I adore Brian Froud's The Faerie Oracle and The Heart of Faerie Oracle. I use them to help keep me on the right path as far as my spiritual development goes. The last couple of weeks, I have consulted with them a couple of times, and interestingly, one particular card keeps coming up: The Lady of the Leprechauns. I thought I'd take a moment and write about Faerie gifts. They are the stuff of legends, and each and everyone of them is a lesson in understanding how to truly perceive the world.
Leprechauns are tricky, as an legend of them will tell you. They are the guardians of great treasure, though I've always assumed that treasure isn't physical; if captured, they can be coerced into giving up the location of that treasure, but treasure is hard to hold, especially when it's an unwilling "gift" from Faerie. Faerie gifts are often in disguise. Gold coins may turn out to be a pocket full of leaves, but something old, apparently broken and useless may be not only of great value, but great use like a Faerie banner that brings allies to your side in a moment of true need.
The Lady of the Leprechauns is, of course, just as clever and tricky as the Leprechauns themselves. She offers either, but never together, knowledge of one future or clear sight in the here and now. Obviously, your first task in accepting her gift would be to decide which you wanted more. Then next would be to understand the risk that comes with such a gift. If you could see the future, but not understand how to get there, would you chose that? Would you prefer to see moments in absolute clarity, but not know how they fit together to form a future? Both, I think would drive most of us to utter madness. When looking at this tricky either/or choice, we often forget the third and fourth options: We can ask the Lady herself to decide which gift we deserve (but be warned, nothing binds her to benevolence except her own whim), or we thank her for the opportunity and leave without either gift.
This Lady isn't done with me yet, I'm certain. I am due another visit, I think. For now, I am flattered by her offer, but I think it's wiser to leave her presence empty handed. If I know what the future holds, I'll obsess and be frustrated. If I accept the gift of clear sight, I'll miss the bigger picture, and more importantly, I risk getting lost by not being able to refocus my vision.
If you choose to work with the Faeries, please remember that they do not operate on the plane we exist in. They have their own agendas, sometimes those agendas can be of great benefit to us, but nothing forces them to help us. Be respectful of their wisdom, even the scariest and most insignificant Faeries have great lessons to teach, not always ones we should learn up close and personal with them. Accept gifts from them only if you are certain you understand what the gift is and what risk and responsibility comes with it.