Mischief and Magic

When I asked my niece Imogen what I should write about today she didn’t get a chance to tell me before my Dad piped up “Faeries!” She did give me some very sensible suggestions afterward, but I decided to go with my Dad’s suggestion. I love that the Reverend Trevor Copeland not only accepts that I believe in the Fae, but also actively encourages me to share my thoughts on the subject.

Just in case you think I may be crazy, let me give you a little background. I don’t expect to change your mind, but perhaps it’ll help you understand why I think faeries are real.

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I grew up in a haunted house. My parents got a good deal on it because the previous owner was a medium. By that I mean she was able to summon and communicate with the spirits of the dead. She told my parents (and presumably any other prospective buyers) “You may get the occasional visitor, but don’t worry they won’t do you any harm”. If I was the real estate agent, I would’ve hated her for that!

My parents were young and sceptical, so they bought the place. It was right across the road from the local school, next door to a general store, and just around the corner from my grandparents. A good deal. After we moved out, my Dad confessed to feeling a cold spot at the top of the stairs, right next to mine and my sister’s bedroom. He just told me now that it would sometimes smell of kippers (smoked herring).

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On the other side of that wall was a wardrobe. For my US readers, that’s a piece of furniture that functions as a closet, a cupboard with a clothes-rail in it. Anyway, this wardrobe stood in the corner of the room with games and toys stacked on top of it. Even with the door open ajar (my sister was afraid of the dark), there was a deep dark shadow above it.

Sometimes I would lay in bed staring into that shadow, and see red eyes, black fur, and a smile full of sharp teeth. I called it ‘the monster on top of the wardrobe’. Dad tells me that I told him about it (I have no memory of this), and that he offered to chase it away. I told him (he says) “No Daddy, It keeps the others away.” As I grew up I didn’t see him around as much. He showed up again when I was much older, after I began to look into paganism and witchcraft.

MOTOTW

There were other strange things too, that I just took for granted. My older cousins had given us a tote-full of Lego. It was awesome. I could never find the piece I was looking for, so I learned quickly to pretend I was looking for something else. I held the image of the decoy lego brick in my mind clearly as I hunted, until I’d found all the bits I was really looking for.

Long after we moved out of that house, things would go missing, and I’d be the only one able to find them. By pretending it didn’t matter that I found it or not, or seeming to be looking for something else, I can get a ‘feel’ for where the missing item really is. I still do that now. It doesn’t always work, but I have other tricks up my sleeve.

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Monica and I were staying in a youth hostel in London once. As we were packing to leave, we couldn’t find her watch anywhere. We both heard the faeries giggle. I left a pile of coins on the window sill as an offering (we weren’t going to be able to use them in America anyway) and trusted that it would show up. When we got back to the states and opened her backpack, there was her watch, sitting on top of everything else she’d stuffed in there.

Going back a little in time, to a family holiday (vacation) on the Isle of Man. This little speck of land between England and Northern Ireland is a fascinating place. According to legend, it’s the home of the Celtic sea god Mannanen. He kept the Island protected from Roman invaders by hiding it in a blanket of fog, but allowed Vikings to land and interact with the Manx Celts peacefully.

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The Isle of Man also has a faery bridge. As you cross it you’re supposed to say ‘hello’ to the faeries and wave. If you don’t then bad things happen to you. The locals will tell you about a coach bus full of tourists ignoring the tour guides advice, which then crashed on the other side of the bridge.

Then there’s the time I was exploring the woods in Williamson Park in Lancaster, UK. I found an area where the trees looked twisted and unhealthy. I could feel their pain. There was one tree in the middle of them that seemed to call to me, so I approached it and reverently laid my palm on it. I got the clear impression that a glade god, a green man, an aspect of the Celtic god Cernunnos, passed through me. He expressed gratitude for being released and vowed to restore the glade, and I saw/felt the faeries of his kingdom swarm from the tree also, bringing life and joy with them. That same group of trees looked, and felt, much better the next time I passed through.

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I’m not sure I could prove their existence to anyone else. I’ve learned to accept that they’re around through personal experience. Perhaps, if you’re open to it they’ll make themselves known to you too. I do know this though. There’s a lot more of them here on the UK than there are in the US. The faeries I met there were weak, sickly, hurting. Desperate for any belief they could get. Do me a favour and believe in them anyway. Save the American faeries. Leave them coins, milk and bread. Dedicate a little corner of your house or garden to them. Listen for their giggles when your stuff goes missing, and smile.

Do you believe in faeries too? Do you have any stories of personal encounters, or know someone who does? Get in touch! 🙂

 

Modern Wizard

The War on Magic

While watching Stardust today, I wondered to myself “If people live in a world of magic, why doesn’t everyone do it?”. It occurred to me that maybe people just don’t feel inclined to learn. What if magic just fell out of fashion, and no-one wanted to do it anymore? They just chose a different path.

What if that is the real world? Magic does exist, but a long time ago we just stopped practising it. Old power replaced my mechanisms and tools designed to make the job easier. There might even be a small group of surviving students of magic, trying to keep the practise alive, with limited actual knowledge. The surviving texts are old but still written long after true magic left. They may have even encouraged the world to forget about them, in order to protect what’s left from the ‘wrong hands’ or from destruction.

Perhaps that’s the basis for an idea I’d put on the backburner called “The War on Magic”? It was inspired by the Facebook meme I added below. My first instinct was that America would declare it a terrorist attack and declare a war on magic.

What do you do?
I was partly inspired by this Facebook meme.

So what if a legendary half-elven wizard, let’s call him Mann, makes arrangements to divide the world in two. One for people like him that are at least part human, and one for the true fae. Perhaps the wizard makes a separate world for himself and fellow part-humans, the children of Mann.

It might even have been a circle of wizards. Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus. The new world. Each of the five responsible for their own group of humans and part-humans, and taking their own approach to taking care of them. Primitive humans were ape-like beasts. Monsters. Animals as far as the Elves and Faeries are concerned. They can use tools and weapons though, so the Fae use them as a labor force.

There are some modern wizards that disagree with this theory, preferring to think that neither of the factions was ‘pure’. However, they’ve lost so much over the centuries and can only have old documents and the vaguest summoned ghostly apparitions of the magical world to refer too. Some believe that this is the real world and that magical realm is a literal product of our imagination, brought into being by our faith in it, and that the ancient wizards are just twisted parodies of the world’s gods.

But one modern day wizard has been studying a branch of summoning magic similar to quantum physics, manages to break through the barrier separating our world from the world of the fae. The immediate result is the dragon bursting through into our reality. Magic itself leaks through also, corrupting the laws that stabilize our world.

Dragon attacking City

The wizard closes the original rift, ending the spell and sealing the tear in reality with magical bonds. Of course trying to keep magic at bay with magic could be problematic, and the damage has already been done. Magic has entered our reality and those with traces of fae dna become noticeably more Fae. The coworkers that look sort of like an ogre, or a pixie, become more so, and get some of the racial benefits.

The dragon’s appearance results in citywide destruction. Mostly this is because the dragon itself suddenly finds itself in our world, and it’s confused. The dragon is killed and removed. People are understandably scared by this series of events, and many of them respond aggressively. Perhaps another ancient organisation relying on old lore that been restudied, rewritten and reinterpreted many times, and merged with modern religious beliefs. These people would be calling for those with magical traits to be rounded up and imprisoned or destroyed.

Modern Wizard

Extremists suggest everything from terrorism to armageddon. Some of them refer to the dragon in the biblical Revelations sense. The Beast. The Devil. People with Faun or Forest Elf dna, who might have cloven hooves and horns, are some of the first victims of the zealots taking matters into their own hands. This ostracism leads to some of the fae-blooded coming together and fighting against the zealots. Escalation leads to several world governments deciding to declare war against Magic, and Fae-blooded with any influence working to undermine their efforts. A new arms race to be the first to reopen the way to the world of the Fae ensues. Some looking to leave this world, hoping they’ll receive better treatment from the Fae, and others seeking to end the war with an attack on the magical realm so devastating that they’ll never send anything against us again!

 

The war between the Humans and the Fae has been delayed for eons. A war that had been imminent before the worlds had been divided. It had started long before when the fae had begun using the primitive humans as slaves, pets, expendable troops and test-subjects. For many reasons, including rape in either direction and magical experimentation, half-breeds emerged. While breeding occurred between the fae races also, they were still Fae, whilst anyone who was born to at least one partly human parent was seen as a vile aberration.

War on Magic

Of course they were still far more acceptable house-slaves and concubines than their full-blooded cousins. Cross-breeding became an amusing pastime to encourage certain genetic traits, and certain pedigrees became very popular. Even centuries later, when part-humans have become a greater part of society, with positions in industry and politics, those who consider themselves pure Fae still look down on them and treat them as second-class citizens.

The conflict comes to a head when it is suggested that, if the humans aren’t happy with the world, they should make their own. Both sides take offense to it and accuse the other of suggesting it. Despite this the idea gains popularity once the five half-breed wizards, Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus, come up with a plan that might work. Many of the part-humans remain behind, too proud to give in. It’s assumed they were wiped out. There was no-one alive now in this world that remembered, until the dragon came through. Now the people of this world think they need a preemptive strike against the Fae so that they’ll leave us alone.

What do you think of this idea? Should I leave on the backburner for now, or does “The War on Magic” need it’s own page?