Thursday, 30 October 2008


This is my Samhain altar.

I am going to be away visiting friends in Essex for Samhain itself (sadly missing the Carmarthenshire Pagan Community ritual as a result), yet it just wouldn't be right not to have an altar dedicated to my Beloved Dead at this time of year. A bit like not having Christmas decorations I suppose!

I wrote last year about the form my personal Samhain ritual normally takes, so I won't repeat myself. But I will suggest you take a look at this video, of the Bay Area Reclaiming community's Samhain Spiral Dance ritual. This event has been held annually since 1979, and now attracts hundreds of participants (including this year, my friends Georgia, Anne-Marie & Will). I just can't imagine attending a ritual that big - the energy must be amazing. Perhaps one day I shall be able to attend. Or perhaps one day, there will be a Spiral Dance in the UK. Oh well, I can dream...

Samhain Blessings to you.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Sugarfrost Flowers

Like most of the rest of the UK, things have turned pretty wintery here at Halfway up a Hill. Last night we had our first frost of the year, a pretty heavy one for the end of October.

This morning the few remaining flowers in the garden looked as if they had been sprinkled with sugar...

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

Livia Indica has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award on her NeoPagan Ink blog. Wow, thank you! I'm so flattered to be awarded this.

Now I've got to nominate 6 others and list 6 things I like.
In no particular order I nominate:
  • mccabe at Dancing Mermaid for her amazing photos, poetry and joyously creative spirit
  • Jackie and the Gingers at We Three, Ginger Cats Tales - stunning photography and a poetic telling of what it is to be a cat
  • Snapper and the Griffin, for quirky photos and gorgeous tales
  • Fiona at The Cottage Smallholder for writing like a dream and managing to make even me, who really doesn't enjoy cooking a whole lot, want to take up my garlic press and wooden spoon and get creating deliciousness
  • Mike at Team Spirit for sharing his funny and intriguing novel with us, and
  • Juliet at Crafty Green Poet - truly creative and lovely poetry to boot!

And I like:
  • The smell of lemons (I use lemon essential oil to clean my kitchen!)
  • The art of Andy Goldsworthy
  • Snuggling up in front of the wood burning stove with the cats on a chilly evening
  • This song (which I never get tired of)
  • Earl Grey tea - something about the scent always gives me a little lift
  • The Tai Chi class I've just started taking. I'm not a great fan of exercise - never have been - but Tai Chi makes me feel really energised yet calm.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Playing Tag...

I have been tagged for a meme by Jane at The Winds of Change. It's the 'Six Random Things' meme, which I did a little while ago. At that time I mentioned that I love memes, so... I'm going to do it again!!

The rules are:
  1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
  5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Hmmm, six random things - here goes...

  1. My first car was a little red Mini called Eric (I hope I'm not the only one here who names her cars!).
  2. T and I lived in Australia for 18 months when he was working over there. We were based in Melbourne.
  3. Moonroot is my magical name, which I received when I was initiated.
  4. I just love browsing round second-hand shops, charity shops, car boot sales, Ebay. I like the idea of giving things a new lease of life, re-using, repairing, mending, making over into something new. Almost all my clothes are second-hand (what do you mean, you could tell?!).
  5. I don't have a favourite colour - it varies from day to day, according to what mood I'm in.
  6. I had porridge with golden syrup for breakfast this morning.
Well that's another six!

In turn, I tag:

Livia Indica at Magic in These Hills,
Sleepy Kitty at From the Windowsill (if she can fit it in before commencing this year's novel),
and Reya at The Gold Puppy.

Thanks Jane!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Something To Look Forward To...

Avalon Spring 23 - 28 May 2009
A 6 day residential intensive in witchcraft and earth based spirituality in the Reclaiming Tradition.

Listen to the words of the Great Mother... and so it begins; our journey into this beautiful and profound piece of liturgy originally written by Doreen Valiente that embodies most witches’ concept of the many faces of the Goddess. Her many names come to us through time.

At Avalon Spring we will celebrate the divine spirit of ourselves with the Charge of the Goddess.
Gather with us to do the work that calls us at our 11th residential intensive at Earthspirit, a residential retreat centre just outside of Glastonbury on the edge of Compton Dundon village in Somerset.
All traditions welcome!

Dorm Place, £450-£600
Camping Place £350-£500
Cost includes breakfast and two vegan/vegetarian meals served daily.


Thursday, 16 October 2008


I decided that instead of untidily spreading my craftmaking activities all over the house, I should set up a dedicated workspace. So in the spare room, I have put a work table and T's computer chair. I've brought the radio with me, and a few boxes of materials. And inspired by the view (I chose to position myself in front of the window with the best views over the valley), I have been painting, moulding, stitching, knitting, threading, glueing and generally getting creative.

Well, wouldn't you be inspired by this view?

This is one of the results. I had intended to paint a relatively simple Egyptian 'Eye of Horus' design on this wooden box. But somehow, my fingers had plans of their own. It seems to me that the best things I create have a life of their own, inasmuch as the inspiration for them seems to come out of nowhere, while the logical side of my brain shuts off and gives my fingers free range to do what they will. At such times the results surprise me and I think, 'I didn't know I could do that!'.
Anyhow, surprising me as much as anyone, this lovely mermaid/sea Goddess is now wrapping herself seductively around the contours of the box. She will be appearing in the Etsy shop as soon as she's finished, along with the rest of my latest creations.
Wow, the power of an inspiring view!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

This Morning, Halfway Up a Hill...

This morning, Halfway Up a Hill, early morning autumn mist was gradually giving way to sunshine.

Webs frosted with dew hung everywhere, catching the slanting early light.

Leaves glowed in their closing splendour, awaiting the final tumble to earth.

Bear pondered, inscrutable cat thoughts.

Sunny the gosling, now fully grown, stretched out his wings and legs, felt his strength, ate his breakfast, and knew that life is good.

Gossiping around their feeder, the chickens reached a similar conclusion.

And Moonroot felt her heart begin to heal, just a little...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


The last few weeks have been a challenge for me, there is no doubt about that. And yet, somehow the sadness and pain I've been experiencing have brought into sharp relief the counterbalancing positives in my life.

The photo above is of an altar I have created on a dresser, to remind me daily of how lucky I am. Every item on the altar - apart from the crockery (which was there already) and the mini-cauldron (which has a heart-healing spell in it) - has been given or sent to me over the past few weeks by friends and family, to let me know they are thinking of me and wishing me well. Their gifts and kind words and thoughts and prayers are a balm to my sorrow.

When the chips are down, I know they are there for me, whatever happens. And that is more precious than I can put into words.

I am more than lucky to have such people in my life, I am blessed.