The Fairy Ring: An Oracle of the Fairy Folk

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9780738702742: The Fairy Ring: An Oracle of the Fairy Folk

The Oracle for Lovers of the Fairy Folk

Combine astounding, photorealistic images with breathtaking surreal art that feature the world of the fairy, and you have The Fairy Ring oracle. This deck has four suits, one for each season, plus eight additional cards that celebrate the major Celtic "Fairy Festival" holidays. Included with the deck is a 240-page book that is filled with fairy lore, the meanings of the cards, their myths and legends, how to work with the fairy or character on each card and an amazing nine different spreads you can use. This is more than just a divinatory deck-its virtually an entire spiritual, magickal, and oracular system!

The strikingly beautiful artwork will literally draw you into the world of the fairy. It will let you cross over from our world and allow you to listen to their wisdom. But this requires you to take the first step. Using this deck will help you to let the fairies fill your dreams. Read about just one card per day, and in only two months you'll have amassed more fairy lore than you can imagine!

More importantly, by working with this deck, the fairies will come to know and trust you and share their wisdom with you. The fae don't easily give their friendship and let you into their world. Ideal for all Pagans and lovers of the fairy realms. Don't let this opportunity to commune with the fairy folk pass you by! The beauty of this set makes it a great gift, too!

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About the Author:

Anna Franklin is a third degree witch and high priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod who has been a practicing Pagan for more than forty years. She is the author of twenty-eight books and the creator of the Sacred Circle Tarot, Fairy Ring Oracle, and the Pagan Ways Tarot (Schiffer, 2015). Her books have been translated into nine languages. Anna has contributed hundreds of articles to Pagan magazines and has appeared on radio and TV. She lives and works in a village in the English Midlands where she grows her own herbs, fruit and vegetables, and generally lives the Pagan life. Visit her online at

Paul Mason is an English Pagan artist, photographer, and illustrator best known for his stunning photomontage images and book jacket designs.  He has worked previously with Franklin as illustrator of "The Sacred Circle Tarot" and co-author of Lammas.  Mason lives in the English Midlands. 


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


In the cards of The Fairy Ring, you will find beautiful fairies and ugly fairies, good fairies and wicked fairies, helpful creatures and mischievous beings who will try to trick you and lead you astray. We have gathered them all together to form this divination deck where each fairy may work its own particular magic for you.

Today, people are as interested in fairies as they ever were, though most now think of them as amusing myths. However, only a few hundred years ago, belief in fairies was absolute in every strata of society. Gradually this notion dwindled among town dwellers and so-called "sophisticated" people, but country folk well into the twentieth century worried about offending the fairies. Building on a fairy path, digging into a fairy mound, forgetting to leave out cream, or omitting to pour milk on a fairy stone, all of these things and more could incur the wrath of the Little People. The crops might be ruined, the cows might sicken and the milk dry in the udder, the family might be cursed with bad luck, the baby stolen and replaced by a withered changeling, or the breadwinner paralyzed by an elf stroke.

If the fairies are treated with respect and given their due, they will help those who honor them, and may bestow great gifts on their favorites. They can teach a bard how to play music that will move an audience to tears or have them dancing with joy. They can bestow the power of healing on a mortal. The famous witch Biddy Early (d. 1873) maintained that she derived her powers from the fairies. She used a blue bottle, given to her by them, for healing. At her death it was thrown into a lake.

During the persecutions, many witches insisted that their powers were derived from fairies, not devils, as their prosecutors insisted. In the north of England, a man was accused of witchcraft and trafficking with the devil to gain a medicinal white powder. The man contended that he had received the medicine from the fairies. He would go up to the fairy mound, knock three times, and the hill would open. He would then go inside and confer with the fairies, after which they would give him a white powder with which he was able to cure those who requested his aid. He offered to take the judge and jury to the fairy hill to see for themselves. The judge was unimpressed, but the jury refused to convict him.1

In Ireland, the young girls that fairies carried off for brides would be sent back to the human world when they grew old and ugly, but with the knowledge of herbs, philters, and secret spells to give them power over men.2 In 1613, Isobel Halfdane of Perth in Scotland was carried from her bed into the fairy hills where she spent three days learning the secrets of witchcraft.

Fairies and witches were on good terms with each other, and witches were frequent visitors to the fairy hills; being accused of such visits was enough to secure a conviction as a witch. Witches were also known to grow many of the fairy plants (such as foxgloves, elder, primrose, thyme, and bluebells) in their gardens or to gather them from the wild to attract their fairy friends. At one time, even the presence of such plants in a garden was enough to warrant an accusation of witchcraft. Modern witches working in the traditional way still derive the greater part of their knowledge from the wildfolk spirits of the land.

Fairies hate idleness and are very hardworking. They will help favored humans around the house and farm, spinning, weaving, baking, churning, and building, or working as gold or silversmiths. This work is all done at night as the people sleep, as long as the house is left tidy and the hearth is swept, as fairies cannot tolerate dirt and mess. If the customary dish of cream is not left as the small reward the fairies require, then the helpful home sprite will be mortally offended and smash the crockery, wreck the spinning, and hide valuable objects. Fairies like luxury and have contempt for those who penny pinch, especially those who drain the last drop of milk from the churn or strip all the fruit from the trees, leaving none for the fairies. They punish kitchen maids who do not sweep the hearth clean and put out clean water for bathing fairy babies with pinches, cramps, and lameness, while conscientious maids are rewarded with money in their shoes and good luck.

In the past it was considered unlucky to name the fairies, or even to use the word fairy, perhaps because to do so may have summoned them, or because using a name without its owner''s permission was a threat or challenge. It was wise to call them "the Good People," "the Little People," "the Gentry," "the Mother''s Blessing," "Good Neighbors," "Wee Folk," or "the Hidden People."

The English word fairy, or faerie, is derived by way of the French fée, from the Latin fatare, meaning "to enchant." Variations on the spelling include fayerye, fairye, fayre, and faery. In England, Geoffrey Chaucer made the words fairy and elf interchangeable, though the word elf is from the Scandinavian alfar, a term that seems to mean "bright" or "shining."

Though this deck features fairies from Britain and Ireland, there are legends of fairies all over the world, from the tiny South African Abatwa, to the Japanese Chin-Chin Kobakama, the Arabian Djinn, the Russian Deduska Domovoi, the ancient Greek nymphs, and the Albanian Zera. I have been collecting legends of fairies for many years and have recorded over three thousand individuals, and realize that I have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Around the world, fairies are mysterious creatures who live apart from the race of humankind, but who are sometimes seen in wild and lonely places.

The Victorian view of fairies was that they were all delicate, miniature, butterfly-winged creatures, but in older legends they are of human or even giant size. In medieval lore, fairies came to be divided into the aristocracy, who appeared in groups, and the common fairies, who appeared individually. The common fairies were elusive, and often the only sign of their existence was in their passing, with the bending of the flowers or the rustling of the leaves in the branches, or the patterns of Jack Frost in the windowpane. They were the guardians of individual streams, trees, forests, pools, and streams, or sometimes of private houses and particular families. The aristocrats were called Heroic or Trooping Fairies in England, and belonged to the Seelie Courts of Scotland or the Daoine Sidhe (pronounced "Theena Shee") of Ireland. The Daoine Sidhe were believed to be the diminished remnants of the Tuatha dé Danaan ("People of the Goddess Dana"), driven underground by the Celtic invaders.

Fairies are often said to live beneath the ancient burial mounds, the Hollow Hills of lore, where they feast and dance. Sometimes at night these hills sparkle with light, and if you press an ear to the hill you will hear their revels. If you sleep on the mound, fairy music will enter your soul and you will never be the same again. Earthworks are also associated with fairies; it is said that when the ancient race moved out, the fairies moved in. No tree on them should be cut down, nor should anything be built on them. If a man should be rash enough to attempt either sacrilege, the fairies will blast his eyes or give him a crooked mouth.

The Fairy Ring is a divination deck that calls upon the powers of the fay to guide you and to give you a glimpse of what destiny has in store for you. All fairies can see into the future and are capable of bestowing the gift of prophecy on those they love, like the Fairy Boy of Leith, who had amazing powers of second sight, and who visited his fairy friends every Thursday at Calton Hill, near Edinburgh. The entrance to the hill was only visible to those with fairy gifts, and once inside, the boy joined in the revels, playing a drum for the fairies to dance to. Sometimes they all flew off to France or Holland for the evening. Once some men tried to keep the boy in conversation one Thursday evening, but despite all their efforts, the boy slipped away to keep his appointment with the People of the Hills.3

The fairy hills are calling, and the gateway to the Otherworld stands open. Its denizens are ready to take you by the hand and lead you into the Fairy Ring . . .

1.Durant Hotham, Life of Jacob Behmen (1654).

2. Lady Wilde, Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland (London: Ward & Downey, 1887).

3.Captain George Burton, Pandaemonium (1684).

Using Your Cards

The Cards

The cards in the Fairy Ring deck are divided into four suits: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Most fairies are seasonal creatures, and individual fairies are featured during the period when they are most likely to appear. The thirteen cards in each suit are numbered one to nine, with four court cards: Lady, Knave, Queen, and King. Each card features a different fairy, with fifty-two fairies in all.

In addition, there are eight festival cards marking the chief fairy feasts of Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasa, Herfest, Samhain, and Yule.

Reading the Cards

The cards should be shuffled by the person for whom the reading is to be made\emdash this might be yourself, a friend, or a client, if you are a professional clairvoyant. I shall call this person "the questioner" for the sake of simplicity. The questioner should take care to reverse some of the cards, so that when they are laid out, they will be "upside down" (i.e., the top of the picture will be at the bottom). Like Tarot cards, the Fairy Ring cards have both upright and reversed meanings. While some Tarot readers prefer not to use reversed meanings, the Fairy Ring deck is specifically designed to employ both upright and reversed meanings, and only by using both will an accurate result be achieved.

The reader should take the shuffled cards from the questioner and lay them out, facedown, in the chosen spread. You will find a selection of spreads in the pages that follow. Some layouts will give you a quick answer to a single question; others will give you a more detailed life reading. Some spreads are better for practical matters, and others for emotional or spiritual concerns. I suggest that you read through the spreads and choose the one that appeals to you. The cards will also work well with your favorite Tarot spread.

When you are ready, begin at card one and turn it faceup. Note whether it is upright or reversed. When you are reading for yourself, you might like to look at the descriptions found under the heading "The Fairy," as this will give you insight into the characteristics and influences of each fairy. However, when you are reading for another person, it is not necessary to read this material to the person each time, unless you feel it would be particularly helpful; but you can just read the upright (divinatory) or reversed meanings as appropriate. Interpret each card before turning over the next. It is useful to summarize, in your own words, everything you have discovered at the end of the reading. As you become experienced and learn more about the fairy energies involved, you will find that additional interpretations occur to you. Don''t be afraid to mention these; as with the Tarot, the given interpretations are only a starting point.

When you consider the meanings of the cards, bear in mind that any court card\emdash a Knave, Lady, Queen, or King\emdash may indicate real people in the life of the questioner. In addition, the appearance of one of the eight festival cards should be given extra weight in the interpretation of a spread. They indicate powerful trends that cannot be fought, but must be accepted and worked with. Occasionally\emdash and this will have to be carefully considered\emdash they might indicate a time period when an event might occur.

The Fairy Mound

The Fairy Mound spread will help you determine the important issues and events of your past, what influences and concerns have a bearing on the present, and how best to move into the future.

Shuffle the cards, taking care to invert some of them to make use of the reversed meanings. Lay out the cards according to the diagram, starting with card one and finishing with card thirteen. Begin your reading at card one.

1. This card best represents the questioner at the present time. Even if the card seems a little surprising, it will point to those aspects of the questioner that are currently most significant.

2. This card reveals the influences closest to the questioner at the present moment.

3. This card reveals what the questioner most desires.

4. This card reveals the questioner''s mental processes as they relate to current events.

5. This card reflects the questioner''s emotions.

6. Card six indicates past influences and trends that are still affecting present circumstances.

7. This card relates to spiritual questions and concerns.

8. Card eight concerns practical matters, money, and material issues.

9. This card indicates karmic events that cannot be avoided.

10. Card ten reveals important future influences, whether helpful or not.

11. This card indicates immediate concerns.

12. Card twelve advises the questioner on the best path to success.

13. Card thirteen indicates the outcome.

The Fairy Oracle

The Fairy Oracle spread may be used to find the answer to a single question.

Shuffle the cards, taking care to invert some of them to make use of the reversed meanings. Lay out the cards according to the diagram, starting with card one and finishing with card seven. Begin your reading at card one.

1. This card represents the questioner in his or her present circumstances. The card may be surprising, but some aspect of the card will reveal the truth of the situation.

2. This card discloses the nature of the questioner''s most pressing query.

3. Card three makes known what influences may help the questioner.

4. Card four reveals what influences may hinder the questioner''s desires.

5. This card indicates which course of action is the best to follow.

6. Card six reveals the root of the problem, which may lie in the distant past.

7. Card seven divulges the outcome of the situation in the near future.

In general, a greater number of upright cards indicates a yes answer, while a greater number of reversed cards indicates a no.

The Fairy Gifts

The Fairy Gift spread is used to ascertain what skills the questioner may call upon to fulfill his or her destiny, or what trends and obstacles are preventing him or her from doing so.

Shuffle the cards, taking care to invert some of them to make use of the reversed meanings. Lay out the cards according to the diagram, starting with card one and finishing with card five. Begin your reading at card one.

1. The questioner, or significant aspects of the questioner, at the present moment.

2. The questioner''s innate talents that will aid him or her in gaining fulfillment.

3. Potentials as yet unrealized or untapped.

4. What will guide the questioner''s choices.

5. Events in which fate or destiny takes a hand, for good or bad; perhaps problems that need to be overcome.

The Fairy Market

The Fairy Market spread is a versatile layout that may be used for general readings, or to determine answers to specific questions.

Shuffle the cards, taking care to invert some of them to make use of the reversed meanings. Lay out the cards ...

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