A Faerie Haven: Living in Myth, Being Magic

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The Corrupted Forest

4/2015*

 

The forest was evil. It held no beauty, power, or goodness; it never fed her cells when she walked in it.

 

A Faerie, she could perceive subtle energies. The forest was evil.

 

It hadn’t always been. But she’d secretly watched the change:

 

Centuries of humans living near the forest had weakened its spirit, by battling over religion, squelching their sexiness, boring themselves and each other in their schools, jobs, and sex, loathing liveliness in their neighbors, and resenting wit. The human’s daily hate, despair, and torturous boredom spread into soil, air, water—and even into the warmth of sun against leaf and bark. Relentless misery leached into trees, deer, and rabbits, until their wild hearts turned as weary as an obedient, harried wife's.

 

Such spiritual exhaustion allowed the Unseelie Court** to strike a bargain through which they managed to corrupt the forest.

 

At first, Unseelie visited the trees without proposing an alliance. They simply pretended to enjoy the countryside, flattering birches with praise of their slender white radiance, and thanking shade trees for providing protective cover.

 

When the forest's ego was sufficiently inflated, the Unseelie remarked on the lack of appreciation humans had for wilderness:

 

"They cut off your limbs."

 

"They kill deer."

 

"They litter your beauty."

 

The forest grew indignant in agreement. Only then did the Unseelie, traitors to both fey and humankind, make a proposal. "Let your wilderness loose. Be free. Don't let humans stifle you anymore. We’ll teach you to be free again, as you were meant to be.”

 

"Hear now our lessons. Let your anger loose. You have a right to those feelings. You get to express yourself, all of yourself, all your feelings. After all, aren't you a sacred part of creation?”

 

“Claim yourselves. If it means trampling people, they should've gotten out of the way anyway. It's not your problem. You need to cut down humans anyway. Cut them down, out of your way."

 

"You have the right to express your anger: Destroy! It is your right.”

 

 "It is your right. Why should only humans have rights? You must take theirs away, so they can never hurt you again.”

 

"Cage the humans. Some of you must be sacrificed. In the name of freedom. Cut up some trees to make cages. Hollow out others as prisons.”

 

Freedom requires sacrifice. Among you are less important trees. Kill them. Use them for cages."      

 

She sat remembering all this happening, when the miserable scenario in her mind’s eye was interrupted: her fey senses felt a tree moving, right behind her. She turned to see its ragged limbs reaching toward her. She ran.

 

Pausing momentarily, she glanced back. An oak strained to uproot, its dark twig-like fingers grasping toward her futilely. Then the tree’s roots heaved upward and were free of the earth.

 

The memory of the newly fallen trees she’d seen yesterday came to mind. The makings of cages. She had wondered how the trees had managed to fell each other. Now she understood. They’d uprooted their own bodies that they might approach each other in murder. They’d torn themselves from the earth. This was the freedom the forest was creating. 

 

Only cleaved from Mother Gaia, She Who kept them alive, could they move to kill their kin.

 

The Faerie had managed to remain an unnoticed witness to the forest’s shift from innocence to malevolence, until now. Well, the time for witnessing was past anyway. She must leave to report the current situation to the Faerie Queene. 

 

The Seelie court was caretaker of humans and trees. Woodlands and humans needed each other—reciprocal love kept their spirits healthy. The The Faerie had witnessed that tenderness no longer expressed, and how both groups had, as a result, soured, weakened, become limp, gray, impotent, and miserable.

 

How could the Seelie correct this? What is it even possible? She hoped the Faerie Queen knew how.

 

 

Author’s notes:

 

* I wrote this 4/2015. In the five years since then, I’ve more than once debated throwing it out, and in fact thought I had. Now, instead of throwing it out, I’m throwing it out into the world 

 

**Unseelie denotes malevolent Fey. Seelie is the term for good Faeries. The Seelie court is the court of the Faerie Queene and her followers. The Unseelie court is led by an evil Faerie.

 

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Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny is the bestselling author of "Be a Goddess!" Founder of The Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis says, "I'm a trickster working for benevolent chaos Gods, so I don't play mean tricks." Bard, painter, mystical innovator, and busy elf who works part-time for Santa Claus, she blogs here and on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com

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