The Perils of Faery -
or should that be Pearls?
Faery Tricks & Tricksters
This is a rather tricky subject. On the one hand, the perils of dealing with the faeries are greatly exaggerated. On the other hand, it is impossible to tell you just how very perilous contact with the otherworld of Faery can be for humans.
Wicked Entities & Evil Forces
The Pearls of Being Human
I suppose the true biggest danger is falling so in love with faery and the otherworld that we lose our balance in this world. We will come back to that at the end of this chapter, but first, let’s look at some of the other real and imaginary issues about dealing with faery.
Faery Tricks & Tricksters
We’ve all heard that faery folk are tricky and that they delight in teasing humans and amusing themselves by deceiving us. This is undoubtedly one of the perils of dealing with faery, but it is potentially one of the pearls as well. Many of us have experienced this trickiness first hand—I know I have many times. However, there is something here that many people don’t understand. Faeries are beings of subtle energy, and they sense through that energy rather than through physical light and sound. Humans do the same when we are using the subtle senses of clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing), and clairsentience (clear knowing—a catch-all word for the other subtle senses like touch, motion, memory and others).
Humans live in illusion. Because of our bodily senses, most of us believed for many centuries that there was a definitive difference in energy and matter and that they could not be interchanged. Modern physics and ancient mysticism both teach that this is not so—”matter” is simply energy that is moving more slowly or in more restricted ways than “energy”.
When a faery looks at you or me, it sees us as energy beings. It sees our physical bodies as pure energy and our subtle energy fields (auras) as an integral part of us, not in any way separate from our “physical” bodies. It sees the whole of what we are because that is shown clearly in our energy fields. If we are angry, it shows; if we are joking, it is easy to see; if we are loving, that too is plainly visible. All of our feelings and thoughts are unmistakably clear on that level. Is that a mind-boggling thought?
Most faeries are convinced that we, too, could sense all of that if only we would look, if only we would pay attention. They are quite right about that—certainly, it is possible for us to learn that sensitivity—but because it is their natural way of sensing, they often don’t understand how difficult it is for most of us to learn and how the noise of our physical senses and emotions tend to drown the information of the more subtle senses. We can to learn to sense clearly on the energy level, but it usually takes a great deal of practice to achieve real accuracy. Few, if any, humans achieve the kind of accuracy that faeries naturally have—and that we humans have when we no longer have bodies and physical senses to get in our way.
Therefore, when an elf or a gnome tells you a “lie”, she expects that you will understand that it is joking because her intent is visible. And the slower we are about getting the joke, the more outrageous it is likely to become because it seems so obvious to the faery that she assumes we must know that she is joking. She cannot see why we should be bewildered, because energy cannot lie. Words can, but energy cannot. From her point of view, the greater the difference between the words and the energy, the bigger and broader the joke. When you sense energy with a faery’s level of accuracy, you always know what is real and true and what isn’t.
Imagine living in a world where you could always tell if others meant what they said—and if they didn’t, what they probably really meant instead. Imagine always knowing and understanding the complexities of others’ emotions and feelings at a glance. That is the experience of the faeries. They live in a world where the subtle energy senses are always bright and clear. Their own direct communications are a swirl of subtle energy, which they perceive as a blend of light and color, concepts and emotion, mind-to-mind thought, being-to-being clarity. To them words are superfluous—ust something to play games with.
So, just remember: before you get irritated by faery “tricks” and “lies” bear in mind that they not only expect us to know that they are teasing us—they also expect us to enjoy the jokes as much as they do.
The real peril here is also a pearl—if we pay attention to faery teasing, we learn to distinguish truth from fancy—and have some fun while we do it.
You will change in unpredictable ways as you play with the faeries. Because faeries see and act on what really is, we react to that by either blocking out truth and becoming more unreal or by learning to see truth more clearly. Thus, we inevitably have to make the choice of living more in our own inner fantasy worlds (which are not faery) or living more in the real world, which includes faery. It’s our choice. Although the decision to be real and to try to see truth sometimes shows us things about ourselves (and our fantasies) that are uncomfortable or even painful to know, reality offers real rewards while those of our personal fantasies are only imaginary. And speaking of fantasies...
Wicked Entities and Evil Forces
Hmmm. You probably don’t really need to worry about this. You really don’t need to worry about "evil faeries" out to get you. That is not who the faeries are. Brian explained in Good Faeries, Bad Faeries that faeries are like us in that there is some good and some mischief, or even wickedness, in almost all of them. A lot of people didn’t get the message so I’ll try again here. Both faeries and humans have qualities of excellence and qualities of foolishness or muddle, and sometimes even of wickedness in varying degrees. There are faeries who are the equivalent of saints and there are those who are not. I strongly recommend looking for both the “good” and the “bad” in each faery as you work with the Oracle—and remembering that, sometimes, what is good for us is not necessarily what we like best or what we call “good” when we have to deal with it.
For example, let’s consider the word “negative.” In the New Age, people have began using ‘negative’ as a label for all the things that make them uncomfortable—anger, fear, jealousy, confusion, disagreement, and other people’s ideas, attitudes, and actions. All of those feelings are part of our process of growth. They are a part of being human and by experiencing them we learn to grow beyond them. Judging the feeling as “bad” does not help us do this. When it comes to actual actions, some of the things we call “negative” or “evil” are simply things that frighten or upset us, not that are truly wicked in themselves. It often seems very difficult for humans to distinguish between those projections of our own fears and things that are truly morally indefensible. Still, even when someone, faery or human, does something that is clearly immoral, that still doesn’t mean that the perpetrator is evil. For example, we can love a person and still not approve of certain of his actions. The two things—emotion and moral judgement—need to be separate, but we tend to muddle them a lot.
So, obviously, beings are not necessarily bad just because we are uncomfortable around them. For instance, take the Soul Shrinker (card 55). He is not a “negative entity” or evil. He is just himself, doing his job of witnessing our behavior, and we naturally feel pretty uncomfortable about that because it is some of our worst behavior that he witnesses. In fact, we may feel so uncomfortable that we actually blame him for our actions. He doesn’t make us do wicked things. We choose to do them—and then sometimes blame our behavior on him. He witnesses that behavior, he may even tempt us as a test of our integrity, but we make the choices for ourselves. So, who is really the “negative” one—him or us? I don’t think it is fair to blame the faeries—or anyone else—for our own choices.
This is not to say that faery folk never do wicked things. However, bear in mind that they live in a world where they cannot lie. Think about how people’s actions might change in our world if we knew that we would never be able to lie to others or hide what we do or how we feel—that all of these things would all be immediately visible to anyone who encountered us. It might just motivate us to do a little better. From the experience I’ve had with faeries, I'd say it certainly has had that effect on them.
This is not to say that there are not entities in the universe that we should avoid whenever possible because they desire to do harm, but they are not of the Otherworld of Faery.
In general, most fairies are inclined to be friendly and helpful, but they are not nursemaids for humans. Their own lives and purposes and their loves and their needs matter to them, just as ours do to us. The faery elders (often called devas or angels or archangels or even gods and goddesses) are devoted to the healing and growth of all creation and are always willing to give us the help we need—not necessarily all we want, but all we truly need. However, until we personally choose to ask for their guidance and show a willingness to learn, they let us get on with things as best we can. To do otherwise would be to interfere with our free will and self-determination—and that is simply not allowed.
Faery folk don’t want unbalanced and confused mortals blundering around the otherworld, especially where it connects with this one and things are in a delicate and somewhat fragile balance. Fairies feel about such persons much as we might feel about a huge, badly trained, floppy, awkward dog who is determined to follow us about, licking our faces, getting underfoot, bumping into us, and generally making a nuisance of itself.
When a person behaves like that, he can upset the delicate balance of faery energy structures and destroy faery gardens and growth processes. The first thing most fairies will do in such a case is to try to call the attention of the human to his or her own shortcomings. This usually takes the form of tricks designed to wake us up. Some people prefer their personal unreality to the real world, however, and simply will not be wakened. Such persons may then be “pixie led” astray—distracted—just to get them out of the way.
So one hazard of consorting with the faeries is that we can ask for too much—or too little—and they may refuse or reject us. All we need to do about this is to be more polite, show a willingness to learn and be aware, and the faeries will love us. They don’t hold grudges, but deal with us as we are.
The Pearls of Being Human
Faeries are beautiful and Faery itself is magical and glamorous in both senses of the word--glamorous as in "attractive" and glamorous as in "covered by illusion." The very greatest danger we have in dealing with them is falling so in love with the otherworld that we may forget to nurture and develop ourselves in our own world. Our first responsibility to ourselves is to live and be well grounded in this world. If we neglect the lessons of this world, if we fail to learn and grow and fulfil our human lives here, then we have confused our purpose in being here. We are not here by mistake—we humans are here in our world because this is the right and appropriate place for us to be at this stage of our development.
To me the main difference between a faery and a human is that humans have physical bodies. If you have one, then you are human too. Don't waste it! Interacting with the world of Faery is wonderful. We can learn a lot from the faeries about being better humans, and we can have a great deal of additional joy and pleasure as well. But still, the first and most important thing about being human is to be fully human—to develop our human potentials and gifts, to grow to be the best humans we can be, making our world as magical and as joyful as we can.
Finally, and this may be the biggest peril-pearl of all: we learn to enjoy our lives so much that we are no longer willing to be dragged down by minor problems, disasters, and unhappy situations in life. We can insist on living joyfully and in a way that is healthy for us, for those around us, and for our environment.
© Copyright 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
This article may not be reproduced anywhere,
electronically or in print or by any other means,
without the written consent of the author.
Back to Faery Wisdom