The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near


Harbinger of Winter

But the night is Halloween,
Just at the mirk and midnight hour
The fairy folk will ride
(Tam Lin)

Where do they ride?
Is it to the land of the Dead?
As the trees of the land respond to the longer nights with a glow of autumn gold before casting their leaves to the Earth, the life of the land fades and the faërie folk appear to fade too. In their realm they are as bright as a summer day. In ours they are shades dwelling in the long shadows cast by the low sunlight and bare trees. Skeletal as a leaf with only the sap veins remaining.

So they ride to the land of the Dead, becoming shadows of what they were in our world.
But not in their own.

Then - shaped out of grey mist - comes the Grey Mare, on a steed for the Hag of the Night.


Dreaming the Land

It is said that the land of Faery is as near as breath.
So it is. And as far away as a land beyond the clouds or deep underground. That is true too. Faërie logic allows for this contradiction. The old stories of the Otherworld folk living in mounds and moving between the worlds capture this nearness while at the same time conceding that it is an invisible realm for those going about their daily business with eyes focused on the main chance.

So it is the slant look, the averted gaze, the dreaming eye that might catch a glimpse through the veil of enchantment that casts a glamour over the Otherworld. Yet to go there is not easy. Stories tell of journeys through darkness, through water and through suspended time to get there. What sort of journeys are these? They too are the journeys of dream, of trance, of stillness in a world of shifting time and space.

Deep within the living world of Nature the dream goes on, just as a dream does in the world of sleep. But this is a waking dream with a continuous existence half a glance away. Dream the land and the land will dream you; sidestep the path and a new path opens before you. To glimpse these ways into dream is an occasional privilege granted to those who care to attune their senses and be still and aware. This dream world is not insubstantial and fleeting; it is deep in its dimensions and time is everlasting. But it often comes unexpectedly and as soon fades into a barely perceived memory. The trick is to train the mind to see though the veil at will. To dream the land by charms, by spells, or by developing the clear sight conferred in the tales of faërie by the application of a special lotion and taken away by the casting into the eyes of a special dust causing blindness in the faërie realm and often, also, in the common world too. This suggests danger. Truly the Realm of Faery is a perilous realm, not to be encountered lightly.