The End of Winter in which Azalea and GreyStone find Spring

A faint tinkling  endlessly echoed across the field, Winter’s harsh breath found it’s way under the girl’s tightly bound hood and through the seams of her woolen breeches.  Azalea shielded her eyes against the sun’s glare, but all was blinding white.  Shivering, the changeling girl child willed her heavy limbs to take another step.Her thoughts were fuzzy, but clung to a single desire to keep moving across the ice plain.

SAM_7787The soft glass like sound grew louder, a sing song melody emerged and became almost like words spoken from the other side of a closed door.  A brilliant flash of blue flickered across the desolate landscape, forming into a butterfly that landed on her nose.  It’s eyes reflecting her eyes, in an infinite reciprocating circle.   “Free us,” the blue thrummed, “and Spring will come.”

 

Azalea  awakened with a shuddering bolt, “Thank Running Water,  the fever has broken,” Juniper whispered, as she gently tucked a sweat heavy lock behind Azalea’s ear.

Time is a human construct, and exists differently in the lands of Santooshka.  However, as the denizen’s wood piles dissipated and the larders became bare, they began to feel the weight of this winter.

The keepers of this enchanted vale, listened intently to the little changling’s dream.  It seemed familiar to the Ladies, in that nagging way, like a kettle left untended.   Azalea’s tale of the ice land, was only an exaggeration of the actual state of the forest.  Winter hac seemed to linger, snowSAM_7791 stubbornly nestled between the tree trunks, and Beltaine was upon them.

Magnolia and Juniper spent the next week buried in ancient tomes, searching for the answer to the unknown question.   Finally, one late afternoon, Juniper’s voice cut through the gloom..

“Here.   It is hard to decipher the exact tale, but great gran Hazel transcribed an even older story of a winter that lasted too long.

“Jack Frost imprisoned the Spring Fay  in a pool of frozen water, under the earth, behind a frozen wall of ice.”

“Sounds impossible.  How will we be able to find such a place?” Magnolia sighed.

Grey Stone’s face scrunched as the words fell into place, “The Waterfall!”

He jumped up excitedly, the young changeling had grown much over the long winter, and he had to duck under the hanging lantern.  “Once, when I was out exploring, I chanced upon a small cave behind the falls.  I didn’t venture further but the hole was deathly cold, even in the height of summer.”

And what commenced was not unlike a thousand other conversations between mothers and their growing children, a long discussion that went something like this:

Concern. “We will journey to the Falls, it is too dangerous for small changelings.”

“We are grown enough, besides you are too big  to get down into the cave.

Resignation.  “Fine, but you must dress quite warmly, take the utmost precaution and return home quickly if there is any trouble.  And you must take Fox with you, she’s cunning and follows her nose.

*******

The last glance back showed the Keepers of Santooshka framed in the cottage’s doorway.  Juniper’s hand on her heart, and Magnolia waving frantically, calling out warnings and advice, until her voice was taken by the wind.  GreyStone eyed his changeling sister, she was as heavily dressed as himself.  Her eye’s sparked back at him, between the thick wool cap and her hearth infused enchanted scarf.

teethFox went first, bounding from rock to rock swishing her tail.  It was a morning’s hike to falls, and when they arrived, the changelings paused for a quick bite. The waterfall had indeed completely frozen.  Menacing stalactites of ice looked like dagger sharp teeth.  Just as Azalea was licking the last of the parsnip pie off her fingers, Fox beckoned them forward and disappeared.

The ice above them cast a blue glow upon the pathway between the long fingers of insidethe falls.  But it did not reach down into the cave.  It’s entrance was ice rimmed hole that shone like a beacon summing them down to the depths.

An uncharacteristically serious Fox signaled the changelings to stay as she slinked down into the cave.  She was gone a short time before she reappeared and bade them to follow.

The cold prickled GreyStone as he squeezed himself through the tunnel,  before dropping him a few feet through the air.  Azalea quick to follow, and landed on top of him.  As the changelings lay sprawled on the cold ground shrouded by the thin ray of light,  dislodged ice crystals and sparkling motes danced in the disturbed air.

willowhisp

Azalea untangled herself and tapped on her jar of will-o-wisps.  They stirred to life, casting a warm glow upon the cavern floor.  Carefully, the changelings followed the white tip of fox’s tail to the far wall.  A mighty Oak’s roots grew down the crevasse and encircled a small pool.

2016-05-01_07.22.11

Greystone brushed the crystallized ice from the glassy surface, by the light of the will-o-wisp they could make out a rainbow hued  orb trapped beneath the ice.

Removing their gloves the children clasped hands, and placed their free hand on the pool.  They recited the spell the Ladies had taught them.  Each spoken word formed a steam cloud and settled on the frozen surface.

Azalea looked suspiciously at her brother, when slowly the ice began to melt, the colors became  an undulating oil slick bubbling to the surface.

They both smiled joyfully when the color exploded like a thousand shards of light through a prism.  A cloud of Spring Sprites and Fay filled the small cavern, weaving and bobbing in the confined space, then in an exulting flourish, they flitted up and out.   A sole fay with iridescent azure butterfly wings remained, he bowed quite handsomely mid air, swooped upon Azalea and gave her a kiss on the nose.  Only to follow his companions leaving a fading blaze of blue.

It was much harder for the two changeling children to get out of the cavern, than it was falling in.  By the time they reached the top, both were sweating beneath their layered clothing.

“Look the ice is melting,” Azalea laughed as she shook the droplets from her hair.

IMG_20160305_142413

 

 

As they began to pick their way up from the waterfalls, signs of spring were everywhere.  The faded moss on the rocks was a lush green, Spring Beautys and Harbinger of Spring speckled the rocky outcroppings.

 

It was as if moons were passing as they walked towards home.  At first only the red buds were in full bloom, but more trees followed.  IMG_20160407_183952

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fiddle heads unfurled into full grown ferns.  When the cottage roof came into sight, it was as if all of spring was happening at once.  As they crested the hill, Magnolia and Juniper came running towards them.  They merged into a messy ball of hugs, and kisses, laughter and joy.

Sometimes you must journey through the darkest of places to find the light that you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Story of Fox’s Yule gift to Owl

As the days shortened, a quiet darkness settled into the spaces of the wood like it does near the winter solstice. Juniper and Magnolia were busy preparing for the weeks-long festival of Yule. Throughout both cottages were piles of Yuletide projects in various stages of completion. Decorations on the dining tables were being sorted and hung. Cauldrons of hearty winter stews were bubbling on their pot belly stoves. Knitting needles furiously clacked together in the grey solstice light in hopes for early-finished hats and scarves.  They were focused on this hearth-work most of the daylight hours and later into the night, taking tea and naps at odd hours to maximize their time creating. The changelings were left to explore the forest and the creek that ran through it. One afternoon despite pickup games of feather-in-the-thicket with pixies, the changelings meandered listlessly back to where Juniper and Magnolia were bent over a particularly tricky piece of needlecraft.

“Everyone is busy” sighed Azalea as she hung her arms over the back of a round wooden chair.

“As you ought to be, with winter coming fast!” Juniper’s eyebrows lifted as she spoke. “This would be a good time to prepare your gifts for the celebration.”

“We have nothing to give!” heaved Greystone as if those words had been a weight he’d been carrying a while.

“This reminds me of the time Fox gave Owl a gift.” Magnolia Magpie looked up from her work and grinned. “Come next door for cake, and I’ll tell you the story of the time Fox gave Owl a special Yule gift.” Magnolia’s apron swished as she made her way back to her cottage, the changelings skipping after her.

After setting the tea, Magnolia smoothed her chair cushion, sat back and cupped a warm mug between two snarled fingerless mitts, and related the following story.

Owl was always so intensely quiet, and Fox was sure it was because Owl was so considerate and contemplative. She liked being around Owl, because nothing seemed to upset her. Owl’s eyes were magic lakes of intelligence and introspection. Despite this, Fox noticed nothing ever seemed to make Owl excited and silly, either. With Yule coming upon them, Fox knew she wanted to give Owl something very fine. She also knew that she wasn’t going to find a fine gift just laying about. Fox knew that in order for truly magical gifts to appear, she had to go looking for them.

Down by the creek one day, Fox spied a hagstone. It is generally accepted knowledge in Santooshka that naturally occurring holes in unusual places like the center of stones are passages and doorways. Santooshkan hagstones are used often as routes to other fairy realms. This find was unusually lucky because the fairies comb up and down the creek beds looking for hagstones to enchant and create new passageways between worlds. Fox threaded her beautiful tail through the hole in the stone, and trotting along a deer path back through the forest, she came upon a round-faced sweet-eyed dryad leaning against her tree.

“Dryad, dear…” Fox began. “I have found a gift for you.”  Fox was clever, and understood the only way to keep hold of magic, was to give it away. A mischievous smile peeled across the young dryad’s face and she beckoned Fox toward her. A drumming began in her heart and soon it rippled up and out of her fuzzy ears broadcasting a syncopated groove tune so loud, even the dryad smiled, nodded her head, and tapped her feet as she waved her hands over the tail-threaded hagstone.

Tumbling rapidly through space and time, Fox awoke moments later in a sparkling frozen field of ice. Her coat had transformed into a thick, silky, snow-bleached white mantle. Out of the glittering sun-sparkled tundra grew tulips of every color imaginable. Fox bowed her head and began to cry at the blinding beauty of it all. As soon as the first tear from Fox’s black rimmed eyes struck an icy tulip, the petals thawed, went tumbling forward, and engulfed our fox in one satiny soft swallow.

She shook herself out of the blossom head on to the ground only to find that she had fallen through to a softer, green moss covered forest floor beneath ivy canopies and honeysuckle vines. Before she could exhale the scent of the sunny blossom nectar, hundreds of tiny jeweled hummingbirds surrounded Fox in a thrumming and buzzing flurry. Through this iridescent blaze, they feverishly plucked the delicate multi-colored tulip petals from Fox’s melting snow-coat leaving behind excruciatingly tiny rainbow feathers. One flew up Fox’s nose and she sneezed herself right into a golden arching forest ablaze with the orange and crimson fire of a season’s release. The delicate fine-boned pressure of fox’s toes on the decaying leafy ground sparked a silent but brilliantly visible chain reaction of fire-topped toadstools that lead through the wood. Fox took off in a flash, chasing an endless chain of glowing ember-mushrooms always emerging just a fraction faster than she was able to run. She flew sure-foottedly right into a hollow of a tree and after running the circular interior, went back through the mouth of the trunk only to arrive in front of the smiling Dryad.

“I thank you for this gift.” The dryad winked brightly and melted back into the oak bark.

Exhausted, Fox let her tongue loll out of her mouth as she trotted toward Magnolia Magpie’s cottage in the clearing of the wood. Outside the door to the glassed-in sewing room, Fox yipped and whined. Spying the bejeweled creature from the window, Magnolia appeared with a comb and a carder and set to work from the animal’s frost tipped- tail. Fox licked her coat and her sable fur wound around frozen silken tulip petals, rainbow hummingbird down and red capped glowing mushrooms. Alternating between two paddles of wire-toothed combs, Magnolia’s deft hands spun the fur-wrapped treasures into a surprise ball for Fox to present to Owl.

With her gift nestled carefully in a hand-sewn messenger bag slung over her shoulder, Fox padded softly through the forest and back to her winter cave.  Owl, ever true to her intuition, had laid an elaborate candlelit tea and was perched with a book and was waiting to share the remains of the day with her fire-furred friend. Fairy surprise balls are customarily given as welcome gifts for newly materialized fairies. It was a joyful, unexpected break from Forest tradition to give such a splendid surprise ball for Yule. Owl was overcome with elation as she slowly unwrapped each tiny present in the folds of the plush ball gift.  Fox smiled to herself as she contentedly curled her tail around her body and settled in for a candlelit winter’s nap, and drifted off to the sound of Owl’s quiet coos of delight.

After tea and cake at Magnolia’s cottage, the wide-eyed and newly inspired changelings bounded out the back of the house, through the glassed-in sewing room and headlong toward the creek bed in search of Hagstones, and special gifts.

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

In Which Autumn arrives with unexpected visitors

Magnolia’s Journal:

There have been little happenings in our small vale, since the end of summer. SantooshkaSAM_5086 settles into autumn like Granny getting comfortable in her old rocking chair. The forest is filled with rustling and crunching of fallen leaves. Squirrels and chipmunks race from tree to tree, nuts stuffed firmly between their cheeks. The slightest stirring of air causes a cascade of color to decorate the woodland floor.

After the revelries of Mabon, Juniper and I have been in a recuperation mode. I think we drank a wee bit too deep from the magical reservoir. Despite the clinging green, the past weeks have been cool and crisp. We have spent several mornings curled up in my sitting room, drinking hot spice bush bark tea. In the evenings, we gather in front of the small fire, Juniper has been reading aloud from a purblind novel, such tales that have the changelings huddled tightly together.

The Mabon exchange left us with two wagons full of produce and several crates of goods. IMG_20151023_114523We sorted and sifted, inspected and rationed. The root cellar is full, brimming over with Cole vegetables and potatoes. Three boxes of apples dried and braids of onion and garlic hung. We have casks of wine, jars of jams, sacks of grain, crocks of pickles, and there may be just enough maple syrup to last the winter. And like our woodland kin we have stashes too, pounds of pecans, pecks of hickory and walnuts, plus my favorite, from the meadow dwellers, a large bag of filberts.

Being naturally mischievous and a little greedy, the Cottage Brownies and Hearth Sprites love the yearly exchange, and treat the hauling and storing of goods, like a holy ritual. They stand uncharacteristically still, lining the cottage’s nooks and crannies. Tiny mouths curled in smiles as their luminous eyes track our burdened descent into the root cellar, followed by our reappearing with empty hands. When all was finished, the sprites and brownies grabbed hands and spun and danced in small circles. So fast they flew, they became a rainbow hued blur that flickered throughout all the corners of the house.

SAM_5084After the flurry of the Mabon settled down, there has been little else to tell. The afternoon sun is warm on our faces and we have taken to picnicking in the meadow each day. Greystone and Azalea explore the surrounding hills while Juni and I relax quietly with tea in one hand, and book in the other.

Today began like all others, but just as I had really gotten lost in my book, Grey stone came running through a break in the trees. Juniper and I laid our books down and watched him run full speed across the field and slide to a dusty stop in front of our blanket. He tried to speak, but had to place his hands upon his knees and try to catch his breath.

“Geese,” he panted through a large grin, his eyes wide with excitement. Juniper and I burst out in laughter, as Greystone made exaggerated gestures.
“At the pond, come see,” he once again took off running, a little slower this time, down a small path between the trees.
The path wound through a short break of sycamores before revealing a little pond concealed in a natural dip of the land. Azalea was belly down on the leafy shore, her arms extended holding out green rushes to a brightly shining white fowl. She was surrounded by small flock of snow geese.

Lesser Snow Goose, Near Terra Nova Natural Area, Richmond, British Columbia

In hopes of convincing them to stay, we made small leans tos out of brush and  covered in scavenged pine branches. The Changlings fetched a bucket of oats, and an apple as extra enticement.  As our reward, the geese made cooing rumbles as they scooped the fodder from our hands.  They appeared to be settling down for the night, when we left.

Most migrating birds ignore Santooshka, Greystone thinks it has to do with the veil that keeps our magical realm secrect. Something about the birds innate navigation radar bounces right back, so it as if nothing is there. If these four pairs of geese found their way to that small pond near the center of Santooshka, they must have their our own special magic.

As further evidence, I feel completely rejuvenated this eve. I think it was more than their mere unexplained appearance, which caused our heightened gaiety this afternoon. Juniper and I shared similar experiences.  We feel more open again, and can easily harness the magical eddies at our whim.  I no longer feel partly consumed, but completely whole and refreshed!
It will be very good for all the forest dwellers if the snow geese decide to stay for the winter!snow-geese-birds-males-and-females-725x477

The Golden Apple of Mabon

Not since they were wee fairies have Juniper and Magnolia set out on the morning of Mabon to hunt for the golden apple. Santooshkan legend has it, that on the Autumn Equinox, a golden apple appears at dawn and inside the gilded fruit contains untold magical powers.

The ladies threw their cottony shawls over their shoulders and laughed as they skipped down the flower dappled forest path, away from their cottages, and attracting the attention of all the woodland creatures. The squirrels and the rabbits didn’t remember this game, but the dryads, the elves and the ravens pledged to be the ones to find the mythic apple.

image

SAM_9785

Around every tree they gazed, high and and peered low.

SAM_9781image

They combed the meadow grasses.

SAM_9803SAM_9800

No rock was left unturned at the creekside.

SAM_9788image

They could hear the pixies singing:

I will find out where she has gone

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among the dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.
Mabon, when the days and nights are equal lengths, it is easier for ancestor messages to travel between the past and the present.

“Do you remember when Mother Tasha spoke of the places where the forest meets the meadow?” Juniper quietly asked.

“Yes. That’s where all the blackberries grow. She’d always say: There is special magic where two worlds meet. The borders are where the gold is sweet.” Magnolia’s eyes grew teary.

thegoldenapple (1 of 1)

And just where they realized they might find it, on the borderlands between the forest and meadow grew a young apple tree with a golden apple growing on a dying branch.

magnoliajuniperapple1 (1 of 1)

As soon as the apple was plucked they were transformed into Mabon Goddesses!

together

Magnolia, bedecked in a golden splendor grew antlers and when she ate of the apple, an Artemis incarnation she became. Juniper, adorned with a crown of goldenrod and heather ate of the apple and Hekate she became.

SAM_9868

SAM_9898

The two were only just beginning to realize the infinite magnitude of the powers they were able to wield when the sun sank low on the horizon and their powers wilted like the last petals of summer.

imageimage

imageimageimage

“I was really looking forward to summoning a cosmic soul-army against the purblind to save Mother Earth.” Juniper sighed.

SAM_9878SAM_9876

“And I had nearly every wild animal in the world on one psychic wavelength to do my bidding!” Magnolia moaned.

SAM_9856SAM_9855

The two turned with low faces toward the cottages and their homefires.

SAM_9885SAM_9835

“At least we did think to get the woodpile chopped while we had all those powers.” Juniper grinned. They walked home laughing and talking of the Mabon feasting that awaited them and the faces of the changelings when they would tell them of the day’s adventures.

The End of Summer

  Magnolia’s Journal Entry:

(almost the) Last week of Summer,

The air this morning was a cool kiss goodbye from Summer.  She’s packing away her green trimmings, folding up warm afternoons, and making room for Autumn.  The path is already dusted in golden leaves.  This year’s last fawns have lost their spots and the red berries of the Spice Bush and Jack-in-the-Pulpits are the showiest blossoms in the forest.

jack-in-the-pulpit-copy

Jack-In-The-Pulpit berries growing along The Path.

SAM_9698

Spice Berry Bush in the late Summer

I have devoted myself entirely to the Society of Moss and Lace.  Despite the distance between us, I feel close to Ironroot when I am creating for the Great Mother Rebellion.  I can almost feel his breath against my cheek as Juni and I bend our heads over bead work and his laughter is in the whirring of the sewing machine.  Knowing my love and I are joined in the same task makes his absence more tolerable.

Juni and I spent a whole day yesterday wrapping up parcels to go beyond the Santooshkan Border and into the lands of the Purblind.  I wonder if our magical packages will be drunk up by the thirst of the civil lands.  Our enchanted labors will take root, and like weeds in a fallow pasture, the tiny seed of magic will sprout in the willing minds of the Purblind.  We pondered the destination of our enchanted articles and hoped they would bind the fate of their new owners to Santooshka and the Still Water Way.

SAM_9599Greystone was the first to see Thimble Sip and Betsy paddling upstream.  He ran down to the sandy bank, waving his arms, and hollering, with Azalea quick on his heels.  Bedecked with packages, Juni and I carefully maneuvered to the water’s edge.   By the time we made it to the shore, Betsy the spiny soft shell turtle had lumbered onto the sand.  Her long snout nosed at some vegetation in Azalea’s hand, and Greystone had climbed on top of the great shell to better speak with the small wild haired gnome.

spiny-softshell-turtle

Betsy looking hopeful as Azalea pulled the greens out of pouch.

Thimble Sip‘s palanquin was tied to the giant turtle’s shell with thin lengths of braided pond grasses. By way of wooden wheels and leather straps, his peddling turns a small paddle at the rear of the turtle, churning the murky waters, and propelling the creature-craft forward.  Betsy and Thimble Sip are the quickest way upstream, and the best conveyance to Honey Bower’s cottage.  Thimble Sip, always kind, agreed to take our goods upstream for one of Azalea’s kisses and a joke from Greystone.

The Still Water Almanac (the last but most used pages of the Grimoire) decrees that today is for “pruning to discourage growth”. All week Azalea and Greystone caught saw-nosed pixies down by Beaver’s Dam.  Funny little fae, they fall fast asleep when they are trapped inside a bell jar.  Because the creatures are hatched in the heart wood of Ancient Oaks, they are stubbornly tenacious and known through out the wood for their hunger.  If you place an open jar against a tree limb they will munch their way through in little time.  Juniper and I finished all the fruit tree trimming, and there were even a few left over , so I managed to cut back a little more bramble to expand the garden.pepsgoose

Juni and I have been so busy with the Society that I have been in the vegetable garden only in the early mornings.  It is so peaceful among the buzzing of bees and dewy leaves.   I spend most of my time harvesting produce.   The mulch we put down has done a good job of keeping the weeds out.  The last of the squash is swollen on the vine and the toms and peps are in their radiant climax.  Ironweed, tucked between the beds, smells sweet and is the current beauty of the patch.

SAM_9695

pepIn the late afternoons we have been cleaning, sorting, storing, and canning our bountiful fruits.  We have begun to set aside the best to be served on Mabon.  It is true, that I love all the spokes of the wheel, but Autumn equinox is my favorite!

We expect several of the wood’s inhabitants to attend.  Many travel across Santooshka with small wains to exchange bumper crops.  I am looking forward to the cranberries from the Bog.   The heady smell of the bonfire smoke mingles with the crushed leaves beneath our feet as we dance around the fire.  It is a reminder that Winter will be riding Autumn’s coat tails. It is comforting to know we have full pantries and a well stacked wood house.

Mabon is almost a week away, and by then our enchanted packages should have made it to the Western Enclave of the Silicon Elves.  They are well versed in the Purblind Ways, and have secret plans to distribute The Society of Moss and Lace magicked goods.  It will be our first true act in the rebellion, and the beginning to a journey we can not yet imagine!

M.M.

Excerpt from the Still Water Grimoire:

How to save Tomato Seeds:

548587_374213255986929_1967206707_n It is necessary to save the seeds from the best plants if you want to continue to have a good crop of Tomatoes.

  1. Gently scrape the innards of the best tomatoes into a glass jar.
  2. Cover jar in cheese cloth and mark the variety
  3. leave out in the sun until a white scum is on the top
  4. Skim the top and then rinse the seeds in water486798_374213219320266_1017809147_n
  5. All the good seeds will fall to the bottom
  6. Place wet seeds on cloth until dry
  7. Store in a dark dry place until next spring

Juniper’s Letter to Radiana GlitterFin

Dearest Radiana,

I thank you kindly for the letter you penned me some time ago! Post travels much slower via hot air balloon than one would imagine at first. My apologies for what undoubtedly will seem to be a tardy response.

Imagine my delight when I opened your note embossed in the iconic shimmery Mermaid script. I very much appreciate the extra effort it took you to write in English! It is the rough hewn speech of our forest, and due to isolation, most of us are quite illiterate in many of the magic languages that are spoken around the world. And before I forget- please accept my happiest congratulations on your recent nuptial!

You asked in your letter, about funding the Earth Mother Rebellion.  I am certain the pearls and doubloons you offer on behalf of your people will undoubtedly help us champion the cause. I have dispatched several sparrow posts to other enclaves regarding this matter.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.37.00 AM

Your questions regarding wealth in Santooshka got me to pondering and pondering. This letter is no treatise on the matter, and I thought showing you glimpses of our wealth would service you much better than the cumbersome collection of words that make up my humble vocabulary.

magnolia bamboo tea grove

A few days ago, the sky was looking particularly blue, and the sun was shining in a light bright way, and it seemed too beautiful a day to do anything resembling work. Magnolia, the changelings, the cottage fairies and the whole lot of magical folk that occupy our commons took off toward the cooler, deeper, parts of the forest for some recreation, recuperation and reclining. Magnolia was quick to spread a cloth out over the table in the bamboo grove where we decided to hold an impromptu early- Autumn tea.

cookiesScreen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.34.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.34.58 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.38.00 AM

Something about the way the day unfolded- the afternoon light, and the little details coming together as if they were ordered notes in a symphony- made the corners of my mouth turn up in a permanent grin.  While the warblers sang and the hummingbirds danced, we gathered moss and leaves and sumac fronds and adorned the table as if it was an altar to the forest. What luxury it is to have a delicious do-nothing day with friends! This has always been how Magnolia and I measure success, sweet Radiana.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.33.37 AM

You may already know the first law in our old time Stillwater religion is to take joy! That afternoon, between the sugared oak leaf cookies, the peanut butter buckeyes and the Turkish tea, the laughing changelings and the flying fairies, we took as much joy as we could hold- and the peculiar thing about joy is that the more you take, the more there is to have. I like to think of joy as our currency, here in Santooshka.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.34.10 AM

It was easy to forget the gathering storm outside the veil of the forest. I suppose the shielding of the outerlands is also one of our greatest assets. I believe that is why there is such a split amongst the Fae Folk here- it is much easier to pretend the outerlands don’t exist and when we remind them, they get quite agitated. Those warm lazy days are imperative to keeping the peace throughout the woodland.

bloomers

Soon, all the curious sprites and pixies overwhelmed us in the bamboo grove, grabbing cookies and buckeye candies and wanting their fortunes told in overturned teacups. They ran circles around our legs, laughing and fluttering so much we had to raise our skirts for fear of squishing them with a mis-step. You would have had a grand time watching them sit on Magnolia’s shoulders wide-eyed and quiet as I told them the stories I saw in the tea leaves.

mag drinking tea

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.41.03 AM

I do hope you have an opportunity to visit Santooshka someday. The river sprites will gladly put you and your new husband up in a suitably watery den, and you can count on us celebrating the visit with much fanfare, as is the custom in our woods!

Joyfully yours,

Juniper GinFairy

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.33.37 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.32.53 AM

In Which Magnolia Receives a Moon Message and Helps a Luna Pixie

Magnolia’s Journal:

 Sturgeon Full Moon FreeDay,

I can say for certain that I have been growing anxious for this night.   This eve is the first full moon since my husband has left.  I have just returned from my night adventure and the 1440868699647grassy glen just beyond the creek’s edge.  Midnight seemed to never come, as I waited sitting upon a mossy rock.

The spell worked as I hoped it would.  Written in Ironroot’s own hand were the words I longed to believe.  He IS safe!  He has reached his North Eastern enclave.

SAM_1268After reading Ironroot’s message, I sat still and listened to the night song of Santooshka.  Two Bard Owls sang spiraling duets in the finale of their nightly competitions. A soft wind dried the sweat from my face, it’s cool fingers tussled my locks, and tugged my nightgown.  It smelled like tomorrow’s rain and cooler weather.   The breeze beckoned me as I found myself walking down the moonlit path.

The new found power that Juniper and I discovered has helped in keeping my mind off Ironroot these last weeks.  We were amazed and delighted to discover a few pages that had been stuck together, I suspect magically sealed, in the Sweet Water Grimoire.  This hidden chapter contains a cash of Creatrix incantations and charms to enhance our innate power for creation.   The simplest and so far my favorite, is a summoning spell for a little pixie that sits atop my sewing machine.  She hums such lovely tunes, that make the sewing treadle go twice as fast, with half the effort, but is so shy she vanishes if we ask her name.

Juniper found a spell for her spinning wheel.  The most difficult task was to obtain a spider spun sachet to store the herbs in.  Luckily, I had received such a bag on my handfasting day.  After adding the final ingredient, a fist full of wooly Mullein harvested the last moment before day break, the pouch melted into a soft waxy ball.  When she rubs this substance on her spindle, the yarn always comes out the perfect thickness.

1440866634313Lost in my thoughts, I stumbled over a root and fell face first into a loamy pile of decaying leaves.  Unwilling to get up I rolled unto my back and stared at the slim span of stars between the branches that mirrored the forest path.  I laid there, in this manner, for an unknown time.  Knowing Ironroot is safe has  reduced the tightness in my chest, but his absence still weighs heavy on me.

I must have fallen asleep, because the rustling of nearby underbrush woke me.  I caught my breath and kept still, it sounded like a large beast, and I did not want to frighten any forest dweller away. In Santooshka there are nocturnal creatures  that keep away from the light of our cottages.  Only once or twice after a long hard winter, before spring begins to show any green, have the Sasquatch come to our valley.   On Feast days we leave jugs of ale, always gone in the morning, for the tanaki, but we have never seen them.  Juniper once heard the mad cry of the Hamadryad, and just recently, while out collecting Moon Beans, Greystone caught a glimpse of a man sized owl taking flight.

I slowly rolled onto my belly, as a litany of curses wafted through the trees.  I blinked the sleep out of my eyes, and noticed a blue luminescent sphere tucked between two tree roots off to my right.    The rustling grew louder as this sweet voiced foul mouthed creature thrashed about in my direction.

“Oh stagnant pond sludge!   Where in the dammed river did it go?”  A rounded rear end stuck out from the foliage as the Pixie walked backward with its head down and it’s arms thrashing behind it.  Her bare heel caught on the same root that was my down fall, and in a tangle of sparkly blue, she came crashing down beside me.

“PLASTICIZED PRICKS!” she yelled as she fell backward.  She landed on her behind, her elven shaped face next to mine.  Then, “Ooup.”  Wide eyed, she gulped.  “Pardon my mouth.  I didn’t realize anyone was about.”

I couldn’t contain myself, but managed to slap my hand over my mouth as laughter escaped.

“Plasticized-“ I giggled.

Blushing slightly ultramarine the blue girl shrugged and offered her hand.

“I have always wanted to meet one of the Ladies of the Wood, but I am  far too busy to drop1440866633710 in, and now just look at me, what an impression I have made.”  Her green eyes sparkled as she smiled.   “I’m Star Dust, and you must be…”

“I’m Magnolia, Juniper is my sister, and you’re right, we are the Ladies of Santooshka.  Never mind the how, we both were ensnarled by that treacherous root, it is happy chance to meet you in the forest this night.”

“I’ve just the thing to celebrate this happenstance meeting in the dark.”  Star dug around in a leather sack tied to her hip.  She pulled out a small pipe fastened from a deer antler and stuffed herbs into the end.  She caught a bit of a moon beam, and pinched it until it expelled a flash of flame that she stoked by taking deep puffs on the pipe.

“Fortifies against the dark,” she said, her voice distorted by a lung full, and passed me the smoking pipe.

1440793835903I joined in on her little ritual and as the tension left us, we chatted freely.   Star is a Luna Pixie.  Her kind are all sisters born from eggs lain generations ago, every millennium a new crèche is hatched.  A disaster occurred when Star was just a hatchling, killing all the sisters in her generation.   Her elder sisters too old, and the young ones too small, she alone could leave their underground burrow and preform their worldly duties.

“And that is why we have never met and why I can never find time to visit you.  I must perform the work of a hundred sisters,” Star finished

.“What is it that you must do?” I asked

“It is a heavily guarded secret of my people, but I will tell you this: Long ago when the Fae Kind and the Purblinds could no longer coexist, the magical people combined their powers and created many small havens that were hidden from Purblind eyes.”

“Like Santooshka?”
“Exactly,” Her azure tinged fingers tucked her dark curls behind her ear.  Her midnight locks shimmered like a star filled sky.  Her face darkened as she grew serious.   “However, the net surrounding Santooshka and all magical enclaves must be refreshed by every full moon, or it‘s strength will fade with the waning.”

Then she burst into tears, “And now I have ruined it all to bloody hell.  I have lost the Moon Key, and will be unable to rekindle the dammed hollows.”

“My friends and I will help you look!  Don’t cry, tell me what this moon key object looks like, and I can begin to search right away.

Star wiped tears from her face and took a deep breathe, ”It appears as a small hand sized glowing blue bauble, and it should be bleeding easy to see in the dammed dark wood.”

Of course the description sounded familiar, I had just seen the moon key on the other side of Star.  I smiled widely and laughed out loud.

“Don’t you understand anything I have just said?  You are as crazy as a Purblind if you think this is funny!”  Star said with her hands on her hips.

“Oh I understand,“ still smiling I crawled behind the blue pixie and reached into the low growing ferns.  “Is this what you are looking for?” I handed her the glowing sphere.

SAM_1219“Sweet Water!” Star exclaimed!  “You’ve saved the night, City Lights, you’ve saved us all!!”

I told her not to be silly, and assured her that she would have found it as easily as me, if I hadn’t already been sprawled on the ground when she fell.  She hugged me tight and did a little dance, sending, a shower of aqua sparks flying from her feet.

Once again able to go about her important business, Star was eager to be on her way.  “So many Hollows, you know,” she said.  She dug into her pouch once more, but it was not her pipe she pulled out this time.  Her hand was full of dazzling crystals.  Each one shone with it’s own light.

image“We call them star shards.  My sisters and I know when a fragment of star light becomes entangled in the protective web around Santooshka. I collected these myself, I give them as a small appreciation token!

“You do not know the trouble you have helped us all escape, not to mention saving me personally from my elder sisters’ wrath!!!”

She also gave me some of her pipe herbs, which I tucked away into one of my pockets.  We promised to look for each other on the next full moon, and to keep our new friendship.  After a long goodbye, we parted ways.

Meeting Star was a good omen!  It reinforces my decision to stay at home, while Ironroot walks the wind.

I think what I need before I retire this evening is long hot bath.   I’ll wake the fire pixies, and after they take a dip in the tub, the water will be almost boiling!  And I have the perfect Full Moon Bath Soaking Salts!

M.M.

image

Full Moon Soaking Salts

You will need:

1 Cup Sea Salt

1 Cup Baking Soda

1 tsp of skin-safe quality sourced Essential oil ~ we used a combination of Lavender, Rose and Vetiver oils.

In a well ventilated area, combine the salt and the soda and the essential oils in a large bowl being sure to mix well.

image

Spoon in to a colored glass jar and enjoy under the full moon!

In which Wandering WoolGather drops a parcel and the Forest Gives a Gift

Magnolia’s Journal:

Ides of August

I woke to the warbler’s song this morning.  It’s sweet song trilling between my covers and into my heart.    The sun was just peaking over the hill as I poked my head out from my cottage.  Thick mist rose from the dewy grass and clung to the branches over hanging the SAM_0963commons.  Spokes of light persisted in sheering through the fog and dappled my goose pimpled arms.   A slight breeze blew over the stream, sweeping cool air across my face.

Untold days had passed since I had last really paid attention to much else than my wounded heart.  I suppose I have been out of sorts, mourning Ironroot’s sudden departure.SAM_0966   However in the light of this new day, I finally felt a little reprieve.  The metal vice that had gripped my heart, not vanished, but had at last loosened.  I could finally take a deep breath.  And, as I already know, but must keep learning, the wholesome Santooshkan air lightened my heavy burden into a load I could bear.

In the last fortnight Summer had cloaked our little valley in bright green.   Curly locked moss had over taken the rock path, and tickled my bare toes.  I meandered down to the creek’s edge

.SAM_0830

SAM_0674 All my favorite late summer wild flowers were in full bloom and the Bell Flowers filled the air with a grape like fragrance.  The clear running water was cold against my skin, and as I splashed water upon my arms and legs, the icy rivulets further revitalized me and swept the darkness into the far corners of my mind.

SAM_0681Suddenly I heard a loud whoosh, as if a concert of giants had all sighed at once.  Out of the corner of my eye I caught just the hint of the Wandering Woolgather’s hot air balloon.  I jumped up and ran down the path back to the cottages.

Having caught the wind, the balloon bobbed gently over the clearing.  Wandering’s balloon is not only a most welcomed sight, but proof of magic-if there was one.   It appeared to be always landing, but swooping up at the last moment over a stubbornly large tree.   Its lopsided dome is a literal quilt of patches.  Squares of all sizes, layered madly in an eye wrenching kaleidoscope of colors.   The rag tag balloon leaned precariously towards the bow, so it was often that you could spy Wandering, hanging nose down over the stern, with his long toes anchored through the rope, in a poor attempt to straighten the flying contraption’s path.  Though, he says he does it that way, so he can see where he’s been.

Wandering Woolgather likes to make his drops in the smack dab center of the meadow.  It is a good soft place for the packages to land, and free from tall trees to snag woolgather’s wonderful balloon.

Juniper and the changelings rose a little later to the whistling of the tea pot.   Sleepy eyed and wrapped up in her summer sheets, Juni stumbled over with her hand outstretched, reaching for the cup I offered her.

“My, you’re up early,” she smiled through golden tresses.

“It’s such a beautiful day!  I feel like I have finally woken up from a dark dream I’ve been living in.  Summer is slipping by and I will not spend the rest of it with my head buried beneath my pillow!   The sun is shining, birds are singing, and I can feel Santooshka soaking into my bones!

“It is good to see you in high spirits, not mention the clean smock,” Juniper kindly chided.   “And with hot tea.”   She put her face over her steamy mug and took deep breathes.  “But for truth, I am very glad to see you smile.”

“Thank you for helping me tend to my wounds.  Hot tea, is the least I can do.  Plus I have even better news!  Guess who I saw careening by?”

Juniper’s eyes lit up and she said, “I thought I was just dreaming, but I knew I heard the wandering woolgather’s balloon clunk by.”

After tea, the changelings, Juniper and I set out towards the meadow.   The morning had shed its early chill, and the sun warmed our faces as we crossed into the field.  Marked with colorful flags on long poles, several boxes lay in a neat bundle tied in blue string.   Juni and I took turns carrying the large box back to the cottages, while the changelings juggled a few smaller packages and ran ahead.

We reached the clearing just as Azalea and Greystone opened a package bearing their names in the curly script of Honey Bower.  They both let out a little whoop of delight, as they each pulled out a small peach pie

.SAM_5194

“It’s still warm too,” Azalea giggled.

“I will put the kettle on, and we’ll all have tea and pie,” Greystone stood up, dusting off his breeches, mindful of the pastries.

“Honey’s peach pie for breakfast?”  I laughed, “This day keeps getting better and better!!”

Having been decently fortified by Honey’s gooey, delicious pie and Greystone’s steaming tea, we attacked the unpackaging with celebratory fervor.

Other than the pies, Honey Bower had also sent a few taffy candies, a handful of licorice, and a jar of this year’s maple syrup.  Colored wax sticks for Azalea, a child size set of silver hand tools for Greystone, and new shiny pins and needles and pair of sharp shears for Juniper and me, all lovingly wrapped in crisp colored papers.  There was letter for Juni, which she tucked into her pocket, for later scrutinizing.

We all turned our eyes to the last unopened box, it stood unmolested in a sea of crumbled papers and gaping packages.  Greystone attacked it with vigor, diving in head first, as he pulled wide the folded flaps.   He dug around for a moment only to reappear, with a rather less than pleased look on his face, “Its only cloth.”

Juniper and I looked at each other with matching enthusiasm, “Fabric!”  We grinned in unison.

The last parcel was indeed filled with magic; shiny blues and calicos, soft muslin, and rougher linens, bits of lace, and bobs of thread.  We pawed our way to the bottom, rubbing the silky ones on our faces, and running our fingers along intricate designs, holding up bolts and waving things in the air.  This continued in such a manner for so long the changelings had run off with their prizes and the sun moved across the sky by the time it was finished.SAM_0860

Alone, I was able to tell Juniper that the hole in my chest had become smaller.  I was able to enjoy the moment once more.  We chatted until our soft tones had turned to merry banter, discussing one fabric or the next.

SAM_0862

We took the bolts of fabric bundled in our arms and placed it in the clearing between some oak and cedar trees next to Juniper’s Moon Garden.  Juniper fetched the Still Water Grimoire, blue moon fairy dust and some sage, while I arranged the newly acquired material.

SAM_0869

The forest crooned as we danced around the circle.  The trees swayed in a still air and little sprites spun in tight circles above our heads.  We summoned the magic of the four Fairy SAM_0915                      SAM_0895SAM_0926

Queens, from each direction.  We called upon the meadow’s flowery breath, the stream’s clean spirit, we asked the mighty Oaks to lend their strength to the threads, and the wild flowers to share their colors.  We asked the Mother Earth to enchant these mundane items with magic of the forest, binding the destiny of the each garment to that of Santooshka.

In a final crescendo of forest buzzing, the piles of fabric began to slowly move.  It gathered speed until it was a blue swirl with magic being released in azure popping sparks.   One fabric rose above the rest billowing and rotating to its own tempo.   Two corners extended outward and the top formed a sphere. Then suddenly the wood was quiet, and the gold flowered material fell to the top of the still pile.

Juniper and I rushed forward each picking up the silky fabric.  It was no longer a simple square of fabric but a beautiful caplet.

SAM_0931SAM_0933

“Ooo” we cooed together

“I have read about this in the Grimoire,” Juni said.  “We must be Creatrixes!! The Grimoire tells that in some cases where extraordinary women work together, their individual magic expands exponentially.  They have been known to be create magical artifacts out of single particles of forest matter!

“Mags, do you know what this means?  There hasn’t been any Creatrixes in Santooshka for a thousand years!   The forest could read our desire for creation.  It fed upon our ideas and gave us a gift.”

Even as I write, the smile plastered on my face has not faltered.   It is good to be here with Juniper and Azalea and Greystone!  I now know my heart can be in two places and not break into pieces.  I am Magnolia, a Lady of Santooshka, a married women, a friend, and O holy Still Waters, I am a root’n Creatix!  And I will not wallow in brokenness, but will live my life making magic and laughing.

image

M.M.

Juniper and the First Fall

juniperforest5 (2 of 1)

I followed the music after the ceremony. I left Magnolia gleefully wrapped in Ironroot’s arms just after the handfasting. It was a low thudding, much like the steady heartbeat of a large animal. There were golden mid-tones, and glittering- almost metallic high notes rippling through like water flowing; an endlessly cycling, yet never exactly repeating, song. I studied the faces of the guests at the wedding- no one else seemed to be hearing the music. After a time, I made my way to the outskirts of the soiree and found myself in the forest again.

juniperforest4 (2 of 1)

I could almost hear the trees sighing and swaying to the rhythms that rippled through the dendritic canopy over the worn footpath. The heat that clung to my dress and skin began to fall away behind me as I moved deeper into the woods. The bright Lughnasadh sunshine splashed across my face, and as the tunes became sweeter, and I found the corners of my mouth turned up involuntarily.

What a gift music is to the soul. It touches places where words cannot reach, and cleanses and realigns the spirit in the most gentle of ways. Like the wind wears away the mountain, music wipes clean the arenaceous sediment of sadness from the heart. As the moments dissolved into a singular liquid presence, I began to run through the forest as though in a rapturous chase.

juniperforest2 (2 of 1)juniperforest3 (2 of 1)

A snapping turtle crossed the path as I drew near the creekside. “Turtle! Do you hear that music?” I was almost giggling.
“You speak much too fast for me to understand. Slow down!” He snapped and with determination and focus, kept striding determined toward his destination.

juniperdress (2 of 1)

The woodland darkened and the light became the divine even green, as it does when it is ready to tell you it’s secrets. The music played on and it drew me deeper and away from the hard packed game trails through a thicket. Stinging Nettle hissed and lapped at my ankles and calves as I wove in and out of vines and low hanging branches.

juniperforest (2 of 1)

I tripped over a large root and landed squarely in front of a mother Turkey and her clutch, at once upsetting their afternoon tea. “I’m sorry for the intrusion But, do you hear that sound?” I queried like a madwoman.
“Dear me! Come and brush the dirt from your knees and have some seed cake and blackberry tea. We have more than enough to go around.” Her voice warbled the invitation. “Please, sit, rest, you have everything you need here with us. Rest. Sit in our circle. Share our food. Heal.” Her kind black eyes revealed nothing but unconditional concern.

forestbluff (2 of 1)

The music played on and I felt now compelled to find it’s source. I would not be deterred by turtles, turkeys or tea. And on I tramped through briar and boughs toward the unknown.

bluff (2 of 1)

Slowly the soft, moist forest floor gave way to smooth sandstone. The trees began to shift and space themselves between root-impenetrable rocky outcroppings. Instead of the moss and mycelium majesty of the inner forest, grass and the occasional prickly pear cactus grew in between boulders.

A rather large timber rattler sidled up next to me and shook his scaley segmented tale. “Ssssay, ssssissster. Where you headed?” He wound around in front of me to meet my face.
“Don’t you hear the music? I’m going to find out where it’s coming from.” I trudged forward but was met with a coil and a warning.
“I will grant no sssuch passsage through my kingdom. I know your sssort. Alwaysss russshing about on some fool’sss errand- never sssatisssfied with what you’ve got, and ssseverely lacking in ssspiritual qualitiesss. I ssshall bite you and make you sssuffer.” He coiled and licked at me.

“Perhaps you would like a taste of my pemmican, instead?” I was always taught to keep a secret stash of pemmican in a pocket, for time is a beast that does not dwell in the forest as hunger does. When I reached into my pocket, I realized that the snake would strike me and that there was no fear that would change a destiny that was already written, and so I closed my eyes and held out my open hand.
“I sssmell your fear.” he hissed.
“I wish I could say the same for your mercy!” My breathing became shallow and I braced for the needle toothed attack.
As I stood there hand outstretched and trembling, the music quickened and a blustery wind blew up through the boulders. A shadow fell across my face. In an instant, the snake was snapped up in the clutches of an eagle, and I heard the head being severed as the bird landed mere feet away to devour it’s dinner. Not another second was spent to gape at the serpent’s body in sharp-taloned grasp. I was gone in an instant.

juniperbluff1 (2 of 1)juniperforest6 (2 of 1)

Bright and baking in the sunlight, I stepped out onto a large sandstone bluff overlooking the green enchanted forest of Santooshka. The music became a bell-like ringing in my ears as I searched for the source.

juniperforest7 (2 of 1)juniperbluff1 (2 of 1)leaf8 (2 of 1) copyleaf7 (2 of 1) copy

I stopped, chewed my pemmican, and then, after some time, stood open-armed in complete gratitude for the sweet sounds. I started to dance; whirling atop the bluffs in joy. The music began to fade, and slowly turning in time with the aria, a single Autumn-painted Maple leaf descended from the sky. As soon as I grasped the golden thing, the music stopped.

leaf2 (2 of 1)leaf3 (2 of 1) copyleaf1 (2 of 1)leaf4 (2 of 1)

“It was the chiming of the trees!” Magnolia clasped her hand over her heart. I was able to sneak back to the gardens before the cake was sliced.
“Yes, and to hear it on such an auspicious day, must only mean glad tidings!” I smiled at my friend who now wore the same toothy grin, having been reassured from my afternoon adventure. We locked arms and re-joined the wedding feasting aglow with renewed hope for the future.

leaf5

The Hand fasting of Magnolia and Ironroot

Magnolia’s Journal:Sabbath,

imagesLike the silver workings of the spider’s web, my life seems to be remade over night.  Ironwood received a message late last night.  He must leave Santooshka and travel to the eastern Civil Lands.  He does not need to say the words, but I know he fears he will not return.  He has asked my hand in marriage, a small token to hold dear to my heart in face of the impending emptiness.

MM

Woddenday,

Featured imageIt is a fine thing that our Santooshkan Vale revels in impromptu festivals! Our Lughnasadh celebrations are usually quite small with only the valley’s inhabitants attending.  Once again this cycle, I give thanks for our bountiful gardens and prosperous woodland gleanings.

Juniper’s cottage was  filled with the sweet chirruping of sparrows, as they alight on the sills to take  the freshly inked invitations from GreyStone’s hand.    Azalea wandered around the meadow picking wild flowers.  Juniper has left her spinning wheel to help me sew my gown. Featured image The cavern weavers sadly refused my desire for new cloth, quoting the wrong season and lack of time.  It is just so, I have mountains of small scraps, and we will sew them together.  A perfect symbol for my past transforming into my future.

mm

Thorsday,

Two great things are occurring. It is no surprise that I feel as if my soul is shining and spilling out into the ether.   My wedding, and Juni’s and my decision to reach out to the Purblinds.   In a dream, Juniper saw our “other selves” and it planted the seed, which we have nurtured into a realized action.   We will create the secret Society of Moss and Lace.   Moss for Santooshka and the Still Water Way and Lace to symbolize the interconnectedness of not just the fay folk but of all peoples who wander the earth.

It is not necessary to emphasize our need for secrecy.  If even the slightest hint of our rebellion reaches the Queen, I have no doubt that Titania will follow through with her threat of banishment.  Despite the heavy consequences, Juniper and I must do what we feel is right.  I can not deny the Still Water prophecies.  It has become our obligation to open the eyes of as many Purblinds as we can, even if it is only one.  They deserve to know magic is real, and that the Earth Mother is alive.

After my dear Ironroot leaves, I will be able to give myself completely to this new cause.  Juniper and I know what we want to accomplish, but the exact means still evade us.  Despite the worry in Ironroot’s eyes, he knows he can’t keep me from this task.  The three of us have spent many evenings this week discussing the Society.  Juniper and I have decided to keep this from the changelings at the moment.  We are truly an odd assortment of people, preparing for a wedding by day, and making furtive battle plans by night.

MM

Blue Moon,

My Husband (even though that will not really be true until tomorrow),

I know when you read this you will be far outside the protective veil of my Santooshka.  I have secreted this small package into your belongings, if only to gladden your heart, and bring a smile to your beautiful face.  And perhaps too, because it is difficult for me to speak of separation when we are just about to be joined.

It will be an easy task to bind the two of us, because I know we are already one. The universe brought us together and neither of us expected to be to be so intertwined, especially at this moment. We are like knotted macrame, so many different ropes fasten us together, but also take us in different directions.  You outward on your clandestine sojourns while I must stay grounded in Santooshka to begin the Society with Juniper.  Even though our paths will take us different places, our cause is the same.SAM_0772

Place this enchanted locket in the light of the full moon.  The rays of Luna will connect us no matter where are we are. Words that are spoken into the open locket at midnight will be written in moon beams for me to read.  I will not be able to respond, but I will know that you are safe.

Juniper sends this Moss Amulet.  We believe whole heartily that it played an essential role in reviving her after her entanglement with the trolls this spring.  It is a small part of Santooshka and thus a small part of me.

Travel safe, my other half. I know your commitment to spread the Mother Earth Rebellion is as strong as your love for me.  If you sense the path ahead of you is is diverging into two futures, I beg you, please, choose the way that will bring you back to me.

Eternally Yours,

Mags

The Wedding of Magnolia & IronRoot

11705819_927680613936863_2099090124473070024_o

“Love is the language of two.”

11807423_927680143936910_7213285718605378719_o

Fay Folk flew in from all over Santooshka to witness the cemermony

11741135_927681243936800_210582467588173761_o

Trading of Rings

1937105_1178074821339_7609683_n

Magnolia and Ironwood

11754326_927681693936755_688231372117238748_o

Queen Mab made a special appearance

11782421_927680980603493_8190045422485021907_o

Ironroot drinks from the quaich

11705826_927681607270097_4297385183627320861_o

OakLeaf the Wizard and the Elven Lady Evermore

11741232_927681847270073_1529495073214857185_o (1)

Three Fairy Maids:  Sunshine, Sparkle, and Glisten

11700729_927681743936750_5026627085274261280_o

An Ancient Rock Spirit wishes Iron Root Good luck on his journey

11807614_927681977270060_6178341379771593505_o           11705715_927681777270080_7959916519760818698_o

        

11782533_927681497270108_7754259740170674423_o

After IronRoot and Magnolias Lips met, the sky opened up and rain poured down

11825825_927669340604657_4734534713784091724_n