Wednesday, 30 November 2011

E is for.......

.........elementals and elements.

Elementals are beings such as fairies, gnomes, sprites, slamanders, elves, pixies and so on.  They are nature spirits and we should respect them for that.  We should not try to bring them under our command, they will not tolerate such behaviour.  Instead we should respect that they live among us, and just because we do not always see them does not mean they are not there.  I will look at each individual one in depth at another time.

Elements.  The elements of Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Spirit are ruled by the elementals directly linked to them. Witches often work with the power of the elements, using that specific power to boost a spell or ritual.  We often have representations of the elements on our altars or in our homes, such as feathers for air, candles for fire, plants or something from the earth to represent earth and so on.
There is much debate as to whether Spirit should be classed as an element, but I believe that it is the force that joins the other elements together.  It is as much a part of the group as the other elements and should always be included.

elements
Elementals

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

D is for..........

..................divination.

Divination means to forsee, to predict the future.

I use tarot and pendulum mostly, with pendulum being the tool I feel most comfortable with.  I also have a crystal ball, but I rarely use that, although when I have used it the results have been pretty good.  I have tried scrying with a mirror, but couldn't get the hang of that.  I have rune stones, but rarely use them.

Besides the tarot and pendulum I am also a very good dream interpreter and have forseen many things this way too - most notably the deaths of four loved ones.  Symbolism in dreams can be confusing with people not understanding what connection random symbols have with each other.  But if you look at what symbols in dreams mean to you and then spend some time thinking it over you have your own divination tool that is hugely personal to you.
TAROT



3 Table 6

Monday, 28 November 2011

C is for.......

.........cauldron.  In days gone by a cauldron was one of the main tools a witch used.  She cooked meals in it, she brewed potions for healing and she would have also made potions for other purposes.  The cauldron would have been housed on the hearth, the centre of the home.

Nowadays we have shiny electric or gas cookers (or if we are lucky enough we have agas and other stoves) and microwaves where most of our cooking gets done.  If we need something for healing purposes we go to the GP or buy something over the counter in the pharmacy.  Some of us might visit an alternative health practitioner to, but rarely do we use our cauldrons and concoct our own remedies.

Of course there are those of us who do have a cauldron and do use them as they are intended.  And it could be argued that the pots and pans that we use to create meals are our cauldrons.  The cauldron though is frowned upon by many as a thing that can bring misery, by evil witches casting spells upon the innocent.
But all a cauldron is just a piece of equipment that allows us to cook or create.  It is not an evil item at all.

As I have said in a previous post, I have a huge mortar, (and pestle), which sits underneath my altar shelf.  It symbolises my cauldron, but rarely gets used as it is so big.  I do have a smaller mortar and pestle which are better suited for use.  I also have a small dish that sits in a stand and I use this to burn stuff in for spell purposes and for that reason I refer to that as my cauldron.
I don't really make an awful lot of potions, though that is something I may change in the near future.  I doubt very much that I would go out and buy a specific cauldron as advertised in new age shops.  Most are just for decorative purposes anyway,and those that are fully working can be really expensive.  With this in mind I am highly likely to use an old  pot, most likely sourced from a charity shop or car boot sale.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

B is for.......

........Book Of Shadows.

I have always wanted a huge Book Of Shadows, not unlike that awesome book on Charmed.  Instead I have a book I bought around eight years ago when I first started writing my own spells.  A Book Of Shadows is a place, as I am sure you all know, where a witch records her work, spells included.  It can be a huge book, beautifully written and decorated; or it can be a smaller affair that houses your work.

Something like this maybe...........

book of shadows

Saturday, 26 November 2011

My A-Z series.

This is by no means a new concept, the whole A-Z thing people do on their blogs.  I thought it was a good idea for my blog, not because it seems like an easy option for a post every day, but because this whole 366 days of witchery is all about me reconnecting with my spiritual beliefs and an a-z of anything witchy is a good way for me to think about a witchy thing.

I am going to start with an A-Z of Witchcraft and it is likely that I will pick only one item beginning with the specific letter of the day, this will help me focus on that particular thing rather than trying to find good enough info on a lot of items.

So without further ado I am beginning with the letter A.

A is for Altar.

I do not have an altar in the traditional sense, I have a shelf where I have my crystal ball, a couple of candles and an incense stick holder.  It suffices.  I have tried to have a full altar in the past, but the lack of space has always meant that I have ended up putting my chosen items away.  Of course a lot of witches do this, but I found it particularly time consuming to have to set everything back up again when I wanted to spell.  As time is of the essence for me it just became easier to use the shelf and have the items I always use left out.  Underneath the shelf I have a few ornaments that represent different things for me, such as a lady that I call my Goddess, a wizard, a Cherished Teddy figure (Merlin who is holding a wand), a huge pestle and mortar that I use as a representation of my cauldron.  I also have a little dish underneath the shelf that I use to burn things in and for all intents and purposes this is my cauldron.
I have an emu feather that I found a few years back at a wildlife park, I have a small dish with some pretty pebbles in it and on the shelf I have some artificial flowers - you know the type that women wear as button-holes at weddings.

My altar suits me just fine and the items are personal to me.  I often read and hear about new witches who are anxious to get their altars just right.  They take a great deal of time and effort to get everything suggested and then still feel unhappy.  I always think that using your own personal ideas works better than what an author has told you to get.
Some things are just way too pricey and hardly ever get used, so it is always much better to have a good think about what you really need and what you will actually use before going ahead and paying out crazy money for items.

Altars can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.  It is what matters to you that counts, not what everyone else has, or is doing.



Yule Altar

Friday, 25 November 2011

New Moon Blessings.

It's the new moon today, a time for new beginnings.  Incidentally, this period of time is not auspicious for people with low blood pressure and/or depression - this I found out from an app on my android.  I'm not sure what truth there is in that, but my DH suffers from low blood pressure as a side effect of a beta blocker he has to take for his heart.  He always gets really grouchy around the new moon.


Whatever truth there is in things such as that, one thing is certain and that is the moon does affect us all on an emotional level.  Women have their moontime - their period - and for those of us who do not take contraception we often find that we have our moontime at a certain stage of the moon's cycle.

There is a belief that a woman who has her moontime during the full moon can work some seriously powerful magick, though this is something I cannot verify.


So, tonight give a blessing to the moon and mnake plans, for now is the time for successful planning.  Start working for those things you want to bring into your life.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Being thanfukl.

I think that everyone knows it is Thanksgiving in the USA today.  Here in the UK we don't have anything like that, which I personally think is a shame.  I get that we shouldn't need a specific day to feel thankful for anything but having that specific day reminds us to take time out and give thanks.  I am not in that particular camp, you know, the one where we get all arsey over Valentine's Day or Mother's/Father's Day etc.  Life is hectic for the majority of us whether we like it or not and we can all get caught up in that, so much so that we do forget to appreciate our loved ones or be thankful. 


For that very reason I am going to be giving thanks today for my family, the opportunities I have been given this year, for "stuff" that makes my life that little bit easier.  It isn't difficult to take a little time out to give thanks and whether we should do this more frequently is irrelevant, the important thing is to be thankful and show our appreciation.


Mercury Retrograde is coming.

We get it 3 times a year and the planet rules communication and travel and so forth.  When it goes into reverse delays are inevitable, but this doesn't just suddenly happen on the day the retrograde begins.  In the build up to that day you can begin to feel the slow down.  For me that sort of thing has been prevalent this week - and it's only Tuesday!


I also think I have confusion over the day that Mercury goes into reverse, I believed it to be Friday, but lots of people are talking about Thursday.  Just for clarity I am going to check this out,  but it doesn't really matter in the long run.


I often find that the worst of delays and miscommunications come in the days leading up to the actual retrograde day.  Once we get into the thick of Mercury in reverse we kind of get used to the delays and mix ups etc.  If you find this kind of problem arising in your life this week, you know who the culprit is.

People also assume that once the day of Mercury turning direct arrives - which is December 13th this time round - the delays and such stop.  This isn't the case, you can sometimes feel movement just before the direct day, but for things to be back on an even keel usually takes a couple of weeks.


Like I said in a previous post, we fair better during these times if we go with the flow and recognise this is a time for delays and such, and do our best to weather the storm by using our time wisely, then Mercury Retrograde doesn't have as much bite to it.


Just go with the flow.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

More sharing the love.

I had every intention of sticking to my word and sharing some universal love yesterday.  Only it didn't go according to plan.  Not long after I left the house I had my first opportunity, only I had managed to forget what I had planned.  I had very little sleep on Sunday night, eventually falling asleep around 2am.  I was supposed to get up no later than 7.30am but it was later than that and I got myself way behind.


As soon as I had sailed past the first car waiting to pull out I remembered what I had planned.  I was determined to see this through so looked for more waiting cars on the rest of my journey. 


I encountered none!


I couldn't believe this and decided that since I wasn't going out anymore that day, I would carry this on today.  Not only did I remember to do this today, I also encountered many cars that I was able to let out into the flow of traffic, or turn off the main road.


I am hoping that I will remember to do this kind of thing more often now and I am also going to look at other areas where I can share some universal love.  I think the track for me is to start slow, then the changes will come...eventually.


Monday, 21 November 2011

Spreading the love day.

I am the sort of person who always procrastinates about doing good.  It isn't that I am a meanie, it's more to do with everything I say I am going to do gets swamped by crisis after crisis and endless stress.  But now I am being pro-active with my stress management I thought it was high time I got my act together with regards to sharing that universal love we all seem so fond of.

Rather than bend over backwards to help everyone I come into contact with, and knacker myself in the process, I am going to have a day where I actively seek to do good turns.  I will try my best to blog about this, to encourage myself to remember to keep it going, but you know how my memory is.
I could easily do one small thing everyday, but as I have just said, it would get swamped by all the nonsense that rears itself in my life.  If I do this sharing the love day once a week and blog about it, then I will be encouraged to  automatically do it once a week and then hopefully all of the time.

For my first sharing the love day I am going to let other drivers out into the stream of traffic.  This one is something I do quite often, but there are times when I am in such a hurry I just whizz on past and then feel mean.  So every time I am out in the car today I aim to be sharing some universal love.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Pagan blog prompts.

To the left of this blog you will see a badge linking to something called Pagan blog prompts.  I can't remember how I even stumbled across this but a couple of days ago I received an email with the latest prompt, which is about Mercury Retrograde and what kind of effect it has on you.
So my post today is all about the upcoming Mercury Retrograde, which begins on on November 25th, this coming Friday.

This time last year I was dreading Mercury Retrograde.  I have been aware of this particular planet going into reverse three times a year for some time now.  I have been aware also of the effect this period of time has on my life.  But last year felt different.

It started with my washing machine breaking down on the first day and the engineer being unavailable until a couple of days before Christmas.  I had no choice but to accept that and resolved not to let Mercury Retrograde get me down.  The next delay came later on the same day in the form of lost paperwork that I desperately needed that day.

But the worst was to come.

On the night of December 11th my brother took ill and slipped into a coma.  The doctors didn't expect him to survive and he lingered on for almost a week.  I cannot begin to describe the emotions we went through, each night we would go to bed and wonder if he would still be with us when we got up again.  The only one who slept during this time was me and this was because DH gave me tablets; you see, stress makes fibromyalgia worse and I was in agony.  I also had a virus and felt really awful, so DH convinced me to take his tablets each night.   I stopped taking them the night of David's funeral.

Then this year for the first Mercury Retrograde of the year my Dad was in hospital and had been for a long time.  We knew he wasn't going to get any better but I had hoped we could get him home.  But we were beset by delays in communication and misunderstandings - Mercury Retrograde is notorious for this type of thing - and he started to drift away from us.  Again the end dragged on for a good few days before he passed a couple of days after Mercury turned direct.

Of course I have experienced many retrogrades - we have 3 each year - and have not gone through anything remotely like this before.  Neither am I saying that these deaths are because of Mercury Retrograde, they clearly weren't.  But I will always wonder if they might have died sooner had Mercury not been retrograde.

Of course I have no superstition over this time and death, although you could forgive me for feeling that way I guess.  Usually what I find happens during a period of Mercury retrograde is that things get held up, one way or another and communication is painfully slow or even non existent.
However, there is a plus side to this period.  Knowing what we do about the delays and lack of communication, we can use this time wisely.  We can plan ahead, we can get to grips with things that we normally don't have the time to sort out.

I know that during this time the delays and communication problems are going to arise and so I choose to be as pro-active as in other areas.  I know that starting something new, especially anything that requires good communication with others, is a no-go at this time.  I am wise enough now, I hope, to understand that swimming against the tide is pointless and so I use this time as wisely as I can.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Finding yourself......

.......can be very difficult and such a big deal.  Sometimes I would perform a little ritual every Mabon or Samhain where I would reflect upon who I was right then, in that moment.  Or I would take stock of what the year had brought and what I was hoping to achieve the coming year.

But then every piece of my life seemed to unravel and I had no idea who the hell I was.  In fact I still have trouble identifying with myself - hence this whole 366 day thing.

The reason I am banging about this stuff so much is because some people just really don't get it when another is having a hard time.  Especially if that person is someone like me who likes to deal with stressful stuff in their own way, and without too much fuss.  You know, I get people contacting me now and again saying it is so nice when I don't actually moan on twitter, stuff like that!
The thing with twitter is some folks can take it all a little too seriously and get arsey with you if you so much as dare to update more than once a day.  And if you so much as talk about personal stuff on there, according to some you are breaking all sorts of rules!

I kid you not!

Anyway, I retweet an awful lot of quotes because maybe I am in a pensive mood and at that particular moment in time I see a quote on twitter and think, "yeah, that is exactly how I feel".  It bugs me when folks tut at me for doing such a thing, but sometimes when a person is having a hard time that one quote - or in my case, that whole barrage of quotes - is making all the difference to how they feel and view their problems.

I tend to keep people at arms length and I know it frustrates and worries my friends, especially my online ones who maybe don't get regular contact with me.  I reassure everyone that I am fine, and mostly I am, but sometimes I need to retweet those quotes and it makes me come across as depressed, or vengeful, or maybe even childish.  That really isn't my intention, I can assure you.  I find these quotes useful, especially as I seem to be on a never ending finding myself mission.

It would seem that every time I have made an important decision about where I am going to go with my life something major happens.  Wise people say we should look upon these times as challenges to help us get the best out of our lives, but I tend to feel like it is just some really bad stuff - again.  I always end up going on yet another finding myself mission and I always seem to come back to the same place.
Now, I don't know if that is because I am supposed to be this person or if I am just messing my life up royally and fate is saying, "come on, get it right this time FFS!!!"
But then, that said, I vow that I am going to be who I want to be and everything goes well for like 3-6 months, then real life kicks my ass and I have to neglect the stuff I need to do to be the me I want to be.  I got bogged down in the technicalities of everyday life until some huge drama, or full on crisis makes me question my whole life once again and I go through this whole "who am I" crisis once more, resolve to be the me I want to be and then screw up somewhere down the line.

I think I know who I want to be and I should just organise myself a little better to achieve that.  I know I have this organised chaos thing going on, and that is so me, but I think a little organisation isn't going to hurt.

Here's hoping I can finally get off this whole loop I seem to be in, going over the same old stuff time and again.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Keeping sane.

November has always been a difficult month for me, not for any particular reason, it's just that I always feel really angsty during this month.  People assume us witches have no worries whatsoever, like we can magickally make those worries and troubles disappear.  Now wouldn't that be great?
I have always turned to music whenever I am feeling stressed and wrung out, whether that be meditative music, music to chill me out, or my beloved pop.

I have a blog that I update every day called my life in music, you can find it here:

my music blog

It has been really therapeutic during what has been a really difficult time.  I have found some real gems when searching you tube for songs that have been stuck in my head.  A few days ago I got to thinking about party music and decided to brighten my blog - or maybe that should read, annoy everyone - with those really cheesy party songs that we all love to hate.  I have had great fun looking them up I can tell you.
You should go check my music blog out and have a good laugh at my awesome taste in music.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Synchronicity.

We've all experienced this.  Lately I feel as if there is an awful lot of synchronicity going on in my life.  One doesn't have to be a witch or pagan to believe in this concept, but I always find that such folk are more open minded about it.  Of course, non pagans/witches do believe in this concept too, but in my experience I have found that the non pagans/witches are less likely to believe in synchronicity.

Synchronicity -  an unlikely pattern of events, that is how I like to describe it - saved us from bankruptcy when DH became seriously ill in 2002.

Track back to 1998/1999.  Both DH and I were working - him a ridiculous amount of hours and me 20 hours per week.  We had a decent income between us and we decided we wanted to move from our house that we were renting.  The decision to buy was made and we soon found a decent house nearby.  Our offer was accepted and we began the process.  But half way through I got an inkling to call it off.  A sudden sense of foreboding about the sale gripped me and I had a hard job convincing DH that we should not go ahead.
Eventually he agreed and we pulled out.

We were really thankful a year later when we discovered that the property needed major works doing and that these works were going to cost something like £15,000 - £17,000 to put right.  This was definitely too much for us and we would have been stuck with a wreck of a house and no money to fix it.  We would have had to get an unsecured loan to put things right.

Still looking to buy our own place we decided to try again and found a house on the street where we now live.  Again, I had the urge to pull out and was nevermore thankful that we had when the owner was found dead.  It took a couple of years before the house was able to go back on the market and we would have been left high and dry.

Still determined to find somewhere we turned our attention to a place not far from where we live now.  It is a very popular place and houses don't come up for sale that often.  In the meantime we were approached by a woman who wanted us to exchange with her.  It seemed the perfect solution and there was always the opportunity later on for us to buy the house.
In April 2001 we moved into our current house.

The following year the bottom collapsed out of our world when DH get really sick and was given 6 months to live.  His aortic valve was severely damaged and he would die within 6 months if it was not replaced.  DH hasn't been able to work since August 2002.  He had his heart valve replaced in April 2003 and he hoped to return to work in the autumn of that year.  But his heart became so enlarged while he was waiting for the surgery that would save his life that it became damaged, with one side not working very effectively now.  He also has a damaged artery - this was picked up on in 2002/2003 but is only starting to get worse now.
I also had to quit work to care for him and just when I thought I might get back to work my own health deteriorated.  I am now unable to work because of arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Call it synchronicity, call it fate, call it what you will, something was at work when we were looking to buy a house.  No matter what we did things went wrong but that worked out better for us as we would have got into serious debt with the first house and would have left out of pocket had we gone through with the second one.  And when DH got sick we would have had to sell up and accept a rented house anywhere had we gone ahead and waited for a house to become available in the area we had considered next.

Something saved us at that time.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

More strangeness with a numerology twist.

Yesterday I discussed how I am the 4th child of a 4th child.  What I forgot to say was how I am child number 4 out of 5 and also I was born on the 4th day of the 5th month.  It makes me feel that the numbers 4 and 5 are quite important to me, from a numerology point of view.
These two numbers add up to 9 when put together and my whole DOB and name when broken down for numerology purposes are both 9 too.

I never paid much heed of numerology until a couple of years ago when I started to realise the significance of the numbers, 4, 5, and 9 in my life.  I am not totally obsessed with the numerological significance of things but I have found that significant events and occurrences are linked to those 3 numbers.

In a world full of confusion and chaos I find it kind of cool that significant events link back to 4, 5 or 9.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Strangeness.

There is something romantic about having your fortune told by a Gypsy, or the like, who claims to be the seventh son of a seventh son.  OK, I know that isn't how it goes, but a passing comment about such things a few days back reminded me of how I am actually the fourth child of a fourth child.
My Dad had 2 elder brothers and elder sister - actually, the eldest brother is the only one of them still alive.  Then there are 3 brothers older than me and 1 (now deceased) younger.  It's quite bizarre really because my Dad had a fascination with all kinds of religions and beliefs - he was once going to become a vicar - he even looked into paganism very briefly.  I only found that out after I had become interested.

My eldest brother is interested in this kind of thing, but he is really into spiritualism and the like.  The next brother down has no interest whatsoever, and then the brother directly above me is not religious but would go to church if he was asked to.  Finally, our younger brother had no interest in religion and did like the idea of the beliefs of the Jedi Knights, you know that belief in the power of the mind etc.
When he died we all insisted there was no religion at his funeral.

Of course I don't think that my witchy beliefs have anything to do with being a fourth child of a fourth child, but it does sound really quite cool!

Monday, 14 November 2011

More on this....

http://www.heritageandhistory.com/contents1a/2009/03/chalybeate-well-finglandrigg-wood/?doing_wp_cron


On this blog yesterday I made a brief comment about this well and said how disappointed I was.  Well, it wasn't that I was disappointed in the well per se, more the size of it.  I was expecting a proper well, albeit a ruin, but the reality of it is more like three paving slabs.  There is no sign to indicate that you are at the well - despite the online description - and so I never bothered to take any pics of it.  Me and DH assumed that the well was through a field that was closed off, except for a high stile that would have been difficult for us to get two big labs over, so we never bothered going any further.

I am always intrigued by things like this, especially when they lay claims to having healing powers.  Obviously the well is no longer in use, but in the past people believed that the water from it had healing properties.  I wonder if the water really did have special powers or was it just the belief of the drinkers that gave them what they were looking for.

The strength of belief is a wonderful thing; positive thinking can move mountains when used properly, so who knows whether the water from the Chalybeate Well near Carlisle really was magickal, or if it was the power of positive thinking.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Yule party.

I haven't really taken part in any kind of blog party before, I am always too late to sign up for them.  After the fun loads of peeps seemed to have at Samhain blog parties I thought it was high time I got my act together and got involved with a Yule party.

The thing is though, I am never sure what I want to write so it kind of leaves me feeling nervous.  But then I noticed my friend Sally at The Village Witch was hosting a Yule blog party and I signed up right away.

You too can join in the fun, details can be found here:
http://www.thevillagewitch.co.uk/2011/11/join-our-yule-magic-blog-party/

A day out for renewing my spirit day.

Yesterday was a truly awful day, my fibro was so bad that with the exception of having a bath and toilet visits I actually couldn't manage to get out of bed.  I feared we would have to cancel our day out because I felt so bad.
But this morning came around and I felt much better, so our day out was a go.

We went to a place called Finglandrigg Wood which is only a few miles from where we live.  I really love woodlands because there is always that sense of elementals being all around.  I always feel so alive when I get amongst nature - I am a Taurean so the earthiness of a wood or forest is really appealing to me.
I took loads of photos, some will be no good because I am just a newbie with the photo taking and sometimes I get blurry images, or my husband walks in front of me - this actually happens a lot!

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/designatedareas/nnr/1006054.aspx





















I was really disappointed with this though, I expected something a bit bigger.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Do you accept who you are?

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is accept who we are.  I was just reading a post on another blog about  whether we really need validation from others or not.  You know, so many of us are afraid to show our true selves to the world for fear of rejection.  I guess I am a fine one to talk, given I won't come out of the broom closet with my family and local friends.
That said, I accept myself  - cowardice and all  - for what and who I am.  If I was asked by family or the local friends about being a witch then I would certainly not deny it, I just don't feel that comfortable broadcasting it to all and sundry.

Within the craft you pretty much have to accept not only yourself, warts and all (no pun intended!), but also your actions.  This kind of thing can leave a person feeling pretty uncomfortable, especially if you don't like introspection.  I have to admit, navel-gazing can feel very self-obsessed when you first begin.  But like all things in the craft, and life, the more you do it the better you get.

Sometimes we go through challenges again and again, we just don't seem to be able to break out of some cycles.  This is where a time of self reflection can really come in handy, and we should never feel guilty for looking within to solve problems.

I think there are times when we have to finally stop judging ourselves - and others too - and just get on down and look within.  Once the initial uncomfortable feelings have subsided we soon realise that what we are pretty critical of ourselves and we should work on our feelings of self hatred.  Let's face it, we all have something we hate about ourselves, no matter how small.

Accepting who we are is a vital lesson within the craft.  It helps us too come to terms with our own failings and give ourselves a break.  We learn to move on from negative situations and people and this helps us to become more forgiving of ourselves.
When you can accept yourself you become happier with who you are.  You act in the best way for yourself and those around you.  You are less prone to damaging actions and accept responsibility for what you do and say.

Acceptance is a key word in the craft.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Not witchy, but......

.......I always take time out for this day.  No matter what is happening in my life I always remember the war dead.  They gave their lives for us in the First World War and then in the Second World War, and continue to do so now in countries such as Afghanistan.
I refuse to get drawn into the political or religious rights or wrongs of this issue.  I have the utmost respect for the armed forces and am deeply grateful for all they sacrifice.  It doesn't matter to me that they know what they are getting into, the horrors they must have witnessed doesn't even bear thinking about.  Those who go into battle lay their lives on the line for us, for our freedom - and yes, I am aware that there are those who say Afghanistan is all for oil, or America etc.  But to me it is about freedom, that is more important than anything else, the right to be free.



by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



We Shall Keep the Faith

by Moina Michael, November 1918
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.


For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.




Every night, at 8pm at the Menin Gate memorial, Ypres, Belgium, this ceremony is performed in honour of those who gave their lives.  This ceremony has been performed every night since July 2nd 1928 - during WWII it was performed in the UK.





Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The moon and spellwork.

This is something I do not stick to religiously.  Don't get me wrong, if I have something planned and it isn't urgent then I am just as likely to wait for the correct moon phase.  The thing is though, I tend to be really unorganised with my life - although it is organised chaos to be honest.  I have tried to be better organised but the way my illness gets me just means that organised chaos works better for me than trying to be regimented.

I was reading another blog a couple of days ago where the author was discussing spellwork and the phase of the moon and that got me thinking about how I utilise the power of the moon, or rather don't.  It isn't that I disagree with those who use the power of the moon, it is just exactly like I have said, my chaotic lifestyle.

But just out of interest I thought I would include a list of the phases of the moon and what magick can be performed; it is not a complete list, just a few ideas, so don't be thinking, "well this can be done and she hasn't said".

New Moon = Magicks performed at this time are for new beginnings in all areas of your life.

Waxing Moon = Magicks performed now for positive outcomes in whatever you are working towards, it's all about bringing things to you or whoever right now.

Full Moon = This is a do all kind of phase, very powerful (actually for a couple of days before and after too) and whatever you need can be worked for right now.

Waning Moon = this phase is all about pushing away undesirable situations etc.  Whether that be debts, the wrong sort of people or even wanting to lose weight.


Those moon phases and their workings are a very basic description.  There are more in depth phases to those phases (including the dark of the moon) and you can be even more specific during those too.  You can also work for whatever you want during whatever phase you want.  Some books would have you wait until a specific phase but you can actually work for the same thing during any of the phases.  Take reducing debt for example, during the new and waxing moon you could work for an increase in your finances and during the waxing and dark of the moon you could work on reducing whatever debts you have.  You just have to think what is best for you and work out how you are going to do it.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Fluffiness, or maybe not....

Sometimes I despair with humankind, especially fellow witches.  There are those people in society - and witches are no exception sometimes - who take great pleasure in ridiculing everything others say and do.  And just why this is I have no idea, some of the time it can be passed off because of jealousy and others it can be sheer bloody spite.  But there are times when it is neither and there is no reasonable explanation for it.

There are mutterings about how what I am doing is a load of rubbish and nothing in my posts are credible.  I have always maintained that what I write about in this blog is based on MY OPINION and not necessarily in agreement with what the next person might believe in.  I am, once again, being labelled a fluffy wannabe.

You know, that term is derogatory at best.

A fluffy wannabe is someone who is all talk and no action - a bit like those muppets who are running their mouth's about me!  They buy every available tool and witchy themed paraphernalia and talk lots about how fairies came to help them out at their midnight ritual to save the unicorns!
Basically, if you are living the life, practicing what you preach and so on then you are not a fluffy.  I have been labelled fluffy because I like the colour pink, love romance themed books and films, don't really like rock music - although I do like certain songs - have a penchant for Charmed, Twilight Saga and the Vampire Diaries, oh, not to mention shows on the Syfy channel.

According to some, this makes me a fluffy bunny airhead.

It doesn't matter that I have been studying witchcraft since I was 14 - 26 years and counting! - practicing properly since my early 20's.  Nor does it matter that I write all of my own spells, have a knack for understanding a person's dream right on the spot without having to dig a dream dictionary out.  Nor does it matter to them that I can tell what a person is like within minutes of meeting them - and am correct in 99.99% of cases.
I could go on, but really I will be sounding like I am trying to justify myself to them.

The bottom line for me is that if you live this life and practice what you preach then hellooooooo, you are a witch.  If you like rock music, good for you, if you don't then that's OK too.  It's what's in your heart that counts and what you believe in is none of my business and I have no right to judge you because you leave food out for fairies, or work with other so called mythical beings.

Fluffy is an easy way to criticise a person who does not share the same beliefs as another.  It is generally bandied about by so-called witches, but usually these witches never ever practice any form of witchcraft and just like the notoriety of  being bolshie and bullying others who don't share the same beliefs and taste in music and shows on TV and films and books as they do.

Helloooo?????  Who wants to be a carbon copy of their friends anyway?  Who wants to live and breathe everything that their friends do?  Yeah, it's great to have shared interest with others and to have the chance to discuss and enjoy those shared interest together, but if we were all the same we would be just clones of one another and life would become really boring.

So this pink loving, trashy romance novel loving, Twilight fan is no fluffy bunny.  I have my own beliefs and likes and dislikes and like to think I am an original, not just doing what others are doing as I am too scared to break the mould.

Meditation.

What an awful day it was yesterday for me.  My husband and I have been having some difficulties relationship wise for some time now, they had calmed down but yesterday they just flared right up.  Of course the first thing to go out of the window was my witchy-a-day thing.  I couldn't think straight and the last thing on my mind was anything like that.

Finally, the tension subsided and I decided to meditate.

Meditation is something I came to do very late on in my witchy life.  I was aware of it, but it was something I thought I couldn't do - just like the visualisation ;)
About 2 or 3 years ago I was working on something and meditation was a huge part of this work.  In the beginning I tried to get away with not doing it, but it soon became impossible and I ended up giving it a go.  I surprised myself with just how easy it was.  Now don't get me wrong, I do not go in for long and complicated meditations; firstly a lack of privacy means I am unable, for now, to play them back and just go along with them.  Secondly, I have a habit of falling asleep if they are too long; this was an issue I had right at the beginning but I was advised to sit up and meditate rather than lie down and I would be less likely to fall asleep!
I have to admit that this actually does work, but if a meditation is really long I often do find myself drifting off, even sitting up.

Before I got sick I used to go to yoga with my friend and we had a blast!  Towards the end of each yoga session we did some meditation, but usually I couldn't concentrate on what was supposed to be happening and would drift off and have very strange experiences, nothing remotely related to the meditation.  This was why I thought I couldn't meditate at all, but obviously I was wrong.

A technique that I use when I just want to calm my mind and maybe gain some clarity is to sit comfortably, usually on my bed.  Then when I have stilled my mind I picture myself standing up, walking towards the bedroom door and then down the stairs.  Then I see myself going outside into my garden, sitting down on a bench and relaxing.  I imagine I can hear the birds singing and a gentle breeze rustling in the trees.
Sometimes this is enough to clam me down, I maybe spend around 5-10 minutes doing this before bringing myself back inside, back up the stairs and back into the bedroom.
But sometimes I need an answer to a puzzling question and other forms of divination have not revealed anything.  This is when I use the above technique, plus I imagine an older version of myself comes to sit beside me and we chat about problems; or I have other techniques where I go down my street to the field at the top end and once in the field I walk a shirt distance before a mist descends on me.  Once the mist clears I am some place else - I usually have decided beforehand just where I am going to visualise myself being once the mist has cleared.  Once the mist has cleared I have a few techniques, such as choosing a path to go down to discover an answer, or meeting a person who then gives me advice, or being led to a pool of water where I get clear images of what I need to know.

I much prefer to imagine myself in my back garden, or in the field near my house because these places are very familiar to me and I have no trouble at all recalling them.  Sometimes, even when it is a guided meditation, I find it difficult to picture everything in my mind and that is why I tend to use these methods.

I think anyone who has difficulty with meditations should develop their own technique using familiar surroundings.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Renewing my spirit, what it's all about.

I've previously done posts about renewing my spirit and discussed how important it is for me.  At this time I am flying blind in this practice because there has been so much going on in my life, and there have been times where I have been unable to just kick back and partake in activities I had planned for this day.
I have tried to keep Sunday as a me day, but life always throws something my way and I end up making myself ill with stress and too much action - I have a chronic illness and too much of this just floors me.  So Sunday's in recent months have been more about catching up on lesson plans, or chasing about after people, things like that.

When I decided to do this 366 days of witchery I didn't have time to make plans for my spirit renewal day, and that is why I am just letting it happen.  Perhaps this is a good thing, if I don't really have plans then they won't be broken - notice the hint of sarcasm here!

It's been a hectic week here for me, things I have had to do for others and then a lost day on Friday because I have some problem with my neck - most likely to do with the arthritis.  I spent most of the day lying down because standing or sitting made me really dizzy.  It was night time before I was able to sit for any length of time without feeling I was going to keel over.
One thing I have found during my enforced bed rest is how much sifting through my thoughts, problems and so on I actually get done.  This may actually be a blessing in disguise, me being ill gives me time to reflect and sort and solve stuff I never seem to have five minutes for otherwise.  Usually this sort of thing would be done on a Sunday when I am renewing my spirit, but with that having been on hold recently I haven't had anywhere near the contemplation time I sorely needed.

During the enforced inactivity on Friday I discovered that when I have periods of stress and many problems coming my way I drop the whole spiritual side of things (that bit I knew already) and don't get round to sorting and sifting and solving on a Sunday like I would normally do.  This in turn has led to a worsening of current issues which has distanced me even further from what I want to be doing.
Therefore it is vital that I have this day - even if I can only manage a few hours - to take time out to see where I am at with issues and so on.  I also realised that during the times I was able to have the renewing my spirit day I was a lot less ill with fibro than when I have everything piling on top of me.  It is vital then that I have some time, not just to solve issues and problems but to rest and recuperate for my own sake.

Renewing my spirit day is good for me.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Who are my deity of choice?

You cannot really go about this type of thing without getting caught up by deity.  When I was at school we did a lot of study into Greek mythology and for a long time I really identified with deity from this region.  When I had started settling into witchcraft and its studies I began looking into the Roman pantheon and then the Celtic pantheon, but somehow nothing ever feels right.

I have spent some time recently thinking about who and what we, as humans, would have worshipped/believed in before Christianity.  Where I am from (Cumbria) we would have been part of the Carvetti tribe and they would have worshipped Celtic deity.  I am still finding it hard to identify with this - even to this day - and I came to the conclusion some time ago that Goddess and God worship isn't all that important.

Strangely enough I do believe in the whole concept of the Lady and Lord, but who they are is really something I haven't identified with.  When I think in terms of a God I think of Pan, the horned God, or even the Green Man.  As for an archetypical Lady, I can only ever imagine a figure such as Venus/Aphrodite.  But then I muddy the waters even more by not being able to identify them as my deity and find myself thinking more in terms of the Fates.

Very contradictory, I know.

Believing in the Fates feels more natural to me, and yes they are from Greek mythology, but legend has it that they predate any deity we know of, so this makes me think that whatever path we choose to follow some kind of fate weavers are out there helping us shape our destiny.

As for the Gods and Goddesses of each culture; I believe that there are the set ones that each culture have, no more, no less and that just as the Goddess of Love in the Roman world was Venus, with the Greeks calling their Goddess of Love Aphrodite, I believe she is one and the same just with a different name.
I believe that each culture has their own version, but these deities are, for want of a better word, the same beings, only with different names.

I'm not sure why I can't really take to a certain Goddess and God, perhaps being brought up a Christian and being forced to go to church and Sunday school has really given me the heebie jeebies when it comes to worship.  Worship makes me feel like a church goer, like something all good folks do if they know what's good for them.
I guess these feelings stem from Christian guilt and my sadness at how the mainstream religions fight amongst themselves over whose way is the right way.  This is one of the reasons I have never told my mother about practicing witchcraft.  She would not understand why and would probably dismiss it all as some rebellious phase that I will eventually grow out of.  Perhaps this is why I feel uncomfortable about worship, it feels too much like going to church and maybe I just will always be the rebel.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Spellcasting.

As I have already said the aim of this 366 day gig is intended to get my witchy juices flowing good and proper again.  So far I am pondering the basics, or what I consider to be the basics, anyway.  Today I am pondering spells.

Yes I cast spells.

 As already said you gotta be participating in the craft to call yourself a witch.  I have been casting since I was 14.  I did stop for a little while in my late teens up until my early 20's, but ever since then I have cast some sort of spell pretty much on a daily basis.  When put like that it sounds quite astonishing, but it is just something that witches do and I most certainly haven't thought about it like that before.

In the early days I pretty much read, word for word, from books and when working within groups I followed the instructions I was given there.  As I grew more confident with my witchy self I began changing things, so a spell read in book would have been altered to suit my own needs.  Eventually I stopped using spell books that other people had written and started writing my own.
A few years back when I first started blogging I did share one or two of my own spells, but I got so paranoid that other people would pass them off as their own I eventually removed them.  Nowadays I don't post my own spellwork on the internet.  This isn't because I think everyone is out to get me and rip me off, it is because I have considered writing some time in the future when I am not home edding and if these spells are already out there, they could be adapted and used by another budding witchy author, costing me some success.

My DD's are really into the whole witch thing nowadays and have often asked me to write spells for them.  But I am a big believer in spells and the like having the personal touch - it isn't vital, but you know yourself better than anyone else so it figures that you know what is best to say/write in a spell.  As cliched and tacky as it may sound, the best way to start if you are unsure is to keep it like a poem, short, sweet and rhyming.
Of course that last statement is bound to have people groaning and cringing, but you are trying to create something you can work with and something you are going to be able to remember, not a huge OTT 3 page short story!  By adopting a simple format you can put your needs into the spell and still manage to keep it short.

As with everything else, practice makes perfect!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Visualisation.

When I first starting practicing I could not visualise at all.  Everything I was told to do was all fairly easy and straightforward, but visualisation was just something I could not get the hang of.  I tried various techniques, but nothing worked for me.  For a long time I gave up on visualisation and tried to avoid any spellwork that required it.  I have always had vivid dreams, and as a child I used to be able to astral travel.  I could even see things really clearly whenever I listened to the radio or talked to people on the phone; you know, I could picture what they were telling me in great detail.  But for some reason I could not visualise at all.

But me being me, I grew tired of feeling like half a witch, I mean, what kind of witch can't even visualise?  Well, me actually.  That was until one day it just clicked.  I don't know why, or how, it just happened.  I remember reading something and thinking I might like to try it and without even thinking about it I got an image as clear as day in my mind.
I was over the moon, I can tell you.  Back in those days I was very much practicing in secret because my kids were a lot younger and my husband didn't want me practicing in front of them, so working with my mind was something I really needed to be doing.

I have to say that since that day I have never looked back.  99% of my spells are worked this way now; some call it lazy, but I don't think there is anything remotely lazy about it.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, but whichever way it is done it utilises energy, and energy is what is manipulated when a spell is being worked.
Sure, you can use any paraphernalia you like, but at the end of the day it is your will and intent that create the spell, not the candles etc.  Not so lazy, huh?
You know, people often say that they cannot cast certain spells because the timing isn't right, or they don't have the right tools at that particular moment.  But if your need is great, or you are like me and you just like doing things your own way then getting on down and doing it with some good old fashioned visualisation is going to get things moving for you.

If you cannot manage to visualise then you should relax, it will eventually come good for you.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Practice what you preach.

Belief and choice are big parts of witchcraft.  I have been considering them over the past couple of days.  They seem mundane when you consider the craft and what it is all about.  They are very relevant nonetheless.

Today I am thinking about practice.  What it is that I do, if not everyday then most days.  You see, I believe that to be a witch one has to practice the craft of a witch; whether that be divination, spellcasting, herb craft, the use of oils and potions.  You cannot just say you are a witch but then do nothing witchy.  That is my belief and I am sticking to it.

Also, as a practicing witch you have to take responsibility for what you do.  If someone wrongs you and you throw a little something back their way, then you have to face up to that.  I do not adhere to the Wiccan Rede as I am not a Wiccan.  However, I do think long and hard about what I do and what impact it is going to have on people.  I think about what I could do from a non magickal point of view and I twist and turn the problem over and over until I find the right solution for it.
If someone has a falling out with a friend, say because I have sent something their way because they have zapped me, then I accept that it is likely I am responsible for that.  You see, I believe in taking responsibility for my own actions and choices.

I do not and would not ever just send out a load of zizzy energy to a person indiscriminately.  I am quite a peaceful person believe it or not.  But I hate it when I get attacked - and boy can I tell whenever I have been - and I just want to settle the issue.

Proper, full on practice is a big part of my life, but it doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate.  It can be as  simple as blessing the new moon, or honouring the full moon.  Or making wishes at the new moon, or doing something ritualistic when the moon is full.  It is whatever is in your heart and feels right for you.

In the past I have many an argument with so-called witches because I have not done things the way they do.  In the end a lot of bad blood remained and we no longer speak, mainly because I would not back down over my beliefs and go with what they think is the right way.  You know what?  It doesn't even matter.  It is what is right for you, and what is right for me is not necessarily right for someone else, but I don't make a big song and dance about these things.  Personally I don't really care if another witch wears a robe, or dances under the moonlight naked.  I don't care what she gets up to as long as she is - or he - is true to herself.

At the end of the day that is what it is all about, practising what is in your heart.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

366 Days of witchery. Day 2.

366 days of witchery is solely for me to refocus my spiritual nature after what has been a really tough year.  Some would say that I shouldn't have to keep on recommiting myself to my craft and perhaps there would be some truth in that.  I may have even wondered this about other people in the past, but then I went through this awful time and have never experienced anything as bad as this.

I get told all of the time how wonderfully I am coping, I guess it's true.  But inside I am so very hollow, I can't even begin to describe it without it sounding trite.  There is just this huge emptiness now, a void, and when I think about them both it has an ache to it.  Again, I'm not being able to express myself adequately enough.

366 days of witchery is my tool for me alone, it is not a tried and tested method or programme of study, it is just me.  I want to be that witch that I once was, the one who always knew what to do in times of crisis, the witch who knew exactly what was needed on a magickal level.  It isn't that I no longer know these things, it's the fact that I question the very essence of what I have always believed in.  I could easily walk away from all that is witchy, but that would mean walking away from everything that I have been for a very long time.
It's about finding the beauty of being a witch again.  It's about rediscovering what I love most and knowing that even when life is really tough my spiritual beliefs are there holding me up.

During the past few months I have questioned it all.  I was about to just stop it all.  Just like that.  Everything I had done for over 20 years just pushed to one side and turned my back on it.  But a few weeks ago I felt like something had prodded me.  I had an urge to go out onto my street and really see what was there.  I then felt something was calling me (as twee as that sounds) and I couldn't ignore it.
Last July one of my dogs died - he got sick very suddenly and died less than a month later.  Then my brother died, then my Dad got sick and subsequently died.  Then towards the end of June one of my cats went missing - thankfully she turned back up, but it was a tense couple of weeks.
With all of this having happened I just didn't think that magick and witchcraft really mattered anymore.  What was the point?  Life just wanted me to suffer.  Then me and my husband hit a really bad patch and it was touch and go for a while - we considered splitting up.

There just hasn't been any room in my life for witchiness and I felt so angry that witchcraft and magick had let me down, so I just stopped really bothering.  Then the need to get back out there slapped me about the face and woke me back up.  And so I am doing this for me, not for any other purpose than my own fulfillment.  I want to do it, it isn't that I feel I must do it, I am eager to do it by my own free will.

Yesterday I looked at belief.  I spent time pondering exactly what I do believe in - that could very well be another blog post.  I spent time understanding myself and my beliefs and what I expect from it all.  Today I am pondering over choice.
What choices I have made because of witchcraft.  What decisions have led me to where I am now, not really in my everyday life but as a witch.  What I have chosen to do in the name of witchcraft and have I been happy with those decisions, or have I ever regretted them?

Choice does play a huge part in the craft, we just don't realise how much.