The Thirteenth Fairy

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The Trickster, Coyote, Loki, Kali/Parvati;  the Thirteenth Fairy archetype travels under many different names and there are endless stories and myths surrounding her teachings.
But central to them all are tales about trickery, deception, destruction and even death.
I have spent a lot of time in the company of the Thirteenth Fairy.
I know her well enough to sense her presence even before disaster strikes; I recognize her in that sudden dread when you just know that a well laid plan will go to pot and that you most certainly will not get to the ball.

She gets you with illusions of love, she gets you with sudden illness. You will hear her cackling laughter during those cold, starlit nights when you sit alone on the beach or lie in your bed wondering what life is all about. When you scream at the sea, and rage at the wind; THIS IS NOT FAIR!!
And just when you think that it can not possibly get any worse,  it invariably does get worse, a lot worse.
And at this stage I find that I give up. I throw my hands in the air, and ask her what does she want from me?

The Thirteenth Fairy will teach you about what lies behind ordinary reality.
She will take you to the Hall of Mirrors at the Fairground and sit you down in the middle of the room. She will point at the mirrors and ask which of the many images is truly you? The fat, circular one? The one where you seem to resemble a cork screw? The one with the two heads?  Or perhaps that one over there, the very tall, skinny one?
And, like the good earnest student that you truly are, you attempt to find the answer. You dig deep, then deeper. You try your very best to figure out how to connect with the essence of each image. Who am I! Which one?
You may start by politely, perhaps even self-consciously, rub at the surface. Then maybe you dare to scratch it a little with your finger nail.
In the end, out of desperation, you are taking a chisel! a hammer! a wrecking ball! to the glass. But the surface is too solid and too hard, and you end up hurting yourself.
You may try the sneaky approach and attempt to fit yourself into the narrow space behind the mirrors and the wall so that you can see if perhaps you can find yourself hiding in there. Is there someone in here? Anyone?
Then you think that perhaps the mirror is hungry or thirsty; you bring it little offerings of sweets, incense and flowers. You sing a little song to lift its spirits.
Nothing.
It is cold in the room. You crawl back to the middle, and you look again at all the mirrors that surround you. The floor beneath you is solid concrete and yet, eventually, you fall asleep.

And when you wake up the next morning, you do the same thing all over again.
You need to find the truth, you desperately need to make sense of your surroundings and of yourself.  And you shout out to fate, to Kali, to the night; look at my hands, they’re bleeding! Look at my bed, it is a solid concrete floor! Surely I deserve an answer! Am I not your good, obedient student? Have I not suffered enough!  What more do you want from me!

And that is the story of my life. And perhaps that is the story of your life. I accepted a challenge, I heard a call that never was.
I have tried my utmost to find the answer to what is essentially a couple of trick questions. ‘Who am I?’ ‘What is life all about?’

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And when I realized that, I made a sculpture of the Thirteenth Faery as she appeared to me. And here she is, in the shape of Crow.
And then I made a shrine for her.
Because as she forced me to look deeper and deeper into what is essentially an illusion, as she relentlessly heaped disaster upon disaster on my life, she forced me to wake up to my surroundings.

What can I do but laugh?

I found this lovely blog  when I was googling the subject http://windling.typepad.com/blog/2013/09/the-thirteenth-fairy.html

www.annakeiller.com

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About Anna

I am a ceramic sculptor living on the South coast near London, England. My work is influenced by my experience of the earth as a living being and seeing how we are all connected with eachother and with the things that surround us. I create ceramic torsos using molochite clay which I often smokefire in galvanised dustbins. I also make House Gods to protect and amuse, and Fat Birds - little smokefired sculptures that tell the story about what it is like to be a fat bird at peace with its surroundings.
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6 Responses to The Thirteenth Fairy

  1. painterswife says:

    I love this post – the Thirteenth Faery is truly a force to be reckoned with – and I like the fact that in the end all any of us can do is laugh, and carry on – what else is there? She is an object of desire – even hiding behind a mask – maybe by placing her in a shrine you can exercise control over her and limit her powers? Let me know if it works – it could be useful in a lot of ways!

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  2. Anna says:

    yes, like the bamboo bending with the wind, I can limit her destructive powers, perhaps. But you know, the Thirteenth Faery is perhaps the most powerful of them all because without her there would be no story at all. We would just live happily ever after like gracing sheep or Disneyfied squirrels.

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  3. Per says:

    Well written Anna. Now I know what to look for in the dark corners at night when I’m doubtful about the meaning of everything…
    I like both the shrine and your portrait of her 😉 But wouldn’t life be very easy If we all could live like Disneyfied squirrels 🙂
    /P

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  4. Anna says:

    Hej Per. Thank you for your comment!
    I so admire your pictures of the bears and wolves in the Swedish forests…now there lies beauty, adventure and quietness!
    If I were to go back to Sweden, where would be a good place to start looking for all this as a place to live?

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  5. Per says:

    Thank you Anna!
    First of all, both wolves and bears are very rare to see. But sometimes it’s enough just to know that they are there in the woods. But If you are looking after the type of woodland I usually picture, and the possibility to see a bear or wolf I think that Western- and Northern part of Dalarna or Hälsingland (north of Dalarna) are the best parts. Värmland (southwest of Dalarna) also have the same kind of nature. The good part is that houses and real estate are really cheap. The less good parts are that it’s hard to find a job, there are almost no public transport, you probably have to travel 25 miles just to buy some food and so on 😉 Most days I like it, but sometimes I prefer citylife.. 😉
    Of course you can choose some of the smaller cities in the area also like Falun, Rättvik or Mora in Dalarna or maybe Bollnäs in Hälsingland.
    I have to say that I like the Swedish Westcoast and Southern Sweden also, but there are no bears there 😉
    /P

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  6. Anna says:

    Thank you, Per. 250 kilometers for a pint of milk…yes, that would take some getting used to 🙂 But I am sure that during the summer months at least the deep forests are compelling

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