The Blue Faerie Hag

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Here is a story about the old ways. I could give you a historical explanation of its origin, classifying it as myth (The folk story of the blue faerie hag heralds from the Scots.  She was believed to emerge from the underworld on All Hallow’s Eve, etc.). I could detail how the old myths mingle with our collective psyche and bring healing and renewal, etc. (Blah, blah, shamanism, blah.) But then it would make it all sound not so true. Like it’s just a story or something.  And it’s all much truer than we care to admit. So pour yourself a cup, and simply open your heart and read.

Once a girl was, yet she was tender. She wandered the woods near her grandmother’s house and felt her own tenderness with great pleasure and innocence. The eyes and creatures of the woods were on her in hushed respect. The trees whispered and marveled, “her countenance…” The stones sounded silently of her beingness. Sometimes she would sit by the stream and make ‘paint’ of crushed berries and leaves to adorn the rocks. Always she would hold the rocks to her cheek first. Feeling their alliance. She was tender and could feel and sense like this.

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As years the years passed she was a woman, and she was yet tender. But, yet, not so tender as before when she was young. Things happened, not always nice things, as life goes, and the tenderness receded. The woods were far away and lost to her. Then all tenderness was lost.

She wondered, “Where did the tenderness go?” Then she forgot. She forgot about the tenderness she felt. She slipped into the dreamless, sleepless amnesia of the forgotten trees and stones.

The trees and stones did not forget though. They never do. They may not yearn as human creatures do. Yearning for what is gone or cannot be, but forget? No.  Especially the stones.

One autumn day a mysterious task of the ‘no room for tenderness’ variety appeared on her list of to-do’s and she mysteriously found herself near her old woods.

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She walked into the welcoming hushed admiration of her woods. Sitting by the river she picked up a stone. It was cold and smooth. Bluish, grey. She held it to her forehead and cheek to feel it’s smoothness and then her lips and nose, to smell its dank fortitude. She drank it with her being.

She put the stone to her ear because the stone began to tap and sound. Rattling and knocking. It grew outside of the stone, all around her in a rhythm. It rumbled onto and into her chest like a thousand beating hearts.

Before her, (or maybe in her mind’s eye, or maybe in the corner of her eye), (oh, just, never mind)  before her appeared an old hag. Her aged stone-like skin was blue with cold.  Her hair was brittle with frost and her cloak the color of withered foliage and death. She bore a basket and a staff with the skull of a raven. But her eyes, you guessed it, her eyes, were tender.

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The stone song grew and in an instant she knew inside her was a massive urn filled with the stones. Each stone heavy with the weight of all those ‘not nice things of life.’ The urn too weighty to bear or shift it pressed the tenderless woman down. Without words the blue faerie hag directed her staff at the urn, shaking it open with a massive soul quake, spilling the stones.

The stones danced into the air. The stones rattled and knocked into her basket. Every last one of them. And then the old hag just sauntered off into a mist. Cause that’s how those magical faerie things end.

It was now winter. The woman felt empty and alone without her urn of stones. But it was a good kind of empty. And a good sort of alone. She grew to enjoy it. For she discovered there was, in the emptiness, yet a tenderness. And she could rest in this void for a time whilst preparing for spring.

And she a woman was; yet she too was tender.

Blessed Samhain!

And may you rest deeply in the arms of  the blue hag,

the Cailleach Bheur

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Me in the primeval forest.
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The tender and primeval, Missy.

 

 

Dearest Reader, thank you for reading!

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Happy Imbolc- First Blush of Spring Awakening

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Welcome to the Faerie Festival of Imbolc!

Feb 1st.

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.

In fact, I still do this.

Do you have a favorite spring ritual or scent?

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verdant faerie’s botanical perfume, Duskblossom, my choice for Imbolc

Beauty For 2017!

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Happy New Year!

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…

Terrifying

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…

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The Faerie Nose | by Doreen Stelton

Feathered Faerie Hats Off to Arielle for her new Lit Mag, Fair Folk Journal. Lookie – they gave my poem a home! xoxoxoxo

I Still Believe

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The heart…

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.

And then I act.

Yes.  I still believe in you, heart.

Will you join me?

 

 

 

Blessed Samhain & Celtic New Year

May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.

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Autumn and Mermaids

I love that this shadow holiday, Samhain or Halloween, is now celebrated so effusively.  The day when the veil between us and the otherworld is thin and porous with faerie contact palpable.

We are moving from the autumn, the direction of west and water elementals.  Our over arching consorts these past three months have been mermaids, water sprites, and selkies.  Helping us to connect to our deepest self through our emotions, sensuality, and inner mysteries.

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This fall found me blending up a mermaid perfume, which will appear in my etsy store when I’ve tweaked it some, aged it a bit, and then tested it under the glow of a full moon.  Finding the perfect dreamy balance of raw sensuality and fresh salty air proved to be a challenge.  Finally I found a delicious blend of oak moss, violet leaf, and sandalwood with neroli, roses, and a hint of jasmine.  I’m still playing with it, trying to incorporate my handmade seaweed tincture, but I poured some solids in these sweet little shell lockets.  I’ll list them in the shop soon.

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I hope you are also enjoying the beauty of fall.  Joyful, creepy skeletons and jack o’lanterns abound.  Death flashing in brilliant color and the seductive scent of decaying plant matter wafting curious comfort; refreshing in the cooler air.

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New Year and Earth Elementals

Happy New Year – Celtic style.  November marks the start of a new year in the tradition of the old ways.  We move into the time of the north and earth elementals; gnomes, elves, and dryads.  The quiet, solid, nature of rocks, earth, trees will soon be our companions

It is time to conceive.  To look deep inside, as with a night dream, and listen to the self in here.  From November through January we can ponder, what are our intentions, what would we like to manifest?  How can you bring balance to yourself and beauty to the world?  How can you make the most of this crazy life you have been gifted?

I’ll be contemplating which direction to take my meditation, perfume, writing, and faerie magic…

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beautiful packaging (picture not my own)
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a studio in nature (picture not my own)
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this… (picture not my own)

Perfume – scent, oils, botanicals and perfumes are powerful, sacred tools as well as scentual delights.   My perfume of choice at present is my own perfume creation  Dryad.  An all natural and botanical fougere type.  Dryad is an Eau De Parfum and can be worn easily by man or woman.

Dryad’s scent notes:
Cedar & Fir; Lavender absolute graced with the spirit of fern, Violet Leaf & Cassie Flower; Oakmoss, Tonka Bean & Patchouli

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Find Dryad Here

There are so many magickal ways to set intention and manifest, from ritual sex magick (no partner required!) to visualization.  As of late I’ve been exploring sigils, visualization, and faerieshaman stuff.  And of course oils and perfumes.  But these are topics for another time.

Ok, for now – one last share, a Celtic prayer/poem – “The Deer’s Cry.”

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven, light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightening
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of Sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

Do you have magical ways of making your dreams come true?  Missy and I would love to hear them!

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Happy Halloween

A Scented Gathering For Mermaids

…You Are Invited…

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swish…swish…swish…Chicago

Our gracious hostess is the fabulous artist and sister mermaid, Sharon Bladholm, of Opal Glass Studio.  Sharon is a magical mermaid creature and we are excited to share our love of mermaids with you.

Sharon’s website is here-

Opal Glass Studio

Scent of a Mermaid

I’m delighted to announce Undine, the perfume, will preview at the gathering.  This first limited edition of Undine will appear as a solid perfume in lovely shell-shaped, locket necklaces.  Undine features a floral heart note of Rose, fresh Violet, and Champaca flower on a salt-air, marine base.  Like all of my perfumes, Undine is an all-natural composition.

Undine is an artistic expression and part of my mystical faerie realm exploration.  You can read my glimpse into the world of mermaids that came to me while gazing into a magical pool in the land of the fae here  –

Confessions of a Mermaid

I’ll also have my other verdant faerie botanical perfumes on hand.  Here’s my Etsy store –

verdant faerie perfumes

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Treats for the Mermaid Soul

Oh, and there’ll be treats AND free (brief) Mermaid Card Readings with my fantastic new deck – Oracle Of The Mermaids.  Reading faerie cards for myself and friends has been my passion hobby for many years now.  Most recently I have felt moved to offer these up to folks as a gift.  So check it out!

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Here be Mermaids

You will find the mermaids gathering on Saturday, October 15, 2-6 pm, in the garden of the Albany Carroll Arts Building, 319 N. Albany in Chicago, weather permitting.  Balloons will mark the entrance of the Garden.  In case of rain we will be indoors in Sharon’s studio.  Feel free to email me and I will send you my phone number so that you may text me if you get confused/disoriented.  doreen@verdantfaerie.com.

Please contact me with questions or concerns.

Hope to see you there!

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