Imbolc 2017

I woke this morning to a valley full of fog, listening to the eerie echo of the ravens croak through the thick, moist air. Even though the days are getting longer, there is a chill to the air that hints at distant snow-capped mountains & the vast expanse of the southern oceans. And it is almost lunch time & still no rays from Father Sun have penetrated the thick grey-white clouds that are hanging so low overhead.

In this way I contemplate the coming turn of the Wheel, Imbolc. This festival is called the Festival of Awakening by the lovely Glennie Kindred & is the gateway to Spring. It falls at the exact midpoint between the Winter Solstice & the Spring Equinox, August 7 at 5:40pm according to the Spheres of Light website.

For me, this festival is a time of hope, a time when the deep dreamings of Winter’s dark catch the light of the lengthening days & spark into action my body & my heart & my soul. This transition reminds me of the journey of the Cailleach to the Well of Youth, where she imbibes of the magickal waters there & returns to her maiden form, waving her white wand to bring the Earth back to her green state.

This time heralds my great annual Spring clean, which I hope to have done by the time the Wheel turns again at Ostara. The greens of Yule will be burned, items will be boxed up to send to the local charity opportunity shops, curtains will get a wash & the besom will come out of the closet for a big sweeping cleanse of the entire house. This year I will be making a potion with basil, bay & myrrh that I will use to mop the floors & wipe the surfaces of my house, adding purification, consecration, joy, peace, healing & blessings to the space. The sills will get the usual wipe down with methylated spirits & there will be a pot of lavender, apple, yarrow & rose boiling on the stove top to fill the house with love. A large white candle will burn brightly to its end on the kitchen table & salt will be sprinkled into the corners to capture anything that I may have missed.

The Hedgewitchery festivities usually involve a mass candle blessing, a huge feast & the reading of poems. This year I want us to make Inner Child Dollies to gift our youngest aspects with something special. I want to fill mine with herbs & dried corn & oats. I also want to try divining using ceromancy- the pouring of melted wax into a bowl of water. Wish me luck!

Whatever it is you do to tap into this very special time of year, may it be blessed with much peace & love & happiness.

Alison xxx

Embracing the Shadow to Release the Light

For the last 3 years I have had the privilege of spending Yule with my Hedgeriding sistars on a beautiful property on Gadubanud country at Apollo Bay. This time is in honour of the deep, dark wisdom of Winter Solstice & perfect for sitting in circles to process life as we craft & cook & tell stories. With fires burning & incense filling the air, we work our insights into crowns & magickal pouches & mommets & baked goods, & in doing so we are able to ground & centre ourselves around the growth that is available at such moments.

The reality of multiple perspectives & how they can influence our sense of self was a conversation that taught me a lot this Yule. It is easy to get lost in the way that others see the world they share with us & the distraction created with this can often elicit feelings of frustration or fear or futility… potentially a very disempowering experience.

One magickal craft that helped me to regain & reinforce my own perspective was the Yule Pouch. We began by crafting a pouch to hold the working, something that is created with what is available & woven to appeal to our personal aesthetics. Then we fill the pouch with symbolic representations of the dreams that we have for our year to come, such as a clove of garlic for protection against sickness or a small fruit to ensure that our efforts bring us an abundant return or words written on a bay leaf to hold wishes. During the Yule bonfire we take a moment to energise the pouches in a quiet, meditative state, & then they are sealed. These pouches are placed in a significant place in the home to radiate the contained magick throughout the year.

The pouch that I made last year was emptied to be refilled this year. In doing this I realised just how successful my last Yule Pouch was as it hung above my bed since the time it was sealed… all that I had asked for had come to be! It is subtle & gentle magick that I highly recommend.

As I write this, today is the shortest day & longest night & I am preparing to celebrate this auspicious time with my partner & my children. We shall feast & make a small altar in the lounge room that we can assemble our mattresses around for a slumber party. The night will be filled with movies & stories & a few simple spells…

Dreaming Stone Spell

Take a stone that feels right & hop into your bed with it. Hold it in your left hand (right if you are left-handed) & listen to what it has to say to you. Then hold it in your right hand (left if you are left-handed) & dream about the life that you wish to be living. Let this dream flow from your mind, down through your arm & hand & into the stone. Give the stone a kiss & place it on a dish of salt beside your head while you sleep on the longest night. In the morning, place the stone in your pillow case so that it is under your head every night as you dream. Journal your dreams in the days/weeks/months to come or discuss them with your friends & family. In this way you are able to access the insights that you need to manifest the life that you dream of. Toss the salt outside your bedroom window. When you feel the time is right, cleanse the stone for reuse or return it to the place that it came from (eg. earth or sea etc.).

Wishing with Bay

Make a fire or light a candle & sit beside it thinking about what you wish for more than anything in the world. This wish must be something are willing to work towards & make sacrifices for it to come to be. Write the wish onto a bay leaf, read it out 3 times & then burn it in the flame of the fire or candle. Let the ash drift where it may.

Whatever your adventures are for this Winter Solstice, may they be blessed.

HAPPY YULE!!

Alison xxx

Hedgewitchery Mentorship Program

Greetings!

The Hedgewitchery Mentorship program is open for enrolment!

This Mentorship program is for anyone who is connecting with themselves as a Spirit, anyone who is searching for something more than meets the eye in this vast & glorious world. You will be taken on a journey through the turn of one Wheel of the Year, a journey that will connect you to your Spirit, your path & your environment in a deep & profound way. It will equip you to maintain your own spiritual practice & inspire you to delve deeper into your own magickal gifts & sacred skills.

Your mentor will be The Lady Le Faye, founder of The Hedgewitchery. Known to friends & family as Alison, the Lady Le Faye has very strong connections to her ancestry. She is the Granddaughter of the now deceased Tribal Elder of the Karawara Islands, East New Britain Province PNG, & is the descendant of a long line of farming folk originating from Wales & England. She was raised to respect the laws of the land, the spirit of the Creator & the importance of holding ceremonial space. Alison began her training as a Hedgewitch 25 years ago at the age of 16 & was under the guidance of her Shamanic mentor for the past 5 years. In her role at The Hedgewitchery, she provides community based rituals, this mentorship program & various spiritual teachings. Alison has had formal training in Reiki, Aromatherapy, Western Medical Herbalism, and Homeopathic First Aid & has a current First Aid Certificate. She is also a qualified Nutritionist.

During the course of this Year & A Day (one full turn of the Wheel of the Year) you will be connected with your broadest self, your various guides, guards & guardians, your personal internal world, your own ancestral ritual & magick, your innate magickal gifts & talents, & your sacred skills.

Beginning at April 30, you will be invited to attend Dark Moon & Full Moon circles, any Wheel of the Year Festivals & a minimum of 2 face to face or skype sessions with The Lady Le Faye (at a time that suits you both) every month. Upon completion of your Year & A Day journey, you will be initiated into Hedgewitchcraft & ready to step out on your own & explore the magickal world that surrounds you.

The cost is $150 per month, payment plans can be arranged.

If you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.

0431628957         alison@thehedgewitchery.com

There is a limited number of places for each intake so please register your interest as soon as possible.

)O(

Lammas Altar

Lammas Altar

Grass Doll with Passion Flower & Yellow ribbon

  • to hold the magick for release at the dawn of Yule & to be sacrificed to the Fires of Imbolc

Summer Bliss Balm

  • to remember the blissful feeling of Father Sun penetrating the cold grasp of Winter

Feathers- Kookaburra, King Parrot, Crested Pigeon, Galah, Cockatoo

  • to feel the benefits of all that is associated with Air
  • to learn the medicine of each bird represented

Seabird bones & wing (from Mamma Ocean)

  • to pay respects to all that have come before me, the creators of the here & now

Seashells

  • to bring the loving embrace of Mamma Ocean into my family home so that harmony & peace may prevail

Sea stones

  • to honour the Children of my Womb

Black Tourmaline

  • to extract the energy that not longer belongs

Evening Primrose flowers

  • to feel my Sistars beside me

Pink Moth

  • a reminder to express love in all things

Cassowary Bone Dagger

  • to give me courage

Milk Thistle flower

  • to protect the space & the magicks

Wand of Wyrd

  • to direct the magicks

Green Acorns

  • to facilitate the union of my Spirit & my Identity

White Sage incense

  • to conjure the feeling of Freedom

Beeswax candle anointed with Summer Bliss balm & inscribed with Fehu, Jera, personal Ancestor symbol, & local flag

  • to honour this time… the Gateway to Autumn
  • to honour the caretakers of this Land… Wurundjeri of the Kulin Nation
  • to honour my Mothers Mothers… Kerawara, Duke of York Islands

Owl Dreaming drum

  • to keep the rhythm of my Dreaming
  • to draw out my own inner Wisdom

Urrion

  • to assist in weaving & grounding the magicks

Oracle cards

  • to open me to the energies that are calling for my attention

)O(

MOON Aquarius SUN Aquarius

Create your space.

Face East & feel deeply into these words as you read them out loud or just in your mind:

“I call to the Lovers of Minds & Learning. Bear witness as I become the Breath of Inspiration.”

Face North & feel deeply into these words as you read them out loud or just in your mind:

“I call to the Lovers of Passion & Will. Bear witness as I become the fiery Spark of Resilience.”

Face West & feel deeply into these words as you read them out loud or just in your mind:

“I call to the Lovers of Hearts & Compassion. Bear witness as I become the Embodiment of Love.”

Face South & feel deeply into these words as you read them out loud or just in your mind:

“I call to the Lovers of Silence & Respect. Bear witness as I become the Foundation of new Growth.”

Stand or sit in the center.

Love your feet & your hair & all things in between.

Understand the flow that surrounds you & emanates from within you & moves through you.

Turn your head towards Sky to find Peace & Perspective.

Turn your thoughts deep within & far into the past of this place & its inhabitants. Draw upon the understanding & wisdom that arises from this action & let it become an iridescent arrow. Turn to the darkest shadow you can find & shoot the arrow into its heart. Observe what the arrow reveals closely, openly & unobtrusively, & take note of what you see there.

Give thanks.

Make offerings.

Release your space.

)O(

Blessing Moon Reflection

I woke with that feeling that I was being called to present my Best Self to the day, the morning of Thor’s days Blessing Moon. I lit the candle spells that were still active from the previous night’s workings, ate my Bircher, washed & put on my Best Self. This Best Self managed to create a particularly rewarding day!

My first reward was the opportunity to be part of a lovely spell concocting process with the wonderful Tinker Wytch of our company. She was brewing up a Nostalgia Potion that seems to set you along a thread of warm & cosy memories, some going way back through the Ancestral Web.

My next reward was by way of an incredibly intoxicating conversation with Zillah, my youngest Son. He asked me to explain how it is possible to feel outside of yourself. I asked him to clarify what he meant by “outside of yourself” & he explained that he meant way outside, gesturing wide with his arms as he looked up & out towards the beautiful blue Sky. I am sure that you can imagine how much fun Zillah & I had exploring this topic!

A whirlwind catch up, with one of the Runies who happened by, was reward number three. Can you imagine a Gemini & an Aquarian with only a short window in time together being anything less than a whirlwind?

Next reward, quite simply, was a spontaneous afternoon nap…

During which I received the word that a much anticipated Rosie Flower had entered the world (this one received the much coveted Reward of the Day award). RF & her Mother popped into the Wild Women group looking Angelic! They were both flushed with the elements from across the Veil & radiating the pure of Love that exists between Mother & Child.

Antoinette Boulevard arrived to deliver my next reward, two of my favourite women. Together we prepared for Full Moon & set off to the Swamp Circle. Our numbers swelled as we met others from our company along the way, one of whom had some very exciting news to share with the rest of us (another reward for being my Best Self!).

Sitting under the bright Blessing Moon with my Lover that evening, watching all the candle spells play at shadow puppets in & around my home, I took a long moment to reflect on the days events & to radiate the feeling of gratitude & peace that was swelling up from within me. Gratitude not only for the external moments that had carried me along in a peaceful & blissful & joyous way, but also for the internal ponderings I was able to follow & process due to the lovely external atmosphere.

I am writing this two days after these events & I can already feel the changes that embodying my Best Self had initiated. I highly recommend bringing out your Best Self at Full Moontide, you may be as delighted as me with the shifts that are aroused from such an adventure.

)O(

MOON Capricorn SUN Capricorn

cassowary-dagger

Today, through the Balsamic phase, I have been preparing for this ending/beginning by cleansing & clearing.

The intention for my workings this evening when the Moon turns New is to release unwanted habits, boost my resources & commit to a clear & solid path.

My rite will include:

  • cleansing my self & my magickal items,
  • a journey to visit with my Spirit Self in order to decipher what habits are needing to be broken,
  • a brainstorm of my skills & abilities & how I can utilise them to benefit my family/community/self,
  • a pathway tarot reading.

Once this is done & to encourage the realignment of my mind/body connection & support the settling in of my new path, I will spend the next few days conducting my physical actions in the opposite way. For example, brushing my teeth with the other hand, walking a different way to the shop, eating my breakfast for dinner & my dinner for breakfast, etc.

After a few days of this, perhaps when the Moon is waxing in Taurus, I will give myself another pathway reading & then, using quill & parchment, I will write a “To Do” list.

Happy Moontide folks!

)O(

Ostara Rite

Ostara Altar

Ostara Rite
A rite to mark the turning of the Wheel that will bring balance to our inner reality & nourishment to our goals.
This rite is best done outdoors around the base of a tree at dusk or dawn.
Components-
• seeds that you can plant to grow
• a handful of dirt from where you wish them to grow
• a candle
• a feather
• a jar of water with a lid (natural water is best)
The Rite-
Call an aspect of self to each direction, focus thoughts:
  • at East on Ostara, on our ability to harness what is coming & plant seeds of change & growth
  • at North on Litha, on our ability to express our passions & drive our actions,
  • at West on Mabon, on our ability to gather what we need to sustain ourselves & let go of what no longer is useful
  • at South on Yule, on our ability to be deep within our mystery & our inner knowing
Centre is for Earth Sun Moon & Stars in balance of cycles
Honour the Land spirits & our Ancestors
Ground & centre
Seeds in left hand, dirt in right hand
Breath into left body by blocking the right nostril, focus on yin & draw yin energy in from the outer world & breath out yin energy from inner world
Breath into right body by blocking the left nostril, focus on yang & draw yang energy in from outer world & breath out yang energy from inner world
Send awareness to feet & ask them to show you a way to balance, feel it rise from the feet into your body
Place seeds in mouth
Let your feet walk you to find a place to offer the dirt
Come back to centre
Take the water & offer some to the Earth at the base of the tree in centre then add the seeds to the jar with some spit
Take the feather in right hand & candle in left
Breath in balance between left & right, inner & outer, yin & yang
Ask your spirit to to show you how to hold the balance, feel it trickle down from the top of your head
Let your spirit take you for a walk & offer the feather where you land
Come back to centre & symbolise the holding of balance onto the candle with a nail
Give thanks to Earth Sun Moon & Stars
Give thanks to Land spirits & Ancestors
Close circle by drawing in the aspects of self that have watched from each direction.
Follow-up
Plant the seeds by pouring the contents of the jar into the place you wish for them to grow
Set the candle in the dirt by the seeds & light it, letting it burn out naturally.

MOON Aquarius SUN Leo

from Shadowscape Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Artwork from Shadowscape Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Standing under the Moon this evening will be a time for me to acknowledge who I have become over the dark, cold, ponderous Winter. In doing this I hope to understand how I am able to access my individual qualities, explore ways of releasing the potency that has been building within me in the past few months, & devise plans for navigating around any problems that may arise in the process.

My rite might go something like this…

Rainbow candle & Bismuth stone

Spin widdershins to return home

Myrrh & Frankincense smoking the air

Florida Water to wipe my cares

Prayers to Moon & Earth & Sun

Thanks expressed to all who’ve come

Reduced to be nothing, exploded to be all

Listening hard for the Ancestral call

Penning the words that encompass me

Stating them loud, confidently

Then making an oath to the One most high

Of all I am willing to offer & deny

Held now, sure, & ready to burst

I drum & sing & dance to disperse

I fall & laugh & release the space

Deosil I spin to the common place

I know who I am & what I must be done

And I step boldly forward to meet what will come.

Happy Moontide!

Alison xxx

MOON Capricorn SUN Cancer

Best Self Standing

You will need:

  • pen & four pieces of paper
  • a handful of salt or earth or stones
  • items for an altar (see below for ideas)

Stand in a powerful pose & call your best self into you. Consider where your ambitions are & feel these ambitions settle into your body.

Create an altar space that reflects these ambitions & walk around it three times deosil (anti-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere). Then sit by your altar & complete the following sentences, one on each piece of paper:

  1. I want… & to achieve this I am going to be responsible for…
  2. I feel… & to benefit from this I am going to be responsible for…
  3. I desire… & to fulfill this I am going to be responsible for…
  4. I know… & to utilise this I am going to be responsible for…

Stand facing South in a powerful pose, & in a strong & confident voice read the first sentence three times. When done, continue to stand in this way pondering what you have said for as long as you can. Write down any ideas or thoughts or sensations that come to you underneath where you wrote the first sentence. Place the paper on the ground here & put some salt/earth/stones on top. Give thanks with a deep bow.

Stand facing West in a powerful pose, & in a strong & confident voice read the second sentence three times. When done, continue to stand in this way pondering what you have said for as long as you can. Write down any ideas or thoughts or sensations that come to you underneath where you wrote the second sentence. Place the paper on the ground here & put some salt/earth/stones on top. Give thanks with a deep bow.

Stand facing North in a powerful pose, & in a strong & confident voice read the third sentence three times. When done, continue to stand in this way pondering what you have said for as long as you can. Write down any ideas or thoughts or sensations that come to you underneath where you wrote the third sentence. Place the paper on the ground here & put some salt/earth/stones on top. Give thanks with a deep bow.

Stand facing East in a powerful pose, & in a strong & confident voice read the fourth sentence three times. When done, continue to stand in this way pondering what you have said for as long as you can. Write down any ideas or thoughts or sensations that come to you underneath where you wrote the fourth sentence. Place the paper on the ground here & put some salt/earth/stones on top. Give thanks with a deep bow.

Sit at your altar space again & imagine that your ambitions are working for you & shaping your life. Let this fill you & roll it around your senses & your body & your mind & your heart & your spirit. Walk three times widdershins (clockwise in the Southern hemisphere) looking at the ground & seeing the path to your goals unfolding beneath your feet.

Leave the altar & paper piles where they are at least for the night. When you are ready, gather the salt/earth/stones & scatter them somewhere to the East of your space. Put the pieces of paper somewhere that you can see them & on a regular basis (eg. every morning on rising) stand in your power, repeat the sentences & reflect upon the other things you have written under it, adding bits or adjusting it if you feel the need to.

Happy Moontide!

Alison xxx