Seeing Faery
Drawing Faery

Jessica Macbeth

People often ask, "But how do you see faeries?"
I always feel a little helpless when people ask that question, because the answer is different for everyone - and mostly, we have to discover it for ourselves. In my experience people can see them anywhere and in any way - with clairvoyant sight, in dreams, in daydreams and visions, out of the corner of your eye, in your mind's/heart's eye, in shadows, in lights, in the patterns of tree bark or shower walls or carpet weave or lichen on stone... They turn up at home (even in the bath), in the garden, in the woods, on the sea shore, in the center of town... You probably get the idea: they are ubiquitous.
"Well," I can almost hear you ask, "then, how do I know they are faery folk and not just my imagination?"
That's easy. You know how, when you look at a patterned surface (especially one with a "random" pattern), you sometimes see faces and creatures? Like seeing things when you look at clouds. If these faces just "jump out at you" without you searching for them, they are very probably faery faces and forms - gnomes, elves, whoever just saying, "Heya!"
But, if you have to look for them, searching and stretching you imagination, they may well be your imagination.
When you see a faery making a face at you, make a face back at it - they love it!
The thing is, you have to be open to them and let them be themselves rather than trying to fit them into a predetermined mold of your own devising. Some of the faces are human - or humanoid - but many are not. They may be almost animal faces. Or they may be quite grotesque or very unusual. It's kind of like my son's dog, Kato - he tries to smile. He makes the most hideously ugly faces. You'd think he was vicious or in terrible pain - unless you look at the tail wagging so hard the whole back end wiggles, or just feel the energy of his joy. Some people are frightened by these horrific faces, but they are just Kato telling you he thinks you are wonderful. Watch out, though! He'd give you a big, juicy slurp if he gets a chance. And the faery folk make faces at us too - in fact, since they are shapechangers, they can show us almost any face at all.
Some people fear anything unfamiliar and are frightened by these unusual faery faces, so they don't even look long enough to see the friendliness or the rampant fun in the faery faces before they deny them. If you know someone like that, you won't do them any favors by insisting that they connect with Faery - they will only see their own fears and not the joys of the Otherworld. Until they are healed enough to be less fearful and more adventurous in their own everyday lives, they are not ready to meet faery.
Faery is not all sweetness and light. Sometimes the people of Faery ask us to face difficult truths about ourselves - they ask this just by being themselves. If we cannot accept them as they are without insisting that they fit some pink and fluffy cute image we have created, this is our problem, not theirs. We are the ones who lose by failing to make the connections they offer us.
You can also perceive them by touch, by hearing, by emotions, by just *knowing* they are there. Different people connect with them differently and all these ways are right.
The only way that is wrong is to say, "Oh, no! They really are not there!"
For myself, I hear them with my ears/mind, and "see" them with my heart. I also see them with my eyes as light and they "jump out" at me from the random patterns of leaves, carpets, stains - many places - when I'm not looking for them. They don't have physical bodies, so I don't tend to look for physical bodies, although people (with better psychic vision than I) see their projections of physical images. I look for energy patterns and for the chaotic moment when my eyes are relaxed enough to see their being is shown to me through something in the material world.
For example, I see several faeries in the background of this page - which is why I choose it in particular. As I write this, I frequently check the web page version in my computer to catch formatting errors and typos, and each time I look, another faery or two "jumps out" at me. I'm not looking for them. I won't tell you what they look like so that you won't look for them either. But if you'll just let your eyes wander around the page from time to time, relaxed but attentive, they may "jump out" at you, too. If you try to look at them too closely, the vision just dissolves into blobs of colors, but if you let your eyes just scan in a relaxed way, you'll get glimpses of them. And the better you get at this relaxed not-looking, the more of them you'll see.
I also see the faery folk through the process of psychic art - which Brian Froud does as well, only so very much better! (And so does Wendy Froud with her sculpture.) Some psychic artists draw their visions directly, just as they would anything else they might see. The more skilled the artist, the more artistic the resulting painting, BUT... Not all of painters let the energy of the faeries shine through. That is a special skill in itself - and one that Brian and Wendy both have in full measure.
Don't worry, though, if you aren't a Great Artist - the faery are not concerned about that. They are interested in whether or not you let their energy - splashy, wild, riotous, fun, whatever - get onto the page. They can do that best when you control your drawing the least. The more practiced an artist you are, the more "artistic" the finished drawing will be, but that really doesn't concern the faery folk. They love Brian and his art because he lets them shine through the painting and doesn't impose his ideas on them. His great artistic talent and skill means that the rest of us can see them vividly too, so we all gain. But, the main thing is that faery folk seem to adore the attention of having paintings made of them, no matter who draws them or how skilled one is or isn't. They are always pleased by the results if we let them "energize" the painting. And that's something any of us can learn to do with willingness and practice.
We can let the faeries draw themselves, energizing our paintings by "lending" them our hands. This process is akin to automatic writing. You can begin by entering a meditative state and inviting the faery folk to help you to draw their portraits. When you sense their presence and enthusiasm by your own enthusiam, you are ready to begin the painting. Then you just hold your pen or pencil over the page and begin to lightly and loosely scribble.
It's that simple. Just scribble. After a while you may begin to see faces or forms in the scribbles. When you do, keep on scribbling! Don't try to take over and direct the pencil, just stay loose. You may even be able to feel the energy build as you do this. With practice, you will be able to feel the energy - and to feel when it stops. That will tell you when to stop. When you look at the scribbles for the faces and forms that jump out, turn the paper every which way. Look at it upside down and sideways. Hold it up to the light and look at it from the back. Find everything you can - and then keep looking. There will be more - if not now, then the next time you look.
One more thing about looking at faery folk. For most of us, they are easiest to see when we are very relaxed, which is one of the reasons they come to us in dreams and at the edges of sleep. So, the first advice I have for you about looking for the Otherworld folk is: Don't. Just relax. They are there, but you must relax enough to be able to spot them.
There is another reason for not looking directly for them. That is that the human eye sees subtle energy (low levels of light) better in peripheral vision - off to the side rather than looking straight at them. Since the folk of the Otherworld visit our world only as subtle energy forms, we can often see them better if we look for them just as we would look for auras around people. In fact, the human aura and faery aura are made of the same stuff. Just as they are subtle energy forms in our world, so are we in theirs. So look a little away, relax, and when they pop into vision (either as light or appearing to have a body), don't turn and stare in that direction. Not only is staring rude, but it also doesn't work.
Not everyone sees Otherworld denizens easily. Some of us see them with our hearts instead of our eyes. I do. Brian Froud does. And we draw them, but Brian does it much better.

Remember: if they make faces at you, make faces back at them - they love it!

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