Mandatory disclaimer: These are the methods that have worked for me. As with all things, my methods are not the only way to do things, nor can I promise that they are fool proof. As with all things, please use your discretion.
Someone asked me to write about how I began to work with the fae- so here I am 😛
My story isn’t that exciting. Everything I have done in regards to the fae was taught to me by someone else who had been working with them for years, and happens to have an extremely close tie to the fae. I don’t happen to have a lot of book knowledge on this area. At the end of this post, I will list books that were recommended to me to read in order to learn more about the fae (I haven’t gotten to them yet- I have quite the long book list!). So please keep in mind when reading this post.
I feel that the the fae are as diverse and different as all of us. My experiences with the fae could be different from your own, and that is important to keep in mind. What is also important to keep in mind is that, unlike with a lot of free form, free loving pagans who say that “what feels good” trumps what is in the “rule book”, I highly highly highly recommend that you actually follow the rules when working with the fae. They have rules, and if you don’t want to piss anyone off, it’s definitely a good idea to follow the rules.
So what are the rules? Well here is what I was taught:
- No iron on the offering plate, shrine or anything you leave out for them. Ever. Period. No exceptions to this rule. It is toxic on a good day, horribly fatal on a bad (as I understand it).
- Do not eat anything you leave out for them. Ever.
- If you ever find yourself face to face with a fae, mind your manners. This doesn’t mean you have to be a stick in the mud, but mind your words and actions. Be a good host.
- Don’t follow any fae into their realms, if possible. It’s possible to get stuck there.
- In my personal experience, don’t be flaky with the fae. If you’re going to forge a relationship with them, be serious about it. Be punctual with any schedules you have with them. They seem to appreciate follow through.
- Do not break any promises you make with them. They don’t seem to like that.
- Speaking of promises, be very selective in any deals you cut with them.
When I first wanted to start working with the fae, I simply started to leave offerings out for them. Fae tend to be big into the outdoors. So when you’re first starting, I recommend that you leave your offerings outside for them (I left my on my balcony/patio). I chose to leave my offerings for them on the full moon and the new moon. Twice a month, without fail. When I started, I was told that I would need to be consistent. You don’t start offering to them twice a month, and then decide two months in that you’re too busy all of a sudden, or that you no longer care. Many fae are mistrustful of humans and once they’ve decided to give you a chance, don’t appreciate you dropping the ball. Let’s just say that gods have more patience than most fae.
Offerings for the fae are pretty straight forward. Make sure that there is nothing iron involved. Honestly, to keep it simple for myself, I don’t include anything metal (as a general rule). They are big into natural areas, so I tend to stick with more natural things- ceramic, pottery, wood. Here is a general list of what I’ve found them to like:
- Alcohol (who doesn’t?)
- Sweets- baked goods specifically (seriously, the more sugar, the better)
- Plants or living things (don’t let these plants die. omg don’t)
You are welcome to try just about anything that you’d eat, though. I’ve given them breads, cheeses, and other stuff laying around my house without any adverse reactions. However, sweets is by far the most popular request I’ve received. I typically set my offerings out in the evening, or after the sun has set. I was also taught that once you put something out for them, don’t touch it- leave it be. I then come out the next morning/day and take them in. I don’t typically let them sit out for more than 24 hours. Once you’re done with them, you can leave them outside (“give them to nature”) or throw them away. As stated above do. not. eat. them. This is one tradition where you don’t want to be eating anything you offer. You can have a permanent offering place or ‘shrine’ to them. Or you can just set things in the same location every month. Up until recently, I had no set place for them- I’d just put the offerings in the same place every time. How hardcore you want to get with your area is up to you.
After I began to set out offerings regularly, I started to notice dots of light. I know, that sounds like I’m on crack, but it’s what happened. And after I quit working with them for a while, the dots went away (and now that I’ve recently got back into working with them- lo, the dots have returned). You may or may not see dots or anything- it really does depend. I don’t typically ask the fae for anything in particular. I set out the offerings because I want them to flourish, I don’t expect anything in return. I have heard of people being able to ask favors from the fae, but I recommend that you work for a good while to establish a good relationship with them before doing anything of the sort.
It’s said that fae will often steal stuff or move stuff around your house. I suppose if you’ve lost something, you could leave out some goodies for them, and maybe it’ll re-appear. Sometimes mischief in your house can be abated by pleasing the local fae/fauna/spirits/etc. And sometimes making a big pile of shinies for them works just as well. It really depends on where you’re living and the condition of the land around you. Down here in the desert, it’s very quiet and I don’t usually have any problems.
As simple and short as it sounds, this is seriously what I do currently for the fae. Hopefully this is of some help to those who are interested. If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section. I’ll do my best to answer what I can, though keep in mind that I am no guru 🙂 Below is the list of books I was recommended, if you’d like to read up on them!
- The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz
- The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Kirk
- The Secret Commonwealth and the Fairy Belief complex by Walsh
- Faeries by Froud
- Meeting the Other Crowd by Green and Lenihan
- The Gaelic Otherworld by Campbell
- Ancient Irish Tales by Cross and Slover