Sunday, 31 October 2010

Friday, 29 October 2010

Beginners Guide to the Bagua


This is a powerpoint presentation that I created 12 years ago, after undertaking some beginners study in feng shui.  It is a basic guide that gives an overview of one of the key elements of this practice namely, the bagua.  This is an overlay that you can use on a plan of your house (as in the example), your desk, your garden, your altar, in fact any space that you like.  For more detailed information, check out a good feng shui website, such as this one at Feng Shui Palace.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Lady Nada Fetish…

…fe tish: noun

An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices.

I like to make little magical objects out of things I have lying around.  Then I like to pass them on to someone else.  This one is destined for a friend tomorrow.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Play of Light…

…experimenting with my camera and exploring the varieties of light around my place today:






Monday, 25 October 2010

Focus & Distractions…


guides focus with love

multi-dimensional eyes

see no distractions

Starhawk´s Chant for Samhain…

A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of forests. A year of healing.
A year of vision. A year of passion.
A year of rebirth.
This year may we renew the earth.
This year may we renew the earth.
Let it begin with each step we take.
And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake.
- Starhawk

Discovered at Green Witch Garden.

11:11 + Terence Mckenna on the end of history…

The Growing Transparency, that’s a good idea for what the end of history is. It’s that everything becomes clearer and clearer and clearer. And as it becomes clearer boundaries disintegrate, and everything is seen to be of the same stuff.

Psychedelic Salon podcast 248

I experienced an 11:11 this morning.  The first time that has happened for a long while, so it made me sit up and take notice.  I wanted to offer some explanation to anyone who may be interested, so I did a google search to look for the best definition and it threw up something very interesting:

NVisible: Solara & the 11:11


I really have no idea what this is all about and I think I will leave it until later to do some more research.  The veil is certainly getting very thin now in the run up to Samhain.

For now, I will finish with this youtube video by Pastelmoon, which offers simple and unbiased information on the subject:

We could all be Shamans…

…thanks Terence, for all the maps and sign-posts.  The rest of us are still here, trying to leave our own signposts for those who may be looking for the same path.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Need a Wider “Colour” Vocabulary…

…to describe the colour of my Quince & Rosemary Jelly.  My picture has captured it as too golden or amber.  It actually seems to have more a salmon-pink tone, although the amber comes through too.  The French describe their ´Confiture de Coing´ as being “rose orangé” which I like best.


:: View topic - A deeply catholic country...

:: View topic - A deeply catholic country...

Interesting discussion on Catholism in Portugal; apparently, the Portuguese are not as devout as they might first seem!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Improvised Altar for the Emperor…

…set up whilst I was studying the Emperor card this afternoon:


Something about Necessity Being the Mother of Invention!…

…anyone who has ever tried to make jelly preserves without the proper equipment, will probably empathise with my predicament this evening as I tried to make quince jelly without either jelly bag or stand.  In the time honoured tradition, I ended up tying cotton napkins to stool legs and all this without attracting the attention of my very tidy husband, who can spy a spillage at ten paces!


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Volte Sempre!…

…one of my favourite phrases in Portuguese.  It translates literally as “come back always!” and it said to someone when they leave your place, as a show that they are always welcome to return.  It´s very friendly, even when printed on these serviettes in a little café:


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Altar Candle with Otherworld Eyes…

…on my altar last night, my new web candle started to burn out these amazing eyes!  My altar, gradually getting clearer ready for Samhain.

Caught Napping!…

…taking a chill break after planting the remaining cabbages.  The horta at last looking more like it should do!


Monday, 18 October 2010

Relaxing weekend in Fundão…

Feeling good after a restful weekend with friends in Fundão.   Good company, a perfectly barbequed trout, some vintage home made wine, something to vape and all in a wonderful location, with sunny, open views to the mountains of Serra da Gardunha.  OK, we were woken early on Sunday morning by a tractor ploughing around our camper but better that than the hunters shooting too close.  The tractor driver went within a foot of our vehicle and even churned the land right in front which made it soft and tricky to get out – how portuguese not to think about such things! 

Last night we left our friends and stayed at the campismo, which was completely dead and very restful.  Bill enjoyed the time playing with the guards´ dog and running through the woods, alternating with plenty of relaxation:

DSCF1692 DSCF1693

The dappled sunlight through the oak trees made me want to take inconsequential pictures, just to explore the effects.  I particularly love the colour of the heather that S. picked for me and the colours of my phone case:

DSCF1676 DSCF1678
DSCF1680 DSCF1682

This morning, we walked down to Fundão´s Monday market and bought cabbage plants, an apricot tree and some spring bulbs.  I have put in half of the cabbages but needed a break.  As well as the rest of the gardening jobs to finish, I have some quinces, apples, tomatoes, chillies and chestnuts to process but that will definitely not be today, or I´ll never get around to cooking dinner.

Our camper is still not right but we hope that this time it is only something minor.  Some vehicles turn out to give such a deal of problems but I suppose that being over 20 years old, it is not surprising!

Friday, 15 October 2010

The neighbours new goats…

…are very tame and sweet natured.  However, they are far too interested in the veggies growing our side of the fence and seem determined to find a way through!




Thursday, 14 October 2010

Personal remembrance…

…today would have been my parents´ 58th wedding anniversary.  I sometimes forget my Mum´s birthdate and frequently forget my Dad´s but the proximity of their anniversary to Samhain makes it a good time for me to remember them both.  Mum passed over almost 4 years ago and Dad has been gone 28 years.

Here they are on their wedding day in St. Blazey, Cornwall, their picture draped in the Cornish tartan.


And here is my favourite picture of them both together.  It would have been at an International Stores, Dinner and Dance, probably in Torquay, Devon.  They both look so happy.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Changing perceptions of witches…

The following is reproduced from Green Witch Garden, with the permission of the author, who does not wish to be named:

Some witches are heartily dismayed by the image of the green faced snaggle toothed Walt Disney style witch... and some get downright angry at other witches for even wearing a pointy hat. I agree that there is an unfortunate image (thanks to Disney)... but why not work in small ways to change that. After all, none of us are ugly nor evil.

Most of us look like everyone else in our community: tall, short, thin, fat, in all hair and skin colors. We work. We shop . We work at food pantries and contribute to charities. We have children and grandchildren . And because of our beliefs we are most often trustworthy and valued members of our community.

Most of us probably have a pointy hat or two ...we all know it is a symbol for the cone of power... but I love them because they are beautiful and they remind me that I am special sometimes when I forget. I have a whole collection of them for every season. I use them as seasonal decor in the house most of the time (too pretty to hide in the closet) and wear them at private events ; but Halloween is the only time of the year when you can wear one in public and get a smile. So why not show the public that witches don't have to be green and disfigured.

When the winetouring witches (pictured at the top of this post) knocked on the door of a local vintner, he didn't miss a beat. He said in mock dismay "have you come to spoil the wine?" and we said "No, we've come to bless it" (and we had a prepared blessing to give at each winery). It was great fun and now the wineries look forward to our visit each year.

Sometimes we walk the streets (or go to Halloween Trunk Shows) on Halloween with a basket of GOOD apples and give them to the children who are with their parents, exchanging holiday wishes. (this works in small towns... maybe not in the city). You don't have to come out of the closet, just offer an alternative image of what witches really can be.

It is a small step to changing perceptions...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Some Beautiful Portals of my own...

...inspired by this blog to post some of my favourite portal pictures of 2010 from my own photo library:

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13 Moons Birthdate Decoder…

…a very simple to use website that will tell you your 13 Moons* sign and associated oracle:

Whilst I have never been into the Mayan calendar and have no idea how it works, I have brushed up against it since my first Boom Festival in 2004.  I remember sitting at the back of a talk in the Liminal Village (unfortunately, I forgot the speaker´s name) and being fascinated by the complexity of this oracle.  Many times I have considered buying a 13 Moons calendar but held back because I wasn't prepared to do the work, making it no point really.

I fell upon this site and decided to find out my own sign, I suppose I will have to explore the subject, at least on a superficial level.  What this reading means to me, I am still in the dark about but if I discover anything interesting, I expect will post about it sometime.  Perhaps this means something to you already.  Here is my birth date reading; I am a Blue Spectral Night apparently, which sounds fabulous:


*btw, the title of this blog has nothing to do with the Mayan calendar.  I should explain that to you one day!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Animal Cards altar…

…another place where I sometimes create an altar, is on the shelf with our Buddha from Darjeeling.  Last night, with the Swan Druid Animal and Coyote Medicine cards.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Lovely amber resin...

...our gingeira tree (portuguese wild cherry) is exuding resin, which I understand is a sign that it is under stress. Probably the summer drought. Sad, but it does look very beautiful and a bonus is that it can be collected and used in incense blends.
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Veggie Risotto with Lentils…

…happy accident recipes are the best kind, don´t you agree?  I needed a cup of risotto rice last night and only had two-thirds of a cup.  So I topped up with red lentils (one of my favourites) and it worked out brilliantly – tasty, not to say colourful.
If you want to try it, here is the recipe:
2/3 cup of risotto rice
1/3 cup of red lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
3 piri-piri chillies (tiny, hot and sweet), chopped
salt, pepper and herb seasoning of your choice (I make my own seasoning mix with dried herbs from my garden)
Soften the onion a little first in the olive oil.  Sprinkling the salt over it, helps it to soften better.  Add the courgette, red pepper and chillies; cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the garlic last as it can burn quickly.
Then stir in the rice and lentils and stir around for a minute or two.  Cover with 2 cups of boiling water, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to minimum.  Leave uncovered whilst cooking and give the occasional stir so the rice and lentils cook evenly.  Be careful not to let it dry out before it is cooked through and add a little more water if necessary.
It should all be cooked through in about 20 minutes and that´s it.  I served it with some bright green cabbage from our garden and some creamy goat´s cheese.  If you have some proper vegetable stock (not stock cube) that would be even better than plain water, but you may have to reduce the salt.  A drop of white wine in the stock would have been great too, if I´d had some.
Here is a picture of piri-piri chillies in our horta:

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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

More on that Kali Journal...

…After I had problems publishing my post on the editing process yesterday, I decided to edit my edit! I thought publishing 2,000 words on my journal was too self indulgent, so I have cut the original down quite a bit. Hopefully, what I have left will be interesting to someone.
NB: »PP means create a Plinky Prompt; »T means a tarot entry that at some point I will post on my Hallowquest blog; »D means a dream analysis that I plan to post on Dreamcatcher and **is something I may post on here in future.

I write, post-Boom Festival, about “Big Mistakes of my Life, aka Turning Points”. Then I turn them around so that they do not seem like mistakes after all. (This seems like a Hallowquest exercise, although I didn´t identify it.).

Detailed “Full Moon” dream analysis, called “The Templars”. »D

I list my hopes for the forthcoming year, according to the 4 tarot suits.»»T

I attempt a family tree to honour the ancestors. I think that may have been because 2yrs on from Mum´s death, I was aware that there was no record on her side of the family.

I asked “What would it mean to have Freya as a Patron?”. In the centre of the page, in letters 3cm high, I wrote Freya´s name in an original, stylised font. This meant that I realised that working with the Freya archetype was likely to stimulate my creativity.

Mind-map following a magickal afternoon session in the neighbouring olive grove. I created a Rainbow Serpent wand, that I ended up giving away.

I reflect back to the work in the olive grove – seeing connections and researching information to link this to. I also mention my best friends´ news of a new Mr Right and send her positive vibes for everything to work out as she dreams.

Did a biorhythm reading, showing the intellectual cycle at peak high and the emotional and physical cycles at peak low. I hadn´t liked drawing the Cosmic Tribe 2 of Cups, which I had called “sickly“. I talked myself into relaxing and noted a woman I called The Watcher, in the distance. I observed my Inner Critic at work on my observations and on a drawing I had done of an olive tree. I was hearing a hymn in my head that I associate with my best friend and I made a link to it with the tarot Emperor (King Arthur).

I write a commentary on the G20 summit and observe that in Portugal they put gelatine in cream, that makes it unsuitable for vegetarians. I notice my “growing political awareness”. I refer back to the 4 elements, magickal work that I had done at the Boom Festival the previous August. I had built a mini labyrinth outside my tent, for meditation, yet I wrote nothing about that Boom experience at the time.

A mind-map of recent creativity, Kali yantra, Hawthorne wand, orange fetish for prosperity and green man.

Tarot reading following a visit from friends. Well sketched cards but no analysis!

Child-like mind-map around a large sun, reminding me to “Breathe out/in” when stoned. Also observed “Clinging to the Past = 5 of Cups”.

Followed by a messy, but useful, creative interpretation of the Osho 5 of Cups. »T Drew a common symbol in my journals; a key, this one elaborate and golden.

Mind-map in pencil, with the central figure, bent, back against a hill. A large boulder, marked “Resisting Change” is rolling against the figure, who is about to be flattened.

I note that I “properly tend my altar for the first time”.

Working with “Undoing Yourself” by Christopher Hyatt and the theme of ego death. Sketch of a stylised skull, with amanita mushroom at the third eye.

Five pages of work, where I set myself an “EXAM in SELF-HEALING”. Trying to integrate recent learning. Comment about my son using “manipulation to get me to face up to my high blood pressure”. I had started medication at about this time.

Still in the same creative flow and learning to manage the energy. Questioning whether I could really handle psychedelics and ego death. My mind tries to assert itself over the creative loss-of-control. I observe this as conflict. I note the “need to break through the physical barrier”. I had similar thoughts at the start of summer this year.

Common theme of Facing Fears, expressed in rabbit doodle.

Influenced by Shamanic Freedom Radio, episode 23 where Opaquelens says “They spank the bottoms of the complacent”. I don´t know what this referred to but it amuses me.

Paranoid stone – fear of extinction. Suggests ego was losing control. Once again a rabbit doodle. Good advice to “Count to 11 from now on ! for the sake of your heart and BP”. Funny spoonerism “extracted by externals” instead of distracted. Definitely feeling “in the magickal”. Talk of Hecate.

Labyrinth drawing, with text following the path inward. More evidence that my mind was afraid that I was close to death of ego “BEGGING begging not to be forgotten” and “WE ARE AFRAID TO BECOME (1)”.

More about “HEC8” and Kali; more on ego death “CUTTING CONNECTION TO EARTH” and more on magick, “For once you write SO MOTE IT BE, SO IT IS”. Also, my writing indicates an awareness of ego being separate from my soul, as in, “Writing spells, did we? Careless, we is too”.

Wrote with left hand, “ther is no lif after death!”.

Journal ends with mention of Hecate again and the crone phase, Persephone, “reality check; NOW, present, un-selfish”.

Shameless self promotion :D…

I just made a few tweaks to my YouTube channel.  I think it looks better being more uncluttered.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Kali Journal Edit Completed...

…The first journal edit is completed. I enjoyed doing it immensely and that surprised me. I expected that cutting out great chunks from my creative output would be painful but it was easily compared to weeding i.e. your flowers look so much better once you´ve done it!
I decided to share the editing comments, even though they are personal. If just one person finds them useful, then it will be worth it. The comments are both to record a Timeline of events and the insights I was making.

I then typed a 2,000 word document that I have tried to publish via Windows Live Writer, but it won´t let me do it!! I get a server error, 400 bad request.  It will have to be tomorrow now before I can attempt to sort this out.  Sorry

Monday, 4 October 2010

Portugal's Forests Losing Ability to Capture Carbon - IPS

Portugal's Forests Losing Ability to Capture Carbon - IPS

Journal editing & life cut-ups…

…It has been an objective of mine to edit my journals and reduce the paper clutter of my life.  I reason, that if I don´t do this, my poor son or husband will have to when I´m dead and I want to make that task as smooth as possible for them.
I have a storage box of journals and 3 remaining scrapbooks (having already edited the rest of those last year).  It is my clear intention that the journals should not and will not spill out of that box to create clutter somewhere else in our small place.  The box is already full, with journals dating back to the end of the 90s, so I decided to act!
Yesterday, I took the few clippings that were still relevant from the last 3 scrapbooks and destroyed the rest.  That turned out to be an easy exercise, as I have been building up in stages, rather than plunge straight in.  That gave me the confidence today to start with editing a journal.
I decided to start with one from 2008-2009, with a Kali cover (I give all my journals a unique cover, to set the intention and direction for the whole book).  I choose this one because I had written it in a cheap notebook, rather than the £10 a throw art books that I have an expensive penchant for!!
I wrote the following “rules” comments before I started:
A pedantic editing style will bore me totally and the task will become abandoned.  I have to keep it fresh.  I will keep whole pages, if they look attractive and contain meaningful and relevant content.  I will otherwise cut the gems from the rubbish.  “Gems” can be grouped by date, or by type: e.g. tarot (which can go into the ´also badly needing an edit!´, tarot folder), insights, mind maps, dreams, life stories etc.  Unfinished thoughts that are nonetheless inspiring, can be clipped out and stuck at the top of a blank, ruled page, to be used like Sanna´s “Plinky Prompts” for future writing.  When I am stuck for something to write about, these prompts will give me useful topics to journal.
The picture below shows the Kali cover (I decided to keep the covers in their own section to remind me of what my focus was at the time) and the Plinky Prompts wallet, awaiting further work.  I also wrote a Timeline for the journal, briefly noting what I was up to myself, the wider picture, any emotions I expressed, insights I had and any observations I made while editing.  A whole A4 notebook has been written up in 4 sides on the Timeline.
I also decided to share the random-play soundtrack that I was listening to while editing:
I hope you find this useful.  Feel free to use any of these ideas if you like them.

The Veil is Getting Thinner…

This poem was posted on the excellent blog Our Scented Cottage.  I looked for the name of the poet but according to another great link: Earth Spirit Pagans - Samhain 2008 pdf, he or she is unknown.  Anyone want to claim authorship?

The Veil is Getting Thinner

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a whisper whispering.
I heard a whisper whispering,
Upon this fine fall day...

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a' laughing.
I heard a laugh a' laughing,
Upon this fine fall day...

I heard this whisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.

Ernst Fuchs declares The Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt completed

After 20 years of work, Ernst Fuchs has finished the murals in The Apocalypse Chapel, Klagenfurt, Austria. ( In German)
Professor Ernst Fuchs, born 13th Febuary, 1930, in Vienna, is one of the most important representatives of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. This movement is not a trend of the times, but is a manifestation of the enduring thread of sacred art. Ernst Fuchs has been responsible for inspiring further generations of artists to pursue the challenge of representing their gnosis through painting.
Ernst Fuchs
Ernst Fuchs
The Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt was commissioned by Monseignor Marcus Mairitsch. Ernst Fuchs has slowly developed a world of incredible and powerful imagery upon its walls, depicting John’s Book of Revelation. Approximately 160 square meters of oil painting greet the viewer here, beautiful views into the world of the unconscious and archetypal, the sublime heights and depths of our world.
“How long I’ve been working on it? I think now it is 22 years.” says Fuchs. “It is my masterpiece.” Fuchs says of the chapel mural and the “Last Supper” also hanging there, “I had resigned myself to the thought that I would complete them both that so too my life would come to an end; or rather a new life would begin. There is no death. … An end is always the beginning of something entirely new.”


The Chapel of St.Egid, Klagenfurt
Laurence Caruana’s Homepage
Peter Gric’s Fantastic Visions