Three for Beltane

Fairy Tales, First Edition(Chicago: Stanton and Van Vliet Co., 1918). Compiled by Rose Allyn. Illustrated by G. M. Burd and Violet Moore Higgins.

May 7, 2020

Solitaries. Madness. (See previous posts.)

And now Beltane closes into full spring.  And now the fairies depart.  Their home is in primeval tales. Tales that are always boiling out of a timeless, opaque cauldron. Imagination’s bounty stirred into life by a witch with an old stick.  An old shamanic woman in a dirty robe who is both creator and character.

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The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd (circa 1855)

May 5, 2020

It’s still Beltane season, still fairy season.  I’ve always been fascinated by art that emerges from insanity, and what better example of same than Richard Dadd’s famous painting.  Whether he was in communication with Osiris, as he claimed, or suffered from schizophrenia, is perhaps a question of culture and consensus reality.  In ancient Egypt he would have been god-possessed.  In Victorian England, he was considered mentally ill.

But if you must label whatever is going on here, look at the fairy in the red cap at bottom left. Then give me a name for it – for that red-capped fissure in Dadd’s painting that’s been letting in fairy energy since 1855.  And a name for the feller’s approaching crack of the nut.  And a name for Queen Mab’s carriage, yet unpainted.

And what to call the wild grass that reveals this moment before the moment, but forms a barrier between what we see and what we feel?

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The Fairy of the Moon by Hermann Kaulbach (1891)

May 1, 2020

It’s Beltane. And for some reason, I felt like playing with Emily Dickinson’s “To Make a Prairie”. For my fellow solitaries:

To make a Beltane it takes a fairy and one dance,
One fairy, and a dance.
And the moon.
The moon alone will do,
If dances are few.

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