Witch!

Hi!

What have you all been up to of late…anything interesting or, like me, just coping with the trials and tribulations that life is throwing in your direction?

I think my familiar has stumbled into my life…..meet Brodie!

She was supposed to be a rehab crow when she came to me, feed her up, let her grow before rewilding her with other crows ready for releasing…..but the person who found her and kept her for the first couple of weeks spoilt her rotten and she became imprinted.

She makes rather a rubbish crow – which is actually quite funny to see, but yes, she doesn’t think she is a crow and craves human company so it was decided that she should stay. The rest of the family love her and even the dog is getting used to her and wants to play….her favourite game though is chase the dog round the room! Seeing a terrier being chased by a crow has to be one of the strangest things I have seen lately!

When I first decided to explore and follow my pagan path, I asked friends and acquaintances for advice and was often told go and read, read whatever you can lay your hands on. That seemed pretty daunting as there is so much literature out there, from Asatru to Wicca and everything in between!

What kind of pagan was I….what should I be reading/not reading…..so many paths….soooo many paths!

It took me a long time to learn that there is no right or wrong way to do/to be. I stopped reading anything I could lay my hands on and I just was.

I spent time in nature, I found a local moot where I have made some truly marvellous friends who all follow their own individual paths and accept everyone else walks their individual paths. I have attended numerous moots where there have been speakers on a wide range of subjects…it turns out I am really interested in herbalism and natural medicines! I have just enjoyed spending time with like minded people, either in real life or across the world via the internet and social media, listening to their stories, sharing good times and bad with them, again in reality or virtually.

I am a lot more comfortable in my pagan skin and have recognised that if say I am a witch then I am a witch, I don’t belong to a coven, I am not Wiccan or hereditary but I am a witch, so I have decided to start reading again.

I even had a productive visit to the local library and I managed to source some pagan and spiritual books there were not about the world’s major faiths!

I have had this book (above) since shortly after starting my journey but I never worked my way through it as I was struggling with the whole witch thing but as I said, I identify as a witch so I have decided to pick this up and give it my attention. To say I am looking forward to it would be an understatement, I have a workbook ready as there is work to be done at the end of each chapter/moon and I want to see what progress has been made by the end of the book!

Are there any books that you have read that moved you/inspired you/helped you grow?

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Poppets

Hello there! Now, word of warning before you carry on reading, this post is about making poppets and the reason I made a poppet….and it wasn’t a love and light reason!

Poppets are generally people shaped dolls that can be made in the image of someone for a number of reasons, usually healing or hurting.

They are also often small cute girls as well as yummy sweets from my childhood – raisin poppets were the best!

The above is what Wikipedia has listed for poppets and there is more information to read here at The Crooked Crown.

Anyway, I wanted to make a poppet, someone had inflicted a lot of pain on my family over quite few years and it came to light a couple of years ago. I wanted to hurt this person a lot over the last 2 years but I wasn’t in the right place mentally and it would have been done in rage and anger, however with the benefit of time and counselling, making this poppet was being done in a clear headed and a fairly detached manner.

It was made from an insipid brown cotton to represent the insipidness, non descriptiveness of the banal individual who was the target.

I sewed it with black thread as I was working with my darker side.

As all evidence of this person has been removed from everyone’s life over the last few years so I didn’t have much to include therefore I used his full name and date of birth and a photographic image of his face. The poppet was then stuffed with pure wool so it would burn when I was finished with it (as I thought this would be best way to get rid once it use was no longer needed!)

As I sewed it together and stuffed it, his name and his crimes were spoken over and over.

And there you have it, a simple poppet made, I was all set to wake it up using breath and whisky but I didn’t….and I’m not sure why.

Did the act of making the poppet relieve the need for punishment or has it just been postponed? See, the person it represents has a degenerative condition and ‘may’ not live much longer, then again he might?

Either way, it is made now and should I feel the need, or the time is right I can wake it up and use it as I had planned.

Now some people won’t agree with this, some people believe in only working good/white magick, some people believe in ‘harm it non’ or the 3 fold law…..however I don’t.

I have a dark side, I acknowledge my dark side and I have worked hard on myself so that my dark side doesn’t rule me. But there are times when I believe it is right and justifiable to use methods and magick like this…..but as always it is a personal choice.

Walking the Labyrinth.

Hi….

Last week I went back to work after 3 months off for mental health reasons.

As I was off, I was walking the girls to school and back with the dog which meant I didn’t visit this particular park much over the last 3 months….which is a shame!

By not visiting this park meant I haven’t walked the Labyrinth that is cut into the grass here. I like to walk this labyrinth in a walking meditation, there is always more bird song here, there is always a lovely breeze and I find peace here. Funnily enough, this is the only part of the park where the dog guards me properly, he is never far away when I walk the Spiral and when I reach the center he insists on being right by my side…he only moves away when I start to walk outwards.

The Labyrinth is set out in the style above.

The feeling I have upon leaving the Labyrinth is wonderful, like any and all weight that I have been carrying has been taken from me…I feel so light!

By way of a thank you, as I walk outwards I always collect litter and dog muck…I know to most in the park it’s just another field but to me it means a lot so if I can help tidy it for the next person then it’s the least I can do, compared to what it does for me!

I need to make a finger labyrinth as above for when I can’t get to the park..this way I can do a bit of meditation at home while my finger walks the labyrinth. I just need to get some clay (and not nick it off the kids!)

So in short, I need to spend quality time with and for myself, I hope you do too! x

Imbolc and Full Moon

Hello!

How are you all? Well I hope!

Imbolc is here…well technically it is Imbolc eve as I write this. Time for the Earth to start to wake and get ready for Spring…however I don’t believe Winter has finished with us just yet!

Imbolc is a fire festival so I shall be having myself a fire (albeit a small one in the fire bowl instead of the fire pit because it’s too chuffing cold to be outside in the sideways hail we have today!)

I gathered my reeds this morning (again in the wind and sideways hailstones!) and have made my cross, this year I have made a 3 armed cross for Brigid as she is the Goddess of Healing, Poetry and Smithworking/Fire. I know most Brigid crosses have 4 arms but I read the blog of The Everliving Ones (can be found here) and it made sense so this year’s weaving has 3 arms.

It also has swan feathers collected from the birds at a local lake (with thanks) and I shall hang it above the threshold to our home for protection.

I saw a pair of stunning swans this morning while I was collecting my reeds…they really are beautiful birds aren’t they?

Today is also the full moon and the second one for this month, which many people will refer to it as a Blue Moon (and at time of writing about 15 minutes away from a total Lunar eclipse on the other side of the world-hmmph!) So Mother Moon definitely has it going on today!

Therefore along with my fire for Imbolc eve I will also be working some Full Moon stuff too.

With tomorrow being Imbolc and the festival of Brigid, to welcome her time of the year. The lands start to warm, earth is full of fertility as plants wait to burst forth, hardy sheep are lambing, or about to start, the signs of life are starting to show everywhere if you look, tomorrow I will have my altar set up for an small indoor ritual like the image below, a candle in some earth to warm it before I use it to start off some seeds for Spring.

Therefore tonight I will also give thanks to The Cailleach who rules the land for Winter, I have been drawn towards The Cailleach for some months now. She looks after the land during Winter when everything dies back but she is keeping the new life safe until it is time to come about as the wheel turns and we move towards Spring. Without death there can be no new life!

There are those that see The Cailleach and Brigid as two sides of the same Goddess and there are those who see them as separate, all depends on what legends you believe I suppose. At the moment I fall in the 2 separate Goddesses category because I haven’t learnt/been told by them differently as yet!

There is a legend that says if the weather is horrible on Feb 1st then Winter is nearly over as The Cailleach won’t go out in bad weather to collect her firewood, however if its a nice day then She/Winter has not finished for a while! Let’s see what the weather does tomorrow?

So yes, I will leave a wee nip of the good stuff out for Herself tonight as an offering of thanks, to warm her bones on a cold night methinks.

I would like to wish you well and a blessed Imbolc for tomorrow and enjoy any Full Moon activities you planned for tonight!

x

Lammas/Lughnasadh and beach time! 

Hi again!
Here we are rapidly approaching the first harvest of the year, Lammas or Lughnasadh depending on personal preference, as the wheel turns again.

I been have pondering on what to do to mark the turning, it is considered a fire festival so the least I was planning was lighting a fire but I wanted to do more, thankfully a good friend reposted a blog post of his with suggestions for a solo ritual (you can find his blog post here) and I think I am going to go along these lines.

Today we were invied to lunch at my mother-in-laws house as I had asked her if I could attempt to air-layer her beautiful wisteria, if it works in about 9 or 10 months I can remove the chosen branch from her plant and I should have a small tree that is already mature enough to flower without me having to wait years for it to flower…patience not being one of my better qualities!

Anyway, we all went over, which needed doing as I have some demons/issues regarding visiting the house but I am getting better, lunch was rather scrummy and I have left a foil wrapped soil filled sausage shaped lump attached to one of the branches of her tree, both myself and the mother-in-law are quite intrigued to see if it works!

After lunch the plan was to take the dog to the beach and I was looking forward to this, wanted to get my feet in the sand and the sea. As we neared the beach I realised which one we were going to and a similar set of demons raised their feckin ugly heads, again these ones really, really needed facing!

It was fine, a lot better than I thought it was going to be as I was with my husband as well as my daughters and I drew strength from them (I am always grateful to them for helping me through wobbles)

It was bliss….squishing the sand between my toes, paddling in the sea-the water was surprising warm considering how overcast it was while we were there….I had such a warm, comfortable, easy and happy time, walking along with the girls looking for stones and seashells while my husband threw a ball for the dog into the sea and talked to his mum. 

It was good to connect to earth, sea and sky while the breeze cleared away the cobwebs and foggy/unpleasant thoughts. I feel lighter and cleansed and stronger for having put some issues behind me.

I was also awarded with some gifts from the sea for which I am extremely grateful.

Whatever your plans are for the upcoming turning point, I wish you a bountiful harvest and a blessed Lammas/Lughnasadh, x

Dragonfly

Earlier on today, I was reading one of those posts you find on FB, what the meanings are when you suddenly find/see these animals….one of those listed was a Dragonfly. Anyway read the article and that was that.

I then took the dog out for walk in one of our local parks, strolling along happily looking at the plants in the ornamental borders (wondering if any had gone to seed that I could possible harvest *whistles innocently)

The next moment I am literally dive bombed by a beautiful neon blue dragonfly, but not just once-repeatedly!

I carried on with the dog and there were more, the same size, shape and colour.

And each time I saw one, it made a point of flying close and making sure it was seen. It was at this point I decided to go and read up on what the symbolism of the dragonfly was as there was and definite ‘notice me’ vibe being given off so I acknowledged the mesage and carried on with the dog.

They really are beautiful and stunning creatures!

Litha Summer Solstice

Hello, Solstice blessings to you all and to any readers in the Southern Hemisphere, Yule blessings to you!

I am sat in the yarden here, watching the bees go absolutely bonkers for these purple flowers that have grown,

..these flowers are classed a green manure as they can be dug back into the soil to fertilise it, I think they take the nitrogen in the air and convert it into nitrates…plant food! Anyway  now I am waffling!

I always love the feeling of the Summer Solstice, no matter what the weather is doing. Currently the sun is out, it’s very warm and humid and there are big fat raindrops hitting me as I type this…got to love UK weather!

I have made a lemon drizzle cake as a nod to the Solstice (as well as today’s loaf of bread – although why I decided to stand by the oven for a couple of hours on one of the warmest days of the year I don’t know!)

So while I am waiting for the bread to cook and the cake to cool, I am out here admiring the flowers and the bees and just pondering on the Solstice, the gentle run down towards Autumn and Winter will start, the flowers and fruits will continue to grow and bloom, the insects will carry on doing their buzzy thing and the wheel keeps turning.

Tonight, once the kids are in bed (after they have had some sunshiney lemon cake of course!) I think I will come sit outside, light some candles and just breathe,  quietly contemplating. That is the kind of mood I am in for this Solstice so will just go with it.

What ever your plans are, I wish you a truly blessed Solstice and a thoroughly enjoyable one, x

Vernal Equinox

It has arrived…..the Vernal Equinox and in turn Spring! Although by the weather I have had today you wouldn’t think so.

But this is it…the balance will now tip towards daylight over darkness, the earth is warming (and hopefully the weather too!) things are growing new life is being born…it really is a great part of the year.

Above is my Equinox altar with some of my plants from outside, a candle in my Mother Earth statue and some pastel coloured crystals, rosee quartz, celestine,  clear quartz and fluorite. 

I am off out to my regular monthly moot tonight but decided to have a little ceremony with my family.

We got 4 plant pots, grabbed the last 4 eggs in the house. Each of us wrote on our egg what we would like to manifest over the next few months, buried the egg in some soil in the pots and then planted some sunflower seeds on top. As our plants grow, our intenting should manifest and grow with our plants while the eggs nourish the plants.

It has been an unbelievable hard 9 months for those in this house but we have weathered the worst of the storm and we are moving forward together with renewed hope. This was done as part of our family healing so keep your fingers crossed!

Whatever your plans for this Equinox have been/are, I wish you the best of blessings from my family to you and yours, x

Spring!

What a wonderfully bright, sunny and warm Spring day (well here in Liverpool, UK, anyway).

I decided that I needed some blossom branches to decorate my altar. So I grabbed my penknife, a bag as well as Wonder-dog and off we went to the local park.

In case you haven’t met Wonder-dog (he does go by other names too but that depends on what kind of mood he is in!),  here he is doing his regal sunbathing thing!

OK. …enough about the mutt, off we go to the park, getting a good dose of Vit D and I was thoroughly thrilled to see all the signs of the seasons changing, the wheel turning, everywhere things are bursting back into life!

From the ever cheerful daffodils

to wee beasties…granted I know it’s not a native but ladybirds still make me happy!

The number of different shades of green that can be found,

The daisies and dandelions that are flowering, essential pit stops for bees after winter,

That unmistakable aroma of the Flowering Currant, 

And the cheerful Forsythia and different blossoms,

From pretty wild primroses, 

to Blackthorn blossoms from which I will be able to gather sloes in Autumn.

All in all a gorgeous cheery stroll was had, my soul feels content with the sunshine, the flowers and the sounds of birds nest building or in the case of the local woodpecker…nest pecking!

And here are the blossoms I collected in situ on the altar,

Time spent with a tree is never time wasted.

This is my tree….well it’s not my tree obviously, it’s in my local park. And it’s not just my tree, I have seen numerous people hug and ground themselves under the spread of this great Oak.

There is a benevolent energy around this tree and I have spent many a moment talking to and listening to this tree.

Today, I asked it for help, to lend me some strength and take some of the hurt, pain, anger and stress I am carrying away.

With my eyes closed and my forehead against the trunk, I pleaded with the Oak. After a few moments I realised my racing thoughts were slowing and my focus was being redirected towards the sounds of children laughing and squealing in the primary school down the way a bit, I could hear and identify the sounds in the tree above me, the chattercliffe of annoyed squirrel (as I had the dog with me), the different chirps and calls of the different birds in the branches……..for a few moments there was calm………and then the dog barked at the squirrel he could see but not reach!

The moment had passed, but not before the tree did what I had asked and helped.

I am now carrying about the park, my load a little lighter…..time spent with a tree is never time wasted!