The Oakman.

Oaken are the most widespread tree fairies in England; sometimes they are merged with oak trees, and sometimes the appear as forest dwarfs who offer tempting food to passing mortals, which will turn out to be poisonous fungi disguised by fairy glamour. They inhabit copse, it invariability indicates the presence of oaken, and mortals should be warned to avoid the area.

Oaken become extremely angry and dangerous if their tree is cut down. It was said the when an oak is felled, it gives out shrieks and groans that can be heard a mile away.

Oaken also guard all the forest animals and punish those who harm them, such as foxhunters. However, they also possess beneficial, magic; the rain that gathers in their oak hollows has powerful, magical healing qualities.

The oak tree has manifold associations with fairies. The majority of fairies are found in woods and forests, particularly oak groves. Elves and fairies are often said to dwell within the hollow trunks of oaks. A New Forest rhyme advises to “turn your cloaks for fairy folks are in old oaks”. The concept of tree spirits is ancient and very widespread. In Greek myth, dryads and hamadryads are the spirits of the trees themselves.

The oak is a tree that is perhaps more honored in lore than any other. The Roman writer Pliny recognized that the Greek drus, meaning “oak” or “oak spirit,” Is related to the Celtic word druid. Some authors suggest that the second syllable may be related to the Indo-European wid, meaning “know,” and the derived meaning would be “oak knowledge.” It has been proposed that bard in Welsh is bardd. The Celts carved the grove of oaks. On the island of Anglesey there are still traces of the ancient groves of the druids. An oak coppice or grove near Loch Saint on the Isle of Skye was so sacred that no one would enter it, even into the nineteenth century. Oaks were often designated local meeting places, a practice that goes back to druidic times but persisted well into the recent past, with Gospel Oaks being popular location for itinerant Christian preachers.

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Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 9:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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Morgan Le Fay

Morgan le Fay was the sister of King Arthur. In his stories, Thomas Mallory made her the wife of Urien and the mother of Yvain. She was a rather tempestuous, malefic woman who tried to murder both her husband and King Arthur, and who had a number of lovers. She learned the magical arts from Merlin and used this knowledge to trick Arthur into sleeping with her. From this union she bore Mordred, the son who brought discord to Camelot and died inflicting a fatal wound on his father.
But these tales are of a late date. Earlier tradition makes her the ruler of the island of Avalon. Some associate Avalon with modern-day Glastonbury in England. Its name is derived from the Welsh afall, meaning ‘apple”, since the island is covered in apple orchards. It is also sometimes called the Fortunate Isle and may be compared with the Irish Tir Nan Og.

Avalon is inhabited by nine sisters, of which Morgan is the most beautiful and most powerful. As king Arthur lay dying after the battle of Camlann, Morgan appeared with a ship of women and carried Arthur to the island of Avalon. There he still lies with his knights under a fairy hill until Britain shall need him again. The island exited in legend long before the familiar Arthurian tales. In early Celtic legend, it could only be reached on a boat guided by the sea god Barinthus, and was a place fit only for the bravest and best.

Morgan was a goddess of the druids, perhaps related to Modron or Matrona, the Welsh divine mother goddess. She has aspects of maiden, mother, and crone. She is certainly related to the Lady of the Lake and to the fairy rulers of enchanted islands. Her name may be derived from the Welsh môr, “sea”, and gân, “a birth,” i.e., “born of the sea.” Again, the name may arise from the Welsh Mor Gwyn, meaning “white lady.”

Published in: on October 10, 2008 at 6:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Eaving Stones: Chapter 2 – Part B.

Reluctantly, Quinn managed to tear herself away from the window and made her way down the stairs. The next tower held the great dinning hall was the Acolytes would gather for lunch, and although she had eaten more than her fill the night before, found herself starving.

Perhaps it was all the magics that from the night before, she thought. It’s been a while since I’ve done that much magic all at once. I guess I should be grateful I haven’t magic sickness with all that I did.

With that, Quinn continued in the direction of the dining hall. She had first intended to stop by and collect her friends Beau and Bella. But the rumbling in her stomach told her that breaking her fast was much more important.

Quinn descended the staircase, as she had done numerous times before. The towers looked to have been active for hours. The delightful smells of roast meat cooking along side freshly harvested vegetables, wafted towards her.

As always, the foyer at the foyer at the base of the stairs was filled with freshly cut flowers. Magnificent Iris blooms, Roses, violets, flowers of many kinds and colors. She adored the fresh cuttings, and wondered how they would look still growing in the earth. The wind making them dance  as they open and close as the day passes. The sounds of talking and laughing echoed from not far in the distance. She wasn’t too far from the dining hall, and what most likely were students gathering for the lunch time meal.

Yawning again, stretching her arms widely. Allowing one finger to pluck as Iris from its resting place as she passed by.

Bella and Beau had been woken early also, and surprised Quinn by already being seated at their  usual dinning table. All three were had been out late and the signs were now showing.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 8:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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Eaving Stones: Chapter 2 – Part A

Sun shone through the stained glass windows of Quinn’s room, bathing it in a soft pink light. In the centre of the light stood an enormous bed, and curled up among the covers was Quinn, still fast asleep.

It was a beautiful day outside, and the residents of the Sangreal Towers had started their day many hours before. Unlike Quinn, and many others her age who had attended the celebrations and rituals of the previous eve. It had been a celebration of Mid-summers eve, as well as a testing of power. Quinn had performed well showing skill and precision with all she attempted. She had retired to bed around dawn with pride and joy in her heart.

The Towers hand Maidens had been ordered to allow the young Acolytes to sleep longer than usual due to the previous night’s events. Each of them was exhausted both mentally and physically. This was not at all pleasing to them, and many were in an impatient fluster come mid-morning. Now their duties would continue long into the evening, when they could be at home.

Sadly for Quinn, as well as a handful of other Acolytes, was woken abruptly shortly after noon. Disgruntled servants helping them to bathe and dress before ushering them out of their chamber doors.

Quinn turned to say something to the woman who had just served her, but she had already disappeared back inside the chamber doors, muttering under her breath before she had the chance. Yawning, and somewhat bewildered, she turned towards the corridor, and wandered absently towards the spiral staircase at the end.

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she was met b a cool breeze blowing in from outside. She breathed in deep, enjoying the smell of the sea. Quinn loved the sea, swimming in its waves and surf, its cool depths and velvet touch on her skin. Even the colors fascinated her, with many shades of blue, grey and green. She paused a moment to gaze from the upstairs window. She stood in awe of the sight. No matter how many billion times she had gazed out the window, it always managed to appear different each time.

Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm  Comments (1)  
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Eaving Stones: Chapter 1 – Part F.

The tune he whistled reminded Miranda of an old nursery rhyme that the children of the caravan used to sing. She felt an instant pang of sorrow at remembering all those she had left behind. Unsure what had happened to them after she had fled.
Gazing at her surroundings, Miranda found herself in a clearing, amongst a forest of thick trees. She vaguely remembered she had been running away, and had run all the way here.
“Will not be much longer now Girl. A feast for you all nice and classy!” said Jasper, who gazed back at her over his shoulder. She was pale and frightened, her eyes wide with terror.
Miranda turned her head slowly towards him, for the pain her head was severe and persistent. Images and memories of the previous nights events were still foggy, though she remembered most of it. The fire, the forest, the book. “Oh no!” she thought, her face becoming impossibly paler.
“Don’t fret now Girl,” said Jasper kindly. He was again at her side, but this time, he held a plate of steaming hot food.
Miranda ignored the plate, attempting to protest and demand to know the were-abouts of the Grimoire, which she knew she had received from her mother before running into the forest. But before she could, the Clurician was shaking his finger at her making a ‘tsk, tsk’ sound, just as a mother would when scolding a naughty child.
“Rest young Girl,” said Jasper. His expression genuinely concerned and somewhat gentle. “You have a long journey ahead of you. Yes, yes you do. Your destiny awaits and you are the key, while that book of yours is the clue.”
Miranda’s eyes flew open wide at the mention of the book. But before she could ask anything more, the Clurician made it clear she was to take the plate of food from him before he would participate any further with her questioning. His small fur covered face firm, and furry foot tapping with slight impatience.
Hesitantly she took the plate, which admittedly smelt wondrous. Bacon, eggs and toast, were piled high on the plate. She took a piece of toast and began to eat, looking up at the Clurician hoping for approval. She was rewarded with a brad grin.
“The sacred tomb which you carried,” he continued, “is safe, a safer place they cannot make. Than in this chest which will not break.” His voice was almost musical as he spoke the strange cryptic phrase. “A guard is Jasper, who I am by name, and with my life I have sworn to proclaim, that I shall protect ya’ll and the treasure ya hold till I deliver ya safely to the Shamany herself.”

“I really don’t know how you aren’t the size of a Hippopotoptimice!” Jasper continued, making himself comfortable at the edge of Miranda’s make shift bed. “The way you all keep your gobs open like that. Why its hardly a good diet for someone so young.” The Clurician looked at her solemnly, as though he was genuinely concerned for her hearth. His large brown eyes kind and gentle.

Miranda, still unsure what Jasper had said, was sure interested in the book and the plate of food than this creatures strange curiosity with eating insects. Every movement she made was agony, but her hunger stronger than her pain. She gulped hungrily at the meal as she listened.

This Creature had obviously been sent to retrieve her and found her as she had been sent to keep her safe the question was, who was it had sent him and for what reason? She continued eating hungrily, waiting for him to continue speaking. But he did not.

Instead the creature had himself snugly in front of her. His cloak, had been neatly spread out around him and he now sat fully concealed by it.

Puzzled, Miranda chewed her mouthful of bacon and eggs slowly, watching the Clurician. He sat quietly returning the gaze.

When she was done, Miranda spoke. “Who sent you?”

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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An Initiation.

The Eucalyptus leaves crunched beneath her feet and darkness grows with a quietness and serenity. Tonight she steps out of the mundane world and enters the unknown Underworld on her own. When she returns it will be with insight.

She arrives at the ritual site, an old disused mine in South Australia. The darkness envelops her as the clan brings in the quarters. They circle and sing and watch as she approaches the Underworld. This she must do alone.

She throws a coin down the mine shaft and slowly descends the ladder. She had no sooner put one foot on the ground when Kali springs to life asking her the purpose of her intrusion of her domain. Her heart pounds. She responds and then is directed on her journey.

The darkness is so black; she must feel her way along the shaft, touching the sides. There is only just enough head room to stand. She can only continue to move forward. Turning back would loose her way.

The chants of the rest of the group are barely audible now. She is there. She is on her own in the womb of the mother there is no fear. She feels safe. She feels beautiful. Minutes pass. She keeps on going.

She sees a change in the blackness, first to brown, then to lemon. She has done it. She is overwhelmed with pride. Ecstatic! Wonderful! On her arrival she receives a gift, a reading from the High Priestess, before taking her place in the circle with the rest of the group. Tears of joy streamed down her face. No one spoke, everyone knew. Although it is different for everyone, it is an experience they will cherish always.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 2:50 am  Comments (1)  
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Eaving Sontes: Chapter 1 – Part E

“Come, come dear girl. Close you gob! We can’t have you filling up with flies and insects when I have made you such a fine breakfast,” he said, grinning down at her.

Miranda obediently allowed the amused Clurician to close her mouth, with a soft furry finger. This creature was most definitely peculiar, but she sensed he meant her no harm. Another moment of déjàvu.

“Your name is Jasper isn’t it?” she asked, her voice sounding strangled and unusual.

“The Girl remembers my name,” sang Jasper is the name I was given by my mother at birth, and so it will remain till I return to mother earth.”

With another lively jig, Jasper made his way behind the young girl. “Let us raise you up to sit, and maybe you can eat even just a little bit.”

Miranda let the Clurician gently raise her to a sitting position. Her head throbbed harder with the effort. She groaned pitifully clutching her hands to her head.

“Easy does it now Girl,” Jasper said kindly. “You sure did give your noggin a flogging!”

The Clurician let go of Miranda and with a short skipping jig crossed the area between were he had been, and the smoldering coals of a cooking fire encircled with stone. As quick as he had left, the nimble creature had returned to her side, with a large green sleeping swag. Neatly rolled and tied with thick leather straps.

“Here,” said Jasper in a quiet tone. “Rest against old Jaspers swag. Your bobbley head and skinny neck will need rest before it will sit right again.”

Unsure of the correct response to such an insulting and odd statement, Miranda chose to say nothing. Instead she attempted to smile as best she could, and nod her head, which she regretted immediately.

Jasper saw her grimace in pain. “Now, now,” said the Clurician in a more formal tone. He pointed his short stubby finger at her, imitating a figure of authority. “We can’t have any of that either. How your kind manage to balance those giant noggins is beyond me!” His other hand now resting on his hip.

Again, Miranda wasn’t sure of the correct response. Jaspers cryptic phrases were so confusing, and with the pain in her head she was having trouble keeping up. This time she made no effort to respond, and continued to stare at Jasper in his odd stance.

The Clurician remained unmoving for a moment gently shaking one fury finger at her with one hand and his other resting on his hip. It was an amusing pose, and Miranda would have laughed, had Jasper not been looking at her with such and intense stare. For a moment, she thought her lack of response may have offended him. But before she could attempt to say something, the Clurician had nimbly jigged his way back to the cooking coals, and set to work. Then he began to whistle.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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Eaving Stones: Chapter 1 – Part D

She remembered running, and the effort of a long journey. She carried something with her. Something heavy, and important. Miranda was sure she was supposed to protect it. But from what? She couldn’t remember. The fire perhaps?

All around her were trees. Tall thick trunks with clawing branches, which tore at her clothes and scratched at her skin.

Pain filled her head suddenly, and she remembered falling. She had hit her head on something solid, and hard. Her head hurt badly. She raised her arm slowly to her head, inspecting the area with her hand.

A large bump had raised from her skin, and very painful to touch. Luckily when she inspected her hand, she found no evidence of blood, or an open wound. Though someone was banging on metal gongs on her head. Bang, bang, Band!

She tried to turn over to relieve the pressure in her throbbing head. But no matter which way she turned, the noise in her head only got louder.

The louder the sound became, the more real the pain in her eyes, and was rewarded by the greeting of a beautiful blue sky, and what appeared to be a warm summers day.

The bright sun temporarily blinded her, though the pounding in her head did not cease. In fact it seemed to get even louder.

“Awake, awake, its about time. The fireball wandered up high a long time ago. It will soon be all out of shine.” Said a familiar voice. Miranda was puzzled, she couldn’t tell where the voice had originated and she wasn’t sure she was capable of sitting up just yet.

“Beginning to worry I was. Thought you must have hit that bobbly head of yours harder than what it actually did seem,” said the Clurician. His furry yellow face appearing directly above her own.

Stunned, Miranda could not do anything but blink and stare with her mouth gaped wide open.

Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eaving Stones: Chapter 1 – Part C

“Oh dear girl, why I am me and you are you of course!” he said with the same musical lilt.

What a peculiar answer, she thought, cautiously scanning for the owner of the voice.

“Now, now girl, no need to fear now that Jasper be here.”

Miranda, in large amounts of pain and having suffered an ordeal of sorts, was in no mood for games. “Jasper? Is that your name?” she asked.

“Yes, yes,” said Jasper, who had suddenly appeared at her side. His strange little paw like hand, gently lowering her head back down to the pillow.

She peered up at the strange face staring back at her. A fine layer of yellowish fur covered his face, and from what she could tell, he stood no taller than her waist. He had a stocky build, and although he was short, looked as though he was strong despite his small stature. One thing was for sure, Jasper was not human.

“Rest now dear lassie, time to sleep. When you wake in the Morn there will be plenty to eat.”

Miranda was still frozen. She wasn’t comfortable with this idea at all. But her body and mind were so exhausted that she could not think of a refute to argue. Perhaps this was the Clurician the voice had spoken of, she thought. Surely it would be safe.

“What exactly are you?” Miranda managed to say.

“Why I am a Clurician of course of course,” replied the strange little creature. “A Clurician on a Mission!”

As sleep took over Miranda couldn’t help but sense a déjà vu. Something that the creature had said reminded her of what seemed like a distant memory.

Miranda fell into a sleep filled with awkward visions and images of an all consuming fire. People, running for their lives, only to be taken by the invading flames. Their flesh melting away from the bone, terrified eyes begging to be freed from the agony of burning alive. Terrified wails of the fires helpless victims, followed by the sorrowful sounds of mourning of those who were now lost forever.

Published in: on September 8, 2008 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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