How To See Faeries, Part 3

(continued from last week) 
3.  SELFLESS ACTS  --  Doing at least one selfless act a day and taking joy from it can bring the faeries into your life in surprising ways.  Feed the birds, drive less, save a spider, care for a plant, stop creating so much rubbish . . . there are countless ways to embrace nature.  

The first time I consciously saw faeries as an adult was late one night (and, yes, I was entirely sober), as I was making and wrapping Winter Solstice and Christmas gifts for friends.  I was completely involved with the task and enjoying it when bright bits of coloured light suddenly danced around me and on the gifts.  I stopped what I was doing, suddenly afraid my retinas might be detaching.  Immediately, a strange, crackly voice right next to my ear said, ‘Brush your teeth.’  That made me laugh.  Uncontrollably.  Like, belly-ache, tears-streaming-down-the-face type laughter for at least 5 minutes.  Okay, it was funny, but not that funny. 

About six months later, I was travelling up to Donegal with a friend to do research for a historical novel I was writing.  I met with a sweet little old lady – a retired school teacher with a near genius IQ – who spent an entire day, generously sharing historical knowledge with me.  At one point, the friend I was travelling with asked the elderly lady if she’d ever seen faeries. 

‘Oh they’re around,’ she said. 

‘How do you know?’ my friend asked. 

The woman was quiet for a moment, then she said, ‘Have ye ever had a fit of the giggles for no good reason and found it hard to stop laughing?’   


‘That’s them!’ 

There’s a fine line between magic and madness.  Near-hysterical laughter can be a little frightening, like riding an out of control roller coaster.  But if you’re willing to go for that ride, it can also be a wonderful endorphin rush.  

A.G.Manning’s ‘Nature Spirit Invocation’ can prove most helpful when trying to see the folk.  It is best to put out an offering of some sort first.  The traditional offering is cake and ale, but just about anything will do.  It is recommended that you recite this invocation at least three times, preferably outside or in a darkened room by the light of one candle.   Then be still, close your eyes and notice what happens.  You may feel someone playing with your hair, hear objects move or see coloured lights.  Tonight is the dark of the moon, an excellent time to try this . . . 

Little people everywhere,
Your fun and love I seek to share,
Gronkydoddles hear my call,
Leprechauns come one and all.

Leader, Gob, of Gnome and Troll,
Come and share your humour droll.
Neckna and your Undines, bold,
Play with me your games of old.

Paralda, Zephryrs of the air,
Caress me where my skin is bare.
Salamanders let by Djin,
The candle flames come play in. 

Nature spirits of all sort
In friendship let us now cavort.
A child of love for you I’ll be,
My mood is light as you can see. 

And always as you sing and play,
I feel my problems fade away.
Your laughter, love and fun come through
And help me feel alive like you. 

You may well find that your offering of food does not disappear.  It is said that the folk can take what nourishment they need from food without actually eating it.  Then you can throw it out onto the Earth for other creatures to eat.  Do not eat it yourself as this is considered bad manners; like eating food someone else already ate and spit out. 

When you do see nature spirits, if you will treat them as you would any wild creature, with caution and respect, you will be gifted with sight beyond vision and true artistic inspiration.  


‘Stones have been known to move and trees to speak.’  Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4

The brain is a muscle.  We use the left side of that muscle a lot.  In fact, from childhood, we are encouraged to use the left, analytical, problem-solving, fact-finding side of our brains and almost discouraged to use the right, intuitive, feeling, artistic side.  So, naturally (even if you’re a creative type) the left side of that muscle gets stronger, while the right side almost atrophies. 

Have you ever seen something out of the corner of your vision and when you turn to look at it, it’s gone or has changed into an average, stationary object?  If you tell yourself, ‘Oh, that wasn’t what I thought it was,’ then you are strengthening the left side of your brain and weakening the right side. 

Each time I leave the tiny village where I live, this man waves at me: 
If you only see ivy wrapped around a post, you need to do some mental sit-ups. 

In order to see the magical things in life, you must first be willing to see beyond the mundane.  So, for the next 30 days, in addition to yesterday’s exercise, try another one.  This one will strengthen the right side of your brain.  If you think – even if you imagine – that you see a nature spirit, then verbally or physically acknowledge it.  Say ‘hello’, nod a greeting, or perhaps offer a gentle touch.  Be willing to see what your intuition told you was there.  And know that each time you do this, the right side of your brain gets stronger, making you more intuitive, more psychic, more able to see and engage with the folk. 

Do you see them?  . . . . . . . 

Steps 1 and 2 may bring exciting results right away, or it may take time.  Please come back next Monday for step 3.  It can really speed things up!  In the meantime, let me know what you see. 

Happy Blessings to you this Friday on the Autumnal Equinox - a time of Earthly Balance and Harmony, and, until next week . . . 

Deep peace of the sacred grove to you.  

FAERIES – A FIELD GUIDE (How to See Faeries, Part 1)

‘Believing’ in ‘Faeries’ is not the same as the knowledge of the existence of nature spirits.  To ‘believe’ something implies that there is still room for doubt.  To ‘know’ something is a much stronger position.  Druids know and work with elementals and nature spirits on a regular basis.  It can make life quite interesting. 

Numerous books have been written about connecting or working with faeries and elementals (or, to use the old Irish colloquialism, ‘the folk’.)  There are loads of different techniques for seeing these beings, but ultimately, the way you see them will be uniquely and individually yours.  Many people who have come to visit me and/or take my tours have asked questions like, ‘Do you really see them?’ and ‘How can I see them?’  My response is, you probably are seeing them, you’re just not aware. 

So, how does one become aware enough to experience the magical beings around us, and indeed, be blessed by them?  Or, perhaps you are already experiencing nature spirits but would like more regular or stronger contact with them. 

Over the next few posts, I’ll share with you what works for me.  This is the first one devoted to Invoking the Folk. 

When someone greets you with a smile, extends their hand and says, ‘I’m so happy to meet you,’ it kind of makes you happy to meet them too, doesn’t it?  Whereas, if someone were to stare right through you and say, ‘I’m not sure you exist.  You could just be a figment of my imagination,’ wouldn’t that put you off a bit? 

My neighbour, an elderly farmer’s wife, has an adorable 5-year-old granddaughter who likes to come over and visit me.  Once, when the child didn’t want to go home to bed, I whispered to her that if she was good and went to sleep with happy thoughts, the faeries and angels would bring her a wonderful bit of magic the following day.  She agreed to go to bed then and I asked her to be sure to come round the next day and tell me what magic the faeries had brought. 

The following day, her grandmother told me the child had bad dreams during the night.  ‘I think it’s because you mentioned (she looked around in a rather frightened way and then whispered) faeries.’  But the child looked completely happy, playing in the garden among the flowers and trees. 

Denial and ignorance score you no points with the folk.  Therefore, the first step toward ‘seeing’ anyone is to treat all creatures, plants, beings, even rocks (for these are the bones of the Earth), with respect.  Consciously endeavour to show consideration for ALL those around you, even those you may not fully see, for at least 30 days and it will stimulate the chemical synapses in your brain that underlie perception and thought. 

Please visit again tomorrow for the second step in the process. 

Until then, deep peace of the sacred grove to you. 


As someone wise once said, 'There is no such thing as rejection.  If you did not have an agent before you sent out the query and you do not have an agent after sending out the query, then your condition did not change.  You are no worse off.

I would like to offer this as a 'Form' rejection.  Agents, publishers, et al., please take note.  Copy and paste where ye may:

We have read your manuscript with boundless delight.  If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of a lower standard.  And, as it is unthinkable that we shall see its equal in the next hundred years, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition and beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.

Yours sincerely.


THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (continued from yesterday)

I began to research my idea for the story, THE PATH THROUGH THE MIST, which takes place in the 5th Century.  Every source I consulted claimed that Christian monks were ‘banished’ to the lake island of Inchagoill by the local people, some said they were banished by Druids.  But that made no sense.  Druids frequently lived apart from local tribes or clans.  They would prefer to live on the island themselves, near water -- especially surrounded by it -- for water would have been considered a gateway between this world and the next.  The dun fort would have been indicative of a native (non-Christian) tribe of people inhabiting the opposite side of the island from the Christians.  It seemed to me that all the evidence pointed to Druids living on this island first, before the Christians took over. 

Researching the story led me to interview loads of local historians, all of whom had two things in common:  They were all male and all well over the age of 50.  All were Catholic with the exception of one Protestant Archdeacon who’d written a book on early monastic sites.  Without exception, each historian either did not know about the hill fort on the island, or they passed it off as ‘the natural lay of the land.’

I couldn’t help wondering if all these historians had a revisionist view of ancient history inspired by their religious up-bringing.  Maybe I was crazy – just imagining Druids there because it would make a good story.  Maybe I wasn’t really being intuitive, just wishful. 
Finally, the author of a book on local history, recommended I go see ‘Joe.’  “He’s a crazy, old guy, now, he might frighten ye.  But he can certainly offer ye another point of view,” the author told me.  Friends told me I shouldn’t go visit ‘Joe,’ that he was a lunatic or frightening or a recluse who pissed people off, but there was never any mention of why exactly they thought of him in such a negative way. 

It took some work, but I located Joe and drove through impenetrable fog to his house.  He looked to be about 80-something and described himself alternately as a devout Pagan or ‘Reformed Catholic.’  He kindly invited me into his smelly, old house and we sat in a tiny room that was wall-to-wall books, where we huddled next to the radiator, along with his Winnebago-sized German Shepherd.  Joe talked and talked and talked about loads of interesting things, peppering his conversation with repeated declarations that the Catholics have ‘ruined this country.’  He talked about local holy wells that were sacred long before the word ‘holy’ came to this country, ley lines that crossed the area, and he even offered to teach me how to douse!  Then he finally asked, ‘So why did ye come here to see me?’

When I asked him about the hill fort on Inchagoill and if maybe there were Druids on that island before the Christians came, he stared at me from under his bushy eyebrows and a slow grin spread across his face.  “I’ve always believed that to be true.” 

“But then why hasn’t this occurred to anyone else?” I asked. 

Joe twitched his head in agreement.  “The church has always covered up these t’ings, ye see.  Besides, if we’re right about this, that wouldn’t serve their purpose a’tall, now would it?” 

Joe went on to tell me of the ancient Christian practice of ‘bribing’ chieftains by making them honorary bishops and bestowing goods on them in exchange for large plots of land.  Of course, this practice is well documented in many civilizations, not just in Ireland

While none of this completely confirms my intuition, it does make me feel a little less alone, and it did encourage me to finish writing the story.  And, yes, Joe has been re-named and is a character in the book! 


One of the first lessons in Druidry concerns Imbas, the Irish word for inspiration.  The lesson includes heeding your intuition, which is of course, fed by inspiration and vice versa. 

Several years ago, I visited a mysterious lake island and was inspired to write a story that forced me to listen to my intuition.  My intuition, of course, was completely opposite of the local view of accepted logic.  Funny how that works, huh? 

My home is on Lough Corrib, the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland.  Sir William Wilde (Oscar Wilde’s dad), wrote a book about the place in 1867, Wilde’s Lough Corrib, in which he claimed the lake (lough) has 365 islands.  God only knows how he counted them all.  The largest and most famous of these lake islands is Inchagoill (meaning Isle of the Foreigner or Isle of the Stranger).  And this is where my story, THE PATH THROUGH THE MIST takes place.  

Inchagoill is about a half hour boat ride from my house, and I’ve been there on numerous occasions.  It is a beautiful, achingly peaceful island, forested with huge, old trees, hanging vines, ferns and moss-covered rocks.  A place where, ‘earth and air resound with the music of invisible people.’  It is completely devoid of humans (except for the odd boatload of tourists who spend about 10 minutes on the island for a brief tour).  

Their tour visits one spot only – a clearing in the forest which was a Christian settlement, where there are the ruins of two tiny churches right next to each other (circa 9th and 12th centuries) and the 5th Century stone that marks Lugna’s grave (St. Patrick’s nephew).  

While these are haunting and interesting things to see, the true beauty of the island lies beyond these Christian remains.  If you venture into the forest and walk around the island to the other side, you find that the land rises and becomes an unnatural, seemingly man-made hill, with a shallow ditch around it, in just the way the ancient Celts used to build duns or hill forts. 

On my first visit to the island, I stood upon this hill, looked out over much of the enormous lake and felt more than thought, “This was a non-Christian settlement.”  Images and sounds came to me of robed and hooded figures around a fire, drum beats, chanting.  It felt like I was standing in an ancient, holy place and I stayed on the island a long time, listening to the sounds of the invisible. 

Even before I got back home, I knew there was a story here I had to tell . . .

[Come back tomorrow for Part 2!]