Urban Pagan in Somerset

Urban Pagan in Somerset

Sunday, 30 May 2010

picking up other people's baggage

Another interesting week and one of deep lessons to take in. Lifes like that isnt it!!

Its quite interesting when people have insecurities how they deal with them. Im one of those people who takes things in and worries until my inner self kicks in or brings me a message through something external - maybe a friend, something i hear on the radio or an overheard conversation. Others will deal with it by making someone else feel small or insecure which may make them feel better about themselves. Others might pretend nothing is wrong, and another way - a good friend of mine does, is to laugh at them.

I must say I prefer the laughter approach. Laughter is very precious - there are therapies based around humour and laughter, and things always seem lighter after a good belly laugh.
In the story of Demeter searching for her daughter Persephone, after Hades has stolen her, the Goddess Baubo lifts her skirts exposing herself to Demeter to make her laugh. Its the kind of humour that brings on a real dirty belly laugh that can be really healing - specially for a woman.

My own insecurities rose this week as a result of picking up someone elses insecurities after they got rid of them by handing them on to me. Literally picking up their baggage. Im trying very hard to remember to put it down - its not mine and i dont need to carry it, thats not my job!!

There are going to be times when I forget this, of course. But im trying really hard to remember. Ive made one or two affirmation cards and put them around the house. I shall also take some to work as its there that I find im most in danger of picking up stuff that isnt mine.


Monday, 17 May 2010

Goddess Goddess everywhere.

Just now it seems that the Goddess energy is all around and I feel so energised and appreciative of Her. On sunday I had a wonderful day meeting a new circle of powerful and beautiful Goddess women. I know it sounds cliche but it really was just like going home. I still feel completely rested and full of the love of life riding on that experience.

I'd also like to let you know that the new copy of the Goddess Pages to be published shortly will contain an enlarged version of my article on the menopause entitled Ride the Storm and Dance with the Crone - the messages of Menopause

The magazine is really good and well worth buying (and not because some of my articles have been in it!! lol) You can buy a hard copy or download it online.
Find it at http://www.goddess-pages.co.uk/

The Goddess circle is at Yoganature in the village of Wootten near Canterbury.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Speak Up!

What an interesting week its been! It started fairly quietly, back to work on monday, pottering around at home. But then I developed this painful ear! Within a day it was swollen and sore and I couldnt hear a thing out of it. The trouble is, it was my 'good' ear. Im sure you know what I mean. Like lots of people, I have one ear that hears 'better' than the other one, its my phone ear too, so when you take it out of action, things are not so great! I tried a little warm almond oil for a night or two but nothing worked. So next day - visit to the doctor and yes - it is infected. The medication is slowly working - the pain is less and the swelling down a little, but its going to be another week or so before I can get it syringed. Its given me quite an interesting experience though.

Ive never been worried about being alone or needed lots of external noise to feel comfortable, but its quite interesting how I have almost retreated inside myself due to the inability to hear properly. At work I have to run a busy kitchen so giving instructions to the catering staff is fine and they know I cant chat at the moment but I noticed that I have to let anyone visiting, other school staff etc know I cant hear them as they seemed to assume I was ignoring them when the truth was, I just hadnt heard them speak to me. It made me think about the way we have to oil the wheels with each other each day to make sure we all get along. How easy it is to take offence for some people. I think this speaks a lot about their own feelings of self worth or self importance sometimes. (being fairly deaf at the moment gives me a lot of inner time to think about stuff like this lol).

Like a lot of people, I too think I can take offence too easily, feel slighted when nothing was intended to slight me. Its all down to my own self image really and made me think about how I relate to my family, friends and workplace. Are the occasional insults I think I have had aimed at my job and role here really what I think they are? Or am I just being oversensitive? What does that say about me and how I relate to my role here? I remember the saying that no one can make you feel lesser than them other than yourself. So do I think of myself in a less favourable way? Maybe I do! After all - dont we bring these things to us ourselves sometimes by making assumptions thats how a person thinks we are.

What an interesting time its giving me. Im certainly going to try and use it as a situation to learn from and its given me a lot to think about in my temporary silent world.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Simple weekend

Sometimes its just so nice not to have any plans for the weekend. Working in a busy school kitchen as I do it can be hectic and chaotic making sure everything is ready for dinner each week day, and tiring as there are lots of heavy pots and equipment. It certainly is a physical job. Im not complaining - I enjoy the work, but by the end of the week, the weekend is a refuge, an island of satisfaction to enjoy.

Sometimes I like to plan outings, maybe Im attending a circle or Goddess event. I may just feel like taking my children somewhere beautiful with a picnic or mooch around a museum.

Then there are the weekends when I just want to sit and look at the garden, a book, close my eyes and listen to music or silence. Its not always easy. My youngest child Rhiannon is 6 years old and a whirlwind of energy, curiosity and adventure. So sometimes compromise is neccessary - maybe a short trip out, a walk by the sea to collect stones, shells and other treasures. Actually that is always very quite refreshing to a tired soul in need of time and space.

This weekend, I needed that space and rest. And its been so pleasurable. A visit to Grandma's yesterday fulfilled Rhiannon's need for an excursion and play.
Sunday lunch out today is a treat for me - someone else cooking a delicious meal.
The sun isnt out so Im putting the dandilion collection off for later in the week - I can make wine next weekend. My seedlings will last another week for planting out and maybe another week outside will harden them off a little more beforehand.

The biggest exertion of energy has been done - the tidying, laundry and making beds on friday night so I could seriously enjoy relaxing.

Sometimes a simple weekend needs to be VERY simple.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Wyldewood Coven Circle - opening in Canterbury

Ive been having quite a few dreams lately about forming a new circle/coven in the Canterbury area. The last one - last night even gave me the name of the new group and I have decided to go ahead and get it up and running. I thought it might be useful to put this on my blog as another way of getting the information 'out there!'

This is a new coven/circle forming in Canterbury. Open to women and men. It is an adult group but open to family celebrations for the wheel of the year festivals. Full moon and other circles are for adults only.

This is a group open to those with or without experience to share knowledge and support for anyone wishing to learn, as well as for those with plenty of experience wishing to be part of a community of witches/pagans/wise crafters.

It will be a fairly eclectic group not following any one tradition although the main focus will be working with lunar and solar energy and the wheel of the year festivals. There will be the offer of initiation along the way for those who wish for it, although this is not necessary and doesnt confer any heirarchy within the circle apart from experience.

We will also be searching for an outside space where we can work in privacy and outdoors as often as possible.
Contact me if this interests you

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Riding the Storms - a menopausal journey

Ive come to that age now when my body begins to change again as I make ready to initiate into the time of the crone and its a strange sensation sometimes. Thinking about it recently took me back to when I began to change as a young girl, developing hair in odd places, filling out on the hips and developing breasts. I dont remember it being particularly obvious at the time, apart from the weird sensation that I had two bumps appearing on my chest when at one time it had been smooth.

I hadnt had any teaching or support from family regarding periods as I came from a fairly repressed kind of family environment. My mother is a strict evangelical christian and kept things fairly secret about bodily stuff, and when I did finally begin to bleed monthly, it felt more like a dirty secret than a life affirming thing. But thats another story.

Since then, working within pagan and earth based spirituality, I have come to love and appreciate the workings of my body (in all its fantastic and sometimes uncomfortable, messy glory!!) Sometimes I found myself considering it was a nuisance which is emphasised by our society's attitude towards it too. Think about the adverts with their messages that you can still 'live a normal life' using their products when you have your period, coyly pouring blue water on menstrual pads or tampons rather than showing anything remotely like blood!

But then I will remember its a time to slow down and listen to the messages my body has for me. To rest and allow the experiences and lessons life offered to be heard. A time to enter the red tent.

I began a committment to myself to honour that part of myself. I sometimes collected my blood to pour onto the earth. To make that connection to the Earth that nourishes and holds us. (I had the most amazing tomatoes when I used it to fertilise them!) I looked at various ways to collect the blood, from buying pads, to making reusable ones, using a mooncup and sea sponges. Although my life didnt always allow for me to rest for the first day, I would still make time to sit quietly after work, maybe a soothing bath with beautiful smelling oils by candle light. All this led to a desire to really understand my life and connection to everything. And so I like to honour and acknowledge each change and development I move through.

For the last year or so, I have got used to the fact that my monthly bleeds have changed - sometimes waiting for 6 or 8 weeks for it to put in an appearance. Just lately I waited almost 3 months beginning to wonder if it intended to ever show up again at all!! I had noticed some differences in myself too. Quite subtle changes at first, I dont eat any more than usual but find it easier to put on weight, I feel more tired after physical exercise and little things like dryer skin and eyes are another sign of my ride into the menopause.

Finally the other day, I had my very first hot flush. It was a strange sensation and for just a few moments I felt otherworldly. A slight out of body sensation along with a feeling of heat and damp skin. For a brief moment my body raged in a storm. My hair clung to my damp face and a fire raged through me, eventually ebbing away and leaving me a little lightheaded. Had I never been interested in meditation, magick and being in the moment, maybe I wouldnt have found it so interesting, rather than being the 'nuisance' some women feel about it. Similar to my feelings about my periods really.

I believe each step of the development of a womens body is an initiation. The maiden begins to bleed and develops into a woman - taking a step into the initiation of the Mother phase. This is the time it is possible to become a mother in my opinion, rather than actual motherhood. She has always had it within her to give birth, to babies, her life, ideas, projects etc. All with the creative flow within. This gives her the momentum to move with that energy.

And after many years the mother finally releases this outward flow to internalise it and take it within. She initiates into the Wise woman - the Crone. The blood still flows within and the creative juices are concentrated in her. Still possible to create, to have projects and ideas but may be more internally than projected outward. She has all that life experience and wisdom to share with the maidens and mothers that come after her.

Sometimes its not convenient when a flush comes upon me. Maybe its annoying because its getting in the way of what I might be doing that day. It doesnt respect my daily life - I may be at work and trying to get the childrens food ready for lunchtime, or maybe at a meeting. But it is another reminder to slow down, to look at everything around me, at the flowers, at my family, at my life. And to listen to the messages my body is telling me as it points me towards this new initiation experience and to remember to revel in the experience of riding the storms.