Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Faeries Oracle

Years ago, I took an Oracle class at a local metaphysical shop.  Before the class began, about two dozen of Doreen Virtue’s decks were laid out for us to choose from.  The first part of the class was learning how to recognize and trust our intuition.  Then we were allowed to use these techniques to choose the deck we were meant to work with.  It wasn’t a surprise to me that I ended up with the “Healing with the Faeries” deck.

Healing with Faeries Deck

* Image from InGoldArt.com – no copyright infringement intended, will remove if requested.

For a while, I collected various decks and did readings for people.  My favorite is “The Faeries Oracle” by Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth.  Because I am such a huge fan of Brian’s work, I instantly fell in love with this deck and looked forward to working with it.  Unfortunately, my enthusiasm wasn’t shared by my clients.  Most found the deck dark and disturbing.  They physically pulled away from it and asked me to use another deck.  This reaction was always a shock to me.

The most misunderstood card in all divination decks (whether they are Oracle or Tarot) is the “Death” card.  This is why, prior to any reading, I explain that the Death card does not indicate a physical death.  Rather, it is symbolic of the end of something and the beginning of another.  It could symbolize changing jobs, relocating to a new city, the end of a relationship, all of which mean letting go of the old so that you can embrace the new.  It’s actually a great card to come up in a reading and a shame that it isn’t seen as such. 

Part of the problem stems from Hollywood’s use (or perhaps I should say “misuse”) of divination tools such as Tarot cards, where the appearance of the Death card is always followed by the untimely physical death of one of the characters in the story.  

The first time I went through the cards, Brian Froud’s depiction of the Death card was the one I was most attracted to.  Unlike other decks I’ve seen, this card is elegant and rather beautiful.  She stands, shrouded in mystery and presenting a dark crystal ball as through to tell you that even she cannot see the future.  That unresolved aspects of your present must be confronted in order to move forward.  The future will unfold itself when the time is right and when everything is in alignment.  What that involves, of course, will depend on the other cards present in the reading.  

Death Card from the Faerie Oracle

* Copyright, Brian Froud – no copyright infringement intended, will remove if requested

It is said the card that calls to you is the one that holds the most significance in your life at that time.  Interestingly enough, I went through a considerable amount of change shortly after getting the deck.

I enjoyed doing readings but I stepped away from it after an especially trying time because I felt that my intuition had become clouded.  I haven’t decided whether or not to return to it, as writing is my primary focus.  For now, I will take some time to reacquaint myself with “The Faeries Oracle” and see what the future holds.

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Between land and sea, there is a place where myths are real.

“You’re going to love this movie!”

There was no escaping my Mom’s enthusiasm.  I had not even heard of “The Secret of Roan Inish”, but my mother is renowned for her exquisite taste in all things, so obviously I didn’t question her judgement.  

Cover of "The Secret of Roan Inish"

Cover of The Secret of Roan Inish

I was born in Miramichi, New Brunswick.  The salt and sand is in my blood.  Many legends speak of those born near the water and if they find themselves landlocked, they experience an indescribable longing that lasts all their days.  So understandably, I have always been drawn to any story that takes place near the water.  Even a glimpse of that life is enough to sustain me, if only for a little while.

The Secret of Roan Inish is set on the West Coast of Ireland in the 1940’s.  It follows a girl named Fiona who is sent to live with her Grandparents.  She soon becomes privy to the whisperings in the Village concerning her family’s relationship with the Selkies of Roan Inish and the truth about the disappearance of her baby brother, swept out to sea in his cradle.   

Selkies are a part of the Faerie Realm and can be found in Icelandic, Faroese, Scottish, and Irish legends.  They live as seals but are able to shed their skins and live on land.  If you find a Selkie’s skin and hide it from them, they are not able to return to their true form.  Many fishermen have taken Selkie brides, but soon realize that human rules do not apply to these beautiful and mysterious creatures. Not much has been written about Selkie men, but I do know that they typically seek out women who are unhappy in their marriages.  If a woman wants to call to a male Selkie, she must shed 7 tears into the sea.  This love affair will be like no other, but be warned, the Selkies cannot stay.  They must return to the sea, often leaving heartbreak in their wake. 

Stamp FO 580 of the Faroe Islands: The Seal Wo...

Stamp FO 580 of the Faroe Islands: The Seal Woman (kópakonan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother was right.  “The Secret of Roan Inish” is a beautiful film and remains one of my favorites.  I went on a girls weekend to Canmore, Alberta a few years ago and brought it for our movie night.  As I was watching it, something occurred to me that hadn’t before.  A “what if” question started to form and from that, a story was born.  There’s nothing more exciting than diving deep into the myths and legends of the Faerie Realm.  I am still in the research phase and look forward to seeing where this one takes me. 

“The Secret of Roan Inish” is based on the novel “The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry” by Rosalie K Fry and newer editions of the book now boast the same title as the film.

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Urisk

After taking a much-needed break, it was time for me to get back to work.  Both on the Author Quest and my blog.  I couldn’t think of a better way to start things off than to write about one of the Faeries.  Now, which to choose?  It may come as a surprise, but the first one that came to mind was Urisk ( pronounced OO-risk ).

Urisk by Alan Lee
Urisk by Alan Lee – from the book “Faeries”

A writer’s life tends to be a rather solitary one.  In my case, it’s not because I don’t want to socialize, it’s just that I often find myself struggling with time spent away from my work.  Maybe that’s why I was drawn to Urisk.  He’s a solitary Faerie and who longs for friends, but due to his appearance is often pelted with stones and chased off by those he encounters.

I have always felt compassion for outsiders, sometimes to my detriment.  But the more I learned about Urisk, the more drawn I was to him.  So I made the decision to include him in my book, “Believe”.

“At the mention of his name, all turned to face Urisk, who was seated alone in a small corner of the clearing.  He was so quiet and unassuming that Phelan would never have noticed him, had he not been acknowledged.  Urisk was cursed with the long face of a Billy goat, complete with a beard.  His upper body was indeed human, although very scrawny.  His lower half?  Covered in ragged brown fur, his Billy goat legs ended in hooves.  The little Faerie fluttered over, taking his bearded chin in her hand and tilting his face upward, offering him a gentle kiss on the end of his thin nose.  He blinked and smiled, ever so slightly.  Phelan was suddenly struck by how solemn his eyes were, how deep his sadness was.  How could anyone turn away from those eyes without at least offering some sort of kindness?  He is known to many as one of the most physically unattractive Faeries.  This is a rather sorrowful fact when you understand, as Phelan did now, how much he truly wants to be loved.”

Urisk is a Scottish Faerie who spends his days sitting quietly by small pools.  His hope is that he will meet a passerby, but everyone who encounters him is horrified and frightened by his appearance.  This constant rejection deepens his depression and his longing for companionship.  A compassionate soul would do well to befriend him, for you’ll never find anyone more loyal.  Until that day comes, he will continue to sit and wait.

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