I’m an autumn photography addict. I can’t help but get snap happy at this time of year. Colours leaps out at me from every angle and I want to capture it, hold it, cling onto it as if the fiery colours can actually warm me. Expect a few more like this as the season progresses.
I love the way the red maple leaves look against the brilliant blue sky. What’s your favourite autumn colour?
Joyous Alban Elfed, the light on the water.
Happy first day of autumn, according to many almanacs.
Merry Mabon, to those who honour this name.
Happy Harvest Home, the last grain being stored.
However and why ever you celebrate, may this moment of balance and reflection before the dark starts to outweigh light treat you kindly, and with some joy.
If you have a spare three quid burning a hole in your pocket, why not come to Otley Courthouse next Saturday? I be performing some poetry, alongside many other poets, vying for the coveted OWF Press Spoken Poetry Prize!
Will I have any corn to bring
To place on the stone within the ring?
Will I have flesh to cut and burn
And place inside the bubbling urn?
Will I have neeps and spuds and carrots
To fill these wide and simmering pots?
Or shall I send my body’s milk,
Sweet like parsnips, smooth like silk?
Enough to feed a baby small
Enough for summer, more for fall
And more for winter still, my stock
Is never under key and lock.
I am the harvest, am the land
Though Tailtiu never took my hand
I was not cleared; I am not feared
I am the wise and wandering band
I am the morning, fresh and bright
I am the weary, sleepless night
I am the fractious, fretting squall
The wind, the wet, the weathers all
And on Lughnasadh morn, I sigh
I wipe the slouching from my eye
I bend to suckle, stroke and hold
The family, the one; the whole.
My arts to feed the ones I need
To fill my full and brimming soul.
The dog pant roar
Of a hand saw
DIY, oh why
In this heat
They must be mad
Have they had
Enough of dust
And just one more shelf
Rollers in hand (not hair)
And sleeves to there
Or not at all
Bare breasted men
Sweating and red
Dripping on the deck
Burn, burn, burning
In the July sauna
Each droplet of damp
To the humid mug
Clinging, and invisible
Still they hammer
Just sleep, you fools.
Venus. Image processing by R. Nunes.
I’ve been learning a little bit about planetary magic over the past couple of weeks, courtesy of some daily devotional work to Hekate. I had a lovely little conversation this morning with my eight-year-old son, Nathan, which reminded me of how the most serendipitous things can take you by surprise.
Me: “Did you know that Friday is associated with the planet Venus?”
Nathan: “No, what does that mean then?”
Me: “Well, if you expand that to include the Goddess Venus, there are associations with beauty, love…”
At this point, my little boy interjects excitedly, “Oh! Yeah! The Cure wrote a song about it!”
I crinkle my nose in puzzlement then laugh in delight as he starts singing,
It’s Friday I’m in love!
From the mouths of babes, eh. I wonder if Robert Smith et al knew they were inadvertently evoking Venus as they sang about love appearing out of nowhere at the week’s end?
I hope Friday is treating you well and you have a lovely weekend to look forward to. Enjoy a little bit of musical Venusian magic!
When the sun doesn’t rise
But diffuses through cloud
Like milk spilling
When bird song sends
Onto sodden paths
When the moon has fizzled damply
And stars have sighed and left
Without saying goodbye
When night passes into day
With no great change
Just black to less black
To pale and washed away
This is greydawn
A haunting morn
Not a time
To be reborn.
What a lovely weekend. I was honoured to be a part of the Online Beltane Music Festival, run by the Pagan Federation Disabilities Team, and really enjoyed seeing the other speakers and performers and interacting with the guests. For those who can’t get out and about due to physical or mental health, these festivals provide a real life-line.
I’m lucky enough that I’m quite mobile at the moment. Last year I was pregnant from February to November with various problems including a severe musculoskeletal condition which left me on crutches by the time I was 6 months in. So, despite continuing issues with hypermobility and chronic pain, I’m actually feeling the best I have for ages! So me and my friend took advantage of the summer-like Sunday weather and headed out into the woods.
Our destination was Post Hill, so named because it was previously owned by the newspaper, the Yorkshire Evening Post. These woods have a chequered history, having been used in happy times as a venue for motorbike hill climb events (it’s still a popular biking venue today) but also, in darker times, as a prisoner-of-war camp in World War II. There’s no evidence of these very different yet both very human endeavours today. The woods are lovely, dark and deep…
Just look at this line up! I’m so excited to be on the same line up as Damh the Bard and Inkubus Sukkubus, as well as amazing speakers such as Kitchen Witch Rachel Patterson and Hopeless, Maine‘s Nimue Brown.
Here’s the link to the event. These online festivals have been the brainchild of the amazing Pagan Federation Disabilities Team, designed to allow those who struggle to get to physical festivals a chance to join in and celebrate with the rest of the Pagan community. A stalwart weapon in the war against isolation, these festivals are now being hosted by the main Pagan Federation page which should allow them to reach even more people who may otherwise find it difficult to join in with the celebrations.
A new feature for this year is the Online Beltane Marketplace. Just like a physical festival has stalls, the online festival has a marketplace where you can browse and maybe even make a few purchases. The marketplace is open now if you want to pop in!
Saturday the 12th and Sunday 13th May, from 12pm both days. I’ll be doing a short set of music at 14.45 on both days. I look forward to seeing you there!