Feeling…….

Afternoon, how are you all?

Me……I really don’t know

One minute I’m fine, the next I am feeling so low I want to curly into a ball and howl!

Oh I know everyone is fighting their own battles, you don’t know what the next person is dealing – which is why it is always important just to be a decent human being!B

But you know when it feels like you are losing control?

Apparently I have reached ‘that’ stage in a womens life, which is fine…don’t get me wrong, I am quite happy with entering my crone phase. But I have only just started and and I feel like I am drowning. My mood is all over the shop, I find myself not giving a sh*t about stuff that needs to be done, I can’t be bothered with personal hygiene on the really rubbish days. I know this sounds very much like depression and my hormonal changes are probably making my depression worse to be fair.

Home life has its ups and downstairs, both of our teenage daughters have depression, one is always on the verge of self harming again so its a balance trying to keep them in a safe place in their own mind, my husband has been retired from work on health grounds with 2 conditions that are extremely debilitating for him and one has damaged part of his brain too.

I miss my husband, I mean he is still here obviously, but there are times I miss the old him. Its not his fault, just a crappy hand he has been dealt…I know he misses his old self too and that must really be difficult compared to how I feel.

I am annoyed however that my really sh*t days always seem to be when he too is also having quite bad day….its frustrating as there isn’t anything I can do to help him so when I am feeling low, I want to scream at the injustice of it all. We have been through so much as a family, so much pain that it just isn’t fair! These are the days I really struggle to keep it together for everyone.

I’m not alone, I have extended family and really good friends that I can turn to…but what can they do, I find myself mourning the life we used to have, no…that’s not quite right, maybe wondering what life would be like if certain things hadn’t happened…but that road leads to madness or I think it would if I travelled too far down it anyway.

As a pagan, I am not too sure either what I can do. If I was giving advice to someone else, I suppose one of the easiest things to do would be to get out into nature…..but I am out nearly everyday to walk the dog, so I am outside in the fresh air.

I suppose I should go to the woods, I haven’t been to the woods in a long tìme, maybe I should rectify that…..not definitely I need to rectify that!

Yes….tomorrow, tomorrow I will take the dog and go and see peace in the little patch of woodland in the ‘burbs for an hour or so, let the trees and the earth and the critters and birds sooth me for a bit. That is a plan!

Today however, I will do my best to keep it together so as not to free the kids out by curling up in a ball and crying, they get spooked when Mum loses it as its normally me keep them grounded! If anyone questions me, I will tell them its a sad part of a book I’m reading and I should get away with it! 😉

If you have made it this far, well done…..I really just needed to write this and get it out of my head, I know its not my usual type of post and for that I’m sorry if it has bothered you….normal service will resume soon.

And if I don’t speak with you before, I would like to wish you a wonderful Yule, x

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Samhain/Samhuinn

Good evening, I would like to wish you and yours a blessed Samhain/Samhuinn/Oidhche Shamhna.

It’s that wonderful time of the year, when the veil thins, the ancestors walk closer, the start of the dark part of the year when we withdraw inwards, the New Year for those of us who mark it as such. I love it.

I have slowly been gathering items for my Samhain altar, conkers and acorns, photographs of departed ones, autumnal fruits like mini pumpkins and dried fruit slices and candles.

I took a day off from carving today as it is Samhain, because I wanted tobsoend my day doing witchy things.i caught up with a recorded Zoom class called Hedgeriding with Spindle and Wool.

I thoroughly enjoyed the class, discussing weavers and spinners of fate across numerous cultures and countries in the world, from creation myths to when your time is up. I found it quite apt that I was watching it today as the constant referencing to ancestors, ancestor worship, down to the different directions of spinning yarn…more often that not, anticlockwise creating what is know as a Z spin, usually used by Celts and other European cultures as this would draw up knowledge and information from the Lower World where the ancestors dwelt.

I found this image earlier and it struck a chord with me, there will be some divination later I feel, after food.

I was inspired to make a little something to mark the holiday, so I decided to rehrdate some dried leaves I had from the Crocosmia plants that I had harvested last year. As I was in ancestor worship mode I decided to try my hand a cordage making from these leaves, an old skill that is making quite a comeback…but this was my first proper attempt at using dried and preserved leaves. I had wrapped my finely cut leaves in a damp teatowel and left them for a couple of hours, didn’t want them soggy but just soft enough that they wouldn’t just snap.

My first attempt didn’t work, I had my twists and my wraps going the same way so it kept unravelling. Chucked it when I got in a snit and tried again…..success, even got the adding in of new material so managed to make a reasonable length of cordage.

I decided to use this cordage to make a small Gods eye talisman to keep on the altar as a reminder of this holiday,

There you go….made with matchsticks and Crocosmia cordage, not perfect but too shabby either!

Reasonably uniform twists in that!

I have put the rest of the leaves away again now, will carry on experimenting with them another day, it’s time for food with the family and of course the obligatory plate of food for the spirits.

So far, my Samhain has been gentle and quiet, and I’m enjoying it, I will take this moment to once again, wish you and yours a wonderful Samhain, x

Scattered thoughts and finding balance.

Hello….not sure where this post is going to go, hence its title. I seem to be a bit all over the place of late.

Today is a New Moon which falls in Libra, we all know that the image for Libra is a set of scales..balance and a new moon is a time for setting intentions for the coming Lunar cycle….so maybe that is what is needed, I need to balance things out?

I didn’t renew my contract with my employer at the beginning of September, we had discussed this as a family and the decision was made for me to be more available to my husband and daughters to support them. He has a number of medical conditions that have left him disabled and the girls have some serious mental health issues, that I felt would be better managed if I was with them before and after school. By not working the split shift driving, I am also able to invest more time in my small business, the aim of which is to add some financial support to us as a family.

Trying to establish a new routine of self employed working alongside domesticity is taking some time but I feel like I am starting to get somewhere…yet at other times I feel I am not getting anywhere, but I assume I will find a healthy balance soon if I stick at it.

We had a slight financial hiccup last month (I took my eye off the ball!), but this forced the issue of taking stock of the bank account, as like so many other families up and down the country, changes are being made that will hit everyone in the pocket, from benefits to fuel, to cost of shopping to heating, everything has a knock on effect. I now have a better grasp on the finances and the changes I have made will take some time to balance out to make it manageable in the long term.

With everything that has been going on, I feel I have let my practice slide somewhat…but I keep being reminded that Herself, Hekate, is not far away. She reminds me of this by making sure that I find random keys in my path, literally right in front of me as I am walking along, these are the latest 2! Another nudge that I need to find balance in my schedule for Her along with everything else, even if it is just lighting a candle for her on my altar instead of a big ritual.

Speaking of which, as it is a New Moon or should I more accurately call it, a Dark Moon, I am going to clean and sort my altar space out today so that when it truly is a New Moon, when I see the first sliver in the night sky, I can go and leave my offerings to Her at the crossroads.

As we approach the Crone part of the year, as we near Samhuinn, when The Cailleach strides through the landscape once again, I find that I am biologically approaching my Crone-dom…I am walking a fine line, balancing between my Mother phase and my Crone phase (I am already feeling sorry for my husband and my daughters!). I don’t rail against this next stage of my life, in fact I am looking forward to it….I am just a bit wary of the roller coaster ride it might take to get there fully, but now that I am aware of the changes that are happening, I can build self care onto my daily habit, go easy on myself (and others) if I find myself struggling etc.

And lastly, as it is the New Moon, I want to sow seeds/intentions for upcoming months/lunar cycles, so following last nights high winds and while I was out walking the dog, I collected fallen seeds from various trees as I found them. I will sow them and let them overwinter with my intentions for next calendar year, business and personal and hopefully they will germinate and grow – intentions and trees! If successful with trees, there may be a bit of guerilla planting going on!

Anyway, there you go, I did warn you that my thoughts were a bit all over the place didn’t I?At least it is out of my head now so that should allow me to get on with other things now….but first, cleaning my altar space! New Moon blessings to you all, x

The ….ber months have arrived!

Hi again!

It’s that time of the year…the best part of the year, the ber months. The wheels is turning, the calendar moves along, the days grow shorter and the nights longer. The temperature drops….although looking at the weather today and the forecast for the next few days, it’s hard to believe we are in September!

Anyway, I had the opportunity to go through my local park without the canine which meant I could forage properly without trying to juggle the lead, not trip over the dog while he stands there scoffing whatever it is I am picking or keeping an eye out for other people and/or dogs as the canine goes into protect mode while I am stood in bushes, my attention on berries.

The sun was out, the air filled with the buzz of lazy insects, butterflies flitting in and out of the dappled light and birds in the bushes above me…not sure if I was being scolded for picking or if they were shouting at each other!

Large swathes of brambles had been trampled by people getting into the pick the big juicy blackberries but there is still plenty left, if you look under leaves or not directly at eye level. As long as you are also not looking for the Instagram picture perfect berry, there was oodles to harvest and as mine haul is either going to be turned into jam, winter medicinals or boozy stuff, the general good looks of each berry isn’t that important!

I got another lb or so today of blackberries, there was a suitable amount of blood exchanged with the brambles too. Can only be considered a successful forage if blood has been exchanged for fruit!

I also collected a big bag of nettle seeds and once these are dried they will see me through winter, either added to food or cakes for a little health boost.

I went deep into the overgrown borders of the park to find the little crab apple tree, once again it was weighed down with fruit which practically jumped off the branches as soon as your hand was near, I normally leave these until too late and they are mostly on the floor but not this year! Got me a good load of them, some of them will have a long soak in whiskey…crab apple whiskey is soooo nice! Some, along with bigger apples from a not well used orchard, will go into jam and winter medicinals along with the blackberries. It’s too early for the rosehips I need and I need to go to another park to get the elderberries needed for the medicinals.

All in all, it was a lovely couple of hours and I have made a start on foraging the bounty that is on offer at this time of year…..did I mention I love this part of the year?

Stuck

Me again….nothing for months and months and then 2 posts in a week! You lucky readers you!

Anyway, a good and very wise friend shared a link earlier that really resonated;

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/naturessacredjourney/2021/05/four-ways-to-get-unstuck/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan+News+and+Views&utm_content=37

After reading this, I decided to take the dog to my local park where there is a Labyrinth, as I have most definitely felt ‘stuck’. It’s probably because of the state of the world we are in right now, stress closer to home…lots of things and I’m probably not the only one.

This is the entrance to my local Labyrinth, the long grass ‘walls’ have a wonderful purple sheen, granted not very visible in this image as they were all weighted down with rain!

Walking inwards, at each direction change, I said out loud what I wanted to get rid of…along the way I found 2 bees that were stuck on the ground in the heavy wet grass, so they were dutifully lifted and went along on their merry way. Once at the center I stood still and just listened…to bird song and distant voices..and just listened! (While the dog ate grass…he loves to eat grass!)

As we walked back out of the labyrinth, as mentioned in the article, I said allowed the things I wanted. As I circled out I found the wettest, soggiest bee I have ever seen! I mean look at the poor thing?

Picked the little guy up and carried him with me as I circled out…once out I managed to find some blackberry flowers for him to sit on and dry out. As I walked he kept vibrating his wings to dry off…he was so cute.

I must admit, I do feel better for walking the labyrinth, I always do and I had left it far too long before today.

It’s now back to work for the afternoon shift, but I do feel somewhat better so I will endeavour to try another suggestion or two from that article…..and thank you for sharing it my friend, x

Wishing you a blessed Summer Solstice

Good morning, how are you?

No, really how are you doing? It’s been a strange year and a bit hasn’t it, I hope you are ok in the grand scheme of things.

The Wheet has turned once again, it doesn’t stop, no matter what is happening in the world, it keeps on turning and we are back to the Summer Solstice. As usual, I had plans, plans to mark it, a small fire out the back, making a honey cake or sun biscuits to simply lighting a candle on my altar. Yes, you guessed it….I havent done any of it!

My altar had had a clean up at the New Moon but I didn’t Solstice-fy it, I didn’t have a fire, I never made any cake or biscuits….I was about to give myself a hard time like I usually do, call myself a rubbish pagan blah blah blah…..but I didn’t do that either.

I havent got the energy, plain and simple. I am tired, there are lots of things going on in my life that are taking up my time and an awful lot of my energy, mainly looking after my family, who all have their own rather large issues going on from mental health to physical health, along with doing all the other bits like dog walking and food shopping as well as trying to build up a small wood carving business. I am learning, thanks to walking my pagan path and all of the wonderful friends I have made along my path, that I can’t do everything. Yes, it would be nice to do all of the above mentioned ways of marking the turning of the wheel, it would be wonderful to go out and do something Instagram or Pinterest worthy….but I can’t, I am tired. So, this morning I set my alarm clock stupidly early and I got up to welcome the sunrise from my little back yard.

I had a candle lit (and a warm drink!), I played my drum quietly and I watched the sky brighten. I could tell when the sun had risen by the slight change in clouds, I could see white ones instead of just silhouettes.

I looked around my quite wild and overgrown container garden and gave thanks to my fruit trees, my herbs and all the other plants….my St John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforata) is about to flower- I wonder if it will open by the 24th, St John’s day/Midsummer?

I then went back to bed, satisfied that I had marked the Solstice in a little way…but I had marked it. See, I’m not such a rubbish pagan, I mutter to myself as I climb back under my covers.

I have now done the first part of my day job and I had to call in at the depot for new paperwork, and just to remind me how beautiful and resilient nature is, this poppy bank is growing year on year in a very dry, dusty, industrial area….it is so cheery, was fullnof buzzy bees, ladybirds on the daisy types, mugwort growing in the cracks between containers.

All in all, I feel good about my Solstice so far and this makes me happy.

So I would like to wish you all a wonderful and blessed Solstice, however big or small you plans are, enjoy your day, x

Candle Magic or Message

Hi!

How are you doing? Uncertain times we find ourselves eh?

There has been a lot going on in my life in the last year or so which is probably why I haven’t blogged in a while.

Anyway, I was curious on your opinions about candles. Do you use candle magic? Do you get a message from your candles if you do?

I have used candles before, candles with signs burnt into them for a variety of reasons, coloured candles for spiritual correspondence reasons, I have lit candles and asked Spirit for help when people have asked for healing etc.

However, I am after your opinion on something that happened on Monday just gone.

My husband was going into a specialist hospital for brain surgery. A completely routine operation for the Neurosurgeons but still a pretty big deal for him and for us.

I put a call out to friends and fellow pagans to do their thing, send healing, light a candle, whatever they wanted to do to support him through his surgery. He was scheduled for 1pm, so those that saw the request, did their thing.

I came home and lit the candle that was on my altar and asked the deities for help in keeping him safe for me.

The candle I lit was an 80hr candle that I had been using since Yule. At approximately 4.10pm, the candle started to crackle. It crackled away for a good few minutes, which it had not done in all the hours it had been burning since Yule. Because it was quite strange I noted the time, so I could come back to it and give it more thought.

It was quite a while until I got to speak to a nurse who told me his surgery had gone well and he was ok, then another couple of hours until I heard his voice, as under current Covid conditions, I wasnt allowed into the hospital to visit.

Anyway, on Tuesday, when I got him home, he told me that be didn’t go down to theatre until about 3.30pm, I asked him to repeat what he said so l knew the operation was to take approx 30 mins.

This would be about the time the candle started to crackle……was I being informed that his surgery was done and he was ok?

I am taking it as such, I have thanked all of the deities I asked for help.

Do you have an opinion/theory?

Ego!

Hello…

How are you all doing? Moving on with life as the wheel continues to turn?

I hope you had a wonderful Imbolc, however you marked it or even if you didn’t. I had the pleasure of being invited to the handfasting of two friends of mine, it was wonderful to watch and to take part in. I had made my triple armed Brigid’s cross and had laid my cloth-Brat Brigid on Imbolc eve to receive her blessing if she passed, as well as having candles lit inside the house.

Anyway, back to the reason for me blogging again…Ego!

There have been a number of incidents in the last few days, the latest being this morning that made me realise that I have allowed my ego to come to the fore……and I wasn’t very impressed when I realised this. In fact it made me quite uncomfortable.

Since when did I decide that I was judge and jury on other people’s actions or even reactions to what I had done.

I had become quite complacent in my abilities, in fact it felt like bordering on arrogance!

I had to go out this morning to buy something and felt the need to let another driver know that he was wrong by running his red light after our lights had changed to green. Of course he knew what he was doing, any driver would it I felt the need (through sign language!) to tell him off. Following this I upset another driver, there is a particular stretch of road where traffic comes together from different directions and merges, most people know and understand how to do this at normal driving speeds. I did merge without thinking that I could possibly scare or upset another driver….but apparently I did. I don’t know if it was fear or anger that made them respond the way they did but the vitriol that was then direction at me….she was almost foaming at the mouth!

It was at this point I realised that maybe I had become too complacent and casual (arrogant!) towards other drivers…..just because I knew what I was doing/about to do, doesn’t mean they knew.

After getting what I needed I came straight home, grabbed the dog and a small bottle of whisky and went to the park. I needed to ask for help in humility so I walked the labyrinth asking my deities for their assistance. When I reached the centre of the labyrinth I made an offering of transplanted snowdrops and a libation of whisky.

As usual, when walking back out of the labyrinth, I felt like some of my issues had been lifted from my shoulders and I feel lighter. Maybe the sheer fact of realising I had let ego take over means I will know be better able to keep it in check? Maybe I will get the assistance I have asked for….either way I will try my best to not let it happen again.

Have you ever let ego take over in an aspect of your life?

Yule and Winter Solstice blessings.

Yule tide greetings and blessing to you and yours.

We have had the longest night and today will be the shortest day but daylight will start to increase from here as the wheel continues to turn.

We are heading into a new year and a new decade (in a calendar sense), I wonder what changes will be brought in as the days gets brighter, the seeds of plans that have been made in the dark evenings maybe sown and we wait to see whether they germinate or not.

To welcome the sun back I decided to get up and go the park to walk the labyrinth before sunrise. Thankfully it had stopped raining when I left the house and there was just the barest sliver of the moon left…not that you can tell that from this stunning phone camera image!

This looks more like a quarter moon so you will just have to trust me on that!

I walked around the park, listening to the birds and their chorus – although they could easily have been shouting to each other about the bonkers human walking around in the dark!

Anyway I got the labyrinth and I wanted to light ny candle to welcome in the sun, but my lighter decided that it wasnt going to play ball (even after I had checked it at home). Walked the labyrinth without a lit candle to the center and tried to light it again, success this time!

I had a mini meditation at the center while watching the flame on my candle as I waited for sunrise, I knew what time sunrise was, so there I was, full of pagan-y excitiment and I watch the eastern sky for my first glimpse of the sun….

and as I wait, I get a lovely view of the clouds rolling back in. I waited, sunrise came and went, I could tell from the light levels but the clouds made sure I didnt see the sun…..oh well, the intention was there.

People think that holding a ritual of any kind is just how you see it in the movies and that its all as beautiful as you see from the staged images on Pinterest….but in reality your lighter doesnt work and the weather throws a spanner or a cloud in to feck up your aethestic, you gotta laugh and go with it! My intention was there, my thoughts and feelings were on the solstice/Yule so to me I had a successful personal ritual. Now I am back home with a coffee and my family!

I would like to wish you a blessed Yule and Winter Solstice and enjoy your plans, wbatever they may be.