The Fire Poppet

Lately I’ve become aware of my lifelong relationship with fire. There is a possibility that I inherited it from my father; he was always setting our houses on fire – accidently, of course, and no, he wasn’t a smoker. The fires were always caused by carelessness and, I now believe, his inability to actually connect to the spirit of fire, which was strange because his occupation included the installation and maintenance of home heating systems, more fire-work.  So you might say his life revolved around fire but it  took him most of his life to find that balance with it that kept it from getting out of control on him (he had his last house fire when he was in his eighty’s). Throughout my life I watched and tried to learn from his mistakes. Over the years there have been some close calls; a pot holder catching fire, a kerosene lamp blackening my apartment wall, the occasional grease fire and the chimney fire that taught me the importance of keeping the chimney clean. But along the way fire and I have come to the realization that we are deserving of each other’s respect as living, breathing beings on a planet wrought from fire in a universe rife with it.

     In the house I lived in for over thirty-five years the focal point of the living room was the big iron woodstove which was in the front part of the house. Later we added another smaller one in the back part of the house. For most of those years they were the only source of heat in our home and I was their major caretaker. They and I had a very passionate love-hate relationship. They were a lot of work but they gave back so much in warmth and ambiance that most of the time it was a labor of love.

     When I finally moved out of that drafty old Victorian in town into a newer house in the country the only thing I really missed were those woodstoves and their amiable blazes. At first I thought I could live without them and I did – for about a year. The house was defiantly warmer with its in floor heating and good insulation, warmer than the old one even with its two iron fire breathing beasts.

     But as time went on I realized there was an empty space inside my spirit that that couldn’t be filled with anything other than fire. So with the help of a grandson an outdoor fire pit was crudely built out of all the local rocks we could find. It was just a circle of stones inside of which I could safely build a fire. The woods around my house provided plenty of dead limbs to feed my addiction and I was happy for a time. Then I realized that in the dead of winter it was nearly impossible to dig out the pit and fire wood from under a few feet of snow. So the next year I acquired a metal chiminea to set on the small patio outside my back door. Through the fall I filled two totes with kindling and fallen branches to keep it all dry and when winter came I bundled up, shoveled the couple of feet to the fire source and enjoyed many cold evenings visiting with my fire friends. Life was good. But in the back of my head there was a little voice getting louder by the month complaining that it needed fire in the house. It needed a woodstove.

     I mentioned this numerous times to my partner but he was not in agreement. Then I went for the logical angle (since he is into that sort of thing) and told him we needed something for heat when the power went out. He said he’d work on getting a generator. We’ve been here for over four years now and there is neither a woodstove nor a generator in our possession.

     So this summer I decided to try a little sympathetic magick. Basically I needed a sort of poppet of a woodstove that I could use as a lure for a real one. After much thought I realized it would be easier to make a faux fireplace than a woodstove. And it would also be nice if it was life size. I had most of the supplies to build it hanging around the property; old wood from an abandoned and fallen tree house my grandsons had built, bricks I’d picked up from a demolished old building, and a big wooden crate that was just the right size for the core of my project. The only thing I purchased for it was an electric fireplace insert that tries to look real – and almost makes it.

     Long story short, the fireplace poppet is now a focal point in my living room where it gives off heat, ambiance and the magickal intent to bring a real live fire breathing iron beast into my home.

     My partner hopes the fake one will pacify me. But all he has is hope. I have a fire poppet and a whole lot of magickal intent.


Seeds. Those wonderful tiny creatures that have the ability to pull my tired old bones up and out the door each spring to start life anew.

The Wheel of the Year has finally turned again and I bid the death of winter goodbye and welcome the rebirth of spring. Every year around this time I get into a manic state about growing things. I dig through containers that I’ve saved that seem ideal seed starting receptacles, fill them with soil and begin tenderly dropping all manor of seeds onto their surfaces. My house becomes a greenhouse and I become giddy with anticipation.

This year is a little different in that it is my first spring in a new place surrounded by woods instead of streets and houses. The fallow land encircling me calls me to fill it with herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit. My mind is reeling with the possibilities around me! This little piece of earth I’ve been granted has become my new canvas, fresh, clean and empty, waiting to be filled. The seeds in those containers waiting to push their way up through the dark earth have become the paint that my hands, the brushes, will use to create a lush exhibition for the woodland spectators around me. New earthy faerie acquaintances have been slowly manifesting themselves to me and seem eager to discover what this mortal will help to give birth to on this land they have nurtured. In a way this is a new beginning for them as well as myself. I will introduce them to new plants with colors and textures they may never have seen before as well as the new faerie beings that most definitely will accompany the new residents. It will be a delicate state of affairs as the old native inhabitants strive to welcome the new teaching them the ways of the woodland as they are teaching me as well.

Now that the seeds are all nestled in their dark beds and I wait to see their tiny heads pop out of the earth I am reminded of the metaphor of the seed that speaks of the circle of life and new beginnings. Just as death is not the end of life so the seed that dropped off the dead plant was not its end. This tiny bit of life, the essence of the plant, holds the life force that now is pushing up through the darkness, going toward the light, knowing that when it reaches it a new life will begin.

One day I will be that seed…again.


faerie - For Her Wand - light



Forward eye

on the cursor

corner eye

on the window

yellow leaves falling

tiny suns drifting

leisurely to earth,

grey sky hovers

no shadows cast

just showers

of yellow dancers

caressed by autumn wind

drawing my eye

from screen

to window

watching the party




Many people don’t believe in faeries because they say they have never seen any. These are the people that say they need to have scientific proof in order to believe in anything. I love scientific proof, it always makes things seem more real and believable. But if we are truly honest we all have to admit to believing in something that has no science to back it up. Whether it be a deity, love, ghosts, or that feeling you are being watched only to turn around and find that you are, believing in the unexplained and invisible is just part of being human. It is primal and ancient and has given us much to ponder and also has led to many new discoveries that were once considered to be in the realm of the superstitious or ridiculous. And it has given us some fantastic art, music and theater.

The world of Faerie does not exist in the same physical world we inhabit. It is in another dimension that we as humans cannot enter with our physical bodies. But those unseen spirits who dwell within these bodies, the part of us that make us who we truly are, can visit that dimension while still residing in these bodies. This is accomplished through a technique that is well known to many people, especially those who practice any of the arts whether it be music, theater, writing or the visual arts. These people are, while in a state of creating, in contact with a mythically real being commonly known as the Muse. The technique that is used, even if they are not consciously aware of it, is called simply, “Imagination”.

Children actually live in the state of imagination most of the time. Watch and listen to a child playing. What seems to an adult to be pretend is actually a reality to the child. That is why they are firm believers in faeries and stay that way right up to the time in their lives that adults start convincing them otherwise. Many artists and writers don’t actually believe in faeries but will tell you that something happens when they are creating, that it is like being transported to another place. Many think it is a lovely escape and some become so enraptured with this state of being that a kind of withdrawal is experienced when they go too long without creating. I myself have this problem and it has made me think about how it relates to the faerie world since I now create mostly faerie images. I have come to believe that imagination is the vehicle that transports me to this other dimension where the beings there, that I choose to call faeries, inspire the images and other creations that I make in the physical world. I believe these beings are semi-spiritual in nature. I say semi because I and many others have actually been able to see them at times…in the physical. Just as some people have claimed to see ghosts and aliens, those of us who have claimed to see faeries are mostly looked upon as being a bit off in the head. Well maybe we are a bit off in the head, but maybe that is not a bad thing or even an abnormal thing. Maybe we are simply able to use a part of said “off head” that others are not able to use.

Imagination is a very powerful tool that we in the arts have learned to harness. Most of us cannot remember a time when we did not live in the alternate world that gives us our inspiration and all of us never want to lose the ability to go there. When we are “blocked” from entering that place we are in absolute misery and do some pretty wild things to try and find our way back. But when it comes right down to it we know that the best way to find our way back is through mental and spiritual means because even if we are not aware of it that is where imagination resides. It is a place where science cannot go. It is a magical place where anything can happen and the sky, or farther, is the limit. Imagination is the one place anyone can enter by simply allowing it to be there. I believe it is an actual place in another dimension that is just a blink of an eye away and every time I pick up a brush, pen or other creative instrument it sends a signal to my brain which sends a signal to my spirit that it is time to step out and enter that dimension.

The wonderful thing about this place is that it is available to everyone. I think most people lose their ability to go there because they have been convinced by this physical world that it doesn’t exist. They tell themselves that mature adults don’t believe in such things. I am here to invite you to take a walk on the magical side. Do something imaginative. Write a short story or poem, draw a picture, sing a song, “pretend “ with a child, go for a walk and see the trees as living beings. Don’t over think it, just do it and see what your imagination can come up with. Have fun with it and don’t be critical of yourself. This is just between you and the faeries. No one else has to know.