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Glamour is traditionally a faery magic. The ability to make something look like something else, to make something more beautiful, or ugly, is a handy skill for hiding something, or testing someone.

In many stories a magical being will appear as an ugly or low-status person, hiding their nature to test the human… asking for bread while wearing this glamour the faery asks; “Is this human worth helping? Are they honourable? Do they help others to be helpful or for their own gain? Do they respect the land and all who live here, or only wish for benefits for themselves?”

On the other hand, sometimes you’ll hear of gold that turns into dead leaves when the glamour wears off, leaving the faery laughing in the distance with the goods. Although one can’t help but wonder if perhaps the very earth from which we grow, which feeds us and houses us and receives us in the end, perhaps the earth is more valuable than gold?

On to steampunkerie! This year I’ve taken the Goblin Circus to quite a few steampunk events and I’ve been pondering glamourie again. When we dress up we’re casting a glamour on ourselves. We don’t have to use this to present an image though, instead we can use it to create a space of possibility. When we add an element of fun we open the doors of possibility further because we can relax into the magic! Steampunk is great for this! (If you like the aesthetic!) Fairy festivals can serve a similar function.


I wonder what kind of magic can flow when we use these glamours? Could we create “personas” that are simply the best version of ourselves? Our most fully realised Us? And then perform those in spaces full of fun and playfulness in such a way that they then make space for that version of ourselves to manifest in every day life? Or do we tend to relegate those playful parts of ourselves to the safe spaces of themed events? Of course, we can use it to explore our shadows, or personas completely different to our own too… in which case it probably is best to leave those glamours behind, and instead learn from them…

… and share our bread with them so they know they are honoured too.