By the fern brake, deep and shady,
There I met an elfin lady.
Dressed in cobweb silk and flowers,
There she whiled away the hours,
Waiting until dark.
On the soft green moss beside her,
Lay a baby wrapped in eider.
Skin so fair and hair like midnight,
The lady watched the coming twilight,
Waiting till 'twas dark.
Silently, I sat beside her,
Hoping for some words to gather
In my numb and startled mind.
Said the lady, "You're most kind
to wait with me till dark."
"Are you lost?" I asked lady.
"Is this your home, this fern brake shady?
Will others come by star and Moon?"
She only smiled, began to croon
To the elfin child.
The baby slept. The lady told me
Deep magic of the Earth and Sea.
Spells she whispered, strong and old.
"Use them well," she said. "Be bold
When spelling in the night."
"Can I work these?" The lady smiled,
Gathered up her sleeping child.
"Oh yes," she answered, "Tis a boon
For waiting with me till the Moon
Slips up the sky."
Thinking deep, I sat beside her,
Keeping watch. I heard the rider
Coming through the fern brake shady.
"Are you there, my lovely lady?"
Called an elfin voice.
An elfin lord, his clothes all viney,
Armed with sword and dagger shiny,
Rode his horse into the fern brake.
Then my heart began to quake
On seeing his dark eyes.
Twilight gathered; birds were still.
The Moon came up above the hill.
Suddenly I felt alone.
"Have no fear, for you have sown
The lady smiled and raised her hand.
Upon her brow a shining band
Glistened by the light of the Moon.
"Would you too give forth a boon?"
She asked her lord.
"For here is a friend, a watcher bold."
"But they are enemies of old,"
The elf lord answered.
"No," she said,
"But guarded us in this fern bed."
"So there are some who wish us well."
His voice was like a distant bell.
A ring he took from off his hand.
"This will tune you to the land
Its stone was pale, just like the Moon.
The air was filled with eldritch tune,
As they mounted, lord and lady,
Rode off through the fern brake shady.
I stood alone.
People say elves are not there.
But I have heard their voices fair,
When I sit down in the brake.
Magic spells I've learned to make
All from the lady.
Elf lord's ring is on my hand
To help with magic from the land.
Sometimes I talk with lord and lady
In the fern brake, deep and shady,
Is there magic? For me 'tis so.
For when the sun is sinking low,
I feel Earth's power within my heart
And know that I shall never part
From the lord and lady.
"Elves" -D.J. Conway
So that is the poem that opens D.J. Conway's book "Celtic Magic" and I thought I would share it with all of you. (Warning spoiler alerts from this point on.) So far I am not that far into the book and I just decided to start reading it from the beginning again. The first chapter is The Celts/Druid history lesson. I have to admit it was a little hard to focus on it and really absorb what was being said instead of just speed reading through it. Talked a bit about how the Celtic people were one of the few races to give their goddesses "equal footing with their gods." Mentioned a little bit about plant and herb magic. (need to look into some books on that) So learning about them is a key factor as well as seeking certain stones is important. How our emotions are important in spell work and that certain numbers have important meaning. "3, 5, 7, and 9" which is something I still don't really know all that much about in fact this is the first time I have heard mention of numbers like this. Talked a little bit about the Elements (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water) and ended the chapter with a small mention of Moon phases. This chapter did contain more than just that but I didn't want to rewrite the whole book just things that I remember that struck me.
Later on it went on to talk about two different forms of meditation. One being to light a candle and set it on a table in front of you, sit comfortably and to look at the flame. It mentioned that staring at the blue at the base of the flame is easiest on the eyes and not to stare blink when needed. After a few minutes close your eyes and look for the flame, see how long you can hold the mental image before your conscious mind begins to intrude.
I know when I started this blog somewhere I once talked about how I have a really hard time with meditation. My mind is constantly at 100 mph and goes in constant circles. One of the reasons it takes me forever to fall asleep at night. So focusing and not letting my thoughts go off and run wild is a bit of a challenge for me.
The second exercise was to focus on a picture instead of the flame. It mentioned that Tarot cards are a nice tool for this particular exercise and that once you can hang on to the image for a comfortable amount of time without interruption to focus on the image and try to create movement.
So I have my work cut out for me and I haven't even made it to chapter 4 which is Magical Elements. While I really want to continue reading I haven't decided whether or not I will yet. Part of me wants to say that there is little point in it until I have successfully managed to get comfortable with meditation even if it is using a different exercise than the two give here. Another part of me says there is no harm in continuing to read. Is it like a Math textbook in high school? If you move on from a chapter before you have really accomplished the material will you be totally lost from that point on?
(end of spoiler)
Anyways sorry about the little run on with the book there. I am just a bit excited about it. So far I am liking it though a part of me feels like there is probably something better and more as to what I am looking for than this. (what I am looking for exactly I have no idea) Its just written a little.... funny. If that makes any sense at all which I doubt. I find that I sometimes have to read a single sentence a few times over before continuing. So I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts/opinions on the book if you have read it. Or if any of you have any suggestions as to different books to look into I am very interested.
Today was a pretty mellow day. We went to visit Jim's (friend we are staying with) parents. Caitlin went swimming with his Mom while Jim, Mom and I sat with his Dad and just chit chatted. Had a long conversation about books and how many authors have done an amazing job with creating new worlds, and cultures. Started with talking about Harry Potter and how amazing it is that J.K. Rowling could create this alternate life along with society today. Which then led to Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, ect...
Afterwards we came home had pizza bread for dinner and now here I sit writing about it all. =P I am really sorry if my post are a bit boring with my rants on my average life. I do hope to have more interesting things to write about one day. This is just a nice relaxing outlet and I don't want my writing to fall to the background and disappear all together like last time.
I also added a new button for those who haven't noticed to my new twitter account. I have to admit I was never really big on the idea of tweeting until I realized that sometimes I just have thoughts I would like to share that are just too short for blogging and often forgotten by the time I sit down to write. Like how Sharon's (from Plumrose Lane) son Jesse has entered a songwriter contest for CD Baby. I was able to spread the word by tweeting about it. If any of you are interested in hearing the song I added the music player thingy above. "Sound of a Smirk" Couldn't figure out how to get it to actually work in the actual post but I figured this way its up for a while for people who stop by and visit. Go ahead and listen I really liked it and if you agree go ahead and just click the little vote button. =) Tweeting is also a nice way to share my art and tweet when I have written a new post for the blog. Speaking of which I have added three new drawings to my deviant account if anyone wants to check them out.
Well I think that is all for now.... Long post yikes....
Hope you all are having a great weekend.