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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