Celebrating Lammas

As the rollercoaster of Summer begins to wind down I am looking forward to celebrating the arrival of Lammas to mark the transition between seasons. Lammas tells me that it is time to start considering the sinking, turning journey into myself and my Winter hibernation. Of course there is a LOT to do before it is time to rest – harvesting, storing, gathering, preparing myself and my stores for the darker times ahead. But Lammas reminds me that the busy, outward pouring of creative energy is done and what follows is the natural return of all that has been put out into the ether; by myself and those around me.

I look forward to reaping the results, to seeing what has been created and what has been dispersed over this last growing season. And I very much look forward to CELEBRATING this festival in a multitiude of ways. Won’t you join me?

1) The ONLINE SHARE SPACE is now active and will be for the next week. Pop over to the Facebook group and delve into the creative offerings of other members, all with a Lammas inspired theme. Maybe add something of your own; the true joy is in the sharing.

2) The Gatherings will take place in Hadfield and New Mills next weekend so do come along if you are in the area. Full details are below and it will be a joy to meet and celebrate with you in person.

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Lammas in New Mills

Saturday 8th August
7pm
Springbank Arts Centre, New Mills, SK22 4BH

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Lammas in Hadfield

Sunday 9th August
7pm
Hadfield Community Room, Hadfield, SK13 2AA

This is a participatory event. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own
seasonal poems/stories/arts/ideas to share with the group.
Cost is £5 per person or pay-what-you-can
Refreshments provided

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However you choose to celebrate, I hope the start of the Harvest is a joyful time for you. As the Land begins to offer up its bounty may we remember the sacrifice of the Corn King. In the spilling of his blood the Land would be rejuvinated; reminding us that in order to thrive and grow we must shed elements of our own selves. Sometimes these elements are old and unwanted – discovered as we seperate our wheat from the chaff. Others we lose with struggle or sadness, truly feeling the power of sacrifice. But all will be composted down to provide fertile growth in the New Year. Until then lets focus on the beauty of the turning season, honour the Land with thanks and begin our preparations for the darker times to come.

Blessed be x

Celebrating Spring Equinox

A time of egg-citement and anticipation; the Spring Equinox is truly a blooming lovely time of year!

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Join Walk The Wheel in celebration…

Friday 21st March
The SHARE SPACE opens HERE

An opportunity to share something with the group that inspires in you festival/season; in this case Spring and the Spring Equinox.

Some ideas include:

Stories
Poems
Recipies
Songs/Chants
Anecdotes/Memories
Accounts of things you have seen or experienced in the natural World
Traditions and celebrations you have attended/enjoyed

You are free to share as many times as you like while the Share Space is open.

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Saturday 28th March

at Hadfield Community Room, Hadfield, SK13 2AA

Sunday 29th March

at Springbanks Arts Centre, New Mills, SK22 4BH

These are participatory events; attendees are encouraged to bring their own seasonal poems/stories/art/ideas to share with the group.

Cost is £5 per person or pay-what-you-can.

Refreshments are provided.

Thank you!

Our Online Imbolc Celebration is finished and I want to offer my warmest thanks to everyone who took part.

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The Share Spaces are now closed to new offerings; special thanks to anyone who took the time to share something inspiring with the group. The site will continue to host links to the articles and the Share Spaces; although the meditation will be removed for now.

Creating this event has been a big challenge and has taught me a lot. I am hopeful that it will provide inspiration and possibilities for more online activities in the future. Until then, events in Hadfield and New Mills will resume in March for the Spring Equinox – details will appear here and on the Facebook Group over the coming weeks.

 

If you have taken part in any of the Online festivities then I would be really grateful if you could leave some FEEDBACK. Use the comments box below or drop me an email.

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Which simply leaves me to wish you all a lovely Imbolc season and to thank you once again for Walking the Wheel.

 

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Keli x

Picture Credits:
1) weheartit.com
2) google.com
3) shewhomust.livejournal.com

Online Imbolc – A Meditation

Anyone interested in taking part in Walk The Wheel’s online celebration of Imbolc can find a seasonal meditation here:

Visiting Brigid’s Burrow – a meditation for Imbolc

And an invitation to join other Wheel Walkers in a group meditation:

Burrowing Together – a group meditation

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At Walk The Wheel our group meditations take place at the end of the evening, after the sharing, whilst we all sit in circle together. Participants share the words they hear and the physical space that they inhabit together.
For our Imbolc meditation this year we will be working with the same premise: all who take part will be connected in following the same meditative journey. The only difference is that the circle we create and the space we inhabit to do so will not be physical but ephermeral. Instead of sharing air and physical matter we will share intention and it is this itention that will connect us across time and space.

Many people use meditation to deepen the connection between themselves and the World around them. We will be aiming to deepen our experience of the energy if Imbolc.

As “Burrowing Together” is a group meditation held in a non-physical space we will also be aiming to all deepen our connection to the other Wheel Walkers joining us on this journey in order to create a sense of shared celebration and community.

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Pic credits:
1) iamachild.wordpress.com
2) by Wendy Andrew @ owlsdaughter.com

Marking Imbolc

This article is part of our Online Imbolc Celebration!

Its companion piece ‘Imbolc Musings’ can be found here and gives more information about the history and themes of the festival.

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New Life Stirring

At Imbolc we begin to see the first signs of new life stirring in the Land around us. Buds on trees begin to swell, perhaps change colour and the tender Snowdrop makes its first appearances (to be quickly followed by bright crocuses and other early Spring blooms). Even if the weather remains cold and somewhat frozen we can start to appreciate the increased amounts of daylight; perhaps beginning to notice the Sun’s glow feeling that little bit warmer against our skin. Not only is this stirring the Land to life, it stirs us into wakefulness too, encouraging us to shake off the dark, dreamy state of Winter and start looking towards the possibilities of Spring.

* Snowdrops

These tiny flowers are a popular symbol of Imbolc and their bright green stems and delicate petals are a great reminder that though the Land is still chilly life has not abandoned it and is in fact beginning to return. Finding a local patch of snowdrops to admire can be a great excuse to go for a bracing walk on Imbolc day and offer the chance to explore new or familiar territory. Many woodlands will have a good crop to offer, but you can just as easily admire them in many people’s gardens and along roadsides and hedges.

Remember; if you want to take some snowdrops into your home as an Imbolc decoration be sure you have permission and take them carefully and with respect. If you are unsure, perhaps leave them where they are, take a photograph or draw a picture instead!

Alternatively you could create your own using crepe paper, as in this craft project here.

* Imbolc Intentions

As a time of new beginnings Imbolc can be a great opportunity to set yourself some intentions for the year ahead.These can be as specific or as open-ended as you prefer but it is always advisable to make them realistic and to set yourself a reasonable amount. Above all make them inspiring and exciting to you; there is no sense in setting yourself up for boredom or failure in the year ahead!

The stirring landscape is a great inspiration when it comes to setting intentions. Look to the trees and their gradually growing buds; remember that they are beginning to feed these buds in the same way and for the same reason that they did last year, their intentions for growth, flower and fruit the same as it has always been. There is nothing wrong with using your Imbolc intent to revisit old ideas or to reaffirm a seed you are already nurturing. At the same time the appearance of a new idea – just like the appearance of a fresh plant or flower – can provide a great surge of energy and inspiration.

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Honouring Brighid / St Brigid

At the centre of Imbolc stands the figure of Brigid – a celtic Goddess often known as a triple Goddess for her patronage of three crafts: poetry, healing and smithcraft (metalwork). She is associated with fire and water both as well as being considered a Goddess of the home and of inspiration. Over time she has aquired a variety of names/spellings of her name as well as being merged with/transformed into a Christian Saint. Sacred flames are lit and guarded in her honour and in folk tradition she was thought to visit homes on Imbolc Eve to offer good luck and good health for the year ahead. She is recognised as bringing the promise of Spring and awakening the Land from its slumber.

* Make a Brideog

In honour of the Imbolc patron you might like to create a figure in her likeness. Often crafted from corn/wheat/wood and then dressed using scraps of cloth, ribbons etc – often white/yellow/green – the Brideog can be carried out and about or simply through the rooms of your home; in quiet reflection or with great ceremony and celebration to welcome her coming.

The figure may then be placed at the head of the table for a celebratory meal or simply kept a place of honour throughout the evening. When it is time for bed she may be dismantled or laid to bed herself (see below).

* Make Brigid’s Bed

For those looking to welcome Brigid and the promise of Spring into their homes at Imbolc there is the old custom of making a bed for the Goddess to rest in during her visit. This can be made in a basket/box or any other suitable container, dressed with cloths, blankets and any other symbols of the season. Once complete, it should be left by the fireplace of the home where it might stay warm. Offerings of food or drink might also be left beside it to encourage the Goddess to stay and bring favour to the household. In the morning if the bed has been used/disturbed one knows that Brigid was present and that her blessing has been given.

* Hang a ribbon out

Another way to gain the Lady’s blessing – in particular her gift of inspiration – for the year to come, if to leave a ribbon hanging outside the window on Imbolc Eve. When Brigid passes by, stirring the Land to life, she will touch the ribbon and imbue it with her inspirational energy and gifts. This ribbon can then be kept as a talisman throughout the year or perhaps used as part of a further Imbolc craft.

* Weave a Brigid’s Cross or Bridie’s Eye

Both these crafts are traditionally undertake at Imbolc and linked to both the Goddess and Saint aspects of Brigid. They are simple to master, the repetition of weaving making them excellent tools for meditation as well as enjoyment. You might like to use pale colours such as white, yellow, green and blue in keeping with the season. Alternatively you could add some firey oranges and reds to inspire the energy of new life in your creation.

You can hang you cross or eye in the home or garden to bring luck, health and protection for the season or for the year ahead.

Making a Brigid’s Cross – this method uses pipe cleaners, for simplicity, but you could use reed/grasses if you prefer.

Making a Bridie’s Eye – called a ‘God’s Eye’ here, the process is explained simply, for children, using lollipop sticks. You can of course substitute these for sticks found in nature. I’d advise not worrying too much about the accuracy of knots etc, the yarn will hold itself quite well and can be overlapped when changing colours is prefered, as long as the weaving is done tightly enough.

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Fire and Spark

Imbolc is one of the four Celtic Fire Festivals that celebrate the journey of the Sun throughout the year; it is therefore no surprise that the lighting of candles and fires is a common act of seasonal celebration at this time. Not only do we honour the growing strength of the Sun by lighting flames in its honour, we are also embodying the spark of life that is returning to our quiet, decaying landscape. This spark can be found at the core of gestating seeds, in the deep roots of trees and in the hearts of hibernating animals who all begin to stir and waken as it grows a warmer and brighter. We carry our own spark, that may have felt diminished or reduced during the long, dark nights and cold, grey days of Winter. Now is the time to remember it is merely waiting for us to rekindle it and we can use the energy and celebration of imbolc to do just that!

* Light a candle to your Spark

Find a time and place to sit in quiet contemplation for a while. Turn off lights and electronic devices, submerging yourself in the darkness. Have a small candle, a safe holder and matches/lighter close to hand.

Bring yourself to your centre in whatever way you find most effective. Take some time to sit in that dark, quiet place, allowing the dreams and wonderings of the Wintertime to cross your mind. Rather than thinking about how you might achieve these things, focus instead on the feelings they engender within you: Excitement? Nerves? Uncertainty? Creativity? Allow these feelings to fill you and when you feel ready use the matches/lighter to light your candle. Fill that flame with your expectation and inspriation and allow its glow to light up your determination. Sit and meditate on that flame for a while; taking its light and warmth into you and allowing it to feed your heart and taking notice of any new ideas or possibilities that may present themselves.

You might like to say a few words as you light/look at the flame; such as:

“Carry the spark,
Kindle that flame,
Let new life come,
To the World again.”

or

“As this flame burns, so my spark will glow.
May it feed my dreams and help me grow.”

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* Burn for Brigid

Light a fire on Imbolc Eve; gathering friends or family around it to celebrate.

If you have the space to build a fire – in your hearth or in a firebowl/fire pit outside – then you can dedicate it to Brigid, using words or simply knowing in your heart. If you aren’t able to build a fire, candles can be just as effective; consider lighting them around the house or gathering a few in a central location and lighting them. A simple dedication would be:

“Brighid is come, Brighid is welcome!” (repeat 3 times)

You might then choose to write your Imbolc intentions on scraps of paper to be offered to/blessed by Brigid through burning them on the fire or using the candle flame. (Be sure to have a fireproof bowl on hand to hold them and be aware of fire safety at all times!)

Alternatively you can speak your wishes for the new year into the flames.

* The Eternal Flame

It is said that in centuries past a flame was kept burning at all times for St Brigid in certain locations across the World. Allowing your fire or candles to burn all through Imbolc Eve is a way of mimicing this tradition. It invites us to stand vigil through the dark hours, appreciating the light and warmth of the flames and – by association – the returning Sun. It could also be seen as a guide or encouragment to Brigid and the promise of Spring, guiding that Goddess and energy back into our lives and homes.

Other Traditions

* Cleansing

Imbolc is also a time to honour wells and water, thanks to Brigid’s patronage of the healing arts, which makes cleansing and renewal another popular idea at this time. It is also interesting to note that in Christian churches the of Candlemas (usually on the same day or day after Imbolc) marks the purification of Mary after childbirth. Bringing an air of freshness, cleanliness and health to ourselves and our surroundings is a great way to encourage that sense of the season turning and Spring being on its way. It can also help us feel more open and avaliable to the new inspirations and energies of the new year.

* Creativity

Brigid is also known as a poet and a patron Goddess of poets and other creative types. Her spark of new life is likened to the spark of inspiration that might generate new ideas and artisit creations. If you are a writer/artist or maker of some kind, you might like to leave the tools of your trade (pens/brushes/needles) out on Imbolc Eve for Brigid’s blessing. Alternatively you could cleanse and refresh them using water or the flame of a fire/candle.

* Youth

Brigid is known as a Maiden Goddess and the year is very much in its youngest phase at the moment. Imbolc can be a good time to nurture and embrace the Maiden/Youth in us all; perhaps give yourself permission to take up a new hobby/activity, celebrate the playful aspects of your personality with games and socialising or challenge yourself to see things with new, fresh eyes. Practiscing mindfulness can be a good way to start; a good, simple practise is the creation of Small Stones.

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Photo Credits:
1) telegraph.co.uk
2) angelfire.com
3) incultureparent.com
4) Flickr by bellydraft
5) treadwells-london.com

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

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

Growth

It’s been a long time since my life has so closely matched the energetic pulse and turn of the seasons, as it has so far this year. right now I’m consciously channelling all that bright, busy been energy into my work and into Walk The Wheel as a whole.

In the early months of the year, around Imbolc, I had itchings and stirrings to do something more with what I’d already established in the previous cycle.  The Hadfield events have gone from strength to strength since their conception over 18 months ago and it was time to start letting the community and energy at its heart, grow.

Fast forward to Beltane when, surrounded by the fires of creativity and fertility, I set down intentions to run a second Walk The Wheel event in New Mills – a lovely Derbyshire town about 20 minutes drive from where I live. This would be a chance to see whether the success of these seasonal celebrations was determined by the people I’d already met or whether it was something I could carry inside me and share further afield, with others.

As well as the New Mills venture I had just started a new job at a local cafe, which immediately opened doors to work right at the heart of my town and community. I trialled a few Mindful Mornings* in April and am offering a third (yep, third!) Midsummer event at the case this weekend; one specifically aimed at families, hoping to share seasonal celebration and wonder with a range of age groups and peer groups.

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Alongside all these things I have been aiming to blog regularly, keep my hand in the social medias and somewhere in amongst all that find time to raise a kitten, go on a brief holiday, support the hubby in his new job (which he’s loving by the way) and have a first wedding anniversary.

Needless to say that now, at Midsummer, life feels a little hectic!

Some things have gotten lost along the way… but I’m glad to say those are mostly things like dishes, the hoovering and any real sense of space in our already tiny house; all things that – while important – can be lived with, and don’t directly impact too heavily on my creativity and well being. Although I will admit that going for long walks in the uncluttered countryside has become more and more necessary and not just because of the glorious Summer weather we’ve been having.

All the important things still seem to be here and somehow I’m keeping on top of them. I have another weekend of celebrant training coming up in a couple of weeks which I am ecstatic about. I have been able to visit my family, see some friends and enjoy a few joyful days in the park and out on the hills. Midsummer in New Mills went really well and seems ready to continue rolling, growing as people start to mention it to friends and co-workers. And this weekend (if the weather holds) I feel confident that there will be two more joyful and inspiring Midsummer celebrations in my home town.

And I’m here, now, blogging for you. Still writing, still thinking and still growing…

And I have no doubt that at the root of it all is the same powerful energetic buzz that is making the rest of the World so bright, so busy and so vibrant too.

Who knows what the dark half of the year will bring?

 

With you in Midsummer energy…. buzz… buzz… buzz…

 

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Photo credits:
1) Facebook
2) Shutterstock

New Year, New Dates

Walk the Wheel’s next ‘real world’ event will be taking place on Saturday 1st February at Hadfield Community Room/ Full details are available on the event page and will continue to be updated as we get closer to the day.

IMBOLC – Spinning The Thread

will be a gathering to honour the sleeping seeds, the promise of new life and the return of Brigid – Lady of Flame and Forge – to the land, who brings the first breath of Spring in her wake.
 
 

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(credit)

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Dates are also set for the next two seasonal events:

Spring Equinox on Sunday 16th March

Beltane on Saturday 3rd May

Both events are set to take place at Hadfield Community Room, events will appear on the FB page closer to the dates.

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Finally, there are some extra WtW events planned for the coming months; including possible links with International Women’s Day. So keep your eyes peeled for info as it becomes available!

WALK THE WHEEL holds regular events to honour and celebrate the changing of the seasons, the turning of the year and how we turn with it. 
It aims to give people a place where they can gather together to acknowledge and celebrate the world around them; fostering a sense of connection, community and fun in the process!

 

 

The greatest gift of all…

Tomorrow is the Solstice and I find myself sitting here shaking my head, utterly disbelieving that we’ve reached Midwinter already. The last month has flown by and suddenly I’m faced with a solid fortnight of visits and celebrations, people and presents that I have (in all honesty) been somewhat dreading. Not because of the people or the absolute joy and blessing it is to spend time with those I love, but for all the extra reasons to expend energy I don’t have and the struggle to somehow maintain a sense of Spirit amidst all the tinsel and turkey and talk.

It can be hard at the best of times to find opportunities for quiet reflection and deep thought. When playing host to friends or being a house-guest for others it becomes almost impossible. So I find myself staring through the darkness towards Solstice day and worrying that despite all my talk of taking notice and walking the Wheel I might not be able to fully appreciate this still moment in the year.

Now, starting the new year feeling disappointed in myself does not sound particularly appealing. But nor does the prospect of barreling into 2014 without taking some time to assimilate and rest; I can’t fully explain why but it feels important to do so, this year more than in years passed.

It has been a year of growth and change of new titles and new connections that all need some settling. And as I said before my energy levels are depleted and need a chance to refresh. More than that though it feels like I need some time in a dark and undetermined space to dream the dreams that will somehow shape my upcoming year. I feel a little lost at the moment; but not the fun kind of lost where you have a compass and daylight and a sense of adventure. More that heavy, sinking feeling when the compass is broken and you are surrounded by mist, unsure whether your next step will touch land at all.

I am desperate for some dream time and some dream food to feed it. I want to let my mind wander and my heart sing, to be soft and silent and still…

Instead – in the coming days -I will become some desperate, demented diva who skirts the edge of over-controlled madness and a rather messy nervous breakdown. She’s the one who writes lists, makes schedules and loses sleep over room plans. She so desperately wants to ensure that everyone has a great time, is happy and well fed and has all their needs met that she blocks out her own. An impossible task you might say, but this crazy lady doesn’t let such paltry things as possibility hold her back. She’ll dance in circles and jump through hoops and try her hardest (and then some) to be everything everyone wants or needs her to be.

But the Solstice is a time for the Self at its most stark, most bare. The land – if we dare to look – is revealed in its most basic forms: stone, wood, water, warmth and brutal cold. The trees silhouette against crisp winter skies and we breath air honed to a knife-edge and know that Death is clean and close; and that Life feels all the more vital and vibrant because of it.

In the face of such clarity we shouldn’t be spending energy on making mockeries of ourselves. That energy can be used to nurture the seed in our soul that carries our truest thoughts and deepest desires. In the winter darkness our simplest, most basic truths can be unearthed and the beauty of our unique self can be revealed if we let them. Right now we should be focusing on who we are regardless of the expectations, others’ or our own. Only then might we see where our dreams truly want to take us.

So perhaps this Solstice, instead of wishing for silence, stillness and solitude in my environment, I can cultivate them within me. I’ll carry them inside myself, to all my encounters and allow them to feed my soul with the energy of the season. And knowing that they are there, held safe within, I will wrap the seed of my Self in winter darkness and sit with it through a long night, trying to trust that even though my attention might not always be with it, that seed will will stir, it will absorb. Finally I will take a (fallen) leaf from the deciduous trees that stand so bare and so beautiful at this time of year and dare to expose my bare self to those around me. I’ll let them see the delicate connections, the startling similarities and the determined differences that make up my snowflake Self and allow them to meet me without the ditzy diva causing distractions.

Perhaps this is the best gift I could offer anyone this Solstice.

I only hope it is well received.

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This will likely be the last post of 2013, so to everyone who has read or followed this blog over the past month: Thank you! I hope you have a merry festive season and look forward to walking the Wheel with you in the New Year. 

Be blessed 🙂

UPCOMING POSTS IN 2014:

* Why I Walk The Wheel... – How following the Wheel of the Year has impacted on my life for the better

* How I Walk The Wheel – Looking at the core practices behind my Wheel walking

* Small StonesWriting Our Way Home is running a Mindful Writing Challenge throughout Jan 2014; see my input here

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.