Category Archives: Fae Friday

Fae Friday: Beltane Lady

Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
John Keats

These days, flowers blossom in reckless abandon, and colors grace my sight. When I open the front or back door, the world is filled with the scent of jasmine–mysterious, sweet, and tantalizing. New ideas germinate in my mind. Vivid stories appear on the page. Springtime energy abounds.

The month of May promenades onto the green landscape, adorned with brilliant hues of purples and pinks—and all the vibrant, pristine colors of spring. She is decked out aplenty. April welcomed the heat early here in Central Florida, with the respite of a few lovely, chilled mornings. The blessing is that summer’s humidity is yet to come. So good tidings, May, come and give wings to our spirit with your fruitful riots of color and scent.

The Pleiades (Elihu Vedder)

Elihu Vedder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

May’s namesake, Maia, participated in the Roman pantheon as well as the Greek. Her mother, Pleione, protected sailors from the dangers of the deep, and her father, the Titan, Atlas, saved humanity by carrying the burden of earth on his shoulders. Maia’s name relates to mother, grandmother, or perhaps wise one. She was the eldest of seven divine sisters, represented by the Pleiades in the splendor of the night sky. Seeking sanctuary from the attentions of Zeus, the king of the gods, Maia secluded herself in a remote cavern. However, Zeus followed the lovely woman to her dim starlit abode, resulting in the birth of a son, the fleet footed messenger god, Hermes, known as Mercury to the Romans.

Back Camera

Maia, daughter of Atlas, shared the sacred bed of Zeus
and gave birth to Hermes, renowned herald of the gods.
Hesiod, Theogony

The Romans depicted Maia as a goddess of spring and the fertility of nature. They celebrated her powers of sexuality and regeneration. Fire served as her element. For centuries people celebrated May 1 by dancing around the maypole, a colorful way of honoring springtime in all her regenerative glory. On the Wheel of the Year, the corresponding holiday is Beltane, a cross corner day falling halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Maia is a Beltane Lady.

Maybe you are watering your garden and encouraging it to flourish. Maybe you are writing that different story you never thought you’d write. In whatever ways you honor nature, spring, and the rebirth of light and energy, Maia sends you mesmerizing aromas and vibrant blossoms to sparkle up your life. What do you love about this time of year?

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Spenser’s Belphoebe

What is more wondrous and expressive of spring’s energetic regeneration than a lovely verse and exquisite painting?

Her name means Beautiful Moon.

Johann Heinrich Füssli 058

Henry Fuseli [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But to this fair Belphoebe in her Birth
The Heavens so favourable were and free,
Looking with mild Aspect upon the Earth,
In th’ Horoscope of her Nativity,
That all the Gifts of Grace and Chastity
On her they poured forth of plenteous Horn;
Jove laugh’d on Venus from his sovereign See,
And Phoebus with fair Beams did her adorn,
And all the Graces rock’d her Cradle, being born.
The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser, 1590

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Moon Blows Fairy Kisses

Do you see Jupiter above and slightly to the right of the moon, our gorgeous Selene? In astrological terms, it’s conjunct. A few days ago we were graced with a glorious full moon in Libra and Jupiter rising close by, with focus on balance, passion, compassion, partnerships, and soul deep beauty. I drove all around town taking moon pictures with my phone. The fast moving moon is already on her way out of Scorpio and soon into Sagittarius, with ultra slow moving Jupiter, of course, still in Libra, and retrograde. Other longer term astrological aspects layer in tension, self worth, and nervous energy. 

Look at the full moon picture and let your eyes relax. Do you see a face blowing fairy kisses to us? My friend Loretta saw it, too. The moon is the mouth, the clouds are the eyebrows and eyes. The trees look like hands curving around the moon lips while they blow.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

Fae Friday: Amp up Your Fantasy Novel with Spirit Horses

The Fomorians, Duncan 1912

By John Duncan [Public domain],The Fomorians via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy creatures come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Regardless of the fantasy genre you write, whether paranormal as my books are, or high, low, historical, dark, urban, etc., there may come a time when you are in need of a little extra something. Done right, spirit horses can be an espresso shot to a story. Here’s a peek at a few. Keep in mind that the fae horses often share attributes and can exist in various locales under different names. Using one of these enables you to create exotic settings, but there is also the opportunity to have the creature show up closer to home in a more normal setting. Many readers appreciate blended mythologies where the author adds a new or surprising aspect to age old stories. I love to do this in my books.

The Phooka, Pooka, Puca, Pwca (and various other spellings) is a Celtic fairy horse of capricious character, sometimes beneficial to humans, but usually dangerous and deadly. One small, benign herd paid nightly visits to help a farmer’s son bring in the crops after being perceived in their willowy incandescent form. Years later at the boy’s wedding, the Phooka presented him with a magical drink to ensure his matrimonial happiness.

More often, the Phooka are portrayed as ravaging, wild, and fearsome creatures with long, jagged teeth and chains around their necks. They have a particular grudge against travelers and make it their business to lure them to their deaths. At times their nature is dark, flesh eating, and vampiric.

Not only does the Phooka appear as a horse, but it can also shapeshift into a bull, hare, and human form. The name of Shakepeare’s Puck is related to the root word of Phooka. In the movie, Harvey, the name of Jimmy Stewart’s 6 foot tall imaginary rabbit friend is referred to as a Pooka.

The Geetoe (or Gitto, Gryphon, Griffin, and Griffith) is a Welsh fairy creature with an equine head and body of a goat. Their particular brand of malice is to blight crops in the field. These creatures possess the power of human speech and laughter. However, they dislike humans and go out of their way to cause harm. They loathe children most of all and do their best to entice them into misdeeds and danger. A Geetoe’s power arises at night and extends only between Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (May Day). The remainder of the year the creatures reside in Fairyland.

Thekelpie large

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], The Kelpie via Wikimedia Commons

Water horses can be especially interesting. One type is the Scottish Kelpie, which lives in or near rivers and streams. Kelpies are generally more whimsical and unpredictable than evil. They do not tend to stalk their prey. However, they are not to be taken lightly. Humans who venture too close are fair game. Kelpies will often maim and drown their victims, and sometimes devour them. Kelpies often take the form of a beautiful woman.

A Nuggle is a variety of water horse from the Orkney Islands. It is chock full of mischief but not evil in the sense of dangerous or demonic. It can be recognized by its odd tail that resembles a wheel.

Another type of water horse is the ominous Each-Uisge. This malevolent creature favors fresh water lakes, and many sightings have occurred in Scotland. The most famous example is Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. The Each-Uisge can not only take the shape of a horse but also of a man or predatory bird. When in man shape, the Each-Uisge is handsome, compelling, and deadly to those who come near. In the olden days country folk knew to beware of a solitary person loitering near a body of water. A human can ride the Each-Usige when it’s in horse shape, but if horse and rider approach water, it is bad news for the human. The skin of the creature develops a bonding power that grips the human, not allowing dismount. The Each-Uisage will then plunge down into the depths, taking the rider to his death.

Fire Horses are unusual and perhaps the most fascinating type of spirit horse. In Greek mythology the god Helios drove four fire horses to guide the sun across the sky. The god of war, Ares, tamed a number of fire breathing horses. The Fire Horse is one of the sign designations in the Chinese zodiac. In my book Lord of Fire, the hero Gabriel rides a fire horse during one particularly harrowing part of the story. If you’re interested in reading how and why, grab your copy of my anthology, Dark Warriors. This paperback book also contains another of my paranormal fantasies, Time Singer.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Rune of the Day – Inguz

Inner self, higher self, higher power, spirit, angels, goddess, fae, source. There are many names for the sacred wisdom threaded throughout our reality. My old metaphysical teacher called it Spirit, and that’s how I tend to refer to it most times. We can call on the underlying wisdom to guide us. How does it answer? The ways are countless, and one way is rune casting. This is an ancient method from the frozen north, used by Vikings and other Germanic cultures. Runes shine a light on the ripe possibilities of the moment. A casting also comes in many patterns and forms. In the old days one who practiced the magic of runes was called a Vitka. For a swift reading, I draw one rune.

I close my eyes and ask Spirit for guidance, for a message. What do I need to know at this time? From my bag of amethyst runes, I draw forth a single stone. I listen with open mind and heart.

The Binding of Fenris by D Hardy (Public Domain) via Wikimedia

Today I draw Inguz. Its shape is that of an X standing on top of another X. Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the patronage of the warrior god Tyr. Lately my runic messages seem to be predominantly of Tyr’s Eight. Tyr shines in our minds as the god who bound the monstrous wolf Fenrir, losing a hand in the process.

Inguz speaks of fertility and new beginnings. Its qualities are that of the hero god Ing, whose name I settled on my hero Ingvar in my first book, Wytchfae Runes. Ing and Ingvar remind me of the noble knight Sir Gawain, who strived to maintain his integrity in the deceptive situations he encountered.

The mysterious, changeable moon is related to the energy of Inguz. Each night the moon presents a different face as it travels swiftly in its heavenly orbit, from new to old and back to new in only 28 days. The moon indicates movement and emotional health. Inguz represents these concerns, as well as intuition, a desire for harmony, and the adaptability needed for success.

Inguz signals an emergence from a tense, closed state into a more fertile, creative mode of being. It is a powerful rune signifying a new path and a transition into joy. What may have been stagnant now has the energy to blossom. It is important to actively strive to shake off old habits and outdated thoughts patterns that no longer serve our best interests. Change is at hand.

Recently I completed a life task that has been troubling me for some time. Another such task in also nearing completion. Drawing Inguz seems a validation that these changes are needed and sanctioned by the universe.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Inguz, the Rune of the Day. What’s on your mind after reading this?

More: The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Demeter’s Joy

FredericLeighton-TheReturnofPerspephone(1891)

Frederic Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

DEMETER’S JOY

Most of us have lost someone dear in our lives, whether a husband, child, parent, or friend. The hurt is unbearable. We can understand Demeter’s deep, gut wrenching sorrow at the sudden, stark disappearance of her beloved daughter Persephone, taken by the dark lord of the Underworld. In her misery the world turned barren and frost laden, and she did not care. She couldn’t care. Her agony was too great for her to summon up any shred of compassion for anyone else. The earth and earth dwellers who had been under her patronage now receded from her heart. Neither did she mingle with her fellow gods, as their pastimes were shallow and trivial. Only her grief was real. And then her anger.

Evelyn de Morgan - Demeter Mourning for Persephone, 1906

Evelyn De Morgan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, translated by Gregory Nagy:

She would never go to fragrant Olympus,
…never send up the harvest of the earth,
until she saw with her own eyes her daughter, the one with the beautiful looks.

She begged heaven and hell to return her daughter. Begged from the deepest, most rage filled recesses of her soul. Time passed. Her pain continued. And then, in a miracle, her daughter returned.

I can imagine Demeter taken right out of her mind by the sheer overwhelming joy of the moment.

Alfred, LordTennyson put it this way:

Queen of the dead no more — my child! Thine eyes
Again were human-godlike, and the Sun
Burst from a swimming fleece of winter gray,
And robed thee in his day from head to feet —
“Mother!” and I was folded in thine arms.

Demeter rejoiced, for her daughter was by her side

Walter Crane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Interlinear Translation
edited & adapted from the 1914 prose translation
by Hugh G. Evelyn-White:

And the whole earth laughed for joy.

To you and yours, best wishes to relish the beauty and pleasures of spring.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Rune of the Day – Dagaz

Inner self, higher self, higher power, spirit, angels, goddess, fae, source. There are many names for the sacred wisdom underlying all. My old metaphysical teacher called it Spirit, and that’s how I tend to refer to it most times. We can call on it to guide us. How does it answer? The ways are countless, and one way is rune casting. This is an ancient method from the frozen north, used by Vikings and other Germanic cultures. Runes shine a light on the ripe possibilities of the moment. A casting also comes in many patterns and forms. For a quick casting, I draw one rune.

I close my eyes and ask Spirit for guidance, for a message. What do I need to know at this time? From my bag of amethyst runes, I draw a single stone. I listen with open mind and heart.

Today I draw Dagaz. Its shape reminds me of an hourglass or a geometric butterfly.
Part of the traditional Germanic Futhark or runic alphabet, it is one of the eight runes under the patronage of the warrior god Tyr.

Using free association, its shape reminds me of the name of the chaotic, powerful god Dahak from the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. Although Dagaz is certainly not dark and evil like Dahak, its transformative power may seem earthshaking to the one experiencing it. It signals a major breakthrough, a high level transformation. Think about the words breakthrough and transformation. Transformation is alchemical magic. You are being created anew. Breakthrough is when the sun, after a long period of being obscured by clouds, suddenly reappears in all its glory. The moment may not feel comfortable. You may be temporarily blinded by the intensity of the light. You may have been so accustomed to the darkness or the low light that you can’t even look up at the sun’s brilliance right away. But you will, for your day has come. You must trust in the process and your readiness to handle it. Remember, transformation is hard work.

Drawing Dagaz, I can tell this is a momentous time for me. I need to greet the changes with an open mind and a heart of joy.

I hope you enjoyed our look at Dagaz, the Rune of the Day. What’s on your mind after reading this?

More: The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Dilemma and Dilemna

Adriaen van Ostade - Alchemist - WGA16738

Adriaen van Ostade – Alchemist [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dilemma and Dilemna

Have you ever known something as a fact and then found out with a fearsome shock that you are off the mark? And that thousands of other people are also off the mark about the same thing? That’s me and the word dilemma, which I learned in elementary school to spell dilemna.

Large groups of English speaking people over the world, not just Americans, also remember learning to spell the word as dilemna — “mna.” I haven’t found any old school chums in my boat, but then I’ve only asked two or three. It’s not an age thing, though. I recently mentioned the mystery to a 21 year old male, and he remembers learning to spell the word with “mna.”

To my astonishment there is a website focusing solely on the dilemna spelling of dilemma. Take a peek. It’s fascinating reading.

I discovered my conundrum while coming across a phenomenon called the Mandela Effect. Fiona Broome coined the term and studies the subject matter in depth. She has collected a massive amount of documentation about the mysterious occurrence. The Mandela Effect is when large groups of people remember something a certain way but it turns out to be the wrong way or not accepted as common reality. I won’t dwell on the Mandela Effect here, as we may discuss it in a later post. Spelling dilemma with “mna” is one example out of hundreds of examples of the phenomenon. It’s a thing.

Being blessed or cursed with an unquenchable curiosity, I am interested in quirky and unorthodox ideas that make me stop and wonder. Sometimes they even stir my soul. Some of them I have even experienced firsthand. There are so many oddities and unexplained occurrences in the world, and yet we consider as reality only what we see right in front of our eyes. We don’t look from side to side or 360 degrees around, and heaven forbid we should close our eyes and see! Our world is full of magic and miracles. 

I love string theory, time travel theory, and other cutting edge physics. Parallel dimensions and time travel form the basis of my series of Wytchfae books. Fringe theories are favorite haunting grounds of mine. I love the books of David Icke and Stuart Wilde. I love the movie The Matrix. Still, it’s one thing to study and read about subjects and another to experience the phenomenon in a close up, palpable way. You may enjoy reading about ghosts and aliens, but seeing or communicating with a ghost or alien might shake you up a bit.

That’s me and dilemna.

How do you spell it?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Fae Friday: Winter Sun and Imbolc

WINTER SUN AND IMBOLC

'Allegory of Winter', manner of Giuseppe Arcimboldo

By Manner of Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Sotheby’s) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How soon can we shed these winter blues? Pack away our overcoats and not worry about the specter of busted water pipes? On Groundhog Day we call upon Punxsutawney Phil, the famous weather-predicting groundhog to make his move. Yesterday he saw his shadow, which foretells six more bleak weeks of winter.

Mother Nature speaks in mysterious ways. For thousands of years people have observed natural signs to better prepare for what lies ahead. Winter is a hardship on many, but imagine long ago times when folks lived without modern transport and technology. Then, people were much more winter bound than today. In addition, they had to rely on a bountiful harvest for a store of food to carry them through the harsh, barren season with a weak sun. The promise of spring with the return of light, warmth, and fertile ground must have created anticipation and longing.

On the February 1st pagan holiday of Imbolc, the ancient Celts in Ireland observed serpents or badgers to see if they emerged from their winter dens. Imbolc, which means “ewe’s milk,” was the day that the Cailleach or divine crone gathered her firewood for the rest of winter. If she wanted winter to last longer, she would make the day sunny in order to gather a plentiful amount of firewood. Folks, therefore, breathed a sigh of relief if the weather turned out to be dank and dreary on Imbolc because it meant the Cailleach was sleeping and winter almost over. The youthful, maidenly form of the Cailleach was the beloved Celtic goddess Brede, also known as Bride, Brighid, and Bridgit. She tended the hearth fires, and her nurturing power was the key to opening the seed of the world to spring and all the fertility and bounty to come.

File:Stbrigid.jpg

Stained glass window, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Macon GA, Public Domain via Wikimedia.

Scholars say that Brede morphed into St. Bridgid and the Christian feast of Candlemas superseded Imbolc. St. Bridgid is known as a highly revered early Irish Christian nun, as well as an abbess and founder of the famous nunnery of Kildare in Ireland. Candlemas, which occurs forty days after Christmas, honored the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and traditionally involved the priestly blessing of candles for use throughout the year. From the hearth and firewood of the ancient Celtic Brede to the blessing of candles on Candlemas and the national fixation with Punxsutawney Phil, for millennia people have honored the return of the sun’s light and the inseminating warmth of spring. It’s our natural cycle.

I hope you enjoyed our words about the winter sun and Imbolc. What are you doing to make your wintertime more enjoyable?

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance