Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Bad Witch is two today!

A Bad Witch's Blog is two years old!

I started writing my blog on November 7, 2007. Since then I have posted something most days of the week.

The highlight of this year for me was being interviewed for The Independent by Charlotte Philby and being photographed by Dominick Tyler. You can see one of Dominick's pictures of me to the right and I have used another for my profile.

I asked Dominick not to photograph my face as I prefer to keep a little anonymity and he managed to take some lovely pictures despite me looking away from the camera. I'd been trying to find a suitable profile image ever since I began my blog and it seems really appropriate that I've had such lovely pictures taken just before my blog's birthday!

You can see more of Dominick's work on http://www.dominicktyler.com/

On my blog's first birthday I looked back at some of the memorable events of the year and it seemed like a good idea to do the same this year.

In November last year I spent the day at Burley, a lovely village in the New Forest that is famous for its witches. It is full of fantastic witchy shops and some great places to eat, as well as being surrounded by beautiful forest.

The New Forest is wonderful in the autumn, but I was also able to watch exciting wildlife action in my own back garden. Last autumn and winter a fox and a stray cat (who I later named Sin after a Sumerian moon god) made their home there. I always put food out for them, but they weren't very good at sharing and there were a few fights - which the cat won.

I had a wonderful Yule. I spent time with my family and got lovely presents, but January 2009 began with a disaster when my central heating broke down just as the cold weather hit. After getting it mended once, the system finally died on me - and new boilers are very expensive. Still, I knew I wasn't alone with money worries. Most of us have been suffering some sort of financial hardship this year, so I devised a spell to make money. This is a long-term spell, but I think I'm now slightly better off than I was at the start of the year, so perhaps it is working.

Just as the first snowdrops appeared in February, we had Snow Day, when thick snow fell over London and much of southern England. Instead of going into work, everyone was in their local park, wrapped up warm with toboggans or cameras. There were snowball fights, snowmen being built and people out enjoying the magical winter wonderland the city had become. It was just the thing to put our worries behind us and have fun for a day.

Also in February I was inspired by the book Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley. It is about visionary, revolutionary, imaginative and magical ways of exploring cities - and it made me realise that I had found the right word for the kind of wanderings I have always enjoyed doing.

I like country walks as much as city ones and on a bright but blustery March day I ventured across fields and clifftops then through wooded lanes, where I found a mysterious shrine to an unknown god.

Spring is my favourite time of year, when the trees are in blossom and baby birds and animals are venturing out for the first time. A friend sent me a delightful picture of ducklings to cheer me up when I was stuck in the office working on a sunny day. My garden fox gave birth to two cute fox cubs and, in order to prevent bloodshed, I decided it was time to say goodbye to Sin, my garden cat. With the help of charity Cat's Protection, he went off to a new home where he is hopefully being loved and pampered.

In May I took part in a wonderful workshop called Phoenix Rising, run by priestesses Vivianne Crowley, Caroline Robertson and Caroline Wise at Neal's Yard Meeting Rooms, in London. This explored the magic, myth and symbolism of the phoenix through talks, visualisation, divination, chanting and ritual. It was a wonderful day with great people and I do hope they run more workshops next year.

Shortly after that, unfortunately, another disaster struck when my frail elderly mum broke her wrist. With good medical help and some complementary magical aid, she made a speedy recovery - and I learnt some valuable lessons about caring.

I was tempted to spend Midsummer's eve watching the ferns. According to legend, the magical fern plant only sheds its seeds at dusk on the evening before the Summer Solstice. If you wait in silence and gather the seeds you will gain the ability to find hidden treasure and to become invisible. I'm afraid I spent the evening partying instead - but maybe next summer...

In August, inspired by the wonderful Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm and Richard Heygate, I went on a Grail quest to the ancient town of Lewes - where I discovered ghosts, tales of the Templars and many grail-shaped cups.

The best pagan conference of the year, in my opinion, was September's Charge of the Goddess Conference in London. The illustrious speakers included Professor Ronald Hutton, Marian Green, Maxine Sanders and Janet Farrar and their combined words reaffirmed the importance of Wicca as a growing and evolving spirituality for the modern world as well as honouring Doreen Valiente, the Mother of Wicca.

In October, shortly before Halloween, I visited a Victorian London cemetery - but not to look for ghosts or to honour the dead. Instead I went in search of the Brompton Cemetery Time Machine - a 19th-century mausoleum that was supposedly designed by a weird scientist, an Egyptologist and a wealthy woman who may have been the mistress of royalty.

I certainly hope the next year is full of just as many - if not more - exciting things to write about, though perhaps with fewer disasters.

To celebrate A Bad Witch's Blog's second birthday, today I am off to Witchfest - the gathering of witches in southern England that is one of the best events of the pagan year. I'll write about that next week.

Read about me in the Independent at:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/first-person-i-am-a-modernday-witch-1810972.html

3 comments:

Sunil Konda said...

wishing your blog a very happy 2nd birthday.

Sunil Konda said...

wishing your blog a very happy 2nd birthday

Badwitch said...

Thank you!