Recently a client asked me “Who are the little people?”

If you’re not familiar with the folklore, there are stories from around the world of little beings, often less than a foot tall, with the ability to disappear into thin air. They’re known as fairies or elves in the northern European traditions, or the pukwudgie from the indigenous lore of eastern North America, just to give a couple of examples.

And don’t go thinking Tinkerbell from Disney. Oh no. These little people are known for being mischievous tricksters. But hey, who can fault them for having a good sense of humour? In some stories they’re also helpful (leading lost travelers to safety), and other times being downright dangerous if they’ve been offended.

I’ll admit I’ve got a personal interest in this topic. When I was very young, apparently I would talk about a little person who would come into my bedroom at night and talk with me. None of which I remember now. Dagnabbit!

So, here’s what I found out…

Intention set to find out whatever I could about the little people, I closed my eyes and settled into non-ordinary reality.

And found myself leaning out over the edge of a cliff! While standing in the middle of a waterfall!

“Woah!” I cried out, cartwheeling my arms backwards, trying to get my balance. And then I felt a firm tug on my red coat, steadying me. Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked over my shoulder to see my spirit guide the Magician standing behind me, his hand firmly grasping my collar.

“Oh, hi,” I said as I turned back to towards the lush green valley ahead of us, leaning out again for a better look. “Beautiful view!”

“Will you stop screwing around,” he replied gruffly, in full Gandalf-mode. And with another tug he pulled me back from the precipice (I can’t help but feel there’s a deeper metaphor I’m missing here – leave a comment if you’ve got any thoughts), spinning me around to face him.

We stood there, facing each other, stream raging around our feet before crashing over the side of the cliff. And, for all his gruffness, I could tell the Magician was trying to suppress a grin behind his bushy beard. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my spirit guides subtly encourage my sillier, child-like qualities. 😊

“I’ve been asked to learn more about the little people,” I explained to him.

“You know they don’t like to be disturbed, right?” he replied, giving me a pointed stare.

“Well, what can we learn without disturbing them?” I asked, undeterred. To which the Magician just rolled his eyes and said, “Follow me.”

He turned, leading me out of the stream, up a grassy slope to a dirt trail. That went straight up the side of a mountain. Figures. As we trudged along, it got steeper and steeper until we were climbing a vertical rockface. As we neared the top, the Magician launched himself up into the air with a push of his arms, landing on the peak of the mountain. He’s spry for an old guy of 13 billion.

Not wanting to be shown up like that, I launched myself upwards, cresting the top of the mountain…

…which I’d badly misjudged. I overshot the very narrow peak and started careening down the steep slope on the other side!

Maybe age and experience have some advantages over the impetuousness of youth. Possibly.

“Don’t worry, you’ll find what you’re looking for down there,” I heard the Magician holler behind me as I slid faster and faster down the mountain, heading straight for a small lake in a little green valley below. “At least that should make for a soft landing…” I started to say. When my foot hit a stone, flipping me in the air. Slamming me face-first into the shallow water.

You may have noticed a recurring theme in my journeys about not taking myself too seriously.

“Hello there,” I heard a soft feminine voice say from ahead of me.

Propping myself up on my forearms, trying not to splutter, I looked up and saw a quintessential fairy sitting on a rock in the water ahead of me. She was about 3 inches tall, with wings and a faint golden glow surrounding her.

I’ve encountered beings that look like fairies a couple of times before in my journeys. But with all the other mythological things I’ve seen, I’ve never stopped to check if they were literally the fairies from folklore, or spirit beings just taking on that appearance. Here was my chance to find out.

“Hi,” I replied, settling myself into a lotus position in the water. I mean, my dignity had already fled the building. “You actually are one of the little people then?”

“I’m one of their emissaries, yes,” she said as she rose into the air on her fluttering wings.

“Thank you for seeing me…” and then I remembered another tidbit of European folklore – that the little people are supposedly offended by the words ‘thank you.’ I sat still as the fairy flew over to me, hovering a few inches from my face. “Ummm, sorry if I used the wrong words there…”

She smiled indulgently at me as she began to circle around the left side of my head, evidently inspecting me.

“Oh, don’t worry,” I heard her say from behind me, “we’re not really offended by that.” She came into view again to my right, head resting thoughtfully on her fist as she tried to decide what to make of me. “But it’s good that you’re polite.”

On instinct, I raised my right hand level with my head, palm facing down. With a smile of delight, the little fairy sat down gently on my outstretched fingers. “Oh, that’s even better! Now, what can I do for you?”

I explained to her that I’d been asked to learn more about the little people. Whether they really existed for one, and if so, who/what they were.

In response, the fairy gracefully rose into the air and beckoned for me to follow her. We walked a little way into the increasingly narrow valley, coming to another small waterfall at the far end of the shallow lake. Despite being covered in shadows, this end of the lake felt very inviting.

As we walked deeper into the shadows, I started to make out thin, glowing golden lines. They formed a web filling the valley. And each line connected pairs of glowing nodes – the nodes themselves being centred on different objects in the valley. Trees, rocks, the waterfall itself. Even to me!

“This is beautiful! What am I seeing?” I asked, staring in awe at the glowing three-dimensional web.

“The nodes represent the consciousness at the heart of ever manifest being,” the fairy told me as she hovered beside my head.

“And we,” she continued, pointing at herself, “are the lines.”

Okay, that was unexpected. I love the unexpected!

She explained to me that the little people are the energy lines connecting every discrete being in reality. They’re the flow of energy between everything. What’s more, they themselves are conscious beings, albeit quite different from our form of consciousness. Our human minds sometimes interpret them as little humanoid people – like all spirit encounters their appearance is a subconscious agreement between the spirit’s intention and the imagination of the person ‘seeing’ them.

Having learned this, I asked how we should interact with them.

“For the most part, please don’t disturb us,” she said earnestly. I was left with the sense that actively trying to interact with them can disrupt their essence, especially if it’s not done carefully.

“Who we are and how we behave depends very much on all of you.” And I knew she was specifically referring to humans.

“If you’re warlike, we will be warlike,” she said with a fierce look on her face. But she followed up immediately with “If you’re peaceful, we will be peaceful too.” And I was pleased to see her face take on a more relaxed, friendly look again.

“It’s who we are,” she continued. “We’re connected to all of you. We are a reflection of the energy you put into the world.”

I knew that in some folklore it was appropriate to leave gifts for the little people, so I asked if that was a way to support them. And if so, how to go about it without disturbing them.

The fairy explained that physical gifts themselves weren’t important. But the heartfelt energy associated with leaving the gifts could make a big difference to them. Anything that is offered with friendly, loving intent to the little people will infuse them with positive energy. Nothing physical is required, so something like a Love and Kindness meditation directed to them would be a powerful gesture. One that would imbue the entire surrounding area with positive energy, seeing as how they are the energetic connection between us all.

“I appreciate you sharing all of this with me,” I said while giving her a quick bow of respect.

She smiled back at me and said with a wink, “Thank you for listening.”

And then with a snap of her fingers, a trap door opened up under me, sucking me down with a bunch of the lake water. I may have let out a “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me!” before getting trapped in the ensuing whirlpool.

Which is when I landed in a sauna. Yeah, a wooden sauna. With the Magician sitting across from me wearing swim trunks, sandals, and sunglasses.

“Get what you need,” he asked?

“Yeah, and then some,” I replied while shaking my arms to try and get some of the water out of my coat.

“Great, now sit back, relax, and let the sauna dry you out,” he said, leaning back to soak up some of the healing warmth. And role-modeling that peacefulness the fairy had just told me about. That’s spirit guides for you.

There you have it! For those in doubt, or who hadn’t heard of them before, the little people do indeed exist.

And I think this journey is a good reminder for all of us, myself included, to keep in mind the impact of our thoughts and feelings. On ourselves, our friends and family, and the (conscious) energies that bind us all together. 😊

Until next time,

Eric, your shamanic guide… into the unknown.