Raven Angels


The 2008 Calendar would not have been possible without the work of the following Ravens or the creative design of Gregory Blakey.

Warm Season Greetings to everyone associated with Soul Food and special applause for members of 'The Rookery', the shining stars of this calendar.
from Heather Blakey
Melbourne, Australia

Soul Food Stars


"Wishing everyone a deeply peaceful and joyous festive season!" -- Monika - Australia


May you be overwhelmed with peace, joy, good health, and prosperity during the holiday and the coming new year.
Lori Gloyd, Southern California


Merry Christmas to my fellow Ravens! May this coming year take us all on more adventures! - Alexis


May the peace and joy of the season and the love of family and friends be with you each moment of the holidays. Merry Christmas!
-Jane Wolfinbarger (She Wolf), Wyoming USA


Merry Christmas, Heather, and a Happy and Successful New Year from Apache Junction, Arizona, at the foot of the beautiful, mysterious Superstition Mountains.


Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Safe, Happy and Healthy New Year
Megan, Esperance, Western Australia


May Christmas bring great joy to all. Fran from distant Perth on the shore of the Indian Ocean


My dear Foodies and Ravens,
May your Christmas be blessed, and your New Year full of all sorts of wonderful things.  To the whole world from Apache Junction, Arizona.  May love, peace and hope reign.
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
A Joyous Kwanzaa
A Cool Yule
A Blessed Ramadan
and all other glorious celebrations of life, light and love.


You always remember your first time - and this was my first time having Christmas with Soul Food Cafe...It has been wonderful, and I hope it will be part of my holiday tradition for years to come...(so thanks and good health to you, especially, our dear Heather!) -

This has been my "'Merry Christmas, in spite of all' Christmas" - despite being ill with a bad infection, losing my job, a good friend dying recently, it has been a joy to log in and see what wonderous things are going on in the rookery & advent calendar. How rich I am to have met such talented, giving, warm, soul-feeding friends, who have encouraged me all year long as I shared writings, at first timidly, and then "Writer's Block be damned, full speed ahead!" - with me hanging on to Were Pen for dear life as I fly through Lemuria wondering "What happens next?" 
Much joy and thankfulness and wishes for good days ahead for us all, and may the Muse always grant us the grace to feel inspired.
---with much love, from Kerry/Kezza, in the heartland of America, where tonight it is icy and cold and slick outside, so whether reindeers or 'roos on the rooftops, please be careful Santa & helpers (elves, fairies, tomptes, quality control fudge testers, Christmas dragons, alien boys & crew, and party pirates all!)


Seasons Greetings to everyone
from Arkansas Ozarks
May the spirit of peace
be within you
and light your way
the coming year


From All the Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long Leggety Beasties
and of course
From the thing that bump in the night at
at Anita Marie's Owl Creek Bridge
Have a Cool Yule
Mountain Lake Terrace
Washington USA.


Especially from Cheshire D. Smith


To Heather and this rowdy and caring flock of ravens, a joyous and
blessed Christmas season from Barba Banta in New Jersey.


Dear ravens, one and all,
A happy Christmas to you all.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this year's advent calendar. I hope all our creativity will continue to spread forth its tendrils and may the new year bring health and happiness.
with love from Carol
in cold Turkey and feeling frustrated that problems with customs continue to delay delivery of our shipment of our household effects

Featured Ravens 2008

Kerry Vincent

Gail Kavanagh

Lori Gloyd

Monika Roleff

Alexis Lozano

Cheshire D.Smith

Jill Sullivan

Anita Marie Moscoso

Jane Wolfinbarger

Carol Abel

Manon de Forcier

Stephanie Hansen

Megan Warren

Fran Sbrocchi

Vi Jones


Gwen Myers

Barbara Banta

Karen Roberts

Heather Blakey

The Rookery - Day Twenty Five

If you build it they will come!
"In archetypal lore there is the idea that if one prepares a special psychic place, the being, the creative force, the soul source, will hear of it, sense its way to it, and inhabit the place." Estes
'The Soul Food Rookery' is a very special place

Gather Around The Christmas Tree


It is Christmas Day and the Soul Food Ravens gather around the Christmas Tree to listen to some favourite tales. Some will climb into bed, with boxes of chocolates and big bottles of port, and drift off reading the adventures of others of their kin. Others will dream of stepping through the portal again and leaving for more adventures on the twelfth night.

As for Sibyl and Ebony! Well, they are all tuckered out after a busy month and are happy to say "goodnight and farewell till next time."

The Seven Ravens by Grimm

seven ravens

There was once a man who had seven sons, and still he had no daughter, however much he wished for one. At length his wife again gave him hope of a child, and when it came into the world it was a girl. The joy was great, but the child was sickly and small, and had to be privately baptized on account of its weakness. The father sent one of the boys in haste to the spring to fetch water for the baptism. The other six went with him, and as each of them wanted to be first to fill it, the jug fell into the well. There they stood and did not know what to do, and none of them dared to go home. As they still did not return, the father grew impatient, and said, "They have certainly forgotten it for some game, the wicked boys!" He became afraid that the girl would have to die without being baptized, and in his anger cried, "I wish the boys were all turned into ravens." Hardly was the word spoken before he heard a whirring of wings over his head in the air, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying away.

The parents could not recall the curse, and however sad they were at the loss of their seven sons, they still to some extent comforted themselves with their dear little daughter, who soon grew strong and every day became more beautiful. For a long time she did not know that she had had brothers, for her parents were careful not to mention them before her, but one day she accidentally heard some people saying of herself, "that the girl was certainly beautiful, but that in reality she was to blame for the misfortune which had befallen her seven brothers." Then she was much troubled, and went to her father and mother and asked if it was true that she had had brothers, and what had become of them? The parents now dared keep the secret no longer, but said that what had befallen her brothers was the will of Heaven, and that her birth had only been the innocent cause. But the maiden took it to heart daily, and thought she must deliver her brothers. She had no rest or peace until she set out secretly, and went forth into the wide world to trace out her brothers and set them free, let it cost what it might. She took nothing with her but a little ring belonging to her parents as a keepsake, a loaf of bread against hunger, a little pitcher of water against thirst, and a little chair as a provision against weariness.

And now she went continually onwards, far, far to the very end of the world. Then she came to the sun, but it was too hot and terrible, and devoured little children. Hastily she ran away, and ran to the moon, but it was far too cold, and also awful and malicious, and when it saw the child, it said, "I smell, I smell the flesh of men." On this she ran swiftly away, and came to the stars, which were kind and good to her, and each of them sat on its own particular little chair. But the morning star arose, and gave her the drumstick of a chicken, and said, "If you thou hast not that drumstick thou canst not open the Glass mountain, and in the Glass mountain are thy brothers."

The maiden took the drumstick, wrapped it carefully in a cloth, and went onwards again until she came to the Glass mountain. The door was shut, and she thought she would take out the drumstick; but when she undid the cloth, it was empty, and she had lost the good star's present. What was she now to do? She wished to rescue her brothers, and had no key to the Glass mountain. The good sister took a knife, cut off one of her little fingers, put it in the door, and succeeded in opening it. When she had gone inside, a little dwarf came to meet her, who said, "My child, what are you looking for?" "I am looking for my brothers, the seven ravens," she replied. The dwarf said, "The lord ravens are not at home, but if you will wait here until they come, step in." Thereupon the little dwarf carried the ravens' dinner in, on seven little plates, and in seven little glasses, and the little sister ate a morsel from each plate, and from each little glass she took a sip, but in the last little glass she dropped the ring which she had brought away with her.

Suddenly she heard a whirring of wings and a rushing through the air, and then the little dwarf said, "Now the lord ravens are flying home." Then they came, and wanted to eat and drink, and looked for their little plates and glasses. Then said one after the other, "Who has eaten something from my plate? Who has drunk out of my little glass? It was a human mouth." And when the seventh came to the bottom of the glass, the ring rolled against his mouth. Then he looked at it, and saw that it was a ring belonging to his father and mother, and said, "God grant that our sister may be here, and then we shall be free." When the maiden, who was standing behind the door watching, heard that wish, she came forth, and on this all the ravens were restored to their human form again. And they embraced and kissed each other, and went joyfully home.

The Raven

There was once upon a time a queen who had a little daughter who was still so young that she had to be carried. One day the child was naughty, and the mother might say what she liked, but the child would not be quiet. Then she became impatient, and as the ravens were flying about the palace, she opened the window and said, I wish you were a raven and would fly away, and then I should have some rest. Scarcely had she spoken the words, before the child was changed into a raven, and flew from her arms out of the window. It flew into a dark forest, and stayed in it a long time, and the parents heard nothing of their child.

Then one day a man was on his way through this forest and heard the raven crying, and followed the voice, and when he came nearer, the bird said, I am a king's daughter by birth, and am bewitched, but you can set me free. What am I to do, asked he. She said, go further into the forest, and you will find a house, wherein sits an aged woman, who will offer you meat and drink, but you must accept nothing, for if you eat and drink anything, you will fall into a sleep, and then you will not be able to set me free. In the garden behind the house there is a great heap of tan, and on this you shall stand and wait for me. For three days I will come every afternoon at two o'clock in a carriage. On the first day four white horses will be harnessed to it, then four chestnut horses, and lastly four black ones, but if you are not awake, but sleeping, I shall not be set free. The man promised to do everything that she desired, but the raven said, alas, I know already that you will not set me free, you will accept something from the woman. Then the man once more promised that he would certainly not touch anything either to eat or to drink.

But when he entered the house the old woman came to him and said, poor man, how faint you are, come and refresh yourself, eat and drink. No, said the man, I will not eat or drink. She, however, let him have no peace, and said, if you will not eat, take one drink out of the glass, one is nothing. Then he let himself be persuaded, and drank. Shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven. As he was standing there, his weariness all at once became so great that he could not struggle against it, and lay down for a short time, but he was determined not to go to sleep. Hardly, however, had he lain down, than his eyes closed of their own accord, and he fell asleep and slept so soundly that nothing in the world could have aroused him.

At two o'clock the raven came driving up with four white horses, but she was already in deep grief and said, I know he is asleep. And when she came into the garden, he was indeed lying there asleep on the heap of tan. She alighted from the carriage, went to him, shook him, and called him, but he did not awake. Next day about noon, the old woman came again and brought him food and drink, but he would not take any of it. But she let him have no rest and persuaded him until at length he again took one drink out of the glass. Towards two o'clock he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven, but all at once felt such a great weariness that his limbs would no longer support him. He could not help himself, and was forced to lie down, and fell into a heavy sleep.

When the raven drove up with four brown horses, she was already full of grief, and said, I know he is asleep. She went to him, but there he lay sleeping, and there was no wakening him. Next day the old woman asked what was the meaning of this. He was neither eating nor drinking anything, did he want to die. He replied, I am not allowed to eat or drink, and will not do so. But she set a dish with food, and a glass with wine before him, and when he smelt it he could not resist, and swallowed a deep draught. When the time came, he went out into the garden to the heap of tan, and waited for the king's daughter, but he became still more weary than on the day before, and lay down and slept as soundly as if he had been a stone. At two o'clock the raven came with four black horses, and the coachman and everything else was black. She was already in the deepest grief, and said, I know that he is asleep and cannot set me free.

When she came to him, there he was lying fast asleep. She shook him and called him, but she could not waken him. Then she laid a loaf beside him, and after that a piece of meat, and thirdly a bottle of wine, and he might consume as much of all of them as he liked, but they would never grow less. After this she took a gold ring from her finger, and put it on his, and her name was graven on it. Lastly, she laid a letter beside him wherein was written what she had given him, and that none of the things would ever grow less, and in it was also written, I see right well that here you will never be able to set me free, but if you are still willing to do so, come to the golden castle of Stromberg; it lies in your power, of that I am certain. And when she had given him all these things, she seated herself in her carriage, and drove to the golden castle of Stromberg.

When the man awoke and saw that he had slept, he was sad at heart, and said, she has certainly driven by, and I have not set her free. Then he perceived the things which were lying beside him, and read the letter wherein was written how everything had happened. So he arose and went away, intending to go to the golden castle of Stromberg, but he did not know where it was. After he had walked about the world for a long time, he entered into a dark forest, and walked for fourteen days, and still could not find his way out. Then it was once more evening, and he was so tired that he lay down in a thicket and fell asleep. Next day he went onwards, and in the evening, as he was again about to lie down beneath some bushes, he heard such a howling and crying that he could not go to sleep. And at the time when people light the candles, he saw one glimmering, and arose and went towards it.

Then he came to a house which seemed very small, for in front of it a great giant was standing. He thought to himself, if I go in, and the giant sees me, it will very likely cost me my life. At length he ventured it and went in. When the giant saw him, he said, it is well that you come, for it is long since I have eaten, I will at once devour you for my supper. I'd rather you did not, said the man, I do not like to be eaten, but if you have any desire to eat, I have quite enough here to satisfy you. If that be true, said the giant, you may be easy, I was only going to devour you because I had nothing else.

Then they went, and sat down to the table, and the man took out the bread, wine, and meat which would never come to an end. This pleases me well, said the giant, and ate to his heart's content. Then the man said to him, can you tell me where the golden castle of Stromberg is. The giant said, I will look at my map, all the towns, and villages, and houses are to be found on it.

He brought out the map which he had in the room and looked for the castle, but it was not to be found on it. It's no matter, said he, I have some still larger maps in my cupboard upstairs, and we will look at them. But there, too, it was in vain. The man now wanted to set out again, but the giant begged him to wait a few days longer until his brother, who had gone out to bring some provisions, came home. When the brother came home they inquired about the golden castle of Stromberg. He replied, when I have eaten and have had enough, I will look at the map.

Then he went with them up to his chamber, and they searched on his map, but could not find it. Then he brought out still older maps, and they never rested until they found the golden castle of Stromberg, but it was many thousand miles away. How am I to get there, asked the man. The giant said, I have two hours, time, during which I will carry you into the neighborhood, but after that I must be at home to suckle the child that we have.

So the giant carried the man to about a hundred leagues from the castle, and said, you can very well walk the rest of the way alone. And he turned back, but the man went onwards day and night, until at length he came to the golden castle of Stromberg.

It stood on a glass-mountain, and the bewitched maiden was driving in her carriage round the castle, and then went inside it. He rejoiced when he saw her and wanted to climb up to her, but when he began to do so he always slipped down the glass again. And when he saw that he could not reach her, he was very worried, and said to himself, I will stay down here below, and wait for her. So he built himself a hut and stayed in it for a whole year, and every day saw the king's daughter driving about above, but never could reach her.

Then one day he saw from his hut three robbers who were beating each other, and cried to them, God be with you. They stopped when they heard the cry, but as they saw no one, they once more began to beat each other, and that too most dangerously. So he again cried, God be with you. Again they stopped, looked round about, but as they saw no one they went on beating each other. Then he cried for the third time, God be with you, and thought, I must see what these three are about, and went thither and asked why they were beating each other so furiously. One of them said that he found a stick, and that when he struck a door with it, that door would spring open. The next said that he had found a mantle, and that whenever he put it on, he was invisible, but the third said he had found a horse on which a man could ride everywhere even up the glass-mountain. And now they did not know whether they ought to have these things in common, or whether they ought to divide them.

Then the man said, I will give you something in exchange for these three things. Money indeed have I not, but I have other things of more value, but first I must make an experiment to see if you have told the truth. Then they put him on the horse, threw the mantle round him, and gave him the stick in his hand, and when he had all these things they were no longer able to see him. So he gave them some vigorous blows and cried, now, vagabonds, you have got what you deserve, are you satisfied. And he rode up the glass-mountain, but when he came in front of the castle at the top, it was shut.

Then he struck the door with his stick, and it sprang open immediately. He went in and ascended the stairs until he came to the hall where the maiden was sitting with a golden globlet of wine before her. She, however, could not see him because he had the mantle on. And when he came up to her, he drew from his finger the ring which she had given him, and threw it into the goblet so that it rang. Then she cried, that is my ring, so the man who is to set me free must be here.

They searched the whole castle and did not find him, but he had gone out, and had seated himself on the horse and thrown off the mantle. When they came to the door, they saw him and cried aloud in their delight. Then he alighted and took the king's daughter in his arms, but she kissed him and said, now have you set me free, and to-morrow we will celebrate our wedding.


This calendar and the Riversleigh Manor Christmas blog have been directed by Heather Blakey in conjunction with members of the Soul Food Cafe. Sibyl Riversleigh is one of Heather's alter egos. Other alter egos belonging to Heather Blakey, who have made appearances on this calendar are le Enchanteur and Ebony Wilder.

Gregory Blakey is responsible for the design of this Calendar.

All material on this calendar is protected by copyright. Any infringements of the copyright of any of the above, named parties, will be treated very seriously. Feel free to spread the work by linking to this site but do not use individual work without express permission from Heather Blakey. You can reach her at heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm.