Sunday, 29 October 2017

Celebrating Samhain

here is a link you may like to click on. There are some good ideas for celebrating Samhain - the witches New Year.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Rainbow Bridge - in memory of my cat, Patch

If you have ever owned an animal, you will be well aware of the pain of losing them. Fear not! there is a place for them in the Summerlands, just across the Rainbow Bridge:

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal, that has been especially close to someone here, dies, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone bu.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.  His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers.  Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.  The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…

I first saw this in the book 'Casper', the commuting Cat by Susan Finden - It is a lovely book all about her cat Casper who loved to ride the bus!

The book is available from Amazon or leading book-sellers.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Midsummer Tree

'You might think that the erection of the maypole is a tradition associated exclusively with May Day (Beltane), but you would be wrong. The raising of the Midsummer Tree is an authentic Midsummer custom found in many areas, including Wales, England and Sweden.

The custom was called 'raising the birch' (Codi'r Fedwen) in south Wales and 'the summer branch' in the north and the dancing around it is 'the dance of the birch'.  In Glamorgan the birch was erected on St. John's Eve and was called y fedwen haf, or 'summer birch'.  It was decorated with ribbons, flowers and even pictures.  A weathercock with gilded feathers surmounted it.  The cock or rooster was a sacred bird among the Celts and a bird of the sun.  The cry of the cock at sunrise indicated the end of the darkness and the start of the day.  Celtic festivals were held from dusk till cock crow of the next morning.

Sometimes one village would try to steal another village's pole and it was considered very ill fated and a disgrace to lose one in this fashion.  The bereft village was not allowed to raise another until they had succeeded in stealing one from elsewhere and the poles were guarded all night by groups of youths and men.  In Carmarthenshire the branches of the summer birch were not trimmed off to make a pole, but were decorated with garlands and wreaths of flowers.

In Sweden and Finland, also, a Midsummer tree of birch was set up and decorated.  The villagers danced around it and lit fires and jumped over them.  In Russia the summer tree is decked with ribbons.' from 'Magical Celebrations Midsummer of the the Summer Solstice by Anna Franklin.

The picture above is of the Midsummer Tree oak in Milton Keynes, a large new city just north of where I live. The shopping centre was built around the tree, but sadly in 2005 it showed signs of dying and eventually did die.  The cause is thought to be bad drainage, but who knows?  Perhaps it didn't like being surrounded by shops!

This year Midsummer falls on 21st June. The days will shorten from then on and the nights will lengthen and the Oak King must give way to the Holly King.

Meanwhile, as the flowers open, open your own heart and look for the light within.  Amidst all the chaos and confusion of our modern world today, walk amongst the trees and breathe in their life-giving spirit.

Blessed be.