Episode 17: Red Winged Warrior

I speak to an Australian lady who recalls her first fairy encounter as a child. She had experienced deep trauma and found herself in some dreadfully sad situations.

Trigger Warning: Some of the content may upset people so please be aware of background themes of drug abuse and child neglect.

As a listener of this Podcast, she very much wanted to share her story. It’s an incredibly powerful and magical experience. We discuss how people feel about sharing these encounters and how important it is for those to be received with respect, sensitivity and an open mind.

A bonus episode available on Patreon features extra material from the conversation and a further encounter.

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Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older. 

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Please subscribe, rate and review on whichever app you listen on. Or become a patron on Patreon and join The Curious Crew!

Thanks 

NB: This episode releases at 8pm (GMT) on Sunday, 25th July

Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Winged Fairies

I start each episode of my show by saying “...these are not winged Tinkerbells” and yet, in some cases people do see small winged fairies. They feature in previous episodes of this podcast: Ep 3, The Honey Bandit and Ep 8, The Good The Bad and The Tickly

There are some excellent examples in Dr Simon Young’s, Fairy Investigation Society Census (2014-2017). Interesting that many of them are seen by young children! It makes me return to the idea that we perceive them in a way that feels right for us. Or is it that we attract the kind of fairy that we, ourselves are open to and we truly are perceiving them as they are. Please get in touch with your thoughts. I will be expanding on these ideas in the coming months and weeks.

§76) England (Lincolnshire). Female; 1960s; 0-10; in a garden; on my own; 3 pm-6 pm* [the author wrote said 3 am-6 am, but this is probably a mistake as the child saw the fairy in ‘full light’]; ‘I was in at the bottom of our garden, it was quiet there, I was half way up an apple tree and a small winged person flew slowly by I can remember being thrilled about it and ran in to tell my parents.’ ‘She was a tiny little delicate little thing with wings.’ ‘I think fairies are People from another dimension a dimension which is near to our world.’ ‘I think I saw a fairy because I was a child and children can see other worldly beings easier than adults.’ ‘I have often seen lights orbs and mists while watching TV or listening to music.’

§121) England (Staffordshire). Female; 2000s; 11-20; on or near water, in woodland; on my own; 12 pm-3 pm; two to ten minutes; friendly, ‘serene’; regular supernatural experiences; no special state reported; loss of sense of time, hair prickling or tingling before or during the experience, a sense that the experience was a display put on specially for you, unusually vivid memories of the experience, a sense that the experience marked a turning point in your life. ‘I was on a swing bridge awaiting a friend’s arrival and I saw something small from the corner of my eye. I looked up and there were a small number of them, all winged. Some sitting on branches some hovering. The wings were like butterfly wings. They watched me as intently as I watched them. We stayed that way for a few minutes. They smiled at me and I felt calm. I looked away and then they were gone.’ ‘Like small beautiful people with butterfly wings’

§46) England (Essex). Female; 1980s; 0-10; in a garden; on my own; 12 pm-3 pm; less than a minute; no fairy mood reported; never or almost never has supernatural experiences; no special state reported; no special phenomena to report connected with the incident. ‘Saw something humanoid, winged, greenish, about four- to six-inches tall, it climbed between the thin branches of a weeping ash tree that stood in the corner of the communal green area where I grew up.’

§62A) England (Kent). Female (third person); still in touch with witness; friend; 2010s; 21- 30; on a country road; with one other person who shared the experience; no time given; one to two minutes; no fairy mood given; no special state reported; no special state reported. ‘Creature flew onto windscreen of car both driver and passenger in front saw it! Both said ‘Omg that was a fu****g fairy!’ Tiny but clear to see humanoid winged creature [as?] it flew off! Told to me by friend’s mom reliable witness both educated and articulate level headed people not prone to exaggerated story telling!!’ ‘Apparently it looked like the classical winged image you see in books.’

Episode 16: The Green Lady and the Nacht Mare

Jo talks to a Dutch folklore storyteller who experienced two contrastingly different encounters during his twenties. The first epitomises the very essence of a beautiful nature spot and the second, the stuff of nightmares. They explore how each event played out and the potential meanings behind them.

A bonus episode available on Patreon features extra material from the conversation and further explores possibilities.


Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older. 

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Please subscribe, rate and review on whichever app you listen on. Or become a Patron on Patreon and join The Curious Crew! Thanks 🙂

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Artwork: Peter Hall Studios

Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Nightmares

We commonly refer to nightmares as terrifying subconscious sleep journeys. But in times past, the nightmare was said to be caused by visitations from Otherworldly beings. These spectres would sneak into bedchambers, lie on a victim’s chest and give them bad dreams, or worse, suffocate them.

Henry Fuseli (1781)

The older Germanic “Nachtmahr” relates to the word “nightmare” in Old English maere, or mara in Anglo Saxon. It is thought that, in English this word, rather than meaning a horse, referred to an incubus or succubus – a mythical demonic creature who would ride the chest of the sleeper, rendering them powerless to their disturbing vivid dreams and imposing a sense of breathlessness.

Here’s a really great article on the subject for further reading.

In Dutch folklore, it’s suggested that Nacht Mare or Nachtmerries were people rather than phantoms, and always women (or werewolves!).

Here’s a helpful chant (translated from Dutch), to ward off nightmares:

Oh, you ugly beast, do not come here this night.
You shall blow all the waters,
You shall blow all the trees,
You shall count all the muscles of barley,
Do not come to torment me this night. ” (Unknown)

Goya Image

The sleep of reason produces monsters

The sketch I referred to in the episode is Francisco Goya’s (1746-1828) The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. It’s number 43 of a series of 80 aquatint etchings entitled, Los Caprichos. Published in 1799, they feature his response to the political, religious and social atrocities of the time.

Interestingly, our guest contacted me afterwards and told me that the one he had in mind was the image featured below. Plate 72: A bat-like creature sucking at the chest of a corpse, from Disasters of War (c.1810-12).

A bat-like creature sucking at the chest of a corpse

Orbs, Vapours and Energy Bodies

From my own experiences and that of others, I believe that orbs and vapours are a dense form of energy or ‘spirit’. Not quite dense enough to become manifest physically, as we are but enough to form and be perceived. Some people are able to see these forms more easily than others. It’s possible to practice by attempting to see the aura (energy body) of another person.

Allow your eyes to become relaxed and out of focus and then just observe their outline. If that person can be seated with a white background (hung up sheet or white wall) then all the better. Watch to see any colours or shapes that manifest around them. What you are perceiving are that person’s energy bodies.

We are all beings of energy and our physical body is simply our densest form – how we usually perceive each other. But the next most dense is our emotional body, followed by the mental body and then the astral, etheric, Buddhic and causal bodies.

One possibility is that the energetic manifestations of spirits, fairies or other Otherworldly beings are also made of energy, as is the entire Universe. From this point of view perhaps they are perceived by us while we are observing from that corresponding level of consciousness or energy body.

We can move through these bubbles of perception in various altered states, caused by meditation, relaxation, the use of psychedelics or even during states of passion.

Martin Brofman’s Map of the Body Mirror Healing System https://www.fondation-brofman.org/?lang=en



Personally, I’ve been working with these ideas since the mid-nineties and in 2005 I trained in The Body Mirror System with Martin Brofman. I offer one-to-one healings in person or remote healing appointments. If you’re interested in learning more about these, please see here.

I will be releasing further episodes featuring orbs. Please subscribe to this blog to receive alerts about forthcoming episodes.


Featured image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/509751251574108632/
by Mapc7Hunter mapc7hunter.tumblr.com

Episode 15: The Books of Dreams and Visions

This episode includes excerpts from The B.O.D.A.V.’s (The Books of Dreams and Visions). It’s a personal collection of fairy encounters and vivid dreams, experienced by a young man from the age of 11 to his late teens, provoked by night time forest walks with his father.

Having had some awareness and interest in the Otherworlds himself, his father had encouraged him to journal these experiences.  Some of these drawings are pictured below.

It’s rare that a child or young person is encouraged to explore these realities with such depth by a parent and for that reason, I feel the collection is rare and of great importance to helping us understand our nature of being as humans. I believe that these states of deeper perception with nature are innate within us and socialised out of us from a young age.

Our guest, now in his mid-twenties and undertaking a Master’s in biological science, was able to spend lockdown reunited with his father. This provided an opportunity to re-read the journals and attempt to categorise some of the beings and events that took place.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful share.

Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

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Recommended further reading:

Martin Brofman’s Anything Can Be Healed is an excellent book for describing how to shift into other realities and see the world from alternative perspectives, notably healing the body, mind and anything that is not working for you, in your life. (Note: I trained with Martin from 2005 until 2014 and his healing system completely changed my life…I will get round to talking about this someday. Let me know if you’d like to hear about it!)

Mike Clelland’s The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee. I would recommend this to anyone interested in reading about people’s extraordinary experiences and how dreams often tie into encounters. I’m reading this at the moment and I find it fascinating. (Note: yes it does involve UFO encounters rather than fairies but there are many similarities and if you haven’t already explored these ideas, then this is an excellent start).

Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality argues that the human psyche extends beyond the confines of the physical human body, and that it may in fact be a part of our reality. It’s a core text for understanding these encounters.

Dr Jack Hunter’s Greening The Paranormal is a collection of essays on humankind’s relationship with earth and what we have come to term as ‘extraordinary experience’. 

Neil Rushton’s blog, Dead But Dreaminghas a world of information about fairies, experiences and folklore. This particular article, Visioning the Fairies: Magical Ointments and Seeing the Unseen provides some excellent references to folklore in this regard, as touched upon in the podcast.

Episode 14: Guardian of the Mountain

In this first episode of series two 🎉 I chat with a guest who encounters an Otherworldly creature that we are quite familiar with in folklore. His response to the experience is admirable and most interesting. It’s a great example of how faith, and spiritual connection (of any kind!) can aid us in our most challenging moments.

Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

Please Support Modern Fairy Sightings

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Black Dog Folklore

Black Dog sightings abound in folklore collections, and sightings continue to be reported, particularly in the UK but all over the world. Many of us are familiar with the image of the Hound of the Baskervilles, but these supernatural beasts appear in a great number of forms and are known by various names in the UK depending on the location: ‘Barguest’, ‘Black Shuck’, ‘Capelthwaite’, ‘Freyburg’, to name but a few.

Folklore author, Mark Norman’s book, Black Dog Folklore is an excellent study of the subject and features a multitude of sightings and traditions in the UK.

Here’s an interesting snippet. A letter from one mid-century Devonshire-based folklorist to another, about a trackway sighting:

“The Black Dog who guards the ancient trackway from West Quantoxhead towards Crowcombe was sighted rushing down the steep sides of the Deer Park one late autumn evening. It was seen by a motor-cyclist who could not make out what animal it was: ‘about the size of a large pig – and what puzzled me was its coat looked like ruffled feathers. It was black and something like a dog, it moved like one but I have never met anything like it before or since.’ This was an unusual extension of the Dog’s known patrol.” (Ruth L. Tongue in personal correspondence to Theo Brown, 19th September 1960) (Norman, 2015, pp. 37).

Simon Young’s ‘Fairy Census’ (2014-2017) also contains a number of references to contemporary black dog sightings. Here’s one from Britain that appears to be connected with a house and another from the US, which preceded the respondent’s own pet dog’s death:

§191) (Wales, Female; 1990s).A friend and I were home one evening relaxing, my dog was out the front garden, it was late autumn, we had candles lit, listening to music, discussing spirituality/religion etc as was our passion at that time. We heard my dog a spaniel scratching the front door to come in, my friend went into the hall leaving the lounge door open to open the front door for the dog. I was sitting in my chair and could clearly see two metres or so out into the hall. I heard a commotion, like an animal’s feet running and looked out into the hall expecting to see Ben my spaniel come running into the room. I saw a man-sized ‘animal like’ creature run past and up the stairs, and heard the heavy sound of it running up on all fours, as it shot up the stairs. It was, I’d say, if standing, five foot five inches maybe more, it was sort of human crossed with an animal, I could see brownish leathery tough skin with coarse black hair sporadically growing out of its body, its head had a large flattened snout, crinkled and wrinkled like someone had forced its nose into its face, and upward protruding teeth. My friend heard it, but curiously did not see it. The dog had not come in and was still out in the garden. Over a period of a few years, I and visitors to the house would see red lights, like eyes, at night up on the landing and stairs and a few occasions hear the running up the stairs, like a very large dog. I am convinced it was a faery, a pooka, or some other thing. The house got renovated in later years and all occurrences stopped.’ ‘A large black dog, crossed with human characteristics and some other beast. Red eyes. Upward big fangs from bottom jaw. Flat large squashed in snout giving the face an ugly quite fierce expression.’ ‘Heard its running up the stairs on many occasions.’ ‘It was an old house, we held seances there, groups of friends into the paranormal would gather here over a few years, it was quite a hotspot of activity until its renovation.’ ‘It seemed like an elemental it seemed connected to the land the area the house. After renovation it stopped, it was definitely connected to the old untouched energy, before modernisation. We tried to use candles and hardly watched TV, preferring soft music at our groups of spiritual exploration there. There were a lot of experiences, by myself and others at that time.’

§273) (US (Illinois). Male; 1990s) ‘I distinctly remember this happening to me during January at 2:06 am when I was fifteen. I was lying in bed with the blinds closed and my bedroom door closed and locked. I had been asleep, but something prompted me to wake up immediately. I looked towards my bedroom door and saw a Black Dog with glowing green eyes and its tongue hanging out running from that side of my bedroom to the other side, near the foot of my bed. As the dog reached the foot of my bed, it disappeared into the shadows and never returned. I stayed awake for a few more minutes to record the time on my alarm clock and think about what happened. Then I went back to sleep. While the Black Dog was running, it made no noise whatsoever, not even the sound of its nails hitting the floor. I think it may have been running on the air rather than the actual floorboards. It didn’t seem to notice me despite my staring directly at it. I’m not sure how I could see its shape or its eyes glow when there were no lights on anywhere. How it got into and left my room is also a mystery. Its body shape was similar to my own dog at the time – labrador retriever with a slightly pointed nose and skinnier legs. To this day I’m not sure if it was a fairy dog or my dog’s doppelganger, since she died a couple months later.’

There are also a number of really great blog posts on the subject here and here

And if you’re into Gothic horror fiction Icy Sedgwick’s book, Black Dog & Other Gothic Tales, comes recommended.

References and recommended further reading/listening:

Howard Hughes’ Unexplained Podcast, Episode 351 Beasts of Britain

McGrath A.M.L. (2017) Beasts of Britain, independently published

Norman, M. (2015) Black Dog Folklore, London: Troy Books

Young, S. (ed) (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017. Accessed online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf on 13/06/2021

Blogs:
https://www.davidcastleton.net/black-dog-legends-england-britain-ghosts-hellhounds/

http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/bdogfl.htm

Virtual Birdsong Identification Workshop with Peter Holden MBE

The annual bird workshop and dawn chorus event with Peter Holden MBE, author of the RSPB Handbook has been one of our favourites dates in the calendar. Due to COVID restrictions, we have been unable to hold the workshop the last two years.

Last year, we ran the Virtual Dawn Chorus event, where members of the public were invited to submit their dawn chorus experience recorded in their gardens, out of their apartment windows or in local parks.

This year, Peter was kind enough to offer an online version of the workshop, free to all previous attendees. This meant a chance to see each other, share stories and of course, brush up on our bird song identification and bird behaviour knowledge.

Tor Purrett’s hand-weaved, hand-dyed bird inspired shawls

During lockdown, a number of our attendees had been moved to create some incredibly beautiful artworks. Tor Purrett shared her amazing hand spun shawls (pictured above). Each one inspired by a different bird, she creates natural dyes from woods and plants to transform the fleece.

Coo Geller presented her beautifully delicate representations of egg shells which were exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy.

Coo Geller’s ‘Eggshell Blends’
Alex Dommett’s ‘Nightjar’

Alex Dommett, shared her powerful drawing of a nightjar that she had managed to spot on holiday.

Lastly, Sarah reminded us all of our most marvellous 2018 workshop in which we spotted a very rare golden oriole on our dawn chorus walk.

Inspired by that story, Sarah’s friend painted her a picture of the beautiful bird which we eventually located with binoculars, singing at the top of a tall tree in the early morning light. If you’d like to read more about that incredible sighting, you can read Hayley Coristine’s beautiful blog post.

Sarah presents her friend’s golden oriole painting

Signed copies of the RSPB handbook are available from Peter for £10 incl. p&p

We hope to resume our much-loved workshop next year! If you’d like to subscribe to events please contact me.

Series Two begins 13th June 2021

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With three weeks to go before the second series of The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast, things are busy at Chez Hickey-Hall.

I’m humbled by the truly wonderful response that series one received. Many listeners wrote to tell me how much it meant to hear others talking of their experiences. Some remarked that it helped to make sense of their own extraordinary encounters and gave them hope and courage that they may be able to discuss their own experiences.

“I do love your podcast, it brings me much joy!

“I just wanted to thank you for all your stories! I have been seeing and interacting with the Faeries since I was very small. Its wonderful to hear all these other experiences. Thank you so much!”

“I love your podcast.”

“Thank you again for such a great podcast. It’s really good to know that there are people out there who are willing to discuss topics such as this one, however strange and bizarre it may seem to others.”  

“So happy to have stumbled across your podcast.”

“Thank you for being brave and sharing your experience with such integrity and honesty. So beautiful and truly curious!” 

It’s been a huge adventure for me too. At all times it’s felt as if I’m simply moving within the flow of this project’s own great momentum. For me personally, being able to chat with people and exchange experiences has been immensely helpful in validating my own curious encounters and providing a little more insight. Most importantly, if people feel more able to talk about their experiences as a result of this project, then it is serving its purpose.

Although we’re only weeks away, the second series is still forming. It’s a leap of trust for me and I feel led by the conversations which arise within interviews and the paths of exploration which they inspire, in this reimagining of the Podcast.

I look forward to joining with you all again on 13th June at 8pm (BST). Please subscribe and rate on Apple, Spotify Google, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you’d like to join The Curious Crew on Patreon, supporting the show, taking part in discussions and forming the new content, you can find more info here.

Much love,

Jo x

Main image: I went for a walk today and we happened upon this tranquil field carpeted with clover, buttercups and dandelion clocks. When the heavens opened we headed under the trees and found an ancient trackway which we followed until we got a bit lost! But that's always the fun bit :) before we got rained on, my dear friend managed to paint the scene as part of her daily painting practice: "One Tiny Thing" you can find it here on her Instagram.

Bonus Episode 13: Jo’s Fairy Encounter

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I began the Modern Fairy Sightings project in 2016, along with ‘Black Dog’ folklorist, Mark Norman while researching for Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook’s book, ‘Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies: 500AD to the Present. Since that time, I have spoken to many others who have shared their encounters, for the purpose of research. In 2020, I created The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast and my guests have shared their stories. I feel it’s now time to share my own encounter.

Experiences shared on the Podcast are usually kept anonymous, so this is a very personal and important decision for me.

I hope it goes some way to break the taboo around speaking about extraordinary encounters of this kind and that it helps others who have had similar experiences and perhaps feel alone with it. I feel it’s important that we acknowledge that there are ‘Otherworlds’ that appear to weave with our own in a way that we don’t currently understand. Even if we cannot find answers, we can find meaning by sharing our experiences and exploring these mysterious universal realities, together.

Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

Support The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast

Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Bonus Episode 4th May: Jo shares her own fairy encounter

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What an incredible adventure the first series of The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast has been! It’s been so great to receive so many messages of support from listeners. Thank you for joining me on this exploration.

For so many, the experiences recounted in the episodes really rang true and emulated their own encounters. I feel honoured to be able to share these stories with you and a huge thanks goes out to all my guests, who took the time and trusted the process of sharing their story with the world

Series Two will begin on Sunday 13th June at 8pm but in the meantime, there’ll be a bonus episode on 4th May. It’s going to be a very personal episode for me, as it’s my birthday and I’ll be sharing my own fairy encounter.

All the encounters we’ve heard so far have been anonymous, so this feels like a significant step and a decision which I haven’t taken lightly. But I hope it goes some way to explain my initial interest in the topic and how it has unexpectedly weaved throughout my life.

During the episode I’ll also be telling you about my new support page at Patreon and how you can get involved by joining The Curious Crew for discussion about what you’d like to see in Series Two, among other topics.

I hope you can tune in for that special episode which will be released at 8pm, on 4th May, 2021 and hear how you can take part. To ensure you don’t miss it, please subscribe here:

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Episode 12: Experiencing Fairies: Interview with Dr Neil Rushton

In the last episode of series one, I chat with Dr Neil Rushton, author of two fairy-related novels and fairy experience investigator.

We discuss my various musings during this series and Neil shares his own fairy experiences. He also offers his perspective on why and how people see fairies and how this differs to the reductionist, materialist worldview on the matter. Neil’s blog site, deadbutdreaming.wordpress.com is an excellent resource. His articles cover fairy associated folklore as well as deeper digs into the connection between encounters and altered states.

His two novels, Dead But Dreaming and Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun, feature fairy encounters and explore the role of altered states in perceiving fairies.

Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

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Recommended Reading

Neil’s blog, deadbutdreaming.wordpress.com explores fairy beings, folklore and altered states.

Anthony Peake’s The Hidden Universe, explores much of what we talked about during our conversation and has a very easy-reading explanation of how quantum physics may help explain non-human intelligent entity contact

For more information on Charles Bonnet Syndrome see also Peake above.

Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality and Graham Hancock Supernatural are also absolute essential reading for discussions around fairies, aliens and altered states.

Dr Simon Young’s Fairy Census 2014-2017 is a wonderful resource of around 500 detailed contemporary fairy encounters. They were collected from around the world via online survey. Simon runs the Fairy Investigation Society.

Rudolf Steiner’s Nature Spirits – for the best assessment of the early 20th-century Theosophist ideas on nature spirits.

Dr Jack Hunter’s Greening The Paranormal examines how connecting with the supernatural may re-connect us with nature.

David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order, incorporates much thinking on quantum physics (Bohm was a quantum physicist) within a philosophical framework. 

Aldous Huxley’s classic, The Doors of Perception which examines altered states.

Podcast intro music: Transmutate by Snowflake (c) copyright 2020 Licensed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Episode 11: Make Haste for Midsummer

In this episode we hear about an encounter which took place en route to a Wiccan ritual in a large park in England. It’s a lovely share, as the experience was so gloriously matter-of-fact. Are fairies simply an aspect of Nature that we don’t currently understand? Do they pop up unpredictably or are there circumstances which make it more likely? We touch on these ideas in this episode.

Warning: These are not fairytales and the content is unsuitable for children. Some episodes may contain details which some may find unsettling or frightening. The Modern Fairy Sightings Podcast is designed for listeners 16 years and older.

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Fairies at Midsummer

‘Midsummer Eve’ by Robert Edward Hughes

We’ve all heard of Midsummer Night’s Dream and so the connection between this time of the year and fairies is already embedded in our psyche. Our guest made the point that maybe Shakespeare knew a thing or two.

Perhaps he did. It’s a very interesting point which people have mused on and it’s one worth returning to. Particularly so when you bear in mind that Shakespeare, drawing on folkloric depictions of the fae at the time, was doing so against the backdrop of religious Reformation. His playwriting took place between the time of Reginald Scot’s 1584 anti-superstitious literature, ‘Discoverie of Witchcraft’ and King James’s ‘Daemonologie‘ of 1597, in which fairies were portrayed as demons. I plan to look at Shakespeare’s fairies in a future article.

In the meantime, there are some fantastic midsummer encounters collected by The Fairy Investigation Society’s Fairy Census 2014-2017. The following reported encounter took place in Wollaton and if you haven’t already heard of the Wollaton gnomes then here’s a great piece by The Faery Folklorist.

§104C) England (Nottinghamshire). ‘I was bought up in Wollaton and back then a lot of the area was woods fields old dried up canals, ponds, slag heaps of coal etc where we used to play as children we were probably about half a mile from Wollaton Park main gates and back then you could almost walk to Wollaton Park without going out of the woods and fields I am fifty now so I am going back to the late 1970s. One evening in summer me and a friend were stood on the side of an old dried out canal it was midsummer, maybe 9 o’clock at night, just going dark but you could still see quite well and I looked across the other side of the canal and directly opposite us was a small shiny white humanoid creature about eighteen inches high you couldn’t see its face because it was too bright and shiny glowing white like a light bulb but shaped like a small person I just felt it was looking at us and standing still. my friend was really scared he had really short hair but I can remember what bit of hair he had was sticking up on his head. I wasn’t so scared and climbed into the dried up canal with the intention of climbing up the other side to get a better look my friend followed, the creature then bolted into a small wooded area then out onto the big field we chased it but it bolted too fast so we just stood there and watched it get further across the field until it disappeared out of sight. It never bothered me but it really affected my friend he was scared of dolls and ventriloquist dummies, action man toys, anything like that after. He often discussed it with me for years after and told me he could never watch a Chucky movie because dolls terrify him. Not too long after maybe even only a few months we heard about the kids who saw the gnomes on Wollaton Park we even went there looking for them but found nothing.

Here’s another Fairy Census midsummer experience from the US:

§328) US (New Jersey). Female; 2010s; ‘It was at twilight on Midsummer. My husband and I had friends over. We had done a ritual earlier and were finishing up our meal. Suddenly, a green light, much larger than a firefly, emerged in the field in our backyard. It flew intelligently. The being flew toward us at the table, hovered, then circled us a couple of times. It then hovered again and took off very quickly. Most of us saw it, but didn’t say a word until it disappeared. Comparing notes we all saw the same thing. It was not an insect, and definitely acted with interest and intelligence. I have seen this being several times on
my own, but this was the first time others were with me.’

Main image by Tin Can Forest

References

The Fairy Folklorist (2017) ‘The Wollaton Park Gnomes’. Accessed online at: http://faeryfolklorist.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-wollaton-park-gnomes.html

King James I and VI (1587) ‘Dæmonologie, in forme of a dialogue, divided into three Bookes’. Edinburgh.

Scott, R. (1584) ‘The discoverie of witchcraft, Wherein the lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected’. London.

Young, S. (ed) (2018) The Fairy Census 2014-2017. Accessed online at: http://www.fairyist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Fairy-Census-2014-2017-1.pdf