On the Fairy Road

An exploration of historic and modern Fairy beliefs, and more generally Irish-American and Celtic folk beliefs, from both an academic and experiential perspective.

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So You've Angered the Fairies...Now What?

One question I am often asked is what to do if you’ve angered the fairies. There’s a variety of ways this can happen from trespassing in there places, causing damage to those same places, taking something you shouldn’t from them, destroying a fairy ring, tossing water out when they are passing by, or even speaking badly of them where they happen to hear it. The Fair Folk are not subtle in their anger and if you have annoyed them you will generally know it. On the milder end you may experience sudden terrible luck, on the medium end bruising, muscle cramps, or feeling like you are being pinched, on the more severe end blindness, or serious permanent physical harm (and of course any physical symptoms you should have checked by a medical professional).

So, then, if you think you have done something that you know annoys the fairies or feel like you are on the receiving end of their anger for any reason what do you do? Here is a list of suggestions, although I’ll say up front that you may need to try a couple things until you find one that works to appease them.

·         Apologize. Verbally. Out loud. I can’t emphasize enough the value of taking personal responsibility if you think you’ve messed up with the Good Folk. They already know it was you and what you did, or you wouldn’t be feeling their retaliation, so there’s nothing to gain from denying it. But an acknowledgment and apology can go a long way.

·         Try to fix it. Words are nice and important, which is why apologizing matters, but if whatever had caused the issue is something you can fix then definitely fix it. If you took something you shouldn’t have or spoke badly about Themselves then do what you can to repair that damage. Put back what you took. Speak well of them in a public forum. Acknowledge their power.

·         Make an offering. This one seems to be especially helpful, in my experience, for people who have violated their space in some way. I know people for example who have moved over fairy rings and found that a significant offering is helpful in mitigating the response.

·         Seek professional help. If your efforts to reduce the offense don’t seem to be doing much you might consider finding someone with experience in these matters – what would be called a fairy doctor by some – to see what else can be done. It sometimes happens that a very specific thing is wanted by the Othercrowd and the more general efforts listed above might not be enough.

Finally I’ll say that sometimes there is no appeasing them if they are significantly annoyed. Folklore is full of stories of people who do make amends for offenses and go on with their lives, but there are also stories of people who must live with the consequences of that anger for the rest of their lives. The suggestions here are mostly common sense and basic ideas for ways to show your contrition; this may or may not work depending on the circumstances.

Ultimately the best course of action is not to offend them to begin with.

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Morgan has been a practicing witch since the early 90's with a focus on the Fairy Faith and fairylore. She has written over two dozen non-fiction and fiction books on topics related to Irish mythology, witchcraft, fairy folklore, and related subjects. Morgan has also taught workshops on these same topics across the United States and internationally. In her spare time she likes to study the Irish language in both its modern and historic forms.

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