Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Winds That Blow Me

A while back I had a dream with a symbol in it which related to four of the winds on the Medicine Wheel. Firekeeper, Nomad, Initiator and Peacekeeper. Lisa suggested I sit with these for a while and that they related to my personal Medicine Wheel.

I can't say as I much liked that. I am not sure I particularly wanted any of these Winds, apart from Nomad. Initiator and Peacekeeper so often seem to be about conflict and Firekeeper is all about passion which often makes me uncomfortable. Nomad is all about connections and stories and learning and questing and that is something I love.

So I have been looking at Moons this year so far and this has made me more aware of the passing of the Winds as well. They don't go in any set order, the Wind blows as it will. On our Facebook we often discuss what the Wind feels like and then Lisa will confirm which Wind it is. Then we get to watch as it unfolds New Moon to New Moon. This year we started with Initiator, then moved in to Nomad, then it was off to Peacekeeper and now we have moved into Firekeeper. This synchronicity struck me quite hard and was an added confirmation and I think it gives me the order of these four roles on my Wheel, East clockwise round.


So first we have Initiator, which I believe sits in the East of my Wheel. The Initiator is the role which sparks people in to dealing with things, difficult things. This is a role which often gets peoples backs up because it pushes aus to grow, if necessary by shoving us out of our comfort zone. Initiators spot something that is not right and they go and get it sorted out. MaryRose is a strong initiator and often talks about this role on her blog and the difficulties it brings.

I am not comfortable with being out there so very much. I like to be confident of a group and my place in it before I let go. I don't much like confrontation or sticking my neck out, I often like to let things be as they are. So the thought of Initiator is not one I like much. Truth is though, I am not shy and when I want to do something I will go get it done, even if it needs confrontation. So I can accept that sometimes I call on Initiator energies to do what needs to be done.

But another side of Initiator is that sometimes we don't need to do things to spark people, sometimes just being ourselves gets people going. Judgement and persecution, as MaryRose says, can be an issue. And this is where Initiator gets me hooked in, because this is what I do so often. I am a mass of contradictions and people tend to see whichever of these makes them feel most uncomfortable and judge me, because of how they feel about such things in themself.

I come from a priviledged background, my Dad was a successful businessman and put us through private school but yet here I am, with poor cash flow but some good assets down at the bottom of the heap despite the advantages given me. I am very clever and well educated and I have some very good qualifications but yet I work in a Warehouse and am one of the most poorly paid people at the company I work for.

People have a problem with posh, moneyed folk and they see that in me. People have a problem with poor folk and see them as inferior, then they see that in me. People have a problem with clever people, maybe because they make them feel stupid, then they see that in me. People who feel superior and clever see me as being at the bottom of the heap. Just by being, I challenge people.

However, those people who are comfortable with their place in society and their gifts etc are able to see me as I am. By being as I am, I challenge people on their perceptions about what is important within our society. i used to do it with the areas of attractiveness and sexuality too, but I began to find that all too much and I think this is a large reason I let myself get fat.

And this all fits because my Initiator is in the East which is our face role, our basic personality and how we are basically perceived. As I get more comfortable with who I am and the place I have choosen, so I find my Initiator to deal with. I do manipulate it sometimes though - I have learnt that making my Boss feel stupid too often is not a good idea for peace and harmony!


In the South is my Nomad. This role is the archetype of the traveler who brings news and knowledge to isolated communities. The person who connects events and brings stories. The spider on the web drawing the corect threads together.

I collect understanding. My worldview is constantly evolving. I liken it to a jigsaw. I find a piece here and a piece there that feels right and I slot them in and my understanding grows. Sometimes I find a whole bunch of pieces that I know are pieces but I just don't have the rest of the pieces to connect them to myself. Then I store them and wait.

My mind is always traveling and searching for pieces. I get bored when I am not learning and thinking. My life can be outwardly dull and look like it is in a rut but it is what is going on inside that matters for me. I travel within myself and this fits too because the South is all about our tools, the things we use for living.


Then in the East we have the Peacekeeper. This role is about developing peace and harmony and understanding as the name suggests. The thing is we often need a difficult question, an unfortunate situation to spark us into moving towards more peace. Think of the military Peacekeepers in the world. Conflict is ironically the outcome of much that Peacekeppers do, but the goal is always to move towards greater peace and harmony.

As Lisa says "The Peace Keeper is unfortunately more often about conflict than about peace. This role is about identifying an issue; bringing it to the surface; and finding a way to resolve it. A Peace Keeper is a good strategist."

So again this can be an aggressive role and an incomfortable one. One that does not sit easily with me because of that connection. The reality is though that I have often thought of myself as a Peacekeeper. In my family, my Dad and my Sister could be difficult and they often required delicate handling and a little manipulation to maintain peace and unruffled feathers. My Mother utilised me in this role as much as she did herself as I was growing up.

It was all about avoiding pointless conflict and often required suppressing emotions and desires rather than upsetting the status quo. And this is at the heart of my problem with this role. My family taught me that Peacekeeping was all about sacrificing yourself, about being a yes person and not a no person, about not getting angry. I think my family mis-used my Peacekeeper, particularly my Mother in many ways, although everything worked out fine, well at least for them it did. I find it hard to live too close to my family, I get a bit swamped in that role again, or at least I used too, not such an issue now!

My role at work is another case in point, again with my Boss. I do manipulate her. I keep my Initiator under control for the harmony and peaceful living of everyone else in the group. When my Boss needs someone to beat on, I accept that role too. Not to say I don't manipulate that too. Last time she threw a wobbly at me I chose to react by crying at her and making the point firmly that she had a right to voice her emotions but when she treats people badly they then have a right to voice their upset too. She could not argue with that or my tears. It was a manipulative choice of come back on my part. Consequently the peace at work has lasted three months so far. I hope it lasts a lot longer.... It's kind of nice!

The West is all about how we learn and share with others. I think the way I question and feed my Nomad comes from the Peacekeeper. I think the way I interact with others and my desire for peace and harmony with others comes from this too....


In the North we have the Firekeeper which again is one I had trouble relating to myself. The Firekeeper is all about energy, passion, working towards our dreams, getting things done in the now, ideas. Lisa says "the Fire Keeper is about being FULL with need, desire, fantasy, intention etc… Basically it’s about whatever fuels us on a daily basis whether it be physical (food); emotional (fear, laughter etc…); mental (knowledge etc…) or spiritual." I don't feel full of energy much of the time and passion often makes me uncomfortable, mostly because for so much of my life I think I have disowned my own.

In a group the Firekeeper may be the one who has the ideas but doesn't put in the hard work, who gets things started. This became pretty obvious to me this last month or so as we have been organising a Hen Party for a friend. I have done very little, I have not felt passionate about this process at all so I have had trouble getting motivated to do anything. (The hen has been too involved with the process, to keen to give her 'friends' what they want and less about what she really wants. The party will be good but ironically it isn't what we wanted to give her, what she wants and probably not what the people who really matter wanted to do either). I have however been full of ideas, the things which we have hung aspects of the party on in an attempt to make it more. But I have not been the one who has worked on these ideas....

With my wedding I was full of passion and I slaved to fulfill my vision. I can see this about myself, and how when I am working at my best and being truly myself and following my soul my Firekeeper is burning bright. I have ideas and vision and inspiration and truly I have passion too and I sometimes have energy.... just not so much physical energy.

The North represents our vocation or destiny.


The final Wind is the one which sits in the centre and tells me who I am. Part of me is very curious to see which way the wind blows next New Moon and whether this will shed some light on this Wind for me. It will either be Warrior, Healer, Dreamer or Visionary in my centre. There are not too many roles left!

As always I have drawn very deeply on the knowledge of Lisa and MaryRose....

Friday, 30 March 2012

G is for Gang

OK - so I am stretching this to talk about some things I want to talk about.... Basically my Gang. This may not seem overly pagan but my connection to the world around me is a really important part of my spirituality...

I am early to work this morning and I had decided to take a few minutes to sit in my car and listen and watch and enjoy the world around me before I went in. There was no one else around because I was early and it was a lovely moment.

As I pulled into the car park, I saw my three Crows flying across it. As I pulled up I caused the Jackdaws to leave in a flurry of nerves. I could see one of my magpies in a tree, watching, and some other Magpies were in some trees in the area where they often have communal meetings. A Seagull called as it glided across the sky. As I sat there, a Rabbit ran on to the grass bank alongside the car park and then it sat there for a while before it ran off again, white tail flashing.

Such moments leave me feeling very happy, very grounded and so connected to the wonderful world around me. These animals are to me, family. They represent aspets of myself. They are some of the totems I have identified so far and that they choose to show themselves to me makes me feel so good.

In my path Each position of the my Medicine Wheel can have a totem associated with and there are 36 stones. So I have a big family, I just have not met all of them yet. Some I have met but I am not quite sure where they go.

Jackdaw is my totem for the Moon of Affirmation. Rabbit is my totem for the Moon of Drama. Seagull, Magpie and Crow are more central I believe and I think Magpie is the totem for my centre.

During my lunch break I scatter seed on the grassy bank by my car and watch my family come to visit. I started by feeding the Magpies, then the Crows worked it and came to join in. Except Crows are definately the boss and they take charge. The area where I put the seed out is theirs. There are three of them, a dominant male, who struts around and puffs up his neck feathers, a bird I believe to be a mate and then a third much more junior bird who is the most likely one to be by themself. The Crows spread themselves over the whole area I throw seed and try to dominate as much of it as possible. If other birds are already feeding, they will fly in and swoop at them and all the birds seem to be nervous of Crows on the wing - even the Seagulls.

The two Magpie's are nicknamed Mr and Mrs. Mr is fluffier and bigger and bolder. Mrs has longer legs and a sleeker body and she runs. She sounds as if she is bossy and scolding him, the nervous one sitting on the sidelines making sure he does what is needed. The Crows tolerate the Magpies most of all but even so, the Magpies are wary. Sometimes they fly off to defend their territory or to join in with a meeting nearby. They also take food away to bury it.

The Seagulls are so very elegant and powerful on the wing, but on the ground they are clumsy. I used to put out bread and then the gulls would take it on the wing without landing. I was in danger of being mobbed and other birds would not get a look in. Now I use seed the gulls are at a disadvantage as they have to land and gather it. They are at risk from the Crows and the Crows seem much more likely to actually attack gulls rather than just see them off. Even so, there are two seagulls that come sometimes.

The Jackdaws have only recently become part of my family to my knowledge and only recently figured out about the food. They are the least dominant of the birds and the smallest. I see them at odd times of the day looking for the smallest seeds which the other birds have missed. i think they still do pretty well. They are pretty nervy and fly away if I make the slightest movement, my presence still makes them a little unhappy.

Jackdaws, unlike the others, hang around in flocks and roost communally. There is a group of about seven who hang around where I work. Sometimes they use their numbers to get seed because Crows can only chase birds in one direction at a time. They make me smile with their mannerisms - they jump in the air and flap their wings at each other and they call all the time.

I also think rabbits come to feed too as I have noticed that there are more droppings aorund my car sometimes. They never come when I am there though and I wonder if they come when the birds are absent too.

It is still too early to see Wasps although I have seen a couple of Bees. Wasps are the totem for my Moon of Welcome and I am endeavouring to learn to love them. I have respect for them and what they bring to me.

How can time spent watching my Gang fail to cheer me up? A drive where I see a bird of mine fly over gives me a special moment. Opening the back door and hearing a Crow call gives me a secret smile inside.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

F is for Falconry

F has told me what he wants for his next birthday. He wants to go and do a half day session on Falconry at a local sanctuary. Now this sounds like a fairly normal and cool thing to do for your birthday. Certainly something I can talk about with the guys at work. I may talk with them about ghosts and dreams but I do not talk with them about drumming, what dreaming means to me and my spirituality in general.

The thing is though, it is the intent behind something that makes it spiritual, that makes it something deeper and meaningful. Washing Up can be an exercise in grounding, or a meditation to take you far away, or a prayer of service and giving back to your family. We can not see the spiritual dimensions to why people do the things they do, we just see what they do. I like this. I like that the whole of life can be one big spiritual event, deeping our connectedness to all that is.

So F is still very new to all this. He has not been finding the visualization aspects of drum journeys easy. He has not found it easy to connect to helpers or totems. He had a sense of a cat once, a big one and one time when we were gathering our totems I saw a cat sat at his feet, a wolf sat by his side and a falcon type bird sat on his shoulder. I didn't see them well. It was a misty glimpse, but they were there.

The Cat we were expecting and Wolf was not much of a surprise as we are a very doggy couple. The Falcon just bore out what I had been saying on the way to the session. As I drive around I see Crows and Magpies, Jackdaws and Seagulls. I see them everywhere, all the time. I never see Hawks of any sort unless F is with me and on the way to that Drumming Session I saw three. F has started to see a lot more of them too as he has begun paying attention, he even saw one coming out of a hedge with a rabbit.

So for him, this birthday trip is not only interesting, cool and fun, it is spiritual. He wants to do this, over anything else, because he wants to connect with his totem and wants to spend time with it. He is doing them honour.

It is important to connect with our totems. if we don't we can lose them. They offer us so much understanding of ourselves, both our strengths and weaknesses. They become like family and as I drive around, seeing them flying past, it makes me feel good. A simple drive to work is a special thing now. And as for my bird feeding at lunch at work....

So here's to Falconry and connecting.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Inbetween Places

I love those places that sit in neither one world or the other. The edges where things meet. The Sea Shore, Bogs, Marshes, those high plateau mountains in Venezuela - Tepuis I think. I really, really love bogs and marshes though and there are such a wide variation in them, subtleties of distinction but distinct none the less....

bog (bôg, bg)
2. An area of soft, naturally waterlogged ground.

So although bog is a word that is used to describe any soft waterlogged ground, if you are being specific, it is an area typified by peat - but then we also call them peat bogs too....

As for a marsh, well...

marsh (märsh)
An area of soft, wet, low-lying land, characterized by grassy vegetation and often forming a transition zone between water and land.

So marshes are bogs that have grass, peat bogs are bogs that have peat. But in a marsh, not all of the ground will be soft - so it will not all be boggy and in a peat bog there may well be som grassy areas that are marshy.... *laugh*

So a salt marsh....

salt marsh
Low coastal grassland frequently overflowed by the tide.

Is a marsh that has high levels of salt because it is so low lying. This results in a different look. Some areas of a salt marsh would be boggy as well I guess but there would definately be no peat.

Willow Carr is one of my favourites of these types of habitat - willow trees grow out of pools of water and little islands of mud sometimes covered in lush grass.

Oh and I missed out fen

fen (fn)
I suspect this is all about as clear as mud!

Bog - generally peat, upland, acidic, with a characteristic brown water. Poorly draining.
Marsh - grassy, lowland, not acidic. generally moving water (although it may move through slowly)
Salt Marsh - Marsh flooded by sea.
Swamp - Floods in wet season and has more trees
Fen - Any of the above.... but often has had the influence of man. Also an area of the UK in East Anglia that was considerably drained

So fen, bog, marsh and swamp can all be used to describe the same land but you can not describe all such places as salt marsh or peat bog or mangrove swamp.

I love the way words have a direct and obvious meaning but they also have connotations... Like swamp sounds much more dangerous, and bog is somewhere you could get stuck....

no idea if I have helped Mel or completely confused you *grin*

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Value and Community

In the group I belong on Facebook that explores the Medicine Wheel and Indigenous Dreaming there has been a recent question of what we value. This is all to do with the Moon of Drama because this is the moon in which we mimic what we value and it tells us much about who we wish to be.

So instantly, the question was a hard one for me because so much of how we place value and worth on ourselves is about society at large and what society values. This can be very different from what we as individuals value. My feelings about society and my place within it are that gven my ability, academic and otherwise, I should have left Cornwall long ago, gotten myself a really highly paid, and highly stressed, job and be raking in the money. And I should have a big house I am never home to enjoy, a whole parcel of kids that I never have time to be with and a highly successful husband who also earns a lot of money but whom I never ever see, except by diary appointment....

OK, maybe a little extreme, but this is how we tend to see ourselves within society when we are having trouble with it. Those little negative voices never ever play fair, they always scale things up. And why would I wish to do any of those things? well I don't. I value my life and I like my life, no matter what society at large might think of it, if it could spare the time to consider it.

I love Cornwall and increasingly I feel connected to the land and history here. I miss the place I grew up in and my family home but those voices called me here and then I married a Cornishman. This is where I belong now. F is my family and I adore him and we have so much fun together. He may not have a high powered job but he has a good job, a job with heart and soul, when he wears his uniform people react so very positively, the value of his job is greater than money. And my house, well... that needs to change at some point! but it is my home and I do love it....

Ted pointed out to me the following.....

'that is why I think shamanism is so different. Whether we call it journeying, vision quest or whatever the indigenous term, there is an emphasis in finding who you are. Your totems, dreams, birth position and place on the wheels equate to who you are and who you are on relationship. Especially in community.

Fortunately it is not a thing that will happen in the future but something you are doing now.

There is always that paradox of what we do to please others or our selves. Shamanism sees your uniqueness as the same as your service. Most religions don't. They try to create uniformity and humility, dependence and even shame.'

In my response I happened to mention Wasp -as in I do feel more conencted to the world around me through my totems - I am even going to try not to kill any Wasps this year.... Wasp is my totem for the first moon, the Moon of Welcoming. I recently realised this via a dream which made me realise that Wasp has had a habit of stinging me at certain important times in my life. As a result of mentioning Wasp, Ted went on to tell me some things about Wasp that I had not found out....

'So wasp is a good totem for you based on what you wrote. I think that part of shamanism is deriving 'medicine' of an animal and much is just learning their behavior.

Wasp is loyal to her community. Unlike ants, bees or termites who blindly follow a queen, wasps are loyal to their piece of the community and protect the community that is weaker. They are organized in small groups and communicate mostly with those who share their smell marker. Meaning that you are more looking for your found or chosen family than seeing yourself by your blood or job.

Wasp is the keeper of ancient knowledge. Long before man, wasps were making paper, mortar,mud bricks and more. This means that your creativity must be useful as well as satisfy a need to feel the ancient earth.

Wasps can sting after they are dead. Part of that loyalty is a connection that transcends this life. A wasp will sacrifice it's life for the colony. At the same time, the colony will give all of it's resources to soldiers in war, mothers in peace and queens when the swarm has to split, move and individuals take on new roles. This is a lesson about values and addresses our conversation. The idea that value and importance can change is unknown in the insect world. Wasps are so adept and complex at this that supply chain experts and logistics experts study their behavior to teach and learn value, supply hierarchies, optimization and value based communication.

In short, we have become more and more like ants and bees when we need to be more like wasp.

Like my totem, the hornet, wasp also teaches that poison and medicine are one. I have been attacked by ground hornet swarms and bald faced swarms and though it hurts, the benefit is to be free from arthritis pain and inflammation for several months after.

Much like A M was saying about witches and pagans, there is a sense that wasps seem more advanced but are actually practicing something more ancient, Matriarchal and intuitive that bees, termites, ants etc. As a 'reclaimer' witch for many years, I subscribe to my teacher and dear friend StarHawk's definition of witchcraft/paganism as a shamanic path that seeks to remember yesterday to use today to save tomorrow. That kind of thinking is very wasplike and an excellent place to find out where you fit. Not in the big 'society'. That would be maddening. But in the society of your intuitively chosen family. Let others be slavelike ants. You are a wasp. A great thing.'

And all of a sudden it all starts to make more sense.... I do have a little family like community around me. I have my friends from college and their husbands. I have my work colleagues. I have my own family. I have my e-community. Small groups, carefully choosen. I have walked away from larger society, the society that thrives up country. Cornwall has a different model, much more community based - through your friends and family you link to everyone else...

I also have that flexibility of role and desire for efficiencey. I often get cross with F when we are trying to do a lot of things quickly because he is inefficient - he just can not see the routes between things that make for the least expenditure of energy and time, his process is much more linear. My morning routine for instance is a work of art - not to say it isn't flexible, it is as long as it isn't interupted towards the end! I do things in the optimal order, to keep the dog happy and have things ready when and where I need them. And towards the end I have my computer time with breakfast and any delays before then just get swallowed by my computer time - sometimes I get half an hour sometimes five minutes...

As for role - I am very flexible in what I do. I always loved temping and I had a knack for begining a new job and slotting myself into the tasks within the team very quickly. I have done so many different jobs and here are just a few - Research Assistant, Event Organiser, Receptionist, Canvasser, Admin Assistant, Date Entry, Warehouseman, Cleaner, Waitress and Student. And I would like to think I learnt to do all of those jobs well.

Understanding Wasp helps me see how I have value within my community, how my flexibility and flitting from job to job is not a weakness, not a lack of knowing who I am, but it is a strength and it is who I am. That I have value outside of myself, my marriage, my friendships

Saturday, 17 March 2012

F is for Fear

When I first got my Medicine Cards I pulled out my totems as per the book. The one that caused me an eek moment was Rabbit... Rabbit is the fear-caller. Rabbit fears everything and all the things it fears happen to it. It gets knocked down by cars, trapped, poisoned, eaten by snakes, eaten by hawks, eaten by foxes, eaten, well by everything really.... Rabbits saving grace is it's fertility!

But fear - who wants to have the ability to manifest all the things they are scared of? Not a happy thing. But one you can learn a lot from! if you choose to. Luckily, I am not a particuarly fearful.... But I look around me and I have begun to realise that an awful lot of people are...

OK, so I have lived in fear - over a decade ago I suffered from agoraphobia. bad things happened and made me scared of the world. Terrified in fact. But I didn't want to be like that. I read a very good book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. basically, the things that you fear, accept that they scare you, don't push that fear away, quietly accept the feeling - and then do it anyway. A powerful book and a powerful message....

But I see so many people living in fear, one way or another. The girl with the panic attacks, the wife whose family can not go abroad because she will not fly or go on a boat, not to mention, fellow sufferers of agoraphobia. Fear is everywhere, but that Rabbit, he just gets on out there and eats the grass, knowing that there may well be a Fox lurking in the hedge. But Rabbit provides for everyone, and most of the time, life is pretty good being a Rabbit, sitting there, eating that grass and generally being pretty cute....

Rabbit seems to be linked to this, the third Moon, the Moon of Drama. I found a piece of Rabbit fur by my car in the grass the other day. Not very often something like that happens.... And I am seeing rabbits everywhere right now. Two ran in front of our car ont he way home. I am not sure yet what having Rabbit linked to my Moon of Drama means as yet but I still have plenty of time this moon to figure it out, and if I don't then there is always next time....

E is for Eyes

Eyes have been cropping up a little for me recently. My last Full Moon Dreamboard (a collage of things that I find in magazines and the like that I do each Full Moon) was full of them. Eyes closed, eyes open, eyes behind sunglasses. Then last moons picture was eyes too....

Then there has been eyes in songs - M83's Midnight City has children with strange glowy blue eyes and interesting abilities and there is something I like very much about this song... Then there is Gotye's Eyes Wide Open. Both of these songs speak strongly to me right now.

A theme earlier on in the year was listening and seeing, being fully aware of what goes on around us. They are still things I am working on. Eyes obviously are very much about seeing... but they are windows too, it goes both ways, people can see us in our eyes and they can see themselves reflected back.

Trying to live as a Dreamer means trying to listen to these messages, these synchronicities, to follow the things that come up. Synchronicity is the dream in our waking life and they offer important insigts into things. Anything that keeps coming up like this in so many ways is something important to me and my development right now. I am continuing to sit with it, to work on it, until I figure it out...

But there is huge symbolism behind eyes- Christians have the all seeing eye of God who sees into your soul. Egyptians had the Eye of Ra which is a symbol of life and protection. Occult traditions often see the left eye as lunar and the right as solar. Then there is the third eye which is all about intuition, spirituality and seeing things from the cosmic perspective. There is also a link to prophesy.

The most interesting part of the above link to me though was what it says about eyes in dreaming. Here eyes mean an opening into a new dimension, in fact, I am just going to copy and paste....

the meaning of eyes indicates an opening into a new dimension. This is symbolic of your vision clearing and focusing in on a new direction. It may also indicate your ability to see past what is common and spiritually arrive to the point where your inner vision perceives all things in their divine glory - even the simplest of things become imbued with an exquisite quality inherent in all nature.

Oooh..... So if you take everything together it is all about an opening to other dimensions and realities. Time is a dimension too. Everything is connected so an all seeing eye would be able to see, well, everything.

So maybe my eyes are a warning that things are about to change, maybe they are a suggestion to try and see more...


So what news do I have...? Not much really. I am as dippy as usual about things. i texted a friend yesterday to see what time we were meeting, only to find it is next week.... Oops!

Today F and I made the most of the sun and went out. First we went to Smokey's for a fry up. This is a local truck stop / greasy spoon and is a very good place to know about. Doesn't look like much but the car park is always busy and in the Summer the queue stretches out the door.

Then we went to godrevy. Godrevy is the headland at one end of the Gwithian / St Ives Bay. The headland has Godrevy island off it, home to the lighthouse and the headland is rocky with little protected areas of sand. Then as you get further in you reach Godrevy beach, home of surfers where the Red River flows into the sea. There the beach turns into the long sweep, past the old sand escavations, now flooded and home to birds, past the towan (sand dunes) of gwithian, past the sand dunes of Phillack, a little village that sits between Hayle town and the sea, past the black cliffs to the mouth of the Hayle estuary. The other side of the estuary the beaches of Carbis Bay and St Ives glitter in the sun.

We managed to park eventually on the headland and then walked down to the beach. We normally walk around the headland but today we scrambled over rocks. We spent an hour and a half exploring a very small area. Those rocks look like they form a solid plateau from above but in reality water has carved channels through them in every direction. Some have been made by water flowing out of the cliffs, others by the sea and some by both. Some run from land to sea and others run parallel. Some are alley ways and others are little rocky clefts and others are almost caves while some actually are little cavelike tunnels.

It was lovely.

Generally my life does not feel eventful at the moment but that is all good. All the thinking and stuff is going on underneath. I am continuing to learn about my Ancestor, the one who fought in the Crimean. I have just read somebodies diary of the Crimean and it was fascinating. i have however pieced together that he did not suffer the full horror of the war, he arrived after the winter, so starvation, bitter cold and Cholera were not a combination he had to suffer... Instead he was surrounded by Cholera and burning heat... It seems he went and raided the seaside towns before going to the Siege of Sebastopol. I now have a diary of the Indian Mutiny to read and then I also have a book about his regiment coming too.

In other news, F and I have finally booked our honeymoon! we got a fantastic deal on a holiday to Rhodes, one of the Greek islands. I guess tourism must be suffering a little.... I am really lookig forward to it and I have been planning excursions, reading books, buying clothes.... and deciding what books I wish to take for the days we stay cocooned between the sea and the swimming pool.... Can't wait!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Moon of Drama Introduction

So last Thursday we entered the Moon of Drama. It's negative is Repression so I guess to me that says that Drama means Expression. Drama in terms of Expression means to me the playing out of stories, looking for themes in our lives and acting them out. Bringing out those themes into the outside world.

I have had years of this moon at ages 3, 16 and 29. I am not aware of bad things happening in those years. I don't remember anything from age three, but at 16 I had newly recovered from my first attack of Glandular Fever and had left my hated school to go to College to take my A-Levels. I discovered that I did fit somewhere and that people liked me. I discovered as well that I was popular with the biys and had my pick of who to 'go out with'. It was all pretty innocent back then!

At 29 I had recently given up on trying to find Environmental work down here and had signed up with an Admin temping agency again. I found myself working for a lovely bunch of ladies who made good use of my abilities and creativity. During this year I started a jewellery making course and learned beadwork. It was the year my creativity re-blossomed. It was also the year F asked me to marry him.

So this has historically been a good time for me to express myself or an aspect of myself and for it to find acceptance in the world.

Wheelkeeper and Wapeyit discuss this Moon a little. There is a further aspect to this moon of mimicing that which we admire in order to become it. Who we choose as our role models says a lot about us as people and who we are on the inside and what stories we would like to bring out. The way in which a 3 year old mimics what they find beautiful is very relevant to this moon and it makes me wonder what I found beautiful back then...

The thing that springs to mind is David Bellamy. Not sure how widely known / remembered he is but he was a Botanist who loved nothing better than to squelch around in bogs. When I was little I adored his programs and my parents brought me one of his books one birthday or Christmas called Botanic Man. This was released when I was two but I suspect it was brought for me during my first year of Drama. This fascination with the outdoors never left me and I still think bogs and mores and swamps are very, very beautiful....

So the natural world, social acceptance / popularity and creativity have been the three themes of my years of Drama. I have a little less than four weeks to manifest some smaller aspect of my inner self, some small thing that I find beautiful. What would I like to bring out? What will life find a way for me to bring out?

This puts an interesting spin on this months Dreamboard which contains the following images: a head with it's top part up like a lid showing the brain, with rays coming out on a background of stars, a section of face wearing sunglasses, a narrow path in a wood lit up by sunlight, people reading books in hammocks, a reindeer staring into the distance, a woman swinging her hair around, a brightly coloured lizard, the word filth, eyes - lots of them - shut, open and mystical looking. Then there are words too....

This months dreamboard is a little different from previous ones in it's look and feel. It is not serene, there is a lot of examination, self-understanding, seeing and fun in it.... It is full of Drama for sure and the Reindeer makes me think of the spirit of my drum.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Moon of Affirmation Review

Began - 7th February
New Moon - 21st February
Ended - 8th March

Not sure where I put my Dreamboard so I shall have to post that later.....

I think this moon has changed my view of Affirmation considerably. I was not very sure what was going on at the beginning, what the theme was, where it was heading. The previous moons Initiator Wind meant it hit like a hurricane but this months Nomad Wind (first half) has meant this moon has been less harsh but just as powerful.

An affirmation was to me, all about making statements of what you are or wished to be to strengthen those aspects of yourself or bring them in to your life. Very positive and strong and maybe a bit glossy and pretty. I thought it would be a very positive happy month because I was affirming all that was good about myself and while this could be one interpretation, I no longer see it as the only one. I think it is the light side, the day time, but without a doubt there is a dark side or night time as well. Not that that means bad at all!

What I have learnt is that Affirmation is as much about stating what you are not, what is not yours as stating what you are and what is yours. This has been brought home in so many subtle instances this month (and I am really, really glad that it did not get the sledge hammer approach as it would have really disrupted my life!).

My ghost has been introduced to me this month, firstly he appeared as a nameness sad emotion, a depression of sorts that I just knew was not mine. Once I realised it was not mine, it became easier to deal with because I did not have to take it on board fully then. Synchronicity and a good deal of questioning has helped with this, but the impact on my sleep and my dreams has been considerable.

The Nomad wind helped get to grips with this and understand it but the second half of the month was the Peacekeeper wind. Don't see the word and think they are all sweetness and light. Peacekeepers defend the peace, so they are more than up to fighting when they need to. They are also well able to start conflict in order to bring about greater peace. Not sure I know much more about them yet....

So the sleep disruption has continued and there has been some very grim and gory dreams, the sort I naturally recoil from and fight to forget, not remember. And the lack of sleep has not decreased either.

The exploration of affirming what you are and are not has been explored in so many ways! I found myself having a conversation the other day about how some people are very strongly defined by their partner in life. I told a story of a relative who was lovely when he was with his first wife but after she died and he remarried he changed. His new wife is argumentative, selfish and more than a little unpleasant. He no longer speaks to either of his children or sees his grandchildren. In fact he emigrated. His brother is very ill and has asked if he would come over to visit one last time. He has been very non-commmital about coming over and has certainly not even really wanted to talk on the phone....

And as I thought, this change is not that uncommon. I can think of several examples! The man whose wife gave him a ral depth but after her death he lost this depth and became very materialistic and appearance orientated. The lady whose twin committed suicide, which caused her to take up her dead twins life and personality for many years. The man with the controling girlfriend who buys her an expensive present for her birthday but when it comes to his birthday he gets nothing because it is a 'bad' time of the year and they have to start saving for their wedding....

All these people do not stand firm in their knowledge of who and what they are. They believe the strongest persons views and characteristics are their own - for good and bad.

At the begining I did kind of understand that 'I AM' is an affirmation. Of existance certainly, but now I see it as the most powerful affirmation going because it says so very, very much. It says to me now I know myself, i know the good and the bad, all of it, for better and for worse but I also know all that I am not. And this has been explored in so many ways within my community within so many topics - boundaries, silence, mental conditions (in view of the noise they can create within your head) and family / ancestral aspects.

The other thing I have realised this Moon is sometimes, when we are being a bit hard on ourselves about what we are not, the Universe affirms what we are instead. We just have to listen to these gentle reminders and then live in what we are instead.

I am fat and unfit. I lack stamina and getted tired easily. I had Chronic Fatigue years ago, and with each year there is a little less of it. Now I am pretty normal, just fat and unfit. I was focusing on this a little too much. So I received the lesson, Hey you may be fat and unfit but you are STRONG! I have learnt that the little voice that makes me leave home on time to get to work and makes me go the right way, sometimes has ulterior motives - sometimes it makes me earyly and sends me a specific way in order to help.

The other week, a junction was blocked by a land rover that had broken down. I offered to help push. Unfortunately not a single person from the queue of cars waiting offered to help! They all sat and watched the fat woman push a Land Rover, by herself! There luckily was a little bit of a hill but I still had to get it up the curb and then over a bump into some parking but I did it! And I felt pretty good after!

The other affirmation I recieved was this. I can be a little reserves with new people - I don't immediately let everyone see all of me. Much of my humour requires ease with individual people. F is the one who charms everyone on first meeting, not me. But my relationship with him allows me to be more charming on first meeting people too, because I bounce off him... Anyway, we saw a friend recently who told me her boyfriend was really disappointed that he couldn't be there because he had really enjoyed meeting me... Me out of everyone else in the group. That felt nice. I guess some people like a slightly calmer approach....

I had no idea what I was looking for for this months picture until I found it. I couldn't find a picture of the moon that fitted for me, but this one is perfect! I also found this story much much harder to bring together into a coherent narrative. It doesn't feel as finished as right as last months...

Once upon a time she awoke and suddenly there was so much. She could see everything, hear everything, feel everything, smell everything, taste everything. It was too much, overwhelming, drowning out who she was. What was she?

She pulled her black shawl around herself and drowned everything out. From inside this quiet place she looked inside herself, listened to herself, felt how she felt, smelt all she could smell and tasted everything. She started to realise who she was and where she was in everything.

She realised that in order to learn more of who she was, she needed to look outside of herself, so she opened up her shawl a tiny little bit, just enough to let in a little light, a little sound, a little smell, a little feeling. It felt good and she did not lose herself in it this time.

Gradually she let her shawl fall more and more, until she looked out upon the entire Universe and it was good. She was Moon striding across the heavens and when she looked at Earth, sometimes she could see little reflections of herself in all the water. Sometimes when she listened to the stars singing around her, she could hear her own song reflected back to her.

But gradually she felt that she had had enough and she pulled her shawl around herself again, so that she might Dream and Think and Be. But she knew she would be back, shining bright in the sky soon, being herself and all that she was.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

I don't know where this week has gone at all. I have a half written post for last month's Moon of Affirmation but I need to add pictures and things to it and finish my story for the moon (not even started that!)

This moon is the Moon of Drama and I did my dreamboard for it last night - and it certainly has plenty of drama! A little different from previous dreamboards - full of eyes for one thing. And I found a lovely picture of a reindeer staring into the distance - somehow I knew that I had to pick up two random magazines from upstairs that I had no intention of using and there it was....

I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend for sure! But I will do my review post for the Moon of Affirmation and my intro post for the Moon of Drama.

While I never got ill this week, I have grown a nice little cold sore and I have had a couple of days where I could feel myself teetering on the edge of getting ill. So not behind, just gently taking care of myself.

Oh and I started a new Wreck This Journal. A friend suggested doing it together. The nice thing is, some of the things that require close contact with the book can get done this time. Last time the first thing I did with the book made it rather mucky! Having fun so far! Doing the pretty things first and then going to really destroy it! *grin*

Sunday, 4 March 2012

E is for Elder

Elder is a stage of life, the last stage before death. This period of life sits in the North East of the Medicine Wheel as we are born / reborn in the East. In Native American culture, Elders were venerated and respected. They were looked after and valued. They remained a part of their families and their experience and wisdom was a treasure for their community.

I look around and I don't see so much of this in the community I live in. I don't see much of it in my life either. Well I guess, as much as I hate saying it, my parents and their friends are passing into Elder territory and I very much respect and like them.... But the generation before....

Both my Grandfathers died before I was born and I would love to have known both of them very much. Neither one of my Grandmothers has been a strong role model for good. G was a difficult lady, at least for family, non-family did not see that side so much. She caused a great deal of heartache and difficulty and she was definately a trouble maker. At her funeral we were asked to spend a moment in a good memory of being with her. I was horrified to realise I could not find one memory that made me happy, one that was not tainted with the memory of how she was.

This has become easier over time and last year, G and I reached a point of forgiveness. She was at my wedding with me and I was honoured to wear the watch that her own Mother had given her for her 21st. The watch had a bad strap and needed replacing but the style of watch made it very hard to find a leather strap that could be fitted to it. My jeweller friend buys scrap gold and that week, while he had my watch and was trying to figure out what to do with it, someone brought iin a beautiful old watch which was damaged and only the strap could be saved, and it was so perfect and so beautiful.... It was my wedding gift from her...

My other Grandmother N is still alive but again she is not an easy woman, but in a completely different way. Where G lived on our doorstep and meddled in our day to day life, N is distant, in more ways than one. N was distant as a Mother too and I don't think life was always easy for my Mother, particularly after the divorce when her Father had to move away for work and her new Step-Father was not as easy man.

I think N lives in the past, it is as if her Wheel got stuck at some point and there she is, reliving and dreaming of the times before it all went wrong, when she was beautiful and desired by affluent and influential men, before she allowed herself to be trapped into marriage with a poor journalist... It is as if she has slowly being emptying and returning, shrinking in on herself.

She does not still live in the town she raised her family in, instead, before I was born, her and her husband moved to an obscure village, really out of the way and a very long way from all of her family. She lives in the middle of nowhere and relies on friends to take her shopping and the like, she will never move.

I guess there was a part of me that resented that, that she made herself so difficult to look after. Researching my family tree has helped me understand though. She has gone back to happy days in her childhood, staying in a house a short walk away from where she now lives, with her Grandparents.

So neither of my Elders was / is a strong model of wisdom that has been easy to respect and love. But there have been others who were. One of my cousins and his wife (somehow I never realised how old they were and never thought of them as Elders). A man from the village I knew through church as a child. F's Dad.

But the truth is, Elders are not integrated in our communities. And we do not seek to grow in wisdom throughout our lives. Sometimes our Elders do not work towards family and not happy people. It can be hard to respect Elders in our society.

This has the unfortunate consequence that we do not value becoming old ourselves. All around society makes it very clear how much age is a negative attribute. Arlene Philips was removed from the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing and replaced by a younger lady who lacked the depth of experience completely. So often older people are not respected for their unique contribution.

We also do not allow them to live with the rhythms of their life, we expect them to work as hard as younger people. In the recent strikes by Unison (Teachers, Medical staff etc) workers, one comment made by Nurses as to why they could not possibly increase the retirement age was that it becomes much harder to work shifts as you get older.... A guy nearing retirement who I work with never slows down and is always ill as a result....

Some people though, find the beauty in ageing. I myself can feel myself becoming more rooted and happier as I get older. I am getting things figured out for myself. I don't care about the wrinkles that are appearing and grey hair doesn't bother me - I had some before I started dying my hair outrageous colours ( a sign of being more comfortable in my own skin).

In order for our communities to function well, we need to respect ageing as a process and the good it can bring and we need to respect our Elders and bring them back into our communities. Maybe the truth is, we fear our Elders because they remind us of death and death is the ultimate fear of our society....

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I know I have had some inspiration this week, thinking of the roles from the Medicine Wheel dream I had a little while back. Then there was the two days of beautiful weather during the week, all that bird song and a visit to Big Hill. But everything is still percolating away and not ready to post here, or more likely I am not ready.

It has been a busy weekend. Food with friends Friday, a party last night and the recolouring of my hair to pink. I avoided alcohol but eating food whose ingredients I don't know is always perilous - you can never tell what has had a dash of cream added. But I had a lovely time.

Here I am though on a Sunday morning far too early after not enough sleep. My stomach is bad and I have a tiny bit of a sore throat. The house is cold because the heating was on too high for the good weather we had earlier on in the week so I turned it down.

But there is nothing I have to do. I did everything I needed to do yesterday. Today I am free to hide away and I shall. I would go back to bed now but F is happily snoring away so I shall leave it a little while, maybe have a bath and read first.

I am not the sum of my feelings though. I am more. And life is still good.