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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'