Moonlight Phoenix has risen

music, feminism, spirituality, words and more

November 2015

I quietened things down a little in November…but that didn’t stop me still having adventures!

I did another photo project on Instagram called ‘Crystal Allies November’ which was a really lovely one. If you’re on Instagram, you can find me there as moonlight.phoenix I haven’t found any for December so it probably won’t be quite so active, but I do taking photos so I’m sure there will still be fairly regular updates!

here’s how November went in term of my goals for the year…

FRIENDSHIP- didn’t see people quite as often this month, but the times I did were lovely.

FUN- I had fun at Witchfest, doing laughter yoga!

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- more photography BUT I did also take part in a creative writing workshop, and I’ve got a few other pieces to work on, and I did create this poem

and this is how the first month of my new intentions from Samhain 2015- to Samhain 2016 has went-

To Learn more about nature- I’ve been for a few lovely walks, and have got people to help me learn the names of some of the birds I’ve taken photos of

To heighten my spiritual ‘work’- no work sadly, but did promote a few times via Facebook, and did a swap with my friend who said she will tell others

To get to Peru- well I got the time off okayed from work, so that’s a start!

To honour the full moon and seasons more fully- I did a full ritual for the first time in a while for the full moon and have started doing readings for myself on the new moon.

and finally what I actually got up to!

I went to the Inspiring Women meeting as always, and it was our 2nd birthday so it was a fun one (well not that isn’t usually!) this time we played a game where we had to go round each person and first introduce ourselves as if we had never met as we are now, then we had to do it again but this time us in five years time. I wasn’t sure what to say different the second time apart from a few things, but by the time I had completed the circle, I had somehow earnt myself a healing retreat!

I did my first stint as a trained supervisor! I had to run the Rayleigh store for a day and despite my nerves it went really well. I also had to close there on another day that week but that time the whole system went down so not one of our stores could ‘officially’ close the store! Funny enough, that was Friday 13th.

I went to the second of the new Southend Essex Feminist Collective meetings, and it was really good. There were speakers from a few of the local domestic abuse services and a local Rape Crisis. It was pretty grim in terms of the severe lack of funding they get, and also the very real lack of convictions also.

I went to Witchfest, which was worthy of a blog of it’s own, which you can find here

I did a healing for my friend who did me reiki last month, and it went very well.

I met up with my friend Lauren for lunch, where we despaired the lack of quick and easy vegan lunch options in town. We ended up getting the last 2 vegan items in Boots, and mine although nice was very minimal and left me feeling still hungry. (it was a salad)

I did the creative writing workshop which was really good, we did different types of writing, and weren’t made to feel under pressure and we didn’t have to read them all out. There was only one exercise I didn’t write anything worthwhile, but the rest will be good I think. There was then an open mic night in the evening by the same people, so I read a few poems there. If you don’t already know of Sundown Arts, then you really should check them out

Then finally, yesterday was my circle, which this time was on the theme of career/jobs and was lovely as always.

 

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RIP Tree

Rest in Peace, Oh Great Oak Tree

That once stood tall and proud

I will always remember the majestic green beauty of your leaves

The way come September,

deep reds and browns would come seeping through

I’ll cherish those moments of shelter,

from the sun and sometimes the rain

I can’t begin to imagine your pain

as they tore you down

cutting into the very fibre of your being

Any last memory of you, now covered in hard cement

a beauty that lasted years,

Gone in just an instant

Now no longer will children climb or play

No longer will the birds sing

from within your elegant branches

no more exciting glimpses

of a squirrel rushing by

Rest in Peace, Oh Great Oak Tree

Gone but not forgotten

I’ll remember you with every heartbeat

I’ll forever be grateful

for every last breath

Goodbye Oh Great Oak Tree

May You Rest in Peace

May you provide shelter for those above

and know you’ll always be remembered with love

 

(originally written Saturday 21st November as part of a creative writing workshop, then edited on Tuesday 24th November 2015)

 

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Witchfest 2015

This year was my third time attending Witchfest, an annual event that takes place at Fairfield Halls in Croydon and is essentially a celebration of all things witchy! There are workshops, talks, lots of stalls and music in the evening. This is how my 3rd year of attendance went..

I like to get to Croydon as early as I can, as the main joy of the event for me is taking part in the workshops and I don’t want to miss anything! So I was on a train around 7.30am to aim to get to the venue for about 10. After getting slightly confused at London Bridge, and then forgetting what direction Fairfield Halls was in, it was almost 10.30 by the time I got there, but as always there was a queue to get in. Usually there is entertainment while you are queueing, this year they had drummers, but unfortunately I must have missed them as there wasn’t any while I was outside, trying to keep dry as it was a very rainy day. I wasn’t going to let the rain or being late get in my way though!

I was a bit too late to watch the opening ritual and I wasn’t interested in either of the 11am talks, so I took the opportunity to have a look around the stalls and have something to eat, as I had a lot packed in for the rest of the day. Somehow it didn’t feel there was as much choice with stalls this year even though they took the amount of space. (so I’m not sure why it felt like that). I did however buy a few crystals from the Geofossils stall which I love and usually buy something from every year. This year I got a garnet, tangerine quartz and yellow calcite.

The first workshop I took part in was a completely new experience for me- Laughter Yoga! (with a lady called Heike) I didn’t really know what to expect but I really wanted to give it a go. Well it was mad, and also hilarious! Activities included talking gibberish to each other and a lot of ‘pretending’ (riding a broom, housework and picking herbs for example) all the time laughing, and although maybe you were fake laughing to begin with, soon it all got so silly you found yourself REALLY laughing and soon EVERYONE was laughing. At times it really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but ultimately it left me with a smile on my face. If you’re looking for traditional yoga exercises, this was not it, but it did feel like good exercise too!

Then it was straight onto another workshop, ‘Faery Moon Magic’ with Flavia Kate Peters.

I had also been to her talk on ‘Faery Witchcraft’ last year which I really enjoyed and I always enjoy her work in FAE magazine. This talk focused a lot more on the Moon rather than the fae. Flavia spoke about how what starsign the moon is in at the time is also important to work with. At the time of the talk she told us the moon was just coming out of Capricorn and going into Sagittarius. She also spoke about items you can put on your altar. We also did a brief visualisation to bring more loving energy into our lives and there was a faery land journey at the end of the session too. There was a lot of info similar to the talk from last year, but also some new information and Flavia has such a lovely energy that you can’t help but be enchanted. I really wanted to speak to her, and I could have done as she had a stall, but I was too nervous! Maybe next year.

Then it was Bam! and onto the next workshop. Another practical one, I chose to try ‘Movement Meditation’ with Raegan Shanti.

To begin with, she gave us a brief rundown of herself (a dancer and an eclectic pagan like myself) and how she discovered movement meditation, and how to do it. The basic premise was this- she would lead us into a guided meditation but rather than sitting static (unless we wanted to), we would respond to her words with movement- however we felt. Then after a brief leading in, we were told to just move our bodies how we felt we needed to. Afterwards she took some questions from a few people and some people spoke about how they found the meditation. Everyone really got something out of it I felt. What was amazing too, that someone with limited mobility also gained out of it, as Raegan had said that if you can’t move, you can see yourself doing the movement you would want to do on the astral plane rather than physically doing it. This lady said that this felt really liberating for her, as doing it in this year made her feel she was actually doing it, and felt very freeing. I felt really peaceful afterwards and did really enjoy it, I think using it for magical work would be quite interesting.

I had planned to go to another talk after this, but I was feeling a bit tired so decided to take some more time out and look around some more. I wanted to bring Miguel a present home, so I got him some White Sage and a little bear made out of Sunstone.

Next up was what turned out to be my favourite workshop of the day, ‘Walking with the Ancestors’ with Barbara Meiklejohn-Free

I was gutted I didn’t go to her talk last year so I made a point of going this year and I wasn’t disappointed. It was another practical workshop, as although she spoke a bit about the ancestors and how important it is to honour them, she then led us into a ritual to honour them. As part of the ritual we received names of ancestors (although I didn’t pick up any myself) and the people who did had to stand up and say ‘I honour….” all at the same time with pride. There was definitely a shift in energy after that. Barbara is also a medium and she said how she could see all the ancestors with us from all sorts of traditions. Even though not intentionally, she started picking up a few messages, and one of them made a lady behind me cry. I was of course hoping I would get something too but I didn’t, but I did feel my nan was there. We did a journey where we saw flashes of all our ancestors past and future. We forgave all those that have ever hurt us in all our lives. I didn’t really know why but I did feel very emotional. We also asked one of our ancestors to be our ancestral guide. I know mine is there (it’s making me feel emotional again just thinking about it now). She cheered everyone up again afterwards by ending the session saying how we all should be who we are and shine bright. I left feeling emotional but also uplifted.

Next up is another person I had seen before (I’m not sure what pronoun she prefers so apologises if I am using the wrong one) Yvonne Aburrow

I saw her before at the Pagan Conference talking about gender and sexuality in witchcraft which was fascinating, so I was interested to hear about ‘Practical Inclusive Wicca’. I thought it was going to be just talking so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be another practical workshop, she demonstrated techniques we could try to be more inclusive to ALL in rituals (all sexualities, all genders, all races etc etc) We did thinsg like sending energy around the circle and also a different way of calling in the divine- rather than the straightforward Cis Female and Cis Male. We tried it by dividing us up into those who love and hate marmite! We also did a chakra colour visualisation and called in the elements by visualising. (depending where you were in the room, then changing to the next element). A lot of it probably more relates to group rituals where being included may be an issue, but I did really like the techniques she spoke about and will be implementing some of them myself.

I had hoped to see one more talk, but sadly the one I went to I ended up leaving halfway through as it just wasn’t keeping my attention span at all. At this point I was exhausted and still had my 2 hour journey to do, so another year without catching any of the music! But really that isn’t what Witchfest is about for me.

Witchfest for me is all about new experiences, hearing new opinions, being in a community. I think this year was my favourite so far, the workshops were practical and I learned lots of new things. of course I’ll be back again next year!

 

 

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October 2015

Quite a lot happened in October, I had a few interesting things happen that meant extra blogs as some activities just were worthy of a whole blog!

I only did 1 ‘project’ this time and that was the Inner Witch Photo Challenge on Instagram. Here are a few of my favourite photos that I included in my challenge.

crystals orange sacredjewellry

I do love a good photo challenge so this month I’m joining in with another one on Instagram called ‘Crystal Allies November’ and I’m also doing a project on the Munay Ki to try and learn and understand it better.

Here’s how October went in terms of my aims for the year..

FRIENDSHIP- saw friends a lot and had a lot of adventures!

FUN- did a lot not much I would class as ‘fun’ although at the Soup Unconference, I let my Inner Child out in the music room! 🙂

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- not much in the way of writing, although did read a book on poetry that STILL didn’t inspire me to write, and I’ve signed up for a writing workshop this month. I loved doing the photo challenge though.

To have regular healing clients- none

To finish my book- did do some editing

to be better at birthdays- no

Still no Glastonbury…

spend less time on Facebook- mostly yes

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- did the photo project and did a lot of spiritual work for Samhain

go into nature more- most weeks I got my walks in, I also went to an ancient orchard for an apple day event

watch less T.V- I think so

get into music again- not really

What I got up to..

Inspiring Women Meet up- looking back at our vision boards and what has happened this year

Soup Unconference

Anti Tory March

Book Launch

Had a lovely afternoon with Migs, Roberta and Gareth. Gareth took us to Two Tree Island where we went and planted trees, then we went to Roberta’s for lunch and a mini fire ceremony.

Went to an Apple Day at a local ancient orchard, and picked apples, they were the best apples I ever tasted!

Went to the first meeting of Southend Feminist Collective- lots of people turned up, so very pleased that even though I didn’t manage to set up a feminist group a few years ago, glad that there is one now, with so many wonderful women 🙂

I went to my first Red Tent meeting in Rayleigh. It was a lovely session of sharing and meditation.

I had to go to London for my work training for my Advanced Product Advisor training

My friend Lola came round and did some beautiful reiki healing for me

I went to see Suffragette with a few friends which was soo good, and filled me with feminist rage!

Finally yesterday was Samhain, so did my personal rituals, had some friends over in the day for a social, then went to a local pub in the evening to watch a psychedelic band called The Lysergics

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