rise and root


by the gorgeous bohemian wild roses~thank you me dear xoxoxo

The Flame Haired Solstice Dreamer

Cold winter brings the Everfrost and jewels every tree
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
A flame~haired dreamer wanders there and shelters from the wind
And spins her dreams around the trees to break the ties that bind
She takes her thread and spins anew and how the Greenwood smiles
As she spins a spell for freedom and for her spirit Wylde

The dreamer finds an ancient oak and shelters in his lee
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
Tis summer now and birdsong weaves its magick through her spells
And humming bees drum drowsily in the foxglove's bells
The dreamer sits beneath the oak with yarn upon her knee
And spins and knits and weaves her dreams and sets her spirit free

come join us...

"When birds fall from the sky and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people...shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. they will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow"

Hopi Prophecy

~shaman of birth~

I have been reading oracle cards for years now.
I have several sets, the green man tree oracle, the druid plant oracle, the druid animal oracle and as you know my fairly recent purchase of the shamans oracle~which shouted loudly from a book shop shelf at me. it is this one that I have really connected to although some days I will use one of my other decks too, almost as a way of garnering more information, because each time the cards, even though they are from different deck, will match.
 anyway... today I have been having a bit of a ponder...
I have felt there is a lot of change in the air, in many directions, most of it hovering over me in some great greeny/gold/silver  cloud. this  has mysteriously appeared post~lurgy.
oh yes I have had the dreaded cold lurgy that seems to be doing the rounds right now. I went to bed last monday feeling not too bad, woke up the following morning with such a cold. by day three I was still virtually bed bound and swampy was all ready to get the doctor out to me, convinced I had swine flu again. however horses were held and the next day I felt a smidge better, and the next, and the next.
today however I am having a bit of a relapse as I spent a little while pottering about in the garden yesterday. so I have spent the day listing some new items on the wylde apothecary, chatting with friends on fb and looking at my 'other' website'. I ended up with two websites because I upgraded the wylde apothecary to allow for more selling space and so how could I not get solsticedreamer.com? how could I not? the trouble is I have really done nothing with it, I have had plenty of ideas but between having plenty of decidedly dodgy days due to the whole m.e/fibro thing, getting distracted with other things and just being plain bum-lazy nothing has happened with it. oh it has nagged me I can tell you~begging me to make it into something wonderful. but how? I argued, when I have this blog that I have spent years living with?
 but something or someone has crept inside my mind and the thought
 *change is good~change is positive*
 keeps drifting in and out...
 and I believe it, but only since I have been getting over this cold.
it feels as if the cold and sudden few days of warm sunshine  has purged me of some kind of stagnant cloud. I have started up my yoga practice again after many months~in the garden!  I recently dowsed my garden and found the myriad of spiral energies culminating to where I thought to create my sacred space and this is the only place with enough space to do my yoga practice outside. yesterday when I spent a few moments in mediation I closed my eyes and the vision I had behind my closed eyes was one of a spiral.
I took that as a sign that I have indeed chosen the right place for my sacred space.
yesterday I sat looking at my .com again, I deleted some bits, added some new bits, then experimented with adding html...it worked, it looked good in fact~it even had a good vibe to it...
and so the whole idea of moving this very blog over to my .com again came into my mind.
why not?
after all change is good isn't it?
I even experimented with how it would be in the blog roll and it comes up so those of you wanting to follow me can still see me...and hopefully visit!
 then I decided to just do a one card reading from the shamans oracle...
shaman of birth
let me tell you what tales the shaman of birth tells...
new life
new directions and ideas
rebirth of dreams
preparing for the moment
future life lines
that the ancestors understood that new beginnings were important to ensure the continuing life of the tribe
that we need to have a protective attitude to new ideas or fresh directions in our own lives


a little...but very exciting...announcement about
the wylde apothecary over at

~memories & kurt~

twenty years
has it really been twenty years?
but it only seems like yesterday...
i was living in lymington with my boyfriend simon, in a small flat above a tyre garage accessed by a long, steep, narrow stairway, that had old metal framed windows and was too hot in summer and too cold in winter. our 'garden' was a small paved area just outside the front door and the flat roof of the garage if we opened the narrow french windows in our lounge.
it was actually a seriously funky place made more bohemian by our ideals and lifestyle.
a small portable tv was balanced on an old suitcase (these days it would be called 'vintage' back then it was just old) and the stereo and our tape collection stood on a pine shelving unit, there were plants, pictures and guitars. in the bedroom another small tv sat upon a large amplifier and clothes were piled on another shelving unit. we had a small spare bedroom that we used for storage, the space mostly taken up with a windsurf board, snowboards, washing that needed doing and a huge book collection.
the kitchen still had old (vintage?!) cabinets and had a long window crowded with plants.
 that morning we opened our newspaper and found that Kurt had taken his life. back then this was how we had the news reach us, there were no mobile phones, no instant 24 hour news channels, no internet...we were devastated, could not believe it, if i remember rightly we bought flowers and put them out on a windowsill as a memorial...
i loved living in lymington back then, it was before it became a millionaires playground and we knew most of the people of our own age.
i had moved there a few years before with * into a flat at the top of town...
let me explain lymington, it sits on a steep hill, the 'top' of town literally is the top of the hill and the main high street is on this hill, leading down the the lymington river, the quay and yacht harbour...
...our flat at the top was above an art supplies shop and this flat too was very funky, set on different levels and my bedroom was right up in the attic~a long, low room where the sloping ceiling were my 'walls', with one small window  and accessed by a small flight of stairs that had a small landing at the top where i had rigged up a pole to hang my clothes.
my room was papered in posters and had parts of song lyrics and quotes from deadline written on the spaces between. the room was dominated by my bed which was just a mattress on the floor. fruit crates acted as my bedside table and a stand for my stereo.
next door to us was 'the black cat' pub, our 'local', there are several pubs along the high street and crowds would generally go from one to another during their nights out.
back then the 'drinking culture' was totally different to the one seen on tv these days.
people would go out not to get falling down drunk and fight, it was a very sociable thing, yes we would drink but not get drunk, and just enjoy each others company.
when we moved there we knew no-one but gradually became part of a small group of friends which is how i met simon~a motorbike riding, guitar playing, socialist. he lived at the bottom of town in a big Victorian house with our friends scott, who was incredibly tall and wide and drove a very small fiat 500 and bill, who, despite having  room at the house and his family live only a few doors away, chose to live on the small family boat that was anchored in the harbour and accessed by a small row boat...bill was a funny, but very complex character!
elsewhere in town lived nick, a merchant seaman, and brothers adam and jake.
i look back on my lymington days with great fondness, although grown and leading 'grown up' lives with jobs, i can only remember all the fun we had. fun that didn't mean getting falling down drunk , taking drugs or getting into fights...one night we all made our way to the flat after an evening out only to have bill appear stark naked apart from an advertising flag from a building site wrapped around him and a traffic cone clutched in his arms...sailing out to the isle of wight in bills boat, anchoring just off shore at alum bay, swimming to shore and walking up to the needles old battery, impromptu trips to Glastonbury in our old mini.
in the years before moving to lymington were the years i spent travelling around the county seeing live bands, i would go to these events weekly, seeing mostly local bands or small bands that never really made the charts here~the cropdusters, the levellers, mega city 4, the judacutters. this was also the time i started going to festivals, namely the reading festival where i had seen Nirvana play in 1991 and '92.
such good memories to have
it seems i have been living a lot in the past since the loss of cecil.
actually i do live in the past a lot these days
some days i find myself frustrated with my life and wish i could turn the clock back...


so the days have passed and the final day of march found us saying a final goodbye to Cecil
 (this was his school nickname and the first name i knew him by and it feels right now to use it here)
people came from far and wide, it really was far and wide, and stood under the trees, with bird song falling upon our heads, finally meeting up with friends who we had not seen for many years, and to find that those old friendships had not waned in anyway...
it was almost as if only months had passed.
there were hugs and tears and laughter and time to catch up and remember before we all gathered in a chapel to pink floyds 'wish you were here' for a beautiful humanist ceremony.
at one point i gazed up at the roof at the end of the chapel to find that it was a beautiful, high domed roof made up of thousands of darkish blue tesserae, that the windows were edged in blue stained glass and the rope that circled Cecil's coffin was blue and i was suddenly reminded of something my friend J had messaged me that morning...
  I shall be thinking of you today and shall wrap you in a cloak of deepest blue to keep you strong for your farewells
and so i was, we all were and as we walked out i lay my hand upon his coffin upon which sat a photo of him in full smile, a very old box brownie camera and his sun glasses and said goodbye.
we found ourselves again standing under the birdsong surrounded by trees full of blossom until by ones and twos the people vanished and after talking to his brother i left with the two old friends i had arrived with and we made our way back to the village and one of the pubs that was our old haunt.
there we remained, talking , laughing, hugging, looking at all the old photos people had looked out to share until the day took its toll and i left to walk home under the dark sky spilling rain down onto me...
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skys from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.


i never considered that i would be writing a blog post like this
in fact i don't know if i will even publish it, now or ever
maybe i am writing this to try to make sense of what has happened and if i publish it i suppose it will be in the hope that it is part of the process i am going through, an echo of the process my old friends are going through with me, in our respective spheres of life. the process a family is now going through.
let me take you back a long time
back when i was in college a small group of friends formed, we were all local village teenagers going to the college here.
 we were old enough to have gained some independence and trust from our families, old enough to go to the local pub, usually on nights when we could listen to the 'real ale and thunder band'~although talking yesterday * and  i were wondering how we could ever afford it for none of us had jobs~our college work was the only work we had.
when not in college we would descend on *'s parents house which had become our second home, we would go through the kitchen like locusts, spend time in the converted shed talking and listening to music, have bonfires on a parents allotment and cook decidedly dodgy potatoes and sausages over the fire while P gave us rides across the open forest on his 'chickenchaser'. one cold and icy winter we played 'ice hockey' on a frozen pond with golf clubs using a tin of cat food as a puck and in the summer baseball using gorse bushes as bases.
 none of us could drive so anywhere we went was by push bike~this was the days before parents would buy teenagers a bright shiny car and we certainly couldn't afford to buy even the most beaten up old banger.
one summer we stayed in a small beach hut on mudeford spit~if i remember rightly there were 8 of us and two dogs squeezed into the tiny hut that had sleeping room for four~we had cycled to hengistbury head, loaded our bags onto the noddy train and cycled down to mudeford spit where we reclaimed our bags and moved into the beach hut. my abiding memory of this time was one night was one of the boys singing 'Summertime'~i have loved that song ever since, but when hearing it, it is him still singing.
even now years later it was the best summer, really the best ever summer...

~two weeks later~

well time passed, we all followed our own paths, some of us leaving the forest for a few years, some longer. while we were all following our paths some kept in physical touch, some through the internet, sometimes we met by accident, sometimes we tracked each other down but there was always a connection, somewhere, somehow that kept us linked and knowing how we were all doing.

so the years passed

two weeks ago * came to my house with the news that ^ had finally reached the decision that this life was too hard to continue living~he had taken his final journey the night before.

^ was a sweet, funny and very talented man and even now with two weeks having passed when i let my mind focus on what happened and all the usual whys and wherefores i cant really take it in. one abiding thought was why did i not send him the e-mail i sat down to write only a month earlier? i don't think any email from anyone would have altered his course in this life, but i like to think that maybe my words would have raised a smile.


~a week~

so the rain still falls, but now we have sleet and hail showers.
this morning we had a heavy hail shower and i looked up from my seat on the sofa to see leveret and magpie come rushing over calv's  fence and come crashing through their little door.
they are now curled up on the armchair asleep.
i have had a lazy couple of days, catching up on the documentary's and films i have recorded.
calv and i had a good chat the other day~one of those rare days where the sun was shining and we sat out in my nook chatting over a mug of coffee. we talked about the lack of structure to our days and this came back to me on Saturday while watching a documentary.
i decided that i need some structure to my life, to give my days more meaning...well not so much meaning as to make my days more productive.
sitting here with my laptop it is so easy to be drawn into other places...like pinterest...
there are so many things i want to do with my days but it is so easy to become distracted.
the time has come to make some changes.
this links somewhat with my earth magic card i drew a few days ago...(displayed with the help of magpie)
the cycle of re-birth, brushing away the cobwebs that opens the way for the seed-ideas that have been germinating over the dark months... 

also this past week...
an early morning hello from a crow...
kittens cuddled up...
finishing a felted pouch. i was going to put this one up for sale but fell in love with it! so today i will be doing some wet felting...

this is the same pouch~the lighting really does change the colour!
we popped to our local country store where they sell all kinds of things~chicken coops, chicken feeders, assorted 'stuff' for livestock, wellies, tools, fencing etc etc...we needed dog food, which we buy in cases of 24. the store is near buckland rings and while i waited for swampy i had this view down a steep sided valley where someone had lit a small fire...
if you enlarge this photo you can see the wood smoke rising...
and now its time to get some wet felting done...have a lovely day whatever and wherever you are

~sacred space~

another beautiful day here in the forest
i woke before dawn to the waning moon shining in through the bedroom window and the very first birds starting to sing...i lay listening to the bird song grow louder and the dark fade from the sky, each star slowly fading.
i got up while the moon was still visible over our garden and stood out there~it was chilly, but a nice chilly and all i could hear was bird song and a very distant chainsaw. again i thought how luck we are to live here and have little noise pollution.
then it was time for my regular morning routine that involves feeding flynt, magpie and leveret and then taking my first lot of medication while my coffee brews. then i either sit here and blog, read for a while or catch up with any documentary i may have record.
this morning its blogging and a documentary on Vivaldi.
today from my *earth magic* oracle i have been given fairies
i just adore the cover to this set of cards...

because i drew this card after being out in my garden it again seems rather significant...
the card is a reminder that we have the same power as the fae~starting with loving the earth through gratitude and actions. the fae will help you to reconnect with the earth but you have to pay attention to the trees and plants and care for them. to treat every tree, flower, herb, shrub as you would a dear friend and you will be rewarded...
while out in the garden last sunday, when we had the day of sun and warmth i was thinking of where i could place my garden altar and moving my cauldron.
my garden altar is always a bit hit and miss~i can never really find a place that feel 'right' so i have been thinking about it over the week.
i am unsure whether to try to develop a small area or expand it so a whole section of the garden is an sacred area...i think a bit of browsing via pinterest might be in order!

~earth magic~

we have had more rain since my post and that is how the day started but now the sun is shining which always makes me feel better.
i have washing hanging on the line that is nearly dry and swampy has been able to get out and fix a wheel bearing on 'pretty pagan' that has been rumbling and grinding for a while.
i had two appointments this morning, one with my gp who prescribed me medication for blood pressure and told me what i thought was, and was told by another gp last year, ringworm is actually a skin condition called  granuloma annulare, possible linked to my diabetes.
no wonder the steroid cream i had been given was doing nothing!
he told me to google it when i got home...so i did...
it seems there is really nothing to cure it, that it comes and goes...so i am hoping that it is my diabetes and when that is controlled it will vanish. i have been referred to a diabetologist to discuss my medication so i am feeling hopeful.
then we had to travel to my appointment at the pain management clinic to see their clinical psychologist. i had taken my crochet with me so was able to squeeze in a ten minute hooky time.
it was a good appointment and i came out feeling quite positive and looking forwards to my next appointment.
...well there was a quick break there to get the washing in, huge black clouds have rolled in from the west and its raining again!
i have been doing daily meditations with my *earth magic* cards~i have had them a couple of years but was never really sure about them, plus i have been caught up with first, the green man oracle, druid plant and druid animal oracle and now of course my shamans oracle.
then i thought they might work well for just a daily meditation~something for me to think on during the day. i have to say its been very useful. i shuffle them and usually pick out the card that decides to poke out beyond the others...
one day i had...
to go with the flow of life, not fight the movement as it will hamper making choices
the following day i had *waterfall~spirit*
spirit is asking me to step beyond the edge and not fight or struggle. but move forward with awareness and grace
don't you think i am being told something?

~rain, rain, sun & more rain~

the weather here for weeks and weeks has been just dreadful
the jet stream has been stuck and sending wave after wave of storms at our small country in from the atlantic to the west.
here in the forest we have had a lot of flooding although nowhere near as much as the poor folk on the somerset levels and more recently along the thames.
on friday a huge storm came rolling in and we had a 'risk of life' warning placed in lymington and milford-on-sea which is five miles from us with winds expected to be 70-80 miles an hour.
friday is usually our shopping day so we went out early and it started to rain heavily. coming out of the village the roads were clear but it started to rain heavily.
by the time we came home we were faced with this...

  this is the west of the village~the bottom end of the small road the shops are on~to the locals the village is actually the single short road the shops are on. we luckily live about five minutes away up on the side of a hill.
those of you that know brockenhurst will know there is a ford at the bottom of the village (locally known as the watersplash). the flooding you see here is from the stream that feeds the watersplash that had burst its banks. but it had also been fed from smaller streams that cross the forest and of course because we had had so much rain for so long the land itself is totally waterlogged.
it probably became much worse but we managed to drive through without getting stuck...the car you see on the right of the last photo was being attached to a landrover to be pulled out as we went around the corner. we got home and stayed home as the gale started within an hour of us closing our front door.
my oh my did it howl and roar.
 i went to bed early with my book and was convinced that the bedroom window would blow in and we could physically feel our little home shake. the power went off at 11.30pm but luckily my radio is a wind-up one and so we were able to keep in touch with what was happening locally via radio solent. as well as no electric or heat we also had no internet access, not even through our mobile phones~we could only assume the mobile antennas had been blown out.
luckily we have a gas cooker so was able to have hot drinks and cook. our power came back on 11 hours later but my mum and sister who live down the road had no power for another further 5-6 hours so they came to us and our warm home.
yesterday could not have been more different...
glorious blue sky and warm sunshine...

i went around taking photographs of the new life pushing up through the soil, just to remind myself the spring is on its way...

and i sat on my patio charging my crystals and myself...
gazing up through the tangle of rose and jasmine to the blue...
we made the most of the day and pottered around the garden, trimming, re-potting, moving the ferrets cage, chatting to calv over the fence as he did some work to his shed.
by tea time we had worn ourselves ragged and i could hardly move...the risk i run when its nice, i do wayyyy to much and then the m.e and fibro kick in, protesting and telling me that i should go carefully when its nice and not push myself...which of course i ignore.
yesterday was also the first really nice day the kittens have had since we had them and they have been allowed out into the big wide world...
 they have really grown up...now at 6 months old...
magpie is growing into a big cat and is the most adventurous...
i had forty fits when magpie first climbed onto our room~he gets up via the fence and my nook. however the pitch of our roof is a gentle slope and so i no longer feel so concerned...

this is nelson who has been visiting our gardens since he was a kitten. he has grown into a big cat and is not at all sure about these new kits on the block. several times he has chased them both in through their cat flap~on one occasion he came in himself as he chased a terrified leveret...


 leveret is much smaller than magpie, not quite as adventurous and she loves her little toys much more. she will carry them around the house and play with them. she also enjoys following me into  the bedroom at bedtime and will lay on the bed with me while i read...


i know some of you who read my blog are fans of Stonewylde and were members of the forum which shut on new years eve.
well i am glad to say that a new forum is up and running!
just pop to stonewylde.net and join in again!
All things share the same breath~the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Chief Seattle

Johney Gaul~1915

Johney Gaul~1915
1890-17 september 1918~France