♫ Music to dream by ....
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April 28th 2012 Soon to Beltane - The May Day - a gift that the earth has thrown us ... here catch! Please click on the picture above to hear Jethro Tull and 'Cup of Wonder' (minimize to browse)
"For the May Day is the Great Day ..."
The faery here will be looking forward to the May Day dawning away from her woods and familiar meadows. She will miss the bluebells, full out in Hurst Wood and the Triangle as you can see in the flash above, taken yesterday. Miss too the shy flowers that open just before the full leaf canopy of the hazels and oaks dapples the pure sunlight.
This year, Jack in the Green will meet me in a different English county, and the Greening will be blessed in another sacred spot.
My wood is ready decorated for Beltane - wild garlic, primrose, celandine, lady's smock, wood anenome - just a few that were in bloom today
New for Ogham tree Calendar and Magic pages is The Scots Pine - Ailm - ruler of the 2nd day of Winter Solstice
New on the Hedgerow Cooking pages, fresh now for late spring ... Wild Garlic Raita ... here
April 16th 2012 .... Compton Cemetery Chapel - an art nouveau masterpiece ...
(The Ogham wood for magic is now Saille (Willow) - April 15th - May 12th)
Or should that be 'Mistresspiece'? We magics know that this peaceful faery place was the design and creation of Mrs. Mary Watts (wife of painter George) at the height of the 'Arts and Crafts' movement - in the decade spaning 1894 - 1904. It was her gift to the village of Compton in Surrey.
Muddypond gazed in awe at the little chapel on the hill one day last week.
Come and take a closer look with me, but tread quietly. The building is a treasure house of celtic and spiritual symbolism.
The building is decorated outside with terracotta panels and intricate friezes - the largest, angels, representing Hope, Truth, Love and Light. Mary held classes for women from the village, teaching them how to make the pottery tiles, and the smaller gesso pictures for the interior.
Lift the latch of that oak door, and step into the cool, dim and green interior. Feel the deep magic of the place, still used for rememberance more than a century after completion. Dark art nouveau angels stand in sympathy and hope, amongst the tangles roots and branches of the Tree of Life while cherubs look down on us from their arching roof.
All pictures of Compton Chapel used on this page are © vcsinden 2012
April 12th 2012 .... the ConeDragons have arrived for summer ...
If you feel like going for a spring walk, and filling a bag with pine cones and faery-founds, then you might like to see the 'Drimble of ConeDragons' that has now arrived on my 'Hedgerow Crafts' page - at last! A great nature-crafty idea for any small sprigs you may have to entertain!
Click picture to see larger image.
April 6th 2012
The night of the full alder-moon ....... and wishing you an egg-filled easter ...
Tonight - under the light of the full moon - the Alder Moon - or as the faere-folk call it - 'The Waking Wood Moon', Muddypond's ConeDragons- (soon to feature here on the Hedgerow Crafts page)- discoverd a treasure-trove for Easer.
They've carried it off home, and are saving it to eat on Easter Sunday - this being the traditional time for many mortals to give and consume special eggs, as she has explained to them.
April 2nd 2012
The enchanted art of Paul Kidby - and his faery kingdom ....
Here is a little treat for all lovers of faery art and of 'Discworld' alike.
Did you know that Sir Terry Pratchett's illustrator of choice for the last ten years - Paul Kidby
- can also imagine, draw and paint us fae?
Oh yes he can!
Did I say imagine? Hmm - actually I think he's seen a few of us somewhere in that New Forest of his!
The video above is from Paul's publishing house - Daniel Maghen - and shows enough to make us long to see the whole book. The book is filled with 'Fėes, lutins et crėatures fantastiques' and was written with his wife Vanessa.
It's seriously lovely - called 'Le Royaume Enchante' and it can be bought here.
See more about the art of Paul Kidby here on my Links page.
Four faery Illustrations from '‘Le Royaume Enchanté’ by Paul Kidby
Below is a piece of Paul's possibly more familiar art work - from 'Discworld', showing the disc itself - which of course sits atop four elephants who in turn balance on the turtle Great A'Tuin. Not such an easy vision to portray!
pictures© paul_kidby and used here with his kind permission
March 29th 2012
Just two little things -
First - over on the Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green blogspot, you might be interested in
'Snip Snip Snap! Hans Andersen and the work of Four Contemporary Paper-cut Artists' in storytelling.
March 25th 2012
Coldrum - the truth ... from a hedgerow faery's perspective ...
(The Ogham wood for magic is now Fearn (Alder) - March 18th - April 14th)
Here in Kent, a county which is a lot more rural and wooded than many people think - stand the remains of a neolothic longbarrow - named Coldrum. This name, it's thought, originated from the Cornish word 'Galdrum' - meaning - 'Place of Enchantments'. (You will see - whichever human worked this out was RIGHT!)
Muddypond's pictures of Coldrum were taken for last week's Spring Equinox, and summer 2011.
Coldrum was said to be a chamber tomb for mortals, and of course yes, the bones of at least twenty-two of them were found here. But us magics, we know better! We know that all those thousands of years ago, they only borrowed it!
The cromlech remains an enchanted and remote spot, a peaceful place for contemplation, as it has been for over 4000 years. Once a communal burial place, it was merrily ravaged, of course, by parties of mortals from the past, calling themselves antiquarians, archaeologists or simply treasure seekers.
From the book of Thomas Wright Esq. M.A, F.S.A
'The Wanderings of an Antiquary' 1854
Thomas Wright Esq. who wrote a book about his exploits, visited here around 1850. On the right is his own sketch of his party having fun with a chamber mound that used to stand in the hills nearby.
“Proceeding from the circle at Coldrum, towards the east, we observed single stones, of the same kind and colossal magnitude, scattered over the fields for some distance; and it is a tradition of the peasantry that a continuous line of such stones ran from Coldrum direct along the valley to the hill of Kits Coty House , a distance of between five and six miles.”
For those not familiar with ancient Kent, Kits Coty House isn't a house but a vast megalithic tomb. I will show it to you another day!
Illustration from Hermann Vogel's extraordinary
As far as us Magics go, I need to tell you that we have no fond rembrances of many a Victorian 'intrepid explorer'!
Not only did they practically wipe out the earth's tiger population with their guns and unbelievable greed, but they indiscriminately dug and wrecked the charmed places of my ancestors - our Faery Cathedrals.
Here on the left, you can see an ancient picture, sketched by my dwarfish cousin 317 times removed, of the moment when one of the Magics found the lost chambers of Coldrum.
Things have improved in the 21st century - long may it last!
Nowadays, people can feel that the stones are sacred - and they tie little offerings to the 'clouty' tree nearby.
The top of the burial chamber, viewed from behind the giant beech 'clouty' tree with its offerings and wishes.
Now please don't forget - should you ever visit this enchanted place - you simply borrowed it from us!
The PROOF is below - you see - just one of my dwarf ancestors with his artefacts,
buried here when he faded, thousands of years ago!
From his book 'L'univers de Nains' by contempoary artist Guillermo Gonzalez
March 12th 2012
Spring skies - under an English heaven ....
Snowdrops and primroses in the churchyard at Hunton, Kent -
taken on one of Muddypond's many faery snowdrop walks - early March 2012
Exquisite Medici Society postcard c1940 by Molly Brett
Violets (& above) today on the Neighbourhood Bank
Blue skies and sunshine, tempting the ferns to unfurl, the blackthorn to blossom
and the hazel catkins to drop their clouds of pollen
as the spring bumbles and butterflies journey by. You can see more pictures of 'Neighbourhood Bank' here
You may also like 'Of Spring lambs and Mr. Blake ...' new at the 'Wolf Moons & Muddypond Green' blog
March 2nd 2012
Of Reykjavik, 'The Ring Symphony' and returning for Rammstein .......
Two extraordinary musical events for this woodland fae, in the space of two weeks!
First, at the end of my Icelandic journey (see more here in Feb diary).
Walking down through sleet to Reykjavic harbour, the lights were blazing from the new Concert Hall - a sculpture of geometric glass.
And inside? The eagerly awaited 'Lord of the Rings Symphony'. Three huge choirs and the full Icelandic Symphony Orchestra to play the beautiful score by Howard Shore. This was all pulled together with the famous Lord of the Rings art work by Alan Lee and John Howe, shown on a giant screen above the choirs.
Muddypond's picture of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Choirs Feb 17th 2012
Image above 'Frodo' by Alan Lee.
Image right - 'Black Rider' by John Howe
'The Company' by Alan Lee
It was a truly magickal night, and I was very lucky indeed to hear a live performance.
You might like to listen to a taster - the first section after the Prologue is called 'The Shire'
Then came London - and 02 Arena - and a sell-out gig for the mad metal goth rockers from Germany - Rammstein.
So, you may well enquire, fairies appreciate 'mad metal goth rockers' do they?
Rammstein - head-banging sound surounded by ecstatic fans
Rammstein hey? Hmm - and WHY do they make you think of 'The Lord of the Rings' exactly Ms. Green?
Well. don't they look like the worst of the Orcs of Mordor to you??
'In Mordor' by John Howe
Image on the left -
by Alan Lee
Til Lindeman - Rammstein lead vocalist and pyrotechnic maniac performs 'Engel' with his trademark wings outstretched!