Beware the Little Green Man
THERE’S AN AUTUMN CHILL in the air this week that’s absolute magic. Not magical, but magic itself. How do I know this? I have it on good authority from one of Savannah’s Celtic faeries.
Faeries are not mere mythical creatures. They are Earth angels frolicking among us, being at once both tremendously helpful and terribly mischievous. I learned this news from a human friend who also happens to be a passionate faerie advocate. (Who knew such ambassadors exist?) Needless to say, I was skeptical. The notion of naughty little sylphs assisting Mother Nature with their practical magic just didn’t make sense.
In response to my skepticism, she invited me to a 30-day challenge: spend one month communing with nature, imagining the landscape from the faeries’ point of view. Seek magic amidst the insects, rocks and flowers. Clean up any garbage that I might find along the way and say thank you to the faeries for their service when doing so.
She promised that by month’s end, the faeries would repay my kindness with a gift; one that would be especially delightful if I made a point to gift them with two of their favorite things: shiny rocks and unwrapped, colorful candies.
At the time, I was living near one of Manhattan’s most beautiful public gardens, located on the grounds of The Cloisters Museum. My little dog PJ loved taking walks there. Picking up garbage along the trails was already part of our daily routine. All I needed to do was acknowledge and thank the faeries, imagine their world and leave behind a few tokens of appreciation.
Over the next month, I embraced the challenge and accepted the possibility that faeries might actually exist. As I observed the landscape from the perspective of four-inch high magical beings, ordinary ground moss morphed into lush, green carpeting; toadstools transmuted into tiny end tables and the protruding roots of ordinary oak trees became the elaborate thrones of faerie royalty. Soon I not only believed in the world of faerie magic, I longed to defect there.
Less than thirty days later, my reward was allotted. A deck of Faeries’ Oracle Cards materialized in the common area of my apartment lobby where neighbors would leave books and magazines that they were no longer using. The cards were still in their original shrinkwrap; a condition that my charismatic third grade teacher, Mr. Nold, would have mystically described as having “Never been touched by human hands.”
From the moment I shuffled the cards, they took on a life of their own. Leaping almost as if by will, they landed in self-determined layouts, each pattern telling its own unique story. At the time, I had no idea that I was taking my first baby steps to becoming a Savannah psychic; that my clients and I would benefit from this deck and its frenetic faerie process to this very day.
My usually aloof cat Puss-Puss immediately sat down across from the card spread, volunteering to receive the first reading. As we played with the deck, the 65 faerie cards introduced themselves. Among them was the Green Man, one of the most famous faerie veterans of Celtic lore.
Over the next few years I became an adept interpreter of their messages, but I never realized just how theoretical my experiences with the faeries were until the Green Man revealed himself on my first visit to Savannah, not twenty minutes after I stepped off the plane.
Upon my arrival, I hopped in the back of a maroon minivan marked Magikal Taxi and Shuttle Service. The driver —an enchanting woman named MJ— regaled me with the tale of her Savannah to NYC roadtrip in the summer of '69, in which she and her friends subsisted solely on the 17 pies that she baked for the occasion.
Before we'd even left the airport proper, MJ became so engrossed in her story that she forgot where she was going and pulled over to consult her trusty map. As she prattled on about the mind-blowing experience of tripping on acid while cruising down the West Side Highway in her VW Minivan, she maintained eye contact via the rear view mirror, dividing her attention between my gaze and her AARP atlas.
At some point, my eyes wandered to a lush patch of ivy growing in the median. Suddenly the wind began to rustle, forming its leaves into the shape of a little green mittenthat began adamantly waving at me.
I stared in hypnotic disbelief, whispering "No. Freakin'. Way..."
Averting my gaze, I made a deliberate point to hold MJ's eye contact for as long as possible, expecting that when I finally looked back at the ivy plant, its little green paw would have disappeared.
Nope. Not only was it still there, its motion had changed from frenetic waving to a come-hither gesture, as if drawing me in.
Meanwhile, MJ elaborated on her 17-Point-Pie-Plan, explaining that her friends had calculated they'd be hungry enough to eat one pie for every hour of drive time.
As I made peace with the fact that I was indeed losing my mind, the ivy plant assumed a more definitive form; one I eventually recognized as the Green Man from my Faeries' Oracle Cards deck. His motion continued alternating between spastic wave and seductive draw until MJ finally figured out where the heck we were headed and sped away.
That was but the first of several supernatural experiences during my maiden voyage to Savannah. It happened on a gorgeous Autumn day —one abuzz with magic, just like this.
So be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. The Green Man just might be coming for you.
Originally published in Connect Savannah (p. 45)