As with most great truths, layers of crystallized historical writings obscure the reality of faeries. Our long history has produced pages beyond count detailing everything about fairies.
But does reading all those dusty pages help us to learn any worthwhile truths? Perhaps discovering real fairies needs a different approach.
A delightful myth
My introduction to the myth of faeries was through childhood books illustrations. There I found little winged people with pointed ears and gossamer dresses pirouetting prettily across the pages.
While I remember few of the stories, the faerie pictures captivated my imagination and stuck. From that point on I always had a book in my hand, and more often than not one full of fairies.
Funny thing, I never did developing a passion for playing fairy games or acting out fairy fantasy roles. It was always the pictures that enthralled me. Eventually the memory of those magical paintings became a major influence in my later artistic journey.
Yet the idea of faeries and magic, not just the beautiful illustrations, intrigued me even more. Even as a child I felt something powerful pulling me ever deeper into a mysterious, hidden realm. Up to a point the kid that was me believed he could find fairies at the bottom of the garden.
At the very least he desperately wanted to turn the myths into a tangible reality.
Across many cultures
In other cultures the ancient faerie myths found many forms of expressions, although few reflect the exact form I grew to love as a child. Nevertheless, those rich and varied folklore tales all hint at a reality beyond our normal everyday awareness.
But what is that reality? Do faeries actually have pointed ears and float about the night sky on butterfly wings? Do they ride winged creatures and take children on adventures far beyond the rainbow? Or perhaps their magic is stranger still and they have powers to change into any form at will.
But give a moment to ponder a faerie’s innate qualities. From whatever cultural source they grew, might those qualities be but metaphors for an existence too difficult for our earth-bound human sensibilities to grasp?
Beyond the myths
My intuition and experiences all point to a universe drenched in pure and powerful energy. That energy isn’t just the photons, electrons, and the physical laws that science recognizes, although it certainly includes them. Instead it expands on what science accepts as fundamental and adds to the mix the heady qualities of consciousness and love.
And I believe it arises from a wellspring of magical goodness.
Here’s a most obvious statement: Our world is overflowing with vibrant life; plants, creatures, and organisms abound in uncountable numbers and variations.
Yet many people, especially those lacking an other-worldly inclination, see this profusion of life and assume the universe is unpredictable and soulless. They argue that life is a chance affair, a random and providential assembling of just the right atoms in just the right combinations.
I guess that’s a reasonable assumption if from the very beginning one has chosen to see life as purely mechanistic.
Calming down & opening up
Spend an hour alone in a garden and see if your confidence in a mechanistic view isn’t shaken to its core.
And by alone I mean just you, the flowers, and the earth. No phones, books, missions, projects, tasks, or paths to spend your time meandering around. And certainly no companions.
But what do you do out there in the garden with no plan, no entertainment, and no tasks to perform?
Nothing. It’s as simple as that. Just watch, listen, and let your heart open wide.
If the garden is to reveal its secrets, you need to create a quiet space you mind. Breathe gently, let those over-active thoughts settle down, and simply remain quiet and alone. It’s only then you have a chance to learn what the flowers have to share.
If you have the courage to allow this stillness to envelop you, and you stay with the silence, in time an exquisitely beautiful magic begins to unfold.
As your senses begin to slowly expand, the flowers will change in new and unexpected ways. Or is it your awareness that’s changing?
While this method is not one of those fancy mind games or flashy self-hypnosis, it’s still unusually powerful. Being alone without any agenda creates an unique opportunity to commune deeply with life’s essence.
As you quietly persevere, you’ll begin to notice elusive movements among the plants. There, over by the pond, watch the flow of gossamer energy as it gently wraps the flowering bush in a sinuous flow.
Starting from the ground, it flows up through the trunk, out along the branches and leaves, and finally through the flowers into the sky.
Simultaneously you’ll also see, feel, or sense another movement descending from the sky, following the same route back into the earth.
This movement and play of energy is mesmerizing.
Now turn your attention to the individual flowers swaying gently in the breeze. A similar energy envelops each one. Can you see the glimmer as the entire garden lazily dances with these gentle energy currents? Yes? This is an excellent sign you’re on the right track.
The longer you stay with this quiet awareness and avoid sinking back into mind-chatter, the stronger your perceptions become.
If you are extraordinarily patient, a time will come when you sense, perhaps by sight, perhaps by feeling, small radiating nodules in the energy field that flows from the sky and ground. Watch these nodules closely.
They vibrate, they dance, they embody all that is joyous. They show nothing but uninhibited delight and, quite unconsciously, add enormously to the positive life force wherever they might be.
As you continue to watch and the silence and reverence deepens, these nodules can take on deeper human qualities. Yes, the quality they emanate as they purposely go about their activities is one of gaiety. Their silent laughter fills the air to overflowing and you can feel as if you are bursting with joy.
You begin to feel you know these ancient beings deeply, and a surge of love fills your being for all they do.
And it’s as if they sense your growing affection for they begin to spin and twist in even greater passion, reminding you of a wild, ecstatic dance.
Here, then, are the real faeries.
They are the nature spirits, the beautiful, ancient beings that care for all of life. Feel your blessings grow in their presence, and bless them in return.
A universal presence
Gardens aren’t the only place humans can stumble on such energy flows. Grass, rivers, ponds, desert sand, rocky outcrops…the list is endless.
Anywhere mother nature expresses herself powerfully, so too will these energies. To sense each unique energy manifestation, it’s just a matter of being quiet, reverent, and lovingly attentive.
Renewing the myth
How easy now for our imaginative minds to give these nature spirits bodies and smiles, wings and pointed ears. And who can resist dressing them in impossibly flowing gowns? We place them under mushrooms or spinning about flowers, calling them elves, the wee folk, pixies, and of course the beloved fairy.
And that’s okay.
To paint nature spirits as they are would need paints that glowed like fireflies and brushes made from stardust itself.
Although I embrace the deeper truth of faeries, I also remain thoroughly enamored with the myths of my childhood.
Painting mythical faeries brings into being two wonderful events:
- A joyful celebration that honors the innocent and magical qualities of life.
- A profound sacred space which nurtures a deep inquiry into the reality that lies beyond the physical laws of the universe.
Think about it.
The faeries of myths fly, sip nectar, and conjure magical miracles with a mere wave of their hands. But these faeries still live in a world where heat and cold, wind and gravity are real. They don’t conquer physical laws, they simply transcend the limits.
This is one powerful idea to color any approach to life with. Maybe it’s the best.
I find it so easy to love faeries and nature spirits, both the imaginary and the real ones. Don’t you, too?