Wednesday, October 31, 2012

V is for Voice


It's more than your speaking voice.
It's more than your singing voice.

It's the channel of your authentic self.

And that's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately.

(Insert the chorus of The Who's "Who are You?" here)

I was a precocious child.
I was a survivor.
I was a dutiful parochial student.
I was a normal public school kid.
I was a wild promiscuous teenager.
I was a freedom loving young adult.
I was a exhibitionist free spirit.
I was a pothead.
I was a wise ass.
I was a rocker.
I was a class clown.
I was a wild thing.
I was a sword.
I was a conformist.
I was a wife.
I was a mother.
I was a Sunday School teacher.
I was a Bible thumper.
I was a Camp Fire Leader.
I was a gardener.
I was a homemaker.
I was a stay at home mom.
I was a parent at parent-teacher conferences.
I was a peacemaker.
I was a seeker.
I was a tarot card reader.
I was an untamed soul.
I was a divorced woman.
I was a pagan.
I was a flirt.
I was a mate again.
I was a singer.
I was a performer.
I was a front person.
I was a gypsy.
I was an empty nester.
I was a hoarders wife.
I was a writer.
I was a giver.
I was a bigamist.
I was codependant.
I was a stirrer of a pot.
I was a detective.
I was a filing cabinet.
I was glue.
I was a shredder.
I was set free.

I was.....

all these things.

And now, it's time to find out what all these things are when put together.

That's my voice.

This melting pot of muck and mire and gems and caviar is my authentic self.

It sounds like...... the cry of a banshee singing softly in church.

This is my voice.

Time to let it ring from the rooftops.

What's your voice sound like?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Uroboros~ "To Infinity and BEYOND!" :)


Even if you don't know the word off the top of your head....

You know what I mean- if I describe it as "that symbol of a snake eating his tail."
I'm sure you've seen it on a torque, or some old artwork or maybe a tattoo on someone?

Simplified, it means, recycling, renewal or eternity. It's also got some string theory tangled up in it's worm holes. (Yes, Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory would love to chat with you about this symbol, I'm sure :)

I never knew the actual word for it till now....
That is one of the interesting boons about this Pagan Blog Project that I've been participating in for the past 10 months. I love to learn about interesting things and increase my knowledge base! I'll share with you, k?

So here we go off on an adventure!

The snake that eats itself ending itself ....while at the same time it's creating itself.

Did you get all that?
The process is ethereal and yet so very deep and also so very ancient in its history!
This symbol has been around for a LOOOONG time. It was seen in Egyptian temples dating back to 1600 b.c.e. It was part of the Gnostic information and also Western Alchemy.

Carl Jung thought it to be an archetype of the human psyche.
Still others say it is Infinity. (can't you just hear Buzz Lightyear say in "Toy Story?" "To Infinity and Beyond!").

And so it is.

Sometimes when we delve into a subject as deep as Time...
OR The Universe...
OR trying to know Ourself...

We often find that the deeper we go, the more we learn... and then we find out how little we know!

Humans need to keep learning in order to grow and evolve and find ourselves, yet here is the irony:
The more we know ourselves...
the bigger the Universe becomes...
and we find ourselves in constant renewal and rebirth.

It's an enigma that leads to a conundrum wrapped up in an ever recycling mystery!

How wonderfully ironic and tantalizing!

Some string theorists have even likened this snake symbol as the Universe. It is ever growing and expanding.  They say that different dimensions are created, when the snake (time and/or space) crosses over itself and a new worm hole is opened up to a new reality.

Again, the more we know the less we know.
We need to learn and grow and be constantly in the state of renewal.

This snake eating itself symbol was often used as the symbol for the Ace of Cups in Tarot decks. That card is about "Emotional and Spiritual Fulfillment." Completion. Knowledge.

It is also found in many cultures and in Creation myths from many traditions.

This symbol is Kundalini energy and the snake is revered as very powerful!

So it is, that when we look within, we keep getting deeper.
We learn things about our own self that may frighten or dismay us.

BUT when we push past that uncomfortable barrier, we soon find out the meaning of WHY we are the way we are. THEN we have compassion for ourselves,  and we can grow to the next step or level, in our own evolution of spiritual and emotional growth. 

When we bite our own tail....and swallow our old self....

We GROW into a new improved version of our own self.

Want to learn more?
Start by surfing hither:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Undines are Water Elementals.

They are like Fairy beings that live in and around water, in any form.
Some are Oceanic, others are from lakes and rivers, some love waterfalls, and still others live around bogs and wetlands.
Undines maintain and guard water spots. They care for the Earth and Water is their element that they are "in charge of" to protect.

It is said that they are not of wispy nature, but have flesh, can reproduce and have feelings, so they are not technically "spirit"...but more like an immortal being that lives in a different dimension.

Undines LOVE music and are also reported to have beautiful voices of their own.

Some folklore says that if a female Undine falls in love with a human male and marries him, and has his child, then the Undine will gain mortality and start to age.

Evidently, this happened with one beautiful Undine. Her husband promised to love her with every breath he took. However, after she bore him a child, she gained mortality and she started to age. So the story goes it was at this point that he started to lose interest in her.
One day, she heard him snoring in the barn. She went to see him, and found him sleeping in the arms of another maiden after lovemaking. She woke him up and cursed him saying, "I have kept my promise to you, and loved you totally. You promised to be faithful and love me with every waking breath! Now as long as you are awake, you shall live." Of course, as soon as he fell asleep... he DIED.

There is a real medical condition called "Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrom (CCHS).
It is evidently a severe form of sleep apnea which causes the person to lose control of their innate automatic breathing, and if untreated, the person will DIE.
Interestingly enough, this condition has historically been called, "Undine's Curse."
Really, really. Look it up.

It is said that Undines love music, can take a human form if wanted, but that humans have a hard time seeing them, for the most part.

I have seen one though. Was it a blessing? Was it a curse?

We live on a wetland and right on a creek. One day, way back in 1999 or so, my mate, Harry, was duplicating our "Kismet" cd and making some cassettes (yes, cassettes, at the time :) in our kitchen.
In order to do this, he was "high speed dubbing" the music.

Picture if you will, music playing at a dizzying 60 miles an hour. Whirring music, revved up, high pitched chipmunk voices, guitar music that sounded more like a music box on high speed. I think what happened was that it lured with its sound, an Undine into the kitchen from the backyard.

Actually, I am sure of it. At the time, we had a back screen door that didn't always shut tight. Sometimes it stayed open a crack. I think an Undine slipped in very easily from the creek.
I walked into the kitchen and I saw some wee creature that was RED, sitting, with legs crossed and swinging, relaxed on the counter on top of the cassette player. The music player was spewing forth this wild high pitched music. It was just sitting there listening to it, very happily.
Then it saw me, and the look on its face was that it was shocked! It flew to the table and then straight out the back door, the way it came in, as fast as a hummingbird!

I don't know why, but the words "Red Undine" were emblazoned in my mind at that very moment.
I had never even heard that term before. So I went and looked it up. I knew what it was immediately.

I know what I saw.

It looked like a beautiful winged fairy, only it was RED. And FAST. And yet, seemingly, it was pissed that it had to leave the music it was drawn to! I felt bad that I had surprised it so and yet was flattered that it had chosen to listen to the sound of my voice on the tape!

I know you must think I'm totally whacked, delusional....but I swear it's true.

After that, we had a rash of "happenings" in my home that were highly mischievous in nature....and some were slightly malicious in intent. Mostly the things were: missing keys, missing bank passbooks, checks that were uncashed, important documents. All came up missing at different times, under different circumstances.
At one point, I swear I could almost hear the laughter of some wicked little sprite, and I shook my fist in the air and said, "Ok! You win! I've had enough! Stop being so mean! Bring back my stuff. This is NOT funny for me! I won't like you anymore if you don't stop this mischief at once!"

The next day, we had to move out a piece of furniture to get at a plugstrip behind the heavy desk. By the look of the dust bunnies back there, it hadn't been moved in quite awhile.

Guess what we found?
Yup. ALL the checks, every missing bank passbook and all keys and doodads ALL TOGETHER hidden in a place that we couldn't get at, stacked neatly together. We would NEVER have thought to look there.

It was the Undine, I'm sure she was mad at me for seeing her and surprising her that one day. She got even.

But I was grateful that at least she let me find our stuff. I then went into the attic, nailed my grandfather's cavalry iron horseshoes up over our front and back doors immediately. Fairies and sprites do NOT like iron.

The next day, as I was sitting on my porch having coffee, I noticed that my little garden fairy statue on the steps, HAD NO HANDS. Where were they? You would think that if they fell off, not being glued properly or something, that the resin sculptured hands would be laying at the base of the statue, right?

NOPE. Nowhere to be found. Anywhere.

And then I understood.

The horseshoes went up the day before. The fairy statue's missing parts had literally now said "Hands Off" to our house. I thanked them and left some cake and milk in my garden for them.  I love fairies, as I appreciate snakes and bats and spiders... but NOT IN THE HOUSE.

I very much was flattered that the Undine loved my music! It did sound very ethereal with the harmonies and the music going so fast, when I thought about it later. I could see why a being of faster heart rate and speed and movement would like to hear it like that.

And I am very grateful because....well, it could've been a lot worse.

I can sleep at night, without dying, after my magickal run in with an Undine. :)

If you want to read more about Undines, surf here:

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Even just saying the word makes you look over your shoulder. Goblins have been in the human culture since someone heard a suspicious noise outside the cave door. "Hey Ug, what's that sound?? Did you see that shape? Kill it with your club...IF you can..." said the cave woman.

Yes, once again it's time for a Story at our StoryBook Club! Last night, we searched for Goblins!

Every month we pick a topic of children's literature and research on our own. Then we bring what we've found back to group and tell tales on the topic ...and EAT, DRINK and be MERRY!
We found out a lot of things, so much information...and much of it was conflicting! Yet the one thing that was consistent was that no matter WHAT goblins looked like (there is no rule...from terrifying Orcs to little Gremlins) the only thing that Goblins shared in common is?

They are mean nasty little shits. Grumpy, angry, malicious, mean spirited little feckers.

Yup. That's the only common denominator.

Their looks run the gamut. But it boils down to this: basically any creature that is unusual, ugly and creepy and jumping out at you and scares the bejesus out of you... COULD be a Goblin.
Usually they are small....but some of the orcs in LOTR are not!

Here are some other interesting tidbits of Goblin Lore:

Goblins ride Wargs.
Goblins eat anything....including PEOPLE.
Goblins sometimes kidnap females to make them (unwillingly so) into Goblin WIVES.
Goblins switch out human babies for Goblin changeling babies.
Goblins can sometimes possess magickal abilities (i.e. Rumplestiltskin was likely a goblin)
Goblins like MONEY.
Goblins do mischief and malice just for fun and because it makes their little black hearts HAPPY.
Keith found a great old Victorian poem called "The Goblin Market" and it seems that there is some underlying and now fading link to Women's Rights, homosexuality and Goblins.
As in, "if a woman becomes "knowledgeable or independant, sexual in any manner...or if she's a woman who lives with another woman, FIE! She has gone over to the "dark side" and the Goblins (i.e. devil) surely has his claws into her!"

Here "The Goblin Market" info and background. CLICK THIS TO READ IT!


So, the message here is: Be afraid of independence ladies! The Goblins will get you if you go out at night! Or have that kiss from that handsome stranger! You will be DOOMED and no amount of wishing you hadn't wished that baby away will save you. And for God's sake, DON'T partake of any Goblin food for you will wither away and pine for it at the same time. (i.e. once you get a taste of sexuality, are LOST, sort of Victorian reasoning.)

Heedless of the danger to ourselves....
Our StoryBook Club was UNDAUNTED and we met at Phil & Christine's house and they had it decorated perfectly for our evening's swaree!
 We even caught one Goblin trying to steal our dinner!!

Some of the delightful bounty of the table was:
A cheesy, meaty Goblin dip, Baked Apples,

Goblin Goulash, Goblin Soup (made with cabbage and savory browned bits of Hobbit :)
 gold coins, and Goblin Feet and Goblin Pie!

It was wicked fun!

There were many movies that are out there featuring Goblins! "Legend", "The Spiderwick Chronicles", "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter" just to name a few!
But our movie of choice was "Labryinth" with David Bowie for our Goblin viewing pleasure.
(That and seeing David Bowie in tights :)
Unfortunately most of us had to get home before the Goblins got us....
and the rest of us fell into a charmed spell of relaxation and started snoring in the comfy chairs there.
Christine shared an interesting tidbit of info on this movie, was that the baby "Toby" in the movie "Labyrinth" is actually Brian Froud's son!

You remember Brian Froud, right? He is the amazing artist who brought goblins and fairies into the forefront of our psyche with his work in "The Dark Crystal" and Jim Henson's Creature Shop! He is really raising his child in the fantasy world right from the get go!

Next month we will set sail into November's month of "if-y" watery travel and dive into the murky fathoms to research mermaids and  "The Little Mermaid", in particular!

Mermaids too....are not the sweet things that Disney would have you believe. I can't wait to hook one and pull it out of the water. I hate taking the hook out though...

Certainly there is more within THIS story than Disney wants us to know.....

Keep Reading and Learning!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thyme heals

Thyme can represent: Virginity, activity, bravery, courage, strength, vigor, and of course, Time.

It is thought that fairies live in a bed of thyme, and that the King of the Fae dances in a bed of thyme!

Thyme was thought to cure encourages "spiritedness"

Thyme was supposedly one of the herbs that line the manger when Jesus was born. Surely he was a pure soul who needed courage.

The herbs: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme mentioned in the song, "Scarborough Faire" are a wedding love charm when put into a bride's bouquet.

In the olden song that I sing in my duo, Merry Mischief, "A Bunch of Thyme", the song mentions Thyme in the capacity that a woman's love and virginity (even as it comes to a tender heart) is something to protect and to guard.....and for women not to give away their hearts and their bodies away so easily. It is a warning for women not to take false lovers.

How'ere, that is easier said than done sometimes.

This is where Thyme, symbol for courage and bravery comes in. Even if we have given away our hearts and loved deeply, and had our trusts broken or stolen away...Thyme is the herb that reminds us that our Love is Perrenial. It is hardy, and you can break it up and it will live to grow another day.
Thyme/Time heals all wounds.

It's funny but the thing that broke your heart last year....doesn't hurt this year at all.

Thyme is for fortitude and intestinal strength and vigor. It cleanses and it heals.

Thyme is sturdy.

Just like me.

Just like YOU.

We live, survive and thrive and go on to season our own and someone else's dish with courage, and spiritedness.

Thyme is a reminder to just keep on living, growing and spreading your strength.

It is also believed that fairies live in thyme and that the King of the Fairies dances in a bed of thyme.

So get out there and celebrate living and being strong, my dearie darlings!

I leave you with one last song....
Wild Mountain Thyme
"I will build my love a bower, by yon pure and crystal fountain
and around it I will pile, all the flowers of the mountain.
Will ye go, lassie? Go?
And we'll all go down together.
To pull wild mountain thyme from around the purple heather.
Will ye go, Lassie? Go?"
If my true love were to leave me, I would surely find another...
to pull Wild Mountain Thyme, from all around the blooming heather...
Will ye Go, Lassie? Go?

And we'll all go down together.
To pull wild mountain thyme from around the purple heather.
Will ye go, Lassie? Go?"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Local Tall Tales. Really, it's true :)

LaFayette Apple Festival takes place every autumn in the valley of Central New York.
We had the 2nd and 5th slots of the day, so got there early. We took the back way in, to find our stage.But first, we had to convince this fellow that we could (and are allowed) to go straight through here as we always park over there by the stage.

 Some years this event has been on a beautiful "Indian Summer" sort of day. Hot and sunny.
Today was not that kind of a day,
It had stopped raining, but was very wet and muddy. There was a thin but stalwart crowd there.
CHILLY in the morning!
But then again, a Quanset hut, while dry can also be like a refrigerator.

It was actually a big treat for us to be playing together today.

We've been busy on so much, that we haven't had a chance to play for a bit. It was heavenly. It feels really good to be on stage with someone you trust, know the drill, and just have fun with together.

Time and sets went fast. Some silly stuff. Jack the Piper came over and played "Scotland the Brave" at the end of the song, "Who killed the Piper?" He was a good sport and so talented! I LOVED playing bodhran with him on that piece! It rocked.
And Emily Hoy requested "Rattlin' Bog" and then came up to help me with it! Good job!

The sun came out and started drying up things. There were about 450 crafters there in bout 10 HUGE tents filled with lots and lots of quality product! Jewelry, alpaca mittens, soaps, dolls, pillows, dried fall arrangements, funky clothing (oh yah, I got a shirt! :), and great chicken BBQ with awesome, awesome apple sauce. LOTS to eat, see and do!

It started dark and dreary, but it ended well. Definately a fall day for sure, with the nip in the morning rain air.

Follow me past the pony ride to the Scarecrow contest!
Some pretty clever ones:

NINJA Scarecrow will take crows out Ninja style! Hi-ya!

This one below... could be a Merlyn scarecrow, but isn't :)

She is holding a sign that is singing that popular earworm, "Red Solo Cup". Probably to annoy the crows to death.
Merlyn would never sing that. She'd sing something else equally annoying ...but different. :)

History of all kinds has come from our area and you can taste it as sweet as a crunch of a new apple!
Speaking of apples....
Here's our old local man, Johnny Appleseed!

And here he is, to scale!

Johnny Appleseed is indeed a tall tale from around these parts.

As is....

The Cardiff Giant.

Never heard of it? Well, let me tell you a wee tale!
A LEGEND featured here on Merlyn's Magick!
What are the chances?

In the late 1800's there was a man who was trying to be an alchemist turning grasses and base metals into gold.
No shit. Really?  Just like in Middle Ages?

Well, one day he must've had some sort of alchemical epiphany. So, in direct response to the statement that "giants once roamed the earth" from the Bible at a Methodist Revivalist meeting, George Hull (an atheist), thought he'd try his hand at a hoax. A real doozie.
He got away with it for awhile and made some money too! He had a 10' tall "petrified" man made and treated it to solutions to age it . It was buried it where workers would eventually "discover" it by accident.  At least they thought they had discovered "an old Indian man buried here." It quickly blossomed into becoming quite a barker's dream sell. Within a couple days of it's discovery, George Hull put a tent over it and began charging admission to see it. A short while after that he doubled the 25 cent admission to 50 cents.That was a LOT of money back in the 1800's!

Here at the apple fest, they have this on display at the working cider mill. They say it is the mold that the original was formed in before carving.
Or IS it?
The Cardiff Giant that I've seen old pictures and lithographs of was anatomically correct.

this guy here at LaFayette obviously ain't packing. I know. I looked. I can tell these things at a glance. And if you ask my personal opinion...
The other guy in the original sculpture was aptly named.

But anyways, it's interesting and way cool. And bonus?
There's cider.