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

 

GUEST POST: If you want to live a life enchanted, by Demi Morgen-Fox

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!

Demelza Fox in the woods
The Priestess and Mermaid, Demi Morgen-Fox, in human form.

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.

***

11016563_776586330707_465270718_nDemi 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.

Brighid’s Blessings; the Spirit of Brighid Conference 2015

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 🙂

CALL FOR MODELS: Healing Hearts

Something I’ve come to realise is that I paint more lifelike pictures when I paint from reference pictures than when I paint from memory. It is surprising that someone as bright as I am would take so long to work out something that I’ve been straight-out-told since primary school, but there you go. (I think perhaps it is less that I didn’t realise this and more that I was too stubborn to accept it.)

My attempts at creating reference photos of specific poses to use for the Healing Hearts oracle, however, are rather unsatisfactory!  For example:

This, then, is a plea for help! Or an invitation to add ‘model’ onto your CV, however you’d prefer to look at it.

I’m looking for people in Aberystwyth (or Lampeter, though we’ll have to find a space) with a spare hour or afternoon to meet me, in which I’ll ask you to pose (clothed!) so I can create some reference pics for the Oracle deck paintings. In return I can offer you a basic print of one of the paintings that I make from your modelling and your name in the acknowledgements when the deck is finished, if that interests you.

So, consider this your invite to Art Alley Studio… comment below or email me and we’ll arrange a time to play!

Art Alley Studio pic
My humble, slightly sparse studio space now has a table!

UPDATE – Healing Hearts: Y Mabinogi

If you’ve been with me for a while you’ll know I’m in the process of developing a multi-cultural, multi-gendered deity Oracle Deck called ‘Healing Hearts‘. I’ve been wrestling with how to start such a huge project. The crowdfunding fundraiser brought in enough for me to get started with materials, so that’s great, but wasn’t quite enough to support me in the time it will take to make this happen so, sadly, I’ve not been able to do what I’d hoped to and dedicate a day or more each week to working on it exclusively. Cue the combination of gratitude and disappointment that is so familiar in life.

Ready to Paint! At the studio...
Ready to Paint! At the studio…

As a result of the longer stewing time, however, something more fascinating has grown… my many passions are combining in a delicious, bubbling pot and a vast, sprawling, beautiful creation is emerging. And I find myself looking at something so huge and wondering how I can approach it and allow it to support me whilst I bring it into reality… which has lead me to break down Healing Hearts into several projects, starting with a focus on the Welsh stories woven into the land I live upon.

I suppose I should share what I’m talking about!

I have a list of deities that are likely to be included in the final deck, ranging across many cultures, and each culture’s tales are an entire world of magic and meaning, connection and crisis, divinity and drama. To do them justice is a vast work! So whilst I paint the deities that arise, I shall be focussing on specific cultures for several months at a time, weaving through their stories and unravelling the threads so they can be spun into new tales and perhaps shared as theatrical performances. As I live in Wales, I’ve begun with the tales of Y Mabinogi, the mythology of the land. The stories speak to me of our relationship to the land and the environment – important topics right now, given the impending doom that is climate change – and so the four branches of Y Mabinogi and transforming themselves into tales of our connection and disconnection to the land and the wild within our hearts.

As I paint and explore the stories they are weaving themselves into a performance piece… so I’m looking for a venue to share it in next year!

Works in progress rarely look like they'll be any good... raw and unedited, a foundation to be worked upon, not really meant to be shared... but seedlings only grow when given enough light.
Works in progress rarely look like they’ll be any good… raw and unedited, a foundation to be worked upon, not really meant to be shared… but seedlings only grow when given enough light.

I’ve resisted sharing about this because it feels like I’m taking on something far bigger than I should and I worry folk will judge me for being so easily tempted. I’m worried it *is* simply too big and it will fail. I’m worried that I don’t have time and I’m putting myself under vast amounts of pressure if I commit to it.

And I find myself scrawling notes at bedtime, being inspired by conversations, facing open doors. Who am I to deny the magic that leads me forwards? Who am I to turn down the demands of a tale? Who am I to say no to the Muse?

It will all work out. I have faith…

Manifest Your Dreams

Exhibition at the Mulberry BushLast month I facilitated at a retreat in Spain and had my first solo art exhibition… where I sold a painting to someone whose dream it was.

Next month I travel to Budapest to present an aesthetics paper at a week-long philosophy conference, using the funds from the sale of said painting.

Last year I had an essay on Rhiannon published in an anthology, I’ve got short pieces coming out in three books this year and then, in December, Girls and Philosophy comes out – with one of the chapters written by me.

My dreams have always included travelling, teaching, books and art… looks like the magic wand waving has paid off!

Over the last few years, I’ve manifested these dreams for myself (with the support of my fiance and friends). It hasn’t been complicated, but it has been hard work. Here’s my map to success:

1. Decide what you actually want.

Not what you think you might like, but what you actually, really and truly want. Visualise it, feel it in your body, imagine you are living that dream. How does it feel? If it feels right, even if it is scary, then make the choice now that this is what you want. I wasn’t clear on how exactly it was going to look when I saw myself standing, talking to a large room of people on a subject I’m passionate about, on an adventure across the world… but I knew that was what I wanted to happen. So Hungary happens next month.

2. Commit to it.

Fully commit to it. Even if you don’t know the bigger picture. Even if you don’t know the how. Even if you don’t know anything other than this is what your heart desires. Commit to it totally.

3. Step forward.

Open yourself to opportunities. Apply for opportunities that look good. Sign up to mailing lists on subjects related to your desire. When you see an opportunity to manifest your dream; take it. Say yes. Ask for the place on that course, the time-slot on the schedule, the work-placement in your field, the lift to a faraway place. Send off the application to speak at a foreign philosophical society’s conference…

4. Follow up that lead!

Once the door opens and you step through it, follow that white rabbit all the way to the other side of wonderland. Follow up that email, complete the application, write that rough draft and hit ‘SUBMIT’. Then when they say ‘Yes, we want you’, confirm that you’ll be going!

5. Trust the Universe.

Trust it. Don’t dig up the seeds you’ve planted to see if they are growing yet. Follow up on leads, definitely, but don’t poke them till they die. Don’t worry about the How-exactly it will all work out. Let the solution come to you. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t balance your books and explore the possibilities, definitely do that. This may be precisely where the Universe has hidden your key.) Maybe that exhibition that got delayed by two months will be perfectly placed to unexpectedly cover the costs involved…

6. Follow it through to the end.

There’s no point writing half a book if you want to be a novelist. You’re not a world-wide traveller if you hang up your hat after the first trip out. And you probably shouldn’t call yourself a professional artist if no-one ever sees your work. BUT if you finish the manuscript  and get it out there – you’re an author. If you wrangle one trip a year and really explore the places you get to, you’re living the dream. If you get your paintings in a local cafe, you’ve succeeded in gifting the world with more beauty. Don’t give up until you’ve finished it. You deserve more than that! Book your flights and get on the plane, let it take you to your dreams. And while you’re on the way… have a dream about what the next step you truly desire might be…

When I get back, I think I’m gonna get stuck into painting for the Healing hearts Oracle (and my next exhibition.)

***

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