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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Avalon journey- Spirtual recharge.

 
So lately I have been more Rockabilly than Pagan. Since having a baby trying to find spiritual time is difficult. I'm embarrassed to say my altar has not changed since Yule and the Sabbats have passed me by without any acknowledgement. I had become a lazy pagan.

When two of my fellow Celtic Mooners asked me if I wanted to join them in a Summer pilgrimage to Avalon I was over the moon! Time away from being 'Mummy' and to embrace my spiritual side that has been neglected for too long.

The lead up to the journey was a busy one. I had spent the week before at Broadstairs folk week camping which was a lot of fun but I was exhausted. Followed by a manic few days at work and then making sure Layla was going to be okay as this was to be the first time I would be away from her over night. I was anxious, as any mother would be in these circumstances. My partner was also worried as Layla is still breastfeeding and I have been the one putting her to sleep and going to her in the night since she was born. However I knew that time away from Layla was desperately needed.
On Wednesday I left Layla with my parents and made my way to Zee's home, the transition from Mummy to Magickal well underway. I slept on the sofa so we could be on the road to Glastonbury early to maximise our time there.

We arrived in Avalon (I will be calling Glastonbury by this name for the rest of this post.) at about 10:30am and we made a bee-line for the Tor. It was a beautiful sunny day but very hot! We had to take several pit stops on the way to the top which allowed me to get a little bit of drumming in.
Once to the top I was surprised at how busy it was!
The warm Summers day had brought everyone out it seemed.
The view from the tor is stunning and a bit of mist still clung in the distance making Avalon appear to be the mysterious isle bathed in sunlight.
I took up my drum again and played for a bit. It was a rhythmical heartbeat which allowed Zee to go on a journey deep into the Tor itself. I hoped the tourists didn't mind my drumming!
After a while I decided to see what my drum would sound like in the tower. I had a bit of an audience but I didn't let it put me off and I beat my drum for them and for me.  
We were up on the Tor for two hours and by now our tummies were beginning to rumble, so we took our leave from the Tor and trekked back into town to find nourishment.

We headed to the Travelodge to check into our room and relax and unwind after our long journey... Or at least that was the plan. We were on the first floor and the guest staying in the room above us decided that they didn't want to stay still and was matching up and down in their room with such ferocity that it caused our room to shake.
To begin with we found it funny, trying to figure out what on earth it was that the person (we figured to be a male) was doing.
We went back out to get supplies and dinner and we wanted to have an early night and settled down to sleep.
That's when the  guest upstairs began pacing yet again.
We decided to go downstairs and complain to Reception who told us to wait half an hour and if they were still making noise she would go and knock on their door. So up we went back to our room and waited while the sound of thudding footsteps was still going. It was so loud that I recorded it on my phone. It was now coming up for 12am and we were all very tired and anxious.
Still the marching persisted and after 15 minuets we went back down to reception. We were informed that she had gone to the room but there had been no answer. We asked if we could be moved and thankfully there was a room going spare on the 2nd floor but it would mean moving the extra bed up a flight of stairs. Anything was going to be better than listening to the pacing.
We went back to our room and gathered all the belongings together and took it up to our new room. With the help of the receptionist we moved the bed up the stairs to our new quieter room. By the time we were settled it had gone 1am. So much for an early night.
Suffice to say we all managed to have a peaceful nights sleep and although we were first asked to move back down to the other room we were told we could stay where we were, much to all our relief.

Friday morning started off with Morrison's breakfast followed by shopping in the myriad or wonderful shops in the high street.

 

 Shopping therapy complete and bellies full we made our journey towards the Goddess temple for some well needed mediation time and to try and shake off the negativity we had picked up from the unseen guest back at the Travelodge.
The temple was busy! It took us all a while to connect and be at peace when all we could hear was the rustle of people looking through the greeting cards on display and the occasional remark from Muggles who were just curious to see what was behind the door.
Standing in front of the main altar, decorated still in the colours of Lammas I took stock of everything that had transpired to us so far on the pilgrimage and let go of the anxiety, tiredness and let myself relax.
Before coming into the temple I had bought a piece of black tourmaline to help me with some negativity I had been dealing with in my home life and I poured all this into the little stone in my hand.

Recently I have felt very lost when it comes to my spirituality. Before having Layla I was very proud of my pagan lifestyle but in the year and a half of becoming a mother I had to give up going to my drum circle and I had lots connection with my power animal, White Stag.
I was a shadow of my former self. I needed to take control of myself and be in my own power once more.
While I was in meditation I asked if White Stag had truly left me and it was confirmed that he was no longer my guide. However I was surprised to learn that a new totem animal had come forward. That of a Mother Brown bear.
White Stag had seen me through my journey onto the path of Druidry and Shamanism, his work with me was done and now I was walking my path of motherhood.
With her help I hope to stand by my choice that I make as a mother  and not feel like I am useless at parenting.

After some quiet meditation Zee asked the temple Melissa if he could Smudge us which he was happy to do. I stood in the middle with zee and Anna to the side and we held each other to make a circle while we were being Smudged. Afterward the Melissa blessed us and called us the sisters of the Goddess and I could feel my eyes start to well up for this is what I had been missing.
Sisterhood.

After the beautiful energy of being in the temple the sun came out so a quick nip back to our room to gather supplies and get changed before embarking on our trip to the White well and Chalice well.
We only had a few minuets in the White well and during our time there we got to hear a rather beautiful dreadlocked man chanting. His voice drew me to him and I sat down by Bridget's altar and listen with my eyes closed. When I looked again the man had got undressed ready to plunge into the frigid waters. Rather him than me!
We then moved back into the sunshine to have some quiet time in the chalice well gardens.

It is such a beautiful place and we managed to get some meditation time around the chalice well head and cool (freeze) our feet in the healing waters.
While we were in the garden we could hear the man chanting again. This photo is me, hugging the yew and hearing his chanting...

This beautiful photo of Zee shows Anna and I looking at him over the fence like two naughty school girls.

 We returned back to the Travelodge for dinner and some henna. I designed both Zee's and Anna's and Anna did mine. All incorporating Glastonbury tor into the design.
 
Zee's Mermaid Henna
 
Anna's Hare henna
 
My Antler henna

 I had such an amazing time and I wish to thank Zee and Anna be apart of their spiritual pilgrimage.
I can't wait for the next one!


Thanks to Zee and Anna for the photos

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My year in review


So here we are again. Christmas is over and plans for New Years party are in preparation and I am reflecting back on 2015. And what a year it was!

Due to being on maternity, for the first time in 4 years I had my weekends free and I planned events for almost every single one.

Watching Layla grow day by day has been a joy but it really has only been recently that I can see how much she has grown. She has become her own little person, full of personality already. 

This year also saw me making changes to my appearance and life style. I decided to add a streak of blonde hair, inspired by the beautiful Imelda May for when I do my barrel roll hairstyle. I also embraced wearing vintage and vintage repro clothing every day and made new friends via Facebook groups such as Vintage Vixens Den and 1940s/ 1950s Most Marvellous meet ups. 

In June we went along to the Pinup picnic in the park in London, that was an experience! 

And in August we helped out on the Work force at Broadstairs Folkweek, with my parents coming to look after Layla.
Camping with a baby wasn't as hard as I thought.

September time saw us going to Salute to the 40s at Chatham Dockyard, which was a scorcher of a day.
In October we went to Glastonbury for the faery ball, this years theme was Middle Earth.

Suffice to say with all this vintage events happening and being a brand new mother my paganism  took a bit of a back seat. 
I managed to get along to two Beltane picnics with Layla and to my local drum group for one night but that was about it! As Layla gets older I know that I will be able to get back to my pagan studies but for now I am enjoying being in the Mother aspect of my life's path.

2015 has seen it's share of good times and bad. Of laughter and sadness. New friendships made and old friendships not as close as I would like. 

For me 2016 will continue to be an exploration of motherhood with my little girl, who every day strengthens my love and admiration for her. 
In June I am taking her to 3 wishes faery festival after a two year hiatus and I am sure there will be plenty more vintage events to go along to, as long as I can book the time off work.

It's been a busy time and now that I am back to work I hope to get blogging more frequently.

All that is left to say is;
Blessings for 2016. 

 


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Pinup Picnic in the Park

 So sorry for lack of blog posts. I have been up to so much in the past few months but finding time to blog about it while looking after a baby is near impossible! However I just HAVE to blog about my weekend. (27th June) 
****warning text heavy post****

Over on Instagram I have been following a collective of lovely Pin ups called The British Belles. A few months ago they announced that they would be putting on a picnic in London I really wanted to go!
Taking a baby to a large city seemed very daunting to me. When Layla was only a few weeks old I found it hard to leave the house, let alone in to town! 
I was so determined to take Layla with me to London that I over come that worry. Babies are so resilient and that I was babywearing also helped!  Luckily my friend Sam wanted to go too and we hatched a plan for me to drive to hers and get the train from there, saving money on train fare and having someone with us who knows London well.

My partner also came with is and on the morning of the picnic we drove to Blackheath and got the train at Kidbrook station. 
       In the car, on the way to London.

Unfortunately the train we wanted to get was at the the station already and we had to sort our tickets so we waited for the next train. It was a good job we did get that next train as who should be on there but Miss Vintage 2014 Holly Foster and we travelled all together to Victoria station. 
From there  we got the bus to Hyde park (we got off at the wrong stop and had to do a lot of walking through Hyde Park in shoes that decided they hated me.)
Finally we found all the lovely beauties all set up eating their picnic in a corner of Hyde Park. 
A feast for the eyes, a banquet for the soul.


My next worry was actually meeting up with all the beautiful women who I knew were going to be at the picnic. These women are dedicated to vintage and pinup that I would feel like a complete amateur in their presence. 
However, when these lovelies saw me walking across the field with Layla they all went awwww! It was like all there Ovaries went into melt down.
         All set up for the picnic! 

After setting up our picnic blanket (and a popup tent for Layla) and had some food, I did something I would never have done if it wasn't for Layla. I went round and Introduced her (and myself) to all the little group of pinup picnickers. Layla had given me the confidence to do that. In return everyone loved her and they commented on how cute we both looked! It has definitely given me a boost to my self esteem.
        Holly and little Layla

Pinups!


Pinups everywhere.

Me and Layla in matching nautical dresses . As featured on Instagram! 

  Lovely Sam
The day itself was lovely and it was great to put names to faces to all the people I had 'met' via social media. The British Belles did an excellent job hosting and collectively we raised £1000 for Macmillan Cancer research. Amazing!

Photos by Sam Penney used with kind permission. 

More information on the British Belles, visit their blog! 
 So sorry for lack of blog posts. I have been up to so much in the past few months but finding time to blog about it while looking after a baby is near impossible! However I just HAVE to blog about my weekend. (27th June) 
****warning text heavy post****

Over on Instagram I have been following a collective of lovely Pin ups called The British Belles. A few months ago they announced that they would be putting on a picnic in London I really wanted to go!
Taking a baby to a large city seemed very daunting to me. When Layla was only a few weeks old I found it hard to leave the house, let alone in to town! 
I was so determined to take Layla with me to London that I over come that worry. Babies are so resilient and that I was babywearing also helped!  Luckily my friend Sam wanted to go too and we hatched a plan for me to drive to hers and get the train from there, saving money on train fare and having someone with us who knows London well.

My partner also came with is and on the morning of the picnic we drove to Blackheath and got the train at Kidbrook station. 
       In the car, on the way to London.

Unfortunately the train we wanted to get was at the the station already and we had to sort our tickets so we waited for the next train. It was a good job we did get that next train as who should be on there but Miss Vintage 2014 Holly Foster and we travelled all together to Victoria station. 
From there  we got the bus to Hyde park (we got off at the wrong stop and had to do a lot of walking through Hyde Park in shoes that decided they hated me.)
Finally we found all the lovely beauties all set up eating their picnic in a corner of Hyde Park. 
A feast for the eyes, a banquet for the soul.


My next worry was actually meeting up with all the beautiful women who I knew were going to be at the picnic. These women are dedicated to vintage and pinup that I would feel like a complete amateur in their presence. 
However, when these lovelies saw me walking across the field with Layla they all went awwww! It was like all there Ovaries went into melt down.
         All set up for the picnic! 

After setting up our picnic blanket (and a popup tent for Layla) and had some food, I did something I would never have done if it wasn't for Layla. I went round and Introduced her (and myself) to all the little group of pinup picnickers. Layla had given me the confidence to do that. In return everyone loved her and they commented on how cute we both looked! It has definitely given me a boost to my self esteem.
        Holly and little Layla

Pinups!


Pinups everywhere.

Me and Layla in matching nautical dresses . As featured on Instagram! 

  Lovely Sam
The day itself was lovely and it was great to put names to faces to all the people I had 'met' via social media. The British Belles did an excellent job hosting and collectively we raised £1000 for Macmillan Cancer research. Amazing!



Photos by Sam Penney used with kind permission. 

For more about the pinup in the park event, read The British Belles Blog; http://thebritishbelles.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Most Marvellous meet up at Southend


As I am on Maternity leave at the moment it means my weekends are free and I have decided to make the most of it.

Lately I have joined a lot of vintage, retro Facebook groups, one of these being 1940's/1950's Most Marvellous Meet ups. I am hoping that 2015 will be the year where I make more vintage loving friends and what better way to do that then meet others in real life.   

The first meet was to be at Southend  at the Bobby Jo's Diner. I wanted to go there last summer but never made it, so this would be the perfect opportunity.

The journey to Southend is about an hour and 45 minuets by car and we were running slightly late with getting out of the house with a baby and the traffic in Southend was dismal. The meet was meant to be at 12 o'clock but by the time we parked up it was almost 1pm!

In the car getting worried about the time! 


The other ladies were seated near the back of the diner and luckily I had studied their profile pics so I knew who to look out for. Everyone absolutely adored Layla and she was as good as gold!




If you have never been to Bobby Jo's and are curious to go then just go! The food was really tasty and great value and the milkshakes were a dream as was the decor. 

After we had our food and drinks we all walked into town to a vintage fair.
This was really good if a little small but I did come away with a new Collectif Anchor skirt, wired hair tie and two beautiful tops by Bamboo Bettie. A vintage clothing Reproduction company I will definitely be keeping an eye on. 

It was a lovely day  and such a lovely change to talk to others who are passionate about the 40s/50s style. Friendships have been forged already. 


The ladies +man and baby of the Southend meet


The next Marvellous Meet up I am going to is in Rochester, Kent on the 21st March. You can find more information about this and other meets happening all over the country  on the Facebook group.

 Just tell them the Rockabilly pagan sent ya and I look forward to seeing you at future meet ups. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

New year, new beginnings.

Happy new year!


Wow what a year 2014 was. I am still amazed that it has come to an end and we are now in January.
So what has happened in the last few months since my last blog post?

I became a mummy!

Minutes after Layla's birth.


Little Layla was born on the 24th November at 4:34am. She was 3 weeks early and was in a rush to meet us all!

Happy family


But of course with life comes death and a few days later my elderly Nan passed away. It has been quite a roller coaster of emotions for me as you can imagine.

Me and my Nan who I was miss very much.

Now Layla is over a month old and we are getting use to being parents. The late night feeds and getting out and about with a little one have all been massive learning curves but starting to feel a lot more confident now and looking forward to seeing what 2015 will have in store for us.

I hope you all have a very happy new year!


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Cerh Deer Priestess and Keeper of the Drum - Day Workshop

Last year you may recall I went on the Elen of the Ways retreat. (you can read about it here)
During my time at the retreat, I sat next to a altar dedicated to a rather sinister looking image of a deer skull masked pregnant woman holding a shamanic drum. This was not Elen, the Goddess I had come to call my patron, but a much older figure and something about her resonated with me.

I asked Suzi, who had painted the picture, who she was and she told me that her name is Cerh. A deer priestess who demanded to be painted. At that point in time that is all I knew about Cerh but I wanted to know more!
Altar to Cerh at the 2013 Elen retreat.


Via Facebook I learnt about a day workshop focusing on Cerh, run by Samantha and Suzi and I booked my space eagerly.

I travelled to Esther's early last Sunday (27th July) and from there we would get a lift with Si├ón 
to the workshop venue.
We arrived on time to Suzi's house and was warmly welcomed by many familiar and new faces. All drawn to to learn about Cerh.
The Temple of Elen was set up in the back garden and a thrill ran through me as I recalled my dedication to Elen in the same space last year.

The altar was set up with two paintings of Cerh and I felt it was quite profound for me as I am pregnant, which is how Suzi depicts her.



Cerh painted by Suzi Edwards Goosec https://www.facebook.com/ArtworkOfSuziGoose

I won't go into too much detail here about the workshop. Sam and Suzi shared with us their thoughts about Cerh and slowly the deer skull mask was lifted to see that she is not a scary as she first appears. Yes, she is primal, reminding us of humanities true roots. Of blood, bone, feather and fur.
She is not a deity like Elen. She is Us. Our ancestor, our past. When the land is all we knew and we lived closely with the Earth, not against it.

During the workshop, we drummed and sang to Cerh. We were taken on a me dative path working to connect with her and we were blessed with a gift. mine was a fossil stone, like an ammonite. The spiral of life.

We broke for lunch and then journeyed on to Epping Forest to continue our own exploration of Cerh.
We stood in a large circle and we each painted ochre on our foreheads using our fingers before going off into the forest.

I went and sat by a tree which was surrounded by ferns. I felt like I was quite hidden from view, like a fawn hiding waiting for it's mother to return.
I sat and sung softly to myself, feeling my baby move inside my womb. I was content. This was much better then work.
After a while we were summoned back to circle by drum beat and as we gathered we all joined in on the drumming and chanting. We were even joined by some yapping dogs!


As we walked back to the car, Esther showed me the stone she had found during her quiet time and I was shocked to see it contained a fossil. Coincidence indeed!

The fossil Esther found in Epping forest. Photo used with permission.

I really enjoyed the workshop day. The other ladies (and gentleman) were all lovely and they all wished me well in my pregnancy. It was suggested that a pray tree was set up so that when I do go into labour, the participants of the workshop could send me love and healing.

photo of the Cerh workshop attendees by Lisa Hill

Cerh is still lingering in corner of my thoughts, next year a whole weekend retreat is planned to discover more but I have a feeling I will be too busy to attended.

To find out more then please join the Elen of the Ways page on Facebook: