Small Steps

Hard times. But I am moving.

Today, I have a cold. Sneezing, coughing, battling to keep warm (or cool), headachey… brain too furry to do much. Plans put by the wayside as I return to bed.

But something shifts in me, as I sit and think. 

In recent times, my head has been almost suffocated by the thick fog of negative thoughts. But with recent medication changes, I’m starting to see clarity again. The fog is thinning. My lovely doctor is thrilled that my natural smile is returning.

I’m finding myself again. I walk around this house, where I’ve lived for ten years now. My home, with my wee family. Full of the stuff of our lives: physical things holding unique memories, but also games played on the stairs with kittens, pups rolling around on the rug, hugs and laughter in every room…

When that black fog (dog?) rolls in, my tactics are now taking effect. I light a candle for focus and brightness. I burn sweet incense to remind me of magic and ritual. I walk barefoot across the wooden floors, wrap myself in blankets I knitted, immerse myself in stories that engage…

I write random thoughts to share, for those who may feel as I do. To prove that I can still express myself, create, speak up – that my mind is my own. This is me. I’m still moving. It is possible.

The cold germs force rest. With every sneeze, badness is spat out and my head clears (briefly!). I trust that my body does its thing and evicts the toxic, as I am trying to do with the unhelpful thoughts. 

I reach out with my words… magic from the tips of my fingers, to reach you.

And I smile as I imagine you reading. 

Much love, my friends.

Wands

Today… still tough times, but doing my best. 

A lovely gift-to-self arrived, as recommended by an old friend. Two magic wand/crochet hooks, created by the talented LittleBirdSOS on Etsy. 

This is a skill I’m really not great at, but with such tools and super-soft yarn, I’m going to be making something pretty!

Even if a day is dark or difficult, I hope to have something to show for those few hours. Inspiration in creativity – even if it’s a bit wonky!  

Remember: it’s not a mistake. It’s a feature… 😉

Visiting the Otherworld

Awake in a hotel room at 4am this morning, to reach Stonehenge just after sunrise.

Fog wraps the land in a blanket. Driving is a challenge, carefully navigating the obscured pathways and sudden signs, as well as roaming wildlife. Every move forward reminds me of the journeys we tell in story, of stepping through the mists into the Otherworld. I’ve no idea what lies beyond.

Barefoot on damp grass, I step into the circle. Breathing deep, the words come and the ritual begins. I’m aware of those watching, in body and in spirit. Focus. Feel the weight of the stones.

Cameras are clicking, guards in high-visibility coats hold the space in their own way. Curious jackdaws glide overhead. I feel welcomed, held, just one of so many who have held similar rites in this small area across the centuries. The powerful places help us mark the important times in our lives, after all.

We conclude, congratulate and smile. Questions come, thick and fast, but all curious and well-meant. Small applause from random strangers, caught up in the theatrics of the moment, but happy to be part of something…

We all return to our everyday lives. I will perform this rite again, perhaps even in this place. Every one unique, every day its own. Walking the line between the Otherworld as it touches this.

Each memory of such an occasion is held, honoured and celebrated. And I’m so very glad to be a part of it.

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Telling Tales

I love books.

This is such an understatement. Those of you who know me… well, you’re probably the ones who’ve called me a Bookaholic (hey, it’s a relatively cheap and safe addiction!). I have to have reading matter about my person at all times. My bookshelves rarely have gaps.

So I love, of course, to hear about new books, with exciting uncracked spines that I haven’t explored yet.

Sometimes I ask for recommendations from friends, as a random dip into the reading worlds of other people. Social media is great for this, and today did not disappoint. Heaps of ideas ensued, which started to follow a trend for ‘magical realism’. As a good Bibliomancer, I’m not one to ignore the signs when they’re right in front of me – so I’ll be duly investigating these new territories with enthusiasm.

Then I remembered – years ago, I created a list of recommendations myself, when I was being asked about Pagan-related fiction. A quick hunt and it turned up here. Some well-known titles, some more below-the-radar – but all fondly held in my mind and heart.

Books are to be shared. Stories are part of my spirituality, the myths that make up my life. I even recall dressing up as a Greek Goddess for school once. Now I’m living my tale with greater awareness as each day/page turns.

What book holds you in its spell right now?

The Creative Web

I happened upon an inspiring passage in a random book today, which stayed with me until I shared it along here:

‘Knitting is a process craft… The true joy comes from discovering the individual beauty of each segment, the feeling of accomplishment when completing a particularly difficult section, and the sense of challenge that lurks as you plan the next project. In other words, knitting is like life. We have to enjoy the journey if we expect the destination to mean much.’
(From ‘Zen and the Art of Knitting’, by Bernadette Murphy)

There’s been some lovely thoughts out there on creativity lately, with the best yarn-based blog coming from Nell at The Animists Craft (Soul Weaving). I’ve even blogged about writing before, over at The Catbox (Words). We each have our preferred ways of keeping hand and mind busy, making something which wasn’t there before.

When broken down into what makes creativity – imagination, tools, hard work, swearing and joy – the above excerpt can relate to pretty much any creative act. Painting, writing, gardening, cooking… probably even processes that I have no idea about, such as programming and coding.

Because it is about life. Acts of creation fuel our fire, make life worth living, allow us to express ourselves and pass on a little of what’s in our minds.

I deny that anyone is without creativity, by the way. There’s always something that you can do – whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is subjective. Creation just is.

That little paragraph lurked in my head as I took up my own knitting today. The exploring of ideas, the philosophy and simple (yet complex) ‘why’. There’s no easy answer… but it didn’t stop me in the doing. The end result is lovely, the sense of achievement grand – but the getting there can be even better, as the spell itself is woven.

Where did your creative journey take you today? 🙂

Two Things… (Part Two)

Three years ago, this happened. Please follow the link and have a read.

This was the first time that my partner and I stepped into the circle at Stonehenge, barefoot on the grass at sunset. My breath was literally taken away, and I couldn’t speak for a few minutes, such was the weight (literal, historical, spiritual… everything!) of the place. Not just the stones, but the land, Salisbury Plain itself.

A huge turning point in my work, it was also one of the most memorable days of my life. We gained some wonderful friends, joined together in love and community, following in the steps of our ancestors by truly marking such an occasion as we did.

I give thanks to those stones, to this land, and to the lovely people who asked us – a deep honour and privilege. The magic is still being made…

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(Image copyright to the talented team at Peacock Obscura)