Elf Journeys ~ an introduction

Introduction to the Elves

I first began drawing and painting elves many years ago. I didnít make a conscious decision to do so, it just happened. I would go into my basement studio ~ usually between 9 and 10 each evening ~ put on some music and decide what colors I wanted to work with that night. That would be the last time I thought or made any conscious decision at all for the next hour or so. I started to paint and fell immediately into a kind of trance ~ aware only of color, form, and the play of light and shadow as I worked. At the end of these sessions, I was eager to see the face that had magically emerged on my paper, for they always amazed and enchanted me. The faces ~ the beings ~ seemed to have such a quality of character, so fully formed, that I felt more as though I had developed a photograph than created something from my own mind. It was as if I had managed to visually organize information perceived with deeper senses; to somehow see the unseen ~ or at least to draw it. I sensed ~ no, I knew ~ that they were "coming through" from somewhere. I called them elves as a generic, although they were extremely varied in type, character and appearance, because I intuitively associated them with the world of Faery. In fact, a few of the images were even of small winged beings that more nearly matched the traditional Victorian image of fairies.

By the time I finished each image, or in the first few minutes of staring at it and wondering, Now who are you? or Where did you come from?, I would often receive a name or a few stray bits of information about the being in the picture. This information, like the face, came full-blown, springing into my mind like a picture in a pop-up book jumps out at you when you turn the page. I knew I was not "making it up," but had no plausible explanation at hand. Although I was familiar with the concept of channeling, at the time I had never heard of anyone going about it in this manner.

It was after the Loremaster appeared on my drawing table that my suspicions of their origin were confirmed and I began to get a glimmer into the reality of these beings.

When I finished painting the Loremaster ~ for that was how I immediately identified him ~ I propped up the painting and sat back to look at this new ~ emergence.

Instead of the usual bit of stray information dropping into my head, the Loremaster began to speak to me. Suddenly I was engaged in a dialogue inside my mind. It was a little unsettling at first ~ enough to cause me to question whether I had, in fact, finally "gone over the deep end."

His voice in my head sounded similar to my own internal voice ~ except that it had a completely different tone from the one I am accustomed to using with myself. It was also more erudite (even ~ dare I say ~ a bit pedantic at times), and expressed thoughts that had never before occurred to me. It also knew things that I certainly did not. The weirdest thing was that it kept referring to me as a "Gate." It, I mean he, seemed to think that he had somehow "unlocked me."

On impulse, I held the painting up to the mirror I kept in my studio, as though to better converse with it. I got the decided impression that he was as fascinated to see my face staring at him from the mirror as I was when his face emerged on the page.

He was surprised to find that I was an artist. A poet, he told me, was what he expected ~ there was much mention of poets in the lore ~ but an artist was something new. He seemed to assume that I would craft his words of wisdom into poetic works of magical potency, and was nonplussed that I dealt in visual imagery instead. He didnít quite know what to do about it.

So, I began showing him the other paintings I had done and telling him the bits of information that had come along with them. Initially, he was taken aback, chagrined and disappointed at not being the first to "come through". He soon got over it, however, and began commenting on the images I showed him, often flushing out the bits I had with new stray bits of information. These were based on appearances, I was given to understand; he claimed no personal acquaintance with any of the elves I had painted. At some point, it all stopped seeming odd to me, and I just accepted this new occurrence as a matter of course. If I could paint elves, why shouldnít I be able to talk to them? Over time, I got used to calling on the Loremaster simply by sitting down and focusing on his image.

It was he who inspired my curiosity about these beings; he who convinced me that there was, indeed, a great deal more to learn. He taught me how to use the paintings as a point of contact ~ an "energetic link," ~ and "open the gateway." This basically involved going into a deep trance without brush and paint in hand. In essence I was able to project my consciousness to the source of that image, to journey, if you will, into Faery and make the acquaintance of beings who live there. After trying this a time or two, I found it a wholly absorbing and compelling experience. I was fascinated by these encounters, and especially eager to learn the story behind the paintings. How did I come to draw these specific individuals? What chance or affinity brought each of these magical beings into my studio, my life and art?

The journeys took a great deal of concentration and focus, so I enlisted the aid of a very special friend, a magical being himself ~ a modern-day shaman called Cougar (among other names) who had a lot of experience facilitating various kinds of inner journeys and inter-dimensional travels. He helped me with my take-offs and landings and kept me safely grounded in this reality while I completed my forays into the dimension of Faery. Each elven encounter was as unique as the individual elves involved, and completing the journeys became a deep learning, a magical and initiatory process of self-discovery out of which this book was born.

Although we tried to tape-record our sessions, we found that for some unknown reason it never worked. The tapes came out strangely garbled. Cougarís voice came through occasionally ~ a word here and there accompanied by strange buzzing and humming noises ~ but my own voice was always unintelligible, completely drowned out by those same noises. Eventually we gave it up and I just made notes about each journey after the session, keeping it in the present tense, trying, as much as possible to record it just as I had experienced it. I found that if I didnít write it down quickly enough the experience faded, dreamlike, and was virtually impossible to reconstruct. I am sorry to say that I actually lost almost all of a couple of sessions in this way.

In my Elf Journal (a section of which can be found in the Elf Salon every month, or thereabouts) you will meet most of the elves exactly as I did. In almost every case I came away with far more questions than answers. My glimpses into faery were just enough to tease and tantalize, confirming my impression that it is least as vast, varied and diverse as our own world

I offer these pictures and records of my journeys with open hands and heart and hope that you will receive them in the same spirit. I offer them in support of any and all intuition, hint or suspicion you may have that inter-dimensional reality is vaster, more complex and more interactive than previously imagined. Perhaps some of you will find worlds that your own inner gateway looks onto and delve into them as I have, for I have come to doubt that Gateways are as rare as the Loremaster seems to think. Perhaps one merely needs to be shown the way. Or perhaps previously dormant gateways are reawakening at this time, when the Lore has so conveniently and mysteriously been rediscovered. I do believe that things happen for a reason, even if weíre not sure what it is, but on this subject even the Loremaster can only guess and speculate.

However that may be, and whatever you make of the elves ~ and of me ~ I sincerely hope that you will find something here to enlighten, inspire and, far more importantly, to enjoy.