Looking back there have always been fairies.
When I was a child the fairies came to put up the Christmas decorations. We would go to bed and the next day the house would be decked, blue tinsel, hanging decorations, it was a real Santa’s grotto. They worked so hard, those fairies.
In my Grandy’s rockery there was a tiny, red telephone box. We would open the door and there were notes in there from Goblin. Goblin came at Christmas too, he brought small gifts and left us chocolates during Advent.
I have always loved fairy lights, pixies, wild places in the garden.
But in my rational teens (and twenties, and thirties) this magic was forgotten, pushed to the edge and ignored because I had to be “grown-up”. I was the mother of sons so no fairy-magic creeping in via the toybox or storybooks either.
Then one Halloween a fairy appeared at the bottom of the drive, along with a mini-Mars bar. I ate the Mars bar but left the fairy. I figured it was part of some neighbours celebrations and she would eventually be reclaimed.
She was still there several days later. I began to feel bad for her. I took her into the garden and sat here near a lavender plant, in my herb garden. Over time I started to take her treats, small gifts of shells or feathers. When I began to learn more about her kind I would leave cream or honey.
I began to read books; Good Fairies, Bad Fairies by Brian Froud and Your Faery Magic by Halo Quinn were helpful.
Working with the fae requires respect. I am still learning. They are our good neighbours and we do well to address them as such and to remember to express our thanks for their help. They are the guardian spirits of our homes and gardens. Fond of mischief they may misplace objects and if they feel the home is under threat make their concern felt in practical ways! Speak kindly and reverently. Never assume you have a right to their help, they are ancient ones, and wild. You cannot tame them, they do not play by human rules of fairness or right.
As well as offering them beauty – a crystal, a flower, sweet treats – they will be pleased if you care for the earth; pick up litter, tend a garden, support wildlife. It is a way to honour them.
When we moved last year I brought the makings of my fairy garden with me. It is hidden at the very end of the garden, behind the apple tree. The first fairy sits on an old mossy log, a few smaller ones around her among the cranesbill and forget-me-nots. The pieces of shells and crockery I found when out beachcombing decorate the space. At Beltane I took them honey, some morning I take some sweet-smelling incense. I like to sit with them in the morning and ask that they will help us, and in return I say, I will do my best for them.