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Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Yesterday had that delicious Autumn eeriness about it; that stillness & sense of suspended animation & slight melancholy.  The nights are drawing in, the first skeins of geese have traced their way across the sky & the fires of Autumn sunsets & gold & russet leaves are replacing the fiery heat of the Summer sun.  To me, despite the blustery weather it can bring, Autumn is the most calming of the Seasons.

Calmness & inner peace is something I really appreciate but often find difficult to obtain, as I suspect we all do.  Our lives seem to be so busy & crowded; our roles are many & human emotions are difficult to keep in check.   We may constantly mull over the past,  wishing we had done things differently, cringing at actions or deeds that might have caused others pain or licking unhealed wounds inflicted upon us which still haunt & torment.  We may stress about the future, wondering what tomorrow will bring, wondering if things will get better or whether worse is to come.  Round & round it goes, causing stress, blocking us from achieving inner peace & being the beautiful souls we are meant to be.

Here are a few of the ways I intend to invoke the calm of Autumn in my life:

I always feel calm & serene under the light of a Full Moon.  I take every opportunity to sit under her beautiful silver light & let it wash over me.  I find it soothing, cleansing & restorative.  The Lady Moon seems to me to be an orb of pure love & infinite wisdom.  Ask her a question from deep in your heart & she will answer.  You just need to listen.

Getting in touch with Mother Nature always help me feel nurtured, helps melt away the stresses & tensions of modern life & takes me to a simpler place.  Time spent wandering my little garden or walking out into the countryside soon brings to me what I need to feel better.  A conversation with the heart of a beautiful rose,  a pow-wow with a butterfly as it sits awhile to drink nectar, the sweetness of a blackberry freshly picked from the hedgerow or time spent simply cloud gazing can be immensely healing & soothing things.  Just kicking off my shoes & wriggling my toes down deeper into the grass brings a sense of relief & calm at the end of a working day.  Breathing deep down into my lungs, flinging my senses wide open & just absorbing all the Nature energy on offer is more powerful at beating a tension headache than any pill.  All that gorgeousness is there, available to us each & every day, just as soon as we step outdoors.

Learning to live in the moment is another important lesson I'm trying to embrace.  To value the beauty & possibilities in the here & now & be free of the past & future.  When I achieve it it is immensely liberating, bringing a sense of lightness to my soul & opening gateways which allow more love to flow into my heart.  Bliss!

Other things I use to relax are flower essences, aromatherapy, meditation & crystals.  Each brings its own unique healing to the senses & to the chakras, helping to release negativity, restore balance & enhance well being.  I find if I take time out to heal myself I am much more open to the message of Spirit & less likely to be confused by the voice of Ego.  

Sleep & rest are obvious, but often neglected aids to a calm, refreshed mind. Pushing ourselves too hard physically or failing to get enough sleep are as harmful to our inner, spiritual workings as to our physical bodies.  Here's a little sleep charm / spell that I recently made for my mum when she had trouble sleeping after a period of stress in her life.  I'm was so happy when it worked for her :)

You will need a drawstring bag made of a material lightweight enough to release the smell of the herbs you're going to pop into it - cotton for example.  To make mine extra magical I used a silver material - the colour of the Moon & the Goddess.

Add to the bag a good pinch of amethyst chips (to soothe), a pinch of rosemary (to protect against bad dreams), a few pink rose leaves (loving & comforting) & then fill to the top with a mixture of approx 2/3rds hops to 1/3 lavender. As you fill your bag imagine the person who it is intended for enjoying a restful night's sleep & awaking refreshed in the morning. Most importantly, don't forget that vital ingredient for your bag - LOVE.  The bag can be hung by the bed or popped under a pillow. Taking a good few deep breaths of the herbs before lying down to sleep will help bring the most gorgeous night's sleep.

What methods do you use for achieving that illusive sense of inner calm? 

With love & bright blessings

Sara xx

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tree of Love

Just as the sacred wheel of the year has turned & we have celebrated the sabbat of Lammas/Lughnasadh so it seems the seasons are turning.  The leaves on trees & hedgerows are taking on Autumn colours, flowers & grasses are seeding, hawberries, sloes & rowan berries are ripening & the first grain has been harvested from the fields.  A time to be thankful for the abundance around us & to celebrate the circle of life & rebirth as we remember that this year's grain will bring next year's harvest.

I first noticed the trees in Tewkesbury take on Autumn hues about 2-3 weeks ago & then almost overnight here in the countryside the leaves along our dog walk seemed to turn yellow & russet.  Trees have played a big part in my life recently.  Last weekend I had the best of days when I went to visit a long standing Twitter friend, dearest heart Hen over at Heart & Soil.  A happy time was spent in the warm embrace of her company & of the woodland she cares for.

We strolled amongst the trees, feet cushioned gently by leaf litter, my eyes as big as saucers drinking in all the beautiful things around us - from funghi, delicate lichen, great oaks, wild raspberries, butterflies & birds to tiny faery umbrellas & diamond rain drops caught on spider webs.  And perhaps most magical of all we caught tantalising glimpses of shy red roe deer melting quickly & nimbly into the woods as they heard our approach.

The energy of the woodland seeped through my pores; strong & yet so gentle; invigorating & yet so soothing. Hen introduced me to her favourite tree, a very special oak, & as I lay my head against a mossy nook in its branches & wrapped my arms around its trunk, the tree spirit took me to his heart & held me gently.  I felt incredibly peaceful, a child held in caring arms.  A moment frozen in time free from any care, just me & the tree spirit connected heart to heart in a perfect moment of tenderness.  I understood completely why to Hen this tree was so special.

As we wandered I noticed the energy of the woodland shift in certain places.  It surprised me.  I felt very in tune with the vibrations of the place, my senses were acting on a spiritual level as well as on a physical one.  I saw subtle changes in the light, felt changes in temperature, heard differences in bird song but it was much more than that.  I sensed one area was being watched over by the protective energy of a guardian spirit, I felt spooked by an area where the ruins of an old stone barn tumbled to the ground & I felt one area to be so profoundly peaceful it felt almost other worldly.  I rambled away to Hen, words from my heart clumsily tripping across my tongue & forming words that thankfully she understood.

Hours flew by like minutes & all too soon it was time to leave.  I could quite happily have stayed in Hen's company, seeing the woods & landscape through her eyes for days & days, but I left with bonds formed that I know I will treasure forever.

The next day I felt so zingy with woodland energy.  My eyes, ears, nose & mouth were still carrying vividly the sights, sounds, smells & taste of the place.  I felt so lucky to know not just Hen, but a whole network of amazing Nature spirits, all caring desperately for Mother Nature, all roaring at the wrong doing mankind is doing to our beautiful planet & all struggling to shout loud enough to be heard above the greedy corporate, political & materialistic rhetoric.

In a flash I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to plant a tree not only to remind me of my day with Hen but in honour of all the beautiful souls I know who care about Mother Earth; in honour of the God & Goddesss &      as a symbolism of my own wish to tread lightly here. Then a touching thought came from special soul @Lady-Gyr via Twitter.  What if we all planted trees together?  So - would you care to join me?  Would you like to plant a tree with me to make a statement that says you care?  To enjoy a sense of community with other people who care too?  To do a special thing for Mother Earth?

If you would then simply choose a tree suitable for your environment - as small or as tall as you can manage.  A tree small enough to grow in a pot would make just as big a statement as planting a baby Oak King.  You can find lots of information on planting trees - how, when & where- & native tree species for sale at the Woodland Trust, or you could simply pop along to a local nursery or garden centre.  My beautiful friend Victoria over at Scrummycupcake's Blog suggested willow trees would be perfect for their incredible carbon munching ability & the fact that they come in all shapes & sizes.  Hen says there is a wee native willow 'Kilmarnock' that would be perfect for smaller spaces.  Can you imagine all those willow trees whispering a message of Nature love to heaven & earth?  Wow! Or maybe like me you feel particularly connected to birds & so would like to plant a tree that will bear berries to feed them in the Winter months? Whatever tree speaks to you please do join the Tree of Love community by posting photos of your tree to Twitter using the hashtag #treeoflove, joining the Facebook group Tree of Love which I've created (hopefully!), or posting about your tree on your own blog (do please leave a link to it by commenting on this post).  That way you will always have that inner knowledge that you are not alone in caring, that you have done a special thing to honour Mother Earth & that every day you will have the amazing energy of your very own tree spirit to connect to.

Here is an inspiring piece of writing from Hen that moved me to tears: Every every action taken in love to right wrong doings can send huge ripples.  Every tree planted is special.  It connects the earth to the skies.  It harbours & nurtures wildlife. It reminds us that all things are INTERCONNECTED.

May you find great blessings in planting your Tree of Love,

Sara  xxxx

All the amazing photos in this post were taken by my youngest son :o)