In the Eye of the Storm and the Aftermath

Ophelia

We weren’t actually in the eye of the storm, more a bit to the right of it but that didn’t sound so good as a heading 🙂 Ophelia though was an experience which thankfully we have survived almost intact.

So how was it?

Well, we listened to all the advice and outside moved anything loose; plants, pots, wheelie bins and even the tiny stone dragon, and gargoyle as well as the ironic garden gnome. We filled buckets with water to weigh them down and also so we had some extra water even if it was a bit green and slimy and then we gave up as we didn’t know what else we could do. Later, in the dark we ventured out to do some last minute moving of a table and my tiny oak saplings.

Inside we cleared all the window sills, lowered blinds and drew curtains. I’m not quite sure what this was for but suspect it was in case the windows blew in. We also filled up water bottles, kettles, anything we could get our hands on really so that we had as much fresh water available as possible.

The Irish have a very laid back ‘sure it’ll be fine’ attitude towards weather warnings, mainly because we get so many, but the night before we watched the weather forecast and listened to the warning that this was not ‘the tail end of a hurricane’ this was an ACTUAL hurricane. This might it seemed, be serious, especially as half the country (the bit I am in) had a red warning, the other half orange.

The morning itself I woke around 4am and weirdly could physically feel the hurricane coming, something in me had changed. I had not expected this in any way that on a physical level it would make its presence known. By about 7am we were wide awake. It was incredibly warm for October and still relatively calm but by now I had a headache.

We had been given comprehensive information as to when the storm was expected to reach the various parts of the country and as we still had power we knew it had reached the far south west and was on its way. By this point the whole country had a red warning. We put out phones back on charge and being very first world, also the electric toothbrush, then settled down in the lounge, the farthest point from the south/south east winds as well as the furthest from our (glass) conservatory and watched the drama unfold online.

Durning the morning we were more and more aware of the wind, sneaking peeps out of the windows at odd times we saw trees down on our crossroads, leaves blowing outside and felt the temperature drop dramatically.

Somehow we held onto power all morning, watching reports from those with mobile internet that the power had gone all around us and then at 12.30pm during the peak of the storm for us, the power went.

We had been expecting to be in the band of fiercest winds, shown as dark purple on the map, but the hurricane had changed course, very, very slightly, and so the damaging gusts were not as bad as we’d been warned. Yes it was fierce but it didn’t seem to be gusting as much as we had expected. Despite an incredibly strong desire to go and see what was happening we stayed hunkered down listening to the odd and unexplained noise from outside

Eventually around 4pm my headache cleared and we felt the worst had been and gone so we ventured out. Three ridge tiles had blown off the roof and were laying on the ground in an empty space where the table we moved in the dark the night before had once been. Somehow these fell the right way and so luckily missed going through the roof of our conservatory. We had also lost a couple of outside lights and the fascia from a shed. Oh and the contents of the fridge and freezer which have now had to be thrown out of course.

That evening we listened to the wind change direction to come from the North West. This then hit the end of the house we were sheltering in but luckily had lost lot of  its strength.

The next day dawned calm with blue skies and sunshine. We chanced the roads into town where a supermarket with its own generator, cleaned up by providing take away coffees. The delight of a hot drink. The afternoon saw us first of all clearing up fallen branches in the garden and then walking on the beach still in the sunshine. We had been lucky. No roads blocked, none of our trees down, others though weren’t as lucky.

In the city over twenty ancient lime trees had fallen completely blocking a road, all around the south and south west of Ireland trees had fallen and are still falling, my husband’s golf course is closed for the foreseeable future due to damage and we know that means a large number of trees have been lost. Three people lost their lives in the storm, damage to property is widespread.

Today and tomorrow we have another weather front bringing heavy prolonged rain. Drains and ditches are blocked with leaves and debris causing flooding on roads. The road from our village to town was only just passable this morning.

Our power came back on last night, others will still be out over the weekend it seems, maybe even into next week.  We have another storm on the way after the rain. It’s called Brian which sounds harmless enough, but has winds that we are being warned could do even more damage coming after Ophelia. Lets hope not.

The three days we had without power have taught us the following:

  • Not having any idea what is going on anywhere is incredibly isolating, we may now get mobile internet on one of the phones, just in case.
  • We should have bought some baby wipes and hand gel then might not have felt quite so grubby.
  • Pot noodles, just add water pasta meals, tinned tuna etc would be handy to have in the cupboard
  • The old camping stove that we eventually remembered we had and unearthed from the shed yesterday will be better kept in the house in the future
  • Food in the fridge is not edible once the power has been off a while

We were lucky. We are a little sheltered from south/south easterly winds, if the next winds from Brian come from the north/north west as forecast they will hit us straight on. In that direction we are exposed 😦

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 14.58.48Meet Brian!

I would like to think the energetic protection I put in place helped keep us safe, that the overtures I made when journeying to Ophelia persuaded her to change her course slightly (although I clearly wasn’t persuasive enough that the storm missed Ireland, or even us, completely), that connecting with Huracan (thanks Laura Perry for the suggestion) which was easier once I had discovered his links to Quetzalcoatl whom I know from Munay Ki, may have made a difference. Who can know for sure. What I do know is that with Brian brewing up a storm I am off to reinforce our energetic protection ….just in case.

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iPagan – New E-Book Release

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iPagan

Edited by Trevor Greenfield

Available now from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

 

 

A long time ago, or so it seems such is the length of time it can take for anything to be published, 40 Moon Books authors, of whom I am one, got together to write iPagan, a collection of essays on a range of Pagan topics.

The collection covers Druidry, Shamanism, Goddess Spirituality, Witchcraft, and Paganism today. It is available only as an ebook and with 40 writers and 59 topics for such a tiny price that it represents unbelievable value.

It would be hard for me to write a review being as I have a piece on ‘Signs, Symbols and Messages’  published in the section on Shamanism, but I am so looking forward to reading the other entries being as they include essays from amongst others; Ross Heaven, Luke Eastwood, Elen Sentier, Graeme K Talboys, Robin Hearne, Nimue Brown, Brendan Myers, Jane Meredith, Rachel Patterson, Morgan Daimler and Lucya Starza.

Amazon has its look inside feature in operation for the ebook, so why not go and have look. What have you got to lose?

A Brief Encounter

(not my photo I wasn’t quick enough) 

This morning driving to the gym (I put that in to impress everyone 😂) I suddenly realised that a bird had swooped in front of the car. There it was flying at windscreen level, at my eye level, wings outstretched, wider wingspan than any bird that I usually see whilst driving.

I knew immediately that it was a bird of prey and although I have seen Kestrels from a distance , usually from underneath and up close sitting on our garden furniture and on the patio, I have never seen one flying that close to me and that low before so I wasn’t completely sure what it was…..until it settled in the tree by the side of the road that is.

Once it had stopped there was no mistaking it. It was a beautiful Kestrel.

I too stopped (quiet country road so no problem) opened my window slightly and for a moment we looked at each other. Then off it went swooping across the road in front of me, over the ditch and away into the field off to do whatever it had been doing when we met. 

A brief encounter but what an amazing start to the day 😊

It also made me reflect on how much the countryside where I live has improved in terms of wildlife. Farmers who had previously ripped out dry stone walls and cut hedges and verges during the summer therefore destroying habitat and food sources, are  starting to see the benefits of leaving hedges and verges to grow over the summer months, plus now it is the law to leave them uncut which helps. We still have pollution in the seas around us, the result of new houses,  lack of water treatment plants and run off from farm land, but Kestrels are a more familiar sight now, buzzards who fly overhead, calling to each other as they do, are nesting in the woods and birds , butterflies and bees are enjoying the wilder gardens and countryside that is now taking shape. A long way to go but several steps in the right direction it seems. 

When I get chance later this evening, I intend to journey and meet the spirit of Kestrel to see what message it has brought me, what it is asking me to be aware of. I could of course, look this up online or in a book, but then I’d get someone else’s interpretation of Kestrel and what I really want to know is why Kestrel came to me at this time and what I and not anyone else needs to learn from this encounter. I’m sure it will all be clear soon enough 😉

A Bit of Cut and Paste

I’m not good at self publicising/self promotion which as an pagan author writing for a specialist publisher where this is needed sometimes struggle and sadly my poor book suffers from people not knowing it exists 😦

When I wrote my first and so far only book, I had the foolish notion that the energy of what I had written would carry it far and wide and it would reach those who needed it. This worked initially but in the long run is not a good strategy.

I am also very reluctant to use this blog to create a sales pitch too frequently and like most people do not have unlimited hours whereby I can post on social media or write promotional articles in the hope of getting them published somewhere.

I do though write a regular column for the wonderful  Indie Shaman Magazine and the amazing June Kent who owns, edits and publishes this has recently created a new add for my book so with a bit of cut and paste along with her permission I have created this……….

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……….which I am kinda happy with and have shared it on Twitter and once this blog post is published, also on my various Facebook pages and on LinkedIn.

I am sure that others may have produced something better, smarter, with more information or impact but for my first attempt I’m reasonably happy 🙂

 

New Book Review for Web of Life 

There are many ways for people to find books that call out to them, resonate, or seem to fit as a much needed resource and one such way is through book reviews.

I try and post reviews here as I find books that readers may find interesting so I am always delighted when someone posts a generous and helpful review of something I have written.

This is a ‘hot off the press’ review for my book Web of Life. If you haven’t discovered it yet then maybe this will help you decide to go explore.

Book Review ‘Web of Life’ by Laura Perry 

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Fire in the stones; full moon and lunar eclipse


I’m not big on rituals simply for the sake of them. Even after spending time as an OBOD bard working my way carefully and methodically through the rituals and ceremonies I happily abandoned them again as soon as I began working as an Ovate and felt it was right to do so. For me it’s much more important to work shamanically, connecting with the energies around me, the spirits of wherever I am, with myself and also with my allies and then to work spontaneously following any guidance I’m being given. In this way any ritual takes place as and when it feels right or necessary and not just because it is a particular time of the year or turn of the wheel.

Even though it is nearly a year since my stone circle was created during which time I have worked within it and held fires, since filling the space with wood chip and so ‘finishing it’, it has taken me a while to be ready to really work there again. Last month though, at full moon I at last was called there and also drawn to work with fire.

I set my fire pit in the stone lined area I had created in the centre of my stone circle, laid bundles of garden sage and rosemary amongst the flames and then I spent some time there working with the energy of the circle and the spirits of the place, releasing both into the fire and into the energy of the full moon. As this was my first fire there since placing the wood chip around the stones and I was more than a little concerned about setting light to the wood chip but I was careful of sparks and all was ok 🙂
Tonight is both a full moon and a lunar eclipse, just the kind of evening where it would be brilliant to light another fire in the fire pit and spend some time within the stones once again but today it has been raining and is expected to continue to do so. The sky is very overcast so I suspect the chances of seeing either moon or eclipse tonight are pretty much none existent. This though does not negate the power of either the moon nor the lunar eclipse.

I have not been drawn to visit and sit with fire in my stone circle tonight but this does not mean that I am not mindful of the energies around me, nor of the need to be aware of their effects. As with any full moon I will be aware of what I am ready to give up, what has come to an end and what I can release to make space for something new but tonight I will be doing so in a gentler way than when I work with the powerful transformative energy of fire and to balance the strong energies around at this particular full moon, will be working with the energy of water instead.

Writing can be hard work

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I am not at all sure I am a natural writer. Ideas do not pour out of me nor am I bursting with things that I need to get onto paper. At school I enjoyed creative writing but have never had a burning desire to write a whole fiction book. Non fiction is more my scene but hampered a bit by not really enjoying research. Not a lot going for me really is there 😦

The thing is that I actually enjoy writing when I get down to it and I loved somehow managing to produce a book that someone actually wanted to publish, but now I have a half finished manuscript that has been gathering dust and taking up space both physically and energetically. At the start of the year my guides gave me an ultimatum; either finish it or throw it away. No messing about there it seems yet three months in I have done neither.

This week though two things have happened that seem to have made a difference:

  1. A fellow author told me that they thought I was a good writer
  2. A friend who has written a book and has several publishers interested, keeps asking me if I have finished my book

Today I have pulled the draft manuscript off the bookshelf where it has been languishing since last October. I have blown the dust off, have deleted all other versions from my laptop so I am more focused and I am just about to read through and see how far I have got. On a word count I am about half way through so I know there is much more to do.

I may do no more than this today but that’s ok. My interest has been reawakened and the energy of the potential book stirred up. What I need to do now is keep this moving.

It has though got me wondering why the two things this week made so much difference and I think it’s because writers do not always get a lot of feedback. It’s hard to get people to take the time to write reviews on Amazon or on their blogs and I am as guilty of not doing this as everyone else is. As writers we also don’t often tell other writers what we think of their work and so we do not get real feedback from our peers. When we are creating we tend not to share what we are doing, holding our work close to our chest and nurturing it in private, so we may have no one to keep us going, no one showing any interest in where we are and what we are doing. Much of our feedback is in actual fact, based on book sales and if you write, as I have, for a small niche publisher, then getting sales, maintaining the drive to get your book seen and even better purchased, can be hard and it’s easy to run out of stream. When book sales are slow then confidence can quickly fall and it can be difficult to remember that this is a marketing issue and not a reflection on the quality of what we have produced.

So this is a plea:

  • If you have read something you like please write a review somewhere, anywhere.
  • If you can let an writer know that you like their work either by commenting on a blog, clicking the ‘like’ button, or in some other way please do.

Think of us writers as pet dogs or cats, sometimes we need stroking and by doing so you can  help encourage us to write more. It doesn’t take much 🙂