The Faerie Taarna

The evolution of World War Fae

Taarna – Faerie Art Print • Purchase the print here

Taarna: If it Takes a Thousand Years

Taarna: If it Takes a Thousand Years • Purchase the print here

The Coming of Taarna

Nature, birth, mother,Bringer of life,Dealer of death.

Should Her gaze fall upon them all,The faerie realms and all the worlds and more.

Upon the wings of bees her song shall spread,seduction, the consort of love inside your head.

Healing the harms of your heart, sorrows taken apart,time measured by a dandelion, the faerie clock, life’s new start.

And should your sacred soul come to harm,in a fire of Mars your despoilers shall burn.

Evolution of the Faerie Taarna paintings

In the prelude to the World War Fae saga, a mere whisper of a narrative seed sprouted, unfurling into the captivating tale of a faerie who would transcend conventional roles. My artistic journey paved the way for this extraordinary character, epitomising the amalgamation of a warrior’s valour, a lover’s passion, and a healer’s benevolence.

Meet Taarna, a formidable entity named in homage to the iconic figure created by one of my earliest influences, Chris Achilleos and published in the Heavy Metal film and magazine. The original Taarna left an indelible mark on my soul, radiating an immeasurable strength that resonated within. From that pivotal moment, I sensed the emergence of a character within me destined to encapsulate the essence of Taarna’s formidable spirit.

The symbolic connection with bees and dandelions, often referred to as faerie clocks, gradually unfolded through a tapestry woven by dreams and a personal vision quest. These elements became integral facets of Taarna’s identity, infusing her character with a profound symbolism that transcends the realms of mere storytelling.

The initial portrayals of Taarna were a closely guarded secret, a testament to the intense internal struggle she faced to be unveiled to the world. However, one transformative day, she emerged from the cocoon of creativity, born amidst a vibrant green faerie fire, ready to embark on a journey that would weave her destiny into the fabric of the World War Fae narrative. Explore the original piece of art capturing the essence of Taarna below, a testament to the metamorphosis from a mere idea to a powerful force embodying the very spirit of faerie prowess.

The Coming of Taarna - 2007
The Coming of Taarna – 2007

Taarna and World War Fae

In the heart of the World War Fae saga, a mythical force emerges, a living embodiment of the earth’s pulsating vitality – Taarna, the elemental guardian cloaked in the ethereal fabric of the Gaia principle. Hers is a tale woven with the threads of the natural world, a story whispered through the rustling leaves and roaring winds. Taarna is the giver of life eternal, a force that encompasses all, capable of morphing into a tempest of unimaginable power or cradling humanity with the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze.

Yet, her entrance onto the stage of World War Fae is not immediate. In the wake of the Morrigan’s relentless onslaught, after the echoes of Celtic legends have risen in defiance against the oppressive rule of the Mabinogian Council, and humanity teeters on the brink of despair, she hears the bees in their final moments, Taarna awakens from a deep slumber. Emerging into a world that has lost its way, her fury becomes a cataclysmic force, an unbridled manifestation of nature’s wrath.

Picture the moment – the world gripped by the darkness of despair, the cries of a wounded Earth echoing through desolate landscapes. It is then that Taarna, the dormant guardian, rises like a colossal force of rejuvenation. Her awakening is accompanied by the symphony of cracking thunder and flashes of lightning, as the very essence of nature courses through her veins.

Taarna, the harbinger of renewal, surveys the desolation wrought by the war. Her eyes, as deep and ancient as the roots of the oldest trees, reflect a profound sadness. She witnesses the scars etched into the earth and feels the collective pain of every living being. It is at this pivotal moment that her wrath is kindled – a tempest of emotions, a storm of unparalleled magnitude.

Taarna quests for restoration, with each step, the ground beneath her feet teems with life, as vibrant foliage and blossoms emerge in her wake. She becomes a beacon of hope in a world shrouded in darkness, a force to reckon with against the malevolent powers that have plunged the world into chaos.

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The magic and myth of the honey bee

“The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle retails a charm, promising health, happiness and good fortune that features three ceramic bumblebees in a blue pouch. Bees have long been associated with witches and witchcraft: one Lincolnshire witch was said to have a bumblebee as her familiar animal, another witch from Scotland allegedly poisoned a child in the form of a bee, and in Nova Scotia a male witch was accused of killing a cow by sending a white bumblebee to land on it.”

Besides the witch, bees also have connections to the fae, due to their winged nature, and frequency to be located in, or around flowers. Bees… like the fae, are thought to be preservers of the natural world, due to of course their vital role in the pollination of so many plants. Bees can sting, bringing forth that fire of Mars, and that firey energy can be used for hexing, cursing, and protection. The fae, are wild, untamed, and often very dark unpredictable creatures, being known for their firey Mars energy as well.

In Ireland, in the 1850s, a folklore collector was told that bees are fairies, who are in turn the souls of those deceased, a notion that connects us back to the longstanding ties between fairyland and the land of the dead.

Humans have been harvesting honey from Honeybees since the dawn of our evolution and bees have been revered in all forms of religion across the world from the very beginning of civilisation.

Many religions including the ancient Egyptians revered honeybees as messengers from the gods, who called them “Tears of Ra’, and even used the bee as a symbol to represent Lower Egypt.

It’s been said that the Celts, being a tough race that fits in well with the northern latitudes, came to Britain specifically for the black bee and its honey. Even the Welsh bards of old called Britain the “Isle of Honey” due to the sheer number of wild bees flying to and fro.

It’s no wonder then that the Celtic peoples, both ancient and modern, have built up a vast lore around this marvellous insect, giving us an indication as to just how much it was, and still is, honoured throughout the Celtic nations.

In Celtic myth, bees were regarded as having great wisdom and acted as messengers between worlds, able to travel to the Otherworld, bringing back messages from the gods. In the western isles of Scotland, bees were thought to embody the ancient knowledge of the druids. This led to the Scottish lore of the secret knowledge of the bees, along with the Scots saying “ask the wild bee for what the druid knew.” Highlanders believed that during sleep or while in a trance, a person’s soul left the body in the form of a bee.

This wisdom translated through into the Christian era, with folk tales in Scotland and England stating that bees would hum loudly at midnight on Christmas Day for the Saviour’s birth. Bees in Cornwall could only be moved on Good Friday. The lore on being able to travel through realms was changed into bees coming directly from Paradise.

The lore of bees and death is especially spoken of in Wales, if there was a death in the family, it was important that someone in the family told the bees before the funeral, as well as tying a black ribbon to a piece of wood and putting it in the hole at the top of the hive. This would protect against further deaths in the family. In Cornwall, a family member would relate the death to the bees with “Brownie, brownie, brownie, your master is dead,” and in Buckinghamshire with the slightly smaller “Little brownies, your master is dead.” The bees would then hum if they chose to stay with the family. Irish folk tales tell that the hives were to be decorated with black cloth and were to be given their share of the funeral food.

It was considered an ill omen if a swarm settled on a dead branch, indicating death for that beekeeper’s family or the swarm witness. In Wales, if a swarm entered a house, it was unlucky and foretold death. Other Welsh folklore contradicts this, though, as it’s also been told that a swarm entering a house or garden is good luck, then bad luck if it later leaves. Combine it with the tales of owners dying when their bees leave and you really want them to stay! In Cornwall, if you are able to throw your handkerchief over a swarm, you would claim the swarm and the good luck that went along with it.

When obtaining a hive, one should never pay for a swarm, as that hive would then not produce. Rather, you would pay the original owner back with honey and comb. Nor would a stolen hive give any honey, with Welsh legends speaking of stolen hives dying.

The products of the bee, honey and mead, were used for magic and medicine. The Scots used a potion consisting of equal parts heather honey, cream, and whisky to cure wasting diseases. The ancient custom of feeding milk and honey to infants comes from giving them hazel milk mixed with honey. Finn mac Cumhaill, Irish hero extraordinaire, was given a goblet of mead to befuddle his senses in order to be tricked into marriage. You can appease the Shining Ones at Beltaine by making honey cakes to leave outside in the garden, with the recipe calling for both honey and white wine, although using mead is also acceptable, of course.

The Irish goddess Brigid held bees to be sacred, with her hives bringing their magical nectar from her Otherworld apple orchard. Even the rivers that led into the Otherworld were of mead. St. Gobnait, who is said may be a Christianised version of Brigid, protected her people with bees, using them to stop cattle thieves and using the honey as a healing aid against the plague. Henwen, the mythical sow of Dadweir Dallpenn, left three bees and three grains of wheat in Gwent, which has since produced the best honey and wheat to be found.

The Bech Bretha are early Irish laws made to protect bees and handle their interactions with people. Don’t steal a hive, for that is a capital offence. If you were stung but did not retaliate, you received a meal of honey from the beekeeper. If you died from the sting, your family would receive two hives! In Wales, Hwyel the Good wrote laws concerning the production of mead and the role of mead maker.