Hope you enjoy this song while you browse - long time favourite!
'The Whole of the Moon' from The Waterboys
October 30th 2010 (The Ogham wood for magic has changed now to Ngetal (Wheatstraw or Reed) October 28th - 24th November)
Preparing the Samhain Incense:
Samhain - All Hallow's Eve - another year will start as the wheel turns tomorrow night. A time for thinking about our faded ones, they will know they're not forgotten.. A night when The Horned God, my Guardian of the Forests, begins the Wild Hunt.
The woods where I live are but a fluttering flight from one of the most haunted villages in England and that's where I was today. So many cottages and great houses there have suffered the Bell, Book and Candle. Who knows how many magics were turned away as well as the ghosts.
A faery night it is, and I'll prepare by making my Samhain Incense. Each ingredient is chosen with this day in mind: I will ask for Protection in the coming year for me and mine, I will honour The Horned God and Scorpio is in ascendance.
It's a complicated one for a fae incense - just burning the juniper berries and crushed pine cone would be delicious!
Incense for Samhain - ingredients
Incense for Samhain
Here is the blend that I've made ready for tomorrow:
* 2 tsp Benzoin gum crystals (For the Horned God)
* 1 tsp Myrrh (Protection, Spirituality, Scorpio)
* 1 tsp powdered pine cone (Protection, Scopio, Horned God)
* 3 drops Cedarwood oil (Protection, Horned God)
* 3 drops Patchouli oil (Protection, Horned God)
* 2 whole Cloves, powdered (Protection, Scorpio)
* 8 Juniper berries, powdered (Protection, Horned God)
* 6 Rowan berries, powdered (My birth wood)
Faded faery ancestor, not forgotten
Crush and powder the dry ingredients with a pestle and mortar or an old coffee bean grinder. Add the drops of oil and blend together. (See more about incense burning here amongst the magic.)
This is a powdered herbal incense for burning in tiny quantities over a charcoal tablet.
(If you don't know your birth wood, you can find it in my Ogham Tree pages - there is a new page completed - The Ogham Trees - Ngetal - Wheatstraw or Reed)
Too soon, too soon for the frost:
Early this morning, there was a second dawn of deepest frost. It was all gone by nine. Each leaf sparkled in the sunlight with its jewelled rim of crystal cold.
. The last rose in the lane hung her head. It was such a clear night last night, so bright that my world seemed more magick than ever, floodlit by the moon - and it isn't yet her full-day ! Full moon is tonight (Friday or early Saturday) - and I will make a special incense - there'll be purest rose-oil, with rose-hips - because this full moon is a Libran moon and the rose is a Libran correspondence - and to thank the Lady of Moon and Greenwood for what I saw today.
The moon resin to use is myrrh with a pinch of powered sandalwood.
Hunters Moon Morris, A Hooden of Kent and Conkers!
Found in early October - much merriment and folk-lore tradition on a nearby Kentish street !
And which moon shines full this month? Well the Hunter's Moon of course.
You can learn more about them here - This is The Hunters Moon Morris
Click on the
to see the detail - believe me
it's worth it!
' Dark Morris' dancing on my Ogham Trees Ivy page
And also - just a short entry here
to let you know that there are
New conker friends over on my
Hedgerow Crafts page.
There was much merriment
in the making!
Another one! These things are a bit of a
but a great
Gargoyles - medieval fantastica
May I introduce you to the gargoyles of Freiburger Münster? Here is the tiniest fraction of those I met on Saturday at the Black Forest Cathedral of Freiburg in Germany, with its beautiful latticed spire. Begun around the year 1200 and continued into the early 14th century in true Gothic style, the stone masons went into orgies of medieval imagination as they constructed dozens of spouts to take the rain-water and melting snow off the steeply pitched roofs and towers.The name ‘Gargoyle’ - comes from ‘gurgulio’ the Latin for ‘throat’ . We use the word gurgle too, and this is the sound they make as the rain runs through the stone bodies and water spouts.These magnificent beasts have survived for nearly eight hundred years - through weathering and war - and that's even longer than ancient fae!
They had countless stories to tell and were glad of a listening ear but I'll have to visit them again, they need much time.
October 6th 2010
Something wicked this way comes!
This 'fantastical' clump of toadstools strike me as being something wicked - don't you think so?
Discovered yesterday and not the usual mushrooms found growing in my faery wood at all!
I have to say though, I do rather admire them in all their dark glory. Not tiny ones either - each must be about 6 - 9 inches (15 - 25cm) tall at least. They're a perfect harbinger for the night of the Dark Moon on Friday 8th! Take care on that night please. I won't be home - this magic is away travelling again, for a very short time - to the Black Forest in Germany - to see what I will see! Meanwhile - if you have the time, take a glimpse at the new page in The Ogham Trees - for IVY - it is the Ogham wood for magic for the next three weeks - if your birthday falls in the 11th Lunar month - most of October - then the ivy is your birth wood.
October 1st (The Ogham wood for magic changed now to Gort (Ivy) September 30th - 27th October)
Superb folklore art in "The Secret of Kells" - just released in the UK
QUICK, see it while you can!
Just Love, love LOVE this art !!
Nominated for an Oscar for animation at the last awards and sadly beaten by its multi-million pound rivals, 'The Secret of Kells' tells the story of how the Celtic illuminated masterpiece 'The Book of Kells' from c800, was written, in the form of a beautifully drawn, animated adventure. Hope you can visit the original Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin if you get the chance (picture from original manuscript here) - luminous and exquisite.
Directed by Irish film maker Tomm Moore - who has his own Blog about the progress of the film (see right) - it's been getting rave reviews since its release into the film-festival world, winning eight awards and nominations (so far!).
Its UK release looks very small at present - and most are one off dates - notably this Sunday October 3rd - see the list of cinemas and dates in Tomm Moore's blog! If you want to see it on the big screen - you need to look sharp!
Click picture to enlarge
' "Handmade" is a good word for the look of The Secret of Kells, although some of the effects, like the lovely dappled sunlight in the forest and a lot of the design work, are so intricate that many viewers assume it's computerized, and are amazed to learn that in fact the animators made virtually no use of computers. Like The Book of Kells itself, it's a painstakingly hand-crafted labor of love that seems at times almost miraculous.'
Take a stroll down the faery-tale path in autumn:
If you should be lucky enough to go walking in the Kings Wood you might, just might, be lucky enough to discover this little path.
I know it well - it's near the hearth of the High Elves. During this last few days it's decked itself out and shown itself, to those who can find it, to be a faery path - a place of magic!
The faery mushroom is here in plenty. Properly known as 'fly agaric' (amanita muscaria), these have been asscociated with gnome and elf meeting places for hundreds of years They love to sit by them - they're much attracted to the brilliant scarlet colour. Some have even been known to make themselves caps or tunics to match, but dying the hopsac that exact shade of red isn't easy! (Thank goodness - they look better in green or brown if you ask me!!)Poisonous! Very poisonous - not to magics, but to villagers. They used to put bits of them into milk to attract and kill flies - that's perhaps where they got the first part of their name. I hope they washed their hands - putting their fingers in their mouths after that would have made them sick for sure! These mushrooms are associated with the mind-exploring shamanic, druid and witchcraft practice of 'flying'. Fairies don't need to go in for such artifice of course - elves wouldn't bother - seers do quite often - gnomes might try - but WE fly naturally.
Just to let you know too - I've been busy making Hedgerow Jelly (not with poisonous mushrooms!) - it's great with cheese or meats. The recipe's here on my Hedgerow Cooking page.
The Harvest Moon is
Should you need reminding - Full Moon - The Harvest Moon will shine tonight!
There are new thoughts of the Harvest Moon and its traditions here on my Magical Moons page.
I've just been outside to check once again, it's nearly midnight here, but sadly the clouds have made a dense cover and there's no moonglow to be seen. Pffft!! Kentish weather! During any one of the last three nights, and tomorrow, on the 24th, the beautiful Chinese Moon Festival is celebrated with sky lanterns, processions and dragon-fire dances.
September 21st 2010
Autumn Equinox - Mabon - The Feast of Avalon - time to celebrate second harvest:
Flowers for a Mabon supper - a hand-tied bunch, including blackberries, crab apples, damsons, hawthorn and Michaelmas daisies.
This year the equinox falls on the 22nd, but a little thanksgiving on any of these three days is good. At the equinox, dark and light are balanced in their hours, and the Lord (Sun) and Lady (Moon) of the Greenwood are perfectly equal in power.It's the time to give thanks for the second harvest. The crops were cut at Lammas (Aug 1st is the day of the first harvest). Now's the time for apples, pears, berries, nuts, squashes and vegetables. For a gathering in, a storing and preserving.
The time too for some thoughts about loss, the passing of the summer months and encroaching winter, mirrored in nature by gradual aging and decay.
Wild field mushrooms - wonderful fresh - but please take care, only pick if you're sure.
Mabon is quite a modern name for the day - a Welsh name - after Mabon, born of a mix of Earth and Faery, stolen at birth from the Madron (mother) Queen and returned to be a prince and priest of Avalon. Another name for the autumn equinox is 'The Feast of Avalon'.
Take a little time to make the day special - however simply. Decorate table or home with hedgerow leaves and fruits, autumn flowers and perhaps a candle or two, especially those with the orange, yellow, gold or bronzy tones of the season.
Cook supper with some wild ingredients and try to use blackberries, as the blackberry has ruling magical powers for September. See Ogham Bramble page for more blackberry magic and lore.
Here, our 'Feast of Avalon' supper was a huge omelette made with the wild field mushrooms in the photo above, picked last evening - just what magics like best! Followed by blackberry, elderberry and apple crumble.- recipe here on my Hedgerow Cooking page.
Government wickedness, still hell-bent on those BADGERS - and happier things:
Photo by Steve & Ann Toon / Robert Harding Corbis
Photos and full details in TODAY's report in The Guardian. Once again may I ask you all to support the huge campaign
by The Badger Trust
For more about this story in Muddypond's diaryblog page for June 15th here and July 13th here
On a happier note for autumn - please say a big welcome to this little fella. who arrived last week just across the lane from my wood. He can almost chew the drooping pine branches!
He was being comprehensively shown off by his proud mum right under the brightest rainbow yesterday evening, just as the sun went down.
Also by the way - Blackberry (Ogham name Muin) is the ruling wood for September, so if you're feeling creative, there's a great recipe for Blackberry and Oat Buns, new on my hedgerow cooking page.
Divination with a rare double hazelnut - folk-lore!
Yesterday, I went to pick a basket of Kentish Cobnuts (just the same as hazelnuts except a little bigger) - the hazel trees are laden with them this year, (lots more about the Hazel tree, its magical asscociations and folklore, here.) The squirrels, woodmice and of course the dormice are having a field day, they love to pick hazelnuts from the trees fresh and green!
I found this crew of geese, taking a break near the lane - enjoying the mixture of dappled sun and puddles.When I cracked the shells, getting the nuts ready for my new recipe for "Roast'n'salted hazelnut Snack" - find it here on my Hedgerow Cooky Page, I found a double kernelled nut - just like finding a double yolked egg! It reminded me of a divination spell that us fae know of! What's more, TONIGHT there is a NEW MOON, so it must be a good time for all things magic.
If you want to know about the future of a relationship, separate the two hazels and place them carefully, just touching sides, tips inwards.on the bars of an open fire, or on a log at the edge of an autumn bonfire. The nut on the left is you - the one on the right, your partner (or would-be partner - powdered hazel is excellent in a love philtre too! Pffft!! If you like that sort of thing!)
Watch closely - if the nut representing you burns first, you are destined to be independent or in some way alone - if the other burns first, your partner will leave (or there will be no relationship) - but if they burn contentedly side-by-side, the alliance will be long and happy !As you see, my double nut is not yet burned - some things are better not known don't you think?
I'll eat it now. Mmm, lovely.
September 3rd (The Ogham wood for magic has changed to Muin (Bramble) September 2nd - 29th September)
Morning Glory in the painting of Faerie:
Just across the lane from the wood, is my patch of Morning Glory - the incandescent blue of an English summer sky. Looking at the new flowers, fresh with every morning light, makes me think of some of the paintings I've always loved.of the ancestor magics - The Faere Folk.
'The Fairy's Funeral' 1864 - click picture to enlarge
I've framed my print by Helen Jacobs (1888 - 1970) who is one my favourite fairy artists, with a little scramble of my flowers. Oh how I wish I could be as elegant as her - the look wouldn't suit a 21st century eco-fae though would it? It was the Victorian fairy artists who really loved the Morning Glory, adding them to their paintings as a reminder of their ability to beguile us fairies, knowing that we'll sit enchanted as they unfurl their trumpets with the sun-rise.
Many of these painters charged their darkest dreams with narcotics, opium and absinthe, and the flowers and seeds of the Morning Glory weren't forgotten, adding fire to the visions
"Fairies and the Field Mouse" Etheline Eva Dell c1890
You can see what I mean when you look at the bottom of this wonderful painting (above left) by John Anster Fitzgerald "The Fairy's Funeral" This is not his only painting with the Morning Glory allusion to over-charged dreams!
You see, even in Queen Victoria's reign, before the advent of Nuclear Power and its toxic waste, the magics must have been fading!On the right, a painting by fairy artist and illustrator Etheline Eva Dell, one of a series which included 'Titania'. The picture on the left is one of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite's series of fairy illustrations - "Fairy-Beauty Rocks a Babe", the morning glory here clearly being an allegory for sleep. She was an Australian painter (1888 - 1960). Her illustrations were made into superb postcards in the 1920's by A & C Black, and I have a whole collection of them.More favourite Victorian - Edwardian fairy painters are Warwick Goble, Richard Dadd, and Kay Neilsen.
If you are interested in the magic and traditions of plants and trees, I have added Hazel to my Holly and Oak Ogham pages. Only another seventeen to go!!