Follow by Email

Welcome to Mrs Darley's Blog

This blogspot has been created especially for those who wish to share their ideas and thoughts about the natural world as the year turns and the ancient Pagan festivals that were once celebrated by our ancestors.

Poetry, prose craft work, ancient cure craft and general thoughts and feelings on how the change in the weather and seasons makes you feel are all encouraged and welcomed.

Mrs Darley was my once next door neighbour when I lived amongst the wilds of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall back in the early 1990's. Her charismatic ways and unending wisdom lead me on a journey of self discovery as I spiralled ever further into her magical world.

She has since become the central character in the 'Mrs Darley' series of books.

Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers

Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries

Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements

Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom






Saturday, 31 December 2011

Welcoming 2012



There are always mixed feelings about New Year probably because it is a time of beginnings and endings of hellos and goodbyes of releases and embraces.

Perhaps the forthcoming year carries with it more expectations than usual as so much has been written about 2012 in connection with the Mayan calander which, according to some, heralds the end of the world as we know it at the time of the Winter Solstice.

Many may find this prediction a frightening prospect, however perhaps this is time to let the old orders which have dominated our thinking for millennia, fall away and be replaced by a more liberal outlook which is inclusive and tolerant rather than restricting and dictatorial.

Perhaps the Mayans simply saw this rise in consciousness as a time when mankind would begin to recognise that beneath the colour, body, religion, nationality and sex of a person there simply lies a soul that is worthy of love, friendship and understanding.

May 2012 bring the gift of illumination into your world.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Wolf Moon



Although this month's new moon is now a few days old, it was once referred to as the 'Wolf Moon'. It was the first moon after the dark time and although the wolf was sacred to the Celts it was seen as a lean animal and represented a time of abstinance and suspension following the solstice activities. Although the ancients knew that the sun was gaining in strength they still recognised that the worst of the weather was yet to come.


From 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day



The term 'boxing day' entered our language in the Victorian era, although the custom it gives its name to originated in the C17. Apprentices would keep an earthenware box into which monetary gifts were placed and, at the end of the year when hopefully full, they would be broken open and provide the owner with a monetary treat during the festive season.

This term gradually replaced the saint's name to whom the day was originally dedicated - St Stephen.

'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Birth

Beneath the sacred oak

Where the cold earth yields to slumber

And the only heartbeat

Is the sole call of the wild,

There lies a darkened hollow

Where our Mother lies in waiting,

Waiting for her labour

To bring forth the Solstice Child.


From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Winter Solstice



Tomorrow (22nd) at 5.30am marks the point of the Winter Solstice. The word solstice actually means 'the standing still of the sun' and for a few days following this event the sun appears not to move. On or around the 25th December however it gradually begins to stay for a moment or two longer in the sky and once again begins its journey back to full strength in the Northern hemisphere.

This is the time according to legend that the Holly and the Oak king do battle for the second time in the year, but this time it is the Oak king who wins and leads us joyfully towards the summer.

May the solstice bring you many blessings.

Taken from 'MrsDarley's Pagan Whispers

Friday, 16 December 2011

Saturnalia



The Roman festival of Saturnalia fell on the 17th December and was a time when shops and schools closed, gambling was allowed in the public domain and gifts of candles were exchanged as symbols of light.

Groups of male friends would draw lots to see who would be crowned 'king' and this person was then in charge of wild party games - this was definitely a time of misrule and lasted between 2-7 days after the religious ceremony on the 17th. No doubt we can reinstate this ancient festival as an excuse to begin the seasonal festivities early!

Read more in 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mistletoe Magic



Mistletoe has always been seen as the true magical feminine partner to holly's masculine. Occasionally however mistletoe has been referred to as masculine due to the fact that the white berries are symbolic of semen, whilst the red berries of holly represent menstrual blood.

Regardless of which gender, if any, you prefer it does not detract from the fact that the Druids considered mistletoe to be a gift from the Gods and as such it was highly revered and handed out to the community during religious ceremonies where it was referred to as 'all heal'.

Today its healing properties are recognised by homeopaths as it is used in the treatment of certain cancers. It is also a protective plant and if worn around the neck, is said to confer invisibility!

From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Monday, 5 December 2011

Striking a Balance



As we look to bring seasonal greenery into our homes I will explore the myth and legend behind holly, ivy and mistletoe in the next 2-3 blogs.
An old Saxon tradition states that if you bring more 'he' holly into the home (without berries) then the man of the house will rule during the coming year, but if you have more 'she' holly (with berries) then the woman will rule for the following 12 months. Perhaps what we should all strive for is a balance between the two for sexual and emotional harmony?
Read more in 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

December skies



December brings the year to a close and provides us with heavenly excitement.

The 10th offers us a lunar eclipse which is visible throughout Europe, East Africa, Asia, Austrailia, the Pacific and North America. The moon rises at 15.51 GMT and will appear above the eastern horizon already fully eclipsed as a dull red orb, but you will be able to watch the shadow of the earth uncovering it if the afternoon is clear.

The 13 and 14th bring the Geminids meteor shower, which many consider to be the best one as they can produce up to 60 multicoloured meteors per hour. Best viewing is in the east after midnight.

The 22nd is the Winter Solstice at 5.30am GMT. This is the shortest day of the year, the first day of winter and a celebration of the return of the sun. May the season bring many blessings.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Oak Moon



The new crescent is now visible in the night sky. This is the Celtic Oak Moon which takes us up to and beyond the Winter Solstice. This was an appropriate name for the December moon as it was the time that the symbolic battle between the oak and the holly kings took place and the oak king won, signifying the return to the light.

Oak trees were sacred to the Celts as many of their religious ceremonies were carried out in oak lined groves. This Moon completed the Celtic lunar cycle and personified strength, stamina, life, death and rebirth.

From 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Friday - The Sailors Dread




For sailors, Fridays were once filled with dread, for they believed that witches reigned supreme on Fridays and as such could weald great powers over the waters.

The Bristish admiralty once decided to prove the absurdity of this superstition and so ordered the keel of a new ship to be built on a Friday, named the ship Friday, launced her on Friday and gave the command to a man called Friday. However, although the ship was new and sea worthy when it left port, neither it or the crew were ever heard of again!

From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements'

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Season of Water



Ours is a world dominated by water, from soft rains and still lakes to iced glaciers and flowing rivers. None however can compare either in size or temperament to the wild untamed oceans that surround every outcrop of land.

These vast bodies of water once provided the beneficial environment in which life began to develop and even today support the greatest variety of living organisms on earth, from microscopic algae to the largest living creature - the blue whale.

It is little wonder then that these waters were revered as sacred, a fact which has led to many Gods and Goddesses becoming associated with our seas and oceans.

The oldest of the water Gods was Pontus, produced by Gaea herself at the very edge of time. Gaea's later union with Uranus produced Oceanus whose power was inferior to none but Zeus. As time passed however the Olympians stamped their authority over both the earth and the waters, with jurisdiction of these being given to Poseidon, whilst Oceanus was guided towards retirement.

Read more: 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements'

Friday, 4 November 2011

Meteor shower



This month brings us yet another heavenly spectacular, the first of which is tomorrow night (5th November) when the Taurids meteor shower peaks. There is a chance of some spectacular fire balls from around midnight to early morning, especially as the moon sets around 1 am to darken the skies.

Many of the planets are also in view including Mercury which shines at its best on the 9th, whilst Venus, Mars and Saturn are visible between the 9th to the 14th. One of the best meteor showers in 33 years due later in the month will blog with more details then, meanwhile enjoy the firewaorks and the shower.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Beauty comes in many forms



We all revere youth and fresh faced beauty and spend thousands of pounds trying to recapture that which all too fleetingly flies away. What we often fail to realise however is that beauty is present in many forms - a well lined face - silver hair - a knarled and naked tree - a barren field of rich dark soil and the inner beauty of the soul. At this darkening time of year, when the light is fading and the earth turns to rest, rejoice and give thanks for the gifts of the crone.
The following is an excerpt from a Samhain poem in 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'. The book will tell you what happens next.



The Mermaid

Intermittent moonlight
Silvers her greying hair
And I become aware
That the woman I live with is ageing.
Upon a once perfect canvas,
Lines are worn
Where time has drawn
Its hand across her face.
I yearn for youth and beauty,
One to excite
And bring delight
To satisfy my longing......

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Birch Moon



The new moon is due at 20.55 today and was known by the Celts as the 'Birch Moon'. It was under this moon, during the sacred festival of Samhain (now Halloween) that the journey of sacred inner awareness was practiced and was mirrored in the natural world as it too entered a time of rest and retreat.

The birch moon was seen to hold a promise of things to come as during this month the Samhain celebrations saw the dying of the old year and the beginning of the new. Birch was also seen as having protective qualities, a useful tool to see the old tribes through the dark days to come.

Read more: 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Friday, 14 October 2011

Preparing for Winter Ills



With this beautiful autumn weather still warming our island, winter seems months away and yet we all realise that soon enough the cold will creep in, no doubt accompanied by coughs colds and flu.

The elderly and the vulnerable are offered the flu jab, whilst many of us wait until illness strikes before resorting to cold and flu remedies. This winter however, why not try to some good old fashioned remedies that won't harm your body, but which may help to prevent illness taking hold?

The number one remover of ills is the humble onion. Not only does it help build immunity (along with garlic) if eaten, but if cut in half and placed in a dish of water in each room in the house it absorbs germs and viruses in the air.

A bunch of rue hung over the doors and windows is also capable of purifying the air as will burning 3 drops each of juniper and tea tree essential oil in a little water.

For more information on healing Read 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom'

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Heavenly October



Another exciting month in the heavens is in store as the Orionids meteor shower explodes across the early morning skies after midnight on the 20/21st October. This is however a difficult shower to predict and may be visible any time between the 17 th and the 25th. It produces around 20 meteors per hour of yellow and green which often appear as fireballs.

Jupiter can be seen in the east from the 13th just below the moon as it sets, but on the 27th it reaches its closest point to earth, therefore through a telescope some of its largest moons may be visible.

It is a month which sees the end of British summertime as we move back to GMT and also one which heralds the end of the old Celtic Year at the festival of Samhain (Halloween) . This is a time to put to rest all that no longer serves us and one which offers us the opportunity to create a new and fertile space in which to live and thrive.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Blood Moon



Today sees the new moon in Libra, a time of balance and fair judgment. This moon was referred to as the 'blood moon' by the Celts as it was a time when the maternal qualities of the Goddess and in deed life itself was revered and honoured.
The Celts believed that the spirit of a person dwelt in his or her blood and as such the Gods were asked to strengthen the blood of the tribe before the harsh weather began. It was also the time when animals were brought in from pasture and certain ones were chosen for slaughter.
As we journey into the autumn may the blood moon bring you many blessings.
From 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Autumnal Words of Wisdom



'Everyone is disappointed when the summer ends,' she mused, 'both seasonally and in life, but autumn can be quite beautiful, softer somehow and richer in colour.'
'And it gives us an excuse to light our fires,' I smiled.
She nodded, 'yes every season has the ability to bring a little warmth into our lives in one way or another.' She disappeared momentarily into the kitchen and returned with a jar of greengage chutney.
'Here's a little something to remind you of summer during the autumn to come,' she smiled. 'Nothing is ever lost as time passes, it merely metamorphoses into something as wonderful, or in some cases, into something even better than before.'
From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers.'

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Wine Moon


The waxing crescent should just be visible tonight in the sign of libra. The next two days are auspicious for performing magic in connection with the arts, justice, partnerships, emotional balance, peace and love.

This new moon is the wine moon which was believed to be the moon blessed by the Gods and under which, after consuming copius amounts of wine, the Celts practised various methods of divination.

Raise a glass of rich red tonight and toast Dionysus.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Season of Fire

We are entering the last month of the season of fire before the mellower times of autumn come into play.


Fire comes to us in many forms during our earthly journey. From the power of the mighty sun, to the gentle flicker of a candle flame, from the explosive nature of the volcanoe to the warmth of a winter fire and from the fury of a lightning storm to the magical effect of fire through water which provides the beauty of a rainbow.


These last days of summer encourage us to weave our magic in connection with job offers, career, new projects, law making, or indeed anything which requires passion and commitment for fire denotes change and speeds its arrival.



Fire

In flickering flames I flirt, flambyant, fleeting, gone.

In lava lakes I lie, languid, lambent, waiting.

In boiling blood I bide, boundless, bellicose, fervent.



All taken from 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements'







Monday, 1 August 2011

Bidding Farewell to the God



Lughnasadh is upon us. It begins at sunset tonight (1st) and ends at sunset tomorrow. The word itself derives from the Irish Celtic God Lugh, who, in actual fact had very little to do with the corn harvest, but was a popular and heroic God often referred to as the shinning one and for whatever reason gradually became associated with the sacrificial aspect of the God.

Lughnasadh celebrates the beginning of the corn harvest, the last sheaf of which was thought to contain the spirit of the corn God. As such, the reaper who cut it down was considered to have taken the life of the God and it was not therefore an auspicious act to participate in. It therefore became general practice that when everything was cut except the final sheaf, that all the reapers would stand blindfolded in a semi circle and hurl their sickles at it, thus no one would know who had taken the Corn God's life.

Once cut however, the sheaf took on a different aspect altogether and was taken home by one of the reapers to be 'dressed', i.e. made into a human shape or tied with red ribbons and took pride of place at the harvest supper, sitting next to 'the master'. It was often known as a 'kern baby' and is where our term 'corn dolly' derives.

Simple corn dollies can be made at home and are still used by farmers today to bring fertility to their cattle. Fertility and abundance can however come in many different ways and should you decide to make your own dolly, even if it is simply tying together a few pieces of corn with a ribbon, make sure you hang it by the hearth until the spring equinox, at which point the seeds should be scattered on the earth to bring you abundance for the summer.

Over the next couple of days give a moment of thanks to the Goddess for the corn which sustains us and to the God as his blood is spilled upon the earth to bring us fertility for the year to come.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Night of the Black Moon



Today sees the arrival of the 'Black Moon', the second new moon this month, a rare event which only happens approximately every two and a half years.

Mrs Darley used to say that the Black Moon was the temptress, one who bewitched and beguiled and in recognition of this we made pentagrams (5 pointed stars) from twigs and twine in order that we might admire the cresecent moon's beauty but not become overwhelmed by her.

Tonight also sees the peak of the Capricornids meteor shower with some slow moving yet brilliant fire balls.

Enjoy all the gifts of the skies tonight.

For more information on moon phases and Her effect on the psyche read, 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Heavenly Delights



The first meteor display of the summer season is almost upon us and, if the skies remain clear it should be quite spectacular.

The 28 and 29 sees the peak of the Delta Aquarids shower where up to 20 yellow meteors per hour should be visible in the eastern sky after midnight. The 29 and 30 brings the Capricornids shower which again are yellow in colour but travel much slower than the Delta meteors. They are less in number per hour but can produce some magnificent fireballs.

Meteors are beautiful to watch and despite our scientific knowledge of knowing what they are, still have the ability to fill us with wonder at this beautiful universe of which we are a part. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Healing Through Smell



When asked which sense could be dispensed with if needs be, most people would initially opt for their sense of smell, but our sense of smell is invaluable to our safety, our appetite and our emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Without smell we would not be able to detect food that is off, smoke from a house fire, or gas from a leaking pipe. Without smell our appetite would be less regulated and we would only be able to distinguish between salt, bitter, sweet, sour and savoury, we would not have the added benefit of flavour.

Perhaps most importantly however is the fact that inhaling specific aromas, especially those which come from good quality essential oils can have a profound effect on the way we feel. Let's take lavender oil for example.

When we inhale lavender oil (two drops on a tissue or six on an incense burner with water is all you need) the Raphe Nucleus gland in the brain becomes stimulated which then releases the neuro chemical Serotonin into the blood stream which brings about feelings of relaxation, alleviates anger and aids restful sleep.



For more information on the healing powers of smell read 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom'

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Healing through Hearing



The sense of hearing is the 4th sense to develop in the womb at around 16 weeks and is responsible for the sounds we hear at that time becoming deeply embedded in our subconscious. These include the sound of water, a heart beat and the human voice and, thereafter throughout our lives we respond either positively or negatively to these sounds according to our experience in the womb.


Sound therapists have discovered that although when these primordial sounds are either slowed down or speeded up, the conscious mind fails to recognise them, they are still recognised by the subconscious mind. When recordings of people speaking are doubled in speed and raised by 3 octaves they sound like birds and when raisedby 8 octaves they sound like crickets. Conversely when the voice is slowed down to twice normal speed and reduced by 3 octaves it sounds like dolphins, whilst at a reduction of 8 octaves it sounds like the ocean. Perhaps this answers the question of why we are soothed or ruffled by the sounds of nature according to our pre birth experiences.


'Every night I come to hear painted words fall from your lips upon the canvas of my imagination......' (The Troubadour)


All extracts from the brand new 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom'

Friday, 1 July 2011

Heavenly July



What an exciting month again in the heavens.

We begin today with the new Cancer moon and a partial solar eclipse which although only visible from Antarctica, nevertheless makes its effects felt across the world, as once again changes are called for in many spheres of life especially money and home life.

What makes this month extra special however is the rare event of a second new moon in the month on the 30th, something often known as a 'black moon'. The black moon, according to Mrs Darley in 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries' was the moon of bewitchment and temptation although as this moon falls in conjunction with Venus it has the potential to bring something very exciting into our lives.

Also in the latter part ofthe month two meteor showers will be visible. The 28-29th brings us the Delta Aquarids, whilst 29-30th brings the Capricornids.

What a wonderful time to be alive!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer solstice Fires



Here we are on one of the most powerful days of the year when the sun is at His height in the Northern hempisphere. This is the day for lighting fires whether in the garden, in the hearth or simply the light from a candle flame in order to symbolise the abundant power of the sun.

In the 14th century a monk wrote of three types of fire made on mid summer's Eve:

A bone fire which was made of clean bones and no wood, which was quite pungent and said to keep dragons at bay. Bone fire gave us the word 'bonfire'.

A wake fire made of clean wood which was used to 'wake' by or socialise.

A St John's fire made of clean wood and bones and is thought to be where the word 'singe' derives.

Enjoy making fire magic tonight to bring luck, fertility and abundance into your life.



Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Most Powerful Time of the Year



Tomorrow (15 June: 21.13GMT), heralds the full moon, just a week away from the summer solstice when the sun is at full power. In addition, the moon is in Sagittarius a powerful fire sign and, as though this wasn't sufficient enough, there is also a lunar eclipse.

The moon will rise eclipsed at 21.13. By 22.34 it will be half over and will finish at 23.45. It will be visible over Europe, Africa, , Asia and Australia.

This time of year is traditionally used to make powerful magic regarding abundance in every sphere of life. With the Sagittarian element legal matters, education, travel, faith and philosophy are all highlighted for favourable outcomes.

The eclipse, from the Greek, 'eklepsis' meaning abandonment, due to tribal people feeling abandoned by the moon as it turned bloodied in the sky, brings changes on many levels, but weave your magic and influence those changed to work in your favour.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

First quarter Moon



Today sees the first quarter moon in Virgo, a time of balance and equality especially in areas concerning employment, intellect, business and law.

This moon will rise around midday and set around midnight. It is now in the shape of a 'D' and many of the lunar seas become visible close to the straight line of the 'D'. These include the 'Sea of Serenity', closest to the top of the moon as we look at it, whilst adjoining it below is the 'Sea of Tranquility and below this is th 'Sea of Nectar'.

Luna

I am the nectar that sweetens your dreams. I am the rainbow that colours your tears. I am the cloud that carries the storm. I am knowledge. I am Goddess.

From 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'




Thursday, 2 June 2011

Eclipse Changes



What a potentially exciting month June promises to be! The New Moon came into being at 22.15 GMT last night which coincided with a partial solar eclipse and although the eclipse wasn't visible from the UK, its effects are still felt across the world.

Eclipses and solar ones in particular, always herald change and this time that change is going to be particularly noticable for those born under an air sign, namely; Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The good news is, that as the eclipse forms a harmonious aspect to Saturn, which sits within the sign of Libra at the moment, then hopefully these changes will be positive ones for all concerned.

Other events this month which give us great topics of blog conversation include the full moon which also heralds a lunar eclipse and is visible from the UK, the summer solstice and the mid summer fires on the south west peninsular of Cornwall.

Enjoy the sun as He moves towards the height of his power in the northern hemisphere.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom - New Book Release











When we become ill, we search for a cure, but a cure only supresses the disorder; it fails to address the underlying cause. When we search for healing we are encouraged to look beyond the symptom, in oredr to explore the emotional, psychological and spiritual imbalances, which underpin the illness.

Following several periods of less than robust health, whilst living on the wild and remote Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, my enigmatic next door neighbour, the wise Mrs Darley, invited me to embark on a journey of healing through the five senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight. It was a journey that not only made me view life and death in a different way, but also altered the way in which I intereacted with my body. It ultimately became a magical journey that changed my life and touched my soul.

'Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom' is due for release on 21st June 2011 and can be pre ordered from Amazon using the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/mrs-darleys-pagan-healing-wisdom/dp/1902578767/ref=sr_1_4?ie=utf8&qid=1306345143&sr=8-4

Or go to http://www.arcanus.co.uk/ and click on the Amazon link

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Morris Dancing



Morris dancers can be seen everywhere during the Celtic summer at various festivals throughout the British Isles. The Puritan writer, Philip Stubbs had something to say about the Morris dance, often referred to as 'the dance of the devil'.



'They bedeck themselves with scarves, strings and laces hanged all over with golde rings, precious stones and other jewels: This they tie abouteeither legge 20 or 40 belles with riche handkerchiefs in their handes and sometyme laide across their shoulders and necks, borrowed for the moste parte of their prettie Mopsies and lovying Bessies for busying them in the darke. These thyngs sette in order, they have their hobbie horses, dragons and other antiques, together with their bawdy pipers and thunderying drummers to sricke up the Devil's dance...'



The earlist records of Morris dancing date back to the 15th century with one school of thought saying that it originated from a court jester's dance whilst another states that it was a dance performed by Spanish Arabs, i.e the Moors, of which Morris is a derivative.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

May Marriages



The month of May is traditionally thought to belong to the Goddess and as such any man who was brave enough to marry during the month was said to fall prey to the lust and power of a woman!


The Romans too considered May an unlucky month for a wedding, due to the celebration of their festival of 'Lemuralia', at which sacrifices were made to purge each house of hostile spirits and therefore marriages were not considered wholly appropriate.


With the coming of Christianity, May became the month of the Virgin Mary and was a time associated with chastity and purity, therefore not a time to celebate the nuptuals!


If, however you are celebrating a wedding this month, may the Goddess smile upon you and bring you love, healthand happiness.










Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Healing the Hurt


Someone I care about has been hurt this week by the words of another, as indeed we all allow ourselves to be at certain points in our lives. The key words here however are 'allow ourselves to be'.


I met my lovely husband on a course in London and, whilst on that course, one of the trainers decided to role play one afternoon with me as the advisor and she as the customer. To say she was like a dog with a bone was an understatement and after a while I just held my hands up and said, 'I just can't do this anymore.'


I felt upset although I tried not to let it show and at the end of the session my (unknown) future husband came up to me and said 'No one has the right to make you feel bad, unless you allow it.'


Those words have stayed with me through the years and so, to the person I care about, I say; 'let the abusive words be carried away by the breath of the wind.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Joy of Beltane



The season of Beltane is upon us, joyful, beautiful and life giving. Beltane was the festival that marked the beginning of the Celtic summer, it was a time when the animals were put out to pasture and was celebrated with acts of love, lust and fertility.

Many love chases were madethrough thewoods on Beltane Eve, an act which was referred to as 'going a maying'. Here lovers would spend the night in the woods, doing what came naturally to them and these liasons were often known as 'greenwood marriages'. The Puritan writer, Phillip Stubbs was quoted as saying:

'I have heard it credibly reported by men of great gravity, credit and reutation, that of fortie three score maids going to the woods over night, there have scarcely the third part of them returned home again undefiled.'

Even when more formal marriage rites were introduced, the rules were still relaxed at Beltane. Any children resulting from these unions were often called after spirits or legendary characters of the woods such as Jackson, after Jack in the Green, a derivation of the green man. Hodson, after Hod, a woodland sprite or Robinson after Robin Goodfellow from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream or perhaps the legendary Robin Hood. Rudyard Kipling captured the essence of Beltane with these words:

Oh do not tell the priest of our art, or he would call it a sin: But we shall be out in the woods all night, a-conjuring summer in!'

May the season of Beltane bring you joy, love and hope.



From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Springtime

Springtime


Call to me

As the leaves burst for freedom,

Fly to me

As a bird on the wing,

Run to me

As the sun starts to strengthen,

Come to me

On a whisper of spring.



Dance with me

On a hill dressed in moonlight,

Swim with me

In the wild open sea,

Ride with me

Through the white mists of morning,

Drink of me

And set yourself free.



From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Magic of the South West



Having just returned from a wonderful 6 days away in our camper van, I am finally getting back into the swing of writing again.


We visited some of what I consider to be the most magical places in England. Our tour began in Glastonbury, where we climbed the tor, attended the Wessex Pagan Conference (very informative speakers) and took a trip out to the National Trust's Lytes Carey Manor (a gem).


We drove down to Cornwall, spent the night on the cliffs overlooking Widemouth Bay and BBQ'd under a full moon and beside a full tide. Boscastle soon called and the following night found us on the cliffs above Bosinney Bay, which was stunning.


My ultimate indulgence however has to be spending two nights in the place that speaks to my soul above all others; Bodmin Moor. The wild landscape where I met Mrs Darley and took my first tentative steps along the magical path, will for ever be imprinted upon my heart.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Element of Air


The element of air is synonymous with the spring. According to Carl Jung, air symbolizes the thinking aspect, the logical mind. It allows us to think constructively and to build upon what has gone before. It encourages us to be analytical and base our decisions upon the basis of cause and effect, separating what we perceive to be good from what we perceive to be bad.

Jung believed that those with a dominant air aspect to their personality or the thinking types have the ability to step outside the box and consider things that others have yet to dream of. oo much thinking however can often mean that there is very little 'doing' and many bright ideas may never come to fruition if there is a lack of the fire element which brings passion and determination and the earth element which offers practical skills.

More detailed information on the elements and what they mean to the individual and within the realms of magic can be found in 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements'

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day and the Lent Lilly


Today is Mother's Day, an occasion when in times past servents were given this day off in order to journey home and attend a church service with their mother. It was the only highlight for many in what was the long and sombre period of Lent. Today it has become a serious money making day, just as the majority of our well known festivals have.

I am not objecting to honouring our precious Mum's, but surely this is something we should do on a regular basis rather than on one day of the year when florists, card producers, and a whole host of other commercial outlets selling and producing feminine gifts put their prices up in order to cash in on the fact that we feel obliged to spend money.

Mum's are special and as such they often don't desire a fortune to be spent on them and a token gesture would be just as welcome. In this respect a bunch of daffodils or a pot of primroses are most appropriate, for both are said to represent and attract love.

Daffodils are also known as the 'Lent Lilly' and a vase of them in the bedroom are said to assist with conception difficulties, although do ensure that there are a minimum of 13!

Enjoy mother's day and just telling your Mum how much she means to you will be more precious to her than any expensive gift.


I'm just looking across at my Mum's photograph surrounded by daffodils and remembering how lucky I was to have her as my Mum.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The legend of the Violet


Today in the woods I saw the first violet of spring, truely a gift from the Gods.

This fragile flower comes into our awareness via the Roman God, Attis, a story with a familiar Christian theme, albeit it predates Christianity by several hundred years.

Attis was born of a human virgin called Nana and sacrificed his own life to save mankind. He was crucified on a pine tree and, where his blood fell to earth the first violets were said to have sprung.

These flowers are often seen as a symbol of both sacrifice and regeneration. They are said to protect against evil spirits, calm frayed nerves and encourage peaceful sleep. It is worth remembering however that they are a protected species in the UK and therefore best admired and left in the wild.

From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers' by Carole Carlton.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Binding


Fresh on the wings
Of a March wind
You run.....


Wild and free
Yet bound,
With knowing
Yet unsure.


Feel the blood of life
Coursing through your veins.
Feel the animal passion
Rising in your loins.

Run, run, wild and free
For She is but a whisper away...
Know
That when you gaze upon Her face,
Her beauty will bind;
Your destiny beckon.

From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers' by Carole Carlton

Click on Amazon link atthe top of the page.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Spring Equinox


Today marks the Spring Equinox, a time when day and night are equal, but from which point we journey joyfully into the light of a northern summer, as daylight hours begin to exceed those of darkness.

This is a time when the Horned God of the wildwood and the maiden Goddess meet and she becomes pregnant with the Solstice child, hence the cycle of life begins again.

This is a time of joyous celebrations and so, as the moon still hangs full in the sky tonight, sit beneath it around a fire and toast the warmth and light that is to come.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Super Moon


Today marks the time of the full moon at one of its closest perigees to earth since 1993. It is being called a 'super moon' and its gravitational pull on the earth will be very strong possibly leading to extreme levels of tidal waters known as the 'Proxigean Tide'.

The full moon is in the sign of Virgo at 18.10 but moonrise will begin at 18.23 GMT. A Virgo moon indicates a time of dealing with employment, health, diet, business and the law, in fact anything which is earthly by nature.
For more information on all aspects of the moon click on the Amazon link to buy 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Ides of March


Today is the 'Ides of March', the day upon which Julius Caesar was murdered in 44BC. Caesar was said to have visited fortune teller on his way to the theatre of Pompey and was told that harm would not come to him later than the Ides of March. Caesar laughed and said the Ides had already come, to which the seer replied that they may have come but they were not yet over. This was an occasion famously captured by Shakespeare in his play, where Caesar is told, 'Beware the Ides of March'.

In actual fact the Ides simply referred to a monthly date which was sacred to the Roman God of War, Mars upon which a military parade was held. The Ides fell on the 15th day of the months of March, May, July and October, whilst the remainder of the year's Ides fell on the 13th.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Sumatra Earthquake and the Full Moon


As discussed in the previous blog entry there is much evidence to suggest that the moon has the power to affect not only our tidal waters but also the earth itself and that many natural disaters such as earthquakes, volcanic erruptions and tsunamis occur around the time of the full or new moon or when the moon is closest (perigee) or furthest (apogee) away from the moon.

On 26 December 2004, the day of the full moon, the most powerful earthquake recorded for over 40 years occured off the north west coast of Sumatra, measuring over 9 points on the Richter scale and causing the planet to wobble on its axis. It had the enery of 23,000 atomic bombs.

The tectonic plate of India slipped 15 metres beneath the Eurasian plate causing a rupture in the earth's surface of some 1,200 kilometres below the sea. This resulted in 30 square kilometres of seawater being displaced leading to a tsunami that claimed 150,000 lives, with the worst country affected being Sri Lanka.

Can life ever be looked at in the same way again after experiencing nature in one of her most formidable moods?
For fascinating information on the moon and the elements click the link to Amazon at the top of the page to buy 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries' and 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements'

Friday, 11 March 2011

Earth Tides and the Moon


Next Saturday sees the Moon in its full phase moving as close to earth as it has been for 18 years at a distance of only 356,577 km. This is known as being in perigee, from the Greek 'peri' meaning near and 'ge' meaning earth.

It is a known fact that when the moon is full, it has a dramtic effect on our tidal waters and this is accentuated when the moon is in perigee. What many fail to realise however is that the moon also pulls the earth and its tectonic plates, posing the question as to whether today's earthquake in Japan is the result of the moon's increasing closeness too the earth, albeit it is not yet full.

Opinions are divided amongst scientists, but surely it is more than coincidental that the 7th largest earthquake ever recorded has happened at this particular time?

Today reminds us that the power of Mother Nature is a formidable force and reminds us just how fragile humankind is. May the people of Japan find strength and courage in the days to come.

For more explanations of the moon, Her phases and effects on the earth buy 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries by clicking on the Amazon link at the top of the page.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A Pagan take on Lent


Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent for those who follow the Christian faith and is probably one of the most depressing occasions in the church calender. It was a day upon which the 'Rite of Ashing' took place, where burned ashes (usually obtained from last year's palm crosses) were sprinkled onto the head or forehead in the form of a cross, whilst the body was covered with sack cloth. It was supposed to remind man that from dust he came and to dust he will return.

The custom of ashing however, predates Christian times for an occasion of ashing is described in the Old Testament where Job covers himself in ashes and says, 'I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.'

In 1548 Edward V1 decided to abolish the ritual, but replaced it with what could be described as an even more depressing church ceremony, where the priest would read sentences from the book of Deuteronomy, especially the bit where God curses sinners and states that he will take revenge upon obstinate sinners, such as the unmerciful fornicators, idolators, slanderers, drunkards etc. Following this tirade of abuse everyone was expected to kneel and repeat the psalm, 'Lord have mercy upon me O God.'

It is little wonder that we have trouble loving ourselves if we have been brought up within this regime of self hatred. I jokingly asked my husband what he intended to give up for Lent and his answer was that he intended to give up denying himself pleasure! Now there's a good Pagan soul!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Spring Cleaning


Between the festivals of Imbolc and the Vernal Equinox, the time honoured ritual of spring cleaning was performed by our ancestors and still continues today in many homes around the world.

Today the strengthening sun makes us think of our spring wardrobe and so we tend to throw out our old winter clothes in favour of something lighter and more colourful. It is also a time when our thoughts turn towards decorating and gardening, two occupations which lend themselves to cleaning and tidying up.

For our ancestors however, the spring clean was to ensure that absolutely nothing was left in the house from the winter solstice celebrations. Anything that was found would be burned, which acted as a safeguard against hauntings in the year to come and also ensured that the house was ready to greet the spring.

Happy cleaning!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Well Dressing


The origins of well dressing have been lost in the mists of time, however it has been suggested that it is a continuation of the Celtic practice of making offerings to the Gods, in exchange for answering a request or providing a blessing.

In Tissington in Derbyshire the wells are still dressed to this day, a tradition which stems back to 1350. At this time the plague had swept through Derbyshire, killing 50% of the population, however the people of Tissington remained healthy, a fact attributed to the pure well water and from that time the wells were dressed as a form of thanksgiving.