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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Searching For Faeries This Summer


Celebrating The Summer Solstice With Faeries

When fellow Tarot blogger, Sharon Cummings volunteered to wrangle the 3rd Tarot Blog Hop of the Year to coincide with the Summer Solstice or Litha, she helped me grapple with the topic of faeries. During Litha the earth tilts closest to the Sun, flowers are in full bloom, skies are blue, birds are singing, days are warm. She also said,” The Summer Solstice is for the faeries to come out and play, to give and receive gifts and to create mischief.”  This painted a picture of the stories told by Enid Blyton when I was younger. These stories were magical.  Many of these stories had faeries hopping from flower to flower written into the storylines.  Some of my friends, who connected with the fae folk, swore that they actually did.

While I understood that Litha was a celebration of the Summer Solstice, harking longer and warmer days, I still had difficulty grappling with the concept of faeries prancing about the garden on a hot summer’s day. 

Some of my fellow Tarot bloggers might enlighten you better on the topic, so I strongly encourage you to visit the blog posts of fellow Tarot bloggers lined up before or after me:  TABI’s (Tarot Association of the British Isles) post on the topic is at http://tabitarot.blogspot.com/2013/06/summer-solstice-blog-hop.html  and  Alison Cross’  is at http://tarot-thrones.blogspot.com/2013/06/litha-blog-hop-spread-embracing-your.html  


What Faeries?

I was brought up in a strict Asian household where I was made to understand that Santa Claus was a concept conjured by adults to enforce good behavior in kids throughout the year. I also believed that faeries were creatures conjured by Mum to prevent me from plucking her flowers in her garden that she had painstakingly nurtured over the months. 

 I had done some research about Litha and learnt that Litha was celebrated as a faery festival that honoured the arrival of longer days and the blazing sun.  It celebrated abundance, nature, revelry, fertility, healing, beauty and creativity.

My Midsummer Search For Faeries

So as my friends around the world revelled in the warmth of the Litha sunshine today, I went in search of faeries.  I felt like a deprived child combing the internet to ascertain what they looked like.  I re-read Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream to get inspired; I lighted candles the night before to illuminate my home so that the faeries could find a safe haven for rest.  I even left some honey chamomile tea and a bit of my famous Asian spiced pineapple compote on half a scone, out on my dining table the night before Litha, in the hope that faeries might enjoy a midsummer night’s snack (I did wonder if the faeries would appreciate my Asian culinary skills but figured that at least they were spared from my curry).  I was obsessed about looking for the magic these faeries purportedly brought.

By this time, David and Joel were ready to call the men in white coats to take me away, fearing that I had absolutely lost my mind.  Well, the faeries did not eat my compote and scone.  David did.  The candles were blown out by Joel, amidst his grumbles that I could accidentally burn the house down.  I still did not see any faeries.

What The Fool Card In Tarot Taught Me

Disappointed, I began to shuffle my Tarot cards and just randomly picked a card to the question "Where can I find my faery?".  The card that showed up was The Fool from my Radiant Rider Waite Tarot deck.

Upon further meditation, I heard what the Fool had to say to me.  Like the Fool, I should be giving free reign to this journey of exploring my creativity.  My eyes were transfixed on the rising sun within the image of the Fool’s card, encouraging me to look further and beyond my basic comprehension of the significance of Litha.  

The Fool took on a youthful perspective of the world and explored his surroundings in childlike wonder. He held a white flower, a symbol of purity and innocence, and he held it out as if to ask me to take a whiff of that flower. I knew he was encouraging me to step back and smell the roses some time.  

He was happy being led by the Universe to his destiny, with just a wee pack strapped across his back and his little mutt Toto beside him.  The Fool and Toto looked so happy traipsing along the path that I could almost hear him whistling while Toto barked in sheer joy. They seemed to be soaking in the abundance that surrounded them and just walking their journey in gratitude for every little thing that they have experienced along the way.  He was urging me to live my life with joy and gratitude every single day.

I realized then that I missed the point about Litha.  Litha was a magical festival. It honored the magic of summer and the life-giving energy that the Sun provided.  While my friends were celebrating Litha in all that fun, warmth and revelry, I was busy looking for faeries under the cushions.  Litha was about creative self expression afforded by a beautiful, flower-filled and lush environment with warmer and longer days.  This provided inspiration for my creative self expression. I was inspired to share a bit of creativity with my friends and family, in whatever form that creativity took.

Summer was also a time of fun, and I needed that after being hit by a period of stress-related health issues.  I needed to get out more to enjoy some sunshine with the family.  I wanted to start doing what I used to enjoy doing when I had more time, like cooking and baking.


A Bit Of Summer Creativity

So, like the Fool taking a leap into the unknown, I had decided to experiment with a bit of poetry.  Please don’t laugh at it. I have many talents but writing poetry definitely was not one of them.  So this was my first attempt at writing poetry.


Like a Queen, she glows with radiance

Adorned in robes of emerald, gold and ruby,

Her scepter casts light in all its brilliance

Ruling the summer in all her glory


Shrubs and flowers, a-blooming

Covering fields in rainbow hues

Birds embrace the winds while singing

As the clouds part to reveal the skies so blue


Flowers sway gently in the breeze

As faeries dance hand in hand

Watching the unfurling of the leaves

While the Sun warms our land


I have also decided to share some of my “faery” food – my Asian spiced pineapple compote, which would make a wonderful tea-time snack when served on toast, biscuits or scone. As I wrote this, I planned to pack some compote into a picnic basket tomorrow morning so that the family and I could enjoy some sandwiches by the beach.  It was indeed time for some sunshine.  The recipe is appended below:

Asian Spiced Pineapple Compote

Ingredients:

·         2 pineapples - peeled and shredded manually ( do not use a blender)
·         1 1/2cups water  - scented with juice of 2 oranges and a tablespoon of orange zest)
·         1 cup brown sugar
·         2 sticks cinnamon, 4 cloves and 2 star anise

Directions:
1.After shredding the pineapple, put the pineapple, water and spices in a pot and cook over low to medium heat until the pineapple mixture is soft.  This takes about half an hour with intermittent stirring.
2.Stir the sugar into the pineapple mixture and continue cooking till the mixture thickens over slightly higher heat for another half an hour. Once the mixture has thickened, remove spices and leave mixture to cool in pot. 
3.When sufficiently cooled, spoon the compote into sterilized jars with tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. 

 May this compote add a touch of sweetness to this bountiful summer.  And while enjoying my compote, do explore other Tarot bloggers' perspectives on Litha. The link to the other participating bloggers is at http://sharoncumming.blogspot.com/2013/06/tarot-blog-hop-litha-2013-master-list.html 


About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She currently runs a Tarot consultancy called Sun Goddess Tarot, based in Singapore.  She has obtained a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also endorsed as a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at www.facebook.com/SunGoddessTarot or www.sungoddesstarot.com


The Fool from the Radiant Rider Waite deck was my Fae taking me up that path of Summer creativity and fun.



My Asian Spiced Pineapple Compote made a perfect tea-time snack in the Summer
that even the faeries would approve.

Not to be outdone, the hubby joined in the culinary fun by baking these
 raisin scones to complement my pineapple compote.

24 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your Litha journey :) And that compote looks good too :)

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    1. Thanks Vivianne! It's a family favourite. Every Chinese New Year, we put it on little tart casings and bake them...Pineapple Tarts!

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  2. Thank GOD you put up that recipe as I've been drooling through the rest of your post! You have achieved loads in this Litha post - and congratulations on your first bit of poetry, you should be feeling very pleased with your achievements!

    Ali x

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    1. Thanks Ali...actually you guys were my inspiration...truly!

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  3. Thank you for sharing that, especially the recipe - it sounds yummy :)

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  4. Thank you! The compote looks so yummy!!!

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  5. Like Alison, my mouth is watering toonow and I'm wondering how you shred down fresh pineapple without a blender?? I can just imagine you out with the tea, looking for faeries! How fun is that!! :D

    Glad your husband and son haven't taken you away to the funny farm... it's not really that much fun in there, I promise! ;)

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    1. Funny you mentioned it...they always thought i was batty. You know, I even have a wee doll's house for the faeries but I would just die if I posted the pic here and everyone laughed thinking I completely lost my marbles.

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  6. YAY! Poetry and food. :D What a fun post, Joanna!

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    1. Poetry was first time...food was...hmm..abit more than that. hahaha

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  7. Very enjoyable blog post I LOVE your poem and I cannot wait to try this delicious recipe! It reminds me a little of charoses, a Jewish type of compote that has deep cultural and religious significance, maybe I can jazz it up with your recipe!

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    1. keep it updated on how your jazzed up recipe went!

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  8. Enjoyed your post. Lovely poem.

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    1. Thank you Cher. It was a fun write.

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  9. A very fine first poem, Joanna. You should try again. Listen or speak it out loud and you'll see where to make little changes to find the rhythm you're looking for. Once you get used to it, I think you'll find it lots of fun!

    And I do echo Alison's thanks for the recipe and pictures. It was great to see how good both foods likely taste (and very informative for me, since I wasn't sure what a compote was!). Scones, I remember.

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    1. Thanks Joanne....wwiting the poem was quite therapeutic...i need to practise writing it more:)

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  10. I enjoyed my journey with the Fool and my dance withe faeries.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by my blog Cassandra!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Joanna - I really enjoyed it. Lovely poem - don't give up writing!

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  12. Wonderful blog post! I really enjoyed reading about your search for faeries and I love your poem. As Alison says... keep at it! :)

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  13. So glad you found your sense of play and delight, I think that's a big part of what dancing with the faeries is all about :)

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  14. Hmm, I think the Fool is a good companion for you - I'm so glad he encouraged you to play with poetry (lovely), and eat spiced pineapple compote (nom nom)!

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