Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Immerse in Elen Retreat

Last weekend I went to the 'Immerse in Elen retreat' run by Samantha Marks. I have wanted to go on the retreat ever since I learnt who the elusive Goddess was and finally this year I managed to go.
You can find out more about the Goddess in this blog post:

On the Saturday morning I made my way to Essex to the outdoor activity centre where this years retreat was being held.
The morning saw a wonderful gathering of like minded women of all ages, seated in a circle and listened to  the stories of our connections with Lady Elen. Some rang very true with my own path. We also partook in a powerful path working, thinking about it now gives me goosebumps in a good way.

At lunch time we all gathered in the dinning room for a shared lunch, (so much food!) And I got to talk to some of the other women and showed some of my Wylde Embers boxes I had brought along with me and had some wonderful feedback.
After lunch we got into groups and created incense and invocation oils in honour of Elen and Mala bracelets. We then went into the new 'Temple of Elen' sacred space to learn a chant with the Mala's.

Dinner was at 5:30 which was really tasty and then we all went for a walk in the wooded area of the park. The light was wonderful and we were all given a little clay token which was baked with seeds to leave as offerings.
2013 Elen clan.

After the walk we gathered some kindling for the fire and spent some time in the presence of a wonderful hollowed tree.
The sun set on a fantastic day and the evening saw the clan come together for (more) food, drink , drumming and singing by the light of the fire. 

The moon shone down on us as we made our way back to the cabins we were to call home for the weekend and to dream of running deer and antlers.

The next morning we gathered for a cooked breakfast before taking our drums down to the temple sacred space for another meditation. This one called  on the more primal aspects of the antlered Goddess and since learning more about shamanism this really appealed to me and is something I want to look into more.

We were given a few moments to ourselves and I had decided to take my drum down to the hollow tree and do some solo drumming. It was amazing and I decided to make a short film of it.

The hollow tree
Inside the tree.

After this we gathered back into the conference room to make deer leather journey pouches which I really enjoyed making .
In the conference room there was Elen artwork and altars set up. 

Also a table with wonderful Elen inspired goodies to buy. I placed some of my Wylde Embers boxes and I was very pleased that many have found new homes!

We had lunch before returning back to the Temple and we were invited if we so wanted, to dedicate to the path of Elen or as priestesses of the antlered road. I had been waiting a long time for this opportunity. Although I have recognised Elen as my Patron I had yet to dedicate myself as a priestess and this seemed the perfect opportunity, surrounded by my other clan sisters and in the presence of a beautiful altar. 

I went first. I sat in front of the altar, next to Pristess Sam and donned a beautiful antlered headress. I closed my eyes and sang a opening chant. I wasn't going to do this, it was not planned but it just seemed right. 

Several of the clan made their dedications that afternoon, some with voice, others with their heart and it was all so beautiful and very special.
The clan then moved outside for a ceremony which saw us all leave our red Ochre footprints on cloth. A wonderful lasting tangible memory of our time together on the trackway.

This retreat was everything I wanted and more. The connections I made with the other ladies of the retreat were all very special and I had some very profound conversations, especially with my cabin sisters at 1am! 

My heartfelt thanks goes to Sam for running the retreat and the tine sisters, Suzi and Julia who helped with making everything run smoothly.
In September there is a reunion where previous retreat attendees gather. I am very tempted! 

Thank to Sam for the photos. I didn't take many. You can read her blog entry about the retreat here:

Monday, 13 May 2013

Celtic Moon anniversary!

I can not believe it has been a year since I joined this wonderful pagan community as a circle member.

I am still very pleased to be a member and I feel like I have grown so much in my path since sharing it with my Celtic Moon brothers and sisters.

Here is to more pagan adventures! 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Rochester! Sweeps! Morris! Faeries! Oh my!

What a blast of a bank holiday that was!
Another Beltane has come and gone and with it the Jack in the Green's have been on parade. Last year I went to the Hasting's Jack in the Green festival but this year we decided to go along for all three days of the Sweeps festival which is a wonderful gathering of Morris dancers and some great folk bands.
On Saturday we met up with Esther and Martin to check out the faerie event that I would be exhibiting at on the Monday. Here we got to catch up with the wonderful faerie artist Linda Ravenscroft and the beautiful Bryony and Bruce Whistlecraft with their Woodland Wild elf locks stall.
In the afternoon we meet up with Celtic Moon members, Breaca, Vandrake, Midnightstar and Feena who had come all the way from Norfolk for the event. It was lovely to finally meet!
         Celtic Moon sisters. Photo from Feena and used with permission.

On the Sunday we went back to Rochester and met up with some of the Morris dancers we befriended during last years folk week and enjoy the music on offer. In the evening I got my gothic faerie gear on for a Faery rock night with some great bands including Lightwish, a Nightwish tribute act. Suffice to say I knew all the words and sang along.

Monday was an early start to the Royal Function rooms and set up my Wylde Embers stall. I have done a few stalls in my time but this was the first time under the Wylde Embers banner and I was a bit nervous on how I would be received.

I had no worries. Everyone who came to look at my stall only had kind words to say about my work and when I told them I had only just started pyrography in February they were stunned.
I made a few sells which I was really pleased with.
In the afternoon was for me the highlight of the festival, the parade. 
I have done the parade before as part of Celtic Moon but this time I was part of the faerie entourage.
Sporting wings made by the talented Twinkle.

Faeries on parade!

The weather during the weekend was glorious and I had a great time but seemed over all too quickly.