After the ‘Age of Faerie’ was forgotten, the Danubian Druids became the mythological and legendary deities of the Celtic people, the Sidhe were thought to always have resided in the invisible world, and the era of magick ended. It gave way instead to a false lineage to rule Aeurope in the guise of ‘Holy Mother Church,’ while it was being run and transformed by the dark decisions of “powerful” people.
Although the Gnosticism of the original Christians inspired the secret gospels as well as Christ himself who was initiated in these mysteries, those of the Dark Ages who led under the name of Christ’s work developed a religion of propaganda, control and genocide.While the surviving members of the Elven-Ffayrie hold some resentment against specific ignorant members of the ‘Christian Tradition,’ they do not find any contradiction between Christ’s actual teachings and their own. The misuse of a ‘Religious Empire’ marked the beginning of the “Dark Ages,” a time when even Christians were leaving the Catholic Church to start their own protestant religions. In breaking with the original Church, however, these new religions continued in removing elements from the Bible and altering wording. No longer being a part of Rome, they also lost access to the Vatican records. During the Dark Ages a new version of the Bible emerged eliminating all references to the Elven-Ffayrie Histories, mysticism, reincarnation, some of the work of Jesus and several full ‘books.’ By this time, the Elven-Ffayrie Dragon folk were construed as “demons” and “devils” to the ‘New Church.’
The Church saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat. No longer would they be considered the true ‘Sons of God.’ No longer would they be thought of as the true ruling class of Aeurope. The ‘Time of Elves, Magick and Gods,’ gave way to the ‘Time of Men’ and their ways. The Elven Histories become fictitious mythology. For example, in one myth God comes to Lilith when she is bathing her children and asks her to present all them to Him. Being embarrassed by those who were not clean by the time of God’s arrival, hid away the unwashed. Knowing full well the truth, God asked her if she had presented all of them. She replied by saying, “Yes,” and those Elven-Ffayrie who had been hidden from God were cursed by being hidden from the eyes of Men. An even more disturbing genesis is found concerning the Nordic Elven-Ffayrie. In this version, the Elven-Ffayrie beings emerge or were born from the maggots who fed on the corpse of the Norse Wizard and Giant, ‘Ymir.’ Other legends of the Dark Ages depicted the Elven-Ffayrie as fallen angels. Concerning the ‘pixies,’ the Church explained that they were the souls of the children who died before being baptized into Catholicism.
As a result of an annihilated legacy, it is difficult for contemporary society to imagine what is was like in the Age of Faerie. Looking at the skeletal timeline in the appendix concerning Ancient Sumeria and Mesopotamia, it becomes clear when comparing it to the events of Elven History that the historical events themselves are not sufficient in understanding what life was actually like and what was happening on a cultural level beyond pottery and arrow-heads. While they certainly correspond with the Elven Histories, the historical events themselves reveal nothing concerning the traditions, rites and mythos of the people.
In ancient times the Druids handled all matters of authentic kingship. They would in fact designate the rulers and no Celtic King was complete without a ceremony overseen by a Druid Elf, and one of their representatives to “advise him” during his rule. The ‘royal line’ again being connected to the Elven-Ffayrie Tradition, and so they installed their own blood into that of Kings and Druids so that it would be maintained throughout generations alongside (but separate) from the general Celtic population. Some historians will actually distinguish between the physical characteristics and appearance of the Druids compared to that of the common Celt. It is for this reason that modern seekers or reconstructionists must be careful in not assimilating all aspects of “Celticism” that are not purely Druidic, “Alferic” or Elven, if their intention is to maintain an Elven-Ffayrie Tradition that is at all authentic.
During the time before the wretched Dark Ages, all the kings and priests were Elven-Ffayrie. We can assume that the 5th century King Arthur is probably the last of the great Pagan Celtic Kings prior to the control of the Empire. The leaders during the Dark Ages that thrust civilization into ignorance were not the great mystical seers and sages of the age prior which became known as “pagan” or “heathen.” During the Dark Ages, the Church was not the beacon of light it once was (or could be) and mainly ruled in an age of darkness. All of the magick of the prior world was marked “evil,” except that which was used by Moses and Jesus and those who could do ‘miracles by God’s hand.’ Indeed, the Dark Ages begins when Rome starts deciding the coronation of kings and replaces the Elven-Ffayrie, dispatching them much like the Jedi are ambushed and annihilated in “Star Wars: Episode III.” Only a select number of them survived and were forced “underground.” At the beginning of the ‘Elven Holocaust,’ political changes occur, further books are removed from the bible and it becomes a crime to even be Elven-Ffayrie.
In 751 AD, the last Elven Mergovians, ‘Keepers and Guardians of the Temple,’ said to have been descendents from Solomon’s ancient temple, are disbanded and excommunicated from Rome and the blessing of Holy Mother Church. They are replaced by the Carologins. Up until the 6th and 7th centuries, Gnostic Wizards and Drwyds actually worked closely with the Catholic Church. They saw Jesus as a figure of each of their own traditions. This disturbed the later heirs of the Church who saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat to the ‘Seat of Rome’ and the Vatican’s new power to select kings and rulers contrary to the wishes of the Drwyds and the Elven lineage. The ‘Sons of Man’ feared the ‘Sons of God’ would rebel and thus the ‘New Church’ was formed independent of them, with only a shred of the original Gnostic vision remaining. The focus of the Church now: to take control of Aeurope and eradicated “paganism”…
THE NATURAL ORDER OF ELVEN-FFAYRIE & THEIR GOVERNMENTS
The first thing to understand concerns the terminology of “elf” and “fairy.” These terms have nothing to do with size and are actually references to the color white (or light.) There are all types and varying sizes of Elven-Ffayrie. There are even spirits, almost appearing as little more than lights, reminiscent of the original Tinkerbell. These petite sprytes or “will o’ wisps” have been misunderstood as “pixie” (literally, “pict-sidhe” — the painted ones) a term now used to describe all tiny winged fey…
The wings are usually a trait exclusive to female Ffayrie, typically sprytes and sylphs. The small Creatures of Faerie are commonly gnomish or dwarvish and are larger than the ‘tiny fey.’ Although small this type tends to be muscular. The Sidhe and Sylvanus folk, who resemble Humans the most, are tall and slender. They are actually 5-8 feet tall, and are the beings usually encountered in the magickal tradition. So why are the Sidhe thought to be small or “wee folk?” It is possible that the “smallness” attribute reflected the unimportance factor impressed toward the Elven-Ffayrie increasingly through the Dark Ages (Elven Holocaust).
This research should reflect that it is not only unlucky, but inappropriate, to refer to the Creatures of Faerie as “little people.” Furthermore, the generalization as “fairy” is equally insulting to these beings. For this reason I reserve ‘Age of Faerie’ as the history of the ancient fair and fey folk as a whole, along with ‘Creatures of Faerie,’ used to indicate all those being who reside in an Astral Otherworld or ‘Faerieland.’ But ‘Faerieland’ is more appropriately the “Otherworld,” not even “Underworld.” In terms of the phrase “Elven-Ffayrie,” I use it as a way to distinguish gender, derived from its reference to the Sylvanus folk, with female Ffayrie Sylphs and male Sylves (Elves).
When addressing these folk in magick or meditation, make no generalizations. Each type has a name, so focus clearly on the energy current you wish to make contact with. Also, each personification or manifestation of a general current has a name, and so it is wise to find out the names of these entities and the manner in which they would prefer you to get in contact with them, or some “key.” Unicorns and Dragons come to mind as two ‘Creatures of Faerie’ that you would not call “fairies.” By definition, there are many incredible Otherworld beings that exist beyond Human perception.
The Elven-Ffayrie Government is a monarchy, but that is not necessarily the best way to describe their rule because Humans have often used this system of government as a means to set up dictatorships. It is not abused by the Elves. It is a monarchy because it has a King and Queen and a royal court. The King and Queen sit on thrones of crystalline light — or darkness in the case of the Unseelie Court. There are actually two courts now, split by the decision to leave the Humans to the surface world.
The ‘Seelie Court’ is called such meaning ‘blessed’ or ‘blest,’ and they are the Shinning Ones who descended from the Tuatha D’Anu. These figures remain in a timeless dimension even today. Celtic Mythology refers to the Seelie Court as the ‘Trooping Elves,’ who are best seen making their nomadic moves or ‘rades’ once each quarter of the Solar Year (Cor Anar). The purpose of this practice is to uphold a tradition and also because the Elven-Ffayrie are simply restless by nature as a result of the Human presence and its effect on their lives. It is also possible that the genetic memory of constant flight, long travel periods, and using the trees for days on end as watchtowers, have left the Elven-Ffayrie a bit edgy.
The Seelie (‘blessed’) and Unseelie (‘unblessed’) Courts are virtually identical except that one reigns in light and the other in darkness. The cultural development and social progression of the two kingdoms emerged separate but the same. The main separation between them is split over the matter of Humans. The Unseelie Court are more commonly known as ‘Dark Elves,’ because they brood in the dark crystal caverns and chambers of the Subterranean Kingdom. They are bitter against Humans and do not share in the belief in aiding Humans in their transition to the Otherworld, or in the Elven-Ffayrie use of Human Simulacra as vehicles to experience the surface world — through 10% of Eurasian-Aeuropeans still able to contain such a “spirit”…
SECRET KNOWLEDGE FROM THE OTHERWORLD!!!
The Book of Elven-Faerie was written during the preliminary planning stages of the Mardukite Research Organization when it was still under the umbrella parentage of the former Elven Fellowship Circle of Magick. Although completed in 2004, this book was never released to the public until 2009 (after a private electronic beta release in 2008)…
THE BOOK OF ELVEN-FAERIE
by Joshua Free
“Being a Revelation of the
Elven Histories, Faerie Traditions,
Wizardry and Language
Of the Ancient and Shinning Ones”
NOW AVAILABLE AS THE 2012 SECOND EDITION!!!
[This blog post excerpted from the original electronic beta release introduction: “The Secret to Being an Elf in a Mortal Body” by Joshua Free.]
There are only two things that I knew for certain as a child, almost as if via some kind of genetic memory. Firstly, that the Mystery School and/or Hermetic Order of Merlyn is real, those secret places where Wizards learn their magick, copying as much down to their personal ‘grimoires’ or magickal notebooks as they find useful. Secondly, that there did exist inter-dimensional, albeit “invisible,” entities allowing me the realization when I entered adolescence (and you must brace yourself for this, dear reader) that I am an Elf. Of course, I do not necessarily resemble the contemporary vision of “Santa Claus elves” or the “imaginary beings” that most people conceive of in their head, except for perhaps the model of J.R.R. Tolkein, who spent a great deal of time studying the Ancient Elven Tradition and languages in the research for his fantasy of ‘Middle Earth.’
There is an increasing interest in the Elven Tradition as a result of fantasy products over the past years, but practically no solid avenue for a seeker to explore. Internet forums on Elven Ways and Magick are filled mainly with unsolvable inquiries concerning where to find a manual on this topic. While many other books “dabble” into aspects considered Elven or even the Celtic Faerie Tradition, they have a tendency to fall short in establishing the grand legacy and significance the Elven-Ffayrie race played in Human development. The Book of Elven-Faerie is no role-playing game (though it most certainly could be used to supplement one,) nor is it intended as a companion to fantasy literature (again perhaps a secondary use.) It is in fact that ‘Tome of Knowledge and Magick’ that those drawn or inclined to the Elven Way have long sought after.
The emergence of the “New Age Movement” brought a revival of interest in Elves and Faerie beings–Nature Spirits in general. Until recently, the “Faerie” section of ‘Ye Olde New Age Shoppe’ contained mainly A-Z encyclopedias, art books containing original works or pressed flowers, and manuals to ‘guide the reader to the Otherworld’ via imagery and guided meditation. This is certainly not enough to base a tradition off of. What’s more, there are many misconceptions that continue to be reprinted in some of these ‘Faery-Wicca’ books that mostly contain rehashes of simple ritual magick and spellcraft mixed with a bit of Celtic history and the use of Celtic Mythology of deities in their rituals. While often employed with great success by magickal practitioners with ceremonial skills, only a small portion of the actual story ends up being relayed to the reader. It is, however, not my wish to speak ill of the work of others, as most of them have at least positively affected global consciousness, furthering the mainstream awareness of the mystical Earthwork and the observation of the Solar Festivals.
Fortunately, the Elven Way has been carried on by a lineage of which is quite broad at this point, just as a tree branches out with an astronomical number of shoots as it matures. Much of the original knowledge is held by the hereditary/genetic folk memory and practices of mystical ‘family traditions’ and the passing down of ‘innate gifts’ through generations and completely separate from Wicca (which is only about 100 years old at best.) We have often heard and read of the tradition and practices of the village folk witch who lived in a secluded portion of the forest working with their ‘Ffayrie Gardens’ and herbal tinctures, selling potions to girls seeking lovers and men coming to get help in getting laid. What of the Wizard, now? What of the mystic hermit in the forests, living in shanties, caves and on the mountainsides? What of the true Elvish Druids and their secret histories kept long before the Dark Ages when modern civilization was thrust into spiritual ignorance? Yes, their story can finally be revealed in this tome!
THE BOOK OF ELVEN-FAERIE The first part of the book focuses on the History of the Elves and Ffayrie as a genetic race. The ‘Elven Histories’ are plural because they involve not only the story of Elves but the genesis of modern Humans too, and chronicle the development of the varying races and cultures. You will learn this secret history as we explore the suppressed and misunderstood journey into Ancient Aeurope including the Anunaki Star People and Ubaid Priesthood of Ancient Sumeria, pre-Eden life, The Mesopotamian Garden of Eden, the Egyptians, Babylonians and finally the dispersion of the Faerie race across the great continent into Keltia on the Western Shores. With the rise of the Milesians (Humans) the Elven-Ffayrie were mostly driven out of civilization, and received intensive persecution from Human religious leaders rooted in politics and the suppression of Truth (certainly not the Holy messages they proclaimed on the surface.) Still, the Elven Tradition survived this malice, transforming (evolving) through necessity as most of these enlightened folk ‘transitioned’ permanently into the Hollow Hills, Otherworld or ‘higher’ spatial dimension which is often equated with the ‘Astral Plane.’
Upon completion of the ‘Elven Histories’ we will explore the nature of the inter-dimensional Faerieland, the manner of its existence and its relationship with the physical plane. This includes the way in which the planes and their inhabitants interact and affect one another. With the resurfacing and interest in the works of Robert Kirk, the famous first-hand initiate of the Otherworld Tradition, this portion of The Book of Elven Faerie specifically will enhance the reader’s perceptions when interpreting supplemental materials of a similar nature. Understand that The Elven Way is quite colorful and variegated like the rays of light manifested in the rainbow. These rays become powerful co-magicians when employed by the awakened mind of the Wizard as we see in our investigation into the mystical side of the Elven Tradition…
THE DRUIDS… A mystical race of European Elves, faerie folk and Dragon Kings and Dragon Priests who became famous for their habitation of the British Isles as descendents of the Tuatha d’Anu. –a blog excerpted from Arcanum by Joshua Free
Though it would seem nearly impossible to study the “Druids” without tapping into the “Celtic” stream, some scholars commonly confuse the two terms as interchangeable. It is true that the Druids of our known history developed a tradition in the Celtic lands (or “Keltia”) but they were a separate people from the wild tribal shamanic folk who were later unified under the banner of Druidism. When the early Danubian Children of the Stars arrived, the Celts viewed many of them as avatars and Earth-born deities (“Earth Gods”) who had a distant connection with the “Sky Gods” (Anunnaki). This cultivated as the Celtic Mythology familiar to modern seekers.
THE DRUIDS devised a unique system in Keltia that mirrors many others but retaining specific characteristics of the culture and region in which it was developed. Evidence of their existence is popularly associated to the western frontiers of Europe, but the annual convocation held in Galatia (Turkey) and the customs of the LaTene Culture of the Danube River Valley show that the influence of ancient Druids was felt throughout the “known” world. It is, however, the westernmost traditions of Druidry that inspire contemporary historians and New Age revivalists (also called neodruids). Until being slowly interbred with the Celtic people or annihilated (though Elvish dynasties and Dragon King bloodlines were maintained in the “underworld,” the counter-cultural underground) the Druids were originally a wholly separate race from the “common” Celt and historians confirm this.
There are three cardinal functions of the Druid, sometimes considered “ranks” or “degrees.” Each level is actually a self-contained “grade,” comparable to the varying levels of accomplishment attainable in modern higher-education: bachelors, masters and PhDs. Each level of apprenticeship was taught in succession. They could be used as a stepping-stone to higher levels of initiation, or a student might choose to finalize their work at a particular stage. As displayed in modern society, some positions or functions in Keltia required the attainment of specific levels of education. As the government and secret society presiding over Keltia, all of this was easily administered.
Quite simply, the Druids can be categorized as…
–Bards (artists, historians, musicians, performers,
poets, students and wizards of elemental magick)
–Ovates (diviners, forest wizards, herbalists, Oghamancers
ritualists, sacrificers and venerable hermetists)
–Derwydd (ceremonialists, Dragon Kings, dynastic
royalty, educators, lawyers, political ambassadors
and religious priests)
DRUIDS maintained nearly a millennium of peace in Keltia before hostile encounters with the Romans. The Romans eventually suppressed Druidism through another millennium of force, finalized by the union of the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. In spite of this, the lore and customs of the Druid sabbats or fire-festivals emerge in present-day traditions.
The archetypal spirit and genetic memory of the Druids, the last public dragons, permeates the human psyche like few other facets of history (and we know exceptionally little about them compared to most ethnographies). The Romans were very specific about wanting to eradicate all traces of this ancient race, asserting a vengeance such as was shown toward no other recorded enemy. These actions could be considered nothing short of pure biological and cultural genocide of a tradition and race…
We’ve all heard of the Druids, but how much do you really know about them? The classic image of a circle of white-robed wizards who gather at Stonehenge is immediately conjured to mind. Beyond that, there is the image crafted at Hollywood…
…two teenage Druids must prevent the son of Satan from using runestones to bring about the end of the world (Warlock 2: The Armageddon).
…a Druid nanny must sacrifice newborn babies to her sacred tree, which has the powers to protect and heal her (The Guardian).
…a tribe of Druid shamans, who drink orange soda, dominate a tropical island possessing an active volcano that requires an occasional sacrifice (Joe vs. Volcano).
[This blog is based on materials originally appearing in the third edition of “Sorcerer’s Handbook of Merlyn Stone” (1998), written by the present author at age 16, reprinted within “The Lost Books of Merlyn Stone” (2011) and the “Wizardry” anthology.]
Unfortunately there has been a lack of decent materials for the aspiring modern Druids. Most of the books available are rehashes of their questionable history. Fewer resources will relate to the reader something pragmatic and practical for our times – again, unfortunate. However, the Mardukite Truth Seeker Press has recently released the revised and expanded edition of the complete course curriculum in Druidry, now available as THE DRUID COMPLEAT by Joshua Free.
1. There were no human sacrifices related to Druidry in Britain or Ireland. There is some evidence for this on mainland Europe, for example Gaul (now France) — and even then, only in regards to the Gaulic Wars involving Roman prisoners. The Romans, whose tales are used by historians as a bible for learning of the Druids, had encountered and wrote of the Druids of Gaul before they invaded Britain. The accounts are extraordinarily biased and xenophobic in their interpretation.
2. The Druidic histories and lessons were written down. This was one of the many purposes of the Ogham script – in addition to using the ‘tree alphabet’ to arrange ‘forest libraries’ consisting of dried leaves. The Druids also knew how to apply the Ogham to hand signals and gestures giving them a silent ‘sign-language’. Romans sought to destroy all the evidence that the Druids exist-ed and their legions of soldiers were fed with a new-found ‘fire’ when invading the Celts. Julius Caesar once even recounted that the Druids had put up the most resistance to an invasion than any other culture encountered by the Roman Empire.
3. Druidism never was, nor should it be, considered a “religion” in the context that the word is used in contemporary society. It can be better examined as a “fraternity,” “brotherhood,” or “secret society,” with an equally significant Celtic-based “sorority” known as the Motherhood of Avalon. Similar organizations still exist and they share a long lineage of participation with various ‘secret orders’.
The Druids are an interesting archetype. For all of recorded time, there has always been someone or some group claiming to be druidic. In spite of this, or maybe because of it, the hardcore lineage and true sources of practical modern Druidry are difficult to ascertain. In many ways, Druidry can be best described as a niche – it seems to come naturally, and people are naturally inclined or drawn toward it or not…
For the first time since its prestigious underground release in 1996, Joshua Free’s “Druid Compleat“ is finally available in this all-in-one volume, revised, expanded and reformatted to include the complete text from the author’s personal Druidic trilogy, available separately as “Druidry“, “Draconomicon“ and “Book of Elven-Faerie“.
The bloodlines of the “Elven-Ffayrie” are prehistoric in origin and relate back to beings that the Sumerians called the Anunnaki. Some readers who will fall upon these pages are going to be undoubtedly shocked by the terminology used and the seriousness by which this is all executed, or else believe it all to be an elaborate joke. The legacy and lore of the same, however, serves not only to compliment existing historical and anthropological data but also satisfactorily seeks resolve to the unanswered questions about the origins of humanity, the development of culture and perhaps also the human role in the universe.
What makes this lore and legacy “occult” or “esoteric” is the fact that it remains hidden from the public mainstream, though hidden in plain sight – yet ever in the shadows. It is this process of bringing that which is hidden into the “light” that mystics have resulted in sometimes calling “enlightenment” (and perhaps too literally so). Humans would seem to have lost a feeling or a memory that perhaps was at one time “second nature” or “innate,” linking their blood to the Earth Ways. Or, perhaps humans have not simply forgotten but chosen, albeit subconsciously conditioned to choose by society, to ignore this inner calling, to deny it to the point where it is no longer heard and to think about it is to be “insane.”
As has been repeatedly sought to be overcome in the presentation of this book, the “Elves” themselves do not record their history and lore in the same way that humans do. Much like the beliefs of the Druids (Drwyds) to follow them, there would appear to be an innate or perhaps cultural taboo or ban on putting to writing that which was considered sacred, meaning the “light things” or “bright things,” including history and mystical lore. The Druidic belief followed that if one was no longer responsible to commit things to memory, then the genetic memory that was held so important to these folk (also led by an “oral tradition”) might become tainted or recessive and ultimately forgotten…
Cultural and regional semantics is all that has separated the ancient stream as it evolved through time. The spread of the bloodlines, infiltration and development of diverse nations and languages has all led to the further fragmentation of the base system. Moving away from the Egypto-Babylonian “Ancient Near East” paradigm, the “Light Folk” are described elsewhere in Western Europe typically as being either of the Sidhe (High Elves) or Sylvan (Wood Elves) varieties. These beings maintain a lore that expresses themselves as the “firstborn” of Europe and also being direct descendants of the Anunnaki of E.DIN (in Mesopotamia). To many who are unfamiliar with the duplication practices of the Anunnaki, this is a somewhat misleading statement because Anunnaki lore would suggest that these “Elves” are indeed a part of the “Eden Experiment,” but they too, in all of their antiquity, are not actually the “first generation” of humans (referred to on Mesopotamian tablets as the “Adamu”), but are instead the “ninth race” (the term given to me is “race” but might refer to the “generation”) and described as seemingly hybridized earth-born “half-gods.”
A popular example of a particularly “Anunnaki Elven-Faerie frame-work” has become almost a household concept over the last decade as a result of the motion picture masterpieces derived from the work of J.R.R. Tolkein. While some are very quick to disregard concepts and messages relayed through fiction, Tolkein actually did considerable research into Norse-Germanic mythologies in addition to ancient languages for his work. In his version, the “Elves” are also considered the “first-born” race of “Middle Earth” and he translates their name as a link to their genetic “star” ancestry to mean the “Children of Eru.” The Celtic versions depicts the same as the “Children of D’Anu.” The word “Eru” is “Elvish” with a meaning related to “Anu” in the human tongue. The language that Tolkein dubbed “Quenya” for his fictional epic possesses a resemblance to ancient Egypto-Mesopotamian languages, those that seem embedded in the mysticism of the Necronomicon paradigm. In the Elven Way, “Anu” or “Eru” is a name given to the Creative Force or Source of All Being and Creation – essentially “God” in the most supreme or pro-genitive sense. Some Mesopotamian traditions, “Eru” or “Erua” is the name given to Sarpanit, the “hybridized-Elvish” wife of Marduk.
The “Elven Histories” are heavily based on Sumerian lore of ancient, otherwise prehistoric, Anunnaki-governed Mesopotamia (perhaps from a time before the Flood). It makes allusions to a time before “humans,” something that their loremasters insist is correctly interpreted. This memory does not, however, attempt to reconstruct fantastic stories by which to explain natural forces or even the cosmic genesis of the solar-system. For this knowledge is not maintained in memory by direct experience but was instead taught to them by the “stars.”