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

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Summer Solstice greetings and Litha blessings

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Solstice greetings one and all…I hope you are having a good Litha (or Yule if you are in the Southern Hemisphere!)

This is my first Litha or Summer Solstice and I was going to mark it in great form but recently life threw me a massive curve ball and all plans went out of the window!
No matter what is going on in my personal life I didnt want to leave it unmarked…its also a full Moon and there is a moot with my local pagan group so busy day all in all!

Anyway, on my way back to work this afternoon, I collected some Mugwort from a rather substantial patch I found (cue little happy dance!) with herbs being collected today being even more potent. I intend to dry some leaves for tea and make my own smudge sticks with leaves and some lavender too.
Part way through collecting I realised I hadnt said thanks as I was given a timely reminder with a sharp sting from a hidden nettle…duly paid my respects and all was well.

There is a big park near where I live and it has a big stone entrance on one side called the ‘Four Seasons’, because there are four women carved from stone, one for each season.

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Spring.

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Summer.

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Autumn.

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Winter.

I have always admired these women but it was only today that I noticed how each woman ages as the wheel turns and each season has its turn – hadnt been obvious before starting my path but now makes perfect sense.
As I dont really have an outside altar I decided to take some roses and use them to honour ‘Summer’.

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Summer with her roses.

I had a quiet word internally with Summer before carrying back onto work. This way I feel I have marked the Solstice in a small way and had a quiet word with the Goddess.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have had/are having a wonderful Solstice, x