Tag Archives: faeries

Faerieworlds Winter 2011 Celebration: “Pirates vs Faeries” Masquerade Ball

Faerieworlds Pirates vs Faeries Ball .

Faerieworlds/Neverworlds Winter Celebration 2011: Pirates vs. Faeries Masquerade Ball
January 29, 2011: McDonald Theater, Eugene, Oregon

One of my favorite dances annually is the Faerieworlds Winter celebrations where they bring together the magical acts of Faerieworlds indoors to the McDonald theater in downtown Eugene, Oregon. Family and friends within the Faerie realms of Oregon, Washington, and beyond come together, dressed to the nines in Faerie and fantasy costumes ready to mesmerize one another in their frolick together. This year was the theme of “Pirates vs. Faeries” as they dance battled the two realms. It was a great display of art, theater, and magic. The magical band “Woodland” enchanted all with their otherworldly music and presence, as well as being hosts to the party. Drinks, festivity, dancing, friends, and family were blended into an amazing night. I was on a bit of jetlag as I soared the skies and roads with a rental car for a 36 hour visit to family coming from Colorado. It was worth every minute. Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Faerieworlds Pirates vs Faeries Ball. Photo by Thomas Baurley / Leaf McGowan / Technogypsie Photography (c) 2011 – www.technoypsie.com/photography – Read the adventure here: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=29943. For more reviews, visit www.technogypsie.com/reviews. Faerieworlds Winter Celebration 2011: Pirates vs. Faeries – http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=33053.

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Slieve Gullion

Siabh gCuilinn (Mountains of the steep slope)
Slieve Gullion, County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Article by Thomas Baurley and Leaf McGowan,
Technogypsie Productions: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=4419 on March 27, 2014.

A mythical hotspot, “Siabh gCuilinn” or “Slieve Gullion” is a majestic burial cairn that rests atop a mountain known after the cairn itself. It sits atop the 573 meter tall mountain in the center of the area of natural beauty known as “The Ring of Gullion“. It is the highest mountain in County Armagh of Northern Ireland. It is also known archaeologically as the highest surviving passage tomb discovered in Ireland. It stands as a large Neolithic burial chamber located on the mountain’s southern summit. The mountain and its tombs are full of folklore and legend, the most notorious being that as “Calliagh Berra’s House” or the home to the wicked hag, Calliagh Berra who lived within this mound. The mountain is just over the border from Ireland in Northern Ireland, just a few miles west of the Cooley Mountains. All of these mountains were volcanic in origin. The hills in this area (Ring of Gullion) are remnant ruins of an ancient volcano dating to over 60 million years ago in age. (Around the time that Europe and North America were drifting apart) There is a lake atop the mountain called “The Lake of Sorrow” or “Calliagh Bheara’s lake”.


There are two cairns on either side of the lake. The Northern Cairn is a round circular mount of stones measuring approximately 40 feet in diameter, while the Southern Cairn (Slieve Gullion) is a large passage grave at 570 meters elevation. Evidence of habitation of the area date to over 6,000 years before the present with remnants of stone monuments, cairns, standing stones, megalithic tombs, and burial chambers. These tombs date to the Bronze Age and the Neolithic. There is also a stone feature called Calliagh Berra’s Chair lower down on a hillock called Spellick. It is a popular spot to visit during Lughnasadh to sit on this chair for various blessings. Evidence of early unsuccessful farming and quarrying can be found on the hill. The first recorded investigation of the tomb was done by locals in 1789 looking for the old lady Cailleach Berra and they only found a few human bones. The cairn was excavated in 1961 by archaeologists: The passage grave cairn was recorded at being 30 meters wide, 5 meters high, an interior chamber of 3.5 meters wide with a corbelled roof of 4.3 meters from the ground.The three large blocks within were believed to be used as basins. Artifacts found consisted of worked flint and a barbed-end arrowhead. It is believed all other artifacts was looted from tomb raiding through the ages. Entrance has been marked as being aligned with the setting sun on the winter solstice. Carbon dating states the cairn was built around 3500 BCE – 2900 BCE. The smaller cairn by the lake had a much later date, most likely Bronze Age. This other cairn consisted of two cist burials – one containing bits of burnt bone that was most likely that of a single adult. The cairns were disturbed during World War II by American soldiers training in the area.

The mountain is mentioned in many legends in Ireland’s history, especially withing the Mythological Cycle and telling of the Fae races of Eire. In the ancient battle epic “the Tin B Cuailnge”, the mountain was called “Sliabh Cuilinn”. The nearby gap here in the North is where C Chulainn single-handedly fended-off invading armies.

The legend of Calliagh Berra and Finn McCool
The Giant Finn McCool (Finn Mac Cumhaill) had encountered the wicked hag Calliagh Berra (or Miluchra) who was shape shifted into a beautiful enchantress. He found the beautiful maiden to be weeping in sorrow as she had lost her ring in the pool below. Touched by her sadness, he dove into the bottomless lake to retrieve the ring, only to surface with the ring and cursed by her to appear as an old man with hair white as snow. Some time later she did him a favor and removed the evil spell, returning him to his warrior-like physique, losing only his beautiful blonde hair. According to the legend, anyone who swims in this treacherous lake will have their hair turn permanently white. Calliag is Irish for “witch” or “hag” and Calliag Berra, a most notorious otherworldly witch, is attributed to this mountain as well as others, such as the hill of Loughcrew Passage Tomb and the hill of Bellewstown, all in County Meath.


Legend of ine and Milucra
This tale states that ine and her sister Milucra were obsessed with the hero “Fionn mac Cumhaill”. They competed for his attention and hand in marriage. ine had once told her sister Milucra that she would never marry an old man, disturbed by the sight of grey hair. So Milucra cursed the lake atop the mountain that if anyone ever swam in it, their hair would turn white as snow, and their skin would wrinkle up in age. She tricked Fionn into swimming in it, causing him to gain age and white hair, hoping that ine would no longer be interested in him. Fionn’s soldiers were quite disturbed with this act and forced her violently to restore his age – via a magic elixir from her cornucopia. His hair however never returned to his fairy blonde color he was famous for. Other versions state that Milucra is Cailleach Bhirre, an ancient Goddess.

the legend of C Chulainn
Slieve Gullion in this legend was named after Culann the metalsmith. Originally called “Stanta”, this young metalsmith spent his childhood here growing up and eventually was called “C Chulainn”. While living here, Culann invited Conchobar mac Neasa, the king of Ulster to a feast at his house along these slopes. During the King’s journey, he stopped at the playing field to watch the hurlers play a match. He was so impressed by Stanta’s performance, he asked him to join him at the feast, and the boy promised to come along after the game. Conchobhar went ahead to the feast and forgot about Stanta, and Culann had released his ferocious hound to guard the house during the feast, unknown to Stanta who while approaching the house was attacked. Stanta killed the hound by either smashing it against a standing stone or driving a sliotar (hurling ball) down its throat with his hurley. Culann was devastated by the loss of his hound so Stanta promised to replace it and until he could find one old enough to do the job, he himself would guard Culann’s house and thereby was renamed C Chulainn, “Culann’s Hound” by the Druid Cathbhadh.


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Prince August Toy Soldier Factory


Prince August Toy Soldier Factory
* Kilnamartyra Village, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland * Phone + 353 (0)26 40222 * Fax + 353 (0)26 40004 * http://www.princeaugust.ie/ *

As we were driving around Ireland looking for stone monuments, dolmen, tombs, and holy wells we stumbled upon this toy factory in the small village of Kilnamartyra in Macroom, near Killarney town and Cork City. The parking lot was empty but the open sign was up. The outside of the building had beautiful artwork and painting of mythology, toy soldiers, and dragons. Inside we were greated by a mom and her son who showed us around the store, let us take a peek in the warehouse, and demonstrated lead casting of the toy soldiers. Apparently this is the only Toy Soldier Factory in all of Europe and one of the largest of its kind in the world. They offer tours of the facilities, demonstrations, school tours, family days, parties, and craft making sessions.


They offer casting and painting workshops as well. The Factory creates a variety of start kits that contain moulds that can be used for home crafting to create your own toy soldiers or mythical beings. The selection ranges from toy soldiers, traditional soldiers, Romans, Vikings, Faeries, Mythological Figures, Chess Sets, Christmas Ornaments, and Teddy Bears. The factory was founded in 1976 by two new Irish residents from Sweden. They bought a factory building in Kilnamartyra, recruited local help, and bought mould making machines beginning production. They originally packed and distributed in Germany while manufacturing in Ireland at first, but as their resources grew in Ireland, moved operations completely into Ireland. We had a great visit, and enjoyed the figurines. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


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New York Faerie Festival 2013


New York Faerie Festival 2013
* http://www.nyfaeriefest.com/ * Ouaquaga, New York *

Each summer towards the end of June a special portal opens to the Faerie Realm in the farmlands of New york state just east of Binghamton on a very magical nature sanctuary dedicated to the Fae. We decided this year to venture forth to this magical event. On our 2013 visit we came to enjoy the fantasy lands from June 28th until June 30th as the portal remained open. We were first to pass over the slippery muds from the rainstorms that dotted the event. Meeting goblins, mermaids, trolls, and orcs definitely sparked the imagination as we hiked along the paths to the stone circle, bathed on the mermaid beach, crossed the troll bridge, met the tooth fairy, and admired various altars. Frolicking with the Faerie queen, pixies, and elves … dancing to the amazing music of a plethera of talent on its stages. It was family fun for all ages. The merchant village had great artists and craftsmen, food stuffs, and goodies, and amazing faerie chai teas. Time in the realm, albeit wet, was wonderful as the festival was added to one of my current favorites. Rating: 5 stars out of 5


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Staurolite: Fairy crosses/stones

We often have a large selection of faerie crosses in our found treasures collection you can obtain from us, view them here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?s=faerie+cross.

Fairy Stone / Fairy Cross / Staurolite

Localities: Fairy Stone State Park, Virginia, USA; North Georgia, USA; Little Falls, Minnesota, USA; Taos, New Mexico, USA; Switzerland; Russia; Australia; Brazil; France; Italy; Scotland.

Description: Popular to its folklore and legends, this stone has a State Park in Virginia named after it as it is home to its namesake “fairy stones”. It is also the official stone of the state of Georgia in the USA. Most commonly shaped like Celtic crosses or the St. Andrew’s cross, as an “X” or as a “T” shaped Roman cross, and square Maltese crosses. Color of the Staurolite varies to the region it comes from but can be dark brow, brownish black, grey, or reddish brown.

Geology:Staurolite are a combination of silica, iron, and aluminum. A silicate mineral, with the Chemical formula of Fe2+2Al9O6(SiO4)4(O,OH)2, and a Strunz classification of 9.AF.30, possessing a monclinic prismatic crystal symmetry. It’s H-M symbol is (2/m), with a Space group of C 2/m, and a unit cell a = 7.86 , b = 16.6 , c = 5.65 ; ? = 90.45; Z=2. Coloring ranges from yellowish brown, rarely blue, dark reddish brown to blackish brown, pale golden yellow in thin sections with a subvitreous to resinous luster, white to gray streaks, transparent to opague diaphaneity. Specific gravity is 3.74 – 3.83 meas. 3.686 calc. Twinning is commonly as 60 twins, less common as 90 cruciform twins. Subconchoidal fracture, brittle tenacity, mosh scale hardness of 7-7.5. Common to have penetration twinning, or a characteristic cross-shape. It occurs with almandine garnet, micas, kyanite; as well as albite, biotite, and sillimanite in gneiss and schist of regional metamorphic rocks. It is only found in rocks once subjected to great heat and pressure. A rare mineral occurence in nature, it is only found in certain areas of the world in the fairy cross or celtic cross shapes. Each are unique and never are identical. True Staurolite crosses are hard enough to scratch glass.

Folklore: Named after the Greek word “Stauros” for “cross”, they are commonly known as “fairy stones” or “fairy crosses”. According to European and Christianity influenced Native American legend on the state park website, “hundreds of years before Chief Powhatan’s reign, the fairies were dancing around a magical spring of water, playing with naiads and wood nymphs, when a elfin messenger arrived from a city far away bringing the news of the death of Christ. When these creatures of the forest heard the story of the crucifixion, they wept, as their tears fell upon the earth they crystallized into beautiful crosses”. During the first meeting of John Smith and Pocahontas, it is said the Indian princess gave John Smith a good luck charm made out of a “fairy cross”. Legend has it that Richard the Lionheart used them during the crusades to heal the wounded. Some say these are the tears of the Cherokee who wept over the loss of their homeland during the exodus on the “Trail of Tears”. Others talk of an ancient race of mountain faeries who were dancing at their favorite meeting places, and upon finding out that the “Great Creator” had died, shed tears, so moved, were crushed in heart and cried, as they wept their tears crystallized into the “fairy crosses”. Others say that during the defeat of the Tuatha de Danann and other faerie races when they were forced under-ground to live in the hills, the faeries around the world shed tears, made of Iron to represent the Iron Age destroying their race, in the shapes of crosses as an omen of the peopling that would destroy the planet next.

    Ay the charms of the fairy stone make you blessed
    through the days of labor and nights of rest
    Where ever you stay, where ever you go,
    May the beautiful flowers of the good Fairies Grow.
    ~ Little Falls Minnesota web page

Well known that Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Thomas A. Edison, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, and other prominent people carried one of these on their person(s).

Magical uses: For centuries these were believed to protect the wearer from sickness, accidents, disaster, and witchcraft. Used to find lost objects. Placed under the pillow to help induce lucid dreaming and astral travel. Used as amulets for good luck. Used to aid stress, anxiety, fear, considered soothing energy, and helpful with grounding. Many believe they embody an energy that will help you make contact with faeries or nature spirits. Some believe wearing the stones will help one stop smoking. Astrologically associated with Pisces. Associated with the base chakra. Healing qualities, good luck, rituals, protection, fever, defeat of malaria, stress, depression, addictive personality traits, time management, smoking cessation.

We often have a large selection of faerie crosses in our found treasures collection you can obtain from us, view them here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/shop/?s=faerie+cross.

By Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions and Research Facility.

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Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh (Dublin)

Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh

* Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland *

The Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh / Maedhbh / Maeve standing strong and naked while holding a bull’s head. Located on Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland. Photo take June 6, 2012. The statue was presented in 2004, and sculpted by Patrick O’Reilly. It depicts a modern re-telling of Queen Maeve, representing the power & equality of Celtic women, told by its viewers as a symbol of brutality, kitch, polyandry, and obsession of a power hungry queen. As a ruler of both mortals and the legendary fae, she was a female ruler in Irish History, dominating over western Ireland (Connacht) around the 1st century B.C.E. Strong, powerful, beautiful, and passionate about love and war. She was legendary for her large armies and rumored to have slept with many of her commanders, motivating them for her tasks at hand, and using them at her will. This statue was supposedly created to symbolize this power of her, represented by her large giant fomorian-like stature, naked, with a verocious sexual appetite. Legend has it that she could sleep with over 30 men a day. Her holding the head of a bull in the right hand represents her main myth, the Cattle Raid of Cooley. As her husband owned a bull of superior strength, that outranked her fortune. She couldn’t have that, so as she needed one to compete, she went to war to take the best bull known in Ireland. “The bull of Ulster”. The spear represents her as a warrior, the bird her freedom as well as her enchantment. It is one of Dublin’s little most known statues down a street not often frequented by the public.

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Tiveragh Fairy Hill (Cushendall)


The Tiveragh Fairy Hill
Cushendall, Northern Ireland

Legend and lore has it that this very broad sided hill with steep sides overlooking the small village of Cushendall in Northern Ireland is the gateway to Tir na nOg. A place very well known locally to be haunted by faeries, leprechauns, elves, and pixies … this giant hill is a natural fortress all in its own and easily seen to be claimed as a stronghold by the fae. Fairy tales mention many stories about it rising up on pillars during the twilight evening with glimmering meriment of faeries frolicking and dining. Many believe that the wee folk live in this hill that is accessed by a nearby cave. As the warning goes, if ye are mortal, regardless of how appeasing the faerie music may sound, if you wander within, you’ll never be seen again on this plane of existence. Time holds a whole different rhythm in Faerieworlds.

We however, of fae persuasion, did venture up the hill at the turn of twilight just as the sun was going down. We spied the hill with visions of faerie impressions while across the valley atop Ossian’s Grave – the Megalithic tomb believed to be the burial spot of the fabled poet and bard Oisin. Now Oisin was lured into fae, into Tir na nOg where he lived until he requested to return to the land of mortals to visit his family. Of course due to faerie time, he came back several hundred years later to find them all gone and deceased. He fell off his faerie steed and became a blind old man wandering these fields eventually dying. If the faerie tale is true, this would be the hill he would have rode out of and across the valley would have been his grave overlooking it … curiouser and curiouser. Midway along the way up the base of the hill is one of the most magnificent Faerie Thorn Trees I’ve ever encountered. As usual with these faerie hills, I always find a wee hole just big enough for the Victorian sized fae to enter within, usually lined with heavy rocks, making it look peculiarly like its a miniature mine rather than a animal hole. We climbed atop as the sun was going down, empowered by the feelings of the ancient ones. Archaeologically though, this may be a massive hillfort. I’m looking for those records and will post my findings here.

    On Tiv-ra Hill near Cushendall,
    I heard a commotion behind a wall,
    I stopped and looked over, and boys-o-boys!

    Now what do you think was making the noise?
    Twas a Hurley match – and may I choke -
    It was two wee teams of the Fairy folk
    That was rippling’ and tearing’ and weltin’ away
    In the light of the moon was bright as day.

    And their playing pitch was hardly as big
    As my Uncle Barney’s potato rig;
    And me there watchin’ them puck and clout
    At the back o’ the wall with my eyes stuck out.

    When all at once, like the squeal of a hare,
    A wee voice shouted, “Who’s that up there?”
    And a bit off a thing about nine – inch tall
    Came climbing up to the top of the wall.

    And he stood there; he stood about pot -size
    With his two wee fingers up at my eyes,
    And its God’s own truth that I’m speakin’ mind ye,
    ”Get out o’ that,” says he, “or Ill blind ye!”

    Aye that’s what he said, “I’ll blind ye,” says he,
    And by Jing what he said was enough for me,
    Did I run? Aye surely; I didnt miss -
    And I haven’t seen Tiveragh from that to this.

    ~ H.Browne

    The Fairy Hill Tiveragh is a fairy hill and near to Cushendall,
    And nobody goes there at night, no nobody at all.
    The hill is small, the sides are steep.
    And I have heard it said That flickering lights go in and out While everyones in bed.
    And on the top two hawthorns grow, A white one and a red.
    ~ John Irvine Desmond

~ Yours truly, Leaf McGowan

Continue reading Tiveragh Fairy Hill (Cushendall)


Shakefest 2012: May 26th – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

2012 Shake Fest: Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

Shakefest 2012
May 26-27th, 2012 * Charleville Castle * Tullamore * Ireland * Shakefest.net *

This year will be Shakefest’s “7th” Annual Dance and multi-cultural festival held at the historic epic Charleville Castle. The festival grounds is starting to bustle with activity as preparations are in the flow to welcome local and international community, visitors, friends, and family to celebrate culture. Since 2006, Shakefest has been bringing together an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Cultural Dance, and Artistic Workshops ending with a multi-cultural evening of dance performances. This year, Shakefest is expanding into more folklore, diversity, performance art, crafts, and themes for all ages, sexes, and cultures. This year features numerous workshops, classes, performances, and activities such as a “Faerie Glen” to get lost in, A “Madhatter’s Tea Party”, A bouncy Pirate Ship, Indian Cuisine, Performances by Tullamore’s “The Red Embers”, Galway Bellydance, Appolonia Tribal Bellydance, Sheeoneh, Nicole Volmering, and Aoife Hardiman.

Joana Saahirah ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

This year’s International Guest Instructor is Oriental Dancer Joana Saahirah of Cairo, Egypt providing authentic education on Egyptian History and Folklore as well as Oriental Dance instruction in Classical, Saiidi and Alexandria of Mellaya styles. Declan Kiely will host a special workshop on how to “Dance like Michael Jackson”. Hip Hop, Jazz, Poi & Ribbon Dancing, Bachata and Argentinian Tango classes are also offered. There will also be African dance, poetry, open-mic sessions, a kid’s gigantic Dragonfly and butterfly hunt, punch and judy, juggling & stiltwalking by Stagecraft Ireland, Drum Circles, and a magic show. This year will also be breaking ground on a live history section with the KHI Medieval Re-enactors treating audiences to combat simulations of the Crusader’s Knight’s Templar with medieval tents, a full try-on armoury and archery for all ages.

KHI Medieval Re-enactors ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest

Featured musical performances by 40’s Swinging The Bugle Babes, Our Annual Multi-cultural Hafla, daring fire show by The Red Embers & Babylon’s Inferno, The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin. Dazzling Romanian and Bulgarian instrumental band is expected to finish off the fest with explosive energy and lively dance accompanied by original and traditional tunes from clarinet, saxophone, trombone, keys, banjo, double bass, and drums. If you’re travelling through Ireland this weekend or live in the magical isles, this event is not to be missed. Gates open at Noon on Saturday the 26th with admission only 10 general entry, 10 camping, 20 family day pass or only 15 for evening entertainment. All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund Operation Raise The Roof project in which money will be raised towards putting a protective roof on the castle chapel. We’ll be covering this event, so come back here for photos, review, and the stories we weave from the experience …

North Strand Kontra Band ~ photo courtesy of Shakefest


Holy Wells and Sacred Springs

We have a collection of Springs and Holy Wells from around the world at www.technogypsie.com/naiads/. Please see our full collection there.


Holy Wells and Sacred Springs, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Photos from visits in 2011 to Holy Wells and Sacred Springs. 8 July 2011: Giants Well at St. Michael’s Mount; Madron Well. 31 October 2011: Chalice Well and White Spring, Glastonbury, England. Well of Tara.


Faerie or Elven Stars (Septagram/Heptagram)

Faery Star

Elven Star
Faerie Star

[originally posted 1987 on geocities; posted on faeid.com from 1991-2000; updated 2/7/2011. Current home location: http://www.technogypsie.com/faeid/elvenstar.html. ]

Seven Pointed Stars, called “Faerie or Elven Stars” represent a gift from Faerie to humans to bridge the understanding between the Mortal human realm and that of Faerieland. The 7 pointed star is known as a gateway symbol, a Gate or entrance between our world and that of Faery, the Otherworld. Each point on the star represents a gateway or path of the Higher Self to prepare one for entrance into Faery. It is also known as a septagram, Heptagram, or “7 pointed star”. It is also a representation of those who believe in Faeries, consider themselves to be Fae, or blessed by the Fae. Originating from Faerie faiths, alchemy, and ceremonial magickal groups – the Faerie Star has been adopted by many old and newer faiths, including some brands of modern day Witchcraft / Wicca such as the Faerie Tradition, Blue Star Wicca, many Otherkin groups (especially Elves), The Silver Elves, Faeidism, Aleister Crowley’s Order of the Silver Star, the Pleidians, and some New Age Cults. It’s first documented use was in the Kabbalah, then with Aleister Crowley, the Ordo Templi Orientis as the Star of Babalon, and by Alchemists to represent the 7 planets and 7 elements of the Universe. Christianity has even used the star to represent the seven days of creation, to ward off evil, etc. It has been found in the Former Georgian Coat of Arms (1918-1921; 1991-2004). The Cherokee Nation has incorporated the symbol into various bands of the Cherokee Nation. Many police entities use the 7 pointed star on their badges, including the Navajo Nation Police. It is employed in the Flag of Australia having 5 heptagrams and one pentagram to depict the Southern Cross constellation and the Commonwealth Star.

Faerie Star :

  1. Power, Personal Will, Determination, Prosperity, Justice, the Gate.
  2. Unconditional Love, Wisdom, Growth, Friendship, Healing.
  3. Knowledge, Intelligence, Creativity, Sexuality, Awakening.
  4. Harmony, Tranquility, Blessings, Love.
  5. Powers of Mind and Science, Balance, Dexterity.
  6. Devotion, Honesty, justice, Healing.
  7. Magick, Success, the Gaian Hypothesis.


Meditations on the Seven-Pointed Star
Draw line from 1 to 6 (1 = The Sun (prosperity, justice, the Gate) )
6 to 4 (6 – Wind Spirits (justice, healing) )
4 to 2 (4 – Magic (Goddess bless, love))
2 to 7 (2 – Tree Spirits (friendship and healing) )
7 to 5 (7 – Success (Gaian Hypothesis))
5 to 3 (5 – the Gateway (balance/entering Faeryland) )
3 to 1 (3 – Water Spirits (creativity, sexuality, Awakening) )

Continue reading Faerie or Elven Stars (Septagram/Heptagram)


2010 Colorado Faerie Festival

Colorado Faerie Festival
* August 7, 2010 * Vermijo Park * Colorado Springs, Colorado * http://coloradofaeriefestival.com/ *

More or less a market rather than a festival … this gathering of vendors, costumed faerie folk, Renaissance faire enthusiasts, and wandering-bystanders came together in Vermijo Park in downtown Old Colorado City – a suburb area of Colorado Springs. It was the first event of its kind to hit Colorado Springs as it was focused to cash in on the faerie craze across the country. While poorly attended and not very advertised, it still drew a curious all ages. In its beginnings, it had a decent amount of vendors show and set up with an assortment of fine goods, crafts, and art. Several food vendors set up in the parking lot. Parking was a little difficult towards the late afternoon. As not much entertainment was scheduled outside of the vendors, the band “Radio London” played the ballfield diamond. As the event was billed for 10 am to 6 pm – afternoon winds and threatening rain storms dispersed the remaining crowds mid-afternoon. There were some great costumes. Sue of the Vermijo garden welcomed attendees into the garden for a nice tour and painting of rocks for the garden spirits. Overall it was a fun day. The event was free for the public and had pricey booth spaces for the vendors. Granted I might be biased as I’ve travelled around the world to many extroadinary faerie festivals, but this was not one of them. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Maybe 2011’s will be better.

This was the view unfortunately for most of the day

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Chronicles: August 7, 2010: Colorado Faerie Festival and Preparations for Burning Man

Exploring and Vending the Colorado Faerie Festival

Saturday, 7 August 2010
* Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States of America *

Sir Thomas Leaf packed up his Steampunk Time Travelling “Isis Adventure” Van/vardo with Tree Leaves Oracle merchandise and at the wee hours of the morning, heading out to Vermijillo Park where a supposed portal would appear for a manifestation of faeries as the “Colorado Faerie Festival“. As excited as he was for a Colorado gathering of Faeries, he was a little on the edge of caution and hesitance with this festival as no one in the local Faerie/Faeid/Otherkin/Pagan communities were aware of who this organizer who was putting it on was or where he’s from, or his intent with all this. Regardless about what the Colorado Spring fae were saying, Sir Leaf figured he should vend it and give it a chance (even though it had the ridiculous price tag of $100 for vending at a poorly advertised event with no entertainment to speak of except the vendors). (He’s used to vending Pagan festivals and community events where the merchant booth is usually $5-30 for a day, and most 3-5 day outdoor festivals at $30-100 for the full week) (Unless its a “commercial” based venue that is guaranteed to attract “thousands” of attendees … which this certainly was not)

Sir Thomas Leaf arrived at the park and set up as quick as he could. Vendors had already started setting up camp. Alot of work for a half day venue. (10 am to 6 pm) It took awhile to find the organizer who was busy coordinating and helping people set up. Leaf’s enthusiasm started to turn upwards as he began to think it would be a good turnout and maybe some of the fae commmunity would be coming and maybe his attendance would be worthwhile. Wouldn’t see any of the local Goth community he figured as they were having their annual picnic in the park elsewhere even though he tried to lure them to move their picnic here.

Sir Thomas Leaf’s friend Lady Sue came by and set up the Vermijillo Community Garden into a Faerie Garden of sorts to entertain attendees. While no officially part of the festival, it brought joy and community spirit to the event. She had rock painting and gave tours of the garden. She also introduced Leaf to her most wonderful Little School on Vermijo. He met her wonderful sons who wanted to come on board as crewmates with his upcoming Pirate ship at Pirate Relief. Sir Thomas highly admired Lady Sue’s most wonderful faerie costume and wings. Especially the little catchy phrase on the back of the wings … (See picture below).

Some of the vendors had some good setups and selections – that was promising. Luckily he scored a good parking spot before they were all gone as parking became a problem quickly as the morning progressed. His friends Kathy and Rocky showed up and helped him watch the booth as well as adding in some of Kathy’s spectacular faerie wings. Busy packing and unpacking, fighting some wind gusts coming in through the park (as usual breaking something or other). Leaf’s roommate Q showed up to do some professional photography and some local as well as long distance fae appeared in full garb as well as some Renaissance Faire folk. Some young fae played in the park and some of the attendees did add in some entertaining spirit as they frolicked around the park as they all awaitied the musical entertainment to show up. (which was pretty late into the day after much of the crowds left earlier) Radio London by late afternoon was set up and started performing (unfortunately as storms threatened in the skies and winds played mischief on the booths). Attendees had fun though little purchasing took effect for the merchants.

As attendance disappeared since there was no entertainment to keep the attendees captivated to stay all day. Add in threatening skies with merchandise blowing over and breaking – it was time to call it quits Sir Leaf thought. As he packed up he noticed other merchants had the same idea as the bulk of them starting packing down (few hours earlier than billing had it to end). Leaf was disenheartened that he was coming out at a loss and surveyed some of the other vendors finding that most of them came out at a loss. This wasn’t really a “festival” persay, it was more of a “market” Leaf thought. The organizer was kind enough to ask how he did and after telling him the low sales – the organizer cut the price of the booth to make up for some of the loss as he last minute paid for the booth. This act of community, combined with how un-organized and non-chalant the event was especially with getting the booth fee till the very end – started to make Leaf feel the organizer might actually be community oriented rather than profit oriented. That he liked and started to believe there might be hope for this Colorado Faerie Festival enterprise that this guy set up. He had positive news to report back to the local fae.

However, it was to be played with caution as the organizer was not part of the local fae community nor had he made any attempts to including them in this venture. Leaf himself had learned about the festival just a few weeks prior, barely enough time to plan for it and get the booth into it … but was very appreciative for being permitted such late entry. Positive things were said about this organizer through the vending circle though … so hope was made on the upswing that this might be beneficial for the local community after all. Apparently though, much to Sir Leaf’s surprise, he discovered that this organizer was planning a Faerie con called Mysticon. Of course it was oddly mimicking the organizational layout of Faerieworlds with its Good Faerie/Bad Faerie Balls and too similarly named after Mysticon in Virginia that has been around since the 1980’s. Copycat-ing is never received in good taste. Not to mention there is already a science fiction convention in the same hotel at the same time called Cosine. It just doesn’t look well thought out, Leaf pondered.

It is important to research what is already existing and not to copy something already in place. It is important to be Unique and not ride on the coat-tails of others. “Oh Well”, Sir Thomas Leaf figured … He’ll check out the web site and see what its all about. The organizer, while not Fae, seemed to be a nice guy … and maybe for once, someone is really out to do something nice for the fae … rather than try to cash in on them. (Put the faerie in a cage and charge admission to see them ~ old Victorian stunt)

Sir Thomas Leaf, Sir Rocky, and Lady Kathy all caravaned to Sushi Ring for a fabulous “All you can eat” Sushi feast. Good times, good eats. After bidding farewell, Sir Thomas Leaf returned to the Hobbit Hole Cottage in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain. Unpacked his inventory and settled into a early night with some blogging and research online.

After that evening’s research on the event, Leaf decided he would NOT vend Mysticon because of those above elements, because of lack of faerie community support or inclusion, and because the event was obviously “commercially” driven rather than “community” driven with yet poor advertising as was evidenced with this festival. Plus he noticed there was no listed entertainment and didn’t have much online about the event. Yet they were charging $350-400 for a booth. “Really?” Leaf thought … “Are they crazy?” He decided then and there he would not be part of it. Leaf had an inbox full of invites from travellers to the Burn that were willing to port his gear for him if he flew in with his air elf friend. Off to sleep … dreaming of his next adventure …. and how packed his life was with travels … sad that he didn’t have a partner to share it with, to travel with, but realizing that because he was constantly on the go travelling around he doesn’t leave much of a chance for partner’s to grow and meld with him since many of them can’t pick up and go on the crazy adventures with him. “Sigh” fluttered Leaf. Off to sleep. [Close or inner circle friends of Leaf can read his views on being single on Livejournal or Facebook.]

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Continue reading Chronicles: August 7, 2010: Colorado Faerie Festival and Preparations for Burning Man


Faerieworlds 2010

Faerieworlds 2010
* Friday, 30 July 2010 – Sunday, 1 August 2010 * Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon * www.Faerieworlds.com *

Every year the portals between the worlds of mortals and faeries open in Eugene, Oregon. For these last two years, this magical space has manifested itself at the Buford Recreation Park in the Mount Pisgah Arboretum just south of Eugene, Oregon. Every year, Faerieworlds becomes more and more spectacular – and this year was none-other. Faerieworlds has become re-designed with an inner circle of camping consisting of over 300 camp sites on its eastern end with night-time activities going from dusk and beyond to dawn’s sparkling lights. Every year, more and more mortals and faeries come together to dance, celebrate life, frolick, play, dress-up, make music, art, and tell stories. A health-conscious food court awaits those hungry souls for culinary delights; hundreds of artisans and merchants brandishing their wares for the shopper’s pleasure, and costumery, face painting, books, authors, and artistry awaits those intrigued by written and artistic beauty with ability to meet the world reknown faerie artists such as Brian and Wendy Froud and Amy Brown. Mesmerizing music from Faun, Woodland, Delhi 2 Dublin, Tricky Pixie, David Helfand, Brother, Man Overboard, Gypsy Nomads, Talesma, Tyler Fortier, Taarka, Stellamara, Mingushki, Marcus Fire, Ghillie Dhu, Vixy and Tony, High Priestess, Madrona, and SJ Tucker amongst others. A new addition of a sacred Celtic standing stone circle and a wishing tree to enchant wandering souls in Faerieland. More recycling and conscious attention to healing of the Earth. Fires for music jam sessions, spinning, and storytelling in the evenings; a dome with DJ’s and dance parties. Aerial arts, hullahooping, fire spinning, and belly dancing. Lots of activities for the kids and adults alike. Swimming and cooling off with the selchies and mer-people in the Willamette River and hiking trails full of woodland creatures and winged pixies. As always, Faerieworlds never disappoints and was a spectacular whirlwind of fun and otherworldly pleasure. Still hands down the best Faerie festival I’ve had the pleasure of attending. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Faerieworlds: Day 1 – Good Faeries Day

Faerieworlds Day 2: Bad Faeries

Faerieworlds Day 3: Family Faerie Day

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Faerieworlds 2010: Day 3 – Family Faerie Day

Faerieworlds 2010: Day 3 – Family Faerie Day
* Faerieworlds 2010 * Mt. Pisgah Arboretum * Eugene, Oregon * Sunday, August 1st, 2010 *

The third and final day to the annual escape to Faerieworlds. The Final day is traditionally dedicated to children and families. Its a great day to see the children in their final costumery and fantastical outfits. The warm sun and clear skies, merriment on the dancing green, frolicking in the stone circle, final wishes being made at the wishing tree. Last minute shopping, greetings and farewells of friends, hula hooping, music, bubble blowing, and summer fun. On the Neverworlds stage beginning at 3 pm was Madrona, SJ Tucker, and the Gypsy Nomads. On the Main Stage beginning around noon was Tyler Fortier, Taarka, Faun, Woodland, and Stellamara. Unfortunately since we drove from Colorado and had a 23 hour drive home to get back to work in time on tuesday morning, we had to leave right after Faun exited stage. But from friends that stayed, was told of fantastical times that remained. Thank you Faerieworlds! Hope to see you again next year! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Faerieworlds 2010: Day 3 – Family Faerie Day


08.01.10: CSTL: Faerieworlds, Day 3, Return to the Mortal World

Day 4: Faerieworlds: Family Faeries

Sunday, 1 August 2010
* Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon, United States of America *

Sir Thomas Leaf and Lady Absinthe Alli awoke and headed to the main stage area to greet those who stated they were interested in Pirate Relief for a social meet and greet. Perhaps because it was at 10 am and everyone had partied pretty late through the night, that no one could awaken for the meet. Only Captain Leaf and Absinthe Alli were in attendance. Later socialized with some more friends and proceeded to get camp packed up before the Family Day activities began to take place. Absinthe Alli’s carriage packed up, the adventurers began to say their goodbyes as they had a 23 hour straight drive ahead of them back to Colorado. Unfortunately due to their timeline and crunch the adventurers were only able to see Faun in concert for the final day, missing several good acts. On to the road, around Portland the fatiqued explorers stopped at a rest area to make some Roadside Pad Thai for a hearty dinner before continuing onwards. Driving along the Columbia River, through Oregon, Idaho, into Utah, on through Wyoming and finally into Colorado after tag team driving. The adventure is done. It was a most excellent Faerieworlds 2010 Sir Thomas Leaf dreamt while catnapping in the carriage during his turn to rest.

This Journey is quite expensive & took quite a bit of personal sacrifice to make happen.
Any contribution, $1, $5, $10+ will help more than you can believe
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Lost Girl: Season 1

Lost Girl: Season 1
(Television NR: Showcase, 2010)
Creator: M.A. Lovretta. Starring: Anna Silk, Kris Holden-Ried and Ksenia Solo; and many others.

Its an expose of the Faerie world hidden within the human world where the season follows on the sensual charismatic Bo who never really felt at home with the humans tortured by not being able to experience love with them as she drains them to death during sex. She soon discovers she is a Succubus and is not alone, but in a world of the Genus Fae and without a tribe. She’s pushed to choose a tribe with the Dark Fae or the Light Fae, and decides to stay neutral. She becomes a renegade and teams up with a gothy girl human sidekick who becomes an investigator for the abnormal while figuring out who Bo’s mom is and her faerie origins. Falling in love with a Lycanthrope, at ends with the Morrigan, fighting off various species of Fae while keeping things secret from the human world. Full of mythology and faerie lore blended into the modern human world … this is a treasure and an action packed series. A must see for any faerie enthusiast. Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Season 1:

  • Episode 1: It’s a Fae, Fae, Fae, Fae World (September 2010)
  • Episode 2: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Fae (19 September 2010)
  • Episode 3: Oh Kappa, My Kappa (26 September 2010)
  • Episode 4: Faetal Attraction (3 October 2010)
  • Episode 5: Dead Lucky (17 October 2010)
  • Episode 6: Food for Thought (24 October 2010)
  • Episode 7: ArachnoFaebia (31 October 2010)
  • Episode 8: Vexed (7 November 2010)
  • Episode 9: Fae Day (14 November 2010)
  • Episode 10: The Mourning After (21 November 2010)
  • Episode 11: Faetal Justice (28 November 2010)
  • Episode 12: (Dis)Members Only (5 December 2010)
  • Episode 14: Blood Lines (12 December 2010)


Wishing Trees

Wishing Tree @ Brigid’s Well in Kildare, Ireland

Wishing Trees
“Wishing Trees” are very common throughout Ireland, England, and Scotland. They are usually individual trees upon which “folk magic”, “folk spells”, “faerie offerings”, or “prayers” are offered. Sometimes it is particular to a specific species, where the tree lives, or how it looks. Many times they are associated with faeries or a particular Deity. They are very common alongside sacred wells in Ireland and the UK. The practice usually involves petitions or offerings made to the tree, a nature spirit associated with the tree, a Saint, a God/dess, or the ancestors with a request for a wish to be fulfilled. Coin trees involve offering of coins to a particular tree. These are often hammered into an old trunk, branch, or small tree. Sometimes these are oaks, rowan trees, hawthorns, ash, or thorn trees. Some hawthornes serve for fertility magic such as a common one in Argyll, Scotland by the Ardmaddy House. Sometimes hundreds of coins are hammered into the bark and wood with the belief that a wish will be granted for each of the coins added. A similar one that is well known is by the sacred well of ST. Maree in Loch Maree, Gairloch, Scotland that has hundreds of coins hammered into it. Also all over the Yorkshire Dales, such as in the pictures shown here I took during a hike, are found with hundreds of coins offered to nature spirits and/or faeries for a granting of a wish. Clootie Wish Trees are found next to sacred wells throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. This involves the practice of tying a piece of cloth, often called “clouties”, “clooties”, or “cloughties” to ask for a answer to a prayer, a wish, and/or a petition. One of the most well known “wishing trees” is the Madron Well in Cornwall. With the Madron well, a sacred well of healing, it is believed that as the cloth rots, the ailment that one is seeking a cure for disappears. Even Charles Darwin recorded the finding of a “wishing tree” in his travels in Argentina called “Walleechu” which was treated by the local inhabitants as a Deity. It was festooned with offerings such as cigars, food, water, and cloth hung from the branches by bright strips of colored thread. Popular wishing trees in Hong Kong is the “Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree” near the “Tin Hau Temple” in Lam Tsu where paper tied to an orange and thrown up in the trees that stick will grant the petitioner a wish. The wishing tree next to Brigid’s Well in Kildare is a common tree for petitioning healing requests.

Penny offerings for good luck
and as gifts to the Fae

“Wishing Tree”
Yorkshire Dales, England

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Faerie Trees

Fairy Tree, the Curraugh, Kildare, Ireland

Faerie Trees
United Kingdom and Ireland

Faerie trees are mythical hotspots of otherworldly and/or faerie activity. Faerie trees are seen as the haunts of Faeries. They are fiercely protected by the Fae. It is believed that any human foolish enough to pass by a host-tree late at night will find their arms bruised or pinched by small faerie fingers. Three thorn trees growing closely together are especially potent. Thorn trees hung with ribbons or rags are good gifts to faeries of the tree. Faerie trees are most associated with the Oak, Ash, and Thorn. Sometimes it is associated with the Rowan tree. Others claim its the Elder, Blackthorn, Hazel, and/or Alder. The trees most twisted together are the most notorious of faerie trees – and this is common amongst the Elder. If two thorns and an elder are found together it warns of great danger as do Oak, Ash, and Thorn. In the British Isles, the Rowan is believed to protect one from witchcraft and enchantment. Its berries opposite its stalk display tiny five pointed stars or pentagrams which are notable protective symbols. Color red, as in the flavor of the berry, is also seen as a protection against enchantment. The tree is believed to afford protection to the dwellings by which it grew and often people would take branches of the tree to be carried for personal protection from witchcraft. The belief in them go back to classical mythology, whereas legends tell us that ‘Hebe’, the Goddess of youth, once dispensed rejuvenating ambrosia to the Gods from her magical chalice. When she lost this cup to demons, the Gods sent an eagle to recover the cup. The feathers and drops of blood which the eagle bled in the fight, fell to the earth, whereas each one of them turned into a Rowan tree – the legendary Faerie Tree. It is because of this it is believed that the Rowan derived the shape of its leaves from eagle’s feathers and its berries look like the droplets of blood. The Rowan is also prominent in Norse mythology as being the tree from where the first woman was made. The Mountain Ash were also associated as Faerie Trees which are the most well-known of the Rowan. The wood of the Rowan is often used for staves, wands, divining rods, and walking sticks. Berries are often used to make alcoholic drinks.

The Curraugh, Kildare, Ireland

Continue reading Faerie Trees


Faerie Trees

Faerie Trees

United Kingdom and Ireland

Faerie trees are mythical hotspots of otherworldly and/or faerie activity. Faerie trees are seen as the haunts of Faeries. They are fiercely protected by the Fae. It is believed that any human foolish enough to pass by a host-tree late at night will find their arms bruised or pinched by small faerie fingers. Three thorn trees growing closely together are especially potent. Thorn trees hung with ribbons or rags are good gifts to faeries of the tree. Faerie trees are most associated with the Oak, Ash, and Thorn. Sometimes it is associated with the Rowan tree. Others claim its the Elder, Blackthorn, Hazel, and/or Alder. The trees most twisted together are the most notorious of faerie trees – and this is common amongst the Elder. If two thorns and an elder are found together it warns of great danger as do Oak, Ash, and Thorn. In the British Isles, the Rowan is believed to protect one from witchcraft and enchantment. Its berries opposite its stalk display tiny five pointed stars or pentagrams which are notable protective symbols. Color red, as in the flavor of the berry, is also seen as a protection against enchantment. The tree is believed to afford protection to the dwellings by which it grew and often people would take branches of the tree to be carried for personal protection from witchcraft. The belief in them go back to classical mythology, whereas legends tell us that ‘Hebe’, the Goddess of youth, once dispensed rejuvenating ambrosia to the Gods from her magical chalice. When she lost this cup to demons, the Gods sent an eagle to recover the cup. The feathers and drops of blood which the eagle bled in the fight, fell to the earth, whereas each one of them turned into a Rowan tree – the legendary Faerie Tree. It is because of this it is believed that the Rowan derived the shape of its leaves from eagle’s feathers and its berries look like the droplets of blood. The Rowan is also prominent in Norse mythology as being the tree from where the first woman was made. The Mountain Ash were also associated as Faerie Trees which are the most well-known of the Rowan. The wood of the Rowan is often used for staves, wands, divining rods, and walking sticks. Berries are often used to make alcoholic drinks.


06.26.10: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf: WPP: Day 22 – Bushmills, Dunluce Castle, Gilligan’s World, Sligo, Knocknashee, Cannamara

The delvers were up early ready to explore the vast distillery of the sacred waters of life known as Bushmills. After breakfast; Sir Thomas Leaf, Sir Sven and Lady Vanessa of the Rhine wandered on over to the corner market for some lunch items. Onwards to the infamous Bushmill’s factory that brews their “waters of Life” from the volcanic imbued spring waters of Northern Ireland. Alas though, the factory was on traditional break, as it awaits aging process and fermentations protocols. There is no production of whiskey in june and july so it was a pretty ‘dead’ factory during their visit. They still gave tours explaining the process and as a gift for not seeing live production, gave small bottles of Bushmill’s at the end in addition to free drinks at the end. A unique and only available from the distillery special blend of Bushmill’s reserve is sold to visitors of the tour. Sir Thomas Leaf purchased one to bring back to the States to use in his Druidic rituals for sacraments. Upon returning to the parking lot, the adventurers discovered someone had backed into their rental car putting a dent into the back. They checked with the security cameras but no one was caught doing the crime.

The party then headed off to explore the ruins of the Dunluce Castle, previewed the current excavation taking place there, and explored the escape tunnel off to the Sea underneath the rock upon which the castle sits. They returned to their journey along the Giant’s Causeway Scenic Route towards the Mussenden Temple. A pitstop at the Mussenden Temple / Downhill / and Bishop’s Gate. They wandered down to see views from the beach and to embark on a 5 hour drive towards Galway and Cannemara.

While Sir Thomas Leaf was engaged in writing his journals, he felt a calling to look up – just as Lady Vanessa was passing by a sign in the countryside out in the middle of nowhere saying “Gilligan’s World: Lore of the Faeries” through the corner of his eye. He convinced Sir Sven and Lady Vanessa to take a side trip to explore this intriguing sign. It led to a drive down weaving country roads into the middle of nowhere. Just as the party was to give up, there appeared another sign, leading the party further. Quite possibly a trick played by the Faeries … but then they spied a small stone portal just the right size for faerie height. Inwards was an abandoned/empty theme camp for faeries only that these adventurers were the only visitors. Just as they were about again to give up hope – out appeared a small humble woman, who turned out to be a Barronness who began to open up shop just for us. She began rambling about the lore and legends of the Tuatha de Danaan and sent the delvers up to the faerie circle to request a wish. The party wanted to hike up to the true site, the Knocknashee, but time wasn’t permitting as they had to make check-in time with the hostel in Cannemara.

Racing to Conanmara they arrived at a darksome and drury hostel in the middle of nowhere, with no phone, no internet, and no place o purchase food nearby. They were about to deduce that the place was empty just as the clerk rambled out his door in order to take the meager night’s stay pay and bid the party goodnight. They were pretty convinced they were the only ones staying in this large mansion alone tonight. They drove down into the village of Clifton, 20 minutes away, in search for food. All the grocery stores were closed, so grabbed some grub at the gas station, and then realized the village was larger than it appeared – and setled for some fish n’ chips at a late night stand near the taverns – hit the Irish pub for a pint of cider to some traditional Irish n’ Celtic music. Good evening. Some mild rains in the evening. Upon return to the hostel, again it was dead empty, quiet, charming, mysterious, and romantic.

Continue reading 06.26.10: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf: WPP: Day 22 – Bushmills, Dunluce Castle, Gilligan’s World, Sligo, Knocknashee, Cannamara



“Knocknashee”, legendary ” Hill of the Faeries”
County Sligo, Ireland

Knocknashee is known as the legendary “Hill of the Faeries” and is one of Ireland’s seven most sacred hills. The name comes from the Irish “knock” (cnoc) meaning “hill” and “shee” meaning “fairy”. Its older name is Mullinabreena or “Fairy Palace”. The hill fort is located near Lavagh, Ballymote, and rises 900 feet high with a flat top, green and lush, with a diameter of a square mile. Oddly, unlike any other hill in the area, it has absolutely no heather. At its base stands the ruins of Court Abbey and its 90 foot high tower that was built in the 15th century by the O’Haras for the Franciscans. This legendary “Hill of the Fairy Mansion or Palace” as “Mullinabreena” or “Knocknashee” is a sacred site for Faeries and those who worship or believe in them being the mythical headquarters or high court of the Fae. Geologically the hill is a 276 m Marilyn located in the Ox Mountains of County Sligo, Ireland with the River Moy at its foot. It consists of a limestone top with shales underlying the lower slopes. The hill is culturally rich with archaeology as it was discovered to be a hilltop fort in 1988 during a Office of Public Works aerial survey of the county with the observbation of the remains of limestone ramparts containing cairns, burial chambers, and hutsites on its top. The fort is 700 meters long and 320 meters wide, enclosed by two earth and stone ramparts covering an area of 53 acres. There are two cairns, the remains of over 30 circular house sites, and two earth/stone ramparts. The hill has a panoramic view of the Connacht plains. The lower exposures of the hill show irregularly bedded limestone with a diverse fauna of colonial and solitary corals, with very well preserved fossils in silica that were deposited some 340 million years ago. Hilltop is covered with a thin peat. A popular play was made in tribute of the hill called “Knocknashee” by the Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan in 2002. A traditional Irish song was also named after the hill called “The Hills of Knocknashee” with “The River Moy so gently flows from there unto the sea. Farewell to you, farewell to all from the hill of Knocknashee”.
Directions: Knocknashee is a table-top plateau 7 kilometres NEN of Tobercurry. From Tobercurry take the N17 north for 5 kilometres to Carrowclare then take a left to a T-Junction then a right about 1/2 kilometre on your left is a farm house ask here for permission to climb the hill. Portal Tombs around Knocknasee: http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/sligo.htm

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Gilligan’s World – Faerie Park

Gillighans World
* Tel / Fax 00 353 (0)71 30286 / 00 353 (0)71 84100 * Mobile 087 6811690 / 087 6780831 * e-mail gillighans@eircom.net * Registered Office: Baroncourt, Kilmacowen, Ballysadare, County Sligo * Sligo, Ireland *

Gilligan’s World is a hidden little Faerie theme park, farm, and botanical gardens in the heart of Sligo County in the rolling countryside at the base of the famed Tuatha de Danaan battle mound, the “Knocknashee” the Legendary “Hill of the Faeries”, one of Irelands 7 sacred hills. Mainly centered around children, the park can be a bit of fun for adults and kids alike, especially for those in the faerie persuasion. This little magical kingdom was created by the Baronness of Leyny, the Lady Melody Urquhart (Ph.D) as a faerie habitat to capture the true spirit of Ireland and its mythological/archaeological past. In 1993, she left fame and fortune behind in England as a choreographer / producer / director/ and owner of a finishing school in order to build this sanctuary. Attracted to the Knocknashee, the Mullinabreena, the Hill of the Fairy Mansion or Palace. Complete with miniature model villages, enchanted glades, streams, botanical gardens, a petting zoo, snack shop, gift shop, library, restrooms, car park, picnic areas, and an inn. Streams, forests, wildlife ponds, an aquatic cave, play facilities, with games, quizzes, and puzzles to achieve. The staff is well educated about faerie lore and history. Great place for the kids, schools, coach tours, birthday parties, family groups, and overseas tourists. It has a stone tunnel entrance, with dolmen, an amphitheater, lush green lawns, and inspiration for the wild, wacky, kitch, artistic, imaginative, and fantasy. Its open 7 days a week, Easter through September from 12 to 6 pm on mondays thru fridays, 2 pm to 7 pm on saturdays and sundays. While very kitchy and centered around children, as an adult with a faerie fascination, I enjoyed the park very much – and hope to go back to actually explore the actual Knocknashee. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Mermaids / Mermen

Mermaids and Mermen

A rich realm of characters in Faerie lore, Mermaids and Mermen have consumed popular myth through the ages – fantasy, entertainment, and imagery. Mermaids (and the male form “Mermen”) are a race of Faerie that consist of human-like mythological aquatic creatures that are depicted with a human head and torso attached to the tail of a fish. They are related to sirens, selchies, and sea nymphs. Their names come from the Old English root “Mere” for “Sea”, and “maid” for “woman”. Carribean tales of mermaids appear as the Aycayia – with attributes similar to the Goddess Jagua and the hibiscus flower of the majagua tree. Voodoo lore speaks of the Lwa La Sirene who is lwa of wealth and beauty and the Orisha Yemaya. Other names are “Mami Wata” (Africa), “Jengu” (Cameroon), “Merrow” (Ireland/Scotland), “Rusalkas” (Russia/Ukraine), “Iara” (Brazil), “Oceanids, Nereids, Naiads” (Greek), “Sirena or Siyokoy” (Phillipines). In folktales, mermaids were similar to sirens in that they often sang to enchant passerbys, distracting them, and causing them to walk off the deck of their ships and ground their ships. Some horror tales depict mermaids squeezing the life out of drowning men or carrying them down to their underwater realms thereby drowning the men by either not realizing humans can’t breathe water or to drown them out of spite. The first mention in lore of Mermaids appeared around 1,000 B.C.E. in Assyria with the story of the Goddess Atargatis who accidentally killed her shepherd lover. To bring him back she jumped into a lake and transformed into a fish, but the waters wouldn’t conceal her divine beauty, thereby forcing her into the form of a ‘mermaid’ – human above he waist, fish below the waist. Around 546 B.C.E. the Milesian philosopher Anaximander stated that mankind came from an aquatic species and thereby from mer-folk. Greek legend places Alexander the Great’s sister Thessalonike as a mermaid upon her death. 2nd century C.E. Lucian of Samosata wrote about mermaids in the Syrian temples – notably Derketo and Hera Atargatis. Many Arabian Nights tales talk of Sea People such as Djullanar the sea-Girl or Abdullah the Merman who can breathe water, interbreed with humans, and create aquatic half-breeds. In the British Isles and Ireland, there are many tales of Mermaids and Mermen in local lore and legend – mainly from Fishermen (1800’s). Seeing them were considered an unlucky omen – fortelling disaster or provoking it. Some were described as monsters as large as 2,000 feet in size. It is believed that Mermaids can swim up rivers to freshwater lakes, and that they often appear as drowned victims when presenting themselves to humans they are attracted to. Some lore portrays mer-folk as helpful, teaching humankind cures for diseases. Claims of sightings range from British Columbia to Ireland to Java. In the 19th century, P.T. Barnum displayed in his taxidermy exhibit the “Fiji Mermaid” which was proven to be a hoax. There is a rare congenital disorder called the “Mermaid Syndrome” where a child is born with his/her legs fused together combined with reduced genitalia that occurs as often as conjoined twins (1 out of 100,000 births and usually fatal due to kidney and bladder complications).

More information:
Mermaids on the web: http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/mermaids/
Women of the Deep: A Light History of the Mermaid: http://members.cox.net/mermaid31/merhist.htm

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Finn McCool and the Giant’s Causeway

Finn McCool
The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The phenomenal World Heritage Site – “The Giant’s Causeway” is the legendary tromping ground of the Giant’s Finn McCool and Benandonner. The story has it that the Irish Giant Finn McCool who lived on these shores had a Scottish rival – a giant named Benandonner. When McCool started to build a causeway to Scotland in order to challenge Benandonner to a battle, all hell started to break loose across the Sea. When he completed the work, the causeway stretched from North Antrim to Staffa. Benandonner accepted the battle to walk over to Ireland and fight for supremacy. As Benandonner appeared over the horizon, Finn McCool realized in horror that he had taken on a rival much bigger than himself. Out of fear, he ran home to his wife Oonagh to trick Benandonner. Not wanting her husband to die, Oonagh disguised Finn as a baby and made him curl up in an enormous cradle. When Benandonner saw the sight of this huge “baby”, he took fright, as he suspected the father McCool would be humongous. He ran back across the causeway to Scotland, tearing up he causeway in his wake, supposedly losing his boot and cutting his foot enroute. Some say the red algae pools are from droplets of his bloody foot, and the boot is his that he lost.

Finn McCool was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish Mythology, who was also supposedly the father to the poet Oisin. His name, Fionn or Finn means “fair”, “white”, or “bright”. As a giant, he was believed to have built the Giant’s Causeway as a stepping stones pathway to Scotland so that he wouldn’t get his feet wet. Apparently, he had also scooped up a part of Ireland to flight at his rival giant Benandonner, but missed, having it land in the Irish Sea – and it was this clump that became the Isle of Man, and a pebble became Rockall, the void becoming Lough Neagh. There is also a cave in Scotland, sharing the hexagonal basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, that is called Fingal’s Cave. Most of the legends of Finn as a giant come from Manx Folklore.

Benandonner’s blood pool

Benandonner’s Boot

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Bru na Boinne, County Meath, Ireland
One of Ireland’s most infamous monuments and archaeological sites, Newgrange is amongst the Bru na Boinne World Heritage sites next to Knowth and Dowth. It is popular like Stonehenge with its Solstice astronomical line-ups and viewing of the sun as it appears through its portal. The monument is a large mound complex shaped like a giant kidney covering an area of about an acre of land and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones most of which are decorated by megalithic rock art. Newgrange is one of the best examples in Ireland and Western Europe of a passage grave or tomb. Constructed around 3200 BCE, this site is older than the Egyptian pyramids and a 1,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Located along a elongated ridge on the Boyne River, five miles west of Drogheda, and close to the location where the Battle of the Boyne took place in 1690. Built entirely with stone tools, the Faerie Sidhe (folklore) or Passage Grave (Archaeology) is an impressive monument: The purpose of the monument is disputed greatly as there is no evidence that Newgrange was used as a repository for bodies, bones, burial artifacts or ash. Mythology tells us that the Tuatha De Danann, legendary first rulers of Ireland, built Newgrange as a burial place for their chief – the Dagda Mor with his three sons. The site is also believed to be where the hero Cuchulainn was conceived by his mother Dechtine. Also listed in mythology as a Faerie Mound, it was believed to have been the home of Oenghus, the God of Love. Other theories are that it was a place of worship for a “cult of he dead”; or for astronomically-based faiths. It is also believed to have been a burial site for Celtic Kings and a meeting place for Druids and Faeries. Legends state that t some otherworldly conditions, the Queen of the Faeries can be seen here with her subjects.

Visitors can only access Newgrange via bus shuttle from the visitor center at Bru na Boinne and those wishing to see the Winter Solstice sunrise light-up has to be awarded via lottery for the experience with a select few other lottery winners. A 19 meter long inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. At the end of the passage are three small chambers off the larger central chamber. Each of the smaller chambers has a large flat “basin stone”; which is where it is believed the bones of the dead were originally deposited. During the Winter Solstice, lights of the rising sun enters the roofbox – lighting up the passage, and shining onto the floor of the inner chamber – illuminating the room for 17 minutes. Megalithic Rock Art surrounds the monument with some world notable pieces such as the triskel carved on the entrance stone, Kerbstone 1 and 52. Other rock art carvings fit into one of ten categories, five of which are curvilinear (circles, spirals, arcs, serpentine forms, and dot-in-circles), and the other five are rectilinear (chevrons, lozenges, radials, parallel lines and offsets). Intriguing archaeological finds were found throughout the site, including Roman coins, an iron wedge, and a stone phallus. It is believed to have taken 20 years to build with a work force dedicated all of those years full time of 300 individuals. Under the burial tomb theory, it is believed to have been sealed and closed for several millenia after which the local folklore and mythology of the faeries were believed to be assigned to the mound. The site was used for ritual purposes well into the Iron Age.

The Passage tomb was re-discovered in 1699 when material for road building was being harvested from the mound. A large excavation of the mound took place in 1962 as well as the rebuilding of the original facade of sparkling white quartz stones found at the site. Newgrange has been compared to the Gavrinis passage tomb in Brittany for which it is very similar to. The Gavrinis cairn is 5,500 years old; 60 meters in diameter, and covers a passage and chamber that is lined with elaborately engraved stone. Newgrange is built of alternating layers of earth and stone with grass growing atop, and the front reconstructed facade is of flattish white quartz stone studded at intervals with large rounded cobbles covering the circumference. Newgrange was found written about as a tumulus in a letter by Edward Lhwyd in December 15, 1699. The Annals of the Four Masters state that the Danes plundered Newgrange in 861. It has been said that during the first excavation, a large amount of treasures including ornaments and fictilia (earthenware objects) including a gold chain, two rings, a gold trocks, a bronze pin, and a small iron weapon were recovered.












































Faeries and the Fae …

The Tree Leaves’ Oracle icon flower fairy

The Victorian Flower Fairy or Nature Sprite
Flower Fairies are believed to be the fairy spirit essence of various flowers; they are portrayed as tiny creatures that rarely are larger than 20 cm. tall. Most of these depictions come from Victorian art and is a common ‘model’ for what most people think of what is a fairy. They live in tree tops, marshes, forests, gardens, fields, and waysides. It is believed by many that when a seed sprouts a flower fairy is born. Each flower fairy lives upon its host plant and not found too far from it. They sleep within the flower. As the flower grows so does the fairy. The flower fairy exists to tend and watch over the flower. If the flower dies, so too does the fairy. Disembodied spirits, elves, fairies or daemons; often the term used for the Air elemental known as sylphs, or as the name of the elementals of Spirit. Flower fairies are often also referred to as nature sprites or spirits. Some define sprites as a being who are beginning a course of evolutionary growth and in the elemental states of their growth. In some ways, this is the concept, in the life of a flower, what makes a flower fairy a sprite. Examples: http://www.flowerfaeries.com/flowerfairies.shtml; http://www.flowerfairies.com/US_version/home.html.

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“Ragnarok”, “Gotterdammerung”, or a.k.a. “Doom of the Gods” or “Final Destiny of the Gods” is the apocalypse in Norse mythology. Its an important event in the Norse canon. This event will be followed by the Fimbulvetr, or the “Winter of Winters”. These three winters will follow each other with no summer. This will be a time of conflicts and feuds between all people and inhabitants on Earth, and all morality is believed will disappear. The mythos discusses that the “wolf Skoll will devour the sun and his brother Hati will eat the moon, plunging the Earth into Darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky. the Fjalar cock will crow to the giants and the Gullinkambi cock will crow to the Gods. A third cock will awaken the dead. The Earth will shudder with earthquakes and every bond and fetter will burst. The wolf Fenrir will be released. The sea will rear up because Jormungand the Midgard Serpent will write in fury making his way to the lands. With every breath, he’ll stain the soil and skly with poison. The Naglfar ship will be freed from waves caused by the serpent, and the Hymir giant will lead the giants to the battlefield. The Realm of the dead will send a second ship with Loki as the helmsmen, off to the battle. The fire giants led by Surt will leave Muspell in the south to join forces against the Gods and scorch the Earth. Heimdall will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and heroes to the battle. From all corners of the world – the Gods, the Giants, the Dwarves, the Demons, and the Elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid to fight the last battle. Odin will engage Fenrir in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand. Thor will be victorious, but the poison will eventually kill him. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr, who will succomb to the giant. The one-handed Tyr will fight the Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, will meet a final time, and both will die. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long period until Odin gets seized and swallowed. Odin’s son Vidar will leap to kill the wolf. Surt will fling fire in every direction and the nine worlds will burn, killing all friends and foes. The earth will sink into the sea. After the doomsday, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and abundant with supplies. Some of the Gods will survive will others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will be non-existent and Gods with men will live happily together. Two humans, Lif and Lifhrasir will survive by hiding in the wood Hoddmimis holt and will repopulate the Earth. The personified sun, Sol will have a daughter at least as beautiful as she and this daughter will follow the same path as her mother. ” This cosmic event is attested in the 13th century “Poetic Edda” from early traditional sources, and the “Prose Edda” written also in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. There are several archaeological objects that depict events from Ragnarok. These are (1) Thorwald’s Cross: a partially surviving runestone erected on the Isle of Man, depicting a bearded human holding a spear down at a wolf, his right foot in its mouth, while a large bird sits at his shoulder. This dates between 940-1000 C.E. Its believed to depict Odin, with a raven or eagle at his shoulder, being consumed by Fenrir at Ragnarok. There is also a depiction of a large cross and another image parallel to it that some state is Christ triumphing over Satan. (2) Gosforth Cross: mid 11th century, from Cumbria, England that parallel’s Thorwald’s Cross combining Norse Pagan and Christian symbolism in a similar manner apparently combining scenes from Christian Judgement Day and the Pagan Ragnarok. (3) The Ledberg Stone. 11th century C.E. from Sweden and is similar to Thorwald’s Cross featuring a figure with his foot at the mouth of a four-legged beast, perhaps of Odin being devoured by Fenrir at Ragnarok. (4) The Skarpaker Ston. 11th c. C.E. from Sweden – father grieving his dead son used the same verse as in the Poetic Edda in the engraving translating to “Earth shall be riven and the over-heaven”.
Some correlations have been made between Ragnarok and the 9th century Old High German epic poem Muspilli about the Christian Last Judgement that states the world is to be consumed in flames. Other comparisons between Ragnarok and other Indo-European peoples depict a later evolution of a Proto Indo-European belief about a cosmic winter motif between the Norse Fimbulwinter, the Iranian Bundahishn, and Yima. Vidarr’s stride compared to Vishnu’s with a special shoe to tear apart the beastly wolf. Larger patterns drawn between final battle events in Indo-European cultures including the occurence of a blind or semi-blind figure in the themes. Other theories about the volcanic events after the death of the Gods – the sun turning black, steam rising, flames touching the heavens – may be inspired by the volcanic eruptions on Iceland. Records of eruptions on Iceland bear strong similarities to the sequence of events described in Voluspa, especially the eruption at Laki that occured in 1783.


06.18.10: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf: WPP: Day 14 – The Bodmin Moor & Three Wishes Festival, Day 1

Morning view in Newquay, Cornwall

Awakening to hearing the roar of the waves, the brilliant sun shining in through the window, and a refreshed sleep … I grabbed my backpack and stumbled downstairs. The bar was closed – too early for the continental breakfast that comes with the hostel. No way to check out so just left the room card and headed off for a harsh walk across the village of Newquay with my 30 kilo frame backpack and 20 kilo napsack. Got to the train station early, so pitstopped into a restaurant for a English country breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, fried mushroom n’ tomato, and baked beans with a splash of orange juice to wash it all down. Not bad of a deal for 2 quid. Then on to await my train to Par to jump a train to Bodmin where I’d meet Faerie Zoe. The Vancouverite Father and Daughter were cycling by and stopped to say hello – I almost didn’t recognize them. As I was sitting and reading Jacqui’s “Cliff Dreamers” … a duck waddled up to my backpack and started pecking it trying to get at my crackets within. The rail wasn’t bad and got to Bodmin in no time at all. As I stepped off the train into Bodmin … I wandered out to the parking lot to meet the lovely Zoe who was awaiting to pick me up. We drove on across the Bodmin Moor with a pitstop at a convenient store enroute for some camp food to pack into the Three Wishes Faerie Festival. I had most of the route from Bodmin to Colliford Lake as I was expecting to have to walk the whole leg of the journey – what a knotmare that would have been! Thank you sooo much Zoe for the rides! Picked up my staff bracelet as helper for the band Woodland and met up with them. Just in time as Shazzah and her friend Darren were in line with us as we awaited shuttle to the plain where supposedly the Lady of the Lake handed King Arthur Excalibur. Found a good camping spot overlooking the lake, kicked around the sheep’s dung, and set up the tent that Faerie Zoe sooo kindly lent me. English tents are constructed much differently than American ones … a good percentage of them don’t really have floors except right in the sleeping nook. The central area is bare ground. Odd, especially as most of the camping land I’ve encountered in the U.K. has lots of sheep or livestock dung on the moors and fields. Explored the festival and did some facepainting with Shazzah Smile and Darren. Good bands and great faeries abound. That evening, Me and Zoe hung out with Woodland in their trailer to a very festive jam session. Fun times! Exhausting day … I was in bed by 1 am … enchanting evening … beautiful lake … mystical woods … and a nice sleep on the moor with no Bodmin Beast in sight! A great thanks to Emilio, Kelly, Kimmy, Woodland, and Zoe for making it possible for me to attend Three Wishes Faerie Fest! Thank you!!!

A railway station duck looking for handouts …

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Three Wishes Faerie Festival (Bodmin, Cornwall, UK)

The Three Wishes Faerie Festival
* http://www.3wishesfaeryfest.co.uk/ * Colliford Lake, Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, England * June 18-21, 2010 *

One of Europe’s most infamous and exciting Faerie Festivals, Three Wishes does not disappoint in the Realms of Enchantment. It was my first (of hopefully many) Three Wishes Faerie Fests. A gathering place for the faery clans to meet with the mortal humans in heartland of the historic faerie tromping grounds of history … in Bodmin Moor, on the shores of Colliford Lake (where the Lady of the Lake presented King Arthur with Excalibur) right in the magical lands of Cornwall. Just taking an adventure in Cornwall is mystical enough … but adding a visit to Three Wishes definitely added to the charm of the exciting quest. A three day festival for kids, families, and adults with an assortment of fun. A whole different world than the infamous American Faerieworlds, you’ll find many of the same mystical folks and kindred wandering around. Set in the heart of Midsummer, a portal is opened into the realms of the fae where those curious can come out to play with the good neighbours and see the “little people” close-up. Why Three Wishes? According to the web site, Karen Kay – the founder and creator of this magical event, was out in her garden hanging out laundry to dry when she noticed a single dandelion seed head standing strong and tall amongst a recently cut lawn – and as she watched it, three of the little seed heads appearing like faeries flew up into the blue sky … and thence, Three Wishes was born. This annual three day festival in the heart of Cornwall has been growing by leaps and bounds sounding the horn for fae from all corners of the world to gather each year around the Summer Solstice. Concerts, artists, fashion shows, workshops, art exhibitions, forest walks, games, exploration areas, food, drink, festivities, friendship, kid parades, drumming, meditation, yoga, late night parties, wishing wells, clottie trees, and frolick abound. Sunday ended with a early morning greeting of the sun with a Druidic rite to welcome in the sun. What a mesmerizing time!

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