Monday, 30 June 2008

Glastonbury Festival 2008

A little break from my usual spiritual and incoherent ramblings for a little resume of my time at Glastonbury 2008. Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't brave enough to pitch my tent for the entire weekend, no, I was a local lightweight, and I went on a Sunday ticket! One of the great things about living close to Glastonbury is that one can take advantage of the festival buses that take us locals to the festival just for the day. I had 14 wonderful hours there, and it was great!

So here I am, your sensible host for this mini tour of the festival! As you can see, I am indeed the sensible and somewhat deep person who usually writes on this blog! Haha! If you ever doubted I had the ability to chill and let my hair down, this picture, I am sure, will remove any doubt!

One of the things that I love about Glastonbury Festival is the stuff that happens away from the main stages. I enjoy some of the music, but the Healing and Green Fields are where one will find the heart of the festival, in my opinion. It's worth going just to experience the energy of these fields.

In the Healing Field was this wonderful man who ran a 'laughter workshop' and it was just great! He took us through belly, chest, and head laughter, through to rolling on the floor laughing, devotional laughter and lots of other kinds! This brief video I have made shows you the part where people had to lay on the ground with their head on someone's stomach, and 'feel' the laughter, which of course spread the laughter along the line! I dare you to watch this and not laugh!

As I said, one of the things I love about the festival is the impromptu things that happen. One can be just walking along when suddenly something just 'happens' that one could never have planned or envisaged! One of the highlights for me in this respect for me was The Pink Band.

This isn't the best of pictures, but hopefully it captures something of the moment. The Pink Band were this bunch of extraordinary talented people who just appeared, playing brass music with gusto and, as you can see, just got the crowd dancing, no matter where they appeared! They just threw their heart and soul into their music and the cheers from the audience showed just how much we all appreciated it. Wonderful stuff!

As well as just happening by a band of people dressed in pink and performing an assortment of brass music, one may just happen upon three mermaids. All perfectly normal at Glastonbury Festival!

Of course it's the toilets that grab a large number of the headlines at Glastonbury Festival, and this picture really makes me laugh! Some of the toilets have no roof (probably to let the smell out!) but they also have no 'bottoms' as it were, so one can see rows of feet, as people are getting busy with what comes naturally! So funny!

The festival is wonderful experience for loads of reasons. It has a special energy, and in an odd way this picture of the flags sums something of that up. People, all different, yet going in the same direction, going with the flow, being themselves, respecting each other, showing their true colours, no personal agendas, just happy 'being'. I love it.

Musically, one of the highlights for me this year was the irrepressible Eddy Grant. Again, we just happened upon him. Nothing planned, we were just walking past the Jazz Stage and there he was, and he was brilliant! I think I must have danced, non-stop, for about an hour! I danced with these good people - no idea who they are, never seen them before, I'll probably never see them again, but they were great fun!

And The Green Man watched over all these proceedings, with a huge smile on his face as humanity simply had fun together and revelled in being together.

What a great way to spend 14 hours! I can't begin to explain just how quickly those hours shot by. One would be forgiven for thinking that there must have been 'down time' or 'bored time' within those hours, but no, not a bit of it! I was on the go the whole time and it seemed that no sooner were we being bussed in that it was time to be bussed out!

Quite amazing!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Garden Pictures

I've been out in my garden with my camera today, taking pictures as so many plants are looking just lovely. The gentle sun, the shadows, the various colours and shades of the leaves contrasting with each other are wonderful. I can't help but smile as I look and see, even in my little garden, the wonder of the divine manifest. On some level it seem so trite, so passe, to say that everything is connected, yet there are times when that sense of connection is just so powerful that I have to stop and pay attention. It's like being arrested by the wonder of it all, the magnificence.

I just love the contrast here of the Acer leaves against the bamboo, just incredible. The sun peeping through the bamboo is so lovely, and the sound of bamboo leaves brushing against each other in the breeze is beautiful.

This little beauty was a gift from the Goddess, nothing to do with me whatsoever! It just appeared and flowered like crazy!

An alpine Geranium in flower, and spreading over the garden! This works to remind me that no matter how hard I may try, the force of nature can never really be controlled! Wild, unpredictable and awesome - even in the back garden!

Hydrangea Petiolaris, looking delicate and beautiful.

And this is my lovely laurel tree, in flower and looking gorgeous, and the aroma is divine. So, it sets my hayfever off and I sneeze like a mad thing, what the hell, it's beautiful!

Now I need to get packing as I'm at Glastonbury festival tomorrow. One of the joys of living locally is that us lightweights can go for the day! It's great! We get bussed in and out, and have about 14 hours there, wonderful! I love the Healing Fields, The Green Fields as well as the music, Glastonbury Festival really is about much more than the music, it's a holistic treat, it really is. I can't wait!

I'll post again when I've recovered!

Friday, 27 June 2008

A Tough Day

It was my Aunt's funeral today. It broke my heart, seeing my cousins so upset. I was aware of that awful sense of powerlessness when you see someone so dreadfully upset and you just know that in a practical sense there's little you can do. I could just show that I was there for them, that I loved them, and both physically and spiritually, I could hold them. And I am holding them in my spirit. I could feel love and healing flowing from me as I hugged them - I hope that's what they received.

Seeing family that I've not seen for so long was both strange and wonderful, strange in that I think I forget the passing of time. I get so caught up in 'doing my life' that I forget time is moving on. I know that sounds daft, because we all know it is, the stark reality of this stares me in the face every morning as I shave, but meeting people today I've not seen for some considerable time drove the message home with even more force today! One second-cousin I saw today was a child when I last saw him, today I learned that he's a helicopter pilot! Blimey! It was wonderful in that I was so aware that I loved these people. I've not seen them in so many years, and I don't know when I'll see them again, but there was that lovely feeling of belonging. I know we have our lives to 'do' and live, and our lives are very different, very different indeed, but I so wish we would also meet for happier times as well!

Being back in a Church was strange. I struggled with the Christian hymns and prayers and it seemed weird to be back in that kind of environment. I didn't enter into the prayers, instead I quietly meditated, wished my Aunt safe passage, and sent healing and love to my family members, my cousins, my father, her other brother and her husband of 58 years. Losing a partner after so long is something I can't really get my head around.

So a tough day, I feel emotionally and physically drained, my heart and my love continue to flow to my family and to my Aunt I wish safe passage.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

From Reactive To Proactive

This whole sense of 'being' is a fascinating thing. Today I have been so aware of when I get 'hooked' into things, usually an angry response over something really silly. This morning it was due to the driver in front of me doing something really daft, and I could feel my hackles starting to rise. Then I was stuck behind a huge line of traffic behind a tractor, and I was worried about being late for work. As this happened, my mind was taken right back to this mornings meditation, where I was seeing just this - how I can be so reactive, and respond according to the heat of the moment, and not from this deeper place within, this place of tranquility.

I react, get hooked in, and then I am trapped in this physical response. Obviously, it's okay to get angry, one needs to show a bit of passion about things, at times, but again it's about limitation. If I do this, if I get hooked in, then I am simply reacting in a physiological sense and in a way, trapping myself into this type of 'bodily' reaction, as it were. Where I want to be is in a place beyond that, in a place where my sense of self, my sense of 'being' and my sense of 'Now' takes me beyond the need for petty reaction, where these things no longer have the power or strength to hook and draw me in, because I don't allow them that power. As soon as take the hook, it's like I've relinquished my personal power and given it away - I give power to the bait. I don't want to do that. I don't want to be reactive all the time, firing off about this, that and the other, I want to be proactive, in control, shaping my own destiny, aware of circumstances and situations and making things happen - not allowing myself to get caught up in all these things that simply don't matter.

Living in the Now is such a powerful thing, and it's a place where I want to be. It's so wonderful when I actually step into this place, it's like someone has adjusted the contrast on an old TV and the picture becomes so much clearer, much more focused, and everything looks amazing. Living in the Now is like that, everything comes into perspective, things are sharper and I'm aware of my place and connection with everything. It's moving into an entirely new realm and place of being.

I long to be able to achieve this on a more regular basis. I don't want the hassle and stress of the day to shut out the voice of the Lord and Lady and my Guides, but I am aware that I allow this to happen all too often. I get wound up and caught up in the work of the day, reacting to the emergency phone calls, the staffing issues, deadlines, budgets, targets, all that stuff, that I lose touch with my inner landscape. I am not comfortable that this happens, I want to remain in tune, to react less, to be proactive more of the time and assume the place I should be in: forming and creating my own reality, not jumping to everyone elses!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The White Hart

Standing between heaven and earth this morning was incredible, the energy was so tangible and powerful. I had such a sense of standing between, and a real sense of the presence of Badger as a power animal, he who knows the secrets of the inner workings of earth, I know I wasn't standing in that space alone. It was, as ever for me, a fleeting moment, but standing there was a real powerful experience, and the sense of the tension, the power between the two, and the fact that I was there, in a scared circle, between the two, was quite amazing.

Following this my attention turned again to the Lord card, and as well as badger, the Stag is represented. The Lord card has the energy of Herne the Hunter, who was also Herne the Hunted. When hunting the white hart, I have read that the white hart was a symbol of self, and the thing that the Magician hunts is indeed Self, true Self. So much brings me back to this place, time and time again, but I guess one overriding purpose of this journey is the continual discovery of Self. The layers peeling off the onion, the journeys to different realms, discoveries of deeper truths, seeing self reflected back at me, all reveal continual aspects of Self - it's the personal and spiritual development thing, both happening side by side. How can one encounter Divinity and not be transformed? How can one remain static when the call of the Lord and Lady is to move deeper into the Temple.

This knowledge of self is deeper than a psychological appreciation or self awareness, although that of course has it's place, no, it's about ones true origin and knowing why one is in this time and place - right now. Deeper than purpose, it's about a profound assurance of what Now is about, and ones own place in it. Fully and truly being Self in the Now through a deep and profound appreciation of what that means brings such results for self and others. It takes 'being' into an entirely new realm, as this state of being is beyond relaxation and calm, it's about movement into a new place altogether. Here is a place that I have glimpsed, just sampled, but it's one that I want to learn to simply step into and enjoy.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Heaven and Earth

Turning the tarot again this morning I was presented with The Star and The Lord. Again, two cards that are opposite to each other. The Star speaking of the celestial realms, The Lord speaking of the mysteries and wonders of Earth. Here. once again, the message of balance continues.

As a magickal being I am of both and in both. I journey from this realm to the heavens, to the highest star, and I indeed am A Star. Equally I travel to the Underworld, the place of death, of preparation and rebirth, the place of transformation, the place of wonder. The realm of Gwynn ap Nudd, where souls are prepared for rebirth, the land of Cerridwen, who stirs the cauldron of transformation. This path is a threefold path, and like the World Tree, my branches travel deep into the Underworld, my branches stretch to the furthest star, yet I live this life in this world, bringing into my physical reality the blessings of the other worlds.

Sitting at Glastonbury Tor Saturday evening I was reminded that Gwynn ap Nudd is reputed to have his home there. When I sit there I often connection with that strong transformational energy, the energy of Avalon. The winds of Avalon herald change, that thing that we as humans often shy away from, that thing that challenges us to the core, often uncomfortable, yet growth is always the result. Change seems to be happening in almost every aspect of my life at the moment.

This world is full of wonder and beauty. It's not a world from which to escape, it's not evil and one is not contaminated by 'being of this world.' It's not a 'sinful' place. This world has so much to teach me, there are so many lessons that my spirit needs to learn, and this is why I have incarnated in this time and place. I am here, in this place and at this time for a reason, so it's not about a hunger to escape, but pure wonder of the magnificence of this place and joy at all I have to learn. Earth and the creatures of Earth, the Little People, have much to tell and show me and I learn from Divinity made manifest in nature. I'm here, but I tread lightly, learning what I need to learn and experience in this vehicle, for as long as I need.

The Gods clearly have lots to teach me in this regard - the lesson of balance, of being in this world and learning the lessons of this world, whilst at the same time knowing that spiritual reality extends far beyond the limitations of the physical realm, far beyond the limitations of the natural senses. My living is in the middle world, yet my experience is more than that, and I draw on all experiences and I bring those blessings into the physical reality of this world. At the same time there is a training for the natural senses to learn - concentration, for example, and focus. My wandering, chattering, noisy mind has much to learn in this respect! All too often I seem to be in a place of continual distraction!

The Star heralds hope - literally light in my darkness, and aspects of my life feel a little dark right now, as I mentioned last week. There is hope, the hand of Goddess, held in Her embrace, and nurtured by the Lord of Nature. This light isn't a weak thing, it's a strong, radiant, powerful light, bring warmth and protection and throwing light upon a confused path at times. And this hope, this true 'love and light' I draw down from above, into my experience, into my reality, and into the reality of those who cross my path. This is part of the calling of the Hedge Witch.

So the Star of the heavens, the Lord of this Earth - seemingly opposites, yet I am to assimilate their gifts and blessings into this one life, this one experience. It's one more aspect of the wonder of Perfect Balance.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Perfect Balance

Perfect Balance

I wish every one a very happy and blessed Summer Solstice! The weather isn't really what one would expect at midsummer, but there you go!

Balance has been on my mind a great deal in recent days. The place of perfect balance, as well as being a place of perfect peace, is also a place of perfect power. It's a place where I am close to Source, close to the One Divine Life and in this relationship of closeness I know my own Will, where I know myself, just as I am fully known. From this place the journey both begins and has its conclusion.

Perfect balance comes from the wonder of working with the Lord and Lady, the magickal balance of relationship. Lady Moon, Father Sun, Moon Goddess, Earth God. The wonder of journeying to other realms, together with experiencing the joy and pleasures here on this earth. Sensual and sexual pleasure, the joy of this body, not fearing passion, but knowing that all acts of love are the rituals of Goddess. Exploring the beauty of this earth, the wonder of this incarnation, and yet balancing this with the hunger and longing to return to Spirit, that place of true freedom. Learning to see beauty with my Third Eye and with moonlight eyes.

The Powers of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, the Mighty Ones, also work to bring perfect balance. The powers of the elements work within me as well as without, working the wonder of transformation and transmutation, bringing inner and outer change and supporting my journey, ever closer to Source. Air, freeing, focusing and cleansing my mind, Fire, bringing passion and freedom, the light of the Divine, Water, cleansing and bringing wisdom and intuition, Earth, grounding, nurturing and bringing my spiritual blessings into physical reality.

Walking this Earth, walking the land, is to take that journey into the inner temple, to travel to the heart of the Divine, my feet on the land, yet I am reaching to the heavens as my heart and soul sing to the Lord and Lady.

As I reach to the heavens I bring heaven here on earth, for my highest good, and for the highest good of all who cross my path.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Within, Without, Above, Below

I was interested, following many of the recent posts made on many of my favourite blogs in recent days, that my third tarot card I turned this week was the 10 of discs. The 10 of discs speaks of strong family ties, of going back to ones roots, of building on a strong tradition. I've turned this card, like some others I have mentioned recently, a few times in recent weeks. There's clearly a message I need When I look at this card in context to the others that I have turned this week, it's very clear to me that the call is for me to find that place of rest, that place of security and strength in the arms of the Goddess, and from here, this special, magickal place, to move forward in a strong and proactive way. For me, the cards this week have been something of a confirmation and a reassurance, at a time where things have been happening personally that have had the potential to derail me slightly (bereavement and other significant family worries and concerns) the cards and the words of Goddess and God are clear - "keep moving forward, but not from a place of purpose, effort or neurosis, but from a place of rest, a place of belonging, a place of 'being' which is a place of power and strength."

There is something within me, following some comments I've made on recent blogs, that feels the need to set out something of my personal philosophy, yet with circumstances as they are right now, time isn't on my side. This is something that Crowley calls for us to do, and in a way, this blog is all about that, but perhaps I need to set it out in a clearer way. Perhaps I don't know enough of my own philosophy to even attempt it yet!

My tradition is that of Hedge Witch. I work alone, and the main emphasis of my path is spiritual and personal development. It's a path of personal transformation, of personal challenge and growth. It's a path of relationship, a relationship with the Lord and Lady, as revealed in and through Nature who in turn reveal to me the One Divine Life. It's a magickal path, a wondrous path, yet one that challenges me on every level of my being. It's not all 'love and light' - it's far more one of being hammered out on the fires of Weyland's Smithy, one of continual and magickal change, one that brings me ever closer to Source.

Together with this is a call that it getting louder and louder, and that is for me to work with Ancestors and Guides. I know the names of two of my Guides, and I want to deepen the connection I have with them. Likewise, I have seen glimpses, and that's all it has been, glimpses, of my Ancestors, and I know that I need to travel and journey to meet them in a deeper and longer way. Each 'flash' I get sees them in a town centre, delivering justice to the people of that town. They hear the voices and concerns of the people and work to metre out justice. I feel this is where my call to be 'balance' comes from. I need to connect with the ancient wisdom and knowledge that comes from my Ancestors. This isn't a pious thing, it's not that I see myself in any way in a place of authority, as I don't actually embrace authority. What this is about is me embracing esoteric wisdom, via my Guides and Ancestors, and in turn this will work to inform my future journey.

My path is all about relationship. Relationship with self through close connection within my Inner World. It's about not only knowing my own organic inner workings, but those between my Younger, Talking and Higher Self, working towards a place of initiation where Higher Self can manifest. It is also one of relationship with my Guides and Ancestors, and also one of relationship with the Lord and Lady and thus the One Divine Life. In this sense my path is experiential, yet, at the same time, I work to broaden and extend my own knowledge so that my path is informed and based upon a reliable and sound basis and not 'touchy feely' nonsense. I have no time for 'fluff' but I do hunger after reality.

My path is not Christian and has no basis in Christianity. It is not pseudo-Christian. My path is Pagan and I am proud of that fact. I embrace my dark side and I see my dark side as important as that of my light and I do not see the two as opposing forces, one isn't good and one isn't bad, I see them as two aspects of me that are in relationship and synergy and are therefore 'me'. I am not me without both moving and being in close relationship.

My path is also one of relationship with the Underworld, the Middle Word and the Heavens. I journey and travel between the worlds. The Underworld is the place of death, transition and rebirth. Here I feel the most powerful resonance. Here I am given my birth, following transformation within the cauldron. I journey here often. In the middle world I draw upon my roots from the Underworld and my branches that stretch to the furthest star and I bring into this world those things I am given from the other realms. I bring these things into physical reality, through this vehicle that is my body, for my own highest good and the highest good of those who cross my path. In the heavens I see and know my place on the Web of Life and within the World Tree. I reach to the highest star and I know that I too, like us all, as Crowley said, am 'a Star', I learn of and begin to comprehend my own divinity, my own true self, my own true will. I work with the Moon and Sun energy, the elements, natural spirits, Goddess and God, and all Nature for the highest good of myself and of others.

I believe in my own uniqueness and my own individuality and with this comes my own personal responsibility. My path is a journey of discovery, of returning to who I was called to be before name and form, before my experience of this world caused the adaptations necessary for temporal survival. Whilst this may sound like a journey in reverse, it's a journey towards my own true self.

So my path is a journey, a journey within, without, above and below.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


"Yes, you just have to be balanced Andy, don't you?" snapped a staff member a few years. I was trying to explain why I had written his reference in the way that I had, and he wasn't at all pleased. I think it meant that he didn't get the job, but I had to provide the reality, the balance, in his reference, not to have done so would have been pretty reckless.

This all came back to me this morning as I turned two tarot cards that seem to be polar opposites, one speaking of the need for action, and the other speaking of the need for rest. As I first looked, I was confused, but then the truth of the situation soon became apparent. As a Hedge Witch I am called to 'stand between' - between the world, between light and dark, day and night, justice and injustice - I am called to bring that balance, and sometimes to actually be that balance itself.

I find it incredible that I turned these cards in the week that is taking me to the Solstice Point! That place of perfect balance.

We've been talking a lot recently on our blogs about perhaps thinking too much when we should be actually doing something, and I agree that if we all do is think, then nothing will ever get done. However, I am convinced that what we do, especially when we're talking from a spiritual perspective, should come from a place of rest, a place of calm, a place of deep conviction, experience, knowledge and spiritual power.

I was once involved with a local Goddess movement, and I really thought that this group had something. I soon became disappointed when I began to look closer at the centre of this group, because what I found was not a powerful spiritual centre at all, but a core of questionable motives and general mistrust, suspicion and fighting. The ceremonies and rituals conducted came not from a spiritual centre, but from this fractured centre, there was no place of rest at the core, so things began to falter.

This is what the two cards were saying very powerfully to me this morning. I can be so reactionary, I can leap before I think, speak before I think, move into a place of stress and lose perspective, when at my core what I need is this place of rest. This rest isn't passive and it isn't inactive, it's proactive. It brings growth and it brings action, but it brings these things from a hub, from a centre that is at peace with self and with the One Divine Life. It comes from a place of connection that is aware of that connection, living in that connection and experiencing that connection. Not from a spiritual neurosis, but from a spiritual centre - a reservoir of spiritual energy.

There are echoes here of 'the essence of me' being at the core of all I do, and this isn't about rushing and doing, it's about a sincere knowledge and awareness of self, true self, and of my own true will, and this comes from a deep and personal relationship with the One Divine Life as revealed to me by the Lord and Lady.

So many opposing factors vie for my attention and place demands upon me on a daily basis, but I can choose to operate from this place of calm and this place of calm is a place of strength. I can set the scene as opposed to being ruled by unfolding events, I create my own reality. I do not have to operate from a place of turmoil and angst, I can move from a place of calm that inspires growth and development.

So it is all about balance. Yes, I have to move, there's action to take, I cannot be inactive, but I move from a place of calm, a place of rest, and this is a place of assurance and confidence in who I am, who I am called to be and the tradition in which I have my roots.

This balance is a place of personal power.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Singing In The Pub! (Not The Rain!)

Thanks for the positive comments of 'good luck' and 'break a leg' for the act last night. As you will hopefully see from these pictures, we had a good time! I've been rehearsing these songs (in the car driving to and from work!) for about 2 months, but this was the first time I'd actually sung them with a mic! But it went well. There were other acts, but my partner had given up working the camera fairly early on in proceedings! Everyone who performed last night were really very good and John, who was singing some Irish Folk Music, was determined to perform, even though he's not very well at the moment. The pub was packed, which was great to see, and it really was a fun night - once I got past my stage nerves!

The point of the evening was about raising money for Orchid and to promote the Bower Hinton Bike Ride. I think we've just tipped the £1, 000 mark, and we aim to raise £5, 000 by the day of the bike ride, which is September 7. Orchid fund research and promote awareness of male cancer, which is seldom spoken of, as men are not the best at talking about these things - hence the need to events like this!

Thanks for your support everyone - it's really very much appreciated!

I think Andrew came out and enjoyed himself for the evening!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Plateaux

I am really sorry that I've not had time to post on the many blogs I read, but I'm pretty tied up with rehearsing for a musical thing I'm involved with at the weekend! You can read about it on my other web site, I won't go on about it at length here. All I will say is please wish me luck - goodness knows I need it!

I'm frustrated at the moment, frustrated because I know that I have both a need and a desire to break through into a new place of spiritual and magickal experience, but I feel as though I'm stuck. I feel as though I've reached a plateaux and need to move on, but I'm being held back, and I'm being held back by my own natural defences. When I reflect back to Dion Fortunes comments around breaking free from the power of the senses and 'the flesh' I tend to interpret it this way for me, as opposed to some chastisement for indulging carnal desire. 'The flesh' fears, it has anxiety, it doubts and it learns how to protect itself from the things that trigger such reactions, but at the same time it also keeps the good things out. The person who has been hurt by love, for example, will shy away from love the next time. They will avoid getting hurt by love, but they will also miss out on the joy, excitement and passion of love. I feel a bit like that at the moment, as though I'm something of a closed book. I need to open to Spirit, to the One Divine Life in a way that I haven't managed before, but yet I still resist. My own body is in protection mode, and I need to break it of that and let the real me out!

That's not that I'm lying about me now! My sense of self awareness is acute and well tuned, but Younger Self needs to come out to play in a way that he hasn't for many a long time. He needs to indulge his sense of fun and games and I see Saturday as being part of that. The camp sense of theatre will be just what Andrew likes - provided it isn't another game of hiding and pretence. I can't afford for it to be about seeing approval and affirmation, but it does need to be a letting Andrew free ocassion!

Working elementally I have given these negative emotions of my body to the Lord and Lady. I've released doubts and fears to Air, I've seen worry and a sense of inferiority transmuted in Fire, I've seen anxiety and a drive for perfection washed and cleaned in Water and I've looked to these things becoming a reality in my physical experience in Earth. These things do not define me! It is the Lord and Lady who provide me with my true identity: A Son of the Lord and Lady! A Priest and Magickal Being! I am not subjugated, I am strong and powerful because I am of Goddess and God because they are immanent. I need to move on to what I actually Am and away from what I am not.

I have worked elementally in meditation, but I think I need to formalise this in ritual and ceremony, to build on what has been happening these past few days and to work elementally within ritual and powerfully enter into the experience of releasing these things. Following this, it will then be important to act in accord with the fruit of the ritual.

It's also time to stop writing about it, and actually get on with the work in hand!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Heart Of Goddess

As I journeyed this morning I had a real sense of being in the heart of Goddess, and she in me. Such a powerful place, a place of freedom and security. I became aware of how so many emotions rule me - fear, anxiety, self doubt, insecurity and stress, there's no room for these negative emotions in the heart of the Goddess. Here again is that sense of letting go of these 'fleshy' emotions, those emotions and reactions that belong to the earthy body, as there's no need or purpose in living in that place. I only live in that negative place if I choose to do so. Suddenly so much of recent weeks made sense, it really is about a choice - a choice to be aware of my place on the Web of Life, my place in the heart of Goddess, or to react in this body, this vehicle. It is only me who limits me. It's only me who binds me up, restricts me and holds me in bondage, as Goddess sets me free to live in freedom.

What was also underlined for me this morning was a deep sense of moving into spiritual reality, and not acting out some of kind of pseudo-pagan superstitious thing. It's not about playing at it, it's not about dabbling, it's not about games or quick fix spells, it's about profound spiritual experience based on a firm foundation and sound knowledge. Neither is it pseudo-psychology, it's about spiritual depth. Each time I call in the element of water at the moment I am almost overwhelmed at the sense of depth, and with that depth is awesome power, yet it's still, it's calm, it's peaceful - but strong. There's nothing fluffy here. Yes, water can come as a tidal wave and sweep everything away in awesome power and might, but that power and might is still there when it's calm, because of it's depth. Again I am taken to this place of stillness and in this stillness there is peace, but there is strength and power. The monsters of my mind (the above negative stuff) need have no place here, there's no room for them. I need to clean up and kick them out and allow Higher Self to manifest. I don't want to carry on being reactionary to every stressor that dare present itself at work, I don't want to even rise above these things, I simply want to give them no room as I am confident of my place in the heart of Goddess and this is my place of strength. Goddess is immanant, so what on earth am I doing worrying about such petty things?


Monday, 9 June 2008

Spiritual Reality

I turned over 3 tarot cards in my meditation this morning, and all three carry a similar message. The message is one of testing and making sure that my spiritual experience is based on reality, on truth. The cards are warning of trusting an illusion, of placing my faith and confidence on something that is less than substantial, there is also a warning of fooling myself, of believing that I've had some kind of spiritual experience, when in fact, I've not. Rather sobering, first thing in the morning, I have to say! It was difficult not to come back down to earth with an almighty thud!

I began to read the cards in the context of where Spirit has been taking me in recent weeks. It's been a tough journey of late, a time of being frank and honest with myself and being brave enough to face up to myself. I've been dropping the mask, being real, letting go, allowing 'little deaths' to take place and to embrace the truth of me as seen through the eyes of the Lord and Lady.

In this context, I see the cards of this morning as reinforcing my need to check out what is presented to me for its worth, for its truth, for its value, before I embrace it. Just as I need to be clear about my own motives, so I need to be clear on the motives of those who present things to me, and of the substance of those things that are actually presented to me. I can't afford to be a spiritual goldfish, swallowing everything that is offered.

I have no desire to be a 'fluffy bunny'. I do not want to be someone who sees only love and light, someone who dances solely on the mountains and falls apart when one has to spend some time in the valley. I embrace and accept my dark side, along that of my light, both are equally part of me and both are equally valid. I don't want to be the kind Pagan who buys 'off the shelf spells' and refuses to accept that there's an inner work that needs to take place, or the sort who bulks at any suggestion that spiritual progress demands effort and dedication. I want to give myself to the work, to the Craft.

It's impossible to ignore that the focus for now is on my inner self, my inner landscape - getting it right, getting it sound. I seem to be constantly directed back to securing that foundation, and now it's about being honest as to where I place my confidence and trust. I work hard in the mundane world and my material life is comfortable, I can't deny that. Sometimes I'm uncomfortable about that, sometimes I don't even like it that much, but I think now I'm being asked if this is where I place my confidence and trust. It could vanish over night, my job could go tomorrow, it's more than possible - where would I be then? It's a question of foundation, of being authentic and genuine about that which I build upon. I can pontificate for all I'm worth, but where is my spiritual life at when the rubber hits the road? Where is my confidence, faith and trust based, really?

If all I am building is illusion, it isn't going to get me or others anywhere and I want my spiritual experience to benefit others in a real way. I don't want illusion, and I don't want my spiritual life to just be a bolt-on, simply just a cherry on the cake, I want spiritual reality. I want to fully know the Lord and Lady, just as they know me.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Gaining Clarity

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, it feels in some ways that I've been taken on a roller coaster ride, only this ride has been an internal journey, one that has been purposeful in clarifying what I really feel and believe when it comes to this life in this body.

I think I had my answer on 30 May when I turned the Chariot in my morning tarot meditation. I think the Dion Fortune book has been really useful, there's a lot there that I can learn and grow from, but what it has also shown me is what doesn't fit for me, as well as what does.

I do feel that I inhabit this body for this incarnation. Why I chose this body, I have no idea, but there must have been some reason! In that regard, this body is a vehicle, a vehicle in which my spirit, the essence of me, experiences and enjoys this world. Bringing the Chariot into the equation, this body knows fears, anger, aggression, love, lust, passion, the whole nine yards. These emotions, these feelings, these desires are not wrong of themselves, most certainly they are not 'sinful' but they are capable of being my master, and the key, the spiritual key, is to bring them under my control. If I am controlled by these things, then my spiritual and magickal workings will not be as effective or as powerful as when I bring them under the control of my will. All these powerful emotions and expressions can bring forth great wonders, but under the direction of my will. This is the lesson of the Chariot, and it's a lesson I was supposed to learn about a week ago!

What I have learned from the Dion book is that the essence of me, my will, is not something that lives in my brain, or as I chose to see it; it's not my Talking Self, it's the me that is far more holistic than that. Dion talks of the Will, or the essence of me, permeating from my chakras. I like this idea, as it helps me understand that the me who the Lord and Lady see is the me before name and form, the me before adaptation. The me who chose to incarnate in this time and place to learn and experience what I need to learn and experience in the Now. I am more than my thoughts, more than my brain, more that my myriad reactions to all the events of my life. I am deeper and more than all this. Developing this sense of self is part of developing my will.

So when it comes to Dion's message of being 'free of the desires of the flesh' I read it not as a charge from Paul writing to the Church of Corinth, or anywhere else. I don't see it as some mangled Christian doctrine. The lesson I take from this is simply that I am my own Master, and the feelings, desires and needs of my body are fine, but I cannot allow them to take over. It's back to this personal responsibility thing again. The tail does not wag the dog. It's about channeling what I think and feel, knowing what I think and feel, and not being controlled by these things. I think there is also something of the 'little death' lesson here. Life is continual death, preparation and rebirth, and within this there is a continual letting go and moving on into deeper and greater freedoms. If I am tied to something, dependant upon something, needing something, then I am not free. I explore my pleasures from a position of choice, not from one of enforced control. True pleasure is born of freedom and liberation.

"The nearer the source, the purer the stream" says Dion, and although I probably take her words out of context, this sums up my own spiritual philosophy perfectly. My desire is to intimately know The Source, to celebrate and revel in that Divine relationship and to know and experience the ecstatic embrace of the Divine. This is my inner hunger, and something that motivates me to travel ever forward, getting closer to this goal.

My Pagan journey, my path as Hedge Witch, is one of transformation. It's not always comfortable, change is hardly ever comfortable, and I don't do change that well, really, but it is my path and one that I embrace. From this transformation comes real and genuine joy and celebration. I look to the next phase with a smile on my face!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

What Use The Body?

I've been reading more of Dion Fortune's book 'The Training And Work Of An Initiate' today and have been presented, once again, with her charge to be free of the 'desires of the flesh' and to rise above the senses. She calls for us to see the body simply as a vehicle for our Higher Self to use and that really is the only purpose it serves. When she calls for us to do these things she quotes biblical scripture, and I am really confused by this, seeing as my past is steeped in biblical charismatic Christianity. I am free of that now, but breaking free wasn't easy. It was a very long time before I felt able to continue my spiritual quest, and it is that quest that has bought me to where I am today. She talks about 'Christ Energy' and 'Christ Rays', and this is something that I really can't enter into. I am not a Christian, of any kind!

However, I'm wondering how others see the body and the desires of the flesh?

I can see where she is coming from in part. If we allow the desires of our body to rule us, then we become tied into the mundane world. If we are rooted in the mundane world, then we cannot travel to other planes, we cannot explore the higher and lower worlds. However, it is here, in the mundane world, that our present body lives, and it is this body that enables our Spirit to make sense of this world, and we have lives in this mundane world, and we want to be of use in this mundane world, so we cannot lose our place in it altogether. Where is the balance, and is there a balance to be had? Do we accept that this world is an illusion? A shadow cast by a greater reality, and should we long to shake off this mortal existence for the promise of a greater reality?

Yet as a Pagan I know that all I see is the Divine manifest, Nature is my scripture, it's where the Lord and Lady write their holy writ, and it is with the mystery of Nature that I connect. So I struggle to see it as illusion, but I can see it as a mirror, showing me something of what lies beyond, showing me the mystery of life, death and rebirth and the fact that I do not only have to observe Nature, but I am part of it, I too am part of the mystery. Yet I experience nature through my own human senses, and it is these very senses that Dion calls for us to break free from.

Is there balance to be had here? Is it a matter of experiencing this world through this body, and this world presents as a microcosm of what can be and what truly is? As I learn to travel beyond the limitations and restrictions of this body, of this vehicle, it is then I begin to experience the macrocosm of what really is - the other realms and planes that exist beyond this one. If this is so, then there is still a level of freedom that needs to be found, and it's probably here where I need to move forward, into a greater degree of freedom that relies less on this world and that responds less to the demands and desires of my body. Is this about bringing the body under Will? I don't think the desires of the body are wrong, surely sex, food, love, nature, all the rest of it are to be enjoyed, but are not to enslave? Is that the balance?

I think Dion would probably label me a Mystic and not an Occultist. There are many pages that I need to go back and re-read, and although I am not reading this book as one that will totally inform my path, I have been reading it as I recognise her as a leading Occultist and know that I can learn from her. It's just a matter of what I need to take with me that's confusing me at the moment, I think!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Getting Wet All Over!

All my meditations of late seem to be echoing a similar theme, and this is one of deepening my connection. Today I was called to deepen my connection to Goddess, to the Divine Feminine, but this relationship needs to deepen alongside that of my relationship with the Divine Masculine, my Ancestors and my Guides. It's like I've travelled this far, and now it's time to step up to the next level. In some ways I'm unsure of how to proceed, yet at the same time I know it's about building upon a foundation that has been laid. The preparatory work has been done. Sure, it can be strengthened, but now is the time to build upon that which has been laid. The foundation is ready and waiting for the structure to be erected upon it.

It's a time of careful and watchful building. No shortcuts, no quick fixes, but a steady and methodical process of building a sure and stable structure upon a solid foundation. The building is about establishing those vital relationships, taking them beyond the formal to the intimate, taking them from polite to deep, turning them from acquaintance to deeply personal relationships.

The call has been clear for some time, and forgive me if reading this is boring, but it's like I've been treading water for some time and the God's are saying "come on, dive in, just get on with it!" and I'm still on the diving board, wondering how. I think some of it is about wondering how - just what is it that I need to do? Yet, at the same time, I know it's about coupling my knowledge with my experience, deepening that knowledge base and at the same time taking time to journey to other words, experience other realms and meet the Lord and Lady in vision quests and meditation and bring into my experience and the experience of others the joy and wonder, the gifts and blessings, from those journeys.

I think in a practical way this is about shifting the emphasis of my morning meditations, simply because of the time factor. I think I will reduce the amount of time I spend calling in to the for cardinal directions and base the majority of my time journeying and learning from that. Setting my intention as to who I am setting out to meet and then taking that journey. A kind of solitary visualisation. This will need to start on Monday and over the weekend I think I will start putting this intention into my consciousness and awareness - another form of setting my intention.

I think this is about building upon my tradition, not in a slavish way, but in a way that begins to value my calling as Hedge Witch. I need to explore in a real and meaningful way just what this means to me. Spiritual life cannot just be about dabbling. I don't want to be a 'fluffy bunny' I want to get more than just my feet wet, I want to be in there, swimming and going with the current and exploring new depths.

I just need to stop talking about it and get in on there!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Essence Of Me

It's strange, considering that I talked about stability the other day, as I turned the 9 of Cups in my meditation yesterday, and this card talks about stability - the stability that comes from building on a firm and strong foundation, and this foundation arrives from the assimilation of all that I have been talking about here in recent months. Pagan bookshops are full of books that have instant spells, instant initiation, instant this, that and the other, but true initiation, true spirituality, is anything but instant. It comes from commitment, dedication, preparation and genuine surrender to the Lord and Lady.

The internal work I have been speaking about is something that is on-going, it's a process that needs to continue, as it is one that is leading me deeper into the experience of the manifestation of Higher Self - it's leading to initiation. These past couple of days work has taken over again, but now I need to claim some time back and over the weekend I want to get back into the Dion Fortune book, not to follow it slavishly, but in order to learn from her own experience and wisdom. I know that I have changed quite a lot in recent weeks, Spirit is at work, and I want this work to continue. For this to happen, I need to clear some space, and that can be as simply as taking an hour out with a book!

Transformation and growth is the fruit of my Pagan journey. Theurgy is what it is all about for me, my own personal transformation. My hearts desire is to experience what I once read as the 'ecstatic embrace of the Divine' and for me, this is about deepening my connection with the One Divine Life. I know I am connected, and I know that I experience this connection in a real way, but I want to move further forward in genuine and real experience of this.

This comes, I am sure, from a place of rest. I remember reading a text by Crowley where he spoke about ones own true will being not about purpose. I need to revisit the text, as I didn't fully comprehend the entire piece at the time, but I do remember being left with an impression of true spiritual experience coming not from some desperate seeking of meaning, but rather from a deep and profound revelation of ones true self, who one is as opposed to what one does. I'm sure Crowley meant more than that, but at the moment, it's that aspect that is talking to me the strongest. So the dedication, the commitment, the work that one needs to apply comes not from some desperate neurotic need to please or impress, as with the Lord and Lady there are no points to win, as love is there no matter what. No, it comes not from striving, but from a place of peace and a place of inner commitment to change, and a sense of knowing that this change will be for ones highest good and that the change will bring one to a place of knowing ones own true will. Simply Being.

And this brings me back to something that Shepton Witch said a few days ago, and, strangely, was something I think I said to her at much the same time, so it had to be right - it's about ones own true essence; that 'essence of me.' This is the true constant because this is who I was before name and form, before I adapted to this mundane world. It's about recapturing that essence of me and allow that to seep through all the other stuff.This is the me that Goddess and God see when they look at me, and this is the me I need to start seeing when I look in the mirror.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

New Moon

I had my first ever New Moon Ceremony in the Temple Room this evening, and it was lovely. It was wonderful to meet together with people who wanted to work with the New Moon energy. We set intentions, and released these to people and places for their highest good, and the energy felt healing, warm, gentle, nurturing and yet strong.

My intention echoed my post of yesterday, wanting to move further and deeper into the experience and connection of the One Divine Life. As we worked with our intentions, visualising them getting bigger, stronger and more powerful, we lit tea lights, as a symbol of that intention. I felt this was a good way of engaging Younger Self and working with the inner connection between YS, Talking Self and Higher Self. I will relight the tea lights for everyone each morning as I meditate, sending out the individual intentions for the rest of the group.

A dear friend who came to the group read this poem, and I thought it was lovely. Unfortunately I don't know the source, so I can't credit it or provide a link, but I type it out here for you:

Bow To The Moon

I will stand forever firm
Upon two feet, upon ground
In praise of Lady Moon,
Sister of Mother Earth

I will forever raise my arms
Toward the sky
In praise of Lady Moon
The silver One

I will chant forever in Her names
My voice full of joy
In praise of Lady Moon,
The radiant One

I will live forever in Her light
Soaking my core with truth
In praise of Lady Moon,
The awe of my eyes
The secrets of my soul.

I thought this was lovely. This evening was all about illumination, hope and inspiration for me. I set intentions this evening and I look to seeing them grow as the moon waxes and as I continue to work with the energy raised this evening.

It was so lovely to see people in the Temple Room - that in itself is an earlier intention fulfilled. This in itself is a new beginning and I look foward to the way that the Lord and Lady are going to take these monthly meetings.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Welcoming Change

The Knight of Swords made an appearance in my morning meditation today. He heralds change, sudden change, sometimes unexpected change - this can even mean sudden illness. Herein lies the importance of interpreting cards with the surrounding cards!

As I looked to the other two cards drawn, I saw that at this moment for me, this is about inner change. Real, deep, lasting inner change, and a need for me to respond on a level I have yet not fully achieved to all that has been presented to me in recent weeks and months. The path has been laid out before me, I have the invitation, I have the tools, I have the will and desire, all I need to do now is give myself. I have done this, but the call of recent weeks has been to move deeper, to take further steps, to delve more fully into the mysteries of spiritual experience, to allow ever deeper workings of transformation. To really experience my own divinity, my own connection, my own birthright. It's like I'm being presented with the reality - I've been calling for transformation, I've been hungering for it, but am I really prepared for all that means? When we talk about the inner landscape, sometimes the soil needs to be rotovated!

Part of this is about developing greater intuition. I know this is a gift of mine, but I'm lazy with it. I don't work with it like I could. I don't listen to the prompting of my Guides as I get lost in the muddle and hassle of the day. In the quiet of meditation, it's fine, but I also need to remain tuned in where the rubber hits the road, in the cut and thrust of the day, when the phone wont stop ringing and when everyone is demanding a piece of me. It's here, in these times, that I need to hear the Lord and Lady, my Guides and Ancestors, it's here that I need my Totems. This for me is part of the current mystery - nurturing and moving in connection with and knowledge of the ebb and flow of my inner world within the daily chaos of my working life. I don't want to step in and step out of my magickal world, I want to take it with me.

I was saying on Friday that stagnation equals death, and I turned the same card today that took me on this journey last week - the 2 of discs. The power of the Ace polarised. Moving with change as a recognition that change must happen for life to flourish, for growth to occur. Keying in to the shifts and changes, the movement of Spirit, being sensitive to those small but significant changes.

Change is all around, it's happening at every level and part of my life and there is a large part of me that cries out for stability, for security, for that which I know and understand, yet I'm being taken deeper into new areas, new things, things that I cannot second guess or predict, both materially and spiritually. Change is a constant and in truth - I don't like it. Sometimes it feels like my foundations have been rocked at every moment of my life, that as soon as something feels right, it's gone, it's changed, it's not the same. To have such a spread today that shows me that not only is change a reality, it's a present reality and it's also a necessity is scary.

And here I am on the eve of New Moon, a time where change is signaled, a moving from darkness into light. Life is gestated in darkness, but it searches for the light. I need to open myself to change, to lay the fears and insecurities down and move on along the path that is being opened up for me.