Our cyclical nature

Like the sea we move in cycles, she has a short cycle, in and out twice a day responding to the pull of the moon, we humans however can have much longer ones triggered by relationships, moving around the land or just life.

I’d forgotten about the goals for this blog, even forgotten I had it until today, until I saw someone else’s and realised they were copying their instagram posts over to a website that read like a blog, I like this idea. I am uncomfortable with some aspects of instagram and that includes the platform itself having ultimate control over your words and images. Not sure I want to commit to a stand alone website so for now I think I’ll light a little ember under this one, the blog cycle begins again…

This is the insta account https://www.instagram.com/old_ways_cottage/

Fire Offering Bundles

Inspired by a friend and her ritual fires I’ve started making offering bundles for my ritual fires.

I’ve not been getting hung up on them being ‘right’ or every element having some deep meaning but I grab what is in the land around me at the time. This is a big lesson into just going with the flow as usually I like to research and create very specific things and when I don’t have it all lined up perfectly I just don’t do it. No more.

The core of the bundles I’ve made so far have been bay leaves, I have a big tree I’ve grown from a tiny plant and I love the pop and crackle as the oils in the leaves catch fire.

I then add herbs and flowers that I am drawn to.

Last nights New Moon fire had some thyme, lavender, lemon balm, bindweed and a stem of the old rambling rose that sprawls through the hedge.

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It’s a moment to pause, set your intention and offer the bundle as a kind of sacrifice.

Scrying into the flames of these bundles is also proving interesting.

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Spirit Drumming

Our inaugural Spirit Drumming session was today and it was at once grounding and uplifting.

We were accompanied by buzzards, butterflies, crows and one of the cats graced us with her presence.

The sun shone down on us within the circle of trees and we had the joy of experiencing a cloudbow/rainbow. Not entirely sure if cloudbow is the correct term but that was what it was. A ‘normal’ rainbow is the arc shape with the ends pointing towards the earth, this was positioned way up high in the clouds with the arc almost upside down. Something very disconcerting about seeing a rainbow the ‘wrong’ way up!

These drumming sessions will take place once a month (although we may not be able to fix it to a particular day of the month just yet as we are all so busy in the summertime with festivals and handfastings), an experiential drumming experience connecting shamanically with the heartbeat of the earth.

If you are local and would like to come along please message me for directions and parking info at oldwayscottage AT gmail DOT com {change to @ and .}

 

Our cloudbow, I only had my phone on me so the pictures are no where near as vivid as it was in real life.

 

Crafting

These Goddess dolls can be used as a representation of your Goddess or they can be used as charms and filled with herbs, crystals and your intent.

Hand stitched, stuffed with pure intent these can be as benign or powerful as you wish.

goddess doll

Workshops for these will be arranged for Autumn when the busyness of summer starts to relax and take an in breath.

Smudging

I do house and business cleansing as a service but I also use the technique in ritual and in general day to day life.

It is a practice that has been done for 100’s of years all over the world.

Many modern Pagans seem to go for the White Sage pre made bundles that are easily purchased over the internet (starchild.co.uk) or in local supply shops. There have however been recent rumblings that as White Sage is not native to our European landscape and may even be becoming scarce so we might do better by using something local.

white sage

Rosemary, lavender or our own indigenous  sage that we use in cooking are all good alternatives that many of us could make from our own gardens. If you are in a rush then a simple incense stick or cone would do. You could also use frankincense or myrhh on a piece of smoldering charcoal.

The act of smudging is to cleanse any negativity, it also helps shift ‘stuck’ energies. With a house you can work methodically from the top to the bottom, finishing at the door moving all the energy outside to dissipate. With a person you can do whatever you feel comfortable with, some work from the feet upwards, others start at the heart and work down each limb. Whatever you feel is right for you is right. You can ‘wash’ the smoke over the person, object or building with your hand or a feather or a beautiful smudging fan.

smudging fan.jpg

As well as the smoke from the smoldering herb bundles we can utilize noise, from short sharp clapping to little bells or singing bowls. Sound vibrates through the air which is very effective at moving and cleansing energy that is vibrating at a denser or just a different level. You could also use musical instruments such as a drum or didgeridoo.

Try it out if you’ve never done it before and if you do it anyway experiment with some different methods and herbs. Let me know if you like it!

Busy

It has been a busy year since starting this blog which I had kind of forgotten about so it is time to change that and start using it.

The Hearth has got smaller as people’s outside lives get in the way of their craft lives but that is the way of things in this maddeningly busy and pressured world.

We have family, work, group and animal commitments that all take up a lot of time and sometimes carving out time to practice and connect with other witches goes to the bottom of the list.

I have some ideas for future blog posts and the first one will be on poppets.

A few recommended books

A brief list of books to delve into.

Traditional Witchcraft A Cornish Book of Ways – Gemma Gary

The Black Toad – Gemma Gary

Spiral Dance – Starhawk

Witchcraft for Tomorrow – Doreen Valiente 

Walking the Tides – Nigel Pearson

Treading the MIll – Nigel Pearson

A Witches Mirror – Levannah Morgan

 

An Introduction & Invitation