Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Winter Garden

A Rose in Winter

Black Nightshade laden with berries

Henbane flowering

Flowering Burdock

Happy Daisy greeting the day

Sarsparilla growing wild in the Banksia

Aloe showing her beautiful flowers

Banksia Rose flowering in the cool winter sun

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Finding Your Mojo Spread

I've been rather lacklustre of late, and I wanted to get a little insight so out came the tarot cards. I came by this spread by way of Greylady's Hearth. I realised I don't post much tarot related stuff on this blog anymore since I create my tarot-specific blog but I'm going to try to post stuff more often. I decided to use my Wildwood Tarot for this spread because it is the one that I am most connected to (well this deck and my Dragon deck) and since it is more spiritually oriented, I thought it the best to go to for answers.

Finding Your Mojo

Card #1 (Here is where my mojo is hiding)

The Pole Star

The Pole Star of prophetic guidance and inspirational knowledge has risen and will guide you on your forthcoming journey through the forest”.

This is my Mojo, universal lore, higher spiritual knowledge and power. This is where I gravitate to when I need to find inspiration or understand something. Knowledge. Somehow I’ve disconnected myself from that and I was always at my happiest when learning and putting that learning into practice. I need to get back to the core of who I am and begin learning, allowing any growth I experience come from that powerful source – knowledge.

Card#2  (Here is what is getting in my way)

Nine of Bows – Respect

What is getting in my way is my lack of true dedication to the path I am walking. When I come to a challenge I tend to walk away rather than see the challenge through, simply because it is easier. I tend to lack self discipline and focus (a flaw I am well aware of) and allow negative thoughts to circumvent any action. I need to let go of the past and begin to apply myself to whatever I undertake in order to find the inspiration and motivation I currently lack.

Card#3 (Here is my solution. Do it now!)

Ace of Arrows – The Breath of Life

Follow through! That is what I need to do. Instead of leaving something and moving on to the next thing, I have to finish what I do. I have to get past my lack of confidence in my abilities and processes, the primal energy of the universe can be worked with, can be summoned to help create and I need to remember this. 

I am my own worst enemy I think is the general gist. I am the one who is capable of accomplishing my dreams but I get in my own way and fear failure. By letting go of this and seeing things through, whether or not they come out just right, is the first step to finding the passion and inspiration I lack. I love learning, and what is learning but doing and doing to the end whether you fail or succeed? 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Seasons of Change

I read this post and it spoke to me. As I progress further in my path I am beginning to see that as the world changes, my practice changes; especially with the climate issues battering the world. The original calendar really doesn’t apply anymore. It has become evident to me that I must throw any notion of that calendar out the window and truly pay attention the land and climate around me in order to truly connect with seasons and the land. The calendar of Sabbat dates is fast becoming irrelevant because the Earth has changed, her cycles are not as they were with our ancestors, I’m not even sure our ancestors would recognise the land we live in today.

The seasons here have been interesting, a hotter than average summer, a deluge of almost never before seen proportions on one day in February followed by a sudden and unusual greening because of the moisture in the land. Autumn actually came swiftly but somehow lasted longer than it has previously. May saw some unusually warm weather after a fairly cool April, thankfully it was just gentle warmth. Nothing too spectacular or unpleasant. June has been cool but not the winter I had hoped for. As yet we’ve not experienced anything truly cold, it has been very wet so far though, which was a surprise considering it has been predicted that winter will be warmer and drier than normal.

The winter solstice is in less than a week, but I don’t feel it, I don’t feel that the time is quite right. We are not celebrating the renewal of the sun or the dark half of the year giving way to the light. We’ve barely experienced the dark half of the year yet. There is comfort in tradition, but when the tradition does not match the reality, sometimes it can confuse and confound. It has been something of a revelation looking to something other than tradition to begin building a more authentic self practice. I generally only celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, rarely the other four sabbats. However, for each Sabbat I do cook dinner for my family, this has become somewhat of a tradition and one I embrace.

My Oak is perhaps the best example of this change. She is still holding her leaves. She is slowly changing colour but not too many years ago, by this time she was bare. At this time, there are still so many green leaves. Even the Oak has recognized that the seasons are not what she has been used to in her previous years. While I will cook dinner for my family on June 21st, I know that Yule, for me, will likely not be until late July. The Spring equinox will be closer to the end of August when trees begin to bud and flowers start their showing. By the time September 21st rolls round, I imagine everything will be out in bloom and celebrating their welcoming of the sun. If I was to go by the past summer, the pinnacle of it was late January not December 21st, I think the Autumn Equinox was perhaps the only one that feel in or around when it was meant to. The weather had begun to cool, some trees had begun to change and the usual hot weather we experience in March had begun to fade.

Now I have to look beyond what has been ingrained over the years of my practice. Now I must walk to the tune of nature as she is now, not how I perceive she should be. I almost feel as though I should begin from scratch, as if I had never practiced before and am building my own path out of what is now instead of what is considered ‘right’. I am going to create a ‘Genius Loci Profile’; a good example of one is here; it is important that as the land around me changes, I understand it more, connect with it more and truly understand the spirit of the place where I live. My practice has stagnated, it has not grown nor evolved and I have become lackluster in my approach to anything Craft related. I think I have lost my inspiration and somehow I must seek to find it, to re-ignite the passion that drove me previously. I haven’t centered my spirit on my witchcraft in some time, so caught up with other things such as writing, creating herbal remedies and trying to get past ill health that continues to dog me.

I really do believe that the best thing is to start as though I know nothing and rediscover what I do know, what Spirit knows and what witch lies within. I don’t intend that this blog will become some 101 thing, but I think it will document the progress I make during my rediscovery. Sometimes I think we all have to go back to the beginning to find our way again.

Monday, 26 May 2014

A Day in the Forest

Sunday was such a lovely day that it seemed a shame to spend it indoors, so a picnic was packed and off we went to the forest. It is a little bit of a drive from where I live, perhaps half hour or more, but the beauty that awaited was worth it. January this year, the forest was devastated by fires. It is estimated that three quarters of the forest had been lost, but still she stands regal and with pride. As I drove and walked through it, I could feel the energy of the place. It was strong and palpable. It may have lost so much of itself but its spirit was as strong as ever. Birds chirped, called and shrieked. Trees spoke in the wind, frogs sang and flowers bloomed. It was peaceful yet energising. It is slowly beginning to heal, to spark green again and although there are burned trees and devastated areas, the sprig of life beginning again gives hope that this old forest will one day again know its pre-fire glory.

Monday, 19 May 2014

What I've Been Up To

I’ve been awfully quiet lately. It’s not intentional; I’ve found myself busier than usual; although I have made time to post lots of photos. I got a new camera for my birthday, it’s been a journey of discovery which of course I had to share – I’m not me unless I’m posting an epic amount of photos here. Life gets a little busy when you least expect it, hopefully things will be settling down for a short period, I have some things I need to catch up on.

I’ve been writing a fair bit, I’ve had some articles published and submitted others elsewhere with the hope of them being published. I’ve finished writing my second book. Both are introductory style books and more of a test to see if I could do it more so than any real intent to put them out there, but I am rethinking it; maybe what I’ve written will be of interest to other people. I’ve also been thinking up ideas for blog posts and further writing opportunities. I’ve had articles in a couple of Australian magazines, becoming a regular contributor which is nice so I have been considering creating a profile for my area. I want to understand the landscape around me a little better; I think sometimes it can be referred to as a genius loci profile or ‘spirit of place’. I’m going to try to create one that is perhaps a little more in depth simply because it would also be a valuable resource for my horticultural course.

I’ve been playing around with an idea of creating a line of incenses and smudges using native plants in my area. I’ll also be using plants not necessarily native, but grow rampantly, becoming part of the landscape like Silver Leaf Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Boxthorn and Datura. I’ve been considering creating a smudge out of native plants like Saltbush and loose incenses using fragrant plants like Wattle. So far the idea is in its infancy, I’m drying some of the plants to see how they burn and how they smell when they burn. I’ve found a herb can smell heavenly until you light it up, unfortunately some herbs smell less lovely when lit.

I’m also slowly turning my mind toward my straight herbal business. I’ve been wanting to create some herbal goodies for awhile now but time and other factors have prevented it. Moving into winter where time will be spent more indoors, I am hoping to focus my attention there. I already have some St John’s Wort tincture ready to go, I’m currently brewing an Elderberry Elixir and when the Nettle has grown a little more, I’ll be creating a tincture, hair remedies and teas with it. All ideas are yet to be fully formulated or tested but hopefully soon they’ll all be ready to go.

And I’m starting horse riding lessons. I’ve always loved horses and recently came across a school near to where I live (although “near” is relative in the country). I used to ride when I was younger so I am looking forward to getting back into it. Hopefully time and money will allow for it to become a regular thing. I’m quite excited; I’m really looking forward to it.

Now to fashion a nice sore muscle balm, I have a feeling I’m going to need it!

Shades of Autumn

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Creating Smudge Sticks

Rosemary, Lavender and Sage. 
Three beautiful herbs, just perfect for smudge sticks, harvested from the garden to create a powerful smudging experience. The rich tones of sage, the piney fresheness of rosemary and the perfumed depths of lavender will bring to the mind a fresh spring day, a warm summer sun, the feel of a refreshed and cleared space where no negativity or stagnant energy remain.

The harvest ended up being quite substantial so I was able to make some mini smudges and a couple of singular herb smudges (rosemary and lavender).

They will sit now for some weeks in order to dry before they are ready but I can't wait to try them out. My home will be filled with such wonderous scents, patience was never my strong suit but I must wait and let the herbs dry and form into their bundles. This is the part that leaves me with anticipation, but the end result will be absolutely scent-rific.