Yes, I am a grown woman, and yes, I believe there are fairies in my garden. I wasn’t particularly “into” fairies even as a child, and as an adult I remained a bit skeptical, while trying to be open minded. Over the years, however, I have had so many encounters with the wee folk in my garden and through shamanic journeys and visions that I have become a true believer.
My fairies are not of the Tinkerbell variety — with lacy wings and scaled down Barbie bodies. No, my fairies are funny looking things, some with limbs like old apple branches, or bodies made up of leaves and bits of clumped earth, with wrinkled apple heads. Many of them are simply beings of light.
In my shamanic travels I have met my fairie blacksmith who provided me with a sword of discernment which serves me well in Spirit. The Fairie Smith’s nose was so long and wide he had to wear a leather harnesses to keep it from being singed in the fairie forge.
I have also journeyed to the fairie underworld where I was given a crown of golden light, and I was welcomed as if I were a Queen. I suspect that anyone who is accepted into the fairie realm of spirit is treated as royalty, so I don’t consider myself in any way special to be crowned in this way.
In fact, I think that I may be seen more as a servant to them at times, as they seem to require me to go and visit them in the garden from time to time and to provide them with various amusements and treasures. I have on occasion been given quite specific instructions on how to stay on good terms with the fairie folk who have chosen me as their caretaker.
In my garden, there is a sacred apple tree where the apple fairies congregate. Under this tree I have placed a tiny bench, picnic table, deck chair and a variety of other items that the fairies have at one time or another asked for (or demanded).
There is a miniature side board, porcelain telephone, cash register, sewing machine and coffee grinder, among other toys. They have a tiny croquet set, and boxes of miniature fruits and vegetables all made of fimo. They like beach glass and anything shiny, and at Christmas they wanted mince tarts.
Last summer I spied a tiny porcelain bathtub at a garage sale, and got a little excited “nudge”, so I brought it home and added it to the furnishings under the apple tree. I think this item may have excited them a bit too much, and some rambunctious behavior must have ensued, as it was not long til they broke it!
It took me a while to mend the tub and I had the sense that they were impatient to have it back. Then I started getting messages that they wanted a swing. Which makes perfect sense. If I were a fairie I would want one too! So I made a swing that hangs down from a branch of the tree, and they seem happy. For now.
Wherever I go now I seem to encounter the wee folk, and like to leave little gifts for these spirits of nature. Last autumn I was attending a shamanism conference in a rural area on the West Coast of British Columbia. I had brought four of the prettiest apples from my sacred tree as an offering to the Spirits of the land.
Just across from the cabin where I was staying was what I can only describe as a very friendly tree. Actually, it was a huge stump of an old tree, what is known as a nursery stump, with four trees growing out of it in a circle. It had called out a little “hello” to me one time when I was walking past in the drizzle. I chose then and there to offer my apples to this tree and the lovely spirit that had called to me, and to the fairies of the rainforest.
I was guided to take a bite out of each apple to open it’s spiritual energy up, and then place the rest of the fruit offering in the cradle of the stump between the four nurseried trees.
I approached the tree and felt its loving welcome, and a sort of exuberant joyfulness came over me. I took a bite from the first apple, and placed it between the four trees in the bowl of the central stump. The apple immediately jumped up as if being pulled by an invisible hand, and disappeared!
It was as if the offering of the apple from my Sacred tree had ‘popped’ through the veil into the ether. I went through the same process with the other three apples, all of which stayed put on the stump between the nurseried trees. I then circled around the tree four times to complete the ceremony of my offering, but I was also casting about looking for that first apple, as my rational mind was having a hard time believing what I had seen.
As I walked around the base of the tree, I saw a great many varieties of fungi growing from the base of the stump, as well as a variety of mosses and lichens. I was also very open and sensitive to the presence of the lovely rain forest Spirits, but no matter where I looked there was no apple anywhere to be seen.
I felt as if the fairies of the rainforest had recognized that the gift had come with a greeting from the fairies under my apple tree. I was just the emissary, or an inter-flora delivery person to the fairie realm delivering a bouquet of apples. I did feel very honored to have had this offering accepted by the fairies though, as I knew that this meant I should watch for a gift from them come the next new moon.
Well, when the new moon arrived I was indeed given a great and loving gift which was also a confirmation of many of the messages that had come to me from Spirit, and I am very grateful. The fairies continue to delight and bring blessings to my garden and to my life and I will do my best to fulfill my ‘queenly’ duty by keeping them happy and content. Now where can I put my hands on a miniature cider press?
All photos by Alison Skelton