Fairy Witchcraft: Old Ways for a New Day
by Morgan Daimler
Fairy Witchcraft is a new path that seeks to bring the older beliefs associated with the Fairy Faith into a modern neopagan tradition. The Fairy Faith is a non-denominational belief system based on understanding and dealing with the Otherworld and its inhabitants using a wide array of folklore. This is done with an understanding that these beings can be dangerous or helpful, can bless or curse, and deserve our respect. Fairy witchcraft combines the traditional Fairy Faith with neopagan witchcraft to create a way to acknowledge and connect to the Good Neighbors in conjunction with our practice of witchcraft.
Fairy Witchcraft is similar to many kinds of neopagan witchcraft, with some important differences. The tools used have different meanings and in some cases are entirely different, such as our inclusion of the Quaich (a shallow drinking cup with two handles). There is also a focus on practices often associated with cunningcraft or traditional witchcraft, including Journeywork in the form of hedge-crossing, partnering with spirits – particularly fairies – and connecting to the Otherworld in general. Circle casting is not often used and when it is, the purpose is slightly different with an emphasis not on creating a barrier but on shifting a small space into the Otherworld. Fairy witchcraft celebrates the eight holidays familiar to mainstream paganism as well as the full and dark moons each month, but with a different focus. In particular, the holidays are seen as focusing on both the turning of the seasons and cycles of the mortal realm as well as the intersection between our world and Fairy.
Although Fairy Witchcraft tends to focus primarily on the Celtic fairies, as it draws heavily on the Celtic Fairy Faith, it is not actually culture specific. There are a wide array of fairy beliefs in other cultures that can also be incorporated into anyone’s practice. The emphasis on Celtic folklore is based on the availability of the material and the personal focus of the person writing about Fairy Witchcraft, but an individual is free to adapt to any culture they prefer.
Fairy Witchcraft honors any deity that is connected to the fairies, which can include a wide range depending on the culture a person prefers. Fairy Witchcraft also has a special group of deities which are honored called the liminal Gods. These are nameless Powers which are referred to by titles: the Lady of the Greenwood, the Lord of the Wildwood, The Hunter, and the Queen of Wind. The Lady of the Greenwood and the Lord of the Wildwood rule during the light half of the year, from Beltane until Samhain, and are also honored on the full moon. The Hunter and the Queen of the Wind rule the dark half of the year, from Samhain until Beltane, and are honored on the dark moon. There are other liminal Gods as well, of many different kinds who may appear in different ways, but these four are the main ones honored in Fairy Witchcraft.
The path of Fairy Witchcraft is open to everyone, but it is up to the Gentry themselves to decide whether they will form friendships with a person or not. Some people have little choice but to acknowledge and deal with the Otherworld, while others may try endlessly to form a connection without any response. This relationship with the world of Fairy is important though, because Fairy witchcraft includes two main components: firstly to respect and honor the Other Crowd and secondly to work magic related to them. While the first can be accomplished without any response on their part, the second does require some sense of connection to them.
Fairy Witchcraft is a modern faith that offers a way for pagans to connect deeply to the Fairy Faith of old by seeking to revive some of the old traditional practices while looking to a neopagan religious framework. At heart it is a wild and experiential path that encourages the witch to learn how to safely reach out to the Otherworld and to take chances to create connections to Fairy which involve risk balanced with wisdom. For those who are drawn by the allure of Fairy in the modern world, but also are drawn to the older traditions, Fairy Witchcraft may be an option worth exploring.
Meet the author: Morgan Daimler is a blogger, poet, teacher of esoteric subjects, witch, Druid, dedicant of Macha, and wandering priest/ess of Odin, located in Connecticut, USA.
Fairycraft: Following the path of fairy witchcraft
fairy witchcraft, issue 49, paganism, spirituality, witchcraft