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.

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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.

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

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They combed the meadow grasses.

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No rock was left unturned at the creekside.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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“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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Juniper and the First Fall

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Juniper’s Journal: Waking Dreams, familiar faces, and Surprise Lughnasadh Plans

That night, my belly full of Blue Moon Mush and tender from laughing, I lay in my quilt-covered bed and let my eyelids slide slowly down just a little. I thought back on the day and smiled. As I settled into the featherdown a sliver of silver waxing moonlight lit my cheek.

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I awoke to a loud siren and felt a general sense of anxiety and worry. As my eyes adjusted to the early morning light, I found myself in completely foreign surroundings. Instead of my round, cozy, cottage bedroom, I was inside of a square box of a room with windows that overlooked a busy street. Adorned in the synthetic and crude clothing of the Purblind, and smelling of sulfate based shampoos, I walked gingerly into the larger part of the dwelling. There in the center of the room was a shrine that contained a magical glowing talking picture box. I averted my eyes as quickly as I could and prayed I was fast enough to avoid being spellbound by it’s luminance.

Groping and stumbling, I found my way inside a glossy, shiny kitchen space with dangling overhead lighting, metal and glass surfaces and humming machines. I was able to open the tap and fill a tumbler with clear water which induced a searing chlorinated burning as it slid down my esophagus. Behind me a plastic machine beeped and brown steaming liquid poured into a glass pitcher. Once the smell hit my nose, I recognized it as coffee and hoped it would help my newly raw throat. Catching a glimpse of my face in the mirrored surface of a toasting machine after tasting the brew, I mused it was curled and furled as one would naturally do if they had just ingested liquified paper paste.

I set the mug down and scanned the counter top…there were gossamer plastic bags, brightly colored boxes and cylinders, and a bowl of very shiny apples displayed in the center. Marveling at the uniform shapes and color of the apples, I remembered it would be several weeks yet for our apples to ripen on the trees. Wait… Apple trees? I stepped to the nearest window. A black street cut through an otherwise gray and sand colored sea of concrete and glass. A man walked by with a dog on a tether and lifted a hand to me in the window. I waved with a little too much enthusiasm and the man turned his head and quickened his step. My gaze drifted down closer to the structure I was inhabiting, and I noticed a small, sweet patch of viney flower garden looping heart shaped leaves like tiny alien arms reaching out to hold someone. Next to the vine patch garden was a small chair, a cushion and a small reading lamp.

A small rectangle on the counter top repeatedly buzzed and glowed with light. I thought I saw a familiar face on the vibrating screen with the name “MAGGIE” written atop of it before it darkened again. I don’t know how long I stood there in the dreamy indigo shadowed kitchen, spellbound with amazement, when there was a knock at the door. Fear and panic welled from my feet and I prepared to launch away from any intruders.

“Helloooo?” a familiar voice came closer and into the doorway stepped a flame-haired, purple lipsticked, version of Magnolia.

“Magggg…” my voice trailed off in disbelief.

“Jessica, what are you doing? We’re going to be late!…. You know, for our Society of Moss and Lace event?!….Are you sick? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!” My mouth gaped in anxious confusion. She stepped closer reaching out her arms, she grasped my shoulders and shook “Jessica… Jessica! Jessiper….. Juniper…”

I sat up drowsily in bed and squinted to see long-haired Magnolia beaming at me from across the room. She twirled her skirt and spun her shawl and squealed while clapping her hands.

“What is it? What’s happening?” I rubbed my eyes.

“We’re getting married!” Magnolia shrieked, with smiling eyes. “Sorry to wake you, but I haven’t slept a wink! Ironroot and I are getting married!” At that she made a little hop.

“Forgive me, I am still recovering from the strangest dream I have ever had…. You’re marrying, Ironroot?” I asked.

“On Lughnasadh!” Magnolia chirped

“So soon?” My brows furrowed and I tried to overcome a look of concern. “Are you very certain about this?”

“That’s the beauty of it, Juni, It will be a Lughnasadh handfasting- good for exactly one year and a day.” smiling and patting my hand sympathetically. It was true. Lughnasadh was a time of celebration and the first harvest. It was also a time to separate the wheat from the chaff, and so a handfasting would be considered a trial marriage and either of the couple could end the arrangement the following year.

“There is so much to prepare, and no time to do it in!” Magnolia’s excitement was infectious and I began to daydream of fresh baked bread, fairy festivals, bonfires, gaming, and dancing at dawn . “I want you to tell me everything of Ironroot’s visit last night, but first, I just had the strangest dream! I feel I should tell you before I forget it.” Wide eyed, I told Magnolia of the unnatural world I found myself in and of seeing her Purblind doppleganger. It was all so real, right down to the smell of the coffee.

“Do you think it’s a kind of message? The Society of Moss and Lace…?” Magnolia asked contemplatively.

“I don’t know what to think, yet. I can’t help but feel it was important. I just don’t have dreams as vivid as that one was, and I’m tempted to try and fall back asleep, out of curiosity.” I chuckled as I stood to fold up the blankets on the bed.

“I’ll see you and the changelings for breakfast after the morning’s chores.” Magnolia’s voice disappeared behind a heavy wooden door, and I was left with morning birdsong and racing thoughts.

Sweet Dreams Sachet

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2 Parts dried lavender

1 part dried rose buds

1 part dried jasmine blossoms

1 part chamomile flowers

Optional: Include crystal of your choice inside the sachet for added dream enhancement.

Tuck inside your pillowcase for dreams as sweet as new love.

~*~*~*~ Quarterly Catch-Up (Summer 2015) ~*~*~*~

Infinite Reflection by Kaleidoscope Jukebox

Once upon a time, in an enchanted forest named Santooshka there lived two fair maids in tiny cottages along the banks of a bubbling creek.SAM_0306SAM_8302 SAM_5113 SAM_8913 SAM_8296SAM_8564 Their days were filled with frivolity, laughter, and earth magic, as they coexisted in harmony with all manner of magical forest creatures. There they live still, keepers of the Stillwater Grimoire an ancestral tome of magical ephemera that is an endless dispensary of woodland wisdom and an oracle of joy

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A lingering look as Juniper passes into the unknown world of the Purblinds

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There were whispers throughout the forest of a great darkness sweeping the lands outside Santooshka, and that magical folk were banding together to create a positive force of change. It was decided among the denizens of the wood, that Juniper GinFairy would travel to a renowned seed festival in the Ozarks to forge connections with others of their ilk.

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Ripple the water sprite giving Juniper the enchanting amulet

Alone, and full of uncertainty, Juniper made her way across the Mississippi River to the west and through the red clay mountains where she chanced upon a troll convoy of kidnapped changelings. After a battle by the roadside, Juniper was nursed back to health by Azalea Aldertree and Greystone Gardiner, two of the changelings that survived the uprising, with the help of a magical forest amulet.

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Assisted the 17 year cicadas, the three made their way to the festival and learned more of the wasteful and destructive ways of the Purblind that plague our planet.

The trio then rode a caravan of friendly armadillos back to the safety of Santooshka. Along the journey home they met with MudDog and Dusty Pearl where they collected handmade leather medicine pouches to safely store the amulets in.

handmade amulet pouches soon available in the Bazaar.

Hand tooled amulet pouches soon available in the Bazaar.

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10 live Moss amulets were send for magical placement throughout North America! Thank you to all who wrote letters!

10 live Moss amulets were sent for magical placement throughout North America! Thank you to all who wrote letters!

The Ladies of Santooshka accepted the changelings into their forest family with ease.  The days returned to a tune of normalcy, which for these fae creatures is nothing if not whimsical.

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One sunny afternoon, just returning from a berry picking venture, Magnolia Magpie stumbled upon a handsome stranger who had found his way through the enchanted veil that surrounds Santooshka.

Ask Magnolia Magpie to sew you a tunic like Ironroot's! Magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

Ask Magnolia Magpie to sew you a tunic just like Ironroot’s! Magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

Ironroot Wyldhearth had not found the forest by any accident, but instead was there to impart news of the Great Mother Rebellion.  Elves from the North had bade Ironroot to travel forth into the outer lands gathering intelligence while gleaning allies.  Finding the Still Water custodians receptive to the embers of revolution, Ironroot felt comfortable revealing his hope for the Purblinds.  An impromptu intercourse on a myriad of radical topics ensued, fairy philosophies, the confluence of Fae forces, and Magical dispersion were all discussed.  When he departed, seeds of ideas had been planted, and the women nurtured thoughts that Fairy Folk could once again share their world and magic with the Purblind.

Queen Titania appears in the forest in an enigmatic cloud.

Queen Titania appears in the forest in an enigmatic cloud.

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In the height of Mid Summer Revelry , Santooshka was graced by the royal presence of Queen Titania.  The Queen’s entourage descended upon the valley, as Titania appeared in a whirlwind of smoke.   Informed of a recent shift in ideology flowing through the forest, The Queen of the Fae threatened banishment if Juniper and Magnolia did not adhere exclusively to her commandments.

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After her tirade, Titania spent the eve in Santooshka celebrating the fruits of the season.  During the merriment, Iroonroot pulled Magnolia aside and confessed his passionate love for her.

Ironroon confesses his love to Magnolia

Ironroon confesses his love to Magnolia

We now find the state of Santooshka to be in full transition.  Juniper has taken to long strolls through the outskirts of the forest and Magnolia is ever closely entwined with her lover.  Will the winds of Revolution inspire the ladies to share the pages of the Still Water Grimoire? Will they continue with their quest to open magical knowledge to the Purblinds?   What will their fate hold for them if they disobey orders from the Queen?

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Continue to visit this portal to read the unfolding of this Serial Fairy Tale.  You will be able to look upon the sacred pages of the Still Water Grimoire and join magnolia and Juniper as they traverse unknown places of the heart, mind, and outer world.  You too, can carry a piece of Santooska magic.  Grand Opening of the Bazaar coming soon!

Unfolding by Etherwood

Juniper’s Journal: Wandering feet, a troubled heart, and tea with a Groundhog

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I find myself changing since my return to the forest from the short time I’ve spent amongst the Purblind. Small creases around my mouth and eyes appear when I catch a glimpse of myself in the looking glass. It seems I have aged a decade in the days I was gone from our enchanted home.

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Though I welcome becoming a crone, I do not wish it upon myself prematurely. In quiet parts of the day, I remember my trek to the seed festival,  the troll attack,  and the fever that followed, and that is how I have explained this mysterious accelerated aging to myself. I have also noticed a quivering in my chest and I have taken to solitary walks along the edge of Santooshka as consolation. It is as if I am being called out of the forest by an inaudible pleading, and many moments since Midsummer has been spent listening to the wind and hoping it will tell me my own heart.

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This wanderlust I have recently acquired, is both exhilarating and terrifying. I can’t help but wonder if this is the inner state of all Purblinds. The busyness, the maddening tumbling, grasping and scrambling to achieve obscure, disconnected, self-imposed prisons of sameness and convenience. In Santooshka, we are birthed and rooted into an unbroken circle of giving and receiving. When the rain falls, we drink. When fruits ripen on the trees, we feast. Even when our harvests are meager, we take joy in experiencing the lack, as it allows us to consider our bounties ever the more precious when we have it.

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It was during one of my recent pensive ramblings, that I found myself near an abandoned tumbledown shack, and from underneath it, emerged Serafina the groundhog.

“Ooh, it’s the beautiful Juniper GinFairy, come to visit me!” she cooed in her sugary voice. “I knew I’d be having a visitor today, which is why I just dusted the entirety of my large, beautiful mansion!”
Once in a while, a groundhog will come across a house that some other man built and claim it as the fruit of their own labors. As one such groundhog, Serafina made sure to work her home into any conversation in which she found herself. “Juniper, please come inside for some tea, I have just put the kettle on.” She preened her coarse silvery brown fur. A visit with Serafina always proved to be disorienting. She would sweetly offer tea and treats and laude their refined tastefulness only to serve up sugared pond water and half-eaten dried lichen chips with her stubby little fingers.

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“Come and sit here in the kitchen, the woodwork is original, you know. Come and sit and you’ll tell me all that is weighing on you, my dear!” She ushered me inside her mildewing manor. No matter the vocal content that drizzled out of Serafina’s mouth, she is always sure to deliver it with acute sweetness. It is of course, soothing at the onset, but over the years, I have learned that this is how Serafina lulls one into spilling out private thoughts so that she may regurgitate them later when she has the audience of anyone who will listen.
“I don’t mean to burden you with my troubles, Serafina. I am just out walking to clear my head.”

Serafina the Groundhog beckons Juniper inside for tea.

Serafina the Groundhog beckons Juniper inside for tea.

As soon as I said it, I saw her neck-less square head perk up. “Heavy thoughts troubling your mind, Juniper?” She said in her lilting, sing-song way. And this is the manner in which Serafina prodded and poked me with sugar-coated barbs until I began to indulge her a little and confess:“Magnolia has fallen in love with a man named Ironroot!” I blurted. An awful sinking feeling started inside me. I was ashamed of using my dear friend’s budding romance to deflect from Serafina’s self-serving inquiries, but Fae are nothing if not polite when invited for tea.

I knew not to touch on my true distraction- the warning from Queen Titania at Midsummer, and my unresolved hope for a world in which Purblind and Faerie were one people again- for fear of her saccharine criticisms when my heart is so very tender and unsettled. Thankfully, she took the bait and I sat and listened while Serafina speculated on the breeding and background of Ironroot, and the foolhardiness of Magnolia’s trust for him. The more she belched sugary disapproval, the more sour it turned in my ears until at last I feigned illness and excused myself from the groundhog’s hovel.

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Breathing the wild open air again, I felt myself steady in my convictions, rooting deeper inside until the steadiness overcame my heart. I think that is always the lesson learned when one is blessed to take in groundhog medicine. Digging deeper in the dirt of my emotions, I find I question Titania’s urgency to let Purblind affairs alone. The Stillwater way is to reject segregation. We are interconnected, and though we may not see it right away, we could share with Purblind more than we can imagine.

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As I walked the path back to the cottages, I let my feet carry me and let those parts of me that are older than the mountains, older than the ocean, older than the stars in the sky overcome the worry, and remind my heart of an infinite plan. As the sun slipped low between the trees, I felt my uneasiness drain away and trail behind on the path.

Blush by Wolf Alice

Later that evening, over cozy bowls of Blue Moon Mush, I confessed to Magnolia the details of my encounter with Serafina the groundhog earlier that day.
“That bitty!” Mags threw back her head and laughed. “You remember what Mother Tasha always said, right?” she asked and slurped another spoonful of pudding.
“Groundhogs will gossip!” I chuckled.
“You let Serafina get to you only because you think others actually listen to her. And really, the only one who gives her the time of day is you, Juni. Some people are miserable because they’ve had bad things happen to them. Then, there are folks like Miss Serafina, who are miserable because they don’t let anything at all happen to them at all. Take a cue from the rest of forest and let her be with her pond slosh tea!” Magnolia’s contagious laughter roared and her cheeks glowed from the pudding and the mead. It wasn’t long before my own guffaw joined her, and then giggling from the brownies, house elves, teacup fairies, then yuk-yuking from the doves in the rafters until the entire cottage dissolved into fits of laughter.

Suddenly there came a loud pounding at the door that imposed a dark and immediate silence. Magnolia jumped up so fast her bowl of mush fell to the floor and rolled under the table. It was like she was in a wide-eyed trance- knowing before the rest of us did who was on the other side of the door.

She turned the knob and and there stood Ironroot- his face as pale as the moon, his white ringed eyes glowing, and his mouth gaping open so as to deliver news of severe importance. His eyes searched the candlelit room and before they could fall on me, I slipped out of the back door of the cottage to allow the lovers a private exchange.

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Blue Moon Mush

Makes 2 generous bowls

1 Cup Blue Corn Meal

1 Cup Fresh Cold Milk

2 Cups water

A generous pinch of salt

toppings such as: butter, honey, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, berries, heavy cream, or nuts

While you are waiting for the 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan, mix the cornmeal and the cold milk together in a bowl. This is to help prevent any lumping. When the water is boiling, add the cornmeal mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make sure it is completely mixed. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until the mush is the consistency of pudding (or a consistency you like).  Serve in bowls with copious amounts of butter and sweetener, and cream, and anything else your heart desires!

**note Blue Corn is more bitter and earthy tasting than yellow corn, you may substitute for yellow corn to get a milder flavor.

Juniper’s Journal: Midsummer Celebrating and Warning from the Old Guard

I must write this down so that I can remember without fault, this eventful Midsummer.

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“ Ladies of Santooshka, keepers of Stillwater, it would serve you to listen to reason and abandon your ambitions of spreading our way of life to the Purblinds. Your ideals are madness, and your priorities should be to tend to this enchanted space. Purblinds are named such, as they are unable to see magic when it is growing green in front of them!”

Queen Titania and Ironroot

Queen Titania and Ironroot

Magnolia and I made darting eye contact with each other when the Queen began to speak.  Ironroot surprised us by arriving in the royal entourage for our Midsummer celebration and was standing behind Queen Titania avoiding our questioning gazes. Was she aware of the faerie uprising stirring in the north? Tiny buds of panic took root in my confusion. Was that why she was here, in our forest, this Midsummer? image

“Purblind and Faerie were once the same people. Or have you forgotten? What separates us are our thought vibrations and way of life. The Purblind chose to break the hoops in which we live. They removed themselves from the sacred circle of life. Our mother gives freely everything we will ever need, and only asks of our breath when we are breathing, and our bodies when we are done with them in return. Yet, the Purblind pillage, hoard, discard,    waste, and slither across this land like unchecked disease. Tell me, do you see them continuing in this manner for another mere 100 years? Those wanton children have drained the magic from our lands and I for one, will be happy to see them all vanish!”

Custom Magickal Dresses available through magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

Custom Magickal Dresses available through magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

Titania lighted atop a log pile and continued with her sermon. A ruckus of thoughts were racing through my head and crashing into the words that were flowing out of her mouth and into my ears.  Colorful memories flashed of my recent travels away from Santooshka and they shone through the shards of Titania’s speech. I may have uttered a “but..” or some other small protest, but  try as I might, my voice was rendered useless by the collisions in my head. There was a natural logic to what Titania was telling, no doubt. Swept up by her charisma hidden fairies and birds, and frogs, and swarms of insects began to agitate and sing down from the treetops and chirp up from the moss “Hear, Hear!” and “Purblind will vanish!”

Magnolia and Juniper's spirits are dampened.

Magnolia and Juniper’s spirits are dampened.

“Now is the time to let the Mother’s fever take it’s course, she is yearning to cleanse her pores. Let us make merry and be happy of it on this Midsummer!” Clouds formed at her feet, and Titania began to slowly twirl and change, and soon, magnificent glowing hair sprouted from atop her head and as the sun set on the longest day of the year, rain began to trickle from the sky.

Titania Twirls 1 Titania Twirls 2

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As I stepped slowly back into the cottage, from the corner of my eye, I saw Ironroot pull Magnolia aside in the moongarden. I have found his countenance much changed since our last meeting, and an intensity shadowed his face as he rushed to be by Magnolia’s side.

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{Glorious by MaMuse}

This has certainly been the most exciting midsummer’s eve in my memory even now it is cast with a melancholic patina. Within the minute of the queen’s arrival, the air the wood took on a rapturous glow, and the choreographed chaos Santooshka was thrown into, was like a folk dance your feet remember before your head does. Our humble cottages have never contained finery fit for royalty, and so it was the lighthearted appeal of simpleness we used to charm Queen Titania. I feel in my heart,  Midsummer was a great success, despite our folded paper hearts, cottage garden flowers, rough hewn furniture, and rustic cuisine.

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We did make merry that eve, and wished for a long, slow, summer with every candle we lit inside the cottage. Ambrosia was flowing, and the larders of spring that were overflowing into every nook and cranny were gobbled down with joyful recklessness. The changelings performed a delightful shadow puppet show of “The Cat and the Three Little Mice” that had our guests laughing and giggling through the night.

Midsummer Shadow puppet theatre

Midsummer Shadow puppet theatre

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The pain of doubt began to creep inside the hollows of my shoulders and I felt myself shrink smaller as the celebration continued.

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I must find a solitary place and sort this through.

I must reconcile my head and my heart.

Juniper flys

{Switchcraft – Chilly Gonzales}

ambrosia (2 of 1)

Juniper’s Journal: Society of Moss and Lace Mail and Forest Love Spell!

Juniper journaling

Juniper journaling

I’ve snuck away from the changelings to the creekside to write for a bit of the afternoon. What tranquility it is, to feel the cool steadiness of the moss covered boulder people cradled snug against my back.  I feel I must write these thoughts of mine down, as things seem to have happened so quickly this spring! It has become clear to Magnolia and I that the prophecy foretold to us by the ancients is nigh. There have been many signs ciphered- not the least of which was a recent visit to the wood by a man called Ironroot. He spoke of the Elves of the North sending emissaries to every reachable magical enclave to rally together. The northern Elves are famous for their reclusive behavior and so we can safely assume civil lands must be as acute in their need for magical intervention as we have feared.

Pensive Juniper

There were many things I witnessed while sojourning to the seed festival, and I have kept much to myself. I didn’t have the language (and perhaps I still don’t) to convey to Magnolia the other reality that lies beyond the forest reach.

dead robin

This robin was given a burial, as is the custom in Santooshka.

It is far more frightening, and more brilliant than what was told to us as bedtime stories. What would Mags say if I told her I saw a moving picture of Purblind Blue Warriors attacking a child in the street? The very child that those Warriors were deputized to protect. The stones of many un-tellings weigh down my heart.

Soapwort along the path

Spiderwort blooming along the Santooshka Forest paths

I must confess, the first few days home have been bittersweet. I am elated to be among my friends, my trees, my home, but I cannot shake a deep grief welling inside of me. I mourn for the civil lands that lived in my dreams. Or, I mourn for the dreamland that did not survive in the civil ones. I cannot decide which.

mossy

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I am though, above everything, a slave to hope. Ironroot’s visit came at a time when my hope needed ratification and I am newly inspired to press on with our plans to share the magic of Santooshka far and wide.

Magnolia and I have begun staying up late into the night stitching, spinning, sorting, beading, knitting, weaving, and wishing since Ironroot’s mysterious departure. I must confess, I have noticed a melancholy air about her when we aren’t busying our hands. We’ve begun in earnest to prepare for Midsummer. We’ve worked together bent over a golden gown with pearl beads and geometric cutwork- a truly inspired piece that I believe contains the essence of heart-longing. Is there a more beautiful pain than heart-longing?

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100% Wool Crop-top with green recycled sari silk thread embroidery. Available in the Bazaar next month.

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Stargazer lilies blooming in Juniper’s Garden

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In Santooshka, Stargazers represent innocence and purity.

While spear-fishing the creek today, I noticed the pair of fledgling Swallow-Tail Kites that I was sure would have flown the nest by my return, have decided to stay in Santooshka. I imagine they’ve made this decision under insect-induced conditions.

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Most all of the forest birds are all starry-eyed and whistley, and have fattened entirely too early in the season on juicy Cicada bellies. Not only do they enjoy feasting on them day and night, the perched birds sway in unison to the collective hypnotic roar of cicada love-song. Has the entire forest succumbed to a love spell?

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Wandering Woolgather dropped a bundle for us between the cottages!

MudDog's handcrafted Medicine pouches to hold the moss amulets.

MudDog’s handcrafted Medicine pouches to hold the moss amulets.

Inside, were more pouches from MudDog and Dusty Pearl, Lupine seeds, salt, lavender candies and magnificent letters from the civil lands!! While the changelings stuffed their mouths full of candies, Magnolia and I rushed to the quiet of the ravine to read our correspondence. Unwittingly, without preamble or ceremony, we ripped open a letter from The Mimosa Queen of the East!

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Dear Juniper and Magnolia,

Greetings from the East! I hope that this card finds you both quite well! I’m writing in regards to the Fern Defiant! Oh, what a beautiful series of images that it calls to mind!

MaidenHair Fern growing in Santooshka

MaidenHair Fern growing in Santooshka

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had an easy life, thus far. (What does that even mean? Isn’t life difficult for everyone?) This past year, I’ve been greeted with seemingly new challenges with terribly familiar faces… I’ve had moments when the future seemed so uncertain (of course it is!) and it’s felt so frustrating and anxious to believe that things will get better. Yet, they always do. Always.

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The Fern Defiant doesn’t strike me as held down. The fern is a fighter. A peaceful warrior. I think that the fern in my life is humor and compassion, striving only for survival. I feel easily frustrated, but the moment I find myself laughing, the load is lightened. Sun, water, and nutrients from rich soil, like the soil of Santooshka, I’d imagine, and victory is hers. The gift of laughter and gentle reminders to be loving with myself are enough to ground me and help me to remember that each challenge, each road block and each disruption is a gift, and an invitation to grow. What a blessing!

Lace cuffs fit for a queen! contact the forest for your pair!

Lace cuffs fit for a queen! contact the forest for your pair!

So Much Love!

~The Mimosa Queen of the East

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Enclosed was an inspirational print we gave to the meadow fairies right after we recited the letter to the plagiary of mockingbirds that were just waiting to spread happy forest news.

Magnolia reads the Mimosa Queen's letter.

Magnolia reads the Mimosa Queen’s letter.

Starstruck, and our hearts lightened, Magnolia and I laughed, and splashed in the ravine, and for a time, our daily duties have been met with jubilant dedication. Whether it is a love-spell, or simply the the approach of Midsummer, Santooshka is bubbling over with a dreamy anticipation of good things to come.

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Golden Gown available in the bazaar next month.

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♥♥♥♥♥

The Changelings have been folding hundreds of paper hearts in preparation for Midsummer! Follow the tutorial below, and remember to start with a square sheet of paper. Take your time, enjoy your craft. Click pause as many times as you need. You may contact the forest if you run into any trouble!

**Love Spell**

Write the name of your love on the white inner part of the paper heart. Sleep with it under your pillow. If you dream of your love within the next 7 days, know the love is reciprocal!

Start with a square piece of paper. Now would be a good time to write your love's name on the inside. Fold into squares and open again.

Start with a square piece of paper. Now would be a good time to write your love’s name on the inside. Fold into squares and open again.

Fold the bottom edge up to meet the middle crease.

Fold the bottom edge up to meet the middle crease.

Flip the paper over so the design side is on top.

Flip the paper over so the design side is on top.

Fold the bottom corners up to meet the middle crease.

Fold the bottom corners up to meet the middle crease.

Fold the other bottom corner up to meet the middle crease.

Fold the other bottom corner up to meet the middle crease.

Turn the paper over.

Turn the paper over.

Fold the outer edge so that it meets the center crease.

Fold the outer edge so that it meets the center crease.

Fold the other outer edge in to meet the center crease.

Fold the other outer edge in to meet the center crease.

Fold down the top outer corner until it meets the center crease.

Fold down the top outer corner until it meets the center crease.

Fold the other top outer corner down to meet the center crease.

Fold the other top outer corner down to meet the center crease.

Bend the entire piece in half so that the top point meets the bottom point.

Bend the entire piece in half so that the top point meets the bottom point.

Tuck the bottom corner into the pocket.

Tuck the bottom corner into the pocket.

Flatten the top of the paper on both sides. Start your crease from the center and press outwards.

Flatten the top of the paper on both sides. Start your crease from the center and press outwards.

Fold the upper corner down to make a square bottom.

Fold the upper corner down to make a square bottom.

Fold the other upper corner down to square the bottom edge.

Fold the other upper corner down to square the bottom edge.

Fold the tips of the triangles at the top down to meet the crease.

Fold the tip of the triangle at the top down to meet the crease.

Fold the opposite tip of the triangle to meet the middle crease.

Fold the opposite tip of the triangle to meet the middle crease.

Flip it over to reveal your finished heart!

Flip it over to reveal your finished heart!

To make a paper heart garland, glue or tape string to the underside of the last flaps that were folded down before finishing.

To make a paper heart garland, glue or tape string to the underside of the last flaps that were folded down before finishing.

In Which Juniper Arrives With the Changelings:

Magnolia,

I thought it best to finish the letter I sent while on the road home and give it to you discreetly so that you may read it after supper and perhaps dream about it tonight.  You must have guessed by now that it was the changelings who kept me alive that night in that dark Ozark Forest I crawled into after the Troll attack. Two of the wee ones patted my hand and dabbed my forehead all the night long.

I awoke to early morning birdsong, and the two had fallen asleep on either side of me.  I noticed the amulet Ripple gifted to me was now hung around my neck and the cork unstopped and the contents spilled out onto my chest, and the unmistakeable and glorious scent of the Santooshka had enveloped our trio in a swirling protective mist. I heard a Whippoorwill whistle in that certain way we taught them, and I knew you must have received word of my plight and instructed the woodland animals to open the amulet.  After earnestly thanking the forest for my miraculous healing and renewed sense of well-being, I carefully arranged the contents back into the jar and went about making breakfast.

While I was cooking a tidy breakfast of Blue-Jay egg, pine-needle tea, and reconstituted serviceberry mash, I started to remember that song we used to always sing when we drank pine-needle tea at the Garden’s Edge- and before I knew it, I was humming and singing that old familiar tune…

I looked up from my cup of tea to see the changelings staring quietly at me. The poor things didn’t remember anything before waking up in the back of that old Troll truck, not even their names! I will tell you now, because they’ve been so quiet since our arrival: I’ve named the girl-child Azalea AlderTree after the songs we sang before, and all the beautiful Azaleas blooming now. The boy-child I’ve named Greystone Gardiner because I saw him throwing stones at those Trolls; and Gardiner because it is the loftiest of occupations, isn’t it? Anyway, they’ll just need a little time to warm up to us and Santooshka Forest, and I’m sure they’ll fit right in.

But, how we all came to arrive at the Seed Festival is quite the story! As you might imagine, I was a little disoriented and not having ventured from Santooshka like this before, I found myself pacing under a row of pines. I think that’s what did it. The pacing, I mean. The ground began to purr and then, rumble, and Magicicada’s – the Periodical Cicadas that awaken every 17 year- wriggled by the thousands up from the ground all around us! Before I could say “Ecdysis!” they started chirping- “Where are we?” “I’m hungry!” “Who are you?” and they turned and stared at us with wide-set red eyes and wanted answers! Normally, it is days before the Magicicadas can fly as you know, but this brood was particularly robust and began flitting their wings and encircling and mussing our hair and ruffling our clothes. Thankfully, I was able to convince them to work together to transport us to the Seed Festival which just happened to be on the other side of the wood in exchange for telling them stories of the world above ground for the past seventeen years.

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The Seed Festival! Sure, there were Purblinds everywhere, but there were also lots of magic folk from other forests and prairies, and deserts, and mountains from other lands. We were told we would always recognize our own kind Magnolia, it’s true. Even all the way in the Ozarks, I could tell I was surrounded by a network of people just like us, who believe in the same future we do.

Ambassadors from All lands visit The Baker's Creek Seed Festival in Mansfield, MO

Ambassadors from All lands visit The Baker’s Creek Seed Festival in Mansfield, MO

Juniper GinFairy, Azalea AlderTree, Greystone Gardiner enjoy a sunny day at Baker's Creek Seed Festival May 2015

Juniper GinFairy, Azalea AlderTree, Greystone Gardiner enjoy a sunny day at Baker’s Creek Seed Festival May 2015

Azalea AlderTree Wearing a handsewn hat lent to her by Juniper- Order yours from Magnolia@societyofmossandlance.com

Azalea AlderTree Wearing a hand-sewn hat lent to her by Juniper- Order yours from Magnolia@societyofmossandlance.com

Secret meetings were held. Councils were formed. The network of believers strengthened. I left with Greystone and Azalea with a lighter heart and wings on my soul. By the time we caught up with the Cicadas, it was apparent the Magicicada King had awoken because they were all flopping around chanting “Pha-raoh! Pha-raoh!” And there was no convincing them of anything, least of all to quiet down and listen. We covered our ears and ran from the thicket to escape the din of their listless chanting.

On a narrow goat path down the hill, we got to chatting with a fez of armadillos that had also just left the Seed Festival. As it happened, they stopped by on their way from Arkansas, with bundles of Ouachita Mountain Quartz in leather sacks strapped to their backs, for a rest and a few fruit-and-larvae smoothies. They were headed east and were kind enough to offer us a ride back to the edge of the Santooshka Forest! You and I both know there are no coincidences, and so though I’d like to say I wasn’t surprised to find out that they all knew our friends Mud Dog and Dusty Pearl. I was elated to learn that they had packed special quartz bundles just for them!We were delivered to their doorstep along with the quartz bundles after only a few days of uneventful armored travel at armadillo pace.

Dusty Pearl made us tea upon our arrival, and I recounted the miraculous story of the Troll attack, the changeling uprising, and how the amulet revived me. Mud Dog and Dusty Pearl suggested that bits of the Santooshka be shared outside the forest for other believers to utilize. Before I could protest, Mud Dog began fashioning tiny leather pouches for me to carry back to our neck of the woods. Dusty Pearl instinctively painted The Fern Defiant on each pouch as a reminder to all who hold the amulets, that though difficult times lay ahead, we are the people who grow and thrive in inconvenient conditions.

Ouachita

Some of the Ouachita “Wa-She-Ta” Mountain Quartz in the Armadillo shipment.

Mud Dog creating amulet pouches for The Society of Moss and Lace

Mud Dog creating amulet pouches for The Society of Moss and Lace

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With deft fingers, Dusty Pearl paints The Fern Defiant on the leather pouches.

With deft fingers, Dusty Pearl paints The Fern Defiant on the leather pouches.

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Live Moss Amulets with

Live Moss Amulets with “A bit of the Santooshka” inside ready to be put inside their pouches for transport!

Since arriving home this morning, I have fielded a barrage of questions from the changelings and they have slowly begun meeting the inhabitants of Santooshka. Even Kitty Purry climbed out of the Sugar Maple tree to say hello!

Kitty Purry lives inside the trunk of a Sugar Maple tree.

Kitty Purry lives inside the trunk of a Sugar Maple tree.

Greystone wanted to know why we hung mirrors in the garden. He didn’t know how vain the insects are in Santooshka- especially in spring when their wings aren’t tattered and their shells are glossy and new.

Greystone Gardiner, newly of Santooshka Forest.

Greystone Gardiner, newly of Santooshka Forest.

This one may be more manfolk than Faerie kind... only time will tell.

This one may be more manfolk than Faerie kind… only time and growing will tell.

A Cicada admiring his glossy new exoskeleton.

A Cicada admiring his glossy new exoskeleton.

Azalea AlderTree newly of Santooshka Forest.

Azalea AlderTree newly of Santooshka Forest.

Azalea reveling in the scent of the Santooshka!

Azalea reveling in the scent of the Santooshka!

Azalea peeking in windows to see who sleeps late in Santooshka Forest.

Azalea peeking in windows to see who sleeps late in Santooshka Forest.

The sweet smell of woodland roses!

The sweet scent of woodland roses!

I thought maybe I would ask Honey Bower to set aside the first 10 letters we receive that have the words “The Fern Defiant” written in them outside the usual mailbag so that we may send a reply post-haste with Moss Amulets inside. As was foretold in the Stillwater Grimoire, the time to share the magic of the forest is upon us and I am certain if we can just get the amulets into the hands of the right people, our mission to spread frivolity and enchantment through the lands will be that much easier! Dream on it, Magnolia, and let me know your thoughts in the morning. Enthusiastically Yours, Juniper

We're giving away these live moss amulets to the first 10 people who write to us with the words:

We’re giving away these live moss amulets to the first 10 people who write to us with the words: “The Fern Defiant” !

To Enter our giveaway, simply write a letter or postcard to Juniper and Magnolia with the words: “The Fern Defiant”. Make sure your return address is legible enough for Wandering Woolgatherer to decipher and we will send you your Live Moss Amulet from Santooshka Forest straight away.

The Society of Moss and Lace

C/O Honey Bower

#53Buttermilk Hill Rd

Ava, IL 62907

USA