August 23rd 2011
'Painting with light' - Marc Chagal's legacy in glass for Sarah and for Kent ...........
Three single windows continuing the story below, showing a series of angels, sea, fish and birds.
All magics, and perhaps especially the faery tribes, have a passion for colour and light. This one has been meaning to visit the plain and solid little church of All Saints in the village of Tudely near Tonbridge in Kent for a long while.
It comes as a surprise to many a Kent dweller, that we have an ancient church, full of the work of Russian born French artist Marc Chagal!
During the second half of his long life, Chagal became more and more fascinated with the properties of stained glass - 'Painting with light' as he called it.
The work has a sad story behind it, as it was comissioned by a mother and father who had lost their beloved daughter Sarah in a boating accident out between Dungeness and Rye when she was only twenty-one.
Her life had been steeped in art from a young age, and she'd been dazzled by designs for some window designs by Chagal, on display in the Louvre, when she visited Paris with her mother.
The main window, showing Sarah's death in the sea
The first and largest window - which many say is one of his very finest art works, was installed in 1967. Seen here on the left, it shows poor Sarah in the sea, surrounded by mourners. As the window rises up, we can see Sarah on a red horse of happiness, about to ascend a ladder to the heavens where angels wait for her.
When Chagal saw the beauty of the simple stone setting, and the quality of the light shining and changing as the hours went by, he agreed to design the other eleven windows for the church.
Fifteen years were to go by as he worked on the glass at his Rheims studio, and the final window wasn't installed until 1985, the year of Chagal's death.
Several of the windows feature a cheeky little ass - apparently a symbol of luck to Chagal. You have to search for him!
In spite of the tragedy that inspired its conception, the whole church bathed in coloured light is an amazing work of art - the final windows have yellow and golden tones to wash you in sunlight as you leave. What a memorial!
Find out how to visit the church, and read the story of the windows in full here at the Tudely Church website.
If you too are entranced by the colour blue, you might like to read the Rose Fyleman poem 'The Faeries Give Thanks' with 'Magical Garden Blue's, over on the Ecoenchantments Blog Spot.
August 12th 2011
The full moon of August - a reminder for tomorrow ..........
A postcard from the 'Little Elves' series
by Phlo - published by J.Salmon
Tomorrow night (Saturday 13th) our Moon will be full, and hopefully bright.
Time to pick a switch of Hazel - Coll to make a powerful wand to keep.
The Moon is in Aquarius and the ruling planet is Uranus.
As with all the full moons, it has many namings - most used in the UK is The Grain Moon.
In China it's the Harvest Moon (our Harvest moon is later, in October). Also known as Lightening Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Days Moon. It is the Hindu Poornima Narali.
This night, or any over the next two or three days will be good ones for working magic about friendships or blessings for the benefit of friends.
If you'd like to make a ritual, lay ripe stems of wheat or any grain, young green hazel nuts with a few fresh flowers of the season - borage would be my choice as its colour is exactly right for this moon's workings. Sweet peas and sunflowers have a close association with friendship.
Use your hazel wand to make a circle of protection and concentration about you under the moonlight.
Burn a candle to focus your intentions, a bright blue if you have one, if not, a white one for the Lady of the Greenwood.
Think of your friends - well-wish and give thanks for them. You might also want to ask for the blessing of finding new friendships at this time.
August 10th 2011 (The Ogham wood for making magic has changed - it is now Hazel (Coll) - 5th August - 1st September )
Surprises in the post-box, connections - and a flight of dragons .......
Back then - in the 20th century - nearly thirty years ago to be honest, but to a faery that's just a blink away - there are distant memories of an animated film of dragons - and of course, being about dragons, I was fascinated. I believe that the film wasn't very well known - not like the huge distribution movies of the time - but those who saw it didn't forget.
Just catch a bar or two of the music, and if you saw it - you will remember ........ at the time I didn't know that the title song was sung by Don McLean ........... here - catch a glimpse - do you remember too?
'There was a time
Between the waning age of enchantment
And the dawning age of logic,
When Dragons flew the skies -
Free and unencumbered ....'
So where's the 'connection' ?
What I also didn't appreciate at the time - was that all the original art work for that film - from the design of each character, to every background - was the work of one of my very favourite artists - Wayne Anderson.
I simply can't imagine how long it all must have taken before being sent off to Japan as the basis for the animation, even if some of the drawings had featured in the wonderfully illustrated original book 'Flight of the Dragons' by Peter Dickinson, pub Harper-Collins 1979.
When asking him for permission to use one or two downloads of his paintings on my faery website, I was thrilled to receive this drawing (at left) - which I copy here for you - the first of my surprises by post! Diolla llė Mr Anderson :-)
Pictures above © wayne_anderson - used here with his kind permission
And - as if that wasn't enough - another piece of gorgeous art work arrived - this one done in coloured pencils.
'Nancy's Faery' by Nancy!
Nancy's faery has a costume of the most delicate blossom pink, fading away into swirling mists of stars. I think she must be a fully-qualified 'Stella Fae', for only those can emit glimmering stars! (You might like to read a bit more about those faeries here in my 'Note about 21st Century Fairies')
Muddypond Green can only sigh and dream of wearing clothes like these - sadly pink doesn't suit her - and the dress would get soooo dirty working in the woods!
August 3rd 2011
A Scrapbook of Favourites - from the weekend's fantastic Cambridge Folk Festival ......
Click picture to watch great video footage of the guys singing my favourite
'No Hopers and Rogues'
Richard Thompson's latest album was recorded live on tour in USA - it is called 'Dream Attic' and you can buy it here
Such a lovely setting for a festival - camping under the trees. Lucky with the weather too, but then us faeiries often are!
There were quite a few of us in attendance it seemed - the owners of this tent for a start - it wasn't mine - I preferred the hollow trees - very homely!
Katzenjammer - incredibly crazy - multi-talented - exciting - exhilerating - band from Norway !
Faery Muddypond Green - learning a Molly Dance with East-anglian dance group 'Gog Magog Molly'
Brilliant - Spiers and Boden join with Saltfishforty - we loved this even more than Bellowhead!
Kate Rusby - delightful as always
|Wanna-be BEES learning the Waggle Dance|
Traditional Irish band Danú - loved them too - their new album 'Seanchas' is available to buy here on their website.
The most amazing bodhran playing ever from Donnchadh Gough!!!!
See more about 'Katzenjammer' and faery art - new on my WolfMoons and Muddypond Green blog .
July 27th 2011
Only a week or so left to join in the Big Butterfly Count ... please help ...
It's no secret that butterflies and faeries are linked. It's not just because of their wings, or their love of nectar - but their outlook on life. Sadly, unlike us magics, buterflies are desparately short-lived.
Here are some of my favourite faery-tale butterfly pictures - there are so many to choose from, but these are from my favourite artists of times past .
'The Butterfly Ferry'
Ida Rentoul Outhwaite 1921
'The butterfly took wing, and mounted into the air
with little Tom Thumb on his back'
Warwick Goble 'The Fairy Book' 1913
They both chose blue butterflies, perhaps they knew even then that the Large Blue would become the most endangered species of all!
The artist Richard Doyle, painting 50 years earlier in the late 19th century, was acknowledged by many later artists as their inspiration - the picture on the right is from William Allingham's 'In Fairyland, or Pictures from the Elf World', illustrated by Doyle and first published in 1870.
The sight of tray after tray in drawer after drawer of sad Edwardian butterfly bodies, stuck with pins has always sent shivers down a faery spine - and now thank goodness we have made our feelings known to the villagers. It doesn't happen much any more - and as so many butterfly species become scarcer across our world, we find we must take some action.
The wonderful pieces of art below show that feeling so very well -- freedom - flight - escape ....both with clouds of butterflies making their escape from cases and book pages, back into life and rebirth ...
'The Entomoligist's Dream'
from the brilliant contempoaray artist
Su Blackwell - link to her website here
Photo by Lacey
Here's something easy and fun that you can do to help - if you haven't already had a go, please join in the Big Butterfly Count - just 15 minutes in your garden or a park, an allotment or a meadow in the sunshine. The count is being mapped (you can check counts in your area) and findings being analysed country-wide.
See Sir David Attenborough making the appeal here ..
Click image to go to The Butterfly Count Website -
where you can download an identification chart and submit your count.
Three kindly posed for me to take their pictures during my late afternoon count .....
July 21st 2011
The Heron and I ...........
Just been learning and making again - only what I want to learn of course, though every little helps! These Stella Fae Levels and Inquests will never end I reckon - after all you know, some poor woodland and hedge faeries never make Stellas at all.
Ah well - willow it is for faerie-makes - and I must learn to it use well, so I made another visit to crafts teacher Alan (see Diary Blog entry for May 19th here and find out about his brilliant AJS Rural Crafts courses on my links page here)
This time it was a sculpture rather than a basket, and I chose a heron. Here she is at the end of the day, talking to me in the barn.
Herons - unfathomable birds. The great poet Longfellow describes their thoughts and song as 'mystical' in his poem
'The Herons of Elmwood' : (Click here to read whole poem)
"Sing him the mystical Song of the Heron,
And the secret that baffles our utmost seeking;
For only a sound of lament we discern,
And cannot interpret the words you are speaking."
She's made from Willow (old name Saille) and Hazel (old name Coll) - both magical Ogham woods of course or what would be the use of them to me?
My local Levels Inquisitor Burnt Sienna Brown - who, between you and me, is definitely getting on a bit - wouldn't even bother to look at a heron made from a non-ogham material - even if the sweet bird CAN talk!
The wonderful illustration on the left is by Maud Miller Hoffmaster, and comes from the book "Nee-nah, The Wild Flower's Good Fairy" published by The William Frederick Press in 1949.
Willow sculpture pupil Holly, concentrating on the random weave, watched over by Joe the dog.
Gazing out of the school room door, only to see the cows in the rain, gazing curiously back.
Heron and things.
The opium pipes come from my travels in Nagaland (nr Burma) and the drawing is my beloved Ed Org original - 'The Enchantment'.
* If you enjoy faery art, you might also like 'On the Snail Trail' new on my WolfMoons and Muddypond Green blog .
July 15th 2011
Tonight is the full moon of July ......
Full Moon tonight - give thanks to The Lady of the Greenwood - the Goddess - and let's hope it's a cloudless one.
'Gazing at the Moon' by Jessie Willcox Smith
from 'The Water Babies' - frist pub. 1916
The Moon is in Capricorn and as it's July 15th it is the Ogham Holly Moon.
Other traditions tell us that it could be the Hay Moon, Summer Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon or the Buck Moon. In China it will be the Hungry Ghost Moon, in Hindu India the Guru Poornima.. The original Inuit name for the Moon at this time of year is Padlersersivik.
So, take your choice! The fae tend to favour the Ogham names - so for me Holly Moon it is, but the names Hay Moon and Mead Moon are also British.
Tonight - as the Moon rises, or later in the moon light - (after asking, and giving a little gift or some help to the tree), cut yourself a Full-Moon Holly Wand. The tree is masculine, and the spines give it a reputation as a powerful protector - it's also an enhancer of dreams!
Workings to do with careers or any practical matters will be favoured tonight as the Moon is in Capricorn, if possible using a black or dark candle. (You might like to learn more about the Magic of the Holly Tree here on my site).
July 13th 2011 (The Ogham wood for making magic has changed - it is now Holly (Tinne) - 8th July - August 4th )
Recent hootings, heard first in the Hurst Wood ......
I like to fly at night. Well wouldn't you? Specially under the moonlight or when the frosty stars are all a-glitter?
'The other side of the wood' illustration by Athur Rackham
from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Sometimes I'm startled in my flight across the wood by a scream or an angry hiss, but it's only a barn-owl with her warning. Sometimes the tawny ones hoot and whistle.
Reading the quotation from 'The Owls', a poem by Charles Baudelaire above - made me realise that many an urban type of villager (human-being as you know him) has his only owl encounters when walking by the old yew trees in a churchyard.
Is that why they are asscociated with darkness and fear and death?
illustration by Sulaminth Wulfing
Did you know that the county of Cambridge is infamous for the belief held by some medieval overlords, who decreed that an owl was a disguised witch and insisted that it should be killed on sight!
Personally being a Wood Guardian Fae, I love owls.
They might be frightening to some - if you were a mouse for instance - but the owls are never greedy and only take what they need you know! They are wise, as everyone knows - and that is because, as Baudelaire suggests, they sit still for long, long intervals and simply contemplate the world around them. They watch, they learn and they remember.
One of the best-known of the old illustrations showing us magics amongst the owls as a subject is by Richard Doyle. Seen here at left, but far from a favourite of mine - it is 'Elf and Owls' taken from his 'In Fairyland' - 1870.
Owls are not just a subject loved by the faery painters of old - there's some amazing work to be found from our 21st century artists and here's a tiny selection of my favourites. You'll find plenty more of their work when you click on the links.
I hope you would like to see other new things on my website - there's a new magic charm -
'A Hawthorn Faery Token' on the 'Spells and Charms' page.
And - a new page all about the Magic of the Hawthorn Tree - on my Ogham Tree pages.
*** Also ... most importantly, the combined Wildlife Trusts need your help .......***...
"We need to put pressure on the UK, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Governments to create well managed network of Marine Protect Areas and give the UK’s marine wildlife the protection it so urgently needs. We need to demonstrate the importance of healthy and well protected seas – that can continue to support the demands we place on them."
July 4th 2011
The tale of an English summer - of inspiration - of festivals - of divine divas ......
Buffy Sainte Marie
Thursday - at The Islington Chapel, London
Magics of the 21st century have adapted themselves to the music they hear around them - and it's not just the 'folk' songs, little bells and flutes that we appreciate.
Here are two evergreen Goddesses of Rock that Muddypond's wanted to see for years 'n years 'n years - each with a list of albums stretching back a few decades (faeries appreciate immortality in their Goddesses of course, as we live so achingly long oursleves - anyway - I bet these two have wands!).
They played old songs, blue songs and new songs - and of all the musicians Muddypond saw in these few days (and believe me there were some names!!) these were the most fabulous! And oh how we loved them still - energising!!
Tell you what - these two together, giving a unified view on the world as they see it, would be dynamite I'd like to witness!
From the front page of today's Times Newspaper - reviewing 'The Hop Farm Festival' in Kent
The smoothest festival of all hey? Well yeah, that would be about right - from a faery eye-view.
You might also like to know about the animated film
'Kuky Se Vraci'
New - here on the Wolf Moons & Muddypond Green blogspot