As 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?
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?
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!
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…
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!
Sometimes, other Enchanting individuals write something for us at A World Enchanted and it makes my heart sing to hear how others are re-enchanting the world too. Demi Morgen-Fox, whose work as a Priestess, mermaid and dancer I admire, is a dynamic Faery lady who I have followed for several years as she pumped up the rock in her Priestessing! Demi very kindly wrote this for you to enjoy, and it speaks beautifully of the work of becoming a Priestess or Enchantress. So, welcome to A World Enchanted, Demi!
If you want to live a life enchanted, you gotta show up for it.
My biggest inspiration spirituality-wise is the faery goddess, super-enchantress and all-over badass Morgan le Fey.
I actually first read about her in a book called “Faerycraft” about a decade ago. At that time I was 16 and just totally obsessed with finding a patron goddess. I’d been involved in witchcraft for five years and had decided I neeeeded a patron goddess, otherwise I wasn’t a real witch. Duh. I found Morgen and something about her got me all excited: maybe it was her connection to Avalon, or her wild seductive faery nature, or her thing about walking through the darkness to find the light. Whatever. I wanted her. So sixteen year old me did a ritual to call her in as my patron.
So I waited and I got pretty a big fat nothing. No magic, no dream visitations, no signs, nothing that would signifying that Morgan was paying me attention. I began to think that little rationally about this. Why would hell would I want somebody who is all about the darkness and transformation to be my patron goddess? It sounded like a lot of hard work. Faeries are fickle anyway. Maybe it’s a good thing she never responded.
After a few years, she did start turning up more and more. I’d pray for her for help and she’d hit me up with damn good advice. She’d helped me out with my tarot readings. My obsessive search of her lead me to learn about Avalon, and watch a lot of questionable Arthurian TV dramas. Now she’s there every day.
My big thing is becoming a priestess, zealously devouring anything that can possibly related to priestess stuff. To me Morgana, the Queen of Avalon, land of the sister priestesses, is kinda like a High Priestess goddess. She is a loving teacher and a guide, wise and kind and a little bit pushy. As a Faery Goddess and a Sorceress she teaches us how to experience the world as enchanted, and what that means.
To me so much of the work of being a priestess is connection with the divine. I’m crazy for the word “Yogi” right now – Yoga means Union, so Yogi means one who united. That means being present and showing up to be united. This mean being awake to experience the world around us lit up by the divine, being able to see and feel all the magic and joy and awesomeness that’s available to us every minute.
In our fantasies we see magic and enchantment as something supernatural. It’s has to be a faery rade riding by or something big and flashy with a latin startup, something that would embarrass science with it’s flagrant disregard for physics.
It’s gotta be something special, right? It has to be different than what’s already here because, well, I’m here already so this isn’t special. We’ve gotta be drugged out, tripped out, drunk on something, right?
I don’t think so. Seeing magic is as simple as letting go of all our human mind crap for a few moments being present, showing up for enchantment and magic to find us. Holy CRAP there is so much magic and power and freedom when we just show up for a moment and let it get to us. We’ve just stopped paying attention to something that should be our birthright, our greatest comfort: that the world is and always has been a magical, amazing, enchanted place.
It’s stealth magic. Hiding in plain sight. We don’t even notice it.
How the faeries would laugh at us.
Demi Morgen-Fox is a modern-day priestess of the Goddess, Mermaidenly Lady and lover of all things peanut butter flavoured. She lives over at Rockstar Priestess (www.priestesstraining.com) where she talks and teaches about living life with the Goddess, the pathway of a priestess and how to become your biggest, badassest Mermaid self.
Last week I told tales to about a dozen children for the Chinese New Year celebrations hosted by Lampeter’s Confucius Institute.
First the dragon awoke from his winter sleep, then we learnt why the New Year is celebrated as it is, and why the year of the Goat comes after the year of the Horse. We saw the legendary beast Nian, still running after all these years, and debated whether it was the year of the goat or, instead, the year of the sheep!
Goat years are also known as Sheep years, and are known to give rise to gentler things, to be family orientated and caring. I take it as a good sign that I got to entertain the youngest members of the families at these celebrations (and to hear a story about a squirrel from a budding performer as well!) as the year was at its youngest, and the snowdrops are appearing all around the hills of Wales.
I do seem to be getting in the habit of collecting Chinese animal tales, don’t I? They are great fun and, thankfully, suitable for all ages. I do adore the dark and gruesome fairytales, such as those by Giambattista Basile in Pentamerone, but I’m naturally such a softy that the animal tales children love suit me down to the ground! On my list of tales to explore is a darker fairytale set, which the old, weird, Welsh story of Blodeuwedd, the flower maiden who became an owl, and my favourite Anderson tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ (which inspired my short story in Future Earth magazine) would probably sit quite nicely in, don’t you think? For now, I’m back under the direction of the goblins at The Circus when it comes to stories, we’ve got some work to do polishing up the new acts, they and I!
I do feel like now is a good point to just say thank you. Thank you for reading to everyone who comes across this post. Thank you to everyone who supports me in my endeavours, goblinesque and otherwise. And thank you to the Universe (and notably to the Confucius Institute) for the opportunities to tell tales professionally. I do so love it!
Last weekend, on the waves of Imbolc and the rising spring that washed away the snow, I travelled to Penarth, on the edge of Cardiff, to a Pagan conference dedicated to Brighid as the maiden goddess. It was fitting that she was there, as a Goddess of Inspiration, for the launching of The Goblin Circus as a show.
What is The Goblin Circus, you ask? It is a multi-platform artwork, a world, centring around a one-woman-many-goblin theatrical-storytelling circus show. Which is a mouthful, so I mostly think of it as just ‘The Circus’. It’s online home is growing here…
My friend Wendy and I were escorted to the venue by her partner Mike, and we set up a table for her books and my art/books/oracles/stuff. The talks were fascinating, with topics ranging from the history of Wicca, Gnosticism, the Ogham and “Meeting the Great Anaesthetist” i.e. how we as pagans can live a good life and a good death.
We met lots of people, I spent most of the breaks re-learning how much I enjoy the company of five year old faeries, and then the talks were over and it was time for the room to clear (hunting for food, mostly) and the sound-checks to take over. I bounced on stage to make sure I knew what not to touch whilst I did my thing… and was greeted with friendly, supportive hugs (Damh the Bard had been informed that I was nervous!) and help getting my head around the mic! Blanche Rowan very kindly made sure the mic would be in a good place for me and told me she’d move things back round when they began so I didn’t need to worry about it (and wouldn’t accidentally drop something, not being used to tech on stage!) and I trundled off to find food and breathe very deeply…
7pm rolled around. Folks were settling down for the evening. I straightened my jacket, pulled on my top hat, and stepped into the wings.
The crowd were silent. A friend later described them as “spellbound”. All I could do was share the Circus and take a bow when I had done my fifteen minutes. It felt good,
It wasn’t until there was a break later in the evening that folk told me they’d enjoyed it and I could finally relax. (And it wasn’t until hours later that I realised… no-one had talked over it… I had their complete attention for the entire thing. Now that was an achievement! Also goes to show just how respectful that audience was 🙂 )
Then there was music and dancing! While I danced I let the energy rise, in honour of the gods, in honour of my work, in honour of the community of cauldron-born pagans who supported me, and in a blessing on all these things.
Blanche Rowan and Mike Gulston were enchanting and Damh the Bard was inspiring! He was both talented and kind, even inviting the five year old fairy onstage to dance while he played (her very first gig!) I escorted her into the spotlight and felt very honoured to be her back-up dancer.
Finally the evening wound to a close, we packed up and left, talking the entire journey home.
This was a wonderful space to launch the Circus as a performance, as a circus, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to do so. This was organised as a one off event but I hope, very much, that it returns again next year. In the meantime, I’m looking to take the enchantment of the Goblin Circus on the road this summer… so we shall see what magic the Cauldron Born brings!
On that note, if you’d like the Circus to come to your event, do let me know 🙂
Have you ever heard the voice of a goddess, whispering in your ear to walk with her for a time? To share her story? To guide others through magic into their own tale?
We call this Persephone’s story, but really… is it Kore’s? Is it the tale of who the Goddess becomes, or who she was once, and always will be?
Kore was the daughter of the grain mother. A flower child she played. She was stolen away from her home and forced to face the greatest challenge we know; death. And on entering the underworld, Kore found pomegranate seeds. Bright red jewels. She hadn’t chosen to face the Lord of Death, or enter his home – few ever do – but she did choose to eat the seed of life that comes from death.
No-one else could have found life in the land of the dead as she did. No-one but a child a life could have claimed that crown. She became Persephone, Queen of the Dead, but she is always Kore, daughter of the grain, daughter of the seeds, just a little more grown up.
We live this in our lives. We make choices, face challenges, grow up. But we are still who we have always been, deep down. We still carry the seed we started from. Our genetics, our roots, our childhood dreams shape us and the roles we choose. Even if we choose in opposition to these beginnings…
The question is whether we choose roles for ourselves that allow us to grow, to flourish, to rule over our own lives. How often have we chosen the path of Sovereignity? The path of Queen (or King)?
In an article on finishing things (that final push is the hardest!) I came across a quote that encapsulated an idea which resonates with me so strongly:
“People who’ve never read fairy tales, the professor said, have a harder time coping in life than the people who have. They don’t have access to all the lessons that can be learned from the journeys through the dark woods and the kindness of strangers treated decently, the knowledge that can be gained from the company and example of Donkey skins and cats wearing boots and steadfast tin soldiers. I’m not talking about in-your-face lessons, but more subtle ones. The kinds that seep up from your subconscious and give you moral and humane structures for your life. That teaches you how to prevail, and trust.”
~ Charles De Lint, The Onion Girl
This is so true. When we read stories they seep into our minds, our emotions, our bodies. We journey through the woods with the lost child, we scale mountains with the hero, we fall and we get up. In doing so, our heart is broken open and the light gets in. We allow ourselves to experience those things which we might otherwise protect ourselves from, and rightly so. In doing so we gain experiences to draw on in our everyday life and we are transformed by these experiences.
Aristotle spoke of tragedy as providing Catharsis and we see this role played by media throughout our lives still but, even more than this, we absorb the tales we read, see, hear. We take them to heart and we act them out.
As a child I loved The Little Mermaid. I would spend hours in swimming pools or by the sea pretending to be a mermaid. (And I still feel most me with ruby-red hair!) It is perhaps no surprise that I lost all confidence in my ability to sing when I gave up swimming entirely because, for some inexplicable reason, I became terrified of deep water. I lost my voice when I left the sea. Without realising it, I played out Ariel’s tale in my own life. Healing that fear has coincided with regaining my singing voice. I began working on both these things almost simultaneously and, shortly afterwards, recognised the story I was living that was not mine.
I’ve written a new ending to this tale. A new ending for me. But this is how powerful stories are. We take them to heart. And we can choose the stories we engage in. We can choose to follow the tale of Taliesin’s transformation to deepen our knowledge and understanding, or the Selkie stories to find our way home, or Persephone’s tale to step into our power to change the world.
And so a new story unfolds. The Temple of Tales begins to form, a sacred place where stories touch our lives with magic and we rewrite our lives using the tales we choose.
Welcome to the Temple of Tales, presenting; Persephone and your Power.
Click on the gate above for more information and to discover the link to the giveaway of all four rituals!