Monday, 29 September 2008

Etsy Additions

An unashamed ad for my Etsy shop - I'm adding lots more items this afternoon. Please feel free to stop by for a browse:

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Autumn Equinox

Gathering in the temple, we created elemental altars together. One each for earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Draped cloths in each of the four quarters, plus one in the centre of our circle were adorned with flowers, crystals, feathers, candles, shells, incense... The temple space was cleansed with incense and salt water. We cleansed each other and entered...
Together in our peaceful sanctuary, we grounded, cast a circle and invoked the elements, Deities and other Mysterious Ones.
In this time of balance and change, we wrote on leaves those things we would shed and cast them into the cauldron to be transformed. In this time of harvest, we took apples, naming them for those things we would gratefully reap and take with us into the dark half of the year. In this time of community celebration we gifted eachother with hazelnuts, naming them for the blessings we would wish on eachother.
In this time of Autumn Equinox I gathered with good friends in celebration, shed my fears and tears and grief, held on to my hopes and blessings, and discovered all the good things others wish for me. In this pause from routine, this place of balance between light and dark, summer and winter, when day and night stand as equals, I felt the shift and realised that both balance and change are necessary.
The universe is in a fine dance between stasis and chaos. And so am I. This time of upheaval in my life may well turn out to be a blessing. I am certain that it will be a time of growth and learning.
Blessed Be.
P.S. Paul's account of the ritual is here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Open All Hours

I have been thinking about opening an Etsy shop for a while now, through which to sell my masks and other craft items. Now it seems a better idea than ever, as an independent income has become a pressing concern of late.

So... [drumroll]... I hereby announce the (not so) grand opening of my Etsy shop. I will be adding more items over the next few days, so please stop by and have a look. Any constructive criticism gratefully received!

And if you should need a mask for Samhain (or any other occasion!) - well, now you know where to come. Have a nice day!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Moonroot and the Moon

Last night the skies were clear, and the almost-full moon spilled her light on a landscape of black-and-silver. As I drew the bedroom curtains closed Halfway Up a Hill, I could see mist hanging in shimmering swathes in the river valley below. A tawny owl quavered.

I got back out of bed and pulled the curtains wide open. I would not have done this before, for fear of the brightness disturbing T's sleep. But now it is just me and the moon.

I bathed all night in her sweet, pure light. It felt soothing on my eyelids, comforting to my bruised heart. I slept deeply, peacefully, and awoke refreshed.

From now on, I will leave the curtains open and welcome the moon into my bedroom. Because I can.

Friday, 12 September 2008

A Long Overdue Thank You!

Rather belatedly, I'd like to thank Andy at The Spiritual Journey of a Somerset Pagan, and Livia Indica at Magic in These Hills for nominating me for the 'I love your blog' award.

Many, many thanks to both of you for the honour! I love your blogs too, so it means a lot that you would pick me.

The Rules for those receiving an award are:

  1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
  2. Link the person you received the award from
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
  4. Put links of those blogs on yours
  5. Leave a message on the blogs nominated

My nominations include some lovely blogs I've discovered in recent months. I send awards showering down on:

  1. Mitchell Mutt at The Book Rant, whose posts are unfailingly short, to the point and hilarious;
  2. Mimi at Little Sips of Tea, a delicious comfort-blanket of a blog;
  3. Rima at The Hermitage, a magical wonderland of quirky creativity;
  4. Mike at Team Spirit because I am so enjoying Drood's adventures and can't wait for Chapter 8;
  5. The Awakened Heart, down to earth, spiritual and often downright funny - lovely!;
  6. Aims at Big Blue Barn West - Aims' moving story is so beautifully and honestly told I am quite addicted;
  7. Paul at Moon and Raven, because it's always well-written, thought-provoking and he covers such a diverse range of subjects.
I'm really surprised how easy it was to pick seven - how hard to stop at seven, in fact. It goes to prove that there really are a lot of wonderful blogs out there to enjoy. I recommend all of the above for your viewing/reading pleasure.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Liar, the Witch and the Wardrobe*

T and I had been talking about getting a new wardrobe virtually since we moved to Wales. We had brought with us a hideous cheap melamine one that my Mum and Dad had been about to throw out. It was supposed to be a stop gap measure until we got around to buying a really nice one.
It's not like we didn't know what our lovely new wardrobe was going to look like. It would be stripped, reclaimed pine, probably a triple wardrobe with 3 doors and drawers underneath for extra storage. We even went on a few serious wardrobe hunting expeditions, but somehow the nearest we ever got to actually making a purchase was when we visited a local pine furniture specialist and liked all the options so much we couldn't decide. So we bought a bookcase instead and came home.
Last weekend my brother came to visit, and did a great job of distracting me from my current woes. One day we visited Newcastle Emlyn and noticed a new antique shop had opened - so of course we had to go in and have a good look round. Towards the back of the shop was an old, Victorian stripped pine wardrobe - single. I fell in love with it immediately, but there was no price on it, and I sternly told myself that with a divorce looming this is no time to be buying antique furniture. Still, I couldn't help thinking about it. It was so perfect.
When T rang a few days later, I asked what he thought about me buying a new wardrobe. Perhaps it was guilt, but after a brief consideration, he agreed that a new wardrobe was definitely needed. By now the old melamine one had lost its doors, and the cheap hanging rails sagged so badly they needed propping up with broom handles. "How much is it?" he asked as an afterthought. I had no idea, as there had been no price label on it, but from somewhere I found myself saying, "£150".
"Oh that's not too bad," T said, relieved. "Yes, go for it."
On Friday I found myself once again in Newcastle Emlyn, making a beeline for the antique shop. My heart sunk as I entered. It had gone, I was too late. But wait - no, there it was, towards the back. As I approached, I could see a price tag had been added. My heart sunk again. It was bound to be more than £150. Why hadn't I told T a higher price when he asked?
The label read £165. With my heart in my mouth I approached the shop owner. "I love the pine wardrobe you have, but I only have a budget of £150," I tentatively began.
He put his head on one side and pursed his lips. I just knew he was going to turn down my offer.
"Yes, that's OK," he smiled. "Would it be alright if I deliver it for you on Sunday?"
Unable to believe my luck I nodded vigorously, and wrote out the cheque with shaking hands. I had my wardrobe! I virtually skipped back to the car. Somehow it seemed like a good omen.
Back at home I began putting the clothes T had left at the house into black bin-bags, ready for him to pick up on his next visit, or take to a charity shop if they were unwanted. I moved all my clothes into T's old wardrobe in the spare room, and finally the melamine monstrosity could be dismantled and moved out to make room for the new pine wardrobe. What I hadn't expected from all of this was how therapeutic it was to clear T's stuff away. How positive it felt to claim space for my own.
My sweet new little wardrobe was delivered this afternoon. I love it. It's just big enough for one person's clothes - in fact I'll have to do a bit of judicious pruning of my clothes to fit them all in comfortably. But that is a good thing. It's time for a new start, time to release that which no longer fits comfortably, and make future choices according to what pleases me, and no one else.
So you see, really it's a magical wardrobe. Through it, I've peeked into a whole new world.
* Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. I was trying to make this post positive and not dwell too much on anger and recriminations. But hey, I'm only human. ;-)