Brian Froud and Faery
Interview via the World of Froud
When you started with the Oracle, what was your first experience with working with the faeries-- was it different then your previous experiences with faeries? Did you use power cards?
Brian: For years I had wanted to create Faery Cards that would open up another way to communicate with the Faeries. I tested this by cutting out cardboard and pasting photocopies of my painting on it. The pictures were extraordinary. Although physically reduced, their power was not diminished but intensified, like looking down the wrong end of a telescope. This was like tumbling down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole. Magically these colored scraps of paper were doorways into the Faery Realms. At once it seemed to me that I had re-discovered a revealing and intuitive oracular system. In the past I had to wait for the Faeries to communicate. With the Faery cards, contact was immediate. I immediately abandoned Ichthomancy, much to the delight of my near neighbors.
Since you are a 'faerynaut'-- what advice can you give to the novice?
Brian: When you take off on YOUR flight into Faery, keep your feet on the ground.
Many ask about how to "see" faeries? Any advice?
Brian: Faeries are seen through the heart, not through the eyes. Remember that faeries inhabit the interior of the earth and the interior of all things, so look, in the first place, in the interior of yourself. Allow them to materialize in your mind's eye. If you let Faery live within you, you can likewise live within Faery. Just be open to the possibility of "seeing" a faery, but be patient. They are often too busy just to prove they exist. They know they exist.
What is (if there is) the best time of the day, month, year, etc. to commune with the faeries?
Brian: Traditionally the best time to encounter Faeries is Twilight, Dawn, Noon, Midnight, Equinoxes, Halloween, In the twinkle of an eye. So you see, anytime that is "betwixt and between" or transitional is their favorite time. They inhabit transitional spaces: the bottom of the garden, existing in a space between manmade cultivation and wilderness. Look for them in the space between nurture and nature, they are to be found at all boarders and boundaries, or on the edges of water where it is neither land nor lake, neither path nor pond. They come when we are half-asleep. They come at moments when we least expect them; when our rational mind balances with the fluid irrational. They came to me unexpectedly in Seattle, in a park in Portland, and on a riverside bench in Chicago.
Have you ever been afraid of a faery guest? If so, how did you conquer your fear?
Brian: In life I have never encountered a Faery that frightened me, even though sometimes they have been irksome and troublesome. However, when I put a face to "the Soul Shrinker" , even though I had encountered its baleful influence and seen its damage, I found its features at first deeply shocking. Of all the cards it was for me the most disturbing, but once I could feel beyond its mean and shrivelled form, I encountered a great sadness. I learnt that our compassion always diminishes corroading behavior.
Brian: When on the signing tour, I had been buoyed-up be everyone's warm response to the oracle. However in Chicago their was a shocking confrontation from two blind women who demanded to know why I had created an oracle deck that blind people could not use. My first amazed reaction was "now I have blind critics of my art!" I explained that every day whilst touring, I had held the pack over my heart and had felt such overwhelming energy that was not only emotional and strengthening for me but expressed itself visually as well. So I did not feel that there was any impedimant to communicating with the faeries via cards if one could not actually see the image. Their magic was beyond the illusion that was only printers ink and paper. Sadly, they walked away seemingly unconvinced. Hopefully they will come to "see".
Brian, tell us...what is Ichthomancy?
Brian: "it is reading the entails of fish."