Friday, 27 March 2020

Pagan Eye: Blue Skies Over London


This picture of a beautiful clear blue sky over London was taken by Jane, who said: "I've attached a photo of the sky over Chadwell Heath at the usually busy lunchtime slot. There's not a single vapour trail to be seen, and I live under a stack that feeds planes into Heathrow and London City airports. These are strange times."

Yes, strange times indeed. But this photo does show that, while the human race is in lockdown, Planet Earth is enjoying a little respite from our activities. Of course, there is always more we can do to help the environment. This Saturday, from 8.30pm-9.30pm is Earth Hour, when we are all encouraged to turn off our lights and other electrical devices for an hour in solidarity, and consider ways we can do our bit to save the world.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to badwitch1234@gmail.com Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself.#

The sky photograph is copyright Jane.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/03/pagan-eye-full-moon-and-symbol-in-sky.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2020/02/pagan-eye-moon-at-dusk-at-sovereign.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2019/01/pagan-eye-london-at-dawn-sun-behind.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/07/pagan-eye-london-at-dusk-from-horniman.html

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Pagan Eye: Red Camellia Blooming in my Garden


I know I am lucky. I have a garden where I can go outside and get some fresh air even when we are all supposed to stay at home. Seeing spring flowers does help me when I am feeling anxious. Here is a photo of a red camellia blooming this week.

If you have a garden and would like to send me photos of your favourite flowers, I would love to see them and can share them on my blog if you like.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures. If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to badwitch1234@gmail.com Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/02/pagan-eye-camellias-in-snow.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/06/pagan-eye-red-roses-in-my-garden.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2016/05/pagan-eye-elderflowers-in-bloom-in-my.html

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

This Week's Online Pagan Events and a Few Others


While we are all social distancing, I have decided to only list online events in my weekly posting. Please note that some of the activities are being run outside the UK, so check what time it will start in your location. If you know an online ritual, talk, meeting, workshop, storytelling session or other pagan event you want included, please email me at badwitch1234@gmail.com

Daily: The Children of Circe Facebook Group is showing videos of talks every day, some are live and some are recorded and uploaded before the times stated. The recordings remain on the Facebook page, so you can watch them later. Here are the next few: 25 March, 8pm, Loki’s Children. 26 March, 8pm, Words of Power. 27 March, 8pm,  Hot Foot Powder. 28 March, 3.30pm, Narrative Magic. Tuesday 31 March, 4pm, I will be giving a short guided visualisation. Children of Circe is a private pagan group run by David Levy and sponsored by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. You have to join the group to watch the videos, but you can find it by searching on Facebook and then apply to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/725752541262809/

Free Practical Magic 101 tutorials, including How to do Candle Magic, How to Burn Loose Incense, How to use a Sage Smudge, How to use a Pendulum, plus podcasts from Treadwell's Books: https://www.treadwells-london.com/treadwellsonline

For the next few weeks, the Kitchen Witch school of witchcraft is offering its online courses for free. The usual prices vary from £20 to £50. Choose from: Crystal Witchcraft, Dark Goddess Pathways, Celtic Gods, Arc of the Goddess, Celtic Goddesses, Magic of Trees and Herbal Pathways. Details here: https://www.kitchenwitchhearth.net/post/free-courses-for-a-limited-time?

Every day:  Free daily online guided meditation with the Mindfulness Association. Time: 7pm. Join here: Https://zoom.us/j/606060739

Weekly: PF online blessing video: https://youtu.be/2LIb-TXiqLE and  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PFDisabilitiesSupport/

Wednesday 25 March; Tolkien Reading Day 2020 - stories online, hosted by Jason Buck Storyteller. Time: 6.30pm. Tickets · £1 - £5. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tolkien-reading-day-2020-stories-online-tickets-100846699192?

Thursday, 26 March; Heron Drums Online Drumming Circle. Time: 7pm - on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/herondrumsuk or on Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/370279935

Thursday, 26 March; Shamanism: Walking Between the Worlds. Online class with Chris Allaun, from the USA. Cost: $25 payable via PayPal, Venmo, or Chase QuickPay. Venmo is @chris-allaun. Email is Chris.allaun@gmail.com. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/646511676166613/

Saturday 28 March - Sunday 29 March Aphrodite's Flame Monthly Festival. Join Aphrodite's Flame Keepers to tend a flame from dusk to dusk. Venue: Worldlwide. Time: 6pm to 6pm. Details: https://www.facebook.com/aphroditesflame/

Saturday 28 March; WWF's Earth Hour 2020. At 8.30pm, switch off your lights and other electrical items. Stay at home and social distance, but know that you are connecting with people around the world who are also helping save the planet. Details: https://www.wwf.org.uk/earthhour

Sunday 29 March: North West Kent Pagans Moot. Online live feed. Time: 11am-1pm. Free, but you must be a member of the group.   https://www.facebook.com/events/585869122142361/

Monday 30 March; Child Friendly Online Meditation and Sound Bath Session for Stress and Anxiety hosted by Uumbal Holistic. (Every Monday, until Jun 1) Time: 10am, but the session can be accessed for a week. Tickets: £10. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-meditation-sound-bath-for-stress-anxiety-child-friendlyrecurrent-tickets-100112992656?

Wednesday 1 April, How to do online workshops - a free online Geek Aid workshop. Not a pagan event, but could be useful for pagans wanting to learn more about running online things. Time: 4.30pm - 5.45pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/154680072325332

Thursday 2 April; Making Runic Vaccines and Sigils. Live webinar on traditional runic folklore regarding protection magic via Zoom with Imelda Almqvist.  Time: 8pm. Tickets: £25. Details: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/surbitonshamaniccircle/363209?

Thursday 2 April; A Free 90-Minute Video Event with Shamanic Teacher Sandra Ingerman via The Shift Network. This is being streamed from America, so it is 5.30pm on April 1 there (PT), but 12.30am on April 2 in the UK (just after midnight). You will have to register to tune in or receive the recording: https://theshiftnetwork.com/ShamanicPractices?

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not responsible for the content of any of these events except my guided visualisation with Children of Circe. Where a practitioner is offering information about magical protection, this is *not* medical advice.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Wild Food: Foraging for Salad Leaves in my Garden

Here's a green salad I made yesterday of parsley, thyme and dandelion leaves from my garden.

My local shops have been pretty much out of stock of fresh vegetables for the past week or so, and I was desperate for some salad yesterday. So, I went into my garden and picked dandelion leaves, then mixed them with fresh herbs from the pots I grow on my kitchen windowsill.

Dandelion leaves are edible and full of vitamins. They do taste a little bit bitter, and I must admit I'd prefer rocket or baby spinach. However, for my lunch it did the trick with a bit of dressing on.

I had managed to buy a pack of frozen vegan sausage rolls at Aldi the other day, and the slightly bitter salad was actually a good contrast to the greasy sausage roll I cooked for myself. Probably good, as there's a few more sausage rolls in the pack!

You can also brew dandelion flowers as a tea.

What are your tips for wild food you can forage from the garden at this time of year?

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/04/dandelions.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/05/pagan-eye-dandelions-ii.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/04/april-mandala-blossom-and-shadows.html

Monday, 23 March 2020

Crafting Magical Dolls: Guatemalan Worry People


The little dolls in the pictures above and right are Guatemalan worry people. They are tiny, measuring about 2-3cm high. I bought the set you can from my local Oxfam charity shop, as a little extra present for my husband last Yule. They come in a little bag and he has only just opened them, but says he now intends to use them. As the instructions that come with the set say:
"An old story tells that when the Maya People of Guatemala had worries, they would tell them to the worry people. At night they would place the worry people under pillows and when they awoke, the worry people had taken their worries away."
The set I bought was made by the Mayan People who live in the highlands of Guatamala. They are mostly farmers, but also make things and sell them to raise extra income. The worry people sets are imported by Shared Earth, an ethical fair trade company. When I buy things like this, I do like to check if they are crafted by people of the culture from which they originate, rather than mass-produced in some sweatshop factory.

However, I also had a go at making a worry person myself using upcycled materials. You can see the result in the photo below. My little doll isn't nearly as well made as the real thing, but I'm not too displeased with it.

I made the body from a used match, cutting off the burnt bit, and then cutting it a third of the way down to create arms and a body. I shaved some wood off the arm section to thin it, and cut grooves in both bits of match where the arms were to cross the body. You could use a craft knife for this, but I just did it with a pair of scissors, as matchsticks are very soft. I then glued the arms to the body. Using a felt pen, I then coloured the arms and body a base flesh colour.

For the skirt, I cut a small piece of ribbon from a length that had once tied up a box of chocolates. I folded the ends in, then glued that around the doll's body, under the arms. I fixed the skirt in place and made the arms more secure, as well as forming clothing for the top of the body, by wrapping cotton around it. Finally, I used felt pens to create hair and dots for eyes and a mouth on the face.

I am intending to make an entire family of them to help ease my own worries in the difficult times we all face.

You can find out more about magical doll customs from around the world in my book Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls.

Links and previous related posts
https://www.oxfam.org.uk/
https://www.sharedearth.co.uk/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/10/magical-dolls-poppet-of-protection-for.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/08/magical-dolls-poppet-i-made-to-help-me.html