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

~sunshine~

i woke up to a pale blue sky this morning and after watching the crows fly in and out of the great old oak that looks down over us i got up for coffee and breakfast

over time the blue of the sky deepened to a darker blue as i walked the few minutes down the hill to the warm memorial, my framed picture of my great granddad clasped in my arms.

i have no qualms abut going down to the small remembrance ceremony in our village~although i am a pacifist and dearly wish we lived in a world without conflict i refuse to not commemorate the life and death of my great grandfather john, my great great uncles john and george in the first world war~nor all of those lost in wars,

although i set off feleing not too bad  the end of the short ceremony i was stiff and aching and by the time i got home i could hardly move~so, after checking with swampy that he had no plans for us to go out, i have changed straight into my pj's so that if i get any worse i don't have to struggle out of my clothes.

its clouding over now and i am wondering what to do with my day~i started a pair of fingerless gloves yesterday with some lovely Rowan Felted Tweed yarn so might well do some crochet until my fingers start to complain.

~a sofa day~


today is a sofa day
actually i have had a few sofa days this week

i am having a bit of a fibromyalgia flare up as well as a lot of pain from osteoarthritis making typing this very painful~so this could well be a short post but i am determined to start to blog regularly.

the weather here in this ancient forest is a typical dark, stormy winters day. i was in the garden earlier watching as swampy was using foraged birch and hazel sticks to make a makeshift fence. we still have some nasturtium flowering and my pot of canyon sage has many little purple flowers and smells gorgeous when touched~releasing a spicy scent into the air.

our black elder is going a bit wild and swampy took off two long thin branches-these are going to be dried and sanded and will be created into wands to be sold at the wylde apothecary next year. i have also been going through the seasoned branches we have in the shed to find some good pieces for my new inspiration-decorated wooden pendants/amulets/talismans.

i have also had some inspiration on making medieval scrip bags so watch this space...

~samhain~


my samhain, my real samhain, was a quiet one.

i lit candles in the home and in the garden, little lanterns shedding their small light into the ever growing bare patches that have been left by the plants returning to the earth.

a lantern burned on my garden altar, the light glancing off the antlers that are sprouting from a slowing disintegrating skull

i broke up some thick dry sticks, stacking some beside me and lit a fire in my cauldron, lit a charcoal disc and sat watching as the flames slowly caught and engulfed the sticks.
the charcoal turned grey and i sprinkled on some samhain incense blend from star child~the herb infused smoke mixed with the wood smoke, spiralling into the dark, damp air.

so i sat in the damp garden soaking in the heat from my fire, adding more sticks to the cauldron, more incense to the hot disc

i thought of my ancestors, 
of the huge ancestral tree i have been adding to and working on
new found family whose blood flows within me, whose eyes saw life as it was in the 1500's in villages near to and within this ancient forest i call home.

i also planted my seed intentions for the dark days and weeks ahead

i am feeling so much better after our trip to glastonbury~the energy there is indescribable, i can feel it for miles around almost as a shimmering energy that gets more intense the closer you get.
it feels as if that energy has charged me up and i feel full of possibilities and hope.

~there & back again~


i have been such a lax blogger, dreadful.

i have had a period of 'blahhhh-ness', my mojo had packed its bags and went on some rambling walkabout.
all i have really been doing is reading, a lot of reading, some family tree work and crochet.
i have had no motivation for anything and days would go by without even turning on my laptop.
last weekend we packed up, hooked lilith onto the back of pretty pagan and took to the road...




not far outside of salisbury we stopped for a quick stopover to stretch our legs, flynts included. usually we stop for a nice mug of tea at this bus but this time we were running late and had no time for tea.

can you see where we are heading?



my spiritual home beckons...


but the low clouds kept hiding avalon from sight



samhain can mean only one thing...meeting up with friends for the weekend and the fairy ball and witches market.
we set up camp at the avalon campsite only minutes from the centre of glastonbury and as it was getting dark we settled down with mugs of tea and our books.
for the next two days we spent our time at the shops and witches market, drinking hot chocolate in the blue note and soaking in the atmosphere.






we stopped at the chalice well and collected water from the white spring.
the white spring temple was closed to my great disappointment and i clung to the iron bars gazing in at the cold darkness, hearing the healing waters flowing feeling like a prisoner in reverse.








all to soon it was time to pack up and come back to this ancient forest
but glastonbury has worked its magic and i have come home full of inspiration and my samhain reading of my shamans oracle cards has only emphasised this feeling





~mabon blessings~

here we are at the turn of the wheel as we celebrate mabon, the autumn equinox.

last night i did a full five card reading of my shamans oracle asking about my path through the coming dark months ahead of us.

this morning i was hanging out washing under the brilliant blue sky, brother sun is not giving out his heat as strongly now, but my washing is still drying under his gaze.
i gazed around at my garden, at the final bursts of colour that are still attracting the bee's, at the seed heads, at the growth that has become brown and is returning to the earth, at the grass that is patchy, the seed pods hanging from the sweet pea i had growing in an old milk churn.

there is a stillness i am enjoying, this ancient forest is slowly shaking off the tourists that take over each year and when walking through the woods the air is no longer rent with shouting, talking...









i have been away from here as we had our yearly trip to the malverns for busfest where i relished living in Lilith for ten days~days that i spent reading, cycling around the show ground, sitting with friends around a fire in the evening...


 i put up my bunting made by robyn, my soul syster...



set up my altar space...



coming home i keenly feel the loss of having friends around me, its the same feeling i have after the moongazy gathering each may.
to come home to my real, solitary life where i become just the cared for/the carer.
i miss the conversation and laughter of others, the laughter around the fire as night falls, music...so much.
here, now i feel i have no direction and no purposeful life and i am struggling.
right now i am struggling not to lock myself in my bedroom and cry-as i said, struggling.

one bright spark was my sister bring me these back from San Francisco for me...


i have wanted this deck for a long, long time but held back ordering them online because i was not sure of customs. when i heard S was off to America and having her usual few days in San Francisco i was leaping for joy when i found three stores in the city selling this tarot.
they are such a beautiful deck and i am getting to know them a little each day.



~turning wheel~


can you feel it?
the great wheel is slowly shifting

i have been feeling it for a couple of weeks now, but more so over the last few days, despite the blazing hot sun we are still having here in my part of the northern hemisphere.

it is like a deep thrumming of a great drum in the earth that is vibrating up into my body and into my very soul

i can feel everything starting to withdraw into the earth~in the garden, although we still have flowers and my black cherry tomatoes are only just turning dark~there is a withdraw that is very strong...too strong to ignore.
to many people august is the hight of summer, but lughnasadh/lammas is the first harvest and it is a time when things start to slow down and my thoughts start to turn inwards.

a time to think over what the year, so far has brought, to reap personal rewards with thanks and think on what will be reflected upon during the dark days that are to come.

i look forward to the dark days, although we need both light and dark, i feel connected to the darker times. it feels comfortable and i feel more alive and creative.

everywhere i am feeling an increased stillness that no everyone can feel...can you?

~heatwave~


this heatwave we are experiencing is really getting the better of me at the moment
the heat seems to be relentless and making even the smallest thing difficult to do~as a result i have not had the urge to even turn on my laptop.
all i have been doing, or so it seems, has been to mop my brow almost continuously and have lots of cold wash downs with a flannel.
its also been making me grumpy and all i have wanted to do has been read in a cool, dark room...although the rooms have not been cool at all!

we did have the most explosive thunderstorm just over a week ago~the kind of storm i have nver witnessed in my whole life. the thunder and lightning was right above the village and there was no gap between any of the thunder or lightning. we just had continual noise and light and finally our power went out until the next morning.

it did not however make things any cooler-it just became hotter...and hotter.

two days ago we had a small, daytime summer storm and today it is cloudy and hot~so we are both hoping for some cooling rain.

***

i have had to start to get organised for the new forest fairy festival which is now only two weeks away~this morning i was packing up some of my hand blended incense and ordering some of the resins i am growing low on.

***

little merlin is now very at home with us and while magpie accepted him quite quickly it has taken leveret a lot longer, but she is slowly getting there and i hope she will have settled down well enough over the next six weeks to enable me to go to busfest with swampy. in 15 years i have only missed it once and this year i want to go mainly  to have 8 whole days camped up in 'lilith'!
swampy has had some small minor repairs to make to her over the last few days and he has overhauled the breaking system with all new parts so it is nice and safe when on the road. we have been able to source a garage in the next village to store her and all our assorted camping equipment. 
luckily we are camping for two nights at the fairy festival so at least i will get in 'two sleeps' for now and keep my fingers crossed for cat-harmony in september!

***


~a short break~

 
i have had a bit of an enforced break from blogging.
 
the first thing that caused me a break was the arrival of a new member of our family...
 

 
meet Merlin~the nephew (yes really!) of Magpie and Leveret.
 
 
and now i would like to introduce you to
 
Lilith
 
she is a French 1980 Rapido Export folding caravan!
 
from trailer to this!



funky dinette...i love the word dinette


teeny kitchen


sofa converts into our bed


tea delivery hatch!
 
loo/storage
 
at our recent Moongazy gathering we were introduced to our friends folding caravan and fell in love immediately. it was the same as this, the largest of the rapido folding caravans that had a teeny kitchen, dinette that converts to a bed, a sofa that also converts into a bed and a little loo/storage/changing room with all kinds of funky little shelves and cupboards that all pack away into a trailer.
we were particularly taken with the serving hatch between the kitchen and dinette...swampy is very taken with the idea of being passed mugs of tea and bacon sandwiches through it!
 
we had not intended on getting one until the autumn but ones of this size are like hens teeth and when this one came up for sale only a couple of hours drive away we could not let it pass us by.
we collected it last Friday and since then it has been sitting on my mums drive way and we pop round every other day to practice putting her up (its very easy) and clean and sit and think ahead to our first trip away.
tomorrow i shall go and take off the cushion covers and wash, today a lovely vintage throw we bought from a certain auction site arrived to go on the sofa.
 
later this year our beloved pretty pagan will be going up for sale and we shall buy a smaller van to convert into a 'day van'.
 
i have also been looking at stickers on our friends website with which to decorate her~we have agreed that i can sort Lilith and swampy will have the day van to 'pimp'
 
our first trip away will be one night when we go to the new forest fairy festival in the guise as the wylde apothecary in august and for me it cannot come soon enough!
 
 
 


~and so where now?~

 
where now indeed?
 
 
what is important for me is to try and maintain the feelings this trip and my experiences brought me.
i know there is no way that those exact feelings can ever be recreated, in the way of everything they are part of the movement of life and they have moved on with the air, flowed away with the water that comes from the swallowhead spring
 
 
as with everything we must move forward, grow, change and develop
and that is where i am now.
 
i need to move forwards in order not to stagnate and develop on the feelings and change that i experienced during this initiation
my experience was too important for me not to lose it in anyway and with anything we have to make sacrifices in order to maintain something so special.
 
with all important things in life sacrifices are made, not the sacrifices of old of course but sacrifices nonetheless...
 
like so many of us social media has become an important way of keeping connected with friends and family but sometimes i have days where i feel i am keeping connected too much and i can find precious hours have passed me by while i have been busy keeping connected.
 
that is my sacrifice, to limit that connection aside from my daily connection with my family, tribe and wylde systerhood, and keep focus on the other...not to become too involved in the general of facebook or indeed the internet as a whole.
 
of course sometimes that is difficult to maintain, especially when i am not feeling at my best and my motivation is taken over with tiredness and pain...but i can at least try
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


~drumming up the moon*earth mother & her green lord~

 
it seems right that this extended post should be in three parts


***

i have spent three days (thee again) on this post, getting no-where and becoming distracted until i finally ran out of possible words and thoughts and so gave up.

this morning i was up at that liminal time when the veil between worlds is thin and i stood in my garden surrounded by the scent of valerian and bird song, i heard the last conversation of an owl and when i heard the first morning calls of the crows i knew it was time to come in and write.

i admit this has been a very a difficult post to write, i think because it was part of something...
part of something larger over several days, weeks even, that caused a slight shift in my spiritual path and i keep having to stop and ponder, journal, ask my cards for more clarity.

i think at the end of the day it is all starts with labels
the labels we assign to ourselves, ones that are assigned to us by others

early on in our spiritual paths we label ourselves to fit into a specific category~a category that we actually wish for ourselves, that we think we should be, that maybe popular culture tells us we should be no matter what our heart tells us. we may fall into a path through our heart or through our reading. maybe we go through this process of labelling as a natural process that finally leads us to something that we find fits us and our spiritual practice perfectly

our spiritual path could take us through several 'incarnations' as we seek that perfect fit~that perfect place where we can stand alone or among a group of other pagans and know that we are on our 'right' path~the path that the universe intended us to be on. we no longer have the need, the urge, to seek any further.
more importantly we no longer feel we are wrong if we follow our own path because we realise that no matter how many books are written, no matter how many online articles and blogs are written instructing us in a particular path, no matter how many groups or orders are out there...at the end of the day we just do not know, there is no complete, written, ancient text that gives the whole, complete information for any particular path.
so any guilt/confusion we feel from not fitting any proscribed criteria, at being on a truly independent path, sloughs away like winters dead leaves and we feel all shiny and new. brimming with a new confidence that nothing can take away because we have travelled, maybe for many years, and we have undertaken our own form of initiation and come out the other side knowing that it is
right, that we have stood in the dark and been spoken to and told that 'yes this is right for you...'

 i sit here realising that i have gone through this process and found myself at this place, this time...this place that fits so well and feels comfortable, feels
right
and the final part of my 'initiation' took place over several days and  places...


air
 
i understand that the final part of my initiation started at the camp with a small private ritual during which the moon rose to the south while we were in our candle lit circle. it had not been planned that way, my beautiful friends who had written out the ritual had not consulted any almanac to find the exact time of moonrise and the place they chose came from the positive energy given out by a tree.
but as we stood in our sacred circle i noticed a small hint of light on the horizon and gently nudged my friend, nodding towards the light, one by one we all came to notice the rising of the moon and the ritual stopped while we all stood watching for a while, laughing and hugging and the rest of the ritual ended under the light of the full moon.
 the feelings that grew in me during this ceremony for friends were feelings of a circle slowly closing, that the ends were nearly meeting, that my unconscious searching was nearly at an end.


fire

the following evening as we sat around a large camp fire with music and laughter filling the air we again sat and watched the moon rise~this time was the drumming up of the moon, where those with shaman drums ran towards the moon, drumming and ululating wildly and it was a feral sound that made me feel almost complete...another part of that circle was closed


water

while in Glastonbury we went to the

 white spring
 
where i filled a bottle full of the water from the spring from which i take a little sip first thing in the morning and last thing at night and when i am close to running out its the perfect time to return.
 
once my bottle was full swampy and i went into the dark, chilly temple
 

 
 
 
as no technology is allowed these photos from the white spring website

within the temple lies three shrines~to Brigid, the guardian of the sacred springs where a  flame is always burning~to Our Lady of Avalon beside the healing pool and at the portal to the Otherworld lies the shrine of the King of the World of Faries.

if you haven't been to the White Spring it is so very difficult to describe~the spring gushing out from the rocks and filling the pools, the sacred water flowing over the top of the pools and flowing in rivulets along the floor.
the temple is lit only by candles and the sound of flowing water fills your ears but still there is a silence that fills you, a sacred silence that first fills your mind and then fills your body.
but it is not an empty silence, it is a silence filled with joy, with voices calling to you in welcome.
but these are ancient voices, new voices to me.
Brigid/Brighidh has been with me for a while now, slowly introducing herself with signs until i could no longer ignore them and she was here but there was another.
this other was older, far older~i am talking mother goddess, earth mother, Danu and Dôn.
and of course the essence of the lord of the wildwood, the green man, was there too, laughing among the flowing waters, making sure he was not forgotten.
i walked slowly around the temple, watching the spring flow into the pools from deep under the Tor, standing before each shrine, bathing my face in the ice cold water, my body was almost vibrating, humming from the feelings i was having, feelings that i was being given as a gift from a deity so much older than i imagined i would ever find.

i finally, and very reluctantly stepped out of this comforting, dark, watery temple~i wanted to stay there much, much longer and immerse myself in the pools, i stepped out into sunshine feeling transformed and that the circle more complete.


earth

the following day i stood at Avebury and felt a huge sense of peace fall over me and i lay for a while in the long meadow grass beside the great stones of the outer circle trying to absorb all the energy i could.

a little later found me walking the hill up to the West Kennet Long Barrow with that great symbol of the goddess, Silbury Hill to my back. this burial chamber is truly ancient...think back around 5000 years and then add a smidge of maybe another half a millennia...
ancient




i took a few other photos from this point but it doesn't feel right in posting them

within the burial chamber, as i walked though past the north and south chambers and into the rounded west chamber at the very end  i was getting the same feeling i had at the White Spring~there were no  threat in the darkness, if anything i  again felt comfort that the great earth mother had welcomed me into this ancient chamber and acknowledged me, allowing my time there to be uninterrupted. i held my hands out to the stones feeling an ancient vibration and greeted the ancestors.

this time, as i stepped out of this ancient and sacred place, the ends of the circle that had started to close days before finally joined together and the circle of my initiation was complete.


of course it doesn't end there, it never does.

i came home and still vibrating, humming from my experiences, looked though my journal.
i went back over weeks, to entries where i written down my card readings, the notes and musings i had made.
there was so much, so many words set into sentences and in the end i had to try to collate it into one easy to read page made up of single, repeated words
 the same things that kept coming up reading after reading and although i was aware of this as the days went by it wasn't until i returned home and looked again with new eyes that it all made sense...

interaction with spirit, ancestors, Brighid, Earth Goddess, Brighidh, Arianhrod, gifts of the Spirits
earth serpent, serpents, primal wisdom, deep soul knowledge
inner journey of spirit
rebirth, transformation, new paths,
springs, wells, river flow,
 weaving a web of life, synchronicity,
elements
otherworld
the embrace of spirits and their blessings

looking at it in this way i let out a huge sigh~i was not going crazy and reading my cards wrong, i wasn't 'inventing' something out of nothing. everything over the preceding weeks, months had cumulated into these events, at these sacred sites, some places i had not intended to visit on this journey, but timing and luck had me going to all of them.


reading back on this i feel nothing but joy that i have been taken by the hand and guided on this journey and although the circle has been completed i am still on a great journey.
i am looking at things from a new perspective, its almost as if the decades have rolled back and i am starting anew. which, of course, in a way i am, but with considerably more wisdom than i had before and with a maturity that makes me feel i can walk the path that the great earth mother and her wild green consort has laid before me and be open to anything that crosses my path.
i am looking at my sacred garden with new eyes, at my altar inside with new eyes and feeling grateful that i can turn a little aside from the norm that is given us on our pagan paths and forge a new path, with new ways of doing things, knowing that the simple rituals of my life are guided by the great earth mother.










i have seen people moaning that the taking of photos and film should be allowed in the White Spring Temple and why is there no proper lighting to see properly? well if they feel this then they do not get it and should maybe stay away from what is a highly sacred place to many, who do not want the flash and whir of cameras and mobile phones to disturb their mediations...or even better why do they they not discard this technology, kick of their shoes and wait and see what may happen to them in the darkness.
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