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What the Fae? (How to Remove Troublesome Fairies)

What happens when someone is being "haunted" by an energy that is not human but of the Fae (fairy world)? Traditional clearing methods, like sage and prayer won't work, or may even exacerbate the situation.

Recently, I was asked to sense what was going on at a friend's home that was unpleasant...scary, really. Yet, when I focused my abilities on the situation, I understood right away that this energy wasn't a human spirit. Instead, it was a member of the Fae. There are good members of this group, such as Brownies, who help with household chores (as long as you thank them or show your appreciation by leaving them gifts). But there are many types of fairies that are mischievous or difficult. How do we deal with them?

The first solution comes to us from folklore - that iron repels or is toxic to fairies. I was curious where this idea came from, so I did some research. Iron has interesting properties that might have seemed magical when they were first noticed. When iron is struck on stone, it creates sparks. Early iron artifacts were crafted came from meteors, seeming to be gifts from the gods as they fell to earth millennia before the Iron Age. An iron needle floating in a bowl of water could be used to navigate the ship on overcast nights.

Iron was often associated with evil, beginning with the earliest fairy tales. Those that worked with meteoric iron (later to be called blacksmiths) were altering a gift of the gods and, therefore, must have been working with the devil. There are quite a few very early folk/fairy tales about blacksmiths learning their trade through a deal with the devil, who apparently knew the tools and skills of blacksmithing.

To connect iron with repelling fairies, we look to the early Iron Age, when in western and central Europe, iron swords were being crafted. Britons had not yet learned this trade and were still making their swords in bronze. Peacefully trading with their neighbors, those making iron swords traded bronze swords to the Britons, while keeping the stronger iron swords as their own. Britons were known as fierce fighters that could seemingly disappear in the forest and reappear again, according to some early Roman accounts. This was because Britons coated their hair with lime and their bodies with swirling patterns of blue woad (a dye made from the woad plant) - combined with their small stature, this allowed them to easily be camouflaged with the sky or water or rock features. Some have suggested that this ability to disappear and their appearance may be how the idea that they were fairies started. However, when invaders with iron swords came and their weapons sliced through the bronze swords of the Brits, this was not a good moment (and it was another "ding" against iron, as it easily defeated the wee folk/Brits).

So iron was magical, sometimes evil, and definitely not the friend of the Fae. How this is used today is by hanging iron, often a horseshoe, over one's front door or the door to a room where fairies have been causing trouble to repel them. One can also place iron nails on the windowsills or if traveling, carry an iron nail in one's pocket. According to folklore, a horseshoe mounted upright (like the letter U) collects all of the luck for those in the home. A horseshoe mounted downward rains good luck upon all who pass beneath it. :)

In addition to iron, there are also herbs that are believed to repel fairies. Ivy, blackberry stalks, boxwood (a common landscape shrub but one not native to the US) and rowan (native in Europe/mountain ash is related and found in the US). Placing at least one of these around the home is thought to be an effective repellent. Keep in mind that good Fae, such as Brownies, will also be repelled. I have had one case of a Brownie that was angry and being malicious, but that is rare, as they typically are household helpers.

There is also some historical information about how various cultures used iron. Siberian shamans forged magical artifacts from iron. Vikings were well known for their iron swords. Even in modern Kenya, tribal blacksmiths are considered "witch doctors" and both revered and feared for their ability to forge iron. In Nigeria, tribal smiths are considered priests, healers, or spiritual guides. Their sons become apprentices in iron-making and the tribe participates by providing some of the labor to forge iron and also in ceremonies and rituals that are associated with the process.

So, if you have some troublesome entities that you think may be Fae, try using iron, ivy, blackberry, and boxwood if you're in the US, and see if that resolves the issue. This is worth a try especially if you've tried using sage and prayer with no luck - fairies scoff at those, I'm sure.

As always, if you are feeling threatened or scared by an unknown energy or entity, you may reach out and I'll do what I can to help!


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