Thursday, 21 May 2015

Autumn Flowers

It might be getting cold now but the flowers are coming out now, showing their beautiful faces to the small flashes of sun. Small flashes of colour here and there amongst the burgeoning green. 

Stevia

Carnation

Elder

Feverfew

Climbing Geranium

Lavender

Bulbs

Blue Potato Bush

Rose

Rose

Snapdragon

Monday, 11 May 2015

PDU - Life and Death/Ancestors/Samhain


I’m very late on the PDU posts so I’ve decided to combine the last three topics together. I also think they all correspond to one another in one form or another. I’m not even sure what to write really, maybe I’ll just type and see what comes out.

Life & Death

Interestingly, I don’t fear death. It’s an inevitable part of life, perhaps it’s the consequence of living or maybe the reward. Could it be the journey’s end when one has accomplished everything or the full stop to a life of regret? I fear the manner in which I might die but I think that’s natural, overall it’s not something I give a lot of daily thought to, why borrow trouble? Perhaps being Pagan I tend not to worry overly much about it because this realm, this life is only one life in the many that we have, will have or have had. I’m a student of the mysteries, a wild mystic who sees beyond what is now. I’m also studying Past Life Therapy (among so many other things) so it does lend itself to a thought process of there being more beyond what is currently this life. I believe in the ancestral soul, which means that our memories, our past lives, perhaps even the very core of who we are is passed down in the blood, we are so much more than just the sum of our parts, we are also parts of those who walked before us and we carry the soul knowledge of them and also the soul knowledge of those who will come after us. In some ways we are immortal, because whether it is past, present or future, we all live on in some form. So essentially, I would say my final thoughts of life and death is that we live, we die, we love, we share, we cry, we hurt, we grow and we eventually return to the darkness before moving to wherever it is our souls move on to beginning the process of existence once again in whatever form that happens to be.

Ancestors

I don’t really do ancestor worship, it’s not something I as yet feel comfortable doing because my ancestors are just names on a page – my family is not the closest. What do I think when I think of my ancestors? Mystery – yet I also know some of them better than I know my own blood. I’m descended from convicts and immigrants. My maternal line has a rather interesting lot of characters in it. Four of them were all First Fleeters - two former slaves – one African American (thought to be very musical, especially on the harmonica and tambourine), the other either West Indian or Carribean – although some also claim Africa American as well. One found guilty of ‘felonious assault and putting him (the victim) in corporal fear of danger of his life’ (English) and finally the future (English) husband of the felonious assaulter who was transported for ‘felonious stealing’ – he was originally intended for America but due to ‘mutinous behaviour’ on board the ship was put to trial again and sent to Australia. The two Johns (both slaves, a.k.a John R and John M) must have become quite good friends as John R’s daughter married John M. There was also the dear George Bowerman who was eventually hung for highway robbery. John M's daughter Mary married George's son George Jnr and their daughter married Mary's sister's son John (guessing the options for spouses must have been quite limited - and John was a popular name). There is plenty of Irish and English in my maternal line, explains why I burn like a tomato instead of tan, my lucky brother on the other hand must have inherited the darker genes from the Johns, as well as my Spanish ancestor – he tans not burns.

On my paternal side was a Spaniard who immigrated to Tasmania, his daughter had 3 husbands – I’m descended from husband number #2 – a little mystery surrounding one William Carroll (very generic Irish name), some say he came to Australia escaping the law in Ireland. We’ll never know because no one knows anything much about him. My paternal line, outside of that, is mostly English with a rather large Cornwall contingent. I’ve investigated a little bit, I know names, places, dates but I don’t particularly get the essence of any of my ancestors, so perhaps one day, I’ll come to think about working with them but not right now.

Samhain

Not particularly working with the Beloved Dead or Ancestors, my Samhain is generally reserved for seasonable observance and nothing more. It’s an indicator on the path of Autumn, the time when the shades of trees begin to change and the weather cools. I don’t even recognise it as a time when the veil is thinnest because being a hedge witch, you tend to always be one side of the veil or the other. Perhaps that will change; I’m still learning which seasonal observances I truly wish to honour. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Poetry

As a teenager I used to write a lot of poetry, it was your typical angst ridden melodrama but I like to think I matured with age. I've not written a lot in the interim except during my writing diploma (which I finished a couple of years ago now) but I've recently began taking it up again. I thought I might share some from time to time here on the blog, I'm not sure how often it'll be because I don't write as much (poetry or otherwise) as I used to, I'm slowly trying to re-familiarise myself with the love of writing that I had once, it's a process. So in the interim, here is a little ditty I wrote for my 'Personification in Poetry' assignment a few years ago.

A Besom’s Life

The Besom sat above the door
Feeling bored she wanted more
As she saw her Witch walk in
She felt it time to begin

She wobbled from the hanging hook
A lot of clever falling it took
She landed in front of her Witch
And wished for a little hitch

Her witch stroked her with much joy
She felt as though she was no longer a toy
Brushed, cleaned and scented well
Miss Besom felt very swell

She felt absolute delight
When it was time to take flight
Soaring above the lovely skies
“What fun, what joy” she sighs 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

PDU – Pet Peeves

I’m late again with my PDU – it’s shocking, as has been my attempts at writing more on my blogs. I’ve been quite bad of late but I’m going to try a bit harder to get more done. Maybe that’s my pet peeve – my inability to be really motivated to achieve anything on account of being easily distracted by other things. Mouthful too. Pet Peeves are an interesting topic because whatever you say, you’re likely to offend. Whether it’s a particular habit, opinion, action or group, some one is going to get annoyed. Recently I read an article that had gone viral again and it led me to thinking about one of my favourite pet peeves. Article is here.

There is a forum on Facebook that I am a part of tailored toward Wiccans, Witches and Pagans, all paths and viewpoints are welcome however it seems there is a certain set that has the loudest voice. An example was a young woman had cast a love spell on a person and had some questions about it – whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant in my mind, the spell had been cast and she had some questions. I participated in offering an opinion that was driven toward advice on the situation she described – as did many other witches. Yet there seemed to be a pervasive need from a certain few to lecture on the morality of the spell and shove their rhetoric in everyone’s faces; there was so much ‘threefold’ or ‘harm none’ or even references to ‘black magic’ that it became ridiculous (actually that is another one of my pet peeves – that damn colour shading of magic, magic is magic. It isn’t white, grey, black or otherwise, it simply is).

Within those lectures was not actually any advice whatsoever but simply a pushing of one’s personal belief onto this poor girl. Now did I agree with her casting a person-specific love spell? Not particularly, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a multitude of reasons (some because I am a crime show obsessed person) but it wasn’t my place to push that belief at her. She’d done what she believed was what she needed to, it hadn’t gone wrong so her spell, her business. Quite a few of us got fed up in the end and lost it at those who were not contributing anything constructive, I think the poor girl regretted asking by the end of it because so many people were ‘karma, wrong, threefold, harm none, free will, bad, bad, bad’. It peeves me in group situations when it is not understood that not all people practice the same so we don’t hold ourselves to the same laws or credes that they do. You won’t interfere with free will, bind, hex, curse or otherwise – fine, more power to you. Doesn’t mean others won’t and those others don’t appreciate being the recipient of your rabid rhetoric as though your opinion and way is the right and only one. I understand your right to defend your point of view, but when defense becomes preaching and lecturing, you need to stop. You need to be quiet for a minute and listen to the others who are saying ‘we don’t believe what you believe, we don’t want to hear about what you believe constantly, we don’t want to be told we’re wrong simply because we practice differently’ – although to be fair most of the time my thoughts are not that polite. I don’t participate much in online groups anymore for this reason; it becomes too destructive and petty instead of informative and community-minded. The ideal of sharing ideas, workings and experiences devolves into a ‘right way, wrong way’ drama and it’s really pointless at the end of the day. Pointless and a waste of time.

So anyway, there’s my pet peeve – actually another one is people who use the term hedge witch who are not actually a hedge witch. One day I was looking something up and came across some one selling herbal products with a blog/business name with hedge witch in it. Looking through their site I saw they were clearly not a witch at all but chose the title for the cutesy, catchy factor. I’m not sure they actually knew what one was – I’ve written an article on Hedge Witchcraft for the winter issue of Australian Pagan Magazine, I hope people like it, I’m sure some may not necessarily agree with my assessment of what hedge craft is but for the most part I think it will be well received. Well, there you have it, my PDU entry, hopefully my next one will be written in a timely fashion!

So, anyone want to share their own pet peeves?

Thursday, 26 March 2015

PDU - Autumn Equinox

Late again - I know, it's shocking but here I am, my entry ready nonetheless.

Autumn is my favourite season, the colours, the cooling weather, the smells - it all makes me feel like I'm in a very sacred place. Plus my birthday is during Autumn - actually just the other side of the Equinox as luck would have it so it all ties together. To me, it always does feel like the season of the witch, my senses tingle and I feel the urge to do more, explore more, learn more. I'm settling in to begin more crafting, herbal making, I'm planning to get my tinctures ready for the winter season and sorting out some more witchy adventures! I always feel more in tune during this season, it's like something in me clicks and I get more energy, I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can begin taking my plans from theory to practical.

I spent this Equinox at a Pagan event, one I was quite involved in. My second year going, my first year being involved. It's a lot of fun with some really fantastic people. It's always hard for me to easily connect with people so it's great to be among those who think similarly. There was a ghost tour of a gaol, a nighttime ritual, daytime workshops (I presented two) and late night chatting. There were new friends made, steps made in solidifying friendships made last year. All around it was a wonderful way to spend the holiday and I'll certainly be looking forward to it next year!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Lessons Learned or The Country Witch Gets A Reality Check

Spirit/Energy Neutral – that’s me. I have no relationships with spirits or energy because I don’t feel it, it’s always seemed quite pointless to bother forcing something that doesn’t come naturally – or at all as the case is with me. I’ve always been fine with that, it never particularly bothered me. I discovered this last year when I went to Gladstone Gaol for a Pagan Event, the history of the gaol is troubled, not as much as other places but it’s had its fair share of horrors so the energy in the place is quite strong – for others. For me, I felt nothing, no tingle, no chill, nada, zilch, zip (except for the eerie sense of silence in solitary but again – didn’t particularly bother me), so along I trotted in life not bothered by my lack of a spirit/energy radar. I got on with what I am good at – herbs. And life was grand (I’m beginning to think I should have started this story as once upon a time…..).

But life throws some interesting curveballs when you least expect it. Last month I was invited along to assist in a house cleansing/banishing; some damn nasty negative energy was lying around and manifesting some pretty awful behaviour toward one of the residents. Our goal was to trap the energy and get rid of it; to make sure it didn’t darken the doorstep of this particular home again – and in that respect we were all very successful. But the lesson came before we began. I walked into that door and I walked into a reality driven smack in the face. This house taught me that what was true in one place or time in my life was not so much true anymore. It could have been just this place, this month will tell I suppose at the gaol. So we four; the Diviner, the Energy Worker, the Guide and the Witch (as well as the Diviner’s husband) began the task of clearing this house of the energy that had stuck it’s claws deep into one of the residents and would not let go.

I walked through the door and I was immediately struck by a feeling of darkness and oppression. I felt a crushing weight on my shoulders, I couldn’t breathe and my shoulder blade began to hurt (a sharp pain), my head began a slow spin that progressively got worse. Once we were apprised of the situation I went outside because it was too much. The almost funny thing was, I walked past the bedroom (which was in darkness from lack of light) which had the worst energy. I barely even saw it and I think it was almost designed that way – I wasn’t even close to ready for what was in there. The Guide took care of that. I had to get outside into the light to breathe and take a moment, but once I returned inside, the feeling was ever present. The kitchen was the worst for me – but then this is where some of the very physical and unpleasant manifesting behaviour had taken place; apparently the bedroom was worse so I’m glad I missed that part of the cleansing and banishing. The Diviner lead us in our task followed by the Energy Worker smudging and clearing. The Guide tackled the energy in the bedroom and I was in charge of the front of the house. We came together in the kitchen and gave the Energy Worker time to work his Craft. When we returned into the home it was a different place, it was light, calmer, not oppressive and there was a lovely breeze blowing between the two doors. The change was palpable. We finished up with instruction and protective measures and the task was completed. The Energy Worker had to calm my third eye because my head was spinning out of control.

It was an experience I will never forget. It was both a learning experience and a lesson; a lesson not only in cleansing/banishing but also in being too arrogant in your absolute belief of something. I wouldn’t say I’m an arrogant person, I’m not, but I honestly had the belief that walking into this house, the energy wouldn’t affect me because it never has in any situation before. I expected to walk in, render assistance but not be particularly affected or changed by it. I have been, unequivocally. I’m not likely to ever forget that feeling in a hurry, it’s not one I ever really want to feel again and I think the memory of that feeling is going to stick with me for a long while to come.

Friday, 13 March 2015

PDU – Favourite Craft Tool


I’m a bit late again with my PDU post – I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time to sit down and think. I would say my favourite craft tool (and probably no surprise here) is herbs. I don’t know what I would do without them. I don’t really use any other tools if I’m being honest, although I love my card decks so they would also be my favourite craft tool. Herbs are powerful medicine whether you use the magically, medicinally or mundanely. They’re so ingrained in our way of life that sometimes we don’t even think about them when we use them (like adding a bit of chives to mash potato or paprika to colour your roast chicken). They can be as subtle as a gentle breeze or as brash as a gale force wind. They can be easy to grow or frustratingly hard (mandrake anyone?) to coax from the soil. They provide scent, colour, magic, healing and feed. 


I use herbs in so many different ways. Incenses, tonics, tinctures, ointments, teas, candles, the garden, healing and crafting; my garden has so many different herbs in it I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many, I’m even planning another herb garden in the future (it’ll be an accompaniment to my tiny house). I’m a herbalist so my passion runs deep and I feel herbs on a soul level. Magical, medicinal and all round fantastic, herbs are my tool of choice and my favourite craft tool overall.

(Yes this one is a bit short, I’ve been so busy but the next one is Autumn Equinox and I think that post will be a bit longer given I am co-hosting and presenting there).