Frosty Morning

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Soft grey sky

Belying the killing cold

Temperatures plunging

Diving in to that icy pool

Wood pigeons fluffed up

Cocky against the cold

Marching smugly

Through frozen grass

So steely

The wind doesn’t have a chance

But we stay inside

Admiring echoes

Of misty Niflheim

Wondrous at beings

Resilient enough not only

To bear it

But to revel in it

To thrive in what can kill

Having said that

We smile and create

A tiny corner of Muspelheim

With nary a fear

Of burning the house down.

My Blog – A Quick Disclaimer

Everything I write on this blog is based purely on my own experiences and my own UPG (unverified personal gnosis), unless otherwise specifically stated. I feel it’s a good time to put this as I’m committing to blogging more as part of my current spiritual journey, so I don’t want anyone suddenly citing me as a source or, conversely, becoming irate because I don’t know what I’m talking about. Quite often I will, in fact, not know what I’m talking about! Sometimes I do, of course. I try and differentiate between the two and cite good sources where possible.

For Irish Paganism and deities, the most respected sources I have found are The Irish Pagan School and Morgan Daimler. Source material is widely available with a bit of research but I often use CELT and the Mary Jones website.

I’m not a heathen or Norse Pagan, but I may be blogging more about Loki this year and these blogs will fall roundly into the “I don’t know what I’m talking about I’m just happy to be here” category. I’m grateful to friends for pointing me in the direction of the Lokean Welcoming Committee, and beyond that I’m exploring the original myths again, and reading Pagan Portals: Loki and Worshiping Loki. Expect related blogs and poems (so many, many poems) to be hugely UPG.

For Hekatean practice, I’ll cite sources as appropriate but expect experiential blogs and UPG – for example, I personally equate Her sacred crossroads to the power of choice.

Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living is out in April and if I’m blogging about the topics in this book, I do know what I’m talking about as the research that went into this book was painstaking. Protecting our planet is of the utmost importance and I am passionate about this subject. Of course, some stuff is still opinion based and experiential and I do try and make this clear where needed. Preorder from any good book shop! 🙂 The same goes for the Pagan Parenting book I’m co-authoring. Links to follow once I have a publication date for that one.

Finally, my magical and seasonal practice generally draws directly from nature so my sources for this range from books to spellwork to standing outside and staring at the moon until my eyes water. I’m currently writing about birds so I’ll cite sources for folklore and mythology for anyone interested.

Thanks for reading. I’ve been cited inappropriately before and it makes me uncomfortable as there are more informed voices than I. My writing aims to entertain and inspire, and if it prompts you to seek more deeply, that’s a win all around.

Feel free to drop a comment if there’s a particular aspect of any of these topics that you’d like me to explore!

Cold Moon

January’s full moon has many traditional names, from Wolf Moon in America to Old Moon, Snow Moon, or Cold Moon in Europe. I like Cold Moon – it’s frosty right now in Yorkshire, not snowy, and January is a deep, cold month. It encourages us to rest and recharge, but holds a dark and inviting well of inspiration to draw from for the year ahead. Combine that with the energy of the full moon and you can start to really feel the anticipation for what’s to come thrumming and thrilling through your veins.

Thank you to my beloved husband for stopping to take this photo of the full moon rising into a glowing sunset. Stunning.

Written, not yet Writ

Pouring frazzled words onto

Digital paper

Quill in my own blood

Hardly plucked

From a falcon’s wing

Only my own

Tortured imagination

Obsession with fiction

Becomes fascination with fact

But truly

The latter came first

And now I carefully

Build a wall between them

Brick by imaginary brick

A mental dam

The floods pushing, cracking

Tiny trickles teasing over the top

Stop

Listen

Sigh in relief

Listen, you’ve done your work

Commitments met

Thanks given

And this fascination

This fascination held since you were

Your daughter’s age

Is natural and holds

No contract.

So why do I feel

Like I could dip this

Quill in my own blood

And sign off right now

To the Falcon; the Mare: the Giant

Ice and Fire incarnate

Mischief manifest

Chaos eternal.

But I take a breath

Smile

And for one more day

I simply don’t.

PaganAid Auction Live!

There’s only a short time left to grab one of the amazing items in the PaganAid auction! Many items are bespoke or unique, and I’ve donated a poem that’s written just for you – go and name your price!

PaganAid is a charity that works to fight poverty and protect Mother Earth. Currently, the charity is raising funds to support indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest, and to help protect the forest itself. Find out more about the amazing work PaganAid is doing here.

The auction is now a yearly tradition, and I have a few choice items that I’ve won over the years, including a bespoke Red Fox ornament that’s currently on our tree.

This years auction winners could take home signed copies of a number of popular pagan books, handcrafted plaques and Godposts, or even a stunning runic steel gauntlet that’s currently only at £30! An easy way to get your solstice gift shopping done – and raise some money for an amazing cause. Go see what’s on offer at this link. I’m off to bid on some rather beautiful Yule cards!

Autumn Equinox: Reflect, Relax, Rejuvenate

Glowing skies above West Yorkshire

This equinox lead up has been a melting pot of fiery sunsets, a huge and glimmering moon for three nights, and an unhealthy dose of insomnia. Colour me not surprised to find out that many of my magical colleagues have also been kept awake by the weird and wonderful energies of the season. Late one of these sleepless nights, while gazing tiredly at the Harvest Moon, three words popped into my head:

Reflect

Relax

Rejuvenate

The equinoxes have always been a time of reflection for me. What’s happened so far this season? What am I planning for? What am I happy with? What do I need to let go of?

Relaxing is a different kettle of fish. I naturally find it hard to unwind, and at this time of double school transition for our house, and tentative planning to safely go away somewhere, plus a thousand other demands on my tome, relaxation seems a distant dream. Magic, of course, is about making the impossible possible! So I need to find the time, even if it’s only 15 minutes here and there, for stillness and peace.

Rejuvenation is about filling whatever cups are currently empty. I believe that what you need changes rapidly, so keeping an eye on what your daily “fuel” is can help you keep on top of your energy levels. To be absolutely clear, that’s something I’m failing miserably at, right now. I’ve let stress take over and I’ve taken my eye off the internal ball, so to speak. However, this weekend I’m meeting (safely) with kith and kin, spending time outdoors, and time with the kids without the incessant demands of school. I can’t bloody wait!

Whatever the equinox means to you, I wish you well and may you carry warmth and happiness with you into the coming season.

Urgent – Please Share and Signal Boost!

Wildfires in Greece are taking a serious toll, not just on people but on animals as well. One example of this is at Ranch-Eros, an animal welfare rescue centre and home to many, many horses who are struggling and suffering due to the fires.

Members of the Hekatean community and beyond, gathered together by the rather amazing Tara Sanchez, are trying to drum up support for the ranch to help feed and water the horses and raise awareness of what’s going on right now.

There’s a two-fold joining of practical and spiritual energies, with a Just Giving page to raise money for the horses, and a Ritual to Hekate Eurippa (horse finder) composed by Tara and including a prayer I finished this morning specifically for the horses. Many of the horses were missing until only a few hours ago. They have now returned without a single burnt hair, which seems remarkable, but they still need help.

If you can donate, please do. If it’s appropriate for you to petition Hekate using this ritual, please do. If not, please share widely and let’s see if, as a diverse community, we can help some of the people and other animals struggling this disaster that has befallen Greece. Look out for a skills auction on the Facebook page over the coming days. Thank you for reading and, if you can, sharing either this message or your energy to help at this time of the Perseids and the New Moon.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Image by Wild Vibes via Unsplash

My “day job” is as a freelance writer and editor: copywriting, copyediting, marketing, articles, and blogs are all in my wheelhouse and I have a range of clients. I’m lucky to be busy enough to pick and choose who I write for, usually managing to choose clients whose values align with my own. This means I’ve written articles about sensible eating versus fad diets, how to be more environmentally friendly in a range of industries, and plenty about animal care.

You would think, with such a portfolio, that Imposter Syndrome would be a thing of the past. I don’t know if it’s a trauma response or an integral part of my anxiety, but it just simply won’t give up. Even writing about myself in such a positive manner makes my skin crawl, just a little.

Today was a prime example. I had a new client who had requested some revisions on a piece of work. I hadn’t had chance yet to see what they required, but my assumption was, and always is, that they hated the piece and wanted it all changing.

There is no evidence to back this up. Rarely have I ever had a client loathe what I’ve done. It’s usually just tweaks or some new information they want adding. But the awful anxiety of not even wanting to read what they’ve asked for in case it’s soul-crushingly critical is so real.

Eventually, I tapped on the piece in question and downloaded my revision requests. It was praise for a great article and simple a request to make a minor (but client-critical) adjustment. The wave of relief that washed over me was palpable. There was never anything wrong with my work and their request was more than reasonable and in line with our working relationship. So, why do I always assume the worst?

Just to be clear, this blog doesn’t provide any answers! A previous therapist suggested I always keep my portfolio to hand so I can remind myself of the physical evidence that I literally make a living off folks liking my writing. But it doesn’t help.

So my question is, do you suffer from imposter syndrome? And if so, how do you deal with it?

NaPoWriMo Day 14 – Water

Image shows several oracle cards, the foremost being an image of red-stained water against a pale brown bank, with the text “Water” beneath. The cards are accompanied by amethyst, a wand, and a small cauldron.

Uisce

I hiss like a hungry kettle

My faltering Gaeilge

Always practiced at the altar

In honour of Her

Uisce arís

Not even knowing

If it makes sense to say

Water again

Water again

Red and flowing

Life and dreams

Surely, hardly

What it seems?

Looking for hidden meaning

Trying to understand

Trying to catch the reflection

But breaking it into

Ripples

With my clumsy fingers

Uisce

Water

I see the card again

Roll my eyes at myself

Head to the kitchen

With a glass.