Posts Tagged ‘Faerie Realm’
This week I am presenting an archaeological paper at the Digital Heritage conference at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (excitingness!). And as I am in the birthplace of one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, it seemed apropos to share one of my favorite works with you: one which emphasizes the notion of utilizing one’s imagination and finding fantasy and magick in the mundane elements of life.
Dickinson’s A Murmur in the Trees subtly emphasizes the idea of seeing beyond the regular world into what I have always interpreted as a sort of faerie realm or different dimension which coexists with our own. It advocates for seeing the world as brightly techno-colored as we can, and holding that close to ourselves comfortably, without insisting that others must see it as well. Though it is not overtly a magickal bit of literature, it hints at the otherworlds magickal practices attempt to reach and at a calm understanding of the unity between those worlds and our own. I do hope you enjoy it (and wish me luck at the conference!):
A MURMUR in the trees to note,
Not loud enough for wind;
A star not far enough to seek,
Nor near enough to find;
A long, long yellow on the lawn,
A hubbub as of feet;
Not audible, as ours to us,
But dapperer, more sweet;
A hurrying home of little men
To houses unperceived, –
All this, and more, if I should tell,
Would never be believed.
Of robins in the trundle bed
How many I espy
Whose nightgowns could not hide the wings,
Although I heard them try!
But then I promised ne’er to tell;
How could I break my word?
So go your way and I’ll go mine, –
No fear you’ll miss the road.
It’s that time of year again: the Christmas carols are blasting in all the stores, Santa Claus is displayed in windows, and the holiday party invitations are rolling in. And despite all the celebratory diversity in the world today, what with Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanza, the recently-past Diwali, and a slew of other fabulous holidays also taking place in the winter: it’s easy to be consumed by the predominantly monotheistic marketing of the winter season. But it’s also easy to find the magickal and classically pagan traditions lurking beneath the thin veneer of the monotheistic Christmas holiday. From the origins of Christmas tree ornaments to the seemingly purely Biblical story of the nativity itself: these traditions come from ancient pagan times and older conceptions of magick and celebration. And if you look closely, you can see these lovely little esoteric gems sparkling through the already glittering displays of baby Jesus, Christmas elves, wrapping paper, and fake snow.
Case in point: the Nutcracker Ballet. I recently had the chance to observe the Fox Theater’s performance of the Nutcracker Suite in Atlanta, Georgia. For many, the Nutcracker is intrinsically linked with Christmas. Every year hundreds of theater companies around the world perform a variant of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet for children and adults alike. Though familiar with the bare bones of the story, I was much surprised to see how little the story actually had to with Christmas-Christmas. And how much more it had to do with the wider realm of Russian and Germanic faerie tale archetypes and the cosmic theory of different dimensions of being, an element shared with many mythological traditions around the world.