A little blog I wrote, published on the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce website about the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI. My home village…
By Doreen Stelton
To feel enveloped in a welcoming place with friendly folk. You know this feeling? You know it. We all share it. That desire to connect with others, to get social and commune. Perhaps even sharing a deeper experience together, basking in the beauty and mysteries of life. For a lifetime, a day, …
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…
From the edge of the dance floor at the Masquerade Ball, Missy’s ears prick up, “It’s Missy! I know that dog! She’s a dog worth petting again!” Missy’s first visit to the New York Faerie Festival, or any festival, and she’s made friends with faeries, trolls, goblins & wizards within the realm of the fae.
And what a festival! Abundant enchantment; music & dancing all day…
Magical creatures of all varieties… (Missy’s new friends)
A tree house, a free house.
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.
A street house, a neat house
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all-
Let's go live in a tree house.
Missy is particularly enchanted with the joust and horses, ‘scuse me, unicorns.
When not getting petted, Missy let me visit some of the many lovely vendors. Just a sampling…
Do you know this feeling?
When you look into the woods at night or dusk. And you can feel the mystery. The wonder of it.
What. Is. Going. On. In. There?
Magnetized towards the pulsation of the ancient virtues. Heart quickening. You know something is going on in there! Alchemistic renderings of earth and spirit, your transcendence is a gossamer thread away…
It’s on the other side of the Troll’s Bridge (no duh), the Faerie Habitat. An enchanted sphere of the Festival grounds. Dryads, Mermaids, Faeries… Charm spinning and spirit gifting…
Linger in the Habitat to connect and transcend.
But first you must get past the trolls. And, be warned. There is a troll toll. They demand, in the friendliest of ways, “shinys” (really anything that is shiny), or a joke, or you may choose to get mud tattooed.
Missy is not so sure of the trolls. Mayhap because they refer to her as a goat.
But the charm of the Trolls wins Missy over.
In the end Missy passes in to the Faerie Habitat. Her mysterious encounters there will remain mysteriously hers.
But wait, Goblins!
Gandersnitch the Goblin is a revelation. Despite the assurance that he is a reformed Goblin, poetic and wise, I’m wary. But he turns out to be a kindly inspiration.
Gandersnitch is indeed poetic and wise. I’m reading and loving his perfectly inappropriately refreshing and highly entertaining book now.
He also has a lovely card game and takes confessions.
As for me, the festival was my sublime medicine. I am sincerely grateful. Thank you.
Surrounded by the singing of the spirit of the wild self, I am mended. Thank you. I soak up kindness, wildness, and joy from the festival creatures. Thank you. The dear souls near my tent who chat with me and help me set up and dance with me at the ball. Thank you. The sparkling eyes and filthy-glittered dancing bodies. Prose and laughter spilling from mouths like honeyed nectar. And the collective feeling that life is indeed something to be lived and played with. The outward reflection that we are all of us beautiful and magical. Thank you.
It brings me back to myself. Ah yes, hello to my beautiful, magical me. So nice to glow you again.
The New York Faerie Festival is a three-day affair just completing it’s 7th year. It is out in the boonies of New York, tucked in a valley near a river. Parts of the Festival grounds are in shady woods, and parts bright sun.
Primitive (Port-O-Let) but happy camping is available on the premises. Two yummy dinners are included, with options for meat eaters and vegetarians. There is a simple breakfast hosted at the local firehouse for a small fee/donation. There are some other campgrounds and motels nearby.
There is so much going on at this festival! I barely touched on it here. Fantastic music and performances on multiple stages, outstanding vendors, jousting, tons of street characters who interact with the festival goers, some food trucks, and little spaces throughout the grounds to hang out and play or dream. The Masquerade Ball on Saturday night is not to be missed!
Wear a costume.
Bring cash, always appreciated and it was hard to get a signal to use the Square reader.
Also, read the email communications you receive from the Festival carefully, for if you camp there are specific arrival times.
Hope to see you there in 2017!
If you want more festival blogs, I have several. Here they be:
A word-scent linked portrait of my mother. The inspiration for my perfume, Anam Cara.
Long ago ~ Anam Cara Base Notes
Warm grounding Sandalwood and Vanilla…
Staring into the grass.
Raggedy Anne doll by my side.
My mother, the artist, is near,
Under the oaks, drawing.
She has stayed home to be with me.
I feign sick just to be with her.
Potent scent of Fossilized Amber…
A portrait of me,
I have the striped legs of Raggedy Anne.
I marvel in awe
"How does she do that?"
Patchouli, the earthy unconventional…
She lets me run wild through forests and climb pyramids.
Viewing the world through her eyes,
Eyes filled with curiosity and humor.
Not too too long ago ~ Anam Cara Heart Notes
Sweetness of Bulgarian Rose…
I do really, really, stupid things.
Haunt questionable neighborhoods,
Make bad choices.
They are barely mentioned.
Spicy Clove and luscious Orange Blossom…
A heady period
Of shared African dance classes,
Performance art collaborations.
She plays Shaman.
Her 'Lowly Potato' soliloquy steals the show.
Rich comforting Coffee aroma…
Now I am the mother and teacher.
Frequent, lengthy, excruciating stretches of distressing chaos.
“First there must be chaos, then art.”
We laugh over commiserative cups.
And 'chaos first' becomes my mantra.
Pretty much now ~ Anam Cara Top Totes
Sparkle and Shimmery scent of Petitgrain, Bergamot, and Haute Lavender…
It is summer and we sit under the Oaks.
On a swing seat drinking wine in the middle of the afternoon
“Isn’t it close enough to 3:00?”
When her stories get lively
I pull my legs up under me,
And let her push.
And she pushes us with gusto.
Legs matching the exuberance of words.
Her spirit shimmery
Our friendship sparkles.
I also had a lovely little launch at a Women’s Healing Hour where three different healers told me there was a lot of energy around my 6th chakra and nose area. And this was before they knew I was the perfumer!
Stephan Harrod Buhner’s book, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, gently and with humor encourages us to become wild scientists, and undomesticated explorers of the Gaian world. We are not so separate from Gaia from and a plague on this earth, as we are often chastised as being. And by connecting and feeling and dreaming into the earth we can consciously open doors of perception and reconnect with nature as kindred beings.
If you are a lover of the arts and creativity, you will especially love this read. If you are a fan of *feeling* life, you will love this book. If you are a passionate meditator, and curious about perception, you too will love it. And plants? Dig it, you’ll love it.