2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I was ridiculously pleased with the idea of 5,600 views of my blog….until I saw someone else’s blog had 18,000 views that is. But then I stopped and reminded myself that I’ve only been blogging here since February 2014 so a huge thanks to all who made up that 5,600 viewings. Here’s to 2015!

Web of Life Connections – Ancestors

I thought it would be nice to have a connection or teacher to see 2014 out and 2015 in so today when I dipped my hand into this bag of connections this is what I held in my mind and from the depths of the bag I drew…

Ancestors

Now as you are probably all aware by now there are connections in the bag that I have no recollection of putting there and this is one of them. It is interesting though because yesterday I read a blog by someone who was saying that we should spend time talking with our ancestors and hearing their stories before it is too late. Bearing in mind there is no such thing as coincidence it seems clear that the Ancestors are waiting to speak to us.

‘Go within yourself and feel the connection you have to every living thing. Listen with your heart for that is where you will hear the truth and as you listen, know that everything and everyone that exists is your ancestor for in life there is no separation, that idea lives only in your mind. And when you listen, be at peace’.

I will see you all in 2015 ūüôā

 

Shaman Pathways Web of Life 

It’s Monday so it’s time to get Musing

imageWith the change over from the Pagan Blog Project to the Pagan Experience I will be aiming to blog as part of this on a Monday during 2015. ¬†With Monday Musings beginning next Monday 5th January I though I’d get some practice in.

I have bread baking in the oven, vegetables turning themselves into soup and so sitting here waiting I certainly have time to muse.

So what is musing exactly? A quick look online tells me this is a period of deep thought. Now I’m not sure that my musings will necessarily be the result of deep thought…..but wait….the¬†synonyms for musing are: meditation, thinking, contemplation, deliberation, pondering, reflection, rumination, cogitation, introspection and daydreaming which puts me on much firmer ground.

As a child I would always be in trouble at school for what people thought was daydreaming. As an adult at times I still look to be daydreaming but what most people don’t realise is that I am actually journeying, shifting my perception and wandering or working in non-ordinary reality. When anyone hears me say ‘Sorry I was miles away’, I actually was.

I’m not sure this is what is really meant by musing, although I am sure there will be some shamanic journeying by me from time to time in order to gain insight into a topic that is part of the Pagan Experience posts. Thinking, contemplation and the odd bit of introspection though I can do ūüôā

If in fact I take thinking, contemplation and introspection to be musing then I have certainly been musing today. I think musing in fact goes well with this time of year whatever our beliefs and however we celebrate. It is a time for looking back, reflecting on the year that has gone and maybe looking forward in some way to the year to come. It is that time between gathering with family and friends for either Solstice or Christmas and perhaps gathering with family and friends for the turn of the calendar year. It is the quiet time in between, the time for introspection, going within, and the time for looking out, for sign and omens that point the way to what is ahead, either within our own life or within the land around us.

My bread is baked, the soup made and so my musing time, for now anyway, has come to an end.

Merry Musing 

 

 

 

 

The Pagan Experience

image Beginning on 5th January 2015 I will be blogging my Monday Musings along with many others on The Pagan Experience. There will be weekly blog posts which you will find here as with last years Pagan Blog Project but if you are a Pagan who blogs you might like to hope over and join us there.

Is this progress?

The very first Christmas I spent in Ireland was about 19 or 20 years ago now. We were at the time living in the UK and on Boxing Day as we then knew it we would often wander up to Reading or into Basingstoke for a little post Christmas browsing. Sometimes this would be the ‘returning of presents’, at others ‘spending Christmas money’ or sometimes it really was just for something to do. Anyway, on arriving in Ireland that very first Christmas here we set out, on what living here we now call not Boxing Day but St Stephen’s Day, for a drive into the city. We did think the roads were very quiet on the drive in and when we got there we discovered why. Not a single thing was open! Not a shop, nor a cafe, nothing!!!!! And the day after, the 27th was exactly the same. Everything closed from late on Christmas Eve through to around December 28th.

Fast forward that 19 or 20 years and the sales began today St Stephen’s Day. From the ads on the radio I think just about everywhere is open, a big difference from when we first came here.

I’m not sure when this change occurred really but I think it has been a gradual thing, a slow slide into open all hours as it were. A shift from most people having a few days off, time to spend away from the work environment, time to celebrate, to be with friends and family, to reflect, to plan or even to just recharge, to, if you are unlucky, just having one day off to do everything in.

Sitting here in the kitchen, the rain hammering on the window I’m wondering if this change is in fact progress or if in the name of progress we have actually lost something important.

Me, I’m not going near the sales. Having got used to not going shopping over the holiday period it’s one tradition I’m holding on to. After a couple of days with friends, eating, drinking, laughing, sharing, I’m going to spend this one just being.

Pagan Blog Project – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This is the last post of 2014 for the Pagan Blog Project and in fact the last post ever as part of this initiative ūüė¶

So the zzzzzzzzz in the title represents sleep mode for the Pagan Blog Project may it rest well and may something great arise from its ashes in 2015.

Whatever it is I will be back blogging whenever I have something to share so hope to see everyone back here in 2015

Web of Life Connections – Emotions

imageAs I dipped my hand into the bag for a card today I quietly asked for a connection or teacher for everyone at this time of year and had to laugh when the one I drew out was Emotions.

I am sure that whatever and however you are celebrating at the moment, whether it be a quiet Pagan Solstice going deep within and connecting with yourself, or a massive family Christmas, socialising with friends and family you haven’t seen all year, ¬†Emotions are to the forefront. So what message have they brought for us all?

‘No matter what is happening, how strongly your Emotions are running remember that they are only your Emotions, messengers if you will, they are not you. You can choose to acknowledge them and tuck them away for later or to let them run wild, but whichever you do be aware that your Emotions are speaking to you. Listen to what they are saying for there may be some healing to be done when the time is right’.¬†

Sleep working?

How’s everyone doing today, the day after the longest night and the new moon?

I’m sure this will get little sympathy from the insomniacs out there because I usually sleep like a log. I’m gone when my head hits the pillow and drift gently awake the following morning, usually having slept the night through. The last few nights though have been anything but restful and uninterrupted. I have been finding it hard to get to sleep and when I do have been feeling as if I am half awake. I am aware that I’ve been doing something although I have no idea what. This is when I know I have been sleep working.

Sometimes I am aware of this happening more at either full moon or new moon than at other times of the month. Sometimes this coincides with particularly powerful moons or planetary alignments that I am told about afterwards.

I have friends who are into astronomy who have been posting about this being a particularly powerful new moon. All I know is my mind is refusing to be still be it day or night and in my dreams I have definitely been somewhere, speaking to others and doing whatever it is I do when I am not awake at these times.

Sometimes I drift almost awake and have clear knowledge and what I have been doing, this knowledge then stays with me. It is almost as if I am woken so that I remember, this makes it much easier of course. At other times like now I have no idea at all so that of course leads me to spend my time awake wondering what I have been up to.

I can ask for it to stop of course and at times when I am really tired I do explain that while I am happy to work I do need a deep, restful and uninterrupted night’s sleep. I’m not quite there yet this time but it is getting close.

So…I just wondered if anyone else out there was experiencing anything similar at the moment.

Solstice Blessings

imageAs we reach the end of the shortest day of the year may I just wish everyone a blessed Solstice. With a new moon to follow tomorrow it really is a day for putting the past behind us and sowing the seeds of whatever we wish to create in the year ahead.

There was an interesting article connected to Solstice from the BBC today which you can read here

Pagan Blog Project – Zen and the Art of Zentangles

imageRecently I came across the practice of Mindfulness, Buddhism and Zen being summed up as ten principles:
Mindfulness or being in the moment, Non Judgement, Patience, Awareness, Tolerance, Acceptance, Compassion, Validation, Invitation and Practice.

I know very little about Zen so I hope all those that do will forgive me in this if it is completely wrong but for me it linked closely with the Art of Zentangles which I discovered when searching for information on mandalas.

A Zentangle is an abstract drawing in a 3.5cm square ’tile’ of paper. It should be without orientation and so have no right way up. It should be black ink on white paper and so involve no special tools. Finally Zentangles should be portable so they can be done anywhere, anytime. Creating a Zentangle requires absolute focus and can even be thought of as a form of ceremony.

Zentangles are unplanned, allowing the end result to reveal itself rather than starting with an idea or goal. They are deliberate, yet unexpected with each stroke allowed to find its own form. The creation of a Zentangle is celebratory, like a meditation it is both freeing and healing. They are also timeless and connected to all human endeavour of putting pen to paper.

On discovering Zentangles I cut up paper to make tiles and sat down to produce one. As I did I discovered why the word Zen is part of the name for increasing one I found I was unable to do so without practicing at least some of the principles of Zen.

As I sat with my piece of paper and began to make marks I could only be in the moment as it required me to be still and focus totally on what I was doing. As I worked I became calm and relaxed, completely aware of every mark I was making on the paper, the way the pen moved, the way the mark connected with those around it and determined what came next. I was tolerant of myself and my lack of knowledge for this didn’t matter, not did any drawing ability I may or may not have for this was solely about the process of creating. I found compassion for myself in that space for I could be no way but the way I was and create nothing except that which wished to be created. And above all else it took patience for to rush a Zentangle is to completely miss the point.

When I was much younger it was all the rage to have tiny kits to make Zen gardens. Small spaces that had perhaps one carefully placed stone around which fine sand was moved into pleasing patterns with a tiny rake. The drawing of the rake through the stones produced the same feeling of calmness, of being in the moment as drawing Zentangles can.

There are complicated grids, patterns and rules that I believe can be applied to Zentangles but I have no interest in these. As an aid to mindfulness and to being still though I can highly recommend the art of Zentangles.