On Fairies and Following Your Heart

with Maggie Hamilton

Sometimes the call to follow our heart comes left of field. For me it began with a love of fairies, a deep abiding love that sat with me quietly for years, waiting to be activated. It helped that for the first few years of my life in England I was surrounded by adults, who talked openly about fairies– about what fairies did for the earth, how to respect them, places I might find them, and places that belonged to the fairies that were off-limits.

And so in in my own way I began to understand I was part of something bigger than myself, something intricate and exquisite, which was comforting, and that fairies were nature’s caretakers and much more besides.

Whenever I was in nature I would look for nature spirits, sensing them more than glimpsing them, and gaining great joy and a deep peace from knowing they were close by. The years came and went. I got busy. Then I had a sudden yearning to experience all things fairy more intimately.

That’s when I discovered the Fairy Congress, held in Twisp, Washington State every year in June ( When I went on to the Fairy Congress website, the spirit of the land called me. For a while I stalled, coming up with endless reasons why I couldn’t go, but my dear husband Derek was determined I’d fulfil this dream. He kept on nudging me. He even organised my ticket to San Francisco.

From there it was a five-hour ride up through the mountains, which wasn’t too much of a stretch as there were car shares available. Except none seemed available when I booked for the Congress. Initially I wasn’t worried, as there was plenty of time, but as the weeks slipped past, I still couldn’t get a ride with anyone. That’s when I started to get nervous. There was no way I could drive five hours through the mountains on the wrong side of the road to the Fair Congress, was there?

As it turned out, that’s what I had to do.  I ended up hiring a car, and giving another young girl a lift to the Congress. A beautiful part-French girl, who had such a love of nature she’d been living in the wilds for months – studying how to truly live off the land. It was an astonishing ride through the mountains as she shared her amazing life journey with me. I just knew I was in the presence of someone very special.

When we arrived at the Congress I couldn’t believe how charged that land was. It reached out to me, and held me close. The presenters were amazing. I can’t describe how beautiful it was to be surrounded by those who loved fairies as much as I. While I was there I saw squirrels and deer, took part in sacred ceremonies, danced, laughed and meditated and felt fully alive.

When it was time to come home I ended up giving my young friend a lift, and a wonderful shaman, who’d been brought up in the Jewish faith. She was a bit like a spiritual Bette Midler. We laughed so much on the journey back to San Francisco the miles just melted away. We even paused for a wonderful lunch at a whole foods café – somewhere I’d never found on my own. The whole experience was perfect.

Less than a month later I was diagnosed with cancerous cells, and had another journey to attend to, but the miracle was that the universe had already prepared a good space for me. After being at the Congress, though I didn’t know the outcome, I knew all would be well, and in spite of emergency surgery and a few additional hurdles it was.

What that journey taught me is to be braver, to dare to step beyond what I think I’m capable of. There’s so much beauty and truth and wisdom awaiting us, when we do. Thanks to the fairies too for this powerful lesson.

Maggie Hamilton, author of Coming Home, Magic of the Moment, and A Soft Place To Land, and many