A guest blog from Halo Quin
Tag Archives: Halo quin
June 2019 sees the release of Halo Quin’s Gods and Goddesses of Wales. This is a Pagan Portal – meaning it’s a short, introductory book. I read it a while ago – one of the many perks of my working life.
I very much like Halo as a human being. I’ve spent time with her at Druid Camp, she’s a warm, lovely person full of inspiration. She’s not identifying as a Druid – but honestly what she writes is just the sort of thing for a Druid starting out on their path. Welsh mythology has a central role in modern Druidry, but getting into it can be a bit of a struggle. This is an ideal beginner’s book, giving you very readable and relevant takes on those key myths and figures.
This is a relevant book for anyone interested in Welsh mythology or deities associated with the British Isles. It’s worth remembering that the Welsh border hasn’t always been in the same place, and if you are in the west of England, these influences are highly pertinent!
You can buy this book from anywhere that does books, here’s the Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/Pagan-Portals-Goddesses-practical-introduction-ebook
Today I want to do a shout out for fellow Moon Books author Halo Quin. You can read my mini-review of her book ‘Your Faerie Magic’ here, and below is a video of Halo doing a book reading.
Halo has an enterprise called The Goblin Circus – I’ve seen her do the introduction to this performance and am really keen to see the whole thing, it looks like an absolute hoot. She did a guest blog for me about the goblins, which you can read here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/faeries-and-goblins/
And a flavour of the Goblin Circus may be found here…
I’ve done two Druid Camps with Halo as part of the mix, she’s an absolutely lovely person, so please do check out her work. Her blog is here – https://haloquin.net/
Things I’ve read recently that I think other people ought to read, too.
Hall of Misery, by Bill Jones. A small, illustrated text you have to buy directly from Mr Jones, which you can do on his website – or in the streets of Stroud. If you’ve been missing Edward Gorey, this, quite simply, is the book you’ve been waiting for. Dark and funny, making comedy of existential angst and putting it all into perspective. Usually the perspective involves tiny human figures in vast, oppressive landscapes. If you’re still not sure whether this is for you, poke around www.hawkerspot.com until you succumb. I laughed out loud, repeatedly. (And yes, that stalking poem a few weeks back, this is *that* Bill Jones.)
House of many ways – Diana Wynne Jones. I read this cover to cover on Tuesday night because I needed some escapism, and this delivered. It’s book three of a series that starts with Howl’s Moving Castle – ideally you need to read all three in order.
Plotty, clever, imaginative, its charming. Diana Wynne Jones favours stories in which young people discover that they had good things going on in themselves all along. Values, qualities, strengths and skills they hadn’t recognised, worth not previously identified, alongside their flaws and foibles. I like this about her work.
Available all the places one can find books.
Your Faery Magic by Halo Quin, published this month, this is a book I was asked to read well ahead of the release date. It’s a gentle introduction to things faerie that acknowledges the darker and more dangerous bits. You could read it entirely as a pathworking book – the journeys Halo suggests would work very well from a purely meditative perspective. It’s also I think a very good book for enthusiastic teens – enough good content to be worth their time, but unlikely to get them into serious trouble! If you are a gentle soul, or starting out and wanting not to get out of your depth, I think this is a good place to start.
My adult self rather suspects that my early teens self would have utterly loved this book.
You can order this or find it online anywhere that sells books. More about the book here.
Everything I do comes back to Faeries. I can’t help it. They’ve been my obsession since childhood, possibly longer. So when I started my own business I tried to do things with Faeries. I say tried. I was quite successful in terms of writing about them, but when it came to my art… brick wall.
I turned my hand to modelling. Nice, flesh coloured polymer-clay. Some sweet music. Cute little pixies on the brain… What did I get? A very particular type of Fae, and not the cutesy kind. Not the pretty-sparkles-with-bells-on that seems to appeal to the market I was used to.
I’d spent years getting annoyed at the flufficisation of the Fae and here I was, trying to do it myself. So they put me right. But what on earth was I to do with a tribe of Goblin heads? Put them in a box for a while, unfortunately. I wasn’t ready for them.
I kept working with the sweetling Fae of the green world. They kept teaching me and encouraging me to write. The Fae guided me through some basic logic;
“We are the spirits of nature,” they said.
“And you are a natural beast, right?
So what does that make your magic, your spirit?”
I couldn’t fault them. So why was it that they’d give me things to write and then slip away, shaking their heads and laughing, saying “Keep digging.”
I’ve learnt an important lesson: your guides are not necessarily your tribe, you may be pixie led but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay for tea. At least, not until you reach your destination and turn around to find that they’ve followed you in, pulling faces at the back of your head all the way!
Last September I was writing about power and niceness. I was wondering what it was about being seen as ‘nice’ that I was so focussed on to the point where I’d let myself down. Why was I scared that people would think I wasn’t *nice*? To be honest, I am nice, generally speaking. And goblins aren’t necessarily nice. They’re not necessarily not-nice either, to be fair. They played on my mind. They poked my brain. They reminded me that sometimes it takes being seen as not-nice to take back one’s power.
That November Thought Bubble, the comic con in Leeds, rolled around. And I met Dr Geoff. In particular, I met his tea museum. His awesome, fictional, steampunk, tea museum.
The Goblins liked this. They liked it so much they started jumping up and down and would NOT be QUIET! They told me a secret. They told me that “The Goblin Circus” was coming to town. And that I was to present it to the world like Dr. Geoff presents his tea museum. In tangible, physical form. And in the way I do best, through stories.
I’d come home. I’d found the treasure that is my Faery Magic in the core of me. A creative performance full of colour and stories and laughter and inspiration. I turned around with my treasure to carry it back into the world so I could share it. There they were, all the Fae that had led me this way and then slipped into the shadows. They’d followed me all the way into the Goblin’s home, and now we were going to take that wilful playfulness out into the human world together.
The Pixies laughed and said they’d come dance in the circus. The nymphs started singing songs for us to learn. The dryads gave us lessons in how a Big Top grows. They all started bringing me stories to play with, to model my Circus tales on. The Goblins and I got to work. I began drawing a comic. That didn’t quite work, so I did as they’d suggested and worked on my oral storytelling instead.
Imbolc dawned and I found myself on stage in a top hat, with an audience of about 75 humans, for the Goblin Circus’ opening night. A one-woman-many-goblin circus was born.
So far it seems to be going well. We have a 30 minute storytelling show, a website, local performance gigs lined up for the summer, a rapidly expanding human crew… and that comic has reinvented itself. Six inked pages finished today. When I stopped focussing on what I thought I wanted and who I thought I was, I found my stride and it became clear.
Everything I do comes back to Faeries. It just so happens that the kind of Faeries that were holding onto my power were Goblins, rather than flower fairies I’ve been shown by the world since I was small.
Oh, and not only that but as the Circus took shape my writings on the Fae, on their logic and our Faery hearts, was picked up by a publisher. I got a book contract to share with the world the magic the Faeries gifted me with. That magic lead me home to the ever-evolving Goblin Circus, I wonder where it might lead you?
Halo Quin is an Enchantress. The Faeries made her so. The Goblins then declared her to be their Ringleader, so between writing and painting Faery Books and Oracle decks, researching for a PhD in philosophy of Art and a storytelling career, Halo founded a circus. Find her, the circus and her work here: https://haloquin.net/book-your-faery-magic/https://haloquin.net/www.AWorldEnchanted.com