~a simple spirituality II~

my spiritual path maybe simple, but it is also very much a constant, everyday spirituality~ one i cannot get away from, i cannot imagine my life empty of the thoughts and feelings i have for the world around me.

the wheel of the year flows in its constant circle marking the constant change taking part both within me and the world around me


reverence for the earth, ancestors and gods~the land, sea and skies

the life energy flowing sunwise~the flow of divine energy

~which comes from the connection with the spirits of the land~*wind*rivers*

*tree's~the standing folk*


~which comes form the ancestors and gods~the song of the land of my ancestors.

a comfortable, uncomplicated, but at the same time deeply complex path followed over years

finally being defined~a new 'old' path to follow, but one that is familiar.


my word but its hard to remain calm and spiritual when this...

refuses to play nice and keeps overheating!
we ordered a replacement gasket from our friend in france, another friend brought it back over here and another friend drove swampy to poole to collect said apart.
poor swampy dismantled a large part of the engine, put in replacement part and off we went to the farm shop in a fairly joyful fashion.

it didn't last long, by the time we got to the farm shop, about 5 miles away the radiator was bubbling like a veritable cauldron on a busy night! by the time we got home it had pretty much boiled dry, so swampy is back to square one and we spent £40 we couldn't really afford on something we don't think was needed.
the trouble is if swampy needs to do his dismantling again...we need another of those £40 gaskets.
oh i could cry...as for swampy, i think he is ready to do a basil fawlty with a large tree branch (i have scanned the area and hidden any likely tree weapons).

i think we are now seriously thinking of getting him fixed and selling him~but the thought makes me so sad. we have had such adventures in him and he is a very special van...just so unreliable right now. i am really hoping this turns out to be something really silly that swampy hasn't noticed and all will be well again very soon.
the thing is because he doesn't know what it is we have now decided that two events we are due to go to next week will have to be cancelled~which is a real poop.

however i have been sitting on the grass giving moral support and good vibes, cody has been cooling off laying in the flowerbed and i have been able to enjoy the fresh air and watch the clouds rush by in the blue sky (the tail of hurricane bill according to our weather people~tomorrow is supposed to be dreadful) and watch the jackdaws fly in and out of the huge oak...i have just heard a tool bag being emptied onto the floor so i shall go and resume my support!

have a good day wherever you may be

oh and keep your fingers crossed for poor pippin :)

~a simple spirituality~

this is my path

the love of land, sea and sky reflected in my triskele.

a love of nature enhanced by the seasonal festivals that gives my life a cyclical rhythm~lets me connect that little bit more deeply with the life of the land around me, with times that have been sacred to our ancestors for thousands of years~

we have the autumn equinox or alban elfed 'light of the water' to celebrate in a few short weeks the day and night will be equal but the power of the sun will wane, the harvest will be over and we shall prepare for the long nights of winter.

will worthington

there is no book with words to follow and abide by~there are the myths and folklore of the land and the ancestors, an ancestral heritage to follow, bring alive and keep alive.
a heritage being kept alive with words and song.

~an award? for me?~

this meme award was waiting for me in my in box from mel at clutter to shine...thank you my lovely! i have never been called uber-cool before and i promise not to let it get to my head!

hmmm seven facts about me...

1)i have suffered from a cyclical depression for many years~some bouts just a mild, mopey kind, some real humdingers of the kind the doctor will say 'here have some lithium'. i have not actually had it so severe for about 6 years~i like to think i am too busy coping with m.e to get depressed!

2)i dress the way i did at 18~a sort of grunge/hippie, but more...eclectic (swampy's words not mine)and my personal 'trademark' are scarves and waistcoats...i don't feel dressed if i am without either. i have a pile of about ten scarves, not counting winter, woolies and my recent waistcoat is a very old wool one, black with gorgeous cream lining with tiny red pinstripes.today for instance i am wearing...my gorgeous green boots (still very much in love with them),old pair of 'twisted' levi's turned up a good few inches, a altered, knee length sarong, black vest,'new' waistcoat and blue/brown/lilac scarf...good eh?!

3)i don't take my diabetes as seriously as i should (i know, i know)and as a result i am putting off my fasting blood test and my visit with my doctor to discuss the results~plus i have my annual eye screening/eye test in november.

4)i hate raisins/currants~in fact i have just been in the garden picking them out of my bowl of alpen and leaving them for the birds to peck at.

5)because of my poor hearing i avoid social situations where i have to try to listen and converse with more than two people.

6)i waste too much time on the net, browsing and blogging, although i have met some wonderful people and of course ten years ago this march past met my swampy online :)

7) i constantly find myself wishing i had met my great uncle jack, his father johney gaul and his parents james gaul and margaret flahaven...i keep wondering what stories they would tell me of their home in ireland and then in wales and of course i wish i knew what jack, james and margaret looked like~from family stories handed down of johney and jack they were real lovable rouges~i like the sound of that!

now i have to pass this on, however like ripples in a stream i can see it spreading already~so, if you have not already been awarded the award please accept it from me and tell us some amazing, little known facts about your lovely selves.

~its still there...~

*a walk last autumn*

...the inkling of autumn that is~the weeks that find us saying goodbye to summer & preparing ourselves for the autumn equinox

this morning i opened the back door that leads into my sacred garden (well developing sacred garden~its taking longer than i thought getting it right) & wandered out in my pyjamas, loving the sound and smell.
we have no noise of passing traffic or people, just the occasional whistle of a steam train as it thunders its way west to destination unknown.

the birds were a veritable chorus-even when i walk out they stay in the tree's, in the bushes, on the fence and watch me as i do the rounds~checking the wild tangle of color & scent, enjoying the damp grass, look up at the sky framing our friends truly enormous oak tree.

i look at my fledgling garden shrine~i am not happy with it really, probably because i have in my minds eye what it will be like-hopefully by samhain-and like many things in life it wont feel 'right' until it is the shrine of my imagining...

then i imagine my celebrations as i follow the wheel from festival to festival-will they be better? in what way? i hope so-i finally have a very secluded garden so will have freedom. not for anything elaborate, but all the same...privacy for my solitary, peaceful path.

~now here i sit, in what has become known as 'my room'~a study come library, with piles of books hidden behind blue gingham curtains~sitting at a big, round, solid wood table;there sit my books waiting to be opened, there is my indoor shrine (again, not over enamoured with it right now) & to my left the open window with a fine breeze blowing in on me~the sky is bright blue with puffs of pinky-white clouds passing high up.

so what will the day hold for this pagan in the new forest?

some study~a walk into the village for bread & dog food~possibly a trip out to hurn airport near bournemouth to watch the red arrows & war time planes take off & land~mundane things, everyday things...

...but all the time my mind is full of 'other'~of pagan imaginings...


its raining today~hard, and opening the back door the smell of rain, wet soil and grass was wonderful
the sky has been getting darker and darker and its so much like autumn i can almost smell it. the birds are going crazy in the garden and i have the back door wide open to let that fresh, wet smell and very slight chill drift through the house.

i cant wait, i long for those long dark nights and waking up in the morning knowing i can can wear the many layers i love, without wondering if the sun will blaze and i become too hot...

...the fallen leaves covering the ground, for here in the forest we have no council worker coming and sweeping them up and taking them away. they fall and stay where they are until humans, ponies, cows or donkeys wander through them...or of course the pigs come to root through them for food to to make a nice bed to pass the dark hours.
some people till sweep them up and burn them on bonfires in their gardens~creating the next best smell of autumn...a proper leaf and twig made bonfire.

oh my word

if we are driving along and i see the twining smoke of a bonfire drifting across the road, the window is opened and that wonderful smell drifts in...a true autumn smell...

and that particular smell of autumn...one of the most wonderful...

i find myself having to have doors and windows wide open, in the house and when we are out in pippin~to let the smells drift in.
of course not when we are on a busy road!
but to get out of the village we have to either drive through the forest or across the high heathland...

and that smell, the smell that is all autumn

~waxing moon ideas~

well the dark moon has slipped by, this month my body welcomed this period of the moon with headaches and the days running up to it i was furiously working for a week to get my latest essay finished and to my tutor.

so now as she slips into waxing we enter again the time for new beginnings, new ideas, so what i ask myself will be new for me?

again i find myself thinking of time, my time and what i do with it. i find myself realising that with my studies i don't allow myself time for other things~i am so concerned with keeping ahead i do nothing else and that the day passes me by. so i have resolved to spend the mornings with my books and the afternoons free.

i want this time free for i have had a new idea, well not really a new idea, i am returning to an idea i had a few years ago and never really did anything beyond thinking about it.
well now, whats the point of ideas if i don't carry them through, i ask myself? no point at all i reply to myself.
a few years ago i registered with etsy with the aim of opening my own little etsy store...and that's as far as i went! about as useful as a chocolate fire guard don't you think?!
well the last few weeks i have been thinking about it again and thought...is it time now? yesterday i thought about it even more and i think its time.
i discussed it with swampy, because he has been working on a project for someone using the artistic skills he has and he seems to think its something we can both produce work for.
my ideas are varied but revolved around useful, interesting items.
in the past i have knitted little merino wool mobile phone and ipod holders for me and my sister, merino wool wristbands and bracelets and i have ventured into jewellery making, bag making and ceramics which i have given away to people over the years, or just kept stored away.

these have been stuffed in my knitting bag, although i made my sister a thick red wristband with a pewter dog charm attatched...

i love to make necklaces and bracelets with leather thongs and using pewter charms and beads...

my own well handled and worn ipod holder, i made a blue and grey one for my sister and a lilac mobile phone holder for her as well...

i have a few pages in my moleskine devoted to sketches of my new ideas...i just now need to bring them to life.
i am especially excited about some new jewellery ideas and cant wait to get out and buy my supplies (although typicallly, the camper has broken down and the replacement part will not be with us from france until early next week!) and i have asked swampy to get out his inks and other art supplies to make me up a few things...talk about crack the whip!

speaking of cracking the whip~time for me to get my books out!

~more random pictures~

its been one of those unproductive days today~i had planned on getting my books out and working on my essay when we came back from our weekly shop, well that didn't happen. i ended up on facebook, adding animals to my farm, harvesting crops and going to market to sell them!
so decided to spend today as a break-day, blogging, visiting blogs and listening to omnia's 'crone of war' album and then i will have a whole day tomorrow to get to work.

i bought some new tea bags today~i have been looking at them on the shelf for a while and as i have finished my box of chai decided to go wild and buy a box of Dr Stuarts tranquillity tea~it is a combination of limeflower,hawthorn berry, yarrow and scullcap. i thought that it would help me with my negative energies and poor sleep and the box does specify no more than four cups per day. i am on cup two, so will have a final cup at bedtime.

this large bee was busy at work on our sweetpeas. i adore bee's, getting up close to see their fuzzy little bodies and loving the way they are working so hard at each flower

my miscellaneous pile of 'stuff' on my desk.
i have certain areas on my desk designated for certain things.
because my present essay is what i would class a 'humdinger'~needing lots of books, piles of notes etc, i have had swampy fit one of the two extra parts to the table.
so i am sitting here at the centre, laptop in front of me of course, my three piles of text books are to the left/middle; my mug on its coaster, the coaster is actually a flowerpot saucer and in it sits a pebble and a tiny Liberty print dog~ is directly to my right and my miscellaneous pile in front of the mug.
the pile comprises of the things i need on a very regular basis~green man tree oracle; a tree in your pocket; combination dictionary and thesaurus; my dad's old 'collins english gem'; my moleskine; omnia dvd (i watch it a lot!); my earth healing clay disc; small pink post-it's. and today, not in the photo, an almost empty pack of york peppermint patties~i fell in love with these many years ago on my first trip to california and so when i was in new york this year i stocked up.
they are yummy!

the green man i have fixed to one of our walls~i painted an old milk churn i 'rescued' a few years ago and set it against my bedroom wall and planted it up with sweetpeas and black-eyed-susan. the black-eyed-susan has finally reached my green man and i just love the way it looks.

last night as planned we went to the high heath just outside the village, to the longslade view bronze age tumulus-so it is a special place indeed- to watch for the Perseids, our friends came with us and as we decided to take cody, they brought his little friend snoop along. we parked up and set up our chairs, had cups of tea and just watched. it was a lovely clear night and we saw quite a few although it was not as spectacular as the tv reports had me imagining it would be.

however we did have this amazing waning moon rise to watch.

as we sat there, two ponies came out of the darkness to eat some of the hay someone was putting down when we arrived. one was a foal and she was totally fearless, coming right up to us, as if wondering what these odd things were sitting there in the dark~she must have noticed cody half under my chair for she bent down and they rubbed noses, before she walked off to join her mum. it was so cute~layton may well have caught it on camera, so i will check.
i got to bed about midnight, but set my alarm and was up in the garden at 3.30 where i stood and saw a few more shooting stars,until it clouded over and i went back to bed.
we were going out again tonight, but it has been cloudy all day and i don't hold out any hope it will clear~but then it might! fingers crossed.

~mr. sandman~

'Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
Make him the cutest that I've ever seen
Give him two lips like roses and clover...'

oh my word~my sleeping patterns are all over the place right now.
i would say that for at least three nights a week i sleep fitfully for a few hours after going to bed exhausted around 9pm. then i wake and have what my old occupational therapist in my M.E management group called 'washing machine head'!

you know that feeling of laying there in the dark and you have a million thoughts running through your head?
~the night before last i listened to my ipod until about 5am, last night i got up at 2am, made hot milk and spent an hour reading 'the forests of avalon' befor getting to sleep. to night i decided to force myself to stay awake until i am really tired~so here i sit, blogging and listening to radio 4.

i keep popping outside to see if the sky is clear for this week is the annual return of the Perseid meteor shower which will be gracing our skies this week.
i think the single one i saw at my full moon ritual was maybe an early arrival. if the skies are clear tomorrow we will be going with our friends and neighbours, mother and son pauline and layton up to the high heathland just outside the village where we will have a wonderful view.we will make sure we have water, milk, tea and biscuits and have a little party!

~being a peaceful warrior~

the battersea shield

while over at suzie's i was struck by her latest post 'tapping into positive warrior energy'.

a similar thing had been on my mind the other day when i wrote in my moleskine at bedtime, on the day of the full moon, when i had drawn 'holly' from my green man oracle...these are the short paragraphs i had written...

'strong protection
clear wisdom and courage
dream magic

'guarding against short-tempered or angry elementals.
temper our passions and channel them into useful action-the way of peaceful warriors-using skill and strength to combat negative acts'

'not to use energy too quickly'

'to be a peaceful warrior-i love the thought of that-being a peaceful warrior'

so what do i make of this today?

i guess right now there is a lot a negative energy around me, not coming from me but from someone close at hand. a negative energy that is upsetting me and those around me.
i know i need to channel these feelings into something positive and useful~but how?

~i have been tagged...~

...by elizabeth rhiannon over in so cal.

seven things you may not know about me or may not want to know...

oh my...wracking my brains here...

~ i have never had a stay in hospital, i have been for very short periods~blood tests, plugging a monster nose bleed that kind of thing, but never for the whole 'put on a gown and get in bed thing'.

~ i have freckles...lots of them, tiny ones. in fact the older i get the more i get-i often wonder if one day they will merge and i will be an even brown!

~ until a few years ago i had pretty much everything it was possible to have peirced, peirced.

~ i love steve sic...oh my word, great look and great voice

~ i would love long dreadlocks. i started growing them about twenty years ago but gave up quickly.

~ i have been having migraines since i was 5 years old and they dont get better with age

~ my great uncle john kimber had a bit part in the 1948 film 'bonnie prince charlie'

now as i guess many of you have been tagged i leave this open for anyone who may not of and who would like to tell us all some more about themselves!

i tag you all!

~plums & aprons~

i had planned on spending the day on my draft essay but these plans never go as planned do they?

i couldn't sleep last night~i went to bed at 9pm, totally shattered and slept for about four hours~then i woke up and that was it, wide eyed until about 5am.
i debated getting up and making a drink and getting on with my essay, but given my poor hearing, just knew i would clatter about oblivious, so lay there plugged into my ipod and listened to four omnia cd's before finally nodding off.

my sixth sense kicked in early for i woke up about 9am, tired and headachey, drank my cup of tea, dressed and within ten minutes my mum was knocking on the door.

i went back home with her for she had come to announce her cherry plums were ripe and ready for picking. so there we were piling them into a big preserving pan and i am sitting here now waiting for my first batch of chutney to cool before sealing the jars~my first ever attempt at chutney let me add! apple (from a neighbours garden, cherry plum (from mums garden) and shallots (from friends allotment) spiced up with some cinnamon and chili and i have to say it does taste quite good in a hot, sweet, sour way. i only made enough for three jars, just in case it turned out foul. tomorrow i will be making plum jam and sam has requested plum crumble.

this burst of kitchen activity has made me buy something i have wanted for ages...an apron! when i bake i am dreadful for getting flour all over me so i popped round to the old fashioned hardware store and bought myself a jolly green and white butchers apron...in fact i still have it on now.

of course the activity has also made me exhausted and i still feel headachey so i can see that even though its lovely outside i will be putting my pyjamas on soon and settling down on the sofa~i recorded 'seven brides for seven brothers' the other day~what a better way to round off a day making chutney?

~thank you my lovlies!~

thank you for your comments about me and my armchair!

its funny how seemingly insignificant things can mean so much in such small ways.

i cycled round to see my mum today~road-testing the new basket i bought for evangeline, to take her some of my cooking apples (apple sauce and apple crumble ahoy for swampy!) and to see how the final arrangements were for my nans flat.

she was so stressed i ended up coming straight home and phoned around for a man with a van. luckily i found one in southampton (midway between us and Portsmouth so perfect) who is charging only £30 to go and collect and bring back here.

i also took some photos of photo's...i know! i know! we haven't replaced our broken scanner so its the only way i can 'scan' photos onto my laptop.

the lady on the right is my nan, annie. this was taken sometime in the past five years with her friend Betty. Betty was a Canadian lady who ended up living in Portsmouth and she and nan hit it off right from the start.


is nan and gramps (far right) in 1973! doesn't nan look very 1970's funky?! its lovely to have a photo of my gramps smiling. he was always a very fierce man, always seeming grumpy, but we knew it was just a cover and we knew how much he cared for us. he, like nan, in the poorest area of portsea,with his 12 siblings, his dad a fisherman, he maternal granddad a bargeman and all his other male relatives were either bargemen, fishermen, dockyard workers or mariners. he had passed to join the royal navy at the start of WW2 but they considered his position, driving the trains in the dockyard so important they would not release him for navy service.all he would say about this time was that he saw sights no man should see.

and finally...

this is my dad, aged about 21-22 when he first became a policeman, pictured outside his uncle john cushnaghan's little house in portsmouth. doesn't he look so very young? i imagine my nan must have had this copy from the time it was taken, although i have no idea who took the photo~quite possibly uncle john.

~arrgghh armchair dilemma~

sometimes i think i am going mad!
we have been clearing my nans flat this week and swampy and i were due to go back yesterday to collect the armchair that goes with the sofa we brought home on wednesday~my 'nan' armchair, the one she always sat in to watch cricket and look out of her window.

on wednesday the camper was using a lot of water and oil and overheating and we were a bit worried.
well wouldnt you know, yesterday, after a short trip into lymington to get my hair cut, the van over heated and the prognosis was the head gasket has died...to any non-mechanical people like me, that means part of the engine has died!
so i have been in a major panic about, you guessed it, not the van (the bits are being ferried from our h van man in france by friends next week),but the armchair.
we only have the keys until next tuesday and i dont want some stranger sitting in my 'nan chair'...thats a job for my behind!
my sister is stopping by on sunday to see if she can get it in her audi~highly unlikely! so in desperation i am about to pop a letter to the warden of the flat and the old folk who use the lounge, asking very nicely if they will let it sit in the residents lounge until i can get there in 3-4 weeks.

should i really be using my energies on so much worry over an armchair?

~of full moon earth healing~

last night was the full moon and earth healing night~for those of you who don't join us and may be interested please have a look here

as i did last month i cleared and re-set my little temporary shrine in my sacred gardenand when darkness fell made my way outside~lighting my candle and incense.

the clouds never really cleared last night, even past 1am shreds of cloud still scattered the sky, shading the face of the moon in an almost Gothic filigree~but then we don't have to see the moon to know of her presence.

~as i stood there i thought~

*of the first harvest*
*the slow passing of the year~that turn of the wheel that takes us ever closer to the dark of the year*
*imagined the smoke from my incense as the coils of the earth dragon, winding its way aross the world, joining us all in our common wish and the bright light of my candle helping to spread light into the darkness*
*i also said a word for my ancestors, asking they remain with me, keeping a part of the old ways alive with me*

i would have remained out there for longer but as i looked up at the sky, the biggest, brightest shooting star i have seen for a long, long time streaked across the sky right in front of me and to me that was a signal that my ritual was over and i had been heard


~*~lughnasadh blessings to all my friends~*~

*~*to those who celebrate today and those who celebrate at the closest full moon*~*

~*~a time to harvest and give thanks to our gods', goddesses' and earth spirits for their gifts~*~

i don't know about you, but here in the new forest its pouring with rain and there is a distinct chill in the air~but then that's only right when we now face the waning of the sun to darkness and the sacrifice of the green man to continuing life.
its that first chill of autumn hiding among the gorse and heather of the open forest, hanging in the branches of the tress that are already shedding the first of their brown leaves. the first inkling of the turning inwards for us all as the days draw shorter and darkness comes knocking at the doors and windows that are slowly closing~keeping us snug in our roundhouses as the fires burn and we tell stories throughout the dark months.

but remember its also our own time to reap~those things we started back in the spring sowing~what are you finishing at this time? what are you planning to start?
i am still saying goodbye to nan, i am coming to the end of my present year of study and very soon to move onto another and during the dark evenings i plan to sit in front of the fire and work on the big patchwork quilt i have always wanted to do. simple things.

~i shall be celebrating at the full moon in my sacred garden and hope we have clear skies and lets not forget it will be our time to focus on earth healing too~