fairies

Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

July, 2018

As a child, I led such a weird childhood. I was known for seeing things that weren’t there and knowing things before they happened. I felt like a sin in my parent’s household as I was being raised in a Christian church. As I aged, I found solace in Wicca. Life and the things going on finally made sense.

When I was pregnant with my son (Little Bear), I made the decision to raise him in a Pagan household and support him, no matter what religion he decided on. Little Bear is now 4 years old and this has proven to be the best decision. He has shown signs of experiencing the same things that I went through as a child. Little Bear is a natural born healer, empath, and animal lover. He has to sleep with a light on because the dark brings weird things with it. While I cannot confirm it yet, it sounds like he is seeing people that have crossed over.

One of the major things that Little Bear and I have started doing is celebrating the Sabbats. Any reason to celebrate, right?

June 21st was Litha or the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year and Little Bear and I took full advantage.

Every Sabbat, we discuss the Wheel of the Year. This helps remind us where we are on the Wheel and where we are headed. Because this follows the seasons, it is easy for Little Bear to understand. We discussed how Litha falls in the summer and some of our favorite summer activities. Little Bear loves grilling out, riding his bike and playing in the water.

The day started before sunrise. I poured out orange juice and we headed to the porch to watch the sun. It was a warm, quiet morning. I explained to Little Bear that we should be grateful for everything we have. I asked him what he was happy to have. “My bike, my mom, my bed, my dog” and the list went on and on. I smiled at his innocence and gave my own thanks internally. As the sun rose above the horizon, the world started coming alive. The birds started singing, the neighborhood stray cat came to visit, and we watched a herd of deer in the field across the street. We ended the morning with a barefoot walk around the property. We stopped at the outside altar and poured orange juice into the fairy dish as an offering. This is one of Little Bear’s favorite parts. We actually had to make a fairy altar closer to the house so he could easily access it without supervision.

After work, I had Little Bear help with dinner. We were preparing Grilled Chicken Salads. As we pulled the vegetables out, we talked about each one. Where they came from, how they grow, what the health benefits are, and what kind of super powers the vegetables might give us (This was Little Bears idea). I feel that knowing the health benefits of each vegetable will help Little Bear develop his Kitchen Witch side as he grows.

While making the salad, I noticed Little Bear had made a pile that contained a piece of each vegetable that went into the salad. It was his offering for the fairies.

We ended the night with a bonfire and watching the sunset. The longest day of the year had officially ended.

It may seem like I do a LOT of talking with Little Bear and I do. Little Bear is at the age where he is like a little sponge. He is asking tons of questions and curious about everything.

The next Sabbat is Lammas and I’m excited about it. This has always been a personal favorite because I love to bake bread. Lammas is the start of the harvest season. So breads, wheats, grains, grapes, apples, corn and wild berries are great foods. While I don’t have recipes pulled together yet, corn dollies and bonfires are part of the ritual for sure!

Some ideas to do with children are:

-Corn Dollies

-Magical Picnics (Make sure to leave an offering!)

-Collect berries for jams or jellies

-Time to harvest the garden

-Create a Witches Bottle (smaller children will need help with this since you will be working with sharp objects!)

-Time to redecorate the altar

-Visit an apple orchard (bring some home if the apples are ready!)

-Collect rain or storm water

-Bake bread, cakes, or muffins (cookies could be substituted so the little ones can decorate)

The biggest thing to remember, “It’s not about the action you are doing but the intent you are putting into it”.

What are some fun ways you are celebrating the Sabbats with your child/ren?

Blessed Be!

Finding the Pagan Way

June, 2016

Finding

 

Elves, Pixies, Leprechauns and Faeries
How many readers truly believe in their existence?
Be honest with yourself. Have you ever seen one? Felt one around you? – Heard one? – Spoken to them and had you query or request answered?.
I have. I do not believe in the Faeries. – I am forced to accept their existence because of their interaction and influence on my life in this past 8 years.
I have been to many “Pagan” rituals and events. Some, – such as my Hand-Fasting ceremony, were so powerful that even family and friends were aware of the spiritual energies which were present.
My wife, Tina is a powerful medium and healer, who follows a shamanistic path.
I have witnessed many demonstrations which proved the existence of spirit and the continuation of life beyond that which we call death. Since childhood, I have been privileged to see the power of the Tarot in action and I no longer have the slightest doubt of the accuracy of my readings, – even when, sometimes, it takes many months for a client to receive verification of the advice/information given through me.

I am not in the least bit gullible. As a member of the “Society for Psychic and Spiritual Studies” I spent a lot of time in trying to ‘debunk’ mediums. I did not even accept Tina’s obvious talents very quickly or easily. However, when a spirit guide knocks the Tarot cards from your hands, or forces you to give a message in a supermarket, then you have to begin to accept the existence of the Supernatural in your life.
These past eight years have been an incredible journey for me, and Paganism has allowed me to meet and greet with many spiritual people who share my joy in the unknown,- despite some quite stark differences in our beliefs and outlooks.

It has been a journey that teased and puzzled me. It has challenged every presumption I ever had and forced me to change in many ways. It started with a simple prayer about 9 years ago.
The interesting thing about this was that I prayed to the Goddess, which I believe led to the writing of my poetry under her guidance. Then I was re-introduced to the Fae(ries) and my life spun into over-drive.
The Fae shattered many of the limiting factors in my life. I had much sorrow and grief holding me back. They came back into my life and awareness when I went to a drumming workshop which was being held by a local druid at Cabourne Parva in Caistor, Lincolnshire. On the same day, I was re-introduced to shamanism, mediumship and the faeries. The workshop was simply about drumming, but during that day, I met one of Tina’s guides, Lucy and I watched in fascination as she skipped about and played in the barn where we were working. I did not know who she was. Indeed, it was almost a year before I had confirmation of her name from a medium/reader at the Pagan pride festival. This was later confirmed by quite a few other mediums.

This was the day I was given the gift of laughter. I heard the Fae speaking to me. Well, – it was only one word, but as clear as a bell. “Laughter” For about six weeks, everything that happened to me just led to tears of laughter. All my anger and grief at the passing of my late wife, finally began the slow process of healing and dissolving. I had lived in a bubble of contentment for many years, until the universe has torn it all away from me to prepare me for a new life, and the work which I needed to do. Finally, my prayer was being answered…

Babes in the Wood

We never realised that we were merely babes lost in the woods;
Playing hide and seek, – while silently the world moved on.
We wished and dreamed, that always, was a faithful world;
But while we dreamed our dreams, forever slipped away
And I woke up to find my world was gone.

I love another now, but that will never change my love for you.
She healed my heart and brought back from summer’s open door.
I learned to live somehow, and carried on; – as lovers sometimes do.
And now we live a life that I had never dreamed of, when we wandered in the woods,
And I can never change back to that person, whom I was before.

Springtime aches, – where once it brought a joyfulness to every step.
And yet there is gratitude within my heart for all of Spirits gifts.
I know that you are watching over me; – I know that you still care.
I looked into your eyes the other week, and saw the love still there.
Although they graced another’s face, my heart still knew that it was truly you.

I want to tell you all about the love whom I have found,
But, I guess you know already, as you often hang around.
She has the bluest, deepest eyes that I have ever seen.
She’s pretty as a picture, – with the kindest heart that there has ever been.
Without her love and strength, – I do not know how life could possibly have been.

I’ll say goodbye, – although I know that you are never very far away.
I listened carefully to every word you said last week, – I promise I will cherish every day.
I know that life is much too short to waste in misery and in despair,
And I will try to wake up every day and look at life for all the blessings there.
I will go and live my life and leave regret behind,
But please forgive me if, I sometimes shed a tear,
When life’s lost blessings slip into my mind.

Patrick W Kavanagh
13/03/2016
It was a hard journey, but, both the Fae, and my lovely Tina, have guided and protected me on every step of the way. I do not know how much longer my journey will last, But I am determined to keep on with my development and writing. We are here for a purpose. I believe that this purpose is to help and heal each other, as we evolve into the divine beings which we truly are. For me, – my relationship with the faeries has been a very important part of the journey so far, as has my Goddess and my Muse.


Angels of the Forest

Angels of the forest and the fields,

Tiny wings that glow and shimmer underneath the moon.

Stay a little while and share your wisdom and your joy.

I beg you, please don’t fly away so soon.

For I have dreamed of meeting you again, since I was just a boy.

I have spent a lifetime searching underneath the star filled skies.

Hoping that I’d live to see you once again.

Just the very sight of you brings tears to these old eyes.

Please don’t go away and leave me all alone.

Ever since I saw you as a child, this world has never felt like home.

Would that I could fly away with you.

Oh what gladness, just to see the land of Fae once more.

If you would only let me go with you and stay a little while

I would happily forsake all that I have, and travel with you, to that other shore.

Then, when they find me cold and still, my parting speech will simply be a smile.

Patrick W Kavanagh

10/04/2014

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

May, 2016

Welcoming the Fae

spellcrafting

Merry meet.

Those in some traditions celebrate the magical link between the Fae and humans. For many, Beltane is one of the times of year when the veil between their world and ours is the thinnest.

The Fae are faery folk, or nature spirits, thought to be an ancient race that have existed alongside humans for thousands of years. They tend to be shy and keep to themselves. It is polite not to intrude.

Its said the Fae will appear under a full moon in a grove if it is populated with oak, ash and hawthorn. Celtic legend associates the Fae with caverns and springs, making those magical places. I have sensed them in the center of a stand of lilacs and in undisturbed sections of old overgrown gardens.

Here are a few suggestions for ways you might welcome the Fae this Beltane:

  • Arrange a circle of stones in an unused area of your property. You might also try acorns.

  • Place a small wooden table and chairs in your garden, and allow vines such as morning glory and ivy to wrap themselves around and over them.

  • Construct small houses or grottos made of stones where they will remain hidden under bushes, in hollow tree trunks (especially oak), where mushrooms grow or in other secret places.

  • Hang tiny bells or wind chimes from tree branches; include a gazing globe or a garden statue. Avoid objects made of iron or steel.

  • While each flower has its own fairy that cares for it, I believe some plants attract other nature spirits as well, including bluebells, cowslip, lily of the valley, hollyhocks, foxglove, lavender, cosmos, roses, daisies, pansies, violets, honeysuckle, thyme and others. Plant some in your garden or near your door to encourage the Fae to draw near.

  • Consider adding a water source such as a birdbath.

Treat the space as a sanctuary for the Fae; refrain from disturbing it. While weeds should not be allowed to take over, an unkempt patch of indigenous wildflowers, however small, is fine.

A short ritual to formally invite them could include casting a circle around the area and dedicate that space to their use.

Work to earn their trust.

Common offerings are food and tiny treasures. Consider leaving gifts of cream, honey, bread with or without butter, wine and anything that sparkles.

A faery altar can also be established indoors, incorporating plants and fresh flowers, items that shine or sparkle such as crystals and coins.

Know that fairies are not all glitter and giggles. Yes, they are playful, but they are also powerful. They can easily be offended and are not to be trifled with. They wont stay where theyre not wanted. The Fae deserve respect. They can be mischief and do something such as hide your keys, but they can also help you find lost items, such as the keys you misplaced.

If you choose to welcome them into your home, you might try a little door. I have one in my living room and one in my bedroom closet.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Finding Avalon

May, 2016

Un-Seelie’s Playground

 

Finding

Photo by Vivienne Moss

The beauty of Faery and Avalon can be found in the most unlikely of places. What one may find disrespectful and horrid, another will find unexpected charm. When I discover places like the picture above, I always wonder what kind of Fae lives there. I imagine some of the Un-Seelie Court inhabit this wild habitat. Rebels and misfits will feel right at home here. Those who don’t fit in with typical society will find the uncanny nature of this place welcoming.

The Un-Seelie are those who make their own rules and break the ones they see as being ridiculously restricting. They are not all together bad, and most definitely not evil (in my interactions with them anyway), they just do what needs to be done to survive and thrive in the Seen and Unseen realms. The Un-Seelie are very protective of the lands they inhabit and fiercely combat those who do not respect their ways.

 

finding2

Photo by Vivienne Moss

The Un-Seelie, or Dark Fae, have been known to take on the form of dragons, gargoyles, and many other dreadful creatures. The photo above shows the Spirit of the Place fiercely guarding the land through a tree. Though the concrete fixture is covered in graffiti, I feel this is the way the Fae have “tagged” this patch of land as theirs. I can imagine the fun and mayhem the Dark Fae and rebel humans (children and young adults no doubt) have here. The chance to be free from the confinements of civilization, even for just a moment, in this untamed land must be delightfully uplifting for some. I know I enjoy the rare moments of freedom while out in nature, even when I stumble upon a place like this. I can appreciate the beauty of the radical artwork being displayed and can feel the intoxicating nature of the Un-Seelie as they roam about.

During this journey to discover Avalon, I have found many gateways and entrances to Faery. I love how some lead to the darker Shadow-Lands and others lead to the peaceful lands of Avalon. The adventure is spellbinding and eye-opening, and I hope it continues to surprise me. In the Finding of Avalon I am learning to find myself and the freedom to discover the hidden lands of Faery, both Seelie and Un-Seelie.

May I continue to be inspired by the raw beauty of nature and the unending gifts of Avalon and Faery, and may I learn to embrace my Fae-ness and relish the freedom of self-expression.

Finding the Pagan Way

October, 2015

Many people are under the impression that faeries are largely a Victorian invention, but as most people with even a passing interest in them will tell you,- earth spirits have been encountered since the dawn of mankind. They are mentioned by various names in most, if not all, cultures. The faeries are a large part of my life, and are constant,- though usually invisible, companions. Yet I would not describe myself as a member of the “Faery Faith”

I dislike the term “Faery faith”,- for me it is not a matter of faith but of personal experience. For myself, and many others the existence of faeries is not a matter for dispute. We know they exist and we are not in the slightest bit concerned that some people might think that we are delusional. I have seen and experienced them in several forms. They are not necessarily the tiny winged creatures depicted in the “Cottingly Fairy” photographs,- although I have seen them in this form too! They are powerful earth spirits and often associated with the dead and with the ancestors. They are often helpful,- but also capricious. I have learned this to my cost,- and only ask for their help in the direst of needs. The results can be very unpredictable! These days I feel the needs to include such Proviso’s as: “…and without setting anyone’s trousers on fire” etc… etc…

A Trip to Richmond Park

I am sure my chaperone was sitting on a bench, when I last looked around.

She is such a troubled, worried soul and tires so easily from all her ague.

Her little book of poetry was nestled in her lap, and she was sleeping safe and sound.

Her childhood spent in India has left her rather poorly, and her mind’s a little vague.

A cousin of my mothers from the Dorset family line, I think they said.

Whose father went to India to manage a plantation or some such.

It’s whispered that the poor man got a fever and became a little bit unsettled in the head.

They had to bring him home and send his younger brother out to oversee, instead.

Neither, in the distance, can I see the coach and four that brought us here.

It’s sleek black panels and the burly servants, who assured a sense of safety and ease.

It seemed a lovely morning for a drive out to the park, to have a picnic and to see the deer.

But now I’m feeling very much alone, and everything around me seems so queer.

Tiny child-like figures seem to flit around. I see them from the corners of my eyes.

I sit and I pretend to read my book, for surely, when I next look up,- the park will be just as it was before.

But now I hear them singing,- all their tiny voices ringing out like pretty silver bells.

“Come play with us, sweet maiden. Come and dance with us around our faerie dell”.

Are they faeries?,- surely not! Perhaps the sunshine on my head has shone a little hot?

But peeking shyly round my book, I see, a pretty bunch of tiny creatures peering back at me!

Rainbow wings like oriental butterflies and cheeky faces with such marble skin and charming eyes.

They seemed to offer such delightful company, my feet began to dance!,- to my surprise.

Round and round we twirl until my head gets in a spin, and every time I try to stop my feet begin again.

I can no longer feel the ground, I’m spinning in the air. The fun has stopped and now I start to feel a little fear.

Opening my purse,- I throw my rosary upon the ground. The songs and laughter fade away like morning dew.

In the distance I can hear dreadful, moaning sound. I open up my eyes to find myself alone and lying on a faery mound.

Patrick W Kavanagh 26/03 2015

PaganWay

by Bill Oliver { boysoblue.com }

 

I have seen them in their deeper, and darker aspects and I fully understand the reluctance of previous generations to disturb faery forts and burial mounds. To me, they will always the Tuatha De Danaan,- The clan of the Goddess Danu. They were a powerful ancient Irish race with great magical skills. They were defeated in battle by the Milesians, and the great bard, Amergin White Knee, allotted to them, all of the island that was underneath the earth. As the centuries passed and their fame diminished they almost shrank into oblivion. They stayed close to their underground realms and only came up on certain occasions and on feast days. Even fifty years ago, there were many in the west of Ireland who have seen the Gentry as they are called.. but few have the openness of mind that would allow them to see the little people these days.

Do You Remember

Do you remember when, so long ago, we felt the flowers grow?

We watched them all awaken underneath the sunlit snow.

Snowdrops and daffodils, and violas of purple hue,

Spring would quickly follow with a host of things to do.

I remember flying underneath the red-streaked, summer skies,

Every flutter of our silken wings was spurred by endless joy.

Listening to the singing of the blackbird, at the dawning of the night.

The rising moon brought tears of longing, mixed with inexpressible delight.

There were feasts a plenty, with bread and cheese upon the hawthorn fair.

Hazelnuts and haws, with nettle soup, while marigolds and roses blessed the summer air.

Blackberries so sweet, that hung from every roadside hedge.

Elderberry wine to slake our thirst, went quickly to our heads.

We gentle folk were welcome in those days, with bread and milk at every cottage door.

And we would bless the farm to make the crops grow strong, where we found kindness for the poor.

Then we would ramble home, through portals scattered far and wide across the land.

Back to the Land of Sidhe, in cheerful song, with all the Faerie band.

Patrick W Kavanagh.

12/03/2014

paganway1

by Bill Oliver { boysoblue.com }

Hedgewitch Days!

June, 2015

Chat with the Fairies

fairy

Hi my lovelies!

Magical June is here, and for all of us Hedgewitches that can only mean one thing…time for a chat with the fairy folk, and you all know how much I love to talk!!!

Litha (Midsummer or the Summer Solstice) is one of the most magical times for us on our paths to cross the veil between worlds and have a bit of a natter with the Fae. At this time of balance the veil between our worlds is at its thinnest, enabling us to journey over to celebrate the solstice with the fairies in their realm, it’s so exciting!!!

Of course, I do try to interact with the Fae as much as possible, tending the garden with care and including small special places for them to congregate and be comfortable, both inside and outside my home. Playing music and singing, wind chimes and bells all encourage the fairies to visit my garden, and once there they can be extremely helpful and so I like to try and encourage them to stay by making them feel at home and very welcome. The Fairies bless me in return for my hospitality by helping my flowers bloom bigger and brighter, and making my fruit and vegetable crop taste sweeter. My herbs are blessed with Fairy magic before harvesting, making them more potent in spells and rituals too.

Fairies can be a little picky though, to say the least, when it comes to communication with us, so etiquette is high on the list of importance if you are planning to visit with them. Fairies DO NOT like rude humans! Manners, as they say, cost nothing, and certainly I wouldn’t dream of turning up to invade someone else’s Midsummer party without a gift or two in my hands, that simply wouldn’t do! The door to the magical realm would most certainly be slammed in my face, and there is no doubting that some mischievously minded Fairy would be paying me a personal visit to turn a few things upside down, move things around and trip me up! As a hedgewitch I relish this time of year when I feel the most at one with the hedgerow and the world around me, and hate to miss the opportunity at Midsummer to cross between worlds, for me it’s all about the boundaries as well as the bass lol!

Now, the Fae folk are lovers of all things beautiful, sparkly and sweet. Their world is full of laughter, chatter and music on this most special of nights… and to be part of their realm is one of the most joyous things we, as humans can experience. If you have ever spent any time with the fairies you will know exactly what I mean, their world really is the ultimate of enchanting. It is hard not to get carried away once there, and the hazy glow of euphoria can sometimes hinder your ability to make decisions or even leave their world and return home. I am sure many a human has been lost to the magic of their dance and beauty, never to be seen again in this world…Certainly the beauty and realism of the Fairy realm can make this world seem like a dream state compared with the sharpness of colours and vibrancy of the web they weave. So in order to honour this as best I can I like to make small offerings and gifts to give to the fairies in thanks for all the work they do for me throughout the year, and to help bolster the celebration table at the Midsummer feast.

Some good fairy gifts would be;

Berries

Sugar

Edible glitter

Fruit, especially Apples

Honey

Beautiful flowers, leaves or petals

Scented drops of oil

Sun or Moon Water

Shiny things (coins, tinsel, charms etc…)

Of course if you have craft in your hands then any fairy furniture, doors or houses are most appreciated too, we all need a place to sit and rest.

Remember though, all gifts or offerings for the Fae MUST be safe to the environment and biodegradable…else you will feel their wrath… Oh and probably Mother Earths too!

These are one of my most favourite things to make for the fairies at Midsummer. The British Strawberry season is in full swing in June, or if you lucky you may be able to find a local treasure trove of wild strawberries you could use. Sweet and pretty, these yummy summer truffles could be made just as easily with any other variety of berries, and you can tweak the recipe with a few drops of rose water or alcohol if you prefer! If berries are not your thing try making this by replacing the strawberries with some chopped garden mint and some mashed ripe mango, yum!

Strawberry Solstice Truffles

8oz/ 225g Cream Cheese

2 x tablespoons Honey

3oz/ 85g mashed Strawberries

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

(For rolling)

Desiccated Coconut / Edible Glitter/ Dried Crushed Rose Petals

In a large bowl mix the strawberries, cream cheese, honey and vanilla in a clockwise motion and say;

With love and thanks I mix this treat,

Filled with love and all things sweet!

Blessed Fairies please grant for me

A magical solstice, so mote it be!

Once combined cover the mixture and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to become firm enough to handle.

Once cooled, remove from the fridge.

Roll bite sized pieces gently in your hands to shape into balls.

(Imagine the blessings for the Fae pouring from your hands into the truffle).

Roll each ball into your chosen coating of coconut, glitter or dried rose petals.

Place onto a tray and pop into the fridge for an hour or until needed.

Serve to the Fairies on beautiful leaves and petals, or offer around to friends and family at your solstice gathering!

Top Tips!

All Strawberries will have a different juice content so if you think you may have too much juice, just strain it off before mixing everything and add it back in little by little as needed.

If your mixture does turn out too sloppy, don’t panic…just freeze in ice cube trays and serve as chilled treats.

Try different fruits, Raspberries, mango or pineapple would all be yummy!

If you make these and drop them, beware any hungry fur babies at your feet…Hence the lack of finished pictures, it happens to us all lol, Alfie and Prudence enjoyed them very much!

Armed with these Solstice treats you will find me, at sundown on Midsummers eve, sat in a hedgerow with a big smile on my face as I listen to the music of the fairy realm…all those who are not in the know will probably pick up the phone to the nearest psychiatric hospital and call for the men in white coats to take me away!!! How lucky are all of us blessed with the knowledge of magic, that we may be part of something so extraordinary and beautiful?!

Well guys, I will close now. I hope you have an amazing Solstice whatever you plan to do, laughter, dance and be filled with the renewed blessings of the Goddess as the wheel turns…

Lots of love and as ever, bb Mandy xxx

P.S. – Look out for any Elderflowers still blooming at Midsummer, they carry in them the most potent magic. Harvest a head or two and offer half to the Fairies, dry the other half to use to make a tea during the winter months when you have a particularly bad cold or flu.

Faeries, Elves, & Other Kin

September, 2009

Your Own Faery Garden

Faeries aren’t as cute and innocent as authors like Shakespeare has made them
out to be. Granted, there are good faeries but with the good, you always have
to expect the dark side :o) If you believe and love faeries, then you may
want to attract them into your home at times other than Midsummer.  A good
way to attract faeries to you is to give them their own little garden.  It
doesn’t have to be elaborate (keep in mind they don’t like metals, iron,
etc.). As a matter of fact, a small container garden would do just fine.
Here’s a list of flowers that are said to attract them and why.

Foxglove – Name is derived from “Little Folks’ Glove”. They use the blossoms
for hats and boots
Campanile-they use for drinking vessels
Bleeding Hearts – they use to store faerie dust and other treasures
Tulips – are used as cradles for their young
Monkshood-are worn as helmets by faerie guards and knights
Lily of the Valley – it said their little bells rings when faeries are
singing
Ferns-make excellent privacy screens
Moss and thyme are favorites for bedding material.
Primroses–make the invisible visible. Eating them lets you see faeries. If
one touches a faerie rock with the correct number of primroses in a posy, the
way to faerieland and faerie gifts is made clear. The wrong number means
certain doom.
Ragwort-used as makeshift horses by the faerie.

Wild Thyme-part of a recipe for a brew to make one see the faeries. The tops
of the Wild Thyme must be gathered near the side of a faerie hill.
Cowslips-these are loved and protected by the faeries. They help one to find
hidden faerie gold.
Pansies-the flower that was used as a love potion by Oberon, a faerie king
thought to have been invented by Shakespeare.
Bluebell-one who hears a bluebell ring will soon die. A field of bluebells
is especially dangerous, as it is intricately interwoven with faerie
enchantments.
Clover-a four-leafed one may be used to break a faerie spell.
Hazel-Celtic legend says it is the receptacle of knowledge; the hazelnut is
a symbol of fertility in England.
Rowan-protects against bad spirits. Used in butter churns so that the butter
would not be overlooked by faeries. Bewitched horses may be controlled by a
rowan whip. Druids used rowan wood for fires with which they called up
spirits whom could be forced to answer questions when rowan berries were
spread over the flayed hides of bulls.

Fairy Ring Mushroom-marks the boundaries of faerie rings.

Plants and the Fae who are attracted to it:

Basil– The Fae of the Basil help us awaken greater discipline and devotion
Buttercup– This flower and its Faerie bring healing energies, They help us
rediscover our self worth
Carnation– Their energy is healing to the body, contact with them strengthens
the aura
Clover– The clover Faeries assist in finding love and fidelity
Daisy– The daisy is a favorite of Dryads (wood nymphs) The Faeries help
awaken creativity
Gardenia– This special Faerie stimulates feelings of peace, The Fae of this
flower are VERY protective towards children
Heather-The Fae of this flower are drawn to humans who are shy
Jasmine– These Fae love to invoke pleasant dreams, They have also been known
to help develop mental clarity
Lily– These Faeries help in the development of purity and humility
Rose– The Faerie of the rose can help in all aspects of love and fertility
Sage– They awaken a sense of wisdom in your life
Snapdragon– These bring humans great protection
Thyme– Thyme draws the wee Folk into your sleeping chambers

Some more flowers that Fae are attracted to:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster)
Chrysanthemum maximum (shasta daisy)
Coreopsis grandiflora/verticillata (coreopsis)
Agastache occidentalis (western giant hyssop or horsemint)
Lavendula dentata (French lavender)
Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Thymus (thyme)
Buddleia alternifolia (fountain butterfly bush)
Buddleia davidii (orange-eye butterfly bush, summer lilac)
Potentilla fruitiosa (shrubby cinquefoil)
Petunia hybrida (common garden petunia)
Verbena (verbenas, vervains)
Scabiosa caucasica (pincushion flowers)
Cosmos bipinnatus (cosmos)
Zinnia elegans (common zinnia)

Light

Faeries also love light so putting many bright white flowers would also
welcome them into your little garden.

If you want to attract water spirtes
Incorporating the sound of water somehow (like a little fountain statue)
would definitely make them happy. And also, pay attention :o) Work with them,
make them your allies. . .learn about the elemental realms and learn to work
with energy

Here’s a little ritual to make faerie allies:

Air Fairy– Nature: Cloud, Storm  Elemental: Slyph

The power of the eagle
the power of the storm
And the hand of valor
Which a blade well becomes~
Come now breath of Dana

The air fairy is easiset to make contact with during sunset, or on a foggy or
misty day. To connect with this ally means allowing time for cloud watching.
The air fairy is the sculptor of the imaginary world and will
reveal itself through the a cloud formation, in a thunder cloud or a
glittering glimpse from the corner of the eye. To call this ally, you must go
outside in an open space, turn 3 times in a deosil circle, each time throwing
up a handful of glitter into the air. On the completion of the third round,
lay down and say the chant above while looking at the clouds. The use of a
flute or whistle will help call the slyph. They love music and vibrations.
The whistle or flute will help you attune yourself with the air fairy. Once
an Air ally has been found, theirs is the energy of inspiration. They will
help free the mind by drawing you into the imaginary realm, floating you into
unfettered territory so the mind disengages the ego, and your inner
child can dance freely. You will know you have made an ally if you return
from your day dream feeling refreshed and inspired. Don’t forget to ask the
air fairy to identify themselves, providing instructions on how to further
communicate with it. It is also important to present their realm with a gift
(the glitter won’t work).
I would encourage leaving a decorated feather which is to be tossed in the
air and left behind for your new Ally.

Faeries, Elves, & Other Kin

August, 2009

A Faery Myth


The Wonderful  Tune

Maurice Connor  was the king, and that’s no small word, of all the pipers in Munster. He could play jig and planxty without end, and Ollistrum’s March, and the Eagle’s Whistle, and the Hen’s Concert, and odd tunes of every sort and kind. But he knew one, far more surprising than the rest, which had in it the power to set every thing dead or alive dancing.

In what way he learned it is beyond my knowledge, for he was mighty cautious about telling how he came by so wonderful a tune. At the very first note of that tune, the brogues began shaking upon the feet of all who heard it – old or young it mattered not -just as if their brogues had the ague; then the feet began going – going – going from under them, and at last up and away with them, dancing like mad ! – whisking here, there, and everywhere, like a straw in a storm – there was no halting while the music lasted !

Not a fair, nor a wedding, nor a patron in the seven parishes round, was counted worth the speaking of with out “blind Maurice and his pipes.” His mother, poor woman, used to lead him about from one place to another, just like a dog.

Down through Iveragh – a place that ought to be proud of itself for ‘t is Daniel O’Connell’s country – Maurice Connor and his mother were taking their rounds. Beyond all other places Iveragh is the place for stormy coast and steep mountains : as proper a spot it is as an in Ireland to get yourself drowned, or your neck broken on the land, should you prefer that. But, notwithstanding, in Ballinskellig bay there is a neat bit of ground, well fitted for diversion, and down from it, towards the water, is a clean smooth piece of strand – the dead image of a calm summer’s sea on a moonlight night, with just the curl of the small waves upon it.

Here it was that Maurice’s music had brought from all parts a great gathering of the young men and the young women – O the darlints ! – for ’twas not every day the strand of Trafraska was stirred up by the voice of a bagpipe. The dance began; and as pretty a rinkafadda it was as ever was danced. “Brave music,” said every body, “and well done,” when Maurice stopped.

“More power to your elbow, Maurice, and a fair wind in the bellows,” cried Paddy Dorman, a hump-backed dancing-master, who was there to keep order. ” ‘Tis a pity,” said he, ” if we ‘d let the piper run dry after such music; ‘t would be a disgrace to Iveragh, that didn’t come on it since the week of the three Sundays.” So, as well became him, for he was always a decent man, says he: “Did you drink, piper ?”

” I will, sir,” says Maurice, answering the question on the safe side, for you never yet knew piper or schoolmaster who refused his drink.

“What will you drink, Maurice?” says Paddy.

” I’m no ways particular,” says Maurice; “I drink any thing, and give God thanks, barring raw water: but if ’tis all the same to you, mister Dorman, may be you wouldn’t lend me the loan of a glass of whiskey.”

“I’ve no glass, Maurice,” said Paddy; ” I’ve only the bottle.”

“Let that be no hindrance,” answered Maurice; my mouth just holds a glass to the drop; often I’ve tried it, sure.”

So Paddy Dorman trusted him with the bottle – more fool was he; and, to his cost, he found that though Maurice’s mouth might not hold more than the glass at one time, yet, owing to the hole in his throat, it took many a filling.

“That was no bad whiskey neither,” says Maurice, handing back the empty bottle.

“By the holy frost, then !” says Paddy, ” ’tis but could comfort there’s in that bottle now; and ’tis your word we must take for the strength of the whiskey, for you’ve left us no sample to judge by :” and to be sure Maurice had not.

Now I need not tell any gentleman or lady with common understanding, that if he or she was to drink an honest bottle of whiskey at one pull, it is not at all the same thing as drinking a bottle of water; and in the whole course of my life, I never knew more than five men who could do so without being overtaken by the liquor. Of these Maurice Connor was not one, though he had a stiff head enough of his own – he was fairly tipsy.

Don’t think I blame him for it; ’tis often a good man’s case; but true is the word that says, “when liquor’s in sense is out;” and puff, at a breath, before you could say ” Lord, save us!” out he blasted his wonderful tune.

‘Twas really then beyond all belief or telling the dancing. Maurice himself could not keep quiet; staggering now on one leg, now on the other, and rolling about like a ship in a cross sea, trying to humour the tune. There was his mother too, moving her old bones as light as the youngest girl of them all: but her dancing, no, nor the dancing of all the rest, is not worthy the speaking about to the work that was going on down upon the strand.

Every inch of it covered with all manner of fish jumping and plunging about to the music, and every moment more and more would tumble in out of the water, charmed by the wonderful tune. Crabs of monstrous size spun round and round on one claw with the nimbleness of a dancing-master, and twirled and tossed their other claws about like limbs that did not belong to them. It was a sight surprising to behold.

But perhaps you may have heard of father Florence Conry, a Franciscan friar, and a great Irish poet; bolg an dana, as they used to call him – a wallet of poems. If you have not, he was as pleasant a man as one would wish to drink with of a hot summer’s day; and he has rhymed out all about the dancing fishes so neatly, that it would be a thousand pities not to give you his verses ; so here’s my hand at an upset of them into English:

The big seals in motion,
Like waves of the ocean
Or gouty feet prancing,
Came heading the gay fish,
Crabs, lobsters, and cray fish,
Determined on dancing.

The sweet sounds they follow’d,
The gasping cod swallow’d;
‘T was wonderful, really !
And turbot and flounder,
‘Mid fish that were rounder,
Just caper’d as gaily.

John-dories came tripping;
Dull hake by their skipping
To frisk it seem’d given;
Bright mackrel went springing,
like small rainbows winging
Their flight up to heaven.

The whiting and haddock
Left salt water paddock
This dance to be put in:
Where skate with flat faces
Edged out some odd plaices;
But soles kept their footing.

Sprats and herrings in powers
Of silvery showers
All number out-number’d.
And great ling so lengthy
Were there in such plenty
The shore was encumber’d.

The scollop and oyster
Their two shells did roister,
Like castanets fitting;
While limpets moved clearly,
And rocks very nearly
With laughter were splitting.

Never was such an ullabulloo in this world, before or since; ’twas as if heaven and earth were coming together; and all out of Maurice Connor’s wonderful tune !

In the height of all these doings, what should there be dancing among the outlandish set of fishes but a beautiful young woman – as beautiful as the dawn of day.  She had a cocked hat upon her head; from under it her long green hair – just the colour of the sea – fell down behind, without hinderance to her dancing. Her teeth were like rows of pearl; her lips for all the world looked like red coral; and she had an elegant gown, as white as the foam of the wave, with little rows of purple and red sea weeds settled out upon it: for you never yet saw a lady, under the water or over the water, who had not a good notion of dressing herself out.

Up she danced at last to Maurice, who was flinging his feet from under him as fast as hops – for nothing in this world could keep still while that tune of his was going on – and says she to him, chaunting it out with a voice as sweet as honey –

” I’m a Iady of honour
Who live in the sea;
Come down, Maurice Connor,
And be married to me.

“Sliver plates and gold dishes
You shall have, and shall be
The king of the fishes,
When you ‘re married to me.”

Drink was strong in Maurice’s head, and out he chaunted in return for her great civility. It is not every lady, may be, that would be after making such an offer to a blind piper; therefore ’twas only right in him to give her as good as she gave herself – so says Maurice,

I’m obliged to you, madam :
Off a gold dish or plate,
If a king, and I had ’em,
I could dine in great state.

With your own father’s daughter
I’d be sure to agree;
But to drink the salt water
Wouldn’t do so with me ! ”

The lady looked at him quite amazed, and swinging her head from side to side like a great scholar, “Well,” says she, ” Maurice, if you’re not a poet, where is poetry to be found?”

In this way they kept on at it, framing high compliments; one answering the other, and their feet going with the music as fast as their tongues. All the fish kept dancing too: Maurice heard the clatter, and was afraid to stop playing lest it might be displeasing to the fish, and not knowing what so many of them may take it into their heads to do to him if they got vexed.

Well, the lady with the green hair kept on coaxing of Maurice with soft speeches, till at last she overpersuaded him to promise to marry her, and be king over the fishes, great and small. Maurice was well fitted to be their king, if they wanted one that could make them dance; and he surely would drink, barring the salt water, with any fish of them all.

When Maurice’s mother saw him, with that unnatural thing in the form of a green-haired lady as his guide, and he and she dancing down together so lovingly: to the water’s edge, through the thick of the fishes, she called out after him to stop and come back. “Oh then,” says she, “as if I was not widow enough before, there he is going away from me to be married to that scaly woman. And who knows but ’tis grandmother I may be to a hake or a cod – Lord help and pity me, but ’tis a mighty unnatural thing! – and may be ’tis boiling and eating my own grandchild I’ll be, with a bit of salt butter, and I not knowing it ! – Oh Maurice, Maurice, if there’s any love or nature left in you, come back to your own ould mother, who reared you like a decent Christian ! ”

Then the poor woman began to cry and ullagoane so finely that it would do any one good to hear her.

Maurice was not long getting to the rim of the water; there he kept playing and dancing on as if nothing was the matter, and a great thundering wave coming in towards him’ ready to swallow him up alive; but as he could not see it, he did not fear it. His mother it was who saw it plainly through the big tears that were rolling down her cheeks; and though she saw it, and her heart was aching as much as ever mother’s heart ached for a son, she kept dancing, dancing, all the time for the bare life of her. Certain it was she could not help it, for Maurice never stopped playing that wonderful tune of his.

He only turned the bothered ear to the sound of his mother’s voice, fearing it might put him out in his steps, and all the answer be made back was – “Whisht with you, mother – sure I’m going to be king over the fishes down in the sea, and for a token of luck, and a sign that I’m alive and well, I’ll send you in, every twelvemonth on this day, a piece of burned wood to Trafraska.”

Maurice had not the power to say a word more, for the strange lady with the green hair seeing the wave just upon them, covered him up with herself in a thing like a cloak with a big hood to it, and the wave curling over twice as high as their heads, burst upon the strand, with a rush and a roar that might be heard as far as Cape Clear.

That day twelvemonth the piece of burned wood came ashore in Trafraska., It was a queer thing for Maurice to think of sending all the way from the bottom of the sea. A gown or a pair of shoes would have been something like a present for his poor mother; but he had said it, and he kept his word. The bit of burned wood regularly came ashore on the appointed day for as good, ay, and better than a hundred years. The day is now forgotten, and may be that is the reason why people say how Maurice Connor has stopped sending the luck-token to his mother.

Poor woman, she did not live to get as much as one of them; for what through the loss of Maurice, and the fear of eating her own grandchildren, she died in three weeks after the dance – some say it was the fatigue that killed her, but whichever it was, Mrs. Connor was decently buried with her own people.

Seafaring men have often heard, off the coast of Kerry, on a still night, the sound of music coming up from the water; and some, who have had good ears, could plainly distinguish Maurice Connor’s voice singing these words to his pipes: –

Beautiful shore, with thy spreading strand,
Thy crystal water, and diamond sand;
Never would I have parted from thee
But for the sake of my fair lady. [a]

[a] This is almost a literal translation of a Rann in the well-known song of Deardra.

Source: Thomas Crofton Croker – Fairy Legends and Traditions, first published 1825

republished by: Collins Press, Cork, 1998.

Faeries, Elves and Other Kin

March, 2009

Dryads/ Sidhe Draoi

faeries1

Copyright 2008 Howard David Johnson

Druidesses, Tree Ladies, Hamadryads, Tree Spirits, or in Gaelic Dryads are known as the Sidhe Draoi translated Faerie Druids. The element of the Dryads is the Air however; it is their temperament that best describes them. The Sidhe Draoi or Dryads are spirits that make their dwelling in the trees. Playful creatures are they, androgynous wisps of brilliant uncontaminated natural light flittering through the tree tops playfully acknowledging all human contact, but most commonly seen during the full moon of the Sabbats.

Sidhe Draoi Lore

Handed down by the Sidhe Draoi were the magical secrets of the trees and the means to learn the arts of astral travel and divination to the Druids. It has been said that while there is no harm in following the Sidhe Draoi’s music it may be wise to not stay to long for one may be tempted to stay in their astral realm.

Dryads were also native to many other lands such as Greece, where they are known as Drayades. One infamous Greek Drayades was Daphne, Daphne pursued by Apollo and once she caught him she turned him into a laurel. The Greeks also have the Drus tree spirits, and tree bound faeries Known as Hamadryads. Distinctively different than Celtic Sidhe Draoi, Hamadryads are unable to move from their tree of residence and as such spend their whole lives in one tree, where they were born, live and die.

Contacting the Sidhe Draoi

To contact the Sidhe Draoi you will need to invite them in to your earthly realm. The best way to do this is to find yourself a willow grove or another stand of sacred Druid trees and ask them to come and join in on your ritual, chance are they will be glad to join in but if they are feeling shy they will if they feel you are worthy and your request is fair they will present you a gift of their effervescent energies. However, sometimes you will not even have to invite them if you have wandered unknowingly into the land of the Fae they will oftentimes just appear while you are calling the guardians and spirits of the east.

Magical Help
Thought to be useful; the Sidhe Draoi can be of assistance when one is attempting to connect with deities but only if approached properly they mayhap be swayed into teaching you the secrets of tree magick, astral travel, and divination. It is essential to form a good rapport with these the Sidhe Draoi by frequently working with them, but be patient they love to play games.

Wise Woman Traditions

December, 2008

Frolicking with the Fairies
My friend Elsa always talked to plants. I thought she was crazy. Safely insane, but definitely disassociated from reality. Until the plants laughed at me.

Autumn of 1980, returning home from a rare dinner out after a healing intensive at my land in the Catskills, I stopped to get my mail. An unusual envelope contained a $500 money order, signed “Mother Nature” and this note: “It’s my birthday and I could think of no better gift than giving you the means to build a shelter for your teaching.”

How wonderful. How perplexing. Even way back then, $500 would not put down a floor, let alone walls or a roof! What building could I create with such a large gift of such a small sum? In a waking dream I saw the answer.

I bought a tipi. It arrived. I put it up. I decided to sleep in it, at least until it got too cold.

Have you ever slept outside? If so, you know it is very noisy outside at night. The dark is filled with sounds: mosquitoes and katydids, crickets and frogs, geckos and bats, whippoorwills and coyotes. Those sounds soon became background noise to my nights in the tipi.

Background to the thunderous noises made by the monsters just outside the tipi. It’s amazing how loud a small animal moving in the dark is. No monsters were out there, of course, just the night shift: possums, skunks, raccoons, flying squirrels, and the occasional deer. As I began to recognize the “monster” sounds, they became business-as-usual noises, and I relaxed even more. That’s when the laughter began.

At first it was a quiet chuckle, mirth contained. Then it grew and swelled until it was a belly laugh. Like the rolling of thunder across my mountains, the laughter spread and reverberated.

“Who is laughing?” I thought. “We are,” came the reply in my mind.

“Who?” “Us, the plants.”

“The plants are laughing.” “Yes, oh, yes.”

“Because you are happy or because something is funny?” “Because you are funny.”

“What makes me funny?” “You tell people that herbal medicine developed by trial and error.”

“What’s so funny about that? What other way could we have learned which plants are edible, which are poisonous, and how to use them for food and medicine?” “Trial and error is too slow.”

“But there isn’t any other way.” “Sure there is!”

“What?” “What?”

“What what?” “What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?” “Yes!”

Long pause. Laughter. Peals of laughter. Breathless, red-faced, rolling-on-the-floor laughter.

“You are talking with the plants!”

“Wow! I am.” “That’s how people learned to use us. They listened to us. Just as you are.”

Thus began my lessons from the plants. They have continued until this very day. And will, most likely, continue at least until my death.

“I want everyone to be able to hear you,” I told the plants one summer. “No problem,” the plants replied.

“Remove your shoes and socks; allow the energy of the earth and the energy of the stars to mingle in your body. Take off your glasses and contact lenses; allow yourself to see as you see, not as you are supposed to see. Spend less time at high speeds in metal containers; allow your timing to be set by the sun and the moon, the season and the weather. Sleep in a round structure. Our voices get caught in corners.”

Do you want to contact the devic realm? Find the fairies? Talk with the plants?

The simple answer is: “Be in Nature, not on your terms, but on Hers. Put your bare feet on the ground. Be quiet. Be receptive.”

The slightly more complicated answer is: “Choose one wild plant, small or large. Breathe with it for at least ten minutes every day. Be barefoot. Be quiet. Be receptive.”

As you open, you will discover chaos. When asked how to distinguish a wild plant from a cultivated one, I say: “Cultivated plants are neatly planted; wild plants flourish in chaos.”

Chaos is a treat to fairies and a threat to humans. We like fixity, and dislike change. Nature knows that fixity is death. Life is change. Balance is the step before death. Life is dynamic disequilibrium, never static. Life grows, changes, ages, gets diseased, rots, molds, and is recycled into more life; it is never perfect, never done. Life is chaotic. Death is rigid. It resists and refuses to interact; it holds itself aloof; it is in control.

Nature is chaotic. It doesn’t like straight lines. When I am in the woods, the path curves, the trees have fallen helter-skelter, the wildflowers bloom in impossible, improbable places, there is always a miracle. To describe the living presence of Nature in her creative chaotic wholeness, we can use the words “deva” and “fairy”. Fairies flee gardens planted in neat rows. To attract fairies, practice being at ease with being a little out of control.

Are fairies and devas different? Fairies are in the middle of it all; devas are “above it all”. Fairies are local; devas are international. Fairies are flighty, flirty, changeable; devas are responsible, staid, dependable. Fairies sparkle; devas emanate. Fairies party; devas oversee. Fairies may be invited into one’s garden; no one would dare ask a deva to do anything. (A deva may well ask you to do something, however.)

Lore and legend have it that the fairies spend half the year underground and half the year above ground. The fairy gate opens May 1, on May Day. It closes October 31, on the Day of the Dead. Fairies only frolic in wild places, so leave a little corner of your cultivated land wild – a “Fairy Corner” where chaos can reign.

To invite the fairies: On or near to May Day Eve, eat delicious foods, drink ravishing drinks, enjoy stirring music – better yet – make intoxicating music, sing, dance, take off your clothes, expand your senses, fall in love. If you invite fairies to your home and grounds, remember: Fairies love fun, best to laugh at what they do. Fairies love to confuse things, best to delight in it. For fairies can be mean, and if you’re sullen, they can cause all number of small ills. It is said that fairies like milk and pineapples. It is not unwise to leave them small gifts.

“We are the devas. We are the fairies. We are the trees. We are the rocks. We are the blooming plants and the floating spoors. We are the voice of Nature. We are Green Blessings.”