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A man alone in a faerie realm.

Mysterious Worlds: Travels to the Faerie and Shamanic Realms

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There are many accounts of a land of immortality and eternal youth in world myths and legends, as well as shamanic and indigenous spiritual traditions.

Mysterious Worlds

Writing in his recent work, Sky Shamans of Mongolia, Kevin Turner tells us that the three worlds or realms of the Mongolian Darkhad shaman don’t consist of a traditional upper, middle, and lower world but are instead overlapping dimensional realities, more in line with a holographic outlook. These places are populated by deities, spirits, and ancestors. In Irish lore it is the land of Tir na Nog where a race of supernatural beings is said to reside, although this otherworld adapts itself to incorporate the afterlife, the Summerland of Wicca, as well as shamanic realms according to other interpretations.

Often these dimensions are seen to be accessed across an ocean, leading many to associate Tir na Nog with the mythical island of Hy-Brasil, an island that was said to rise from the sea every seven years and which was populated by a race of advanced antediluvian beings.

Hy Brasil island was believed to appear and disappear.

Hy Brasil island was believed to appear and disappear. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

However, the realm of faeries (fairies) or the crypto-terrestrial is more often encountered through places considered sacred or having an alignment of some kind in relation to auspicious days in the yearly cycle, such as solstices, equinoxes, and new moons. In many legends passed down from oral traditions the liminal moments at dusk, between sunset and moonrise, are when the ethereal forms of these beings are best seen.

Trapped in the Magical Realm of the Faeries

Perhaps one of the most famous anecdotes relating to this is that of the Rev Robert Kirk who was a Scottish scholar and clergyman. His book The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies was published in 1691 and collected many instances of encounters with these elemental creatures and what a person could do to either avoid or come in contact with them.

Rev Kirk wrote of the fairy realm.

Rev Kirk wrote of the fairy realm. (Public Domain)

At this time the Inquisition was still in full force across Europe so Kirk’s interest in what some saw as demonic entities put him at odds with many of his religious colleagues. Some, in fact, speculated that Kirk himself might be a changeling sent by the devil in order to corrupt the faith of his parishioners and to lead them back to ancient pagan ways. Kirk was also a seventh son, which lent him an aura of the otherworldly , as this was a particular sign of association with second sight and affiliation with the fairy folk.

One summer evening, Kirk, while out walking, collapsed and died upon a fairy hill. Or so it seemed.

In the days following his funeral, a cousin of Kirk’s had a strange dream in which the reverend pleaded with him to rescue him from fairyland. Kirk told his cousin in the dream that he was not dead at all but was in a magical swoon caused by his supernatural captors.

Kirk had promised his cousin that he would be able to appear for just one moment at the baptism of his child and when this occurred his cousin was to throw a ceremonial knife over his apparition. This would have the effect of releasing Kirk from the faeries’ spell.

At the baptism it is said that when Reverend Kirk appeared his cousin was so shocked that he forgot the instructions about the knife and Kirk then vanished, doomed to live in fairyland for eternity.

Fairyland has Altered Time and Space

This concept of eternity and that time can run faster or slower in these realms has been part of faerie myth for thousands of years. The Japanese legend of Urashima Taro is a good example. In this story a fisherman visits the supernatural undersea kingdom of Ryugu-jo and discovers that the three days he spent there had been 300 years in his homeland.

The season of autumn in the kingdom under the sea; The fisherman Urashima Taro, is transported to undersea kingdom of Ryugu-jo.

The season of autumn in the kingdom under the sea; The fisherman Urashima Taro, is transported to undersea kingdom of Ryugu-jo. (Bodleian Libraries/CC BY 4.0)

Ryugu-jo has some specific architectural symbolism relating to the earth’s cycle in that each side of the kingdom was said to be a different season. Perhaps we are seeing an association with the solstices and equinoxes once again, which in themselves have a history of being doorways for the legendary beings like the faeries and various elementals to appear through.

The Winter side of the palace, with a light snow on the garden.

The Winter side of the palace, with a light snow on the garden. (CC BY 4.0)

The elves and fairies of Scotland and Ireland, for example, would use certain magical doorways or stone circles in which to appear depending upon the time of the year. Each magical doorway was associated with a particular season.

There is a potential connection to the Heb Sed shamanic rituals of ancient Egypt in this context as each ceremonial area would be used once then a new structure would be constructed for the following festival.

Detail from an ebony label of the First Dynasty Pharaoh Den, depicting him running around the ritual boundary markers as part of the Heb Sed festival.

Detail from an ebony label of the First Dynasty Pharaoh Den, depicting him running around the ritual boundary markers as part of the Heb Sed festival. (CC BY 2.5)

The communication with ‘star gods,’ along with offerings in return for wisdom also has parallels to folkloric interactions with the Sidhe (Irish and Scottish fairy folk) or energetic forms of various cultures. Sometimes, a ritual site would have to be left for a time in order to allow its energy to replenish and so the gods could be reached again in further ceremonies.

Another interesting connection is how the Pharaoh would be considered dead but still living during this ritual; the priests would consider him outside of time and having traveled to the Duat, the immaterial realm of spirit.

The Dreamtime and the Faerie Realm

The term ‘time outside of time’ is also one of the popular translations of the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime. Specifically, this description is better understood as ‘eternal, uncreated’ and refers to a dimension where all mythical heroes and ancestors exist and have always existed. Although there are many regional differences, all of the connotations relate to an immaterial, timeless place outside of the physical world.

Stencil art in Australia showing unique clan markers and dreamtime stories symbolizing attempts to catch the deceased's spirit.

Stencil art in Australia showing unique clan markers and dreamtime stories symbolizing attempts to catch the deceased's spirit. (Public Domain)

Indeed, there are mythical faerie-like mediators in Aboriginal lore called the Mimi who are said to have taught the first Aboriginal tribes many skills. The Mimi were said to be so thin that a strong wind might break them and they could be contacted by approaching sacred stones or mountains in the correct manner. These places were doorways to an immaterial dimension that existed outside of the human world.

Aboriginal rock painting of Mimi spirits in the Anbangbang gallery at Nourlangie Rock.

Aboriginal rock painting of Mimi spirits in the Anbangbang gallery at Nourlangie Rock. (©2002 Dustin M. Ramsey (Kralizec!) /CC BY-SA 2.5)

Often the Mimi would play tricks on humans if they or their magic places were not respected. There was a type of shamanistic process for contacting the Mimi properly and this was usually carried out by ‘Men of High Degree’ who were the shaman of the aboriginal tribes.

In his ground-breaking work, Aboriginal Men of High Degree , A.P. Elkin describes these men as supernormal, usually super-sensory, and are derived from two sources: first, the cult-heroes of the craft-sky and totemic heroes, spirits and ghosts, who may be all the one; second, the long line and hierarchy or order of medicine men, which leads back to the same heroes of the dreamtime.”

However, the role of women in mediating with the Mimi was also extremely important. There were certain tasks and requests that could only be asked by a woman and where the context of ‘high degree’ was outranked. Writing in Wise Women of the Dreamtime Johanna Lambert explains, “That which is subtle, ambiguous, interconnected, intangible and beyond reason or logic emerges from the realm of the Universal Feminine and is the basis of what has been called “magic or “the occult”.

The Magic Arrow

The Mimi, like fairies and elementals in all other cultures, were unpredictable and could punish a human as often as rewarding them. They were thought to steal food, trip up unsuspecting travelers, and even shoot magic darts—which is a tantalizing connection to many shamanistic practices.

The magical arrow is also associated with Abaris the Hyperborean, a figure said to have emerged from a mythical land “beyond the north wind”. Abaris was said to be able to commune with spirits, heal the sick, and travel through the air on a magic arrow.

Other connections to Apollo and Pythagoras hint at the shamanistic journeying technique of incubation, best recently described by Peter Kingsley in his work, In the Dark Places of Wisdom.

When we look past the particular cultural interpretations, which change depending upon religious systems and societal developments, what we find beneath the many different faerie and shamanistic encounters are strong hints of a universal otherworldly experience. And although we find many accounts of strange lands with the help of faeries and spirits, it’s worth remembering that sometimes it is also at their insistence!

Top Image: A man with torch standing alone in a faerie realm. Source: grandfailure /Adobe

By David Halpin


Kevin Turner. ‘Sky Shamans of Mongolia’. Published by North Atlantic Books (April 12, 2016) P.71.

Hayao Kawaii. ‘Dreams, Myths and Fairy Tales in Japan’. Published by Daimon Verlag (Jan. 1 1995). p. 107.

A.P. Elkin. ‘Aboriginal Men of High Degree: Initiation and Sorcery in the World's Oldest Tradition’. Published by Inner Traditions; Original ed. edition (Nov. 1 1993). p 38.

K. Langloh Parker/ By Johanna Lambert, ed. ‘Wise Women of the Dreamtime: Aboriginal Tales of the Ancestral Powers’ Published by Park Street Press; Original ed. edition (July 1 1993). P. 89.



Brent McClung's picture

I seriously traveled to the fairy realm out of body

Brent Mcclung

Brent McClung's picture

Thank you for all this information, I traveled out of body to the fairy realm they didn't seem to happy to see me. I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I return so thank you again.

Brent Mcclung

Melissa Thompson Woods's picture

First let me say that the ads are essential and most are quite hilarious to explore. I don't mind them. Secondly, your website is one of the most extensive wealth of knowledge sites I have encountered. As someone who possesses many abilities I can share with you my first hand knowledge of the fae and other ethereal beings. I even have an unaltered photo of an air fae that I commune with. The fae realms are actually divided and ruled by 7 queens not 4. Each realm and queen/king, (all kings there are overlooked as they have have no magical power because this is a female ruled realm of existence), have a set of tests you must pass in order to gain their trust and be deemed worthy. They provide you with a spirit animal guide to complete these tasks. If you fail, you are given a reconsideration trial in front of the queen of the realm you are seeking entrance into, if you are sincere about communing with them. The tasks can not be shared with anyone as they detest cheaters,liars,and anyone who is an alcoholic or current drug addict. If you share any information about what tests you were given, they will cut you off forever. However there is one exception. You are able to ask and share information only with 1 blood relative who is your fae mentor. Example is an older blood relative who is also part fae that is mentoring you in your spiritual life path.
Never say thank you to the fae as it is an insult to them!! Do not give them chocolate or alcohol at all as they can not process the essence of them.
Time is different in each realm than that of the earthly plane. Time in some runs many years slower than ours or completely stops all together depending on the realm you are in.
Just like humans there are good and bad fae. So be careful what you doing if you are seeking their guidance or help. The fae are extremely high vibrationally beings so if you are not on a level that is comparable to that don't even try and commune with them. Their magic exceeds most other ethereal beings so be careful with what you are asking them for. It's a give and take system. Their help is not free. You have to give them something of equal value. They take every promise and word you say literally. So word what you want in an exact selfless manner. They despise greedy humans as well. Do not go searching for them as you will not find them. They find you! They are an extremely complex ethereal race to keep up with. But they have bestowed me with so many blessings I am honored. They despise merfolk. Yes all of them hold grudges just like we do. I am forbidden to discuss the why and what happened between the 2 types of ethereal races but I am just sharing what they tell me is important for all humans to know.
I also commune with the merfolk as I am part of them by blood as well. Since this thread is not about them I can post what I know seperate on that thread.
** If there is any questions you have of me, feel free to contact me. I will answer what I can to help you better understand or to write and update some of the articles on your site.** This last comment is only for the admins or owner of this website.

"In the Chinese Liao chai chin ye (A.D. 60-70), it is recorded that two friends wandering among the mountains culling simples, find at a fairy bridge two lovely maidens guarding it; at their invitation, the two friends cross this “azure bridge’ and are regaled with Huma (Hemp—the Chinese Hashish) ; forthwith they fall deeply in love with their hostesses, and spend with them in the Jasper City what appears to them a few blissfull days: at length, becoming homesick, they return, to find that seven generations have passed, and that they have become centenarians.” (Folkard, 1884)

ancient-origins's picture

Hi Mary. We don’t have this just for the ads However if you become a member of our premium site ( amongst all the Premium site benefits you will also get the main site ads free!


David Halpin's picture


David Halpin is a writer from Carlow, Ireland. He compiles local folklore and documents alignments between ancient monuments near his home in Ireland, and is a regular contributor to Ancient Origins and various Fortean and occult websites. Join him for... Read More

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