Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Plant your own Faerie Garden in Kindred Spirit Magazine

This current issue features my article on creating a faerie garden and gives detailed instructions for making an ideal habitat for the fae. Packed with interesting articles and information.
Available through selected stockists and from

Thursday, 2 April 2015

North Devon's own Faery Fayre and Ball
 takes place on Sat 18th July 2015 
at Clovelly Village Hall in North Devon

Entrance to the Fayre is free!
Fayre Ball 7-1am

This is a one day fundraiser for The Small School in Hartland Devon.
Stalls, workshops, entertainment.
 Five bands plus Bollywood dancers will perform on stage at the Faery Ball.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Spring solstice, the eclipse and the supermoon

Friday is the Spring Equinox; traditionally the first day of spring, there 
will also be an eclipse and a supermoon!
There are two equinoxes every year, one in March  which will fall on the 
19th, 20th or 21st, and one in September, when the sun shines 
directly onto the equator and the length of the night and day is nearly equal.
Equinox and solstices are opposite  on either side of the equator, in the 
northern hemisphere the March equinox is known as the spring equinox while  in the south it is known as the autumn equinox.
The word equinox derives from the Latin meaning "equal night", but the 
equinoxes don't have exactly 12 hours of daylight.

This is always a time of new beginnings and rebirth, and many celebrations are
 held around this time like Easter and Passover. Witches and Pagans celebrate 
the spring equinox as it signifies the coming of spring. This is a lesser Sabbat, 
a solar festival, which fall on the solstices and equinoxes. The spring equinox is
 known as Ostara.

 The other lesser ones are the winter solstice, summer and autumn. 
The greater sabbats are of course Imbolc , Beltane, Lammas and Samhain.
The changes that happen at this time of year are attributed to the increasing power 
of the Gods and Goddesses which are personified as The Green Man and Mother Earth. 
The Green Man was born from Mother Earth in the winter and lives until Samhain.

The solar eclipse refers to a phenomenon where the sun and moon line up, so that 
the latter obscures the former. On Friday 20th the longest duration of  this eclipse 
will be 2 minutes and 46 seconds if viewed off the coast of the Faroe Islands. 
The next total solar eclipse will be on August 12th 2026. 

There are many superstitions and folklore surrounding  an eclipse , it is
 believed that  it brings  death, destruction and disasters.

A popular misconception is that solar eclipses can be a danger to pregnant women
 and their unborn child. In many cultures, young children and pregnant women 
are asked to stay indoors during a solar eclipse.

In many parts of India, people observe fasts during one due to the belief that any
 food cooked while an eclipse happens will be poisonous and impure.

Not all superstitions surrounding solar eclipses are about doom. In Italy, for example, 
it is believed that flowers planted during a solar eclipse are brighter and more 
colourful than flowers planted any other time of the year.

A Supermoon, or perigee moon, happens when the full or new moon does its 
closest fly-by of the Earth, making it look bigger than it normally does. 

There are many myths  surrounding the moon, it has always been regarded 
as a source of power especially for women with whom it is most associated. 
It is regarded as a source of fertility and has been since earliest times, it was
 even thought that women could be made pregnant by moonbeams and women 
who desired to have a child would sleep under the light of a moon.
In previous centuries it was believed that a child born at the full moon would 
never be healthy and would be liable to moonstruck madness otherwise 
known as insanity.

In modern witchcraft the moon is the source of the witches power, drawing this 
down from the sky and the lunar phases  governs all manner of magical tools, 
the summoning of spirits, the preparations of charms and remedies and of 
course the casting of spells.
The Goddess worshiped by modern day witches is associated with the moon, her 
mate is the Horned God of the woodlands, he represent the beasts of nature and 
the horned moon, he is also the lord of life, death and the underworld. 
Born at the winter solstice,  marries the Goddess at Beltane and then dies at the 
summer solstice as a sacrifice to life.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Knot Magic

Knot magic has been used for centuries from the Romans to the Egyptians and 
throughout Europe and Africa. Belief in knot magic even predates this! 

It was believed that Isis the Egyptian goddess could control the weather by 
braiding or unbraiding her hair, she could also influence mortals lives by 
using knot magic. 
The Greek goddess Circe was also associated with knot magic, by braiding knots 
into her hair she could control the forces of nature, this is probably why she is
known as the goddess of agriculture. 

The most common reason for the use of knot magic is to control the weather, sailors 
were most adept at this form of use, if they came becalmed while at sea they
 would just untie a knot to release the wind. They would purchase these knotted 
cords from the local witch before embarking on their journeys
 The following was recorded 1350  by Ranulph Higden: ‘In the Isle of Man 
witchcraft is exercised much, for women there be wont to sell wind to the shipmen 
coming to that country, as included under three knots of thread, so that they 
will unloose the knots like as they will have the wind to blow.’
The release of one knot brought a gentle, southwesterly wind; two knots, a strong 
north wind; and three knots, a tempest. 

In Scotland witches used to raise the wind by dipping a rag in water and beating
 it thrice on a stone, saying: 

“I knok this rag upone this stane
To raise the wind in the divellis name,
It sall not lye till I please againe.”

Knots can be found in Celtic art, for example the ‘shield knot’ which appears on 
shields. The shield shape with knots has continued to be used as a powerful symbol 
of protection. It is believed to ward off illness and bad omens. A design with thick
 strands with tight intertwining patterns, often with some squared-off edges,
 emanates a strong, impenetrable barrier. The thick strands evoke the 
image of a strong, unbreakable chain.
Sometimes found on the architecture of ecclesiastical buildings to stop evil 
spirits from entering. 
One of the most well known use for knot magic is the witches ladder.
A witch's ladder or sometimes known as witches garland is made of rope and feathers. 
Charms are knotted or braided with specific magical intention into the cords. The 
number of knots and nature of charms varies with the intended spell.

A witches ladder was found by chance in 1878 when workmen broke into a secret
 room in an old house in Wellington, Somerset, that was being demolished. Inside 
they found a witch’s ladder, an armchair and six well used brooms. The ladder, which
 is now in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, is a length of knotted cord with feathers
 woven into it and would have been used to cast spells, usually a death spell.  
Strangely enough the room, situated in the roof space, was inaccessible from the 
main house. According to many, witches were able to fly by anointing themselves with
 ointment made of the fat of young babies, hemlock, aconite, poplar leaves and soot. 
(obviously the reason for the well used broom-sticks!)
A similar thing called a witches garland is used in Italy, the ladder was made of 
cord, and contained black hen feathers. The curse or spell was uttered as each
 knot was tied in and the item was placed under the victim's bed, to cause the ill
 fortune or death.
There are regional variations as well, in Cornwall for example the ladder is made 
from black wool, with white and brown thread, and at every two inches it was tied 
around cock's feathers. The witch would  weave into it the aches and pains and other 
nasties intended for the victim, as part of the incantation the finished ladder would
 be taken to Dozmary Pool on Bodmin moor and cast into the water. As the bubbles
 rose to the top of the pond the curse would be released.
The only way to break this spell was to find the cord and untie each knot.

The modern day witches ladder is usually made from cord with 40 knots in it or 
a string of 40 beads, other items can be knotted in depending on the type of spell.
They can be used for a variety of reasons such as pain relief, love enchantment, 
ensuring safe travel when starting on a journey or just bringing a calm and peaceful
 atmosphere to a troubled environment. 
Certain incantations are spoken as each knot is tied and the witches energy is 
stored in the knots. This will enable her to concentrate on the chanting and focusing
 her will on the desired effect without having to keep count.
The cord is as a type of "storage cell" for the power. The first knot is tied at one end, 
with the words "By knot of one, the spell's begun." At this point, chanting or 
meditation is appropriate until you feel it is time to tie another knot.

By this knot of one the spell has begun.
By this knot of two it comes true.
By this knot of three it must be.
By this knot of four it’s empowered more.
By this knot of five the power thrives.
By this knot of six this spell I fix.
By this knot of seven ’tis manna from heaven.
By this knot of eight it is my fate.
By this knot of nine my desire is mine

Once you have finished tying, you can either untie one knot a day for next nine days,
 cut each knot, throw the whole cord into moving water, burn or bury it. 
 Tie the second knot at the opposite end of the cord.

All the energy that you have put into the knots via chanting, meditations and spells
 etc will be stored in the knots.
The knots must be released in the order they were tied.
Coloured threads can also be included in the knot magic, different colours have
 different meanings so can be used depending on the type of spell you wish to 
make or the required 

White: Purity, truth, spirituality, peace.
Black: Stealth, banishing, protection from negativity.
Red: Strength, passion, courage.
Blue: Intuition, tranquility, emotion, healing, patience.
Green: Money, prosperity, fertility.
Orange: Stimulation, vitality, energy, adaptability.
Yellow: Mental acuity, intelligence, study, confidence.
Brown: The earth, home, stability.
Gray: Neutrality, cancellation, walking between two worlds.

Knot magic to rid yourself of negative energy.
(You can do this as necessary)
All you need is a cord of any length. When you are having negative emotions or feel 
threatened, visualize it in front of you and hold the cord out straight in front of you
 and chant:

I bind all negativity with this cord
I command you to halt
With this cord I hold you and bind you
You can no longer harm or bring me ill.

Then tie the cord into a simple slipknot as you speak, imagining it around the negativity
 and holding it tightly. Then let the stress and bad feelings flow out of your body 
into the cord.
When you are feeling calmer later that day or even the next, you can untie the knot 
and let the energy dissipate.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Faerie Mugs

New range for 2015
Faerie Mugs

The Four Seasons

Image on one side with text on the other, of a bright coloured mug.

The Rose Butterfly Faerie image wraps around the mug

All mugs are £8.00 each plus £2.00 p&p

available on my facebook page or email

A bit of trivia for the 24th of Feb

This is St Mathias's Day, the thirteenth apostle, who was chosen to replace 
Judas Iscariot after the death of Christ.
He was beheaded with an axe and so is the patron saint of carpenters and 
wood cutters.
According to traditional weather proverbs frost on this day will last for
 anything from a month to two weeks.

Also on this day in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII announced that the Roman Catholic 
world would convert to using the new Gregorian Calender.

In 1920 Nancy Astor became the first woman MP to sit in the house of commons 
and it was on this day that she made her maiden speech; the first woman 
ever to do so.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Moon Magic

Casting spells at certain phases of the moon is held to be an 
important part of spell casting, ie full, waxing or waning. 
However it is not impossible to cast spells at any time of the lunar
 calendar; it is just some phases are more powerful than others 
and will give your spells more oomph!

Full Moon: when it is visible lit up in its entirety. These moons have 
been given various names by different cultures and the full moon 
of this month is known as the Quickening Moon, Storm Moon and Ice Moon.
This phase is ideal for focusing on knowledge,love, money, 
protection, and improving your psychic powers.

A Spell for the full moon.

Go outside when the moon is at its fullest, have no light except for that which comes from moon. Look up to the heavens and declare your wish-es, meditate on it and examine the reason behind your wish, if it pure and unselfish. Visualise the wish coming true.
When complete give an offering to the moon, wine perhaps or cider or even some flowers.
“Lunar Goddess, look and see
What I give to thee
I offer this to thee
With a free  and open heart
With a wish that I hope you see
Comes from my heart
Filled with light and love”

Place the offering in the moon light.

It has always been believed that the full moon made people crazy, being 
associated with sleepwalking, suicide, fits of violence and for transforming
 into werewolves!
In the 18th century people arrested for violent behaviour could use in their 
defence that they were influenced by the full moon thus gaining a lighter 
sentence. The patients of Bethlehem, a notorious psychiatric hospital, were 
shackled and flogged as a preventative measure during the full moon.
 In fact the word lunatic comes from the roman goddess of the moon Luna.

Waxing Moon: when it is increasing.
Produces a creative and nurturing energy

Healing Poppet
(Positive magic is done under a waxing moon)
First make a lifelike figure in white cloth or felt, and if possible, try to 
add some material from a garment of the recipient. Stuff the doll with 
calendula, lavender,rosemary, lemon balm, feverfew, ivy and pine, add 
some of their hair, nail clippings, saliva etc, a photo can be added if 
you have one. Then place either a rose quartz, clear crystal, bloodstone 
or turquoise inside the poppet as near to the heart as possible. Then 
seal the doll. If the intended is recovering from surgery make an incision 
in the appropriate place.
Life must be breathed into the doll using a straw to blow into the poppet’s
 mouth saying:

‘Though separate you were,
Now you are one,
The link of unison has begun.

The poppet must then be named:

‘Image of health, thy purpose is healing (or love)
I give you the name of.............
Their body is your body
Their health is your health
I proclaim you one.’

Light a candle and visualize the person healthy and full of life, remember 
it is your strength of will and intent that is the most important part of the spell.
 Chant three times: 

‘Herbs of healing 
The body is free of pain
The soul is free
The mind is free 
whole and healed
With harm to none
My will is done
So mote it be!’

There are different views of what to do next with the pop-pet; bury the doll
 prior to sunset on the same day, pull the poppet apart and destroy it 
completely or give it to the intended recipient. I think you have to be 
guided by your own instincts on this.

In some parts of Britain it is belie
ved that if Christmas falls on a waxing moon the following years harvest will be good.

Waning Crescent Moon

Waning Moon: when it is decreasing.
This period is associated with banishing and destructive energy.

A spell to banish problems and negative energy.
You will need a candle, paper,pen and matches.
Write  all of your negative feelings, problems, names of trouble-some 
people onto the paper by the light of the candle. Seal the pa-per with 
candle wax and visualise to yourself all the problems you hold in your 
hand. Set a match to the paper and as the flames burn the paper and 
the problems imagine all of the issues just disappearing into ash and smoke.

In the south west of England it is said that if a boy is born on a
 waning moon that the next baby will be a girl.

Blue Moon:There are thirteen moons in one calender year, owing to the 
fact that a complete lunar cycle takes 28 ½  days, so you will usually see 
one full moon every month. However, every few year in one month you
 will see two full moons, one at the beginning of the month and the other 
at the end. The second is referred to as the Blue Moon; remember the 
saying “ once in a blue moon”
This phase is considered to be a very powerful  time for magic and 
casting spells. The next blue moon is the 31st July 2015.

Blue moon spell
You will need a blue candle, myrrh oil and a black marker.
Annnoint you candle with the oil, bless and concecrate the candle. Write 
your name and your wish on the candle. Hold the candle in your hand 
and visualise yourself surrounded by blue light which engulfs the candle.
 Light the candle and meditate about your wish until the candle burns out.

Black Moon: One month in a year will also have two  moons, the second is
 referred to as the black moon. These occur less frequently than the blue 
moon and again it is a very powerful time for spell casting and excellent 
for meditation and  protection spells.

Black Moon Spell to bring balance.
You will need 3 black candles
Small round mirror
Cauldron or fireproof bowl
Clove, mugwort, bloodroot, wormwood.
Sit in a darkened room and place the mirror in front of you, place one
 candle at the top of the mirror and the two other candles either side of it.
Place the cauldron on top of the mirror and sprinkle the herbs in and 
around it. Light the candles. Take a few deep breaths and start to examine 
the darker side of your nature and ask your guides for help in confronting 
Then write on the paper the results of your meditation, it doesn’t matter 
if it makes no sense as long as you know what you mean. Light the paper 
and drop it into the cauldron, as it burns and the smoke drifts up and 
away say to yourself “ with the darkness of the moon I see the darkness 
within. With this light I banish the dark, now my life is full of light
 and balance.”
Let the candles burn down completely as you visualise all the darkness 
vanishing from the room: instead of the dark you are now filled with light.

There is an old saying that a baby conceived on the night of the 
black moon will be a girl.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Enchanted Market
7th and 8th Feb
Free Market
 Sat 10-6
Sun 10-5
Free music during the day
Tickets required for the live music on Saturday evening
Featuring The Dolmen and Spriggan Mist

Speakers including
David Wells,

 Peter Grey and Rachel Patterson

Garth Hill College, Bull Lane, Bracknell. Berks. RG42 2AD

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Spotlight on new designers

For 2015 I thought I would spotlight a few up and coming designers and artists 
in the UK, all with a faerie twist of course!
Starting with...

The Ivory Dolls

All creations are handcrafted and sprinkled with faerie dust.
Clothing, accessories and tea ware for mori girls, shabby 
chic dolls and faerie lovers.

The Ivory Dolls wonderful creations are all lovingly created by sourcing and 

combining delicate old and new fabrics, antique laces and vintage buttons. 
Providing perfect attire for wandering through mythical forests and having 
tea with the faeries.

For more information on 'The Ivory Dolls' range of clothing and accessories please find contact details below or visit the etsy shop 'The Ivory Dolls'

♥ Facebook -
♥ Tumblr -
♥ Instagram - @theivorydolls
♥ Pinterest -

Sunday, 1 February 2015

1st February Imbolc and the feast of St Brigid

This day is the festival of Imbolc( or Oimlec) which marked the 
beginning of spring in the Celtic calender. It merged with the feast day of St Brigid, the Abbess of Kildare in the late fifth and early sixth century. She was one of Ireland's best loved saints as well as being revered in England and Scotland.

Her feast day is celebrated in Ireland with various traditions, which included the making of rush crosses and the eating of festive fare. And as she is the patron saint of dairymaids and her emblem the cow, many of the festive recipes included milk and butter which would be consumed on  Imbolc Eve, food such as colcannon, sowans, dumplings, barmbrack and bannocks. On this night Brigid was said to visit virtuous households and bless the residents so in thanks some of the food would be set aside for her.

Before the residents retire to bed they would leave items of clothing or strips of cloth ouside for the saint to bless, the ashes in the fireplace would be raked smooth so that in the morning they could look for some kind of mark in the ash that Brigid had visited the house.
The clothing and cloth would be brought back inside and treasured as they believed that it would now have powers of healing and protection.

St Brigid was also suppose to have helped the Virgin Mary give birth to Jesus, so becoming the protector to pregnant women and midwives. She also tended to Mary's cows earning herself the title of 'Christ's Milkmaid.'
In the Highlands on the feast day young girls make the 'Last Sheaf'' of the previous harvest
into images of her which are then laid in a decorated cradle called the 'Brides Bed'.

'This is the day of the Bride
The Queen will come from the mound
This is the day of the Bride
The serpent will come from the hole'

It is believed that on this holy day that  adders would issue forth from their winters lairs bringing spring with them.

'The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground'

This day celebrates the reawakening of the earth and is the time of new beginnings. It is also an opportunity for us to make use of our intuitive energy and inner wisdom which, hopefully, we have gained during the winter months.
It is also the day when Cailleach, the hag of Gaelic tradition, gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. It is said that if the winetr is going to last a good while longer, she will make sure that the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny enabling her to gather plenty of firewood.
( the weather today is bright and sunny, oh dear!)
 This beliefs is supposed to be the forerunner of Groundhog Day in America

Friday, 16 January 2015

Faerie rings:- Ring of fungus which grows in grass or turf.
This is where faeries and witches gather to dance and sing so it can be a very dangerous place to step in unaware.
If you are drawn inside you can only escape the dancing faeries if a human chain pulls you out of the ring. You will lose all sense of time and what might have seemed like minutes could have been hours.
But this is the down side of faerie rings, there are some advantages.
If you run around a faerie ring nine times under a full moon this will enable you to see and hear the faeries, but do not do it on All Hallows Eve or May Eve as these  are very important faerie festivals. They would be very offended and carry you off to faerie land.
If you would like a wish granted you have to stand in the middle of the ring under a full moon and it will come true. How you are supposed to do this without getting caught up in the dancing I don’t know, but give it a go, just remember to take back-up.

There are many mushrooms that form Faerie  Rings, some are edible 
but there are quite a few that are extremely dangerous to eat.
Mostly found in grass but can also be seen in 
Faerie courts, Faerie dances, Faerie walks, and 
Hag tracks are just a few of the names these 
rings have been known as over the years.
Some of the Faerie Rings can grow for many
years and reach enormous sizes, the largest was 
supposed  to have been 650 metres 
across and it was believed to be over 
700 years old.

St Georges Mushroom.
This one forms one of the largest 
Faerie Rings, found in fields on
chalky soil.

Fairy Ring Champignon.
One of the most 
common, forms 
large rings 
especially on lawns.
Appears in early
summer after rain.
In Victorian times it was known
as Scotch Bonnet.

Cream Clot.
Appears later in the Summer
but often grows in the 
same Ring as the above.

Meadow Puffball.
This is found in grassland 
including lawns.

Buff Meadow Cap.
Found in grasslands sometimes 
in open woodlands.

Young girls would often bathe their face in early morning dew to improve their looks, 
but the dew from inside a Faerie Ring would have the opposite effect. 
Their skin would erupt in warts and spots.

Monday, 12 January 2015

How to protect against faeries.....

There are times when you will need to protect yourself against faeries as not all the 
fae are pleasant!
If you are walking at night in places inhabited by faeries carry a cross, especially 
one made of iron. Making the sign of the cross is also effective; carry holy water, 
chant hymns and say prayers as you walk. Carrying or throwing churchyard mould 
in their path will deter them. Alternatively carry bread or salt; something that is 
readily available to all of us; they are both regarded as sacred symbols.

‘For that holy piece of bread
Charms the danger and the dread’

Green moss taken from a mill stream, pouring salt onto the table and saying the 
Lords Prayer three times is also an effective protection.
The ringing of bells will drive away faeries and witches. They cannot abide the
 sound of church bells, it was with the hanging of the first bells in the church on 
Portland, Dorset that caused the large population of faeries to leave the isle. At 
the first peal they were seen fleeing along Chesil Beach.
They were also driven away from Cadbury Castle in Somerset, an old hill fort, by
 the sound of the newly erected church bells nearby. They left so quickly that they
 did not stop to retrieve their horde of faerie gold hidden deep in the hillside.

If you come across faeries on All Hallows Eve, Halloween,, make 
sure you throw some of the dirt from your own footprint after the faeries, it will 
protect you and any mortals that the faeries have stolen  will be surrendered as well.

There are many plants that can be effective as protection against the fae.
Planting bindweed and honeysuckle by your garden gate will keep the more 
malicious faeries out of your garden.
Hanging a garland of marigolds over your doorway will stop evil from entering
 your home.
Lavender will protect against the evil eye.
St Johns Wort is very powerful against faerie spells and will protect against 
demons, witches and evil spirits hence its ancient name of Fuga Daemonum.

‘St Johns Wort doth charm all the witches away
If gathered at midnight on the Saints Holy day
And devils and witches have no power to harm
Those that do gather the plant for a charm
Rub the lintels and the post with that red juicy
No thunder, no tempest will then have the power
To hurt or hinder your house; and bind
Round your neck a charm of similar kind’

To keep off evil spirits pick bramble at the full moon and make a wreath, 
including rowan and ivy. Then hang over the doors to your house; this will 
protect the inhabitants against evil spells.
Hang mistletoe on beams for protection and it was customary to place it inside
 cribs to prevent babies from being stolen by the fae.
Placing daisy chains around your child’s neck will also prevent it being snatched.
Faeries will not hesitate to steal unbaptized children, especially popular are the 
fair haired babies; replacing them with changelings.

Faerie births are becoming rarer and the faerie children are not as healthy as they 
once were, so mortal babies are taken to replenish their stock.
The stealing of children has a more sinister motive in the lowlands of Scotland. Mortal 
babies are used to pay the Devils Tithe which is due every seven years.
I t was traditional to hang an open pair of scissors over the cot or stick an iron
 pin into the baby's clothes, also you could try laying the fathers trousers across the cot.

If being chased by faeries try jumping over running water, especially if it is south flowing.
This will hinder the evil fae and give you time to escape.

Jeanie, the Bogle of Mulgrave Wood, near Whitby. Many years ago one farmer for 
some unknown reason wished to make the acquaintance of Jeanie, who was the 
chief of their family. Once into the wood he found her cave which was set into a 
rocky slope. Calling out to her from the back of his horse”Jeanie! Jeanie! Art a 
theer? Coom out lass, I want a word wi’ thee!” With that there was an awful 
screeching noise from within the cave and Jeanie, Chief of the Bogles rushed out. 
She was the usual size for a bogle, old, wizened and incredibly ugly, her lips pulled 
back from yellowing teeth in a terrible snarl. Jeanie rushed at the farmer brandishing 
her magic wand and was such a fiercesome sight that both farmer and horse turned
 and fled for their lives.
They sped through the trees with Jeanie hard on their heels all the way. In front of them
 lay the stream and the farmer remembered that Bogles could not cross water, so he 
put his heels to the side of his mount and urged the frightened horse to leap the stream.
 But it was not soon enough, just as its hooves left the ground Jeanie’s wand touched
 the horses rump and it was sliced cleanly in two. The farmer fell to safety on the other 
side of the water.
Needless to say he did not bother Jeanie, Chief of the Bogles again.

One of the most annoying traits of faeries is their delight in leading humans astray,
 this is usually called being ‘pixy led’ or ‘pouk-ledden’ in the midlands.

‘This Puck seemes but a dreaming dolt
Still walking like a ragged colt
And oft out of a bush doth bolt
Of purpose to deceive us.
And leading us makes us to stray,
Long winter nights out of the way
And when we stick in mire and clay,
Hob doth with laughter leave us.’

Most faeries are known for doing this but the best known tricksters are the west country
 pixies. One account collected by Ruth Tongue in 1961 from the 
Nettlecombe Women’s Institute tells of an encounter near Budleigh Salterton.
“ I were pixy-led once in a wood near Budleigh Salterton. I couldn’t find my way out, 
though ‘twas there, plain to see. I went all around the wood three times , it was getting 
dark and I had been gone from home for hours. Then somebody coom along to find me, 
and I thought how could I miss the path. They said others were pixy-led there too.”

Turning an item of clothing inside out will break the spell, and you will be able to
 travel safely on your way.

Avoid travelling along the banks of streams and rivers by yourself as there are 
many water fae that will try and drag you beneath the water such as 
Jenny Greenteeth, Peg Powler and the Bean Fionn of Ireland.

There is an old doggerel to warn children of the dangers of straying too near 
to the side of river banks;

‘Make haste and do your errand. Go not nigh
The river’s brink, for there the mermaids lie
Be home at five’

I hope this advice for protecting yourself from faeries will of be use to you, 
although of course I also hope that you do not have to use them too much!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How to attract faeries.....

‘If thou wouldst see faeries’
Take a pint of sallot oyle and put
It in a glasse, first washing it with rose water.
Then put thereto the budds of hollyhocke, 
of marigolds, of young hazle and the tops of
wild thyme. Take the grasse of a faerie throne, 
then all these put into the glasse....
Dissolve three days in the sunne, and 
keep it for thy use.

The best time to see faeries is at dawn, dusk and midnight, but
beware the dawn as the crowing of a cock will drive them away.
Traditionally the best days to see the little folk are 31st Oct Halloween,
May Day, 24th June Midsummer Day, 25th March Lady Day and 
Christmas Day.

Even if you cannot see them you may see unexplained movements of branches 
or leaves, rippling of water when near a stream or lake. Small clouds of dust 
near your feet and feelings of chill fingers on your skin. You may also see 
sudden movements out of the corner of your eye, this can all mean that a
 faerie is near.

The fae are drawn to music and dancing, and to people with a sunny disposition.
 They cannot abide meanness, rudeness and selfishness and avoid gloomy people.
Leaving a small gift of food out for them will be appreciated, grain, barley, milk or
 honey. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look as though the food has been touched as
 faeries extract the essence without physically eating it. The ‘foyson’ as Kirk called
 it or the ‘toradh’ in gaelic. They can take  all the goodness out of cheese, 
butter, bread and bannocks so that it floats in water like a cork!

Keep your house neat and clean if you wish to attract faerie visitors as they 
hate mess. So sweep the hearth for them to dance on and remember to leave
 out fresh water for the faerie mothers to wash their babies with. Forgetting 
this often brings a punishment of some sort, as in the tale of the milkmaid who 
forgot to do so be-fore she went  to bed. She refused to get up when reminded
 so her companion set the water out instead and was rewarded with a silver 
sixpence but she was punished with seven years painful lameness.

One disadvantage of encouraging faeries into your home is their eagerness 
for ‘borrowing’ from humans although it is fair to say they are usually generous
 in repaying the favour. 

Faeries hold to the saying:

All that is yours is mine,
All that is mine is my own.

They will take grain, borrow implements and they will make use of mills and
 fires and the fae are always keen to share their faerie skills with a few chosen 
few mortals that they take a shine to! Their skill in weaving and spinning is
 legendary but in the Isle of Man the  mortals looms  and spinning wheels are 
guarded from the fae at night as they are likely to tangle the skeins and spoil the webs. 
On great gift given to a lucky few was that of music, one family, the MacCrimmons
 a famous family of Scotch pipers, was given the gift of music.

But do not expect to be given anything in return for your welcome into your house
 as you may get more than you bargain for! And it is best not to refer to them directly,
 if you must about them call them the wee folk, good folk, or the gentry. They also
 dislike being spied on, so watching any of their faerie revels or boasting of faerie
 favours will not be appreciated and will often be punished.

Whatever you do, do not give them the gift of clothing, as they will be very offended
 and disappear. This has been well documented over the years, for example a hob 
who was attached to Sturfit Hall near Reeth in Yorkshire worked very hard 
churning milk, making up fires and performing many chores until the mistress of 
the hall took pity on his nakedness and laid out a gift of a cloak and hood. 
On seeing this the hob exclaimed 
‘Ha! A cloak and a hood
Hob’ll never do mair good’
And he vanished for ever.

So good luck, keep an open and welcoming heart and the faeries will come!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Greet the first new moon of the New Year

The next full moon is Jan 5th so greet it when it appears
 (weather permitting of course!) 

'May the light be fair to me
May the course be smooth to me
If good to me is the beginning
Seven times better be thine end
Thou fair moon of the seasons
Thou great lamp of grace
Bring blessings on me and my house'

The new moon is considered to be the most important of its phases,
 especially in Ireland. And its appearance was greeted with a ceremony 
which was believed if not carried out would bring misfortune.
The women of Cork would bless themselves and offer a short prayer,
 'May she leave us in good health.'
Marriage divination was also carried out in the light of the full moon.
In England it was customary to  stand astride the bars of a gate or stile
 ( in Yorkshire they would kneel on a ground fast stone) and say aloud:

'All Hail to the moon, all hail to thee,
I prithee good moon reveal to me
This night who my husband or wife must be'

I believe the idea was that you would dream of your future partner that night.

And to finish an Irish blessing for you!

'May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.'

And for more information about the new moon

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bringing in the New Year

Welcome to the New Year, 2015 already! but it also the seventh day of Christmas
 and everything you do today will influence  your luck in the coming year.

'Take out, then take in
Bad luck will begin
Take in, then take out
Good luck comes about.'

Traditionally the first person to enter a household on Jan 1st must have certain 
characteristics. dark hair, and usually male. He must also bring gifts, usually
 coal and whiskey which will bring luck for the coming year. This tradition in 
Scotland is known as first footing while in the Isle of Man it is known as Quaaltagh.

It is good to give neighbours and friends gifts, a lucky present is an apple stuck
 all over with cloves and holly. In Wales the new year apple is studded with wheat, 
oats and evergreen plants. The usual gift in Scotland for Hogmanay is a three 
cornered oatcake or shortbread with a slice of Yulekebbuck (cheese)
New Years Day is also associated with the making of resolutions as this time
 is ideal for renewal and fresh starts and many of us start the new year with a 
list of good intentions whether they make it past the end of the year or not!
Nothing should be taken out of the home today, not even the rubbish. Do not lend
 fuel or matches or pay any bills otherwise you will lack fire and money during
 the coming year. Doing the household chores were also frowned upon especially
 doing the laundry as it was believed that you would run the risk of washing away 
one of your nearest and dearest.
One of the strangest tradition connected with New Year comes from Wales, it is
 still seen in some of the towns and villages. It is the Mari Lwyd, the grey mare,
a decorated horses skull which is carried about the streets on a pole.

 It is carried to the door of the various houses and pubs where they  engage in
 a series of exchanges in rhyme or song with those inside before being admitted. 
This practice has its origins in the pagan celebrations surrounding the Winter Solstice 
and the cycle of death and rebirth.
However you celebrate today I wish you all the best for the coming year.

'Welcome and merry meet this bright new year
welcome and merry meet to 
happiness, joy, health, and prosperity'