There seems never to have been an uncivilized tribe, race, or nation of civilized men who have not had some form of belief in an unseen world, peopled by unseen beings.
— W.Y. Evans-Wentz, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911
In order to nurture your relationship with the Gentry, I would urge you to first begin with your own allies, who you may already know to a degree. The idea is to develop your connection by making an intentional commitment to do so, in an established, somewhat formal way.
Please bear in mind that this is not a commitment to be taken lightly. Inviting the Tylwyth Teg into your home and daily life will almost certainly be a life-changing decision. And one doesn’t simply drop these relationships if it becomes inconvenient.
So by creating an altar area, you are creating a portal for your rendezvous, and a place which, with time and usage, will grow in power and familiarity for you and those of the starlit realms.
Avoid loading up your altar with man-made tchotchkes, no matter how cute. The Elemental faeries are, obviously, creatures connected directly to the natural world and, in my experience, their ideas about what is beautiful and sacred do not usually include the latest mass-produced statues or greeting cards. Of course, this is my experience only, and it may well be different for you and your allies.
Simplicity and natural materials seem to be best. Ideally, you might even consider making your altar area outdoors. You might use a large stone or a wooden table (remember – they shun iron, so that may eliminate your patio table).
It is best to display objects on the altar that have personal meaning for you. You can’t wrong by having them represent the elements, such as a feather for Air; a candle for Fire; seashells for Water; and stones or crystals for Earth. You may also wish to add a few other items, such as found objects, charms, herbs, and other things that are beautiful and that delight you.
In fact, sharing your appreciation and delight is a powerful act and is key to making your altar a beacon of welcome to the Fair Folk who may be nearby. More about this tomorrow.
Please note: If you are working with the Faery realms, I would love to hear from you. Please share your stories, or even photos by either commenting here, or by emailing me.