zaterdag 28 april 2012

The feast of Beltaine

The first of May is almost upon us. Beltaine, the feast of Flame and Faerie! On this day the Beltaine fires merrily burn, bringing blessings and wishes to all who leap through them. It is the day of letting go, of dancing and singing and frolicing about, not caring who is watching. It is one of my favourite festivals.

The festival of Beltaine is also an important Faerie Feast. Together with Samha'in it is the day that the veil between the world is at its thinnest. Beings from both sides of the veil can cross over and communicate and most importantly, celebrate with each other. I was taught that the festival of Samha'in was the time that our ancestors crossed to our side to dine and celebrate with us. On the festival of Beltaine it is the Fair Folk who come out to dance and sing with us!

Beltane by Julia Helen Jeffrey
Beltaine is also the day that the Seelie Court will rule again. The court of Summer and Light. It is said that the tradition of electing a May Queen is a reminiscense of the Queen of the Summer Court. The Seelie Court is the Court of Fae who are more benevolent towards humans. They will warn us when we have offended them, even if we didn't even know we had done it. The Seelie Fae are also more prone to bestow blessings and gifts on ones who have treated them well.

In the cycle of the God and Goddess, Beltaine is the festival where they become one. They dance and lay together and wherever they walk, flowers and grain will sprout up from the ground. It is the day of fertility and growth. The animals go out into the field again, together with their little ones. The Goddess is now pregnant with the Sun Child and has turned from the Maiden into the Mother.

Beltane by Mickie Mueller
Taken from the Hidden Path Oracle deck

Join us on this first of May,
To sing and dance,
to laugh and play.

Leaping over the roaring fire,
we cry and chant,
our heart's desire.

We call out, for all to hear;
Blessings upon you all,
Summer is here!

Beltaine by Marjolijn Ashara

What to do on Beltaine.

Here I've put together some ways to celebrate Beltaine. Some are more elaborate than others. Personally, I prefer the small, more natural celebrations. Enjoy and happy Beltaine to you all!

One way to honour the Summer Lady is to wear a wreath of flowers in your hair.

If you bathe in dew on the morning of Beltaine, it is said to bring beauty and happiness for the rest of the year.
Dance and Sing songs of summer and Beltaine. Go out into an open field and dance and sing to your hearts desire!
In twilight or at dawn, take a thin branch of Rowan. Twist it in a ring. It is said that if you look through it, you're able to see the Fair Folk.
Paint a branch silver and tie silver bells to it. Walk with the silver bough, chiming as you go. This will attract the Faeries to come out and play.
Leave offerings to the Fair Folk. They love milk with honey, May wine and sweet sugary cookies. Present it in a pretty way, make an effort. Beware of iron, the Fair Folk will consider it and insult if you offer them anything of iron.
Weave ribbons around a maypole. Big or small, it doens't matter. Make a small maypole by putting your wand or another wooden branch into a flowerpot!
Have a picknick or go for a long walk. Look around you and search for the signs of Beltaine. Small animals, hares, beltaine flowers. Bring some things home with you and decorate a shelf or a corner of your garden. This would make a perfect place to attract Faeries into your home!

Of course there are tons of other things that I haven't covered here. So go out on the May Morn' and celebrate with us this feast of Flame and Faerie. May the Blessing of the Summer Queen be upon you.

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

maandag 23 april 2012

Faerie Wings - Tattoos

Today I've put together a small feature with some of the most beautiful Faerie Wing tattoos out there. I've always been a fan of the art of tattooing and am a proud owner of two tattoos myself. An Ankh symbol and a Spiral Moon. One thing that has always drawn me, however, are wing tattoos. Big tattoos of angel, butterfly or dragonfly wings are just beautiful! Today I've picked a few of my favourites, already inked on other people :) Perhaps in a next feature I'll take some designs only...

Faerie Wings inked by Derek

Faerie Wings by Tattoos by Design

Fairy Wings inked by Bob 'Doc' Murdock

Wings by Shannon Larrat

Faerie Wings Tattoo Designs by Unknown

So there you have it, a couple of the most beautiful wing tattoos out there :)

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

zaterdag 14 april 2012

DIY Art Nouveau Headdress

Earlier this week JoEllen from, also known as Lillyxandra, posted a wonderful tutorial on how to make your own flowery, whimsical headdresses. It's an easy tutorial to follow and the final result is just beautiful!

So hurry over to her site and get crafting! Don't forget to tell me about the end result!!

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

vrijdag 13 april 2012

Magpie's lessons

A more personal blog post this time... *takes deep breath* I'm losing my job... There, I said it... I was told the day before yesterday that my 6 month contract will not be renewed. So, come may, I'll be unemployed. It sucks, I'm quite heartbroken. I love this job and love the people I'm working with and to lose all that, together with financial security, physically hurts. I have an ache in my chest every time I think about it.

So yesterday was difficult, but at least that day I was home with my fiancée. Today I had to show up for work again. It was awkward, it was hard, I'm glad I made it through the day without crying... Two and a half week to go, and I'll be done. Part of me can't wait, the other part doesn't want it to be over.

Wednesday after I got the news I went home, crying on the subway. People looking weirdly at me. Me trying to hide in my book, hoping no one will notice me... So I got to our flat and in the back we have this round bit of greenery. So when you approach it, it looks like a crossroads. There I found the most beautiful feather. It was a tail feather of a magpie. Black with a beautiful oily sheen on one side. The thing is, I've been hoping to find one of those feathers for a while now, so that cheered me up immensly. However, as I looked back, I saw another feather. Another magpie feather with the same beautiful colours! I was smiling when I got home :)

Thieving Magpie by Una Fricker for Magic the Gathering.

What I realized later was that one feather laid in one fork of the crossroads, and one in the other. I have a thing about crossroads, I find them fascinating. The lore, myth and magic behind them is something that I've been wanting to study. So I'm taking the hint and will dig deeper into the lore and magic of crossroads. I showed the feathers to my fiancée and the first thing he said was; they are a sign. That's exactly how I felt about them so I looked up the symbolism of the magpie. It said that they find treasure everywhere, so I should look closely for something that could be a treasure, even if it doesn't look it. They also signify change and the creative use of ones voice.

Funny thing is that my boss also mentioned that she thinks I'm at a crossroads right now and that I shouldn't rush into anything. Think about which road I want to take. Another funny thing is that one of my colleagues mentioned that she thought the American Book Center here in the Hague might be something for me (for a job). Which is something that I've been thinking about to. So I'll look into that!

Last night I went flying with the magpie, in my dreams. I saw a woman flying below me, flying like she was swimming. She had beautiful red-blonde curls that moved with the wind. Then I saw a woman dancing, moving to the movements that we were making. She had straight and long brown hair. Her face turned up to the sky, but I couldn't see it. I have no idea what these women mean, but I'm keeping my eyes open for a curly blonde and a brunette ;p

Even though I'm heartbroken that I will lose my job, I'm starting to see some good things. Or rather, starting to focus on some good things. I want to focus more on my art, jewellery and writing. I also asked my mother in law if she would learn me how to sow clothing. I want to focus more on witchcraft and paganism, not that I have more time on my hands. I think in the end, this will be a good thing, even though it hurts right now...

I will of course let you know when I find a new (better ;)) job or when the magpie reveals more of her secrets!

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

donderdag 12 april 2012

Faerie Fashion Feature - Winged Jewellery

Time for another Faerie Fashion Feature! :D I was browsing Deviantart, as I do (too/very) often and came across some wonderful winged jewellery which would look perfect in any faerie's jewellery box. It amazes me how people make these beautiful and delicate things, and all of different materials too!

Real wings encased in glass:

Real Butterfly Wing Jewelry by Bflydesigns

Delirium Butterfly Necklace by Felinocurioso37


Faery Wing Necklace by Phee-adornments

Blue Morpho Nouveau Necklace by Angela Sasser

Wire and foil:

Blue Wings Pendant by Elvenelysium

Pink and Blue Wings Pendant by Elvenelysium

And several other materials:

These earrings were made with real beatle wings which have been treated with several layers of varnish.
Plume and Wing by S0WIL0

These beautiful earrings were made with heat-treated titatium and sterling silver.
Wings by Forgedirony

These geeky wings were made with a hard drive and a processor card. Geeky and pretty!
Butterfly Wings by the Blue Kraken

Well my flittering friends, that's it for the feature! I hope you enjoyed it!

Love and Leaves,
Marjolijn Ashara

woensdag 4 april 2012

Away with the Faeries

This is a song/poem I've written a little while ago that I would like to share with you. It's how I see the Fae, not always as cute and fluffy and winged as some people portray them :) Well most likely dive more into the Fae's darker sides in a later post, but for now; please enjoy!

Walk in the Woods, by my super talented friend Aswulf
Away with the fairies
Come hither, come join us, come dance and play,
Let our music, our laughter take you away,
From your sorrows, your sadness, your hopes and dreams,
to a world where nothing is what it seems.

So step into the toadstool's ring,
In the forest where the flowers spring.
There we'll take your outstretched hands,
and dance towards our hidden lands.

Through forests and deserts and over the sea.
We'll take you to where you wish to be.
Through magic and mist the Veil will appear,
The end of your journey draws near.

Clear Amethyst forests and stones of Jade,
the glamoury of Faerie will never fade.
You watch them fly by, the Ruby red birds,
and that is when you hear our words;

Come hither, come join us, come dance and play,
Let our music, our laughter take you away,
From your sorrows, your sadness, your hopes and dreams,
to a world where nothing is what it seems.

We guide you to the village, inside the Oak's keep,
We offer you our wine, and you drink deep.
We offer you our apples, and you take a bite,
as the magic and music takes flight.

You don't see our grins, which should fill you with fear,
for the food and drinks will surely keep you here.
Bound by magic, by blood and by bone,
you sealed your fate, made this your home.

A girl comes to take you, and dances away,
you follow her rhythm, her swings and sways.
You once again hear it, that enchanting song,
but you know the words now, and sing along

Come hither, come join us, come dance and play,
Let our music, our laughter take you away,
From your sorrows, your sadness, your hopes and dreams,
to a world where nothing is what it seems.

The girl smiles and her sharp teeth show,
looking dangerous in the moonlight's glow.
You see others like you, dwelling in extacy,
blind to the world behind the glamoury.

You see it now, the poison and rot,
but you dance and dance and you care not.
For you are now fully under our spell,
and deep in our forests, forever you will dwell.

Should you escape, you'll leave behind,
your age, your health, perhaps your sane mind.
Best stay with us, forget your wife and child,
just dance and sing the songs of the Wild.

Come hither, come join us, come dance and play,
Let our music, our laughter take you away,
From your sorrows, your sadness, your hopes and dreams,
to a world where nothing is what it seems.

...a world where nothing is what it seems...

by Marjolijn Ashara