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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, 25 February 2012

Nicky Nan Night

This coming Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian calandar,with Shrove Tuesday or 'Pancake Day' as it is now more popularly known being the last day upon which the faithful can eat sweet and fatty foods until Easter Sunday.

A 150 years ago howeverit was a rowdy festival at which cock fights, horse racing and dancing often took place, whilst in 1868 it is recorded as 'Blackamoor Night' where little boys blackened their faces and went from door to door begging for sweets.

A lesser known Cornish festival however used to be celebrated on theMonday before Shrove Tuesday and was known as 'Nicky Nan Night', where young men roamed the streets causing mischief and mayhem. A procession carried a burning straw figure which was said to be the Queen of the Cornish piskies, Joan the Wad, following which a meal of pea soup was served.

Whether you choose pancakes or pea soup this week, spare the burning of Joan & enjoy.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Sap Moon

Tomorrow (21st) sees the birth of the 'Sap Moon' at 22.34GMT in the sign of Aquarius. This moon was one of hope to the Celts and brought sure and certain knowledge that the sap was beginning to rise within the earth's vegetation and that the new planting time was now only a moon cycle away.

The moon in Aquarius signifies a time of fairness, objectivity, trustworthiness and reason. It is also capable of bestowing flashes of genius and general good luck. Enjoy!

Read more in 'Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries'

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Holy wells and springs

Watery places have always held a certain amount of fascination, especially natural springs and wells and, over thousands of years, have become sacred places of pilgrimage and sacrifice where the Gods who dwell beneath the depths ultimately decide the fate of man.

Both Bronze and Iron Age man saw water as having supernatural powers, whilst its mysterious depths were gateways to the underworld. As such, many offerings were made to appease the Gods as evidenced by archaeological finds of jewellery, plaques, coins and both human and animal remains. No doubt these places were the origin of today's wishing wells!

Discover more about these strange watery places in 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Sacred Fire of Bride

In Celtic times the main shrine to the Goddess Bride was at Kildare in Irelandand and was tended by a group of women known as 'the daughters of fire' whose job it was to ensure that the flames never died.

In Christian times the Goddess Bride became St Bridget and she took on the role of abbess of the convent at Kildare. The sacred fire also crossed the divide between Pagan and Christian beliefs and constantly burned within the abbey for more than 1000 years.

The fire however appeared to have magical properties, for it never died and never increased in ashes, a fact that is written about in the Chronicles of Gerald of Wales when he visited the abbey during the C12.

Gerald described how, over a period of 19 nights, one nun would watch the fire through the night, whilst on the 20th night, the nun on duty would fetch the logs, place them beside the fire and say 'Bridget guard your fire, this is your night,' and then leave. In the morning the logs would be burned and the fire would be alight.

In the C13 the papal envoy of London ordered that the fire be extinguished due to its Pagan connections, but the local people were so angry that they petitioned the bishop to have it re-lit and it then burned until the reformation, when under the orders of Henry V111 it was

extinguished for good.

From 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers'