Avoiding Being Taken By Faeries

In faerie lore there is the tradition where the fae whisk away humans to fairyland. Humans also run the risk of accidentally wandering into fairyland, which is why one might want to stay away from bluebell fields and other fairy-rich environments, and avoid consuming fairy food or drink, which could leave one vulnerable to being tricked into making a little visit there. The fairies don’t really need a reason to do so, but they might take a young man or woman who’s especially desirable to be the husband or bride of a fairy ruler; there are stories of fairies using humans as slaves in their palaces, and young mothers were desirable for their milk, which apparently is of better quality than the fairies’. And of course if you betray or upset the fairies, all bets are off.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid this tragic fate:

  • Do not step in mushroom rings.
  • If you hear music from an unidentifiable source, try not to listen.
  • Take off your coat or shirt and turn it inside out if you think fairies may be near. It sounds odd, but it works. It doesn’t so much repel them, but it does confuse them long enough for you to escape.
  • Fairies hate iron, which is like poison to them. Carry some with you—a nail or small object—just in case.
  • To avoid being taken by fairies, keep on their good side. Show them respect. Leave them a bowl of milk (or bread, cream, butter, or ale) outside your door.
  • As you walk by a natural body of water, throw in a piece of silver as a gift for them.
  • By all means, if you ever take anything from nature, leave a small biodegradable gift in token.
  • Never, ever say thank-you to fairies for anything they’ve done. A human thank-you offends them, because they feel it trivializes their contribution and effort.
  • Do not accept fairy gifts. If you do so, you owe them. And they can ask for anything in return.
  • Never tell a fairy your name. Names have great power. If a fairy ever gives you his or her true name, it’s a huge sign of trust and not to be misused.
  • Always be polite.
  • If you do find yourself trapped in fairyland, do not eat or drink anything, no matter how alluring and delectable. You may still be able to escape as long as you follow this rule.
  • Be prepared for time to have passed differently in fairyland if you ever have need to go there. You can never visit the fairies and leave unchanged.

Sources: The Faerie Handbook

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