Return Of The Light

I think we choose to celebrate darkness, madly and wildly, until it catches us deeply and seems unwilling to let us go. Once darkness has had you like that, you end up either celebrating it even more wildly, or retreating, as I have done, into a more peaceful world.

Peace, my friends

I am aware of the unimaginable size of my hubris when I say I have retreated into a more peaceful world. Had I all the will and magic of the universe, I would wish for all of us, each of us, to create the world we wish to live in. I know and am grateful for the immensely lucky hand which the gods have dealt me. Let’s be honest: if you were reading about me in a book, or in some poor writer’s memoirs, you would rename me Mary Sue, wouldn’t you? Trust me: I’m not blind. I would have done the same, had I come across my story before I lived it.

See the sun arising

See the sun arising
See the sun arising
Darkness is gone

We sing this together in midwinter, as the days begin to lengthen seemingly infinitesimally. And even in the cold haze of the early Faery morning, see, there is the sun, or some hazy projection of it, at least. Above the castle, the birds have already begun their day, and down below, the demifae are just ending their nights’ revels. For this small time, the Realm sleeps. Well, it seems to sleep.

The Realm sleeps only from a distance.

Closer-in, you will find the winds doing their work, moving snow around, you will find the lights above DJFae’s Dance Floor swirling their merry spiral, waiting for the happy steps of those our Danya inspires to dance (which is just about everybody who listens when she spins).

FluffyCat The Bookseller

You will find FluffyCat the Bookseller at his appointed post, because when do you need a good book more than on a blustery winter night? I ask him, What do you recommend? and he replies, On this night, there is no better book than Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising to steady your spirit with a story. I’m sure I have a signed edition here, Your Fae Majesty. Tempting, but I am only allowed to have so many copies of The Dark Is Rising. Someone else will be the lucky reader—of this one.

Snow, or mist? My own Book Garden seems more magical than usual, now that we have had midwinter snow.

It is not a time of newness, this, so when new things appear in the winter’s dark, we take notice.

Ode To The Moon

This pleasing cottage, called Ode To The Moon and created by the ever-imaginative Dragonia of Dragon Magick Wares, even came with its own tiny island. Whoever will live here will have their own holiday tree, not to mention half a dozen sheep—no; that one in front is a (tiny) reindeer.

Snowy Book Forest

How do we ascertain the anchor of a Realm? Is it the largest feature? Is it the most beautiful place? Is it the spiritual centre? If it is the most long-standing, then the Book Forest is at Awenia’s heart, if not its physical centre: there has been a Book Forest in Awenia for as long as there has been Awenia. For me, that’s about six years, but the folk who live here know this length of time as “for-ever”.

Our Sacred Meadow

The demifae have changed the altar from autumn to winter; no-one ever sees them do it, but it’s always efficient and perfectly on time. Can you see the tiny faery up in the Winter Guardian tree? Sometimes we can sight them when the seasons turn, just admiring their handiwork. You may know that the guardian trees in our Sacred Meadow relocate seasonally: do you see the Spring Guardian there in the distance? It’s as if she is only a few steps away. Calibri is the little pony who helps visitors find their way around Awenia; he’s strayed from his place by the portal. The unicorn is Lampen, one of the two unicorns who live here regularly.

Sleeping Demifae

And look! There’s a demifae, fast asleep on the altar Yule log. They must have worked through the night, making sure midwinter came to us on time. Here: let’s leave them some extra marshmallows for when they wake up.

As always, on this day, particularly after Fluffycat reminded me of The Dark Is Rising, I think of Susan Cooper’s beautiful poem, “The Shortest Day”. Do you know it?

I’ll put a couple of links below, but here is the text as I sent it in this year’s holiday card from Awenia.

The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day 

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome, Yule!

Poem by Susan Cooper

Here is an NPR recording of Susan Cooper reading some lines from the poem and talking about it last year at this time.

Oh, my darlings, I do dearly love you. And I do hope for peace.

Notes & Credits

  • The Avatar:
    • Gwyneth is wearing Silvan Moon Designs’ stunning Royal Yule Gown, available now at We Love Roleplay.
    • Her skin is Petrichor’s Lazulian Femme (quartze) for a base, topped with the Draziele Holiday Tattoo, Frost, also from Petrichor.
    • These eyes, also from Petrichor, are the Koele eyes.
      • Both the eyes and the tattoo are available now at Saturnalia.
    • Gwyneth’s hair is from Kuni, the Duda Hair
    • The brass crown is from Fika, the Duchess Fringe Tiara
    • The Candle Mantle and Crown are from Static, Candlelight Crown & Mantle, also available at Saturnalia. (that’s a great event; y’all should all go to it [no, I am not blogging for them!])
    • Makeup is from SlackGirl (eyeshadow) and TheMars (lipstick)
    • Gwyneth is in a Maitreya Mesh body and the Catwa HDPro Soft head. Her shape is home-made and handmade.
  • The Environment
    • Shot on location in Awenia Faerie.
    • Stunning Tree: The Looking Glass: The Shrine Tree, a One-of-a-Kind (well, two-of-a-kind!) item. You can come visit it.
    • Fir Tree in Peace photo: HarshLands, Fir Trees
    • Frame and Lights in Peace photo: {anc} Frame & Stool
    • Sim Surround: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
    • Solar System: Landscapes Unlimited, Off Sim Starry Night
    • FluffyCat’s Book Wagon: Kraftwork, Travelling Bookseller
    • FluffyCat Herself: Foxwood, Fluffs
    • Ode To The Moon Cottage: Dragon Magick Wares, Ode To The Moon
    • Stage: {anc} Dreaming Stage
    • Sheep: [anc} Dreaming Sheep
    • Reindeer: Hextraordinary, Romping Reindeer
    • Small Tree: {anc} Noel Tears Tree
    • Large Tree: {anc} Snowy Day Christmas Tree
    • Items In Book Forest: There are so many! IM me in world or ask me in a comment if there’s something specific you want to know about. The book path is by Una, and the central house is 8f8’s Storyteller’s Burrow house.
    • Winter Guardian: HarshLands, Winter Guardian. Kadaj Yoshikawa has created guardian trees for all four seasons, and they are integral to the Awenia Sacred Meadow. You can see the Spring Guardian also in the photo that features the Meadow.
    • Pony and unicorn: Teegle! I love Teegle and can spend hours playing with my pretty unicorns and ponies.
    • Yule Log: Hextraordinary, Yule Log
    • Demifae on Yule log: CF, Forest Fairy, Snow Sit

(thanks to fellow blogger & photographer Justyn Time for the following video link! — not super happy with the harp background, but you can see the book!)









Tomorrow, the sun will rise on a light-er day. Be peaceful, and love one another.

An Extra Place at the Table

It is October in Awenia. And so we watch the world change, and sometimes we make the world change, as our magical year turns toward its ending. And yes, we believe that inside all endings there are also beginnings, and that is how we see the world on a wheel. Our Three Realms, Land, Sea, Sky, they all live in this wheel and on this cycle. As we near the turning point of the cycle, we mark where our old year passes into the new. In Awenia, because we are a Realm of inspiration, this marking goes on throughout the month of October.

To remember our departed, recently and ancient, every table gains an extra setting at this time.

An Extra Place

In some traditions, this practice is known as the Dumb Supper, and everything is prepared oppositely with everything usually on the right placed on the left, for example. Here, there is so thin a veil every day between worlds and realms, we do not bother with this ritual aspect.

Instead, we concentrate on beauty

Instead, we concentrate on making the space beautiful, welcoming, inviting, in the hopes that our honoured departed, be they recently gone from us or from many centuries ago, will find our tables to their liking.

For this year’s Sacred Meadow Table, I have found the most beautiful tableware, produced by master craftswoman Nodnol Jameson and her Kraftwork house. These arrived just as I was beginning to Turn Awenia to Autumn. They were part of a larger seasonal decorating package called a Decorate that I have enjoyed receiving for many years. This time of year, the contents are often focused on the more popular aspects of our Autumn holidays, the spooky fun, and the spooky creepy, and while we love those things in Awenia as well (Her Majesty will personally kiss you if you bring her candy corn!), we do take a more meditative view of these days.

Cats and Cups

So, this month, while you’re getting ready for your spooky fun and working on memorising your best ghost story or perfecting the perfect Hallowe’en costume, take a moment, if you can find one, and consider why we honour the dead. Why do we venerate our ancestors? For what reasons do we hold them in our memories and our hearts? How would the repast before us be possible, if we truly existed on our own, in some bubble, and had no ancestors, no giants on whose shoulders we could stand?

A Place at the Table

And, if the spirit moves you, set an extra place at your table, too. And have dinner with your father, your grandmother, your long-lost relative who gave some part of themselves so that you could be you.

Back, and Forward

Now, imagine—in a hundred years’ time, in five hundred years’ time, who will set a place at their table and hope to share a meal with you?

Notes and Credits:
The table setting: Kraftwork, Fall Dinnerware, for the 2020 Halloween DecoCrate
The Table, Chairs, & Benches: Raindale, Maplemoor
The Cats (both stone and sleeping) Maru-Kado
The Unicorn & Pony: Teegle
The Pond: Two Moon Gardens
The Statue: HarshLands, Spring Guardian
The Standing Stones: Studio Skye, Skye Standing Stones
The Castle In The Distance: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
The Ground Cover: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass 08
Prominent Trees: The Little Branch
Purple Bush: Cube Republic, Useful Bush
Environment: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
Stars: Landscapes Unlimited, Starry Night

Look Back With Love; Look Forward With Hope

The Way Things Grow

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I should be used to it, really.

I should be used to it, really. Used to the way things appear and disappear and remake themselves. It is Faerie, after all.

But that never stops me from just staring in raw wonder at some of the things that crop up.

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A new faerie circle

In the Sacred Grove, there’s a new faerie circle with lovely illuminated grass and mushrooms that, I kid you not, smell of strawberries. Our demifae are a wonder. I did find one of them and ask, and the only thing she’d tell me was they got the mushroom spores from Keira Raindale. That’s no surprise: the lady is a mistress of whimsy: of course the mushrooms smell like strawberries.

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I picked up some friends

Apparently, bunnies like me today. And this is Tuille, one of our resident unicorns. He’s feeling very spiffy since he told me he had always wanted to be a viking unicorn and so we found him some beautiful tattoos and a horn etching from Devras at Valkyrie Designed. Behind him, you can see where the demifae have made their summer goddess altar; this is our summer guardian tree, and while she may move on when autumn comes, I doubt she will ever stay far away.

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Everything illuminated

I just can’t get over the illuminated grass in this faery circle. And beyond it, you can see the rocks surrounding a new little pond (I must take a dip in there later!). And the Cats and Caitsidhe were apparently so happy with our hosting a Summerlands for cats here that they’ve added a temple in the roots of the Shrine Tree. I’m glad they’ve chosen us.

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Dancing Elf

Our dancing elf statue ended up here? I expected to find this in the Book Forest; which reminds me, I must get over there and explore sometime soon: there’s no telling what the stories have been getting up to. You can’t stop stories, no matter how hard you try. Stories just are. They persist, and if you won’t tell them, they’ll tell themselves.

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The little dryad!

Haha! I didn’t even notice this lovely little dryad the demifae placed here on the summer guardian altar. What thoughtful little creatures they are. And they’ve left a guard, right in her hand. I hope they’re giving you regular breaks, guard of the guardian.

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Next Stop?

I stepped across to spend some time with the memory of our gone-forward cats, and shed a few tears for cats I’m missing especially right now. I think it’s safe to say the sacred grove is ready.

I do still want to spend some quiet time in that bathing pool, though. Maybe soon.

Notes and Credits:
The Halter With Tassels: PaperMoon, Gelsey Halter (get it at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
Those Amazing Boots: Wicca’s Originals, Lyndis Boots (get them at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
The Hair That Makes You Wanna Know How Gwyneth Got Such Amazing Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Fluttercup (it’s new at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
But Those Jeans Though: Blueberry, Evie Jeans
Gloves? Those are so cool!: Masoom, Petra Gloves (these are at the currently-running [til 25 July] Cosmopolitan)
Choker: Kibitz, Tricia’s Choker (at Kustom9)
Sparkly Antlers: Attic, Fairy Horn (also at Kustom9)
Circlet: Amias, Edana
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake
Skin: DeeTalez, Jane for Lelutka Evolution, in Celtic
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition

Environment: Awenia Faerie, Sacred Grove (open soon!)
Amazing Fairy Circle: Raindale, Fairy Circle (get it at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
Grove Trees include:
Happy Mood: Garden Tree10 – A (ground shape2) LI:14
Happy Mood: Fallen Tree – flowers LI:9
Little Branch: AppleTree, BuckTHorn, DownyBirch, GreenAsh, HawThornTree
Summer Guardian Tree: HarshLands, The Summer Guardian
Offering Table: *ionic* Forest Tree Table
Bonsai Dryad: *HEXtraordinary* Bonsai Dryad
Summer Guardian Roses: Heart, Classic & Wild Roses
Summer Guardian Food Offerings: Kopfkino, Royal Pavilion various food
Cat Shrine: Maru Kado
Ground Cover: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass 08, Raindale, Fairy Grass
Tuille the Unicorn: Teegle, Unicorn
Unicorn Mods: Skin, Cinnamon, Silver Buckskin. Tattoos and horn: Valkyrie Designed, unicorn horn, engraved light brown, and tattoo, Celtic Shields

ping me in world if you’d like to know about anything else!

 

Unicorn Sanctuary

FAE LADY LETITIA LUPERCALIA:
Volunteerism is my calling. I believe it comes from a higher place, the desire to help those less fortunate than oneself, to bring them along in the world and lift them up. And who, really, is less fortunate than a poor animal?

Even mythical animals receive such terrible starts in life. They are born to godless herds, forced to fend for themselves, and so many of them do not realise what lively and indeed lucrative, contributions they might make to the greater world.

Thankfully, there’s The Unicorn Sanctuary.

INTERVIEWER:
We’re honoured to be speaking with Fae Lady Letitia Lupercalia today, about her life’s work of rescuing and rehabilitating young Unicorns and helping them find their places in the multiple Realms that make up our tangled universe. Who are these fine young foals?

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Some of our success stories!

FLLL:
You will of course have seen news reports of some of our success stories. These delightful twin unicorn foals, Pinkberry and Smoothie, have just brought home to their sponsors an outstanding win at this years Flutterfoal Bowl. We are so proud to have representatives of The Unicorn Sanctuary winning medals all over the multiverse. They now also command a lucrative sponsorship from the famous frozen yoghurt company. Our newest little celebrities spend so much time training, they are sometimes too tired to snuggle with their Sanctuary brothers and sisters when they come home, but don’t worry for them! We have constructed them a special pillow paddock so they feel snuggly and warm even when they’re too tired to cuddle.

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All our unicorns are on a journey.

I:
Tell us about more of the Unicorns you have at the Sanctuary now, My Lady.

FLLL:
All our unicorns are on a journey, their own special journey. This one matches my dress so well I have thought of taking her home, but really she will need a few more months’ worth of education. She is still being very deferential to this Giant Sleepy Cat, and believe you me, this cat does nothing but sleep and purr and eat and, well. You know what else they do. “Goldiebelle”, I tell her, “You’d better find someone better to bow to!”

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The Old Guard

The Old Guard is our one remaining adult unicorn. He expressed a desire to stay and watch over all the little foals, and while it’s lovely to have him here, I must also remind the foals of what a bad influence he is. He did once take an assignment away from the Sanctuary, but he was returned when it was found he’d been inciting other members of his Myth Zoo (yes, that Myth Zoo!) herd to unionise. It was quite the scandal back in the day! He assures us he’s too old for all that, but I do sometimes find him whispering to the foals. One cannot be too vigilant. An agreeable nature is so important to one’s well-being and contentment, don’t you find?

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Some are simply hopeless

I:
Oh, what a cutie-pie!

FLLL:
Some, it must be admitted are, sadly, simply hopeless. Of course, even for these poor unfortunates, there may be a salvation: I’ve wired the Fae Duchess of Doncaster to see if she might take this one in as a charity case. She does have her eccentricities, and they might extend to a Unicorn as fated for disaster as this one. I can’t even bring myself to name it.

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All Unicorns deserve a good home!

I:
Do you have some words that keep you true to your mission?

FLLL:
All Unicorns deserve a good home; that’s my motto!

I:
What about visiting the Sanctuaries?

FLLL:
Oh, we love visitors! I hope if you get the chance you’ll come and visit one of our satellite Sanctuaries or even our main Sanctuary (although, let’s face it, getting to Awenia is more hassle than most people want to go through in a lifetime!) for one of our Open Days.

I:
What should our listeners know if they are interested in adopting a Unicorn Sanctuary Unicorn?

FLLL:
Well, we make it as easy as we can, but remember that our passion is the Unicorns themselves and their well-being! You’ll need a plan for how you’ll make your special Unicorn productive in its life and your community if you wish to adopt a Unicorn who’s graduated from our rigorous training programme! You’ll need an Exotic Magical Pet license or a guarantee that your application in progress will be reviewed favourably, and of course there is a nominal donation to help keep our Sanctuaries running. Remember that because we are a Fae organisation we are not obligated to take currency, so we decline most Realm-centred currencies and credit. We also hope you understand that gold certified “Fae” must be authenticated by our in-house experts. We spay and neuter each Unicorn who leaves our loving Sanctuaries, and exceptions cannot be made. Before your Adoption Application is approved, our representatives will make several home visits to ensure you can offer an appropriate home to one of our Unicorns. Applications must be filled out in person on the grounds of one of our Sanctuaries; as the Application is lengthy, you may wish to stay overnight in one of our comfortable Unicorn Hostels: make sure to arrange your accommodation before your visit, as Unicorns are placed very quickly and we wish to avoid your disappointment should you be unable to book a long enough accommodation to complete the Application.

I:
Well, thank you very much, My Lady Lupercalia! I’ll let you get back to your work. Remember, The Unicorn Sanctuary is a Registered Fae Charity and as such operates under the Fae Charity Council as disbanded by Their High Majesties, the rules of which are duly revoked each year at the Annual Fae Charity Council Excuse For A Revel In Place Of An Annual Meeting.

The Unicorn Sanctuary: Where The Magic Can Be Yours!

Style Card:
Featured:
The Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Anastasia of Emeris Gown, currently at We Love Roleplay.
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 2, available at The Ritual Main Store.
The Hair: Dreaming Thicket, Rosemary Hair Gacha, Rose Queen Exclusive, available at The Imaginarium.
The Unicorn Foals: HEXtraordinary, Unicorn Foals Gacha, available at The Arcade.
Big Unicorn: Teegle, Fable The Unicorn
Big Unicorn Coat & Mane: Lunistice. Coat: Watercolor Wings; and Mane & Fluff: Ombre Mane and Fluff (now at The Ark).
Trees: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Tapestry Trees and Twinkle Trees
Grass: The Shrine Tree, Grass Clumps
Sanctuary Walls: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Walls
Giant Sleepy Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat

Avatar:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Rings: Swallow, Princess Rings
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn Soft Arch
Lipstick: Pink Fuel, Silky Shine True Red
Eyelashes: Wednesday, Doll House Eyelashes

A-Five! A-Six! A-Five, Six, Seven, Eight!

 

Thanks, as always, to the genius creators behind some of these beautiful SL creations! I knew I had to blog the Unicorn Foals, but a TP in and out of my region while they were rezzed made me realise the animations reset and they would move in tandem, which is what inspired the story of the post. I also knew I must be a very posh and possibly out of touch narrator here, and the dress from Silvan Moon and amazing hair from Dreaming Thicket just made it all so easy. Teegle continues to inspire with their gorgeous equestria, and I would be nowhere, nowhere I tell you, without the goddess behind Ritual Skins. Heartfelt thanks also and as always to Half+Deer for all the cats, every single one of them.