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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Beauty Returns

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After a year and a half of travel this beautiful Tara returned to me.

She was with me in my condo before my beloved nomad year.  Another lifetime ago it seems.  A treasured gift from one of my parent’s many travels.  She was my companion in plenty of my ‘dark nights of the soul’ as well as joyful days of dancing yoga in the sun.

When I went nomad she was tucked away in a friend’s space.

And now she is returned.  Upon opening her storage box and seeing her,  I gasped, with pleasure.  I nearly forgot.  But I remember now…

Tara was returned to me to coincide with the flash of beauty in death that comes with autumn’s spectacular blaze of vibrant leaves before the deep sleep of winter.

Both remind me to treasure the beauty of things passing.  To enjoy the cycles of life.  And to allow myself rest and reprieve when the time is right.  To ready myself for rebirth.  And beauty.

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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Happy Solstice

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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.

Here are some recent pics of our life…

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Shine on you crazy darlings!

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My Anam Cara Missy

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Today I was watching Missy sniff the air again.  I get jealous of her.  Her ability to sniff so intensely…

I took to the dunes to sniff and write.  Which I did do.  With some vials of perfume materials, I did Plein Air blending (on my wrist) then wrote a little story about these scents.  (I’m working on a piece about perfume as theatre).

But a lot of the time I just admired Missy enjoying the dunes…

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Randomly, I am reminded about John O’Donohue’s book, Anam Cara, and I pulled it out to share a quote with you, dear Reader.  A quote about Fragrance and Breath.

John O’Donohue was a Irish poet, author and priest and I strongly recommend his writings if you are not familiar.  His book  Anam Cara explores friendships, love, states of being, and what it is to be human.

Synchronistically he mentions the very thing I was marveling over.

From Anam Cara

“The sense of smell or fragrance is deft and immediate…  Animals, of course, work wonderfully with the sense of smell.  To take dogs for a walk is to realize how differently they experience a landscape.  They are glued to trails of scent and enjoy a complete adventure, tracing invisible smell pathways everywhere.  Each day we breathe 23,040 times; we have 5 million olfactory cells.  A sheepdog has 220 million such cells.  The sense of smell is so powerful in the animal world because it assists survival by alerting the animal to danger.  The sense of smell is vital to the sense of life.”

O’Donohue continues,

“..breath is sister of spirit.”

And then linking fragrance and breath to spirit.

“The sense of smell includes the sensuality of fragrance, but the dynamic of breathing also takes in the deep world of prayer and meditation, where through the rhythm of the breath you come down into your own primordial level of soul.  Through breath meditation, you begin to experience a place within you that is absolutely intimate with the divine ground.”

Isn’t that brilliant?

I have no real point to make here.  Just wanted to share.

Here’s a couple more blogs about Missy, fragrance, meditation, and self love, in case you missed them…

Cute Dogs Smellin’ Icky Things and Jasmine

Kauai Flower Meditation

And here’s a blatant invitation to experience my perfume!  (Hey a faerie’s gotta breath too!)

Anam Cara, Eau De Parfum

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Anam Cara from the Phantasmagoria Series

“If you perceive the entire universe as phantasmagoria an ineffable joy will arise in you”   ~Vajnanabhairava Tantra…first century A.D.

 

And Happy Friday!

 

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