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♫    Music to dream by ....
on the album 'Illinois' 2005  ♫

Chicago - Sufjan Stevens

(Opens in small youtube window - minimize & listen while you browse)

   

    

    June 25th 2012     Where I was on the Summer Solstice night  - belated wishes for you ....

   
    As the sun set on the night of Summer Solstice,
this superstitious fae went back to the green place where she had made her medicine drum (see below).

A group of us was around the fire as the skies darkened and buffeting wind howled, whipping the rain hard in our faces. Elemental pleasure!

We sang and drummed and called our solstice prayers into the teeth of the gale.

 

Faery Muddypond Green with medicine drum and her Lord of the Greenwood ©vcsinden 2012 allrightsreserved

But I dreamed as I faced the wind - dreamed of my Lord of the Greenwood - he reached out, asking to hear the new drum sing faster. The weather stilled - and drenched through, I held my breath ...

Just an illusion of the wild night - simply the rain and smoke in my eyes. I think .....

 

 

     June 20th 2012     Bizarre Kentish goings on at Bonnington ........   rafts and racings ...

     Muddypond loves nothing better than to learn about the eccentric ways of the mortals!  Kentish mortals - my neighbours indeed in more ways than one - are as bizarre as any others, I know this for a fact. The other day I witnessed yet another instance of odd human enjoyments ..... an annual manifestation of the oddball!

Bonnington Church - all alone by the Royal Military Canal - with its peace about to be shattered ...

Bonnington, Romney Marsh, Kent -  Raft Race June 2012

 

    Weird, eccentric, fun - this fae doesn't know what to say about it really - except that she hopes plenty of money was raised for the fire services and picturesque little church of St. Rumwolds down on Romney Marsh. That's where the legendary Dr. Syn - smuggling vicar of Dymchurch had his supposed haunts - as you can see from one of the rafts !  I'll simply give you some flashes to marvel over then .........

                                                          Roll mouse over pictures below to see more ....

Bonnington, Romney Marsh, Kent -  Raft Race June 2012 Bonnington, Romney Marsh, Kent -  Raft Race June 2012

Bonnington, Romney Marsh, Kent -  Raft Race June 2012

 

 

     June 11th and 15th 2012      Muddypond's drum - for healing, meditation and all such enticing things ....
  .
 (The Ogham wood for magic is now  Duir - Oak,  June 10th -    July 7th)

                                       'Without seeking the things of the Spirit, life is half lived and empty.'                    

   Two quotations (the second far below) from a book of inspiration "Grandfather" written by Tom Brown - following the spiritual ways of Stalking Wolf - Wise Man of the Apache tribe. Reading this (as part of my faery studies) made it clear to me that I needed a drum - a medicine drum - and not any old drum but one made by me - made in a way that fitted with my Ecoenchantments thinking.   

The workshop at 'Rhythm of Life' ©vcsinden2012

          So it was that I found myself deep in rural Kent at a medicine drum workshop led by Pat, creator of  'Eagle Spirit Drums'  and in a wonderful place, dedicated to sound healing, owned by Caroline and with a small group of dear mortals.

Left: In Caroline's workshop at 'The Rhythm of Life'
Below: Caroline with our teacher Pat

Teaching the medicine drum - Pat Pica ©vcsinden2012

             A drumming and prayer circle around the medicine wheel began what was to prove a truly magical day. First we made beaters from chunky hazel sticks and hide, filled with soft wool from Caroline's own jacob sheep who watched us through the fence.

Jacobs fleece for the beater of the medicine drum ©vcsinden2012 Smudging the red deer hide ©vcsinden2012
New friends collecting Jacob's fleece to fill beaters and carefully smudging each of the deer hides with the smoke of white sage

medicine drum workshop - Kent ©vcsinden2012

  
    Here we are, deciding how
best to cut our wet hides to achieve an individual look - mine has sixteen scallops round the edge to show off its hand-made ash frame.
   Then below, learning to lace the drum correctly with a continuous cord cut from the same hide. The lacing finished and tensioned, the handles woven, I fixed in my crystal - charged with the beams of so many full moons - and a little silver pentacle, symbolic of a place very dear to Muddypond's dark, faery heart!

Lacing the drum ©vcsinden2012

Medicine drum enhancements ©vcsinden2012

Muddypond's hand-made medicine drum  ©vcsinden2012

   Fire Blessing ....

    The drums were fashioned out in the fields under the wonderful trees - each in his own peaceful space. As evening drew on, Gerry and Marcus built a fire and we welcomed our drums (still drying, so not yet to be heard) with a fire blessing - each smudged - this time with mugwort from Pat's abalone shell - and passed through the smoke and edge of the flames.

Pat Pica at one of his drum workshops ©vcsinden2012
Fire Blessing for the new drums ©vcsinden2012

          

  Four days later   ....    Earth blessing and first drum song ....

   Each drum must dry and tighten for four days before its voice is heard for the first time. So - Muddypond waited. Dreams returned and returned to her mind - pictures of a mighty horse-chestnut tree that she knows well - until it was clear that the Earth Blessing and Song Birth should be performed under its vast branches. No other place would do it seemed.

        'There is no church or temple we need to seek peace, for ours are the temples of the wilderness'  My drum in the horse chestnut tree ©vcsinden2012

     
     A Muddypond faery-tree incense was prepared from herbs of the season - each ingredient included for a reason - and dropped onto the tiny charcoal burner - the sweet smoke smudged over the drum and up into the branches.

    In its protective circle, made with thanks to my Lord of the Greenwood, the drum sang out for the very first time, deep and resonant around the huge chestnut trunk. Black earth from the tree's roots was rubbed into the skin, and the length of hide lacing left over (its birthing cord) was cut and buried in a hollow at the tree's base.

 

Medicine drum of the faery Muddypond Green at its Earth Blessing ©vcsinden2012

Incense Recipe....
for Earth blessing in June
(seen burning here)

1 x desertspoon copal, could be benzoin or frankincense (- for purification)
1 x tsp patchouli leaves (an earth power)
1 x tsp dried mugwort (brings positive thought)
6 x rowan berries (my birth ogham tree)
1 x tsp oak bark or leaves (ogham tree for this date)
1 x tsp vervain (for purification)
2 x tsp lavender flowers (for happiness)
6  x drops real vanilla (for magical power)

           The beginning of the drum journey - soon to be blessed for Water and for Air / Spirit
Diola lle' Pat ten' i' ona en i' re vanima!

 

 

 

    June 4th 2012    A very English jubilation .... under a rainy English moon ....

Village roofscape - bunting for the diamond jubilee - Charing June 2012 : Photo -Gary Browne from Kentish Express

     Muddypond may be a Magick - but her faery Wood-Guardian job means she lives very near to the village of Charing in Kent. Charing is lived in by Mortals. Those mortals have a Tari (a Queen) in just the same way as we fae - her name is Tari Elizzabethe.  This week in English History for Magicks class, I learned that Tari Elizzabethe will have been Queen for sixty years - a long, long time in any human calendar.

      Later tonight, in the moonlight and hopefully without the rain - thousands of beacons and bonfires will be lit across the land. The Magicks will be watching, from walls and trees and handy high places. Here are Muddypond's faery-shopping suggestions for the event.  All hand-made - and in patriotic colours, so that we'll blend in - even under tonight's Hawthorn Full Moon.

 
Crochet choker - 'Berniolie' at Etsy
  White lace blouse - 'SomniaRomantica' at Etsy
Blue faery skirt - 'beyondclothing' at Etsy
Blue Boots - 'FairySteps'

  Hope you agree that these will make a cunning disguise for us faeries  - and Happy Birthday ElfFriend Em :-)

 


If you like to see fairy-flowers and faery-art, you might like the latest entry on the
Wolf Moons and Muddypond Green Blog spot -
'Queen Anne's Lace - you find it growing all over the place' .....



 

 

May 29th 2012    Walking near home on an early summer's day .... and yes! there IS summer after all ....near Charing, Kent - late May ©vcsinden2012

Summer Morning

The air around was trembling-bright
And full of dancing specks of light,
While butterflies were dancing too
Between the shining green and blue.
I might not watch, I might not stay,
I ran along the meadow way.

The straggling brambles caught my feet,
The clover field was, oh! so sweet;
I heard a singing in the sky,
And busy things went buzzing by;
And how it came I cannot tell,
But all the hedges sang as well.

Along the clover-field I ran
To where the little wood began,
And there I understood at last
Why I had come so far, so fast—
On every leaf of every tree
A fairy sat and smiled at me!

from 'Fairies and Chimneys' by Rose Fyleman
First published by George Duran & Co, 1920

Hawthorn in full blossom, Charing, Kent ©vcsinden2012

 

Geese and goslings - near Charing, Kent

 

Muddypond Green paddles in the stream near her woods - Charing, Kent ©vcsinden2012
Louis Moe - Fuerte

How faeries keep their cool!
Muddypond follows Faery Guardian Martin up the stream.

Above: from Norwegian artist Louis Moe 1857_1945

       Early summer's days in England have a magick of their own kind. From my wood, along Shady Lane which passes 'Neighbourhood Bank' where many a little animal lives - up to say hello to the geese on the pond by the old barns - proudly showing off their NINE youngsters ! - and a paddle then a sit-down by the stream.

   The ash trees are just breaking leaf, last of all the trees hereabouts. The Mays are smothered in scented white blossom, the lane edges are awash with Queen Anne's Lace and the meadows golden with buttercups.

Ash in late May ©vcsinden2012
Shady Lane - near Charing, Kent ©vcsinden2012

 

 

      May 21st 2012    Why the summer will not arrive ... or ... catastrophe at Clun! ....
                  (The Ogham wood for magic is now Huath (May - Hawthorn)    May 13th -  June 9th) The old bridge at Clun ©vcsinden2012


  Lying in a fold of the Shropshire hills - a long, long way from most places - is an old stone bridge.

   Around this bridge there is a village, and close to this bridge are the picturesque ruins of a moated castle.

   Upon this bridge, year on year in the May month, the Green Man battles with the Ice Queen for the supremacy of the seasons.

But - catastrophe - not this year ....

  

Clun Green Man Festival 2012 kwabana Lindsay©vcsinden2012
Clun Green Man Festival 2012 the Clun Mummers ©vcsinden2012
      There was 'Kwabana Lyndsay' - brilliant on his street tightrope. There was a play from the Clun Mummers complete with dragon.  There was vegetarian festival food. There were drummers. There was live music and fresh lemonade ........
Clun Green Man Festival 2012 - Jockey Morris take a break©vcsinden2012
Clun Green Man Festival 2012 Jack in flames ©vcsinden2012
   There were the Jockey Morris Men from Birmingham, who danced long and hard and traditionally fell into the pub. There was 'Jack the Jester'  with his fire throwing and his May-tide blessings ......

Clun Green Man Festival 2012 - the Green man arrives ©vcsinden2012

   But - alas - this year -
oh this year ... the battle proper could not take place - for the Ice Queen had sent so much rain and cold, black weather that the fields about were water-logged - there could be no Battle of the Bridge!

  At last  ... booo! ......she appeared amongst the crowds in the village street - and up the hill stalked the Green Man ...

 

Clun Green Man Festival 2012 - the Ice Queen ©vcsinden2012

    A great skirmish took place, as legend says it must - right there in the street - amidst shouts and insults and encouragement - but - horror - the Ice Queen of Winter triumphed. The poor Green Man limped away in defeat, taking warmth and spring greening with him.

          He will not be back for a span of thirteen full-moons - there will be NO SUMMER !   Oh my!     

  

                                             

                                                          

                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                   

        


  You may like to see - new on Muddypond's Blog page - Fulfilling a request from my cats ... of the faery kind

         Also -  a new link to some amazing shoemakers,
making hand made, historically accurate medieval / fairy shoes and boots - on my links page here


    


   May 10th 2012
    ....  It's late I know, but the Maying is still in my mind ....
.
  

May morning - beltane_ from Glastonbury Tor ©vcsinden2012

        So it was, that on Flora's Day, the May-Morn or the Dawn of Beltane - call it how you will - that Muddypond found herself on emerald-green, rain soaked grass looking out across the Somerset Levels from the Tor of Glastonbury. a better place than many to see in the May .....

   The Tor, Glastonbury - May Day morning ©vcsinden2012 Glastonbury Belltane ©vcsinden2012 It was later than the sunrise as this lay-a-bed fae met plenty of interesting mortals, walking through the high-street then toiling up the hill towards the Tor. Up past the entrancingly magical White Spring, steeper and steeper, up and onwards, resisting the urge to take to her wings!

   The night has seen torrential rain and when we all arrive at last and stand to catch our breath many of the fields below are flooded.

  Then - there they are - the Queen of the May, with her consort - a renewal of handfasting vows, singing - blessings for Flora's Day - and a stout red-and-white-ribboned maypole for us all to dance around, weaving through the lush, long grass.
               For the first time in days - the sun shone, bright and warm!

May greening - Glastonbury ©vcsinden2012
Glastonbury thorn - in blossom on May Day morning ©vcsinden2012
Handfasting - renewing the vows - Glastonbury Beltane ©vcsinden2012
 
Making ready to erect the Maypole in lucky May sunshine  -  Glastonbury Abbey Thorn, full bloom on Flora's day  -  and the Handfasting on the hill.

'And she shall be our little queen'   ...... 
Poem 'The First of May'  from 19th cent   'An Infant's Delight' - anonymous

The hawthorn blossom, snowy white,
Hangs thick upon the hedge to-day;
With many flowers the fields are bright
Upon this merry First of May.

So let us gather flowerets fair,
And blossoms from the hawthorn spray,
To deck our May-pole standing there,
Upon this merry First of May.

'And she shall be our little queen - Glastonbury May Day with faery Muddypond Green and a little freind ©vcsinden2012

And then, like fairies, in a ring,
Around it we will dance or play,
And all our gladdest songs will sing
Upon this merry First of May.

And dearest Maud shall there be seen
With crown of hawthorn blossoms gay,
And she shall be our little queen,
Upon this merry First of May.

Maypole dancing - Glastonbury Beltane celebration ©vcsinden2012 the maypole Stang - Glastonbury Tor ©vcsinden2012
 
'And then, like fairies in a ring, around it we will dance and sing - upon the first of May'