Saturday, 31 January 2009

Giving the Goddess Form

I know Little Dog still has her story to be told but today is not a dog day... Today has been a Goddess crafting sort of a day.

It began with a pack of epoxy putty stuff. You get two sticks and you mix them together until both colours are firmly mixed. It is sticky and odd stuff which I thought would be a little more like clay. It is harder to join two pieces together neatly although you can sand it and file it and cut it once it is harder. It took a long time to mix and then when I had I found it hard to model myself a little Goddess statue.

I wanted a fairly neolithic looking Mother Earth Goddess so I guess I am not far off then. She is a little blobby statue with the suggestion of a figure and arms. She has a very crude mouth but no eyes. I feel that all Gods and Goddesses are aspects of broader unknowable energies. These could be called Mother earth or Father Sky or any number of names. Because of this the Goddess I venerate mostly highly is this fundamental one who can have all faces and none. I have not felt drawn to a particular aspect as yet.

In the end I was quite pleased with her and I set her on my hearthstone to set next to my large white vanilla scented candle. To be honest I really like her there and she will probably stay. So one of my shrines / altars is growing. I have three, or rather I will have three. One in my kitchen with my hearthstone, large candle and little terracota Goddess. A second in the lounge around my electric fire with sits in a more traditional fireplace with slate hearthstone. This one has a bowl which currently contains nuts, pine cones and clove stuffed oranges. The oranges will be removed soon. It also had some daffodils but they have gone now to. The third was the one I intended to create first.

On the landing I have a small table that is unusually tall. I have painted my silk scarf to sit on it. I shall leave it out on Imbolc Eve to be blessed by the Goddess Bride. Above this table I have hung a mask I made at a class using papier mache. It is a feminine sort of a mask in blue. I have also hung my llewelyns calendar alongside. I have some cards I intend to stick up around the shrine to. I want to buy a new deck and hope to get the druid plant oracle. They will sit on this table so each morning I can draw a card for guidance. I currently do this with my tarot but I do not feel this best suits my current deck.

The second Goddess figure I have been working on will be made from papier mache. In papier mache you cobble together a base which has the rough shape you desire and then add the strips of paper over the top. I have finished the frame consisting of wire, card, toilet roll tubes and masking tape but I couldn't find any liquid glue. She stands tall and elegant waiting her paper covering. She shall then be decorated with threads and paper tissue and glitter. But again she has no features on her face but she may well get some hair.

The third figure I worked on today is this one.

This is my Brideog. A Brideog is a traditional small Bride doll made for Imbolc to be looked after. i made her with some peacock blue green raffia I had. I then twisted some silver edged white ribbon I had around her torso. I had some fluffy white thread that I used to wrap round her ankles, waist and arms. Upon her waist I secured two of the white shells I had found that had holes near the top. I had also found a shell with a larger hole which she wears around her neck. These shells came from Holywell Bay.

It is traditional to put the Brideog in a bed. I found a white dish into which I placed some nice comfy and warm blue fleece. I wrapped a smaller piece of this with a scrap of blue green rough silk to make a pillow. Having laid her in her bed I covered her up with a nice piece of white satin and tucked it in. She is all ready to put out tomorrow night now. I haven't quite decided which shrine to place her at. The kitchen shrine with it's link to fire and warmth? The lounge shrine by the true fireplace of the house? Or the as yet unstarted shrine on the landing?

I have many other plans and ideas for my shrines but I suspect it may be some time, if ever, before I consider them finished!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Big Dog

Well this week definitely has a dog theme. The current best advice regarding my dream dogs is to meditate on them before bed and make a prayer asking them to reveal their nature in my dreams. If they do all to the good, if they don't then chances are they are symbols... This may take a few days of work...

I have two dogs in my life right now. One is sat on a cushion by my side while the other is sat on my feet on the sofa. They are gently snoozing. K, Big dog is a greyhound and M,little dog is a collie cross greyhound. Both have an amazing ability to sleep. Even if I stay home all day, they sleep mostly.

Big dog is black with spreading grey and he came into my life eight years ago. I was a mature (but still rather young student). I had a house and lodgers to pay my way. My lodgers wanted me to get a dog and promised to walk and help with costs. I knew if I got a dog, it would be because I was ready to make a commitment to look after one all by myself.

I went to see my folks and they were involved in a charity greyhound event. At the end of the day one of the dogs taken there to be rehomed had not been found a home and was to be taken to a foster home. I went to see him. We looked at each other nervously and all i could think to say was "he'll do". I can imagine the foster people were probably thinking "oh my God" quietly to themselves. Luckily my family were known and so i was able to take him straight away despite any qualms.

He had been found with two other dogs. The others had had their ears chopped off without anathestic to remove all identifying tattoos. They were then left. K had at some point previously had his jaw broken, his tail and some ribs. He had many scars and bald patches including a very large bare patch on his side within which he had been burnt with cigarettes to make an M. I used to feel quite self conscious at first walking this obviously abused and nervous dog, particularly as I looked so young.

Not surprisingly he was a mess. If you uncrossed your legs, he was halfway across the room in a heartbeat. If you raised you voice, he wet himself. He had certain things he hated. One of my lodgers had a male friend that K liked, unless he wore his puffy body warmer. Men were more of an issue for him. Me being a student, living with other students was ideal for him. He was rarely alone and received lots of attention and fuss. If he was nervous he could run off to my room and hide on my bed.

Not surprisingly, K bonded very strongly with me. He will never really be an entirely normal dog but after all these years he could convince people he was. Although he adores F and S, it is me that he will always belong to. He follows me around and can not bare to be to far from me if he knows I am in the house. If a stranger comes in the house now, he is more than happy to approach them for fuss and attention.

He grins in greeting and he grins in thanks when you feed him or give him a treat. He sleeps on my bed whenever F is absent, even for half an hour. He is always pleased to see me. I could talk about his faults, but I shan't. Given his beginnings in life, it is incredible he doesn't have more.

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Nothing overly exciting happened today. I did some more silk painting and went to work and ate some nice food. All good solid pleasures of life (except work). All good but not hugely exciting for others to read about so tonight I am going to delve into my past again.

This time I am going to talk about a very special friend. We first met one summers day on a little back road. My sister, my Mum and I were going to see my Gran after school and the shortest route there was a very little used road. As we came up towards a bend we could see the car ahead slow and watched as a very, very scrawny dog sniffed it. Then they drove on. We didn't.

Said dog happily got into the back of our car and sat with me. She was white and a golden brown. She was so thin that she literally was a skeleton with skin draped over and sucked up between the bones in places. She had many small cuts. Despite all this she was gentle and friendly. To this date she is the thinnest greyhound I have ever seen...

We visited a couple of friends to see if they knew of her but no one did. We took her home and gave her some of our old Collie dogs food. She gently ate it and then we took her to the police station. We were told that if no one claimed her se would be put down after a week. She wasn't claimed and we offered to have her back.

She settled in well but failed to put on any weight. Then her nipples started to get larger. To my folks horror and mine and my sisters delight, she was pregnant. She gave birth to eleven puppies, two dead at birth, two died that first night. She was still so thin and we started weaning the puppies as soon as they opened their eyes. All had horrendous worms but were to young to worm and we couldn't worm her while she nursed.

We kept two puppies but she really was the main star. She converted the whole family to greyhounds and other people besides. She could jump a gate with ease and had a liking for peoples rubbish. If we left the door open she would take each piece of rubbish and lay it on the floor and thoroughly clean it. She also would jump over our gate and go visit our neighbours rubbish to.

She grinned. Many greyhounds do but she was the first dog we had met that did. The grin was genuinely a sign of happiness, gratitude, welcome, any positive emotion depending on the circumstance. One family friend had to pass her on her bed to go to the loo. He was gone some time and when we went to find him we discovered that as he went to come back she had grinned and he thought she was snarling. She always knew the person who was nervous and would be extra nice to them.

She was my friend. As soon as I was awake she knew and would insist on coming up to lie on my bed. She always came to me first and was never far from me. She knew before I opened the door if I had had a bad day and would be extra nice. She helped me when I was ill and kept me company through all the low points. She was with me whenever I went out for a walk.

She was a very, very special dog. She seemed to know so much more than most dogs. She seemed to care so much about everyone around her and did her best to help.

Of course she couldn't remain young forever. One day she keeled over in the garden and turned blue. She was rushed to the vet and received an emergency throat widening operation. She recovered almost fully but never had much of a bark again. She was now on borrowed time and the operation couldn't ever be repeated. She lived to around 16 before she started to struggle to breath and the inevitable day came.

I remember how heartbroken we all were. How much I missed her. I remember feeling her visit me just once. I thanked her and asked her to say good bye to my Dad as he was finding it so hard and then to go on her way. I always felt that she hadn't been just a dog, she was something else. She was a gift to me.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Windows of the Soul (Word Wednesday: Glass)

Glass is a fascinating substance. You can see through it. Sometimes, if there is a dark layer on one side it makes a mirror so that you see a reflection. This reflection is always there because glass always reflects some light back. Glass sometimes traps light inside it and this is the basis of fibre optics. Sometimes when ordinary light leaves glass it splits into all the colours of the rainbow. This ability of glass to bend light is used in lenses to make things closer or further away.

Glass is used by us in many ways, decorative art and beads, windows to separate spaces, vessels to hold things such as drinks, glasses so people can read, television screens.... It can be clear or not. One form developed by NASA called dichroic glass is the most highly reflective surface they have been able to create and is used on spaceships and in jewellery. No photo can capture the beauty of dichroic glass as the light plays on it and creates a sparkling rainbow.

Glass is made from silica also known as quartz sand. It is the stuff beaches are made of, melted down and reformed. Quartz is used in microships (I think). But scientifically many substances are glass. Volcanoes make glass known as obsidian. Some things look like glass but I am not sure if they are or not, such as water.

So if eyes are the windows of the soul, what does this really mean? Does it mean they are transparent? That you can see all? Do you always look someone in the eye and see who they really are? No, I don't think so. I think when you look people in the eye you see them as well as a little of yourself reflected back. I think people can lie and deceive and to be able to do this they must use their eyes as mirrors to stop people from seeing their souls.

The eyes are beautiful and useful. They make things appear closer and they can focus to make things clearer. Without them... People who lose an eye are often given glass eyes....

I think children have not learnt to turn their eyes into mirrors. I think most adults have to learn, for to wear your heart on your sleep in this world is a difficult path to travel. Still sometimes when you meet someone and you catch their eye, something is transmitted between two people. Some knowledge, some person you knew in another life, someone destined to be close to us, recognition. Maybe our souls communicate more completely than we are aware of. Maybe we don't listen to our souls enough.

What do my eyes say about me? I have no idea...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Feeling the Fear

Mel recently stretched her oracle muscles to give me a reading across the Atlantic and one particularly poignant moment was the drawing of the fear card under advice. The meaning of this is:

'Ask yourself is your fear valid? Have you seen actual evidence of 'trouble' or is it a fear of unknown things and possibilities? You are advised not to struggle with the fear but to look deep into it...perhaps write an inventory of the things that you fear and possible solutions. Send love and acceptance to the fear and watch it dissipate. This is an auspicious omen of transformation.'

This might seem an odd card for those of you who read this blog. It is hard for me to understand how I come across to others but I suspect my underlying agoraphobia wouldn't be apparent. I get on with people just fine, I can go out and do all the things I need to do. And truth to tell my agoraphobia isn't very severe. In my early twenties I had a period when it was somewhat debilitating. Going out by myself and doing things I don't have to do is tricky sometimes. I have to make myself do things. I have to keep up a momentum because the more time I spend a lone, the more difficult it is to not be alone.

This is not something from my childhood, it is a result of a pretty destructive relationship I found myself in. It is a result of a lack of trust in the goodness of strangers I haven't met. It is the result of a lack of belief in myself. If I believed in myself then I would believe in my ability to cope with any situation I might find myself in. If I believed in myself, I would probably not find myself int he sort of job I am in now. I don't have many ruthless or assertive bones in my body, if any.

So no, my fear is not valid, it is not of any actual thing that might happen. So rather than fighting it, I need to love it and accept it and let it be apparently. How exactly do you do that? Suggestions please...

I have a history of having bizarre dreams. When I tell F about some bits I remember, he often finds them pretty amusing. I haven't had a dream I remember in a little while and I rarely have nightmares. So for me to have several unpleasant dreams over the last few days is unusual. One of those I remember from last night has been playing in my mind a little.

I was in Russia (no idea) and I was staying with a friend (nameless, faceless). I needed to travel to their house by myself but I had two very large dogs with me. They are not the dogs I currently own but I obviously considered them family as well as protection. I needed those dogs for that journey. On the way however I got stopped by an officious high level officer. he wanted my dogs and I knew that the consequences of not giving him the dogs might be severe. I didn't want to lose them as they were family but also because I did not feel able to complete the journey without them.

Sometimes in my dreams, once they really catch my interest I become more aware within them and can alter them. I sometimes replay different endings and try and find one I like from the point where I become aware. I am not sure if the following ending to the dream was created by me in a more aware state or not.

I rang the friend and he suggested giving the officer a puppy from the two dogs. I have no idea if the officer accepted. I woke up. It seemed like a compromise but I was left with the suspicion that it wasn't enough...

Sitting at my desk with my mind freewheeling as I entered data... It occurred to me that maybe those dogs were symbols of my fear. That my fear is beloved and protective. I had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to losing my dogs. I think it would be wrong to let go of fear. Fear is a necessary reaction that keeps us safe. It is an instinctual thing. But should it be a couple of gigantic guard dogs?

Monday, 26 January 2009

D-Day and the Ox

Today has been pencilled in my diary for nearly three months for today was the day I had to go and see the dietician again and be weighed. I spent last night trying to sleep, badly. I had dreams with ominous overtones. I kept waking up and sleeping only lightly. I got up feeling drained.

The dietician however gave me some good news. I have lost a stone since I last saw her. That pleasure didn't last long as I had to go to work. By the end of the day I felt completely vacant and miserable. There are moves afoot and people are moving about and the possibility of me being offered a contract draws closer. I know I should be grateful, particularly at this time... I spend my days bored, despite the radio and nice colleagues and come home drained and with very tired eyes.

I know it is the time of the new moon and maybe this has something to do with how I feel today. It is actually a special new moon as it heralds the beginning of the new chinese year. The year of the Ox. I am going to retreat from my current job to times past...

Many years ago my parents took my sister and I to a chinese restaurant. We kept going back and when I was a little older, they offered me a job. I worked there on and off over many years until my move down here. I know if I was ever living near by there would be a job waiting for me. If my life ever took a real turn for the worse the job would include a small cubicle in the flat above the restaurant.

The various people I worked with gave me a fascination with the Chinese way of life. I would not say I know much about it. The average working Chinese person doesn't tend to talk of home too much. This brings back memories of the families at home, wives they send money to, children living with grandparents.

They tried in vain to teach me some Cantonese and I did eventually manage to learn a few words. The problem is, it is a tonal language. This means pitch conveys meaning to and alters a word. Sounds can be low, medium or high and some may rise or fall. So the language is actually sung. It was a long time before I got my ear in enough to be able to hear the things they were trying to teach me. The best pronounciation i ever achieved was when they were trying to get me to remember some word and I couldn't. I came out with the first sounds that hit my brain, which unfortunately happened to be an extremely clear pronounciation of a word for female genitalia. This caused my friends considerable amusement, as they had certainly never taught me that word.

Of course the best area where I experienced a postive cultural exchange, as oppose to friendship was in the matter of food. Working there I used to eat with them after work and one Christmas they invited me to their special Christmas meal. The food they ate was often very different from the food they served. They also appreciated delicacies that most Brits would perhaps avoid, such as kung po eel (eel done in chillis). Although I ate this, I have no idea what eel tastes like as the chillis were all I could taste.

In hindsight I can see that they very carefully educated my taste buds so that by the time they invited me to join them for their special meal, I could enjoy it. They had bought special ingredients in Soho and some had been bought from Malaysia and Hong Kong and saved for this meal. Some of the things I ate are not things I would ever order, on principle. We had abalone, ancient chinese mushrooms, shark fin soup and more. I felt honoured to be invited to join them at the only time they could ever all take time off to eat together before midnight.

One day I was sat with two friends with an interest in such things. In my head there was a gentle image of forest and a river as we talked. One of them turned to me and said, I can see you right now as a Oriental man on a boat on a jungle river wearing one of those large straw hats. The other thought for a moment and agreed. I explained the picture in my head but said I could not see the man. They told me to shut my eyes and look at the reflection in the river. And then I saw what they saw.

So this year of the Ox, what does it mean? Apparently it is a year of honest hard and tireless work. The Ox is apparently the right sort of an animal to clear up messes and boy do we need that right now. No one gets a free ride though... A year without frills doesn't have to be without thrills though I guess, not when you have so much free nature on your doorstep. And weather is the greatest show out! So I guess the year of the Ox is a good year for diets... I hope... can I go and get a Chinese take away now? please?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Wild Blows the Wind

Today as we picked up S we gave him the choice of woods, water or high places. He chose high places and I started to give F directions. It wasn't long before he knew exactly where we were going. Just along the cliffs from Porthleven there is a little car park on a piece of ground which looks like it was quarried from the cliff face. There is just enough room between the rock and the drop to park cars with room to pass.

We ate our picnic in the car and sat and stared in amazement at the waves. As we do not live right by the sea we often miss the biggest waves. Today we had chosen the right place to find them. The wind had blown the waves hard across the sea until they reached land right here at our feet. The very strong winds were blowing directly onto the land. From the cliff where we were, the waves still looked huge and must have been well over 15 feet, before they fell over and sent spray shooting up.

From the car park is a little footpath that goes zig zagging up the cliff and then along. We walked a little way but the weather really was strong. We were all cold and S was finding the wind pretty daunting. The spray was such that my glasses were blurry and our clothes were damp.

I have realised that if I want to be outdoors more, I will need some much better clothing to do it for next year... My trousers always shrink after a few washes and start climbing up my legs so that there is a gap. I tend to fill this with long boots but these are impractical for outdoors! My lovely jumper type coat is very warm but not water proof and the hood is too large to stay up in the wind.

We meandered our way home in the car. Cornwall has a network of fairly decent main roads that get you to and from most places but in between there is a network of tiny roads. Often only one car wide with occasional passing places. Tall hedges sit on each side. Cornish hedges are made of two granite walls with soil in the middle. Plants grow out between the stones and trees establish themselves on top. On some roads in the summer it is like driving through a green cave.

On the higher open places you can look across and the land seems made up of granite and moor and grey but as you drop into little valleys there is another world of woods and streams. The road took us through a tiny hamlet on the side of a wooded hill. There was an old granite building which looked like a schoolhouse with boarded up windows. Below it the hill dropped away across a green field edged in trees. How I would love somewhere like that...

When we got home I finally realised how cold I truly was. I felt pretty awful and it took quite a while for me to warm up. I can't imagine my ancestors wearing such ill fitting clothing. They would have tied extra furs around any bits likely to get cold.

I don't want to go back to work tomorrow. It is going to be a busy week leading up to the end of the month. I also don't want tomorrow to come as it is tomorrow I have to visit the dietician and be weighed. The first time I have been weighed in three months. I have no idea if I have lost anything or not.

Today has been an odd mixture of dreaming and practicalities. Sometimes I have trouble with the practicalities....

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Holy Bay

I asked F to decide between sea, woods or hills. I wanted him to choose woods so I could hunt for a branch for my bell branch but he chose sea because he wanted to go somewhere with some life. I got to choose what sea though and it has to be said living relatively near the end of a peninsula, there is a lot of sea to go to. I wanted to go somewhere new so I got my map to remind me and before long I had it all picked out and off we went with F none the wiser.

The sky was blue with little white clouds, rimmed in an angrier shade of grey, as if threathening rain they couldn't quite deliver. The radio was playing some lovely upbeat music such as this lovely, lovely song by Sigur Ros and this plays as a soundtrack in my head throughout the afternoon. F didn't guess where we were going until I turned off the main road and by that time it was obvious. The road didn't go many other places.

I took him to Holywell Bay. This is an unusual place. It would be a valley that opens out into a bay except that a stream and some sand dunes got in the way. Two streams meet and snake around through a wetland area before passing to the south of the dunes by the cliffs of the southern headland. The streams have in effect kept an entrance to the bay clear and once you walk through, the bay opens up to the north where the far headland lies, backed by sand dunes all the way.

We get there and head up on the path of the southern headland first and we enjoy the view across the bay. The coastal path skirts military land here an dthe headland is home to some serious kit and it is not possible to do anything but skirt the edge. This is a shame because on this headland there is an iron age fort and apparently the bounary wall still exists. Built within the fort is some electrical gadgetry, possibly radar. The view from the headland, is however, amazing, even though we only went a little way.

This is a holy place. Holywell really does have a holy well. I haven't been there but I have seen pictures. I intend to go one day. In fact this place has two wells, the second is in a sea cave that can only be reached at low tide. The waters from these parts are know for their curative properties. I think there is also a large barrow near here as well.

The other side of the southern headland of Penhale is Perran Bay. It is here that the patron saint of Cornwall St Piran landed following his travels from Ireland on a millstone (don't ask me). He founded his oratory in the dunes and bought Christianity to Cornwall. This earliest church made of wattle and daub was lost to the sands and another was built of stone. This too was lost as was the one that followed it. Possibly the earliest site of christianity in Great Britain outside of Ireland, lost to the sands. legend has it that an entire city lies beneath those same sands.

In those long ago days the sands were loose and untamed by anything but water. They threatened nearby homes as well as the church. One family lived here who it is believed were friends with Sir Walter Raliegh himself. Knowing of their plight, when he came across Marram Grass on his travels, he endeavoured to take them some. The grass took hold and from here it was introduced to dunes elsewhere. Mines and military history sit on these dunes. Personal history too as F and I on our first date wanted to talk so we left the bright lights of Truro to walk on the beach here, alone, at night, in the cold of February.

Although I have spent much time in Perran Bay and walking it's sand dunes, I had never been to it's neighbour Holywell Bay which lay glinting in the spring sun beneath me. We sit and eat sandwiches on the edge of the cliff only metres above the stream as it heads for the sea. The sea and the stream have carved a gorge through rock and the tide hisses through and churns on the rocks. As we sit we watch people on the beach below come and go, casting long shadows. Dogs jump in the water and a horse skitters at the sea. Gulls soar in the updrafts. The sun shines. Empty shells lie on the grass, left by birds or the sea.

We head down onto the beach and F decides that struggling up to the top of the sand dune would do me more good than following the stream round. Again the view is fantastic. The sea is whipped white near the coast and a tidemark of seaweed has been left. As we descend onto the beach I start to add to my collection of shells. A piece of sea glass, some string. Some more string and yet more string. I gathered a lot and there was even more there. Pieces of net or rigging, cut loose and bought in by the sea and the wind. Not just from one vessel but from many. Blues, Greens, Orange, Black, White. I collect. F collects to, several beautiful mussel shells worked by the sea so they have lost their blackness and now have an array of vivid blues and purples.

We walk to the sea and run from the waves. We walk back towards the stream and stand by the gorge. The tide is coming in and sometimes makes it to the pool in front of the gorge. The sea water races over the stream as a little tidal bore. Sometimes the sea meets itself as it pours over the sand, making an island. F can't resist climbing up onto this almost island, opposite our picnic spot. Another man can not resist the urge to conquer and his dog runs after but gets caught by the flowing water.

This stream feels special to me. It drains from the holy well as well as the dunes of St Piran's Oratory to the south. I don't think I shall return to this beach too often. I should like to keep it as a special treat. In the Summer it will teem with tourists soaking up the sun but for now it is a wild and windy place. The whole bay feels special.

We slowly head back, knowing the weather is changing. Grey clouds are coming in from the south and there is the smell of rain on the wind. It will rain tonight, but not for now. Now is perfect.


I am not the only person to be affected so by this bay. Have at look at this beautiful piece about the well in the sea cave.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Walking in Memphis

I moved out of home when I was 17. I had finished my A-levels and got myself a job. My parents helped me find somewhere to live and then one day they took me there, helped me unload all my things and left. It must have been hard for them. For me it was bittersweet. I had been looking forward to moving out but here I was in a strange town, in a strange house with no one I knew anywhere near by. I put on a tape and the first song that came on summed it up completely for me, bittersweet, sadness mixed with hope. Walking in Memphis.

Today has been a negative energy day. It has been swirling round work like smoke so thick you can almost hold it. I have almost coped but as the day went on it slowly brought me lower and lower. It started early on with a request to do overtime on the one day of the fortnight that I get F all to myself with no S. The answer from me was unsurprisingly, no but I can do it at these other times. Stress continued to flow as the amount of work I had was given as a reason justifying overtime for the group. Given I hadn't particularly thought my pile was getting too large....

The second time Walking in Memphis appeared at an important time in my life, it was a soothing sign that I was walking in the right direction although it felt hard right then. I had come to Cornwall intending to move here. I had never been here before. I was again in a strange town where I knew nobody and was feeling somewhat fearful of the future. I was looking for somewhere to eat and I eventually found somewhere. I nervously went in and sat down as that song came on the radio.

So today the stress continued to flow as issues arose and had to be traced to their source. The initial place to look always seemed to my pile of work or the work I had done previously. My response to all this was just to work even harder and try and get through even more and focus really, really well so I wouldn't do anything wrong. And I did. So now I feel completely and utterly drained. I went to the toilet at one point to ground myself and sort out all the energy swirling through me. This worked well, for a while.

As I was sat there feeling stressed, working as if glued to my computer as if I was some sort of bizarre cyborg creation, a song came on the radio. This song is quite an old song and not one commonly played really, semi-forgotten. But to me the meaning it holds is huge. It is as if the world is saying, hold on, it will all be fine, just keep going, you are doing just fine.

I have a theory about stress. It is negative energy. Someone starts to get themselves into a situation and their bodies response is to generate extra energy. Only thing is these days we don't fight or run away. Where does this energy go? The energy gets passed around and around with no one knowing what to do with it. It slowly dissipates with each time it passes from one to another. It is contagious. Grounding out the energy helps but then you can feel like you are just sucking up all the energy around. The person who produced the energy in the first place keeps pumping out the energy because their body still thinks they need. How do I stop myself being a hoover for the seemingly infinite amounts of negative energy? I can keep grounding but is this the answer?

Truth is, I don't know.

I also right now, don't care.

I am off to listen to this song and recapture it's meaning for me...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Little Luxuries

Last night was a luxury. No blog to write. No food to cook. No F around.... 2 hours of not having anything to do until i had to pick F and his pasty delivery up. I had been thinking about this time all day at work. How to use it, what i really wanted to do with it, how to savour it...

I decided to continue with the painting og my scarf which will go on my shrine upstairs on the landing. The scarf was looking a little sad, all white with occasional black or silver lines. I had no idea what silk paints would be like to use and so knew that my scarf would probably be best if I didn't have a fixed idea in my head.

I had four colours of paint, purple, light blue, dark blue and emerald green. I decided to do the Goddess three moon symbol in the middle in the emerald green and azure blue. As I dabbed the colours on I created a blotchy effect and this has resulted in the symbol looking like planet earth from space. This symbolism pleased me and I shall have to think on this further.

I did the edges in dark blue and outlined the symbol in the dark blue as well. I then filled in the rest with the purple. I discovered that the drying paints form tidemarks if wet paint encounters dry paint. I discovered that flicking water causes an interesting splotchy effect on wet paint. I discovered flicking water at dry paint does nothing. Any proper silk painter would be able to look at my scarf and know instantly that I had no idea what I was doing... I think this adds to the scarf and it's look somehow... The colours are so lovely that what you do with them seems almost immaterial...

I have another scarf and a design in mind. I imagine that the things I have learnt will show on my next one. The design is more complicated. There will be more lines for the paint to sit between. This should take away some of the blotchiness as it means you have more time to paint the scarf as a whole. The scarf itself soaks up the paint and it spreads slowly across. Without the lines of gutta you could not make any sort of design with ease.... Of course in some places I may want the tidemarks and blotches, but it will be my choice...

I would love if I ever have kids of my own to find a frame a stretch a piece of silk across it like a canvas. I would then give them a tube of gutta to draw on a design or a doodle or a swiggle. I would then give them a handful of bright silk paints and a brush. These bright colours would react so well to a childs most impressionistic efforts. The way the paint spreads and fills space is forgiving of poor coordination and inability to paint close to the lines. What a lovely present this would be for a granny... Just make sure they are wearing black first...

I shall post a photo at the weekend (or thereabouts) so you can have a look...

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Doorway to Heaven (Word Wednesday: Door)

I have just finished reading Juniper's recent posts and I felt I had to write a little about this subject.

I have been a dabbling witch for many years but never really committed. I suspect the events of my teenage years with that beautiful sunrise and the feelings that it bought and the sheer radiant beauty. The inspiration to write a fully formed creation myth featuring Father Sky and Mother Earth when I had never been exposed to such before. The development in my belief in Nature rather than the other religions around me when again I had no idea people did indeed worship nature. I suspect this may have been may have been an intiation or a calling of sorts.

However, although the door can be opened for us, we still have to walk through. My fear etc have stopped me from trying to walk through. I feel now, that I am polishing the door and peeking through small blurry glass windows as they appear, trying different keys and things and learning to love my door. Occasionally I get a little peek through but the door is still closed. The door may never open to me in this life. It doesn't matter. It is my door and I love it and I will care for it and it will open in it's own sweet time, if I am ready and the time is right.

Many years ago I visited my folks and my Mum was going to attend a textile craft day where they have workshops and a talk. My Mum is a quilter and I am not, so not surprisingly we chose different classes. I went to learn how to make braids. I was well and truly the youngest on my table. The others were Mothers and Grandmothers and they fell in two loose groups with me sat between. The first group were artistically and fashionably attired well-to-do ladies and they sat there for the session and talked about church a lot. It took me a while but I eventually realised that the well-to-do ladies were uncomfortable and they were talking about church as a reaction to this, whether they realised this or not.

The second group were very different. They were how I imagine the Goddess to be in the crone phase. The power rolled off them. They weren't smartly dressed, they didn't push themselves forward but they were magnificently comfortable in their own skins and with the world around them. Magic glinted in their eyes and the set of their mouths indicated knowledge unspoken and amusement. They knew the other ladies were uncomfortable and they definitely knew why and they were amused by this and every so often they would poke at it and ladies would talk about the church things they did even more.

Neither group was offended or scared by me so I got to quietly make my braid and watch and listen. Towards the end though my eyes met one of the crones fully and I knew she saw something and had to look back to check and we held each others gaze for a long moment. I felt that she could see that I had found my door and was intrigued. I felt she said nothing as she could also see I had not walked through my door or even really tried to. But we both kind of knew.

I think Juniper may be similar to these powerful women (although I suspect in an earlier phase of life) but not having met her in the flesh I don't know. I can understand that that sort of power in a person would piss a lot of people off and draw others. Not that it is always the power to do things, just that that person has that connection and the magic is at home around them and lives around them and things happen...

It seems to me that all religions that are organised in any sense are trying to reach or create this level of power. I think churches work on some level in that everyone focuses their own individual power onto the priest in order to boost the priests connection to the divine. I believe ritual can act in this way to. I believe that although people may know the door is there, it doesn't mean they are capable of opening it or that it is unlocked for them from the other side. I can imagine to people seeking their own connection, who may be struggling or have to work hard and believe it is hard to get there, someone with a wild power may be a little like a red rag to a bull.

I have no idea if my own path will take me through my door. I have no idea if I will gain that same reek of power someday. I am not sure it matters. Just so long as I keep walking... I will enjoy the lakes and bogs and mountains on my way. Little peeks through the doorway in the hedge are just fine for me, for now. And when my path meets the path of others for a while I enjoy the company.


P.S I wrote this on Sunday and saved it for today as it seemed to fit. This now makes me nervous as I have posted a link to my blog on Juniper's site and somehow my little blog doesn't feel quite so private now. I hope that if you read this Juniper, you are flattered rather than offended. I have also promised myself that I will continue to write what I wish and not worry too much about others (chances are I shall fail in this *sigh*)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Small Blessings

The little things in life are often the most effective...

Today one of my colleagues had the really bright idea of moving the radio. This had several unexpected benefits. The grumpy people who turn our radio down are less likely to be disturbed. We can hear the radio much better, in particular I can hear the radio much, much better. While doing a very, very dull job having a radio to listen to makes such a difference.... Believe me I know!

On the way to work today there was loads of traffic and it was going to make me late. I made up a simple rhyme in my head and visualized the road being clear with no parked cars or cars turning right in front of me. And you know what? Although I had to slow down, I didn't have to stop at all. At all of the roundabouts, at all of the junctions, I just kept going. This made the difference between less than a minute late and a whole lot of late...

As I left work I looked across. We are on a bit of a hill and from work you can see the sea in places. There is also a very large hill with granite stacks on top. It was silhouetted against the sky. The sun had set already but there was still some light. The clouds were highlighted in pink against a lilac sky with the dark smudge of the hill across it.

In the UK we have something called an MOT. It is a series of safety checks that cars have to have each year in order to be driven. My car had it's MOT yesterday but we didn't get to talk to the garage till today. Despite being old and requiring some welding last year, it needed minimal things doing to it. A light bulb, some screen wash and a new number plate... Maybe this is the universe's way of trying to help my finances?

All little things that if I haven't forgotten by tomorrow, I will certainly have forgotten them by next week. All of these things could have been caused by intervention but can also be explained away in all sorts of ways. I guess what I am saying is, how many times a day are our lives touched in tiny ways we don't even notice? How can you give thanks for the blessings you are unaware of?

Last night as I let the dog out for the last time I felt drawn to my bay tree that lives by the door. I plucked a few leaves and then took them in and placed them on my hearthstone. My tree is so overgrown and huge that if it grows much more, we won't be able to get out of the door. Mint used to grow underneath it but it has grown so much, all the mint died. What I have learnt recently is that fresh bay leaves have a lovely smell if you damage the leaves or rip them up.

This tree forms a large part of things for me recently. Last full moon I plucked leaves and cast them into the wind with a wish for each. For Christmas I decorated my hearth with bay branches and Jasmine. The leaves helped purify my sppon and flavour my cooking.

I have a tiny, tiny garden which is mostly full of mud right now but this one bay tree gives me so much and so many possibilities. A few leaves.... A little inspiration.... Small blessings....

Monday, 19 January 2009

Tangerine Dreams

I love to catch up with my e-life. I love reading the blogs I follow. Some I follow anonymously as I am not sure how they would feel about such a pagan link. Others I follow publicly. All give me so much. There is a community here which I am part of. It even has community events. One one of which I posted about earlier. Another we are starting... Word Wednesday! A small group of us are starting this and we shall write or show photos of our chosen word each Wednesday and this Wednesday our word is door... (if the idea of Word Wednesday came from someone else I am sorry and hope you don't mind us borrowing. I have a feeling I might have but my memory is so awful i haven't a clue...)

Poetry... I still haven't written my element poems. Or done much towards this months areas from 'A Witch Alone' and this month ends on the new moon. I haven't done the last weeks meditation for my hearth craft class. I haven't finished painting my scarf for my shrine. I haven't finished the wire frame for my Goddess papier mache thing to go on my kitchen shrine. I haven't started my Goddess collages. I haven't finished cleaning up my kitchen. I have a pile of unread books.

And every time I read more I come away with more ideas. Oh a bell branch that sounds nice. Hmm you have driftwood covered in charms above your bed, what do I have above my bed, nothing, hmm. I have some blank wall there. I have these bits of paper... they make pens that write on glass, what could I do with them?

I achieved very little this weekend beyond a shopping trip mostly spent watching S try to choose computer games. I did however buy, not just my moon journal but some terracota sculpting clay stuff (neolithic style Goddess statue and maybe an altar plate or some runes), two packs of threads (maybe the Goddesses dress, maybe some bead weaving), a pack of fabric scraps (no ideas - yet), some bells and green wool (bell branch) and some milkthistle complex.

My list of things doesn't depress me. These are things I want to do and will enjoy doing. What I do find sad is that so much of the time, I just don't feel like doing much. I felt so tired this weekend and this is at odds with the surge of creativity I feel nurtured within my e-life. But right now this is not an issue... I am tired and warm and snug. I have big dog nestled on my feet. I am about to go to bed. I am content and well fed. Rigth now there is no issue. Just time to dream of all the things I want to do, could do and might do. Life really isn't so bad, in fact it is pretty good... Night Night....

Celebrate Brigid with Poetry....

Feel free to copy the following to your blog and spread the word. Let poetry bless the blogosphere once again!

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2009

WHERE: Your blog

WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day

HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post, where the Slam originated. Or link to whoever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

I found this on Moonroot's blog and plan to take part!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Spring is Coming

The world seems to be waiting for Spring right now in oh so many ways. It is Winter and it is cold and in some places it is really, really cold. Here we have had hale, ferocious winds, thunder and lightning. But yet Spring is coming... Yesterday there was a flower seller in truro with Cornish Daffodils. I bought a bunch of ten for 65p and they are now on my mantle piece opening in the warmth. Spring comes here first in the UK, well after it hits the Scilly Isles of our coast. If Spring is coming here then it will certainly arrive elsewhere to, even if they are in the midst of blizzards, the sun has started to win.

Spring is coming to the states as well. Powerful magic of change. I don't ever remember a new president being greeted with such excitement. The way people campaigned quietly to get him into power with icons on their blogs. Reya in Washington DC gives a fantastic sense of the way this energy is developing in her blog. For someone not in the states, it is this sort of thing that really helps us understand how people feel but it is this blog called Quaker Pagan Reflections that explained it. May Barack help bring in a new Summer for the world.

The world sorely needs Spring to come right now. Even the western world feels strapped for cash right now. The knock on affects on the poorest countries havn't much been talked about, but they have to be there. We have all seen the shops closing and heard of people losing their jobs, even if it hasn't really started to hurt us personaly yet. What worries me is it is all the independent companies that are going first. I don't want to see a world where multi-nationals own everything, where Tesco is pretty much the only place to buy food. I guess everybody is pulling in their belts right now, which makes it even more important where we spend what we have. Reconciling the two is hard...

I would love to think that times like this encourage a grey market where people do for themselves and trade with others. Be it spare produce from the garden or help building an extension. Only it seems to me that this might not be in the interests of the governments as it is hard to tax and shows little profit. It also hurts the multinationals with which they hold hands so often. There is much legislation that actively hurts small independent producers. I have read about new US safety legislation that will but makers of hand made toys out of business. I have read about people selling produce via honesty tins on their road being sent letters pointing out that they are failing to meet weights and measures legislation in the UK.

Seems to me that the people we need protecting from are less those small producers in our own communities but the large ruthless companies who are target and profit driven. It is after all the target and profit driven attitude that put us in this recession after all... I hope this current economic climate is a winter that will lead to a true Spring and Summer.

There is so much out there about a turning of the world, 2012 theories... I am unsure what to think of these but I do hope that we take this opportunity to change our world for the better because the entire world hangs in the balance right now. Juniper had a nice comment on her blog she wants the world to learn that money doesn't grow on trees, food does. Our obsession with money and gold does nothing but harm and we are killing the world around us. Gold mining itself has a horrendous effect on the environment.

We have to hope that the sun does indeed rise on the world and Summer comes. That Barack soming to power is a sign that spring is coming in the same way that my daffodils are. I choose to believe this.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Benefits of Blogging

Blogs are something I have only recently discovered but I am very, very smitten with them. I started this blog for me but it has been far better so far than I expected. I discovered / remembered that I like writing. I get a lot out of putting my thoughts and feelings down, although I think a lot, it doesn't necessarily mean my thoughts are organised. Writing my thoghts has really helped me to organise my thoughts more. This also really helps with moving on and excepting things. There is something so final and complete about writing things down that helps them to be completed.

Another thing I love about blogging is that it has bought people into my life. Really lovely cool people who are interested in what I have to say. Sometimes the comments feel like my own personal cheering committee. I have made friends via blogging in such a short space of time and I expect to make more in the future...

Blogging also helps see inside other peoples lives. I love getting share the lives and thoughts of other people on similar paths to me or paths I would like to be on. I love Mel's blogs for the way our paths sometimes reflect each other and this bouncing back helps me grow more. I love Siobhan's beautiful pictures and the way she captures beauty in the everyday things around her. I love Miss Daisy's raw honesty in her blog and I wish I could hold her hand a little. I love photos from Norway, eye witness accounts of the effect of the coming inaugaration on Washington DC, doodles and mandalas, tales from small holdings... I love that these people are willing to share their thoughts, talents and creativity. I find blogs inspiring and eye opening.

I often press the next blog button to see what I get and I wish I could read some of the blogs I find. Beautiul artwork and the odd word I understand suggests I might love to chat to this person. But I can't. I don't speak their language. I pass these blogs on by with regret, wishing I could explore this other person. Blogs make the world smaller and help me to understand the lives of others. Language may be a barrier but it doesn't stop me looking at a person and thinking I wish I could get to know you.

It isn't always easy thinking of something to write when you have had another dull day at work. I struggle sometimes. I wanted my blog to be an oasis of calm and spiritual enlightenment. Sometimes my negativity about things creeps in and I am not sure how I feel about that. I guess as this journal was started for me and my needs, i should cut myself some slack. I don't want things to become a grumble fest though. So I must find myself things to write about on those evenings that follow a day where nothing interesting has happened... This so far is the only slightly bad thing about blogging. Writing a blog doesn't automatically make me calm and spiritually enlightened...

My blog has caused me to be inspired to write a moon journal. This came up in Mel's blogs first and then further reading about woman's special connection to the Goddess and the Moon. I have come to understand the power writing a journal has but for me the audience (or potential audience) is the catalyst. My moon journal shall be private and of very little interest to others but I hope it will be of great use to me.

S chose to go shopping today to spend some money he had. I left the men to go to a games shop and went to an art shop. I had a couple of things I wanted to buy and I found them but I still had that feeling that there was something else I should buy. Then something caught my eye and a ping went off in my head. I went to investigate. It turned out to be a notebook with a cover that wrapped all the way round and fastened with a magnetic flap. Lovely pictures of horses cover the book and they glow with blues and violets highlighted with silver and pink and turquoise. A beautiful and private book that will allow no accidental peeking. My moon journal is born and may it bring as many blessings as my blog has!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Love Potion No. 9

Although spirits seemed much better at work today and nothing bad has happened, I don't have anything exciting from today to write about. F cooked a lovely meal for me this evening and then I had a lovely bath and read some more of my current book The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbottson.

I very much wanted to write some nice happy positive things tonight, so I shall write about the best bit of my life, F. F is a lovely chap. The sort old ladies love because he is slightly cheeky and makes them laugh. He works in sales and to be honest, Cornwall is probably the only place he could get away with this. In Cornwall a slimy person using the hard sell and being a little shady wouldn't sell anything for very long, they value customer service and word of mouth more down here. Up country he would probably be in some other person orientated career, such as the ambulance service.

Although I am not shy, I can be reserved and I do not often make people laugh... I make F laugh all the time. He makes me laugh to and we have a good time together, inbetween my grumpiness and his ranting that is, we are human after all. He is my best friend and although sometimes we frustrate each other no end, I wouldn't change him for the world. I can imagine still enjoying his company as an 80 year old rocking our chairs companionably on a porch enjoying the view.

Many years ago, I decided to move to Cornwall and started a chain of events that would bring F into my life. I found a house and a course. I found lodgers and made some fantastic friends. I worked hard and played hard but was still somewhat lonely at times. I got big dog after a year and he is my loyal and devoted shadow still.

After two and a half years down here I was ill and took time from my studies. Once I was better I started work but had lost contact a little with friends. One night one called to say she was going out with her chap and some of his nice single work mates. I said I would come out but that I was sick of men and not interested in the slightest.

When I walked into the club there was a man at the bar and our eyes met and there was... something... He turned out to be one of the single friends and he spent the rest of the night chasing me round the club trying to speak to me as I ran off in the opposite direction. We did eventually talk but not that night, although he did text me after I got home that night. He called me a couple of nights later and I spent three hours on the phone talking and laughing with this man who I didn't know and things could have been a little awkward with. We dated a little but ended up living together pretty quickly...

We later discovered that we knew about eight people in common and every so often we find another connection. If we hadn't met that night, we may not have met again for some time, who knows...

There is one little thing though. My parents had a vegetable garden when I was a kid but soon stopped growing veg. Various seeds germinated and the patch became a good example of ecological succession.... When I was a bout ten one of the plants fighting for it's place was identified as an oak tree. I have watched this tree grow over the years and it is now twice or three times my height. It has always felt like a special tree to me and I always go and say hello to it when I visit my folks.

So it was only natural that when I decided to work a spell before I moved to Cornwall that I should give it to this tree to guard. It was my first piece of magic and my only until more recent times. I wrote some lines asking that I should be able to create a happy home and find the right person for me to be with, some one to make me happy and be my partner in life. I wrote it out nicely on coloured paper and I made a braid which I tied it with. It was buried in the roots of the tree for the tree to protect and guard as it grows.

I suspect that such magic probaly works slowly behind the scenes bringing about chains of chance happenings. I suspect it could take some time to be realised. How could you ever prove it worked? Or disprove it?

About the time the spell was buried to grow woth the tree, a man in a far off place became single and began a long and tumultous period of his life as he, and others around him adjusted. It would be two and a half years before he felt ready to date someone else. *smile*

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Down Days

I always know that the day after my massage I will feel a little blah.... But today it seems everyone was full of feeling too. At work, I have sat relatively quietly in my corner and I have been listening to everyone else. And it seems that what everyone had to say was pretty negative today.

Work in a commercial environment can be a rollercoaster ride. What makes it hard is when managers don't understand the effects of success. Success brings increased pressure as well as more business and this requires further resources. If people feel stressed then they do not work as well and they don't get on so well with others and they complain. Negativity seems to spread like a disease sometimes....

I survived the day and came home to discover that S's Mum has been unorganised in sorting out her own life but very organised in sorting out everyone else's. Or at least that is how it feels to me, home alone, while everyone else gets to celebrate S's birthday. Her reorganisation of events is also going to make it hard to attend the wassail at the weekend that I had been hoping to attend at the weekend, but still nothing at all is certain.

Wassailing is at ancient custom in areas with orchard to scare bad spirits from the trees and toast the trees to ensure fertility for the coming year. This is where the tradition of toasting comes from, as toast was soaked in drink from the wassailing cup and then placed in the branches of the trees and some of the drink poured on the roots. There are also traditional wassailing songs that are sung. People make a lot of noise to scare the bad spirits away.

Already feeling cross and alone I was sat eating my tea when the container with my wish seeds decided to fall off the shelf onto my shoulder and onto the floor. I have lost two of my wishes. I nearly opened them to see which but... I could consider this as a sign that two have been taken for planting and may be in progress as we speak. This was not how I felt, I wanted to cry.

It all kind of reminds me of a riding lesson I had once as a teenager. I wanted to ride in the same class as my friends, even though it was a lower level class than I should have been in. The class was looking at the very beginnings of jumping and to make things more tricky for me, they gave me a horse called Harvest who due to previous experiences, had a fear of coloured poles. I guess there plan was that if I kept calmly and firmly riding this lovely but nervous over the jumps it would help her and make the lesson more interesting for me.

On a nearby farm they had decided to do a spot of shooting. The other horses, knowing that they had inexperienced and nervy riders, decided to take advantage and start acting up. Harvest and I were fine, I was sending her all the signals that there really wasn't an issue so she wasn't bothered by the shooting. What eventually began to bother her though, was the fact that all the others were on edge and telling her something was wrong. By the end of the lesson all the other horses had calmed down and I was riding an over-wrought ball of nervous energy.

I feel like I have been Harvest today, not bothered by the situation but getting to suck up all the negativity. Unfortunately this left me with nothing to cope with the changes of plan I found as I got home and my feelings for S and being left out again. Not sue what losing two seeds means *sigh*

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Mistress of Pain

Ever since I was 8, my health has never been quite right. It started innocently enough with a skin condition I have to this day. Luckily it is not too public but it has stayed with me no matter what weight I am (although doctors now tell me it will improve if I lose weight) but seems to alter slightly with diet but not go away...

Then I had rheumatism caused in part by the insistance of my school that we wear very short gym skirts. Although I am sure I will suffer with it when I am older, I rarely do now. I think it has something to do with warm and sensible clothing...

Then there was the glandular fever which hit at 14/15 and then again at 19 and then turned into chronic fatigue syndrome and has slowly lessened its hold as the years have gone by. By 23 I was able to return to education. I still to this day sleep a lot and would love 10 hours a night if I could get it...

I feel tired and drained a lot of the time and this does not help me lose weight. With my weight as it is I can see a long list of problems waiting for me by looking at my family and their combined issues. Diabetes, under-active thyroid, hypertension, even more skin issues, lympathic cancer...

One of the things I do to try and help speed up my ailing metabolism is this - i go to visit the Mistress of Pain.

She is a very expereienced masseuse who specialises in sports massage and lympathic massage. Every few weeks she attacks my lymp system and pushes those drains to help ease the toxin blockages in a very fast and effective detox. Every time I go there is more poison in my body... I wonder if like most people I will ever be able to not go.

Tomorrow I will be sore and thirsty but otherwise fine, possibly enervated. In a few weeks time I will crave another massage as I feel my body slow and grind to a halt...

So why the Mistress of Pain? Well this lady knows where to find every sensitive spot in the human bosy. She will dig elbows in and use all her considerable strength to the benefit of my body. There is just one little side effect....

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Keeping the Home Fires Burning

Monday night and I have just written today's blog. I have more to write and I am not sure whether this is a bonus blog or tomorrow's blog... I guess I shall save it and see if I have anything else to write tomorrow...

I got home from my ditchwater dull job... (except I actually quite like ditchs and other less popular bodies of water such as bogs and mires....) My brain had slowly been frying in boredom all day. One of my colleagues realised it was getting to me and triend to console me that soon I would be able to do it with out thinking and it would become more zen. Oh please let it be soon!

After washing up and calling relatives with birthdays, I gathered my candle, hearthstone, incense and recently cleansed spoon. I enjoyed the ritual of welcoming the sacred flame into my home and meditating on the role of the fire in our homes both now and in the past. There was something very peaceful about watching the charcoal and incense smoke curling up in front of the candle flame. This is something I would repeat, even without the added meditations.

I had been trying to remember what my parents fireplace was like before they had a stove installed and I couldn't. While meditating and remembering fires and times of happiness, it came back to me. I could picture it perfectly. I could remember what we kept on the ledges to each side. I could remember laying fires and clearing out ashes. When I vist my family now I am always a bit nervous of their stove as it has different vents and things. I remember the old fire guard and the old rug that sat in front of the fire and how it had burnt spots from embers spat from the fire. I remember how the dogs didn't like wood that spat...

The ritual left me with a nice happy and peaceful feeling. It made me feel nostalgic and reminded me of how much I miss having an open fire. We have a hole for a fire place and a chimney but we need it lined and something put in the hole to light a fire on.... There is some board in blocking the hole at the moment but it would be easily taken out. If we can economise then sorting out the fire place would be the first thing I would sort out.

I cleared off the windowsill and this for now is the new home of my hearthstone. I would like to make this into my little kicthen shrine as suggested by the course. I have some ideas... I just need the time... *grin*

Monday, 12 January 2009

Izzy, Wizzy, Let's Get Busy! Part 2

Leaving the beach in a good happy mood didn't last long however... On the way home I was in the back of the car and started to feel a bit icky. I was sat nestled amongst the speakers and it just got too much. I asked for the music to be turned down and when asked why I snapped. I shouldn't have. I then felt bad...

We had to do a quick bit of shopping and F wanted to only get what we needed right then and I wanted to get some stuff for the following week to reduce the number of times I had to stop at the shop. More stress...

Back home, I was cold, covered in salt, feeling icky and grumpy. What do I do at such times? I bathe... So I did and pampered myself for the coming week with a face mask and an oiling of the scalp to help with my dryness.

I had certain things I wanted to do, namely the first practice at a simple ritual for welcoming the sacred flame into your house for my hearth craft class. I had been intending on doing this for days on Sunday... Just in time to have done the weeks class before the next instalment. This was my goal and I had even managed to find a hearthstone in time....

One aspect of this class is having respect for your home. This means doing the washing up and having a clean oven for your rituals... I was hustling through the washing up and the recycling and then it was time for tea, fantastically cooked by F. Then F took S home and was gone a very long time (he returned in time to wish me Good Night...). I set to washing up from tea and by this time I was starting to feel stressed...

Earlier on my Mum had left a message and I wanted to speak to her as we hadn't spoken in a few days. I might have had time to do my ritual but... I wouldn't get to talk to my Mum or do my blog and I would have done the ritual while stressed. Right or wrong I didn't do it. I left it. I didn't meet my goal. I prioritised my friends and family. Was this my test for the day? Did I pass or fail?

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Izzy, Wizzy, Let's Get Busy!

My card this morning was the Green Man. This card is all about obstacles, tests and challenges. When I receive this card I always wonder if I shall pass or fail the test.

I began the day by putting the gutta on my silk scarf. This is a thicker paint which acts as a border for the coloured silk paints. I chose to do the three moon symbol for the Goddess in silver and some little spiraly swirls in black. The spirals will act as a more subtle way of varying the denisty of the colour I hope... I then had to leave it to dry. The scarf looks pretty dull right now.

It was then time for F to go and pick up S. I had hoped we could go down to an area called the Lizard so I could hunt for a hearthstone in a cove. I had a choice at that moment, do I dash for five minutes to get out of the house or do I let this Sunday be like any other Sunday with S - all about food and computer games. I chose to dash about and a little while later the three of us landed at Gunwalloe Church Cove.

This is an unusual part of the Cornish coastline. Two small coves have been eating in at a headland so they they have nearly created a island and the land that separates them is relatively low lying. On this land there is a church built on the site of an ancient hermitage from the times when pilgrams first brought Christianity to Cornwall. One name for this church is the church of storms.

We first visited Dollar Cove with is a rocky cove and I found myself a hearthstone and several little stones that are using me as a stepping stone to their new home. As we left the cove I left the hearthstone by the entrance and decided that if it was still there when we returned then it was supposed to be mine.

We continued on and came to the church and for the first time we looked round the graveyard. This contained some beautiful graves, an ancient celtic cross and a statue of a saint. We were surprised to find the church open and found a haven. The church was small but peaceful. Looking into the eaves of the relatively low ceiling, the wood looked like the upturned hull of a boat and was probably created by carpenters more familiar with boat building. The simple carvings felt quite pagan and very much reflected the natural world with flowers, fruits and seeds in abundance.

As we left the church it became apparent that the second cove, Gunwalloe Church Cove was more hazardous despite being a little more sheltered. This cove has one thing mostly missing at Dollar Cove - sand, and the wind was whipping it up so that it scoured bare skin. The winds were strong today and the sea rough but despite this there was a dog racing into the waves after a stick.

As the menfolk walked on ahead, I took a moment to ask the wind to blow my fear and discontentment from me and leave only peace and contentment. It felt appropriate and brought a smile to my face and no other present on that beach would have known of my simple attempt at a magic working. Even if they had, I am not sure they would have considered it very magical.

We returned over the dunes to where my stone was waiting to return home with me.

I have more to write about today but if I stay up any later I shall struggle at work.... If this was my test for the green man, then I would hope that I passed and that the walk had been the right choice. It is also very possible that my test came later and that I failed...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Seeds Waiting for the Right Sun

Thank you Miss Daisy for your suggestion. I shall go all the way back to the beginning...

I grew up in a family where tradition and village life took us to church rather than faith. As times changed I was allowed to drift away from church in my teens. Christianity was ever present though as I went to a VERY christian school. I tried to believe, I desperately wanted to believe but I couldn't believe in this concept of striving for perfection. The devout people I saw around me were no better than anyone else, why did they think they were special? I couldn't believe and the continued forced presence of it in my life via school lead to a deep antipathy.

Once I stopped thinking as a Christian other things popped into my head. I wrote an essay once about Mother Earth and Father Sky. It came from nowhere as I had certainly never been exposed to such concepts. It flowed from my nowhere, straight out of my fingers and sent shivers down my spine. Unfortunately it was never returned to me as it was used as coursework.

I became ill when I was about 14 with glandular fever (I think it is mono elsewhere?) and this turned into chronic fatigue syndrome. My life shrank. There was nothing but a few hours of school and sleep in my life for many months. I was deeply unhappy and my only solace was to take my dog Amber (who I must tell you more of some other time) up the nearby hill and walk along the top in the wind and let the feelings be blown out of me.

Nature was the only thing that gave me peace and I began to feel that there was something in this. There was one summers mornin when I could not sleep. I got up to let the dogs out and saw the sun rise. As it shone low the on the horizon it lit up the empty seed cases of the grasses in the unused field behind my home. The entire field glowed. It is the most purely beautiful moment I have ever experienced. Nature was far more beautiful, worthy and perfect than any God of the christians had ever felt to me.

I felt that everything contributes some life stuff to a grand over soul. All of nature, everyone of us is part of this planet's consciousness. This I believe is the nature of God and Goddess with different aspects represented as different archetypes or Gods and Goddesses. All things are both good and bad, in order to be balanced we have to sometimes be both.

Things remained as they were I guess mostly and eventually I left home. I made friends with a Welsh lady. There was again a chain of synchronicity in our meeting and becoming firm friends right from the beginning. Her family was a matriarchal Wiccan family and one day she asked me what I believed and I told her. She said was remarkably similar to what she believed and lent me some books.

To be truthful, in the years since then I have done very little with my believe. Sometimes it has been stronger and sometimes weaker. I have read various things over the years and increased in knowledge a little but not really done anything much. Probably because I find it all a little daunting, particularly commitment to things I don't fully understand. I read tarot and I have worked the very ocasional spell. Things changed recently for me and I decided to be more active. And here I am...

Friday, 9 January 2009


When I got home today, I looked at my blog and thought what on earth am I going to write about tonight? I had no idea. Nothing exciting has happened today. I moved stock. Adjusted numbers. I got to see the sky as I drove in and as I drove home and also for a little while at lunch. I came home brain dead, feeling sucked dry by my hormones, readjustment to keeping sensible working hours and from work in general.

As I lay in the bath after eating, I thought about today and my life as it is right now. There is only one way to describe it. Fallow. I like this word, it is a word without pressure, it is a word suggesting positive waiting for an indefinite amount of time as the seasons change around you. It is the tarot card I picked out yesterday morning for the day. I didn't have time to pick one this morning but I suspect nothing very much has changed...

So is my current life so dreadful? No, it isn't. I am tucked away with a nice group of people who I am coming to like and respect. I am safe from the politics as that is something that is at it's strongest in the posh offices and its ripples wash out onto the shop floor. I am a long way from these ripples and my colleagues watch with amusement as self-important people with manager in their titles throw stones at each other.

I get to sit at my desk and have a chat with those around as I work, if I want to. I can wander off to get a drink etc whenever I want with no pressure. I don't have to take my work home with me and can leave on the dot. Occasionally I get to do other jobs to give a little variety. In other offices these might be minuting a meeting and getting to eat fattening food and drink coffee. Here this might consist of wandering round picking out stock samples, something i did for a couple of hours today.

Is this good for me? Definitely. I have been burnt by politics in some offices. Sedentary tasks have added to my weight but here I have the opportunity to not sit all day and to mooch at my own pace. I am getting paid, not enough for holidaying in the Bahamas but enough to live on. It is also just enough that I am comfortable but not so much I won't give my finances a good close look. This job represents a 20% reduction in my normal rate of pay.

So what is bad... I miss having all the time in the world to email and keep up with all the wonderful blogs I have found. I miss having the time to search out exciting new things on the internet. I miss having time to go and be with nature. I miss having time to think about being creative. Maybe part of that is because in terms of fallowness, I am extra fallow right now. Maybe in a couple of days my energy levels will rise a little and I will feel as if I have a little more time for myself between sleep and work.

One thing occured to me in the bath... Why should I have to think about what to write all the time? Maybe I can make other people do a little of the thinking for me.... So, do you have a question or maybe a subject you would like me to develop an opinion on? Suggestions on a stamped, non-addressed blog comment please... Time wasters need to apply. Positivity only...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

.... But Not as we Know It.

Today's post was going to be all about the little things we need to appreciate etc etc. I was going to talk about the sky being red as I left work yesterday silhouetting the hill with all it's granite stacks. There is an incredible view from where I work. I was going to talk about the overcast sky where the only break in the cloud was a slit above the horizon which the sun shone through this morning.

However, I am going to talk about sleeping, specifically sleeping last night. It was odd. Very, very odd.

I was happily asleep dreaming about buying a copper cauldron or some other such thing when suddenly I felt awake. I can not remember or describe exactly how I felt. It was like a spiky energy was in my head. The effect this energy had on my body was extreme. My stomach was doing double flips and I thought I would be sick. I wanted to call F but was unsure what he could do and it just didn't seem right. I tried visualizing the elements in order to cast a very basic circle around myself. Although I managed this with a struggle it had no effect on the experience I was having at all. This made me wonder if the thing ausing the experience wasn't inherently bad or something I needed protecting from.

I began to feel like it was energy I was full of. Not my energy and not an energy that was natural to my body. I had to let it out. I, with a struggle, began to visualize a grounding cord and this seemed to allow the excess to drain away and all of a sudden it was gone.

My initial thoughts were that it was either an entity, but I have no idea what, or some energy sent by someone or something. I don't think it was malicious but the effect on me was difficult and obviously I was vulnerable while sleeping. Obviously when I thought about it today, when properly awake, it occurred to me that it might actually have all been a dream. What on earth would my subconscious be trying to tell me with that? The last thing that occurred to me is that there is epilepsy in my family although I have never suffered, maybe I was actually experiencing some disturbed electrical activity in my brain...

I am not sure I will ever know what it was and I am not sure I want to either. I am not even sure which explanation I would most like to believe *laugh*. If anybody has any suggestions, no matter how bizarre, please feel free to post comments to your heart's content... At the moment, I am not overly concerned, the chances of repeating a dream or having multiple epileptic attacks suddenly develop in adult life is very low. Otherwise it did not feel malicious in nature, just not belonging to me... If it ever happens again, grounding will be the first thing I do...

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

It's Life, Jim...

So yesterday I got myself a little over-wrought. Then had a big heart to heart with F. And then I tried to the sensible thing and go to sleep. Bad idea.

I have no idea how many times I woke up last night. I have been going to bed too late recently and suddenly trying to get to sleep a couple of hours earlier threw me out. Given all I had in my mind I couldn't shut it up long enough to drift off... I couldn't meditate because there was just too much in there floating around. Then all the things floating around kept waking me up. Oh and big dog because he has gotten used to me going to bed later to. Something about standing at the back door in the middle of the night really wakes you up. *sigh*

So I finally get through the night and I have to go to work. I get out to my car to discover it is somewhat cold and that I have ice on the inside. Now this is a real novelty in Cornwall. After I finally finish scraping off my car I wend my way past and accident and a burst water main and discover I left home just in time as the lights have jammed and I wouldn't have been able to get out.

This current job has had four temps. I was the third and now I am the final *sigh*. The first one lasted a day, the second was ill and she just couldn't give the reliability required (but then who goes outside to smoke having just come out of hospital and having had hypothermia?) and the fourth couldn't do the job. So they asked for me back by name. Shame about the pay cut... But they are a nice bunch.

Life today was very ordinary. I put data in the computer, I ate and read my magazine, I put data in the computer, I went home. I have no choice right now about work, not really, but I do have a choice once I leave... I went and bought a wooden spoon and some food colourings. I am dying one end of the spoon yellow and the other red. The spoon will be purified with herbs and then consecrated in what will obviously be a most magical hearth based ceremony. And the spoon will be transformed in magic ooking spoon! Ta Da!

I guess if cooking and cleaning can be made magical, then really most things can, can't they? How EXACTLY do you make data entry magical? Any thoughts, please post below....

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Lucky the Drama Queen

OK so maybe I had felt my life was opening up a little but maybe in order to open it up, maybe what I should do is close it down first and prepare.

F and I had a long talk. We are very lucky. No matter how bad everything is around us, we get on very well and still like each other. He truly is my soul mate. There is no one I know or have ever known that I would rather spend time with. The only ones who come close are my parents. When ever we truly spend time together we have a ball, even if we are just going food shopping. How many couples have that?

We are both a little sedentary in nature at the moment. This has affected me far more than him. We try to eat well but sometimes we just don't have the strength of will to always cook well. We don't exercise as much as we should. Me because I don't enjoy it and it would be some time before I really could partake in anything at a normal physical level. I need to spend a couple of months just walking if I am going to gain enough stamina to work and exercise.

We also, like everyone else have money woes. Having S who doesn't live with us obviously means that we have outgoings in the same way as any other family that has a child. With those payments but also the fact that we are not the ones who qualify for the associated tax relief means we have a considerable outgoing.

Maybe if we hauled back on things a little here and there. We could live more healthily and save money. Do we need a dvd subscription and sky? Do we need online gaming subscriptions? Do we need to iron each day before work or could we switch on the iron once a week and save power? Do we need meat every day? What do we need? What can we get rid of?

I have a stack of books for a course I failed last year. I failed because I wasn't right for the job and short of changing my entire personality, I never would be. It had nothing to do with how hard I worked. Books of theory sit upstairs and will never be used. How much can I sell them for? What else do I have no use for that could sell?

If we can take our lives back to basics can we be healthier and happier? Can we free ourselves from the credit trap our society lives in? Can we begin to save for what we really want? Could I have a working fireplace this time next year? Could I have a smallholding within this lifetime? Is this job a necessary evil to help me move closer to where I need to be?

Only if that is what F and I turn it into, together.

My Soul Weeps

Yesterday my soul flew but there were already signs that my period of space would come to an end. My small hopes that maybe life might take me in another direction and save me from returning to an office were fluttering as if before a wind.

I spent the day dreaming of soul expanding things. Discovering the podcasts of the crooked path. Thinking out my new course in hearth craft. Thinking about shrines. I was about to start doing something. I am aware that thinking rather than doing is a fault of mine...

Then F appeared home for lunch unexpectedly which was lovely. Being late in the day he would only be back at work for a short while before returning home. A delay in the doing but a good, worthwhile, happy delay.

I am sat here reading an amazing blog by an amazing man when the phone goes. It is the agency. Somewhere I worked for two days before Christmas wants me back, for two months. I should be ecstatic, I should be dancing with glee, I should be grateful for the money. I can not say no. I put the phone as my soul starts to cry.

As the agency call back to confirm, I hear the dogs sing their greeting to F.

My world shrinks. The time and possibilities that stood open before me have reduced from infinite to the size of an office. My new job is a far lower grade than even the admin jobs I normally do and this is reflected in the pay. It is only just a living wage, not that far above minimum wage.

My world will be reduced to a pile of paper next to a computer. A computer in a warehouse full of stock. My bits of paper show stock has left the warehouse and I change the numbers on the computer screen. The only consolation is that the people seemed nice.

My soul still weeps.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Omens, Synchronicity and the Quest for the Twisted Tree

A woman with long hair with a hint of red and a little life in it sits at her computer and looks at a photo of herself from a wedding she went to with a friend where she sits with three people she remembers meeting just that once. She writes a comment under the photo.

Recently a shared love of gnarly trees has sparked some interest between Mel, Siobhan and I. One of my half formed resolutions was to find the Twisted Tree within a nearby Country Park. Like a lot of things I would like to do, I hadn't quite got round to actually doing it. I promised Sio
bhan I would photograph it for her and post the pictures and made a mental note to go and hunt it down.

The comment grows into a conversation and the woman becomes friends with the other. They begin to talk more and more and the friendship grows quickly. The woman with life in her hair throws a twist of fate at the other, she is a witch and
in a flash of remembering the second woman remembers that sometimes, she has called herself that to.

I had intended to go and find the tree today, or maybe to start on the silk painting, or maybe the poems, but then I had a call. I didn't answer it but even so I could feel my stomach fall. What were the chances of it being the agency with some job that would take me back into an office? It was and out of duty I rang them and was told the person I deal with wasn't available and would call back. I looked out of the window at the blue sky and settled myself at the tree to take down the decorations with a sigh.

The second woman reads more and more and starts back on her path and decides this time she will see where it goes and commit to following it where it leads. The internet brings information from around the world to her home and shows her the thoughts inside the heads of others. She eventually decides that she to, will start a blog.

I let the dogs out and hear the manic clacking of magpies. I count seven in the trees but they fly in and out of the evergreen leaves, maybe warning off a cat below maybe fighting over territory. Seven magpies... The secret that must not be told or the devil his own self? It occurs to me that witchcraft was the worship of the devil to the church, maybe the secret that must not be told is that of witchcraft? Something I will never know for sure but the idea makes me smile and sits in my head.

The blog starts to gather steam as more posts get written. Flicking through the blogs of others she comes across another blog from Canada where a lady has a mother statue and a fondness for Bast. Liking the tone of the photographs and finding the subject of the blog interesting she starts to follow it. There is a slight question in the back of her mind but she shan't ask it...

Three hours later and nothing. Do I call? No maybe not today, maybe tomorrow. Do I wait for her to call back knowing she might not? I settle by my laptop with a sigh and open my mail. I read Mel's blog on synchronicity and then I read her email. 'I find that when I'm all in a fog and a fuzz and bothered, going outside really does help. I know it sounds trite and formulaic, but a walk in the woods, in quest of your twisted tree may be exactly what you need right now. ' My energy starts to rise....

The third lady appears on the blog of the second with the comment that she has a second blog that may be of interest. A third witch found. Another friendship begun.

I dash out of the house knowing the park's car parks shut at dusk. I have a vague idea where the tree might be and I start to walk along the valley with the stream thinking that by the time I get to the main crossroads of the park, I will surely find it as this is the part of the park I know least well. I find many trees...

Blogs spread like chains around the world and
lead to a fourth woman who captures beauty with her camera and enjoys a gnarly tree or two. A promise is made.

I find no twisted tree. I see a couple just before I reach the crossroads, as far as I had expected to go. They tell me that the tree is up the hill and along the top, taking me in a big circle nearly back to the car p
ark. The sun is beginning to set and the valley is becoming dark and still but at the top of the hill there is a lovely glow that lights up the trees.

The first woman returns to the web after spending the festival season with her beloved
and begins to read the second womans blog. It occurs to her that the second lady might make a good writer. She tells her and the second lady ponders this as she quests for the twisted tree.

I continue on as the waxing moon comes out, high in the sky. As I am beginning to despair of finding the tree and being able to make it back to my car in time, there it is. The twisted tree. Covered in the carvings of decades of people, this tree has obviously been deemed special by generations of people. I feel breathless in it's presence (or was it the hill?) and wish I could stay longer and ponder.