not going to physically eat what you leave, rather they are taking the essence from it. Over time and while you work to develop your relationship with the fae, you’ll learn to sense when an offering has been accepted and used. One way that you can start to do this is take the time to linger and meditate once you have placed your offering. You’ll often begin to get a feeling, or even a message through a psychic sense, letting you know that the offering is acceptable. You’ll find that this will also be something helpful to do when you return to clear the altar away and bring a new offering. If you take the time to feel the vibrations of the food or liquid left behind when you return you may begin to develop the ability to sense the difference in feeling and know that energy and essence has been taken from it. This takes time so “go with your gut”, as they say, and you and your faery friends will develop a language and way of communicating over time. Offerings are best left out between 8 and 24 hours. Again, you’ll learn over time how to tell when something is ready to be removed. Once you do remove whatever you have left, it should be returned to the earth either to be absorbed into the ground or, in the case of food, for animals to come along and eat.
The fae do make themselves most known and visible during “in-between times” such as twilight and first light. These are ideal times for leaving offerings and connecting with them, especially if you do this on two of their biggest Sabbats, Beltane and Samhain. Other times like noon and midnight are in-between times that they can be most felt as well.
When it comes to cautions, the list can be quite long. It is always best, when you do meditations or rituals with the fae, to work with some form of protection for yourself. Whether it’s simple shielding or a full cast circle, working with some safe guard is important since the fae can be tricky creatures. It’s often said that you shouldn’t say thank you to the fae if they have helped you in some way and that instead a special treat or offering should be left as a form of thank you for their help. The fae do not like iron, so be careful of the types of metals you use when working with them or leave offerings or tools of metal on their altar or space in nature. This can also make iron a great protective charm against faeries that you think may do you harm so it’s something to keep in mind for that purpose. And when it comes to meditations or traveling to the faery realms, the old cautions of myth and ancient tales are still adhered to; do not eat or drink anything offered to you and do not dance with the fae. It is strongly believed that once you start dancing with the fae either you will never be able to leave or you will die from exhaustion.
The fae can be creatures of very delicate natures, mainly meaning that they can be offended or have their feelings hurt easily. It’s important to remember that, while wonderful magickal assistants, they are not there to do your bidding or obey commands. It is things like this that often make the fae dislike human contact and human attention. By simply honoring them, showing deep respect for them and their natural areas where they reside, you will slowly win their favor. Being sure to leave offerings for them, showing them respect, and being serious about your desires to connect with them are key. Faeries have a problem with the fleeting minds of humans and do not like the curiosity of humans who want to peer into their world without any real serious intentions to connect with them. So if you approach them and this work pure of heart and with the highest respect, you’ll be off to a good start.