Archive for January, 2012

The Elf Knight & The Faerie Queene

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Remember me to the one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.

Tell him to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Without any seams or needlework,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine

Tell him to find me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Betwixt the salt water and the sea sand,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell him to reap it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
And bind it all in a bunch of heather
Then he’ll be a true love of mine

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Remember me to the one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.
Lyrics of Scarborough Fair- World Tree Music.

Scarborough Fair is a traditional ballad of Great Britain which presents an unusual tale of unrequited love, as a young man tells the listener to ask his former love to perform a series of impossible tasks, such as making him a cambric shirt without a seam and washing it in a dry well, if she completes the tasks he will take her back….
In the version as sung by Gretchen Cornwall of World Tree Music,
the roles are reversed, the singing narrator and task setter is the young woman herself.
Many suggestions concerning the original plot have been proposed, including the hypothesis that it is a song about the Black Plague
(1348 +1350), but these are not proven.

The ballad appears to have derived from an earlier Scottish ballad, ‘
The Elfin Knight‘ the oldest extant version of this ballad being c 1600-1650 and may well be earlier, in which an Elf filled the role of the young man, but here he threatens to abduct the young woman to be his lover unless she can perform an impossible task, no longer an unrequited love but an obsessive, demanding one.
The association with Elves is significant, they appear in many ballads of English and Scottish origin as well as folk tales which often involve trips to Elphame or Elfland (the Álfheim of Norse mythology), a mystical realm in these accounts portrayed as an eerie unpleasant place. Such Elves were considered to be accountable for many mysterious occurrences in earlier times, including the stealing of brides.

However and contrastingly, according to Nick Caffrey, the earliest noted versions of ‘The Elfin Knight’ tell of a young maiden who magically summons the Elfin Knight to her bedroom to become her lover..

The Elf Knight
‘The elfin knight sits on yon hill
Ba, ba, ba, lilli ba
He blaws* his horn both loud and shrill *(blows)
The wind hath blown my plaid awa’…

(This verse appears to be taken from ‘Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight‘, in which the Elf’s horn is magic and arouses desire in the hearer.)

‘I wish that horn were in my kist* *(chest)
Yea, and the knight in my armes two

She had no sooner these words said
When the knight came to her bed.’…

But he tells her she is too young and sets her impossible tasks for her to perform to deter her. When she counters with demands of her own the Elf Knight declares that he is already married with children, at which point she rejects him and he disappears.
As Nick states and is especially true for the English versions of the song, it is important to establish this full story because many of the later versions retain only the de-contextualized tasks which by themselves do not always make any obvious sense.
He also notes that The riddles in British folk-songs and ballads usually take the form of a confrontation with the supernatural, or the Devil in some versions, where the soul of the mortal, marriage or seduction may be the prize. (The Living Tradition, Folk Music)

Queen Elizabeth Ist; Gloriana-The Faerie Queene

Although there is no stated link between these ballads and the English Courts of the time, in Spenser‘s famous poem The Faerie Queene (c 1590+1596) which celebrates the Tudor dynasty with Queen Elizabeth Ist featuring as Gloriana-The Faerie Queene and encompasses a presentation of 12 virtues through the Arthurian knights in a mythical Faerieland
(based on the virtues of Aristotle’s ethics), Spenser described the men of Faerieland as called Elves, the women as Faeries.
Spencer’s association of Queen Elizabeth 1st with the Faerie Queene is particularly relevant as she took occasional counsel from the famed Alchemist John Dee who straddled the worlds of science and magic and devoted much time to attempting to commune with angels and bring about the pre-apocalyptic unity of mankind.
Following Mary Queen of Scots death in 1558, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne and became famous for her virginity to such an extent that she was called The Virgin Queen, was allegedly married to her country, and a cult grew up around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.

Acrasia’s seductive Bower of Bliss

In canto 1 of the second book of Spenser’s Faerie Queen, ‘he was an Elfin born of noble state’ sets the otherwise apparently human nobleman and Knight, Sir Guyon, as the Elfin Knight. The Fairy Queen ordered him to locate and destroy Acrasia’s seductive Bower of Bliss, which he completed sucessfully and thus became an embodiment of the virtue of Temperance.

The similarities between Caffreys’s earliest version of the Scottish ballad and Spenser’s English Court literature, that they both uphold the same honor of temperance, or chastity, suggests that there is a causal link between them.

There may not have been much discourse between Scottish folk musicians and English Courts at this time due to various animosities including the former being predominantly Catholic and the latter Protestant.
However, if the poem preceded the ballads, because the Scottish had had strong associations with the French since 1295 (the first treaty forming the “Auld Alliance” between Scotland and France against England) they may have heard of the poem by these means.
Should the ballad versions alternately precede the literary, this could equally be interpreted as showing how high culture often draws upon local traditions and stories to structure its intellectual endeavors, giving local anchorage to their more wide reaching concerns and perhaps shows more sharply how English tradition has similarly drawn on the Scottish over time…

Tam Lin & The Faery Host –

In another Scottish version, the Tale of Tam Lin the Elf Knight, Tam Lin was enchanted and kidnapped by the Elf Queen to Faerie land where he was bound by her spell. He explains all this to a mortal maiden who fell in love with him, and he was rescued by her because the steadfast love of a mortal woman broke the Elf Queens enchantment over him. That the Elf Queen is here wicked and the mortal woman good, could possibly be another political reference of the times.

In explanation of the subsequent de-contextualised English versions of the ballad, which appear to present the moral inversions of a less virtuous Elf/young man who seeks by impossible means to entrap his intended, and the conversion of the intemperant Acrasia replaced by a more virtous woman, Queen Elizabeth’s fame as a virtuous Virgin Queen and her popularity in England would have likely made the earlier accounts of the ballad, with its virtuous and Scottish Elf Knight and immoral woman, less than attractive to a country who supported their Queen and possibly used such popular ballads to celebrate contemporary culture as well as carry mythological moral messages.
In this view it may be that the English versions do not just represent de-contextuallised accounts of an earlier tale, but had actually been rewritten to purposefully demonstrate popular allegiance to an English Queen and her Country.

In the English version, the ballads title refers to a trade fair that took place in the resort town of Scarborough during the medieval times and one possible explanation for use of the refrain ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’ based on the speculation that the four herbs held healing properties (parsley to remove bitterness, sage to cleanse, thyme for courage, and rosemary for love) is that these meanings were intended to develop as the song was sung, to remove curses and create a protection against evil enchantment.
It has also been suggested that these herbs were specifically used to ward of the Black Plague, particularly the smell of the dead or dying, because according to popular belief in Medieval times, it was the smell of the plague which was carried infection and the use of these herbs would cleanse air.

Plague Doctor carrying Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

However alternate refrains from the oldest versions of ‘The Elfin Knight’ contain the phrases ‘my plaid away, my plaid away, the wind shall not blow my plaid away’ (or variations thereof ) which reassertion of the lady’s protection of her chastity, suggests that the use of ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’ may therefore be an alternate rhyming refrain for the English version with specific intention to act as a Charm of protection of her virtue ‘My maidenheads I’ll then keep still…Let the Elphin knight do what he will…’.

The earliest commercial recording of the ballad was by actor/singers Gordon Heath and Lee Payant who recorded the song on the Elektra album Encores From The Abbaye in 1955
Paul Simon learned the song in London in 1965 from Martin Carthy, who had picked up the tune from the songbook by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Art Garfunkel then set it in counterpoint with “Canticle” with new, anti-war lyrics and it became the famous lead track of the 1966 album
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

be you elf, knight, maiden or Queene
~ Bright Blessings ~
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Blood and Mistletoe :

Very enjoyable scholarly assessment of the historical perspectives on and contingent development of more modern Druids.
Hutton portrays the origins and alternating fortunes of the Druid, how they have been reimagined, reinterpreted, and reinvented to portray them as patriots, scientists, philosophers and priests, or alternately as corrupt, bloodthirsty and ignorant, fomenters of rebellion, or forefathers of Christian Religion and along the way how they have become either by example or exclusion, guardians of tradition.
Such an extensive work merits a repeated reading, here is a brief review of the many areas that he explores.

These figures dressed in cucullus found on a shrine on Hadrians wall.
The Druids may have worn similar attire

Setting out with an exposition of the ancient literary references such as that of Pliny, Julius Caesar and etc which cast doubt over the Druid’s roles and presented the conquering forces of Rome as that of civilizing a savage and cruel religion, Hutton thoughtfully presents a fascinating and objective assessment of their actual value as historical documents and reveals the many influencing factors at play in them…


Following a period of little interest, the historical threads pick up in the late medieval period, as Hutton explores how subsequent notions of Druids were formed and employed in the service of national prestige and also the reverse engineering of their alleged role in supporting Christianities apparently literal historical accuracy and ensuing spiritual eminence.

At the end of the 15thc the new Humanist movement in scholarship with its aims to recover and build upon the knowledge of the classical ancient world, gave rise to a concurrent celebration of the indigenous peoples as honorable ancestors with a culture of some merit and in this context increasingly presented the Druids as the nearest thing that Europe had had to scientists and philosophers.

Despite the lack of evidence, the German Humanist Conrad Celtes claimed that the Druids had fled there across the Rhine to escape the Romans and hide in German forests, which along with the fact that the Rhineland had been part of the Roman province of Gaul, established their reclamation as of a shared Gallic ancestry.
Basing their accounts on Caesar’s comments of the Druids as meeting at Carnute where the Druids of Gaul had met each year, Symphorien Champier seems to have made the case for the druids as French noble ancestors, and in 1585 the French author Taillepied was the first author in any language to devote a book to them.
In this new favorable view, which deftly set aside Caesar’s comments about sacrifice as an unimportant fringe activity, the popularity of Druids rose to the extent that by the early 16thC the Druid and Christian cult had been united with claims of the cathedral of Dreux being founded by them following a prediction they had made over a coming saviour and by 1552 Rabelais could refer to them as ‘familiar beloved figures’.

They also appeared in a book published in Paris 1526 ‘Scotorum Historiae’ about Scotland written by the Scottish Hector Boece who nationalistically claimed the Druids main meeting place as the Isle of Man and thus shifted their central locus From Germany and France to Scotland.
Whilst the Scots were taking advantage of this new pro-Druid perspective, the Irish already had Druids built into their national literature via Irish sagas and saints’ lives recorded by Christian monks where Druids are accorded high social status until the coming of Christianity when the role of the Druid in Irish society was rapidly reduced to that of a sorcerer who could be consulted to cast spells or practice healing magic and their standing declined accordingly , and the Welsh who claimed direct descent and therefore unbroken lineage from the ancient Britons themselves.
The English annexed these various views into their own greater history with a view to establishing cultural supremacy of the whole archipelago, with which they could rival the French.

Tudor England however during late 16thC and early 17thC saw, rather than an ongoing rise in the popularity of Druids, a decline based on a number of factors including that the Irish writers presented the Druids as main opponents of their Roman Catholic Saints, the Welsh were co-opting them from the Scottish, and the English at this time did not wish to associate with the Welsh, plus identification of Druids with the poorly regarded Scottish and French may have been a further deterrent in and of itself.

Following this decline of favor, a resurgence of interest was slow but steady and backed with good credentials.
John Aubrey (1626–1697) was an English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer best known as author of the short biographical pieces ‘Brief Lives’. He was also a pioneer archaeologist, who recorded (often for the first time) numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, and is particularly noted as the discoverer of the Avebury henge monument. He presented his findings about Avebury to the Royal Society of London in 1663 (The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) .
In 1722 Edmund Gibson‘s published his enlarged edition of ‘Britannica’ which established a credible orthodoxy of interpretations of Britain’s megalithic monuments as the holy places of its prehistoric inhabitants.


Then the antiquarian Anglican vicar William Stukeley (1687–1765) who proclaimed himself a ‘Druid’, wrote a number of popular books in which he claimed that prehistoric megaliths like Stonehenge and Avebury were temples built by the Druids.


Stukeley had been inspired by Issac Newtons interest in the cosmological significance of numbers and measurements in ancient Hebrew architecture, particularly the Temple of Solomon which was a subject of wider interest at this time) as representation of the cosmos. Stukeley’s view was that these were all in their turn inspired by ancient Egyptians and early Druids, which furthered the growing impression of Druids as nature priests and worthy ancestors devoted to God.


Promoting the view of a powerful relationship between Christianity and Neoplatonism, Druids at this period were claimed to have been both subscribers to, or creators of Plato‘s philosophy of reincarnation, and the original discoverers of literacy, science and philosophy which they allegedly taught to the Greeks, their religion was thus held to have prefigured that of Christianity and all the alleged Druid symbolism was identified as coded references to the one greater faith that would come.


Soon after the publication and spread of Stukeley’s writings, other people also began to self-describe themselves as ‘Druids’ and form societies: the earliest of these was the Druidic Society, founded on the Welsh island of Anglesey in 1772. Largely revolving around ensuring the continued financial success of business on the island, it attracted many of Anglesey’s wealthy inhabitants and donated much of its proceeds to charity, but was disbanded in 1844.
A similar Welsh group was the Society of the Druids of Cardigan, founded circa 1779, largely by a group of friends who wished to attend ‘literary picnics’ together.

The third British group to call itself Druidic was English rather than Welsh, and was known as the Ancient Order of Druids. Founded in 1781 and influenced by Freemasonry, its origins have remained somewhat unknown, but it subsequently spread in popularity from its base in London across much of Britain and even abroad, with new lodges being founded, all of which were under the control of the central Grand Lodge in London. The Order was not religious in structure, and instead acted as somewhat of a social club, particularly for men with a common interest in music. In 1833 it suffered a schism, as a large number of dissenting lodges, unhappy at the management of the Order, formed their own United Ancient Order of Druids, and both groups would go on to grow in popularity throughout the rest of the century.


The wider British society began to accept the claims for a Druidic role in Biblical times, that they were either noble and inspired forerunners of the Patriarchal fathers of Judaism before Christianity, or alternately that they shared a similar view of Religion and were therefore very ready to embrace ‘the word’ (of Christ) when it arrived in Britain, either way the Druids Prehistoric and specifically Biblical associations seemed assured.
William Stukeley can be seen then as the man who did most to persuade the English that the Druids had been the builders of England’s spectacular prehistoric monuments which inturn secured their role in the British imagination as a whole as wise and worthy ancestors.

We also learn of the remarkable and imaginative Welshman Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams 1747–1826), an influential Welsh antiquarian, poet, collector, and literary forger who began to perpetuate the claim that he was one of the last initiates of a surviving group of Druids who were descended from those found in the Iron Age, centered around his home county of Glamorgan. He subsequently organized the performing of Neo-Druidic rituals on Primrose Hill with some of his followers, whom he categorized as either Bards or Ovates, with he himself being the only one actually categorized as a Druid. He practiced a form of religion which he believed the ancient Druids had had, which involved the worship of a singular monotheistic deity as well as the acceptance of reincarnation. Widely considered a leading collector and expert on medieval Welsh literature in his day, he asserted that he had found and translated various ancient medieval and ancient welsh bards texts (which have become standards of subsequent neo Druidical tradition) although after his death it was revealed that he had forged a large number of these manuscripts including the Druidical Triads such as
The Three Triumphs of the Bardic order; Learning, Reason & Peace…
The Three Unities Of The Cosmos; God, Truth and Liberty.

He presented Roman Catholicism as the corrupted form of the teachings which had prevailed earlier and so set about a call for revival of the ancient ways by creating the kind of Druid literary evidence which was lacking historically but that he felt should have existed.
Despite the false nature of their origins, his literary contribution has significantly influenced the Welsh Gorsedds , the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain itself was founded in 1792 by him along with much of its rituals.


By the 1860’s whilst druids had dominated the perceptions of the ancient Britons, portrayed varyingly as savages or heroes, they had become central to Britain’s story of its own prehistory.
Yet, although previously exemplified among the Pre-Raephelites and Romantic Poets, the artistic movement now began its Gothic phase and this prioritized the dark gloomy aspects of nature and existential despair over the earlier romantic immanence and delight of nature and in the Druids.
Further in this downplaying development was the arising of a more critical scholarship in part following on such luminaries as Charles Darwin whose Origin Of The Species decisively removed the stamp of literal authenticity from the Bible as a historical record of early times and in so doing also removed the need for people to identify their Druidical ancestors as related to that story.
Archaeological and Geological Science now replaced theological perspectives and in this light the origins of the many megalithic structures came under a sustained barrage of academia, which found little or no direct evidence for the Druids at these sites.

The rise of late Georgian and early Victorian Britain as a technological and industrial force displaced quaint ruritanian ideologies further, as the culture realigned itself with the earlier Empirical Roman culture, justifying their world wide land and resources grab and subjugation of wider world peoples as a spiritual mission to Civilize and Christianize them for their own good.
In this context the nature Druids were portrayed once again as forlorn savages easily identified with some of the tribes people now discovered around the world and whilst the latter were held to be less evolved morally or culturally, so these sweeping and disparaging generalizations were applied retrospectively to the formerly applauded Druids.
With a view to why the contemporary writers of note had not taken up the Druid cause, Hutton explains how they had apparently become such a standard trope that they did not hold any novel appeal, although less erudite literature salaciously celebrated this fall from grace with imaginative and avid accounts of the atrocities that it was suspected the Druids had carried out, both satisfying the repressions of the age and reinforcing their view of themselves and their culture as superior.

Yet at the end of this period the rise of clubs and societies which also include freemasonry as well as social clubs, brought about an increasing number of new, Druid fraternities, which at start seemed more to be about song and community, but as time wore on and they grew in membership, stature and influence, becoming increasingly akin to benevolent societies, designed to provide assistance to their membership in times of need.


We are then introduced to George Watson MacGregor Reid (1862?-1946), another remarkable and colorful character, this time Scottish, who held a philosophy based on his view of a Universal Bond and who led ‘The Druid Order‘. The Church of the Universal Bond was a religious group founded in Britain in the early twentieth century by MacGregor Reid, promoting socialist revolution, anti-imperialism and sun worship.
Initially aligned with Zoroastrianism, by 1912, MacGregor Reid was becoming more attracted to Druidry, especially as Stonehenge was at the time being seen as a solar temple.


His church began holding rituals there and their worship was permitted to continue when the site was given to the state in 1918. He and his group are first recorded there in June 1912. During the succeeding two summers they clashed with the owner and the police, because of their wish to hold rites in the circle and their disinclination to pay the recently imposed admission fee.

Although only commanding around 50 adherents in its early days, the church was instrumental in forming the link in the popular imagination between Stonehenge and Druids despite the efforts of archaeologists to discourage it. In 1924, the Office of Works permitted the church to scatter the ashes of cremated former members at Stonehenge, which drew significant protests from the Society of Antiquaries, the Wiltshire Archaeological Society, the Royal Archaeological Institute and famous archaeologists such as O. G. S. Crawford. The outcry persuaded the government to withdraw permission and in 1932 the Church officially moved its rites from the monument to Normanton Gorse nearby.
MacGregor Reid thereby made the name of Druid into both a vehicle and metaphor for English Cultural radicalism, and founded the enduring tradition which through succession continues unbroken to this day
(perhaps with the current day protests over access and admissions fees to Stonehenge of King Arthur Pendragon).


After the Second World War, MacGregor Reid’s son Robert took over leadership of the church and it was able to regain midsummer access to Stonehenge throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, to the dismay of many leading archaeologists.
When Thomas Maughan was elected chief in 1964, some senior members and the Order’s Maenarch left to form the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.


The growing Stonehenge free festival caused the monument to be closed at midsummer in 1985 and the Church faded into obscurity but has maintained a presence at the re-opened solstice festivities since 2000.

Despite the kind of mysterious and magickal account which one might have hoped for in such a book as this, perhaps a ‘history’ written by Iolo Morganwg would have served such a purpose better, this study provides the most objective and thorough account yet written of the little we know about the ancient Druids and their subsequent reinvention and revival to this day. Throughout the book Hutton’s prose is informed by many personal and some humorous details which furnish a much more engaging presentation than either a work of speculative conjecture or one of chronological charting might have done.
Suggesting then that the Druids displacement from the national imagination has occurred because of the earlier success integrating them into established structures of thought against which later artistic, religious and scientific developments defined themselves by contrasting orientation, ethics and methodologies, this book also portrays the far reaching influence of three very imaginative men, William Stukeley, Iolo Morganwg and George Watson MacGregor, ranging from classic English eccentrics to reactionary rogues who between them have created and characterized the nature of a Druid as we think of them today.

(Green Man by Miranda Mott)

~ Highly Recommended ~

How To Avoid (Or To Invite) Enchantment by Faries, Elves & Elementals

To begin with, as holds for all enchanted realms and beings in view,

you should realize these represent the spirits of nature,
diversities of natural phenomenue,
which are divided and multiplied through
energies, frequencies and vibrations known as –
Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
But these ancient associates and size-less makers of space,

are mere shadows of their actual selves and their Otherkin race,
which are beyond our more usual capabilities of cognition
with even sharp wide eyes,
bright and subtle they are,
more true than even legend or sighs.

Should you have recently been,
Or expect to imminently be
Abducted or Enchanted by

Elves, Faeries and Magickal Otherkin,
And if you are quite certain and completely decided
that you would really rather not go,
And you absolutely won’t think on it again,
Here is a small collection of useful tips to protect you.


Protection from Elven or Fae Enchantment;

A rather strange protection from abduction by Faeries and Otherkin was traditionally to wear your clothes inside out, which both confused and startled these creatures to such an extent that they would rather turn away than spend any time with you at all…Additional methods include,
to keep to find and keep on your person a four leafed clover,
to wear old cold iron, or carry salt (and a piece of bread)
in your pocket all over.

Amongst the laws of enchantment however some advice is contrary,
such as the carrying of a rowan wand or living beneath tree,
as rowan trees in some tales are shown to be sacred to the Fae,
whilst in others it is itself cited a protection to keep them away…

Ringing of Bells (particularly Church Bells) also have an ambiguous role,
whilst sometimes stated as protection against enchantment and abduction,
conversely
Fairies riding on horseback, such as the Fairy Queen,
often have bells on their harnesses
(both heard by the ear and by the eye also seen)

from The Druids Dream

This example may be a distinguishing trait between the Seelie Court from the Unseelie Court, Fairies may use to protect themselves from the more wicked members of their race, or may simply be an example of the inscrutable and undefinable nature of their hidden face.
That their ways cannot be identified with any degree of certainty,
this is an immutable fact beyond all controversy.
(source’ Anon.)

Emergency Procedure

In Case Of Elven or Faery Abduction;

x x x x x x x x

In certain circumstances you may wish for rescue
or release from such an enchantment,
and the first point of note is that they exist in a time outside of time,
which means that your call for help and ensuing response
could be delayed,by as much as a hundred years,
or more if the witting wood has strayed.

It may however still be a comfort to know that there exists
such an option.

Come under full moon on a wrathful stormy night,
Wearing only old clothes, before the Guardian bring your light,
Follow the first raven’s instructions and his path upon height,
Run faster than fox up the rainfall and jump
through the sky bright.

from The Lammas Wickerman

Once you have completed this simple symmetry,
you must yield in a rhyme,
very important at such a plaintiff time,
as the rhyme generates a rhythm undulating in space
which they can more easily apprehend in their supernal grace,
now you must tell the reason why you must leave,
(you may use the voice which your throat cannot make)
(if that helps you to breathe)
and beware shedding of tear
these will simply be accepted as an offering-the sacred waters of life,
the assumption your petition misunderstood-they will leave you
like a fishwife.

Then you should find yourself revolved to the place of your leaving,
although you may still appear to be ethereal and ghostlike without feeling,
until you have been formally released
under bright-star with moon-beaming.

Alas as all things Fae in regard of time,
the duration is at best unknown,
at worst uneven.

If this is not the case and you find yourself to be still wretched and lurking,
you must repeat the process until you hear the last raven laughing,
this is the sign that the Elves and Fae do not consider you
a significant loss,
their magick world will continue well enough,
with or without you and your gloss.

Having succeeded in your escape, if ever you do….
you may now have to contend with a very changed world
that you are returned to.
Years, maybe hundreds, have passed since you left,
and indeed your own-self may seem very changed
too.
People to whom you speak may hear only backwards sounds talking,
and when you write it will be in symbols that none understands.
The Fae and others do not practice the Arts of written language
as we know of them.

But you are a clever soul and will know what is best.

x x x x x x x x


Because many contest that mortals are not made for Fairy bliss,
Caution I Have Advised and Caution Have Given.
I cannot say fairer than this.

* * *


Alternately, should you welcome the super – natural ways of beyond
and actively seek enchantment with the same to make bond,
we move on now to present the other side of the case,
as in Elven tradition – both sides of the story we fairly embrace.

so dear reader, please settle yourself well,
and when you are ready,
read on for a spell….


Invocation of Elven or Fae Enchantment;

To walk the paths of enchantment will mean a significant shift in your life,
you may have to leave friends and family far behind,
to give up your home and this life,
to follow the mysterious byways beyond knowing
and live with the people beyond strife,
be ready for change, an eternity resplendent and rife.

Of-course everyone has heard of the enchanted life mystery,
in olden days magickal bells would ring
for the man or woman of particular virtue or beauty,
as taken they were to the Otherlands home of the Fae.
However, listen a moment and take heed afore you go on your way,
for in these worlds of beyond,
the people may seem strange and unknown manners be donned
so some say….

Firstly, you need to get there,
a journey which starts wherever you are now,
although in some circumstances such as that of Brigadoon,
a walk in the gloaming before you find the path how,
or perhaps take a dragonfly if you have one to hand,
or any other conveyance that will bring you to the land.

Such traveling is best undertaken at full moon and alone,
and because we travel O best beloved to the outsides past birthstone,
the ‘times’ of most power on the earth,
when the veils between worlds no-longer postpone,
such as Beltane and Samhain, the most inward foreknown.
Certain places are also preferred for the same reasons as above,
such as the boundaries between realms as scent of foxglove,
or a high mountain range
or a lake or seashore
(bogs and marshes lead to darker realms which we therefore abhor),
these areas harbor many portals beyond..
choose the directionless inflection and let the journey respond.

Birds are an ideal mode of transport to the other realms,
as Susanna Clarke has portrayed;
There is nothing else in magic but the wild thought of the bird as it casts itself into the void. There is no creature upon the earth with such potential for magic. Even the least of them may fly straight out of this world and come by chance to the Other Lands...’
(Susanna Clarke; Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell)
Wrens, Ravens and Owls are therefore most readily purveyed.
Song (and music) is another wonderful vessel
by which to cross the spaces between,
as in the tale of the Brigadoon Piper and The Highland Boobrie
we’ve seen.
Indeed and again many thanks to Susanna,
we have a perfect description of the power of music’s
magickal manner
when the fairy sang the whole world listened…(the) clouds pause(d) in their passing…(the) hills shift(ed) and murmur(ed)(and the) cold mists dance(d)…the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands...’
Music can thereby open the gates to the inner worlds
and the immanence of beyond,
for those so called, this path may be
the most accessible of choices
with which to abscond.

Once embarked on this mission
you shall naturally wish to invite an otherworldly guide,
to assist you on your way lest unwary denied,
and here the usual caution against being led astray
by the Elves and Fae need not apply,
although
if any who appear are of particularly grim countenance
or are already known as mischievous –
you may graciously decline their ghastly talking touchstone.

from The Beltane Blessing

The simplest agreement as follows will serve,
yet make no pact of quantity or duration, be wakeful, observe;

Aid me and I will Aid You.

For some people, especially those born with the gift of Second Sight,
such as Artists, Poets, Musicians and Healers of Light,
contacting the Fae is as easy as walking into wild forest,
or tumbling upon heath and calling out for the solace.

For others, an incantation of your own devising may be employed,
(be aware that the Fae have infinitely long memories and will easily spot a copy, and whilst you may invoke the Mephistophelean decree, nevertheless a counterfeit incantation is no guarantee) even so,
here is an old folklore spell I found long ago
and whilst unsure if work it still will,
you may model your own upon it and that the purpose surely shall fill.

To be incanted at midnight, on a full moon,
under an adjacent hawthorn tree,
if it is a rowan then you must adjust the chant thus accordingly.
Repeat thrice whilst walking widershins around the very same tree,
in right hand a lit candle, in left blossom or green branch of the tree,
but you must be very sure ’twas one given and not taken by thee;

Here I be, neath bless’d Hawthorn tree,
I call upon You , the unformed, unseen,
In peace
and goodwill convene from your dream,
Open to my words and Let My Sight See

from Taliesin’s Battle Of The Trees

Be careful and courteous and kindly though thou,
as they may object to being rudely invoked anyhow,
although if they do not come at your fist attempt don’t you see,
the beings beyond time have a different sense of urgency.

* * *
For any who may have strayed over time from these natural proclivities,
you may regain your Second Sight or Psychic Vision ethereally,
become restored – a Walker Between Worlds,
by apprenticeship to a Druid, Shaman or Witch,
One in whom the Cosmos unfurls.

from The Beltane Blessing

Whether they be of this world or another or other,
now living, or not yet, or no longer,
no matter.
As long a you follow the guidance with open heart sincerely.

Under tuition you will perceive
the diverse dimensions between physical and spirit,
you will open The Veil Between Worlds
and draw back The Mists with merit,
as this world falls away and away, further now, and far gone…
it is here that beings from either side are aplomb.
Here to communicate and to crossover with each-other,
the Gateway to the Land(s) of the Fae
the very fundamental fulcrum.


A few pointers about the manners
you shall be expected to show;

Once
you meet the Fae and the Eleven and such,
whilst they will rejoice you and shew delight much,
it is advised you never to look straight in their eye
or their hand seek to touch,
this is considered the height of ill breeding,
and of their patience, nonesuch.

Also
avoid thanking them as this they will take,
to form a contract of debt you might rather not make,
– they shall expect to call for your service
until such a time as they choose,
the debt discharged or the mystery bemused –
(which in a land outside time may be very long time indeed)

Finally –
avoid talking about them to others of earth or beyond,
which is rude by anyone’s standards and they will of-course despond.
This last point may explain
the lack of evidence in the earthly historians accounts,
such as we have relying largely on conjecture they pronounce.

from A Christmas Carol

As you have arrived here by design and intent,
you may forgo the usual prescriptions
to avoid eating their food- drinking wine, even being wed.
Indeed you should join in their celebrations and feasts
of which there are many,
With great delight then and joy do make merry.
Any refusal may offend and other than this,
the worst that can occur – it will merely bind you to bliss,
from inadvertently slipping away in a dream of mind wakefulness,
or being ‘rescued’ by any meddler from the earth
who does not know of us.
Similarly the more usual caution over accepting gifts or payment
from fairies no-longer apply,
As you make your home among them,
To their ways you may fly.

In general the people of the beyond are very genteel in their ways,
and they will expect as much courtesy and grace from you
for the infinite stay of your days.
To win their goodwill,
be generous and fair in all your dealings above and below,
keep all your promises bright so that everyone will know.
Perform any act of kindness, any sacrifice for love,
share of your best and your charmed life will sing like a dove.

Despite the often mysterious confusing ways which they speak,
they prefer you to be straightforward, be forthright, polite and neat.
They expect appreciation
(not thanks, see the caution above)
for the magickal gifts they bestow
upon you, the open hearted whom they cherish just so.
They welcome human companions that are thoughtful and true,
fond of solitude and contemplation and gentle reader,
this does mean you.

from A Christmas Carol

Free spirit of merriment and good fellowship above all,
they await your intention and invocations call.

* * *

To the enchanted folk both high and low,
Blessed Be and Come and Go.
I make a reverence of deepness grow,
I yield the heart that your spirit may flow.
You who are Awake
beyond all kinds of Knowing,
Sacred Seeds
of Light are sowing.


To the enchanted folk both high and low,
Blessed Be and Come and Go.

heigh ho!

c.Celestial.Elf 2012

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