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Friday, 25 May 2012

Hidden Lore of Magic - Fairies



There are countless books on fairies. This isn't a description of fairies, or an essay as such. This is about magic with the fairies.

My mother once said: "If you stop beliving in fairies, they'll disappear". People who stop believing in fairies, or anything they used to believe in, change cnsiderably when they stop believing anymore.


Many children have witnessed unusual visitors in their bedrooms. Some like to put it down to imagination or dreams. Others have no proof. It is just the memory of the child or the person's childhood.

There is many types of fairy magic. You might've come across references to it, such as Fairy spells, The Tooth Fairy, Fairy Rings, Fairy on top of the tree, fairytales, Tinkerbell even, ect. There is also fairylore and occult fairy practices, like the fairy oracle cards and fairy tarot decks that can be purchased from most bookshops and online stores.      

Fairies are elemental beings, miniature forces of nature. They are said to dwell in forests, and they can effect the pattern of the soil, the flowers and the dew. Frosts and dew drops are laid down by the fairy folk, acording to mythology.

If this is the case then fairies live in the atmosphere and may also be part of the weather system. Fairies might be part of the wind, and rain (?) They're definately known to be living in roots, tree hollows, fields, flowers, hedges, behind stones, near lakes and rivers, and anywhere. This is probably what the ancestors tried to say by acknowledging the nature. The seasons altered the landscape so how would people without scientific understanding view it? Did they put imaginary humanlike things around the place? Fairies have been blamed for damaging crops and causing other natural catastrophes. There was a medieval paranoia about all the things they couldn't understand.

Who were the real fairies? My guess is based on reading materials, fairies are either elementals or people that were glorified once and then miniaturised later. Go back in time and fairies appeared a little bit sinister, perhaps connected to trolls and ogres. They were blamed for things going wrong. Further back in time one finds that fairies have much in common with the elves, dryads and other strange people. They were not considered tiny then but as immortal people. Some believe that fairies are actually echoes of ancient gods and goddesses. The original fairies were large in stature, who were all powerful and beautiful, ruling over peasants and kings. Changed religions changed the gods and myths so...

There is a scientific answer for fairies but take into acount also esoteric science, that goes byond the physical. Sorry this was supposed to be about magic.A lot of it is personal information and fairies subject is huge. Check out Fairy Lore.

A fairy spell for those who want to wish for nice things:

Stars, starlight, moonlight, water, mirrors, scents, incense, flowers, soil, cooked stew, boiled water, dried grass, shells or pebble stones, bark of a tree, twigs, a wooden bowl, a garland of flowers (handmade). Gather these and make an alter. Often during a cloudless night, use a bowl of water or a mirror to reflect the stars and moon. urn some incense. Preferably flower scents of a woodland, and not spices or fruit. Place the dried grass, shells and pebbles on a table, and wear the garland. The boiled water goes in the wooden bowl. Then add the dried grass. Let it cool. Now let the night fall into these things, and think of lovely thoughts, happiest memories, loves, laughter and even good deeds. This alter is the closest you'll then feel to a fairy glen.   

Books:

"Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People" by Janet Bord.
"The Fairy Bible" by Teresa Moorey.
"Fairy Spells" by Claire Nahmad.
"Heaven's Unearthed in Nursery Rhymes and Fairytales" by Matt Kane.
"UFO's, Time Slips, Other Realms and the Science of Fairies" by Edwin Sidney Hartland.

Websites:

Fae Magazine
Fairy Source
Whispering Worlds
Uncanny UK
All About Fairies
Mythical Creatures Guide

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Golden Girl Project: Cleopatra



Golden Girl Project: Cleopatra

This is a new research study I'm going to do for my blog. It's called the Golden Girls Project, a study of the reality, myth and spiritual meanings of famous historical beauties. These Golden Girls capture the imagination. They've inspired people for decades, centuries and millenia. They are figures of love, fantasy, romance, myth and legend. These Golden Girls are daughters of love and light, daughters of the sun, earth and moon.

The first of the Golden Girls Project is about Queen Cleopatra.

First of all I was introduced to Queen Cleopatra in a magazine. I was only a kid. There was a drawing of a lady with brown ringlets, wearing a coronet, dressed in a blue Grecian gown, and sat among white pillars. This was the first image I'd seen of Cleopatra. There was a description of her, from saying she was the queen of Egypt, who bathed in milk, loved Julius Ceaser and Mark Anthony, and died from snake venom. It was very simple and fresh.

After this, on TV was a game show featuring actors dressed up as fallen figures of history. Among them was Cleopatra, who was dressed in a gold headdress and whose lips were painted gold. I became fascinated by Cleopatra then. I saw her as a possible role model, after Madonna! Then I watched her appear in "Carry on Cleo," a 60's comedy satire. Amanda Barrie portrayed Cleopatra as girlish and funny. Then I saw a very serious take on the Egyptian queen in the popular film "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor. So from then on I realised Cleopatra had to look Egyptian instead of ancient Greek as the girls mag drew her. I was just a kid and learning a lot. When I was 15 years old, I bought a book on Cleopatra, with illustrations and details of he life. It was very academic. I haven't taken an interest in Shakespear so I've never studied Cleopatra in theatre.

So who was she really? Did she look like the Cleopatra queens from all the films? Why is she popular? What does it all mean when people in this day and age still obsess over a woman from centuries passed.

The Real Cleopatra

There's a lot of misunderstandings about Cleopatra. First of all, she wasn't actually an Egyptian. She was the queen of Egypt who ruled over Egyptians, following the rituals of the Egyptian pharaohs. Cleopatra was a Greek from Macedonia. Macedonia was once part of the Roman Empire, and sat in a region which is now near northern modern Greece, Albania and Bulgaria.

What did she look like? Many people assume she must've looked Egyptian and had dark eyes with bob cut hair and bangs. Looking at the earliest images of her, from the statues, ancient coins and wall art, she appears to resemble a Greek or Roman.  Some of the coins deliberately show her as an unflattering woman. Did she look like that? It might've been a stab at her by the Romans who disapproved of her.Who is to say she wasn't beautiful?

Did she bathe in milk? This is probably not true. The Romans made this up and they know that bathing in milk is quite foul because milk goes off quickly. It smells bad when it's off. Adding a little milk to soap substances and oils could've been likely as some women from Rome did this. Cleopatra would've preferred clean scented water, not smelly asses milk. Don't believe these Roman propaganda lies! I also doubt she was as unattractive as the Romans made out. The Romans themselves were full of gossip and bitching. They hated Cleopatra and demonised her a bit to the point of making her out to be so bloody awful.


Cleopatra in Films

From the beginning of cinema, Cleopatra was a favourite subject. Theda Bara played Cleopatra and portrayed her as being very ornumented, heavily adorned in jewels and trinkets, looking like a belly dancer. The make-up of the time gave her this spooky almost gothic Cleopatra. Claudet Colbert was a modern 30's Cleopatra in long sleek gowns and simple jewellery. Vivien Leigh made Cleopatra seem like abarbarian queen with the Germanic style clothes. Now Elizabeth Taylor was very ancient Egyptian in style as Cleopatra, with a touch of 60's glamour. There hasn't been anything quite like that last film about Cleopatra. No other Cleopatra has outdone Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. In the future there will have to be more Cleopatra films and other Cleopatras played by different actresses. There is a plan for a new Cleopatra film that will star Angelina Jolie but how will she portray Cleopatra?

There is outcry at the moment about this. People don't want another Cleopatra with fair skin and pale blue eyes. They think Cleopatra was black. Cleopatra wasn't black, she was of Indo-European descent. She's always been a part of Western culture and art for more than two thousand years.
            
Who was Cleopatra? She was the grand daughter of Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy. The romance about Cleopatra might've been fictional. Mark Anthony had a fling with Cleopatra, then he murdered her sister, before returning to Rome to be with his wife! He remarried to a different woman. Then he returned to Egypt and gave Cleopatra children. Cleopatra married her brother.  

Did Cleopatra die from a snake bite on her breast? Cleopatra didn't die from grief that Mark Anthony was dead. She was afraid of being humiliated further by the Romans and decided to end her life. It seems there was a lot of many complications to her life. Plutarch made this assumption that an asp bit her breast and we don't know if there was any truth to it. However, there was a snake bite found on her arm.

She was Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Born in 69BC, Cleopatra had brothers and sisters. When she became a queen at age 17, her siblings plotted to kill her. From this time on Cleopatra's life has been involved with Julius Ceaser and Mark Anthony, who ath fathered her children.

There is a lot of myth surrounding Cleopatra. She seems to be one of those figures that is timeless. She is someone who people want her to be. They would like her to look a certain way, be a certain way and adhere to the beautiful legend from ancient  Egypt. The only thing is she isn't really from Egypt's most ancient past but the latter stage of Egypt's power. She was the last queen of Egypt. 

Cleopatra's suicide - Discovery news
Cleopatra

Image at the top is "Cleopatra" by J. E. Bowser. Visit the artists site.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A poem inspired by the Supermoon



This poem was composed by myself after the Supermoon event last weekend.

Waiting, Starving
by Rayne a.k.a. "She Wolf Night"

The days will be,
extremely gloomy.
He is still far away.
Alone, across the sea,
I don't know where...
where he could be.
It was a lonesome moon,
that perigee disc,
amidst the gloom
and twilight whisk.
From here to now.
My presence here in this hall
of curses and wolfbane,
and dying weeds cascading the wall.
I can't imagine,
how deep I bit.
I can't remember
where I hit.
I can't be that...
creature who is me
At fullest moon beams.
A howl, a scream,
then my body is no longer mine.
I howl, rampaging, lost.
Looking for my dearest love.
I seek him at the coastline.
I wander along the shore
from dusk until early morning light.
I've trodden on bones.
Trodden on leaves.
Scratched by thorns and prickly cacti.
I leave my castle door...
following, his trail of incense that vanishes to the beach.
As a wolf, I remember him.
As a woman, I know him.
I've been hungry.
I ate so little.
Starved of nutrients, I leave it there,
exposed to flies and air.
Bread, fruit, cake and porridge I've let go untouched,
It makes me sick to touch.
I feed at the full moon,
only when I am the she-wolf.
And I live off scraps too,
whatever, I don't remember being human.
I've fed upon wild beasts,
Eggs, berries, rubbish bin crap.
I've licked off dirt from my paws.
I can't remember.
I don't want to either.
I miss him. I long for his touch.
Where is he now?
When's he coming home to me?
Where's he gone?
I wait for the man.
Waiting and starving.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Exploring the Wilderness


The National Trust set out a list of 50 things a child "should be doing before they reach eleven years old". I read this in one of the national papers and the outline says children should be doing all of this before aged 11 things without adult supervision! Huh? A lot of the activities they listed need plenty of adult supervision with trained professionals there also. Kids mustn't be doing this on their own.

Here is the list of 50 things that kids should be doing before 11 years of age. I highlighted in bold text the activities without much health and safety, that could be viewed as dangerous, a menace to the environment, quite cruel to the animals and endangering wildlife:

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what’s in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river

Okay, you might think it's a wonderful idea. People overlook that there are some very odd things in that list, including straying out at night in the countryside!

First of all we must teach children never to pick wild berries, fruits and even apples off trees or bushes. It must be said that this is because the fruits would likely be toxic. Children can't be sure what's edible and what isn't. Apples and plums might be good from the local supermarket but on wild trees in the countryside, they might have turned very sour and filled with parasites. Symbolically it's considered theft just to pick wilf fruit, and perhaps it encourages kids to take things for granted. An adult should always advise children what's okay to eat without picking berries.

Snow White ate the poisonous apple because she didn't realise that it could be bad. Well apples can be harmful. It's unwise of the National Trust to tell children they should pick wild fruits and just eat them like sweets. Look at Hansel and Gretal. They were unsupervised kids left to their own devises. They ate a house in the forest because it looked so delicious. The met a nasty old witch that was only interested in hurting them. This is a story about the daring nature of children. Berries look nice but most of them are deadly. So I think the National Trust were very irresponsible to tell kids to do that.

I tell children that they must always be with an adult if they want to do anything daring and adventurous. Maybe I'm too cynical? Everything mentioned on that list is going to cause aggro for the wildlife. Some kids won't just keep snails and butterflies. They might torment the creatures. A whole range of problems could happen if children interfered with the nests of insects. All of that on the list needs total adult supervision.

What I've taken part in personally before I was eleven was:

Rolled down a hill, camped in the wild, ran in the rain, snowball fights, played on rope swings, visited an island, grass trumpet making and I even raised a butterfly.

Now not mentioned on the list but sounding similar to it are things I did as a child:  

Walked through a forest, built a spaceship out of sand and bits from an old car, made sandcastles, found crabs in pools (I never touched them), watched the sun set, made lots of daisy chains, made ornuments with shells, seen wild animals in parks and zoos, held an eagle (trained adult was present), been to farms, ect.

I also liked boardgames, computer games and reading books! Mind and body. However it's not just the thrill seeking of the outdoors that should be emphasised but the mastering of the outdoors. Join the guides, scouts, cubs, brownies or go on Summer Camps to do these things with adult guidance.

It's important for kids to learn about nature and how to enjoy being out in it.

Links of interest:

50 Things National Trust
Nature Net Learning
Woodland Trust - Kids
Big Learning
Nature Explore