The Blog that Sparkles, Twinkles and even Winks… if you’re good.

A Ritual for No Other Reason Than Daisy is Going on

Holiday Soon and We Have to Fit One in Quick!

OR

The Deep, Deep of Deepness

The Evening of 2nd October 2010

 The deep, deep of deepness is where we were headed that night.  Things are changing in The Daisy Faerie Ring.  The rituals are growing, the fey are walking alongside us and the girls are progressing much faster than I ever anticipated.

It had been a beautiful bright day on the island when we went to pick Daisy up at 5pm.  We had homemade pizza for tea, laughed a lot at Anne Widdecombe on Strictly Come Dancing and then got on with the business of getting ready for our ritual at about 9pm.  It took Alcina a whole hour to get ready!  Daisy had altered her dress which she had done especially for our faerie rite of course and we all had to admire it, because it did look stunning.  It is black with silver embroidered flowers on it, but each ritual the flowers appears somewhere else on the dress, because she is so handy with a needle and thread.

Getting ready took AGES – it seems to take longer and longer each time.  It is all a flurry of hairpins, mascara, tiaras, sparkling faerie crowns, ribbons, liquorice legged stripy black and white tights and please don’t mention the hassle we have with faerie wings.  They go on…they come off…they go on again, a little tighter this time..they are swapped for another pair…they come off…they get adjusted…they get poked in my face.  It’s a performance.  If you are thinking of starting a Faerie Ring, please ban the wearing of faerie wings before you even start as they do become an obsession.  An obsession with sparkles – the worst kind, surely? Anyhow, dresses on, wings on, tiaras straightened, all present and correct.  Oh…sorry, forgot to mention that Alcina held us up once more as she proceeded to draw a work of art upon her face with an eyeliner pencil.  It did look very pretty actually, of stars around her left eye falling artisically  onto her upper cheek.  Lovely Alcina, can we begin now?   Oooops, no I don’t think we can as she is giggling so much that she has collapsed and is on her side writhing about on the floor with agonising giggles.  An affliction bestowed upon most teenage girls.  Alcina has got it bad.

Daisy and I decide to set up the altar in the hope that she will shut up soon.  The situation improves, but only in the fact that she is now able to stand while giggling.  Never mind.  The show must go on.  Daisy and I make an executive decision to carry on regardless.

We all held hands and I remarked on the fact that we all have a lovely working relationship.   I told them that some magical groups can spend years trying to find the chemistry that we all have together.  It feels comfortable; so very comfortable and I felt lucky to have stumbled upon this lovely relationship that we all share.  This is the time when we usually open our chakras and have a few moments alone meeting the Faerie King and Queen before we get stuck into the rite properly.  Alcina announces that hers are already open and she’s having trouble controlling the opening and closing, so I suggest that she closes them and just looks at them to see how beautiful they are this time.  Strangely, my chakras are quite happy not to be opened too, a first for me.  I got the feeling that it really didn’t matter; so I just contented myself with looking at them to see how pretty they were too.  I am pleased to report that Daisy’s chakras were in full working order.

Alcina then swept the circle.  I have a note here that Daisy has kindly provided, that Alcina was nearly wetting herself while doing this.  As a blogger, faithful to the truth, I feel honour bound to include the state of giggles that she was in.  Catatonic.

Daisy then consecrated the water and blessed the salt.  After consecrating the circle I then showed her how to anoint someone on the forehead with an invoking pentagram.  I then anointed Daisy and then she performed this for Alcina and I.  With each ritual we have they are both doing more and more of the circle casting themselves.

Once I had invited the King and Queen of Faerie to join us we then raised the power in the way that we had first performed it in our last ritual; treading the spiral.  (Please see my book; Faeriecraft, Chapter Ten, The Faerie Ring, under the heading The Raising of the Power for full details of this method).  I must confess that I never thought we would be ready to use this method of raising the power in a teenage Faerie Ring because the energy raised is so different, deep and concentrated than usual methods.  However, Daisy and Alcina have proved that they are ready.  Despite the giggling episodes, which I must admit, although I complain about them, they are known manifestations of faerie energy in our circle.

This is when I thought that they may be able to handle the deep, deep of deepness.  This is my little exercise which goes beyond everything that we have done before in our faerie circle.  Instead of flirting with Faerie Land, dipping our toes in here and there, tasting a smidgen every now and then, this takes you there and lets you experience a very special union with the Faerie Queen.  I have decided to write it here in full as I did it with the girls, so that if you would like to try it at home you can.  (Please remember to protect yourself and perform the proper grounding exercises afterwards).

The Deep, Deep of Deepness – close your eyes and get comfortable.  Relax, take a few deep breaths and concentrate on nothing other than the journey that I am going to take you on.

Before you is a beautifully crafted door, which has no knocker or handle.  You are ready to go through that door.  Give it a little nudge and it will gently open.  Behind the door and before you is a spiral staircase set into the earth and spiralling down to a place you can’t yet see.  You take your first step on the top stair.  The walls are earth and you can smell it mingled with damp moss.  The walls are lit up with candle lanterns hanging from the earthen walls to light your way.  There is a feeling of safety here, of being held by the earth, of being completely protected by Mother Earth.  Believe it, for you are.  Each step that you take on the earthen stairs brings a feeling of falling asleep; of falling deeper and deeper into a pleasant slumber.  As you walk down the stairs you turn a corner and spy the bottom of the stairs where a beautiful little door fashioned out of apple wood waits.  Still concentrating on each step and falling deeper into a little sleep as you go, you finally reach the door.  This door also has no knocker or handle.  As before, you are ready to go through this door. Nudge the door gently and it will swing open for you.

You are greeted by an enchanting sight.  An orchard of miniature apple trees, ancient and heavy with autumn apples waiting to be picked.  The time is twilight and the day is fading, the night creatures are beginning to come out, you hear the hoot of an owl, a deer running into  the trees out of sight.  You explore the orchard, taking in the special atmosphere of a place untouched by people.  There are no sounds, except for those of nature.  There are no cars, trains, aeroplanes overhead, you see no electricity pylons or houses; you are completely immersed within a natural place.

In the middle of the orchard is a tree stump.  Take a seat on the stump for you are expecting a visitor.  Before you materializes the Queen of the Faeries; Mab.  She appears made of a million moonbeams.  She emanates a subtle, but glorious silvery, white light of the moon.  her hair is long and flowing, she wears a long dress that reaches to her toes.  She smiles warmly at you and you feel relaxed in her presence, peaceful, harmonious and tranquil.  She has something to impart to you, this may be in words, or she may show you something.  Whatever it is, it is meant to be between you and the Faerie Queen.  At this point I will leave you for a few moments for private counsel with your Faerie Queen.

**************************************************************

Your time with the Faerie Queen is drawing to a close.  She picks a beautiful russet red apple from the tree closest to her.  She slices it in half with a silver knife to reveal the star (pentagram) that resides in all apples.  She shows you the star within the apple and then takes one of the pips out of the apple and gives it to you to take away with you.  Think on what this little gift means later on.  Now it is time for you to bid the Faerie Queen goodbye and the orchard.

You head for the apple orchard door and walk through it.  You are met with the earthen staircase.  With each step that you take upwards, you feel a little more awake, more alert.  Make your way to the top of the staircase.  Once you have reached the topmost step you feel wide awake.  You push open the wooden door and then you can open your eyes.

Alcina, Daisy and I then shared our experiences of the pathworking.  We then went on to help Daisy consecrate her wand (this is not to be confused with concreting.  This week Daisy had sent me a text asking me if I would concrete her wand in the coming ritual! She was having a little spelling dilemma I think).  She had made the wand herself from a willow tree in her garden, stripped the bark and then wound silvery thread around it and other pretty decorations.  It was lovely to be consecrating a homemade wand.  (Please see my book Faeriecraft, Chapter Nine, Wave Your Wand and Part the Cloud, for details on how to do this).

The giggling came back, especially as I had let the girls have mead instead of apple juice for our faerie offering.  We also had homemade bread which I had spread with honey from Daisy’s Dad’s bees – how magical!

Once we had closed the circle Daisy made the compulsory Lady Grey tea and cinnamon toast for our midnight feast – oh my goodness, how lovely!

I forgot to mention; we held this ritual in my bedroom which has a fire alarm.  I am pleased to say that it works!  Every twenty minutes or so the fire alarm would start its ear splitting beeping during our ritual and I would grab the faerie besom and press the alarm on the celing to deactivate it.  As you know, we hate to have a ritual with no interruptions – sheep, fire alarms, Mr. Sheep Farmer, it all adds to the magcal mix.  An aftermath of a ritual is always as magical as getting ready.  There are sparkly faerie wings on my writing desk, Books of Elfin and glitter on the kitchen table.  The kitchen sink was full of little wooden faerie offering bowls and a wooden chalice.  To me spent magic looks just as good as cinnamon toast.

So, until Daisy comes back from her hols I’ll say goodbye for now.  We hope to have another ritual around Samhain.  We’re already planning our outfits.

Blessed Be,

Alicen xxx

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And then legged it up the garden path

21st June 2010 – the Midsummer Solstice

Here we are again, and apologies for the long interval between blogs.  I am actually writing this just before Psychic Sally’s Big Fat Operation.  Inevitably the programme will start as I’m typing and then I’ll have to come back to it in the commercial breaks.  So, if there are bits and bobs that don’t make sense along the way, blame Big Fat Sally and not me. 

Summer Solstice night.  I look forward to it all year!  The longest day and the shortest night and as we live in Orkney it is probably a lot shorter than most people who are reading this have ever experienced.  On a typical midnight on the Solstice you can go outside in your garden and read a book or do your gardening without having the need of a torch.  There is a special kind of twilight known by the Orcadians as the ‘simmer dim’.  As we all know, twilight and dawn are the two times of day that faerie activity are most common.  Solstice sunset time is officially at 9.30pm here.  However, the sun doesn’t really disappear and the dark cloak of the real night isn’t upon us until after midnight.  This means that we have quite a few hours of the simmer dim.  The sun rises at 2.58am, so we only have a couple of hour’s real darkness in the middle of summer.  This is great for reading in the garden, weeding, barbecues or going for walks late at night.  Although, not so ideal for outdoor rituals of the faerie kind in a neighbourhood populated almost exclusively by devout Christians.  Incidentally, I don’t really have a problem with Christians, I even like to visit Kirkwall Cathedral when I am shopping in the city and sit quietly in the special atmosphere there, but Christians do sometimes have a problem with what I believe in.  Therefore, our little rite had to be discreet, short and sweet.

We don’t live in a densely populated area at all and our cottage is a quarter of a mile away from the nearest house.  However, as visibility late on the Solstice night is almost as good as in the day time, we would be in full few of several farms, who all own binoculars and I believe get a lot of use out of them.

With this in mind Alcina and I (Daisy was sadly not with us on this night and we missed her terribly) remained in our everyday clothes so not to attract attention.  We didn’t set up an altar, but just brought out a tray with the simplest of magical tools; our wands, two candles that we needed for a spell, matches, mead in a wooden goblet and a biscuit in a tiny offering bowl as a gift for the faeries.  We had decided to have the ritual in the vegetable garden of The Mouse Hole as we had recently been spending a lot of time there planting vegetables.  We had also set up a faerie ring out of huge wooden toadstools in which we had planted our onion sets only a couple of days previously within the circle in a spiral pattern.  Because we had been making a lot of effort to make the garden special, it felt a good place to have our first outdoor ritual of the Daisy Faerie Ring.

Alcina and I got outside at around 10pm.  The weather was warm and there was barely a breeze.  It was an enchanting night to say the least and the sea, (about a quarter of a mile from our house) had a sea mist settling mysteriously on the surface.  It couldn’t have felt more magical.  We set up our magical tools, facing north, which is towards the neighbouring island of Papa Westray, at the edge of the wooden mushroom faerie ring.  We had decided to simplify the rite and set up a quick faerie circle, to be discreet as possible.  (See my book Faeriecraft pg 210 in the Consecrating Your Wand chapter if you would like to try this). 

Once our circle had been cast we lit two yellow candles for the spells that we were performing.  Just as Alcina was lighting the second candle Mr. Sheep Farmer came trundling up our driveway  (it is a quarter of a mile dirt track and driving along it feels like you have been to transported to Afghanistan – in other words, not glamorous)  which is adjacent to our vegetable garden.

‘Oh ****!’ I exclaimed as Alcina and I hastily blew out the candles, grabbed our guilty faerie stuff, and then had to scarper up the garden path as quick as you could say ‘Robin Goodfellow’s pants’.  We were giggling as we ran.  Then as quick as we could we grabbed trowels and a gardening fork from the shed and came back into the garden and pretended to do the gardening very loudly with exclamations such as; ‘back breaking work is digging!’ and ‘I hate weeding.  ‘Mr. Sheep Farmer didn’t look alarmed whatsoever, so hopefully we pulled the wool over his eyes (sorry!).

Anyhow, Mr. Sheep Farmer left about ten minutes later after tending to his lambs. Alcina and I then gratefully retrieved our faerie stuff to carry on where we had left off.  Of course, my big mistake had been that I had forgotten to perform The Cloak of Invisibility.  I have never forgotten that before so I was quite cross with myself.  I think that I have not worked outside for so long, being used to inclement weather in Orkney and having to work rites indoors we never need it, so I had got out of the habit of doing them. 

We performed our spells and then honoured the Solstice night with a few words from each of us to the Faerie King and Queen.  Then we blessed the mead and biscuit.  An interesting little diversion here; Alcina hates alcohol and doesn’t exactly forbid me to drink it, but when I do (which is seldom – of course) she gives me such a hard time of it that I rarely bother anymore.  Therefore, I thought I was taking a bit of a risk putting mead into the chalice, but did it anyway, thinking that Alcina would drink it grudgingly then screw up her face and spit it out and then make me do the same.  I was SO wrong.  Firstly, she didn’t complain, but actually giggled that there was mead in the chalice and secondly she took a massive gulp, giggled some more and then said; ‘actually I could get quite used to mead!’ and then giggled some more.

Worrying…

I did suggest to her for a moment that we could be in an alternate reality, where everything was exactly the same except that Alcina had suddenly willingly, drunk some alcohol.  I was assured by her that no, in fact, we were in exactly the correct reality.

Even more worrying.

Now this really is Psychic Sally’s fault as I have clean forgotten to mention that as soon as we held hands and began our ritual we couldn’t stop giggling the whole way through.  No difference there then.  That is always a reassuring sign that the faeries really were with us that night.  Now that Psychic Sally is a whole lot thinner (don’t you just love those before and after shows?)  I’ve just about reached the end of my sparkly blog.  Don’t worry; Daisy hasn’t disappeared off the scene completely as she has come over to The Mouse Hole especially to watch Psychic Sally’s Big Fat Operation.  She’s eating her second helping of homemade popcorn and drinking hot chocolate as I write.  So as you can see, Sally’s now thin, the Solstice was eventful and giggly and once again the sheep made sure they made an appearance in our rite as usual.

Until, next time; sheep willing – may the good faeries always be with you.

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The Blog That Sparkles

As is faerie lore I am having difficulty in remembering what happened last night at our second magical get-together of the Daisy Faerie Ring.  I really wanted to start writing straight away, but by the time we had finished it was well past one in the morning and I could hear my bed calling me very loudly!

So where to begin?  Well – our Beltaine celebration felt a little flat to tell you the truth before we ventured into it.  We had meant to hold it on the Friday night of April 30th; however, Daisy had been ill and off school for most of the week and the girls had not had a chance to do any planning at all when Friday arrived.  So instead of having our rite on Friday, Daisy and Alcina got together at The Mouse Hole and planned what we needed and what we would be doing.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel that excited at the prospect of a Beltaine rite.  We’d all had a rubbish week, along with one thing and another and it felt like too much effort!  There was no blossom on the hawthorn yet anywhere on the island and things just felt a little under-prepared.

In-between our first rite and this one Daisy and Alcina had been model students and had written up the previous rite in their Books of Elfin.  They had taken great care and attention over it and Daisy had written nine pages and Alcina three and a half.  A good start to their magical apprenticeship!

Beltaine for us was postponed until the night of Saturday 1st May.  Daisy arrived at The Mouse Hole at 8pm, thankfully in full bouncy-ness once more after being poorly.  None of us felt particularly energetic though.  We all had a cup of tea and sat around for an hour watching Psychic Sally, yawning and generally feeling lethargic.  All of us mentioned from time to time how tired we felt and that we weren’t going to be doing a long rite as we were all so frazzled.  I envisaged us to be in bed by 11pm – oh how wrong I could be!

Finally we busied ourselves with getting ready.  Daisy and I had 3 minute showers, Alcina had her usual 15 minute shower fiasco The girls donned their faerie wings, set up the faerie altar, lit the charcoal and incense, laid out cake for the faeries and then when everything was set to go at around 10.30pm we came together and held hands to form our faerie circle.  I was still envisaging myself in bed my 11pm-ish.

Then something peculiar happened.  I should have known that Beltaine, Mischief Night would not have let us down.  The giggling began.  I can’t even remember what we were giggling about, but we couldn’t stop, from the moment that faerie circle was cast we didn’t stop giggling until we went to bed long past 1am.  Daisy had learnt her words for sweeping the circle, so she did this brilliantly for the first time.  After she had swept the circle, we could all feel that the energy had shifted.  By the time it came for us to Call the Quarters we felt as if we were in an Aardman Animations episode of ‘Sean the Sheep’.  Right outside my living room window is a small paddock reserved for ewes and their newborn lambs.  Yes, I do live in the middle of a field.  The Middle of Nowhere to be precise.  As soon as we began to come together in our circle we had noticed the sheep were being really noisy.  As Daisy began to call the East Quarter of Air we distinctly heard a sheep fart – I kid you not.  This did not help the giggling situation one bit.  It was then that I realised that noisy dogs and mice were absent from this rite but the sheep had taken over.  There wasn’t a syllable we could utter without a sheep baa-ing or a lamb bleating loudly over the top of us.  Why weren’t they all tucked up in bed with their cotton socks on by now, that’s what I wanted to know?

The casting of the circle amid baa’s and bleats continued as smoothly as could be expected until we invoked the Faerie King Oberon and Faerie Queen Mab into our circle. I suggested that we should invite Puck along too, as is customary on Beltaine.  True to form he carried out Mischief Night to the letter.  We Raised the Power by whispering at first and then gradually getting louder our favourite chant; I do believe in faeries, I do, I do…  Nothing we could do without collapsing into giggles.  We all chanted firstly with sensible whispers holding hands and dancing around in a circle.  Then gradually the silly voices appeared, an opera voice or two broke through and the giggling prevailed.  We were giggling our socks off (not to be confused with the sheep’s cotton ones) and by the time we reached the peak of our power raising we were all holding our sides for aching so much with laughter.  It was as if we had been injected with giggle serum; triple strength.  I wish we could bottle it and put it in the cupboard for emergencies.

As we hadn’t been very organised prior to our ritual we decided to celebrate Beltaine by following a pathworking.  I chose The White Faerie Mare’s Spiral (page 166 of my book Faeriecraft if you would like to follow it yourself).  Since before the beginning of our Daisy Faerie Ring daisies had cropped up everywhere in our lives, but especially in Daisy’s, that’s why we had had no trouble in finding a name for our faerie ring and Daisy had her magical name waiting for her too.  Things had not calmed down in the daisy-department on the formation of our faerie ring and we were all continuing to discover daisies everywhere threading their way through our lives like an enchanted daisy chain leading us to the most magical experiences.  The pathworking was no exception.  As you will see, if you have this pathworking in front of you there are daisies in it.  You are asked to make a daisy chain from the hundreds of daisies growing in the white faerie mare’s meadow and then put the chain around the mare’s neck as a gift to her for carrying you throughout the meditation.

Daisy and Alcina had frantically looked up the magical and folkloric meaning of daisies when we were forming our faerie ring and what they discovered was quite revealing.  A magical meaning for a daisy is ‘innocence, loyal love, I’ll never tell and purity.  The girls and I all felt that these were all qualities that a teen faerie ring of faerie priestesses should aspire to and hold true.  The daisy is our emblem, which in this faerie ring anyway we would like to think we strive to keep those watchwords central to everything that we do.

Serious stuff aside; Puck was playing havoc with our pathworking.  Daisy was being prodded in the side by two invisible fingers, making her nearly jump out of her skin every couple of minutes.  I felt someone constantly looking over my shoulder trying to put me off reading the pathworking.  We all experienced mischievous prodding, poking and some of us hair pulling throughout the meditation time.  This obviously led to giggling of the explosive kind as we were ticklish.  Everything became funny, ridiculous and concentration was variable.

Prior to the forming of the faerie ring I had felt slightly concerned that the energy raised in a ritual setting would be too deep for young teens and that they would be jumping in too soon at the deep end.  However, my fears have been unfounded as Daisy and Alcina bring along with them to the rites their own light and bubbly energy.  It is a fantastic experience for me to feel a part of faeriecraft growing and emerging into the future.  The energy that they bring is completely different to that of an adult faerie ring and I feel that it is faeries’ way of introducing them gently to magic of a fey kind.

Once the pathworking was complete and we all felt pretty mellow and blissed-out by now the girls had wanted to learn how to send healing.  We lit a white candle for someone we knew that was really poorly and visualised golden light being sent to them. I said a few words asking this person to become weller.  This sparked off a lively discussion about whether ‘weller’ was a word or not, which of course it isn’t but I was feeling particularly silly.  Puck’s fault.  Naturally Paul Weller cropped up a few times in my defence.  Giggles prevailed.  Sheep baa-ed.  The situation was quickly becoming surreal.  Puck’s fault again.

Then came a spell for protection.  There has been a recent spate of thefts on our island concerning oil being taken from domestic oil tanks.  Neither Daisy’s house or The Mouse Hole had yet been burgled of oil, so we took our chance to set up protection.  We visualised a well-practised protection spell of mine by imagining our oil tanks encircled in a protective light and then elven sentries permanently marching up and down around our respective oil tanks.  These protection spells can last for years and you can strengthen them now and again by re-visualising the elven sentries from time to time.  Job done.  It was time for cake.

Daisy and Alcina used their wands to consecrate the cakes (faerie cakes that Daisy had made with pink icing) and apple juice.  You’ll not be surprised to learn that we all had another fit of the giggles.  Can’t remember why.  Maybe Alcina sparked it off when with a flourish of her wrist with a real sense of drama, flicked most of the contents of our wooden chalice of apple juice all over the carpet.  None of us cleaned it up either; we simply sat holding our sides and tried to straighten our faces as they were hurting so much from laughing. 

The time came to bid farewell to the Faerie King and Queen who went quietly with no fuss, unlike Puck who made rude protestations with his fingers, waggling them while poking his thumb up his nose as he did a silly walk out of our circle.  We didn’t want him to go.  It feels a long time until next Beltaine when we will invite him again.

Once our circle was banished we had hot cross buns with melted brown sugar and cinnamon with Lady Grey tea to earth ourselves after all the silly faerie giggles.  We felt on a high and the giggling didn’t calm down for quite a while.  We knew once we were finishing the last dregs of our tea and no one had said anything to each other for ten minutes and we were all staring into space that it really was time for bed.

2nd May 2010

As is usual after a faerie rite I slept like a log last night.  We all woke up late and the day looks like it is going to be a lazy kind of one.  Daisy says that Sunday is her sleeping day.  Wisdom I think which should be shared.  The apple juice stain still hasn’t been mopped up and Psychic Sally is on the TV again.  Daisy and Alcina are calling me to come and watch it with them. 

Our next faerie rite will be Saturday 29th May, so catch up with us again to hear how the next rite of the Faerie Daisy Ring unfolds.  Daisy and Alcina will be meeting once a week to plan for that ritual, so I hope to give you updates from those.

Now Daisy has announced that as tomorrow is Bank Holiday Monday that is, she says opportunity for another sleeping day.  Hold that thought…

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