If this is your first visit, please read this first
I danced in the mists on the water this morning, flowing with the hovering cloud downstream, chased by the rising sun. The early rays touched each water droplet in the cloud like the facets on a crystal, sending shards of rainbow light everywhere around me. I swirled, twirled, and sang the sun greeting songs until the doorway opened and allowed me to slip through to your world. The mists are almost gone now, so I shall have to find another way to return when the time comes.
The sun has risen far enough to turn the dew on the grass to diamonds. How wealthy we are to have eyes for such sights. In the woods, a spider web shimmers like liquid crystal when touched by the sun’s rays. Shadows linger in corners which the light has not touched, places where direct sun will probably never reach. They also contain riches, deep, loamy, compost to feed the forest, but that’s not where I want to shower my attention today. Today I choose to see the sparkle of the diamonds on the grass, the crystal shards in the mist throwing rainbows across my path. It’s not that I do not see the shadow – today I choose to focus elsewhere. There is enough time in the cycles of things, to smell the dark.
If this is your first visit, please read this first
If you would like me to dream with you, print out this photograph of me and keep it near your sleeping place. As you fall asleep, call my name and ask me to come and visit you in your dreams. I will come.
I am called Light That Listens and I speak with permission of the Faerie Council of Elders in the part of our realm that touches the edges of Woodland Springs, the home of Fairy Woodland.
I am called Fairy by your people but most have no idea what that means or who I really am. I am called that because when we take form in your world we occupy a small space in relation to you, and our locomotion is by air via what you call wings. That is not our true form. In our world, we are much like you. I am one of the old ones of the Earth, a spirit of the patterns and cycles of life, one who was here at the creation of rock and, later tree. I have witnessed the coming of the young ones, the animal children, and the youngest ones still, the humans.
I am the voice of trees and wind and sparkling water. I whisper the seasons, the birth of life from seed, the play of wind across sky. I fly on the wings of a crescent moon. I am the ancient voice echoing from stone. I am the whisper in the night, the walker in your dreams.
I have not spoken to mortals for many ages, not since the great separation when Faerie was hidden in the mists of the Otherworld by powerful magicians to keep our realm safe from mortals who wanted to eradicate our kind from the Earth. I will tell you those stories if you wish, but at another time. Today, I want to tell you why I have chosen to speak – in fact, why many of us are choosing to speak to you, in many different formats.
The Faerie Realm is in great danger. I have come to ask for your help. Fairies are the eldest of the intelligent energy on this planet. We were born of rocks and stones, of water and air, or earth and green growing things. A crystal found its own vibration which was separate and different from the vibration of the matrix in which it was formed and that sense of individuality became an energy that separated from the body of the crystal and could see the mineral that it came from, that gave it birth. As each clan of substance woke up to its conscious self, the spirit of that consciousness was able to separate from the substance and have separate movement and life, eventually finding ways to take form. These were the first fairies.
That is how many of us became linked with particular life forms. Clans gathered around the mineral, plant, or animal world energies to which they were linked. We are inexorably tied to the physical forms that exist on the Earth Mother, which is why we are so concerned with Her health. And that is why I have come to talk to you - because the health of the planet affects the survival of Faerie.
It takes a great deal of energy for me to communicate in this much detail in your world and your language, so I tire quickly. I will continue my story another day. Thank you for listening.
If this is your first visit, please read this.
Feb. 12, 2009
Between the rain torrents of my last blog entry and the almost-spring sun glow of a few days since, sits today. Gray. The sky, the river, the bare branches of the alders – even my breath in the early morning chill floats off in a swirl of gray. When faced with a world of non-color, (OK, not totally – the fir trees and the grass are green) I do one of two things: I put my head under the covers, close my eyes, and watch a movie, or I go hunting for a gateway into Faerie. This morning I did the latter.
The main gateway we’ve always used broke apart in a fierce storm this Winter and now only works intermittently. Here’s what it used to look like.
When it was open, I could always find sparkle and color on the other side. Bright red holly and huckleberries, or pink and golden apples, depending on the time of the year, of course. But no matter what time of day or year, the light was always different on the other side of the gateway. If I came to the same area of the woods from a different path, that special spot just stayed the same as all the other places at Woodland Springs. But when I entered that portion of forest through the gateway, having first paused and asked permission and made the secret sign, then everything changed when I stepped through the doorway.
It reminded me a little of Star Gate – or, maybe more like the doorway in the back of the closet that leads to Narnia. Magical gates are never open all the time and they often require some kind of secret word or symbol to open them. Gates to Faerie are like that. Have you ever come across a natural archway or crossing of branches that made you stop for a second and wonder what would happen when you stepped through? If you pause and lay your hands on either side of the opening, close your eyes, and ask for the secret to shift the doorway, you may be given a song, a word, or a symbol to trace in the air. You might also be told to stand on one foot and hop through, turn around three times moon-wise while standing in the center of the gateway, or to sit down and wait until the sun touches the top of the arch. Or a whole world of things the Fairies are capable of thinking up!
The main thing to remember when you stumble upon a place that might be a doorway to Faerie is STOP! Recognize that you have found a potential treasure, honor it from your heart, and let the Fairies see who you are. If they know that you are a Fairy Friend and if the energies are aligned the right way, they may invite you to cross the threshold. Just remember that it’s easy to get lost in Faerie and some mortals choose never to return.
I didn’t find a gateway today but I had a great walk. Soft rain left shining beads hanging on the ends of the gray branches, reminding me that, even in the gray, this world is beautiful, too.
If this is your first visit, please read this.
Oh Wow! Oh Wow! I can talk to real people? Really really, really? Small humans? Children? Actual children? Really? Oh Wow, Oh Wow! OK, calm down. I should calm down. Stop hopping up and down. Come down and stop twirling on the ceiling fan. Breathe.
Hi. I'm Twinkey. I'm what humans call a Fairy. I live in the part of the Faerie Realm that touches Woodland Springs. That's where my friends at Fairy Woodland live. I like to ride dragonflies, my favorite food is blackberries, and my favorite sport is maple seed tossing. (Maple seeds are flat and look like ariplane propellers and we toss them like frisbees.) Anyway, I'm really, really excited about writing here.
I wrote a letter to ask human children to write to me so I could learn more about being a human kid. I made lots of copies and snuck the letter into mailboxes that Fairy Woodland sent out.This is what it looked like. (My favorite snack is there, too.)
When I got a few letters back I was MEGA excited! I wrote back to Livia and Martha and Auna and Jason and Kaiya and lots of others and they wrote back to me and more kids wrote to me and I tried to answer them all and, and . . . . well, I got a little buried.
That's the front door to my house. I got kind of overwhelmed and hid in the woods for a while. Then one day I saw a squirrel carrying nuts to his hole in a tree. I think he was moving. Anyway, he took a nut from a hole in a tree, ran and jumped across a bunch of other trees and stuck the nut in a new hole in a different tree. And he did it over and over, one nut at a time. It took him almost all day but he got every single nut moved. That squirrel taught me that, when I really feel overwhelmed, if I just do one thing at a time and keep at it, then sooner or later I'll get everything done.
So i came back to Fairy Woodland to deal with all the letters. Bridget said she was very proud of me for coming back and that she might even be able to find someone to help me with my correspondence. I've started answering the letters that were waiting for me and I intend to answer them all. If you've written to me and haven't heard back from me, I promise you will. And it has really been fun reading all the letters kids have written me. I just love hearing about what it's like to be a human kid.
Oh, and Erika, I think it's great that you want to make furniture for me but please don't use nails. Nails are made of iron and Fairies are really, really allergic to that. I break out with hives and my skin feels all creepy crawley. Use glue. But I'll tell you that when I answer your letter, too.
I guess that's all for today. I want to keep on but Bridget says I have to stop now. I'll blog (that's what I'm doing! I'm a Fairy Blogger!!) again soon.
(Bridget says I don't have to sign a blog 'cause it's under my name so everyone knows it's me but I like to sign things anyway.)
If this is your first visit, please read this.
Purring. Stroking is good. Behind ears. Now other ear. Under chin. Make Flying Thing go away. [It's not a "Flying Thing," Freya, it's a Fairy. Please be more respectful. And she wants to play with you.] Yawn. Stretch. Scratch belly now. Stretch claws.
Flying thing - Ok, Ok, Fairy - sits on shoulder. Wings twitch. Interesting. Like bird. Ok, play. Crouch. Pounce. [Where did it go, Freya?] Leap to floor and look. Fairy zooms into slit where stacks of paper live. Paw at opening, want to make opening bigger. Hop on chair, paw at top of opening. Squeeze head in. Fall off chair into round wood thing with crumpled papers and banana peel. [I’m sorry, Freya, I didn’t mean to laugh so hard. It’s just that you look pretty funny sitting in the waste basket.] Crawl out, leap to pillow on window ledge. Nap. Don't like Flying Things.
If this is your first visit, please read this.
January 27, 2009
The rain scuttles sideways across the meadow, so dense at times the trees on the other side of the river are merely shadow in mist. The sun has been shining brightly for days, so a day of rain like this is a welcome treat; when it continues for a week or more, there’s a temptation to pull the covers over your head until it’s over. Fortunately, this time, it’s only a day or two before the sun is scheduled to return.
I’m always struck by how different a walk in the woods is in the rain. The mosses and lichens all wake up, wriggle their tendrils, and happily slurp the drops that balance on their points. No matter how softly I walk, every step makes me feel like Paul Bunyan, creating a new lake with each footfall. Standing under the sheltering bows of a fir tree offers a moment of relative dryness – until the breeze shakes loose a waiting shower. Enjoying the fire and watching the rain through windows is definitely a good idea.
This is wonderful thinking and dreaming weather in the quiet time of year here at Woodland Springs. The alders and maples, even the great fir trees are in deep slumber and, although the deer, porcupine, and many birds still visit each day, their energy seems muted, as though a part of them dreams deep in the Earth with the trees on the root roads.
I used to label my feelings this time of the year as "depression" until the Fairies took me on a dream journey deep into the heart of the Otherworld and showed me the Faerie Quiet Way. I was led down wooded pathways and, on every bush and tree I saw, at least one Fairy slept, curled around a mound of seeds. I had been told not to speak so I held my questions until my guide brought me back to my side of the veil, but then I could no longer contain myself. “What are they all doing?” I asked. “I’ve never seen so many Fairies, so still!”
For once, Light That Listens seemed wiling to answer a question directly, something Fairies rarely do. “They are each dreaming with the seeds of their plants,” she told me. “Gently infusing them with the encouragement they will need to wake up and sprout when Spring comes to call them.”
And, also for once, what a Fairy told me made sense. I wonder what seeds I have tucked away that need a little dream nurturing. What as yet un-sprouted ideas and projects will Spring call forth from me? What a good excuse for an afternoon nap!
If this is your first visit, please read this.
January 17, 2009
Beginning a blog is a little like entering in the middle of a conversation or ten chapters into a story. There’s so much that has gone before that acts as foundation for the words now finding their way to the page, but no quick way to share that history. Maybe the past tracks are not necessary here. This space is intended to be about events and thoughts at an intersection between two worlds: 1) The Enchanted World of Fairy Woodland, located at Woodland Springs, on the Yaquina River, just a few miles from the wild NW Pacific Ocean; and 2) The Realm of Faerie, which exists at the edge of Woodland Springs (and many other places but that’s for another time), in a slightly different dimension, separated by a veil of mist but accessible through certain gateways.
The Fairies visit us more often than we have managed to step through to wander in their realm. In the full moon light, on especially misty mornings around solstices or equinoxes, on special holidays like Beltane or Samhain, the usually hidden doorways are a bit more evident but, even then, we still need an invitation and a Fairy guide. On a gloriously sunny day in January (a rare occurrence on the Oregon Coast), our Fairy friends are much more likely to come and play in our world than to invite us into theirs.
Even the deer seem to be wandering elsewhere today. They usually come for their daily meal of grain mixed with molasses by 9 or 10 A.M. but it’s now early afternoon and they still haven’t made an appearance. I was hoping they might have a few words to contribute to the blog but perhaps the Fairies needed deer magic elsewhere today and lured them away. I suspect that may be the case because I hear Fairy voices calling to me as well – a day as unequivocally gorgeous as this one deserves to have companionship. This is not a day to spend indoors. The Fairy voices are calling me to an afternoon stroll through the woods – I don’t know anyone who could resist such a summons so will close this commentary for today and look forward to telling you about the walk tomorrow.
The Holly King
Winter Solstice 2008
Snow flakes large enough for fairies to ride float leisurely through the air to rest on bare alder branches, fir boughs, and of course my head. Snow is unusual enough here on the Oregon Coast that in my excitement I rushed out the door without regard to hat or gloves, only hurriedly donning a jacket under which to shelter the camera.The deer have already come down the path. There are three sets of tracks so it must have been the doe and her two young ones, who will come to the door looking for their daily apple treats soon.
The deer will have to wait; I am on a quest to catch the Holly King, God of the Waning Year, in a regal white robe.The end of his reign nears; at Yule, the Winter Solstice, his brother the Oak King, the Sun King, God of the waxing year, will be born and the rule of the Holly King overthrown. Rebirth, growth, hope, new beginnings are poised to arrive with the Turning of the Year, but I have barely settled into the rest, inner reflection, and learning the time of the Holly King brings. Am I ready to let him go? At least I want to capture his image.
The holly and the ivy
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown.
A song we're familiar with, but this adaptation of the chorus perhaps not:
Oh, the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The shining of the winter stars
As the longer days draw near.
The Holly King has been leading us to this point since the Summer Solstice, when he began stealing a little more light from each day. Now the days have shriveled to a bare flicker. The sun sets in the middle of the afternoon and frozen nights are endless. Yes, this is an opportunity for quiet, inner reflection but it feels more as though we have been left huddling in the dark with the outlines of skeleton trees, no flowers, and only the heartiest of birds darting thankfully to the feeders. Has the sun abandoned us to the night?
Welcome to the Winter Solstice, where the dark triumphs - but only for a moment. This is a turning point; the reign of the Holly King will end, the days will grow longer again, as the Oak King, who brings the light, is quietly born from the womb of the dark night. At his birth, he is only a small spark, but we have known in our bones since always that light, no matter how tiny, means life.
And so we have magical tales of shining stars, of bright angels, of the birth of hope and new beginnings to sustain us through the fierce storms of January, yet to come.The fires we light on the hilltops, the Yule logs set ablaze in our homes are more than a ritual of ignorant people to appease the gods and bring back the sun. We string lights on our homes, our mantles, and the tree in our living room as a recognition of the fire of spirit, the light in our hearts, and as a statement of survival - the ultimate hope that I have, inside of me, the fire and the light to continue life. That my own internal light may call forth the light of the universe to bless my life, my family, my people. That I may walk through the gateway of night and find, once more, the sun.
In lighting the fires, in stringing the lights, we do more than stave off the darkness, even more than honor the sun. We also stand with fierce courage to say to the darkness, You may come this far but no further! We have given the darkness its due, we have watched it leach the light from our lives for as long as we had to; now the long night is over, we can tentatively bring our own lights back from hiding, and let the new days begin.
This Turning of the Year, the returning of the light, this most hopeful of all days,has been celebrated across cultures and throughout millennia so, however you choose to participate, you will be part of an ancient tapestry. Whether you float old ideas and sorrows out to sea on paper mache boats with candles, make a Yule wreath to honor the sacred circle of life, death and rebirth, find a Yule log and burn it in your fireplace, or join the Fairies in ringing bells on Solstice morning to welcome back the sun, remember that this is a festival of inner rebirth. No matter how dark it seems, how completely dead the world appears, nature - including the holly and the ivy and the oak - teaches us that there is always rebirth.
Samhain – the Harvest fires
Welcome to the fires of the New Year and the Three Nights of Summer’s End. Samhain, [pronounced SOW-in (Ireland), SOW-een (Wales) or SAV-en (Scotland)] marks the end of the old and the beginning of the new, linking us with the world of spirit at the turning of the year. October 31, when we celebrate Halloween, is the last night of the old year. November 2 is the first night of the New Year and the night of November 1 is the night between that belongs to no time. Our modern Halloween stems from the Celtic Samhain. It is a sacred time, when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is so thin that the dead can walk with us and warm themselves at our hearths. It is also the time when some mortals, especially shamans and poets, are able to find entrance to the Otherworld through special doorways that open only at Samhain.
More on this special time in a moment, but first we want to introduce a new Fairy Woodland creation, designed to help train our mortal, consensus reality-locked brains to process our eyes’ ability to see through the veil into Faerie.
Faerie Wise – The Kit is more than an ordinary craft project. It is designed as a magical gateway that can take you to Faerie. The Kit is designed to help you train your senses to be Faerie Wise – to feel the presence of the mystical, to see through the veil to the Realm of Faerie as it exists all around you. Seeing is the first and crucial step to walking across the threshold.
We’ve all been taught to fit our experience of the world into a limited frame. By creating a magical door and peaking through it to meditate on images of the Otherworld, you can stretch your ability to “see” outside the normal modes of perception. Learn all about it here.
Back to the Turning of the Year.
What strange face is lurking in your mirror at this closing of the year?
This is a time of transformation from summer to winter, from the time of growth and bounty above ground, to the time of storing the harvest in the root cellar below ground. Although the seasons in Faerie are not quite so pronounced, nature in the Otherworld follows the cycles of life as well, so the process of moving from outside to inside, from exuberant growth to nurturing dreams affects the Fairies’ way of life just as it does ours.
There are many choices that need to be made at this time of transition from endings to beginnings. For us in the modern, mortal world, the decisions are often metaphorical but there are important realities behind the metaphors. Of the crops that you have grown this past year, which do you want to put in the root cellar to feed yourself and your family through the winter, and which do you save as seed to plant in the spring? Of the animals birthed last spring, which can you afford to feed through the winter and use to breed for next year, and which ones will feed and clothe you and your family through the cold time?
As we see the fields of dead cornstalks waiting for harvest or the brilliant colors of leaves in their last moments before becoming compost, the turning of the year and the movement from life to death is unmistakable. That the dying leaves should grace us with such beauty has always struck me as a Fairy thing.
There are many rituals from around the world to mark this time and to honor the energy it brings to our lives. The rituals we know and suggest to you all center around endings and beginnings and acknowledging the possibility of the existence of a world beyond our usual awareness. So, on these three nights of Summer's End, set a place at the table for your ancestors who want to visit; leave food outside your door for other spirits so that they might bless your home for the coming year. Make a bonfire outside, throw into it everything you want to clean out of your life from the year passed; in the morning, bring coals inside to start your "hearth fire" for the New Year. If you have nowhere to make a fire, turn off all the lights in the house, light a candle and use the flame to burn (carefully!) small scraps of paper on which you've written what you want to dispose of. In the morning, light a candle to welcome the New Year and keep you warm through the coming Winter. With the veil between the worlds so thin, it's a great time for divination, so take out runes or tarot cards. As you or your children walk the streets in costumes, remember that the real spirits and the Fae are walking with you.
INSPIRATION FOR THE NEW YEAR
In honor of the transition and the coming year, we bring you Faerie Wise, the Fairy Woodland calendar for 2009. We offer you two versions this year - The first one is "The Woods" with the magical graphics you have come to expect and a separate booklet for the stories for each month.
The second version, new this year, is called "The Houses," which features the Fairy Houses and their stories.