Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Perhaps you’ve lost a favourite earring – and find it somewhere unexpected, or you spy an orb of light from the corner of your eye. You might just be in the presence – usually a benevolent, playful one – of a Faerie. Here are some signs that you’ve been visited by one of the Wee Folk:
If you encounter a complete ring of toadstools, you’ve discovered the place where faeries danced the night before. You also may have stumbled upon a portal from their realm to ours, so beware! You may be whisked away to the Land of the Fae for many years should you enter the circle!
The scent of violets in the spring, sweetgrass in summer, autumn apples or petrichor any time of year is the beguiling aroma of faerie perfume. (What’s petrichor? you ask. Some people says it’s the distinctive smell of raindrops hitting dry earth, but we know better.)
A softly-chiming bell announces the presence of the Wee Folk. That’s why I like to wear one of those chiming necklaces to call them to me; it is also thought that gently ringing a bell over a spring or pond will attract them. Take care, however, for a loud peal or gong will scare the magickal ones away!
An eddy of blowing leaves or a sudden breeze that lifts the hair from the back of your neck is caused by the fluttering of faerie wings. An unexplained, gentle whirlwind may just be a sign that the faerie nearby likes your company.
Faeries love music and dancing (see above). Have you ever heard faint, ethereal music emanating from a source that you just can’t track down? That’s the faerie Hit Parade!
If a crow or raven follows you, you have an escort sent by the faeries. But lo! Should the bird call thrice, it is a harbinger of certain death!
Faeries are irresistibly attracted to small, shiny objects, and they will steal them if they can. We once had a beautiful antique crackled blue glass marble that we left deep in the forest for the Fae to use as a gazing ball. The next morning, it was gone! If you tend to “lose” your keys, jewellery or spare change, you’re not becoming forgetful – the faeries have spirited them away. Be kind to them, and they will (almost) always bring your lost treasures back.
When you encounter a tree with an “eye”, which appears at first glance to be a hollowed-out knot, it is a type of magickal security camera. In other words, the Wee Folk are watching you.
Do you sometimes see what you think are fireflies in June? Those twinkling luminescent orbs over the meadow or amongst the trees aren’t insects at all; they are actually tiny, portable faerie lanterns! Similarly, the little folk use pearly white Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora, shown), also known as ghost pipes, to light their way through the darkest woods.
When plants sprout and flowers bloom in strange places (e.g. from the asphalt of a parking lot, between cracks in a wall), you’ll know that they were sown there by a sprinkling of faerie dust. The fact that a tree can flourish from the side of a sheer cliff, or a mushroom appears or a flower blooms when there was no plant there hours before is proof of High Magick, indeed!
There are many species of faerie which vary in size and appearance. The smallest ones like to use dragonflies and bumblebees or even small wrens or sparrows as transport. A Faerie Queene will always use a hummingbird as her jewel-studded Royal Coach.
Faeries also love a good feast (and they’ll raid your larder if you’re not careful). But that’s a story for another day!