In the twilight of autumn, it is easier to feel the loving presence of those family members, friends, or companion animals who have crossed into the spirit world before us. Perhaps on this Halloween, or on All Souls’ Night, we will set the kitchen table with a favorite dessert or snack for our departed human loved ones and also include a treat for our furry, feathered or scaled spirit companion animals. In our own way, let us celebrate the memory of their presence in our lives.
“Everything is not as it appears, you know.”
“What?” I mumble, somewhat hypnotized by the rippling sunlight reflecting off the churning waters of the stream as it rushes past me.
“Take this narrow stream, for example,” says Tom, a doll-sized Brownie man standing next to me. “In our realm, this is not a narrow stream, but a wide, roaring river.”
I see then that the stream has become a wide, roaring river, with Brownie and Bree Folk and small Merpeople swimming in its fast moving waters. Somehow the swimmers avoid being struck by small Faerie boats built of leaf and wood, some with wind-filled sails and others powered by oars, which move quickly in the fast current down the river.
Hearing creaking noises, I look up to see a Gnome family walking behind a two-wheeled cart drawn up the steep hill by a brown and white pony. The cart is filled with orange pumpkins. A Gnome man with dark hair and a long dark beard is leading the pony up the hill by reins attached to a collar around the pony’s neck. I notice there is no bit in the pony’s mouth, but the pony calmly follows behind the Gnome man, moving up the hill with just a simple tug of the reins on its collar.
Behind the cart walk three small children, two blonde-haired little girls and a dark-haired little boy. Their job appears to be to keep the pumpkins from tumbling out of the cart. Walking behind the children, I see a beautiful, blonde-haired Gnome woman. They seem to be aware of my attention, for they all turn and wave at me. I wave back, and then they vanish.
I find the roaring river has again turned back into a narrow, sunlight-filled stream. I feel a tug on my pants leg. Looking down, I see Deirdre, Tom’s lovely wife, smiling up at me. “I think your human realm is slowly fading away. Soon, within the next few years, your world will be less real than ours, and humans will have to learn to be happy in our world. With God’s help, they will manage somehow.”
The wind suddenly blew hard, swirling leaves around me, and Tom and Deirdre were gone.
Halloween, All Souls’ Night, Samhain – by whatever name it’s known, it is a true night of magic. According to ancient tradition, October 31st is when the Celtic New Year begins. It is during this time that our ailing sun’s light is swallowed up by the ever growing darkness of the night. This time begins the dark half of the year, when our aging sun symbolically descends into our Mother Earth’s womb to be reborn at Yuletide.
Hollywood would have us believe, based on the movies dominating our TVs and movie screens, that Halloween is only for evil ghosts, zombies, and gory murder scenes. Please don’t get me wrong; I also like a good scary movie now and then. However, it seems to me that the scary movies being made these last few years rely not on interesting scary plots, but instead are interested in shocking their audiences with intense blood and gore.
Halloween is truly a time of magic and not only for children, but for us adults, too. All Souls’ Eve is the only time in the year when you can, via costume, become anyone or anything you want. Do you want to be a wizard, witch, elf, gnome, or something more exotic or abstract? All you need to do is find the perfect costume to make your hidden persona come true.
Remember, Halloween is the night when something magically wonderful can happen. I remember as a child, one Halloween night when the moon was full and a warm gentle breeze chased the swirling, golden fall leaves into the air as if they were playing a game of tag, I came to a small white cottage tucked behind a low iron fence. Just beyond the fence was a birdhouse made into an exact replica of the small white house before me. The birdhouse even had its own white lace curtains fluttering in the breeze like ghosts from its open windows.
Overcoming my fear, I pushed at the black iron gate, which protested with a rusty moan as it opened. Nervously, I slowly crept up the old creaking wooden steps leading up to the old covered porch. There was no porch light on, so the covered porch was in almost total darkness, except for a faint light shining through the lace curtain across the small window in the front door. I was really getting spooked by the night and the house. Gathering my courage with the promise of candy, I gave the door a few timid taps. I felt both relief and disappointment when no one answered after my two or three taps upon the wooden door.
I turned to go, when the door was suddenly flung open by a tiny, elderly woman dressed in a gypsy costume, or maybe it wasn’t a costume at all, for the old woman looked like a real gypsy. Behind her, I could see a dimly-lit parlor room and a table with a crystal ball lit by candlelight. The old gypsy smiled sweetly at me and filled my plastic orange pumpkin with candy. Though I tried to find her house the following year, I never saw her again. Perhaps that night I stepped between worlds, for the veil between our mundane world and the world of spirit is very, very, thin at Halloween.
Halloween is also a time to remember our loved ones who have passed into the spirit world before us. If we loved each other in life, then that love still exists between us, even if they have gone into the world of spirit. Perhaps we, like our neighbors in South America, can place a lighted candle on our kitchen table in their memory or even set a place for them at our dinner table. We can leave out some snacks for them and maybe a little something to drink. If such a thing makes you a little too nervous, then you can always just honor their memory by remembering the good times of your life that you spent with them.
I would like, at this time, to honor the memory of one of my ancestors, Elsie Swing. A hundred years ago or more, Elsie was what you would call a good Christian woman. She always went to church every Sunday. She read her Bible everyday and always brought a bowl of hot chicken soup to her sick neighbors.
She did, though, have one bad habit. Sweet little old Elsie loved to smoke her pipe. She would sit in her rocking chair all day, puffing away at her pipe, as it filled the room or front porch with clouds of grey-blue smoke. Family and friends would joke with her that she might not get into Heaven if she kept on smoking that pipe of hers.
Elsie would just grin at them and say,”The good Lord knows that I’m a child of God. Smoking my pipe won’t keep me from getting into Heaven.” Then she would just puff on her pipe all the harder, causing her antagonists to start coughing and leave her to her smoking.
It was on one night, perhaps a Halloween night, when soft moonlight had slipped into Elsie’s bedroom. Outside, the moaning wind, with nothing better to do, convinced the bored tree branches to tap upon Elsie’s bedroom window. Hearing the wind and tap, tap, tap, of the branches against the glass of her window, Elsie Swing fell asleep. To her surprise, she woke up to find herself standing before the gates of Heaven. I must have died in my sleep, Elsie thought to herself. With a shrug of her shoulders, she puffed on her pipe and walked over to Saint Peter who was manning the gate at the time.
“Hello, Elsie,” said the famous saint to the little old lady puffing on her pipe before him. “What can I do for you today?”
Elsie gave her pipe a little puff, “Well, Saint Peter, I’ve come to be let into Heaven.”
Saint Peter nodded, “Let’s see if your name is written here in the book of life.” Elsie became a little miffed that Saint Peter would even question whether her name was written in the Heavenly book or not, so she gave her pipe a few furious puffs, engulfing the saint and his book in a cloud of grey smoke.
Saint Peter let out a few little coughs and waved his hands over the book, trying to clear the pipe smoke away. Shaking his head sadly, Saint Peter said, “I’m sorry, Elsie, but I can’t see your name here.”
“What!” Elsie shouted. “Please, Saint Peter, look again.” More than a little scared now, Elsie puffed up a virtual cloud of nervousness on her pipe.
Saint Peter coughed even more, and, waving his hands more frantically at the smoke, he said, “I am so sorry, Elsie, but I still cannot see your name on the pages of Heaven’s book.”
Elsie panicking, now puffed even more on her pipe, and pleaded, “Please, Saint Peter, just take one more look.”
Saint Peter shook his head, “It’s of no use, Elsie. I can’t see any of the pages at all with this pipe smoke in front of me and the book.”
Elsie suddenly woke up to find herself safely back in bed and still very much alive. However, it was said after that, Elsie never touched her pipe again. To be honest, I don’t really know if this story is true, but it is an old family tale I read years ago when checking into my family history. It is a good story, so I’d like to think it is true.
On Halloween, the Faerie Folk are quite active. Perhaps some of those Trick or Treaters visiting your house are really Faerie in disguise. No way, you may be saying to yourself, but on Halloween, anything is possible.
Halloween is a time of transformation, where you can take off your old costume of the past year that hasn’t been working for you. Just shrug it off like old autumn leaves, and put on a new costume of who you would like to be for the coming year. Remember, after all, Halloween is the beginning of the Celtic New Year, a time for change and rebirth.
First published 10/30/11 on our previous blog.
During the season of autumn, the air is cool and brisk. This is the time of year when the trees, with heartfelt sorrow, surrender their beautiful, dying leaves to the wind. The beauty of red, yellow, and golden leaves, as they sail and flutter in the wind like beautiful, small birds, can stop us in our tracks. Arresting our attention from the fretful worries of our mundane world, they can, for a time, awaken within us the hidden beauty of our own spirits as we commune with the beauty of nature.
If we allow it, autumn can be a time of spiritual transformation, of spiritual alchemy. We can let go of our own dying leaves of past suffering and failures, allowing the Creator Mother and Father to change the heavy, iron chains of our past into red, yellow, and golden leaves to be set free to fly upon the wind of our changing spirits.
How can we experience this autumn change, this renewing of our spirits? I have been told by the Faerie Folk that humanity needs to reconnect with Mother Earth and also with the rest of Creation. By doing this, we will find our Mother Earth to be a living being, just as is every other thing that lives, rests upon her soil, swims in her waters, or sails in her air.
Even the very moon, sun, and stars, will come alive for us. Perhaps we will learn to see the moon as our sister, the sun as our brother, and the stars as our loving aunts and uncles shining down upon us. Perhaps we will find our loving Mother and Father Creator dwelling not only in the heavens above us, but also on our beloved Mother Earth and among all of her children, for everything is alive with its own spirit and with the presence of Mother and Father Creator, even the very stones of the earth.
I have very recently been given an exercise by the Faerie Folk that will hopefully assist us in reconnecting with Creation, with our own spirits, and with the presence of Mother and Father Creator.
It was explained to me that, in order to connect with Creation, we need to become less full of ourselves, become invisible to ourselves, or, for a time, forget ourselves. The Faeries told me most humans do this all the time anyway. When we watch a movie or television show or read a book that deeply captures our attention, we tend to disappear during the time we are watching or reading. We tend to become part, or merge with, what is going on before our eyes. In a sense, we become just a pair of eyes taking in the action before us, an invisible spirit that weaves its way through the dream world we are currently caught up in. We forget for a time that our bodies, or we as independent selves, exist. For a time, we put ourselves aside to enter a world of make believe. The Faerie thought that if we do this type of merging with mundane movies, tv, and books, why can we not also use these same techniques to merge with Creation?
The Faerie exercise of becoming invisible to yourself and merging with nature simply begins by going outside. While taking a walk or sitting still, try to quiet your fretful thoughts of the day. If those bothersome, gnat-like thoughts will not leave you alone, then try to distract yourself by filling up your mind and eyes and all of your senses with the beauty of nature around you. Feel the cool, autumn air upon your skin; feel the breeze, if any, tugging at your clothing. Look at the leaves of the trees as they flutter and spiral softly to the ground or are captured by the wind to fly away like startled birds. Notice the cool autumn air in your nostrils. Breathe in the smell of damp, autumn leaves. Listen to the crackling, shuffling noise your feet make as you walk through a thick carpet of fallen leaves. Hear the birds in the trees above you chatter among themselves as they observe your approach beneath their trees. Hold an autumn leaf in your hand, and study the texture and vein of the leaf, letting its jewel-like, golden colors seep into your spirit.
In other words, let autumn’s beauty fill your spirit, so that you become absorbed into nature, so that you disappear and become invisible to yourself. With enough practice and commitment, you may be able to pick up more then you normally would with your five senses. You may begin to sense things beyond your five senses. You may, within your spirit, commune with the spirit of the trees around you or with the falling leaves swirling around you. Perhaps you will better sense the presence of animals that are all around you, but hidden from your view. It is even possible that you may begin to feel the presence of the hidden folk who are hiding in plain sight, the hidden folk who are also known as the Fair Folk. Even better, and much more wonderful, is that you begin to commune with the presence of Mother and Father Creator, who are also within the very fabric of Mother Earth.
It is the hope of the Faerie that we will all learn to reconnect to Mother Earth and all of her children, to all of Creation, and to the presence of the Creator, so that we can all become one family again, as healers and true children of Mother Earth and the Creator Mother and Father.
First published 9/29/11 on our previous blog.
Earthquakes, flash floods, hurricanes, wild fires, and man’s acts of inhumanity toward others – what on our Mother Earth is going on? Well, I guess most of us agree that something is going on. I humbly suggest that we are in the beginnings of great change. Perhaps years ago, these scary earth changes, with some exceptions, always seemed to be happening to someone else, somewhere else far away. Now these extreme changes seem to be more and more directly happening to us or to our loved ones.
It is not just total strangers being affected anymore. It may or may not comfort you to know that we are not facing these earth changes alone, because all of our cousins of Creation are suffering right along with us. The wonderful companion animals who live in our homes, as well as the birds of the air, wild animals of the fields, forests, lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans — all of the animals of our dear Mother Earth are suffering, too. And it is not just us and the animals who are suffering. It is also the trees and all green things; even the very stones of the earth are caught up in this great change.
What can we do during this time of uncertainty? First of all, perhaps we should acknowledge that our world is not going to be the same as it was before. It is not going to be business as usual. I think also that the best thing we can do, in this time of great change and growing chaos, is to have hope for the future and do our best to be a positive force on Mother Earth. Perhaps it is time for us to learn, to the best of our ability, to take better care of Mother Earth, our loved ones, ourselves and even total strangers.
I also wanted to share with you a YouTube video that was forwarded to us by a friend of ours. It is entitled Strange Sound in Ukraine. Once you listen to this video, you will also see other YouTube links to other strange sounds that people have been recording. [This video has since been removed.]
The Fair Folk suggest that many of the strange sounds that some areas of Mother Earth have been experiencing are actually Mother Earth calling out to the Creator and to her children for help. Eventually, more and more of these strange sounds will be heard by people all over the world. The Fair Folk say that there will come a time when all the people on earth will hear the sound of a great trumpet blast at the same time. That sound will be Mother and Father Creator responding to Mother Earth and giving humanity another warning to wake up. When this happens, human scientists will be asked by government leaders to help calm the human populations of earth by discrediting the blast, saying it is the earth shifting underground or providing some other scientific rationale that will try to distract people from its true spiritual nature. The Fair Folk hope that at this time, despite the rationale of scientists and governments, many people will wake up and become nurturers, protectors and heroes for Mother Earth and all of her children.
First published 9/11/11 on our previous blog, but it still applies today.
My dog and I sit peacefully beneath the shade of the trees in our side yard. Suddenly, we are surprised by three massive, raven-winged mysteries soaring just above our heads. The large creatures glide into the trees that rise above the stream below, disappearing from my sight.
“Dragons,” states a Brownie man, as he suddenly appears next to me.
“Turkeys?” I counter.
“Turkey buzzards, perhaps?” suggests another Brownie man, appearing beside him.
The original Brownie man firmly shakes his head. “Do you both not feel the magic in the air?” he inquires, surprised.
A third Brownie man joins in our conversation. “Giant ravens, they are,” he explains.
“Could be large, magical crows,” offers the second Brownie.
“They are ravens,” states the third Brownie in a firm, no-nonsense voice.
Suddenly, the massive creatures soar back into the sky. I want to follow them, but my dog seems quite reluctant, leaning hard against my legs to prevent me from moving. I sense she is of the opinion that sometimes it is better for mysteries to remain mysteries.
“Dragons, they were,” earnestly repeats the original Brownie to us. And perhaps he is right . . .
Bright autumn leaves fly about like flocks of tiny birds, slowly settling upon the earth. Overhead, a black walnut tree releases its meteoric walnuts, which hurtle whistling toward the earth, punching small craters in the soil with their violent impact.
Small, helpful Brownies and Brees, unafraid of the hurtling walnuts, roll them down the hill to an out of the way bush below, in an attempt to keep us wandering humans from slipping and sliding down the nut-laden slope. I stand and watch them, grateful for their work.