Sunday, 6 February 2022

Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel

This is Merlin’s Cave on the beach below Merlin’s Castle in Tintagel, Cornwall. This incredible cave is 100m long and you can walk all the way through it. It was formed by sea erosion as it fills with water at high tide.

Legend has it that this cave was once home to Merlin.

Merlin was a fictional character in the Celtic Arthurian mythology stories. He was a wiseman and wizard. He was birthed by a normal woman, having been sired by an incubus, which is where he was said to get his mystical powers and abilities. Later, using magic, he engineered the birth of King Arthur. He served as King Arthur’s advisor, until becoming infatuated with, and later killed by, the Lady of the Lake.

Whilst the cave is impressive in its own right, and was made famous in the Arthurian legends, the cave became even more notorious following the publication of Tennyson’s poems. His “Idylls of the King” (1859-1885) was a series of poems telling the stories of King Arthur, and told of Arthur being washed ashore as an infant; only to be found by Merlin:

“They found a naked child upon the sands
Of dark Tintagil by the Cornish sea; 
And that was Arthur; and they fostered him 
Till he by miracle was approven King”.

Have you been to this cave? Or perhaps another that took your breath away?

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Saturday, 5 February 2022

The Spell Process

I thought I would share the process by which I go about my spellwork.

✨ Discernment 
Firstly, I consider whether a spell is really needed. A lot of the time it’s not, and some other mundane action is required instead. In some cases, I have waited as long as eight years to decide to take action. At other times, swift action has been taken. It’s at this stage we also consider what happens if we DON’T take action, and what the outcomes of a spell could be. We also need to consider how we’re going to replace the energy we have used, an important lesson in keeping the balance in Witchcraft, as taught to me by @marget.inglis_witchcraft.

✨ Planning 
Once I have decided a spell is needed, the planning begins in my head, on the astral plane. I have already ironed out any issues, so now I start formulating a positive plan: you could argue the spell has already begun. Once I have a rough idea, I write it out on paper. Yes, I could simply formulate the plan in my head, but the act of writing it down is part of the ritual for me. It also helps me with my poor memory - I have no problem reading out the words I have written previously during my spell, provided that I take time to really feel them when I say them. 

✨ Preparation
When the time comes I gather my supplies (if I’m using any), and set up the room. I clean and prepare myself. I have already chosen a time to perform the spell in my planning; this might be during a particular moon phase, but it’s always at a time when I know I’m not going to be disturbed.

✨ The Act of Magick 
At this point a huge amount of energy has gone into preparing for this moment, all part of the process of manifestation. I will not go ahead with my spell if at any stage it doesn’t feel right. When I do commit, I give it everything. I enter a frame of mind that transcends that of every day living - I am a magickal being, with a magickal ability, and I will achieve my goal. 

✨ Afterwards
It is time to tidy away, and to forget. It has been released into the universe, and will unfurl in its own sweet way. By writing my spell on paper before the spell, I can fully lend myself to “letting go”, an important step in spell work.

The Crooked House, Lavenham

This is The Crooked House in Lavenham, Suffolk. It dates back to 1395, and it is believed that it is the inspiration behind the old folk poem:

“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all liv’d together in a little crooked house.”

The Crooked House has been used as a gallery and by an arts, history and antiques outfit. It is also used for filming and events.

I don’t live in Suffolk any more, but I really miss visiting Lavenham. It is considered to be Britain’s best preserved medieval village, and was East Anglia’s most famous wool town. As such, tiny Lavenham was once Britain’s 14th richest town, and among the twenty most wealthy settlements in the medieval period. Lavenham has a rich cultural heritage, and is known worldwide as a film location for Harry Potter.

There are other beautiful buildings to see here - the Guildhall, Molet House (which has a five pointed star in the doorway), and the Old Grammar School. De Vere House, another incredible building, was the home of Elizabeth Scrope, Countess of Oxford. She was the second wife of John de Vere, 13th earl of Oxford, and was tried and then held under house arrest for Witchcraft in 1473.

Would you live in this house? What’s your favourite place to visit?

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Snowdrop Magick

The Snowdrops are out!

Galanthus, or snowdrop, have two linear leaves and a delicate, drooping bell flower. They are affectionately known as “Candlemas Bells” and “the Fair Maid of February” due to their appearance around Imbolc.

“The snowdrop, in purest white arraie,
First rears her hedde on Candlemas daie.
Whilst the crocus hastens to the shrine,
Of primrose lone on St. Valentine.”

~ excerpt from a 19th Century floral calendar.

Most species of snowdrop flower in the winter, usually before the spring equinox. They symbolise hope and life - they are a welcome sight after the darkness of winter. They are the first flower I look forward to seeing each year, and one of our first flowers to bloom - surely a sign that spring is on its way!

There’s mixed folklore surrounding snowdrops.

On Imbolc morning you can carry a bunch of snowdrops from room to room to cleanse it, a popular cleansing ritual; but Victorian superstition states that you should not bring the house for fear of ill-fortune, perhaps even a death in the family within the year. Either way, I think it’s nicer for all to leave them where they belong.

✨ Magical correspondences for snowdrops:
Triumph over adversity 
Eternal Life 

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Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Imbolc Blessings

We start to see the odd blue sky now. The murky grey skies of December and January will soon be behind us.

Yesterday was Imbolc. 🕯 The Sun has now moved into Aquarius, and this is the cross quarter sabbat marking the midway point between Yule (Winter Solstice) and Ostara (Spring Equinox). It is a festival celebrating the blessings of hearth and home, a festival welcoming the light that was promised to us at the Winter Solstice. 🕯

We celebrate the awakening of the Earth, and the potential this awakening has for manifestation. We move away from the slumber of winter, where we focus on rest and regeneration, and look instead to energetic activity and productivity. 🕯

Imbolc is a day for weather divination. If the weather is “bad”, it is considered that a “good” summer is on its way. The Cailleach, the divine hag, gathers her firewood for the rest of the year on Imbolc. If she wishes winter to last longer, she will ensure the day is bright and sunny, so that she can gather more wood. If the weather is foul the Cailleach is still sleeping, and winter is nearly over.

Hope you had a blessed Imbolc everyone! 🕯 

What did you do to celebrate? Do you celebrate Imbolc, or do you hibernate for a bit longer and concentrate on spring celebrations at Ostara? 🕯 

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