The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The little things that make you smile...

...or roar with laughter!

Last week I went to see a performance of 'King Lear' at Stratford-upon-Avon. The performance was fantastic, but the highlight of the evening?

Stopping for a drink in a pub beforehand and realising the doors to the ladies' toilets looked like this...


Monday, 29 March 2010

Storm Moon

Whilst meandering from site to site, admiring the many blog-worlds you wonderful people are creating, I stumbled upon the fantasy artist, Molly Harrison. Her work is hugely reminiscent of the likes of Amy Brown and Jessica Galbreth, whom I have admired for many years. These particular illustrations seemed apt representations of today's Storm Moon...

March's full moon is variously called the Storm Moon, Wind Moon, Seed Moon and no doubt known by many other names. It is the moon of change, prosperity and sweeping away 'cobwebs'. Some choose to utilise the high energy of this full moon to 'spring clean', with rituals involving the besom or dried heather to physically enact the sweeping of negativity or old habits from one's life. Others focus on the 'abundant' nature of this time of year, channelling the energy into desired change. 

This moon's power colour is green - one of the reasons these images seemed so suitable for today - and it is usually associated with personal growth and prosperity. As with our Ostara blessings, rituals that work well under this moon's influence are those which focus on particular desired achievements, both spiritual and practical. 

Throughout this whole season, it is important to focus our energies on renewal, repair and regrowth. For example, The Domestic Witch's fantastic 'Spring Cleaning' programme works towards de-cluttering your life, both inside and out. It may be that you use today's energies to reaffirm your determination towards reaching these goals.

You may prefer a simpler ritual focussed on a specific aspect of your life. This prosperity charm posted by Liz over at Lizzie's Logic is perfect and uses materials which can be found round the home and garden. 

For me, there are some particular influences I would like to invite into my space, in order to use my time and energy more effectively. My reasons for using these images in this post were twofold: not only do they conjure the symbols of the day, they also represent to me something which I want to focus on over the forthcoming months - a return to creative practices. Illustration used to be a pastime of mine and I haven't really drawn for a long while; I also want to write more. These along with some other goals are the focus of my ritual today. 

Brightest blessings.  

Saturday, 27 March 2010

An honest post

A few weeks ago I mentioned that, on a recent trip to Glastonbury, I had purchased a piece of black Obsidian crystal that I intended to fashion into a pendant.

Pendant created and being worn regularly, I thought I would post about some of the quick-acting properties and healing qualities of this intense, protective stone.

Obsidian is said to provide a 'shield' against negativity, absorbing energy from the environment of the wearer. It is also believed that Obsidian can protect the sensitive from the effects of depression, helping the user get in touch with internalised and subconscious issues before they become explosive and allowing them to find balance.

IMPORTANT! Please take note of this before you read any further...What I am about to say should in no way be taken as an 'absolute' or generalisation and to anyone who is reading this who knows, believes or has concerns that they are dealing with depression, I would advise you to seek the advice of a medical professional. 

Now that that's out of the way...

In the past I have experienced periods of clinical depression that I have treated in a variety of ways. I  found that medication did not work for me. If anything, it made my situation worse; the pills I was taking gave me sleepless nights and vivid dreams that left me exhausted when I awoke. I did not feel the professed benefits of a regulated mood; I found that my depression deepened, a mental 'fog' set in and the answer given by the doctors I saw was to simply 'up my dose'.

After over two years of this existence, it was a hedgewitch friend providing me with some amethyst for absorption of negative energy and rose quartz for emotional healing that enabled me to find the balance I needed to take steps forward. From that point, I booked appointments with an acupuncturist, took myself off my medication and realised, after years of dabbling, that my true path was with witchcraft.

This is a long winded route to the obsidian...we will get there in a moment, I promise!

Fortunately, with a combination of healthy eating, exercise, meditation and 'alternative' practices such as crystal healing, herbalism and aromatherapy, I have managed to keep the depression at bay for almost three years now, which is wonderful. Particularly as this year has tested me with some of the most challenging life-experiences I have ever faced. However, one thing I have realised is that being around people who are experiencing pain or sadness, anger or frustration is a sure-fire way for me to feel consumed by negative feelings.

I have come to understand that I act somewhat like a sponge for other peoples' emotions, as what I would call an 'unrefined' empath. I do not think I have the heightened sensitivity to others' emotions experienced by true 'high-level' empaths, but I certainly find I experience changes in mood and physical sensation when I am around people. This has led me to consider my own periods of depression and the reasons for them.

Looking back, patterns emerge: I can see how being surrounded by others who are struggling with pain and sadness has sometimes brought me to the brink of despair. Recently, this has come to the fore, as I have watched my father struggle with the very real pain associated with a terminal illness and the emotional turbulence this has created within my family.

Hence, the obsidian.

As I have recently been experiencing a reactivation of disturbed sleep patterns, anxiety and mood swings, (particularly after having spent time in crowds of people) I decided to try wearing this crystal which would act as a barrier for the negativity which usually manages to permeate me as well as drawing out issues which were affecting me from deep within my psyche.

Now that I find myself becoming more and more honest with any of you, reading out there, and myself, I see the effect of this stone coming to life. Not only do I feel more centred; I can walk through a busy town centre and not feel like I'm about to implode! Success so far!

Please note: As obsidian is such a powerful 'magnet' for negative energy, it is important that it is cleansed regularly in running water .

Friday, 26 March 2010


Some of my Spring sown seeds (okay, bulbs) are already beginning to sprout!

A mere couple of weeks ago, I planted a variety of summer flowering bulbs in my big tub outside. As I had some left over, I put a few into small pots which are currently sitting on my kitchen windowsill.

These anemones must be feeling nourished by the cosiness of this little terracotta pot, because they have shot up proudly! Realising that you have nurtured life and growth has come from something you have planted is a real joy and privilege. I'm very excited to see the colourful flowers brightening my kitchen in a few more weeks.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Oh England, my Lionheart

Things I love about you...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Rune of the week

Odal - The Rune of Hearth and Home

This rune's name translates as 'home' or 'hereditary land' and so its meaning is focussed on the hearth, homestead, inheritance and familial possessions. Benefit through birthright or inheritance is the most obvious outcome this rune is suggesting if it falls like this one. It is worth remembering, however, that as well as fixed possessions one inherits characteristics from family and it may be a sign that a temperament or trait borne down through generations is due to surface.

With such focus on the family and inheritance, the rune also reminds the reader that these aspects of life for prior generations were the most valued. Loyalty to the ancestral line, the importance of the home and a united family's strength are all professed via this rune.

For the questions that the reader has, the rune could be suggesting that they should seek guidance from those they trust and re-evaluate their priorities by considering the importance of home and family. Before taking risks or making decisions, all these aspects must be taken into consideration and an objective must then be fixed firmly in mind.

If the rune has fallen in 'reverse' (upside down), it suggests a worthless inheritance or lack of forethought leading to costly consequences; if it falls 'converse' (face down) it suggests that an apparently worthless inheritance has hidden value or the honest and true path is being obscured.


I'd been looking for it for years...

Finally found it, right here.

'A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.'

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Bee happy

Today I most certainly have been. After heavy rains over the past couple of days, this morning I awoke bright and early to glorious sunlight streaming through my window and the sound of birds chirping. As I have to be up super early during the week, I usually make the most of weekend lie-ins, but today I was up and about, making tea and breakfast, chatting with a friend who had come to visit, enjoying the warm light. 

Our idyllic morning continued as we rambled over the fields for a stroll in the sunshine and arrived at Lacock Abbey. Normally the National Trust charge for entry; however, today being the first day of Spring, they were having a free visiting day. Joy! As we entered the beautiful grounds, we were greeted by this wondrous sight...

A carpet of purple! The crocuses were in full glory, everywhere we looked.

This was almost too much for me. I was on my knees, taking pictures from every possible angle and imagining fae-folk peeping out from behind the flowers.

I thought of the prettily illustrated 'Flower Fairy' books I had as a child and understood exactly why Cicely Mary Barker would have felt inspired to create them. With the sunlight streaming through and shimmering off these delicate petals, spread like a sea beneath the trees, it felt just like a faerie glen. 

By the touch of the warm and welcome Sun,
Opened suddenly; Spring's begun!
Dance then, fairies, for joy and sing,
The song of the coming again of Spring

Sadly, I didn't spy any faeries today, but I did meet this little guy who was frantically going about his business amidst the purple blooms.

Folklore cites this flower's symbolic meaning as 'youthful gladness' and I think it's fair to say this Spring joy was felt by both busy bee and I today.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Blessed Ostara!

Happy Springtime! Today's vernal equinox falls during the early evening (17:32 to be precise) and it marks the moment when the Earth's axis is inclined neither away nor towards the Sun.

In 'real' terms, this means we have an instant of 'equal night'; the light and the dark are today of even length. Come tomorrow, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere will start moving into the dark months, while we here in the North will stride into light.

In pagan terms, this means Eostre / Persephone / Cybele / Freya is here. The Earth has awakened; reborn with new life. In Anglo-Saxon England, the goddess Eostre / Ostara was celebrated for the month following the equinox with her feast-day falling on nearest full moon after this moment of equal light and darkness. We see many of these pagan traditions mirrored in modern-day 'Easter' celebrations, with the Christian holiday falling on the nearest weekend to said full moon.

Early Christians, arriving in western European countries believed it would be easier to convert the pagan locals to their teachings if they could amalgamate their practices with existing dates and rituals. It is for this reason that this time of year sees pagan and Christian tradition walking hand it hand, as children at Sunday school paint eggs and make fuzzy-felt cards of chicks and rabbits; families perpetuate the story of the 'Easter bunny' providing chocolate treats and inside a church, filled with spring flowers, a minister will teach about rebirth and light.

For pagans, this time of year honours the Spring goddesses and the life they have brought back to the world. Traditionally these goddesses are associated with animals such as hares, birds and lambs - the creatures who are currently enjoying seasonal frolic and birth.

Eggs are used as decorations round the house, as powerful symbols of birth and the combined fragility and strength present in new life. Spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils and irises display their prominent blooms proudly, representing the combination of male and female required to make the land fertile. I cannot think of a flower more obviously showing off its reproductive organs than a daffodil!

Candles in bright colours demonstrate the growing light and warmth of the sun and often you will find modern-day pagans using a pair of candles (one black, one white) to symbolise the equality and balance found in today's festival.

Ostara is a time for sowing seeds, to ensure there is a harvest for autumn: this may be a physical act of planting your own food crops or a psychological one focussing on the spiritual and emotional rewards you would like to reap later in the year. Try writing down your goals - make them specific - and fold the piece of paper. Sit quietly in front of a lit candle and meditate, visualising the outcome of these hopes and aspirations in the dancing flames.

Ask your chosen Spring goddess to help you tend your wishes, by providing warmth and light whilst they grow. Once you have finished, take your folded paper and the candle down to a quiet spot somewhere earthy, perhaps beneath a budding hedge or beside a tree's roots. Plant both and bless the ground, thanking the goddess for her assistance. Remember to revisit your spot throughout the coming months to nourish with positive thoughts. Brightest blessings.

Friday, 19 March 2010

One egg is enough....

As the Spring Equinox traditionally marks the beginning of Eostre's month, preparations for tomorrow's Ostara celebrations are already well under way in my household. New spring flowers have been gathered and are adorning every available surface, bread is being baked and an egg has been painted.

Just one egg.

One egg is enough.

First the egg was pricked with a needle at either end and the insides blown out into a bowl.

Then, using a long needle, I threaded a ribbon through the holes and tied a knot at the bottom to secure. (At least I thought it was secure; about half-way through the painting process this proved not to be the case and the whole rigmarole had to be done again afterwards).

Now the egg was ready to be painted and, if I'm honest, I didn't really have a plan for this. I just took paints in what I thought were bright, spring-like colours, and did the first thing that came to mind. After a base coat of turquoise, this was essentially just a case of streaking blue and yellow around to make what can only really be described as a marbled mess. But a pretty marbled mess, I'd like to think.

The lone egg is now ready to take pride of place on my Ostara altar, which I will reveal tomorrow. Brightest blessings.

lus·cious   [luhsh-uhs]

1375–1425; late ME lucius, unexplained var. of licius, aph. poss. variant of delicious


1. highly pleasing to the taste or smell: luscious peaches.

2. richly satisfying to the senses or the mind: the luscious style of his poetry.

3. richly adorned; luxurious: luscious furnishings.

4. arousing physical, or sexual, desire; voluptuous: a luscious figure.

5. sweet to excess; cloying

Alt. – lushious 

1. Originating from ‘Lush’

2. Having the qualities of a ‘Lush’ product

3. Created from the ‘Lush’ values

This treat made me squeal with glee. Not only is it from LUSH, a shop with which I am obsessed (both for its sumptuous smelling products and ethical merchandising) but it is shaped like.a.spring.flower!

Buddy, I may not know who you are, but you clearly know me. 

One small problem though: I find myself torn. It smells so delicious I cannot wait to have a bath with it; yet it is so pretty-pretty I don’t want to use it! What to do?!

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Today I found myself away from my usual classroom, for a day off-timetable. Instead of teaching, I met with the parents of my tutor group to discuss their progress in ten minute appointments. As my English teaching room was otherwise engaged, I was stationed in a technology workshop to hold these meetings. Chatting to adults balanced on plastic stools was a somewhat surreal experience, but by far the most unusual thing about today was the sense of nostalgia I felt.

You would think, having worked in several schools now, that I would have overcome the feeling of 'being back at school'. In fact, I don't recall even experiencing it when I arrived at my first teaching placement. Oddly, it was the smell of sawdust, the sound of band-saws and the sight of desk-clamps which brought my school days flooding back.

I remembered the toucan puppet I made, with its moving wings; the trowel I carefully moulded in metalwork and how smooth my wooden CD rack felt after what seemed like months of filing and sanding. I found myself telling the kids how surprised they will be when they look back in what will seem like a matter of weeks and realise they have left school long behind. Some, like me, will undoubtedly return, unable to wholly separate themselves from the subjects they love. Most will be left with a tangle of memories, only to be washed back by the smell of sawdust.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Pagan Enough?

Stumbling around the web, I have come across various sites hosted by pagans, many of which have contained manifesto-like posts stating what they feel is the most 'pagan' way to live one's life. Many of these sites caused me to question my own beliefs and practices.

For a long while I referred to myself as a 'hedgewitch', only to discover an increasing number of people out there in the ether making (often totally contradictory) statements about what a 'hedgewitch' must be/use/do/believe. Feeling like this no longer fitted with my practices and pathway, I dug deep within my psyche to consider where and with what my pagan practice is most comfortable. It was at this point that I realised the hearth, garden and home are my places of magick.

Simplicity and spirituality marry well for me: it is in the practicality of cooking, growing and tending herbs, watching the sunrise, lighting a candle or taking a bath that I find my moments of magick and they are about the least ritualised (and more often than not, most shambolic) instances I can imagine.

There have been moments on my path when people have stated how they feel a pagan should practise and it has caused me to feel insecure about my own ways. Yet, ironically, I have referred to myself as pagan or 'a witch' largely because of my belief that these terms encompass acceptance, tolerance of others and a life lived in harmony with the Earth and its seasons. If there was one 'tenet' I value above all others it is that the type of energy I put out into the world reflects the type of energy I will get back.

Whether you call this karma, the threefold law of return or 'doing unto others as you wish to be done by' the virtue at the heart of these professed belief systems is the same: tolerance. How is it, then, that pagans everywhere are not only criticising people of other religions; they are criticising people who share very similar beliefs and pathways? It seems incredulous to me.

And I am not alone in my concerns. While browsing through blogland, I came across Project Pagan Enough over at Inciting A Riot.

I encourage all of you to stop by for a visit - whether you are pagan or non-pagan - as I feel it is an all-encompassing issue. Whatever your beliefs, whatever your practices, my humble two-pennies worth would be that you should be true to yourself. Don't define yourself by another person's ideals and do not feel discouraged if they show intolerance of your beliefs. Know yourself: if you feel 'pagan' is what you are, you are pagan enough.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

"Old moon fades into the new...

...soon I know I'll be back with you."

With its apt timing - the moon has indeed just turned dark - I thought I would share this lyric from a favourite song of mine, a live version of which you can see here...

Currently finding myself having a short separation from my beloved, this song has embedded itself within my mind as it so often does when I am away travelling. This time it is I who is staying home, waiting for B to 'bend time' and fly back to me.

I hope the new moon brings with it the wonderful opportunities you wish for, my love.

And to everyone else who is out there hoping for change, I am sure you will see your goals realised as the moon burgeons once more. Brightest blessings.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Rune of the week

Tiw (Tyr): The Warrior's Rune

Named after the Norse god of war, Tiw, this rune represents courage, compassion and conflict. Today, this is more likely to mean a battle of principles or intellect, frequently referring to legislation, rather than the physical battles this rune's origins depict. Psychologically this rune can also represent determination or male sexuality so a personal interpretation would very much depend upon the question asked.

If you consider the shape of this rune, interpretation becomes both logical and instinctive: a forward facing arrow (much like the one in the image) would guide the reader to move forward with determination and courage; a reverse arrow, pointing towards the reader could either advise caution or suggest an aversion towards conflict - the reader would be guided to work towards overcoming shyness; an arrow which lies face down (converse) suggests the need to uncover hidden talents of leadership or the possibility of finding a courageous leader in unexpected parties. 

As Tiw was also god of justice and regulation of law, this rune reminds the caster that the truth will always out and justice will always be done; having the courage of your convictions and moving forwards with honesty to oneself and others will lead to victory in all endeavours. 

Friday, 12 March 2010


Secret buddy you are an angel! Not only did I have a little packet of treats at the start of the week but today I found a copy of 'Country Living' in my pigeon-hole with a little note telling me to enjoy my weekend.

Which I undoubtedly will. Earl Grey tea, chocolate chip cookies and a magazine filled with gorgeous images of cheerful Spring gardens and beautiful country kitchens. Bliss.*

* What cheers me most is the fact that this doesn't really count as 'escapism' any more as my current surroundings are so quaint they may have been torn right out of this magazine's pages.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A love letter

Dearest B,

A small selection from the multitude of reasons why I love you...


One. You don’t think I’m insane for believing what I believe in. You understand what I mean when I say, ‘I’m a witch’.

Two. You nurture my creativity and inspire me to write. This blog would still be a zygote without your encouragement.

Three. You empathise with children.

Four. You take time out of your day to talk about my work with me.

Five. Your thoughtfulness and consideration: for me, for your family and friends and for the wonder of everyday things around you.

Thank you for my surprise treats today.  xx

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


 ¿lǝǝɟ noʎ ǝʞɐɯ ʇı pıp ʍoɥ ˙ʎllɐɹnʇɐu ǝɯoɔ ʇ,upıp ʇɐɥʇ ɥʇıʍ pǝlƃƃnɹʇs noʎ ƃuıɥʇǝɯos - ʇɹoɟɟǝ lɐǝɹ ɐ sɐʍ ʇı 'ʇı pǝƃɐuɐɯ ʎllɐnʇuǝʌǝ ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ɟı ɹo ¿ʇ,uplnoɔ ʎldɯıs noʎ punoɟ puɐ ƃuıɥʇǝɯos pɐǝɹ oʇ pǝıɹʇ ɹǝʌǝ noʎ ǝʌɐɥ

woH tuoba siht? I naem ti SI hsilgnE. uoY nac daer hsilgnE. sihT tsum eb ysae, thgir? woH wols era uoy?! ylsuoireS - t'nera uoy enod tey. enoyrevE esle si ydaerla dehsinif.

.annoyed little a get to beginning you're bet I'll ?Lost ?Inadequate ?stupid little A ?now right feeling you are How ?you for easier Any .one this try Let's.

How about this? It's in English - give it a go...

Frustrating - isn't it?

I - along with many people, I'm sure - take for granted the fact that I can read pretty efficiently in my own language. Reading is an act I love and cherish. I have always been a prolific reader and it is my adoration of curling up with a good book to escape into someone else's world that has led me down most of my chosen paths in life. Books guided me through childhood and my school years; literature led me through A-levels in English and History to a degree which encompassed both; stories of far away places inspired me to travel and my love of language, communication and storytelling is the reason I wanted to become a teacher.

Today I had ten minutes with a young boy that simultaneously broke my heart and reminded me of why I love to do what I do.

This particular boy - let's call him J - is 11 years old and he cannot read. Not in the way you and I say we can read. He can make out simple words. The. It. You. Me. He gets confused This string of letters on the page - n.i.g.h.t - makes no sense to him.

Today I thought I was going to have fireworks with J. I don't teach him for English - he is a member of my tutor group - and he walked into the ten minutes I get with him after lunch like a bear with a sore head.

I haven't seen J for a while at tutor time. On a good day he gets internally isolated before lunchtime (usually for refusing to do what someone has asked and swearing at them). On a good day. On a bad day he will kick off so badly that he is temporarily excluded from school. So when J made it through to tutor time today, I knew that would have taken most of his energy and he probably didn't have much patience left. He stormed into the room, slammed his bag down and scowled at me.

Silent reading day.

In fairness, it took a bribe to get him to fetch a book: 'There are sweets in the cupboard with your name on. But you don't get them unless you follow every one of my instructions.' He thought about it. And then he fetched a book. And then he started reading the words aloud to me. Word by painful word he struggled and struggled through a paragraph until the ten minutes were up. He didn't slam the book down. He didn't refuse to carry on. He didn't give up.

He earned his Haribo. And my respect. If I couldn't read any of the work anyone put in front of me for seven hours a day, I'd be kicking off and swearing too.

A Taste of Elizabethan England

This fantastic recipe has supposedly been passed down from the fifteenth century and is the simplest of sweet-treats to make. To me, these honey-roasted almonds taste of Christmas markets in Prague, the warmth of the hearth and traditional sweet shops, all rolled into one deliciously sticky, nutty package.

You will need:
450g whole almonds (with the skin left on)
50g sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Water
2 tsp almond oil
½ tsp salt

Spread the almonds in a single layer in a shallow ungreased baking tray and place in a cold oven.
Bake at 180°C (Gas mark 4) for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are light brown in colour.
Set aside the roasted almonds.
Thoroughly mix the sugar and salt in a bowl.
In a saucepan, mix the honey, water and oil and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
Add the roast almonds to the honey mixture and stir constantly on the heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take about five minutes.
Transfer the almonds to a medium-size bowl into which some sugar mixture has been sprinkled.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the almonds and toss until they are evenly coated.
Spread the almonds out onto baking paper to absorb any excess moisture.
When cool, store at room temperature, in an air-tight container.

These honey-roasted nuts should keep for up to two weeks but I can guarantee, if your friends and families are anything like mine, they won’t last that long!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Honey, I think Pan's in the kitchen...

Don’t worry – this English teacher hasn’t been struck by the sudden inability to string together a grammatically coherent (or accurately punctuated) sentence. I don’t mean ‘pans’ as in cooking receptacles; I mean ‘Pan’ the horny goat-God.
I love this etching by illustrator, Robert Lawson. It depicts Pan with his pipes.
He is overheard by a curious fae, hidden out of sight, in the foreground.

Why is he in my kitchen? You may well ask. I haven’t – quite – gone totally mad. Yet.

I have been feeling a presence around my home for a little while now; a sense that there was new energy crackling in the air. My sleep has been disturbed by a whole range of random antics – lucid dreams, waking up in a seated position, sleep paralysis and far more talk than normal. I must be stressed, I reasoned, but couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more.

At the end of last week, I started to receive images in my mind’s eye, coupled with a feeling of panic or anxiety. This culminated in the sleep paralysis incident, in which I was wide awake - eyes open - convinced there was someone or something in the room but entirely unable to move. The images I was seeing were of a satyr-like creature – a horned man.

It was only when I visited one of the pagan shops in Glastonbury that it clicked. Inside the shop, surrounded by images of the Horned-God, it hit me: Pan had come for a visit.

If there is a turn of the wheel most clearly associated with the visitation of Pan, it is springtime. God of the pastoral, nature, shepherds and flocks, music and mischief, he brings fertility to the land and animals. He is also renowned for his ‘stirring’ of passions; be they sensual or inspirational, joyous or anxious. Indeed, the word ‘panic’ comes from his professed ability to excite people into a state of heightened stress. Exactly how I had been feeling.

Being a Capricorn girl, it is perhaps unsurprising that I would have a connection with Pan. His goat form is where the astrological sign is said to have originated. He isn’t a god I had previously worked with or called upon and, until now, he hadn’t made his presence known to me.  Thinking on it, however, I realised that now would be the perfect time for him to check in.  Spring is here and he is, once more, treading the fields. I too have been feeling the need to reawaken and in more ways than one. Perhaps my psyche was calling him forth.

Physically and mentally, the winter has provided the chance to slumber and now I am beginning to feel the nourishing effects of the sunlight returning. Emotionally I am starting to feel 'lighter' – the relief from the mood swings I feel in the dark months is practically palpable. And spiritually, I am experiencing a reawakening also: for the first time in a long time, I am actively walking forwards on my pagan path, trying to learn more.

In the past year or so, my work had consumed so much of my time that my nurturing of the creative and spiritual aspects of my life had taken a back seat. It occurred to me that Pan has probably always been there; maybe he is simply visiting to reaffirm my faith and enable my vision of the Path to grow.

Pan and Psyche by Edward Burne-Jones

Although B expressed a light-humoured concern when I expressed this - ‘It would be the god who’s usually depicted with a giant phallus and excessive sexual desire that comes to visit you’ - it was coupled with gratitude: ‘I’m glad he’s looking out for you’.  Me too. 

Rune of the week

Jera: the Rune of Success.

Its literal translation is ‘year’ and this rune’s message is one of rewards reaped from seeds sown. The symbol acts as a reminder of the cyclical and interlinked nature of the wheel of the year and the fact that hard work inevitably produces a harvest.

Usually a very positive rune, it implies a project will come to fruition, goals will be achieved or a profit will be made. As it represents the cycle of the seasons, it also suggests change and progress but as with all ‘cause and effect’ situations, the outcome can sometimes be a negative one. If a course of action has been unfair or harmful to others, it can represent justice and punishment rather than reward.

This rune can similarly serve as a reminder that, while we should be joyous in celebrating the fruits of our labour, we must not forget that the cycle is never-ending; complacency would lead us to a winter without stores. Just as we would conserve part of our harvest for the colder months, so too should we conserve our energy and the wisdom we have gathered for the challenges ahead. Jera symbolises life being a series of twists and turns – a goal achieved should not be regarded as an end point, but rather another step along the journey.

If Jera falls face down (converse), it suggests that rewards must be rooted out and talents may be hidden. If you take the time to look inwards, you may just unearth the key to your success.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Secret Buddy

I am the type of person who enjoys giving gifts. I love choosing them, making them and wrapping them decoratively.

These beautiful ribbons caught my eye when browsing at my local garden centre and, in all honesty, they are lovely enough to be a gift themselves rather than just the wrapping. They brought to mind an idea that I recently introduced at my school; an idea that has its roots in the joy of selfless giving.

Towards the end of last term, my faculty at school was experiencing quite a bit of change which made for an uneasy atmosphere with several people seeming worried, stressed and sad. First and foremost, I dislike seeing anyone upset or gloomy so I wanted to do something to bring a little cheer back into our workplace. I also firmly believe that we are more productive, creative and inspired in our teaching if we are happy and supporting each other.

With this in mind, I set about arranging a little system by which we could all look after each other. I invited everyone to fill in a form which looked like this...

...fold it up and put it into a box. The idea is that everyone draws out someone’s piece of paper in secret and then has to ‘treat’ that person, using their list of favourite things as a guide. If at any time they think that person is feeling down, having a difficult week or just wants to make them smile, they buy them a little gift and anonymously leave it in their pigeon-hole or on their desk at work.

Already it has sparked everyone’s enthusiasm, with people giving and receiving all manner of thoughtful treats.  I am a ‘buddy’ for a member of our faculty who works in an office with no window. I thought she would like some tulips, much like these, as she cannot see the spring blooming from her workspace. 

There’s little in the world more satisfying than knowing you have brought a smile to someone’s face. 
Related Posts with Thumbnailslinkwithin_text='From the same cauldron...'