i woke this morning to my mobile telling me it was -10, the heating had yet to click on and as i sleep with the curtains open the bedroom was so cold...i just about managed to reach out an arm to turn on my local radio to find out how cold it had been across the south.
generally it was between -13 and my own -10.

it is now -1 and the blue sky been replaced by the cloud that has drifted from the north, and swampy and i are sitting here wondering if it will start snowing as expected.


so ravens!

i have been doing pathworkings for a good 7 years now but they are not regular as i only do them when i get the 'pull' to do one. i find if i just do one it is never successful.

since the beginning i had always hoped to have some hint of my totem animal but mostly any messages relating to this have been very vague.
it took some time before Brigid became apparent and even then it took lots of signs, mostly in the form of rowan's to make me sure~the same was with Cernunnos, it took forever but i got there.

i have to say i was quite frustrated with the slowness of my animal totem.

finally i had a pathworking that gave me some clue~a generic 'black' bird and deer, but i needed more.
so of course i kept myself alert to external hints~was it a blackbird or a member of the crow family i kept asking myself.
it had to be specific.

i have a collection of antlers here at home.
 i just had this feeling i had to have them~a single 6 pointer on my alter, a full set 6 pointer with the front of the skull hanging on the back wall of our garden and another single 6 pointer just hanging in my nook (writing this i am now pondering the number 6! and i will say the set with the skull was from an animal found dead in the woods by the forestry people)

well the 'deer' soon revealed itself
we went for a walk in the forest and one day a small herd crossed the pathway in front of us, lead by a large stag...
then a solitary stag walked within feet of the camper when we were going to get our yule tree...
then finally when we were driving from our village out of the forest i was looking out of the window into the trees and had the fleeting glimpse of the largest (and only one i have ever seen in the forest) red stag with massive antlers.

this pleased me for i finally had the link with Cernunnos and the stag, not the deer as i first suspected.

so i was left with this generic 'black bird'
i went through all the birds i encounter everyday and discounted black birds and jackdaws.
it left me with rooks~now i love rooks, i have ever since i can remember and they make me smile for they always look as if they are wearing some kind of black dress (much like the Hemulen...).
but i wasn't convinced, it just didn't 'feel' right.

well one day last summer we were driving down a lane that leads to a hidden campsite and a small parking spot, so we could walk flynt at our favourite spot. as usual i was looking out of the window only to find us passing a raven at the side of the lane and he looked at us as we drove slowly by.
now i have lived here in the forest for 40 years and had never, ever seen a raven...ever.
it was one sighting but one that excited me, was this a sign?
two weeks ago we were driving over to lymington, taking our 'sceainc' out of the way route, rather than the main route. what did we pass but a raven...

finally yesterday i accepted the raven as my other totem animal...

we had a parcel to post in the village so decided to walk flynt at the same time and then walk him to the area of the forest that we have always called 'the common' before walking home again (no Pretty Pagan still) while swampy was in the post office i walked flynt down to the bottom of the village and sat on the bench by the ford.
i heard a noise in the tree above me and looking up saw a 'black' bird i initially thought was a jackdaw...it looked down at me then a few moments later flew down in front of me and i nearly fell off the bench for it was a young raven!
it walked around for a moment before a car came through the ford and it flew back up into the tree above me.
at this point swampy came down the road so i walked under the tree to meet him the other side of the road...i looked up and what does the raven do but look down at me again.

do i need any more signs that that i ask myself?


read: The Desperate Romantics by Franny Moyle
taste: Lemon Tea
see: Rugby Union
hear: cheering
smell: lemons
touch: Flynt
think: when is it going to snow?
feel: cold...very cold