Thursday, 31 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Snowed in on a cold, icy Christmas Eve, I have finally found time to look back over the last twelve months.
This year, I have mostly been
- Picking up the pieces of my life and starting over
- Re-finding myself and remembering who I truly am
- Giving thanks for the beloved friends and family who stick with me through thick and thin
- Stumbling my way back into paid employment for the first time in many years
- Realising that my home is now my home, and making it truly mine
- Mourning significant losses
- Trusting my intuition as never before
- Getting away from it all in Spain, Sussex, Somerset, Kent and Dorset with some of my favourite people
- Finding that actually, I can be organised and efficient!
- Contemplating a whole new world of possible futures
- Enjoying having family living close by
- Quite unexpectedly finding new love...
Blessed Yuletide, Merry Christmas, and the Happiest of New Years to you.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I am honestly honoured to find I have been awarded The Honest Blogger Award by Sue (aka The Purple Pixie) at her wonderful blog, The Creative Spirit. The award was ceated in response to Sue's post 'Telling It Like It Is'.
The Award states:
WE ARE Honest Bloggers!
the Sisterhood of SHIfT HAPPENS!
As honest bloggers we: (Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Add To... As You Wish)
- Speak our truth from the heart and tell it like it is.
- Share openly and honestly our true feelings without fear of judgement, blame or shame.
- We write to share our achievements so others can also share our joy.
- We write about our bad times too, knowing that the love and support of others is around us and perhaps heal another’s pain in the process...
- We are human beings with real feelings and emotions and REFUSE to hide behind a mask.
- We dare to be different.
- We are Free Spirits.
- We realise that by spilling out, we lighten our load.
- We acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and don't see them in terms of success or failure.
- We laugh together and cry together.
- We are all following our own journey in our own unique way.
- Above all else, we may lie on the floor, screaming and kicking, or feel like life is collapsing around us once in a while… but at the end of the day, we drag ourselves up, dust ourselves off and rise to fight another day.
For we are Warrior Women and we write not to please others, stroke our own egos or be judged, we blog because we care! Our blogs are our therapy, and through sharing SHIfT HAPPENS!*********
I haven't Cut, Copied, Pasted, Deleted, or Added To Sue's words as I love them just as they are. I feel truly honoured to be included in such august company! Apparently I now also have the right to bestow the award, so I plan to be passing the baton very soon...
Monday, 28 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
"I say," said Moonroot one cold, wet winter's day. "I have an absolutely spiffing idea! Why don't we all go camping again this summer just like we used to! It will be such super fun!"
The others all agreed it was a grand idea, and just a few months later they packed their bags and set off down to Dorset for the summer hols. They even took Sancha the dog.
"Gosh, we are going to have such wonderful adventures! And lashings of ginger beer**!" declared Moonroot.
"Woof! Woof!" agreed Sancha, wagging her tail.
And they did.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Friday, 29 May 2009
Photo: A close-up of Clifford - isn't he gorgeous?
Bookings were very slow coming in this year, and we mused on the underlying reason. Was it the economic downturn and a lack of funds that was preventing people from coming? Or had the Witchcamp model run its course in the UK? Was it just a quiet year, or was it in fact the end of an era? Avalon Spring is a labour of love for those of us who organise and teach it, and we didn't want to think that this could be the camp's last year.
To make it more affordable - in case the economic climate was to blame - we made the decision to shorten the length of camp from 5 days to a long weekend (23rd-25th May) and reduced the prices accordingly. After the change was announced, only two of those who had already booked decided not to come after all, and suddenly bookings were coming in thick and fast. Phew - so it was only a shortage of funds keeping people away!
Somehow we condensed things down into the new time slot. To our great amazement, time seemed to stretch to accommodate us, and much, much more than I would have thought possible somehow fitted neatly into our schedule. Nothing felt rushed or pressured, yet everything we had wanted to include was included. Bríghde Éire (Anne-Marie) and myself taught 'The Path of Devotion', examining a variety of devotional practices and the question, 'How many ways can we pray?'. Georgia Midnight Crow and Dawn Isidora taught 'The Sacred Sexual Soul', dealing with issues of sex, love, spirit, personal boundaries and finding our own authentic selves.
People enjoyed the work we did, they enjoyed the evening rituals around the fire, the venue, the food. The sun shone and the rain held off! The feedback we were given from everyone was without exception positive. Yes, they loved it. Yes, they want it to happen again. Yes, they would like it to be longer next time, and yes, they will be coming back.
Photo: L-R Georgia Midnight Crow, Dawn Isidora, Sylvia Rose. Also gorgeous.
After the campers had left, we remaining organisers planted two trees, an ash and a crab apple. We had brought them as a gift for Earthspirit, our venue for all but one of the Witchcamps we have held each year since 1998. Our initial expectation was that the trees would be something of a parting gift, in thanks for and acknowledgement of the good times we have spent there over the years. Many of us feel a deep connection with the Earthspirit land and the many beings who make their home there, and in thinking this may be our last year it seemed an appropriate gesture. And yet Avalon Spring 2009 has shown clearly that things are not over after all. Times are tough all round, but with imagination and flexibility we have been able to find revitalisation.
In the end, the tree planting was done in an atmosphere of quiet joy and hope, as we softly sang chants that sounded like lullabies to the young trees. This won't be our last year. We will return, and be able to watch our two small saplings as they grow into beautiful trees. May they and Earthspirit and the Witchcamp community flourish! Blessed Be.
P.S. Leaf's well-written and interesting account of his experience at Avalon Spring this year may be found here.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Improvisational: We value spontaneity within the overall structure of our rituals, encourage people to create liturgy in the moment rather than script it beforehand, to respond to the energy around us rather than predetermine how it should move.
Ensemble: In our larger group rituals, we work with many priest/esses together taking different roles and performing different functions that, ideally, support each other like the members of a good jazz ensemble. We encourage a fluid sharing of those roles over time, to prevent the development of hierarchy and to allow each person to experience many facets of ritual.
Inspired: Because we each have access to the sacred, we are each capable of creating elements of ritual. Although we honor the myths, the poems, the songs and the stories that have come down to us from the past, we are not bound by the past, for divine inspiration is constantly present in each of us.
Organic: We strive for a smooth, coherent flow of energy in a ritual that has a life of its own to be honored. Our rituals are linked to the rhythms of cyclical time and organic life."
Personally, I really value all of the above ingredients in a Reclaiming ritual, though obviously they can have a downside too. Sometimes the inspiration just isn't flowing, or the improvisation stumbles or feels forced, or the ensemble aspect means people with less experience or a bad headache that day fluff their lines or forget the chant or invoke the elements in the wrong order. But for me what is important is that perfect or not, everyone is truly involved, truly in the moment and truly part of the whole.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
- Copy and paste this award to your blog.
- List seven of your favourite things and pass it along to at least seven others.
And here are my seven favourites...
- The month of May - so bursting with life, so green, so tender, so beautiful...
- Lunch at The Owl and The Pussycat cafe in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. The food is all lovingly home made and the soups and cakes in particular are to die for! The hot bakewell tart with cream is out of this world...
- The smell of blackcurrant leaves - takes me back to picking blackcurrants on a hot summer day in my grandparents' garden.
- Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury - an oasis of calm, and a truly magical place.
- Unlimited time browsing in a bookshop.
- Little Miss Sunshine - my new favourite film!
- Listening to my brother and sister playing music and singing together.
And now I tag....
- Bret at This Guy's Journey (good to have you back blogging again!),
- Andy at The Spiritual Journey of a Somerset Pagan (always a good, though-provoking read),
- The deeply cool and effortlessly funny Earthenwitch,
- Also deeply cool and effortlessly funny, Good King Hal (plus a spot of nepotism never hurts),
- Willow at Contemplating Change, who is the very essence of Kreativ - ahem, sorry Creative! (I love her gorgeous knitting projects),
- My good and very talented friend Dragonfly at The Secret Garden,
- Another good friend and man of many talents, Paul at Moon and Raven.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Friday, 1 May 2009
'If the oak comes out before the ash, then you may expect a splash; if the ash comes out before the oak, then you may expect a soak'.
I've noticed in previous years that the oak always seems to pip the ash to the post, so I'm not sure how useful the saying is in matters of meteorology. However, I have also noticed the last two summers that it was a pretty close run thing. And the last two summers were frankly dismal, with plenty of soaking going on.
This year however, the oak at the top of the hill is well and truly flaunting its new leaves...
While the ash next to it is still hesitating in a tight-budded way...
I'm now feeling a little more hopeful that this year we will have some fine summer weather to enjoy. With just the odd splash.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
And spread it around - far and wide! Let the world know about the lies. Show these companies and their decision-makers for the soulless Earth-raping greedy misers they are.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
I am feeling content today. Spring is more than in the air, it has definitely sprung. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and there are flowers everywhere.
And better than all this is the news that my Mum and Dad are finally moving down to Wales. If you're a long time reader of this blog, you may remember that they were originally supposed to be moving down in the autumn of 2007. Unfortunately that was when the economy started to take a nose-dive. The chain of buyers broke and Mum and Dad then suffered a long string of disappointments, before deciding just a month ago that there was no point trying to sell until the housing markets picked up again. They took the house off the market and resigned themselves to staying put in Essex for the time being.
That was when the miracle occurred. One of the couples who had wanted to buy Mum and Dad's house but couldn't find a buyer for their own, rang up out of the blue to say they had managed to find a buyer after all. Like a line of dominoes, everything suddenly fell into place. There are only four links in the chain of buyers, and it is hoped they could be moved by as early as the end of May!
They came down this weekend to see the new house again and get the survey done (it was lovely to see them and spend time together). It all seems to be going full speed ahead. We are all amazed and happy.
Isn't it weird that often when you let go of something you've been trying to make happen it just all falls into place on its own? Miracles do happen sometimes. Thank you, Multiverse!