In the crisp, quiet snow, through the sleeping woods we quest. The forest, at once muted and subtle, is laid bare with winter. The naked skeletons of trees impose themselves through the softness of white drifts. The trees relieved of their autumnal frippery are akin to deep soul-urges exposed.
We seek the Winter Faerie Queene, Queen Mab, my Fae companion and I.
For the Winter Queen is queen of sleep and deep dreaming. She delivers us to new imaginings. Daring us to dream our dreams and intoxicate ourselves in crystalline brilliance no matter the chill on our fingers and nose.
So we hasten on. After all, is this not what forest snow is for? To lull and snap us to the feet of the magnificent Queen of the Winter Court. To imagine and create.
Is it not the river of life?
What of her, this Queen Mab?
Shakespeare provides us this, “she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman.”
But is she really so petite? I’ll wager it’s an expression of endearment, like “Little John,” the ironic name given Robin Hood’s 7-foot tall warrior. Because Queen Mab, Queen of Winter, and of sleep and dreams, is massively powerful.
She is our SUPERPOWER. She is yourimagination.
How often have we heard the following?
“It’s just your imagination.”
“That’s just fantasy.”
“You’re just daydreaming again!”
“Just.” A single, insidious word making fantasy and imagination diminutive, rendering it powerless. Thus (and here is the true belittling of Queen Mab) we set aside living creatively. We set aside our power to create.
“Step in line! Beware the siren’s voice inside of you! Shove away those dreams you hold dear.”
But the seeds sleeping in the depths of winter, preparing to bust out a move in the spring, are like your dreams and imaginings. And the Imaginal Realm is where you nurture those seed dreams.
And EVERYTHING comes from a dream, a feeling, a thought, and then an action.
Why do you think “they” try to steer us from it? (Yes, I’m a rebel.)
So as the light returns with the winter solstice and your dreams start to stir and bud, get yourself over to the Imaginal Realm and curtsy long and deep to the Queen. The intoxicating Queen Mab, your superpower – imagination. For she is in YOU. She is a part of YOU. SHE IS YOU.
But why am I telling you this? You know it all already. Enjoy!
Please let me explain. In my world under the waves, it is no ones place to forgive or judge. Merfolk simply feel and be. But now there is a bit of the human in me, through my lover, and from this human place inside of me, I offer this confession.
So, you see, under the waves there is always music. A continuous, wordless, soundpoem – not merely heard, no. The song of the seas resonates in your body. You feel the song reverberate ceaselessly in the halls and chambers of our iridescent palaces. It is a world of feeling, of emotion, and sensation. And there, in this song, you ‘know’ all manner of beings. Yes, there are fishes, octopi, and other water creatures. But also befriended are pearlescent orbs floating gently amongst quick whipping goldersnaps. We are all part of this song.
As a young undine I first visited the world of sun and air, and there, above the waves, for the first time, I smelled. Rank and fetid with salty seaweed and fresh breeze mingled with the subtle, sweet, aroma of blossoms. Momentarily, my throat choked and body racked in spasms for the intensity. In less than a moment I was seduced and overcome with its inherent pleasure. I wanted to devour the smells. Ever after, under the waves, I knew lust.
Forgive me for I did not mean to lure my human lover under the waves with me. It was this song emanating from my beingness, this ever-present melody of the depths. My lips, so, you see, they sing mellifluent without my knowledge or intention. I only wanted to visit the world of sun and air for the briefest of time. For a sniff. Or two. And so it was that he heard my song and could not resist. He became mine to know.
Forgive me for I also did not mean to love him so. It was the scent of the sea in his curly locks and his skin smelling sweetly of Jasmine and mint that drew me. The faint earthy, musky aromas lingering in places on his body (I blush to mention) from his time on solid land, when not a sailor, that bound me to him. I became insatiable.
Now as one, under the waves he basks in my song and I in his scent. For when I wrap him in my tail and pull at his hair, and we undulate in the waves, I can once again devour his scent and he my song.
I know, so many questions! How does he breathe down there? How long have we been under the waves in our union? And just how do undines make love, hmmmm?
Ah, but I have made my confessions and thus feel absolved. These are revelations for another time.
Dear Reader, can you imagine smelling for the very first time? Wouldn’t you fall in love too?
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:
Can you feel it? The pulsation of energy and expansion. Summer is a time of unfurling and ripening, an outward – yang season. A genial time for delighting in the company of others and for self-expression.
To connect with this genial and expansive energy, find some time to honor your connection with the sun and the start of summer. Be quietly with yourself and wildly with others. Or wildly with yourself and quietly with others!
Summer Solstice has become quite the holiday, as in days of yore, so most of us are aware it is the official kick-off of summer. It’s also a day when the veil between the faerie and mortal world is thin and contact can be made. Hence for me, reading the faerie cards is a must…
I also like to leave gifts for the fae; nuts, cheese, honey, whiskey… They flutter about and absorb the essences.
Meditation and Faerie journeys are wonderful to get into the faerie summer spirit.
Here’s a faerie journey/meditation…
To start, you may like to use scent and aromas. Jasmine is a beautiful transportive scent. I’ll be using my DuskBlossom Perfume.
And I’ve been playing with essential oil of Mugwort lately. Honestly, it does not smell so yummy, but is reportedly great for accessing the faerie and astral worlds. You may use these by applying to wrists and hands or temples. If you are pregnant you should avoid Mugwort.
(MUGWORT SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PREGNANT WOMEN!)
Next, take a moment to center yourself and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Feel yourself connected to the earth and simply feel your body from within. Try not to judge, just let yourself be and observe.
In your mind’s eye, picture yourself in a sunny meadow filled with flowers. The sun is high in the sky. As you are enjoying the warmth of the sun you see at the edge of the meadow a white deer, stag, or unicorn.
Slowly approach it and see if it is friendly towards you. Perhaps it will let you gently stroke it’s neck. Perhaps it will let you climb up on it’s back.
If it does not seem like a good choice to climb up. Just enjoy your visit, thank the creature, and go back to your meadow and sit and feel the effects of the visit.
If you are able to do be on the back of the creature. Let it take you for a ride. Observe what you see and feel.
When the ride is complete, go back to your flowery meadow.
Contemplate what was revealed to you.
Here’s where we use the sun. Allow the bright brilliant light of the sun to illuminate anything you felt, saw, or thought. You do not even need to understand intellectually. Just let it be filled with sunlight.
Enjoy this sensation.
When you feel complete, stretch and yawn, allow yourself to awaken,refreshed and energized by the sun.
Finally, pet your dog, even though she has barked throughout your meditation and stepped all over your faerie card spread.
Sprawled under the hydrangea bushes. Late spring only, but the heat says otherwise, sayin’ summer already. There is Lulu, reflecting momentarily on the turn of event. The event? Gettin’ with your gnomies… At the Maryland Faerie Festival.
Thoughts and images flood… Remembrances… Treasures…
First, to commune with the faeries tenting is key… For in the tent you hear the faerie wild rites surging and glittery faerie glam seeps through the zippy fabric into dreams.
But who could sleep with all this ruckus? And the music, sometimes eerie sometimes tribal, always magic.
It was at the drum circle that the Faerie Festival Queen announced that a gnome was missing.
Despite the late night, at dawn Lulu is up and Unicorn-led. Onwards through a sparkle chandelier lit crystal curtain to a village of wee fae homes inhabited by kindly faeries. Going where??? In search of what??? The stolen Gnome???
The wee faerie houses themselves seemed to whisper, “open the door, open your heart, open to mystery, magic, the fae arts.”
Yet the voices of these two rang most clear (in a singsongy pixie way.)
Some fae folk clapped their hands and pointed with staffs. “This way and that.”
But with all the delightful distractions, staying on course, of course, which course?, is there even a course? as tricksy as a faerie path.
Other more mysterious messages came from ever more mysterious fae folk.
There were gnomes everywhere. Near trees…
And gnomes that claimed to just be “Thinking of trees…”
And the brilliant musicians that sold her the flute that truly set Lulu’s course
Eyes closed, ya’ know, Lulu wears her hat and plays the flute. Magical notes play. The melody like rivulets streaming sing. Stardust the Unicorn hears and heeds the calling thus whisks her to a flowery meadow. Sliding off his back she encounters the tree. Now so small she opens the wee tree door and slips in and down the very roots of the tree where her special gnomies wait for her in a crystal hall. Vessels of sweet ambrosia and faerie cakes await (but she knows better than to eat any faerie food, ya’ know). The fireplace crackles with delight. The gnomes whisper strange words that both sooth and astound. And Lulu just knows, ya’ know, just knows to sit and soak it all in…
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair :
Fear not ; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you
~Robert Herrick, “Corinna’s Going A-Maying”
Today, on Beltane, I send you wishes for virility, fertility, and joy in the pulse of spring and life. May all your seeds blossom and find glorious expression on this verdant earth!
Beltane or Celtic May Day begins at moonrise on May eve. Bonfires were lit, and hand-fastings (pagan marriages) were traditionally made. Fertility was celebrated by dancing round the Maypole, a phallus symbol representing the male God. The colorful ribbons and flowers on the Maypole symbolize the Goddess. Hence the Maypole dance is a sensual celebration of the union of Goddess and God. Parties could get pretty wild.
It is also a time when Fae presence is near to mortals. Falling asleep under a Hawthorn on May eve will result in the faeries whisking you away. I should like to try this! Robin Goodfellow is often associated with May Day. Half man and half goat he was noted for his mischievous pranks AND the seduction of mortal maidens.
Green is the color of spring, fertility, and healing. Here is a little magic, earth-centered meditation you can do:
If you have an inspiring natural scent, put some on! I like the verdant faerie perfume DuskBlossom for this meditation.
Sit or lie quietly. Take some deep breaths and check in with your physical body and note how it feels. Just observe. Then take a few more deep breaths and allow any tension to dissolve.
If you are not out in nature imagine in your mind’s eye, that you are in a beautiful meadow. Feel the pulse of the earth, hear the birds singing, note lovely, earthy smells.
Then let your breathing slow. As you inhale imagine/feel the verdant energy of the earth and breath in its green energy and color. As you exhale, breathe out gold. You are an alchemist! Take several more breaths like this. Then move on and imagine green energy absorbing into every cell in your body and the bubble of space around you, your aura. Again, as you exhale, gold emits from every cell and your aura.
Linger like this as long as you please. When you are finished, thank the earth and open yours eyes. Stretch.
Tonight I’ll wear some DuskBlossom and do a Beltane card reading…
However you celebrate this May Day – I wish you vibrant, verdant, sensual, raw, wild, powerful energies!
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!