Reflections From Frost

New Moon ♈>♉

Dead Nettle in Frost by Locksley2010

Last week, in building up to this month’s new moon, the British weather had shown every example of its arsenal. Almost one for each day!

Beginning with spring’s warm sunshine giving way to chillingly cold winds, crispy frost, to swift flurries of snow, pockets of rain and gusts of wind. Blue sky being obscured by thick iron clouds…. to give way to blue skies again. And remember…. Blue skies don’t necessarily mean they are warm days.

The weather, here in the UK, is often a talking point because it changes so regularly. So we often talk about it, apparently we’re renowned for it!

It was walking in the frost that inspired this post: frost and ice can preserve on what it takes hold. In some cases it keeps things in stasis, in its extreme (like all things) it can kill.

In the case of looking at the dead nettle (its not actually dead, this is the flowering variety that doesn’t sting) being covered in frost one day and for it to be free the next, this brought to mind the nature of change.

Oh, for sure, the lengthening days, growing green and variety in birdsong are all indicators of the change of season, but even beyond the vernal equinox: winter hasn’t fully loosened it’s grip.

Humanity spends much of its time in keeping things as they are. Where stasis has become our way of telling ourselves that we control the world. But time, experience and the world teach us this isn’t so.

Night gives way to day, winter gives way to summer, youth gives way to maturity…. many die and many are born. What was old gives way to the new, relationships and friendships form, others break. A forest becomes a wasteland, which then becomes a park that becomes a nature reserve. The young can take something old and look on it anew.

As we grow, we too change in the course of our lifetimes: who we were as children isn’t who we are now. We may be the same person in our core, as much as a tree is always a tree, or a dead nettle is always a dead nettle.

But as time goes on, the experiences we go through, our victories, our losses, our lives change us as time goes on.

Regional Druid (Witch) Challenge

New Moon

My tools.  Photo by Locksley.

I was inspired by this post from the Ditzy Druid.  She was in turn inspired by someone on Instagram called Via Hedera who started a challenge called the “Regional Witch Pic Challenge” and tasked everyone to post a photo “that highlights the toolkit of magic” where we live. In fact, if you click on the link above, you can see her post which also contains the link to Hedera’s Instagram.  Plus, if you look at the Ditzy Druid’s blog you’ll see she has written a few novels.  They might be your thing, so check her out above!

Ok, so I’m very much a Druid who lives and works in an urban environment here in Nottingham in the UK. 

I’m lucky enough to have my own back and front garden and not only are there flowers and trees, but my wife has had a long time to grow it to how she likes.  Nottingham is blessed with having several parks, even in industrial places and there are also nature reserves where mines used to be….

And so, there’s plenty of natural inspiration and resources to meet and connect with.  And out of the tools I use in both my personal and group ceremonies, only three items are from Nottingham itself.  All of these are normally situated on the window ledge in this order on my altar.  For the purpose of this photo, I laid them out on the rug in the room where I practice.  The rug reminds me of the sea.

Allow me to introduce you to the gang starting with the small stone 12 O’Clock from the candle holder:

Stone of the North. I found this during a camp at Bestwood Country Park, Nottinghamshire.  It originally helped with amplifying any hands-on-healing, but became much more convenient for being my cardinal direction pointer for the North.  Especially when carried by….

  • Belt Pouch.  A gift from my dear friend, Kelly who introduced me to OBOD in the first place.  This pouch would carry a few of these items which I used as a travel altar.  I believe it is important to respect the cardinal directions in any new place.  The pouch now contains two small sticks: one of Birch, the other of Rowan.  I’m learning the Ogham and so, the pouch will become more full in time.
  • Pocket Knife.  A gift from my brother, it’s authentic Sheffield Steel and as that’s where I’m originally from, it serves as a link to my family and a reminder of my past.  It has never been sharpened and not used to actually cut anything.  Not yet.
  • Emissary Stone.  I use this to connect with the Earth, in paying respects, blessings and in grounding if need be.  I found it outside the Queens Hospital in Nottingham.
  • Deer Antler.  Given to me by my Grove Brother, Cthulhudruid.  Not only does this represent the element of fire in the south, I use this in ritual when calling upon that element too.  Worry not, the antler was part of one that was shed, not forcibly taken.
  • Holly Wand.  Originally one of the last Morris dancing sticks I had before it broke.  I held the broken piece in my hand and instantly knew what I could carve it into.  It became a project over the years until it came into it’s completion back in 2018.  Sliced, carved, filed and sealed all by myself.
  • Washed Slate.  I’ve had this since I was a kid!  As a child we went on holiday (vacation) to Wales and I remember playing in the sea and shouting “Thank you Poseidon!” Can’t remember why though, but I do remember picking the stone up and was very excited as it had a shell fossilized into it.  I have used this as the cardinal point for the West since my early days in Paganism.  Now, when I see it, I think of Manannan Mac Lir.
  • Chalice.  A gift from a friend back in my university days.  I have used this not only as a cardinal direction marker, but as a drinking goblet, spell-work vessel, blessing and anointing cup, but have also used it in performing for a friend’s handfasting. I’ve even used it as a scrying bowl, too! Out of all the items present, it’s definitely had the most use.
  • Glass Candle Holder from Mdima, Malta.  I bought this because I thought it looked like the sun.  And so it sits proudly in the centre of my altar, and in the centre of any solo ceremonies or magic work requiring a fire…. Especially when it isn’t particularly safe or practical to light an actual one.  I also use it when opening up my Ovate ceremonies and for housing any candles lit for the gods, the ancestors, the spirits around me, anyone who has recently died, when I want to give thanks or for anyone I feel the need to remember.

I am thankful that a lot of them are mainly gifts and will always be grateful for them. I use these mainly in my own circles, usually still sat on the altar, most of the time I’ll either use some of them or none at all.

Even though Witches, Pagans and Druids may have their own items and tools, the tools alone don’t make you magical. You do that, in what you bring and do for yourself, the people around you and your community. In whatever you do, let your spirit shine through, that will be magical tool enough.

Locksley. /|\

Merry May! Bealtaine 2021

Last Quarter

Bluebells of Woolley Woods, by my Dad David Knight.

Though the sky is grey, there is blue behind the cloud.

Though the rain falls, the bells ring blue in the sea of green.

But hark! The sun bursts through dismal banks!

A rainbow garlands shines the southern woods to the poplars of the west.

Though the rain falls, it quenches the thirsty ground.

Though the sky is grey, the sun shines still!


Indeed, after a day of much needed rain, my wife shouted to say the sun had come through and a rainbow could be seen!

Bealtaine blessings and Merry May!

Locksley. /|\