Watching the Environmental Restoration group work on the field across the street this week has brought up an interesting line of thought for me; it’s posed some interesting questions about how I view the Fae in relation to the land, and interactions with them- questions I want to pose to the rest of you.
For background, I live in a farming community who, at one point in time, boasted one of the largest Zinc Smelters in the country. While it was amazing for our economy during the time it was operating, the fallout from its production has damaged our soil. To make a long story short, several years ago we finally won a court case and since then, Environmental Restoration teams have been digging up and replacing topsoil all around town in an effort to reduce lead and other contamination levels in the area. One of the spaces currently being repaired is an empty field across from where I live.
Two years ago, when my Husband and I moved in, I dubbed this spot the Fae Field for several reasons. Firstly, there is a very distinct Fae Ring that grows there, and secondly because every time I went into the field distinct “activity” would follow me home. Now my Husband isn’t an Irish Polytheist, but he knows my Traditions and he understands that you avoid spaces where the Fae reside- places like that field. Since then he’s essentially banned me from entering the field, and I’ve taken to “paying my rent” there during yearly rituals where it’s appropriate; it’s become a focal point for my relationship and interactions with the Fae over the last two years, and I haven’t seen any indications that it should be otherwise.
In light of this, when they started working there he made the comment that he felt bad for the Men; he didn’t envy them for having to work in a space so clearly claimed by the Fae, and likely having to deal with the consequences of doing so. Initially I agreed with him. Knowing what I’ve experienced myself when dealing with the field, I don’t envy anyone that has to do so. Especially when they don’t know to bring offerings or how to otherwise interact with them appropriately in order to prevent retaliation- things that, as an Irish Polytheist, I myself have to be mindful of whenever I enter the field.
That being said, my thoughts on the matter have changed quite substantially the week I’ve watched them interact with it. This change in thought, too, has been further impacted by my own photographic journeys onto the land the last few months; I have noticed that I am far less inclined to experience “activity” after walking onto the field to take pictures of the native Flora there (especially the large population of Goat’s Rue), than if I were to carelessly walk through it in an effort to cut 2 minutes off my walk. Likewise, they don’t seem to mind me harvesting Juniper from the trees in the field for use in my rituals.
It’s made me question a few things that I had originally considered common sense when dealing with the Fae. Most notably, it’s posed the question to me about Stewardship of the land; would the Fae actually retaliate if your actions there were in direct benefit of the land- such as in documenting the native flora (such as in my case), or aiding the healing of it (as in the case of the group currently working there)… Or would they consider it an acceptable or necessary trespass into their space? Would they accept a lack of offerings in those cases, or would they consider your actions towards the health or documentation of the land be offering enough? And finally, if such action is acceptable, how would it impact or improve your relationship with the Fae- and furthermore, could it become a viable way through which to build a relationship with them?
I feel like there could be something in Lore that would point me in the appropriate direction to answer these questions. And no doubt, someone has likely answered them before. But I have so much research on my plate already that these are simply questions to ponder for the moment… At least until my plate clears and I can actually devote time to it. Until then, I pose the question to you instead; what do you think?
For a list of IriPol resources, including those I used to inform the opinions mentioned in this article, please view this page here.