Beltane is the time when nature comes alive and
the Spirits of Nature are most active. It is the time when faeries are most likely to be seen. Faery folk, or the fae, are an ancient race of people who lived in the British Isles long before the Celts or the Anglo-Saxons arrived. They are believed to have
descended from the Tuatha De Danann (the tribe of the goddess Dana), a magickal race who flew into Ireland in ships descending from the clouds on Beltane. They came from the four great magickal cities
-- Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias -- and brought with them the four great treasures; the Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny), the sword of Lugh, a magic spear, and the cauldron of the Dagda.
It was from these cities that the Tuatha De Dananns learned all their knowledge, skills and magick. Indeed the De Dananns were said to be unmatched in their knowledge and beauty. From
them, comes the vast majority of Gods and Goddesses of the Irish Pantheon.
The enchanted dimension of Faery has existed side by side with our human one for thousands of years. It is said that there was once
a time when the human and Faery worlds were one. But legend tells that our human ancestors became trapped in the physical world. They became less and less aware of what was hidden just beyond their physical sight, and the vision of the Faery became lost to
Types of Faeries
Types of Faeries
where to find them
what they do
Forests, faery hill and rings, fields and wild places, flower gardens
Dance and play. Know the magickal secrets of herbs, stones, and animals. See
Gnomes, Trolls, Dwarves
Caves and mines, under bridges, hollow hills
Know the location of precious
gems and metals, and how to forge and form them.
Homes and cottages
Help and protect the family.
Do chores by night.
This chart is from Ancient Waysby Pauline Campanelli and is not a comprehensive listing.
The idea of calling the elements into our circles is a carry over from the days when the faeries were asked to participate in our magick. But elemental faeries are not merely
the four alchemical elements of earth, air, fire, and water. We do them and ourselves a great disservice when we merely call them to witness our circles. These faeries have personality and individuality. They are fully sentient beings with feelings and rights.
Think of that the next time you call them to your circle. It will greatly enhance your experience. Elemental faeries can, and often will, aid human work, ritual, and magick if approached properly.
The artwork to the left is "The Pathseekerr" by Renee Yates
What they do
|Gnomes ||North, Earth ||Givers of material gain and stability. The rulers of the forest. Protectors of outdoor circles and groves. Seen as "Little People" or green light. |
|Sylphs ||East, Air
||Givers of wishes, knowledge and dreams. Delicate beings with beautiful wings. Protectors of magickal applications. Seen as "faeries" or white light. |
|Salamanders ||South, Fire ||Givers of passion and creativity.
The rulers of fields and fire. Protectors hearth, home, or business. Seen as dragons, lizards, or blue flames. |
|Undines ||West, Water ||Givers of love and friendship. The rulers of all water. Protectors of the gates
of death and karma. Seen as merpeople, sirens or bright pink lights. |
Beltane and Midsummer are two particularly good times to contact the Faery world. The Faery spirit is the great force of energy moving through all things, empowering our
The fae are shy creatures, made so by years of mistreatment and misunderstanding by humans. They are jealous of the physical world which contain the living, breathing, trees and plant life they so love
and have so carefully reproduced in their own world. Our callous treatment of nature infuriates them.
You must work first to win their trust. Plant a faery
garden as a refuge for the little folk. Leave a corner of it wild and uncultivated. Leaving out gifts of food and treasures for them is a good first step. They love ground ginger, barley, sweets, cream, and anything that glitters. Also clean water,
butter, wine, honey, and bread. Never toss out faery libations like you would food for wild animals. They consider this very disrespectful. Make up a little basket of your offerings and leave them on your step, in your garden, or under a tree. Favorite faery
stones are tiger's eye, peridot, jade, lava, fluorite, and especially emerald. Don't expect these gifts to disappear, as faeries are able to extract the spiritual essence of our physical gifts to them (so be sure to leave them in love and with deep respect.)
You will, however, have to replace these gifts often in order to keep the faery folk hanging around.
The Faery Garden
Whatever you do to bring life to your garden
will bring faeries as well. First of all, plant plants that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This will also attract the fae. So put up hummingbird feeders, bird feeders, bird baths, bird houses, even bat houses. Small fountains, ponds, faery statues,
or waterfalls are all good.
Here's a short list of plants that attract
faeries to your garden:
Common yarrow, Achillea millefolium
New York aster, Aster novi-belgii
Shasta daisy, Chrysanthemum maximum
Western giant hyssop or horsemint, Agastache occidentalis
French lavender, Lavendula dentata
Rosemary, Rosemarinus officinalis
bush, Buddleia alternifolia
Orange-eye butterfly bush, summer lilac, Buddleia davidii
Shrubby cinquefoil, Potentilla fruitiosa
Common garden petunia, Petunia hybrida
Verbenas, vervains, Verbena
Pincushion flowers, Scabiosa caucasica
Cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus
Common zinnia, Zinnia elegans
They also love the following plants and trees:
primrose, ragwort, cowslips, pansies, bluebells, clover (3-leaf, not 4-leaf), St. John's wort, hazel, rowan, blackthorn, oak, willow, elder, birch, alder, apple, ash, and especially toadstools.
Dedicating the Faery Garden
Once the garden is started, you might want to ritually dedicate it as a Faery garden sanctuary. Begin by walking the around
the garden with an athame pointed at its boundaries (much like casting a circle). Then sprinkle the perimeter of the garden with a branch of fir dipped in salted spring water. Finally, walk the boundaries of the garden with a lighted incense stick. (It can
be left to burn in the ground when you finish.) Then with a wand of hazel, slowly walk around the garden greeting each plant with words like:
Spirits of the (insert plant name),
I welcome your
presence in the garden.
Feel your love flow from your heart, down your wand, and out the end of the wand. Be sure to welcome all plants, stones, and trees. (Nature spirits are easily offended.)
Conclude your ritual with these words:
In the name of the Goddess and the God,
I declare this garden a sanctuary
For the spirits of nature
And the children of the Gods.
When you are finished, leave a gift -- cookies, soda, ale, cream, or bright, shiny things like rings, beads, or stones.
from Ancient Ways by Campanelli