Friday, 29 November 2019

The Ghoul-Gate



One grave in every graveyard belongs to the ghouls. Wander any graveyard long enough and you will find it - water stained and bulging, with cracked or broken stone, scraggly grass or rank weeds about it, and a feeling, when you reach it, of abandonment. It may be colder than the other gravestones, too, and the name on the stone is all too often impossible to read. If there is a statue on the grave it will be headless or so scabbed with fungus and lichens as to look like fungus itself. If one grave in a graveyard looks like a target for petty vandals, that is the ghoul-gate. If the grave wants to make you be somewhere else, that is the ghoul-gate.
~ Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Old Irish Curse


May those who love us, love us.
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.
~ Old Irish Curse

Sunday, 24 November 2019

A Witch's Altar


One of the most basic and simple things that a witch needs, and can easily implement in to their practice, is an altar. The beauty of altars, like most things in witchcraft, is that they can be as simple or as elaborate as an individual wants.

There are no rules, no right or wrongs, no set way in which an altar should be set up, or where it should be.


An altar should suit the witch, the witch's home and the witch's lifestyle; it's entirely up to the witch to make sure that it reflects their own personal practice.


Altars are sacred spaces that are used for setting intentions, celebration and practice. They focus the mind and symbolise personality and spirituality.


A few of you have asked me about the location of my altar. I have actually chosen to use the centre of our dining table. There are several reasons for this. Our table is huge - so there is wasted space in the middle - and it's located in the centre of our home and near to our kitchen, so it's a very practical place. It is also the part of the house where our energy is most abundant - where we relax, where we spend time together, and where we deal with the rich emotions of daily life. For me, this makes this area more sacred, rather than less. It also feels like the most magical room in the house, and for whatever reason I can't envisage having an altar in any other room.


By using the centre of the table in our most used room, we are continually reminded of our connection to the magical world and our spiritual practices. Having our altar on our dining room table means our living space is also decorated with seasonal items, and bears significance when we combine feasting with magical practice, for example our dumb supper at Samhain. I like Autumn the most - our altar has pumpkins and leaves and chestnuts, in amongst our altar paraphernalia.


When my altar candle is lit, it becomes a sacred space. It is where I create, where I ponder, where I will, where I weave.


I'd really like to hear about your altar, if you have one. Why is your altar special to you?



Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Beannacht/Blessing


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
ad a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters,
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak,
to mind your life.

~ Beannacht, John O'Donahue

Monday, 18 November 2019

Houses



It was a mistake to think of houses, old houses, as being empty. They were filled with memories, with the faded echoes of voices. Drops of tears, drops of blood, the ring of laughter, the edge of tempers that had ebbed and flowed between the walls, into the walls, over the years.
Wasn't it, after all, a kind of life?
And there were houses, he knew it, that breathed. They carried in their wood and stone, their brick and mortar a kind of ego that was nearly, very nearly, human.
~ Nora Roberts

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Prayer for Receiving Stewardship of Land



O Great Landvættir beneath my feet,
I call you, I awaken you, I offer you friendship!
In the name of Jord, Green Mother,
I swear I will not exploit this land out of greed.
In the name of Frey, Lord of the Grain,

I swear I will plant each seed with thought and reverence.
In the name of Freya, Lady of Spring,
I swear I will see the beauty of my land as a source of soul’s comfort.
In the name of Nerthus, Mother of the Vanir,
I swear that I will keep the secrets of this land as jewels.
In the name of Skadi, Winter Queen,
I swear I will leave wild places for your children.
In the name of Ullr, Hunter of the Wild,
I swear I will not take too many of your children, even to feed my own.
In the name of Iduna, Orchard-Grower,
I swear I will be grateful for every mouthful this land gives me,
And that I will give back what is given with all due respect and joy.
~ Gudrun of Mimirsbrunnr

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Wren's Autumn Apple Cake



It’s cold, dark and wet outside, so we’re inside enjoying a slice of my Autumn Apple Cake. It’s moist and stodgy, perfect for those times when you need a bit of comfort.
I thought you guys might like the recipe.

225g Self Raising Flour
110g Light Brown Sugar
170g Chopped Bramley apples (I like to put more in!)
85g Butter, melted
150ml Milk
1 x egg
1/2 tsp Cinammon
1. Line an 8 inch tin, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
2. Sift flour, spice, sugar
3. Beat egg, add to milk and melted butter. Mix well, and add to the sifted flour mixture
4. Add the fruit
5. Spoon into the tin, and sprinkle some sugar on top.
6. Bake until golden colour, and check with a knife (it should come out clean).
7. Enjoy.

Obviously you can swap out some of the items for gluten free and/or vegan alternatives.


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

When Great Souls Die...



And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
~ Maya Angelou

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Memento Mori



Memento Mori.
Remember you must die.

One of the most life-affirming things I’ve ever done is start living on a cemetery.

There is plenty of life here. A steady stream of visitors to the graves, dog walkers, and runners passing through on their daily run to admire the beauty of the place. Funeral processions, noise from the earth diggers that dig the graves, and the constant lawn mowing and hedge trimming.

There are owls, foxes, rabbits, and bats. There are birds in the tree outside my bedroom window, and a family of Starlings nesting in the gutter over the kitchen.
There are flowers; those left by mourning relatives, and those blooming in the spring. We have trees and shrubs and greenery; and big, dark, open skies with which to view the many millions of stars above.

And amongst the gentle hubbub there is also peace and quiet to reflect on all of this.
As I stand at the kitchen sink and look out at the gravestones I have silent space to ponder my own mortality.

This is an old cemetery and whilst death happened a lot earlier in the 1800s, one only has to take a quick look around the headstones to be reminded that death is always just around the corner.

So I choose to make the most of life. Memento Mori. Remember you must die.