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Lessons with the Fae of Northern Ireland: Part 1

I started writing this entry from a beautiful B&B about 40 minutes outside of Belfast, where I was on day 7 of my 17-day trip to Northern Ireland. I am picking it back up again after returning home and laughing out loud at how I started this entry. I will include it here for funsies, as you can literally feel the surface level of it.

This trip is a true spiritual pilgrimage of Medicine and Magic to the land of my ancestors that has been asking to come through for almost five years now. It is a journey I am taking alone and which has been filled with a great deal of Ceremony already! As such, these first seven days have been loaded with the most beautiful and challenging lessons brought by the Medicine of the Fae.

And that’s when it all went to hell LOL.

Up until the point where I started the blog, I had encountered many minor and frustrating instances of road closure, lack of cell phone service, phones spontaneously dying, and other bizarre metaphorical and literal roadblocks that were generally annoying but palatable. You know that really peculiar fae energy many of us are familiar with — the one where you lose the keys you just had on your counter? Yep, that energy. The experiences were mildly frustrating, but relatively superficial in the depth of impact. This is one of the surface-level rungs of Fae energy.

Alas, I will start with some high notes before diving into the heavy stuff.

In those first few days, I was fortunate to visit the most incredible Irish pub in the small town of Killyleagh called The Dufferin Arms. This is the iconic Irish pub you think of when you think of Ireland, with a group of old men in the dining room who look like they spontaneously broke out in Irish song with fiddles. I cried the first night that I went there because it was just so beautiful to hear and be a part of. On the second night, I was invited to have drinks with people I didn’t know and everything I consumed was paid for by others at the table. They were just delighted to have me there. My heart just squeezes with the joy I feel around this memory. This would never happen to a tourist in the United States.

Also, here is a link to my first Airbnb: I highly recommend it and have loads of recommendations for magical places to visit while you are in the area if you ever feel the call. This area was beautiful “small town Ireland” and I loved everything about the land’s gentle and loving nature.

As I departed for my second Airbnb, it felt bittersweet because the first one was so lovely. But it was also in farm country at the turn of the summer season, so the spiders were EPIC in size and quantity. Haha.

The day I started writing this blog, I was on my second day at my second Airbnb, a bed and breakfast 70 minutes West of my first location. I was invited to pick blackthorn berries with my host, helping her prepare a batch of Sloe Gin. She taught me how to pick the right berries, how to make it in the traditional methods, and how to make multiple other variations so as to not waste the berries after the initial batch was completed. It was a truly delightful day. We walked for several hours around the land and village near her house. She shared so much with me on that adventure. It was also the first day that I opted to not go “do things”, hike, or drive around the countryside. I actually spent the rest of the day working on social media nonsense. This is the aspect of my job I hate the most, so that part surprised me … but I was feeling inspired and energized over it!

Anyway, I went to bed feeling good and content with how the day went. The next day I went for the most magical hike in Tollymore Forest — where I spent hours bumping up against the most tangible window into the Fae and Fae-Adjacent realms that I have ever felt. I have been to the “realm of the Fae”, and work with several people who are quite literally from there, but this experience was next level. When I closed my eyes, without even going into a deep trance or meditation, I felt the bustle of beings around me. Some stopped to observe me if I watched them too closely. There was a lot of market-type exchanging going on around and most were just briskly walking from one place to the next. I even saw beings I had never seen before! It was absolutely wild and crystal clear — with nearly zero veil. For reference, the veil to the “other realms” in most of the US is pretty thick, and so are many cities in Europe.

That brings me to a related topic — in my experience, the Fae and “Fae Realm” is nothing like what people talk about or describe as fairies. I am actually not sure how we got to Tinkerbell or other cute fairy beings, but that is almost like taking the magic and size of a mountain and fitting it into an ant hill. It just doesn’t even compare. There may be beings that resemble “fairies” as we know them, but my experience with Fae is actually a much bigger/deeper/primordial one. The place of the Fae is the only place I would call a “Realm”. It’s not quite the middle world as we describe it in Shamanism, yet it bumps up against it. Also, it is very hard to gain access to this realm it seems. People who aren’t allowed to visit it won’t be able to find it or will be deceived when they try. There is something about the pureness of heart and intention that plays a role in that access. This is not something a person can fake.

So at this point in my trip, I am starting to really feel the essence of what the Fae are here to show me. They are here to teach me a much deeper level of what their Medicine is by giving it directly to me in a superficial way before we go into the deeper stuff. Until this moment, most of my experience with the Fae is what I would describe as working with a soft, pure feminine-like energy. It’s very tender. It’s innocent and joyful, but also easily taken advantage of. I feel that previously this collective energy was “ravaged” or “raped” and that is why it is so deeply hidden now. These places, and these beings, are BEAUTIFUL beyond anything you could imagine. Yet they are not safe in our world at this time.

Side tangent: I once sat in Ceremony with a woman who is now a co-facilitator in some of my groups. During that initial Ceremony, it was revealed to me that she was some type of royalty in the Fae Realm. I wept for roughly four hours simply from how beautiful she was to see. That was my initiation into the Realm, almost three years ago.

This Medicine of the Fae, more than any other energy I have encountered here on earth, is here to keep you on the Path of The Heart.

If you allow yourself to listen, this energy is often very clear in saying “Don’t go this way, turn around and re-orient yourself to your heart”. Fae Medicine is about tuning into your heart most deeply, following it, and listening when it tells you which direction to go. It’s about honoring your feelings in each micro-moment of existence to ensure that you are acting from your core truth. Your God Self. It’s telling you when it’s time to pause and check in — for something has changed.

This voice, unlike many of the others, is a quiet one. It is a mere whisper amongst the wind in comparison to other energies. When we don’t learn to listen, this is a Medicine we miss entirely. This is such an important thing to take in.

As I may have mentioned previously, I don’t travel for pleasure, per se. I travel when I get the call and it is always for some type of training, initiation, healing, or other wisdom I am supposed to bring back to the people who work with me in my community. My travel adventures, while they are enjoyable in some ways, are typically filled with the same level of intensity as an Ayahuasca Ceremony for the majority of my trip. And this one was no different.

Back to my Airbnb.

So I had this incredible experience at Tollymoore Forest and through the Mourne mountains. There was lots of cathartic grief-related crying as I drove through and I received many downloads about how my work with clients will be changing, what kind of Ceremonies I need to call in next, etc. It was a big day. Then I came back to the Airbnb around 5 p.m. I was entirely too tired to go out for dinner and resolved to eat some cheese and crackers I had tucked away for just such an occasion. I went into the kitchen to get my cheese from the fridge, and the husband of the husband/wife B&B duo started losing his shit in my general direction. I could not tell if he was venting to me or if he was sharing his frustration with my presence in his home in a passive-aggressive sort of way. In a very loud manner, and with the peppering of cuss words, he expressed his displeasure with people in his house. He complained about people who stayed there during the day because “you are only supposed to be here to sleep and eat breakfast — the rest of the day, this house is mine and no one should be here”. He went off about people who bring food back to eat there, that they should eat in their car, they shouldn’t eat in the house. That his wife was too nice and let people do things they shouldn’t. About not using the fridge because it is not included. About sitting in his backyard, using his electricity and water. I mean, this guy went off for like a solid 40 minutes and occasionally said “It’s fine for you, you are a woman traveling alone, I understand why you wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant by yourself” as I sat there with my uneaten plate of cheese and bottle of wine trying not to cry.

Moreover, this was my first time in a B&B, so I was unsure of the etiquette but assumed the spaces used for guests only (such as the dining room used exclusively for guests) were okay to use during the day as a writing desk. I also assumed they would tell me if it was not ok.

I was GUTTED after this interaction. I felt like the way a small child looks when the mother yells and the kid has no idea what they did wrong. They simply aren’t aware. Their eyes get big, they look frozen or vacant, and they are just knotted up inside trying to figure out how they stepped on the minefield that is exploding around them.

Wow, I think I just made a very important childhood connection as I reread that paragraph above.

I spent the next four hours sobbing in my room. I felt so unwanted and unwelcomed, like I had done something very wrong to bring that on myself. I started crying because of this man, but after they began to flow, the tears started to come from somewhere else entirely. These dense emotions started to flow from such a deep space in my heart, far beyond my recent interaction. It was connected to feeling unwanted and unloved by my parents. It was connected to me feeling unwanted in my marriage for 13 years. Connected to every relationship I had ever been in, because each one was unknowingly chosen by me to specifically trigger this exact feeling. My heart just tore open and poured all over the f*cking place.

This is the Medicine of the Fae.

The reason for my trip to Ireland started to come to the surface a bit that night .. I was being shown how to more deeply clear out the wounds that lay in the heart. The wounds that prevent me from taking down my walls and allowing others in, but also prevent me from allowing myself to be in this tender space more completely.

This is the wounding that prevents me from seeing with my heart.

The next day, as I traveled on to the final Airbnb where I would be for 6 days, I felt completely stripped of what I had been carrying. But also like I had a big gaping wound that needed to be stitched and salved. Unbeknownst to me when I booked it, my last Airbnb was one of complete solitude. It was in the middle of nowhere on the far West side of NI, smack in the center of acreage of sheep, and built over a roaring creek! I literally got to be cleansed every night by the energy of water flowing beneath me and I couldn’t believe how magical that was.

It also provided me the space to feel how completely alone I feel in my life and in my relationship. Of how strongly I long for a partner who I can share my heart with fully and completely. I discovered that I had never had that because of this wounding, which prevented me from letting it in. That prevented my heart from exploding with love, both with love to give and love to receive.

Every night at this airbnb was spent wailing in loneliness. Feeling that longing for connection deep in my bones. It was so painful, and yet so necessary.

This is the way of Medicine Work.

On the final two days of any trip that I take, I stay in a hotel so that I can soak up the energy of someone else taking care of me while I prepare to return home from the intensity that is my travel experience. I know that returning home means I am back on deck with my kids, my house, my pets and my clients. There is little space for Nadia to be cared for by someone else.

For my final nights, I chose to stay in Dublin. It wasn’t my favorite city, but I am glad I got to see it.

Side note: when I prep for my travel, I let my intuition tell me which place to stay in and for how long, for it is important that I don’t try to control any aspect of the Medicine Journey that is my travel experience. I am called to a place for a reason and it is my job to listen, not to control it. I was guided to a spot that I normally would not choose ( and resigned to stay my last two nights there. It was cozy and cute, conveniently located, but also more expensive than what I wanted. However, on my last night, the reason for my stay there made itself clear.

I woke up on Thursday morning at 4 a.m. to the sound of a woman sobbing next to me. She was moving through such intense grief and she appeared so clearly to me in those moments. I felt her connected to my own heart pain and felt grateful that I was allowed to witness her in this space. She dissolved and I got up to begin getting ready for my flight. I do typically see spirits, but mostly just when Psychopomp work is in order (when people need help crossing over). I generally don’t experience”ghosts” or energetic imprints this intense unless I go looking for something that needs to be cleared shamanically. The truth is, it was so real that I wondered if it was a part of myself that was returning after I did all that healing work throughout the trip.

Upon checkout, I hesitantly told the hotel manager about my experience and asked if other guests had similar experiences. He asked me to repeat myself multiple times and seemed to be a bit startled by my story. I also asked about the history of the building. He became pale and said he had never heard of anything like that, only one guest said they saw an apparition in the courtyard several years ago. A woman in white. After he took a moment to digest our conversation, he shared that the hotel used to be a “Home for Bewildered Women” or a home for women who were unmarried and in the last phase of their life. Women who would die alone, who were unwanted by society, men, or their families.

Damn. That felt like a punch right to my tender wee heart. You can’t make this shit up.

Then the manager went on to say that he always believed in these things, but that every time he shared his beliefs with others, people treated him like he was crazy, so he stopped sharing them. He was so grateful that I spoke up about my experience and let him know that he wasn’t alone and wasn’t crazy. He had so many questions and excitement about the work that I do and I felt unbelievably blessed to validate such a profound thing for him. He then began telling me about all the experiences he had but was never able to share with others. It was a beautiful exchange and farewell for me.

In my work, this experience brings such a clear message. Because of the work I did on my own wound of feeling unwanted and unloved, I was invited to witness and hold space for this person who held so much of that in a lifetime lived over a century ago. That energy was still there in that hotel, still being held and anchored to this spirit, and it probably prevented her from crossing over. And in healing work, you can rarely hold a container for something you haven’t gone through for yourself — which is why the shamanic path can be quite agonizing. It often feels like a near-constant experience of pain, depth, and death.

Since arriving home and allowing the integration process to continue, the messages continue to unfold. And man they are big.

I chose the relationship I have because I needed to validate my inner child’s feelings of being unwanted and unloved. I chose someone who wasn’t emotionally available so they could be Medicine to my wounding, digging it up on a daily basis for me to look at and heal. I have been stuck in an endless loop of being a victim of an emotionally neglectful marriage, much like my emotionally neglectful childhood. I also likely treated my partner unfairly because he wasn’t what I wanted him to be (or what my inner child “needed” him to be). And in turn was not able to appreciate him for what he is.

Under my wounding was the gift of “Seeing with the Heart”. For when you see with the heart, you see what is actually there. You don’t see what you think should be there or what you need/want to be there.

The core of this is that nothing can be truly loved as long as you can’t see it for what it really is. Otherwise, you are seeing it through a filter. And nothing can be called into the light until it is fully witnessed and accepted in its true form.

And there you have it, this is the Medicine of the Fae — they are Keepers of the Heart Medicine.

I have many other things that I would like to share about this trip that were insanely wild and magical, but I will do so in Part 2.

Stay tuned.

Three of Swords, Sacred Heart Medicine, Shamanism
Three of Swords by Jen Kruch

Three of Swords by Jen Kruch

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