A song for Saturday.

Wordless Wednesday – June 15th 2011

Wordless Wednesday is something I have done on previous blogs and I thought I would use the idea over at this blog, using a picture from nature, or something with a pagan or witchy theme.

© 2011 Susan Park.  All Rights Reserved.

Oak Month.

From June 10th to July 7th it is the Celtic month of the Oak.  This tree is associated with the element of fire and ruled by the sun.  Indeed, Litha falls within the Oak tree month, which sees the longest day of the year.
There are many Gods and Goddesses associated with this tree, particularly the Gods of thunder and lightning.

To me this tree represents strength and during this month we can cast spells for strength, protection, success and stability. good luck, health and healing, money, potency and good luck.
On a personal level I need to draw strength this month as there are one or two issues on the home front that need confronting.  My challenge for the month ahead will be to tackle these issues by drawing upon the energies of the grand oak tree to lend me strength and protection during what will undoubtedly be a difficult process.
Coupled with putting my life back together after losing two loved ones in four months and it isn’t too difficult to understand why I need the strength that the oak offers.  As I move back out into the world after taking a break I may need to draw upon the oak’s strength.  Going through such a tough time has left me feeling washed out and my energy severely depleted – my chronic illness has been particularly bad in recent weeks.  Of course the weather has played a part in me feeling so awful too.  Normally the weather doesn’t bother me whatever it is doing – I am a real weather geek – with the only time I complain being when it is too hot, as I am asthmatic and I cannot breathe; also having arthritis means hot and humid weather plays havoc with my joints too.  But generally I am pretty easy going when it comes to the weather, but recently it has been so cold and damp up in Cumbria that I have felt even worse, not just physically but emotionally too.
So it seems that my energies are so low and need a boost and that’s where the energies of the oak come in.

© 2011 Susan Park.  All Rights Reserved.

Hawthorn Month.

We are now in the month of the Hawthorn in Celtic lore.  This time runs from May 13th until June 9th.  From a magickal point of view this is a great time to clear away old habits and outdated spiritual ideas.  Hawthorn can also be used for fertility, health and protection.  The Hawthorn is also associated with the fey.

I recently bought a Hawthorn tree and have it planted out in my garden.  I have also gone back to my interest in the wee folk.  When I first came to the craft I had a huge interest in fairies, but over time I let other people sway me into thinking a belief in the fey was childish.  In recent times though, I have felt myself being drawn back to them and a renewed interest in everything fey.

I have been through a really tough time over the past year, with the darkest time being from December until the end of April.  I lost my younger brother – he was 29 years old – and my Dad spent three months in hospital before losing his fight against illness.  I have been forced to re-evaluate everything.  Things that were important to me no longer have any bearing in my life.  People who once figured highly have been cast aside as I have discovered we are no longer complimenting one another.  I have found that no matter how hard  I have tried to do certain things I just cannot progress in that area and so in the wake of these two deaths I have reassessed my priorities – both with people and aspects of my life – where I would usually hold on so tightly.  As a Taurean I detest change; I am such a control freak and changing anything in my life usually scares the hell out of me.  But this dark time has left me needing change and I have found that I am now no longer afraid to embrace it.

This month I aim to tap into the energies of the Hawthorn and clear away what is no longer needed in my spiritual life.

© 2011 Susan Park.  All Rights Reserved.

Time out for now.

I am taking some time out as my Dad died on Tuesday. If you read my other blog, then you know my brother died four months ago. Not been a great time, so taking some time off blogging at the moment.

Earth Day.

Earth Day is a day where we can stop to think about our commitment to the earth.  It started in 1970 and has grown massively over the past 41 years.  I often read blogs, links, tweets, articles etc about Earth Day and feel as if I’m not doing enough, after all, on this day there is a huge hype about what we can do for Mother Earth and her resources.  But then I get to wondering, how many of these Earth Day tweeters/bloggers etc have actually just jumped on the bandwagon because it seems like the cool thing to do?  How many of them are actually committed to Mother Earth every single day?

I hear all of the time about people who say such things as “I don’t need to buy my sweetheart a gift and card for Valentine’s as I love him/her all year round”  and “My Mum knows how much she means to me so why am I being guilt tripped each year onMother’s Day”  Well, I feel the same when it comes to things like Earth Day.  Don’t get me wrong here, I think days such as this have a fantastic impact on creating awareness and that if even a small proportion of humankind becomes more Earth aware because of Earth Day then it is serving its’ purpose.

But I won’t be guilt tripped by people who will get involved with the whole day and then over the next few days they start to forget about Mother Earth and caring for her.  It isn’t possible (not really) for us to do huge acts everyday – such as the like that some people do on Earth Day.  But we can make change by doing small acts each day, little and often doesn’t have to mean nothing at all.  Of course I’m not knocking anyone’s sincerity in such matters, I just hate those who never do the green thing but then become holier than thou on a day like today and then try to give others a hard time for not doing something huge.  It just doesn’t occur to them that we are doing something always, whatever it may be.

A tip that is appropriate right now is this one:

As the weather turns nice we tend to spend more time outdoors, in our gardens and so on.  Picture the scene; it’s a beautiful day, you have friends and/or family round and you are making merry.  The day is so wonderful that you decide to sit out as long as you can, but as the sun sets it starts to feel chilly.  You don’t really want to have to go indoors as it’s such a beautiful night, albeit cooler.  Your thoughts instantly turn to creating heat in order for you to spend more time outdoors enjoying nature.  This is when some folks start to consider buying patio heaters.  A patio heater creates warmth and light and seems like the ideal solution for when the evening is cooler.  But they are a huge drain on the environment.  Instead, grab a few candles to create some light and put on a cardigan/jumper/fleece jacket or use a blanket or rug. 

Far better for our health and the environment.

© 2011 Susan Park. All Rights Reserved.

Being kind to bees.

Over the past couple of years it has become apparent that our bees are in decline. The facts and figures are really quite sobering. This article http://ht.ly/4CAyb   gives an insight into the facts.  As part of my pledge to myself I thought it would be a great idea to see where I could help out in my own garden.  I already have an abundance of flowers and plants but I’m keen to see if they are bee friendly.  And I don’t just wnat to stop there, I want to have a good look at my garden and see just how nature friendly it is.
That sounds very cliched, I know, but I’m finding in life that the cliched things have a tendency to be pretty accurate, so, my next challenge is to get my garden as natural as possible.  I’m going to start by making an inventory of everything I have in there and then seeing what I can do to make it more natural.

I also want to have a small area where I can make a fairy garden, whether or not I attract any fairies will remain to be seen, but I think I’m going to have a lot fun creating my fairy garden.  My garden used to be my haven but we have new folks in the neighbourhood and they are really rowdy, so we spent less time out there.  I want to change that and whilst I’m helping the bees and nature and attracting nature, I’m going to see what I can plant to ensure our privacy and maybe even drown out some of the noise from neighbouring properties.

© 2011 Susan Park.  All Rights Reserved.

Waste no more.

There are have been numerous reports in the media recently about how much we (as humnas) waste food.  It is said that many of us buy food products, store them in our refrigerators and then just leave these items there until we eventually realise they have gone out of date and we end up binning them.

Quite shocking when put like that, but true all the same.  Only, the majority of people I know don’t have unlimited funds and so have a tendency to write out a shopping list and only buy what they need.  Still, there could be items wasted in this way, but I would think it less likely.  A good way to ensure that we don’t waste money and food is to not only write out a shopping list and stick to it, but to plan meals for ourselves and families in advance.  If we know what we will be cooking then we will know what ingredients we need.  And if we know what we need then we are less likely to impulse buy, which means food products are less likley to end up binned.

It seems like the obvious thing to do really.  Not only is it good for the environment, it is good for our purses/wallets and it is good for our health too.  If we make a conscious effort to be careful when it comes to our food choices we can make a difference, even if it is just a small one.  I believe that the slightest change we can make and keep is far better than trying to do something major and giving up a few weeks on.

As funds are limited for my family we are well used to having to buy only what we need.  But there have been times when even we have had to throw things out.  This doesn’t sit well with me and I have made a conscious decision to make more of an effort to cut down on the waste we have, even though it is a very small amount.  I want to make more of an effort to plan our meals more carefully so that we have virtually no waste – let’s be honest here, I don’t think we can ever eliminate it completely.

This is a pledge I have made to myself.  I have been thinking about how I can be true to my pagan beliefs and have decided to make small amounts of change within my life.  I have a chronic illness that prevents me from getting out and about when I want to.  And I have a very sick husband who needs my care and attention, this also prevents me from doing some of the pagan themed things I have wanted to.  Life is very busy and often gets in the way of what I want to do from a witchy point of view.  With this in mind I have decided to set myself small challenges, things that don’t involve me having to travel far and wide in the name of my craft and beliefs, things I can do that are free (or nearly always free), just small changes that I know are achievable and won’t leave me feeling downhearted when something crops up.  It isn’t a gimmick, nor is it a fad, it is a city witch trying to make positive change within her life in order to stay true to her beliefs.

© 2011 Susan Park. All Rights Reserved.