After a year of Free Range Faerie-ing I’ve got a new place. An actual, physical home and studio. I’ve settled in Three Oaks, Michigan. How’s that for a faerie name?
It’s an artsy small town on the southwestern tip of Michigan filled with friendly folks and only 3 traffic-less miles to the nearest forest.
I even have a job at the cozy Acorn Theater. (Another faerie name.) Where I am meeting great people and filling my life with music.
I’ve forgotten how much effort goes into running and setting up a home! (So I haven’t been in the writing/perfuming/or social media-ing much.)
Truthfully, it’s been a bit stressful and exhausting with February behaving downright weirdly for me. How’s your February?
But Missy’s been a great help…
Here’s an vintage chair we scored.
And then the other night…
I am sleeping and curious noises, giggles and the tinkling of bells, drift from the studio. Flashes of color and the scent of rose and loam fill my dreams as I explore an old victorian mansion filled with creatives and jokesters. At dawn I wipe the sleep from my eyes to discover the perfume/writing studio all put together.
Let’s see how long I can keep it tidy.
AND I’m excited to offer yoga classes again! I’ve decided to keep the beautiful living room as a yoga room… (My class schedule is right here on the Verdant Yoga Page).
Finally here is a glimpse of the view from the backyard. What is seen from the studio window…
I’m thinking fire pit and sunset dinners…
Settling here completes a goal for the first quarter of 2017 and the second quarter goal of this year’s Celtic calendar. It also satisfies a life-long curiosity of life in a small town. So yay me!
A time of awakening, yet not quite yet awake, my sleepy faerie friends. A stirring from the deepest slumbers of winter. Emerging from the time of the north and the element of earth. Swap the rich balm of Oakmoss, Patchouli, and dank thawing earth, with hints of blossoms and fruit saturated in thickly winter-aged, spring-honeyed nectar. Brash, then vanishing. Urging us forth. Wintry snow/rain cleansing for the early snow buds and the time of the east. The element of air wherein sylphs grace the ethers with softly muted florescence.
Awaken! Awaken! Awaken!
As a child I would anticipate the spring by imagining the fair folk prepping their paints deep under the roots of sleeping oak trees. Cruelly crushing berries, mosses, and barks. Coaxing iridescence from clouds and shadows. All for the Spring Faerie Queen’s vast cache of aromas and pigments created with express purpose to gloss on delicate blossoms with wee paintbrushes of spider threads. I would anticipate with glee the those first colors and scents of thaw, green, and tender blossoms.
Xkeban was lusty as she was beautiful. Lust coursed through her body unchecked. A libido as big as the hot at the peak of a summer’s day in the Yucatecan jungle when you can do nothing but lay in your hammock and sweat, too hot to even fan. That’s how big her lust was.
That’s right, I said, unchecked. And in the little Mayan village where Xkeban lived, the sway of her hips as she lead her many lovers off to her palapa or worse yet, to the jungle, filled the more sanctimonious villagers with condemnation.
And in the hearts of the villagers, the Yucatecan heat blazed in a hell-storm of fiery condemnation for that “floozy,” Xkeban. And fan this fire they would. Especially one villager named Utz-Colel.
Utz-Colel was just as beautiful as Xkeban, but she was pious. She did not let her secret passions drive her to look brazenly into the eyes of the men. Or to openly leer at the curve of their low backs, (you know, that dip just above a man’s buttocks where neatly fits a hand) as she “accidently” brushed her swelling breasts up against him in the market place to reach for the ripest mango. Nope. Utz-Colel did not even think of such things. She did not give into these passions merely because it “felt natural” as Xcaben was prone to. Really. No, never.
Yet… whom was it the villagers called for when they were ill and needed someone to sit by their sick beds dampening their fevered foreheads? And who was it that took in the goats when past milking age? And the old dogs too lazy and useless?
Have you guessed it? Not the pious Utz-Colel, but Xkeban. Because Xkeban’s heart was as big and kindly as her lust. Truly, even bigger. And while Xkeban would use the finery gifted her by her lovers to feed the indigent. Utz-Colel would scorn those below her while she twisted her ribbons and dark thoughts into her black braids. For inside she was bitter and Utz-Colel’s heart was cold as snakeskin.
One day a most delicate and sweet perfume filled the air of the little village. The sublime intoxicating effects of this aroma caused all to seek its source, leading them to the home of that (good-hearted) slut, Xkeban. Her time amongst the living was done and there she lay, and from her wasted body emanated this fine perfume.
Well, Utz-Colel was in disbelief and swore up and down that when she died she would smell one hundred times better than that whore, Xkeban…
A few good-hearted individuals who remembered Xkeban’s kindnesses arranged for her burial. The next morning the fragrance was even more pronounced. Scent intoxicated once again, the villagers followed the perfume to the grave of Xkeban to find darling little flowers, the Xtabentun flowers, had proliferated on her grave!
Time passed and, I suppose you can guess what happened when pious and haughty Utz-Colel died. From her body emanated a foul stench so unbearable the villagers could barely stand to plant her in the earth upon which they hastily flung various flower seeds before scurrying quickly off.
But the next day only a spiny, odorless, cactus flower, called the Tzacam flower bloomed.
Well from the other side of the grave, Utz-Colel became furious about this and arranged somehow (it’s a secret) to return from death and remedy this perfume problem. She decided she would wantonly seduce as many men as possible just as Xkeban had done. Then she too could smell of fine perfume and produce darling little flowers on her grave.
Now here is where my tale turns cautionary. So listen up, those of you who think this seduction plan is sounding… interesting.
Villagers beware! Utz-Colel has now taken to posing sensuously under the Ceiba tree at the edge of the village, languidly combing her long black hair. And if she lures you into the jungle with the sway of her ample hips in the delirious heat of a Yucatecan summer’s afternoon, you will not be seen in the village again. For the bitter, soul-stealing sex of Utz-Colel is like making love to an odorless cactus flower on a foul and cold snakeskin bed, and it is believed her savage wrath against Xkeban will be your demise. Really.
Just thought you’d like to know.
This tale is my retelling of a traditional Mayan tale. It is an absolute true story of how the Xtabentun and Tzacam flowers came to exist. If you don’t believe me then just go ahead into the jungle with Utz-Colel and see for yourself.
~For My Mom~
This month will find me heading to the Yucatan Peninsula as a tour leader for my parents company Mexi-Mayan Travel. We’ve a group of lively and curious travelers including my parents. All avid learners and explorers and some archeologists and anthropologists. We’ll explore Mayan culture and history as well as the local flora and fauna. There’ll likely be some margaritas and excellent sea food…
As special gift to our group I’ll create for them a fragrance based on their group scent memories of our journey. Each person picking one or two outstanding (pleasant) scent memories. Then I’ll blend it up!
New Year’s Eve finds me pausing for a moment with my bulletproof coffee loving my 2017 engagement calendar. All those clean empty pages. A year of possibility with opportunity for beauty. Sprinkle that faerie dust round. Happy New Year, one and all!
My Ill-Advised Life
In January of 2016 I foreclosed on my underwater condo in Chicago and went free range faerie. I quit my jobs and hit the road with my 9 year old pup, Missy. It was not clearly planned and was a most definitely ill-advised life move. Frankly it was fucking reckless and irresponsible. Two years prior another reckless action, leaving an underpaying exhausting job of 17 years which left me even more financially unstable. But I was compelled to shout “NO” to my prior unsatisfying life.
My intention was to free myself from this life that was not personally satisfying. To peel away layers of internal crap; exhaustion, bitternesses, urban and job induced stresses to indulge in the beauty my soul craved. To know myself again and/or better. Seeking a new location in a more beautiful or rural setting. To remake myself as a faeriepreneur with a way to support myself as my own boss.
My life unravelled and got unmistakably got messy. I bravely resisted the negative mantra of “What the fuck am I doing???” Support from kindly people, without who’s help I could not have done it, surfaced. I learned to let myself release to this support, my mess, and waited for ME to reform and emerge. I practiced faerieshamanism and magic, wrote, made perfume, hunted down faerie people and places, and grooved in nature.
This experiment was to last 3-6 months. Then I’d prolly just get an apartment in Chicago and stuff. It is coming up on a year this January and I’m still essentially homeless, or as I prefer to say, “nomadic” (it’s all in the attitude ya’ll!). Ha!
What Next, Free Range Faerie?
During this madly ill-advised adventure I explored a lot of ideas of what to do with myself, always returning to the message and mission of beauty amidst chaos. And of personal liberation through beauty, truth, and the imaginal realm. I’m happy to report my soul is refreshed and I’m coming “home” to me. I feel ready to contribute and collaborate. To set up a home-base again.
My favorite passion project of 2016 was launching my wee perfume line verdant faerie fragrances. I completed my certification course (though I still have much to learn) and set up temp studios in the various places I stayed. Perfume supplies were shipped to a variety of locations – Maryland, Hawaii, Canada, Chicago. I’m excited to take it to the next level in 2017 with improved packaging and perfume blends. Expanding my knowledge and expertise. I’m looking forward to establishing a sweet home perfumery of my own in the first quarter of 2017.
I also rediscovered my love of writing and the location freedom it can provide. As a young girl writing was shoved into my shadow self. But it keeps seeking the sun! So I hope to do more of that there writing stuff, perhaps combined it with my perfume. Ideas are germinating…
One thing I truly missed was a consistent yoga and circus practice and community. (Well community in general, for it’s hard to keep this going on the road. Yet one does finds new communities.) But I really missed the sparkle and comradery of those worlds – physical exploration with expression and soul. So I’m planning to revisit that in 2017.
Oh, and once I get settled again I also hope to establish regular contribution to a social cause…
As I reestablish myself in 2017 I’ll admit to a certain degree of inner terror. I have some undeniable challenges ahead. Can I even pull this off? And I do so love my freedom! But mostly I think I got this. I’ll establish a lovely home base to travel from and I have my mission ~BEAUTY & LIBERATION~ and together we will not be denied!
All the best to you and yours in 2017!
Here’s a verdant barn in Three Oaks Michigan from my recent travels… just cause it’s pretty…
The return of light, may yours sparkle and delight!
My sincerest wish that you shine your inner light on your dreams and your unique beauty. Let the rest stay in the darkness… Bring forth your beauty!
Here’s a free range faerie location update. Missy and I have been in a little cottage in Michigan where we are staying for three months! It is the longest we have stayed anywhere since last February. We love it.
We go for long nearly daily walks in nearby Grand Mere State Park. Exploring trails trekking up and down the sandy dunes on Lake Michigan’s waterfront. Several varieties of Oaks and plenty of of deer and some foxes. We’ve watched it changed from peak fall to deep winter. Beauty and quiet. I feel full with it.
I’ve also been quite busy with seasonal markets in nearby Chicago, so haven’t been on here blogging quite as much. It’s been great introducing folks to verdant faerie fragrances and reading the amazing Mermaid Oracle deck for them.
Deep purple-red and regal flicking as a fire queen. Fierce loving. Verdant rich with honeyed ambrosia like the slip of an absinthe sylph undulating the Anahata Chakra of the Heart – green. Full loving. Yellow like the gleam of sunshine splashing the earth’s flora and your beloved’s flesh at day’s end. Golden light love. And pure like the scent of a rose, a lone and potent stalk of lavender, the crystalline lily. The scent of love. All these things.
I still believe in you, heart.
Over lunch my friend asks, what was the most valuable thing I learned about people from teaching drama to children for 17 plus years. I can answer in a flash, because I cherish this lesson, what I learned. What I saw and experienced. It is that the heart is good and loving.
Closing eyes, and resting hand on heart, you may feel it. Even though bruised and clumsily veiled. It is. Good and loving.
I’ve experienced it in children. Witnessed it in my adult yoga students too. I asked them to put hands on hearts, their own hearts, and saw bodies soften, auras shine.
Anyone can prove me wrong. Sure. Easy-peasy. Logic slashes and shreds in endless lists of horrid misdemeanors.
But maybe… What if… I refuse to let my mind lead me astray with these thoughts. Hold onto power. Don’t give it away. Because it really can become dreadfully veiled with dire consequences. Just sit and feel my heart. And watch my mind. Keeping it on my heart.
And from there I open my eyes and go out in the world and listen and really see.