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♫    Music to dream by ....
on the album
'' Drill a Hole in That Substrate
and Tell Me What You See
"    2004  ♫

Bluebird - Jim White

(minimize & listen while you browse)

 

  

     August 27th 2012      Suffolk Snapshot - unexpected magical sights with late summer lanterns and landscapes .......     

Blythburgh - one of the angels in the 15th century Angel Roof ©vcsinden2012
 
Detail of 'The Angel Roof' Blythburgh Church


   This Wood Guardian faery is a pretty well-travelled creature, but never stops being amazed by what she finds in the most unexpected of places.

   Flying up the east coast of  Suffolk, and making small wayfarings inland, Muddypond found not only the well-known villages, their orderly cottages painted a glowing 'Suffolk pink' but all sorts of curiosities fit for faery-studies ...

   Angels play a big part in Suffolk history and culture it seems, and the wonderful 15th century carved and painted vastness of the roof interior of Blythburgh Church took my breath away.

Richard Thompson at Snape-Maltings August 2012 ©vcsinden2012 Snape Maltings Concert Hall ©vcsinden2012
 
The concert hall at Snape Maltings from the reed withies, and a darker
angel. A sell-out Aldeburgh Music Prom by one of Muddypond's all-time heroes - singer/songwriter and superhuman guitar player - Richard Thompson
Sizewell Nuclear Power Station in the evening ©vcsinden2012
The Suffolk moonscape of Sizewell Nuclear Power Station and beach in the evening light.

          Please note - you may have seen elsewhere in Muddypond's musings that she is only too well aware of the cataclysmic effect of the emanations from nuclear waste on the ever-declining population of all kinds of Magics.

Three different kinds of magic ..... each one bewitching
The Galloper - Aldeburgh Festival Suffolk ©vcsinden2012
Watchers in Framlingham Church, Suffolk ©vcsinden2012
Relishing every minute on the old-fashioned 'Galloper' at Aldeburgh festival
     Framlingham church, watched over by the green-man and his lady
Aldeburgh, the Chinese Lantern parade in August ©vcsinden2012
The Chinese Lantern parade at Aldeburgh Festival - hundreds, perhaps thousands of local people snake along the old streets to the beach - lanterns aloft.

 

 

 

     August 17th 2012    Oh dear - we get everywhere don't we us hedgerow faeries! ....

©vcsinden2012 ©vcsinden2012
Olympic Stadium Friday last week - the 4 x 100m American girls celebrate their new world record

      Well sure we do - we may live out in the wilds - but have wings will fly- and well, couldn't miss this could I? It was all the mortals said it would be, but better - and not even any queues, which was odd since I know from experience that that's what people like to do best on their days out.  Olympic Park eco-plaque set in the path ©vcsinden2012
     

     But - what this eco-minded magic thought was so lovely were the river banks, kept natural, alive with moorhens and lined with bullrushes. and the wildflower gardens planted like meadows which wound their way through the park and around the various arenas.

  Wild flowers in thousands for the insects and birds - drenched with bees busy in the sunshine. and the exquisite metal plaques set flat into the paving to draw our attention to them ...

Click on the plaque to see a more detailed view ...

 

Olympic Park wild flower meadows in full bloom ©vcsinden2012
Wild flower plantings in the Olympic Park, London ©vcsinden2012

 Wild flowers in profusion set in huge swathes and meadow-like drifts in the Olympic Park.

 

 

     August 12th 2012    Question .....  do faeries and other magics have summer music festivals? .....
 (Making magic? Need a wand or bark for incense?  The Ogham wood for this time of year is now  Hazel - Coll ,   August 5th - September 1st)

     Here I set forth the evidence ..... 

'The Fairy Musicians' Helen Jacobs

           
     All my favourite early 20th century faery artists have painted their charges frolicking to home-made music. Top amongst the magical instruments are pipes, flutes and penny-whistles. Drums are popular of course, as are fiddles, cellos and harps.

     So too are small percussion pieces made from bell-type flowers of various descriptions, and trumpets stolen from lilies or honeysuckle. 

   When we say 'festivals', we don't have the kind of gatherings that you mortals think of by that name. No crushed wings or deafened ears for us. There aren't enough of us left for such wild events even if we wanted them. (We don't!).

 

   On the right, an illustration by Helen Jacobs c1920 'The Fairy Musicians' captures the delicacy of the affair exactly. No wonder she's the artist I love best.   

   

       What we favour is a small  'faery meet' or 'moot' as they're called. They can be at any time of year and for any reason - but of course full moons, equinoxes and solstice nights are almost compulsory. (Almost - you can't compel a faery to do anything!)

Ida Outhwaite 'the Fairy Jazz Band'
'The Fairy Jazz Band'  by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite c1920

Do fairies have music festivals? here is a picture by Horace Knowles of one that he saw around 90 years ago ....

'The Fairy Musicians' from 'Peeps into Fairyland'
by Horace Knowles 1924

     Any excuse will do for a celebration, but you mortals are pretty unlikely to come across a musical 'faere-moot'. They're held in secret 'in-between' places, between woods and water - deep in the forest between clearing and trees  on the edges of reality. They are held at 'twixt and between' times - the cross-over point between light and night at dawns and dusks - in the seconds between sun setting and moon rising. 

 
Raphael Tuck postcard by Thomas Maybank c1910

   So, the answer to the opening question (sent in by a dear reader) is - erm - well - sort of! In our own way 'yes' but if you want to witness a 'Faery-Glasto-Moot' then I'm sorry - but 'no' is all I can advise.

     Anyway - you know perfectly well what happens to a mortal that hears proper faery music - they are captured, spun and circled until they are entirely lost- possibly never to be seen again! Serves them right I say - pfffft! - they have enough of their own festivals to go to!

'the Merry Piper' by Harold Gaze
'The Fairy Orchestra'  by Cecily Mary Baker
Illustration from 'The Merry Piper' by Harold Gaze pub:Little Brown 1925

             In case you should rightly wonder -
but where's the faery-master Rackham himself in all these musical drawings?
You will find his art of faery song  here, new on the Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green Blog.

    **Muddypond Green has added a new page to the Magick section of her faery website -
all about understanding and making 'Smudge Sticks' or using hallowed smoke from wild herbs.
You might not have found it yet!**

 

 

    
     August 1st 2012
    
In search of music -  unhinged at the one and only Cambridge Folk Festival ......
The Destroyers  at The Cambridge Folk Festival July 2012 ©vcsinden2012

     This group of talented, lunatic mortal-misfits is The Destroyers - and has to be the most theatrical band ever to alight at a festival! They play a kind of story-telling Balkan/East European style, apparently known as 'Klezmer' whilst coming from Birmingham! The whole experience is madly and wildly joyful!  Loved them! Their new album 'Hole in the Universe' is about to be launched! 

 Cambridge Folk Festival camping under the trees July 2012 ©vcsinden2012      Camping for human folk couldn't be pretttier, pitched in amongst the mighty trees of Cherry Hinton Park and never far from the action. And all so clean - oh so very clean!

   Even the smallest and most enthusiastic of fans had a great, great four days.
  
Flittering round a corner I came across this young band - they are 'The Tin Pigeons' and definitely one to watch for the future. Round the next corner were customers at the juice bar exuberantly pedalling a smoothie.
Mine was apple, pear and lime with a touch of fresh ginger.
  Cambridge Folk Festival juice bar July 2012 ©vcsinden2012

      Too many superlative musicians to watch, playing to packed crowds, so choosing had to be carefully planned. Apart from the surprise of The Destoyers, above, my most treasured moments came from Seth Lakeman (of course), Raghu Dixit, and June Tabor with Oysterband.

June Tabor at The Cambridge Folk Festival July 2012 ©vcsinden2012
Seth Lakeman - on fire  at The Cambridge Folk Festival July 2012 ©vcsinden2012
Raghu Dixit  at The Cambridge Folk Festival July 2012 ©vcsinden2012
June Tabor
Seth Lakeman
Raghu Dixit

     Still learning - as all good Magicks must, even at festival times - Muddypond took the opportunity to take a crash course in the art of playing the Northumbrian Pipes.  Well - kinda playing. Then it rained. No, thundered. No, hailed. Hmm well, it was wet for a while before the sun shone on us again.

Muddypond Green learning Northumbrian Pipes ©vcsinden2012 After the storm - wet Sunday at the Cambridge Folk Festival ©vcsinden2012

   Then - oh - so thrilled to see Clannad making a comeback after twenty years, with their original line up! I always imagined that 'Robin the Hooded Man', a song so very beloved by the faere-folk - was a 'made-in-the-studio' sound. 

    This one should have more faith!  There they were - in front of my eyes - and there was 'Robin' -
sounding exactly like the haunting music I knew of old, if not better.
Long may they reign. And the festival too! I will be back.Clannad revival at the Cambridge Folk Festival 2012 ©vcsinden2012

 

 

   July 22nd 2012    'In search of stones' ....  the Rollright Stone Circle ......

Rollright Stones ©vcsinden2012

    Spiritual places - even more awe-inspiring on dark, cloudy days.  Learning about the 'faery cathedrals' is an important part of the British hedgerow faery's training as I've tried to explain before. I can never achieve proper status as a Stella Fae unless all necessary levels are passed, and that can take hundreds of years to do!

    But that's as maybe - levels or no levels - we're drawn to them - can't help it. At last I've seen the Rollrights - after promising myself for so long. Away from most of the mortal world, quite high for Oxfordshire hills and at its border with Warwickshire, sits a worn stone circle wide and low .... where the stones are known as 'The King's Men' ....

Rollrights - weathered limestone ©vcsinden2012 Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire - portal ©vcsinden2012
The rock is not the usual 'sarson stone' but 'megalithic oolitic limestone' which is why, over thousands of years, they have become so weathered.

    The stones were mentioned by a clerk of Cambridge in the fourteenth century thus ....'In the Oxford countryside there are great stones, arranged as it were .... by the hand of man. But at what time this was done, or by what people, or for what memorial or significance, is unknown.'

Rollright Stone Circle - Oxfordshire ©vcsinden2012

       Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire - the Whispering Knights tomb ©vcsinden2012 Legend would have it that the 'King's men'  were turned to stone by an elder tree witch. Just a few hundred yards (as the faery flies) from the circle - stands a partly fallen dolman tomb, whose side-chamber stones lean together conspiritorially. These tall stones are 'The Whispering Knights',  (pictured left) said to be conspiring against the King, whose stone stands alone at the brow of the hill just across the lane.

   You can read about that legend more fully on my website amongst the Ogham Elder Tree magic.

  The Fae and Other Magics have a different tale - of how the stones will get up and dance at midnight on certain faery nights - and how they always go down to the stream in the valley for their new year's night drink of spring water.       

Rollrights - the King's Stone ©vcsinden2012
The 'King Stone' - alone at the brow of the hill.

      If you should visit, lay the palms of your hands flat on the stones as you walk around them, see if you might feel the energy from our ancestors. Collect a little dark earth to sprinkle in your blessings when you return to work, and leave them a thank you token.

       My simple offering was a bunch picked in the surrounding hedges and fields - each twig carefully chosen for its meaning. Laid on one of the portal stones flat in the grass....

 A twig of oak, one of ash and one of hawthorn - these are the sacred trio.
One of holly - for holly rules this time in the Ogham calender.
One of elder - for the legend of the Witch and the King.
A little hazel, a symbol of water divination, knowing the stones' love of water.
Wild flowers from within site of the stones - the bunch tied with grasses.

    During my visit, a villager came to the centre of the stones and sat with a pupil, expounding a loud theory of alien involvement. The Fae however have never really got on with alien brethren, so this one crossed the lane to the King's Stone and communed with the view and the gentle, curious cows.Oxfordshire - from the Rollright Stones©vcsinden2012

 

If you are interested in the harvesting and magick of faery-herbs for July,
you might like the latest entries on the Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green Blog spot -

Meadowsweet   and  Mugwort


 

   
      July 12th 2012
    
 English tradition ....  the Banbury Hobby Horse Fair ......

      (Making magic? Need a wand or bark for incense?  The Ogham wood for this time of year is now Tinne - Holly ,  July 8th -  August 4th)

   Been journeying again! ....    the little market town of Banbury, nestling amongst canals and pretty villages in Oxfordshire, has a Town Cross - the one we can see if we visit today was erected in 1859 - the three ancient ones were destroyed in the Puritan rages of 1600.

   Banbury also has a famous old English nursery rhyme ..... and Banbury cakes ....... and  the loveliest life-size statue this fae has ever seen ... and ....  a Hobby Horse Fair!

Alice B woodward - Banbury Cross Banbury Cross ©vcsinden2012
From 'Banbury Cross and Other Nursery Rhymes' illustrated by Alice B Woodward, 1895
Banbury Cross July 2012

 

Alfred Crowquill - Banbury Cross
From - 'Nursery Rhymes' illustrated by Alfred Crowquill 1864

     A 'cock horse' is the term for a real shire horse which was added to the horses already pulling a carriage or cart at the bottom of a steep hill to help in the climb. He was stabled near  the hill and always worked in the same place.

    betley Windiw - the hobby horse A 'hobby horse' is a fabrication, dating it's thought from early medieval times and refers to a large model 'horse' on a frame, which is put over the 'rider' so that although he was walking, he appeared to be riding. They were very fashionable in holiday parades, and carefully looked after, coming out year after year.

  The ancient picture on the left shows a 'hobby horse rider' and is from the famous 17th century 'Betley' stained-glass window. Now in the V & A Museum - you can read more here.

Postcard - ill H G C Marsh Lambert 1918

A 'hobby horse' can also be the name for a simple child's toy - a horse's head on a broom stick, sometimes with little wheels. Not to be confused with a 'rocking horse'.

English folk tradition also has the 'hooden horse' - but he is another story!

Postcard - The Sailors Hobby Horse - Minehead - early 1900

    Below is the bronze statue sculpted by Denise Dutton. Riding to the cross is the lady upon her white horse - wonderfully detailed and representing the Queen of the May - bells on her toes to give her music - and the little frog at the horse's fore hoof, representing the cycle of nature.

Banbury fair lady statue ©vcsinden2012
Banbury close-up fair lady statue ©vcsinden2012
Banbury close-up fair lady statue ©vcsinden2012

   The Hobby Horse Fair this year was held on Mayor's Sunday - and began with a parade, which snaked past the Cross along the Horse Fair to the beautiful People's Park with its magnificent trees.

Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - the Mayor's parade ©vcsinden2012
Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - the town hobby horse ©vcsinden2012

  There were floral hobby horses... time for a good gossip on the bouncy ponies ... and local beer to be supped!

Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - floral decorations ©vcsinden2012 Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - bouncy gossip ©vcsinden2012 Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - horse and beer ©vcsinden2012

Races to be ridden,     dressing up to be done and medals to be won.    And ... the sun shone!

Banbury Hobby Horse Fair 2012 - medal winner©vcsinden2012

 

 

     July 3rd 2012     A little full moon faery magick ...... simply for the delight of it all .....

  Tonight the Oak Moon will shine and the Magics will celebrate. You may join us if you wish .... here's a harmless charm-spell, taken directly from my Ogham page for the oak tree ...... for yourself or your loved ones. These three nights, whilst the moon is full are the most auspicious of the whole year for a Prosperity Charm!

And here below is Oakie to watch the proceedings and help make them happen ....

Oakie with the Moon          A Charm for Prosperity

When the Oak Moon shines bright, plant an acorn by its light to invoke the money power of the oak tree for prosperity.

Cut a wand from a slender oak branch (having asked for the tree's blessing). Wave your fresh oak-moon wand seven times over the acorn and state your requirement - make it a modest one!

If you wish, enhance the magic by burning a little Oak Moon herbal incense and smudging the smoke over yourself and the place where the acorn is resting in the earth.

oak Moon Incense for early July full moon

Oak Moon Incense

Frankincense (for prosperity)
Oak bark (Ogham protection for this Moon)
Mugwort (to enhance the magickal power)
Jasmine oil or flowers (for the Moon and prosperity)
Rose petals (for summer bounty)

Oakie comes from the wonderfully whimsical animated film 'Kuki se vraci'  read more here on the Wolfmoons & Muddypond Green Blog.