Moonlight Phoenix has risen

music, feminism, spirituality, words and more

A look back on 2016 and a look forward to 2017

In 2015 I was a bit early in posting this post, and now I’m late posting 2016. The truth is I have lots of blogs I need to write at the moment, but this is the first chance I’ve had and felt okay to do it. The last week of 2016 and the first week of 2017 have not been good to me. The light is starting to slowly coming back but the last two weeks have been really hard, and for the first time in a long time I’ve not been okay. We had to have one of our cats put to sleep so it started with grief which then morphed into a deep depression and even anger. I felt really alone. However I am now ready to admit I was in a bad place and now is time I can pick myself up again, as the only one who can really do this is me. I have to accept things won’t always be good but they won’t always be bad either. Life is slowly on the up again and one thing I can do to help me is write! So I will slowly start to catch up on my blogs again, as I have lots to say.

let’s start with a look back on 2016..

Music

still not as prominent as it has been in the past, I don’t think I made it to any gigs this year apart from one local one- seeing my friend Ruth’s band T Bitch at their Halloween show at the Railway Hotel, which was really awesome! (it involved one member arriving in a coffin and me standing on a chair in order to see)!

I didn’t buy any new music in 2016 although I did listen to Spotify a lot and tried to diversify my listening a bit by keeping an eye on new releases and checking out their recommended playlists. I don’t think I can really pinpoint anything new in this area.

Books

I set my challenge on Good Reads to read 50 books again, but I still didn’t quite reach it, I think I read 45 or 46 so I have set it for 47 this time.

I think the best books I read were at the end of the year after my Moon Mother training. I read both Red Moon and Female Energy Awakening by Miranda Gray (who trained me). They are about women’s cycles and how to live in harmony with them. They are helping me to change my life! But I will talk more on this in another blog, but I highly recommend them to all women!

Films and TV

I didn’t see any films at the cinema this year. I’m sure I must have watched some good films but I can’t recall any!

TV Wise- Humans was still very good and Black Mirror. Also enjoyed more nature documentaries like Planet Earth.

Photos/Moments/Things I did in 2016

attempted to write a poem a day, which was half successful as a lot of days I didn’t feel inspired by the prompts in the book I was working with!

Passed my Advanced product advisor test for work

Went to see Vampires Rock!

Took part in the first round of the ‘associate of the year’ for work

went to my first Buddhist ceremony

did a meditation workshop at the EDEN conference

Poetry reading at an allotment day twice

Went to Holland

took part in ’30 Days Wild’ in June

helped out at Tower Hill Sanctuary on my birthday

attended 3 Pig Save Vigils

became the supervisor for the Rayleigh store

held my first fire ceremony

went to Whitstable beach in kent

went to a sheep sanctuary

Restarted the Munay ki

went to the Retreat animal sanctuary

became a Moon Mother

went to Portugal

walked the Saffron Walden labrinyth

held my first worldwide womb blessing group, started giving womb healings

did healing at a shamanic weekend

Miguel surprised me with a shamanic wedding blessing ceremony

took part in a free hugs weekend

 

the most popular blogs I wrote in 2016

  1. 2016 Focus and Intentions
  2. dancing barefoot may 16
  3. Essex Pig save
  4. belated post: april poems for #shewritespoetry2016
  5. 30 Days Wild Week 2 (and a bit)

how I did with my goals and intentions in 2016:

learn more about nature- nature was a big theme of 2016 so a big fat yes. 30 days wild in June really helped too!

heighten my spiritual related work- yes although not in the way I hoped, still didn’t have regular clients (mostly I had none) but I did healing work at a retreat weekend and also can now more healings as I became a Moon Mother so can now do Womb Healings and Blessings, in addition to crystal healing.

get to Peru- not yet!

honour seasons and moon more fully- not to the extent I would have liked.

cook more- nope!

go to yoga classes- yes! apart from when I had the change of jobs and couldn’t go, I have been to a lot of classes in 2016.

walk more often- beginning part of the year yes but once changed job location not so much as no longer walking distance!

better self care- I think overall I was better at resting when I needed to, and I also went to the dentist, the optician and had my well overdue smear test

not to be affected by other people’s stories/no expectations- better with no expectations but still can be very affected by other people’s stories.

harness manifestation- yes, I went from a part time to a full time job and managed to manifest a lot of the ideas I had for my women’s circle this year too.

my focus was: Knowledge, health, magic and self care. I think there was a lot of all those things!

Now finally to move forward to 2017. (a week into it, lol)

My Focus this year is: Balance, Happiness, Divine Feminine

My intentions for this year (including those I set back in October on the witches new year)

  1. To Cook more- carrying this one over as I would like to do more with this when I can
  2. to have new experiences and visit new places
  3. to do more of what makes me happy
  4. to step fully into my role as a healer – reworded as still important to me. I love doing the healing work but I need people to come to me to heal!
  5. To do more activism again -would be great to fit in where I can for causes I feel passionate about
  6. be better at birthdays- I’ve had this before too, last year partly because of lack of money part of the year I wasn’t very good at it. This year I’d like to be more organised and thoughtful
  7. finish my lists!- I am a list hoarder and that won’t ever change. However I have lists on my phone with stuff that’s been on there for ages (things to buy etc) so I want to start getting rid of those things!
  8. Give up the Pill- I’ve been on the pill for about 18 years, I’ll go into this on my blog about womb healing/cycles more but now is the time to come off and change contraception method.I’ve got 3 months left so I will use those first, and that gives me time to explore my options
  9. Live to my cycle and educate others- as I’ve already briefly mentioned (and will go deeper in another post) I’ve been learning more about women’s cycles and it is really helping me to understand myself and other women better. I want to be able to live with this cyclic nature in mind. I also want to help other women to understand the nature of their cycle
  10. make more time for creativity- whatever that is- writing, colouring, collaging…just time to create, even if just for myself.

 

 

 

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October 2016 and Witches New Year (looking back then forward again)

Okay so let’s start with how the year ended for me..how did October go?

My key words for the year: Knowledge, health, magic and self care. With regards to health and self care, I have been able to start attending yoga again, and I also went to my dentist 6 month check up.

My goals/Intentions

To heighten my spiritual work- no clients 😦

To get to Peru- nope

To honour seasons and moon more fully- I did my usual things on New moon and full moon, and I think I did celebrate Samhain fully. I got to wear fancy dress at work, I went to a Halloween themed gig, hosted my women’s circle on the night, and today went to visit my nan’s grave and I’ve also done my big reading for the year ahead

To cook more- nope

to go to Yoga classes- went to 3 classes this month, yay!

walk more often- still been doing longer walks on days off

not to be effected by other people’s stories/no expectations- think I’ve mostly been okay with this

manifestation skills- can’t think of anything specific

What I got up to

I went to an open day at a local yoga studio, I got to try a sample ‘anti aging’ class which I didn’t really like as it was far too energetic for Yoga, it even involved star jumps! I also tried a meditation session (relaxing) and a drumming and chanting session which was great, saw lots of friends there too which was nice.

I went to visit my friend Sherry and meet her newest additions- two adorable kittens! 🙂

I went along to the Munay Ki part one workshop Miguel ran in London because I’ve decided to try again with Munay Ki, as I didn’t feel I was getting the full benefit of it despite receiving it over a year ago, but it was when Miguel was first doing it and was all in one go. So hopefully this time I can integrate the rites better and get more out of it.

Went to see my friend’s band ‘T Bitch‘ at the Railway Hotel for Halloween and they were awesome!

Poems

Making Love to the Moon

Oh beautiful moon
Odd, how you make my heart go boom
Of all the sights
You open my mind to new heights
Your gentle glow reminds me every thing’s okay
You inspire me with what to say
On a full moon night
I’m guided by your light
We flow together like the ocean and it’s tides
Knowing each phase brings out our different sides
We are one
Knowing our cycle is never truly done
Full and Flowing
to Dark and Knowing
not everyone can understand
This connection we have
goes beyond sharing a solar system
With us, there is truly no distance.

Autumn

I almost saw you change
from green to orange
orange to brown
falling to the ground
time to let go of what once was
time to go within and see what’s inside
feel what my ancestors have to say
dive deep and reveal
the diamonds in the dark
show me your pain
as the sunshine turns to rain
this is the beginning of the end
Now is the time for us to mend.

So as a pagan, that’s another year ended for me. Overall I think the past 12 months have been pretty good. I got a promotion in my job and I’ve had a few exciting day trips and a holiday to The Hague. I didn’t manage to get any regular healing clients still or go to Peru, but I did go to Yoga quite a bit (I couldn’t for a while because of overtime) and walked loads before I moved job location and I achieved the manifestation as I got a promotion and Migs now has a lot more work, we are managing a lot better now. I’ve also managed to manifest ideas I had for my women’s circle into being like the fire ceremony and the day trip to Whitstable. I did set other goals in January but I will keep those going until the new calendar year as I usually do.

 

So my intentions I’ve set (for now) for the following year are:

  1. To step fully into my role as a healer- so this is one of my goals of last year reworded as this is still important to me. I love to do my healing work but I’m not getting much chance to practice it at the moment! This month I am adding another string to my bow by becoming a Moon Mother, so I’ll be able to also offer womb blessings and Divine Feminine Awakening healings. I hope that will help me get some more work. I will try better this year now things have settled more with my new role to promote the other work I do.
  2. To have new experiences and visit new places- I love adventures and I think more will be possible now! There’s so many places I’d like to visit and things I’d like to do so rather than name all those, I’m putting this intent out there to see where it leads me…
  3. To do more Activism- I used to do a lot more activism and I have been doing a bit more again this year but not as much as I’d like so I would like to try and get more active again for the many causes I care about.#
  4. To do more of what makes me happy- there has been some months where I’ve not seemed to do much other than work, eat, sleep, food shopping and I don’t want that! Life is for living after all!

 

 

 

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2016 Focus and Intentions

I never got around to writing a blog run-down of December but in brief there isn’t much to tell- it was mostly working, apart from a few social meet ups but not many.

As regular readers will know, my ‘official’ new year begins in October as I am a practising pagan, so I always set some goals then, but by the time the beginning of the calender year starts, I have thought of more.

So this is how I did with my goals for 2015:

Goals set in October 2014

To have regular healing clients- I had a few but yet to establish any regular people.

To get to Supervisor level in my job- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I’m not officially a supervisor (yet)! but I am trained as one so I can cover when needed. I’ve so far covered the Rayleigh store and my own store once. I’ll be getting plenty of practice as I will be covering Rayleigh on Thursdays and Fridays for a while, whilst the manager is recovering from surgery.

To finish my book- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I did finish it, although it’s not really that long at around 30 pages. My plan is to self publish it for free as an ebook.

To visit: Glastonbury, Gaunts House but my biggest aim is to go to the Three Wishes Faery Festival!- sadly didn’t manage any of these!

My key focuses-

Friendship- this improved a lot, I very rarely felt depressed about friendships in 2015. I feel very grateful to have some really amazing friends in my life now.

Fun- I definitely had more fun in 2015! It made such a big difference having a job I enjoy and feel comfortable with. I felt less stressed and more able to have fun!

Creativity and Inspiration- I did do some good writing in 2015 although still not as much as I would have liked. Photography became a new hobby, although I don’t take it that seriously, I just enjoy taking photos, I’m not interested in the technical side at all! Also- colouring!!

other stuff-

get involved with the green party- I attended one meeting, but I found that not that interesting so I decided it wasn’t for me. Although I still of course support them and I voted for them in the general election. I am kinda involved though as so many of my friends are involved with it!! I went to political protests so I did get involved in politics in a more active way.

try and get along to Street Spirit Southend- didn’t do this, I think the timing of the meetings don’t really fall right for me, although I do support them in other ways when I can.

spend less time on Facebook- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!! I spent March off Social media which made me rethink how I use it. So now although I still use it, I don’t read the entire feed. I also took both facebook and twitter away from my phone. I only have Instagram on there now, but I think that’s slightly better as it’s just photos and can be quite inspiring for recipes etc.

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side/go into nature more- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!! Definitely went into nature more and think I did connect more with that side of myself again.

watch less t.v- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

Get into music again- to some extent yes, I went to two gigs ‘proper’ this year.

Okay so now it’s time to focus on 2016! I am changing from ‘Goals and Resolutions’- to ‘Intentions and Focus’ as I feel that has a better energy to it!

The goals I already set in October were:

  1. To learn more about nature- I love nature so much but I can’t name most of the trees, plants etc. I want to be able to walk in a park and know what the types of trees and plants are. I also want to learn about their uses, herbs and flowers. I learn some things at work but I want to go deeper, things like the Bach Flower remedies intrigue me.
  2. To heighten my Spiritual-related ‘work’- I don’t mean my meditations, rituals etc. My circle has gone amazingly well this year and got a lot bigger. I now really want to have healing work to do, and also run workshops, I ran an Inner Child workshop this year that I’m hoping to do again, and I’m also planning a Goddess workshop. I work part time and do overtime when I can, but I’d love to do part time at my ‘normal’ job and part time doing my spiritual related work.
  3. To get to Peru- planning to go to Peru next year for a retreat. It’s a big ask but I’m trusting the universe will provide us the means to go in some way!
  4. To honour the seasons and Full Moons more fully- use them as celebrations and time to enjoy. If I can’t have the full ‘holiday’ on the day itself due to work then I will celebrate it on the closest day off I have.

My Focus this year will be on:

KNOWLEDGE, HEALTH, MAGIC, SELF-CARE

Intentions-

To Cook more- try some of the recipes I see on places like Instagram.

Go to Yoga Classes- part of my self-care/health focus, I want to go to classes again rather than just doing at home as I don’t push myself enough at home. Aiming to go once a week but I know some weeks it may not be possible so as many times as I can in a month.

Walk more often- do longer walks when I go out, in warmer weather perhaps walk to work or home from work sometimes. Consider doing the Moonlight Colourthon again.

Take better self care- I’m great at taking care of myself spiritually and emotionally but physically I could do better. I don’t need to lose weight but I do want to feel fitter. I also need to make sure I have things done when I need them, not keep dodgy clothes, rest as much as I need to do, take care of my body,things like that.

Not to be affected by other people’s stories- not letting other’s emotions bring my own down.

Have no expectations- don’t have a preconceived idea of how something or someone will be, (good or bad), then there’s no room for disappointment or upset.

But on the other hand, also harness my manifestation skills, I think I am getting a lot better at this, so want to keep this up!

My friend Rae asked me the other day what writing goals I have, I’m not really sure I have any. maybe to publish the book and a collection of poetry I put together, but maybe if I have no specific goals, I might write more? We’ll see!

Wishing you all a most magical happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Inevitable End of the Year Post 2015!

I’m a bit early posting this blog this year, but lately my brain cogs have already been turning about my plans for 2016! So it seems like a good a time as any really.

So what was great about 2015! Quite a lot as it turns out, but let’s start with the more ‘outer’ things such as..

Music!

Music still wasn’t a big thing for me this year, but it had a bigger place than it had last year. I went to a few gigs this year, both ones of people I never thought I’d get to see- Kathleen Hanna, as part of Julie Ruin. My review of that is here

I also went to see L7, but I didn’t write a review of that. I couldn’t really see much but it was amazing anyway!

I did go to a few local gigs again as well. I went to Village Green this year and we saw The Selector who were lots of fun! I didn’t buy much music, I did get Paolo Nutini’s album ‘Caustic Love’. I got so used to hearing some of his songs at work that I ended up quite liking it!

I did listen to the radio much more, but found I still kept coming back to music I know and love, and listened to rather a lot of Absolute 90’s. I then discovered Spotify, and listened to even more 90’s music…but I also listened to some new music that way, and one newer album I found by accident there that I really like was the debut from Sexwitch, which features Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes. Here’s one of the songs from it..

Books

I set myself a challenge on Goodreads this year to read 50 books…so far I have read 47….it could still happen!

Having a look through here are a few of my favourites (not neccessarily released this year as most of my reading material comes from the library)

The Circle

Who is Tom Ditto?

Slut

Films and TV

The only film I saw at the cinema was ‘Suffragette’ which I saw with a few of the members of my women’s circle. I did really like it, although I did feel the ending was rather abrupt.

T.V wise, I can’t think of much that has stood out this year. The latest series of Doctor Who was a big disappointment I thought. The last ever series of Peep Show is on at the moment and that has been hilarious. Other than that, Russell Howard’s Good News is always great. The only new series I can think of which was quite good was ‘Humans’.

On Netflix I have mostly been enjoying ‘Orange is the New Black’.

Photos/Moments/Things I did in 2015

Did more poetry readings, I think I did 3 events this year- one at a tiny art gallery, one at my friend’s ‘ Soup’ event and at a Sundown Open Mic.

My Circle really picked up this year, our meet ups got much deeper, but the group also expanded from a regular maybe 4 people, to October’s meet up being the largest ever with about 10 people! And there is 40 people on the Facebook page, so every month there seems to be at least one new face 🙂

Had rather a lot of adventures this year which included: seeing Simon Amstell’s Stand Up show live, going to several protest marches- Million Women Rise, and 2 anti cuts protests (one in Manchester) and a very small one in Southend that was anti war. Going to Brighton for the vegan fair, going to Clacton, went to an animal sanctuary in Kent, went on a Tribal Goddess weekend

Received the Munay Ki rites

Completed my Supervisor training and managed a store for a day

Ran my first workshop which was about connecting with your inner child

had a chapter published in a book!

year 3 of attending Witchfest

did a creative writing workshop

and finally the most popular blogs I wrote this year…

  1. I’ll Think of You…a poem for my nan who sadly passed this year
  2. The Great Soup Unconference
  3. Witchfest 2015
  4. E.D.E.N 2015- Transformation
  5. Spring Equinox Freshness

 

 

 

 

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August 2015- Working 9 to 5…

August has been another mixed month, I’ve been working a lot (although mostly not 9 to 5 lol) but there’s also been some lovely things too…

KEY AIMS FOR 2015

FRIENDSHIP- there has been plenty 🙂

FUN- again, not lots I think the most “fun” thing I did was go to FRIEND animal sanctuary in Kent

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- think this one has been a bit quiet this month, I haven’t been writing much.

Goals/Aims

Regular Healing Clients- I had one this month

To be a supervisor- I’ve been doing a lot of overtime but haven’t been able to resit my test yet.

To finish my book- nothing towards this

to be better at birthdays- nope still not good

also still haven’t been to Glastonbury! although I *almost* found a good coach deal

spend less time on Facebook- mostly been good with this

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- if you’re a regular reader you would have seen I did ‘the goddess project’ so I did quite well with this goal.

go into nature more- not as much as I would have liked.

watch less t.v- not been watching much

get into music again- nothing specific involving this

what I got up to…

I went to the Inspiring Women meeting which was about bouncing back from failure which was an interesting meet up.

I went to FRIEND animal sanctuary in Kent for a volunteer day thanks to some of the lovely animal aid members. It was a great day, and so many lovely animals! Pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep and more!

DSC_0345

I had my women’s circle, we had the theme of the body and it was also about bringing the sacredness back to the body.

My friend Lorna came to visit so she had a meet up with a few friends at The Railway.

It was Miguel and I’s anniversary, on the actual day we to a fundraiser party but a few nights later we went for a delicious meal at The Oaktree.

Finally last night my friend Rachel was down from Switzerland from the weekend so she came round for dinner and we had a good chat.

so I didn’t do lots of social things but the things I did do were lovely. Looking forward to more adventures in September!

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July 2015- Mother I Feel You Under My Feet…

July has been a very mixed month, with some really crappy things happening but also some great stuff too, so here’s my little run down..

KEY AIMS FOR 2015

Friendship- Think I met up friends at least once a week during July, and there has been some really good times.

FUN- There wasn’t much, but there was Village Green, which I’ll come to later.

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- mostly I’ve been writing meditations to go with my crystal cards, not just from this month but so far I have around 28 guided meditations I’ve written!!!

Goals/Aims

Regular Healing Clients- I didn’t have any paying clients but I done some healing on Miguel a couple of times and also did a swap with my friend Lola.

To be a Supervisor- I finally got to take the supervisor test yesterday, but sadly found out today I didn’t pass 😦 Will have to keep at it for now.

To Finish My Book- not been doing much at all this month.

To go to Glastonbury and Gaunts House- for now, this is on the back burner due to financial issues.

To be better at birthdays- still not been good with this

spend less time on facebook- have been better again and not looking too often.

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- went to a talk about magical uses of herbs

go into nature more- have been to the woods this month and also some beautiful gardens

watch less t.v- haven’t been watching much really apart from Humans (which is really good) and re-watching Buffy as they’ve been showing it on the Sci Fi channel.

get into music again- I went to a music festival! (Village Green)

What I got up to..

Miguel, Roberta, Gareth and I all went to a beautiful shamanic healing ceremony that took place in Gareth’s mum’s garden in Clacton. We connected with nature, each other, the fire, sang healing songs and generally had a beautiful healing space.

we went to the local one day festival Village Green that takes place at Chalkwell Park. We didn’t go last year as they have started charging now, but we decided to go this year after being invited by Fiona and Jon, and The Selector were playing so we thought they were worth the money anyway! It was a lovely warm day and very varied! We saw a female punk band called Petty Phase, watched an Indian circus, tried Bhangra dancing and of course skanked to the Selector! As well as having a lovely picnic and I even managed to find a vegan cupcake on one of the stalls!

DSC_0210

I went to a Southend Against the Cuts public meeting which had a few talks about the current situation regarding the cuts, and then invited questions and discussion from the audience. It was really interesting and inspiring.

We went for a rainy walk in Hockley Woods with Roberta and her daughter. I had to get Roberta and Miguel into the tree hugging action…!

DSC_0262

I had my women’s circle and it was a really special one. The theme was ‘Love’ so we did a discussion, but then we also did a very special opening the heart blessing I had written and created, we did it in Fiona’s lovely garden and it was really beautiful!

I went to a talk about magical herbs which was interesting.

I was a shamanic healing case study for a friend and I ended up having my second soul retrieval which was interesting and gave me lots of food for thought!

yesterday I went to basildon to do my RMP test which was a bit of a nightmare, as the shop was really short staffed anyway, and then as I hadn’t been in basildon for years I got a bit lost on the way back to the station, then I missed the train by about a millisecond! (literally the door closed just as I was about to get on)! Then I found out today I didn’t pass 😦

As well as those things we’ve had visits from Roberta, Gareth, Sherry, Fiona and Jon, and my friend Diana who has now moved away to herne bay to live with her new boyfriend.

Tonight Miguel is away at a shamanic earth healing ceremony so I’m having a few friends around to have an earth healing evening here 🙂

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June 2015- Wake up and Smell the Coffee, or Just Say No to Individuality!

With all my posts for Photo 101 I almost forgot to write up my regular monthly run down blog! June was quite a hectic busy month as well. Here’s how I did with my goals and aims..

Key Aims for 2015

FRIENDSHIP- Pretty good in June I think, quite a lot of things happened, and I felt some of my friendships are getting closer than they were before.

FUN- I did lots of things, and many of them interesting (which I’ll get to) but I think the most ‘fun’ thing I did was going to another gig!

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- not so much writing wise, but I’ve been doing the Photo 101 photo project and been really enjoying it, even trying some of the more technical suggestions!

Goals/Aims

Regular Healing Clients- none this month

To be a supervisor- only thing I did really was quite a bit of overtime on one of the weeks.

To Finish My Book- worked on the grammatical errors, now just re=-reading and amending as needed.

To go to Glastonbury, Gaunts House and 3 Wishes fairy festival- sadly the fairy festival has been and gone, and I haven’t made it to the others either.

To be better at birthdays- have not been good with this at all this year 😦

go along to Street Spirit- have decided not to do this one, Saturdays are just too awkward for me.

Spend Less time on facebook- not been great..oops

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- can’t think of anything specific apart from relating to my next goal..

go into nature more- yep, have been aiming for 3 times a week, and having a photo project has made me try harder.

watch less T.V- hardly been watching any

get into music again- as previously mentioned, I went to another gig! This time it was another nineties band I missed out the first time round, L7! Unfortunately we didn’t get a great view and no photos BUT we did have room to dance and they were very very cool!

Things I did in June

I went to the Inspiring Women meeting and we talked about challenges. Mine was about getting to Peru next year!

Miguel and I went down the seafront with my friends Susan, Fiona, Sara and Linda. There was a maritime festival going on when we went and there was supposed to be a drumming workshop there, that must have been cancelled as it never turned up! Luckily Susan had brought along some drums anyway, so we sat on the cliff tops and had a little play before having a walk about (and we got some yummy vegan friendly chocolate fondue with strawberries)! Then all went back to Susan’s house where we had soup, then she made a fire and held a small circle placing prayer logs into the fire.

Our friend Gareth came round for dinner one day and he came round another day too, also our friend Roberta visited.

I had to go to Camden for the L7 gig so we went a bit earlier and had a look around. I managed to find Cookies and Scream, which is a vegan friendly cake/cookie/etc stall in the Camden Lock market and I had a ‘Dowser’ which is half cookie, half brownie!

My circle was the following day and was about Living Your Dreams, and one of my friends that attended said she left feeling motivated so that’s good 🙂

Miguel ran his first workshop which was giving the Munay-Ki Rites and I was one of the people who attended. It’s far too complicated for me to explain fully here, but it’s a series of Peruvian rituals that connect you to various energies and give you extra protection, and strengthen your psychic abilities. Once you have them you can also give them to others, but I have to wait 6 months first to fully experience them myself first. I’ve only had little changes so far but for Miguel they affected him quite a lot, including helping him to lose weight!

I went to the Anti Austerity march in London. Luckily a coach got arranged from Southend so it was affordable and quite a lot of people I know went on the coach too. It was a good day. Thousands of people were there and there was lots of amazing banners. I just hope we all keep the pressure on!

Our friend Crystal hosted a Summer Solstice fire ceremony at her house, so we went to that, there was only a few of us, but it was a lovely ceremony.

I had a week off as it was my birthday. In that week, Roberta visited again, I went to see my mum and brother and grandad, it was my birthday so Miguel took me out for lunch at The Railway Hotel. We had the celebration proper the day after when 10 of us all went for dinner at The Oaktree.

Think that covers it, phew!

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Day 16: Treasure

The theme for Day 16 o Photo 101 is ‘Treasure’. Possessions don’t mean that much to me, so the real treasures in my life are people, experiences and moments so here are a few photos of the special ‘treasures’ in my life.

My husband Miguel. We have been together almost 13 years and married almost for 6 years now. It was our mutual love of all things spiritual that brought us together. Whilst I am more on a witchcraft oriented path, Miguel has developed into an amazing shaman.

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My friend Sara. A very talented raw chocolate (cacoa) maker and my fellow colouring-in-er!

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My friend Sherry. she’s amazing! She runs the fantastic Southend Soup, and has organised other great events such as running the Southend Philosophy group in the past. She regularly fundraises for various charities by taking part in half marathons and organising events. She’s also a talented writer and a happy soul, who always makes me smile!

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My friend Fiona. Fiona is also amazing! She has never given up on me. When I failed to get the feminist group I wanted to do up and running, she turned up every meeting anyway! She’s very creative, a good cook and a brilliant gardener.

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One of my oldest friends Rachel. She is funny, unique and super clever. Sadly she moved to Switzerland a few years ago but we try to see each other when we can.

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Finally my family. My mum taught me how to be good with money and she is very resourceful. My dad gave me my love of music (even if they vary slightly)! and my brother Aaron is a very talented animator. Also in the picture is his girlfriend Stacey, who is also very lovely.

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Obviously there’s lots of other people but these are just a few of my favourites!

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May 2015- We all come from the Goddess and to her we shall return…

the monthly run down..

Key Aims for 2015

FRIENDSHIP- to begin with, I still felt quite withdrawn from other people but as the month wore on my mood was beginning to lift again and so was my social life. So I did much better with this during May.

FUN- I had more this time! I went on the most amazing Tribal Goddess weekend, which was lots of work but fun too! We did lots of singing, drumming and laughing. I had a week off work too which helped me to bring myself back to my usual happy self once again too. I also went to a gig proper for the first time in almost 2 years!

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- I didn’t do much writing over this month but I did feel inspired by a lot of things I did and the people I chose to be with.

Goals/Aims

Regular Healing Clients- none this month

To be a supervisor- no progress on this as yet.

To finish my book- I never heard from my Beta reader regarding the grammatical errors, so I emailed her in the end and she finally sent them to me, so I need to sort those out then I can go to the next stage!

to go to Glastonbury, Gaunts House and 3 Wishes faery festival- none

to be better at birthdays- and still need to work on this!

go along to street spirit- thinking I may not end up doing this one.

spend less time on facebook- I admit I’ve been good most days but sometimes been looking often again. trying my best not to though!

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- I feel I did this to some extent with the Tribal Goddess weekend.

go into nature more- yep! did this twice a week

watch less t.v- not been watching much but not any less than usual really

get into music again- I went to a gig at last! I went to see The Julie Ruin! I finally saw Kathleen Hanna in the flesh!!

Things I did in May:

I had a lovely walk along the cliffs with my friends Fiona, Susan, Sara and Linda to cheer me up, and it really did. My friend Susan even gave me a beautiful gift of a Fairy Journal book with gorgeous artwork. She said she felt it was from my nan too, and my nan told fairy stories, Susan didn’t even know how appropriate it was!!

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I went to my nan’s funeral and wake. I managed to read my poem for her at the service. It was very difficult but I felt it was very important. I’ve also been visiting my grandad regularly to keep him company.

I also voted of course! I voted Green, so obviously I’m gutted about the result but it only gears me up to try and do something about it!

I went to the 2nd part of that astrology talk I went to earlier in the year, which was interesting but a lot more to take in than the first one.

I went to a another friends get together at my friend Katrina’s house along with my friends Lorna, Lauren and Carina. Katrina made us a lovely chili and we had a good catch up.

Obviously I had the Tribal Goddess weekend! It was at a beautiful place called Clophill and it was wonderful. I don’t want to say too much about it, as not to ruin the surprise for anyone that might go next year. But it did include drumming, meditation and creative activities!

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During my week off we visited our friend Roberta and our friend Gareth came too. I also met up with my friend Lola and had a lovely meal at The Oaktree with my friend Diana and I met up with my friend Sue as well.

I went to see The Julie Ruin at the electric ballroom (full details on previous post)!

and finally had a lovely circle meet up this Saturday just gone in Churchill gardens on the theme of Goddess energy. It was lovely and we did a fun photoshoot!

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The Julie Ruin at The Electric Ballroom, Camden 26/5/2015

Well yesterday was my first gig proper (excluding local band gigs) for almost 2 years! The last one I went to was to see Taffy back in July 2013!

I had been waiting for a long time for this particular gig as it was originally going to take place in May last year, then lead singer Kathleen Hanna fell ill (she suffers from Lyme disease) and it was postponed to later in the year, but then it got postponed again, so I’d been waiting over a year for this gig! and the anticipation was even higher than it would have been anyway, as those who know me well will know I am a huge fan of Kathleen Hanna. She is one of my inspirations and it would be fair to say that her music with Bikini Kill and Le Tigre helped me on my path to feminism. So obviously when she formed a new band with her former solo project’s name ‘The Julie Ruin’, and they announced a date in London, there was no doubt I had to be there!

I had originally got two tickets thinking either my partner or a friend would perhaps accompany me. Due to my husband’s health problems, he can be in lots of pain or perfectly alright from day to day, and he had some pain in the lead up to the week of the gig, so we thought it would be best to find someone else to take his place. I offered to my friends first, but most of the people who would have been interested were either at another gig the same night(Babes in Toyland on the same night- a good night for the riot grrrl resurrection), live too far away, or didn’t have the money to get to London.

I was quite prepared to go alone, as I have been to gigs alone before, when I was a gig reviewer, it was common practice, and it was actually fine and not scary at all! But then I had a brain wave, rather than not using it, or trying to sell it, perhaps I could try to give it away to someone who maybe couldn’t go because they hadn’t been able to afford a ticket, or something like that. That’s happened to me loads of times, so I know I would appreciate that! So I posted a tweet on Twitter and tagged The Julie Ruin, asking them to retweet. They retweeted me and so did several other people. I got a reply from a girl called Rika, as she was the first one to reply (I did get a few others after), I got in touch with her and we arranged to meet at the gig, since the tickets were on my phone anyway, and perhaps we could be make friends too 🙂

Anyway…I left mine around 5 to try and get to Camden for 7. I enjoyed the train journey, as I looked out at the window, admiring tall daisies on the way and even saw a fox (!) Got to Liverpool street and I was hungry, so grabbed a tofu curry from the Japanese place there, then made my way to tube as it was rush hour and manic. Northern line was packed and hot! Was relieved when I finally got to Camden town, I was a little early (not much) just enough time for me to sit and munch my curry (which I managed to get all over my hoodie oops) then wander over to the Electric Ballroom to see if I could spot Rika.

I spotted a small Japanese girl, and I was a bit unsure to begin with, but after a few minutes I asked and it was her, so we joined the queue and had a chat. She has only been in London 2 months, and she is studying Languages at university here. I was glad I gave the ticket to her, as she was really nice and seemed to really appreciate it 😀

The doors opened just after 7.30pm, after a bag check, we went in and navigated where the toliets were (hadn’t been to this venue for ages)! then got a drink (with some language help from me), before finding a spot near the front to watch the support acts.

The first one came on around 8 I think and were an all female band called ‘Feature’. I loved them! Raucous, passionate, melodic punk, this was right up my street 🙂 Everyone else seemed to be enjoying them too.

In between the support acts, I had to visit the loo again, and there was a huge queue, so by the time I came back down, it was hard to get to my same spot, so we were slightly further back but still near the front. Then the second act ‘Woolf’ came on, sadly I was suffering with bad tummy cramps during their set, so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I might have done, but they were shouty queer punk very similar to Bikini Kill, I felt! The songs/shouting words (lol) were very short, so they must have played quite a lot of songs in that time. During their set, so twat decided to come falling onto me and a load of other people, probably hoping to start some sort of moshpit, but everyone looked at him with disdain then he went away again! This was a Kathleen Hanna gig after all, if she had been on stage at the time I don’t think she would have been amused! (In her Bikini Kill days she would discourage violence and ask for girls only to be at the front). There was a definite sense of community spirit at the gig as the woman in front of me asked if I was okay (I was) and we said how it was completely inappropriate. Then when Woolf finished, she had to go to the loo so she asked me to hold her space, so along with her boyfriend I did, and when she came back she even offered me some of her beer! (which  politely declined but only because I’m not a beer drinker lol)

It seemed like forever before the main event started, I always get impatient at gigs! It was getting more and more crowded in the venue and people were definitely trying to get closer to the stage.

Finally, the band members started to arrive on stage one by one, until all but Kathleen Hanna was there. The band obviously knew who the star of the night was, as anticipation was getting higher and higher as we waited for the queen of riot grrrl to step onto the stage.

I haven’t been able to find the setlist yet so not sure what song they started with but the crowd went mad, not violent, just very enthusiastic jumping up and down! I managed to cope with a couple of songs before I decided to move a bit further back, mainly as I wanted a bit more space to dance! It was so crowded, it was quite hard to get through the crowds but I managed to get about halfway back where I found a small space I could just about dance in! I could then begin to enjoy the gig properly and enjoy I did!

I was a bit disappointed but not entirely unexpected that they didn’t play any Bikini Kill songs and only 1 Le Tigre song (Friendship Station) but hearing The Julie Ruin’s songs live was actually a lot better than on CD, and the songs are so danceable, you can’t help but like them 🙂 They also played ‘Radical or Pro-Parental’ which is a song from the original solo project.

As well as great songs, they spoke a lot between songs, and as you might be able to guess Kathleen Hanna had lots of cool things to say. Just some of the things she mentioned- abortion, being called a slut for wearing tap shoes when she was 6 years old by her father, and how there are many types of feminism in the world and that’s okay, it’s okay to not agree with it all.

The set was about 1 hour in total with 1 song as encore.

the songs I do know were played (in no particular order as I can’t remember):  Radical or Pro-parental, Friendship Station, Run Fast (encore song), Oh Come On, Goodnight Goodbye, Lookout, Party City, Ha Ha Ha.

I managed to find the whole set on Youtube, so if you’re interested, here it is:

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