S. H. A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~ Plus a Coloring Page of the Tiniest Fairy

r CTT4 Coloring Babay Fairy.jpg

Alicia was a small and tiny earthen spirit with sparkling blue eyes and a pinched up nose; even in the fairy world, where all things are small, she was the smallest of them all.

Her home was deep inside the strong and twisting roots of a big Oak. It was safe and none of the winter cold snows could find their way in.

She loved playing around her cozy and warm home with her mom and dad. They would play hide and seek and she could easily hide in the corners or under the furniture. They would read books by the firelight and sing songs that only the fairies knew.

Alicia was frightened of the other earthen creatures, as well as of what might be outside her cozy home under the big Oak. She had never been out before and saw no reason to go into the “outside.”

When company came over Alicia would not come out of her tiny seedpod bed. When the Bunny family who lived next door came to visit, she was frightened that being so small, one of the many bunny babies might accidentally hop on her. She would only peek over the beds edge with her tiny pinched nose when the Gloends, a family of glowworms came to visit, because she wanted to see where the warm yellow glow was coming from.

At dinner one evening, Alicia’s mom and dad told her that soon winter’s hold would be ending. That frightened Alicia since she only knew the winter and could not imagine what might happen if it was to end.

They explained to her that in the entire magickal world, it was her magick that would call in the changing of seasons and the turning of the great wheel. On the eve of the next night Alicia, her mom and her dad would go on a journey into the forest. Here, there would be a great gathering and all the mystical creatures of Earth would see her gift of magick.

But Alicia shivered with fear — what was this wheel and how can she stop this magick and changing? She liked things just as they were and didn’t want anything to change at all. She didn’t want to go to a gathering where so many would be. She didn’t know what this gift was that she was to give. What if she got lost and no one could find her? Or maybe the others would see her. Maybe they would not like her or make fun of her or laugh at her being so small.

Her greatest fear was that maybe she had no magick. She had not seen it. She couldn’t fly like her mom and dad; she kept falling on her elbows. She couldn’t make things like flowers or snowflakes like her mom and dad; all she ended up with some ice that melted. She couldn’t even make light with her wand. How would her parents feel when they found out, what would she do?

Even as frightened as Alicia was of going into the “outside, ” she was more frightened of what others might think of her. She didn’t want to disappoint her mom and dad, so she decided it would be best if she hid. She would go into the “outside;” no one would look for her there. She would not go very far. Just far enough away where she could hide until the gathering was over, and then the change would not happen.

Alicia’s mom was roasting acorns for the great gathering’s feast and her dad was busy polishing up his ice wand. Alicia knew no one would see her leave, or think she would go into the “outside” alone, since she never had before.

With her wand in a small bag tied to her waist, Alicia carefully opened the door of her house and stepped into the “outside.” She closed the door quickly and quietly so her mom and dad would not hear it creak. Then, she turned to see what was here in this “outdoors.” It was white everywhere. She walked along for a little while when all of a sudden “crunch” she sunk into the snow up to her wing tips. It took a bit of work but she wriggled her way up and out of the snow. Now she was really cold and she could see it was getting darker. The bright bluish color of the sky was now turning a purple hue with streaks of red and yellow.

She wasn’t sure, but if night was coming she had to hide quickly. If she could fly just to the edge of the forest she would find a place to stay until the gathering was over and then she could go home again. Then it would be safe because nothing would change. That is what she wanted.

Alicia was frighten and getting colder, but she had made up her mind. She had to do this, or everything she knew was going to change forever. She shook herself off and looked toward the forest edge. With all her will and might she jumped up and began flying forward. Then back a little, then up, then down, then around in some circles and then slower and then faster and then it happened. Bang! She flew right into a tree branch hanging low weighted heavy by the snow.

Alicia did not know what exactly had happened as she rubbed her head, but when she rose up again out of the snow it had gotten very dark. She could see tiny lights twinkling above her now. She looked around trying to figure out what direction to go. By now the gathering must be over and she could go home. Everything would stay the same. But which way was home?

Alicia couldn’t see where to go, so she didn’t want to try to fly. What if she hit another tree, it was dark now and she couldn’t make anything out, plus her head still hurt from before. She had to be very careful deciding what way to go now.

All of a sudden, she heard someone calling her. “Alicia, Alicia.” She felt her body begin to shake so hard that the tiny ice cycles that had formed on the tips of her wings, tinkled like little bells. As she turned around to look behind her, she saw a woman lying on a big pile of fur blankets. She was not a fairy, but she was beautiful, dressed in a green, red and white gown. Hundreds of earthen creatures stood all around her, many Alicia had never seen before, but none were scared or frightened at all. Although Alicia didn’t understand it, she wasn’t frightened either.

There seemed to peace about this woman, it was something calming. “Alicia, I have been waiting for you. I need your help.” the Lady said.
“Waiting for me?” Alicia asked.
“Yes, Alicia, ” she said. “Its dark now and we need your light to light the way, so that we can see what lies before us.”
“My light?” Alicia asked, remembering she had not been able to make her wand light before.
“It’s your magick Alicia, your magick that will call the light from within me.” the Lady said.
Alicia slowly began to walk toward the woman. That’s when she saw that this quiet lady was going to have a baby, and she was going to have it any moment.

All the fears and worries Alicia carried with her were beginning to melt away, just like the ice on her wing tips. As she looked into the meadow green eyes of this lady she wanted more than anything else in her small life to make a light for her.

Alicia, still trembling, took her wand from its little bag, and raised it up. With every magickal hope she had ever had, she put her energy into lighting her wand.

The lady smiled gently at her and in that instance there was a great flash of light, which came from the tip of that tiny wand. It was a brilliant luminous light, which filled every corner of the night.

As Alicia held her wand high she looked over to see that now the lady was holding in her arms a baby; a wonderful little baby boy. Suddenly, she understood it all, everything her mom and dad had been telling her.

This was the magick; this was her special gift. Alicia, the tiniest of all fairies, she was the one who carried the spark, the spark which released the light of the world and the turning of the wheel of life.

In her tiny being she had carried that magick, the magick to unlock the power of love and understanding for the world to share. Standing in that brilliant light, Alicia understood who the Lady was and the importance of this baby. She was a part of the rebirth of the Light. This baby was the Light again reborn of the Goddess. The beautiful Lady was the Goddess of life, and Alicia was that spark of magick which survives all time and through which we find boundless possibilities.

Soon the edge of the forest was filled with earthen creatures and spirits from all over the mystical world. Alicia’s mom and dad watched their fairy child as she beamed with joy. The Lady holding her baby boy blessed all those who shared in this time of magick as the feast was served and great happiness was shared by all.

Alicia didn’t even notice that she was floating on the air. She was no longer weighted down by all her silly worries or fears. She knew that even though she was tiny she had the power to light the world. Now she understood, magick is all around you if you only believe, and trust in yourself.

So each year as you light a candle to call the light, remember the tiniest fairy, for it only takes one tiny spark to give light unto the whole world.

Blessed be our Lady the Mother of Light.

Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Copyright: Copyright © 11012005

To you and your family from Witches of the Craft and Coven Life’s families we bid you a joyous and blessed Yule.

I apologize to our Sisters and Brothers that live in the Southern Hemisphere for not posting this early yesterday. My wish for you and yours is you make it through your clod months with plenty to eat, a home to shelter you, and the clothing you need to keep you warm especially when you are outdoors. With love and bountiful blessings

                                                                                                                                                    — Lady Beltane

The Witches Magick for Dec. 17th – Faeryland Thyme Magick

Faeryland Thyme Magick

After dark, go outdoors and look straight at the new moon. Then go indoors and put on some upbeat Celtic music.

You will need a green candle, a bowl filled with soil, a pinch of dried thyme, a pinch of dried nutmeg, five small stones from nature and a half cup warm milk with three teaspoons of honey mixed in.

Draw a sacred circle. Now draw a second circle of forest-green light on top of the first circle. Light the candle, dedicating it to the elves and faeries.

Put the bowl of soil in the center of the altar. Cover the top of the soil with the pinches of thyme and nutmeg. As you do this, say three times:

Faery spice, blessings thrice.
 

Position the stones in a star, pentacle pattern around the bowl. Now take a few deep breaths to center your awareness. Imagine descending a long natural rock stairway into the earth. At the end of the stairs is a circular doorway. Now open your eyes for a few moments and take the cup of milk from the altar. Pour the milk and honey over the earth and thyme in the bowl as you say:

To the woods and wild land,
With a faery band in hand.
Mind and spirit, now set free,
Open the faery door, so mote it be!
 

Once again, close your eyes and see the circular doorway in your mind’s eye. See and sense yourself opening the door and stepping into the magickal world of the faeries. Allow the candle to safely burn down. Let the music continue playing as you drift to sleep. If you dream of the elves and faeries, your wishes will all come true.

In the morning pull up the circle, and take the earth and stones, putting them in a sunwise circle around a plant while whistling or humming a little tune. When you are done, be sure to thank the faeries.

The Witches Magick for Dec. 11th – Clurichaun Blessing

Clurichaun Blessing

The residents of a house would leave offerings for the Clurichaun, who sing in Gaelic with enchantingly beautiful voices. Related to leprechauns, Clurichaun are house faeries that specialize in caring for and protecting wine and beer cellars. Clurichauns also guard a hidden treasure. In this spell, you are asking the Clurichaun to bless and protect your home.

You need a chalice full of wine (or juice) and your magick wand.

Begin by drawing a magick circle and calling in the elements. With your want in your right hand and the chalice of wine in your left hand, stand in front of the north point of the circle while saying:

Clurichauns and all good house faeries
Protect this home with your energies.
 

Go around to the east, south, and west points in that order, doing the same thing. Once this is completed, return to your altar and place the chalice of wine on it while saying:

I offer my thanks with this wine
To the Clurichauns this is my sign.
Bless the faeries, always, blessed be!
 

Thank the Clurichauns, bid farewell to the elements, and pull up the circle. Leave the chalice of wine on your altar overnight, and in the morning pour it into the earth as an offering to the faeries.

The Witches Magick For December 9th – Three-Stone Home Magick

The Witches Magick For December 9th

Three-Stone Home Magick

Cast this spell to bring more harmony and happiness into your home by way of benevolent faeries.

You will need three small white stones you find in nature.

At 6:07 p.m., draw a magick circle and call in the elements. Hold each of the three stones in your power hand, one at a time, and face your altar. Take a deep, complete breath in and out. Merge with the faeries and charge each of the stones by saying:

“Blessed be, blessed three moon and star stones,
Please bring harmony and happiness to my home.”

Now, slowly spin clockwise three times. When you are done spinning say:

“Helpful, bright, and friendly faeries
Please bring harmony and happiness to my home
Ayea, Ayea, Ayea, blessed fae! So Be It!

Sit or stand quietly in the middle of your circle and imagine the helpful powers of the earth, air, fire, and water faeries bringing more harmony and joyful happiness to your home forever and a day. Do this for at least fifteen minutes, then offer the stones to the faeries by placing them gently on the ground beneath a flower, bush or tree. As you do, repeat with each stone:

Blessed be, blessed three moon and star stones
Please bring harmony and happiness to my home.

The Witches Magick for December 3rd – Peri Protection Spell

Peri Protection Spell

The Peries are Persian Faeries born from fire. They only eat perfume and are known to protect people against harmful faeries. In this spell, you are invoking the energy of the Peries as a means of protection from dark energies and negative events.

You will need a green candle and three drops of jasmine-scented oil.

Begin by anointing the candle with the three drops of oil while saying:

“Blessed oil of jasmine sweet
Draw the magick of the Peries to me.”

Put the candle in its holder, and light it while dedicating it to the Peris:

“Born from the divine fire
Peries protect me from evil and darkness.
As I will, so shall it be!”

Let the candle burn safely down all the way. Put some perfume on a piece of cloth and leave it out for the Peries. Anytime you feel darkness and negativity trying to come into your space, light a candle and call in the Peries for protection.

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Lunantshees

Fantasy Comments & Graphics
 
November 11 and 12

Lunantshees

This day has been set aside to honor the Fairy, an important element in most Irish folklore and mythology. For the Irish, the Fairy is believed to be the decedent of the small, dark, Neolithic people who invaded early Europe. Being small and dark and living close to the land allowed them to quickly hide from their enemies. This ability along with their elusive mannerisms, led people to believe they were capable of magick, shape-shifting and invisibility.

Magickal Activities

Fairy Dust

Grind the following herbs into a fine powder:

1 Tbs. Woodruff

1 Tbs. Rose petal

1 Tbs. Meadowsweet

1 Tbs. Clover

1 Tbs. Jasmine

Place the powder in a dark blue jar. Inscribe the following symbol on the jar:

Hold the jar tightly against your heart as you chant nine times:

Nature spirits and Fairy friends,
Bless this dust to serve my ends.
I place my trust and faith in thee,
To bring me love, wealth and prosperity.
 

Lightly dust the bed with the powder to increase passion and love. Place some of the powder near the threshold of a business to attract new customers, and sprinkle some around the perimeter or your home to create an atmosphere of happiness and good will.

Faery Sugar

Faery Sugar

3 cups fine white sugar

1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon red food coloring

Glass container

Lay sugar on wax paper & sprinkle on Vanilla:

stir into the sugar till all mixed in.

Next sprinkle on the red food coloring and incorporate in till sugar turns ‘faery pink.’

Save in glass container, you have labed “Faery Sugar.”

Now use this special treat in the “Spell to see the Fae”

and also for Faery cookies, cakes and offerings to the Fae.

You can eat some yourself, but remember the recipe is a secret.

Author: Barbara Morris

A Recipe to See The Fae

A Recipe to See The Fae

On a Dawn morning or Evening dusk, find a special bottle, a pretty one that the fae will love.

Pour into it the following:

1 cup spring or rain water

1 teaspoon of Pink Rose Petals

½ teaspoon Lavender flowers

Add 3 quartz crystals

Add 3 amethyst chips

1 pinch of Faery sugar

Nine inch piece of pink ribbon

Hide this away in a dark place for three days. On the third day, again at dawn or dusk, in a place you think you might spot the Fae, like an Oak tree, backyard or mushroom patch in the forest. Even a potted plant, herb, or flower will do. Tie a nine inch piece of Pink ribbon around bottle neck. Next, close your eyes and spinkle 9 drops over each eyelids of your “faery potion water,’ care not to get it in your eyes. Next recite thie incantation and watch for the Fae.

Ribbon of pink, I just might think,
I would like to see the Fae today.
Special sight of Faery’s flight,
Send to me the way today.
A sprinkle here a sprinkle there,
A secret spell I say today.
Wispy wings and little things,
Are what I’d like to see today.

The Fairy

The Fairy

 

A fairie (also fay, fey, fae, faerie; collectively, wee folk, good folk, people of peace, and other euphemisms) is the name given to a type of mythological being or legendary creature, a form of nature spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. The concept of fairies is based on the fae of midevil Western European (Old French) folklore and romance. Fairies are often identified with a variety of beings of other mythologies. Even in folklore that uses the term “fairy,” there are many definitions of what constitutes a fairy. Sometimes the term is used to describe any magickal creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature.

Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers. Their origins are less clear in the folklore, being variously dead, or some form of angel, or a species completely independent of humans or angels. Folklorists have suggested that their actual origin lies in a conquered race living in hiding, or in religious beliefs that lost currency with the advent of Christianity. These explanations are not always mutually incompatible, and they may be traceable to multiple sources.

Much of the folklore about fairies revolves about protection from their malice, by such means as cold iron (fairies don’t like iron and will not go near it) or charms of rowan and herbs, or avoiding offense by shunning locations known to be theirs. In particular, folklore describes how to prevent the fairies from stealing babies and substituting changelings, and abducting older people as well. Many folktales are told of fairies, and they appear as characters in stories from medieval tales of chivalry, to Victorian fairy tales, and up to the present day in modern literature.

Fairies are generally portrayed as human in appearance and as having supernatural abilities such as the ability to fly, cast spells and to influence or foresee the future. Although in modern culture they are often depicted as young, sometimes winged, females of small stature, they originally were depicted much differently: tall, radiant, angelic beings or short, wizened trolls being some of the commonly mentioned. Diminutive fairies of one kind or another have been recorded for centuries, but occur alongside the human-sized beings; these have been depicted as ranging in size from very tiny up to the size of a human child. Even with these small fairies, however, their small size may be magically assumed rather than constant.

Wings, while common in Victorian and later artwork of fairies, are very rare in the folklore; even very small fairies flew with magic, sometimes flying on ragwort stems or the backs of birds. Nowadays, fairies are often depicted with wings of various shapes.

Understanding

Understanding

Author:   Glowfox 

I am writing this article to help myself understand how I feel about myself. And express the things about me that I hope you all can accept. ‘I’m sorry because it’s going to be like a journal entry.

I always was inclined to the Magickal world when I was young, believing in faeries, reading mythology and faery-tales, delving more deeply into the magickal world everyday as I continued to grow. I was often laughed at, made fun of and picked on at school while growing up, drawing faeries in my notebooks, and when up at the front of the class sharing my poetry and assignments. Even my parents didn’t approve of my interests, especially with them being catholic. I was always the boy reading too much Tolkein, William Butler Yeats, Diana Wynne Jones and filling my head with nonsense. I often had to hide my books and drawings, especially when I became older and started studying magickal texts and grimoires.

I think the reason I picked up this interest in learning and studying witchcraft came from the wonderful pieces of art and history that I studied, and I knew and know now that magick is real. And because of feeling alone, I wanted to connect to something. I wanted to meet the faeiries and feel the powers of the universe. I used my knowledge to gain better understanding of a hidden world veiled in shadow. I guess I might have been selfish, but it felt like I didn’t have much else.

I recall when I was 12 and saved up to get myself some tarot cards, at the local occult store. My parents forbade us from going there. So I used to have to sneak there, often going with my elder sister whom shared similar interests and whom I love very much, but sadly moved away. I got a traditional Raider Waite deck but what so fearful in keeping them, because my parents a few days back from that raided my room and found more magick books. I looked at the cards and felt their power within my hands. They were one of my earliest tools I had received.

I shivered because of what my parents had instilled in me, and when I looked at them I knew I couldn’t keep them, I had to give them back. I ran into the store to give them back but the lady there said that their power has been interrupted and touched and that you can not return tarot decks once they’ve been opened which I accepted, but I really wished she would had taken them. I had to hide them, sadly I took them too a used bookstore where they were worth almost nothing. I just thought the Occult Shop would be a better place for them.

After this I became angry not being able to express myself and having to hide everything. This only made the relationship between my parents and I worse, and I didn’t want to give my passion up. I felt so bad for the tarot cards, still feeling our connection, I remember having wept. I vowed never to rid that which is important to me just because my parents wanted me too. This was a big step for me in my development.

When I started high school, things were okay. I became very busy and met new people, having relationships that ended quickly. And still there was no place where I could express myself, except for in the art room when I got the chance to do self-initiated projects. It didn’t help by me attending a catholic school either (parents forced me too) . There is mandatory Christian Ethics class that is bearable but not interesting or fun, it was and is a place where only one view could be expressed, and that was the teachers. No open-mindedness what-so-ever!

Many students claiming to be catholic didn’t even show it, mocking and gossiping about others, talking crudely and violently (acting violently too) , and a lot of them dressing like gangsters which was the craze.

When I was 15 I remember sitting in one of my classes and being attracted to my male teacher. I began to wonder if I was gay. It was and still is very confusing. And now here was another aspect I knew no one could accept, and I had no one to talk too. I had never felt this way before with the female sex. It happened more frequently, I knew inside I was gay.

I never just gave up on being a Christian either; I was 15, and researched extensively on Christian faith. I read the bible when I was 11. I read the Catholic catechism, and studied the beliefs of the faith and the meanings of their rituals and sacraments. There was so much I didn’t agree to in Christianity. It ended, I resisted to go to church every Sunday, who I was they hated, it didn’t feel right to go their being forced to worship their God falsely and in lies. Eventually they gave up. It’s not that I hate their faith it’s just I gave it a chance and don’t share their beliefs.

When I was 16 and 3/4, in the late spring of 2007 I admitted to myself that I was gay and accepted it. I told myself. And eventually told my older sister and my cousin. Both people I knew that could accept it and me after that, they are still to this day the only ones that know along with a Psychology teacher, I guess you know too. I began to feel alone though, still there was no one I could hang with or talk too.

In and during school I stayed introverted and quiet; trying desperately just to get through unnoticed, still do. It is hard sometimes believing in yourself, having self worth, hope and love. My magick seemed bleak; I gave up on everything and became depressed. I fell into a pit and it took me a lot to crawl out healthy, and I still feel I am fighting to crawl out.

I hope gathering myself with enough money, good grades and self-understanding I will be capable to escape from this. So I plan to move away, quite far. I hope I may be able to discover and develop my Identity away from this seeming a lot me has been crushed here. I have lost time. I do feel okay presently, but I wish to feel better in the future and have less struggles. I think from writing this I have achieved something, although I am not entirely sure.

Gothic Gardening

Gothic Gardening

A Garden as Black as Your Cloak!

by mAlice

Need an idea for your garden? Don’t want the same old pansies and marigolds this year? Here’s some ideas for making your garden a more gothic place…

Gardening for the Fey

Let’s get one thing straight here: Fairies are not cute. Shakespeare made them seem cute, and Disney finished off the job (sorry, Heather, but it’s true). The fey are capricious, mischievous, arrogant, menacing and sometimes downright evil and dangerous to humans. The fey include elves, fairies, gnomes, trolls, goblins and a host of other supernatural beings who are somewhere “between men and angels.” Almost all of these beings have a very close connection to nature.

Rosemary: Sicilians thought that this was a favorite plant of the fairies and that young fairies would take the form of snakes and lie amongst the branches, and the baby fairies would sleep in the flowers.

Ragwort: Also known as St. John’s wort, this plant has a strong connection with the fey. In Ireland, it’s called fairy’s horse, since supposedly fairies would ride through the air on it. Leprechauns are supposed to have buried their treasure underneath the roots of this plant. And on the Isle of Man, there is the belief that if you stepped upon a ragwort plant on St. John’s Eve (Midsummer Eve) after sunset, a fairy horse would spring up out of the earth and carry you off until sunrise, at which time it would leave you wherever you happened to be.

Elder: Almost all trees are home to some sort of elven kind, including elm, oak, willow, yew, fir, holly and so on. However, elder trees have the highest elf population. The Elder Mother who dwells within the tree is very protective of her domain, and it is taboo to cut part of the tree without asking her permission first. Stories tell of the Elder Mother tormenting children who were in cradles of elderwood (which had not been asked for) by pulling them by the legs. The chant for asking permission is:

“Old Woman, Old Woman, Give me some of your wood And when I am dead I’ll give you some of mine.”

And if you stand under an elder tree at midnight on Midsummer Eve in Denmark, you will see Toly, the King of the Elves, go by.

Oak: In Germany, this is the fairies’ favorite dwelling place, and they are especially fond of dancing around it.

Barley: A common grain, but one of the main foods of the fairy. Fairies would often borrow oatmeal from storehouses and return a double measure of barley as repayment.

Silverweed: Also known as silver cinquefoil, the roots of this plant were another of the fairies’ favorite foods, which they called brisgein. However, it likes to grow in marshy areas, so cultivating it might be a problem.

Heather: This is another of the fairies’ favorite foods.

Wild thyme: Another herb that was thought to be home to fairies, since they liked the aromatic flowers and spent their leisure time among them. If you picked the flowers from a patch of wild thyme where the little folk did live and placed them on your eyes, you would be able to see the fey.

Cowslip: This flower is also known as fairy cups in Lincolnshire and was often a hiding place for frightened fairies. At dawn, as the light shines on the dewdrops, the fairies “hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.”

Ferns: This plant was guarded by Oberon on Midsummer Night, since this is when the fern would flower – a beautiful sapphire blue – and Oberon wanted to prevent mortals from obtaining the fern seed. If you managed to collect it despite him, you would be under the protection of spirits, and while you carried the seed it would render you invisible.

Clover: Finding a four-leaved clover grants you a wish and gives you the power to see the fairies dancing in their fairy rings. This is also the main ingredient of fairy ointment, which gives you the power to penetrate the fairies’ glamour and see them as they truly are. Be careful, though: If you unknowingly carry a four-leaved clover (in a bundle of grass), the fairies have the power to enchant you.

Foxglove: The flowers serve as petticoats for the fairies, and in Ireland they serve as fairies’ gloves. Also, flowers are used as thimbles when fairies mend their clothing.

Furze bushes: The cobwebs collected on their branches are used to make fairies’ mantles.

Stichwort: In Devonshire, people do not pick this for fear they be “pixy led.” Held in special honor by fairies.

Strawberries: In Bavaria, fairies are very fond of strawberries and peasants will tie a basket of strawberries between cows’ horns to assure an abundance of milk.

Rose: In Germany and Scandinavia, this plant is under special protection of dwarfs and elves, both who are ruled by King Laurin, Lord of the Rose Garden.

Cabbage stalks: Also serve as transportation for fairies, who ride these like horses.

Cuscuta Epithymum: In Jersey, known as “fairies’ hair.”

Peziza Coccinea: Used for fairies’ hats.

Elecampane: In Denmark, this is known as “elf-dock.”

Toadstools: These are thought to be “stylized pixy stools” and in the north of Wales are called “fairy tables.”

Pyrus Japonica: Used as kindling for fairy fires.

Tulips: Flowers are used as cradles for fairy children.

Wood anemone: Shelters fairies in wet weather.

Wood sorrel: From Wales, its white flowers are known as “fairy bells” and are used to summon fairies to their reveries.

Mallow: The fruit of this plant is called “fairy cheeses” in the North of England.

Nightwort: Evil elves prepare poison in this plant. It is also one of the sacred plants of the Dutch Alven, along with elf-leaf, which they watered and strengthened against the coming day. The Alven would sicken or kill people or cattle that touched the plants.

Globe flower: Also called the “troll flower.”

Hawthorn: In Brittany and Ireland, also called “fairy thorn,” this tree is the trysting place of fairies. To pick a branch or leaf from a hawthorn is to court the displeasure of the fairies.

Wormwood: This is “Dian’s bud,” which Oberon used to remove the enchantment from Titania. Wormwood is also protection against the Rusalky of Russia, who will tickle you to death if they find you in the woods without some of this in your pockets.

Flax: The flowers are not only protection against sorcery but also are beloved of Queen Hulda, who leads a procession through the valley between Kroppbuhl and Unterlassen while the flax is blooming. Fairy-flax is used by the fairies to weave all their linen. Poludnitsa, the Noon Woman, interrogates women she finds in the flax fields at noon, to make sure they know how to cultivate and spin flax. If they answer incorrectly, she kills them.

To prepare a sleeping place for Queen Titania, you should plant these flowers:

“Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine, There sleeps Titania sometime of the night Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.”

Any fruit out of season or remaining after the harvest is the property of the fairies. In the West of England, strays are left to assure fairy goodwill. Fairies, like witches, don’t like yellow flowers and will go out of their way to avoid them.

Many thanks to my gothic garden researcher, Anagram…..

Ritual Death: The Adonis Garden

Adonis was worshipped as a god of vegetation, or at least a god associated with vegetation, in the Hellenic world. (I won’t discuss the radically differing viewpoints on this.) Adonis was born of Myrrha, the myrrh tree, seduced both Persephone and Aphrodite with his androgynous charm and died young, killed by his ineptitude in a boar hunt, and his body was found in a bed of lettuce. Some tales even have Aphrodite hiding him in that bed of lettuce.

Devotees of his cult, mostly concubines and courtesans, would grow on their rooftops a garden with fast-sprouting plants in baskets and small pots, which surrounded a statue of the god. The plants were always lettuce, barley, wheat and fennel. The rites of Adonia were performed in the middle of the summer, during the time when the sun was at its hottest, so these plants quickly sent up tender young shoots and just as quickly withered in the heat from the sun. They were allowed to grow for only eight days, after which the dry, withering sprouts were throw into the sea, along with an image of the god.

Lettuce, in particular, seems to have a lot of associations with death and sterility in the minds of the Greeks. Of course, it was in a lettuce bed where Adonis met his fate. The Greeks considered lettuce a “wet” plant, and this wet nature suggested to them bogs and decaying corpses. In fact, in one of his comedies, Euboulos wrote, “Lettuce is a food for corpses.”

The Somber Garden

This is the original theme that gave me the idea for Gothic Gardening and will obviously discuss black (or near-black, since in nature black is a fairly rare color) plants. It seems that about once a month on rec.gardens someone asks the question “Are there any black flowers I can grow?” This list is not all-inclusive, but it’s as complete as possible.

Note: I’ve included many plants in this list that I have no earthly idea of where to find them.

Flowers

Roses: I’m sorry to say, there’s just no such thing as a black rose. I could probably write an entire column on near-black roses alone, since this seems to be the black flower everyone wants (but not me… I’d rather have true-black tulips). “Taboo” claims to be the nearest yet, but I found the flowers to be fairly red. The Taboo rose came from Germany, which does earn it some goth points, but it’s still not dark enough for me. In Germany, it’s known as Barkarole. The experts on rec.gardens.roses recently discussed the question of black roses, and the list of cultivars I have is derived mainly from them. I haven’t personally seen many of these roses, so I can’t vouch for just how dark they are, and I am most certainly not a rose expert….

(Note: Many people have e-mailed me to tell me many of these roses are nowhere near black. Caveat emptor.)

  • “Ink Spots”: supposed to be slightly darker than “Taboo” and also supposed to be better able to withstand heat. One description was “sooty black over fiery red.”
  • “Ingrid Bergman”: dark red rose, highly recommended.
  • “Oklahoma”: dark red buds, a dark, purplish red bloom, hybrid tea rose, also highly recommended.
  • “Sympathie”: a climbing rose with dark red buds.
  • “Black Jade”: a miniature rose that is dark red, reportedly about the same shade as “Ink Spots.”
  • “Brian Donne”: another miniature, slightly lighter than “Black Jade.”
  • “Love’s Promise”: a black/red rose with a raspberry scent.
  • “Tuscany” and “Tuscany Superb”: antique roses, deep red with blackish overtones and lots of fragrance.
  • “The Squire”: a David Austin rose with near-black buds and dark red blooms.
  • “Souvenir du Dr. Jamain”: a Hybrid Perpetual, deep burgundy, with some purple.
  • “Nuits de Young”: a purple-black moss rose.
  • “The Prince”: a dark red-purple English rose.
  • “Papa Meilland”: dark red-black in colder climates.
  • “Kentucky Derby”: similar to Papa Meilland.
  • “Onyx”: a Hybrid Tea, dark red-black.
  • “Black Tea”: not really black, but brown.
  • “Deep Secret”: red-black buds, dark red flower, fragrant.
  • “Black Lady”: again, near-black buds and dark red blooms.
  • “Cardinal de Richelieu”: a dark purple Gallica rose.
  • “Deuil de Paul Fontaine”: a dusky purple-red moss rose. Goth points for the name – it translates to “mourning for Paul Fontaine.”

Hollyhocks: Found labeled as Althaea rosea nigra, A. nigra or “The Watchman,” these are single saucer-shaped blooms that are a deep, chocolate maroon. This was grown by Thomas Jefferson. I wonder if he was secretly a goth….

Snapdragon: The “Black Prince” cultivar has foliage that is dark green with dark reddish maroon overlay. When it flowers, the blooms are very dark, velvety crimson.

Gladiolus: Cultivars I’ve seen listed that all seem to be dark black-red, rather than a true black, are “Morocco,” “Black Stallion,” “Black Swan,” and “Bewitched.”

Canna lily: The “Black Knight” canna lily doesn’t look that dark to me. It’s supposed to be deep red with burgundy foliage.

Sunflowers: There isn’t any such thing as a black sunflower, but there are several options for dark colored ones… which are a dramatic change from the big, bright yellow ones people are used to. Deep-hued “Evening Sun” sunflowers have deep, rich, earthen tones (mahogany-red, rusty bronze, deep gold, burgundy and bicolored combinations all with dark center disks). Two other dark cultivars I’ve seen are “Floristan” and “Velvet Queen.”

Salvia: Andean Silverleaf or Peruvian Sage, Salvia discolor, has spikes of dark purple-black flowers and silvery foliage. The scent is a combination of fruit, eucalyptus and resin.

Tulips: “Queen of Night” dwarf tulips are a deep velvety maroon, as is “Black Diamond.” Supposedly, when tulip breeding was an art several centuries ago, there were black tulips. This is the closest I’ve seen commercially available. There’s also a “Black” Parrot tulip, which is deep purple and has “whipped” petals, and a “Black Hero” double tulip, which is derived from “Queen of Night” and has flowers resembling a peony. I’ve also seen a listing for the “Black Swan Tulip,” Tulipa gesneriana, but I don’t know how black it is, or if you can buy it.

Bachelor’s Buttons: Also know as cornflowers, there is a deep maroon variety, known as “Black Ball” or “Black Boy.”

Columbine: Aquilegia vulgaris has a deep maroon and white spurred variety, which is known as “Magpie” or “William Guiness.” A. atrata is the black columbine and has purple-black flowers. A. viridiflora has jade green and black flowers.

Cosmos: The chocolate cosmos has burgundy-black flowers and a slight chocolate scent.

Kangaroo paws: This flower is native to Australia. The black kangaroo paw has flowers and stems that are covered by black hairs – the green barely peeks through.

Fritillaria: F. camschatcensis, also known as the black rice root lily, black lily, chocolate lily, or Black Sarana, has bell-like flowers that are ruby-black. F. davisii has deep-green bell flowers that are heavily tessellated with purplish-brown so they appear black. F. persica has spikes of very dark plum flowers.

Daylilies: The darkest daylily cultivar I’ve seen is “Smoking Gun,” which is a maroon-brown-black color with yellow star points. There are lots deep red-black and purple-black daylilies, including “Eleventh Hour,” “Night Raider,” “Cairo Night,” “Vintage Bordeaux,” “Dominic,” “Ed Murray,” “Khans Knight,” “Midnight Magic,” “Night Wings,” “Super Babe” and “Troubled Waters.”

Scabiosa: Also known as the pincushion flower, the “Satchmo” variety is a deep maroon. These are excellent cut flowers.

Hyacinth: “Distinction” isn’t that close to black but is deep cherry with a maroonish-black stripe down the center of each petal. Simply gorgeous.

Dianthus: Dianthus includes pinks, carnations and sweet william. Dianthus nigricans has very dark flowers, and there is a cultivar known as “King of Black,” which I haven’t seen, but I suspect is dark. There is also a cultivar that is deep purple-black with white edging, which I’ve seen named “Velvet and Lace” or “Black and White Minstrel.” I’ve seen mention of a black carnation, but the closest I’ve found is a deep crimson variety, “Douglas Phu.” Sweet william, Dianthus barbatus, has a variety called “Sooty,” which is near black and has green-black leaves.

Dahlia: The pompom form of this flower has several deep purple-black varieties available, including “Glenplace,” “Moorplace,” and “Black Tuber.”

Nemophilia: This is a very short plant with penny sized blooms. “Penny Black” has flowers black flowers edged with white, and “Freckles” has white flowers covered with tiny black spots.

Poppy: The peony-flowered poppy has a black cultivar, sometimes listed as “Black Cloud.” These are a deep purple-black.

Iris: Unlike other flowers, black varieties seem to plentiful in the iris family. Bearded iris varieties include “Superstition,” “Study in Black,” “Licorice Stick,” “Swazi Princess,” “Night Ruler,” “Hello Darkness,” “Paint It Black,” “Night Owl,” “Black Tie Affair,” and “Before the Storm.” There’s the “Black Gamecock” Louisiana iris. And the Chinese iris, Iris chrysographes, has a black, non-frilly flower.

Butterfly Bush: The “Black Knight” cultivar has blue-black flowers.

Hellebores: Hellebores are one of those flowers that have a range of colors from white to near-black. They are prized by many because they are in bloom in late winter, when not much else is growing, let alone blooming. The H. orientalis hybrid “Atrorubens” is fairly easy to find and has plum colored flowers. However, there are blacker varieties out there; they’re just more difficult to find. Some blackish-purple strains I’ve seen listed include “Alberich,” “Andromeda,” “Ballard’s Black,” “Black Knight,” “Castor,” “Pollux” and “Sorcerer.” “Nigricans” is indigo blue-black, and “Philip Ballard” is a very dark blue-black. I’ve also seen some stunning pictures of H. torquatus, which grows wild in (the former) Yugoslavia. The flower color is variable, with dark plum, violet-black, grey (!), and green inside/black outside all seen. This is often the species used to hybridize H. orientalis to get the darker colored flowers.

Geraneum: Geraneum phaeum has very dark purple flowers. It was once known as Mourning Widow because its flowers are so dark.

Sweet Peas: Grown for the blooms, not a vegetable. “Pageantry” is a beautiful deep red-purple. Sweet peas are found most commonly in mixes, though, and almost all the mixes will include a deep maroon or deep purple one.

Primrose: There are very deep purple primroses that look almost black available at most nurseries. There is also a gold-laced primrose, “Black and Gold,” which has a yellow eye at the center of the flower, nearly black petals and a rim of yellow on each petal (the “lacing”). There are show auriculas that have white centers and black petals, although the color of the petals is obscured by either a grey-green or green color, so that there’s only a ring of black around the center.

Heather: The darkest colored heather I’ve seen mentioned is a cultivar of Erica cinerea known as “Velvet Night.” The blooms are supposed to be purple-black.

Rudbeckia: An unusual daisy, “Green Wizard” has only green sepals (no petals), and a prominent black cone. Very odd.

Viola or pansy: Violas and pansies are not the same flowers but are often listed interchangeably. The black pansy really looks black, although you can see the slightest hint or purple around the yellow eye. I’ve seen it listed as “Bowles Black,” “Black Prince,” “Molly Sanderson,” and “Black Magic.”

The Gothic Gardening “Black Thumb” award goes to Clive Lundquist for sending all of the following suggestions for black flowers:

  • Arum conophalloides var. caudatum: Gorgeous, deep purplish black arum.
  • Eminium rauwolfii: As above but very black. Needs dryness.
  • Trillium sessile: Commoner, blacky/purplish “flower.”
  • Calochortus nigrescens: Black hairy flowers but needs warmth and likes it dry in winter.
  • Roscoea scillifolia: Very black, very small, short-lived flowers
  • Gladiolus atroviolaceus: Needs dry summer, black flowers in spring.
  • Arisaema ringens / triphyllum: Black, gorgeously gothy.
  • A. speciosum / griffithii: Brownish but still very gothy aroids.
  • Bellevalia pycnantha: Deep browny-black grape hyacinth.
  • Muscari commutatum: As above.
  • Iris nicolai: Black and white flowers in midwinter (often called I. rosenbachiana black and white).

Ornamentals

Clover: Black four-leaf clover, Trifolium repens “Purpurascens,” is actually chocolate brown with light green edges.

Tiarella: False Miterwort has a new cultivar known as “Inkblot,” which has glossy leaves that are green on the edges, but blackish in the center. It has light pink flowers in the spring (cut ’em off!).

Heuchera: The “Pewter Moon” variety of this plant has purplish black leaves with a silver gloss.

Pussy willow: The black pussy willow comes from Japan. The catkins are so dark that they appear black against the red twigs.

Black Mondo Grass: Ophiopogon planiscapus “Nigrescens” is not actually a grass (it’s really a member of the lily family). It has purple-black leaves and small pink flowers that are followed by glossy black berries.

Bamboo: Phylostachys nigra has pitch black stems. Warning: Bamboo is usually invasive. Grow it in a pot.

Ornamental Sweet Potato: Ipomoea batatas “Blackie” has black leaves and stems.

Taro: The “Jet Black” ornamental taro is actually deep burgundy.

Fountain grass: Black fountain grass, Pennisetum alope “Moudry,” has ribbon foliage with ebony seed plumes. P. staceum “Rubrum” has bronze-purple leaves and flower spikes.

Smoke Bush: The “Royal Purple” cultivar has foliage that opens red but matures to a deep purple. The flowers are feathery purple plumes.

Carpet Bugle: Ajuga “Royalty” has midnight purple leaves. This is used as a ground cover and can be walked on!

Ornamental Pepper: Capsicum annuum “Black Prince” has black-purple foliage. The young fruit is red but turns black as it matures.

Durum (ornamental wheat): “Black Bearded” durum has cream-colored heads that splay out into 4- to 6-inch stiff bristles, which turn dark black when mature. “Black Eagle” has glumes that are partially black and continue onto the awns.

Broomcorn (sorghum): Two varieties are of interest: “Black Kafir” has black club-shaped heads. “Black Amber” has amber seeds covered with a shiny black coating.

Oats: Yet another ornamental grain, the “French Black” cultivar has jet black heads. All of the ornamental grains work well for unusual flower arrangements.

Vegetables

Everyone knows eggplants are nearly black, but here are a few unusual black vegetables….

Tomato: “Black Krim,” “Black Prince” and “Southern Nights” are all varieties that produce black tomatoes, which are really a dark brown-red or garnet. All of these varieties are heirlooms from Russia. The reason these tomatoes are black is that they retain their green pigment even as they develop the red pigment… other tomatoes lose the green.

Lettuce: The “Ibis Hybrid” variety is such a dark red that it appears black. Another “greens” alternative is Tatsoi, which is an oriental green with black-green spoon shaped leaves.

Bell pepper: There are chocolate peppers, which are really dark brown, but closer to black is the “Purple Beauty” cultivar, which as you may have guessed is very dark purple.

Black Spanish radish: One of the oldest of heirloom vegetables, black Spanish radish has been cultivated since the sixteenth century. The skin of the roots is deep, deep, purple, almost black, with white flesh. Of course, you can’t see the roots while it’s growing, but you could always prepare a gothic salad of black lettuce, black tomato, black bell pepper and black radish.

Black Aztec corn: A sweet corn that should be eaten when the kernels are white but will turn black when fully mature. This was apparently the first corn noted by the Europeans in 1493.

Basil: This is an herb, not a vegetable. The “Dark Opal” variety has very dark purple leaves. It is excellent for flavoring vinegars and oils.

Snap Beans: The “Royal Burgundy” or “Purple Tepee” varieties have beans that are almost black – but unfortunately turn green when cooked.

Fruit: This is a fairly common province of black in nature, including black cherries, black raspberries, blackberries and black plums. These are all really common, so look them up yourself.

The Night Garden

Since you gothy types rarely seen the light of day, what good does a garden do you? Well, here is the answer: a garden that consists of night-fragrant or night-blooming plants. Of course, you can’t really see that black garden at night. The key color here is white. White glows in moonlight. And there are several varieties of plants that bloom exclusively at night, or whose flowers may be open during the day but don’t release their scent until the evening.

Night-Flowering Plants

Evening primrose: “These soft-scented flowers have four satiny heart-shaped petals that come together forming 2-inch open cups with frilly long stamens. When they open in the evening, the blossoms are a soft clear white that gradually fades into pink as the flowers mature. Their luscious scent reminds us of a cross between honeysuckle and lemon custard. The flowers open every evening throughout summer until first frost.”

Sweet-scented nicotiana: These nicotianas (yes, that’s the tobacco plant) have creamy-white tubular flowers borne in graceful sprays on softly draping branches. The 2- to 3-inch trumpet-shaped blossoms are closed in the daytime, but in the late afternoon and evening they fill the air with a jasmine-like scent.

Moonflowers: These 6-inch trumpet flowers unfurl in slow motion every night just at sunset. Pure white with faint green tracings, the blossoms are very fragrant all evening. By noon, the flowers dwindle and close and are barely seen in the dense foliage.

“Midnight Candy” night phlox: “These tidy upright plants bear umbrella-like clusters of small, delicate phlox-like flowers. The insides of the petals are pure white, and the outsides are a satiny maroon with a hint of white where petals overlap. During the day, the flowers are tightly closed, just showing a hint of color. As dusk comes on, there is a magic moment when they open like a display of little firework stars, releasing a delicious almond/ honey/vanilla-like fragrance that wafts throughout the garden.”

Angel’s Trumpet: Datura meteloides has 6-inch white trumpet flowers that open at night and remain open well into the following day. This flower is a favorite subject of Georgia O’Keefe. This was also used by California Indians as a narcotic for the youth to seek their visions and be initiated into society. Warning: poisonous. Don’t eat it to get a high.

Evening stock: Many-branched 1½-foot plants have grey-green leaves and 1-inch star-shaped flowers of very pale violet. The blooms are closed tightly all day but open at dusk to pour out a fantastic spicy fragrance.

Nottingham catchfly, night-flowering catchfly and white campion: These are all members of the genus Silene, which also has several day-blooming members. These plants have sticky stems, hence the name “catchfly.” The odor of the Nottingham catchfly is described as sweet and reminiscent of hyacinths, and its flowers open on three successive nights before withering.

Bouncing Bet (also known as soapwort): With either pink or white blossoms, this plant fills the night with sweet perfume. Also used to make detergent – hence the soapwort moniker.

Four o’Clocks: In late afternoon, Mirabilis jalapa’s 2-inch trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl, releasing a rich jasmine-like perfume. These plants, with blooms in pink, rose, white, orange and yellow, are very easy to grow and fast growing. They’re also known as “Marvel of Peru.”

August lily (fragrant Hosta): The leaves are about six inches long and four inches wide, with eight pairs of impressed veins. The white, waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers appear on 30-inch scapes, and each is five inches long and three inches wide. The scent is of pure honey.

Vesper iris: A native of Mongolia, the sweetly fragrant flowers are a dull greenish white spotted with brownish purple or reddish purple with white splotches. Like many iris blossoms, they become spirally twisted after flowering.

There are also about 50 different cultivars of daylilies that bloom at night. Some of my favorites are called “After the Fall” (tangerine and copper blend with yellow halo), “Jewel of Hearts” (dark red flowers with a red-black center), “Moon Frolic” (near white), “Toltec Sundial” (fragrant sunshine yellow) and “Witches Dance” (dark red with a green throat).

Night-Fragrant Plants

Many plants will have flowers open during the day, but they don’t release their scent until evening.

Perfumed fairy lily: Chlidanthus fragrans has a rich lily fragrance at night. Three or four yellow, funnel-shaped flowers are carried on stems up to a foot high.

Night gladiolus: Gladiolus tristus has creamy yellow blossoms that are intensely fragrant at night with a spicy-sweet perfume, and the unusual leaves look like a pinwheel cut in half.

Tuberose: Victorians loved this sweet and heady (almost overpowering) fragrance. The flowers are waxy white and two inches long.

Carolina jessamine (also known as evening trumpet flower): The evergreen leaves surround sweetly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers of bright yellow that are particularly sweet as evening approaches. This grows wild in the South.

Finally, some suggestions for plants that don’t necessarily bloom only at night or release fragrance then but which have white blooms to glow in moonlight:

  • “Purity” cosmos
  • “Armour White” verbena
  • “Alba” foxglove
  • Summer hyacinth
  • “Bride” impatiens
  • “Alba” bleeding heart
  • “Moonraker” Cape fuchsia
  • “Perry’s White” oriental poppy
  • “White Swan” camellia
  • White forsythia
  • “Alba” columbine
  • “White Lace” Dianthus

And for a note of interest: silver thyme, “Alba” eggplant (egg-shaped fruits of glistening white), “Casper” or “Boo” white pumpkins and Fraxinella (the gas plant: at night, if you hold a match to the plant, either the plant glows with a blue flame – that doesn’t harm it – or the flowers burn with an orange flame and release the smell of lemon into the air).

The perfect accessory for any night garden, besides some lovely gargoyles, would be a moondial.

There are many, many more plants that can be included in the night garden. If you want more information, I suggest either The Evening Garden by Peter Loewer, or Evening Gardens by Cathy Barash, both written exclusively about gardening for the evening and night hours.

Inviting Magickal Fey Into Your Garden

Inviting Magickal Fey Into Your Garden

by Jimbo

Fairies, Gnomes, Nymphs, Sprites… Creatures of the Earth,  Air, Fire and Water… those who live in the veil between this plane and the  next… mischievous, lucky, magickal, beautiful and grotesque, large and  small… All fey friends welcome! Welcome! We invite you to inspire us! We invite  you to invigorate us! Infuse us with mirth and laughter! Excite us with  your magick and mischief — in a good way. Come! Play with us! We welcome you.

Many a tale has been spun throughout the ages involving  some sort of mysterious creature. Fairy Tales, Fables, Folk Tales — often  with a trickster, prankster, or magical creature that grants wishes!

I believe that these creatures exist all around us — often unseen  in the nooks and crannies of our lives. Where many often banish the fey, I  invite them into my rituals — to aid me in my magick.

What do the fey represent?

Every person has their own relationship with the archetypes  represented by different fey creatures. I like to think of the fey as a  “personification of nature”.

The apple tree in the back yard has a true personality — it’s an  old, chatty wise woman, with her sweet apples and knobby branches. She  is great for climbing, and if you sit in a particular spot, she tells you  stories about the orchard that used to live there, and all sorts of things that  have happened. She loves to cradle you as she sings you the song of the  sunset, and whispers as the breeze flows through her leaves. She is a tree  nymph _ and she is wonderful. Also in the yard are lots of little fey — a  family of gnomes under the shed, and a whole clan of fairies in the back  fence overgrown with prickly blackberries. (They like to steal a tool or two  and bury them somewhere in the lawn)

You, too, can bring the fun and  frolic of the fey alive in your personal space as well. You can create a  special garden or shrine devoted to the fey.

Be creative! There are so many ways to invite these wonderful  creatures into your life! From simply hanging a sparkly wind chime outside,  to placing a sweet cookie on a pretty plate on your altar, gestures to  the fey really make a difference.

Here are some ideas on how to create a garden for your yard or  a smaller one for indoors. But this is by no means a limit to the different  ways you can connect with that special inspiration we can only attribute to  our beloved fey friends.

Indoors

Bring some of that ethereal inspirational spirit into your apartment  with an indoor fey shrine.

Start with a miniature arboretum. It can be planted in any size or  shape of container — many of which are available at home and garden stores.

Fill the planter with soil and plant herbs, moss and even  mushrooms. Smaller leaved herbs work well, like thyme and oregano. If well  clipped, rosemary and dill are great too. Think about the type of fey that may  live with you in your space, and allow them to inspire the selection of plants.  Add some rocks, crystals, and a pretty ceramic bowl to use as a reflecting pool.

You can also create a hidden garden in a large houseplant you  already have. Beneath the broad leaves of a Peace Lilly or the branches of a  Fichus tree, arrange some small sparkly stones, and tie some colorful  ribbon to the stalks. With two different colors of fish-tank pebbles, create a  pattern on the soil.

The fey (and cats) that live in your house will enjoy discovering  these elusive hideaways!

Outdoors

Outdoors, the possibilities are endless. Use rocks or bricks to  build some sort of altar to the fey. Landscape a small area of your yard  with pebbles, crystals and a variety of plants. Transplant that  bothersome moss in your lawn to your fey garden — it will really grow! In the  spring, plant Lobelia, Forget-me-nots, Baby’s Breath, and even Cosmos. I enjoy  planting purple flowers in the spring that  bloom all summer. In the winter there are all sorts of perennials that can  be planted: herbs, grasses, ferns and succulents are good ideas.

Using found materials that are attractive to the fey is a good  approach, especially in residential areas. Tiles, which can often be obtained  inexpensively, are a nice touch to a garden. You can also place special crystals  here and there. I like to work small, and create little wee places for my  fey friends to play.

If you see mushrooms in your yard, dig up a small patch around  them, and transplant to your garden. They will spore there and more will  grow next season.

You can add a fairy mound — a small hill covered in moss, with a  small door (from a doll house, or hand crafted) on the side. A variation is  a small round mirror or reflecting pool on the top.

Even branches tied together with an old window, arranged rocks, a  shiny pinwheel, and ribbon streaming from the fixture is sure to keep the fey  as well as your human guests enchanted.

There are so many little things to do in the mundane world that  attract the fey. Perhaps the best idea of all is to allow these magickal creatures  to speak to you in meditation — they will let you know what they want  (believe me!).

Can You Think Like A Witch?

Can You Think Like A Witch?

Author:   T.L.   

There has always been a strong connection between Witches and Fairies known to all students who study Fairy lore. Several Pagan traditions have come to choose the term Fairy (or Faerie or Faery or Feri) as a result of Fairy mythology and scholarly research regarding Fairies in the past. In the late 1990’s, the year before her death, my 90-year-old paternal aunt, Nina Sutter, told me that our ancestors who lived in Mecosta County, Michigan, were Fairies. She also told me that “those people all stuck together” and that they were “like the Indians.” Because of what she told me and other family memorabilia I have, I believe it is possible that Wicca is a survival religion associated with Fairies. At the time my aunt spoke to me, I do not think she knew what a Fairy might be—just that this was something she was told and something that she sensed was important. I knew nothing about Wicca at that time, and I did not know what a Fairy was either. Several years went by before I figured it out what she was talking about.

My paternal great-grandmother, Alta Isadore Gould (born in 1851) published a book of story-length Civil War poems in 1894. The Veteran’s Bride And Other Poems was very popular for its day, going through five editions (and six printings) in four years. Gould integrates Wiccan symbolism in various ways within her published stories that are best understood within the context of their underlying themes, that include the myths of the Wheel of the Year, the myth of the Dying God, the Missing Cauldron of Cerridwen, and Hestia of the Hearth. When I realized that my great-grandmother’s book was about Wicca, I finally was able to figure out what it meant to have ancestors who were Fairies.

Gould’s metaphors are enhanced by hidden Wiccan symbols within each of her nine engravings. My aunt showed me one of those symbols—an “athame” hidden as a spire at the top of an arch in one of the engravings—except that she called it a “knife.” I do not think she knew the purpose of the “knife, ” just as she did not know the significance of “Fairy.” The knife was just something she had been shown and something she sensed was important. My aunt showed me the knife, just like her mother showed her the knife, just like her mother showed her the knife. This transfer of knowledge from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my aunt, to me, shows that the knife was consciously positioned as a spire in Gould’s engravings and its presence is not just a matter of interpretation.

It is the culmination of Gould’s writing, her engravings, and other memorabilia I have regarding her life that makes me believe all of what my aunt said was true. My aunt was an honest woman, a Methodist, who would have had no motive for aligning the family with Paganism. The fact that she embraced these sparse memories in her old age, and wanted to share what little she knew with me before she died, shows she harbored warm feelings regarding this facet of our family’s history, and speaks positively of Wicca.

Obviously, I do not know what it means to have ancestors who say they were Fairies. More importantly, I do not know what being Fairies meant to them. It is possible that Alta Gould’s own ancestors, just like founders of Pagan traditions today, chose the term Fairy to describe themselves and created their own Witch-religion as a sort of secret society that encompassed all aspects of their lives. Theoretically, if there were multiple pockets of people similar to Gould’s group scattered throughout America, Canada, and Europe, perhaps something like this is the Witch-religion that Gerald Gardner ultimately was exposed to.

One good thing about social media is that participants do not have to yield to some higher authority in order to have their stories told. Currently, experts in Wicca claim there is no hard evidence that Wicca existed before Gerald Gardner–but it is hard to visualize what the hard evidence they seek might be. Although I do not have a stone tablet of Wiccan runes spelling out its history, or an ancient, crumbling Wiccan charter retrieved from a locked vault, the limited evidence that I do have is very real. It involves interpretation of texts, symbols, photos, and memorabilia, and is the closest and best thing to hard evidence of a Witch-religion prior to Gardner that, I believe, exists to date. One might critically say that my interpretation of these texts, symbols, objects, and memorabilia are just one of many. But the truth is, not all interpretations are equal. Some interpretations are better than others—and my interpretations are good, solid, and apparent. Interpreting texts, objects, and family histories has long been a tried, true, and accepted way of learning about the past and of doing research.

Even the work Ronald Hutton engages in involves interpretation. There is not (and never will be) a long buried stone tablet affirming that Wiccan imagery comes from the Romantic poets. Even though he will never find “hard” evidence to support his thesis, his research nevertheless is interesting. I know that I am not Ronald Hutton—far from it. But, on the other hand, Ronald Hutton’s aunt did not tell him that his ancestors were Fairies, and his great-grandmother did not write a book with an interwoven Wiccan subtext.

The biggest problem with my research is that first someone has to actually read it. I have written a book (Remembering A Faery Tradition: A Case Of Wicca In Nineteenth-Century America) . I am not a professional academic, but I did the best that I could to write about my discoveries and place them within an interesting context. I am sure my book has many faults, but my main message is very tangible. Also, I have made a web site that discusses much of my research and includes a chapter from my book. It is not a professional web site, but it serves a function. I have items and photos and letters that someone else, beside myself, would have to look at. Finally, and most importantly, someone else besides myself would have to read my great-grandmother’s book, front to back, perhaps several times, with a critical eye. If you understand how poetry is written and how metaphor is used, and if you are Wiccan, and if you are able to think like a Witch (surviving within a Christian culture) , you should be able to understand her poetry.

Social media allows me to put all of this “out there” whether anyone ever looks at it or not in current time. Perhaps someday new information will come out that will cause some other researcher to want to look at my research, and then my research might either provide a lead or confirm another finding. Perhaps there are other people, like myself, whose ancestors described themselves as Fairies, who will recognize some of the things that I talk about in my research, and then go public with their information also. Even though it seems that there is not even a small audience interested in the history of Wicca in America—for myself it has been exhilarating, thought-provoking, and a whole lot of fun.

The Baneful Herb, Foxglove

Foxglove

Many of the common names of this plant pertain to its toxic nature (Witches’ glove, Dead Man’s Bells, Bloody Fingers). Foxglove belongs to the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) and the whole plant is toxic. It contains various cardiac glycosides. Foxglove also went by the names Goblin’s Gloves (in Wales), Throttle-wort, Thimble Flower, Finger Flower, Ireland it was also known as Fairy Cap, Lunsmore, and the Great Herb. Foxglove was also considered dear to faeries. If a plant was harmed, the faeries would bring retribution

Atlanta, GA Faery Workshop Announced

Atlanta, GA Faery Workshop Announced

The Faery workshop “Calling All Humans: An Invitation From the Faeries” is to presented by Diomira Rose and the Faeries on Saturday, July 28, 2012 from 10am to 4pm.

The venue for this upcoming workshop has changed to Strawberry Fields: A Dana Gallery at the below address:

12655 Birmingham Highway Alpharetta, GA 30004

This change was inspired by none other than the faeries, as it connected to the most magical and enchanting piece of land teeming with faery energy – a superb backdrop and ideal playground for several of our workshop activities. There is even a labyrinth, which I am told is representative of the structure and design of the workshop! I will further explain as we walk this spiraled journey on the 28th.

What is the Faery Workshop About?

The faery workshop was originated almost 4 years ago after countless hours of meditation, inspiration and learning. It was Spirit-guided and channeled from the Faeries by Diomira, having made it very clear that the Time was upon us – whatever that meant. Eventually an understanding was reached and this is what they explained: “The Time of the Great Shift is Now. It is of the utmost importance that humanity begin to remember their connection to the Earth. We [The Faeries] wish to facilitate this bridge of reconnection with Gaia. It is in remembering our connection to the Earth, and all her creatures, that the divine awakening within Humanity can occur, and thus a seamless process of Ascension.”

Because the their mastery of form, and adept understanding of the universal codes that are embedded within the very fabric of nature, the faeries have much wisdom relating to making a dimensional shift. They wish to share their wisdom with us at this time. For our great benefit they have brought forth several tools for this wisdom to manifest. The Faery Light Healing is one of these such tools. The workshop is another.

The workshop helps us to clear emotional debris, while reintroducing us to the subtle, yet powerful energies of nature. Once the emotional debris is stirring, and our hearts are gently being guided open under the direction of the divinely-guided Nature Kingdom, we undergo an energetic clearing and attunement that prepares us to meet and bond with our Faery Counterpart. A Faery Counterpart is a faery that has stood forth in order to work with us as individuals to assist us in the remembrance of our connection to Mother Earth. We not only activate our relationship with our Faery Counterpart, but learn how to work with them in a myriad of ways. The Faery Counterpart is unlike a faery guide or friend you may have. The bond between our Faery Counterpart and us is an intimate connection unlike anything else I have experienced in that they complement us with an energetic configuration that fits perfectly.

This workshop is designed to give you tools to assist you as you move forward in your Christed Evolution on planet Earth. It will help you to remember your connection to the Earth, and/or allow you to deepen your relationship to her.

I request that participants bring the following: a journal/pad of paper, pen, wear comfortable clothing and whatever preparation you require personally for spending an hour outside, a lunch, as the break is not really long enough to leave.

All other materials are provided such as crystal and certificate (agreement)

Investment: $150

Registration is between 9:30 and 10am. Cash and check are preferred. Cards are accepted with Square. Please email me ahead of time to let me know you plan to attend, as space is limited and preparation needs to be made for accurate number of participants. All parking in the rear of the building please. Feel free to contact me with any questions at reply email address or phone: 404-789-4823.

*Please note, there are no prerequisites for this workshop. Workshop is meditation intensive, in that there are about 5 guided meditations (this includes the healings), so one must be prepared to sit through these with a little focus. The imagery makes these easy to follow and so no prior meditation practice or skills are required – only imagination, as that is the gateway into the heart. If you feel in your heart you want to come, this is probably right for you. Let your heart determine your course of action, not your mind. And so begins your initial homework. :)

Check your heart. See if you are guided to join the Faeries and me in this mystical workshop.

With Love and Faery Light, Diomira Rose and the Faeries diomiralista@hotmail.com