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Category — Equinox

This is your life, do what you love…..

Welcome to your life, do what you love….oh, ok, so what is it that I love? I love spring for a start – any chance of that rocking up soon in to my valley?? No, thought not.

Although the signs are there – daffodils spotted on my weekly walk around Hawkwood, and the first ruby stalks of rhubarb appearing on our CSA vegetable plot…..but come on, I am itching to peel off my thermals now – I’ve had them on since last October (can anyone even remember as far back as last October or is that just me??)

Well, being the good little community witch that I am, I thought I had better get myself outside for a wee bit of equinoxing this week…try to find a spot of balance emerging in this suddenly crazy world of mine…yeah right…

Hawkwood is so good for this – there is a funny sort of tree house cabin that is used as a meditation space right in the middle of the wooded valley….although I have been a bit too skittish recently for sitting still and contemplating peaceful thoughts – my pink hair is testimony to that, lets face it….but I love the idea of it….

There is also a very lovely natural spring bubbling out of the ground in their gardens – Herb and I always stop by here for a bit of witching and a bit of a drink

Back home then, and maybe it IS time for some meditative contemplation – so this is your life babe – how’s it working out for you??? Well, thanks for asking – you know those lovely white walls I worked so hard on last week? Yup, I remember. How about writing all over them? Splendid idea honey, lets do it….(talking to yourself, never a great sign)

Oh, how much fun can one bad girl and a Rotring have??? Answers on a postcard…

So, this is your life, do what you love and do it often…oh, so good to remember this, especially as this long, long winter draws hopefully to a close. You know what I love? I love all the photographs that I take – hundreds of them, sometimes up to a thousand a month, of people, places, knitting, my garden, oh you know well enough by now what my camera gets up to. Only right then, that I put some of my favourite pictures, and of course my favourite people, up on those lovely white and waiting walls.

Because life really is about the people you meet, and the magic you create with them. And whilst this winter may feel long, actually this life is very short. Not a moment to be wasted then.

I have to tell you that these words are not mine – they are from an advert for skin care products, believe it or not, that have been stuck to my fridge for a long time. But I like them, and they felt right enough to be penned up more permanently. And there is a lot more to come – that’s one big bit of wall I have travelling up the stairway. Just as well that I have piles and piles of photos ready and waiting, and so many more to take in this mad life of mine.

All in all I may just have inadvertently found some equinox balance this week. A need to escape out into the world, yes, but an anchor at home, remembering that right now my life is here, with its schedules and work and people.

But it is good. It is full. And springtime will come. That alone is enough to make a girl really quite perky.

March 22, 2013   2 Comments

Potion making from the witch tree….

Hello again! I am back with something a little earthier today. After all, it can’t be pastry and petticoats all the time….. so with the waning moon over my shoulder, I went a witching, off to a little grove of elder trees I had had my eye on since the summer.

It’s often hard to find Elder trees near to my house that I can reach (especially with my little legs) so I have been staking out a good spot for a while. This particular little patch belongs to Thistledown – a fab nature reserve a hop and a skip from Stroud, and Ryan there was up for a bit of bartering, along the lines of ‘you let me have your berries, and I will make you some kick-ass winter potion’ (I think I may have scared him into submission)

Now, Elder trees are rather special to us hedge witches – and we always remain respectful of the Elder Mother who is said to live in the tree. My lovely friend Glennie Kindred has this to say: “The Elder represents the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end. It teaches us to honour the cycle of death and rebirth, that in all endings there is always a new beginning.”

This was a gorgeous autumn day, and I said a small farewell to our summer, poised among all this equinox change, and picked the berries with a thought about the deep winter that is to come, and potions to be made.

Holly helped me ping all the tiny wee berries into a bowl – it’s a good job to share, and some useful witch medicine to hand down, mother to daughter.

Last year I made a rather foxy little elderberry liqueur that we drank hot when the coughs and colds came. This year I felt like being a bit more purist, so I made a tincture, with far less sugar, and gave it a kick with a big twist of chilli. (Chilli is fantastic for giving ‘power’ to tinctures and remedies)

So this is what I did:

:: Put berries in to a pan, with enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins.

:: Strain the gorgeous black mixture through muslin in a sieve

:: Put the liquid back into a pan and add the other ingredients. I added cloves, rosemary, ginger root, chilli, mixed spice and 200g brown sugar

:: Gently boil for 10 mins until it is syrupy

:: Add vodka (I used about 70cl)

:: Cool and pour into sterilised bottles

It is a potion that is full of Vit C and has great healing properties for winter bugs. This batch was quite sharp, and the chilli made my eyes water a bit! The amount of alcohol I used gave it quite a kick, but that’s what I love, when I am all shivery and getting a cold. It is wonderfully spicy.

A perfect, autumn antidote for all the sugary shenanigans I have been sidetracked into recently. Thank you Mother Elder.

October 7, 2012   1 Comment

Finding balance

Summer gently tips into early autumn, the Equinox pulls all things into balance, and I notice the blustery winds that often come at this time of the year. It feels to me like a settling of accounts, or a resistance to let go, and I begin to look around me, at this push and pull.

I cannot quite let go of summer, but I love the new flush of autumn berries.

I breathe out slowly, along favourite familiar pathways. But I am holding my breath as I step into new, scary adventures with my work.

In my world, there is handmade (a present for Susi) and nature made (from our Farmer’s Market)

What takes us a long time and a lot of human effort – working with a community woodland group sourcing local wood for our wood stove (thank you Mark), nature grows effortlessly and in abundance (ho! to the hips).

In looking for balance, I find I love my early morning walks over fields, alone and quiet, but also love a little nighttime wildness with friends, celebrating big birthdays.

And as ever, wherever I am, there is order and disorder…

And so even though I need to stay focused for the time being on this latest bubble of work, I cannot help but sit in the sunshine doing lovely repetitive jobs like harvesting lavender – thinking about what is useful and which stalky bits I no longer need.

This time of the year sings to my soul – it really does – and I smile at the miracle that bit by bit I have managed to do some of what I set out to do earlier in the year. Those tiny seeds I planted deep in wintertime have grown and flown. And the leaves turn quietly.

September 19, 2012   4 Comments

Yes, no’s and maybes

While I have been thinking about my gentle Equinox changes, and full moon plans, I also thought about the power of the words and answers that I give.

You know, those tricksy little goblins called Yes, No and Maybe. I am re-learning my No’s. They are the most goaty of the three, and ones that have challenged me and my 42 year old self. They are the boundary setters. They are words that want to yell “No, I cannot join one more single committee, or organise one more event. No no no”. Up until now my No’s have been woefully small and grey like the whiskers on a mouse. But, hey, my inner lioness is stirring.

The Yes’s. Well, they are more up my street, but what I have noticed, is that the older I get, the harder they are to squeeze out. “Yes, I am just dying to climb that 30 foot ladder and hurtle down the zip wire with you honey” (reply to my 13 year old). Hmmm. I really want to throw my arms open wide and offer up a big YES to the world and to life. And I love our teenagers for doing just that. I am practising. Honestly.

And the Maybes. Well, they are where I am at. They have pause. They hold possibilities. They are full of thought and mindfulness. So I am going to stay here awhile, and play with these pretty little Maybes and their softness. That is my Equinox, that is my balance.

March 29, 2011   3 Comments