There are times when you will need to protect yourself against faeries as not all the
fae are pleasant!
If you are walking at night in places inhabited by faeries carry a cross, especially
one made of iron. Making the sign of the cross is also effective; carry holy water,
chant hymns and say prayers as you walk. Carrying or throwing churchyard mould
in their path will deter them. Alternatively carry bread or salt; something that is
readily available to all of us; they are both regarded as sacred symbols.
‘For that holy piece of bread
Charms the danger and the dread’
Green moss taken from a mill stream, pouring salt onto the table and saying the
Lords Prayer three times is also an effective protection.
The ringing of bells will drive away faeries and witches. They cannot abide the
sound of church bells, it was with the hanging of the first bells in the church on
Portland, Dorset that caused the large population of faeries to leave the isle. At
the first peal they were seen fleeing along Chesil Beach.
They were also driven away from Cadbury Castle in Somerset, an old hill fort, by
the sound of the newly erected church bells nearby. They left so quickly that they
did not stop to retrieve their horde of faerie gold hidden deep in the hillside.
If you come across faeries on All Hallows Eve, Halloween,, make
sure you throw some of the dirt from your own footprint after the faeries, it will
protect you and any mortals that the faeries have stolen will be surrendered as well.
There are many plants that can be effective as protection against the fae.
Planting bindweed and honeysuckle by your garden gate will keep the more
malicious faeries out of your garden.
Hanging a garland of marigolds over your doorway will stop evil from entering
Lavender will protect against the evil eye.
St Johns Wort is very powerful against faerie spells and will protect against
demons, witches and evil spirits hence its ancient name of Fuga Daemonum.
‘St Johns Wort doth charm all the witches away
If gathered at midnight on the Saints Holy day
And devils and witches have no power to harm
Those that do gather the plant for a charm
Rub the lintels and the post with that red juicy
No thunder, no tempest will then have the power
To hurt or hinder your house; and bind
Round your neck a charm of similar kind’
To keep off evil spirits pick bramble at the full moon and make a wreath,
including rowan and ivy. Then hang over the doors to your house; this will
protect the inhabitants against evil spells.
Hang mistletoe on beams for protection and it was customary to place it inside
cribs to prevent babies from being stolen by the fae.
Placing daisy chains around your child’s neck will also prevent it being snatched.
Faeries will not hesitate to steal unbaptized children, especially popular are the
fair haired babies; replacing them with changelings.
Faerie births are becoming rarer and the faerie children are not as healthy as they
once were, so mortal babies are taken to replenish their stock.
The stealing of children has a more sinister motive in the lowlands of Scotland. Mortal
babies are used to pay the Devils Tithe which is due every seven years.
I t was traditional to hang an open pair of scissors over the cot or stick an iron
pin into the baby's clothes, also you could try laying the fathers trousers across the cot.
If being chased by faeries try jumping over running water, especially if it is south flowing.
This will hinder the evil fae and give you time to escape.
Jeanie, the Bogle of Mulgrave Wood, near Whitby. Many years ago one farmer for
some unknown reason wished to make the acquaintance of Jeanie, who was the
chief of their family. Once into the wood he found her cave which was set into a
rocky slope. Calling out to her from the back of his horse”Jeanie! Jeanie! Art a
theer? Coom out lass, I want a word wi’ thee!” With that there was an awful
screeching noise from within the cave and Jeanie, Chief of the Bogles rushed out.
She was the usual size for a bogle, old, wizened and incredibly ugly, her lips pulled
back from yellowing teeth in a terrible snarl. Jeanie rushed at the farmer brandishing
her magic wand and was such a fiercesome sight that both farmer and horse turned
and fled for their lives.
They sped through the trees with Jeanie hard on their heels all the way. In front of them
lay the stream and the farmer remembered that Bogles could not cross water, so he
put his heels to the side of his mount and urged the frightened horse to leap the stream.
But it was not soon enough, just as its hooves left the ground Jeanie’s wand touched
the horses rump and it was sliced cleanly in two. The farmer fell to safety on the other
side of the water.
Needless to say he did not bother Jeanie, Chief of the Bogles again.
One of the most annoying traits of faeries is their delight in leading humans astray,
this is usually called being ‘pixy led’ or ‘pouk-ledden’ in the midlands.
‘This Puck seemes but a dreaming dolt
Still walking like a ragged colt
And oft out of a bush doth bolt
Of purpose to deceive us.
And leading us makes us to stray,
Long winter nights out of the way
And when we stick in mire and clay,
Hob doth with laughter leave us.’
Most faeries are known for doing this but the best known tricksters are the west country
pixies. One account collected by Ruth Tongue in 1961 from the
Nettlecombe Women’s Institute tells of an encounter near Budleigh Salterton.
“ I were pixy-led once in a wood near Budleigh Salterton. I couldn’t find my way out,
though ‘twas there, plain to see. I went all around the wood three times , it was getting
dark and I had been gone from home for hours. Then somebody coom along to find me,
and I thought how could I miss the path. They said others were pixy-led there too.”
Turning an item of clothing inside out will break the spell, and you will be able to
travel safely on your way.
Avoid travelling along the banks of streams and rivers by yourself as there are
many water fae that will try and drag you beneath the water such as
Jenny Greenteeth, Peg Powler and the Bean Fionn of Ireland.
There is an old doggerel to warn children of the dangers of straying too near
to the side of river banks;
‘Make haste and do your errand. Go not nigh
The river’s brink, for there the mermaids lie
Be home at five’
I hope this advice for protecting yourself from faeries will of be use to you,
although of course I also hope that you do not have to use them too much!