Friday, 24 December 2010

Yuletide Blessings

Happy Yuletide and post Solstice Blessings.

I have been snowed in on my tiny coastal Island that has not seen snow like this in more than 30 years.

The birds have been desperate and I have found many new visitors to my garden including Willow Tit, Pied Wagtail, and Long Tail Tit. So beautiful. I have found myself raiding the baking supplies and making fatballs out of marzipan, cherries, cranberries and so many other ingredients.

As my cupboards empty with no chance of shopping I worry more about the birds. Every night of this extreme weather they lose 10% of their body weight and need to eat 40% of their body weight each day to survive the evening.
Luckily for the birds, my freezer broke and I have been giving them all they care to eat from potato waffles to boil in the bag fish. It is all thankfully welcomed. Yet still, they grow thin.
Spare a thought for the wild birds of your gardens this Yule and reward their presence with food. But please be aware, that turkey fat can kill many garden birds (don't ask me how i read this on the RSPB website) so refrain from giving them the Christmas dinner scraps.

I will be hosting the January 2011 Festival of the Trees. The Theme will be the UN 2011 International Year of the Forest. Do you have any tree related New Years Resolutions? Do you have plans to plant trees in 2011. Do trees dominate your art and writing? If so email me a weblink or leave it in the comments box below.

I will be delighted to receive all offerings. Maybe you have some tree centred art, poetry, textile or writing that was created in 2010? If so share the link. This is the season to reflect.
Until then, Stay warm and safe and may your days be filled with love and inspiration xJ

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thank You Lisa x

This morning the post man delivered this beautiful fabric collage. Lucky Dip Lisa of New Zealand made this collage for Blog Action Day 2010 to the theme of Water. My gift also included a beautiful batik tree which was found in a charity shop and a card reading;

war is not healthy for your children and other living things

Lisa's blog is beautiful and has a green ethos that I find heart warming. Please pay Lisa a visit, you will like what you see :)

Recycled/repurposed tea towel, ladies handkerchief (clean!) silk scarf,net curtain,
fabric scraps, second-hand shop lace and ribbon, cotton doilie, white beads from an old necklace,
second-hand blue beads and netting. Hand stitched and attached to a piece of heavy cardboard recovered from an old book.

Thank you Lisa
I feel blessed this morning x

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sharing Treasure #3 Burial Chambers and Iron Age Hill Forts

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

Bryn Celli Ddu is one of the most spectacular burial chambers that I have come across. Most, if not all, burial chambers would have been mounded over like this one. The burial chambers that you see showing the exposed stones and top caps like in Bodwyr below have been excavated and would have been hill like originally.

Bryn Celli Dddu is one of the most exciting and pleasing burial chambers that I have ever visited. Not just because the mound like hill covers it, or because you can walk (standing) right into it or that you can see straight through one side to the other, or because my friend found a love letter to a departed soul saying how much they were missed and how sorry they could not be all that was needed during the period of illness before departing or that because when you lie with your feet at the top of the mound and your head above the door plinth you feel like you are going to slide down the hill so quickly you could be on a sledge in snow. I love this burial ground for all of those reasons, and many more besides. Its one of those places that you just HAVE to visit, and once you have, you will want to again and again.

This burial ground may be Britain's oldest sundial. It was originally a henge and then the burial chamber was added later. There is an area a few yards away from the entrance of the door for ox burial. Bryn Celli Ddu was built before Stone Henge and is 500 hundred years older than the Pyramids of Egypt. Historians have film footage of the internal chamber flooding with light at sunrise on the morning of the summer solstice. It is thought that may have been to warm the bones of the buried. This film is now exhibited at the National Museum Cardiff.

In the picture above you can see a free standing stone outside of the entrance to the chamber. This stone is a replica as the original (below) is now exhibited in The National Museum Cardiff.

Photo by National Museum Wales where the stone is now exhibited

The stone has amazing carvings on it. There are other carvings in the burial chamber, but none so spectacular as this one. Maybe you have noticed the grooves cut into the plinth of the doorway on the first photo? I'm not sure what they signify but I do have a feeling that they are not random.

image by Ray The Mapman of The Megalithic Portal

Above you can see a diagram of the carvings on the original standing stone. Beautiful aren't they. They would make amazing designs for felt. I know after having tried that I am not skilled enough to do Celtic knot work yet. Maybe if I practice some more? But there is something so appealing to me about stone art and cave paintings that makes me want to work with that style. Dorie of Fibre Fusing has already made some outstanding felt based on some of the French cave art, i'd just love to make an Eco dyed Welsh equivalent. Mind you she is one very talented lady i have a very long way to go to catch up!

Do you love this chamber? I know I do :)

Bodowyr Burial Chamber

Bodwyr is a neolithic communal burial chamber dating from the region of 4000-2000bc. its small and quite cute. As always with sites like this, I searched the web for folklore and mythology connecting to it. Rhiannon, contributor to The Modern Antiquarian website, tells that this is one of the sites associated as being the final resting place of Branwen.

Branwen is known in both Welsh Mythology as a Goddess and in Literature as daughter of a High King of Britain. The tale of Branwen goes that Mathwlych, King of Ireland consulted Bran (Branwens brother) with ideas of marriage. Branwen married Mathwlych but after 3 years Mathwlych tired of Branwen and sent her to work in the kitchens. Branwen spent the next 3 years rearing and training a stag whom she later charged to swim across the Irish Sea and carry a message to her brother Bran. On receiving the message, Bran sent an army to rescue Branwen and a bloody battle ensued leaving many killed or injured. the tale can be found the medieval Red Book of Hergest and White Book of Rhydderch.

In the distance you can see the Snowdonia Mountain Range that lies across the Menai Straits. The Menai Straits is a SSSI with a wealth of marine life including Puffins, Seals, and even Dolphins.

Caer Leb

Caer Leb is an iron aged hill fort dating back to 200 BC. There is not much to look at here. The site was excavated in 1865 revealing a stone hut dating from 400ad indicating that this site has been occupied over many centuries similar to Din Lligwy. I like the feeling of continuation to these settlements. Established roots meaning that the site was a good one and people found what they needed to live safely and hopefully happily.

The settlement is the shape of a slice of bread and is double walled due to being built on marsh land. We visited in the last week of October. There had been some rainfall that week so we needed walking boots. It was quite boggy in places but definitely worth a visit. The sun was shining brightly and their was a wonderful feeling of peace to site . I felt content ambling around the site skimming through mole hills looking for naturally upturned artifacts (a tip from an archaeologist friend who has found pottery this way).

Caer Leb is very close to Bodowyr Burial Chamber and Bryn Celli Ddu and we managed to fit all three sites and Beaumauris Castle into one morning, although I could have happily spent the entire day at all four sites if time had allowed it.

Bwrdd Arthur (Din Sylwy) Hill Fort

We stumbled across Bwrdd Arthur whilst trying to find another site on the way to Penmon Priory. We hadn't intended to visit this site, but well if you pass it, you may as well stop and visit right? The Hill fort is on top of a very steep hill and feeling invigorated by the glorious weather we decided to completely ignore the gently winding footpath and took the direct approach in a vertical line up the hill. Phew, I certainly felt a sense of achievement when I got to the top!

We had been looking for remains of walls or other signs of a hill fort (as the name may indicate) and did find lots of stones, but nothing that screamed hill fort at us. Later I looked the site up and found that the name (as Arthur would indicate) is said to be Arthur's table and if you look you can see where the table had been and a stone for each seat. I suppose it helps to know what you are looking at when you visit places like this. I will happily return again though to check this out. The views are second to none, and yes, as the pictures show, even four year olds love this kind of outing. Hills, walls to climb on, burial chambers to climb in and picnic's! What could be better? I've begun to notice that four year olds are very much like hobbits. They crave breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. Although to my knowledge most halflings do not like mushrooms!

The first two pictures show views out to the Irish Sea and the Snowdonia Mountain range. The third shows views across to Red Wharf Bay. The views are so spectacular up here that I could easily spend an entire day in good weather, maybe with a mini easel or a sketch book. It is just so stunning, and again as with so many sites here on Ynys Mon (The Isle of Anglesey/Mother of Wales) the feeling of sanctuary, of bright spirits and peace are mesmerizing.


Please join in the fun by sharing pictures, poems, stories or any other form of creative media about a place local to you and close to your heart. Add your post to Mr Linky below :)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sharing Treasure

My computer came back from repair today. It is so refreshing to be able to switch it on and read emails again. It is weeks since it caught the Malware Virus.

While I've been away from the computer, I've not had much time to express myself creatively. I'm missing art more than I did the computer. I have however been blessed with house guest after house guest and had some wonderful trips around the Island visiting burial chambers, castles, iron age hill forts, Celtic wells and sites of outstanding natural beauty. I will be writing about one or more of the places I have visited in Shared Treasure #3.

I will write a post on Monday and add the Mr Linky Widget. Please join me by writing about a favourite location in your area. I know its hard to get the day trips in when its so cold outside so by all means take this opportunity to tell us about somewhere you visited in the past. Drag out those snap shots, or take the time to make a piece of art or creative writing/poetry about a place close to your heart.

Until then, I will be slowly making my way round your blogs and catching up with you all xJ

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Hello, Just a quick note to say thank you to all that have sent emails asking where I am. I have had a lot of computer problems and find myself using a laptop which will only allow me access to facebook. My computer is being repaired and I hope to have it back very soon. I have not been able to see your sites either so apologies for not visiting.

I hope to see you all very soon xJ

Friday, 15 October 2010



Cooling, Refreshing
Quenching, Cleansing, H2O
Sustaining LIFE, Creating Life, Water
Wonderful, Gurgling, WATER. Babbling
Hydrating, Trickling, Raining, Precipitating,
Life,Perspiring, Irrigating, Bathing, Swimming,
Washing, WATER. Droplets, Tears, Saline, Serum,
Drinking, Sustaining, Watering, Soothing, Water
Flowing, Tidal, Salt Bodies of Water, Brooks, Seas
Streams, Rivers, Oceans, Estuaries, Reservoirs
Canals, Ponds, Lakes, Transport, Sport, LIFE,
Sustaining Water, Monsoons, Kissing the
Soul, Nurturing, Life Giving Water
LIFE Begins With Fresh

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Peace Felt

Here is the Peace Felt that I received from mixed media Fibre Artist Sharen Eninger. I love the hessian and different textures. Thank you Sharen.

If you wanted to know what happened to the Peace Flags that I made, then please visit Robin Joy Andreae and her amazing needle felted animals.

Friday, 8 October 2010

A Crown of Autumn Leaves

When autumn gathers, the tree

That the leaves sang

Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,

Turns like a key,

Opening air where they hang

Felt by Yvette Cals
Poetry by Annie Finch

Monday, 27 September 2010

Peace Felt

"I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers"

Khalil Gibran

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing or rightdoing, there is a field.
I will meet you there"

Jalal Ad-Din Rumi

"We may have different religions, different languages, different coloured skin,
but we all belong to one human race"

Kofi Annan

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics,which is the goal of all evolution.Until we stop harming all other living beings , we are still savages."

- Thomas A. Edison

"End each day with thoughts of peace. Begin each day with thoughts of peace. Continue thinking thoughts of peace throughout your precious day and happiness will be yours."

"A smile is the beginning of peace."

Mother Theresa

Peace Felt

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Exciting Times

Yesterday, the Druid Network were granted charitable status under the religious heading.

This means that Druidry is recognised as a religion under UK law. This is the first time that any form of Paganism has been legally recognised in UK law.

Druidry is one of many many paths of Paganism. To some, Paganism may be Wicca, Shamanism, Anarchy, Nature Based Spirituality, Celtic Identity or so much more.

It is such a shame that our sociological driven society feels the need to label us, split and divide us. For so long, Pagans have been made to feel like the immature children, the juvenile, the thorns in the side. So many of my fellow blog friends have a pseudonyms so they can speak honestly and freely with Pagan expression.

The world still fears and shuns that which it does not understand. Earlier this week, I visited some land on which a medicine wheel was built. The land is to become a place of healing, to the land, the animals the people and the trees. As I entered the site, I heard that peace flags had been hung over the field gate earlier in the day, had been stolen. I heard, that prayers that had been attached to trees, and pebbles placed in a well, had been removed, and continued to be removed, by others in the area that do not understand Pagan ways. Why is this so? How can peace flags upset anyone? How can a ribbon in a tree offend? Why does the presence of semi precious stones in an ancient Celtic well threaten? And why should we, Pagans, Druids, Shamans, Witches and so much more feel that we must stay hidden?

Last autumn, I received a letter from my daughters nursery. It asked of religious views, dietary requirements, medical info. You know the sort. Foolishly, I wrote Pagan next to religion. Its not that I want to indoctrinate my little girl, or make her believe my ways, it more that until she decides for herself I will teach her the ways of nature, the changing of the seasons, the elements, respect for life. Do you know how many times I had members of the nursery staff ask me if I danced around bonfires naked? I felt afraid, and as if my declaration of my own spiritual path would cause discrimination to my child. I had made it clear that my little girl could learn of other religions and cultures but it was to be respected that she had her own path. They tried to make her pray and say the lords prayer each day. Is it just me, or is respecting other religions and being made to participate in other religions prayer two very different things?

In my little girls new school, I have not felt so brave. I am proud of my Pagan beliefs, but do not want my daughter to be ostracised or marginalised. I want her to be happy, and free to play with whoever she likes, to invite the friends that she plays with home, and not just those that have the same spiritual path as her parents.

There is room for us all in this world.

Especially those that walk in PEACE, and HARM NONE!

With that said, I am sure you can see just how momentous an occasion it is that the Druids have received recognised religious status within the UK. I am thankful for their hard work!

Now, its time for you all to stand up and be counted. Fill in the Pagan Census today. Be proud of who you are.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Mabon, the Full Moon and a Medicine Wheel

Today is Mabon, the Autumn Equinox

A day of equal light and dark

A Harvest Moon

The first time in 20 years that the first day of Autumn has occurred on the same day as a full moon

Lets us not forget that this year was also guided in by a blue moon

This is a year for looking upwards
To greet the sky
Feel the wind on our cheeks
The rain kiss the lids of our eyes
The stars twinkle with joy

Embrace these precious moments

To mark this special occasion I entered into a Mabon Swap with the ethereal 'Faerwillow'

My gifts arrived, lovingly packaged with hand crafted items
Filling me with Excitement

Photographs of nature, a paper doll, tissue leaves, hand made tags
A clay leaf, and the softest woolen cowl

I feel blessed!

Look how at home they feel on my alter!

Thank you Faerwillow x

Feeling energised by the magic of the equinox, I set out to a gathering of new friends where we created a medicine wheel out of rocks and stones.

My new friends wish to heal the earth, and those that walk it. The acts of creation, ceremony, and ritualistic drumming were invigorating.

And, because life is for living, and some things should just 'be experienced' I did not stop to take pictures. All I can show you of this occasion is a picture of a tepee in which we all sat, shared food, and supped oak leaf wine.

Happy Autumn Equinox x

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sharing Treasure # 2 - LLigwy

Welcome to Sharing Treasure # 2. This month I have 3 sites to share with you. Lligwy Cromlech, Din Lligwy and Hen Capel Lligwy. All within close walking distance of each other.

Lligwy Cromlech

Lligwy Cromlech, a neolithic burial chamber. Cromlech is a word used to describe a burial mound or Dolmon from Welsh, from crom, feminine of crwm bent, arched + llech flat stone. In France, the word Cromlech is used to describe a stone circle, so maybe it is not accidental that the symbol for pi resembles some burial chambers.

Lligwy Cromlech has also been known as Coetan Arthur, Din Lligwy Burial Chamber and Arthur's Quoit. The Cromlech is said to be built upon a natural fissure in the limestone, rather than being dug out.

The site has a peaceful feeling to it. So much so that my 4 year old daughter instantly climbed inside it and lay down on the protruding stone whilst exclaiming that it was her new house and that is her sofa! I could have happily spent much longer here, and plan to return again very soon.

I did a little research into Lligwy Cromlech, looking for history and folklore. Rhiannon, contributor to 'The Modern Antiquarian' kindly shares a tale of a wild stormy night where a fisherman stumbles across a fair maiden struggling to reach the safety of the shore. He wades into the water and pulls the maiden to safety. After taking the maiden (at her request) to Arthur's Quoit he discovers that she is a witch that has been cast overboard and disguised herself to increase her chances of rescue. Afraid to be in the presence of a witch in a known haunted site the fisherman finds himself rewarded with a ball. The witch cautions the fisherman to keep the snakeskin ball safe, and secret from all and good fortune will be his. He shall only take out the ball from its hiding place once a year to bathe it in the sea, and then return it to hiding. If this is not done bad luck will follow. Please visit 'The Modern Antiquarian' to read the full story and see other pictures and accounts of visits to Lligwy Burial Chamber.

Din Lligwy

Din Lligwy is a settlement that is thought to have been built by natives to Anglesey during the Roman occupation. Din refers to 'defensive walls. It is thought that the site was a farming community and may even date back to the iron age. In the picture to the bottom right hand corner below, you can see the walls for one of the round rooms at Din LLigwy. It certainly 'fits' that the settlement dates back to the iron age, as it is very close to Parys Mountain which was mined for copper and other ores since the copper age 3500 years ago. Also, round houses were considered a symbol of status. The Celts and farming communities continued to use round houses until around 200 ad when they began adopting the Roman shaped houses.

Din Lligwy is known to have been occupied by the Romans until around 400ad. The round houses are thought to have been living quarters and the oblong rooms were workshops for iron working and animal shelters.

Hen Capel Lligwy

Hen Capel Lligwy is a wonderful example of medieval history.

The things that intrigue me most about church sites is their connection to sites of pagan worship, ley lines and trees. The church, pictured above, is very small but the trees alongside it are very large for their species.

The Hawthorn below is very large. I felt very attracted by her energy and found myself spending most of my time at this site beside this tree.

When I got home, I researched methods of aging trees without harming them. The Woodland Trust have a lovely tree hugging guide to aging trees of different species.

A Hawthorn only needs an elbow hug, whatever that may be, to qualify as ancient. I think this tree is more than an 'elbow hug' and displays some hallmarks of an ancient tree so I have registered it with The Woodland Trust to verify its age.

The Woodland Trust believe that ancient trees are living relics of incredible age that inspire in us feelings of awe and mystery. We reveal what makes a tree truly ancient, unlock a few of the fascinating secrets and stories associated with them and help you discover why they can sustain such a wide variety of wildlife. 'The Ancient Tree Hunt' is a project that invites members of the public to register trees that may be ancient or veteran with the Woodland Trust. Some of these trees may then be be granted a 'protected' status depending upon what its needs are. So, next time you are out walking and see an inspirational tree, why not give it a hug?


If you have a treasure on your doorstep that you would like to share, please add your web link to Mr Linky below.

All are welcome :)