Inspirational Imbolc

DSC08527Cherry Blossom Tree

Stelliferous Imbolc Greetings!

The New Year began for me as the Light returned, with the Winter Solstice.    The wheel of the Earth calendar has now turned to Imbolc in the Northern Hemisphere (Lughnasadh in the Southern Hemisphere).

This is the time we feel the primal stirrings of birthing and rebirth.    It provides opportunities for each of us to propagate the seeds of our own intentions, to consider our highest desires and wishes, for forthcoming proliferation and manifestation.

Through the first force of inner, initial awakenings of Spring, our ideas, inspiration, intent and illumination begin to emerge.

From leafless Winter branches, the exquisite cherry blossom on this tree today above, will transform into ambrosial cherries in a few months’ time.   One of my favourite Summer fruits.

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All we really want is to live a joyful and meaningful life, perhaps in the eudaimonic (daimon meaning spirit or true self) way Aristotle described, without being placed in the boxes society has constructed, or having the vacuous pseudo-hedonism inflicted upon us and assaulting our senses.

There’s no doubt the last was an intense year for many, but it ended for me with even greater optimism and intent.    Intent being the quality, that Shamans say, underpins the universe.

It is said Shamanism is many thousands of years old.  The term means “one who knows.”     One who is connected to the Earthly and Cosmic realms and to the Self; who is capable of interracting with both benevolent and malevolent spirits in order to change reality, create harmony and healing.

We are of the Earth and of the Stars.   This outwardly turbulant era is a time for a deeper vision quest for each of us to reconnect inwardly, to our true essence, through:

Observation ~ the first law of knowledge.   Performed with powerful perception, heightened senses, being wide awake and all-seeing, from deep within the Self.      Looking profoundly into everything, viewing all situations, seeing the vibration of each person.

Above all, contemplating and learning from the rhythms of Nature in quietude, in order to see through the eyes truth, dispelling illusion, delusion and to “beware false prophets.”  Matthew 7:15     The more conscious we are, the deeper and instantaneous the perspective.

DSC03431The all-seeing eye of the tree

Ancient Culture ~ utilising the extant wisdom, tradition, heritage and lore established by the ancestors and passed on passed down through the ages, much of which has been displaced – but which may be rediscovered through observation.

Experimentation ~ having observed and used  what works within the cycles of Nature and the Cosmos, and what does not, and trying new ways of living aligned.

At school in the 1960s,  art classes of the region gathered in a large theatre to hear an artist speak.    I’ll always remember one sentence: “I can teach ALL of you how to paint – but NONE of you how to see  –  you can only do that for your self.”

What is termed progress is destroying the integrity of the individual from within as it demands such unearthly compromise and ignorance of truth.  

Manly P Hall

Back to Nature, the path of illumination and rejuvenation.

DSC08379Twisting, turning pink almond blossom

The season in London and elsewhere, has been extraordinarily warm.  In 2014, Spring didn’t arrive until May.   Spring 2016 arrived by early December 2015!    Is it part of a cycle, an Earth response or geo-engineering manipulation?

I’ve found lady birds, instead of hibernating, wide awake in my parsley from the Farmer’s Market and in the wild gorse where I  nibble its nutty, sweet, bright yellow flowers.     A bee was also sharing these with me, visiting each day.    Daffodils, daisies, snowdrops and crocus all sprang up in December.       Delicious almond blossom also bloomed with January’s arrival.

Even a butterfly fluttered by on the last day of 2015!

My friend here turned to face the camera as she balanced on the prickly gorse spikes as if it were a tightrope!

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I thank this Earth without whose pounding, considerate core of physical and energetic nourishment, we simply would not be.

Let us be united in sacred consciousness – and not untied in scared unconsciousness!

Whatever steps you may take on your journey …..

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Whorlton Castle, Swainby, 11th century

…. whichever paths you may peregrinate;  or gateways you choose to go through…

DSC08505Bishops Palace Walled Garden Entrance 1400s

… may all the seeds of optimism and intent you sow during this time of great Spring proliferation 2016, manifest with meaningful memory when you look back, at the end of this year.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.         WW

DSC08538Dawn

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Gorse and Crocus

 

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Kwak wha, Lolmani

DSC07436Greetings this Autumnal Equinox!

I spent a beautiful journey meandering the mossy moors with their acres of pink-purple heather and vibrant green fern scenting this sacred, healing air.     It was warm enough so I could paddle barefoot through a tranquil  stream and feel purified.

After this glorious visit with my wonderful family, I immersed myself solo in the woods of Richmond Park on the Autumnal Equinox, observing Nature and listening to the bellows of the red deer stags.

At this time of year, their loud voices echo around Richmond Park as these fine, muscular creatures demand dominion, showing off their antlers with great pride, as the rutting season commences.

As I took the video, this chap gazed right back at me whilst he guarded his herd.    I told him intuitively that I mean no harm.  He seemed to get that message and carried on.

In the northern hemisphere, the weather cools, nights lengthen, the leaves and horse chestnuts begin to fall.     The elderberries I collected earlier are merging with alcohol for tinctures, the yarrow drying for infusions and balms.    Nettle leaves and seeds strengthen us, yew tree berries –  some of Nature’s sweets –  are delicious (NOT the poisonous seed inside!).    It’s the time I wish I’d collected even more bags of linden and red clover flowers.

The metaphorical seeds we planted either in individual thought, intention, deed and through mass consciousness awakening, are ripe for manifestation at this time.

I hope the skies are clear for the the Full Aries Moon Total Solar Eclipse tomorrow (Blood Moon), the final eclipse of 2015.

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I wish you an abundant harvest for both body and soul; and a calm passage through any turbulent seas.

  Kwak wha, Lolmani

(thank you, may there be good things in the future.)

from the Hopi Prayer for Peace letter by Kikmongwi (Village Chief)

DSC07432With love, Dawn

20150916_155524_Richtone(HDR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Solstice Neolithic Temple

DSC04574Solar reflections over Pen Ponds, Richmond Park

Hail Happy Yule!    The Winter Solstice New Moon in Capricorn astrologically/ astronomically, as the Sun has been waning going lower in the sky, has made the nights seem longer because of the darkness.   Now, the return of the Sun in the northern hemisphere!

It’s cold but beautiful outside in Nature and I love the refreshing wind blowing away the metaphorical cobwebs.  We bring in the evergreens, holly, mistletoe and winter berries to represent the viridescent surge of fruitful life to come.

DSC03995Holy Holly

Inside it’s cosy, as fires and candles are lit both to warm and to symbolise the coming light.    As the Sun begins its gradual half-yearly ascension, it’s time to hibernate a little, and for going inward to reflect, plan and seed new growth.

The ancients were connected to these sacred Earth/Cosmic cycles and advanced civilisations, including the Native Americans and the Cathars, who were persecuted for possessing such gnosis with their ceremonial connection to the Earth,  and their knowledge was taken and hidden.

DSC04673East-facing West Kennet Temple and Long Barrow designed to be flooded with Sunlight/Moonlight

This Winter Solstice I performed a trio of ritual thanks and intent three times in Richmond Park, West Kennet where the Sun and Moon aligns lighting up the western chamber, and again in Richmond Park.

In the tomb, I had the opportunity of 20 minutes alone when no-one else was present.    The acoustics were tremendous and with varying sounds depending upon where I sang.

A virgin scene!–A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in;
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure,
The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,
Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air.                                                Wordsworth

At 5,650 years old, the east-facing 328 feet long by 8 feet high mound, predates Stonehenge by 400 years and Silbury Hill by 1,000 years.   Both mounds would have been white, of chalk and sarsen stone, so even more clearly noticeable than they are currently, covered in grass.     Excavation presently indicates the 5 chambers in the west, north and south areas were used as burial tombs for only a short time and for only 46 people.        Some report  bones were removed and ground for medicine.   One day we might discover who these people were.

Mary Hardy says that West Kennet (and other henges) were created to generate solitrons (ley lines).        Many also agree that the horn-shaped mound is symbolically phallic in relation to Mother Earth’s rebirthing and is respected for its nourishment of us enabling us to live on this planet.

All who had walked up the misty moor to this ancient stone meeting place participated in ceremonies at the deepest core of the tomb in two hours of drums, Tibetan bowls, didgeridoo, rattling and resonant voices whilst burning Palo Santa.       The land and stones are powerful conductors of the energy and, by the time we’d finished, it was vibrant.     When I looked at my photographs, there were orbs and other light shapes everywhere.

DSC04738End of Ceremony until the next celebration at the entrance

On each journey, (as has occurred on the Winter Solstice), I saw Native Americans and one in particular.   I asked for a name.   Watanka, came the reply.    I had to look up a translation and the general thoughts are: “sacred force”, the spirit which runs through all things.

In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
Touch–for there is a spirit in the woods.         Ibid

During the morning of the Winter Solstice (23.03 on Sunday in the UK), I visited the chambers and was fortunate to spend 20 minutes there completely alone to do solo ceremony.    The acoustics are tremendous and vary from chamber to chamber.    Peter Knight, who has written about the area, had brought mulled wine to warm us after the singing.

Ring out the old, ring in the new/Ring out the false, ring in the true!

Earth rituals must have been practised here for thousands of years.  The superb influences recur still for us to let go any hold on the old, to release all regrets, resentment, guilt, discouragement or disappointments, that may have occurred during the  year.

Retained vibrations restrict us, repel the resonance of beneficial opportunities and prevent us from becoming our higher, happiest selves.

Dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.    Patanjali born 250 BC

We can, instead, search our hearts for new perspectives on the way we think, behave, respond/react and how we live life in general; walking step in step as we tread our individual path.

Traditionally, it’s also a time to honour the ancestors.   I know how important gratitude and appreciation is in the ebb and flow of conscious life.

Yet, very soon I was to express more gratitude to the fates, to my familial and friends support.    On my return to London, I telephoned my parents just at the moment my Father dropped the phone as I was talking (weakness due to pneumonia) and I called the emergency services who went to him nearly 300 miles away, also in time.   An international flurry of communication took place.

Just yesterday, he was able to speak again and this was joy to my heart.  This is the greatest gift for me this Christmas.     The hospital have been wonderful and kept my parents together in the same room.             I thank my Father for being so strong at 85, my Mother for her unfailing love, all my family and very dear friends for their staunch support and assistance in so many ways, the Police who had to break in and the caring Nurses.  I thank The Reiki Network for sending Reiki en masse and I thank all Light Guides.         You all light up my heart and make me smile (and weep a bit with joy and love!)

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It’s a beautiful time of year for gathering or being by choice alone.  I celebrate all the festivities.   As long as people are celebrating life together, there can be no discord.   Vibration of joy.    Listen to your inner voice for knowing and speaking your truth with kindness.

May your holy grail cup be replenished.   I wish you deep happiness, hilarity, merriment and lightness of being on this hyemal holiday and a very joyful Christ’s Mass.

It’s a mystical, magical time.  Let’s celebrate every breathing moment.   Peace be restored on Earth.

So mote it be.

With Love Dawn  X

DSC04686Every exit is an entry somewhere.
Tom Stoppard
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A Neolithic Journey – Magical Mounds

Pilgrimage Trilogy     3 of 3:   Silbury Hill, Wiltshire

DSC04229Such magical mounds were clearly designed to be visible across the horizon and this massive prehistoric, 130+ feet (40 metres) high, flat-topped hill with its moat, is the largest, man-made mound in Europe, constructed circa 2,500 BC.

It clearly forms part of the many ceremonial sites located at Avebury that date back 6,000 years.   Like a great, grassy space-ship, Silbury Hill was probably originally stepped; and there have been numerous investigations as to its multi-functions over the millennia.

Certainly, as with many henges and mounds across the world, they are astro-archeological and tend to relate to the position of the Sun and Moon on certain Earth calendar days.

This may, in part, also be connected with bio-dynamic farming methods – planting, growing and harvesting with the phases of the moon to achieve the best crop using the Nature rhythms of the Earth and Cosmos macrocosm – which method and consumption consequently creates harmony within our microcosmic cells.    They knew everything is connected.

DSC04212This gnosis of ancient high technology was widely used in more advanced past eras; and not hidden as has been attempted for so long.    Underground military bases located at these energy power plants such as Stonehenge which may well be utilising the telluric current.

It’s also been suggested that Silbury Hill may have been a giant stage.   In 2007, ancient musical instruments were played from the flat top which could be heard from some distance away.   (Discovering Wiltshire Wheatley and Taylor)

DSC04218I felt a great dimensional shift of energy as I walked the traditional route along the same path in the footsteps of ancient civilisations long before me, who left behind their energy within their rituals.

DSC04115Starting from the vast Avebury stone circle (inside which is an entire village and other stone circles) – then along The Avenue (which leads to Waden Hill).    From here, there is a panoramic view of the North Wessex Downs, and the excitement mounts (pun!) before coming upon the first view of the upper tip of Silbury Hill (above).

DSC04220The view from here was exhilarating.          This mystical mound built of some half a million tonnes of chalk laboriously layer by layer, and with its complex history was,  at once, both earthly and unearthly.

My only disappointment was to be able to see the remaining path winding up its surface, tempting me – but to find that one is no longer permitted access to climb Silbury Hill summit!    How I’d love to have performed an aria from the top of that ancient stage!

However, it has left us its legacy of rare chalk grassland.

The Sanctuary, (the key-hole shaped stones in the map above) once looked like this (below) and a was centre for trade.

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Many of the stones are cup-marked, called petroglyphs.   These goblet-shaped concavities or sockets of varying sizes, may produce earth energy waves (different from straight ley lines) and are drawn towards water or hill shapes.

Cowan and Arnold, in Ley Lines and Earth Energies, found that energy is redirected by cup-marks.       What wonderful circuitry power might still be used constructively, whilst Earth lovers now seek non dirty electricity, no EMFs and alternative power instead?   The Earth has provided all we need.

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The stones forming Avebury circle weigh up to 90 tons each.

Many of the ceremonial monuments and early Neolithic Bronze Age burial grounds in Avebury predate the Egyptian pyramids.   (Although Khemitologists say Egyptian pyramids are at least 10,000 years old – i.e. much older than conventional historians have claimed.)

DSC04150There are more stone circles within the henge.     It’s not possible to give the immense scale of the megaliths –  but the people weren’t from Gulliver’s Travels!

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All stones, the Stone People, are sacred and they are placed to indicate  Earth energy waves beginning, converging or redirecting.

Fonts, like this 12th century font at St James Church, Avebury village, situated inside its main stone circle, are also placed at the point of two or more energy lines converging.

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I came across the second phenomenal hawthorn on my journey, laden with red haws in late October,  on Waden Hill.    No flowers on this one as in Glastonbury, but clearly very special as a pilgrimage point with its ribbon decorations.

DSC04217I met Gordon, who was creating a labyrinth for the ceremony open to the public, led by the Druid.    This takes place regularly on specific Moon days, Solstices and Equinoxes.    At Samhain, they walk at night the same path I took, described above.

DSC04169There, in Neolithic paradise, my journey ended but there was still so much more to revisit.     So I’ll be returning some day soon.

With magical, healing blessings to the sacred land and to you all,

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I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
from I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud, Wordsworth
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Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia

Here lies entombed the renowned King Arthur of the Island of Avalon

Pilgrimage Trilogy 

2 of 3:  Isle of Avalon, A Journey to My Past

DSC04080Monks in the 1100s were said to have been dreaming collectively about King Arthur; and a massive oak coffin was then revealed to them, where the very large King had been buried 16 feet deep.

Alongside him, was Guinevere, his wife, with her blonde plaited hair, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s: History of the Kings of Britain.     The epitaph inscription above was found on a large cross made of lead.

The enchanted land of Avalon (either meaning “apples” or derived from Avallach, ruler of the underworld), where the ongoing quest to search for the Holy Grail – the chalice or sacred stone that fell from the sky, was sought – is still entrancing.     Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was once forged here; mythical Camelot created and the Knights of the Round Table was formed; whose members included Galahad, Elyan the White, Ywain the Bastard, Bagdemagus and Dagonet.

What happened to wonderful names like these and Lancelot, Gawain, Urien, Mordred, Morgane Le Fay – (fairy, the ethereal sorceress), Uther Pendragon, Urien or Madog?     Why not a description or a definite article in our names?*

So many and famous names; and never yet
Had heaven appeared so blue, nor earth so green,
For all my blood danced in me, and I knew
That I should light upon the Holy Grail.      
IDYLLS OF THE KING, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Glastonbury Tor (Old English word for “hill” or Celtic for “glass”),  a holy hill, rises up from the ancient Isle of Avalon, so termed as it was once surrounded by marshland and only accessible by waterways.

From the summit at 158 metres, you can clearly see 360° across three counties:   Dorset, Somerset (“Summer settlement” due to its flooding in Winter) and Wiltshire.   It is spectacular.

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The energy is electric here and, no wonder, Glastonbury Tor is home to Gwyn ap Nudd, King of the Fairy Folk.   In the chakras of the Earth, Glastonbury is termed the Heart Chakra.   It is no surprise that traditional dowsers, show hundreds of ley lines converge at Glastonbury.

The best time to climb the Tor would be on a Full Moon wearing a cloak.    On a trip less impromptu, I shall do so and walk its outer labyrinth which is quite a quest.

In his book, The Glastonbury Tor Maze, Geoffrey Ashe states the seven terraces  are the remains of a vast three-dimensional neolithic labyrinth – globally prevalent in neolithic times  –  forming a ceremonial pathway dedicated to the goddess.    (I came upon another labyrinth being created in the next part of my sojourn).

DSC04100 The great Tor has always been used by man – and many – for spiritual, ritual or ceremonial pursuits and Glastonbury Tor has been a place of pilgrimage for 10,000 years.

Regardless of religion or spirituality, people are drawn here.     The Tor consists of blue lias, a geologic formation that dates back to the Jurassic period of up to 200 million years ago.

The original wooden building was destroyed during an earthquake in 1275 and there is evidence of occupation between 5th to 7th centuries.      The original, it is understood, was a circular, domed, ancient Greek-style temple.      What remains now is a roofless, stone tower standing majestically against the sky and visible from miles around.

DSC04094Inside the Tor looking up to the Cosmos
Upon a high-raised hill in Avalon,
Four dragon sentinels with burnished scales
Keep ward and watch, and whether the sleets and hails
Of winter beat their caves, or in May magic the lawn.
Like a dull emerald smitten with the Dawn,
Up brightens, guard and gleam; and still the Grail’s
Enchaliced splendors shake over those sweet dales,
Where, ‘neath a thick-leaved canopy unwithdrawn
Since the old days of Vivien’s sorcery,
Sleeps Merlin in a nest of nightingales    AVALON, Robert E Gonzales 1888-1916
 
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I haven’t been to Glastonbury since 1970 and I ended up there for almost a week, quite by chance when, one dark evening in spontaneous search of adventure and stimulation, I hitch-hiked to see where it would lead.

When I was there in the quietude of the countryside (absolutely silent, compared with most places current times), I noticed more how I could read thoughts, which I fully realised I’d been doing all my life.    This came home to me even more powerfully,  after an especially intense OBE a few years later.

In those days, forty-four years ago, some of the shops – quite ordinary then –  had signs saying: “NO HIPPIES HERE!”            So, my floppy hat and customised jeans went directly in to enquire about their particular definition of “hippie” and to ask if they’d met each individual member of the aforementioned organisation!

Not that I aligned myself with any group, but I did enjoy an eloquent debate when I was 15.       Whether it was my earnest, innocent little cherub face I don’t know, but I remember them all smiling and being extremely kind and lovely.

Most of the shops now have interesting appearances with names such as: Witchcraft Limited; Cat & Cauldron; Man, Myth & Magik; The Speaking Tree; Moon Mirrors;  Facets of Avalon;  Hemp in Avalon;  Lilith;  Witchity Things;  The Magick Box; The Wonky Broomstick;  The Crystal Man; or  Earthfare (where I purchased some organic herbs for infusions).    Though there is a distinct theme, mercifully, these are far removed from the typical high street chains or mind-numbing mall stores seen elsewhere up and down the UK.

DSC04105Rich galleries, lady-laden, weighed the necks
Of dragons clinging to the crazy walls,
Thicker than drops from thunder, showers of flowers
Fell as we past; and men and boys astride
On wyvern, lion, dragon, griffin, swan,
At all the corners, named us each by name,
Calling, “God speed!”
IDYLLS OF THE KING, Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

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Legend has it that Jesus, as a boy, visited Glastonbury (as it was said he sojourned to Holdstone Down, a hill in north west Devon).

In the Abbey grounds is the famous and beautiful Hawthorn said to have been originally planted by Joseph of Arimathea.      Hawthorn is one of the particularly mystical trees (although all The Standing Ones are old, loyal, sacred friends to me).

Hawthorn is very appropriate for the Heart Chakra town of Glastonbury as haws make the most ideal tincture for the health of the heart and blood.    I have a sprig of the flowers from this Holy Hawthorn in my large jar of dried haws I collected in the Summer for infusions and tinctures.

DSC04112It was the first of two remarkable hawthorn trees on my journey where both were laden with haws in October.

DSC04113The Glastonbury Holy Hawthorn: Haws and Flowers

There were many people at the pinnacle of the Tor so I performed my overtone chanting, directional calling in and blessing the land towards the lower slopes, which would have been the water at one time.

The earth felt good.   I felt uplifted having been there.     I’d drunk the water from the Chalice Well; and so it was time to travel to my next sacred destination.

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Far other was the song that once I heard
By this huge oak, sung nearly where we sit:
For here we met, some ten or twelve of us,
To chase a creature that was current then
In these wild woods, the hart with golden horns.
It was the time when first the question rose
About the founding of a Table Round,
That was to be, for love of God and men
And noble deeds, the flower of all the world.
And each incited each to noble deeds.       Merlin and Vivien, A L Tennyson
 

Happy and healthy heart blessings to you

* Dawn The Peripatetic Paganus

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Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages…

So priketh hem nature in hir corages;
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmers for so seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes knowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of engelond to caunterbury they wende… 
 

Pilgrimage Trilogy  

1 of 3:  A Yurt in South Devon, A Journey to Myself

 
DSC03953Not mine, but an off-ground, community yurt, circular, Nature has no sharp angles

Samhain Greetings to you all!

Samhain (Summer’s End), often celebrated on the Full Moon in Taurus (6th November) mid-way between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice; though my moon calendar says Samhain is today at 11.56.

It any case, it’s the Celtic New Year if you observe actual time or Earth transition time, (rather than false-time calendar with its adjustments and misnamed months); a time to honour and remember our ancestors, give thanks for the harvest (pumpkins), and make plans for the next chapter of the Book of Life.

The Catholic Church selected 1 November for one of their saint days some time ago in the 700s AD, thus 31st October became All Hallows Evening which, in entertainment, dressing-up terms is Hallowe’en!

As a sole, soul practitioner, I let my rituals and words of gratitude and intent flow through me in the moment.   I light a bees-wax candle and my own-grown sage smudge sticks, place symbols of my family and fruits/berries of the harvest and I give thanks, amongst the trees; and again in my home, for all that has been, is now and shall be.

In the lead up to this time, I longed (longen) to gaze at the green and to feel even more immersed in the Earth sans disturbances, distractions, interruptions, inbox, traffic and technology.   It was a journey primarily to myself  –  far from The Madding Crowd,  – where the only voice was my own, sometimes singing, at other times conversing with flora, fauna and freely-flowing water.

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When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude;
How potent a mere image of her sway;
Most potent when impressed upon the mind
With an appropriate human centre – hermit,
Deep in the bosom of the wilderness; 
         
                                        The Prelude, Book Fourth, Summer Vacation Wordsworth 1888
 

So I took my nomadic self to 42 acres of wild woodland and perma-culture.   The first part of my Chaucerian personal pilgrimage began not to Canterbury, (nor in “that Aprille with his shoures soote”) but to Devon in October in a secluded yurt (not “glamping” –  clear, sweet spring water is hand-pumped from a bore-hole, wood fire lit, compost loo in next field) in a small, remote eco community, amidst rolling hills and forests, with cosy benders and other wonderful, earthed, grounded, green canvas covered structures in the neighbouring, nourishing fields –  far from negative, cell-damaging electromagnetic fields.

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Below was the first sight I saw each morn upon opening my doors.   Such exhilarating exultation!

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A freshness also found I at this time
In human Life, the daily life of those
Whose occupations really I loved;
The peaceful scene oft filled me with surprise
Changed like a garden in the heat of spring                        Ibid
 

In London, we’re overrun with squirrels who plant oak trees in my window boxes, wily reynards that laze in the road and fix their foxy eyes right back at you;  wild birds such as 17 magpies recently, one of which out-stared a fox on the tennis lawns; parakeets whose screeching cacophony we can more happily live without; green peregrine falcons keeping the parakeet population plummeting;  and various birds from the Wetlands flying past.

From my yurt, however, my guests each evening were these beautiful Golden Guernsey goats with the comforting melody of their bells, as they came past for milking!

On my first evening, the doe matriarch came over directly to introduce herself to take a good look at me and, being satisfied, went back off to her drove.    To see these lovely animals or a bronze and red autumnal grouse walk directly past my open doors whilst  I was preparing my evening fire, was an uplifting rapture indeed!

 

Although mostly by choice alone, I found the people each extremely embracing who enjoyed explaining to me how things worked there.      The children of varying ages I met were an absolute joy to behold!

Their open, smiling faces, sparkling eyes and interested, engaging conversation were delightful.    I noticed how alert they were, how astutely they listened, eagerly responding, e.g. about the species I’d just mentioned, by turning immediately to the specific page of their wildlife books, the contents of which they were clearly exceptionally knowledgeable about.    They were free, no fearful screaming or distress – just a keen discovery and divine love of life.   It’s what makes healthy, well-balanced, content adults.

This is the result of living with Nature’s flow, valuing its produce, home-schooling, non-regimented learning, the absence of noise/brain bombardment and no tv (mind) programming inhibiting development of young minds.   (The antithesis, on my return, of some children near Hammersmith  who, from their concrete balcony, pelted passers-by with eggs. “The price of everything and the value of nothing,” sprang to mind.)

Such happy lives living in the fresh air, discovering what matters, playing on wooden adventure frames or running in the fields.     No sea of toxic plastic toys being inhaled here, no preoccupied heads bowed over the materialistic mobile phone god or mind-controlling computer games.       These children are entirely in the present moment and very much with me.      This made me so happy to see and the utmost pleasure to engage with them.    All children should have the opportunity of living this way.

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Even the old, thatched cottages of Engelond, on my leafy journeys through happy hamlets, are curved (though the light not so photographically agreeable):

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Pretty cottages on the way to the hamlet of  Tuckenhay
Thus musing, in a wood I sate me down
Alone, continuing there to muse                Ibid
 
 

DSC04047I am so elated at seeing moss!   Utterly besotted, in fact.   It grows in some of my window boxes and I love it.    My Celtic origins, perhaps.

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DSC04055Some of the chestnuts I collected on my mossy, woodland walk

I took lots of raw foods with me and collected herbs for hot infusions and ate yellow gorse flowers growing about 3 feet from where I slept.

DSC03510Raw cranberry/pistachio breads, raw hummus, just off the tree fruits  

These deliciously plump rose-hips below with their perfect star.   It was the first of two occasions on my crusade I was able to see both flower and fruit bloom at the same time.

A universe of Nature’s fairest forms
Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst                 Ibid.
 
DSC03973Plump wild rose-buds with their flower
My home for four days, a 16 foot diameter yurt, wooden structure with canvas; interior: beautiful fabrics and carpets, and containing everything I needed.
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Amongst the goats, hens, India Runner Ducks, dogs, a heavenly soft, big-eyed, lion-head rabbit, there were semi-feral Dartmoor ponies who are, sadly, very much in decline.

These beauties below were rescue ponies  (whose passports to France had luckily not been in order –  now in exceptionally good hands indeed): Mother May in the background; and Grace responding to my Reiki sending, her eyes closing – I’ve noticed cats and squirrels respond this way with Reiki.

Grace is also recovering from eating grass too enthusiastically producing a painful, gout-like condition. Unlike their hybrid, thoroughbred counterparts, these wild ponies often fast for several days on the moorland.

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 Dartmoor pony, named Grace, receiving Reiki through me

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Marmalade cat in a crab apple tree receptive to Reiki

Not forgetting a vital member of the land management team below.

I came upon this beautiful, blue-black, glossy fellow and his friend by chance during a postprandial, evening woodland walk as the comforting aroma of wood-fires wafted across the fields.

No Reiki given here.  It was becoming chilly and dusk, so I quickly handed a small snack I had in my pocket, but he remained on fully-focused eager alert for more!

DSC03989Essential Land Management Guardian

With full-force Earth energy blessings to you.

Dawn, Paganus in Devon

Back I cast a look,
And lingered near the door a little space,
Then sought with quiet heart my distant home.                 Ibid
 
DSC03929DSC03931Tomorrow: The Isle of Avalon
 
Posted in Earth Transition, Foraging, Lunar, Nature, Oxygen!, RAW FOODS, Reiki, Trees, Wild Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mabon Raw Reiki Mawashi and Share

DSC03804Autumnal Greetings, this lovely Full Blood or Harvest Moon Total Lunar Eclipse,  in powerful Aries, inviting us towards flexibility, adaptability and transformation; to accept major changes with enthusiasm – and to plan for exciting new ventures to begin in November.

Despite having to delay the trips I’d planned to sacred sites earlier this month and initial computer connection issues as Mercury began its retrograde route  (or was it the geodetic stress of the thunderstorms?), life and the “weather continues charming!” as Cecily said in The Importance of Being Earnest.

A couple of weeks ago, I held an Autumnal Equinox Reiki Mawashi and Reiki Share Group for some of my students (men and women) which was wonderful.     We toasted this abundant Autumn season with the above burgundy Hibiscus Wine I’d made (non-alcoholic).

As we gathered, our Mabon feast consisted of the canapes below:    raw tomato and herb heart-bread with cucumber, raw artichoke pate and pistachio;  or with raw pesto and raw goat’s cheese.      The chives are still happily growing in my window box, though not for long with the onset of these cooler nights.

DSC03743We created our circle, with my Zambian drum in the centre and  candle above with Autumnal leaves, crab-apples, rose-hips, haws (which will be consumed or  returned to Nature, not discarded).

The bees wax candle hand-made by a friend, represents the analogy made by Dr Usui, that each new person initiated to Reiki has the potential to burn as brightly and radiate Reiki light-healing energy.     Light is sound and vibration which is also the sacred geometry that creates everything.      Every plant, every rock, every cell of our body has a sound – this can be measured scientifically – and for 1000s of years, the harmony has been clearly audible by those who live with the Earth’s rhythms.

DSC03745The harmony of our breathing, as I learned as a Rebirther in the 1970s, forms the connection between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind; and creates the balance between the energy body and physical body.     So we began with  8 breaths of pranayama, 8 for infinity, (H being the 8th letter of the alphabet), symbolising: as above so below, as within, so without.

I read a Nature/Earth meditation (Zazen, guided meditation) which has evolved through my morning rituals in Margravine amongst the trees still so gorgeously green.   We welcomed in the light to ourselves and respectively radiated out our collective light in a constant flow.  Everything is as it is.    There is bliss in this moment.

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As Summer into Autumn slips
And yet we sooner say
“The Summer” than “the Autumn,” lest
We turn the sun away.           Emily Dickinson
 

Genki is good health energy flow and byoki is blocked or disharmonious ki or inner energy where there exists, or is likely to be created a physical symptom.   Every condition we produce has a different vibration.    Every thought, memory, experience, molecule, bacteria, virus, like us, has a resonance – positive or negative, harmonious or dissonant.      When the latter remains unresolved, unreleased, it then leads to physical problems that call for attention.

A Reiki Mawashi is when a circle of people initiate Reiki energy to flow.     You can place your hands (left palm up to receive; right down to give) to create a circuit of constant flow and let the vortex of energy begin, which is very powerful.

DSC06623Towards the close of the Mawashi, we each spoke aloud or silently those names to whom we wished to send Reiki healing energy.    We shared our thoughts.      The Native American who came to me with a message on the Summer Solstice last year; and reappeared in the woods during a Shamanic gathering who also saw and heard the group he’d brought with him, visited me again during the Mawashi.

A Reiki Share Group  is when each person receives a Reiki treatment by everyone in the group at once.   This is more than the equivalent of a several hour treatment.    When it was my turn, I developed a cough!    This may have been a release of something; and it soon subsided when all students contributed to healing it for me.

I’d asked for someone to focus on my lower leg which I sensed (as a Device-less Dowser) has been the result of some recent concerns about others and late nights/early mornings.     The student working on that leg, said she couldn’t stop yawning during the treatment and felt heat there.    I explained that I’d been burning the candle at both ends!

We ended the evening with a final review of our experiences and a cup of Elder infusion, so Elda Mor could warm everyone for their journey home.

Everyone reported a good night of deep, restful sleep that night – it’s always the case with Reiki as such harmony has been restored.

One of my lovely students, who gives Reiki to animals, had brought me a purple bag of  chestnuts that he’d gathered – there’s plenty for all fauna!        I made raw chestnut milk and have so far made raw chestnut and ‘toffee cheese’cake and a Maca-Reishi-ccino!    Perfectly heart-warming on cool Autumnal mornings.      With gratitude.

To use my recipe or adapt it, please see:   Chagaccino and Maca Balls post https://solsticetree.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/chagaccino-and-maca-balls/

DSC06649The next open event for students will be between Samhain and the Winter Solstice.

With Reiki blessings, All, in gassho

Dawn’s Raw Cacao Creations

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La Divina

To my heart-hearing, she was the greatest soprano and dramatic actress ever.    I performed this on Monday evening as a dedication, as Callas often ended her final tours with it.    From Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi:

One glance, a slight facial expression could convey more in a second, than a million words, because she lived and felt the emotions and each situation in the opera as if it were her own.

Then comes the voice of La Divina.    Maria Callas became the roles she played having had much traumatic experience from birth.  A documentary says she took her own life like one of the dramatic heroines she played.

When she was alone in Paris, she said by telephone to Guiseppe Di Stefano when he called: “Caro Pipo, ogni giorno, per fortuna, un giorno di meno.”   Each day, fortunately, is one day less.

She was devoted, loyal and married to the traditional training of her art.    A rarity now.        She was driven by her own perfectionism and didn’t enjoy having to comply with the publicity and media interviews – so they often just made up stories, or her Mother did.

Callas didn’t want to do recordings, she felt that every performance should be live, fresh and living.        I’m so grateful she did though, as I’ve listened to everything available time and again, and enjoyed performing some of the arias myself.

Born 2 December 1923 and who died, on 16th September 1977,     this brief tribute, of course, can never do her justice.

The following is a less populist aria I sang at the Jazz Club in Hammersmith recently, L’altra Notte In Fondo Al Mare (the other night at the bottom of the ocean), from the opera, Mephistopheles, by the poet and lyricist Arrigo Boito.      Maria Callas begins singing about 2.5 minutes but the introduction by Boito is also sublime and evokes the dark, sombre emotions and environment.

Margherita is the young woman who has been seduced by Dr Faustus, (having been restored to his youth –  a temporary illusion – by the trickster Mephistopheles.  Margherita is unaware, but is still cruelly treated by unwitting association.    Everything is taken from her, her child, her Mother and she is incarcerated.     She sings:  

The early morning Dawn is fresh, 

the cell is dark and gloomy  and my spirits,

are like a sparrow in the forest

flying, flying freely away.

Musicologists technically debate her range but that sort of analysis is secondary to taking in the whole feeling of her incredible sound.

Verdi said he wanted “Una donna di tutta forza” to perform the courtesan role of Violetta Valery in “La Traviata”.        He would be delighted with Callas!        Not many sing the final note and none with such force and power.     I’ve succeeded a few times with much rehearsal!

With love and gratitude to the great soul that is Maria Callas whose voice will endure forever.

With angelic sound blessings to you all,  Dawn

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Auditory: The Dance of Sound

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.  

Lao Tzu 

Greetings of deep joy as the eternal dance of life flows ever onwards, even in the perceived chaos of the world.

As the breezes blow in the Autumnal leafy air and Estival activities begin their descent, the best we can do is to balance the vibration of our individual worlds and remain at the calm eye of all storms.

Following on from my Summer Solstice post, stirring Tibetan singing bowls produces the cymatics in Frank Perry’s video above.     As the tone fades, the final shape at the end, is the astrological symbol for the Sun, from whose light all life thrives.    

In the sound demonstrations: “We saw liquids dance, iron filings formation dance to the tune of the invisible vibration.”

Music calls us all in to sway to its tune.   I came upon this wonderful Peruvian band, in Hammersmith, whose name translates to “Shaman.”

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If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it!  Duke Orsino, Twelfth Night, Shakespeare

Each of our expressed words also carries a vibration (positively or negatively) and can create magic or mischief – that’s why words are spelled!

The vibration of our voice is the reflection of our personality, moods and permeates every part of our physical being.   I hear a great many unspoken thoughts in everyday conversation.     When I ran a free telephone health helpline from 2006, I could hear deeper concerns behind the surface symptoms and was able to assist with a transformational response.

The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree    TS Eliot

Sound, vibration and geometry are music and are the basis of all life forms.     Plants have their unique sounds.    Vibrational frequencies, with their pleasing geometric patterns, harmonise, balance and heal the electrical charge of our biochemical cells.   Everything dances to its magic spell, constantly evolving to new, infinite possibilities.   

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.   Nikola Tesla

The ecstatic dance of sound –  is the is the ever-creating, rhapsodic dance of life.   The patterns of vibration and sound may be seen carved into ancient sites, rocks and appear in crop circles, because ancient civilisations studied the heavenly bodies and knew infinitely more than is revealed to the masses today.  However, this is the age of information which is now unstoppable as we piece it together.

View of Carlton BankLooking up to Carlton Bank

In the beginning was sound (which is vibration), it is said.       The masonry of our homes and beds, if built with sacred geometry – the architectural configuration of the universe of which we are an integral part –  hold a vibration resonating from their structure which holds us in living harmony in wakefulness and in sleep, by its cosmic, integrated form.    Nothing in Nature is angled or square or like the soulless, uniform blocks constructed up and down the UK, the antithesis of this beautiful Hobbit House.

HOBBIT HOUSEPhotograph courtesy of http://www.beingsomewhere.net

Harmonics affect our spirit, psychology and well-being, restore DNA, enhance our awareness, wisdom and perception.   In brief, they bring us back to our own nature.    Cymatics permeate and influence buildings, may even have built pyramids and carved elaborate, ancient stone when we were told we they only had simple flint tools!  (Stephen Mehler, Khematologist)     Now weather is moved by frequency and Einstein’s discoveries long misused.

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… we must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.   This mind is the matrix of all matter.   Max Planck

 

DSC02886One of Frank Perry’s beautiful singing bowls

Pythagorus, Viktor Schauberger, Emoto, Max Planck and others long before them knew of the effect vibration has on water – our sacred water that fuels our sacred bodies.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Leonardo Bonacci or Fibonacci (circa 1170–1250), both had access to this information – and so much more besides.  (Lucky Leonardos – despite my constant, insatiable interrogation of school teachers, I never obtained the answers to such questions about humans, aliens and the universe’s structure!) 

So we must protect our individual vibration not only from deleterious sound but also from detrimental unheard frequencies, so we can still hear the Nature spirits.      

We ARE Nature, so immersing ourselves in its profoundly healing vibrations, aligns our own.      Trees, who give us life with their breath, whose branches reach high into the cosmic light and whose roots go deep into the Earth’s orgone energy for water and minerals, share with us their many messages if we can hear them above the din of the world and our own minds.

DSC03258This friendly face beams her woody smile amongst the leaves that overhang the river – at me or the sunny rainbow!

Euphonic sound is creative, harmonious and therefore healing.  Cacophonic noise in all its intrusive forms is destructive, deleterious, depleting – and robotising, as it has been created to do.    The difference between the two is: the latter isn’t welcome, chosen or invited in.

A healing, sympatico vibration brings vitality to our emotions, cells and our selves. A particle may be a wave and both at the same time.    When the particle is observed it alters.   When the frequency is changed, matter changes, so we may choose.

The sound of Mozart in particular is exceptionally profound and is the basis of the Tomatis Method used by singers, actors and for illness or unease.    Mozart played to babies, animals and plants, has a very beneficial effect.

There is no real separation between our senses.  They all form an overrall awareness even when one or more are apparently not present in the physical sense, as Helen Keller and many others knew. Beethoven, of course, was deaf but it didn’t prevent his great compositions.   We hear with many parts.   

When I was quite young, I noticed sound came in through my heart not only through my ears when I listened to music or the sounds in Nature.

 A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body.  It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system.  It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, Mysticism of Sound
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Sound is healing for me when I sing, and I feel how everything within is transformed when I give out that vibration.

I recently sang “L’altra Notte in Fondo al Mare” from Boito’s Mefistofele at the Jazz Cafe, which satisfied a need to vibrate the dramas of life out into the universe! 

The human voice is the organ of the soul.  Longfellow

Vibration, sound, music carries many memories.   A beautiful friend invited me to a spectacular performance of “The Pearl Fishers” at The Coliseum, English National Opera.         My paternal Grandfather used to sing this and my Father still does.      

I was completely enraptured, immersed in the opera’s sublime visuals and atmosphere when, in my mind’s eye, in a timeless fraction of a second, I saw my Grandfather.   At the same time, it seemed,  “Au Fond du Temple Saint” began.    

Floods of silent tears blinked unexpectedly throughout the entire aria without taking my eyes off the baritone and tenor!      Here it is by two greats I love, of bygone times: Jussi Björling & Robert Merrill

Imagine the cumulative, unified, harmonious vibration and the  orchestral masterpieces we’d compose, directing the flow of more advanced collective consciousness –  if we each walzed our unique vibrational dance to Earth’s Schumann Resonance and its cosmic constantly fluctuating flow of energies.     

Just like my experiences with Jill Purce many moons ago, hearing the heavenly tinkling sound which held light,  which was incidentally created as a result of group overtone chanting.

Resonant blessings to you all, as we vocalise and dance through this life together!

Dawn, she who sings prays twice.

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
TS Eliot

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Olfaction: Sweet Aroma of Linden

Happy Summer wherever and however you estivate (or hibernate –  in the Southern Hemisphere)!

DSC02955Linden flowers (without leaves), red clover and the last of the elderberry tincture.

My Summer (and all other seasons) is spent wherever there are green trees (and possibly blue waves).  Currently, my home is infused with the sweet scent of gently drying linden tree flowers.   

The aroma is as honeyed as an evening stroll amongst the linden trees.  So swooningly attractive, that a bee has, for once, overlooked the chive, red clover, chamomile and marjoram flowers in the window boxes and headed directly for my kitchen!

She was safely escorted out on the soft, colourful feather duster, especially used for that purpose!   

DSC02763Lovely linden/lime flowers remind me of honeysuckle.

Smell holds memory and emotions via the limbic system, as do other senses, for example, mint transports me instantly to my childhood at my Grandmother’s –  in glorious, detailed, visual technicolour – where we picked mint and potatoes for lunch.

Also, my previous post about bluebells:

https://solsticetree.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/beltane-bluebells-brigantia/

Linden, for me, is redolent of balmy Summers in France.  At a place I stayed in Provence, a linden tree overhung the swimming pool and, when the wind blew strongly in the evenings before dinner,  flowers covered the surface of the pool!   Drawn by the full floral fragance, we bathed in linden flower water!

I’ve always had an exceptionally keen sense of smell – which doesn’t always feel advantageous especially these days with a cocktail of 80,000+ chemicals in the home and external atmosphere – but it  is, nevertheless, a warning system as to what poisons are about to be inhaled.   As a child, I’d run from anywhere that had bottled tomato sauce, baked beans, milk or deep fried foods i.e. the smell of rancid oil – which I could detect long before entering a place. 

Now, I flee from “parfum” a nasty chemical added to so many personal and domestic care products that people use.    I find all man-made chemicals utterly repellant. 

We must protect this vital and wonderful olfactory organ and its important ability to sense more than one trillion odours, as it can so easily be damaged by inhaling such toxic substances.

In the 1970s, a friend in the SAS told me that when they were once on manoeuvre in the jungle, they were given three days advance to cover their tracks,  before a few members of a tribe set off to find them.

They did –  and easily – because they could smell the SAS men even at distance, as a result of the meat they ate!

So-called air/car fresheners, for example, utilise chemicals that are nasal anaesthetics (as well as chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, mood and health deformers) – so the odour and its cause are still there – but you are no longer capable of detecting it.

Shudder.      

Back to Earth-grown, uplifting, life-giving and soul soaring scents for our olfactory receptors!

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I’ve been lucky to find one of the linden trees that still has fresh, young flowers on the lower branches.   This is my second second batch this year collected for infusions in the coming months.

Sometimes I leave them to dry naturally or I put them in the dehydrator on low.   Make sure your herbs are completely dry as a crisp before storage, (unless making tinctures)  otherwise, mould will develop in storage and all your efforts will have been for naught.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy, herbalist, authoress and noted pioneer of wholistic veterinary treatments for animals who lived with gypsies in many countries learning about Nature, kept her herbs in paper bags hanging from the ceiling to keep rodents from eating them.   

After drying, you can also store the herbs in paper bags or until you are sure they are completely dried, as this allows them to breathe without becoming mouldy.       Much depends upon how much space you have – and I have little –  so I wait until the herbs are totally dried and use airtight jars.

I keep the dried flowers in a sealed glass jar, stored in a dark cupboard.  Such a joy to share the vitality of the tree I know so well; and is here consumed from special cups once a gift to  – and from – my Grandmother.

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When I pick herbs or flowers, I’m totally at one and timelessly immersed with the plant.   It’s a divine activity of reconnection.   People stop to ask me what I’m doing, sometimes silent, singing or giving thanks, as I snip and gather flowers, totally absorbed. 

Yesterday, a squirrel determined to get my attention, climbed right along the branch to greet me face to face,  finding my rustling bag misleadingly irresistable!

DSC05977In the early Spring, linden/lime leaves have these lime or red nail galls (below) which I find fascinating!   They are caused by the chemical residue of a mite called: eriophyes tiliae that lives in the bark.   This doesn’t bother the tree and perhaps ladybirds eat the mites.  

These are different from the aphids that spawned the warning: “never park your car under a linden tree”.   They also secrete sap from the leaves – yet the sticky leaves are considered a delicacy to some people!      Ants protect aphids and herd aphids like cattle, as they also enjoy the aphids’ sweet sap.

DSC02490These look like mini capsicum but are definitely not edible!

 

DSC02792Linden (with flower leaves) on a drying tray.

The pale, elongated leaves are part of the flower but, on the second picking, after the Summer Solstice has passed they are browning or nibbled a bit, so I leave them out and just use the flowers.   The pale leaves give a more intense flavour to the infusion though.

I look up longingly to all trees with such profound love and thanks.

Mitakuye Oyasin

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Mallow flowers in salads or eaten directly from the plant, are also delectably delicious at this time of year.

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