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Archive for the ‘07. Otherworldly Enchantments’ Category

Artwork by Amy Brown

Artwork by Amy Brown

She’s been with me for several weeks now, poised gracefully atop my dresser, her gaze focused towards my bed where she watches over me as I sleep.

T had taken me to do a Tarot reading for a friend of his, and the woman and I “clicked”.  Her reading was powerful – not just for her, but for me as well.  A while after, I’d come home from work planning on heading out of town with T for the weekend, and when I arrived, I saw this Faerie on my kitchen table, propped up, so she could greet me as I walked through the door.  Behind her stood my two children, as if their energy was projecting the image in the artwork, making her larger than life.  Next to her, a card from the woman whose reading I’d done… the contents of which made me cry the good kind of tears.  Since then, I’ve chatted with the woman via email in short increments and she’s mentioned several times that she couldn’t wait to hear my reaction to the Faerie, yet I’ve not really shared much with her about that.  There’s reason.

This Faerie reached me in multiple ways and I couldn’t just say, “Oh, she’s beautiful” or “I really like it.”  No, there had to be more… but the “more” factor had to ferment.  I had to think it through.  I had to bond with the Faerie, “listen” to her, “understand” her, so I could relay what she really means to me…. and, by george, I think I’ve finally got it.

My first reaction when seeing her is that she’s a Yule Faerie, a Faerie of the winter.  This was clear to me not only by the colors of her dress and wings, but also by the Holly in her hair.  Let me extend my thoughts on the colors and the Holly.

The color of the base of the dress is a deep red, and red aligns with the Root chakra, one of my chakras that was out of balance according to my last chakra test. Here’s what I’d written about that on June 25th:

“Root Chakra- Under active – this is where my fear and nervousness are coming from.  If I’d like to feel more secure and confident, I should pay some attention to activating my root chakra.”

In the principles of Feng Shui, the color red corresponds with fire and stimulates acceleration, passion, and transformation.

The color, to me, then, represents a “grounding” of sorts, securing roots in fertile ground so their growth can accelerate. Secure roots in fertile ground allow the seed to transform to sprout… and from sprout to blossom.

Green corresponds to the heart chakra, and while mine was in an okay zone at 25% operational, that’s a bit low, really.  Ideally, it should be at 50%.  I’ve been dealing lately with a lot of matters dealing with the heart, so the green wings in this image flutter for me, much like my heart is currently fluttering.  A Faerie doesn’t need wings to fly… the wings are an extension of magick, and for me, that’s relevant in this image.  She’s telling me that my love (regardless of how I think about it, rationalize it, try to hide it, justify it, resist it) is an extension of my magick. Not just romantic love, but the way I love – my love of children, animals, nature, life – and yes, romantic love, too.  My love is an extension of my magick and I should embrace and celebrate that aspect of myself. If I could harness that power rather than fear it, it could raise me to new heights.

Green, according to Feng Shui, inspires new growth – so it’s a suiting color for the roots I spoke of above.  The green is the fertile ground needed for planting those roots.

The white highlights in her dress remind me of purity and innocence, of cleansing and renewal.

As for the Holly in her hair, Holly is known as an herb of protection and dream magick.  Fitting, then, that I’ve placed this Faerie in a location where she can watch over me as I sleep. Holly is also representative of beauty – and beauty is one of the Fairy Oracle Cards I’d been drawing repeatedly, bringing tears to my eyes each time I saw her.  Holly guards against lightening, evil spirits, poison, can be used as protection against wild animals, is used to protect babies (by sprinkling the infant with Holly water),  is said to aid with sleep and dreaming, and even guards against evil intent of witches (protection against spells).

Aside from her colors and Holly, I’m struck by the staff she holds.  In this aspect, holding her lantern, she reminds me of the Tarot Card, The Hermit.  The Hermit is a beautiful card because while it does indicate a bit of withdrawland isolation, it’s with purpose and good intent.  The Hermit is searching for deeper meanings, higher truths, and for this true path, his Divine Self.  It’s enlightenment he seeks by drawing into his own cave.  The expression on this Faerie’s face furthers the connection with the Hermit, as she seems to be seeking something, pensive, thoughtful. I wrote a poem a long time ago called The Hermit’s Cave, and this Faerie has caused me to revisit that poem, reading it with new appreciation.

As a Yule Faerie, she is the promise of spring, she foretells the return of the Sun King and heralds the end of Winter’s freeze.  She comforts by offering a reminder that the chill and darkness of winter are nearing their end and that new life will soon spring forth.  In the meantime, she extends her lantern of hope. The seasons don’t only apply to the earth’s cycles, but internally, spiritually, personally.  I think my soul has been stuck in winter for entirely too long… it reminds me of Jack Frost, or the “fairy tales” where wicked sorcerers and sorceresses try to make winter last forever.

She reminds me that life moves in cyclical patterns – everything is part of a greater cycle, including my own personal evolution.  She asks me not to give up in times of darkness, not to be consumed by the cold – and she calls out to me, “You are not alone.”

So what is my reaction to this Faerie? Profound.

She is a light in the darkness.
She is warmth in the cold of night.
She is fertile ground for new seeds to take root.
She is inspiration.
She is protection.
She is a soother of sleep
And a bringer of dreams.
She is a promise…

She is…

Hope Eternal.

Much deeply heart-felt thanks to the friend who blessed me with this Faerie, and to Amy Brown for bringing her to light. I am touched by her magick.

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Serenity

Serenity

Having posted my dream and replying to comments, I headed to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup.  That’s when I “heard” this muffled voice crying, “Let me out! Hey! Let me out!”. 

I looked toward the baker’s rack where I heard the voice coming from, and low and behold, I spied the woodland faerie chasing butterflies that I’d purchased more than a month ago, the day we found that yellow house. 

 I kept her in the box on the bottom shelf of the baker’s rack, telling myself she’d be a housewarming gift to myself the day we moved.  This morning, she called me on it and wanted set free. 

I smiled, lifted the box, took out her styrofoam entrapment, snapped her photo, and carried her back to my room, placing her on my desk, facing me. 

I’ve decided to name her Serenity.

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This weekend, although we did go to T’s sister’s and his mothers, we weren’t able to go out on the 4-wheeler again into the woods for tree-spirit photos.  However, I did have an opportunity to visit an extremely enchanted tree. This was such an incredible experience – I’ve never seen anything like it, and yes… although my digital camera was absent of batteries, my iphone did a fine job of capturing the magick to be shared.

Osage Orange Tree Hundreds of years old, this tree was larger than life. It was inside of a park area and although I had no idea what we were turning in there for (other than, “Oh, you wanna see a tree?”), I spotted it as soon as the truck went through the gate. I couldn’t wait to get out for a hands-on experience with this magnificent wonder… and though I was able to catch a few precious snapshots, this tree holds many more mysteries than I was able to capture in a short visit. As quickly as I could, I made my way from truck to tree, slipped out of my flip flops, walked around the perimeter taking a few photos, then climbed on. If ever I get the chance, I’m going back… at a time when Rhythm can share the wonder, and will do a better job with photographs. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip! All of these photos are from this one enchanted tree.

DragonThis is the first “face” T pointed out to me in this tree… it’s on the side of the tree you first see when approaching from the parking lot.

 He described it as a dragon’s face, pointing out its two eyes, its nostrils, and its “snarl”.

It impresses me more than I can say that I’ve found someone who can “see” the same things I see in nature. I’m used to trying to explain or justify myself (silly girl!), trying to get others to understand that there’s more to life than meets the eye… and now I’m experiencing this part of my life with someone who understands because he can see the same things I do, and I’m deeply touched that he had the insight and the desire to introduce me to this tree and its many faces.

I really wish Rhythm could have shared this with us… although I’m sure he’ll delight in the photographs. He’s got a special affinity for dragons, and I think this face in this tree would have been quite the thrill for him. That’s okay, though… there will be a next time.

I’m sure the picture would have been lots better if I’d have had a digital camera, but the iphone didn’t do a bad job at all… I’m calling this picture, “Dragon Magick”.

DinosaurThis is a neat one here, very distinct and emerging from the tree. The wood on this part was a lighter shade of brown, which really made the face stand out even more… and rather than being set in the trunk itself, this one is sort of protruding so it had a “coming at ya” appeal.

This reminds me of a dinosaur head… a vegetarian dinosaur.

He’s got a pensive look in his eye, almost as if he were questioning, “Friend or Foe?”.

Friend, of course.

Because of his supposed vegetarian status, I’m calling him “Herb”.

This next one is a turtle.

Tree Turtle

Gater, Snake, FishThis one’s what I call a “threefer” – three faces for one photograph. The most obvious, at least to me, is what looks like an alligator with its jaws open wide and preparing to clamp down. Just above the gator face, though, I can see the shape of a snake, and below the snake, a fish… it’s like this was the aquatic portion of the tree…

Then, if you look in the upper left corner of this image, there’s another face… that of an old man.

Actually, the more I look at this shot, the more I see…

 
Last but not least, here’s a shot T took of Stinkerbelle (left, standing) 
and me (baseball cap and barefoot comfort!) bonding with this tree’s energy.

Stinkerbelle and me in tree

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One of my favorite things to do is to photograph places where I think faeries may be hanging out, enchanted locations, inspiring landscapes.  Granted, I’m no photographer and I’m using a standard digital camera… but I enjoy gathering albums of faerie enchantments.  A few weeks ago, I had the honor of visiting Georgetown, Kentucky and being given a personal tour (via four-wheeler) of untouched forest area… definitely enchanted.  My host knew exactly what inspired me and had a few spots pre-determined for us to see, but was patient and gracious enough to “stop… no wait, back up… go forward… just to the left…. go that way!”

I took nearly two hundred photos that day – photos of flowers, vines, ponds, sunsets, butterflies, strange rocks, and then some.  What I found when I got home and reviewed the images stunned me.  I cannot deny that I felt the presence of beings from the Otherworld, and that some of the images were captured with intent, but many of them were magickally wonderful surprises when I viewed the pictures later.  Here are just a few…

I’m starting with one of the least prominent faces, one you have to kind of squint and look for (saving the best for last!). However, if you do look closely at the image above, you can see a profile image… a face looking rather nonchalant, as if yawning with mouth wide open and one eye open, yet seemingly unfocused. It was as if this tree spirit knew we were there and didn’t mind being seen, but he really wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the company. Perhaps we woke him from a nap!

The Narrator

I call this one “The Narrator” because he looks as though he has stories to tell. His features, at least to me, are very prominent. Unlike the sleepy profile from the image above, this face is a frontal view, eyes wide open, mouth clearly defined… looking open, as if in mid-sentence. While I cannot articulate or translate the stories I feel he’s telling because they never were audible, I do feel that in his own unique way, he shared wisdom with me. A telepathic connection, perhaps? I get the feeling that if he had been able to speak audibly, he’d have spoken poetically in a deep, grinding voice. At the same time, I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion from “The Narrator”, as if his mind were sharp and wise, but his heart was soft and loving.

CondemnedThis is another that I saw from a distance, squealed over, and focused on intently. The face at the bottom of the tree was crystal clear to me and instantly felt like a tortured or condemned soul. This spirit didn’t seem to be part of the tree, but bound to it, as if a punishment or a curse had been put on him. I took about fifteen shots of him, pointing out to my companion the way it looked like there was a right hand held palm out next to the face, as if to try to stop whatever magick was being worked on him. I felt the energy of this soul… but when I got the picture home on my computer and could look at it full size, I saw something more.

Here, it looks like the entire trunk of the tree is a forearm, wrist, and hand… one that is pinning the face to its place at the base of the tree… just to the right of the face I see the index finger of the “divine hand”, and to the left of the face looks like a thumb. I can’t help but wonder what this poor soul did to warrant being eternally bound in wood. Even the expression on his face appears to be fear caught in time, with his mouth open, eyes frightened, and the fingers of his hand curled forward. I had the instinctive feeling, though, that if this soul were ever set free, evil would follow.

Eye of the BeholderI’ve entitled this one, “Eye of the Beholder”. While the first few faces “felt” near human to me, this one feels much more animal… as if the eye of a dragon.

When I took the photo, I didn’t really see the “eye”, but was focused on what I called a “knot”… it captivated me and held my attention, but I didn’t see it for what it was. In retrospect, I believe that was intentional on the Spirit’s part.

This was the “watcher”, the one who wanted to see rather than be seen. Not so much curious, he feels like a guardian, watching over the goings on in his forest. He has a regal, authoritive feel to him… Looking at in now, I’m amazed at the detail in the pupil, the golden brown color of the eye, and the intensity and power behind the “glare” he’s giving.

Each of these trees had their own identity, their own energy, their own aura, if you will. It was almost as if I could sense a heirarchy amongst the trees – and in most cases, the ones that “felt” animal felt more dominant to me, stronger, more aware. Of course, I could just have an active imagination and a knack for seeing something in nothing. Then again, I could be right on my mark and have the gift of mystic vision. I guess the truth lies in the eye of the beholder.

Town CryerI call this guy “The Town Cryer”.

When I look at him, I can most certainly hear his “gasp”, utter shock that there were humans in the area.

There’s a flamboyant energy to him, an “Oh, my god, did you hear about the humans that had the audacity to walk the paths of our enchanted forest? (lip smack, eye roll)… The nerve!” He’d know every single detail and describe the events with crystal clarity, if not a few embellishments.

Want to know what’s going on in this forest? This guy has the answers… he’s the one that knows everyone’s name, who gets along, who doesn’t get along, who is stirring up trouble, or who is in the good graces of the Powers that Be.

If he could have an occupation, this guy would be the so-called journalist for a gossip mag.

I’ve referred to him as a he, but truth be known, he had both masculine and feminine energies.

The MeditatorThis one jumped right out at me. At first, I merely acknowledged, as if thinking “I’d hate to interrupt”, and I allowed my host to drive past this one, almost un-noticed. But, it got the better of me, I couldn’t help myself, so I asked if we could stop and reverse.

As soon as we’d backed up to the spot, my companion saw what I saw and merely grinned his appreciation for the magick of nature.

What’s odd about this one is that as I think about it in retrospect, I’m almost positive we reduced our voices to whispers while we were chatting during my photo-taking session. I didn’t get the feeling that this tree spirit was sleeping, but that it was much more a deep meditation, a connection to the all that is.

I saw this tree spirit as drawing in energy from a higher source, and being at great peace with the process.

I also feel as though the spirit was aware of our presence, but that she (and yes, this one is definitely a She), didn’t allow our being there to break her cosmic concentration.

MoralMuch more than a name or a voice, this image presents a moral.

I knew I HAD to photograph this, but I wasn’t sure why at the time. In fact, I didn’t even quite see it for myself when I was looking through the photos at home on my computer. It was my sixteen-year-old highly-attuned son who said, “Oh, wait… go back!”

His voice was one of awe as he pointed out what he’d seen in this image.

The tree on the left is the one with the face, almost monsterous looking. You can see jagged teeth in his open mouth, with his head tilted slightly back. However, the tree on the right represents something all together different.

The tree on the right looks like an arm… from the shoulder down, bent with elbow resting on the ground, and forearm – face up – with a hand that looks as though it’s feeding the other tree.

We’ve named this photo by the moral we see within it, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

SnoutI’ll end on a lighter note. This guy is one I call “Snout”, for obvious reasons. As mentioned above, some of these energies feel much more animal than human, or more like a combination of both (which almost doesn’t make sense considering that humans are animals!). He seemed more disgusted than anything at our presence, yet not at all aggressive. If I could describe his energy, I’d probably say he felt “stuck up”, as if he were too good to look in our direction.

As I said, I took literally hundreds of photos… some of holes in the trees, gnome mounds, flower faeries, etc. — but it was these tree spirits that demanded my attention. They didn’t have to show themselves, but I feel blessed that they did, even though some of them waited until after I was home to show their true selves.

True tree spirits, or an active imagination? Lucky shots or intentional displays of magick from an enchanted kingdom? You decide.

Life is good.

W

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

When we think of Faeries, most of us conjure images of thumb-sized, glittery beings with flitting wings and secret enchantments. We envision them as sitting on mushrooms, hitching rides on dragonflies, petting unicorns, or kissing sleeping babes. But the truth of the matter is that not all Faeries fit our description of “beautiful”, and we may cast them out of our consciousness simply due to fear. This is a sad truth since some outwardly so-called ugly Fey Folk can be some of the most benevolent and kind creatures. Furthermore, not everything that goes bump in the night is ghost or goblin. On the contrary, some nocturnal beings of Faeryland can do much to protect us against such unwanted paranormal invasions. Welcome to the not so beautiful world of Brownies.

Brownies are said to have originated in Scotland, but are also known in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere – likely stowing away with Scottish immigrants. Aside from being known as Brownies, these enchanted beings have also been known as Little Man, and many English people call them Hobs. Russians know them as Domovi; in Denmark they are Nis. North Africans have named them Yumboes, and in China they’re known as Chao Phum Phi.

Some think Brownies may be associated with the Roman household spirit, the Lar Familiaris, who is said to be an ancestral spirit. Another theory exists that Brownies are the souls of deceased servants, or otherwise connected with the spirit realm. Then again, since the term “Brownie” was first introduced where the Teutons settled, some believe Brownies to be Teutonic in origin.

Unlike our typical depiction of tiny Faeries, Brownies average about three feet in height, give or take an inch or two. Having often been described as ugly, Brownies are said to have eyes as black as coal, pin-sized nostril holes instead of noses (or huge noses and no mouths!), slightly pointed ears, flat faces, wrinkled skin, shaggy hair, hairy bodies, and have unusually long, lanky fingers. As for clothing, Brownies either wear rags, disheveled suits of brown, blue, or green – and sometimes wear cloaks or hats. However, not all Brownies sport the traditional wardrobe; some of these critters are more “natural” and prefer no clothing at all!

Female Brownies are almost never seen by humans, so the only description obtained for these Dwarf Faeries is of the males. Based on this description, it’s no wonder most humans would have a fearful reaction to seeing a Brownie in their home. Perhaps it’s for this reason that Brownies most often choose to hide from humans, sometimes by magickal means of invisibility. In most cases, though, this scenario proves the cliché, “you cannot judge a book by its cover”, as most Brownies are kind-hearted, helpful, protective beings who truly love the people they choose to serve. These Faeries crave human company, and they’re willing to earn their place in a human household.

Brownies are Earth Faeries who “adopt” human families to care for. They will scout an area, remaining in hiding, until they’ve found a family they feel is worthy, most likely one that doesn’t own a cat! Once a family has been chosen, the Brownie will either move directly into the family home, or establish residence in a nearby tree or abandoned building. On the occasions that Brownies choose to live in the home of their chosen family, they’re most likely to set up camp in the attic, cellar, basement, or in a nearby barn or shed. Brownies will then assist their chosen family with domestic tasks and chores around the house or farm, including protecting the family against unwanted guests of a paranormal nature. Some Brownies become so attached to their chosen family that they’ll remain with that family for generations – and while most adults either can’t or won’t see a Brownie, children can! Brownies love to spend time with children, telling them stories or teaching them games to play. They’ve also been reported to alert the family members to potential dangers or forewarn of death.

One thing to keep in mind when dealing with the Faerie Folk, however, is that while many attributes can be associated with most, they cannot be applied to all. As with any species, there is diversity. The Faerie Realm is divided into various sects, cultures, customs, and mannerisms – much the way the human realm is. We can identify our species, in general, as being human, but we can then be divided by geographic location, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and a multitude of other sub-categories. And, even though we can describe a large portion of the human species as “intelligent” or “compassionate”, there are always those who stray from the mainstream and do things we find difficult to understand, such as committing crimes. The Faerie Realm operates under similar principles – and while we can describe most Brownies as helpful, kind, benevolent beings, there will always be the rogue character or two who stray from the mainstream. It is always wise to use caution when dealing with otherworldly creatures.

An interesting note about Brownies is that due to their kind-hearted nature, they do not like people who lie, cheat, steal, or who are otherwise dishonest. They also have displayed a strong dislike for the clergy, most likely due to the fact that clergymen often tend to group anything paranormal under the heading of “evil” or as being “of the devil”, and harshly judge the Brownies with little or no understanding of what they actually are or where they come from.

Brownies are cousins to the Leprechauns and share the Leprechauns’ interest in shoe-making. One of the differences between them, though, is that Leprechauns will only make one shoe at a time whereas Brownies will make a pair.

Brownies, as with all Faerie Folk, are extremely sensitive beings. We must remember, too, that these entities do not operate according to the same code of ethics, morals, manners, and beliefs that many of us have been taught. Where we’re taught that it’s polite to acknowledge a good deed, if not openly thank the do-gooder, Brownies consider that to be an outright insult! Not to worry, though – there is a way we can still mind our own manners without offending paranormal house guests! To offer thanks to a Brownie for their assistance around the home and land, simply leave out a small portion of cream or milk, a bit of honey cake, and make sure the area is kept warm and tidy (Brownies love fireplaces!). But remember, they don’t like direct acknowledgement, so such offerings must be cleverly made by “accident”.

One way to rid the home of Brownies, should one so desire, is to intentionally offer the Brownie an item of clothing. They interpret this as the greatest form of insult and will leave. Fans of the popular Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling may recognize this as a familiar characteristic of Dobie, the House Elf introduced in book two, The Chamber of Secrets. In fact, the word “Dobie” is used to describe a specific type of Brownie, one less intelligent and more clumsy than the rest. The Dobie always means well and has a pure heart, but more often than not, ends up making more of a mess than anything else! However, attempting to rid your home of a Brownie should be done with great caution; they are extremely sensitive creatures and may take offense, and an offended Brownie can be capable of many un-pleasantries! Some accounts even suggest that Brownies, if truly offended, can become malevolent and turn into Boggarts, an entirely different and much less pleasant creature of the Faerie Realm.

Many magickal beings have special connections with certain animals, often referred to as “familiars”. In the case of Brownies, roosters are the familiars. Humans often assume that a rooster crowing signifies time to wake up, but in Faerie logic, or at least in terms of Brownies, the rooster’s crow indicates time for sleep. Because Brownies are nocturnal beings, it has been said that they cannot survive in daylight, much like modern tales of vampires. While this may be true with certain varieties of Brownies, it does not apply to the whole; they simply prefer being active at night and sleeping during the day. This could be, in part, due to the fact that there’s less chance of being in close contact with humans at night. Other legends suggest that Brownies have the ability to shape-shift into roosters during the day, much like vampires are thought to turn into bats.

Brownies, when welcomed and treated respectfully, can be blessings to the human home – blessings that can last for generations. They are wonderful caretakers, loving beings, and they take great pride in their work, their homes, and their adopted families. For those humans who can open their minds to the possibilities, close out fear of the unknown, and who are willing to enter into a paranormal partnership, befriending Brownies could prove to be a magickal experience.

Do you believe?

Sources:

Title: A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk
Author: Edain McCoy
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Pub. Date: March 1994
ISBN-13: 9780875427331
384pp

Title: Enchantment of the Faerie Realm
Author: Ted Andrews
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Pub. Date: April 1993
ISBN-13: 9780875420028
240pp

Title: Good Faeries, Bad Faeries
Author: Brian Froud
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: October 1998
ISBN-13: 9780684847818
192pp

Title: The Ancient Art of Faery Magick
Author: D.J. Conway
Publisher: Crossing Press, Inc., The
Pub. Date: September 2005
ISBN-13: 9781580911573
226pp

Title: The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries
Author: Pierre Dubois
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: April 2000
ISBN-13: 9780684869575
184pp

Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Faeries
Author: Anna Franklin
Publisher: Paper Tiger
Pub. Date: June 2005
ISBN-13: 9781843402404
288pp

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pub. Date: January 1999
ISBN-13: 9780439064866
341pp

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Gnomes, with their jubilant faces, bushy beards, and pointed red hats, are no strangers to modern human culture. Through home and garden decor (most notably as the Lawn Gnome); video, card, and board games; popularized cartoons for kids – and even by becoming mainstream advertising icons, Gnomes have been integrated into our lives and are recognized around the globe.

The Danish and Norwegians know them as the Nisse; Swedes call them Nissen. In Brittany they’re recognized as Nains. Gnomes are known in Iceland as Soddenskmaend, and in Finland they’ve been named Tontti. Germans know them as Erdmanleins, except in the alpine areas where Gnomes are called Heinzemannchens. Western Russians know the Gnomes as Domovi Djedoes, which means “Earth Faeries”; in Switzerland and Luxembourg the “little men” are Kleinmannken. To the Polish they are Gnom, in Bulgaria and Albania Gnomes are called the Djube. The Dutch have named them Kabouter; Belgians call them Skritek. In Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, Gnomes are known as Mano. A creature of many names, the Gnome has paved its way into the collective consciousness of the human race, but is far from being just a figment of anyone’s imagination.

In the United States, these Earth-dwelling Elemental Faeries are known as Gnomes, although the origin of the word is open to speculation. The word Gnome may have come from the Greek verb gnosis, which translated means “to know”. Then again, it maybe an offshoot of ge-nomes, meaning “Earth-dwellers”. Another consideration for the origin of the word is gnomon, the pointer on a sundial – “knower of time”. Because Gnomes are Earth Elementals, extremely wise, and gifted with the ability to see into the future, any of these word origins would be fitting.

Though the concept of Earth Faeries has existed for ages, it was a 16th century alchemist, Paracelsus, who introduced us to Gnomes as we know them today. Referring to them as pygmies or gnomus, he described these Elemental beings as having the ability to move through Earth as fish move through water. As Earth Elementals, the primary function of Gnomes is to nurture and protect the planet’s physical properties, such as rocks, crystals, minerals, trees, flowers, and all physical bodies of Earth, including animals and humans.

Gnomes are of the Faerie Realm, but being Elementals places them among the higher ranks in Faeryland. Not only are Gnomes set apart from other Faeries by their Elemental status and heightened magickal powers, they also differ in that they do not have wings and they do not fly. Contrary to what some may think, Gnomes are not eternal beings. They age much like humans do, albeit more slowly. They can also be harmed or killed by fire. Gnomes generally live up to a thousand years, maturing around the age of a hundred.

While most Gnomes are depicted as males with white beards, there are female Gnomes, as well as Gnome children. Similar to tradition of the Jewish and Amish, it is the married male Gnome who grows a beard, while married females keep their hair covered. Most adult Gnomes grow to be anywhere between four and twelve inches tall. As a family unit, Gnomes prefer to live together at the base of oak trees, nestling in the deep, intricate root systems – although they can also inhabit rock clusters, bushes, and other domains well guarded by nature. Regardless of where Gnomes choose to establish their homes, structures that will inevitably be constructed with several exits, they will also reserve additional nooks and crannies in nature where they’ll spend ample time, or use as hidden places for extra storage.

Assiduous workers and meticulous craftsmen, Gnomes weave their clothing – most often from the hair of animals, making clever use of sheep’s wool caught on bushes – and have also been known to recycle certain plants for clothing. The women, whether married or single, prefer skirts with aprons. Although the base of their clothing is almost always blue or green, males and females alike enjoy donning vibrant, multi-colored rainbow stockings as well as the familiar cone-shaped cap of red.

Weaving and woodworking are the Gnomes’ favorite domestic tasks, but they are also adept at harvesting crops and occasionally brewing ale. They’re often recognized as being beneficial to the human home garden as care takers or guardians – and as Earth Elementals, much of their energy is applied to creating and maintaining the planet’s physical properties. Gnomes are also musically talented, excelling in playing the fiddle. In addition, Gnomes love to dance – and since that is how they raise their energy and magickal powers, they dance well for both pleasure and purpose. However, the Gnomes’ most prominent magickal attribute is their inherent ability to heal. Gnomes use their charms, enchantments, and earthy wisdom to heal plants, animals, and even human beings on occasion.

Gnomes, by nature, are compassionate creatures who extend their friendliness and courtesies to all life forms. Their only known enemies are Martens, some owls, and humans who set out to harm them or their homes. It has been said that Gnomes have been responsible for damaging equipment or lashing out at humans in defense of their families and their environment. In fact, since human equipment has been responsible for severe damage to the environment, it should come as no surprise that Gnomes are not fond of modern technology at all!

Though it has been said that Gnomes are attracted to humans who appreciate and aid animals, or who have respect and appreciation for the Earth, Ted Andrews, author of Enchantment Of The Faerie Realm, believes each of us has a ‘personal Gnome’ to guide us through our lives.

Much like the idea of guardian angels, Ted Andrews promotes the theory that humans are each assigned four Elemental beings of the Faerie Realm. Sylphs are the Air Faeries who guide us in thought, inspiration, scent and sound. Undines are the Water Faeries who assist us with emotion, planning, and our spiritual being. Salamanders are the Fire Faeries, fueling our passions and guiding us through transformation, as well as prompting us into action. To guide our physical well being, our health, and our ability to sustain physical form on this planet, we have been blessed with the Gnome.

According to Andrews, too little connection with our personal Gnomes could lead to ill health, flighty existence, and a lack of ability to remain grounded. A lacking relationship with a guardian Gnome may result in a person’s negligence of their body’s basic needs, such as proper diet, exercise, or getting enough rest. On the contrary, too much contact with our personal Gnomes may lead to stunned creativity, skepticism, cynicism, narrow mindedness, and a lack of imagination.

In his book entitled Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, author Brain Froud states: “Gnomes live in the ground and are famous for their stubbornness and their wisdom. Gnomes are practical, down-to-Earth, deeply rooted in reality, and disapprove of anything airy-fairy. Unfortunately, a Gnome is also prone to being a stick-in-the-mud and can get bogged down with inertia. The thoughts of the Gnome tend to be very precise…but also very slow. A sentence might take a whole year to speak (or in the case of certain Gnomes, an entire century). Gnome jokes are not very funny because they never get to the punch line.”

Many people regard Gnomes as fictional characters spawning from a world of imagination and make believe. But there are those who choose to believe that Gnomes, in addition to other Faerie Folk, are real – existing in other dimensions, beyond the veil of human perception, on the astral plane. For those who believe, it’s possible to build lasting and working relationships with these enchanting creatures. Because Gnomes are benevolent beings who are wise and kind in their essence, all that’s required to draw them to you is a pure heart, an open mind, and a simple invitation. “Cead mile failte” say the Gnomes: “A hundred – thousand welcomes.”

Those who believe in Faeries and magick often choose to work with Gnomes, making use of Gnome magick through music and dance to raise energy, for healing, divining the future, and in appreciation and protection of Earth and it’s plentiful resources. In ceremonial magick, where the Four Directions are honored and called forth, it is the Gnome who answers the call, representing the North. Gnomes have been called upon to aid wounded animals, to assist ailing humans, to uncover the riches of the Earth, and to share their timeless wisdom in spiritual guidance. Gnomes are willing to share their knowledge of herbs, minerals, crystals, and other natural resources of our planet – if we’re willing to listen.

There’s more to the Gnomes than being a lawn ornament. Though much of what we know about Gnomes comes from European legend and lore, the stories being passed down through the ages, permeating myriad cultures world-wide maybe much more than simple fairy tales. There’s magick in the air for those who choose to know the Gnomes.

Do you believe?

Sources:

Title: A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk
Author: Edain McCoy
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Pub. Date: March 1994
ISBN-13: 9780875427331
384pp

Title: Enchantment of the Faerie Realm
Author: Ted Andrews
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Pub. Date: April 1993
ISBN-13: 9780875420028
240pp

Title: Good Faeries, Bad Faeries
Author: Brian Froud
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: October 1998
ISBN-13: 9780684847818
192pp

Title: The Ancient Art of Faery Magick
Author: D.J. Conway
Publisher: Crossing Press, Inc., The
Pub. Date: September 2005
ISBN-13: 9781580911573
226pp

Title: The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries
Author: Pierre Dubois
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: April 2000
ISBN-13: 9780684869575
184pp

Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Faeries
Author: Anna Franklin
Publisher: Paper Tiger
Pub. Date: June 2005
ISBN-13: 9781843402404
288pp

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Written by:
Wendi Friend

Faerie fantasies, elf encounters, gnome sightings, pixie dust, enchanted realms… we’ve all tickled our minds and dazzled our imaginations with the tales of magic and mayhem. But are they real? Do they exist, and if so, how can we see them? Where did they come from? If they’re real, why are they shrouded in doubt and disbelief? Does wanting to believe in faeries mean you’re delusional?

Stories and beliefs about the history, legend, and lore of faeries are as varied as a Las Vegas Buffet line! Peppered with curious riddles and rhymes, salted with cynicism and skepticism, spiced with vivid details that lead to renewed hope and wonder, the seasons of faeries are many. Though never scientifically proven or captured for display, and though varied in size, shape, color, origin, purpose, and other factors including diversified spellings of the word faerie itself, one thing is fact: Seasoned stories of faeries have appeared in every culture, in every era, in every part of the world throughout human history. In that sense, faeries are very real.

The spellings of the word faerie are as flavorful as the varieties of faeries themselves. You’ll find it spelled faerie, faery, fairie, fairy, fay, fey, and then some. You’ll also hear them referred to as the wee ones, the wee folk, the little folk, the little people, and more. There really is no right or wrong way to spell or define faeries. Much like religion, the relationships one has with faeries is based on personal spiritual connection and personal definition or preference. In fact, in some cultures, belief in faeries is so strong that it is a religion in and of itself, The Faerie Faith. Other religions, such as druidism and paganism, incorporate faerie beliefs into their faiths as well. This certainly adds to the spice rack of faerie flavor! Whether you’re just a fan of Walt Disney’s Tinkerbelle, or your belief is so strong it ranks as worship, there’s a way for you to believe in faeries.

The druid faith is said to believe that when a human dies, they’re reborn or reincarnated into the enchanted realm known as faeryland, another word with diversified spellings and aliases. In the druid version of faeryland, all faeries are born as adults and there are no faerie children. In that same belief system, when a faerie dies, they are born into the human world, the earthly plane, as mortals. Thus, according to druid faerie faith, death is the gateway to immortality, and the portal between the human and faerie realms. However, the religion of Wicca has another view.

According to the concepts of Wicca, faeries were a creation of the deities, the gods and goddesses, just as humans and animals were created. In the faith of Wicca, the plane (or frequency) on which faeries vibrate is known as the astral plane, a place experienced by the psychic eye (or Third Eye) and spirit, not by mortal eyesight. Wicca faith is said to teach that in the long ago past, humans and faeries worked quite closely with one another, often even forming friendships, relationships, and producing offspring. As the stories go, humans began mistreating the faeries, taking advantage of their gifts, and causing rifts in human/faerie relationships. Eventually, the two forms of life were no longer able to peacefully co-exist, and so the veil between the worlds was drawn closed, to be opened only by those with the utmost belief and respect for the faerie kingdom, the astral plane, and for magic. But you don’t have to be part of a religion or “movement” in order to experience faerie enchantments. All you have to do is open your mind to the possibilities, and the possibilities are many!

In the faerie kingdom, according to no-one specific faith yet supported by many, is the concept of a hierarchy system. Humans tend to group anything immortal or with wings attached into one category called “Angels and Faeries”. The truth is, there are as many varieties of enchanted creatures as there are animals on earth! To group them all into one general human-tainted stereotype is unfair. Most who take the faeries and other “fantastical” creatures seriously respect the fact that these life forms bring to the table a wide variety of seasons and spices in the ways of gifts, talents, offerings, purposes, and human encounters. Among these diversified entities is a hierarchal system.

To be considered when speaking of the faerie realm, faerie kingdom, or faeryland are Elementals, which are a higher concentrated energy and more deity like than human; Nature Spirits, which govern the seasons and the environment; Elemental Faeries, which are the Sylphs (Air faeries), Undines (Water Faeries), Gnomes (Earth faeries), and Salamanders (Fire faeries). The Elementals, also known as Devas and closest to deity in likeness, are the highest rank in the faerie kingdom. Though they are divided by elemental properties (air/earth/water/fire), the directions (North, South, East, and West), and the Seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring), they are united in their purpose, power, and processes. When it comes to “seeing” faeries, it’s unlikely for an elemental or deva to be spotted. Instead, they’re felt, absorbed like a sponge, permeating the being and causing goose bumps.

After devas and elementals, we must return to the Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders, and Gnomes. Each of these names is general, and each has a wide variety of faeries, pixies, trolls, and other creatures under its description. However, each of the four groups has a King and a Queen, and so those kings and queens follow devas in the hierarchy of faeryland. Another thing to be considered is that each of these groups of creatures has its own “prime time”, its own season in which its energies are strongest, it’s most apt to be experienced, and its potential is highest. All of the creatures in faeryland exist all year round, but they take turns in regard to who amongst them is strongest in power throughout the year. It’s a cycle, much like the wheel of the year.

So if there are levels and tiers of faeries, diversified concepts through time and history of faerie origins and ways, and nearly every culture in all human history has some version of faerie lore, what are the chances that you have been in the presence of a faerie in your lifetime? Granted, there are common tales like the tooth faerie and we’ve all seen a Tinkerbelle character or two, as well as artwork, collectibles, tee shirts, and other faerie kissed merchandise. But I mean what are the chances that you have been near enough to have seen a faerie… if you knew what you were looking for?

Jack frost, frost faeries, snow faeries, the Snow Queen, the Frost King, Old Man Winter… these are all varying types of faeries that are associated with winter. Has Jack Frost ever nipped you on the nose? The snow faeries are most active in late autumn to early spring, and have nocturnal tendencies. These faeries are responsible for the delivery of winter as they breathe frost onto windows and sprinkle snow.

What about the Green Man, Jack in the Green, or the persona of Robin Hood? Are you familiar with those? How about Mother Nature, Father Time, tree spirits, or flower faeries? Every single plant, flower, and tree is manned by a faerie. Spring faeries bring forth new life; they encourage the blossoming of flowers, the colors and textures in fields, crops, meadows, and forests. They are responsible for everything alive and growing, all the way down to the shape, size, color, and feel of a single blade of grass. Surely you’ve come close enough to have seen one of those… if you’d have known what to look for, that is.

Salamanders are fire faeries, and there’s a salamander in every single flame ever sparked, from campfires to candles to cigarette lighters. When the great ball of fire shines hottest and brightest in the sky, there’s a salamander nearby.

There are many spices and seasons of faeries, but there are also faeries for every season, and varying stories of which faeries go with which seasons, depending on the source. Learning about the types of faeries, their legend and lore, likes and dislikes, peak and off-times, origins, customs, and what their gifts are can increase your chances of seeing faeries, and can also bring you closer to being able to work with them on a mutually beneficial basis.

Do you believe?

Sources Used:

Books:

Title: Moon Magick
Author: D.J. Conway
ISBN: 1567181678
Format: Paperback, 320pp
Pub. Date: July 1995
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Title: Faery Folk
Author: Edain McCoy
ISBN: 0875427332
Format: Paperback, 384pp
Pub. Date: April 1994
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Title: Enchantment of the Faerie Realm
Author: Ted Andrews
ISBN: 0875420028
Format: Paperback, 216pp
Pub. Date: April 1993
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Website:

http://www.angelfire.com/weird/alternativenet/anetdru1.html

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