Muddypond's music choice for November - please enjoy it while you browse the pages -
Nick Cave "To be by Your Side"
You can hear the November geese flying away for winter. (Minimise the music window while you browse the site)
December 29th 2010 (The Ogham wood for magic has changed to Beith (Birch) from December 24th - 20th January)
Late talk of Winter Solstice - the night of the Wolf Moon ....
December 21st this year was an auspicious day as all of you will know - and I mentioned that I'd show you a little of my celebration. First thing that morning was moon's eclipse - once only on the Yule solstice - even in a long faery lifetime -
the snow clouds were gathering but I did see a little.
Waiting - my vantage in the snow covered branches
Into my Hurst Wood clearing, from the lane. Dec 21st 2010 at 5pm
Later in the day, as the full moon rose I waited and watched from my viewpoint in the branches of a snow covered oak. Everything was ready, the fire crackled and sizzled in the centre of the stone circle, surrounded by ghostly white pines. Incense and candles stood guttering in the frosted cold.
At the bell of midnight I climbed down and scattered some Yule incense into the fire. As the toll echoed and died away on the silent snow, he stepped from the shadows of the tall standing stones and into the firelight. The Lord of the Greenwood -
'From the Nadir of darkness,' he said - 'to the Zenith of light.'
'Heruamin,' I greeted him and bowed my head. We looked into the fire, then up at the moon - but in those few seconds he was gone, leaving me to muse on the return of the light side to this world of mortals and magics.
'From the Nadir of darkness to the Zenith of light,' he said.
Today is Mistletoe Day ....
Two days after Yule, or the Winter Solstice is
'The Day' of the auspicious 'Year and a Day'.
It's an extra day that fits between the calendar of the thirteen moons and trees - and is known as Mistletoe Day. This is the day when mistletoe should be brought into the house for luck in the coming year.
My beautiful branch was used for the Solstice night - and now it's ready to be inside.
My postcard from around 1890 says "Fairy Mistletoe - Love's opportunity - What trees that grow - Give such sweet impunity."
Pffffft - love indeed!! Take a berry for each kiss indeed! Not this faery! Many friends, faery and not so, have asked how I would celebrate the Solstice on 21st - the special Wolf Moon night. The full moon - longest night and glistening snow As soon as I find some time off, I'll show you - and thanks for asking.
Meanwhile - don't forget to read more Mistletoe magic here in my Ogham pages.
I have Holly here - and Ivy here too!
Another Yuletide Celebration - back to the forgotten chapel .....
"The boar's head in hand bring I
Caput apri defero
Across the lane and into the heart of my frosty clearing in the wood, the voices echoed - 'Reddens laudes Domino' - 'Giving praises to the Lord.' The Boar's Head Carol.
Who was singing I wondered - were they praises to the Lord of the Greenwood? And playing too - I caught the echo of a fiddle and - hmm - an accordian wasn't it? But accordian isn't an instrument of the faire folk - not around these parts anyway.
I followed the carolling - and there it was - the forgotten chapel, windows gilded with flickering candlelight.
So once again, its doors were opened - I wrote a little about this last year - here in my December diary (entry for Dec 8th) - but this fae didn't think she would see its like again.Winging around to the back, past the huge arching doors, I found a latticed window and peeped in .......
There was the great pine tree again - proudly twinkling with hundreds of tiny diamond lights - and there the villagers, mulled wine warming hands - and that look of wonder on the faces of their little ones - sprigs we call them - clutching their parcels.
When all was quiet again, I opened the lattice and slipped in, tried out the big red chair and sniffed the cold scents of ancient stones, with a lingering of straw, pine and spices. No-one saw me there. No-one ever will.
A Yuletide Celebration, Mistletoe and the British stiff upper lip! .....
Oh how I do love this time of year. If I leave my woods and fly to anywhere the villagers congregate - there they are - enjoying the build up to Yule. This event is known as a village fete - like a faery meet I suppose, but colder!
It's simple and a tiny bit old fashioned and neighbourly - what more could anyone want?
And it doesn't matter a jot about the freezing weather, or the dark grey skies and heavy rain - there they still are! All smiles and mistletoe, the tangy smell of the hot mulled wine and the searing smoke from burgers. Wellies sploshing through the thawing snow, umbrellas high.
All making the most of things, queuing for Santa's tractor to ride down the wet hill,
warm in the hay, then spending villager pence on fudge and chutney.
Singing loudly with the carols from the Salvation Army band, frozen fingers warming round the paper cups of spiced and steaming red wine - pungent with the scent of cinnamon and cloves. Rain dripping from hoods and down necks.
Can you hear it? ....... 'The Holly and the ivy .... when they are both full grown .... lalala'. Quite mad - but happy! And this little poem, I found pinned to a tree in the wood.
New today on my web site an Ogham page of
Mistletoe Magick and Wisdom
Picture from the
Mistletoe online shop
Have you bought your mistletoe yet?
If you can't find any in the farmers' markets around and about, I can recommend this online site - very fresh, only the best, and in any quantity you could wish for.
Buy online from the Tenbury Mistletoe Markets.
Please take a minute or two to help with the Survey about Misteltoe on expert Jonathan Briggs' Mistletoe pages - here.
Sunset, snow and silhouettes .....
The world was silent and still at four today, holding its breath before the appearance of the new moon.
Magical craftsmen and artists at a bona fide faery meet .....
Now the reason for flying away to the moors was not only to see the stone rows and freeze my wings off.
There were other things for me to glimpse. Let me introduce you ......
These two mega-talented honorary magics are Sadie Shrub and Jack Tree and they make just what it says on the board as well as story telling and things too numerous to mention. But please see more about 'The Tribe of Mog' here on my links page for lovely things.
New: While it's been snowing so hard in my woods I've been busy here - there are new links on my Nature Links page,
for bees and bats, on the Faery and Folklore Artists page and on the Favourite Things page.
Also a new recipe - for Yuletide Sloe Gin on my Hedgerow Cookery page.
Here I was on Sunday - it was so cold as I stood, taking in the feelings that the place brings to you on the wind,
that my wings turned brittle and I was afraid they would shatter.
The Stone Rows at Merrivale, Dartmoor on a colder than cold late November afternoon
No-one now knows for sure why the stone rows of Merrivale, high up on Dartmoor were built. Raised way back in the bronze ages, before all but my furthest away, prehistoric ancestors could have had a hand in it.
They look as if they should be marking a processional avenue for a King's ceremonial, but the two rows of double stones are barely wide enough to walk down. Neither do they line up with the sunrise or sunset.
They are long,
And did I buy a painting as I had promised myself I should? Well of course I did - and I'll tell you all about it very soon.
November 25th (The Ogham wood for magic has changed today to Ruis (Elder) November 25th - 22nd December)
Just a quick note .......
Tomorrow early I'm off adventuring again, travelling to the Visionary Arts event that I was telling you about the other day (see poster below).
It's very exciting for a magic, as I'm fairly certain I'll come back with a stupendous piece of art. We shall see! And, what's more, on the moors, not so very far away there's a small Stone Circle that I've never seen - if the forecast snow doesn't arrive that is!
The new ruling tree for the 13th Lunar month is Ruis - or the Elder. If your birthing falls anywhere between today and 22nd December, pick a little to strengthen your magic in any intentions that you have. Or better still, pick it on Winter Sostice, which coincides this year with the Full Moon!
Take care though in picking -shouldn't you know more about the magic and folk lore of the Elder tree - you might like to visit my new page in the Ogham section.
November 21st 2010
November Snow Moon and the reed wand ......
Here's a kind of villager elf, helping
to cut the full moon reeds in Gnark's pond.
Full moon today - many names - Snow Moon, Dark Moon or Tree Moon are all traditional old english and celtic choices.
A time to pick reed stems (Ogham wood ngetal - ruling over the November hours). Cut today, a wand of reed, or a stem hollowed into a musical pipe, will please or summon the fair folk.
My wand on the left was peeled back several layers to reveal its dark and smooth innner core.
The Full Snow Moon tells the earth to rest, the animals to finish their winter preparations and us magics to work to settle any projects that we hold dear and have left undone during the year.
A reed wand, picked today, at any time after the full moon begins to rise, will be a potent tool. (See lots more about the magic of the reed here on my Ogham reed page.)
Yesterday I took a little flutter down to the sea - it was as calm and flat as a mill pond in that cold November light. I had to share it with you - mid and late afternoon flashes on my Drax. I think that daft old dragon Storm would like to see these.
The beach at Hythe yesterday - with sea like barely wrinkled silk, painted first with silver and then with gold.
There's a new winter twig 'Home harmony charm' on the charms and spells page
that you might like to make, from blackthorn and apple.
November 15th 2010
Hedonistic overdose from the land of faerie ......
If you haven't discovered this morsel of enchantment before, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do -
The Music : the song is 'Enter Laoris' from the Caprice album 'Elvenmusic 3 - Tales of the Uninvited'
written by Anton Brejestovski with the voice of Caprice vocalist Inna Brejestovskaya.
The Art : Marc Potts and Brian Froud.
Find more about the art of Marc Potts on my fairy artists links page
Now, I'm just a scruffy kind of hedgerow fae, but if I went into the forest for a special faerymeet,
dancing to Caprice's Elvenmusic, here are some of the clothes and accessories that I'd love to be wearing!
You can find them all on here on my 'favourites' links page.
Some November days ......
Such a strange light in November, after the clocks have gven us longer evenings, the winter wheat is sown and the log fires are crackling.
I took these pictures yesterday, on a late afternoon walk as the storm clouds gathered. Managed to return to the home shelter in time - magics with wings - even wood warden faes - do NOT like to get them wet!
And talking of November days - here's something very special to look forward to:
If you can get to Dartmouth, Devon in England on the weekend of November 26th, 27th, 28th you'll be in for treat after treat.
There's a two day exhibition of paintings and crafts from some of the our most brilliant contemporary visionary artists, where you'll be able to buy anything from a Yule card print to an original. .There are talks, there are workshops and there is even a Fantasy Masquerade Ball!
Please click on the poster for more details or go to the event website here.
Some of the artist links are here on my Fairy and Foklore Artists page.
November 3rd 2010
Of Samhain night , Seers and Squashes .....
" ' She wasn’t frightened – she was awed by the sorcery that she had sensed around her.
“Hello?” she called into the still woods, “Vedui’? Kelis?”
but there was no reply.
“Amin sinta lle’ ?” she asked more quietly – “Don’t I know you?”
She looked down at the wands, glowing slightly in the shade of the trees.
“Why are you here? Mankoi naa lle sinome?” she whispered. “What do you want of me?” '
That was a tiny piece from "The Wolf Moon Shines on Muddypond Green" - you can read more extracts here - it reminds me very much of my Samhain night this year.
I walked in the woods and danced a little too - lit my Samhain incense, (recipe here) , which filled the shadows with a fresh scent of juniper. Sitting for a while to think about my faded ones, each in turn - I opened my eyes and there, as so often happens on the night of the great Sabbats - was the Seer, the Guardian of the Gate.
Or was I dreaming again underneath the stars? Perhaps it was the Lord of the Greenwood?
Pffft - most likely my fae imagination - and whoever I saw, he was gone in the blink of a dragon's eye.
Now, talking of Samhain, it's not too late for pumpkins and squashes, and I have a new, very simple squash recipe over on the Hedgerow Cooking page that you might like.
The flash of squashes on the left was taken in the market at Baden Baden in the Black Forest of Germany when I went there on some travels just a couple of weeks ago.
The basket on the right is full of gourds (not edible) and was taken on Samhain itself at the annual
Pumpkin Day of Godinton House in Kent.