Thursday, 1 August 2013


Lammas is hanging heavy in the air, 
Heavy, thick, like the pendulous breasts of a ripe rounded woman.
The dust from John Barelycorn fills the air,
Making it almost misty in the sunshine.

The balmy heat of the first risen sun,
Brings the promise of what's to come.
A glorious day filled with golden eared corn.
The white heart shaped dog rose petals, fallen upon the path.
Filling my journey with LOVE as I walk.

Dew covered cobwebs dance across the barleys beard,
The sunrise filling the fields with amber light.
A deer takes flight, bouncing across the field,
White tail held high, magic dancing from its hooves with every leap.
Crow soars above holding court and a heron glides past, carrying his message on the wing.
The beauty of this morning sings.

The land at this harvest is spectacular. Without meaning to repeat myself, balmy, hazy and golden. Don't waste these days of summer.
Fill them with folly, lovers, family and friends. These are precious times, make memories. Be grateful for that which we have, we can always dream for more, but take time for now!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Immerse in Elen Retreat 2013

Inside the Temple of Elen

*sigh* and so another 'Immerse in Elen Retreat' is over.......I'm still coming back down to earth to be honest but wanted to sit and take a few moments to take it all in and share some of the experiences.

This year saw the Elen Retreat move from its home, of four years, at Retreat Farm to a new venue on the edges of Danbury Woodland. Leaving behind Tipi's, Barns and Farmland and moving into heated en-suite log cabins, bigger workspace, ancient woodlands, debut of the Temple of Elen and catering!!!

Our lovely Elen Clan started arriving on Friday evening and once settled in to our cabins we headed off to a local pub for dinner and socialising.
A selection of delicious food from the Griffin

After an enjoyable evening in The Griffin we headed back home to the cabins to bed. Suzi and Julia were this weekends 'Tine Sister' and we rose bright and early to set up the Temple of Elen and the workspace. More Elen Clan began arriving and the start time drew nearer.

We spent the morning in our lovely large workspace surrounded by Elen artwork and with a central hearth. We lit candles for each of us, marking our space in the circle, and lit two special candles for Esther and Sarah who for very personal reasons couldn't be with us. We shared our stories, Elen's stories and journeyed in deep meditation and after a shared lunch (which could have fed us the whole weekend lol) we gathered in our circles....Spiral Heart, Shed Antler and create Incense and Anointing Oil to honour Elen and create Elen Mala Bracelets. We then headed out to spend time in the Temple of Elen and to share as a community learning and chanting the Elen Mantra. This was the first time our portable space had been erected and used for this sacred purpose. Thanks to donations, art sale percentages and generosity from Bell Tent UK  the dream of a Sacred Elen Temple was born, and here this weekend we saw the dream become a reality. 

 Temple of Elen

Altars of Elen's Maiden, Mother, Crone

After time spent in the Temple we headed out into the ancient woodland. We had been SO blessed with good weather and the early evening light was loaded heavy with magic. We wondered the tracks and spent time with the trees and on the banks of the streams and lakes. Everyone had been given a small Confetti Offering Token, biodegradable and loaded with wild flower seeds, to leave as thanks along the way. 

Emma Moon Breeze's Offerings

Jacqueline Honeybee's Offering

We collected kindling for our fire and headed back to site to gather our drums and voices. 

Kindling Collection

Sunny Sunday saw us gather after Breakfast in the Temple. We shared our experiences and feelings from Saturday and we sang the Elen Mantra together with our bracelets. We journey further with Elen of the Tribes and gathered in circles again to create deer leather Journey Pouches. As the afternoon came round we headed back to the Temple and gave those, that wished too, a loving space to dedicate themselves as Priestess's of Elen or walkers of The Antlered Road. WOW what can I say.........its at these times I realise how open and loving the Elen Clan completely are. The love, healing, tears, community and support that radiated with that 5 metre Temple Space was absolutely mind blowing. It humbles me, I feel so blessed to be part of and witness these moments that each of them bring......WOW

We took some time to gather and ground ourselves, then began to create our wonderful 'Footprints Along the Trackway'. Using ancient earth pigments, we started to track our journey as Clan along a piece of natural cloth. This is something I wish I'd had the inspiration to do from the first ever Retreat. We supported each other as we stepped into the Ochre and felt it squidge between our toes, we then stepped onto the cotton trackway and left our footprints/hoof prints (?lol) behind. Marking our journey together over the weekend as Clan Community.

After taking time to sit in circle one last time, to say our farewells and send the love and gratitude we'd built over the weekend, with each other and the wider community. We gently headed home......

Much love and thanks must go to Suzi and Julia, my 'Tine Sisters' for this Retreat. The Tine Sisters idea was born after I realised I can't always be in 3 places at once. So by having sisters, by my side, that I know I can trust and ask to help and support both me and the rest of the Clan over the course of the days, makes things a whole lot easier....especially as we moved into a new venue. So THANK YOU ladies!!!!

Suzi and Julia Tine Sisters 

And so I will end this as I started with a *sigh* another 'Immerse in Elen' Retreat is over, but its only 16 weeks till Elen's Equinox Reunion, where I can gather the Clan of 5 years worth of these wonderful and deeply profound Retreats and Workshops. How grateful I am to be able to do this.......I'll leave you with a few words the wonderful Anya wrote about the weekend.

Immerse in Elen Clan 2013

"What a wonderful weekend that was, sharing so much beauty and inspiration in the sunny countryside with my lovely new friends and soul-sisters! We came together from far-flung places, to share our merry-making, deep-diving, life-enhancing new connections ... feasting and crafting ... singing & chanting ... meditating and track-making ... out in the spring-green woodlands, and then drumming & singing as twilight came & night fell, and the fire blazed & the sparks flew upwards to meet the summer stars. That delightful, relaxed feeling is still upon me, that comes from deep sharing from the heart, head and imagination ... mutual support as we wove our stories, dreams and visions, crafted our treasures, made our dedications and left our ochred footprints ... sharing food, fun & frolics in free, female open-heartedness and good humour. This was the best clan-gathering I have ever experienced. I have always longed for a sister - and now, by Magic, I feel I have 20. Powerful, primordial, profound ... connecting us to our distant ancestors and the ancient herds-people and hunters of our land and the far northern forests - quite wonderful!”

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My Beltane

A 3.30am start!!!!

As I always tell myself....must be mental  ;o) But after making a phone call to the local tourist information to gain Sun Up and High Tide times, yesterday. I found out one of our local Morris Groups  the Maldon Greenjackets Met on Mayday to 'dance up' the sun. Well it would have been rude not to go along huh??? I had no idea the group did this, so was very excited to go along! Suzi, JoJo, Lily, Rain and Lisa decided to come join me too. So with drums, many layers and blankets we headed to Maldon Prom to wait the arrival of the Sun.

It was still fairly dark when we arrived but the false dawn was brewing. So we huddled into a shelter and had ourselves a coffee. The waning moon was still very much in view and sat beautifully on show above one of the trees.

The Morris started arriving, along with fiddle, squeeze box and recorder players, plus a lady from another village with a white pony and trap! Rhiannon's energy brought to the fore too. We had a little drum every now and again....although my drum wasn't very happy about the early start and was REALLY flat. After a couple of dances the sun started to show itself on the horizon, so we turned and watched as it crept up the sky. One of the ladies from the Morris came over to wish us all a Happy Beltane, which was lovely! 

I went and stood on the beach/shore line as the sun emerged and made my own silent honouring before going back to watch a little more of the Green Jackets as they continued to dance up that sunrise. We couldn't have asked for a better morning in all honesty! A bit nippy yes, but so very clear! 

After a little bit more drumming and bidding farewell to the girls, I did my usual morning routines and then took my dogs out onto my land. My usual trackways and lanes. The sun was well and truly up and it was really warm. There such a fantastic amount of bird activity around at the moment, unfortunately as I came out of my house we found a very, very tiny baby bird dead on my cars bonnet. Then out on one of my lanes a brown speckled egg smashed open on the ground but, on a more positive note, the hedgerows are so full of their song. The air was alive and almost crackling with energy this morning and the air so thick with the scent of 'the greening'. That smell of the new, fresh green shoots and leaves that have been warmed by the morning sun, so deliciously fragrant!!!

As I continued my walk I was all of a sudden distracted by a call, a very distinct call....I say distinct because I didn't instantly name the bird but it resonated really deep within me. When I looked up to see what had made it, a Jay flew, no glided above my head. A real moment, I could see him so clearly, each feather and colour and he gently called as he continued  along his journey!

I now realise completely that the Jay is my totem bird, I have others, but right now he is at my forefront. I must set some time aside to work more deeply with its energy, but they obviously have a very powerful message for me right now. I'm seeing them more and more this year and having stronger and stronger connections every time I do see them. Beautiful, beautiful bird. very, very blessed!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Winters Kiss

As the days started brightening
and the Spring dance began.
The Snow Dragon had other ideas,
so hatched out a plan.

He watched as the flowers came forth
and the bird song was sang.
As the land began quickening
 and the ewes dropped their lambs.

He wanted not, to give up his winter white crown.
Or allow the Land to wear her bright greening gown.
So as the clouds grew and the night it drew in.
To the sky he did take, beating his wings.

Dragon touched each cloud with an icy white breath,
and as he flew higher a biting wind blew.
But try as he might the flowers they still bloomed,
and in sheer frustration he knew what to do.

To prove he was mightier, a grand Winters King,
He threw himself down and blanketed Spring.
His white scales they did glisten, oh how they did span,
A last Winters Kiss across the whole land.

Snow Dragon Scales

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Couldn't get this poem out of my head, whilst walking, this morning....with Heron and Barn Owl thought I'd share......


William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


6.30am 05/03/13

I do love this time of year, the snowdrops in their little clusters, daffodils tightly waiting to burst with golden colour and the blackthorn coming out into its frothy splendor.  It also means that we start taking the dogs out for their walk earlier in the morning, which in turn means we start seeing the beautiful sunrises and catch a glimpse of the local beasties starting and finishing their days. We're more likely to see the rabbits scampering around, heading to their warrens as we turn a corner, or catch a fleeting glimpse of the Roe Deer as his head goes up when he catches a whiff of my dogs or see Mr Fox in all his copper glory as we disturb his rabbit hunting.

I'm always being very hard upon myself as to my daily practice  How I 'should' be rising at 6am and sitting in front of my altar, chanting, meditating or saying my mantra, which I do enjoy doing but struggle to actually do! Or not running around preparing lunches and breakfast, picking up the pj's my kiddies leave strewn on the floor as we dash out the door on the school run!  Which means I don't feel like I've done any spiritual practice at all!!! BUT I am beginning to realise that I DO have a daily spiritual practice, but it can be eclectic.

Everyday, at some point, I am out walking on my local land. Everyday I give honour to that land and its creatures, the Jay, Green Woodpecker, Heron, Roe, Rabbits and Fox (plus many other birds too). Its even more magical those mornings I am up at 6am and you catch the sunrise, especially through the misty haze. At that time of the morning I'm pretty much the only one out there, I can walk around in pure reverence. Sing songs and chant to the land or use my Elen Mantra to add a depth to my walking meditation. Because that's what it is. My daily walking meditation, witnessing the changing of the seasons and the turning of the wheel.

I have my beautiful Source statue in the kitchen and whenever I'm cooking there's always a candle lit in Her. My Altar in my dining room has incense and candles a-burning too. Sometimes, when I have a few quiet minutes to myself, I might journal or blog which are always of a spiritual nature. So I do have to be a bit kinder to myself really and accept that my 'ideal' of a daily practice, obviously isn't ideal and what I do actually do everyday is what comes naturally and therefore right for me.

So what's right for you? 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In Servitude....


So a blog post by the lovely Joanna The Belly Dancing Druid has had me musing....Pagan Monasticism.

Something a few, openly admit to striving toward and others have no interest in. Its something that crops up in conversation often with my nearest and dearest girls.

In principle the idea does sound wonderful. A scheduled life or with other like minded spiritual folk, a life in servitude of your chosen God or Goddess, daily ritual, prayer, chants etc Time spent working and living on the land. I've often joked about living in a hut in the woods devoted to Elen......but then in all honesty would I do it nowadays???

I think in days gone by, for our ancestors, that kinda of life was very achievable. A wise wo/man was a highly revered part of the community. The herbalist who healed the sick, midwife that birthed new life and also birthed souls into the next. A shaman, a spiritual guide, someone to turn to in life's ups and downs. A celebrant and see-r over life's rites of passages. A daily life spent devoted to their Path, living on the all spaces and forms.....edges of society, edges of sanity, edges of hunger, edges of material wealth. But cash wasn't the currency then. Community, self sufficiency, energy exchanges of a different nature. Of payment in respect, maybe a coin here or there, but actually it'll of been whatever the family could have afforded. A meal on the table, a chicken, some veg, whatever they specialised in I suppose.

My life now, as a Devotee/Priestess of Elen, is also a life of a Mother, a Partner, an Artist and Workshop Facilitator. Combining, more often juggling, all the areas of my life is no easy task, but I'm not entirely sure I could give it all up for a devoted life of servitude to Elen either. Not in the traditional Monastic sense. I certainly wouldn't walk away from my partner and children and my man is my grounding ;o) My best friend is a yogi disciple of the Satyanada Yoga Tradition, a Karma Sannyasa (I have linked that into an article which will describe better than I can). It makes a lot of sense to me, I want to achieve the best I can for myself, my man and my kids, but I also want to be in Servitude to Elen and be the best I can be in that too. To be fair, I think trying to achieve the life of a nun, monk, ashram life in our western society is tough! Really tough! But that doesn't mean my spirituality and daily practise doesn't strive to have that monastic devotion.

In reality I think the only way we can do it is, to do the best we can. Live our daily life in Honor of our chosen 'god' be that deity, land, planet, life. Incorporate prayer, chant, song, dance, drumming into your daily life. Be it small gestures of lighting candles and incense, eating wholefoods, using Eco friendly products, journal-ling.

Some of these tools I share on my Elen Retreats, suggestions of daily devotions. I'm hoping this year, along with Suzi, to give folk a deep sense of the work I've been led to do with The Temple of Elen. A sacred space to retreat to, even if only for a short period of time. Many things are on the brew at the mo with my work devoted to Elen....magic really is happening and it blows me away. The community is something really special and I'm blessed to have met these wonderful folk that hold the Antlered ways so close to their hearts!

And thanks again Joanna for making the musing juices flow........ 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Healing Sunday's

This Sunday was spent blitzing the house, making sure all the decorations from Yule were down and away. Working through the washing mountain, food shopping for the week ahead....back to school, back to routine! So scrubbing and a cleaning as a family team effort, the kids gained reward tokens for helping out, we cleaned the house within an inch of its life.

The above photo is my wonderful Source statue which, since she was gifted to me by my fab girls, has lived in my home's hearth space. I often light a candle whilst cooking or spending time in there and if needs I will light a candle especially for healing to be sent somewhere. 

Having blitzed the kitchen, then washed my Source and refreshed Her rose petals. I wanted to dedicate a healing candle to a couple of my friends.This Sunday, one of my dearest friends had a tough day ahead of her and another recent friend wasn't very well at all. So whilst lighting the candle I sent out Love and Healing Energy to them both and then left the candle to burn down. Whilst I was taking the above photo to share on Facebook and let my friends know I'd been thinking of them, I was inspired that this is something I should do every Sunday with my Source. So I'm putting it out there......if anyone would like a candle dedicated to them on a Sunday, receiving Healing from the Source, She's there for that use just let me know.

Brightest Blessing upon your week ahead xxx