One of my best memories is after dinner at Grammie and Grampa’s house in Calgary. There’s was a small house with a huge garden and behind that a triangulated alley with, at it’s heart, a small park. After dinner, Grammie would do the dishes and I, many times with my three sisters, would lay in front of the television watching the Wonderful World of Disney. Grampa on the easy chair behind us gently snoring with his false teeth teetering at the edge of his mouth. This childhood memory evokes a sense of peace, calm and safety.
Disney was my introduction to fantasy which later grew into a love of it, as well as historical and sci-fi literature. Among my favourite fantasy characters and in my opinion, the most famous of wizards, Merlin appears in dozens of novels including those penned by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Stephen R. Lawhead and T.H. White.
Other wizard characters Harry Dresden, Allanon, Dr Strange [Marvel], Elminster Aumar, The Crimson King [Stephen King], Gandalf and Harry Potter all have had a place in my library. Since we are talking about Disney, I must give honourable mention to Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice [Fantasia 1940], but I’d really rather mention his boss, the little known, but great wizard, Yen Sid.
Without prejudice to the products from Universal Studios or the fictional Diagon Alley in London, England, both which I would aspire to visit, the alley behind my grandparent’s house was as magical as any of literature or film fame. From there I swung until I was dizzy, climbed trees, watched Canada Day fireworks, had crab apple fights, raided gardens with kids I met on the block and spent those rare sultry Calgary nights catching fireflies ~ all without the supervision of adults. This memory evokes feelings of independence, trust, strength and wonder.
You can look in your own back yard for a purveyor of fine gifts for wizards young and old ~ it’s called MacFie’s.
I first met Danny McAfee and his wife is Shayna at the Guelph Faery Festival. Their small business started with walking sticks and wizard staffs. Shortly thereafter adding wands, potions and apothecary ingredients. Over the years they introduced owls, runes and even vampire hunting paraphernalia and all of these heirloom quality items are handmade right here in Ontario, Canada.
My own Wizardry Kit from Macfies includes a beautiful Red Oak wand, wand bag, wand property card, plush owl, 2 owl accessories (brown owl hat & owl scroll) and one apothecary set (Phoenix Tears, Basilisk Teeth, Griffin Hair and apothecary stand). Boxed and ready for wrapping, this heirloom can be found at Macfie’s for around $50.00
Shop on-line or Macfies will be at the Western Fair District, Progess Building, London, Ontario Dec 4-7.