I’ve always looked for faeries, and very rarely seen them.
I often feel them, however, or know that they are near.
It turns out that not everyone can translate their experiences into something visual, and that is ok. This means, however, that in a world which emphasises sight so much, we can overlook our own experiences in the pursuit of a pattern which does not suit us, as I did for a long time.
Always looking, rarely seeing, but I knew they were there. I knew there was something to see… when I finally gave up on seeing, I found them.
Don’t worry, then, if you cannot see them. They are still there.
Scientifically it has been shown that our brains filter out the information which our subconscious has dictated is not necessary for survival. Since we are communal creatures, part of our survival involves not noticing those things that get us into trouble, like faeries, and other beings which our culture tells us do not exist.
Combining the brain’s filtering system with our emphasis on sight when not everyone operates in a visual way makes sensing the fae that little bit harder.
Add into that a whole mess of geological and hormonal factors which can affect our ability to sense that which goes beyond the physical and its no real wonder that we miss them.*
And yet… the mythological component in our lives is important. Having a good relationship with the world as alive in its own right, rather than as merely something to be used, is important. Connecting with those beings that live beyond the surface of the world is important.
We can reconcile these elements by practicing awareness.
We are more receptive to these energies when we are relaxed and in a playful state of being. The part of our brain which encourages the ability to sense these things is most active in the early hours of the morning. The electrical interference from modern day living is quietest at this time too, and outside in a natural setting. We can open to sensing the Fae using whichever method works best for us – seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing, even smelling… be aware of how you work. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of when you feel most open.
Be aware of your self first, and then you can become aware of the Others.
With that in mind I recommend the following process if you would sense the Fae:
Spend some time imagining that you can see and hear faeries. Play a little. Relax.
Go outside, in the early hours of the morning before dawn if possible, to a beautiful place in nature.
Get as far from electrical devices as you can. Switch off your mobile phone and mp3 player, leave the laptop at home.
Hold the intention of sensing faeries, and ask, aloud if possible, if this is the right place. If you feel welcome, peaceful, happy, accepted or otherwise positive in response then continue here, otherwise move on and repeat until you find a place where the beings are happy to talk to you.
Allow sensations to arise, impressions relating to whichever senses work for you.
If you struggle, pretend that you are in a fantasy world and that faeries are a part of everyday life for everyone. In reality, this is not far from the truth if you think about the recent past, or other cultures. Remember that many people interact with spirit beings daily, and that you are able to do this too.
Relax, breathe, and allow impressions and sensations to come to you.
When you are ready, thank the space and the beings that came, leave an offering of food or drink, and return home.
Make a note of what you noticed, and watch your dreams.
I’ll be posting Pixie Kisses each week, if you’d like to subscribe to these suggestions for re-enchanting your life and to receive the occasional extra sparkle in your inbox which won’t be posted here, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Pixie Kisses’ in the subject line.
*For an interesting and accessible discussion of the science behind the magic I recommend the fascinating book ‘The Faery Faith’ by Serena Roney-Dougal, including an explanation of why, perhaps, we’ve lost the ability to sense otherworld beings as easily as we once did.