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  My first ever Diaryblog entry was made in September 2009.
This Faery Year page is for Sep 2009 to Dec 2010

♫    Music to dream by ....
from the album 'Little Lights'  2001'     

Who Will Sing Me Lullabies ?
Kate Rusby
   

(minimize new window & listen while you browse the faery year)

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                  

                                            

                                     

  September 28th 2009
  The Magical, Musical, Forest Rain Horn ... 

   Today, the High Elves invited me to their Kings Wood forest . I haven't been there since that amazing night when we went to search for the nine white stones and they gave us the quessio blankets.

   The thing I wanted to see most was the copper Rain horn that Storm had so loved when he found it. Apparently the Seer told him that it was "music for the soul" and now I can believe it.
   Most of the leaves have fallen from the beeches around about, and it's looking very autumny now. I really do love Autumn. This is what was written about Storm's visit in the book:

"Making notes about the state of the trees, he discovered a great silver horn, tarnished brown now, tall on its pole amongst the branches deep in the forest.  He sat in silence underneath it, leaning his back against the pole and closed his eyes to listen as the huge trumpet collected drops of rain falling from the beeches above. The drops cascaded onto a metal floor under the leaves and down into a chalky chamber. The underground walls had been built up to make the sounds louder, and they echoed and plinked like bells. Music to his dragon ears for dragons love their music, a symphony from the rain."

   It wasn't raining, but a kind of mist hung in the air, so I was lucky and could hear a little of the "symphony" for myself.

 



    October 3rd 2009  
              .......   Villagers and a Folklore meet  .....

Characters froma Kent folklore festival.
    What a surprise! I didn't know that any of the villager tribes had musical celebrations - well, not out in the streeets anyway! Playing strange instruments - singing - dancing - almost like a faery meet.
     Old Elyn Elflin told me it happens every year and is called a "Folk Festival". Funny looking folk aren't they?

     I had to go on an expedition to find winter supplies of bees wax. The journey took me near a villagers' place, that they have named Tenterden and this is what I found!
    I didn't know whether to laugh or be frightened, so I kept well out of sight behind the hedges along the road.

    I took a special Flash Picture with Storm's Drax - it was lucky I had it with me. Later tonight I will try to send a copy to Granny M - even ancient dragons will be amazed to see these creatures I think!

 

 


    October 12th 2009
    ......   Lazy little quarry gnome! ..........

    Just before the light faded this evening, I thought I would fly down through the Hurst Wood pines and into the old quarry, to make sure that the pond was all in order and ready for the winter months. And what did I find?
     That lazy little Quarry Gnome, Gnark, has let it get completely overgrown - just look at the state of it!
      And he calls himself a magic! It's his job in the autumn to pull out a lot of the tall bullrushes - and has he done it ? NO!

     I know that the birds need shelter and cover for their reed homes, but this is ridiculous - in the spring there'll be no room for the chicks to take a first swim. The pond skaters will need climbing boots! The dragonflies and damsels will tear their wings on the tangle of stems.

     He spends all his time as far as I remember drumming away on those bongos of his! I spent a little time looking for him, but it was getting dark.
     Well, woe betide him when I get hold of him that's all I can say! I don't have a proper flash of Gnark - but I did have something to show you that reminds me of him!     Serves him right!

 

 

 

    October 25th 2009
          .....   Woodland mushrooms for the magic set ....
(The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Gort (Ivy)  Sep 30th - Oct 27th)

 

 

 

 

                                           

                                                 

      

 

     All through my wood there are mushrooms. beside every path, through the birches past the quarry, in every direction. So many this year, a harvest to be treasured.

Mind you - they're not all for eating - especially if you're a villager and happen to be looking at my pictures! It's fine for us magics - they agree with us - well nearly all of them - but for you - PLEASE, NEVER eat wild fungi unless you are SURE they are edible!

Here I am, last night, getting ready to cook a nice basket full. I remember Storm making me a huge plateful - you can read about it in the book. This is what we wrote then:

"Dusk was falling fast and the air was colder than ever. All around was grey and strange away from the firelight but when she got back from the stream, Muddypond Green found Storm frying sizzling mushrooms for supper. Her mallow roots were topped up and bubbling away in the heat. It had been a long day. She sniffed the air with pleasure, her irritation with him draining away like the light."

It would be lovely to have him here now, toasting his toes by the log fire, and blowing coloured smoke rings. That is a flash of me, getting ready to cook, with the basket on the grass. Underneath are some flashes I took today of some of my harvest.
All these are growing close to my clearing.

Please remember - these are ONLY FOR US MAGICS - they could be POISONOUS to a VILLAGER!

fairy healing
mushroom for healing spells
puffball mushroom for healing spells and fairy cooking
toadstools for magic chatms and spells
image of magick bright red fungus - unidentified in the Hurst Woods, Charing
Giant mushroon, Muddypond uses this dried for fairy bowls for her eco enchantments business
Mushrooms at home in Hurst Wood, 
such colours and scents! Explore the old paths but leave them to spore again.

 

 

      November 1st 2009  
           ....  Talking of  Samhain and the Seer - the Guardian of the Gate ......
(The Ogham wood  Straif (Blackthorn - Sloe) for the dark side of the year begins its work today, alongside Ngetal (Reed or Straw )  Oct 28th - Nov 24th)

Muddypong Green with the Spirit of the Seer ©vcsinden2009
'As I turned, the Seer was there with me. So it seemed to me at least.'

Yesterday, the hours and minutes of light were exactly the same length as the hours of darkness. Magics have used this time for centuries and we call it
"All Hallow's Eve" - or some may say "Samhain."

    It's a betwixt and between time, a moment poised between the light side and dark side of the year, when the invisible coverings between worlds of life and spirit are thin.

   And so, as darkness fell, and as we magics like to do, I lit a candle and put it beside an apple in my clearing in the woods. It burned there for hours guiding faded or missing friends and ancestors to a place where they knew they would be welcome. I thought about them in the moonlight, one by one, and they smiled and stayed for a while.

    I thought about the Seer too. I wished him well for the dark-side months and I am certain he was there for a minute or three. Vanya sulie melonamin.

    Today is the first of the dark side of the year, and there are lots and lots of things to be done. Perhaps when it gets too cold for picking and boiling and making for Eco-enchantments this year, I'll get time to study again for those Stella-fae levels. Last night would have been a good time to make that resolution, but I'm afraid I forgot all about it!

 

 


   November 9th 2009
 

 

 

 

                                                                                



The Hazel copse in Hurst Wood.   Loved by the dormice.
Learn more about the Ogham Magic of Hazel here.

 

... Looking for my dormice
at home in Hurst Wood ...

    Walking down the north path towards the downs, the wood changes after a while from dense tall pine trees to hazel, interspersed with sweet chestnut, oak and ash. Except for the sweet chestnut, these are all magic Ogham trees.It's unusually warm for this time of year and I wanted to make sure that my hedgerow folk in this part of the wood were safe and well..

   It's Dormir and Souris, my friends the dormice that I am realy worried about. I haven't seen them scampering in the branches for quite a while, and they didn't come to say that they were off to hibernate for the long winter months as they usually do.

   I looked in their hazel grove just off the main path and called to them, but there was no answer.

   Scrabbling in the soggy autumn, leaves under their five trees, I did find some nuts which could have been nibbled by them a little while back. Dormice like to eat the hazel nuts when they are green and still on the trees. Ogham tree Col or hazel, in autumn sunshine

  They make a smooth round hole and nibble out the sweet nut. Then they drop the shells and sometimes they look just like a tiny dutch clog laying on the ground. If you have a woodland near you, with brambles, sweet chestnuts and hazel, perhaps they have moved there.hazel nut shells eaten by mice in the woods. Make good clogs for fairies.

  Tonight, I'll come back here and burn a little bowl of rosemary, hazel wood and lemon balm for them. I may learn where they have gone.

 

   If you would like to learn more about the dormice in our woods, here is a wonderful place to look.(See Magical Links pages too)

 

 

 

 

   (The Ogham wood for magic changes today to  Ruis  (Elder)  Nov 25th -  Dec 22nd)

Donegal, Ireland ©vcsinden2009   November 25th 2009
   .... Fairy Travels to standing stones in  Donegal, Ireland .......

 

  Fortunate fairy I am! Just recently.I have been travelling! This is a rare thing for fairies and I made the most of my opportunity.

  Ireland, well Donegal to be accurate - what a magical place that is. Storm - my lovely dragon, if you see these flashes, taken with your Drax machine of course, I hope you will feel the magick. How I would love to have flown with you high over the moors and down to the wintery sea.

  The place I really wanted to visit was Glencolmcille because there is a lot of thinking to be done amongst the standing stones and the portal tombs which are easy to find there.

  Look at the one on the right and above. It is called Cloch an Aonaigh or the Stone of the Gathering. See the hole for scrying? Local legend says that if two who love each other twine fingers through the hole, their love will be blessed. I had to flutter up quite high to scry there, and it was windy enough to buffet me to pieces!

   Muddypond green explores the Portal tombs, Donegal, Ireland ©vcsinden2009

 

The monoliths were cut from  local Donegal stone before the Egyptians had begun building their pyramids.

Can you really imagine that?
Glencolmcille's stone sentinels have withstood the rain, the howling wind and the sun for over three thousand years.



    I wonder how many ancient ceremonies have been held here. Did the magics from centuries ago bring their mistletoe and wait for the sunrise at the solstices?

Donegal, Ireland ©vcsinden2009Stormy skies at the stone cottage
Croaghacullion, and the beach
landscape of Glencolmcille.Donegal, Ireland ©vcsinden2009

Donegal, Ireland ©vcsinden2009

 

 



   December 8th 2009
       ..... The Forgotten Chapel beside the woods .....lattice window of the forgotten chapel

   If you should happen to walk along the path which runs to the east from my clearing in the wood , you will come to a little lane. Cross the lane as I did yesterday, and you will see a wonder - it's a forgotten chapel, built by villagers many centuries ago. Villagers were more in touch with magics and woodlanders way back then, and you can still feel that in the stones.
It's the very chapel where the squirrels tobogganed in last year's snow, whooping and laughing down the massive cat-slide roof.

   Normally, the old walls stand empty, but I noticed a light high up in the laticed window, and flew up to peek inside. I was taken aback when I looked down through a tiny broken pane and saw the truss beams of the roof glowing in candle light. There was a fir tree, how high I just don't know, lit by magic and twinkling like frost.

The forgotten chapel, Charing, Kent, magic in the candlelightThe forgotten chapel, Charing, Kent, magic in the candlelightAs I waited and watched, spying on them I was, I peered down. Now surely this is a magic here in the red - isn't that Sinter Nikolaus?

Storm has a Lithuanian name for him - Kaledu Senelis.  What was he doing here in the forgotten chapel? Could it be a celebration for Yule - it's early, but then he is very busy I know.

And then - music came ringing up to the roof itself. I settled on the windowsill and heard - "Pie Jesu, - qui tollis  piccata mundi - donna eis requiem".

   Every stone in the neglected walls took in the notes like a tree-song and warmed to the candle light.
Sometimes the villagers can be in touch with the hidden worlds it seems.. It's rare, but it does happen - I've seen it. Well possibly! Hmm, this faery must be getting sentimental - will have to watch that. Pffffttt!!
That's better!
Diola 'lle hodoea.

 

   Dec 19th 2009
    Loss
  

   

 

    Thank you for the years.
    Ziggy - Tenna' lye omenta voronweramin. A'maelamin 
        

 

 

 

 

 

    Dec 21st 2009
       ...  Yule, Yeniseara, Spirits, Gort and Tinne ...


   I decorated a space in the woods this evening, and lit the log fire ready for the party later.

   Picked lots and lots of long strands of gort (ivy) and a few bunches of mistletoe but not too many as mistletoe night is still two days away yet.I have to say, it looks beautiful here in the snow.

   Already the longest night of the year - it comes round so quickly!
There are some lovely bushes of Tinne (holly) with bright scarlet berries just here, that's one of the reasons that I chose it. One of the High elves from Kings Wood Forest even found me some snowdrops - by magic I suppose.

   Later, when friends are here, I'll draw the circle in the air with my slate athame and call for the blessing of the four winds. The huge fire will represent the sun. As I stood thinking of the solstice, spirits stood with me and dear Ziggy sat by my side again ..

The Seer, the great Guardian of the Gate told me -
"Remember - at midnight - the moment between the worlds -
Turn to the east and welcome the sun."


Did he appear, or did he visit my dreams? It's always difficult to be sure. Well, whichever he chose I am glad he kept me company for a while. The circle won't be broken until sun-rise.

 

 

Welcome 2010

 

 

 

   Jan 1st 2010          
   ....  Snow and hag stones on the beach
....

(The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Beith (Birch)  Dec 24th - Jan 20th)

Snow on Hythe beach Kent UK. New Year's day with the fairy Muddypond Green looking for hag stones.
   So here we are old diary - two thousand and ten. What will it bring to the magic clans I wonder? I made a few "resolutions" you see. Wonder if Storm did the same - even Granny M might make them I suppose! I know Badger-Himself did, I met him out walking in the snow. That was a rare thing to see in the middle of winter.He said the leg that he injured by the power station aches in very cold weather and he had to get out for a stretch.

   Here is another rare thing! 
Snow by the sea!
To celebrate this day I flew down to the beach - all wrapped up against the snow as you can see in my best gossamer cloak.I need more hag-stones, so many folks want one of my hag-stone strings that I can't keep up with them.
I took this flash on a beach near Hythe, and the big ship in the distance must be going in to Dover. Not sure if I have seen snow on the shingle before - if I have I was only a fairy-sprig!

    Found six hag-stones - two of them are very nice ones but a bit on the small side. I will save those two for the top of a very particular rope that needs doing soon. Someone I know is planning a new spell and stones found on New Year's day will bring that extra touch of magic!
More about hag stones on my Talking of Magic page.

 

 

 

   Jan 9th 2010
    ....   Snow in Hurst Wood. Snow everywhere!  ....

Snow in the fairy wood - the birds need looking after in this weather

Ogham tree in the snow in Muddypond Green magic wood

  So bewitching in my woods just now, but sooo cold too. This weather makes you realise just how few Wood Warden fae's there are around - and all the birds and other hedgerow folk need a lot of helping in this endless snow. The robins and mistle thrushes have practically moved in with me! At least I have a few stores left and plenty of logs for the fire.

That mad little Quarry Gnome has been skating on his pond - good job he hasn't put on too much weight in the last year!


Hurst Wood, Charing in a deep snow fall

Hurst Wood hazels from the main footpath - a tracery of enchantment.

 

   
    Jan 19th 2010    
  
      .....   Early signs! Fairies LOVE Primroses ....

 

 

 

            

    Look what I found today at the far end of the Neighbourhood Bank! Primroses. Just these few, low down, in a sunny spot under the nut trees. This is where lots of the wood mice families live. I don't know how these plants survived, they were buried under inches of snow only a few days ago.

           

 

 

    British Folklore has it that if you're a villager and want to actually see a fairy, you should eat a primrose flower! Pffft! Well, you might!!
Please don't eat these though, they are the only ones about!   I think that if you grow plenty in your garden, and promise to look after them well, you are much more likely to see us.


   The plants in our wild places are protected, so you really need to plant your own, under the hedges, they love dappled shade.   I use primroses, when there are lots about in the Spring for my Eco-enchantments business, and for looking after the Hedgerow folk too.

    The pretty, scented flowers make infusions for tisanes, to be drunk in May against rheumatism, and at any time to make you sleep well. The leaves are fantastic for antiseptic dressings, rub them first to make the juices flow and lay them on cuts, bites or bruises.

   Primroses are ruled by the light of Venus and by the Goddess Freya. The Druids loved them, planting them by standing stones and circles, and wearing them in ceremonies to welcome the Spring and the months of the light side.

 

 


   Jan 28th 2010  
   .....   Storm 'n me, talking of serious things  .....
(The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Luis (Rowan) Jan 21st - Feb 17th)

Muddypond Green talking to the Storm Dragon in Hurst Wood, Charing

     Well, there really isn't very much going on in my wood, it's cold and damp and wintery. A few little hedegrow folk asked for winter medicines and one needed a cobweb bandage - cut himself on a piece of broken glass from a bottle in the lane!

     So I got to thinking about Storm, as I often do and wondering how he is, back in the mountains of Lithuania. Busy too no doubt. I found this Flash - such memories! We were talking about the pine trees. He says that mine look reasonably healthy considering we live within range of The Feeling from nessB  (see Book Places page). In many parts of Europe, he says, pollution called "acid rain" from villager works is causing terrible sickness amongst the great firs of the forests.

    I think I'll go around later on and talk to some of them. Perhaps they'd like to hear some of Storm's Music for Trees. I'll play them some of the tree-songs to keep up their spirits -  they know Spring is coming - they can feel it in their roots. Don't forget you can listen too on "The Music" pages if you like.

 

 

 


   Feb 1st 2010
   ....   The festival of Imbolc - exact middle of the second half of the dark-side  ....

Animated lighted candle to celebrate Imbolc


Many of us magics celebrated Imbolc today. It's a quarter day and the ancient pagan, celtic early spring festival of light. The name means “flowing milk”, and is a symbol for this time of year because it's the beginning of lambing and the sap rising in the trees.

diagram of a straw Bigid's cross, made to celebrate ImbolcThis day is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, she'll breathe new life into the winter tonight, with her white wand.
It’s a time for spring cleaning living spaces and minds so I got out the besom twig broom and swept the dust and old cobwebs from my space in the fallen duir (oak tree). I hung a Brigid cross of plaited straw from a branch.

When dusk began to fall, I put a bowl of bread and milk outside, lit plenty of white candles in all shapes and sizes then stacked up my fire til it roared and the flames banished the dark.        
              

 

Animated lighted candle to celebrate Imbolc

* The diagram of the Brigid cross is from :  http://www.fisheaters.com/stbrigidscross.html

 

 


   Feb 3rd 2012
self     ....   Just a note  ....

     Hooray!!  I got a Drax from old Storm today. It's interesting stuff, all about the most    important dragon ceremony of the year in Lithuania - called Kucios. The most important ceremony for all the folk there in fact - not just dragons - even if it was on 24th December! Better late than never hey Storm?

   I left it outside Badger-Himself's set at the end of the wood. Thought he might be interested to borrow it for a while, he's always curious about old customs.

   You can read it too on the "From Storm" page, I hope you can find time :-)

 

 

    Feb 11th 2010
     ....  Rabbit huddles and snow survival  ....

   Oh my!  Here it is again – snow in Hurst Wood – and more snow – and only the other day I was showing you the first surprise primroses. This week I hoped to give you a glimpse of the snowdrop drifts – but all we get is snow drifts!

   Today, I went out to see if anyone needed Wood Warden help – and who should I find along the east path out through the overgrown quarry?
Let me introduce you – this is Joelly. He helped serve Storm’s Dragon Punch to the guests at our Solstice party. He’s looking quite grown up now, with his dense, thick winter coat.

   I asked him if all was well with his family in spite of the snow. I guessed they’d be fine because wild rabbits stay warm by spending a lot of time in their burrows under the ground. They huddle up together over the winter to keep as much of their body heat as possible. A warren group even keeps each other warm by sleeping in a pile! As they 're vegetarians, rabbits can dig under the snow to find grass and nibble the bark of trees.
Huddling in this weather sounds good to me. Glad to know they’re such
survivors.

 

 



     Feb 19th 2010    
       ....   Winter twigs and beautiful, beautiful lichen   ....
         (The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Nion (Ash) Feb 18th - 17th March.)

Lichen on bark at Eco enchantments  © vcsinden 2010
Lichen, moss and last of the snow
Lichen on twig at Eco enchantments  © vcsinden 2010

    Vedui’ mellonie. 
    Checking on the feel of the air in my woods, the first thing I did was look for lichens. That’s because lichen absorbs its minerals straight from the rain, it just won’t grow where there’s much pollution. The Seer would be really pleased if he saw the flashes I took today – the lichen looks strong and healthy. It's actually quite gorgeous I reckon - what do you think?

Fae Muddypond Green making her tied bunch with magical winter twigs © vcsinden 2010    When faery clothes and rags are in the making, in shades of fawn and brown, there's nothing better to use for the dye than lichen, or crottle as the old ones used to say. I collected a whole basketful to dry out.
There's a special little three legged black pot that's used for boiling it up, but I won’t do that for quite a while yet.

    While I was walking, I collected some twigs for a decoration, the ones covered with soft grey lichen look lovely against dark green leaves.
     I made a tied bunch, with lots of gort (ivy) round the outside. If you'd like to make one with "founds" from your wood or hedge, have a look at my  "Crafty Make Its"  page, it tells you how.


      Oh yes, that reminds me - did you manage to look at the "Dormice Biscuits" on my "Cooking Make Its " page yet? I think you'd like them.
      Also, a little bit about the nearest village (pfffttt!!) to my Hurst Wood, - it's about a tower on a villager building that's called Charing Church and it's new on the "Book Places" page. Oh my - I have been busy for a change!

 

 

    Feb 28th 2010
     ....   Snowdrop - "The February Flower" - "Flower of Hope"  ....

Faery Muddypond Green running through the Snowdrops at Challock, Kent, UK

   A bit late this year, but here they are at last!  Galanthus nivalis or Snowdrops - given to this earth not by magics, but by an angel as a sign of hope. Hexagonal crystals of snow were dropped by him from the Upper World. As the snowflakes fell to earth and touched the ground, each one turned into a tiny white flower with its fresh minty green stripe - snowdrops - a thousand little blossoms of hope.Snowdrops - Challock, Kent, UK

   What is so amazing about these as signs of hope, is that there is a compound in the leaves and bulbs which is now being used as a medicine to treat an ageing of the mind which can strike villagers down - called Alzheimers Disease. Hope indeed!

    Keep your snowdrops out of doors where they belong - to bring them inside is unlucky - but you knew that?

       Magics don't like to see one of these all alone - it's a sign that somewhere, a magic or woodlander is fading.


My flashes were taken at a Kentish place called Challock, not so far away from my wood and very, very close to the Kings Wood Forest where the High Forest Elves live and work.

Challock Church Kent, snowdrops
Challock, Kent, UK - the churchyard at Snowdrop time - on the website of the eco fairy Muddypond Green
 Challock Church in Kent hosts one or two special
Snowdrop Days with teas, but you can walk there and enjoy the flowers on any day during the season.

 


    March 5th 2010  
      .... Thoughts in early spring sunshine  ...

    So you want to know how to make fairy magic? Make some time for yourself. Find a cushion of moss covering a a fallen tree. Sit very still and dream a while, far away from the everyday. This is where real magic begins.

    If you can't be in the countryside today, find a quiet place and imagine yourself in a wood. Let me tell you how it is here.

    For the first time this year, the sun is just warm enough for sitting still. The air is pure and sharp after the frosts and it's quiet. Almost silent. Almost.

    Listen - shut your eyes for a moment - there's a mistle thrush singing way over there in the elder tree and a whisper of wind in the bare hazel tops.
    Somewhere behind me in the depths of the wood, I can hear two green woodpeckers tapping out a hollow stereo tattoo, first one, then the other.

Bluebell shoots emerging for Spring in Hurst Wood, Charing, Kent
Bring your mind back from yesterday or from thoughts of tomorrow.

Experience now to the full and concentrate on this moment alone. Feel every breath that you take of the damp scented air. Taste it.
If you sit here long enough, and can give your thoughts just to this moment you might hear the sap stirring in the tree branches, and the bluebell shoots pushing their way through the woodland floor litter as they are here in my flash, green in the sunlight and singing with promise. Now - that's magic.

 

 

 

    March 15th 2010   
     ....   Proud spring mums pose for family portraits  ...

Jacob Sheep and their new lambs  © vcsinden2010

                                I know these little fellas, they were born just a few days ago - in all that frost!

the sketchbook of sculptor Henry Moore

Now of course, I don't have them to care for - I am a Wood Warden fae as you know and they don't go in for herbal remedies or charms much.

BUT, if you walk through the wood and on past Gnark's quarry, then fly just a tiny way down the lane towards the villagers' church tower where Storm stopped (see my Book Places page) - there they are!

I couldn't resist stopping to admire them. Who could?  Wish I could draw as well as sculptor Henry Moore - did you know he liked to draw sheep?
The fae know these things - odd but true!

   Hope that Storm Dragon will be proud of the flashes I took. They're Jacob Sheep of course, and leave wonderful coloured wool in the hedges when they're older. I'll collect some one day, make a scarf for someone - Old Rabbit perhaps, and let you have a look.

 

 

 

     March 21st 2010   
      ....  Ostara - The Spring Solstice
  ....
        (The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Fearn (Alder) March 18th - 14th April.)

                Roll over image to look closer

Ostara celebration for the fae Muddypond Green

So now, Spring really begins! The earth is warming and the early morning air is full of chirrups. The moon is waxing to a fine crescent - a good time to make charms. To celebrate today, as all good magics will, here is what I did:

 

On a mossy log, set exactly between two bushes of ruis (elder), crossed by a strange, low growing branch of coll (hazel), I set out these things:-


*  A still warm loaf of bread in a bowl of hag stones and dried luis (rowan) berries
*  Two candles, purple for royalty (the Lord and Lady of the Greenwood perhaps), white for pure life and growth
*  Fresh spring flowers and twigs just breaking into leaf
*  A wooden vessel of water
*  My athame with its rowan wood handle
*  A black scrying mirror - look, you can see the blue sky reflected in it!
  'I was sure he looked over my table to be certain nothing was forgotten'



    

    Today, the hours of light and dark are equal again, and we cross at last from the dark to the light side of the year.

      As I sat, very still, I was visited by a huge velvet bumble bee, and then, walking up the trunk of the crooked pine behind the bread - an acrobatic nuthatch. He was the first I've seen in Hurst Wood since Azureadore' Sky-blue flew in her shower of Stella Stars with Nutty-Hatch! We didn't disturb each other.

 

   Watching the candles flicker in a breath of wind, I thought that the Guardian of the Gate himself looked in to see that all was well, but as on many another solstice day, that might have been a dream.

 

 

 

 

     March 24th 2010
       ....   More signs of Spring in Hurst Wood   ....

Tiny pink hawthorn buds in Hurst Wood, Charing
Arum Italicul Pictum leaves with fine black spots in Hurst Wood Charing

  Tiny pink buds among the lichened twigs of a hawthorn tree.   (Ogham name - Huath   Season 13th May - 9th June)

  Bold glossy leaves with their black spots - these are Arum Maculatum or "Lords and Ladies". They'll have tall spikes of scarlet (but poisonous) berries later in the year.

  Soft pussy willow buds against a rainy sky. The fae love these!  (Ogham name - Saille      Season 15th April - 12th May)

See my Hedgerow Crafts page for a twig tied bunch decoration, easily adapted for Spring

 

 

 

     March 30th 2010
      ....  Tonight is the first full-moon of the Spring ....

Muddypond Green greets the March full moon

A very simple Full Moon ritual, to give thanks for our precious earth.

If you are a villager-sprig, you must not perform this ritual without an adult villager present - as it involves lighting a candle.Spring Full Moon Ritual at Ec-enchantments, home of faery Muddypond Green


* One tea-light candle
*  Sweet violets
*  Sprig of rosemary

Magics will also add :
* a few tiny crystals of frankincense
* a pinch or two of powdered sandalwood

 

 

  
    Find a quiet place to light the little candle and take time to give thanks for our precious earth.
   Add a pinch of rosemary to the flame from time to time.
If you have them, add the moon related magick of sandalwood and frankincense  -  doesn't that feel lovely? 
 
  By the way, there is a new recipe on my Hedgerow Cooking page - for a delicious Nettle Frittata.
  
  


 

    April 5th 2010
     ....  Sweet Violets and their country magic ....

Violets in Hurst Wood, Charing © vcsinden

   Just this week, on the banks and in the grass, anywhere the sunlight breaks through dappled shade, there are patches of sweet smelling violets. I think they liked the freezing winter snow as I've never seen so many.

In country folklore, violets are strongly associated with love. A little bunch made into a tussie-mussie posy was a favourite love token meaning 'steadfastness'. Pffft! This faery doesn't do 'love tokens' - unless she's specially asked to make a charm for other lovestruck folks, then she might!

Pink violets in Hurst Wood, Charing, KentThey're useful to me for other things though. The deep purple colour gives the tiny flowers magical associations with power and royalty (woodland deities respond well to purple). The violet colour is used to aid meditation and brings a feeling of spirituality to your musings.

White violets on the bank near Hurst Wood, Charing, KentRuled by the Goddess Venus, violets are linked with elemental water.

When healing charms are needed, especially for any severe illnesses, then the flowers and the dried roots, even the leaves are just the thing!
If you want to make the fae's violet wine ready for the eve of summer festival (May Day or Beltane) then it has to be done very soon, the flowers don't bloom for long.

Freshly sugared violet form the faery at Eco enchantmentsOn the banks near my wood, there are white and pink ones too, but I have to say it's the deepest , darkest, velvety purple that's my real favourite.

Another way to use them, and you don't have to be a magic to do this, is to sugar the flowers for cake decorating.
You can see how to do that: NEW on my Hedgerow Cooking page.

 

 


     April 15th  2010 
Reflections in the black pool - Hurst Wood, Charing
    ....  Reflections in the Black Water Pool  ....

(The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Saille (Willow) April 15th - 12th May)

      Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining as I sat down next to the pool of black water near the southern end of my clearing in the woods. Normally, the water looks like polished black stone - very like the surface of my scrying mirror in fact. Today I just had to stop and gaze as the light made reflections so clear that I could hardly tell if I was in the world of air or water.

    Tonight is a black night - there will be no moon to be seen until the first slither of new moon tomorrow. Now I've heard that it may be even blacker than we magics expected as a vast cloud of volcanic ash swirls high up on the winds from Iceland. Such strange news that - it makes me fear for the health of high flying dragons.

   Also new today - if you like all things magic, you can find out how to make a Pentacle Dreamcatcher here - (Muddypond has to make a huge one in the second book)

 

 

 

    April 22nd 2010
       ....   Celebrating Earth Day  ....

  Today is the 40th Earth Day, a time for magics, woodlanders and villagers alike to think about - not just that tiny place where we live - but the whole of this very precious and very fragile Earth. What does a fae like Muddypond Green know of whales you may ask? Ah - this fae has seen them, running wild in the freezing waters and leaping in the wind.

This is the best film that I've seen of   Humpback whales, spriral-bubble hunting
Here's hoping yo u've a couple of minutes spare to watch this and marvel again at our planet!

Faery Guardians of the water, greetings.

 

                      

 


 

    April 27th 2010
     ....  Wild Cherry in Springtime ....

  Wild cherry blossom at Hurst Wood, CharingAlthough the wild cherry or gean is a native of Britain it isn't one of the chosen Ogham trees, but it has the pretty name of Idath in Old Irish. The trees all around Hurst Wood and down the lanes are heavy with white blossom and bees!

If you can find any prunings, cherry wood has a wonderful sweet scent on the log fire; or crush some bark and add it to incense. Strangely, there are no magical traditions with cherry but its wood makes a beautfiul wand, stripped of bark and polished.

In Culpeper's herbal, the resin gum was stirred into wine and was good for : "a cold, cough and hoarseness of the throat; mendeth colour in the face, sharpeneth the eye-sight and provoket appetite."

Cherry tree survey link from the Natural History MuseumWoodland magics use plenty in their healings - and you can still buy cherry cough syrup and throat pastilles today!

This month, the Natural History Museum is running a Cherry Tree survey. You can fill in the online map with any cherries near you, wild or cultivated.
Click picture for the survey link.

   If you're in a spring mood with all this lovely weather, you might like to try a recipe for
Wild Garlic, Cabbage and Potato Soup as well as Wild Garlic Bud Stir-fry.
Find them both NEW on my Hedgerow Cooking Page.

 

 

 


The Cherry Tree

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And takes from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since, to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

                          A E Houseman 1896

 

 

 



 

     May 1st 2010
    ....   Beltane and Bellowhead - Celebrating at Dawn Light
....

Jack-in-the-Green at dawn on May Day 2010, Bluebell Hill, Rochester, KentThe fair maid who, on the first of May
Goes to the field at the break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be.

Us magics have no problem getting up with the dawn light, usually! Just as well as this is when to catch a glimpse of  "Jack-in-the Green". A very old villager custom for May Day, or Beltane as we call it, is "Jack-in-the Green" - he is their idea of our Green Man of course, but he cuts quite a comic figure, crowned with flowers.
Jack-in-the-Green dancing at dawn on May Day 2010, Bluebell Hill, Rochester, Kent
In myth, "Jack" must die a ceremonial death, (symbolizing the end of all seasons but summer). Then he must spring to life and dance with his May Queen and revellers, bringing the green leaves back to the trees.

Here is Jack, beginning his dance as the day began to lighten.
We should have seen the sun come up from the top of Bluebell Hill but it was a grey and cloudy dawn. It's good to know that it's not only the magics who welcome in the May

!Later, as the sun was going down, I flew into the struts of a huge, huge white tent, to watch, listen and marvel at the music of Bellowhead. I just had to go you see - to the grounds of Rochester Castle and hear them play for real.
If you've looked at my page all about the music which the Storm Dragon liked to play, you will know that Bellowhead are one of his favourite groups - all twelve of them!

You can listen to them playing "Fakenham Fair" at the Proms here, while you read - I nearly fell out of the rafters when they played "Frogs' Legs and Dragons' teeth" at the end! You can listen to that one too, on my Music Page and I defy you not to dance just like the audience at Rochester!! .  Hope you like my flashes of the concert below.Bellowhead - tryptic of pics from Rochester Castle Concert May 1st 2010

Lots more stunning tunes to be heard on my Music Page !

 

 

 


     May 6th 2010
      ....   Bluebell Woods, Enchantments and Faery Lore - Beware!
 ....

Muddypond Green stading among the bluebells in Hurst Wood, Charing

In the days of witch hunting, bluebells in full flower in your cottage garden patch could be used as evidence of witchcraft in your trial! Witches were supposed to grow bluebells to attract the Fae, probably because they didn't have enough magick of their own!

Wreaths woven from bluebell heads and worn about the neck or forehead would mean that the wearer could speak only the truth.English bluebell in MayIn flower language the bluebell speaks of humility, constancy and gratitude.

Now, should you hear the bluebells ringing in the woods as the sun rises or twilight falls, we are summoning our sisters for a meet and a dance in the perfumed blue. Do not listen for them, they spell mortal danger to any but magics.    If you're a very young villager sprig beware!


Don't enter the wood if you hear them ringing and summoning the fae, even by accident, we might lead you deeper until you are lost, or perhaps steal you away.

 

 

 


 

      May 13th 2010
    .....  More May Day Musings - better late than never  .....

 

Grey Rabbit's May Day - Little Grey Rabbit and Squirrel hold the May Crown on a hazel stick      At last, after turning the shelves in my hollow oak store upside down I've found the book I was looking for - 
"Grey Rabbit's May Day" by Alison Uttley, with pictures by Margaret Tempest.  
I've loved these books (and I have them all) since I was the smallest faery-sprig!   Here's what she says:' "We must gather lots of flowers with May-dew on their petals on May morning," said Little Grey Rabbit.

"I'll take a jug to catch some, for it's magical. We must make crowns and garlands for May. I think we should ask Wise Owl about all this." "May Day?" asked Wise Owl sleepily, looking down at the company. "How to keep May Day? May is the Queen of flowers. You must make crowns and sceptres for her. She's invisible, but you hang them on a May tree and she will find them.""What kind of flowers, Wise Owl?" called Hare."My Book of Wisdom says 'Cowslips and all spring flowers but at the top of the crown there must be a Crown Imperial',
" Wise Owl answered.'
Fuzzypeg the hedgehog makes cowslip balls, there are plenty growing in the fields near my wood. You can just see him in the picture below right, following Hare up the hill.
Grey Rabbit's May Day - the animals in May procession up the hill
May Day sceptre with dollLater, Grey Rabbit talks about the procession and reminds us of this: ' Auriculas and primulas, cowslips and bluebells covered the wicker frames, and at the tip of each crown and sceptre was a noble crown imperial. Inside the crown sat a small doll with a veil, for that is the old custom.' Rat carves them a doll from a piece of wood with his sharp teeth. She represents the Roman Goddess Flora, Queen of flowers, fertility and springtime.
 
The sketch showing the May Doll inside a sceptre, is taken from "Folklore and Customs of Rural England" by Margaret Baker.(Pub: David & Charles 1974)

 

 

 


    May 19th 2010
       .....   Ferns Unfurling and a Purse Full of Gold
   .....

Fern uncurling© vcsinden2010     Hidden away in the shadiest parts of Hurst Wood, the last bracken shoots are unfurling. Did you have time to really look at one this Spring? Nearer the paths, where the sun falls through the branches, the plants are already tall and strong. Ruled by the planet Mercury, fern's element is Air.

   There's a lot of magic associated with fern - for a start, just look at its Powers:    Luck,   Wealth,   Protection,   Eternal Youth,   Rain-making,   Exorcism,Carry a frond, or add a little dried leaf to an incense mix and have faith in the first four especially if you happen to be treasure hunting as we magics like to do.
Putting some in a vase of flowers can cleanse negative energies - but it will never last for more than a day - it does so hate being cut.

    In the language of flowers, giving fern means sincerity.If you need to exorcise any evil spirits (and I hope you don't try - the only one I know who could begin to make magick like that is the Seer) - drop plenty of dried bracken onto hot coals by moonlight and state your intent!Best of all - when the moon is waxing (as it is today) - go to the forest and the ferns alone and wait for the stroke of midnight. If - and only if, the world around you is absolutley silent - no rustle of a wood mouse, falling of a cone or swirl of an owl's wing - then mischievous Puck will push through the bracken fronds and hand you a little rough-stitched purse full of gold.Fairysteps shoes- Verity lemon                                                             
                                                            

    By the way - you like magickal shoes I think?
                         If Puck should give you that purse, here's just the thing -
                                                             Have a look at these from Fairysteps - on my links page!


 

 

 

    May 25th 2010
          ....   White flowers and Hawthorn for the Bridal Month  ......
It will be Full Moon in two nights time, a fine one - don't forget to check with the calendar on my Magical Moons page.

Hawthorn (May) blossomEvery lane is frothy with white, from tall May trees with their long blossom-laden branches, to the little stitchwort growing low amongst the grass.Not forgetting the long banks of Queen Anne's Lace, so loved by orange-tip butterflies.

Muddypond may be a faery type of magic - but she doesn't think much of all this bridal stuff! The flowers are pretty though, and highly enchanted - especially the Hawthorn Tree, where Elven Meets are held in their shade. That's why you ask permission from the tree to take a bough or two for your May Day decorations.

    Then again, take care how you approach them, specially the gnarled ancient ones - some might be witches they say - witches who've transformed themselves into trees. Whatever they are in reality, they're part of the Sacred Triad - find an Oak, an Ash and a Hawthorn tree growing together and you have found a magical grove - yes, I can promise you that!The magical associations for white are :  Happiness, Peace, Purification, Calming, Sprirituality, amd Protection

May Flowers ©vcsinden2010



 

    May 28th 2010 
  .... The Necromancer
- don't try to befriend one of these!
....


   Hope you saw that full moon last night
- it floodlit the woods and cast deep black moon-shadows! 

   Just a quick note in case you were getting fed up with wild flowers!
Do you like making things with your hedge and woodland finds?
See what you think of this evil looking creature!
You'll find it on my Hedgerow Crafts page.   

 

 


     June 7th 2010 
       .....    My Lady Ellhorn - take care with the Elder Tree
  ....

    Elder is a tree of the Ogham calendar - Old name - Ruis     Ruling time : 25th Nov - 22nd Dec
    Elemental - Water

Faery Muddypond Green with a basket full of elder flowers    Ellenwood, Elder, Ruis is a tree of great magick and power.  Amongst the roots and lowest branches the Elder Mother - Elf Mother - Ellhorn the Wisewoman sits.
 
    Cut into the wood without due respect at your peril!
This is not a wood for the making of wands - the elder rules the 13th Lunar Month and the smell of the leaves and wood is unlucky as well as unpleasant.
Today I asked My Lady Ellhorn if I could pick a basket full of flowers to make into elderflower cordial.

  Do you like my basket? It is very old and once belonged to someone dear to me named Gypsy.

   Allow the tree to grow where it will and she'll bring you protection from curses and malevolent spirits, gifts of the huge white saucers of a million tiny star-shaped florets in June and an abundance of black, juicy berries in autumn.  We may take the wood (but NEVER to burn!) IF we first bow low to the Lady Ellhorn, tell her why we need the wood then ask her permission. If we feel approval to take a little, or prune her branches, then we'll leave her a gift or tend to her needs and thank her.
Elder flower, Hurst Wood in June
The stems of Ellenwood are hollow and filled with a spongy pith which can be scraped out - magics make them into musical pipes and whistles.

We magics also use the wood for tiny safeguard charms to place about our living spaces or to wear if travelling. The charms can also work against warts, (not that Fae get warts you understand - but others certainly do!) - toothache and fevers. Simply rub the charm over the forehead, tooth or wart and tell its evil spirit to be gone, then bury the charm deep in the ground.


This is a banishing spell of course, so at its most powerful during the waning Moon - today or any of the next six days would be a good time! (You can always check your moon phases on my Magical Moons page). Now I must get back to my brew - the elder flowers need two days to steep and blend into the sweet water - when it's finished I promise to show you how to make the cordial on the Hedgerow Cooking page.

You might like to read more about Elder Tree magic and superstition here on my Ogham Tree Elder page.

 

 

 

    June 10th 2010
      .....   Elderflower cordial is ready!  
  .....
(The Ogham wood for magic changes today to Duir (Oak)  June 10th - July 7th)
Elderflower cordial  label - from the Eco-enchantments faery.



Yes! The cordial has worked out well.
There's still time to make plenty more too - hedgerow magic at its best!! !
Can't wait to use it - perfect for splashing over strawberries for a start!

The recipe's here on my cooking page if you'd like to try.
See if you can make time for some hedgerow harvesting - it's well worh it!
And by the way - don't forget to thank the Elf Mother (see above) for the flowers will you?

 

 

 


     June 15th 2010
      ....  Badgers - beautiful, shy and in danger of being culled by the thousands!
....

Badgers about 12 weeks old

One of the largest and most endearingly beautiful mammals in the British Isles is the badger. We're lucky enough to have a family in Hurst Wood, but even a magic like me doesn't see them often. They are very shy creatures and nocturnal.

If you were to discover a badger sett and sit quietly downwind at dusk you may be blessed with a sighting of them. The young ones (like these in the picture from the Badger Trust - see links below)  first venture out of their tunnel in mid May when they're about ten weeks old.

Badgers have one enemy - and that is the Villagers  (mankind - humans as some of you say).


Badger footprint side bar
Acts of Parliament make it illegal for any person to kill, or injure badgers, but. despite this, the plans to cage and shoot thousands of badgers in Wales (because they are thought to spread bovine TB to cattle on nearby farms) are still gathering pace. The new coalition government is making plans right now (June 2010) to cull thousands of badgers in England too.The plans for Wales have been put on last minute hold so that a second appeal by The Badger Trust on June 30th 2010 can be taken into account.
  If you love the woodlands and wildlife of Britain, then please support
The Badger Trust   in their appeal!
See more on my Links page here.
To slaughter thousands of these gentle animals when there is no concrete evidence that it will solve the cattle problem - seems to the magic community just another proof of human greed and depravity!Here's an excellent eight page printable information sheet about badgers
if you'd like to learn more.
Badger footprint sidebar

 

 


    June 18th 2010

     .....   Ready for Litha? Not long til our Summer Solstice now
  .....

Just in time!
That silly old dragon Storm has sent me another drax at last -
all about a lovely Lithuanain custom which he is looking forward to - called "Searching for the Fern Blossom".
If you like folk-lore and magic you will find it here on my Dragon Ramblings page.

 

 


    June 21st 2010
      .....  Summer Solstice - Litha - what a wonderful dawn
.....
The Ogham wood for this day alone, which should be used for magic is heather (Ogham name Ur)

   Dawn at the Summer SolsticeOn this longest day I wanted to greet the first rays of the sun (sol) above the sea horizon. Sitting on the rocks, I lit my purple candle (spirituality and meditation) and waited at dawn. The only sound was the soft roll of the sea as it broke in a swell on the shore, and the pebbles being sucked back in the undertow.

Fairy Muddypond Green greets the dawn at Litha

 

 

 

 


   The clouds, dense in places and mingled with a little sea mist, would only allow me to see the sunlight as it filled the gaps and tinted the sky with a gentle pink.The bird who rules this special day is the lark - today the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, it stands still above the land - just as the lark soars higher and higher, then hovers, singing for joy.Hythe, kent -dawn at Summer Solstice   

  The old tree gods battle to the death each year on this day.  Holly (Ogham Tinne) will duel with Oak (Ogham Duir) who has been protecting the earth for the past six months in the gradually lengthening light. Tonight Holly will win the battle and take the earth gradually back into the dark until they fight at the winter solstice and Oak will live to rule again.

     (Lots more about this legend, and about Holly magic here)

   

   This is why the magics and the ancestors take sprigs of oak grown mistletoe, cut with gold (or any metal but iron) and caught in a white cloth so that it doesn't touch the ground, to decorate their stone circles or woodland groves.

 

   The mistletoe is the evergreen spirit of the oak and lives on into the dark months when the Oak stands stripped of leaves.It was obviously going to be a lucky day, as I found seven hag stones amongst the pebbles! These stones found on a solstice day have the greatest protection of all.   Later, as it's growing dark, there's a ritual for the Summer Solstice which you might like to know - you can read about it on my  "Spells and Charms"  page!

 

 

 


    June 29th 2010
      .....   How to enchant a small elf during midsummer
.....
The Full Moon nearest to the Summer Solstice is The Strawberry Moon

Wild strawberries in a walnut shell basket
Elves love wild strawberries.
This is a well known fact.

Now of course, magics like the High Elves of   Kingswood aren't likely to fall for this little enchantment - they're much too grand and sensible.

It's the small elves, the ones who hide in bracken and generally make mischief that could definitely be tempted out into the open - and if they like what you've made for them, they might grant you a wish - worth a try.
Wild strawberries

  Make your preparations carefully - even the smallest and silliest of elves (and believe me, some of them are silly - very) know when you've taken a bit of trouble for them.
 Hurst Wood, Charing - full moon
*  Make some tiny baskets - these are made with a walnut shell.
 
Wild strawberry flower*  Gather your wild fruit by the light of the full Strawberry Moon. (This flash is the bright, bright moon that has shone over Hurst Wood for the last three days).
 
*  Line the baskets with a clean leaf and fill them with the wee strawberries.
 
*  Add little bowls of cream - irresistible -
mine are ladelled into hazelnut shells.
See how small they are? One of these bowls is sitting on a 20p piece (a faery-found naturally).
 
*  Arrange your elf-feast, make your wish (nothing too complicated mind - these are elves we're talking about!) then hide away.
Elf feast of wild strawberries

Faery basket made fom a walnut shell and filled with fresh wild strawberries
* Important * 
  Do NOT try to record your encounter in any way - unless you have a Drax machine (and I know you haven't!)
Taking pictures of magics in the ordinary villager way will cause them to fade! You don't want that on your conscience I'm sure.
(Please see note on my About page if you're not familiar with this sad effect).

 

 

    July 6th 2010
      ....  A different kind of summer magic - Dylan magic! .....

   So, this faery has been off visiting some music - but not so very far away.
Now who would have thought that Mister Bob Dylan would be down in Kent? But he WAS! Really he was!

   He headlined on Saturday at The Hop Farm Festival, and gave us two solid hours of magick - laughingly inviting us thousands to join in with "Just Like a Woman" and finishing a perfect summer's weekend with "Forever Young". Quite made my wings quiver.
Hop Farm Festival July 2010

    Here you can see what the villagers got up to - they're very good at something they call "queuing" for a start!  Roasting hot it was too. At the top of the picture is a band called "Stornoway" that I liked a lot. On the right, one of my favourite singer - songwriters of all time - Richard Thompson.   And above him - special - Bob's shadow!!
I also specially loved "Tunng" - just plain wonderful.

    I know many-a-magic who would have loved this too if only they weren't so far away - a musical race we are, but we definitely don't understand this queuing thing.

Forever Young - Bob Dylan


 

 

    July 12th 2010        
       ......    To a Wild Rose .....

(The Ogham wood for magic has now changed to Tinne (Holly) July 8th - 4th August.)

Wild rose, white

Beauty and scent in the hedgerows in plenty, but you'll have to be quick now to catch them before they dry in the hot weather and the petals fall. I took these drax flashes about a week ago, where the roses grow in profusion along the edge of the wood, by the lane.

The queen of all the fairy flowers - The Dog Rose (Rosa Canina) is coloured from purest white to a deep, rich pink.
She's ruled by the planet Venus and many gods, including Adonis, Isis, Demeter & Hathor

 

Magical properties for the wild rose :
Love,   Love Divination,  Luck,   Protection,   Healing,   Psychic Powers.

   Simply take some time to admire them as you walk up a country lane, or - you can use the petals in so many ways. For a spell or charm, strengthen your magical intention by using the colours - white for purity, pink for love, or a mixture of the two.

Make gently perfumed rose-water and add it to a basin of water to refresh face and hands or to cleanse objects to be used in any magic ritual. There's an excellent video on how to make good distilled rose-water here.

Wild rose - deepest pinkMake a rose bead talisman (simply petals rolled into tight bead-like balls, with a hole for stringing made before they are spread out to dry) - pop a string of three into a little pouch to carry with you for love and luck.



  
Add petals and rose buds to a tisane (herbal tea) as a powerful cure for apathy.
     Another cure for apathy - since music is a cure for all things - Julian Lloyd Webber and John Lenehan play "To a Wild Rose" by Edward Macdowell. Better still  - how about the tisane and the cello music together - double rosey magic!

 

 

 


      July 13th 2010       
     ....   Badger Cull will not go ahead:     Congratulations to The Badger Trust!  ....

Badger Trust
From BBC News Online   
July 13th 2010“A controversial cull of around 1,500 badgers in south-west Wales has been halted after protesters won their legal challenge to stop it. …Three judges announced the trust's appeal against a judicial review was successful and quashed the order.”

For more about this story see above - June 15th

Badger footprints
Picture from The Badger Trust

 

 

 

    July 19th 2010       
       ....    The Colour Purple - mid-July flowers around Hurst Wood in Charing    .....

Foxglove
Rose Bay Willow Herb
Thistle - colour magic correspondencies
Foxglove
Rosebay Willow Herb
Thistle
Mallow
Centaury
 
     The colour of the month in the wild flower world is most definitely purple, with plenty of dark, cerise pink thrown in.
The shady woods are quite bare of flowers at the moment - but in all the clearings, in the dappled shade or on the banks, these flowers have sprung up a-plenty.
The Foxglove, with its other names of Fairy Thimbles, Fairy Petticoats and Witches Bells, is much sort after by magics and bees alike. It's Gaelic name 'Lus na Mban Sídhe' literally means 'Plant of the Fairy Women'.
Colour correspondences for purposes of magic:
Pink - feminine. Used to strengthen love between family and friends, to settle arguments and bring peace.The colour of honour and strong morality, pink can bring more of the good things that you already possess.
Purple - masculine. Used when wishing the blessing of royal powers, The Lord and Lady of the Greenwood for example. In rituals for the healing of severe diseases. For heightening spirituality during meditation and to bring spiritual power.

Common Spotted Orchid - Hurst Wood nr Charing, Kent, UK

Common Spotted Orchid - fairy doll - close

Hurst Wood, nr Charing, Kent, UK - Common Spotted Orchid in July

I know where the Spotted Orchids can be found in my Hurst Wood home, as you see from my flashes - we have a thriving clump of them.

It's the leaves with their black splodges that give them their name.

They like Kent better than many other parts of the isle. In my Stella Fae exams (yawn! - somewhere around Level 87 I think) I have to make a concoction from the powdered, dried root to use in love incense (pffftt!!) and to sprinkle about the place and over the happy couple at a Handfasting.If you look really, really closely at each little floret you'll see that it's just like a tiny lady with her arms spread out in a dance - a bit like a doll from a cut-paper chain. We like to put one of these into the cradle of any fairysprig born in the month of July as a pretty play trinket.


 

    July 23rd 2010      
       .....   Woodland fae takes in a little London city culture ...

the One you Won't Forget       Well a faery can dream can't she?

Dave Willetts  is playing 'George'
in the beautiful revival of
Lloyd Webber's 'Aspects of Love'
until 26th September. Dave Willetts from Phantom of the Opera days Well let's see, we go back a little in a funny, friendly strange 'n flowery kinda way.
He doesn't believe he's a magic, but I know different
- he's a sorcerer most likely -
with that voice he has to be!     Would you like to hear?
This is Dave singing 'Music of the Night' from the Phantom of the Opera.


Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre - 'Aspects of Love' banner   Here's Dave - onstage as George at the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre, and again outside Her Majesty's Theatre in the days when he played The Phantom.

     A lovely production in an intimate theatre and in an area of London so well worth exploring. It's all a bit strange for a country magic like me but still. Have a coffee and buy some cheese 'n fruit 'n chocolate in Borough Market for starters - isn't that just the kind of thing you villagers like to do?

 

 

 


     July 30th 2010        
       ......   Travels, looking for magics in Bolivia .....

    The time has come round so quickly, and this faery is off travelling up and away to Bolivia for a week or three.
Hope I find you all well and safe when I get back - and I hope to be able to show you one or two magical things that as a Wood and Hedgerow Fae, I've never seen before!
I'm making a new section here called "The Ogham Trees". Perhaps you'll have time to see what's been done so far - an 'Introduction to Ogham'  and the first two trees - well I chose to start with these because they are the ruling trees for June, July and a little of August - The Oak  and 
The Holly.
It could take quite some time to do them all!
Do you know the Ogham Tree which rules your birth date?

         Don't forget - it will be Lammas on Sunday (August 1st) - the cross-quarter day and wheel of the year sabbat to celebrate and ask protection for the early harvests.

This week too is Butterfly Week - learn more here - I'm sure they know - well of course they do - I have never seen so many around the wood and lanes!

 

 

 

     August 25th 2010        
      .......   Home at last - and a little Bolivian magic - the Witch Market of La Paz ....

On the road to Titicaca, Bolivia - celebrations for independence Day ©vcsinden2010
Celebrations on the road to Titicaca - Independence day

     Well, here I am, home again by the Faery Roads and never before so grateful for the green leaves and the rain of my little Kentish wood. After the brown and dust of so much of the high plains of Bolivia, before the rains arrive there in September, it's good just to sit under a hazel and breathe the fresh, damp air.

     It didn't take long to find magic - my first stop was La Paz, the highest city of over a million in the world, clinging dizzyingly to the cliffs and sides of the Andes.

The Witches Market - La Paz - Bolivia - Llama foetusJust above the ancient Christian church "Iglesia San Fransisco", in the narrow cobbled streets of Calle Jiminez and Calle Linares you can find "El Mercado de las Brujas", The Witches' Market. Not that the sellers there are witches you understand - more healers, herbalists and fortune-tellers, carrying on the work of medicine-women from time immemorial.

The Witches Market - La Paz - Bolivia - beauty©vcsinden2010The medicine woman on the right found me the most wonderful resins, you can see one of the packets in her hand - isn't she beautiful?

In the tiny shops, which spill their wares onto the pavements, you can find all manner of herbs and resins, feathers, dried frogs and insects, lotions and potions in ancient bottles. Each and every one of them fascinating and mostly completely baffling to an English Magic! The Witches Market, La Paz, Bolivia, shop interior

 

   There are statuettes of the great Andean Earth Goddess Pachamama, talismen and charms for luck and prosperity and the dried foetuses of llama, looking like baby dragons, (see above) which are buried under new buildings (to protect the builders and residents) - or burned on great plates of brightly coloured sweets, herbs and soaps in rituals of the Aymaran people during August.
    So much to learn - so many places to see.

 

 

 




     September 3rd 2010      
        ......   Morning Glory in the painting of Faerie  ...

     (The Ogham wood for magic has changed to Muin (Bramble)  September 2nd - 29th September) 

Helen Jacobs, fairy artist 1888 - 1970 with Morning Glory

      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 Faery's Funeral , John Anster Fitzgerald
 
'The Fairy's Funeral' 1864 - click picture to enlarge

 

Morning Glory - deep sky blue - in Muddypond Green's herb patchI'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

Etheline Eva Dell
"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'.
Ida Outhwaite, illiustration showing Morning Glory flowersThe 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!!

 

 

 



    September 9th 2010
      ......   Divination with a rare double hazelnut - folk-lore!
  .....

Geese

     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 15th 2010
      .....  Government wickedness, still hell-bent on those BADGERS - and happier things ....

Photo by Steve & Ann Toon / Robert Harding Corbis

    I am simply numb with disbelief, sadness and incandescent fury at the news today that the British Government will once again consider giving the go-ahead for a mass wipe-out of our most enigmatic, shy and gentle wild mammal - the badger.This is DESPITE the fact that the most recent major study, published in February, found badger culling is unlikely to halt the spread of bovine TB!

     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
Follow more about this story in Muddypond's diaryblog - entries on this page on June 15th and July 13th

Hurst Wood, Charing - welcome foal©vcsinden2010
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, the tiny foal could see the rainbow as it settled over the North Downs behind Pilgrim's Way.

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.

 

 

 

 

    September 21st  2010
      .....  Autumn Equinox - Mabon - The Feast of Avalon - time to celebrate second harvest ...

Mabon-celebration flowers by faery Muddypond Green
 
Flowers for a Mabon supper - a hand-tied bunch, including blackberries, crab apples, damsons, hawthorn and Michaelmas daisies.
 
   
  The Autumn Equinox, which can be on any of three days - Sep 21st, 22nd or 23rd, depending on the year - often goes by the name of Mabon.
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
 
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.

 

 

 

    September 23rd 2010
       .....  Should you need reminding - Full Moon - The Harvest Moon will shine tonight!
....

The Harvest Moon is
The Crysanthemum Moon in China


   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 28th 2010  
       ....   Take a stroll down the faery-tale path in autumn .....

Kings Wood, Challock, kent - faery path ©vcsinden2010


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!
Fly agaric mushrooms in Kings Wood, Challock ©vcsinden2010

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
.
Fly agaric mushroom - baby ©vcsinden2010
Fly agaric mushrooms, Kings Wood, Challock ©vcsinden2010
Fly agaric - young at Eco Enchantments ©vcsinden2010
Fly agaric mushrooms, Kings Wood, Challock, kent for Eco Enchantments ©vcsinden2010

 



     October 1st 2010      
Superb folklore art in "The Secret of Kells" - just released in the UK - QUICK, see it while you can!
  (The Ogham wood for magic changed now to Gort (Ivy)  September 30th - 27th October)  

Secret of Kells_script
 of Kells_woods
Secret of Kells_confusion
    
     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.
Secret of Kells - Director Tomm Moore's  Blog

   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

A thoughtful review discussion can be seen at Imagejournal.org   .................
'  "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.'

 

Secret of Kells_alchemy
Secret of Kells_sea
Secret of Kells_tree


 


    October 6th  2010
      .....   Something wicked this way comes!  ...

Hurst Wood, Charing, Kent - dark faery mushrooms©vcsinden2010This '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 wonder if that pesky little Quarry Gnome spored them here!

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 13th 2010
      .....  Gargoyles - medieval fantastica in Freiburg ......

Freiburg Minster - gargoyle
Freiburg Minster - gargoyle
Freiburg Minster - gargoyle
Freiburg Minster - gargoyle
Freiburg Minster - gargoyle
Freiburg Minster - gargoyle


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.

Freiburg Minster - gargoyles




    October 18th 2010  
       ......  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.

Hunters Moon Morris at Tenterden Folk Festival 2010

Muddypond's favourite Morris Dancers - from Sussex - Hunters Moon  - clashing yew sticks and hats to die for!
You can learn more about them here - This is The Hunters Moon Morris

Hunters Moon Morris - that hat!

Click on the
Hunter's Hat
to see the detail - believe me
it's worth it!

See more
' 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!

 

Conker crafts ©vcsinden2010

Hooden Horse at the Tenterden Folk Festival 2010

A Kentish
Hooden Horse, enjoying the antics of

Hunters Moon

 

Hooden Horse at the Tenterden Folk Festival 2010

 

 

Another one! These things are a bit of a
menace
but a great
Kentish tradition.



 


    October 22nd 2010
      ......    Too soon, too soon for the frost ....

Magic-frost on rose hips

 
   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.

Magic-frost on the last rose
And talking of beautiful things - have you seen the new link to Wendy's artwork?   Just take a peep!

 

 


    October 30th 2010     
      ....  Preparing the Samhain Incense ....

Churchyard stones

      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.dering Windows - faery or ghost?

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!

Samhain incense - my ingredients
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 in Pluckley churchyard, 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)

 

 

 


    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.

 

 

     November 9th 2010
       ......   Some November days ......

November stormy skies

         
   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!

  The trees are so beautiful in this light - did you manage to read about their magic on any of my Ogham pages yet?   Oak   Holly      Hazel   Reed   Ivy   Bramble:

 

 
Visionary Arts Event poster



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 15th  2010
      ......  pretty things from the land of faerie ......  

Traditional Clogs by Jeremy Atkinson
Senjo Clothing - jumper
Rune necklace by Jason of England
 
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.
Fairysteps Shoes
Fairysteps bag

 

 

 

   November 21st  2010
      .....   November  Snow Moon and the reed wand  ......     

Hurst Wood - the pon in the quarry - gathering reeds on full moon evening
        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.

Hythe, Kent - calm sea in Novemeber light ©vcsinden

The beach at Hythe yesterday - with sea like barely wrinkled silk, painted first with silver and then with gold.

Hythe, Kent - evening sea in Novemeber light ©vcsinden

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 25th 2010
       .....  Just a quick note .......  
       (The Ogham wood for magic has changed today to Ruis (Elder) November 25th - 22nd December)


    Tomorrow early I'm off adventuring again, travelling to the Visionary Arts event that I was telling you about the other day (see poster above).
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 30th 2010 
  ....  Merrivale - out there on the Devon moors  ......
  

   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 © vcsinden2011
 

The Stone Rows at Merrivale, Dartmoor on a colder than cold late November afternoon

Muddypond Green Eco faery at Merrivale Rows Dartmoor ©vcsinden


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.

 

Dartmoor winter

They are long,
very long
at around 800 feet, and on a bleak day like this - the sight, as well as the freezing wind, takes your breath away with its enigmatic beauty.

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.

Dartmoor-Merrivale ©vcsinden

 

 


   December 3rd 2010
   ....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 ......

Sadie Shrub at The Visionary Arts Event, Devon 2010
Tribe of Mog board
Jack Tree at the Visionary Arts event, Devon 2010


Sadie 'n Jack        Click on the wooden box that Jack is holding to meet Ratnarok!

Extreme caution needed - dried, dessicated but still dangerous !    And yes,I do mean the one in the box!

 

     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.

The Moth Prince - Marc Potts

Look what I came home with ...

On the right:
Love my fairy door from Jack Tree. It's solid oak with handcrafted ironwork fittings. Smart! I pictured it outside amongst the strange ice formations in today's snow.

And on the left?
The painting that I promised myself - the original "Moth Prince"  by Marc Potts.
Wish you could see it for real!
I don't mean to gloat - but .....  !

(Find more about Marc and a link to his gallery here.)

Faery door by Jack Tree

  
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.

 

 

 

    December 8th 2010
    ....  Sunset, snow and silhouettes .....  

The world was silent and still at four today, holding its breath before the appearance of the new moon.

 


 

    December 13th 2010  
       .....  A Yuletide Celebration, Mistletoe and the British stiff upper lip! .....

Salvation Army at the freezing village Yule celebration 2010

    

   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?  
 

    

Santa on a tractor in the rain at the village Yule Fete - 2010And 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.   Bringing home the mistletoe     

    

 


  
  
   
  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

Misteltoe sprig from tenbury wels Mistletoe Online

Picture from the
Tenbury Wells

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.

 

 

 

 

 

     December 17th 2010 
       ....   Another Yuletide Celebration - back to the forgotten chapel .....

Candlelit window in the forgotten chapel, Charing, Kent



Spicer's Rats play The Boar's Head Caro, Charing, Kent

"The boar's head in hand bring I
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary.
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio.

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino."

  


    Across the lane and into the heart of my frosty clearing in Hurst Wood, the voices echoed - 'Reddens laudes Domino' - 'Giving praises to the Lord.'    The Boar's Head Carol.

 
Who was singing I wondFairy finds the forgotten chapel, Charing, Kentered -  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.


    Look at them - as if an angel had just walked in - or perhaps that IS what they saw - sprigs can see things that old villagers can't.

I did - I saw an angel!
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     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.

 

 

 

    December 23rd 2010
       ......   Today is Mistletoe Day ....
 

Mistletoe branch, hung up on 23rd December - 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. 

    If you hung a branch of mistletoe last year, now is the time to take it down and replace it with bright, fresh berries.

  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!

 

 


    December 29th 2010    
      .....     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.

Muddypond Green - waiting from her vantage in the snow covered oak

Waiting -  my vantage in the snow covered branches

 

Hurst Wood in snow - the entrance to my clearing.
  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 ©vcsinden2010

'From the Nadir of darkness to the Zenith of light,' he said.

Muddypond hopes to see you again in 2011 - goodbye old year.