Still Wheel Walking…

Once again I’m looking back at the empty vista between this post and the last, trying and – dare I say it – succeeding to not feel guilty. It helps knowing that the emptiness of this blog is not a sign of boredom or a lack in creativity but instead a symbol of just how busy life has been lately! New opportunities have been blossoming in all directions and I am quietly confident that a fruitful harvest is on the horizon. That said, we still have Midsummer to pass through and enjoy before I start measuring that so, in the spirit of sunshine, positive energy and all this creativity and growing, here’s a round up of the new colours and experiences filling my time right now:

My Tiny Wheel Walker is growing day by day and blossoming before my eyes into a small person. No longer a babe in arms he now requires lots of playtime and patience as he builds on his knowledge of himself and the World. It is a fascinating process and I feel honoured to be walking alongside him and getting such a great view. Each day brings a new challenge, a new skill, a new smile and I am called upon to watch, hold, handle and guide him as he journeys through his ever-expanding range of activities and experiences.

It is exhausting.

It is exhilarating.

I have never felt more lost and more found silmyltaneously.it breeds a heady mix of enthusiasm and abject panic that I simply can not put into written words (yet). Writing feels too static to capture all that he is and all that he is gifting me with as the accomplice in his grand schemes (of living, learning, growing). I get a sense that the written word and I may have a more piecemeal relationship for some time to come as my primary focus remains (as it should, for now) on my son’s journey through life and my own journey through motherhood. Too many people have told me that time will steal these precious moments and he’ll be grown all too soon; I don’t intend to miss a thing.

That said I have been growing myself, although sometimes its easy to forget with this brain full of nappies, nursing and new toys.

My Celebrant work is putting out feelers, pushing out branches and blossoming them tender new leaves. Bookings for the year ahead are starting to manifest and I am so excited and deeply humbled to be sought out to perform such beautiful work. Already I have the an outdoor wedding in Edale to look forward to and the possibility of more lurking in my inbox. Fragments of celebration and ceremony start to filter into my thoughts and it seems the only words to flow easily onto paper are those intended to be spoken in ceremony and I am bubbling with that feeling of wellness that comes when you know you’re doing the work you were meant for.

I am still holding space for seasonal celebrations, with Beltane now past and Midsummer on the horizon. Still joyfully creating time and place for people – friends both old and new – to gather and appreciate our beautiful World and the turning year. Still finding time to shape thoughts and notions about each festival in what I hope is a coherent way. Still blessed to be sharing it all in Hadfield and New Mills (see the home page for upcoming dates).

One place the sharing seems to have stopped is here; those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that the Markings and Musings series’ have disappeared. But fear not! These articles are not gone for good they are simply transforming, becoming part of a new project due to start this Autumn. (hint: if you enjoyed our Online Imbolc event then this will be for you!)

This new project is taking time, energy and brain space all of which used to be used to populate the contents of this blog more deeply. Now those resources are being redirected but I promise they are being put to good use. I’m really excited to share the fruits of that labour in a few months time.

The Wheel still turns and I turn with it. Sometimes it is obvious, other times the journey seems to have stalled, but like any growing thing Life needs these (seemingly) quiet periods to bloom as beautifully and effectively as possible. Looking forward to seeing what the coming season reveals.

New Ventures!

With the Scorpio Full Moon receeding into the waning time of the month I am finding myself plunged into deep times of intense work and feeling. This is proving utterly exhausting (particularly on the baby front!) but also very productive!

In the last week I have published a new website, created a Facebook Page and delivered a wonderful Wedding for two lovely friends that included a handfasting, a sharing cup, and hosted such high profile guests as Thor (God of Thunder)… although he wasn’t technically invited but, hey, who turns away a deity at the door?! 😉

11149315_10155621001690096_4421679496854075338_n

Photo credit: Rachel Ensor

The website and Facebook Page are dedicated to my work as a Celebrant and a link to them will appear on the ‘Celebrant’ section of this website in the coming days. However if you would like to have a look now then follow the links below.

Keli Tomlin Ceremonies

KTCeremonies on Facebook

Please do give me a ‘Like’ and a share if you feel so inclined.

Lammas at Arbor Low

On a bright evening at the end of July I travelled with two newfound friends – and fellow celebrants – to work some celebratory magic up at Arbor Low Stone Circle, in Derbyshire.

We had done some rudimentary planning in advance but the three of us were keen to hold fast to our intuition and the spirit of the place and not have things too rigidly set in stone (no pun intended!). We knew that being outdoors and being in such a beautiful space would spark our hearts and creativity and evoke words of truth and power from us when the time was right…

… we were not wrong.

K031025

After travelling along winding country roads we approached Arbor Low under the shadow of some rather energetic storm clouds, that were casting thunder and rain of quite epic proprtions all around us. The car windows had turned to liquid glass and the roads were slick and (at some points) lake-like. As we pulled into the car park I felt the tiniest tug of uncertainty… what would we do if the rain continued? How would we mark this special time – of Lammas and our first collaboration together – if we had to leave, thwarted by the elements? What would we do if no-one turned up?

Once again the World was asking me to trust and thankfully Jason (driver and fellow celebrant) was able to articulate its wishes wonderfully well. He showed no sign of doubt, certain as he was that the skies would clear for us.

And they did! As we reached a half hour before start time the sky began to lighten ahead and then suddenly, as if someone had flipped a switch, the rain stopped. Instantaneously. I have rarely seen rain behave like this before, particularly in England where it loves to fade in and fade out slowly, but it simply ceased to be, between one breath and the next. It really strenghtened Jason’s previous assertations; that the Land was being cleansed and that once it was ready the rain would stop and we could move out.

So we did; me having gained a needed boost of trust and confidence not in myself but in the Land, in the time and the space and most of all in our intention. We were there to celebate Lammas and celebrate it we would; not just because we wanted to, but because the World wanted us to.

 

As if I needed even more proof of the rightness of the situation, the ground underfoot once we reached the circle was mostly dry and certainly warm. The Sun had reappeared and stayed with us throughout the evening till it was replaced by a beautifully clear waxing crescent moon. We were able to set up our central shrine and gather people together in comfort and ease until finally the drums started and we all (20-30 of us) gathered together in circle.

The variety of participants was inspiring and a blessing; families, solo attendees, couples and groups of friends. Everyone brought with them their own path, their own beliefs, their own experiences and shared them with open hearts; also allowing the ideas and inspirations of we three celebrants to reach in and inspire them with grace and acceptance. There was no sign of resistance or discomfort, everyone seemed to find something they could enjoy, appreciate and connect to. The unified energy was a testament both to the collaborative techniques we employed (inspired by our training with Glennie Kindred and Annie Keeling) and to the Spirit of Arbor Low itself.

 

Arbor Low is one of my favourite stone circles although I have visited only twice. On my first fleeting visit I sensed a landscape that was still very much alive, very much in use and attuned to sacred and spiritual practise. There is a solidity and strength to the stones – which lay flat on the ground, not standing upright – and the earthworks, but also a fluidity and flow that seems to emenate from the pockmarked limestone and pools of water that are ever present.

misty arbor low pool low

On this my second visit, I was able to expeirence all this more fully and directly, by taking part in sacred celebration myself. The Land of Arbor Low definitely knew what was happening and held the space safe and strong for all of us and the energies we raised. I would go so far as to say the Land itself took pleasure in what we were doing. I felt welcomed, accepted and connected in a very simple but honest sense; something which can be difficult at some sacred sites where the mass of people/energies can leave you feeling baffled or overwhelmed.

It was a beautiful place to celebrate and an active part of our celebration, especailly as we honoured and gave thanks for the gifts and the sacrifice of the Land at this Harvest time.

 

Together we blessed and laid a stone on the Earth, as marker and memorial for all the fruits and grains that will be taken and consumed by we humans in the months ahead. We then offered back some of the Land’s gifts with offerings of beer, along with our own gratitude, to the Earth at our feet. And finally we chanted, drummed and sang to honour Lammas, the Land and our own Harvests; raising energy and offering it back to the Land itself in gratitude and with love. Finally we were blessed with Lammas loaves, butter and honey so that we might carry with us the blessings and abundance of this time as we departed from the space.

 

photo1-300x225

 

I was buzzing afterwards, buzzing in a way that only working on the Land can leave you. The thrill of feeling the wind and the ground responding to your words and your heart’s intentions is something that can’t easily be described but is never forgotten once it has been felt. It’s been some time since I’ve celebrated out on the Land, in a wild place, with others present and I had forgotten (until that night) how powerful it can be. The community feeling was strong and everyone was able to laugh and share and smile afterwards. Lots of kind words and kind thoughts were passed around as we slowly packed ourselves away and followed the sinking Sun towards the horizon and home.

 

I am so grateful to Nicola and Jason of Way Of The Buzzard for asking me to co-create this celebration with them. I am also thankful to the Land and Spirit of Arbor Low for being so welcoming and so active a participant in our activities.

Most of all I am grateful to the Flow; for leading me to this time, this place and this happening that truly opened my heart to the Spirit of Lammas and gave me inspiration and energy to feed into the season ahead.

 

*

If you want to read Nicola’s account of the celebration you can find it here.

Arbour Low

Photo Credits:
1) English Heritage
2) badwitch.co.uk
3) Nicola @ Way Of The Buzzard
4) great-place.co.uk

Copyright

All written materials and images, unless otherwise stated, are property of Kelly Tomlin 2016.
We gather together to Walk the Wheel; to share with one another and be inspired.