Archive for September 2011

Last night Fairies frolicked there...

posted by Meg

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Have you ever seen one? A fairy ring that is.. Maybe you have even seen the fairies prancing around one in the dark of the night.. I know I used to go searching for them as a child. And finally seeing one as an adult has rekindled my fascination with them. Whilst scientifically these rings are not at all that magical, I’m going to focus on the folklore and mysticism of them here. Because lets face it, it’s just more fun!!

A Fairy Ring is simply the term for a circle or ring of mushrooms. They are naturally occurring, and are the result from an organism (Mycelium) that grows under the ground and the mushrooms you see pop up from the mycelium underground. Ok that’s all the science I’m getting into, but if you want to read more I got that info from here.

European folklore is full of Fairy Rings. They are known in English and Celtic folklore to be gateways into elfin kingdoms and places where elves, fairies or pixies gather to dance. There is even a Welsh variant that says fairy rings pop up over an underground fairy village. But superstition warns mortals to stay away from them as they may be punished or cursed by the gathering creatures for disrupting the dance.
There is a traditional Scottish rhyme which tells of the danger of such places:

He wha tills the fairies' green
Nae luck again shall hae:
And he wha spills the fairies' ring
Betide him want and wae.
For weirdless days and weary nights
Are his till his deein' day.
But he wha gaes by the fairy ring,
Nae dule nor pine shall see,
And he wha cleans the fairy ring
An easy death shall dee.

There are many legends which foretell of the consequences of a mortal entering a fairy ring, such as: anyone who steps into a fairy ring will die at a young age, entering a fairy ring would result in the loss of an eye. Or someone who violates a fairy perimeter becomes invisible to mortals outside and may find it impossible to leave the circle. The mortal may be forced to dance to the point of exhaustion, death or madness. Fairies are even known in Welsh tales to lure mortals into their circles to dance with them.

To be free of a fairy ring requires outside intervention, one way was to throw wild marjoram and thyme into the ring to befuddle the fairies. Another way is to touch the victim with iron, or even just pulling the victim free. Some methods rely on Christian faith to break the enchantment, or a stick from the Rowan tree could break the curse (The Rowan tree is thought to be the wood from which the cross of ‘Jesus Christ’ was built). Even a simple phrase such as “What, in Heaven’s name” , could do it. Often  a rescued victim finds that what seemed to be a brief visit in fairyland was really much longer in the mortal realm, possibly weeks or years! And even rescued they may not be safe as there are such tales as having no memory of the encounter, or crumbling to dust or even mouldering away when eating their first bite of food. Even the touch of iron could cause the victim to disappear.

One legend tells that the only safe way to investigate a fairy ring is to run around it nine times, which will give you the ability to hear the fairies dancing and frolicking underground. But it must be done under a full moon and the runner must travel in the direction of the sun. If you run the other way it will place you under the fairies sway.
But there are even more legends of fairy rings which tell that they are places of fertility and fortune. And a house built on a fairy ring will bring its inhabitants prosperity.

In France fairy rings are known as ronds de sorciers (sorcerers rings) and were guarded by giant bug-eyed toads that cursed those who violated the circles. In Germany they are known as Hexenringe (witches rings) and belief is that Witches gather and dance at the place of a fairy ring. Which makes sense to me, seems like a good place for a ritual. The Dutch superstition is that the circles show where the Devil set his milk to churn, and their presence on a farm caused an inferior quality of butter if the cows ate the grass from the fairy ring. This could well be slightly true due to the fact that the fungus that makes a fairy ring consumes all the nutrients it encounters.  And in Austria it is believed that they are made by the fiery tails of flying dragons, and once a dragon had created such a circle nothing but toadstools could grow there for seven years. There are also stories from places other than Europe although those are harder to find, but are much the same associating them with little people and diminutive spirits.

The rings even feature in prominent literature such as Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream, and The Tempest. And William Yeats’ The Land of Heart’s Desire. And many poets refer to fairy rings, such as; Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and W.H.Cummings.

As a child hearing tales about fairies from my eccentric mother sparked such curiosity within me. I believed so strongly that they were there at the bottom of the garden, dancing and being cheaky (I notably still do however). I was given so many books on the topic from flower fairies, to squashed fairies. And I truly believe that every child should be given this wonderment of fairies, and I implore to all of you to introduce a little of their magic into a child’s life.

Try making your own fairy ring out of large stones or planting something such as lavender, tulips, daffodils or anything that takes your fancy in a circle. You could even find some little fairy statues and hide them amongst the flowers and stones. It’s bound to be a hit with children and adults who haven’t grown up. Cause growing up is so over rated!

And with all that said I will leave you with a fabulous piece of writing containing a reference to fairy rings from the book ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’ written by J.M.Barrie. I’m sure you are all familiar with the tale.

"The fairies are exquisite dancers, and that is why one of the first things a baby does is to sign to you to dance to him and then to cry when you do it. They hold their great balls in the open air, in what is called a fairy ring. For weeks afterwards you can see the ring on the grass. It is not there when they begin, but they make it by waltzing around and round. Sometimes you will find mushrooms inside the ring, and these are fairy chairs that the servants have forgotten to clear away. The chairs and the rings are the only tell-tale marks these little people leave behind them, and they would remove even these were they not so fond of dancing that they toe it till the very moment of the opening of the gates. David and I once found a fairy ring quite warm."

Love & Light,

Tribute to Trees

posted by Meg

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Today I want to pay tribute to Trees, those majestic plants that often tower above us, shelter us and provide more for us than I can explain. Most of us respond to the presence of Trees without really noticing that it’s the trees making us feel that way. They make us feel peaceful and serene and like we are just in the right place. They help to restore our energy when we are lacking (which is almost always). We lay under them when were hot. We climb them when we are children. They come in many different sizes, shapes and colours much like us!

We plant trees for many reasons; be it to hide something, provide privacy, emphasize views and enhance architecture, for fruit or nuts or commercial use such as forestry. They can even provide strength for loose soil prone to slips, protect us from harsh winds, and act as noise filters. And maybe we just plant them because they are beautiful and we love them!

Trees offer so much for us and the environment. They moderate climate and improve air quality. They harbour wildlife; in particular birds, and provide them with food and shelter. We need Trees in order to live. We depend on trees and plants for oxygen, as they take in Carbon Dioxide and then release Oxygen. And we all know we need Oxygen to breathe. They also help to cool the earth as they give off moisture, and the more moisture in the air means more rain. And all living things need water.

Trees are a renewable resource for us, thus why we use them to make things such as our houses, furniture, paper, toilet paper! Take a look around you right now, how many things are made from wood or wood products. There are more than 5,000 things that we make out of trees. We even use their wood to heat our homes.

Tane Mahuta

Here in New Zealand we have a Tree named Tane Mahuta, which is the world’s oldest living Kauri tree. And he is a beauty! He is named after the Maori ‘Lord of the Forest’ and is estimated to be over 2000 years old. It is 13.8 meters around and 51.5 meters high, and resides over the Waipuoa Forest in Hokianga. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tane’s children. Trees really do have spirits; you can feel their spirit energy as you walk through a forest, it is almost palpable.

My request to you is that during your day take more notice of what they are providing for us. Take some time out to give the trees around you some attention. They are after all living creatures and your love and attention will be giving something back to them. Go and hug a tree, not only will you be doing something for the tree you will be doing yourself a favour. Bask in their oxygen splendour and life fulfilling energy.

Love & Light,

Moon Gates

posted by Meg

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I have always had a thing for doors, you know those kind of doors that make you stop and go wow that’s a beautiful door. Well when I travelled through China last year I fell in love with Moon Gates. A Moon Gate is a traditional architectural element in Chinese gardens, and each part of the gate from the tiles to the shape has different spiritual meanings. The purpose of these gates is to be an inviting entrance into gardens of mostly only rich upper class Chinese, traditionally they were only found in the gardens of wealthy Chinese nobles. Now days you can find them all over the world, in replica Chinese gardens. There’s even one in my local park, as it has a Chinese garden section.

The picture above is from a small southern China town called Jianshui, which was an ancient trading town that not many tourists visit. The gate itself was the entrance to a beautiful Chinese garden (Zhu Family Garden)  and was one of the best I have ever seen too. You can get a 360 degree view of the garden here. So I trawled the net for some more beautiful specimens. I found some very tradional ones as well as some modern interprations of them. Feel free to email me your own Moon Gate pictures. Enjoy.


Love & Light,

What's the most magical thing you can think of?

posted by Meg

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"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
                                                                    ~ Eden Phillpott

For me the first thing that comes to mind is Fairies! And what magical creatures they are. But for you it could be something as simple as a sunrise over the ocean. Magic is all around us, every day. There is no limit to the size of its glory; be it a glossy blue metallic ladybug trotting around your garden, or a majestic snow topped mountain.

Magic is not mythical and just in folk stories. Its real and it’s all around you. Take a look and see what you find. Magic can be a thing, a place, a person, a sight, a sound, a smell, a feeling… It could be your favourite book, or your grandma’s kitchen.

"That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us,
or it just stays invisible for you."

                                                            ~ Charles De Lint

So tell me, what is the most magical thing that comes to your mind? Is it something you have experienced yourself once or something that you see all the time? Let me know so I can share your experience of magic around!

Love & Light,

Feeling bored of life lately?

posted by Meg

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Feeling bored of life lately? Stuck in a routine rut, where you do the same things almost every day and wonder why nothing changes? Well I can tell you, nothing changes because you don’t make a change! Life is not boring and it’s not meant to be.

When I start to feel like this I try and do something different from my usual routine. Change it up a bit. For example; if you drive to work, you could try driving a different way. Or you could try taking the bus instead or even cycling.

If you always eat the same thing in the morning, try buying a different cereal or having something way off you radar like an omelette or a fruit smoothie or even try something that is traditional in another country.

Do you always run after work? Try running in the morning or try running around a different suburb. Are there any hills nearby? Try doing some hill climbing/running instead. Or try a totally different exercise that you have never done before. Such as a kick boxing class, Karate, rock climbing or rock and roll dancing. You might even meet some new people.

Take a drive on the weekend and go an explore your town, often we miss things that are right under our noses. Really look around you and take notice of the small things; such as all the birds flying about the park, and the beautiful flowers and majestic trees. You could even take a trip somewhere, whether it is a few towns over or a whole new country, a different place can give you a new perspective on life and a fresh outlook.

If you’re not enjoying your job, then don’t do it! Trawl the internet job sites and apply for something that’s completely different than what you’re used to. No one says you have to stay in the same line of work your whole life. Or you could even go to university and study something.

If you always wear your hair the same way, change it! Colour it, cut it, grow it and put in a crazy new style. Wear a flaming bring lip stick, or buy an item of clothing you wouldn’t normally wear.

Get a hobby, try a few classes. Such as; pottery, mosaics, glass blowing, scrapbooking. You could even try your hand at archery or clay bird shooting, even learn a new language.

Change = Good, and not a lot of people realise this. That as humans we need change, we thrive on it. But most people fear it; they live their life as they always have because they don’t think they should change or that it is ok to change.

Change your attitude!! Be happy and you will feel happy.

And don’t forget, imagination is not just for children!!

Love and Light

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