Share Your World 2016 Week 35

Here is my post for Cee’s Share Your World🙂  Week 35

List 2 things you have to be happy about?
I finally have my own house!
I can play my music as loud as I like, dance in the parlour at any hour, clean at midnight (not something I would actually do but I could if I wanted to!), plant a garden; all because I have my own house.

If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?
I have always wanted to visit India; so many amazing sights and sites.  The photography opportunities are endless.

Should children be seen and not heard?
My parents certainly thought so. 😉  I have the opposite opinion but they must have proper manners.

List at least five of your favorite first names.
Girl Names:  Angharad, Anastasia, Eleanore, Melusine, Scathach
Boy Names:  Aiden, Declan, Finn, Jack, Tristan

 

 

Sharing My World 2016 Week 34

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This is my first post for Cee’s Share Your World 🙂

What is your favorite comfort snack food? Ice Cream!  Chocolate especially.

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?
No, the few pieces of paper money in my wallet are every which way.  I wonder if I organise the bills would more miraculously appear?

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?  Actually, there was a mouse in my house when I first moved in.  We looked at each other and we both ran in opposite directions.  Then I decided I would try to make the mouse feel more at home.  I even enlisted the help of my friend who posed for this photo.

Mouse in the House

Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak? Speak; can’t live without reading.

 

 

 

The Coachman’s Revenge

The Coachman’s Revenge

Heavy rain and wild wind slashed at the coach as it rumbled along the road. Though freezing and soaked to the skin, the Coachman’s masterful driving kept the carriage from overturning.  A tremendous clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning that lit the night sky frightened the horses into a mad run. Quickly regaining control, the Coachman braked to a stop.  Climbing down from his seat, he could hear cursing as his employer rapped his walking stick against the roof of the coach.

“Damn it, man! Why are we stopped?” Lord Miserton demanded.

“Begging your pardon, My Lord,” the Coachman said speaking through the carriage window. He dared not get inside and so stood in the pouring rain trying to explain.  “The horses are afeared.  We will not reach Miserton Hall in one piece if we continue in this storm.  It would be best to wait here until the storm abates.”

“Wait?!” shrieked Lady Miserton.  “Do not be absurd!  Impudent man, afraid of a little rain.”

Lord Miserton let loose another string of curses. “You shall be sacked upon our return home if you do not find us a proper inn to stay the night!”

The Coachman paused before answering, “My Lord, if we turn left at the next crossroads there is a place that may have accommodations.”

“Then take us there at once!” ordered Lord Miserton shutting the carriage window.  “Remind me to sack him anyway,” he muttered to his wife.

Turning left at the crossroads the Coachman headed toward a high hill upon which stood a fortress glowing eerie white in the darkness. A few skeletal trees clung to the sides of the barren hill.  The Coachman expertly guided the horses up the steep incline and stopped before the front gate. It unbolted immediately as if the company had been expected.  He jumped down to open the carriage door.

Gothic Castle on Hill Full Moon Fine Art Print

“Where are we?” Lord Miserton shouted.

“My Lord, this is the home of Viscount Sanguis.  He has been known to take in stranded travellers.”

“Never heard of him! Get us inside this instant!”

The Coachman showed Lord and Lady Miserton through the open door where they were greeted by an ancient female servant.  “Follow me,” she croaked and led them inside.

A tall spectral man appeared, seemingly out of thin air.  “Ah, visitors.  Welcome, I am Dywyll Sanguis.  My housekeeper will make you comfortable by the fire.”

When the visitors were out of sight, Viscount Sanguis turned to the Coachman and handed him a small black velvet bag heavy with gold coins.  “Thank you, sir,” he whispered.  “I shall drink well tonight.”

The Coachman smiled, tipped his hat and went back out into the night.  The storm had ceased and an unusual orange full moon lit the sky.

Lord and Lady Miserton were never seen again.  Although the bodies of a man and woman were found at the crossroads; dressed in rags, puncture wounds on their necks and drained of all blood.

 

 

A Castle Fairy Tale – Part 4

Parts 1, 2 and 3 are here.

The Plan Unfolds

Day dawned and at the morning meal, the young priestesses and Harry’s companions continued their lively conversations from the night before.  But Rebelia and Harry were once again reserved with each other.  Directly after the meal, Tréan and Maith went to exercise their horses and assist the Stable Master; Estrelia and Auralunia back to their studies with the Wise Woman. Rebelia’s lack of experience with entertaining guests made her unsure of what to do next.  She eagerly accepted the High Priestess’s suggestion that she walk with Harry in the Orchard to speed the healing of his leg and then return to the Rose Garden to rest.

Unbeknownst to all, the High Priestess and High Magician knew that this meeting between Rebelia and Harry had been prearranged 300 years before by the monarchs on both sides of the Narrow Sea.  It was predestined the two would meet and form an alliance between the two peoples.  Though clearly, a bit of magick was required to evoke a betrothal. Two things were necessary: Harry must see beyond Rebelia’s contrariness and Rebelia must acknowledge that unlike her previous suitors, Harry would encourage her to always be herself.  And both must arrive at these conclusions within the fortnight if this alliance was to succeed.

To this end, the High Priestess conjured a spell.  She spread a handful of powdered rose petals onto a small round plate made of gold.  She traced the names ‘Rebelia’ and ‘Hhroldgar’ and the symbol for ‘archery’ in the powder linking the two names.  She intoned a few words in the arcane language of magick whilst swirling the powdered petals together.  She emptied the powder from the plate into a small blue glass bottle and went to the Rose Garden where the High Magician was waiting with two goblets of water fresh from the enchanted spring.  The High Priestess poured the rose powder into the goblets and placed them on a silver tray on the table.  Then both withdrew behind the trellis and waited for the magick to happen.

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Presently, Rebelia and Harry returned from the Orchard with a small basket of cherries.  It had been quite warm in the Orchard and both were thirsty.  Though Harry would never admit it aloud, his leg hurt and he was grateful to sit down.  They drank the water and ate the fruit in silence.  After a short time, they both felt remarkably refreshed in a curious sort of way and gazed at each other as if seeing one another for the first time.  Both smiled and conversation began. Behind the trellis, the High Priestess and High Magician nodded approval.

As Harry could not yet ride but was anxious to do more than merely pick weeds or sit still waiting for his injuries to heal, he asked Rebelia if there was a practice field for archery.  Rebelia was immediately in favour of this idea and called the Sergeant at Arms to arrange for bows, arrows and targets to be set up after the midday meal.  They impressed each other at the practice field; both excelled at archery.  More importantly, they began to see each other in a new light.  And archery became their favourite activity.

As the fortnight passed, Rebelia and Harry became more at ease with each other.  A true friendship developed followed by love; although neither could express their feelings in words.  To be sure the bond was real, the High Priestess reversed the spell.  Rebelia and Harry were still enamoured of each other; the magick that brought them together was a success.  Would a proposal and agreement be forthcoming?………

The Fortnight Ends and A New Story Begins

The Wise Woman examined Harry’s leg and pronounced him healed. The Stable Master did the same for Harry’s horse.  As Harry and his companions made ready to sail back to their homeland, he realised the wedding he had been sent to this land to attend was his and Rebelia’s.  He bolted from the chamber, collided with Rebelia in the passage way and they both fell to the floor.  She had been on her way to declare her love.

“Well”, said Harry.  “As long as I am down here on one knee I wish to propose.  Rebelia, I love you above all others.  Would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?”

“Not the most dignified of proposals,” Rebelia laughed.  “But yes, I will.”

The High Priestess and High Magician sent word to the King and Queen that their daughter was betrothed.  Surprised and elated they began preparations for the wedding that would take place on the next full moon.  A message was sent to Harry’s parents, who sailed across the Narrow Sea in full Faerie regalia.  Both sets of parents were overjoyed at the match.

The wedding was a grand and glorious affair lasting three days, with a multitude of folk from both sides of the Narrow Sea.  It was agreed by all that Rebelia and Harry would spend half the year in each kingdom.  They sailed to the Isle of Mists so Rebelia could meet more of Harry’s people and learn their customs. When they returned six months later Rebelia and Harry had exciting news for her parents; news they had once despaired of ever hearing.  She was with child!

Rebelia and Harry’s first child was a boy, called Hhroldgar, of course.  He was much like his father with curly red hair and an engaging, outgoing personality.  Two years later he was joined by a sister they called Angharad, who followed him about from the moment she could walk.  As they grew, they enjoyed learning, playing and competing with their cousins from both sides of the Narrow Sea.

On young Hhroldgar’s tenth birthday, the family were living in the Isle of Mists.  The King and Queen, Harry’s parents, arranged a celebration and folk from both sides of the Narrow Sea attended. Young Harry, already an accomplished rider, was presented with his own horse as was the custom in the Isle of Mists.

When the family returned to Rebelia’s homeland, Angharad insisted on learning how to ride as well. A pony was found for her and she was overjoyed.  She persisted in leaving her bed chamber and sleeping in the stable with the pony.  She also refused to use a saddle, riding with only a bridle in the manner of her ancestor, Queen Rebelia.  When she asked for a wooden lance in order to participate in mock jousts with her brother and cousins,  her parents refused.  Attempting to explain there was plenty time for that later produced a small tempest for which Angharad was becoming well-known.

One day Rebelia’s entire family were gathered around the Horse-Riding Circle, watching the youngsters perform their latest riding feats.  Angharad wanted to ride alongside her brother, and was unhappy being made to wait to ride with the others of her age.

Rather exasperated Rebelia turned to Harry and asked in all seriousness, “Wherever did our daughter learn to be so contrary?”

Rebelia’s parents looked at each other and smiled.

 THE END

(And yes, everyone did live happily ever after!)

 

 

©Morgaine du Mer 2016

A Castle Fairy Tale – Part 3

Part 1 and 2 are here

What Happened Next

Harry insisted upon seeing to the horse at once and limped as quickly as he was able after the Stable Master.  “Admirable, the man seeing to the horse himself,” the King said thoughtfully.  “Although undoubtedly there is more to his story and I shall know all.”

“As both man and horse must stay to recuperate; I shall remain with the Princess if that is agreeable to Your Majesties”, offered the High Priestess.  The King and Queen readily agreed.  And for once, Rebelia was silent as she was discussed aloud by her elders.

Harry made his way slowly back from the Stable to the Rose Garden.  “It is as the Stable Master says; my horse cannot travel until the bruised leg has healed.  Now I find myself in the awkward position of prevailing upon the Princess for room and board.”  Rebelia, still speechless, nodded assent.

“So then, young man.  Do not prevaricate!  Who are your parents? How do you come to be here in our realm?” the King demanded.

Harry bowed again before the King and Queen. “Your Majesties, forgive my manners.  I am Hhroldgar, son of Hhroldgar and BláthAirgid, son and daughter of Hhroldgar and Orga, Hhroldgar and CrannGlas….,” and he continued on for quite some time naming his ancestors in a melodious language until the King held up his hand and bade him get to the point.

“I am from the Isle of Mists which lies across the Narrow Sea,” Harry complied quickly.

“What lands are these?  The Land of Faerie, mayhap?” questioned the King, frowning at the prospect.

The Queen shrank back in her chair. ‘Of course’, she thought, ‘Rebelia ignores all proper suitors, a potential husband appears and he is of the Fae!’

Harry went on, “How I come to be here in your land I admit is a tale somewhat strange, even to myself.  My people are much like yours in many ways.  Most of our ancestors were of the Faerie Folk.  So even today some of our offspring are blessed with magickal powers.  Long ago The Faerie ruled all the isles on our side of the Narrow Sea and created the Unfathomable Fog which covers it to keep our lands hidden from yours. Nine days ago, our High Priest conferred upon me an honour most important.  He instructed me to sail across the Narrow Sea to attend a wedding in your realm as a representative of our people.  The High Priest cast a spell strong enough to lift the Fog long enough for us to sail across the Sea.  He told me nothing more; only that all would be revealed upon my arrival on your shore.”

“We know of no forthcoming wedding in our realm or any nearby,” the Queen interjected; suspicious of what appeared to be a most dubious tale.  Although she was interested to learn more about the man with such an impressive-sounding pedigree.

“There was no welcoming party upon my arrival,” Harry politely ignored the interruption and continued.  “So I made camp and waited for another day with my two companions in the hope of being met.  When no one appeared, I went in search of the nearest folk and  met with my accident instead.  My companions must be wondering what has become of me.”

Rebelia found her voice at last.  “Companions?!  We shall ride out to retrieve them if you would tell their whereabouts to my Sergeant at Arms.  There are ogres and trolls about! You and they shall be my guests until your horse is ready to travel.”

The King and Queen consulted with the High Magician and High Priestess, who assured them they detected no duplicity in the man’s explanation.  They reminded their Majesties that it had been so long since the Narrow Sea had been crossed that some had forgotten that many on both sides of the Sea had illustrious Fae ancestors.  (What they refrained from mentioning might have caused an unnecessary royal rumpus.  So as those in charge of magick often do, they wisely kept that information to themselves.)  The High Magician stated he also would remain with Rebelia to allay their fears. Satisfied, the King and Queen called for their Coachman to take them home.

Rebelia organised the search party and made ready to ride with them.  Harry wanted to ride out as well, but the Wise Woman insisted that he stay behind so as not to make his injuries worse.  And the High Priestess insisted that Rebelia stay as well; it was very bad form to leave a guest unattended.

As the search party rode out Harry and Rebelia looked at each other. “Well, then,” Rebelia said at last to banish the awkward silence.  “I best get on with the wedding, I mean weeding!”  Embarrassed, she abruptly hurried away to change back into her gardening costume.

Upon her return Harry volunteered his assistance.  “I fear I know very little about gardening but if you show me what to do I can certainly make myself useful in exchange for your hospitality,” he smiled.

‘He does seem nice,’ Rebelia thought.  But to Harry she retorted, “Suit yourself.  Guests are not required to work.” She was irritated and knew she had been impolite but did not know why.

Harry’s every attempt at conversation as they worked was met with monosyllables.  He finally gave up and they continued in silence until almost every weed had been pulled.  The sun was beginning to set when thankfully the sounds of the hunting horn, men and horses at the front gate signalled the search party had returned.

Rebelia, with Harry limping several paces behind, greeted the party at the gate.  Introductions were swiftly made and Harry’s companions, Tréan and Maith, followed the Stable Master. Protocol required he settle male visitors in quarters above the stables.  Harry limped after them, but the High Magician insisted the three men would stay in the castle.   For the second time in one day, Rebelia was silent.

After being shown to their chamber by the Sergeant at Arms, he instructed them to come down to the Dining Hall for the evening meal when they heard the gong strike three times.

Rebelia, the High Priestess, High Magician, and two of the young priestesses, Estrelia and Auralunia, were already seated at the table when Harry and his companions entered the Dining Hall.  Rebelia noticed that the visitors, Harry in particular, looked exceedingly handsome now that they had taken the opportunity to bathe and don fresh clothing.  The guests complimented Rebelia, first on the castle and then on the meal.  Conversation between the young people began slowly at first, but soon reticence gave way to laughter as the evening progressed. By the end of the meal, the High Priestess and High Magician concluded all was going according to plan………

(Part 4 to follow)

 

 

 

A Castle Fairy Tale – Part 2

Part 1 is here

Another Day

The shy young priestess curtseyed low before the King and Queen, the High Priestess and High Magician.  She bade them follow her from the Reception Hall, through the Solarium and outside into the Rose Garden.  There, she led them under a curved trellis covered with roses of various sizes and colours.  The fragrance was captivating.  She seated them in comfortable chairs around a small carved wooden table upon which stood a large silver bowl filled with ripe cherries, a silver pitcher of water and four jewelled goblets.  She filled the goblets with water and informed the royal guests that the Princess would join them shortly, curtseyed again and hurried away.

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The King and Queen gazed about in amazement at what they called Castle Ramshackle when Princess Rebelia was out of hearing range.  Three years ago when Rebelia had insisted upon moving into the somewhat dilapidated castle, they had vociferously expressed serious doubts that anything could be accomplished. Although invited frequently, they had visited only twice before today to see the progress and had not been very impressed. Now, they marvelled at all the improvements. The Reception Hall and Solarium, though rather spartan compared to their own grand castle, were suitably furnished and inviting.  The Rose Garden was literally a masterpiece.  It overlooked the abundant Herb Garden in which they could see a young woman clad in a simple indigo-dyed garment and straw hat as she kneeled and pulled weeds.

“Dear, we must ask Rebelia’s gardener what he has done to produce such magnificent roses,” said the Queen.

“Mistress Gardener!  Please inform the Head Gardener he is wanted in the Rose Garden,” the King called out to the woman in the Herb Garden.  A significant raising of eyebrows and smiles passed between the High Priestess and the High Magician.

The woman stood up and whirled around to face her parents.  “Oh, I am sorry!  I was so busy with these weeds I did not realise you had arrived,” Rebelia said in an attempt to apologise.  “By the by, the Head Gardener is a she,” Rebelia added; not being able to refrain from surprising her parents with her radical ideas.

The King frowned and the Queen gave one of her famous sighs in addition to a disapproving glare.  “Rebelia!” she admonished.  “It is quite unseemly for a princess to appear in gardener’s garb!”

“Surely you must have folk to attend to this work instead of grubbing about in the dirt yourself!” the King exclaimed in an irritated tone.

“Yes, Father.  Of course I have gardeners.” Rebelia replied calmly. “But how would I know if work of any type is done properly until I have accomplished the task at least once or twice by myself?”

Another audible sigh from the Queen, a loud ‘harrumph’ from the King and more silent smiles passed between the High Priestess and High Magician.

“I shall go change into more suitable attire for entertaining.  And please enjoy the cherries.  It is the first crop this year.  I picked them myself this morning.” Rebelia smiled.  Confounding her parents was always such great sport.

“Quite unseemly!” the King and Queen loudly replied in unison as their contrary daughter rushed inside.

A short while later, Rebelia appeared before her guests in a clean gown bearing a silver tray of cold sliced duck, just-picked greens, freshly baked bread and a pitcher of ale.  “I thought we might have our midday meal here in the garden.”

“And I suppose she baked the bread, picked the greens and hunted the duck herself,” the Queen muttered under her breath to the King.

“And brewed the ale herself as well, no doubt,” answered the King sotto voce.

With trepidation the King and Queen accepted very small portions from the young priestess who was serving the meal.  A few bites and they were not only surprised but praised the quality, declaring it delicious.  A sentiment echoed warmly by the High Priestess and High Magician.  Rebelia beamed with pride as the entire party asked for seconds.  Suddenly the Sergeant at Arms appeared, bowed low before the royal guests, and whispered to Rebelia.

“It appears there is a man at the gate who has met with an accident and is in need of assistance,” the Princess informed the group as she arose to see to the stranger.

A knowing look passed between the High Priestess and High Magician; they had foreseen this very event in the scrying mirror some days prior but wisely kept the knowledge to themselves.

The Princess returned shortly, followed by a man of average height garbed in the simple deerskin outfit of a huntsman, torn and dirty in several places.  He was limping.  His curly tangle of shoulder-length fiery red hair and light green eyes automatically marked him as a stranger in the known realms.

He winced in pain as he bowed low before the assembled party.  “Despite his appearance, he possesses proper manners,” the Queen whispered to the King.  “I wonder if he possesses a proper manor,” the King whispered back, hoping the man might be an eligible bachelor.

“Your Majesties,” the man, though obviously in pain, bowed low again as he addressed the King and Queen. “My horse lost a shoe, fell over, and down I went, tumbling across hill and dale, saved from certain death by landing upon your doorstep,” the man smiled brightly in an attempt at humour to explain his dishevelled appearance whilst removing the leaves and twigs from his hair.  “My name is Hhroldgar; my friends call me Harry.”

“Forsooth, Hhroldgar” announced Rebelia.  “It is upon my doorstep you have landed.  I am Princess Rebelia, Lady of this castle.  “My parents are rulers of this realm and live in their own castle.”

“My apologies, my Lady”, countered Harry, bowing again and smiling.  “Rebelia, an apt name for such a forthright as well as enchanting princess.”

‘Oh, dear, another prospective suitor.  Flattery will reap him nothing’, thought Rebelia.

To him she replied, “My sister’s husband is called Forthright; I am forward-thinking.  My Stable Master and Blacksmith will see to your horse and my Healer will see to your bruises.  And then, please join us for the midday meal.”  She summoned the Wise Woman, who led the young man into the Herbarium.

He appeared a short while later, still limping, but clad in clean borrowed clothes, a bandage on his left wrist and looking quite handsome with the dirt washed from his face and hair combed.  He gratefully accepted a plate of food and slowly sat down on the low stone wall that surrounded the Rose Garden.

“Young man, you hail not from these realms; though you speak our tongue well,” the King stated without preamble.  “Why are you here?”

“Father please, do let the man eat and drink before an interrogation!” Rebelia gently chided as she poured ale into a mug that the server had brought.

“A stranger always brings questions,” Harry smiled at Rebelia.  “The food and ale are excellent, my Lady.  As it happens, I am here for a wedding.  Today I thought to go exploring and met with my small accident.”

At that moment, the Stable Master appeared and addressed Rebelia.  “My Lady, I am afraid your guest’s horse is temporarily lame.  Not to worry. He will recover, but cannot travel for at least a fortnight.”

Expressions of alarm quickly appeared on four faces, all for different reasons.  Harry was very concerned for his horse.  The King and Queen were apprehensive about a stranger in their midst.  Rebelia was uncharacteristically flustered at the prospect of providing lodging for an uninvited guest.   Serene as ever, the High Priestess and High Magician merely nodded and smiled like the cats that got the cream.  What happened next was rather interesting………

What’s Your Sign? Lunar Astrology & Druid Tree Lore for August and September Birthdays

Druid Tree Lore – Celtic Lunar Astrology
Hazel Tree ~ Salmon
5th August – 1st September

Hazel_Salmon_Celtic_Zodiac_Print

The Hazel is the tree of wisdom.  By eating hazel nuts it is said the one could gain all the world’s knowledge.  As told in the legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill, a Salmon ate nine hazel nuts that had fallen into the Well of Wisdom from the surrounding trees.  The Salmon gained all the knowledge of the world and in turn, whoever ate the Salmon would know all. Those born under this sign are said to be smart, perceptive, detail-oriented, honest, rational and good educators.

See the entire collection of zodiac signs on my website, MagickMermaid (Studio tab at the top of the page).

About Druid Tree Lore and Celtic Lunar Astrology

People have been marking the passage of time by the phases of the moon for millennia. Although it is impossible to say for certain because the lore and traditions were not written, many historians believe that both the Celts and Druids used a 13 month lunar calendar.  The months and symbols differ from the solar calendar with which most of us are familiar. Druidic horoscopes are often mentioned in legends.

Trees have long been a source of sacred folklore with each chosen to represent the months and having its own magickal properties. The Ogham symbols may have been devised by ancient Druids. As several of the symbols refer to trees, the ogham alphabet is often called the Tree Alphabet. These symbols are included next to the tree names which are shown in both English and Old Irish. The animal symbols are my interpretation based on various sources. The ruling planets of each sign are also noted.  The information provided here is an introduction to the wealth of knowledge concerning Druid teachings and Celtic lore.