How to Sight the Fairies

How to Sight the Fairies

Sometimes between  1590  and  1596  Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream II, 2 :

“I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over canopied with lush woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and with Eglantine”

This describes where action takes place: ..a bank wheron the wild thyme blows.


Here we meet the Fairies: Oberon, the king, and Titiana, the queen, with her fairy servants Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed.

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton, c. 1849


The wild thyme is the absolute favorite of the Fairies, and we humans will be able to sight the Fairies if we pick the flowers of thyme, especially of thyme that grows on Fairie Mounds, and then lay the picked flowers on our eyes.


Another sure method to see the Fairies, according to a  recipe from 1600, found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England is:

To Enable One to See Faeries
[Take] a pint of sallet oyle and put it into a vial glasse and first wash it with rose-water and marygold [Calendula officinalis] water, the flowers to be gathered towards the east. Wash it till the oyle becomes white, then put into the glasse, and then put thereto the budds of hollyhocke, the flowers of marygolde, the flowers or toppes of wild thyme, the buds of young hazle, and the thyme must be gathered near the side of a hill where faeries used to be and take the grasse of a faerie throne then all these put into the oyle in the glasse and sette it to dissolve three dayes in the sunne and keep it for thy use.”

If we want to invite the Fairies into our homes it is easily done by sprinkling dried thyme on our windowsills and doorways.

Frances and the Leaping Fairy, the third of the five Cottingley Fairy photographs,1920 by Elsie Wright






Maybe one of these methods was what the cousins Elsie Wright (1901-1988) and Frances Griffiths used for inviting the Fairies to model in their photographs?
The images are known as the Cottingley Fairy photographs, and they very much impressed the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used them to illustrate an article he wrote about fairies. Sir Arthur truly believed the photographs to be genuine proof of visible evidence of psychic phenomena.

About ImaKalya

I write about : Food, Health, Thoughts, Herbs and Spices for Body, Soul & Mind
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3 Responses to How to Sight the Fairies

  1. daigoumee says:

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

  2. Koen says:

    Any idea what is meant by “the grass of a fairy throne”?
    The rest of it sounds like a typical oil tincture of rose, marigold, alcea, thyme, and hazel buds. “Sallet oyle” is old English for “salad oil”, which in the 17th century was usually rapeseed oil. The “flowers gathered towards the east” means the Calendula/Marigold flowers must be picked in the morning, when the sun is in the east and the flowers face the sun. What difference that makes is unclear.

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