"If the sun and moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out.." ~William Blake

March 23, 2012

Critters and Creatures ~ part 2

In Fields and Forests

From Elves inside their hollow hills to Leprechauns working with their needles, from vicious Manticores to Cockatrices hunting for prey, from Treefolk bending with the wind to Sprites buzzing through the air and Unicorns running through vast tracts of woodland, the fantastical Creatures of the fields and forests are as varied and fascinating as nature itself.

Cockatrices (Family: Serpentigentidae)

The Cockatrice can cause death with a single glance. Reports indicate that anything catching sight of the lethal Bird's eyes is turned instantly to stone. But just as deadly is their poisonous saliva, which can fell even an Elephant.
Also known as a Basilisk, a Cockatrice has the head and feet of a Cockerel and the tail of a Serpent. The Cockatrice is believed to be to product of a 7-year-old Cockerel's egg, laid during a full moon and then hatched for 9 years by a Serpent or a Toad.
There are a few ways to protect oneself from a Cockatrice. One is to carry something reflective (Like a mirror) and turn the Creature's gaze back on it. Another is keep either a Weasel or Cockerel nearby. The Weasel is said to be the mortal enemy of the Cockatrice, but the crowing of the Cockerel is even more effective, causing the Cockatrice to have fatal fits and to thrash itself to death.

Elves (Family: Circulifestidae)

Elves are capricious by nature, and few rules govern their long lives. They are fond of circular dances, feasting, singing and gaming and are most likely to be spotted when engaged in one of these activities. Sometimes, for amusement, Elves will lure Humans into dancing with them o tasting some of their food. In both cases, the Humans will lose all track of time and be trapped unless rescued.
If one hears music coming from seemingly uninhabited woods or from underneath hills, chances are the area is inhabited by Elves. Elven music is thought to be the source of many great human compositions, but hearing it can also bring on madness.
When walking through the woods, one should pay special attention to hills that are ringed with thorns or are close to streams. Walking around such a hill, one might notice places where the ground is sunken. Travelers should beware these hollow hills, as they are likely to be the dwelling places of Elves.
Elves are governed by regional monarchies where the queen has greater authority than the king. Each "court" is said to be either Unseelie (if composed primarily of malevolent Elves) or Seelie (if composed primarily of benevolent Elves).
The monarchs lead mounted parades on May Eve, Midsummer Eve and November Eve. Although people do sometimes see these trooping Elves, more often the only evidence is a strong wind that sweeps past and disappears.

Leprechauns (Family: Ingeniosidae)

Leprechauns (also sometimes called Clurichauns) are the diligent crafts people of Faeries, tirelessly toiling at leatherworking and cobbling. They spend most of their time in their forest workplaces, although they do sometimes winter the cellars of Human homes, particularly ones where food is stored. Many people have entered their basements in the spring to find shelves filled only with empty cans and bottles because of a Leprechaun.
Although known for their incredible shoemaking skills, Leprechauns have a variety of other talents, including tailoring clothing, building homes and fashioning tools. They can forge horseshoes and will sometimes shob unusual beasts, such as Goats and the occasional cat. They may also ride these animals as though they were steeds.
Leprechauns are known for possessing gold they earn through their craft and must often employ a host of tricks to keep from being cheated, matching wits with their would-be robbers. One way Leprechauns dupe thieves is by revealing the location of their treasure and then making sure it cannot be found again. If a thief marks the location by cutting a notch on a tree, he or she will return to find a similar notch on every tree in the forest. If a person digs a hole, they will find holes dug for miles around. And even if a Leprechaun's treasure is obtained, if it is out of sight for a moment, it is likely to lose its luster. Gold may turn into leaves and gems might become dull pebbles in a thief's pocket. Leprechauns, like other Faeries, never forget when they have been wronged.

Manticores (Family: Bestiadae)

Originally documented in Persia, the feared, man-eating Manticore, or Manticora, has been sighted in places as varied as the jungles of Brazil and Indonesia and, more rarely, the forests of North America and Europe. With the body of a Lion and a tail of poisonous spines that some reports indicate can be shot like arrows, a Manticore is a lethal predator. It eats its victims whole, using its triple rows of teeth, and leaves no bones behind.
A Manticore's face is said to resemble a Human's and travelers through marshes have reported mistaking a Manticore for a bearded man from a distance.
Manticores have a melodious call, like the lower notes on a flute blown together with a trumpet. Despite the beauty of the sound, most Animals know to flee when they hear it. Humans would do well to follow their lead.

Sprites (Family: Cordimundidae)

Dazzling in color and about the size of large insect, Sprites have glistening membranous wings. In fact, they are often confused with exotic Insects or flowers at first glance.
Considered by many to be the most common type of Faerie, they live in deep woods and make their homes high in the branches of trees. They particularly love to live in forests inhabited by Treefolk other Fey. If Sprites are spotted, you can be sure you are in an area with a high concentration of Faerie activity.
Sprites travel in swarms and can bite if provoked. At night their bodies give off a faint glow that can have them mistaken for Fireflies, which, along with other flying Insects and small birds, they are fond of riding.
Petals and blooms missing from healthy plants may be due to Sprites plucking them for clothing. Sprites can also cause Plants to bloom in the middle of winter and are the nurturers of the strange fruits that Faeries delight in.
In forests with Sprites, you may find the hollowed-out acorns they use as cups, dandelion-tuft mattresses and hats made from folded leaves. (Compare to Will-o’-the-Wisps)

Treefolk (Family: Hamadryadidae)

Although all trees are magical and many are scared to Faeries, only a few trees are sentient. These are treemen and treewomen. Treefolk can take on a humanoid shape and move a short distance from their tree, or, in extreme cases, uproot the entire tree and use the roots as a shuffling form of locomotion. In their humanoid form, Treefolk are often described as resembling their tree, so that an Apple treewoman might have green hair and brownish skin while an Elder treeman might have eyes as purply black as berries.
Obvious expression on a tree, composed of knotholes and strange permutations of the bark, is a sign that the tree may contain a spirit. Also check around prominent trees for roots that are above the ground. Lastly look for loose dirt and overturned Moss.
Treefolk are likely to grow at the center of a Faerie ring, to be a lone tree on a hillside or the oldest tree in a grove, to grow beside a welling spring, or to be one of two intertwined trees. Treefolk will die if they are cut down, although some linger on as spirits to haunt those that caused their demise.
Oak, Ash, Single Thorn and female Holly Treefolk are thought to be protective. Oak trees are particularly sacred to Faeries and have the greatest likelihood of sentience. Of the protective Treefolk, the most powerful is the Mountain Ash, also known as Rowan. It may be considered so protective because of its red berries, which the female Holly shares. Treefolk of these types are the most likely to be friendly in nature.
The Holly treeman, by contrast, is considered malevolent. Also considered dangerous are Hawthorn Treefolk that occur in groups of three or more. Although Elder Trees are thought to be protective, their Treefolk behave ambivalently. Elder Treefolk are quite common. If blood-like sap seeps from their wood when it is cut, it is thought to be very proof of their sentience.
Hazel Treefolk are thought to be very wise and can impart wisdom to those that eat their nuts. Even eating the flesh of an Animal that has eaten Hazel nuts from a sentient tree is enough to gain wisdom. Likewise, Apple Treefolk are thought to give power and youth to those who eat their apples. Sleeping under an Apple Tree is dangerous business, however as one risks being carried away by Faeries.

    Unicorns (Family: Monoceratidae)

    Revered for centuries as one of the most magical of all Creatures, the Unicorn is perhaps best known for its healing qualities. The touch of a Unicorn will cure disease and purify liquids. For this reason, Unicorns were hunted and slain. Cups, plates and utensils that could render poison harmless were carved from Unicorn horns. Shoes and belts of Unicorn hide cured fevers, and the ground-up liver of a Unicorn was believed to cure a myriad of illnesses.
    Named for the single, twisting horn on their brows, Unicorns have slender, Deer-like bodies, long necks and tails that end in a puff of fur. Unicorns are solitary Creatures, each one staking out a large tract of land and meeting only for the purpose of mating.
    Despite their beneficent nature, Unicorns are formidable when concerned. They are exceedingly fast and their horns are very sharp, making them a match for lions and even Dragons.

    March 21, 2012

    Blessed Ostara

    Wishing you all a Blessed Ostara!!

            Blessings and Love

    March 17, 2012

    Celtic/Irish love with a little scott!~

    So life is hectic and boring! but I have been thinking about family again!! So if you cant tell by my pic, my dads side of the family is obviously of an Irish Scottish background! I love all my background heritages, especially the Irish Scottish side!  I would love to travel to Ireland and travel around on a vanner through the country side and hanging out with gypsies! ;D  But of course I love all sides of my family and my Ukrainian side too!! But seriously who doesn't love Ireland!


    celtic knots

    ilse of skye ~ scottland

    So my family is connected to the Winchesters, obviously, but we are also connected to the Mc Manus house!  So here are some tartan patterns and pictures of Winchester, England.

    Well I hope you enjoyed a bit about my heritage!

    March 13, 2012

    Weight loss

    Hello All,

    Life has been a little crazy and unproductive lately.  Well not so much unproductive just unmotivated. I have however signed up for a wiccan study class with some girls back at home and am very excited for that! So as you probably read in an earlier post I have been trying to work hard on my weight loss but I will admit that I have been lazy for the last while and eating "badly"! But I have lost 15 pounds so far!! That's right, I have gone from 275 to 260 in about 2 months!! :D I'm so happy and back to kicking myself in the butt and moving!! Also trying really hard to cut out the processed food and coffee!!  Remember you need inspiration!! I found this blog, http://fitmindandbody.tumblr.com, and it has lots of "thinspiration"! Enjoy and good luck on your journey!

    March 5, 2012

    Critters and Creatures ~ part 1

    Hello all!!

    I like all things cute and furry and also things not so cute and furry . . . sometimes! So I thought I would do a post on creatures from the Spiderwick Cronicles and few others that I came across in my perusing of the internet!  So let us enter into the world of fantastical creatures!

    Around the House and Yard    

    From helpful Brownies to troublesome Boggarts, mysterious Changelings to thieving Pixies, fiery Salamanders to baffling Stray Sod, the Faeries that are closest to Humans in proximity are not always the friendliest.

    Brownies (Family: Homunculidae)

    These kindly and dependable creatures (also called Lobs, Hobs or, if female, Silkies) attach themselves to Human households, where they help with chores and protect the well-being of people living on "their" land.
    Fiercely loyal, Brownies will defend a home and its surrounding estate from burglars and Goblins. They live somewhere on the land they protect, perhaps in an abandoned barn, an unused closet or within the walls. Despite their love of cleanliness, Brownies are rather shabby in appearance, often going shoeless or wholly unclothed. Even so, they expect no payment other than scraps of food and a bowl of milk left out at night; in fact, further gifts are likely to induce adverse effects.
    Shuffling sounds at night can be a sign of a Brownie; the careful observer may be able to spy one at work if he or she can sneak up quietly enough. Even if not actually seen, the Brownie may disappear in the middle of completing a task, leaving proof in the form of half-finished mopping or partially washed dishes.
    Unusual organization of items is also common in houses with Brownies. A Brownie may alphabetize books by the middle initial of the author's names or file records by the titles of favorite songs.
    Industrious themselves, even the gentlest of Brownies hates laziness in others. If taken advantage of, or otherwise ill-used, the Brownie may become a Boggart. (Compare to Boggart, Leprechaun and Knocker)

      Boggarts (Family: Homunculidae)

      Abuse of a Brownie, either through neglect of chores, a failure to leave out food or deliberate insult, will turn it into a Boggart.
      Also known as Bogans or Bogies, Boggarts delight in tormenting those they once protected and will cause milk to sour, doors to slam, dogs to go lame and other mischief.
      Boggarts particularly like to steal food and to hide household items like keys and socks. More common than Brownies, Boggarts reside in many houses and workplaces. This may be the result of decades of improper treatment of Brownies, which were once far more prevalent.
      As loyal as Brownies, Boggarts are almost impossible to get rid of. Many families have fled from a house tormented by a Boggart only to find the Boggart fleeing with them.
      Boggarts are sometimes confused with Poltergeists because both terrorize households. And as both generally remain unseen, it can be hard to tell the difference. Listen carefully after something goes awry; if muffled laughter is heard, a Boggart is the likely culprit. (Compare to Brownie and Hobgoblin)

      Changelings (Family: Circulifestidae)

      Changelings are Creatures from the Invisible World that have taken on the form of a Human, usually a child, while that person is carried to live among the Faeries. Elves and Pixies are most commonly the culprits, either leaving behind one of their own to grow up among mortals or leaving behind a piece of wood enchanted to look like the mortal that was stolen. Sometimes the Changeling will fake its own death or mysteriously disappear in order to rejoin its own family (now one member larger with the addition of a Human brother or sister).
      There are various methods of protecting a child from being stolen: leaving open iron scissors where the child sleeps (dangerous and not recommended), placing a key on the child's blankets, turning the father's trousers inside-out and hanging them over the cradle or stringing bundles of rowan and garlic along the sides of the infant's bed. Despite the abundance of methods, however, few are employed today.
      Changelings often have distinct characteristics that set them apart from their children. They may have a tail, a hunched back or a withered appearance, even if very young. They may also develop a grayish or greenish tone to their skin. A Changeling will also eat differently from a regular child. Although they can consume enormous quantities, some are very picky and occasionally refuse to eat anything but uncooked vegetables or flowers. Their hair and nails grow long quite quickly, adding to the strangeness of the Changeling's overall appearance. Perhaps the unnaturally swift growth is due to the difficulties with aligning a Human body to a Faerie passage of time.
      The Fey Folk cry and laugh at inappropriate times and say unexpected and strange things. A person that speaks entirely in singsong or riddles is probably a Changeling.
      Changelings have been known to try to lure their Human "family" into the hands of their Faerie family. Beware if asked to go on a moonlit walk through the woods with a family member that has been behaving strangely.
      To win back your stolen family member, you should catch the Changeling and return it to the Faerie mound where it came from. If this proves impossible, you can threaten the Changeling with iron, which has the same effect on Changelings as it does on all Creatures of the Invisible World. Although in some of the old stories the Changeling is thrown on a fire or burned with a hot poker, it is unlikely that such an action would go unpunished.
      Occasionally a Changeling will grow up with a mortal family and his or her odd characteristics will diminish, until even the Faerie forgets that it is not a Human. (Compare to Pixie and Elf)

      Pixies (Family: Pusillipraedonidae)
      Tricksy by nature, Pixies particularly delight in tormenting Humans. For this reason, they can be found living in suburban and rural areas, and sometimes even in the parks of cities, any greensward, basically, where people are frequent.
      Ranging between 2 feet and the height of a Human child, Pixies (also known as Piskies) make their homes in the hollows of logs, lean-tos formed by felled trees, and in gardens. Unlike Boggarts and Brownies, Pixies never live inside houses, preferring to dwell outdoors. They sometimes can be spotted alone but are more commonly found in groups of three to five. Their desire is to dwell in groups place them in the trooping category within the Invisible World.
      Due to their prankish nature, Pixies are unremarkable in coloring. Their clothing is usually natural in tone, all the better for hiding themselves as they wait for someone to fall into their next trap.
      Like many Faeries, Pixies dislike rude, greedy and cruel people and often single them out to be the victims of their pranks. Pixies are particularly known for knotting hair, leading people astray and pinching skin black and blue. Pixies also have a fondness for stealing horses.
      An excellent sign of Pixie presence is small items going missing. Of particular interest to Pixies are thimbles, pincushions, toothpicks, eating utensils, paper clips and straight pins. If you are lucky enough to discover a Pixie's lair, you will be surprised at the array of things they've "borrowed".
      If a Dog barks for no reason while staring at an empty spot along a fence or a Cat chases something unseen in a garden, it is very likely that the yard in question is infested with Pixies. There is, however, a way to be sure. Simply take a clod of grassy dirt and turn it grass-side down. If, when you return later on, it has been flipped back, there are definitely Pixies in the area. (Compare to Brownies, Boggarts and Stray Sod)

        Salamanders (Family: Flammieuntidae)

        The Salamander is a tiny, deceptively agreeable Creature resembling its amphibious namesake. It can withstand extreme heat and when threatened, the Salamander will ignite, creating a white-hot flame around its body. Regardless, its skin is cool no matter how hot the temperature around it.
        The Fire Salamander can be found in damp places or in woodpiles, although it has also been spotted near volcanoes. It gives off the odor of sulfur and is believed to secrete poison so terrible that it burns whatever it touches.
        Salamanders are sought by alchemists because they are an integral component for turning lead into gold. They are also sought for their pelts, since the skins can be used to make flame-retardant gloves. Although swift, a Salamander can be caught with tongs and kept in an iron box.

        Stray Sod (Family: Herbiformidae)

        The Stray Sod is a troublesome Creature whose entire purpose seems to be leading travelers astray. These Faeries wander about in open fields and grassy areas and can occur in large numbers. Many consider the Stray Sod to be a subspecies of the Pixie. Others suppose that Stray Sod are not Pixies at all but are created by Magic. If this is so, it is unclear if Stray Sod are aware of their effect on Humans.
        If a Human inadvertently steps on a Stray Sod, that person loses all sense of direction. The disorientation takes effect the instant a foot is placed on the Creature's back and lasts for hours. Victims have been known to wander around their own neighborhood with no hope of finding their way. Landmarks appear missing or in the wrong places, roads look unfamiliar and everything is strange. People have even become lost in their own front yards.
        Eventually the effect wears off; however, the spell can be broken immediately by turning clothing inside out or by carrying a piece of bread in a pocket.

        More to come soon!!