top of page

Seeing Fairies

Folklore holds that fairies cannot be seen or noticed in any way unless they want you to observe them. That’s true to some extent, but developing “fairy sight,” the ability to perceive fairies, is easier than one might think. In this article I’ll share with you some of my fairy experiences, and how I’ve increased my ability to notice them.

*Who are the fairies?*

Fairies include a wide range of beings who populate nature and live in homes and buildings. Many people think fairies are tiny beings with wings, but they come in all shapes and sizes, from small balls of light to little humanoid beings to towering, angelic figures. There are different races of fairies, just as there are different races of humans. The fairy realm includes nature spirits and elementals, household helpers, worker beings, guardians of the land, spirits who live in manmade machines, and overlighting presences who hold and nourish the archetypal patterns of all species.

Fairies are powerful beings. According to lore, they work tirelessly in their respective realms to ensure harmony of the cosmic whole. Their magic is associated with luck, fortune and healing. But cross a fairy and they may turn their magic against you.

*Why contact fairies?*

In earlier times, contacting fairies was not seen as a desirable activity. Fairies were believed to be dangerous and unpredictable, even hostile toward humans. They might kidnap you, bewitch you, play tricks on you or steal your children. Today our attitude has shifted: it is not only desirable but necessary to have an understanding of the beings in the natural landscape and in our homes and machines. In turn, fairies have responded with increased openness to mutually beneficial communication and work.

Knowledge about fairies and the ability to discern them is useful in personal spiritual work and also in paranormal investigations. Fairies that occupy homes may make their presence felt to the occupants in ways similar to ghosts and poltergeists, especially the latter. In lore, fairies are fond of moving objects around, and if they are unhappy they make messes and create disturbances. They can appear and disappear like apparitions. In natural settings, a strong fairy presence can contribute to a “haunted” atmosphere. If you learn how to tune into them, fairies will distinguish themselves from other entities present, and this information will be conveyed to you intuitively.

*How fairies make themselves known*

Special psychic gifts aren’t necessary to perceive fairies. They show up when you’re in harmony with your environment. We often don’t notice them because we don’t know how to look for them, or we dismiss them as our imagination. They may be right in front of us.

Fairies often make themselves known as sparkling balls of light. Once I lived in a wooded area in Connecticut, and I liked to look out a big picture window into the trees at dusk. During these reveries, I became aware of silvery-white lights that either floated or shot quickly around. I noticed the lights especially at times when I was in a peaceful mood, not thinking of anything in particular, but simply drinking in the beauty, scents and sounds of the environment around me. On moonlit nights, the woods were magical with lights. I also noticed the lights at dawn.

I discovered that I didn’t “see” these lights literally, but rather perceived with my inner eye. If I averted my physical vision and did not look directly into the woods, the lights were more prominent.

I began practising this averted vision technique in other locations. It worked. Sometimes the lights sparkled like jewels on the ground – sort of like the way cities look at night when seen at high altitude from an airplane.

One summer, I heard fairy music for the first time. In lore, fairies love to dance and sing and play musical instruments. That summer I was in Findhorn, Scotland for a summer solstice festival. Findhorn became famous for its nature spirits, or devas, who communicated in mediumship and told the community members how to tend their gardens and relate to nature in a mo

re spiritual way.

During my stay, I meditated to tune in to the environment. I paid atten

tion to all the elements and felt myself a part of them. At twilight, I could perceive the glowing lights of na

ture spirits.

I had heard that Pan, the pagan ruler of nature spirits, might make himself known if he approved of you. One day when I was hiking alone to the beach, I suddenly heard behind me the distinct sound of panpipes, Pan’s musical flute. At first I thought a person was behind me

, but the trail was empty. The music followed me all the way out to the beach. I believe it was Pan s

aying hello.

On another occasion, I had a distinct mental impression of a fairy who looked like a small person. I was meditating on the roots of a huge oak tree at the ruins of a sacred site, a Roman dream temple in Lydney, England. The tree itself seemed to be a portal between worlds.

After a while, I suddenly became aware that I was being regarded by a small figure who had materialized by the tree, as though he had emerged from the roots. His clothing was not distinct, but I could clearly make out the vivid red cap on his head. He seemed old, like a little old man, and I had the impression of gray whiskers or beard. I guessed his height at about two feet. He seemed curious about me. I knew he wanted me to see him and acknowledge him, for if he had wished to watch me in secrecy he could have easily done so.

I gave him a mental greeting and thanked him for joining me. I received a mental impression of a greeting in return, and his appreciation of my respect for the place. He stayed for a bit, and then suddenly he was gone. I had the impression that he disappeared back down the tree roots. Sometimes fairies just like to drop in and check us out.

*Tips for developing fairy sight*

You can improve your own ability to perceive fairies by meditating on a regular basis, which expands your consciousness into the unseen realms. Ask the fairies to make themselves known to you. Practice harmony with your environment wherever you go (–) remember, some fairies live indoors, too. On an investigation, tune in to the place and feel yourself centered and relaxed.

Try averting your vision. Fairies often appear in peripheral vision, where they create an impression rather than a distinct visual image. Fairies can be seen at any time, but you may have the best results at transition times such as dusk and dawn. If you receive peripheral impressions and mental messages, don’t dismiss them as your imagination.

*Cultivating the fairy presence*

To invite fairies into your home, make a “fairy nook.” Fairies are appreciative of special places you set aside for them. It’s a sign to them that you are mindful of their well-being and wish them to be a participant in the household.

A household fairy will make known to you where the best place is in your home for a fairy nook. Fairies like places where they can survey rooms, and where they are out of the main household traffic and areas where guests are entertained. Bookshelves and tables in corners and alcoves are favorites.

The presence of iron will send fairies away, for iron saps their strength and repels them. keep iron objects away from areas in your home where you feel a fairy presence. (And, do not use iron implements in your garden.)

When you are near their nook, greet the fairies and inquire how they are getting along. You needn’t speak out loud, for fairies will pick up on your thoughts.

In addition to a fairy nook, you may wish to set up a fairy altar. Altars are important in spiritual work, for they represent the meeting place of heaven and earth. The altar opens a door to spiritual realms. A fairy altar can serve as both a place to leave gifts for household fairies, and also a place to conduct fairy magic.

Small accent tables and boxes make excellent altars, and can be set up in a corner of your bedroom or a quiet area of the house. If you do not have space for a permanent altar, you can keep your altar objects in a special box and get them out whenever you wish to do a ritual.

Objects for the altar are representatives of the four elements, such as a stone or crystal for earth; a seashell for water; a feather for air; and a candle for fire. You may also wish to add devotional objects related to your spiritual/religious beliefs, lucky charms and things you associate with fairies.


Above all, give thanks for your experiences – fairies love to be appreciated. However, do not leave coins, for many fairies are offended by outright offerings of money. The best way to show appreciation is to take care of your home and respect the natural world. In lore, small bits of food and dishes of cream are the preferred offerings of thanks to the fairies. If they’ve appeared during one of your investigations, leave a tiny snack behind.


Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Ph.D., writes the “Gateways” column for _Fate. _ She is the author of numerous books, including _Fairy Magic,_ published by Thorson’s/Element. Her website is


bottom of page