Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Revisiting a classic......

Following the Spiritual OD of the past week neither of us is ready to come back down to mundane reality, yesterday left us both feeling disjointed and wanting more, wanting to maintain the high level of connection, so last night we decided to relax and watch some TV, nothing seemed to be on, and Lee went up to look at the DVD's, and amongst the choices was the Robin of Sherwood boxset, have to say it was no choice between that and the others, so 1st disc of the 3 series was put on and watched in entirety.

Quality wise it isnt brilliant, especially on a large plasma TV, but when viewed through the PS3 with it's upscaling programming it becomes watchable. Have to say it was wonderful, Clannad music, pagan spirituality ('Stag Man, me likee Stag Man' - as was said by Damh the Bard last week), good cast and acting and beautiful locations, methinks we have found something to watch over the next few nights that will sate the cravings!

If you haven't seen Robin of Sherwood (which was made between 1983 and 1985), and if you have an interest in pagan spirituality, then I would recommend you take a look, a lot of the Lore is very close to being spot on (some bits had to be changed to protect those watching who may have tried to recreate without having the background knowledge), and the ethos and feel of the program feels very right to us both.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Samhain Rites - the Veils are still thin............

As stated in my last post, last night was our Samhain Rite at home, circumstance kept us from performing the Rite any closer to Samhain itself, but as the first frost was yesterday morning (an old sign of the date of Samhain), the synchronicity and symbolism worked well for us both.

The living room was prepared, candles and incense lit, and then a feast was prepared and a dumb supper held, with 'Lady of Avalon' by Heloise Pilkington playing quietly in the background (beautiful soulful music that lends itself to use in Ritual).

Following this a small but meaningful Rite was held, the Circle was cast as per the powerful, beautiful and simple ways of our Coven, Witchenwood, then the Ancestors welcomed with words from our Hearts.

A time for reflection and meditation followed, once more I travelled to the shores of Avalon, crossed through the mists on a punt to meet with my Beloved Dead and the Ancestors Legion Vast, a connection was made, tears shed, joy re felt in their presence, Lady, Willow and Belladonna (our fur babies who have crossed the Rainbow bridge) were again present, along with Mr Biggles, my dog from many years ago, a family member and a Craft Sister also came forth to greet me, along with my unborn son, Simon, visible as both child and young man, then several of the Ancestors allowed themselves to be seen individually. All too soon it was time to leave, and with more tears a farewell was made.

Returning to my body was to find Poppy slightly worried as although we were both physically present she could sense we weren't all quite there on another level, as she became concerned she decided to whine, bark and generally do her best to bring us back!

Lee found himself in a forest glade, to be greeted and acknowledged by Herne and Cerridwen, no words were spoken, nor needed.

A second meditation to check some of the results experienced at our Coven meet on Sunday also worked well, but as the results are to do with Coven techniques I cannot share them here.

Cakes and Ale followed, then the Rite was ended, thanks given and the circle closed. As always time seemed to flow differently and the temperature in Circle was higher than it should be, normal side effects that we are used to.

Following the Rite we were both wiped out physically and an earlyish night was had, we both slept like the dead.

Beautiful, moving and fulfilling, as a Samhain Rite should be!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Old Samhain.................

Hmm, synchronicity occurred today, we had our first Frost of the Autumn, something that some of those within BTW consider to be the actual date of Samhain rather than the more accepted 31st October, which as we have been away over Samhain and busy for the past 2 nights (Coven meeting last night and Damh the Bard concert the night before) coincides rather nicely for our planned Dumb Supper and Samhain Rite tonight!

Samhain is/was the Celtic New Year, also a Sabbat Festival when the veil between this world and other realms is considered to be at its thinnest (also occurs at Beltane), a time when our Ancestors and Beloved dead can cross the veil and walk from the Otherworld into this one, for which reason offerings were left at the doorstep for them in order to placate and allow them to return at the end of the night.

Instead of leaving the offerings at the threshold a 'dumb supper' means setting an extra place at the table and serving food in order for those of the beloved dead present and who wish to partake of the food may do so.

As to whether the veils are at their thinnest because of the Sabbat, or because most Pagans generally believe them to be (and consequently they are as a result of our belief, or perhaps even they are no thinner than normal, just that we are more aware of them) I shall leave for yourself to make up your own mind.

I hope whenever and however you celebrated Samhain and honoured those who came before it was a fulfilling and powerful Rite, that gave you what you needed at the time.

Dark Dreams

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Another Year has passed......

Once again I return, the mundane life challenges that have kept my attention away from where it is supposed to be have now been addressed, time is now right for a return to a focus on the more Spiritual and Craft aspects of my Crooked Path.

To sum up the past two to three years, I stood up at work for what I believed, spoke out (through an allegedly anonymous Staff forum) against changes that were for the worse and found myself being pushed out, something I fought for 18 months, but as my heart was no longer in it I eventually left a job I had been doing for 23 years. 4 months of job hunting and recovery from being completely burned out and I started a new position, one that promised much, but didn't deliver, one that I couldn't fully engage in due to the nature of the industry, boring and mundane to the extreme and unfortunately not really my cup of tea, but it paid the mortgage, although prevented our traditional Samhain trip to Glastonbury. I stuck it out for 18 months, and then up popped a dream job, application went in and I was successful in obtaining it. I now work as a Trainer / Assessor within the Cycle Industry, visiting apprentices throughout the NW of the UK to help train and develop the next generation of Cycle Mechanics, as one who has always had a passion for bikes it is an absolute dream job, I get paid (reasonably well) to visit bike shops and talk bikes, it can't get much better than that!

Due to the required focus on the mundane for the past 18 months I haven't had much chance to practise my Craft, don't get me wrong, the connection is still there and when the need has been felt we have done what was required, but nothing formal was planned or done, this started to change this year.

Once it was confirmed I had my new job life immediately seemed to change for the better, the stress that had crept back in and the job security, money worries and work life balance problems all seemed to melt away. For our holidays we weren't able to get the normal dates, and had to take August Bank Holiday week, which meant camping at Shell Island was definitely out, so instead we planned a trip to Cornwall, staying in a refurbished Barn on the edge of Bodmin moor (middle of nowhere:)), with an overnight stay at The Covenstead in Glastonbury on the way back.

A visit to The Witchcraft Museum at Boscastle, followed by Tintagel, then 2 nights of exploring Cornwall, including being led to the Hurlers Stone Circles on a beautiful moonlit night, our Crooked Path was once more beginning to move forwards. Cornwall is beautiful, a place with definite connection, but the stay in Glastonbury was something we were both looking forwards to.

Staying at The Covenstead was amazing, luxurious, lush, fantastic decor and Adele is the perfect person to run such a wonderful place, warm and friendly greetings indeed from one who has more experience of the Craft than most, a connection was made and we immediately booked for Samhain this year and Beltane for next.

On returning home we both felt a new vitality and a renewed purpose in exloring our Paths, more was done at home and out and about, then a new group was brought to our attention Witchenwood that seemed to be just what we were looking for, less Wicca, more natural and BTW, we immediately applied only to find the group was being formed by 2 friends and former Covenkin!

The group is still forming, but regular meetings are happening and a connection has been made, unfortunately we weren't able to make the Samhain Rite as we had booked for Glastonbury, but none the less it appears to be where we are needed at this time.

Our Samhain / Wedding Anniversary trip to Glastonbury was amazing, 2 nights in the Halloween Honeymoon suite, again a fabulous welcome from Adele, and The Covenstead was magnificent in it's Halloween decorations, over 200 trick or treaters visited between 6 and 8 pm!

Whilst the Trick or Treaters were having their fun however, the invited adults and guests were having some quite in-depth conversations of their own, more connections were made and much wine and spirits did flow.

After 3 days of connection, relaxation and shopping we returned home on Friday (7 hr hellish trip due to the traffic - seems like someone is trying to tell us something each time we come home), ready for a trip to Leeds to see Damh the Bard last night! Awesome night, awesome gig, awesome guy!

Tonight we are off to a New Mooon Rite with the Coven, I know I need to start writing again and will hopefully be doing so in the near future, but thanks for reading.