Tag Archives: light

Midwinter Solstice 2017- Lessons from the dark

I was going to put the ‘Yule’ chapter of my Wheel of the Year series as this festival’s entry, but it needs one hell of a re-write and, quite frankly, I’m not in the mood to rewrite pages of material.

Thursday marked the Winter Solstice and it was a dark, damp cloudy day. I was inspired! I wrote a piece for all my friends in Facebook land, I like to spread hope where I can.

Light, dark, balance is what counts. Lean too much towards the former and we see everything with rose-tinted glasses. There is no wrong in the world. Ignorance is bliss. Lean too much towards the latter and, well, there is everything wrong with the world.

I managed to get out of the house to take a walk in Highfields Park, just outside of Beeston, Notts. Although by the time I got there, the sun had already set and dusk would soon give way to night. This reminded me of the Owl card that I had drawn at the beginning of 2017. The concept of ‘Owl Time‘ was not lost on me.

Realising I was rushing through. I stopped and took in 9 deep breaths and closing my eyes. After that, I heard the sound of something in the lake. I turned and found a whole group of ducks swimming by the side of the man in the wheelchair being pushed by another. The ducks recognised him and were expecting to be fed…. their disappointment was evident when they started waddling along the embankment and quacking amongst themselves. A black bird with a white bill and stripe on its forehead ‘Pinged’ at the ducks. The scene was reminiscent of a uniformed official trying to keep order of loud football fans and the fans ignoring him as they pass him by.

Later, as I walked, it was getting darker but I could see to my right two white specks moving uphill. Two hares making their way. Do hares hibernate? I didn’t think so.

I went onto the small island where, surrounded by six tall Yew trees, I performed my ‘Five Senses Meditation’. By now it was dark and yet through the clouds, I could see cracks of a lighter sky. Night had not yet fallen.

Going to the lakeside, I made sure I wasn’t giving a false impression to the ducks (no snacks from this two-legged who didn’t think to bring munchies for the birds), bent down toward the water and held my right hand over the surface. Here, I gave my respects to the Lady of the Lake. When I was done, my hand was warm. And it was time to go home to perform my Ovate ceremony to greet the Solstice.

On my way home, I could see a clearing in the clouds getting larger until I reached my front door and the clearing revealed the sky as a teal-greeny-blue, right on the clock as the Solstice begun.

I came away from the park with these two lessons:

The importance of stillness.

There is always life, both in winter and the dark.

And as I was performing my personal ceremony, I was taken by Awen as I said out aloud and made the following observations :

In the dark, there is rest.

In the dark, there is the hidden.

In the dark, there is fear.

With fear, you can either run, do nothing, or take a stand.

Sometimes we must run, there is nothing wrong with a tactical retreat to fight another day. Sometimes we can do nothing but let the threat pass over. But there comes a time when we cannot run and we cannot do nothing and we must make a stand.

I said out aloud my fear and decided to take it on with the lesson I have gained from this year: Nothing is Accomplished Without Action. It was then the candle was lit.

Sure enough, the day after the Solstice was bright, the sky was clear and the sun shone with brilliance.

Merry Yuletide, one and all!


Venom & Honey

Hello 2015!

I did promise to write this for yesterday, but I brought in New Year’s Day with the last episode of The Black Adder (Always had a soft spot for the series that not many people like) and playing a good and proper dice rolling RPG with my brother (He is red-headed, which according to lore is bad luck for the rest of the year… racist y’see) and friend.

Last years blog, Quoth the Raven,  Had me explaining about a few New Year’s customs and a spot of divination.  So, what did last year’s prediction of my focus entail for 2014? Destruction in order to rebuild and passing through the darkest night before re-emerging to see the light of dawn once more.  How very true indeed.  Here’s what happened-

*Separation: Me and Pipes separated from our 10 year relationship and 6 year marriage.  It was very sad indeed and with heavy hearts we went our own ways.  I still occasionally see my Wife (ex-Wife) and we’ve remained friends.  I even popped round to see her on New Year’s Eve to see how she was, I’ll be joining her this weekend to help celebrate her birthday.

*New Beginnings: I moved out of my previous home into the present one that I share with my house-mate, Artemis.  I also picked up my performing again, acting in a play as well as developing my storytelling.

*Promotion: Of sorts.  I had assisted the Herald of the Druid Grove and after she stepped down earlier on last year, I took on the role until I did so officially at Samhain.

*Endings:  December saw my store close down for good (Its ok, I still have a job in the company, we all got moved to another store), it also saw me read my last Gwersu of the Bardic Grade… I have a lot to do before I move onto Ovate, however.

So, 2014 had seen me broken hearted, yet imbued with creativity.  It saw me take on responsibility when my friend and fellow Grove member needed some serious time out.  It saw me relocate to a warmer house full of geekery.  It brought me some amazing times with my friends, without whom I would have been consumed by bitterness and despair; whether hanging out, in a ceremony, going to Glastonbury or giving me recommendations on certain events to ply my trade, or kicking the shit out of thousands of monsters.  Its saw me say goodbye to the store that provided an income at the very last minute of my redundancy back in 2011, it saw me reach the end of my Bardic Course… making my Solstice Toast & Boast happen in days!  But I have yet to complete it…  And finally it saw me find strength within myself to survive the end of mine and Pipes’ relationship.  I cried my tears and swore out my rage in a very short space of time, but it took me a long while to get used to the void that appeared.  I know Pipes’ condition and how she has suffered, but I don’t think she’d appreciate me putting on here her ordeals.  I decided to pick myself up and get busy.  My heart is healing, but I now keep it heavily guarded without being heartless in my own self.  Will I love again? never say never.  I’ve decided I need to learn to love myself before I go looking to love another.


Nathair and Beach
Nathair and Beach

I consulted my DAO twice.  Once just after Midnight in the morning of 1st Jan 2015 and again around 11am.  The first time round was as a demonstration to Artemis and our mate, Jogger (she jogs).  On both accounts I asked the question of “What do I need to focus on in 2015?

The card in response was: Adder Reversed.  It means that instead of allowing the venom within to cause harm to others, it suggests I use it to bring healing to other people as well as myself.  It also means transformation.

For some reason, once I had awoken and tidied up the living room from our drinking session, I wanted to draw another card.  Not instead of, mind you, but in addition.  As if there was a feeling that there was more for the New Year to offer.  And the second card was: Bee.  The card of celebration, community and working with the seasons as well as the power of the Sun.

If I was to dare and put this together (a dangerous idea, but let’s try it anyway!) then I would say that after working with the darkness of last year, and for me, 2014 was about facing and working with my own darkness; this year brings healing and transformation, allowing me to emerge once again into the light of day.  And with celebrating with others, provide a chance of healing others as well.  However, there is the knowledge that these things tend to work out differently than expected.  And rest assured, it’ll go straight on here when it does.