This is a vast category of Spirits: included are devas and flower fairies (Miniature winged plant spirits), as well as human-sized Fairy Folk, some of whom may or may not actually be human. Unlike orisha or djinn, which refer to specific types of spirits, Fairy has become a somewhat generic category for vast variety of Spirits who may or may not be related.
This category includes: dakini from Tibet, asparas from India, peri from pre-Islamic Iran, Eastern European vila, and Romany keshalyi, urme, and ursitory.
(Prettier, sweeter female djinn are sometimes classified as fairies too.)
Once upon a time, not too long ago, fairies were perceived as dangerous spirits. Beyond there superficial appearance, what actually connects these diverse spirits are shared associations with nature, Forrest, flowers, love, sex, women’s power, and the birth process- All powerful, potentially dangerous magic.
To some extent, this category of Spirits serves as judges of human ritual behavior. They reward those who properly conduct rituals and punish those who do not.
Thus, the vila fairies famously punish cheating, deceitful men, and those who abandoned women waiting at the alter (marriage). They also punish interlopers in the forest- presumably hunters who no longer maintain spiritually correct hunting rituals.
This is of course the darker side of spiritual interaction. The Spirits protect us, and take care of us. They are stronger than us. Once you enter into a mutually acknowledged relationship with them, it’s hard to change the rules and terminate the contract.
Even the most devoted Spirit workers has been known periodically to mutter against this “Mafia”
Payment, tribute, further interaction is expected on time, with the implicit threat of “or else”
With the rise of the European Christianity, of course, these payments and tributes for the most part ceased, leaving some disgruntled, hungry Spirits.
Aine, Spirit of the Sun, a powerful, dynamic, versatile Spirit, for instance, becomes considered one of several Queens of Fairy, as does her Compatriot Maeve. These are not Spirits to be Trifled with.
In certain parts of Europe, France in particular, witches were accused of consorting with Fairies rather than the devil. During the French witch craze (basically the period between Joan of Arc and the end of the 17th century), a legal conviction for consorting with fairies automatically earned a sentence of hard labor.
Attempts were made during the trial for heresy to depict Joan of Arc, herself, as a devotee of the Fairy Folk.
Based on frequent descriptions of Fairies as nomadic, wandering folk, dwelling in the wild forest areas in beehive-like structures, some considered that the Romany were understood to be Fairies by sedentary people who observed them.
Both Romany and Fairies have associations with magic and divination and suffer accusations of baby snatching and child stealing. (Sadly, but of course, there was a Stigma about Romany and Fairies at the time).
To complicate matters further, the Romany themselves have a vast, complex, fairy tradition of their own.
Their fairies are very clear spiritual beings. According to the Romany fairy traditions, for instance, the history of disease as we know is largely caused by a series of tragic, sexual assaults inflicted by the King of Demons on the beautiful, fertile Queen Fairy.
Various other types of spirits are summoned to assist with the casting of magic spells, including elementals (Salamanders, undines, and similar) and mermaids.
Offerings depend on the type of fairy invoked.
Full-sized ones are said to prefer milk and berries -
According to the Elizabethans, fairies revel in thyme. They love the aroma. Thus the best way to see fairies is to surround yourself in herb: eat it, grow it, and bring it into your home.
Flower fairies, butterfly sized winged nature spirits, the model for all modern sanitized fairies, are easier to summon and propitiate. They can be petitioned to bestow and enhance botanical powers. All you really need is a garden for an invitation to be extended-
A garden in pots outside may work; flower fairies do not like to venture indoors for extended periods. Fill the garden with birdbaths, a source of water, charms, statues, witch balls and crystals.
Plant the botanical that they love: berries, chamomile, Corsican mint, forget-me-nots, foxglove, hibiscus, hollyhocks, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, milkweed, morning glories, pansies, peonies, primroses, vincas, and violets.
In general fairies prefer wild flowers to cultivated blooms. Leave the garden a little wild for them. Attract birds and butterflies and fairies will follow them.
A circle of Ash saplings is a fairies dance ground.
If you don’t pull them up, the fairies will remain. Alternately make circles for them from clear quartz crystals.
Romany legend says that stinging nettles guard the doorways to fairyland.
Grow some and find out :)
Burn Flower Fairy Incense outside to attract them
equal parts dried hollyhock and rosemary.