Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Birthday: A Bad Witch's Blog is 10 Years Old Today!

I started writing my blog on 7 November 2007 - so A Bad Witch's Blog is 10 years old today!

The photo to the right is the very first picture I uploaded to my site. When I shared my first blog post, I’d just given up a full time job in order to spend more time caring for my mother, who was very elderly and needed looking after. I was looking for freelance writing and editorial work I could do from home. My blog was partly a way to get my writing into the public eye and partly to get more involved with paganism.

I’d recently tried to reconnect with the coven I had been in 10 years previously, only to find it was just about to close down. So, I wrote on my first blog post: “Time for a new beginning. A Bad Witch's Blog is my attempt to collect some links to pagan sites and to put together my musings on pagan-related events and life in general. I might even review a few books.”

I think I've achieved those things over the years. Here are links to just a few of the posts from the past that are meaningful for me:

A Gift from the Goddess?
One of the strangest things that has happened to me in a spiritual sense was finding a book called Celtic Mythology on a beach just after New Year, with absolutely no indication of how it got there. It was undamaged apart from a slightly creased corner of the cover, where it had been sticking out of the shingle.

This mysterious finding actually took place at the start of the year in which I began writing my blog, but I think it was one of the things that prompted me to return to pagan practises after many years of apathy. I actually blogged about the event a year after it happened, on January 2, 2008: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/01/reading-matter_02.html

I later reviewed the book too: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/01/celtic-mytholology.html

London's Stone Circle
South-east London has a stone circle. It is at Hilly Fields, in Brockley, and I am very lucky that it is within easy travelling distance for me. I was there when it was inaugurated for the Millennium, I was handfasted there and I have gone there to take part in druid rituals. Here is a blog post I wrote about it before the Summer Solstice in 2008: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/06/hilly-fields-stone-circle.html

Magical Herbs and Flowers
Over the years I have frequently used my blog to learn more about the magical uses of herbs and flowers. Here's a selection:
Rose Hips and Autumn Roses: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/11/rosehips-and-autumn-roses.html
Poppy Day and Poppy Folklore: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/11/poppy-day-and-poppy-folklore.html
Crocuses for Love, Insight and Magic: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/02/crocuses-for-love-insight-and-magic.html
Watching the Ferns for Midsummer Magic: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/06/watching-ferns-for-midsummer-magic.html
Autumn Leaves and Superstitions: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/09/autumn-leaves-and-superstitions.html
Forget-me-Nots and Crocks of Gold: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/05/forget-me-nots-and-crocks-of-gold.html
Evergreen Ivy - a Pagan Fertility Symbol: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/12/evergreen-ivy-pagan-fertility-symbol.html
Magical Plant in Oxford's Botanical Garden: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/05/pagan-eye-magical-plant-in-oxfords.html

In 2009, I first heard the word 'psychogeography', when I read the book Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley. It is about exploring urban landscapes on foot and at the same time opening yourself up to the atmosphere, energy and psychological effects of the city around you. It can be a technique used for sociological purposes, artistic inspiration or to gain occult insights into the hidden layers of the built environment. Here is my review of Merlin Coverley's book: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/02/psychogeography-by-merlin-coverley.html

Later, I went on psychogeography walks on my own and with friends and gave a talk on the subject at the Pagan Federation London conference. Here are a few links:
Walking into the Grey Soul of London: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/04/walking-into-grey-soul-of-london.html
Full Circle: Walk Around my Town: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/07/psychogeography-full-circle-walking.html
Preparing for the Pagan Federation London Conference: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/08/preparing-for-pagan-federation-london.html

Celebrating the Wheel of the Year
A few years after my old coven disbanded, some former members started a new one, which I am still a member of. However, it is a private group so I don't post details on my blog of what we get up to. Nevertheless, I do also attend open events to celebrate the festivals of the Pagan Wheel of the Year.

In December 2011 I spent the Winter Solstice at Avebury. I rented a tiny cottage just beside Avebury Stone Circle with a couple of friends. As well as celebrating the solstice ourselves, I attended an open ritual at the stones to welcome the sunrise on December 21. I didn't take photos during the ritual - I felt that would have been rude - but I did take a lot of photos in the area. Here is one of my posts about my stay there: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/12/photos-of-avebury-stone-circle.html

I celebrated the Autumn Equinox at the Rollright Stones in September 2014: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/09/the-rollright-stones-and-autumn-equinox.html

After years of saying I wasn't going to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, I gave in and went in June 2016. It was pretty amazing. Here's a blog post I wrote afterwards: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2016/06/full-moon-at-stonehenge-at-summer.html

I've also regularly attended the Lammas Festival in Eastbourne. Here is post about the ritual there in 2016: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2016/07/john-barleycorn-at-eastbourne-lammas.html

Grail Quests
I'd always wanted to go on a quest for the Grail and after reading The Book of English Magic, I was inspired to take the train to Sussex to go in search of the Ghosts and Grails of Lewes. Inspired by what happened, I wrote one of my favourite blog posts: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/08/ghosts-and-grails-of-lewes.html

A couple of years later I went in search of London's Camelot and the Grail: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/12/in-search-of-londons-camelot-and-grail.html

Tarot, Scrying and other Divination Techniques

As a witch, one of my strengths is divination of all kinds. I'm a big collector of tarot decks and also love to scry using a crystal ball or a cauldron full of water. I've also explored some more unusual forms of divination, including one using chocolate buttons: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2009/09/bad-witchs-chocolate-divination.html

Here are links to some of my other posts about tarot, scrying and divination:
Review: The Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/01/review-faeries-oracle.html
Midsummer, Divination and Mugwort Tea: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/06/midsummer-divination-and-mugwort-tea.html
Review: The Wildwood Tarot: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/08/review-wildwood-tarot.html
Are Some Tarot Decks More Genuine than Others? http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/09/are-some-tarot-decks-more-genuine-than.html
Cup of Destiny Tea-Leaf Reading: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/06/review-cup-of-destiny-tea-leaf-reading.html

Folklore fascinates me and I've frequently blogged about various aspects of it. Here are a few of my favourite posts:
Scarecrows: Monsters or Friends: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/02/scarecrows-monstors-or-friends.html
The Chiding Stone - A Pagan Mystery: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/09/chiding-stone-pagan-mystery.html
Bees and History - A Taste of Honey: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/06/taste-of-honey.html
My Attempt at Making an Easy Corn Dolly: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/07/my-attempt-at-making-easy-corn-dolly.html

Pagan Eye - Inspiring Photography
In February 2010 I started running a series of posts called Pagan Eye. On each Pagan Eye post I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it - can be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture. I also invite readers and friends to send in interesting photos for me to share. The first was a picture of the Sphinx Here are links to some of my favourites over the years:
Pagan Eye: The Druid Oak: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/08/pagan-eye-druid-oak.html
Pagan Eye: West Kennet and Silbury Hill: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/01/pagan-eye-west-kennet-and-silbury-hill.html
Pagan Eye: Wicker Man on Fire Under a Full Moon: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/09/pagan-eye-wicker-man-on-fire-under-full.html
Pagan Eye: Cat in a Halloween Witch's Hat: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/10/pagan-eye-cat-in-witchs-halloween-hat.html
Pagan Eye: Witchy Sunset over Australia: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/02/pagan-eye-witchy-sunset-over-australia.html
Pagan Eye: The Uffington White Horse in the Rain: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/08/pagan-eye-uffington-white-horse-in-rain.html
Pagan Eye: Hobby Horse at Pagan Wassail: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/01/pagan-eye-hobby-horse-at-pagan-wassail.html

The Witch's Niece and the Magical Key Tree
A story from my childhood, recollected on my blog in March 2010. It is still one of my favourite posts: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/03/witchs-niece-and-magical-key-tree.html

Journey to see the Northern Lights
In January 2012 I went on holiday to Norway and travelled up the coast by boat into the Arctic Circle, where I saw the Northern Lights. It fulfilled a dream I had long held: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/01/pictures-of-northern-lights.html

The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
2012 was plainly a year of visiting magical places. In August I first visited the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. Here is what I wrote about it then: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/08/boscastle-and-museum-of-witchcraft_3235.html

Visits to Glastonbury
Glastonbury is one of my favourite places to visit - it is so magical. Probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me while writing my blog was Premier Inn offering me a free stay at its newly opened hotel in Glastonbury in January 2013. All I had to do was blog about it. I had a really fantastic time and was most happy to post on the subject: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/01/glastonbury-tor-entrance-to-land-of.html

My Books: Pagan Portals Candle Magic and Every Day Magic
I think the biggest thing that has come out of my blog is that it led me to write my own books and also edit a community book. In January 2016 Treadwell's Bookshop hosted the launch party for my book Pagan Portals - Candle Magic, which is published by Moon Books. Then, just a few days ago, The Atlantis Bookshop hosted a party to launch Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days, which I edited. I have also written a book about poppets and magical dolls, which is due to be published by Moon Books next year.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and thank you for doing this.


Badwitch said...

Thank you!

Bridget said...

Congrats and thank you for all you do! I always look forward to receiving your newsletters. Here's to ten more years. Bright blessings to you! <3

Badwitch said...

Thanks Bridget!