I Do Believe in Faeries! I Do! I Do!
I barely know where to start, trying to explain what it was like to attend the Faerieworlds Festival. Remember all those old stories about humans who wander into a fairy ring or are lured away by a will o' the wisp or by some step, either intentional or misplaced, find themselves somewhere where human time and space does not apply? The stories all have one thing in common. Once the person find themselves in the land of the fae, they are so lulled, tricked, seduced or entranced, they never want to return. That's what it was like. So magical that we didn't want it to end.
What did I love best? EVERYTHING! The costumes. Thousands of people and easily 90% of them had let their inner child chose what to wear. The food. The people, both our small faery clan and the strangers that all seemed like friends. The smiles. The dancing. The music. The beautiful art and amazing crafts. The gorgeous setting. The kids. There were so many lovely fairy children. The magic. In an article about the festival, Emilio Miller-Lopez, one of the originators, was quoted as saying "It's a movement right now. Fairy is the new hippie. People are bored with tie-dye and drugs. People want real magic." I love that last bit. "People want real magic."
I took hundreds of photos. Everyone was walking around taking photos of each other. Joli enchanted folk so much she had her picture snapped hundreds of times every day. I'm not sure about putting up photos of other fairies on my blog, hmmm, I'll have to ponder that one a while. I'll eventually put all the photos up, probably on Flickr. There are already almost a thousand photos there that other people have posted, including a few of us.
I don't even have my photos uploaded to my computer yet, so it took forever to dig through the CD file to find some to share. Here's a very small taste of our two faerie days.
Although this photo is a bit blurry, I think the look on Joli's face perfectly captures how much fun we all had dancing. She loved when we danced with her.
One of the two main announcers was the Greenman. I snapped this photo of him on stage and love how you can't tell where he ends and the forest begins.
This was Joli on the second day. We set her in the grass and within a few seconds people were swarming around to take her photo.
One of the people taking her photo kindly took a photo for me with my camera. Three generations of fairies.
There were so many wonderful booths full of... well, just about anything a faery could possible want. This was one of my favorites, a group of women artists. I loved the gypsy tent look to their booth. In the day you could see the three birds atop the sign that read "Magpie's Daughter". They sold gorgeous collage necklaces, handmade books, and art dolls. I bought a necklace/mirror. I'll have to share a photo of it on Laume's Studio as soon as I take one.
On the trail into the festival there was this sign. There was also a sign on the dirt road into the festival that said something like "Please drive slow, don't make dust, sneezing fairies will combust." The location, the Secret House Winery, was green and gorgeous. The weather threatened to rain but held itself to clouds and muggy air although it was in the 70's, high 80's at the worst. In searching for the link, I just discovered the winery has a events page with all sorts of photos up from this year's festival. Go here to see all sorts of wonderful images, including two of me and Joli on page 4 (you click on the small arrows to the side to see each new page, I didn't see them at first).
Here's a group shot of us all on the second day. L to R: Joli, Lisa, Lisa's sister Elena, me, Lisa's sister Brianna. The girls all made their wings. Lisa even made two sets, one for each day's costume. She didn't make Joli's wings though, she bought them at Summers Past. (they have a small local fairy festival too - they have photos on their website.) Because I didn't have any time to work on an outfit, I planned on buying wings at the festival. There were hundreds to choose from, big ones, small ones, all colors and styles. I never could make up my mind - bat wings or butterfly wings? Those gothic black ones? Or that pretty tropical floral pair? - and so I went wingless the entire time. Alas. Maybe I'll make some for next year, or at least decide what I want so I'm prepared to make a decision and purchase some.
I'm too lazy/tired to go back and fix this photo so, tilt your head. The first day we all had our faces painted. The next day both Lisa and I had our arm painted. This was Lisa's. Lisa took a photo of mine but I don't have it yet. Mine was a sea unicorn, as I had a sort of ocean theme going with my costume the second day.
We walked around looking at all the booths, talking to people. We spent a lot of time just hanging out in the shade of a tree. We were close to the stage. And we danced. A lot. We danced so much I couldn't stop dancing and I found myself breaking out in a bit of a shuffle or weave and wave in public whenever I heard music for the rest of the trip. It struck me that if we all danced for at least a half hour a day, we'd probably all be a lot healthier.
This was the altar that was set up throughout the two days. They did a beautiful ritual and spiral dance on the first day and lit the candles. Lisa's sister Elena and I took part. Later Elena remarked that I had "fairified" her. It's true, I don't think she'll be the same "ordinary" girl she was, ever again. The folks on stage in this photo are some of the members of Gaia Consort, warming up. Since I have all their albums (except the new one they just came out with), I was really excited about hearing them. Turned out though that they were only one of many amazing musical acts. It was fun dancing to Gaia Consort but the absolute best dancing was the next afternoon, to a new-to-me band called Kan'nal. They were AMAZING. Both their sound and their show, which included the most awesome dancers. I wish I'd gotten a good photo of the women dancing in their skull masks.
I'd go on about the rest of the music but it would take a post all by itself. Suffice it to say you can find a list of the music on the Faerieworlds website and then google the different bands and musicians to get a taste of their different styles, everything from tribal to folk to rock to mystical. I doubt you could go wrong buying any of it.
Just a little baby goddess eating a bunch of baby grapes. (no, we didn't pick them unripe from the vine, she found them at the edge of the vineyard)
Within minutes of arriving at the festival we were all saying "When we come next year....." I am already planning for it. One thing, hopefully things will be less hectic prior to the date and we'll have time to organize and pack so we can stay at the festival campsite. I'm already pondering what I'm going to wear. Lisa and I keep phoning each other with new ideas. I hope more of the family can come next year. Those that will. Jeff is game. William has looked at the pictures and hasn't said no, which is a good sign. Joe said no already, he'd just be a party pooper. (Ahhh, when he was little, he was such a little hippy child! You'd never guess now. Sigh.) I'm not sure about Sam but I know Kyla would love it so I'll count on her talking him into it. And I can easily imagine Noel and my other three faery grandkids all dancing and dashing about! (she should definitely plan to bring a friend to help with the wild wee ones.) In fact, I think a lot of YOU should come as well. Start planning now!
Until then, alas, I'm back in the real world now. But I'm already longing for the magic and the music to return. I'm counting the days until the portal opens and I can enter the faery realm once more.