Solstice – A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

DSC02825Are you sure/That we are awake? It seems to me/That yet we sleep, we dream…

Demetrius, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Shakespeare

Happy Midsummer Solstice (in the northern hemisphere) around noon on 21st June 2014!   Oh, it’s a wonderful time of year!   Everything’s rich, green and warm and a purifying fire festival is held on the longest day of the year.    

I’ll be welcoming in the Midsummer Solstice this evening with drumming by candlelight.   

Tomorrow I’ll participate in a Noon Earth Healing Attunement, followed by a silent walking meditation among the trees.  

“In the beginning was sound” or vibration which not only affects and alters the shape of everything else – but creates forms.    So next, with a live performance by Frank Perry, we’ll become singing bowls and create Himalayan sound revelations whilst chanting AUM at White Eagle Lodge.  

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It wouldn’t be a Solstice without a feast-gathering (see raw victuals below).    The day will end at The Study Centre with Kabir “the weaver from Benares” (who was profoundly influenced by Rumi, Hafiz Attar and Saadi); in an evening of poetry and live music by the renowned mystic and his call to the heart.   

That should do it to bring in a joyful Summer Solstice!

Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.

Jelaluddin Rumi, 13th century Persian mystic poet

 

Raw Summer Solstice Ball (faerie dance!) 

DSC08264More than one ball and raw, of course!  Actually, they should be called Stress-Busting Balls because, as well as Reishi and other tree mushrooms for protein and the immune system, they also contain Mucuna, said to support dopamine production – the hormone that floods our body when we first fall in love, creating a massive euphoria.  That should keep my spirit soaring! 

Raw Toffee Caramel Lemon Sponge with White Mulberries, Coconut, Cacao Nibs and Macadamia Cream – ooooh, yes!

DSC02637A cake to share.

This will be accompanied by some quick, easy delicious spirit of Elda Mor elderflower cold infusion.   Ask a tall, handsome man to reach them from the tree for you as I had to! 

You can still find a few before they begin their own transformation to beautiful purple berries for my elderberry tinctures.

Spirit of Elda Mor Elderflower Cold Infusion

DSC02760 I prefer my drinks living and vibrant but not sugary so all you need are two large florets of elderflowers.   

Place them in a jug, fill with the purest water you can get, cover lightly with a cloth to avoid airborne particles and leave for about 1-2 hours.    Delicious!

All other parts of the elder tree are non-edible, so when making elderflower infusion or tea, i.e. with hot water, remove all stalks as they have an emetic quality.     (Not my chosen way of detox!)

At the end of yoga today, during Savasana (corpse pose) pranayama meditation, I entered into strange visions as though my spirit were separating from me.   So it seems may already have had my midsummer dreams!

I have had a most rare vision.    I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. 

Bottom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare

For now, Farewell, sweet playfellows (Hermia) and I trust your wonderful Midsummer Night’s Dream is manifested!

I trust mine will be in evidence also, before My soul is in the sky!  Moonshine, Ibidem

Dawn, Can Oka   X

ContactPhoto-IMG_20140612_121652Never lose hope, my heart, miracles dwell in the invisible.      If the whole world turns against you keep your eyes on the Friend.  

You are the universe in ecstatic motion

  Rumi

 

 

 

 

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PAGANUS (in the City)

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Put on with speed your woodland dress;
And bring no book: for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.
 

Verdant Green Greetings!

Such replenishing times spent with the land are so precious to us all, (more than ever before), for ourselves and, by association, invaluable for others.  

The moments in time taken just for gazing (or wild grazing), are “food” for our daily lives which provide nourishment even later, as they flash upon that inward eye.   (Afer all, woman cannot live by raw bread alone!)

Observation of Nature is our only hope of healing.  A poor life this if, full of care/We have no time to stand and stare, as WH Davies also pointed out.

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By “idleness”, Wordsworth didn’t mean inertia of the senses, but the act of enabling them through not over-thinking, over-doing or being bombarded by uninvited noisy discord.   This blocks imagination and any authentic creation of worth. 

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.   Einstein

Wordsworth refers throughout his poetry, to the abandonment of excess brain activity, in order to enjoy heart-felt observation and to allow wisdom to emerge out of the converged energies of oneself and the Earth-Cosmos.   

It was how he grew up, barefoot running wild across the lakeland, craggy fells.    What bliss, especially then.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.    Helen Keller

Our oral, aural and visual senses have infinitely greater potential to perceive, inhale and begin to know more than we can currently grasp.   

The meandering meadows remind me of my own childhood when I’d be out all day till dusk exploring and learning.   An unrestricted time, it felt.

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WiFi-FREE  – YAY!

Nowadays, leaving aside distractions would mean freedom from the deleterious cacophony blasted out in shops that feels like persistent pellets blasting all my cells;  EMFs, the mass use of sickly chemicals and traffic fumes.   (How I long to read WiFi-FREE instead of Free WiFi.    This will begin the nascent stages of recreating a civilised society.)

Gaining knowledge through observation has been largely lost in so many areas of life, in favour of limited analysis in a clinical laboratory.   Shamans and tribes learned by profound contemplation of events on Earth and celestial activity in the skies,  facilitating a level of cognition and deep understanding not available from the reading of books that the poet mentions.

Everything I do (by choice) is to enable me to merge more deeply with Nature. It’s an ever-increasing craving each day. 

Whether I’m gathering wild plants to eat, herbs to make infusions to drink, or to make tinctures; or singing songs to flora; practising yoga on the grass –  all initiate a deeper immersion with La Belle Verte and awareness the web of life.

One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.
 

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All my naturopathic nutrition teaching, raw/wild food or Reiki tuition are also interfused with being at one with Nature because nothing is separate.  When we attune trees and connect our own chi/prana/kundalini with the Divine Source of Reiki energy, our own energy fields expand.

Photography is a portal through which I lose time and space to be in the eternity with the plants and listen to their messages before I harvest any; and before I photograph them.     Sometimes the plants call me to photograph them.  “Over here! Take us!”

Photography (and painting) enables me to become the tree, a flower, its petals, sepals, stame, stigma, its ovary for an indeterminate interval in what is called existence.

DSC02555Vivid Orange Wilde Poppies crinkled like silk taffeta!

Just for this spell, my soul-spirit leaves my body. 

When I return to my physical self, there is stillness all around.   I am at peace, at one with myself and The All That Is; with awareness of the tiny worlds within worlds of a raindrop.

DSC02441So many on one leaf!   One on the stem dancing!

Mitakuye Oyasin All Are One

The observer changes the observed, quantum physicists report.    It is also the case that we pick up energy observed, or by osmosis, from others.  For example: stress: fear, grief (on a mass scale), anxiety, depression can be conveyed.  Or, positively: happiness, joy, laughter and Love – which are certainly contagious.  Whatever is uppermost in our minds becomes our world.  That which we meditate upon, magnifies.  

With our thoughts we make the world.    Siddhārtha Gautama, Buddha

After the extraordinarily intense, global planetary conditions beginning in April 2014, we really need this restorative connection with Nature.       Empaths especially, and for all it is a time of pause, reflection and release, totally letting go.    Many are still reeling from its influences.

My feeling is that situations and relationships in particular, are up for greater awareness, integrity and deeper truth.          Nothing may ever be the same again, and that’s a good thing!   Let’s trust that it will develop better than ever.

DSC02317Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

Paganus, later pagan, originally meant a rustic, bucolic, a peaceful non-combatant, a country person.

Long may you wander in wildness and frivol in freedom!

Dawn, Paganus (in the City)  x

No joyless forms shall regulate
Our living calendar:
We from to-day, my Friend, will date
The opening of the year.
 
Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
It is the hour of feeling.
 
One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.
 
Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.
 
And from the blessed power that rolls
About, below, above,
We’ll frame the measure of our souls:
They shall be tuned to love.  William Wordsworth
 
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PLENILUNE

What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
Of Love in ancient plenilune,
Glory and stars beneath his feet –
James Joyce

 

Greetings on this Total “Blood Moon” Lunar Eclipse!

All noetic reasoning leaves me in the vastitude of Nature’s wealth of wisdom, when the senses take over understanding and knowing.  

Come forth into the light of things
Let Nature be your teacher.      The Tables Turned, WW

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The blossom above is, of course, creating the chiaroscuro of the morning sun, rather than the moon, revealing the vistas of white, pink and bluebells blooming in great flower carpets amongst the verdant green grass, at the base of the vibrant trees bringing forth their emerging buds.  

Flowering trees both small and tall, whose confetti petals seem a reflection on the ground – as above so below – with each breeze making a magical showy snow of falling corolla, during this brief flowering of Spring.

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Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.     Ibid
 

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She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.   Ibid
 
 
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Each plant and tree is unique, as are we, even though it is of the same species.   Each graces its own pace  and expresses itself exclusively.  Whilst some elder trees are totally Winter bare, other elders already show their starry clusters of white flowers. 

(Elderflower Fizz, other recipes and folklore for you in my previous Elder post: https://solsticetree.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/nine-wise-elders/ )

In my magical Margravine garden, loaned for life, I am so moved to inhale the air that the trees allow; so grateful for their vital energy exchange within me and thankful I can feel so alive and healed there amongst them.

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One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man
Of moral ages and of good
Than all the sages can    Ibid
 
DSC02006 I love watching bewitching bees – Bee on lilac bluebell
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.    Ibid
 
Queen of the stars! – so gentle, so benign     To the Moon, WW

Sweet floral blessings to you at a time the Cosmos’ Lunar Eclipse promises great new beginnings for our  our highest visions.

Dawn

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The Might of the Light!

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A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Colour stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels. 

Emily Dickinson

Many happy light returns on this most potent Primaveral proliferation of the Vernal Equinox!  (Northern hemisphere 4.57 pm)

Light a candle this evening to welcome in the light into your homes and into your being.      My ritual done, the lantern flame is still burning in the window facing east as I write.

What is the power of this light?

It is the light force that flows through all living things connecting with the light at the centre of our DNA bringing with it a reawakening and rebirth.   

This is the time our cellular light energy is unzipped like a cosmic sleeping bag – up the front of the body and down the back!    I’ve felt it, seen it and been physically moved by its force which was wonderful!   

Naturopathic nutrition and energy cleansing assist the light energy to flow –  instead of block – your energy and well-being.     Being involved with and observing Nature and her cycles, is how we resolve  a Nature Deficiency Syndrome!  

Contact me at  solsticetree@gmail.com for consultations and support or click on the tabs at the top.

Our precious bees are working hard collecting pollen, making honey and pollinating plants everywhere they go.

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Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.   
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
 
Ariel’s song, The Tempest, Shakespeare

With more sweet-scented violet patches than I’ve ever seen grow before, I made wild violet honey.   Sit with the violets, inhale their aroma and listen to their messages.     Pick wisely.

To make honey: just fill a clean jar with violet flowers and pour your raw honey over them (runny e.g. Acacia).   Leave for several weeks or more.  Use as you would unflavoured honey: as a spread, eat a teaspoon directly for sore throats or take in warm teas and infusions.

When daisies pied, and violets blue,
  And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
  Do paint the meadows with delight ..
Shakespeare, Song from “Love’s Labours Lost” 1598

DSC01843I also created this cheeseless, raw cheese-cake with carob and raw coconut flakes, one of the recipes I shall be publishing.

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As the great circle of life once again brings around the super-surge of Spring, it also brings powerful potential for inner growth and vast light vitality into every cell of every insect, bird, plant, tree, each single blade of grass, and to the core of each one of the trillions of concatenated cells of our being.

Its energy force has been expanding just prior to the New Moon in Pisces on 1st March.     All of Nature comes out to celebrate!

DSC01776The tiny, spinning spider below also loves gorse flowers.   I do, too.    (See how she insists on being back-lit?)   Eating these yellow flowers is very earthing and provides the essential bitter element in our diets.      

Cows like to eat the spiky, prickly, green leaves, which probably says something about their domesticated grain diet.

DSC01585And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
from A Prayer in Spring, Robert Frost
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MAY THE MIGHT OF THE LIGHT BE WITH YOU AS YOU CROSS THE BRIDGE OF TIME

This day is also the Feast of Ostara/Eostre/Freya (the original Easter) and astrological New Year beginning with Aries.   

Luminal wishes for a very happy New Year, Nowrūz,  to all my Persian friends; and to all cultures whose calendrical year is also in tune with the natural progression of cosmic time.

With Love X

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Lines Written in Early Spring, William Wordsworth (1798)
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
 
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
 
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
 
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
 
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
 
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
 
 

©   Photographs copyrighted and ownership of Dawn Adrienne Taylor

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A (raw) Tart With a Heart

DSC01456Raw Tart with a Heart –  white mulberries, gojis and a raspberry + black mulberry doing an impression of a yew berry!

As you can see from the above, I’m having camera encounters of the strange kind (Mercury is currently retrograde).    Apart from the above unalterable towering tarts,  said camera is buzzing like an angry wasp and the screen’s shimmying as if on psilicybin mushrooms!  (My Pentax K1000 of decades still works a treat.   Digital schmidgital)

So a belated wish to you for momentous joy on that extremely plashy, pluvial Full Moon in Leo last Friday 14th February.   No doubt the lunar pull added to the heady tempest in the UK.  

The date is adapted in many countries to commemorate the death of St Valentine circa 278 AD.   Legend says that  St Valentine’s Day evolved from the pagan Roman Lupercalia, a bit of a Love-In, which was fine but it went against the new Christian religion, so it had to be adjusted.     Like Christmas, Easter and the rest.   

In Love, whether you are more of the Petrarch’s pining for luscious Laura de Noves denomination (who wrote 366 sonnets longing for her);

Vergin bella, che di sol vestita,
coronata di stelle, al sommo Sole
piacesti sí, che ‘n te Sua luce ascose,
amor mi spinge a dir di te parole:
 

or happily hitched or yet, as bawdy Byron’s dissolute Don Juan,

Marriage from love, like vinegar from wine
A sad, sour, sober beverage – by time
 

if you weren’t able to spend Valentine’s with your dream Schatzi/e, Beloved, Paramour, Amante, then it’s always heartening to: “Love the one you’re with” (Crosby/Stills) to spread a little love and appreciation to those present, dogs and plants included!

The plant world is my entheogen and has divinely made my Valentine’s weekend perfect.   (Though, not cut-flowers or plants from shops and garden centres anymore which, sadly, are sprayed with lethal subtances such as the hazardous glyphosate “Roundup.”  If you find an organic house-plant company in the UK, please let me know).

The plants we sought were the wild, edible variety which possess a vibrantly different energy and provide the crucial bitter element so lacking in our hybridised, fructosed fruits and vegetables.

After the hearty, tarty breakfast pictured above and under a heavenly, cerulean sky, the first Spring-like day of the year, we headed to Barnes Common and harvested: wild sheep’s sorrel, three-cornered leaks, red-top nettles, baby yarrow, wild chervil, dandelion cleavers and chickweed.   We ate yellow gorse flowers and nibbled lime buds.  

I felt earthed and also in spirit again: in tune with my own Nature and the Cosmos.   How I long for the scent of linden and elder blossoms for their  fragrant, healing teas and spellbinding beauty.  

We sat with Elda Mor, the wise woman spirit of the elder tree (whose wood must never be burned); with the oak, yew, ash, holly – who only has spikes when younger to prevent being eaten!     We learn so much about all the plants from feeling their vibration, listening to their messages – as well as from the enthusiasm and knowledge conveyed by Chris Hope of http://www.ipsophyto.com 

Though, Milton’s Adam was not in the same blissful state as I always am in Nature! 

Eve speaks to Adam, Paradise Lost, John Milton 1608-1674
 
With thee conversing I forget all time,
All seasons, and their change,–all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glist’ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful ev’ning mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun
On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist’ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
Nor grateful ev’ning mild, nor silent night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon
Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.

Whichever unique and creative ways you celebrate your life, coupling, pairing or nexus –  enjoy your feasting, singing, dancing and loving – and not just St Valentine’s Day, but every day and in each gloriously spontaneous moment!

Above all, nourish, nurture and adore YOURSELF! 

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.  O Wilde.
 

This love radiates from all your well-loved and loving cells to others, reaching universes far, far away…..

Ti amo! Ti voglio molto bene.

Dawn   X

DSC01525Raw Cacao Fudge and Dark Cacao

There’s doubtless something in domestic doings
Which forms, in fact, true love’s antithesis;
Romances paint at full length people’s wooings,
But only give a bust of marriages;
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
There’s nothing wrong in a connubial kiss:
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch’s wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life?
 
from Don Juan, Byron
 

The final note from a perfect union between two poets, Robert and Elizabeth, that did endure beautifully:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Piscean
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Happiness Hibernaculum

Roaring Fire at Lord Stones Carlton Bank
Before my drift-wood fire I sit,
And see, with every waif I burn, 
Old dreams and fancies coloring it, 
And folly’s unlaid ghosts return.
 
Far more than all I dared to dream,
Unsought before my door I see; 
On wings of fire and steeds of steam,  
The world’s great wonders come to me,
 
And holier signs, unmarked before,
Of Love to seek and Power to save,—
The righting of the wronged and poor,
The man evolving from the slave;
 
And well the waiting time must be,
Though brief or long its granted days,
If Faith and Hope and Charity
Sit by my evening hearth-fire’s blaze;
 
As low my fires of drift-wood burn,
I hear that sea’s deep sounds increase,
And, fair in sunset light, discern
Its mirage-lifted Isles of Peace. 
from Burning Drift-wood, John Greenleaf Whittier, one of the Fireside Poets

Salutations Imbolc!

Also known as St Brigid’s Day, today marks the end of Winter.   As one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals (Imbolc 1 February, Beltane 1 May, Lughnasadh 1 August and Samhain 31 October), it prepares the ground for the abundant, proliferative fertility of the full force of Spring yet to come, closer to the Equinox.

Here in the northern hemisphere, its transition is brumal and beautifully wild and windy; but when darkness comes so early at the end of each day, as much as I love crisp, revitalising air, the dusk brings a need to rest in the nest!

The depth of rest taken in the dark season provides the ground for vitality when the Sun returns.     Anon

The first buds have already appeared along with yellow gorse, the pink of cherry blossom,  with the first carpet blush of lilac crocus and white snowdrops surrounding the trees.     

As one cycle is dies, the next is birthing.

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Kung Hei Fat Choi, All! 

Aligned with galactic or Nature’s time, yesterday was the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Wood Horse and the New Moon in Aquarius, bringing with it a vast influx of beneficial energy and renewal.

I feel it is a time full of hope and, whatever this year brings, the equine symbolism for me is not the image of the wooden trickster on wheels at Troy!  Nor the tragic misuse of those noble, majestic beings for human battles throughout the centuries.

It is instead the symbolism of the living wood of breathing trees who enable life on Earth; and the mystic vision of stallion horsepower that moves everything forward even faster – with the added spiritual power and inspiration of the white, winged-horse, Pegasus, soaring into the stars!

Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
Paradise Lost, Milton
 

The symbol of this new year’s horse brings to mind wild, wild horses running freely, their manes waving in the wind; of Anna Sewell’s “Black Beauty”; and an indelibly prophetic dream I once had of an untamed, wounded horse running towards me escaping to my peaceful forest!

This night, light a roaring fire or rekindle resting passion with the flame of a single candle;  making your intention to defeat the Chimera, like Pegasus to fly “On wings of fire like steeds of steam;” and soar as high as the stars to your dreams this wonderful year!

D

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

 
“Dedicated to the Priests of Peace, all Shepherds and Horse Lords
and my Imperial Lore Liege – the King of the Rumbling Spires”,
from A Beard of Stars which gift I still have from 1970.  Thanks, Pater. X 
I keep vigil
to the fire
in my heart.
 
http://www.bishopinthegrove.com/i-keep-vigil-to-the-fire-imbolc-poetry-for-a-goddess/

 

 

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In Capricorn, the Sun is reborn…

Happy Holy Day Joyful Holiday!

Greetings on this sacred Winter Solstice 2013 which peaks at 17.11 today; as the crepuscule continues yet the light returns after the Sun has been “still”

In Capricorn, the Sun is reborn.       It is reborn to shine down over the coming months until it finally reaches the fullness of its Summer.   Then it begins to retire because it has left behind all it needs to, for wo/man to take care of herself/himself.   How does it do this?   A farmer can tell you.

We are here not simply to conquer this universe.      We are here not to take its resources and exploit them.      We are not here to get rich off of what Nature has provided.   Because, if we were, and it was lawful, we would not have to leave all of it behind when we go… 

Manly P Hall from one of his many wonderful talks.

Yes indeed, we have everything we need to share a-plenty: air, water, sun, plants from which to learn – as long as knowledge into multidimensional Nature isn’t disguised, segmented or defiled; and people are not then made fearful of isolationist, human-created illness labels.

We are citizens of a vast universe within whose cosmic laws we must advisedly abide, I feel.

DSC00886How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness every where!

from Sonnet 97  Shakespeare

The Present, the Gift-Wrapped Now!

For days, I’ve deep cleansed the inner cellular terrain and outer home environment in preparation for this day of biochemical, celestial activity; illuminated with candles, spirited away the negative with sage bundles I made in the Autumn; reflected, contemplated and released the old year, discharging disloyalties and unintelligent, avaricious betrayals; but so gladdened by the year’s soaring joys and the more advanced souls in my hemisphere; and I’ve blessed and welcomed in the emerging cosmic energies with Reiki symbols, walked in cold, wet leaves,  meditated in the present – the gift wrapped now – and on Sunday, a full day of celebratory singing my heart out!

DSC00936Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
This life is most jolly!

from As You Like It, Shakespeare 1600

DSC06922It wouldn’t be a celebration without a feast, and here is my Raw Cacao Choc Chunk Light-As-Air Irish Moss Mmmmousse Cake!

Winter is on my head but eternal Spring is in my heart.

Victor Hugo

“We must hold the light until the next Winter Solstice…. in the Spring, Heaven bestows; in the Fall, we conserve; and thus the astronomical universe breaks down into a morality,   the only true evidence we have to build a real philosophy of life.   

Let us trust that, as the Sun moves northward, that we all move with it as co-operative parts, so that out of our hearts we raise that Sun to shine upon a world that re-awakens from the sleep of materiality and  returns again into the Light.”   

MP Hall, paraphrased

May your wassail bowl overflow with Love and Illumination!

Dawn

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Happy Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve

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If you and I could change to beasts, what beast should either be?
Shall you and I play Jove for once?   Turn fox then, I decree!
Shy wild sweet stealer of the grapes!   Now do your worst on me!
 
Now say your worst, Canidia!*   “He’s loathsome, I allow:
There may or may not lurk a pearl beneth his puckered brow:
But see his eyes that follow mine – love lasts there, anyhow”
 
Robert Browning:   from ‘White Witchcraft’
* Canidia, Sagana, Folia and Veia were dark witches referenced in several of Horace’s poems (b 65 BCE). 
 

Samhain is traditionally celebrated from 30 October to 7 November with a feast and fires.   On the yearly wheel of death and rebirth, of willing release and welcoming in, it represents the cyclical end of the Autumn and the beginning of the Winter and the Celtic  New Year.   

Because the veil is thin and spirits of all kinds are abroad, we dress in our costumes to disguise and protect ourselves from any mischief!

It’s both fun and a time to call in the ancestors.     I’ve contacted mine and received some interesting messages and advice.    I asked for help and it came.    It has been a tumultuous time as the climactic tempests that have blown down trees and crushed through walls,  have reflected the inner emotions of many of us this week.    We, like the trees, will regrow as long as our roots are connected to the Earth.  

DSC00412Barefoot Green Witch (me!) blessing the remains of the Purple Beech under which a lovely meeting once took place.   The trunk now rests like a Neolithic dolmen amongst the tomb stones.        I am certain it will regrow to its coppery, amethyst glory once more.  

Samhain, Samhain we call upon our kin
We call upon our Sacred Ancestors to come in
Samhain, Samhain we call them to come in
We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in
   
  LISA THIEL, SAMHAIN SONG

It is esteemed a very wrong thing amongst the islanders to be about on November Eve, minding any business, for the fairies have their flitting then, and do not like to be seen or watched; and all the spirits come to meet them and help them.   But mortal people should keep at home, or they will suffer for it; for the souls of the dead have power over all things on that one night of the year; and they hold a festival with the fairies, and drink red wine from the fairy cups, and dance to fairy music till the moon goes down.    

Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland,  Lady Wilde “Speranza”

If the fairies are at their gloomiest as a result of the approaching Winter, as Yeats said (who joined the Golden Dawn)  –  on behalf of fairies and good spirits everywhere, I wish you all a beautiful season of rest and renewal.

Dawn

   Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

Countess to Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare

Purple Beech in its former cloak
 
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Forbidden Fruits and Sweet Roses

Serotinal Greetings!

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It’s been extraordinarily Summery in Londinium in between the heavy storms which is making the ground so soft and moist (orgone conductive) to walk barefoot upon.

Someone asked me if I’m afraid of germs on the ground.  I replied that I’m concerned about potential diseases if I don’t connect with Earth.      Such relief to be grounded, DNA commingled, re-entwined with Nature; I could stay barefoot all day.     Rubber soles create rubber souls!     Say “hello, hello (I don’t know why you say goodbye)” to the beetles!

URBAN FORAGERS TAKE CARE THOUGH!

There are concerns in green urban spaces, I’ve discovered.   The beautiful fruits below are my Father’s garden organic – crisp, sweet and lovely, direct from the tree – as most food, ideally, might be eaten.  Bliss!  (The insatiable starlings gobbled the cherries!)

DSC00189Last year in Dukes Meadows, I watched with delight as volunteer children and adults planted fruit trees across the fields.     Each time I walked past, I enjoyed the progressive proliferation of the trees who now bear fruit collected by passers-by.

However, I recently saw that all the grass had been annihilated from underneath each group of trees.      To my horror, notices announced that the ground had been poisoned with herbicide!     DSC00327Why?    To get rid of the grass to plant a wildflower meadow……

Instead of contaminating the Earth, they could have just used the same spades with which they planted the tree saplings, and dug up the grass.    Then  add Grochar (Craig Sams), organic, sustainable soil improver to encourage germination.     I despair.     The second point,  is why plant meadow flowers where they’ll be trampled – when people will want to access the fruit to eat it?         Has there been any ecological (or logical?) thought behind this?  DSC00332

“.. two treatments of herbicide.   The herbicide is approved for use in public parks and is the same as that used by the council…”

RANT…

WHAT?!   Don’t we have enough pollution, chemtrails and radiation to contaminate the environment?    (There are Soil Association permitted chemicals such formaldehyde in ready-made sea-weed garden feed.  I make up my own.)      Or sufficient defiled tap water with skeletal-softening, cell-hardening  fluoride; and denatured food.    “Organic,” free range eggs are from chicks vaccinated at birth which is EU ruling  stall-holders tell me, unless you keep your own.   25 years on, I’m still asking sheeps/goats cheese sellers not to use xenoestrogen, gender-bending, carcinogenic cling film.     Yes, I only want unpasteurised but are the goats allowed to roam?   Not in all cases.   No Vitamin K or sunlight.

How long will we even have the farmers market option instead of the Stepford Wife Stupormarkets?  Dr Gabriel Cousens has urged US citizens to write, reporting that: “The FDA’s new food safety rules have the real potential to force some of the nation’s safest local and organic farms out of business!”

People have been removed from farming and self-sufficiency for a long time: the Industrial Age in Britain, in Pakistan people are being encouraged to work in the towns instead of growing rice; corn growers in areas of South America ditto, the Native Americans were forced to farm instead of eating wild foods; and I think “The Dust Bowl” in the US and the potato famine in Ireland – were to create workforces forced to buy their goods in shops, no longer living off the land, alongside Nature.   Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp have been doing Farm Aid concerts since 1985 to support agriculture because of the burden placed on family farmers.

“Herbicide, larvicide, pesticide, fungicide, suicide!”  lovely David Avocado Wolfe

None of these artificial chemicals is recognised by the body, so they disrupt the biochemical processes in the form of hormonal disturbance leading to severe brain/body malfunction.

Invisible toxins (obesogens/xenoestrogens) cause cell alteration and deterioration: from overweight, arthritis, Alzheimers and worse.    

As a forager of all things wild and woody, for infusions, tinctures, packs (e.g. a shoulder tendon injury) salads and juices – my main concerns would be the chemicals I avoid like the plague elsewhere.      So I’ve been asking gardeners in urban green havens such as Margravine, Holland Park etc what exactly is used.     I’ve seen a masked sprayer of what I assume is herbicide along the edge of  Queens Club fences to remove “weeds” which is where urban herbicide is largely used i.e. at the edges of pathways and pesticide on nursery plants before planting to kill aphids.

Much better to invest in irrigation (we had a minor drought in London this year) organic nourishing feed and in heirloom, heritage, ancestral plants which are non GMO and without the inherited poisons.

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NEVERTHELESS, LOVELY THINGS MAY STILL BE FOUND SAFELY WITH THOUGHTFULNESS AND JOY

DSC00319Giving visual delight to the eye;  recalling sweet Mediaeval reminiscences to the nose and dewy moisture to the cheek, these exquisite (unsprayed) roses also provide healing, nutritious rosehips!

No wonder the rose is a symbol of the Art of Love.  Shiny, plump rosehips, (high in botanical Vitamin C) from a very old plant, have been increasingly abundant since August;  picked in “The Garden of Love!” (from the allegorical dream vision poem, Le Romaunt de la Rose, Guillaume de Lorris c 1225).

The Romance of the Rose it is, and it enfolds
Within its compass all the Art of Love.

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With the ideal conditions of sun and rain, fresh crops of chickweed, cleavers, plantain, dandelion leaves and nettles are growing as verdantly as if in Spring; for juicing, tinctures or infusions.

There are many elder trees where I’d picked the elder flowers along the river (please see previous post ‘Between Nine Elders’).     The blue-black berries, Sambucus nigra, make wonderful immune protection and healing in daily, Winter tinctures.

We have to be very fast to collect the berries, though, because the pidgeons consume them voraciously!      However, Elda Mor allowed me two trees with just enough berries left that I could reach, to make one jar of elderberry tincture with very good brandy.   (Herbalists often recommend 100 proof vodka because the water in it extracts the water soluble nutrients from the berries.)

Song of the Rose, Sappho, Greek Poetess (630-570 BCE)

translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If Zeus chose us a King of the flowers in his mirth,
He would call to the rose, and would royally crown it;
For the rose, ho, the rose! is the grace of the Earth,
Is the light of the plants that are growing upon it!
For the rose, ho, the rose! is the eye of the flowers,
Is the blush of the meadows that feel themselves fair,
Is the lightning of beauty that strikes through the bowers
On pale lovers that sit in the glow unaware
Ho, the rose breathes of love! ho, the rose lifts the cup
To the red lips of Cypris invoked for a guest!
Ho, the rose having curled its sweet leaves for the world
Takes delight in the motion its petals keep up,
As they laugh to the wind as it laughs from the west.
 

Nourish and Love this divine, living, breathing Earth as we do our children, for she is our Mother.    Healing foraging and with Love, Dawn XDSC00202

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Hail Harvest!

DSC09245Sweet, energising harvest: My Raw Cacao Crunch with Rose Petal Tea below

Hail Lughnasadh Harvest!

The festival took place yesterday heralding the time of Summer harvest which would normally indicate the decline of Summer.   The weather and the seasons,  now in many places though, are interfused.

The Celtic festival is usually celebrated midway between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the 3rd of the Earth festivals (Imbolc in February; Beltain April/May and Samhain in November); and the first of three Autumnal harvest festivals (Mabon and Samhain).    

Said to be named after the god Lugh, whose Mother, Tailtiu, was associated with agriculture in Ireland.    Hence,  the association with harvest time.

DSC09780Simplest of harvests: willingly yielding Rose Petals and Moroccan Mint Tea

Several nights ago, in a vivid dream (they all are) I’d been given a massive basket of real breads from a baker in another time and was inhaling their delightfulness, and searching for raw, unsalted goats’ butter!   I still salivate thinking of it.

DSC09514Also called Lammas (loaf mass), when wheat was treated very differently and left to dry in sacks instead of being fast-dried in heaters; or named the Festival of Bread, Cornucopia (the horn of plenty) or First Fruits and others.    I remember my Mother referring to it as: “Bilberry Sunday” (akin to blueberries) when they picked those berries to make desserts.

My harvests from earlier in the year, include nettle leaves for infusions (below, dried in the dark after this photo); and later nettle seeds to eat (left, sun dried with windowbox chamomile flowers). 

As I have no drying sheds for larger quantities, I buy quantities of organic herbs when my locally collected ones have run out.

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But, if we have more heatwaves and storms in September or October or even November, who knows what plants may proliferate?

Angaangaq, the global Shaman of Greenland, relates that his Shamanic ancestors told him, although cultures the world over all had the same inherent knowledge of Earth/Cosmic changes at 2012, no-one really knew precisely how these evolutions would take place.  

When pressing his Mother further for an answer, she smiled and said:  “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and then …  nothing!”      He noted that the snow in Greenland was months late and not much of it, for the first time he’d known in his life and that the seasons themselves were changing significantly.

Certainly, in Britain, we had a very delayed and brief Spring in 2013 leading to alterations in the insect kingdom which affects birds and mice as well as the trees.   

When I returned from the moist, mossy moors of North Yorkshire, Margravine was in drought with trees releasing their branches in order that the whole tree survives, purple thistles were brown, bright blue cornflowers and orange poppies gone.   The grass and long grasses were yellow, dry and crisp.    

Permitting this drought to affect flora and fauna (one woman did her best to feed a sapling with tap water) seems unevolved given the underground springs in this area which used to be an enormous market garden a few hundred years ago (and there are many underground rivers all over London).    The spring water is amply used by Queens Tennis Club for their lawns with revolving hoses!

Fortunately, I had harvested a supply of precious linden (below) for infusions as well as elder flowers (more detailed in a previous post) to dry before the drought along with the nettle leaves and nettle seeds above.

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A Tree of Lemon-coloured Linden Flowers

After the spectacular, flashing storms, the grass became a little greener, the chickweed returned, the magnolias are reflowering early, some of the the ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is up to my chest when barefoot; and the plantain (I use the leaves in juices) grows rapidly as soon as it’s been cut.    

The pollution levels in all major cities in the UK have been over the legal limit for many years so our green spaces are a divine gift to be treasured.       Plantain – when it grows high, indicates that pollution levels are low.     In Margravine, there are 6.2 hectares with over 300 trees which absorb and clear toxic waste.   The area has mowed, winding paths, to allow people to walk between the flowers and grasses which form a charming meadow.     Thank you trees.

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Lush green meadow – plantain leaves may be used in juices or chopped small in salads

DSC09770Quinoa with Harvested Window Box and Wild Plants

Quinoa is a not a grain but a seed. Lightly cook the quinoa for about 5 minutes and leave to stand for another five to get light and fluffy.

You can add anything you wish to quinoa such as avocado, mushrooms, tempeh, goats cheese, fish or chicken if you eat it.   

I wanted plenty of flavour so I added: one tablespoon dried nettle seeds, freshly snipped chives, purple sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary and lilac thyme flowers; chickweed, salad sprinkle seaweed, 1 teaspoon kelp powder, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper and turmeric, a little barley miso, garlic, Pink Himalayan Salt and Seggiano Olive Oil and Balsamico di Modena, mushrooms gently warmed in coconut oil and avocado – adjust ingredients according to taste.

I wish you an abundant harvest for both body and soul.

Kwak wha, Lolmani

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

from the Hopi Prayer for Peace letter

by Kikmongwi (Village Chief) Lee Wayne Lomayestewa

PS   My window boxes were over 30 inches high including the red clover blossoms.   After the big harvest trim, three of these mysterious mushrooms grew.    If anyone can identify the species, I’d be most grateful.   I gave them to one of the mushroom growers at the farmers market for analysis but no reply so far.

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