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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14 Reasons Why It Is Important to Ground Yourself 


As a follow up to my post the other day about how to ground yourself I thought it was worth a quick look at why it is so important to be grounded.

1. If you are always in your head rather than connected with your body it is not good for your mental health and contributes greatly to stress and anxiety.

2. Being disconnected from your physical body can also make you unbalanced and even physically ill.

3. If you are working with energy, or developing your spiritual self for example, and not grounding yourself it is very easy to become unbalanced, which you’ve probably guessed, can make you physically ill.

4. If you are drawing energy down from the Universe via your crown, no matter what that energy is or how you are working, if you are not grounding yourself then you can become quite spaced out, which as I remind my students, may feel lovely, but isn’t very practical.

5. We need both Spirit or Universal energy to feed and nourish our souls/spirits but we also need Earth energy to feed and nourish our physical bodies. This sometimes gets overlooked or forgotten and again can make us unbalanced and eventually sick.

In addition: 

6. Grounding yourself boosts your immune system.

7. Grounding yourself helps to allieviate physical.

8. Grounding yourself helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

9. Grounding yourself can improve your sleep.

10. Grounding yourself can improve your circulation. 

11. Grounding yourself can increase your energy levels.

12. Grounding yourself can reduce the effects of jet lag.

13. Grounding yourself can reduce the effects of acclimatising to altitude. 

14. Grounding yourself can help you ‘feel at home’ when you arrive in a new place.

Don’t take my word for it, get out here, take your shoes off and try it. 

You will probably find more benefits than I’ve suggested here, as I said this is just a quick look………and if you do please post them in the comments so others may know them too. 

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 🙂

Every Day Magic

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Moon Books, who are my publishers, have been working on a new community book ‘Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days’ which is due to be published in the Autumn.

This is going to be a brilliant book, a dip into book, a perpetual calendar of activities, meditations, visualisations and more, something for every day in fact. Let’s face it, who doesn’t need magic every day.

Lucya Starza who is the editor has blogged about the book on her blog and you can read a little about it by following this link: Every Day Magic

Divination, Insight and Guidance

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Usually by this time of the year I have taken a pack of cards, most often Ted Andrews Nature Speak ones which I always find scarily accurate, and carried out a spread for the coming year. This year though this seems to have been overlooked and although I was aware that it remained undone as it were, until today I was unaware of why. Talking with my guides this morning I had the overwhelming desire to draw one of Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching cards and the one I drew was ‘Simplicity’. Never one to use anyone else’s explanation I spoke further with my guides and by the end of it both the card and the reason why I had, on one level anyway, decided not to do a year’s spread became clear to me.

I rarely use cards for divination, although I am more likely to draw a single card as I did today for guidance. Despite having many sets of cards I am, for example, far more likely to pick up a pendulum to ask a question, undertake a shamanic journey for insight, take myself out on a signs and omens walk with a clear intention, or simply chat with my guides. I don’t believe it matters at all what we do to divine answers, or how we seek insight or guidance as long as we are clear about what we are doing and why. In other words as long as we use whatever we have carefully, with common sense and discernment.

Many years ago at an early stage in this part of my journey I was in a small local shop looking for a pendulum. The person who owned the shop allowed me to play with one that I was drawn to and watched me for a while before telling me that sometimes she refused to sell them to people. She was, she told me, very cautious about the way in which people were going to use them. If she had someone whom she felt was going to use the pendulum to decide what to have for their tea, or choose between tea or coffee for example, she would gently persuade them that it was maybe not the right thing for them to be working with.

At the time I didn’t really understand this. Why, I felt, could people not do whatever they wanted with them? Now though I completely understand. We have many, many tools available to us, some work beautifully with us, others less so depending on our own abilities, I for example, despite being a natural dowser, cannot map dowse to save my life, some work better in some circumstances than others, like us they all have their uses, strengths and weaknesses and it is important we recognise that, know which tool to use when and when to use nothing at all. What we also have is ourselves, our own intellegence, knowledge, skills and intuition and sometimes what we need to be doing is trust in ourselves and what we know or what we feel instinctively. We do not need to be second guessing ourselves all the time and we should never become dependent on any tool, in any way, or for any reason. This is what the woman in the shop meant and she was quite right.

The understanding I received today came not from the cards or from my guides, although talking to them helped me gain clarity. It had everything to do with my looking at what had happened over the past year and seeing how little I used the yearly spread, how seldom I referred to it once it was done, or even remembered it was there. It had shifted from being a useful tool to being a habit, one I no longer needed. The card ‘Simplicity’ merely highlighted the need to strip things away, to simplify things and not complicate them by doing something that I didn’t need to using tools that served no purpose in this particular way at this particular time. I do not need to divine my future, I have no need or desire to know now what the year ahead might hold. This morning put the tools back in perspective and allowed me to set aside a habitual practice. Insight and guidance, and yes divination, will come as the year unfolds but not for me at this time.

And yes I do have a crystal ball tucked away on a shelf, covered with a silk cloth.

 

Sowing Seeds


With Imbolc almost upon us, although many rituals are about purification for me it is the perfect time to think about sowing seeds, the seeds that will then have chance to germinate as we move through the spring and this gives everything a head start.  

I am of course not talking about actual seeds in the garden, as the earth is too cold for us to do that still, at least it is where I live, but the seeds of ideas, plans, intentions for the things that we would like to bring in during the coming year.

If, like me, you have been using the past weeks to reflect and let go of whatever is no longer needed, then space has been cleared for the new to come in, if not then there is still time to do this, no one says this can only be done once a year or only during the winter. The more space there is in our lives the more we can co-create, without space it is a bit like piling more and more in the wardrobe without moving anything out, something I am  unfortunalty very guilty of. Fortunately in the rest of my life I am much better at having a regular clear out 🙂 

As an OBOD Ovate I have plenty of access to rituals, but as a shamanic and energy healer I much prefer to use my intuition, listen to my guides and allies and work with the energy of both the place I am holding my ritual in and of course the day itself. Consequently I have no idea what type of ritual or ceremony I will have for Imbolc yet.

These are just two ways that could be used to sow seeds at Imbolc though :

1. Planting Actual Seeds

  • Prepare a pot with soil and have a handful of seeds ready. 
  • Take one seed and hold it in your hand, focus on ONE thing you want to bring in and breathe this into the seed
  • Plant the seed in the pot 
  • Repeat with one seed for each idea
  • Water the seeds and place the pot where you will see it regularly 
  • Every time you see the pot, every time you water the seeds think of all the things you are growing 

2. Working with the Elements Fire and Air

  • Take a sheet of paper and cut it into strips
  • On each strip write one idea, plan or intention 
  • Find a safe place to have a small fire, or use a burning bowl, 
  • Taking one piece of paper at a time read what you have written there.
  •  Do this twice, once internally for your heart and once out loud using your voice and the air of your breath to give your intention power.
  • Place this piece of paper into the flame so the element of fire can transform the energy of your idea. 
  • Repeat with each piece of paper
  • When the fire has dies down and the ashes are cool, blow or throw them into the air doe the element Air can breathe life into your ideas. 

Brigid and Brigid’s Cross

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One of the first things that I learnt to do when I moved to Ireland was to make a St Brigid’s cross. I hadn’t heard of them at all before I moved and had to be taught not only how to make it but also what to do with it when it was made.

Describing how to make one is complicated without diagrams so having found this online today I thought I would share it in case anyone else is drawn to make one. This link includes a nice video if a child making one, it’s not difficult 🙂 I like that the instructions say to use straws or reeds for there are a special type of reed that grow in wetlands, used to make them here, a reed I recognise whenever I come across it, but the site of which I always forget come February.

I was told that it was the tradition where I live, to make a new Brigid’s cross every year and to place it in the loft on a rafter to protect the house from fire, which used to be a common problem in old houses in Ireland. In old houses chimneys were left unlined and any chimney fire could easily escape and leap through the loft space taking the roof and very often the whole house. I have since discovered that they are also used to ward off evil but maybe I looked too innocent to be told that I might need to do this 🙂 It was a long time ago!

So who was Brigid?

Brigid was a Pre-Christian, Celtic goddess who was associated with smithcraft, poetry, healing, childbirth. She is sometimes spoken of as a Triple Goddess and is always closely associated with fire. In fact the fire associations are so strong that a perpetual fire was set at Kildare in her honour, a fire which still burns today. Brigid is also known of as  Brid, Bride, Brighid, Brigit, Brigantia, Briginda, and Brigdu.

In Irish mythology Brigid appears as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and was the daughter of the Dagda, wife of Bres and had a son named Ruadán. To the Catholic Church though she is known as Saint Brigid and spoken of only as sharing her name with the Celtic goddess. It is said that St Brigid was the child of  Brocca, a Christian woman baptized by Saint Patrick, and that her father was Dubthach, a Leinster chieftain. As Brocca was a slave, Brigid was born into slavery. Some stories say that Brigid was baptised by St Patrick, others that she grew up as his friend.

If you would like to read more about Brigid, the Celtic goddess though the OBOD have an article that can be accessed here and which contains a lot of additional information.

What is known is that the the pagan festival of Imbolc or Imbolg, is associated with the goddess Brigid. The festival marks the beginning of spring has been celebrated since ancient times. It is a Cross Quarter Day, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  It can actually fall anywhere between 2nd & 7th of February as it is calculated as the mid point between the astronomical Winter Solstice and the astronomical Spring Equinox, however it is often celebrated on 1st February, which is the same date as the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion celebrate St Brigid’s Day.

And what about Brigid’s crosses?

There are many stories her as to how the tradition of these crosses originated and this is just one of them:

There was an old pagan Chieftain who was on his deathbed in Kildare when his servants summoned Brigid to his beside in the hope that the she might be able to calm his restless spirit. Brigid is said to have sat by his bed, consoling and calming him . Whilst she was here she picked up some rushes from the floor and began weaving them into the distinctive cross pattern. As she weaved, she explained the meaning of the cross to the sick Chieftain and it is thought her calming words brought peace to his soul and requested that he be baptised as a Christian  before his passing. Ever since that day it has been customary on the eve of Brigid’s Feast Day on 1st February, to fashion a St Brigid’s Cross of straw or rushes and place it in the roof of the house over the door as a means of protecting the house.

Brigid has always been held in high regard in Ireland, many wells in all parts of the country are named after her, the symbol of her cross is to be found in many Irish designs and there is even a pilgrimage route that can be walked, known as an the Brigid’s Way an Ancient Path between Sky and Earth