Faery Favours


"Fairy favours" was what the book called them ~ but there was no
further explanation. Faery favours would be it more properly ~ but
still ~ what was it supposed to mean? I've searched and searched,
and haven't been satisfied with what I've found, so I've come here.

Perhaps someone knows ~ or maybe everyone agrees differently...
but if you might please be so kind, what should one say these be?



Fulgour said:
"Fairy favours" was what the book called them ~ but there was no further explanation. Faery favours would be it more properly ~ but still ~ what was it supposed to mean?
Greetings Fulgour~! Wonderful to have you join us in the Faery Forum!

Hmmm... now before I can answer, first what was the book? Was it a book on faery, or just a book of superstitions...? The viewpoint of the author would be helpful in deciphering the phrase itself, "Faery favors."

Now, on to the general... brownies are well known faery helpers, they like to help out. They often help around the house if you leave something for them (a treat, a sweet, even something they can "use"). Brownies do house chores, but I don't have any of those types in my house, that I know of! Things do NOT seem to magically get done by themselves around here....

I wish!


The reference to "Fairy Favours" was found in a small volume,
mostly containing scraps of opinion gleaned from other books.

I found it of interest because it was an early Tarot publication,
though again the bulk of the text came from older translations.

CUPS Seven

"Strange chalices of vision, but the images are more especially
those of the fantastic spirit.
Divinatory Meanings: Fairy favours,
images of reflection, sentiment, imagination, things seen in the
glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees, but
nothing permanent or substantial is suggested."


faery favours

That makes me think of something like "faery visions" or "faery led". The imgination playing, playing pretend, or at least when your imagination is at play, and you "play" back with it, known as "faery play". being faery led, is something similar, letting your subconcious mind lead you, when you just start driving, and then at some magical moment, you "wake" up and think "what am I doing, I needed to turn left to get home, not right". I call this being lead by the faeries.

In reference to the 7 of cups, 7 of cups is a card of dreams and visions. In older times (and please, someone, by all means correct me if I'm wrong), people thought that if you "saw" things, visions, clairovoyant dreams, or if you were a "shaman" and got powerful medicinial herbs from the surrounding woods, you were in cohoots with faeries. Faeries were believed to drive people mad, or insane. The old saying of "never step into a faery ring, because if they take you from our world, and into theirs, if you return, you'll be mad!". They believed faeries to be some kind of "evil", but they weren't always evil. So having a "fairy favour", being that a faery favours you, and will "protect" you, perhaps that fairy will be helping you to see visions, give you dreams, and help guide you in some way. Perhaps this could be a permanent guide, or perhaps it's only temporary! Regardless, being in a faery, or faeries favour; they like you and are looking to help you. But be forwarned that their way of "helping" isn't always exactly how we (as humans) view being helped, necessarily...although, some do help in that way, well, anyways, they can help us in many different ways, lets just leave it at that. :)

I wanted to add that, 7 of cups is a cup of dreams, of hope. It's like someone taking everything you are wishing for and laying it all before you. Some people get "lost" in their dreams and hopes. They are blinded by them. In reference to how the faeries were once believed to play with our minds and making us see things that aren't really there, or hear voices that didn't exist (beautiful naked women frolicking in the woods, wood nymphs, that would sing and supposedly lure a man by himself into the woods and to his death). Being caught up in your dreams, what you want it to be, vs what reality is could be a way of being "faery led (blinded more like it)", or perhaps what the author meant by "fairy favours". But these would be awful awful tricksters to do such things, then again, maybe there's a lesson to be learned in all of it.

Hope this helps!



Good points, sagi. It reminds me of the phrase that Tolkien uses when describing King Denethor (hope I'm remembering my names rightly). Denethor, in a fit of pique, decides to up and kill himself, and his son, whom he believes is already dead.

Pippin finds Gandalf and tells him, "A fey mood has struck him...." Which, I admit, I take offense to... being a Faery friend. But, the reference is of course more to sagi's point... that when we are led in illogical and strange conclusions, it may be the Fey effect. In combination with the Tarot 7 of cups, I am reminded again of Denethor... be careful what you wish for. You will surely receive it. Choose wisely.

Edited to add: I had a really strong secondary impression after posting, so I came back to add it here. "Fairy favors"... this phrase implies good deeds or gifts brought by the Fae. However, anyone who's ever lived with these creatures can attest to the fact that a faery's idea of "the perfect gift" and our own may not match in the least!

Faery favors may leave you some moldy toadstools, a few crushed red rose petals and a raven's feather. To put this into divinatory meanings, you may be receiving gifts that you don't really want, or don't know how to properly use; the gifts you receive, you may regret somehow later.


I have been thinking that it was Pamela Colman Smith
who may have first used the expression "faery favours"
to describe her new illustration for the 7 of CUPS card.

She told of how she originally saw mythical beings and
elemental spirits in Ireland, which she first visited 1899.

In 1908 she wrote, "There are dwellers, too, of the green
plain, who sit and brood, made of stone and motionless;
the trees, which slumber till some elf goes by with magic
spear and wakes the green to life; towers, white and tall,
standing against the darkening sky." (Kaplan III, pg. 11)


Definitely sounds like faery!

I was blinded to see that faeries meant many different types of beings. Not just little people with wings who looked like or similar to the ever popular Disney faery "Tinkerbell" (nickname: Tinker B.) Suffice to say...ahem...that I realized after getting this wonderful deck (By Brian Froud) that faery includes elves, halflings, gnomes, brownies and many other types of "small" people. After living with faeries in my home for as long as I have, I've come to know that most faeries are playful, witty, and some will help you, some will "stop" you, or trip you. Most of what they do will be to "help" you in some way, but their way of "helping" may not always be your idea of "help". Really, it's up to them to do what they want to do to us, and it's up to you on how you want to interpret what has happend.

I'm extremely busy with my 3 young children (all at home). There is no ending to the laundry and the dishes, not to mention the constant clutter and toys that always need to be picked up (sometimes i wish i could just chuck it all in the garbage and be done, but that would break my children's hearts too much, so I put up with it). Anyways, one day, I had just finished picking up the living room, so there were no toys or clothes, or baskets, or anything else in the way. Someone knocked on my door and I was just finishing up cleaning the dinner dishes. I quickly dried my hands and made a dash to the door. It literally felt like my foot caught on something, my ankle made a loud "POP" noise and I fell into the couch with the rest of my body. It hurt to stand, but I limped over to the door and opened it up, and let my friends in. The next day, I went down and had it looked at as I couldn't get up without it hurting, and I wanted to make sure I didn't break it. Found out that it was a spranged ankle, and that I should stay off my feet for the next 2 weeks as much as possible keeping it wrapped in an ace bandage. Well, I was asking for some assistance with the kids and a break from all of it...I decided it was a faery who tripped me, so this would all happen. Sure enough family and friends came over to help out, make dinners, help with the kids, get them bathed, etc while I relaxed on the couch. Not exactly the idea I had in mind when I wanted a "break" (I didn't mean to literally break my ankle, and so it didn't, but darn it, it felt as though I had) and to "relax" (although I was in some pain at least for the first few days) and have someone else take care of the kids (this certainly happend, it was either someone else do this, or I'd drop them, there was no way I could lift a 25lb baby up and down, in and out of his crib).

Just thought I would share a personal story on how the fae "helped" me out once upon a time...lol. Bless them, how I love them so!



Here's another idea about the term "fairy favors"...

from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream... Act II, Scene 1

The Fairies speech to Puck...

"And I serve the Fairy Queen,
to dew her orbs upon the Green:
The cowslips tall, her pentioner's be:
In their gold coats spots you see.
Those be rubies, fairy favors,
In those freckles live their savours."

Faeries have been known to turn ordinary objects...autumn leaves, stones, flowers or sticks...into gold coins, and precious gems.
These gifts were only illusionary however, and would disappear...reverting back to their true origins in the first rays of sunlight.

so...one must spend a fairy favor quickly...before it shows itself to be worthless!


VII CUPS : The Pamela Colman Smith Tarot

I can remember when I was working on my keywords for
all the cards ~ and I had to keep coming back to this one.
Rather than use something out of a book, I wanted to make
my own, something personal that resonated from within me.

Well, finally one day I had to actually "snap out of it" while
looking at this card and using free associations for meanings.
It took me into a very deep place, far from the universal key
I was seeking. My feeling was, this card challenges honesty.
It's as if none of the Cups is really about what we're seeing.

I ended up writing "Secret Desires" in my notebook.