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.


Alison xxx

MOON Pisces SUN Scorpio

Tomorrow Father Sun begins travelling with Sagittarius, an exhilarating time in my family due to families coming together & children finishing school for the year & the warm weather encouraging much outdoor activity.

I went for a Mountain drive with a dear friend yesterday & was reminded of the potency of Universal language flowing through ALL of Creation. My messengers in the Eastern Mountains were Raven, Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo, Kookaburra, White-tailed Black Cockatoo, Rosella & Willy Wagtail as well as Mint, Oak, Patchouli & Fern Tree. Much to ponder today…

In preparing for the Litha Picnic on the evening of the 21st I will be drawing on these allies for guidance & support. This festival always holds me to the story of the Fae king & queen coming together. Solstice is a wonderful time to take a good look at both horizons without one dominating the other. It is within this balance that clarity & purpose can be harnessed & set into action for the next cycle.


MOON Aries SUN Leo

My feet have finally hit the ground again after such a high over the weekend with Full Moon Tarot Meditation Circle on Saturday & Imbolc- a celebration of the awakening light workshop on Sunday…

As I sit by my fire contemplating ancient language & symbolism, I realise that holding regular Full Moon & Dark Moon Esbats as well as workshops for the Sabats, I have settled into a rhythm that holds me in a lovely place. I know that what I choose to do in the “actual” world will have an echo within as well as to my past & present selves. These regular circles & practices are setting me on a mighty course indeed!

So, I give thanks for my life & my love as I continue to be guided by my ancestors, the Fae & my own intuitive voice, dancing the Wheel again & again…


MOON Virgo SUN Pisces

Having just finished my magickal workings for this Virgo Full Moon I sit now in reflection of the ebb & flow of life, seeing a strong connection to this fluctuating flow of all things & homeostasis. As a member of the Natural Therapies community I am continually looking at ways to make my Magickal & Muggle existences work holistically together, & I really see this concept of homeostasis as a key part of this connection.

Homeostasis is defined by Tortora & Derrickson in Principles of Anatomy & Physiology 11th ed., as ‘The condition in which the body’s internal environment remains relatively constant within physiological limits.’ This to me creates a system by which the body is limited with regards to its own ability to control internal processes. This seems to be a very orthodox medico idea, & one that I find reducing function to an action/reaction type model & doesn’t allow for miracles (magick).

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary states that homeostasis is the ‘tendency of an animal or organism to maintain a constant internal environment regardless of varying external conditions.’ This sets a better point of focus for me as it speaks of the stability & grounding that can be reflected via the hypothalamic homeostatic response of the body to its external world, something that I could certainly use in my healing practice as well as in my life.

Deepak Chopra, in his book Perfect Weight, says ‘Physiological balance is a function of intelligence.’ Now this idea of homeostasis is not only an action/reaction model, but opens the gateway for psychological control of managing the internal environment of the physical body. Deepak Chopra is such an empowering being…

All of these different ways of looking at homestasis creates within me this wonderful image of homestasis being much like a pendulum. The set point at which the pendulum can swing is the point of stasis that is desirable. If this set point can be consciously manipulated, as suggested by Deepak Chopra, then the body can be guided towards healing via the hypothalamus & using the body’s own resources to achieve optimal health. I like to call this Holistic Homeostasis.

So, back to my Magickal Muggle cross-road, I can use this information to create another dimension to the wheel of directions, celestial bodies, seasons, lunar aspects, elements, archetypes, deities, etc. When I stand at the centre point of all of these circles, cycles & polarities, I can see where the pendulum swings & I can guide the pendulum through different realms thus connecting  with any realm by whatever threads I see fit for healing work. Given this, if I can stand in the centre of a body (mine, yours, the Earth, a cockatoo, whatever the body) I am be able to induce homeostasis simply by connecting this body with whatever healing energy it needs coupled with the relevent natural therapy…. This is how I work as a holistic healer of the mind, the body, the spirit, the soul, the psyche.

In my language, I call this process Alignement.


MOON Sagittarius SUN Capricorn

To me, the way of the Spirit is wide & varied. Within certain predetermined pathways, alternative paths will be revealed & boundaries will be expanded as new territory is explored. This makes me think that the way is not where the essence of right or wrong resides. It is only in the intention behind/within our explorations that right & wrong can be determined. This has been proven many times over by philosophers throughout the consciousness of humankind. Our greatest teachers, however, are our cousins of the Animal Kingdom. When they are wild & able to grow naturally, their lessons are pure & in line with the natural world. I honour & thank the Animal Kingdom every day for their wisdom & for keeping me in touch with the real world. )O(