Tag Archives: Faerie

Cloudcatcher 2016 Evening Ritual 4

I could feel the magnetic force of Janet’s and Tam Lin’s love. It throbbed through the circle once both of those Scottish legends were aspected. The two great lovers had an immense bond to one another. Gede had aspected Janet. What I knew of him was gone. During this ritual, Janet lived through his body. Energy ripples waved over him and I saw his body swollen with Janet’s pregnancy. Tam Lin, alive in Paul’s body had proceeded to offer an animated retelling of his side of the old ballad.

Tam Lin told his tale of how his father tried to kill him. He spoke of willingly residing within the land if the Fey. And he recounted that once his grandfather, his only tie to the mortal world, had died he gave up mortal life and even volunteered to undergo the Samhain rite. He shared his duty of servicing maidens who sought out his generous touch. However, his heart seemed to come back to life when he began telling his tale of how he and Janet slowly developed a love for one another. As such, Tam Lin’s courage and sentiment rekindled my own.

This type of love, slow to build but fiercely enduring, is the type of love I’ve developed with my Self. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I developed a conscious self-love. My early years were used desperately seeking love outside of myself. However, these years were not lost. I have been able to develop pearls from the painful formative relationships of my youth. Seeking love from solely “external” places did not serve me. However, allowing myself to be fiercely held in love by others has offered me a chance to see what it is in me that is loveable.

It took me many years of shifting shape through relationships until I understood who I was and how much I was intrinsically worth. The relationships with my family of origin, former lovers, friends, family of choice, community, and current beloved have been the mirrors through which I have become self-aware of how innately deserved to be loved. I needed that help. Just as Janet witnessed and held Tam Lin through all of his transformations, so too have my loved ones done such for me.

As Tam Lin told his story of the night Janet saved him, I relived his trials. My body shape shifted into a salamander; eyes swiveling in opposite directions, adhesive feet pads sticky, and belly close to the ground. The soft membranes of skin roughened and grew coarse brown fur as I shifted into a grizzly bear; half asleep in pre-hibernation, confusedly lumbering on all fours, roaring at full towering height. The thick grizzled hairs and musky smell fell from me as cold smooth scales emerged. Limbs receded as my serpent form wiggled and coiled forth seeking heat and prey. And in only an instant later my elongated neck grew feathers, my beak hardened and wings carried me singing into the evening sky as majestic swan. As my wings straightened into arms and my feet hit the ground I held myself gently in my very own human form.

Janet conjured her magic potion and gave oracle to the crowd lest we take our solidarity for granted in the challenging days to come. I sat in council with a handful of other witches and named my fear and my joy. I feared that I might amount to nothing but a disposable person whose life and story meant little difference to anyone. Yet the joyous nectar we conjured there in ritual undid this fear, this secretly guarded poison. The ways in which I could recount the innumerable people who have reached out to affirm that I matter to them were powerful ingredients in that alchemical brew.

There is deep value in being able to experience yourself through the embrace of loved ones. Sometimes when we cannot love ourselves we are blessed with others who can see in us that which has inherent worth. When I am faltering in being able to be present in a healthy form of self-love, I am able to gather those nectar ingredients offered by my heart-allies. With their inspiration I become able to brew a fortifying potion that brings a fecundity of self-love. And I am better able to lovingly embrace myself.

Cloudcatcher 2016 Evening Ritual 2

“With love as our magic, we embrace desire and pleasure and accept the consequences.”

The Faerie Queen. I could feel her longing gaze slowly devouring me. She smelled of the sweetest honeysuckle. Her cool breath crawling across my back sent chills down my spine and raised the hairs on my neck. She wanted to take me, ride through me, and fill me. I wanted her essence in me. I could feel her coming down from the forest peaks of the mountain. She came to me wild, untamed, and running free. Chaos. She was chaos to all the organized-ness of my life. And I was meant to convey her essence in my outer energy bodies until her priestess was ready to receive her fully.

As I called her from the high places, the low places, and the between places she coiled out from around me and into her ritualist, Suzanne Sterling. Deep in aspect, the Faery Queen moved through the ritual like a fierce living star that had risen from deep inside the Earth. And I, her tender, was pulled into the wake of her gravitational pull. I heard her speak at first in chittering Faerie speak. Slowly I began to understand her words. Whether she had learned to speak the human tongue through her priestess or whether I had begun to understand Faerie, I’ll never know. She whirled through the center of the ritual with a demand that everyone dance. “Don’t look at me…I am invisible”, she laughed sardonically. “ Look within yourself for what you desire ”, she called out as ritual participants reeled around the space in ecstatic dance.

They paused there merry making only briefly so as to hear the stories of the Queen’s pleasure and of Janet’s and Tam Lin’s. My queen would not have them resting long. For she wailed in a way that brings even the most sullen of beasts into a frenzied pleasure. And her wails whipped and rippled through the crowd and caused them to link hands and storm like a hurricane. I greedily watched on as they moved their bodies at great speed in a synchronized chaos of desire. I pined for them as the humans sought pleasure amongst each other and their lovers of the Fey Host. I, the Queen’s emissary, knight, and tender was committed to her… alone.

I felt not quite Fey and not quite human. For in those moments, I straddled both worlds and both peoples but I could not partake fully in their experience. I thought, “This must be how the Fey feel when we ignore their overtures for allyship.” I carried the Fey feelings of lust for the world of humans. It was a lust to dance with them to touch them, to delight in them. And now, in my desire for them, I was caught behind the veil longing to be with them. Longing for them to seek me out. Longing for the connection. I recognized this feeling of being emotionally lonely as the feeling that comes with being a priest-ess.

I have inherited the story that to answer the call to be a priest-ess is to walk a lonely path even when one is surrounded by lovers and loved ones. And somewhere along in my human life, I bought into it. I agreed to be Tam Lin: the consort and the sacrifice. But my truth is that my commitment to tend the Faery Queen or to tend my deities, ancestors, and spirits of the land is made from love, desire, and pleasure. I am only alone if I allow that old story to persist.

Somewhere beyond the essence of the Faery Queen, I could feel the human Suzanne. She and I were here together and priest-essing for the Fey Host. So, I chose to feel into my connection with this Fey-like human priestess. I chose to be part human and part fey with Suzanne. I chose to take deep pleasure in the hosts of humans and Fey beside us. And by remembering that she and I were in this together, my experience changed. As my perception changed, the old story of loneliness began to unravel and disintegrate. In turn, the Faery Queen drew Suzanne and me out into the fields beneath the full moon and far away from the passionate crowd. And as the Queen danced through the fields in her borrowed human body so too did I dance with her and Suzanne. The three of us were there but the veils between us were not.