Joey Phoenix Media
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Salem, MA Portrait and Event Photographer

Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
— Lord Byron

What fills your dreams? When you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling fan as it slowly turns overhead, what do you think about? Where do you wish you could go? 

For as long as I can remember my dreams have always been filled with the bizarre, the mystical, and the extraordinary – and in my waking life I do everything I can to seek these things out. Maybe this is due to the fact that I was a 90s child who grew up watching Disney movies, or maybe it has more do to with that whenever the sun shines or the moon glows I feel a warm prickling on my skin as if I'm being watched, or maybe even that somewhere in my history the world was a wilder place than it is now...

And some deep part of me remembers. 

However, since our current world is neither wild or new, and no matter how far afield I search I can't seem to find any tangible evidence to back up these thoughts and feelings... it seems the only way to tap into this world of the phantasmagoria is through art, music, and human connection. And thus, in an effort to draw out this secret hidden world, I call upon my friends to join me in the creating of new worlds. 

This time, we ran to the forest. 

I Love Not Man the Less, But Nature More 

This is part of the collaborative series between myself and light wizard Retonica - which, considering the look of these is really no surprise. His work is ever flawless. 

As a continuation of a theme, namely elemental spirits, with the last shoot – A Great Fear of Shallow Living – focusing predominately on nymphs and sirens, we chose the dark forest dwellers, the fae, who haunt the woods at twilight. 

It's important to note that everyone who came to this adventure made and designed their own costume. I had given each of them a theme, based on international folklore, and let them decide exactly how it would look. I take no credit, apart from direction, in their appearance. 

And all of them impressed me. 

The Players: 

Deva - Lawrence Nightingale, Ember LaFuze, Siren of the Circle, and Leviathan

Yakṣa - Margot Tate, Carly Naik, Inevitable Betrayal Cosplay

Aos Sí - Moon Child Reiki and Herbals, Rebecca Greene, Faerie Nebula of the Faerie Tribe 

Faun - Shady Tree Maker and Val Toukatly 

Pooka - Melissa Genest and Sarah Mann 

Click here to view the album in Hi-Res

Deva

"It is believed by Theosophists that there are millions of devas living inside the Sun, the indwelling solar deity of which Theosophists call the Solar Logos—these devas are called solar angels, or sometimes solar devas or solar spirits. Sometimes, it is believed, they visit Earth and can be observed, like other devas, by humans whose third eyes have been activated." 

 

Yakṣa

"A broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, but sometimes mischievous and sexually aggressive or capricious caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers." 

 

Aos Sí

"A supernatural race in Irish and Scottish mythology comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans." 

 

Pooka

"Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of black horses, goats and hares. They may also take a human form, which includes various animal features, such as ears or a tail."

Faun

"A mythological half human–half goat (from the head to the waist being human, but with the addition of goat horns) manifestation of forest and animal spirits that would help or hinder humans at whim." 

Thank you to all of the muses for being magical. Thank you to Retonica for making this possible. And, before I forget, thank you to my assistant Rachel for being perfect. 

© 2017 Joey Phoenix