Enchanted Academy – Videos!

A Pixie-led Vlog!

YFM Book Launch PosterAs I know there are a lot of people who can’t make it to the launch (by which I mean most of the world, which is probably for the best as we wouldn’t all fit in the Old Hall!) I thought I’d make a couple of videos to introduce myself and what I’ve written about and… well… I started off trying to stick to some kind of script and then it became very clear that there was little point in doing that! Instead, then, you have a rather candid ramble about what Faeries mean to me and why I think they’re important to us today. Enjoy!

I’ve toyed with various outlines for topics for the introductory talk at the launch and I suspect I’ll find myself doing a similar thing and following the Will’O’Wisps of inspiration rather than a script, which is generally the best way to work with Faery magic. I will probably also read a bit from the book, which you can listen to now if you like?

"Your Faery Magic" Book cover
New Book due out 11th December 2015!!!

I’m getting very excited now, the books have arrived, I’ve booked the room and collected candles (LED) to light the space, the dancers are gathering their wings and the storytellers are preparing their tales…

And I’m looking forward. What is next on this adventure? I wonder if I can offer my work as a workshop again, as I have at events in Spain and in my homeland of Wales… what do you think? Where might be a good home for me to share the Feyhearted path?

 

 

 

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Dancing with the Faeries

I’m very excited to announce that there will be an OFFICIAL book launch on 12th December in my home town of Lampeter. I know it is a long way for many of you but you’re all invited anyway!

YFM Book Launch Poster

I’m both terrified and thrilled. I love the spotlight, I love Faeries (clearly) and I love talking and dancing and having a party. I’m also, honestly, scared all my friends will judge me for being such a fluffy hippy for having an obsession with these magical, mystical, amazing wild beings because, let’s face it, they’ve not had great press. Or rather, the press has been too good, too sweet, too silly. And we don’t value silly enough. In the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft – which I’ve spent many years involved in – I came across a fantastic phrase: “Reverent Irreverence”. The art of making magic through fun. The skill of doing proper, serious, important work with a light heart. The practice of not taking oneself too seriously and thus cultivating the ability to make powerful magic in pixie wings and glitter, whilst still genuinely honouring the spirits that weave within this land.

Working with faeries is often dismissed as not being serious magic, but you and I know that it is. It is very serious. Faery magic is spirit work. It is delving into the core of yourself and finding the wild magics of the heart of nature, because that is what we are. It is seeking truth and finding our own ethics, with a laugh and a whole heap of sparkles (biodegradable sparkles, mind you!).

I’m always nervous that people will look only at the surface, that they’ll see the word “Faery” and dismiss me as lacking in dedication, or without the guts or the brains to do “real magic” or “real work”. So this book launch is more than just an excuse for a party, it is a declaration that I can be a serious, philosophical, hard-working magical practitioner and that working with the Fae is real spirit-work… and that this is not incompatible with glitter. I forget this often myself, so, finally, this is also a milestone. It is the night I stop worrying about taking it seriously and wake up to the fact that I do, and no-one else needs to validate that for me!

This is not a book for those that want fancy occult rituals or deep, secret lore. It is for those who feel like the world could do with a bit more magic, but aren’t quite sure how to find it in their own way… and love faeries as much as I do!

Onwards and upwards, Feylings, onwards and upwards. Now, where did I tuck that glow in the dark wand…

 

Event Details:

Facebook Event!

Poster (PDF)

Saturday 12th December 2015

Old Hall, Old Building, Lampeter University (UWTSD), Lampeter, Wales.

FREE – you are welcome to come to all or some of it. Bring snacks if you wish and a donation for tea/coffee.

“Your Faery Magic” is being released on Friday so on Saturday we’re meeting to celebrate. I will open with a talk on my philosophy of faeries and how we can relate to them from 6pm-7pm ish. This will probably turn into a Q&A session.

From 7pm there will be:

dancing from the ladies of Tribal Unity Wales and for all who wish to
storytelling with Milly Jackdaw and Will Rathouse
book signing (if you like!)
and a faery themed open mic session.

*Note* If you want to do something at the open mic, you can sign up for it at 7:30, and we’ll have it run from 8-9pm (ish)  for them that wish to share something faery (or fantastical) themed… music, stories, poetry, readings from a play, whatever you fancy!

I may even bring my top hat for an appearance of The Goblin Circus if requested!

 

Why I love the Frouds

Clambering the ladder to my attic bedroom, a teenager clutching a box of mystery, I slipped out of the grey day and into a space away from everything. The night was drawing in as I laid the cards upon my bedspread.

 

The Journeyman, The Friends, The Green Woman, Himself.

 

Faery Oracle BoxFinally I’d found a reflection of the world of Faery that I knew. They gathered round, peering over my shoulder, laughter just beyond the edge of hearing. My room felt crowded, full of wild spirits and playful mischief, old wisdom and sacred irreverence. I could feel them there. I could hear them. I was not alone. And I’d come home.

I adore the sweet, sparkly flower fairies. I love the wings and the wands and the sparklefluff that inspires lighthearted smiles.But I’d spent every single one of my (few) years up until then searching the wilder corners of my world for the beings I knew were there… and only sometimes were they sweet and giggling. In these slips of card and ink, in the paintings of Brian Froud I discovered that I wasn’t the only one that encountered both the Sweetlings and the Wild Ones without fear.

As I lay out those cards they spoke to me, just as Wendy Froud’s sculptures and puppetry in The Dark Crystal spoke to my heart and reminded me that there was magic and wonders just beyond the everyday, but even more so. The spirits here were real, they danced around me, sat solemnly in the corners, poked the card patterns I’d made thoughtfully. The Fae Ones, both Wild and Sweet, ancient and ever-young, spoke to me that night, as they do often, and, pointing to those cards, reminded me that I’m not alone.

In the work of the Frouds I saw the magic I have always felt manifested in a way that can touch so many hearts, in a way that can bring a kiss of wonder and delight into lives that need it so. Our world is a hard one, even for those of us lucky ones. We all struggle with a system that is devoid of humanity, let alone magic. We all battle with day-to-day existence that steers us away from our roots in the wild world. But the magic of the Frouds and the artists like them is such that they can open those gateways which the stories tell us are always closing.

The secret is, truly, those gates can never close because they live in each heart touched by magic, touched by wonder."Your Faery Magic" Book cover

The work of the Frouds inspire me, every day, to continue trying to share my
love of the Faery realm, my passion for the Fae magic which we each hold, and my belief that every act of wonder and every moment we choose to move into a good relationship with the spirits of the wild is a step closer to re-enchanting our own worlds. They are part of the reason I wrote my book, “Your Faery Magic,” I want to inspire people in the way they inspired me.

Thank you, dear Frouds, and thank you, Fae ones, for leading me to their work!

 

Moon Books Author

 

Faery Book Release Date!!!

It’s official! Your Faery Magic is on its way!!!*

Release date: 11th December 2015

Ready for pre-order with Amazon now!

This is a book for beginners on the Faery path, it is for those of us who loved the tales of flower fairies but felt more at home with the goblins and dryads, carving our own wands and brewing up our own potions. This is a book for finding your way towards a faery path of your very own. It is the book I wish I had found when I began in paganism, and I hope it will help guide many feet towards uncovering their own relationship to the spirits of nature.

It has been described as gentle and mature, non-prescriptive and fascinating.

This is the official blurb:

“Have you ever felt that you were ‘different’? That the Otherworld was closer for you than it is for other folk? Have you ever wondered how you can tap into the wild, untamed magic of your own faery heart? Then this book is for you. Once upon a time ‘Fey’ meant both the spirits of the natural world and the nature of those humans that were in touch with that magic in themselves; the seers, the spirit workers, the ones who walked between. This is your guide to finding that Fey magic which sings in your heart. Through this book you will meet your guide, visit faeryland, learn about the beings of the faery worlds and develop your own faery craft to work in harmony with the power and cycles of the earth by unlocking the nature of your Fey spirit. Time for you to become the Fey you truly are.”

I’m SOOOOO excited!!!

*happydance*

*I’ve been offline since moving house… and the release date, book cover and advance copies all arrived whilst we were offline! So technically this news is a little late, sorry!

Pixie Kisses 8 – Song of the Fae

This is the first of a series of suggestions for re-enchanting your life, one pixie kiss at a time. The introduction is here, and you can watch the path unfold here.

***

This week, take your camera for a walk.

Pick a day when you have an hour or two to wander and go for a walk. In the Northern Hemisphere it is still cold this time of year, so respect the powers of Jack Frost and wrap up warm… and go out anyway.

Look around you.

Breathe in the beauty of the world.

Notice the little pieces of nature that peeks through the cracks in the pavement, or the majestic sweep of tall buildings, or the charming creepiness of abandoned buildings. Notice the expanse of sky above, or the crumbling stone beneath your feet. Notice the smells and sights and sounds, and take pictures. Really focus on the world around you.

Opening to the world opens you to the layers of magic in the world, the realms which lie just below sight, just below the obvious.

Open to beauty, open to noticing, open to wonder.

Use your camera to focus your self on the world… and open to the possibility of the Fey beings that surround you. The conscious blueprints of nature, the souls of the world.

If everything is a vibration, and vibration is sound, can you feel, in your bones, in your heart, the song of the Fey?

 

Invite your Faery guide to join you as you wander and wonder. Be open to their presence. See what happens.

 

When you get home, I’d love to see your pictures, hear your stories… come play in the garden, if you’d like to, leave me a footprint in the comments.

 

 

***

I will be posting Pixie Kisses, small steps you can take to re-enchant your world, here, once a week for the next four months. Take them and play with them. Let the ideas inform your work and play. Find them under the category “Pixie Kisses”.

And, if you wish, you can join us on Facebook in the Enchanted Grove for sharing and discussions on the enchantment you find!

Beltane Eve ~ A memory

Wood smoke coiling overhead, melding with the music dripping from a flute as the pagans file down to the sacred site. Beltane eve, invited to the enchanted realm… roses twining around us, scarlet and ivory blossoms declaring the edge of our world and theirs… a time of no time, a place of no place.

The Queen arrives, carried by emerald mists, a smile upon her elfin lips, with unusually long fingers gently blessing each waiting crown.

“Leap.” She commands. “Whatever you are dreaming of, whatever wishes you brewed in the darkness of the year, step into that realm now.”

“The power of the earth rises now. The veil between our worlds thins now. The door opens for you to enter, now.”

In our circle, our grove, our sacred temple, she embraced her consort. The Queen of Faery and her King met in the mists of Beltane and their passion blessed each waiting heart with the courage and conviction to follow their dreams and the power to make them come true.

This is the true gift of The Faery Queen at Beltane; a glimpse into her world in which power comes from within and passion can be ridden into reality, and the understanding that follows of how to carry enchantment with you from that world into our own…

 

Originally posted by Moon Books, who will be publishing my upcoming book “Your Faery Magic” later this year…

Pixie Kisses 7 – Daily Rituals

This is the first of a series of suggestions for re-enchanting your life, one pixie kiss at a time. The introduction is here, and you can watch the path unfold here.

***

As children we already knew what it meant to be enchanted, to find wonder in every moment, to see the world around us as alive. Because of this we could wish upon a star each night, and have our wishes come true.

Something you may choose, to bring some of the enchantment back into daily life, is to consciously reintroduce some of the acts which encouraged a playful, wonder-filled outlook. Think back over your childhood, what rituals did you have that might fit into your life now?

Perhaps you wished on the first star each evening, or left a mouthful of every drink for the faeries. Perhaps you had a rhyme for luck, or a lucky charm you carried with you.

These are not actions of superstition, but rituals you can enact on a daily basis, consciously, with the intention of bringing magic into your life. Choose the rituals which you feel focus on the wonderful in the world, and re-adopt them as daily spells for enchantment.

Let every moment have the potential to be enchanted, and use those tools of wonder that already live deep in your bones…

 

***

I will be posting Pixie Kisses, small steps you can take to re-enchant your world, here, once a week for the next four months. Take them and play with them. Let the ideas inform your work and play. Find them under the category “Pixie Kisses”.

And, if you wish, you can join us on Facebook in the Enchanted Grove for sharing and discussions on the enchantment you find!

Book Review: Way of the Faery Shaman

Way of the Faery Shaman cover image
Way of the Faery Shaman by Flavia Kate Peters

Due to my obsession with the Fae, I read a lot of Faery books, so when I had the opportunity to read and review this one, of course I said yes.

This is a really sweet introduction to Faery spirits, with a strong emphasis on the elementals which are a really good place to start in magical working with the Fae. I really enjoyed Flavia’s sharing of personal stories which give a flavour of what it is like to work with these spirits.

My only reservation is the same issue I have with most Faery books, it is that I disagree with her premise that the Fae are all our kin in sweetness and light. Yes, many of them want to work with us and help us, but that isn’t necessarily always the case, now or historically. There is a long history of the Fae stealing children, spoiling crops, drowning lovers and generally causing mayhem. However, the benefit of books that ignore those aspects is clear – Flavia directs her readers very firmly to that spectrum which contains those spirits that do like humans, and avoids those Fae who do not want to work with us. (I’ll post more about this topic some other time…)

So with the caveat that I’d like people to be aware that there is something to beware of when working with spirits, the exercises and stories contained within this sweet book are a really lovely way of getting in touch with those helpful elemental spirits. Flavia has clearly spent years in relationship with them and speaks from experience and I really appreciate that she shares that direct working knowledge here.

This is a book that contains lived experience and a great deal of beauty, not a compilation of other people’s information. If you are of a Seelie disposition, want to learn more about elemental spirits from someone who clearly has a deep connection with them, and enjoy a smile as you do so, this book is for you.

Way of the Faery Shaman by Flavia Kate Peters

Author standard

Pixie Kisses 6 – Yourself

This is the first of a series of suggestions for re-enchanting your life, one pixie kiss at a time. The introduction is here, and you can watch the path unfold here.

***

Who are you?

Who do you dream of being?

To be enchanted without becoming lost it is key to know your own heart, the centre of your self, the home of your soul. So now we turn from the space around us, and the beings that are our allies, and the enchantment already in the world, to face our own selves.

There are entire libraries on this subject, legacies, traditions and stories galore. I actually have a book coming out later this year with Moon Books publishing (I’m very excited!!!) on Faery Magic, begins with getting to know your own self in the context of enchantment and Faery Magic…  and some of the foundational ideas which have guided me so far.

It is simple, in truth, and yet we are complicated creatures, layered within and without with stories and ideas and labels we don’t always realise we hold.

 

So I offer this very simple suggestion: take some time to explore what is in your heart right now.

Sit and breathe gently, use the meditative exercise I outlined in the fifth Pixie Kiss (link) only set your intention to see what is in your heart. Ask yourself the question: who am I?

Draw a heart shape on a piece of paper and begin to fill it with all the things you feel you hold in yourself right now. Qualities, labels, stories, images, feelings, desires…

When you are done, take a deep breath, and relax as you breath out.

Now begin to fill the space around the heart with those things you’d like to bring near yourself, closer to your heart.

And again, when you are done, breathe in deeply, and breathe out the tension and extra energy you are holding. Let yourself relax, and come back to awareness of where you are physically.

You can ask your ally to watch over you if you like.

Give yourself a break, ground, take notes if you need to. Leave the piece of paper in a safe place for at least an hour or two, then come back and look it over. See if anything surprises you or if there are patterns.

 

I’d encourage you to seek out other self-exploratory techniques, if you don’t have some under your belt already, and to really begin to explore what is in your heart, who you are.

 

 

Some things to ponder, without judgement if you can:

What does enchantment mean to me?

Why am I interested in bringing more of this into my life? Into the world?

What are my expectations around this path of enchantment?

Why am I drawn to the Fae?

What are my patterns of thought?

What are the connections between who I am, and how I would like to be? If they are different, what is stopping me from moving from one to the other, and why do I want to be other than I am?

***

I will be posting Pixie Kisses, small steps you can take to re-enchant your world, here, once a week for the next four months. Take them and play with them. Let the ideas inform your work and play. Find them under the category “Pixie Kisses”.

And, if you wish, you can join us on Facebook in the Enchanted Grove for sharing and discussions on the enchantment you find!

Response Time!

I was having a wander around online last week and I came across a video, which I didn’t know existed, following the development of a piece I made for a project called Response Time last year. Response Time is a fantastic project that was launched in Aberystwyth by Scriptography Productions, and has since travelled to other spaces in Wales. It involves a set period of time, normally 48 hours, in which artists, writers and performers are invited into a space to create performance art in response to the art and the space, which is shown on site at the end of the 48 hours. It leads to some excellent work, and inspires some powerful magic in those that join in. For a start, it proves that you can make art with only a limited amount of time. It also encourages new ways of looking at art, spaces and possibilities. There is no time to worry, overwork it or lose interest. There is no time to over think it, only time to create and let it loose into the world.

There are several pieces I’ve made for Response Time that I would love to develop further, but even if I never do they have all given me a great deal of confidence and informed my way of working deeply! Anyway, I thought I’d share the video I found, so you can get a glimpse of some of the work I do (and how excited I get about things…)

Project Response: Transitions Hayley Addis from Ian Smyth on Vimeo.

The piece I ended up making in the event I talk about here was a video, which you can catch a glimpse of here. I visited the gallery on the Friday evening, filmed everything on the Saturday and then edited it together that night as I had rehearsals most of the Sunday. The sketch book I talk about was present for people to look at as well, but ended up being a mostly unseen artefact – which is interesting in itself for a performance art-work.

Now… I wonder if the video I made exists online somewhere too! It disappeared from my computer shortly after the event…

 

(Video made by Ian Smyth, who documented that weekend and filmed the footage which I edited together into my video-art!)