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!

Imbolc

Wishing to you a blessed Imbolc!
The wheel is turning, the sun is gaining strength and starting to warm the earth, life is starting to show itself again.

With personal trials and tribulations lately, making the effort to mark Imbolc felt like a chore today, one I really couldn’t be bothered with – I did after all have a birthday cake to make in between driving shifts! However, it would have annoyed me if I didn’t make the effort so I did…..and I am glad I did.

I decided to plant some seeds, in reality as well as planting some new ones/ideas for the coming year.

I cut down some loo roll tubes to make mini plant pots (that will break down when planted out) to start some seeds off early indoors.

I have so many saved seeds that it was just a lucky dip as to which envelopes got picked!

As the sun starts to warmth the earth, I wanted represent this on my altar by having candle in some earth symbolically warming….but managed to smash my lovely glass dish!

Impressed I wasn’t! 

This is what I came up with instead…

The candle will still warm the earth and then I can plant something up with the earth tomorrow. 

With Imbolc traditionally being a Fire festival I wanted a small fire tonight too, I thought I could have some self examination, plant new seeds of personal growth and shed what doesn’t serve me, so I wrote out 4 of each option, positive aspects I want to nurture and grow and negative aspects that I wanted rid of,  thinking that if I throw them in the fire, my wishes will be consummed by the flames and and carried on the breeze.

It’s been too long since I have had a fire out the back, it’s only a small fire bowl bit it’s plenty big enough to get a flame (and a smoke) fix!

I love this image…..I can see a bird!

It’s the letter K in this one!

Once the flames die down,  I love the play of light as the breeze moves over the embers, almost like there are invisible flames dancing.. 

Suitable smoked (don’t you just love the smell of wood smoke?) I came indoors for something to eat and to light the candles on my altar…

I am now sat here writing this post, (being squashed by the dog!) feeling glad that I made the effort to acknowledge the turning of the wheel as we move closer to a season change. 

So as this evening draws to a close, I hope you have had a lovely Imbolc if you mark it and may the sun continue to warmth the earth and signs of Spring continue to show!

Darkest Winter…time to slow down.

It’s Winter, the time of the year where everything slows down….including us humans!

It might not seem like it with it being the ‘party’ season, thankfully I no longer work in an occupation where this partying is necessary, I now move at a slower pace and I think this is because I am spending more time outside in Nature and I am tuning into the seasons more (and nothing to do with feeling older!)

This time of year, as we approach the Winter Solstice, the dark is taking up more and more of the day, the need to be warm and cosy is uppermost, the lighting of fires, candles and snuggling under warm blankets! It may seem like there is a lot of Winter left to go but if you take a few moments to look about when outside you can see the promise of more light, warmer temperatures and life waiting to burst forth.
All the trees have baby buds, ready to swell and send out new greenery..

But stop….take a moment and look, there is still so much to see.

The small winter birds are in abundance, making the most of the berries and hips still on the bushes, the evergreens (as it says on the tin!) are still wonderfully green, now all the leaves have fallen you can see the wonderful shape of the trees..

there are even some winter flowers starting to come out, like this winter flowering cherry…

Go with the season, take things slower, enjoy the darkness for the Winter Solstice approaches bringing it with it, the return of the sun! Solstice blessings to you all, x

Hello December 

Here we are, the last month of the calendar year, moving quickly towards the shortest day and longest night!

It has been cold where I am but no snow yet like the above image.

Below are some of the photos I took today when I took the dog out, thankfully we were out in the sunny middle part of the day and I love the low angle of the sun and the colour temperature of the light it gives off.

Back lit moss showing off the delicate texture 

I love the shape of this long dead sentinel still at its post.

Side lit texture of my favourite Oak, while standing beneath it’s great boughs.

The view from my favourite speck under ‘my’ Oak!

And this is it, still wearing his golden cloak of leaves.

I have tried to capture an image of this tree from the same spot in each season, I will have to find them all for another post!

As the first image says, it’s a new page, in a new chapter, ready to be written on in your book of life, make of it what you will, just make sure that there is room for fun in there too! x

Samhain

It is here…Samhain is here, the air is charged and magick is afoot!

Samhain means ‘Summers End’ and marks the end of a Pagan’s year and the start of a new one.

The veil between the world we live and the world in which our ancestors live is at its thinnest making it the perfect time to honour them and invite them to join you in your celebration.

The death of the year, the dying of the plants are all part of the cycle of life, the wheel of the year, death in itself is a fact and therefore not to be feared. We acknowledge that on this day more than any other. Many Pagans believe that light follows darkness, that we cannot have the light without the dark so the new year starts with the dark part of the year and we move through it towards the light again.

There is the area of Paganism that acknowledges the Goddess in her Crone phase, there are witches whose deities are Heckate and Cerridwen,  again working with darkness, birth, death and rebirth. There are Druidic and Celtic ways of marking this day along with many others but the same theme runs through all of these practices, it marks the end of the old and the start of the new while honouring those who have come before.

As the veil is thinner it also allows easier passage for tricksome spirits and the Fae so to appease them you leave an offering of food, unsalted bread and a libation of one variety or another.

Alongside the loaf of bread I have made for our family, I have made a smaller unsalted one for the Fae,

I have my altar set for tonight, with photographs of my grandparents and my great aunts, uncles and great grandmother.

I may also have a fire outside tonight after I come back from a Samhain gathering in a local park. A simple ceremony I will do if I have a fire is to collect some small sticks from the park, write a simple word or phrase for something I want to get rid of, that I don’t want to take forward into the new year and then throw into the fire to be removed from my life.

This is what I wish for everyone I know and love today, may you have a wonderful and blessed Samhain!