Moonlight Phoenix has risen

music, feminism, spirituality, words and more

Book Review: Growing Up with Girl Power

another book review from years back that sadly never got published, and this was such a good book I still thought it worthy to post the review!

Growing Up With Girl Power by Rebecca Haines, Peter Lang Publishing

Growing Up With Girl Power is the first book written by Massachusetts based media studies and advertising teacher Rebecca Haines

. Also a graduate of Women’s Studies, this three hundred and fifteen page book is a very interesting and insightful look into the impact of the phrase ‘Girl Power‘ and it’s implications on our lives from an early age.

Most girls of any age will identify with something in this book, Growing Up With Girl Power explores the riot grrrl movement, the impact of all girl pop phenomenon Spice Girls, girl hero cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls and even explores the complex issue of racism.

You don’t need to be a graduate or studying gender theory to enjoy this book. Growing Up With Girl Power is written in an understandable way making it easy for anyone to read- and the chapters are set in an excellent chronological and categorical manner, so if you wanted to, you could just pick up the book and read about a particular subject if you wanted to. At the end of each chapter there is a paragraph or two on the kinds of discussion the chapter’s subject has brought up, so the book would also be an excellent teaching resource.

As far as I’m aware, there is no other book out there in the publishing world like this one which explore this particular side of feminism. I felt like this was the book I’d been searching for, various chapters in the book summed up what I had always suspected had been my own personal route to identifying as a feminist.

In particular, what stood out for me were the chapters titled ‘Girl Power Goes Pop’ and ‘Did the Spice Girls Kill Feminism?’ which are early on in the book, citing this kind of music as the progression of the ‘girl power‘ ethos of the Riot Grrrls in the nineties (interestingly, the phrase Girl Power was first used by Bikini Kill in their zines and flyers- NOT by the Spice Girls). Rebecca Haines discusses the article written a few years ago in 2007 by Fay Weldon of the Daily Mail titled ‘How the Spice Girls Killed Feminism, Subverted Morality and Embarrassed Us All.

‘ which made the assumption that almost all girls that listened to the Spice Girls now have eating disorders and body image issues. The writer decides to find out if this is really true by interviewing some girls who had experienced The Spice Girls music whilst growing up and identified as feminists.

Not all the girls that were interviewed were fans of The Spice Girls, but all had interesting opinions and memories of the impact The Spice Girls had on their childhood, it seems whether we liked them or not, the all girl pop act made an impact in some way. What resonated for me, was that one of the girls interviewed said that they had eventually led her into exploring the riot grrrl movement and many of the girls (even if not a fan at any point) felt The Spice Girls were like a ‘beginners feminism’. I too had been a fan of The Spice Girls and now I listen to many all female fronted and all female bands (including riot grrrl) and even do a radio show focused on that kind of music, and I feel like The Spice Girls may have led me in that direction, and in some way eventually led me onto identifying myself as a feminist. It felt good to read, at long last, that there were other girls like me that felt the same way as me about them, and didn’t just trash them. Growing Up With Girl Power writer Rebecca Haines recognises the negative points that the band had, but finally someone sees how they could also have had a positive influence.

Another aspect that makes Growing Up With Girl Power such a good book, is that Rebecca Haines doesn’t just rely on statistics for her subjects, as well as interviewing girls about The Spice Girls influence on their lives, she also interviews some much younger girls for her sections about Girl Hero cartoons and racism. She even goes back to see some of the girls five years later to find out how they now felt about the catchphrase ‘Girl Power‘. In the chapter about cartoons, Rebecca Haines spends time with various groups of young girls including a group at an elementary school and a non profit after care organisation. These chapters provide a real insight into the mind sets of young girls as they tell Rebecca their feelings about various cartoons they watch together and discuss such things as Bratz

dolls. There are also pictures included that the girls draw to illustrate certain things like the differences between a ‘girly girl‘, a ‘tomboy’ and a ‘diva’.

Whilst the book certainly has many positive outlooks, there are some things that Rebecca discovers through her time with the young girls that are frightening, if not surprising. Such as the girls hating everything about the way they look or judging female pop stars for their appearance not their music.

Overall, Growing Up With Girl Power is a fascinating and insightful read, which I highly recommend to all people, whether you identify as a feminist or not.

Review written in 2013, I’m no longer doing the radio show!

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Book Review: The Suffragette who died for Women’s Rights

I wrote a book review back in 2013 about this book and my review never got published by the site I wrote it for sadly so thought all these years later I’d share it now with you, since it’s the centenary year and all that!

The Suffragette Who Died for Women’s Rights by Lucy Fisher

I have to admit despite identifying as a feminist for quite some time now, my knowledge of the history of the suffragette movement has been somewhat limited. I can’t recall learning anything about them in my history lessons at school and I think my first real glimpse into what these women went through to win us the right to vote was the powerful film ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ Then, recently there was a documentary on Channel 4 presented by Clare Balding called ‘Secrets of a Suffragette’ in which she looked into the history of a woman called Emily Wilding Davison who just over one hundred years ago walked into the midst of a horse race and died, sparking debate over many years as to whether it was a suicide attempt or was a political protest gone wrong. I had never even heard of Emily until this program, so when the opportunity came to read a biography of her life, it was an offer I found hard to refuse.

I was rather impressed to read that the author of the book is quite young, in her early twenties and is already a news journalist for the Sunday Times. There is a clear reason for her decision to write this particular biography, she discovered she was in fact related to Emily Wilding Davison leading to long term fascination and this book is the result.

To begin with, I found this book a fairly difficult read and found the starting chapters a little dull as it discussed Emily‘s early beginnings as a child. As I suspected, I really started to find the book fascinating in the following chapters which start with her discovering suffrage, to her dramatic death.

Emily Wilding Davison was probably what would be considered an extremist today, she wasn’t afraid of being arrested, often causing criminal damage to properties. When we consider that a lot of us take the right of being able to vote for granted, how would we be now if this wasn’t the case? Would we really be walking the streets peacefully or would we be angry at the injustice? When you put things into perspective, it’s understandable that these women would feel driven to do these crimes.

Although I enjoyed the book overall, I felt very angry and sad at the injustice that the suffragettes had to suffer for what we now consider a very basic right. It seems wrong that I never learned about these women at school, when these women were put into prison, and when they went on political hunger strikes they would be forcibly fed. The description of this activity is harrowing, and really turned my stomach. But this is not a fiction novel, this really happened and we should all really be aware of it. There may have been no deaths caused by the force feeding but there were many mishaps caused by it, and in years to come this practice was banned.

The book also demonstrated clearly the passion and belief Emily Wilding Davison had in her cause, the horse racing incident was not the only time she had shown she was willing to die for the cause. When she had barricaded the door to her cell after being force fed, there was no choice for the prison authorities to break down the heavy door- which barely missed her. But Emily had known if it had fell on her, she would die, yet she had remained in the same spot, willing to sacrifice herself.

The following chapters delve deep into Emily Wilding Davison’s passionate, exhaustive activism and her experiences with prison and also with the opposing sides. Of course, her death is also discussed in great detail.

I found this biography very thought provoking and inspiring, after I read it, I immediately felt like I should get all my female friends and family to read it, especially those who have no knowledge of this very important part of history. It made me feel angry and passionate. This explores the life of one very brave woman who was part of making one of the most important changes of women’s history and we should never take this for granted.

Leave a comment »

My Moon Mother/Womb Blessing Journey so far

You may remember I mentioned in a previous blog that I wanted to write a full blog about what has happened with me since becoming a Moon Mother in November, well I’ve had more and more to write as time has gone on, and now feels the time to start writing this out!

Firstly for those who may not know I will describe what a Moon Mother is. A Moon Mother is a woman initiated by Miranda Gray to be able to give personal womb blessings and womb healings. Miranda is a healer and a writer who has wrote lots of books about the female cycle and how to work with it. Eventually she channelled the gift of the Worldwide Womb Blessing, which is a free long distance version which works with the group of women as a whole, whereas the personal one works with that specific woman. The Worldwide Womb Blessings take place five times a year on a full moon with thousands of women around the world. Take a look and consider registering for the next one in May. Click here!

So what is the Womb Blessing and what is Womb Healing?

The womb blessing is a divine feminine attunement which deepens your connection to the Goddess and her healing energy. If you have a personal womb blessing, afterwards you enter a 28 day ‘rebirth’ cycle (and so does the Moon Mother giving the blessing) which helps you to release old patterns and thought patterns that no longer serve you and helps you to discover your true authentic self. The rebirth can be very subtle or it can be very strong and bring up emotions and old memories that need to be released. This is a transformative process.

Womb healing is done in person and is a nurturing process. A womb healing brings balance and healing energy to the three female energy centres of the body, and also to the four female archetypes of the cycle. As a result your cycle may find more balance and you may also find more balance in your everyday life.

Both of these can be given to all women from first menstruation, and it doesn’t matter if they have a womb or a cycle. Women in menopause and beyond, and women who don’t have a womb for medical reasons, and women who don’t have a cycle due to medical or contraceptive reasons, all can receive these healings.

If you are in the UK area and this resonates with you, then please visit our website for more information and to book http://thehealingpathways.co.uk/

Anyway enough plugging now, I want to tell you my personal journey since becoming a Moon Mother. During the weekend of becoming one, I went through many emotions as the very first womb blessing I had from one of the other trainee Moon Mothers affected me almost immediately. I must have had all the emotions there is over that weekend! We were advised not to give any womb blessings for 28 days so that we could integrate the work and our own womb blessing. During that first rebirth and integration, mostly I felt okay  but I did feel more tired and towards the end I did have some feelings come up regarding my relationship which I worked with and got through. I marked the finish by walking the labyrinth in Saffron Walden which was a beautiful way to finish and properly start my path as a Moon Mother.

In December I started to give womb healings on a gift or donation basis as a practice before fully charging. I think I did four during December and I was astounded by the results that people were reporting! One lady with suspected endometriosis had more pain the day after, but was pain free for a while afterwards. Another woman who is almost in menopause, had a period the following day after several months without. and another who had very irregular cycles  and had even had surgery to help this, noticed a big improvement after receiving the womb healing. I was, and am still pretty dumbfounded! The power of the divine feminine through this work has been amazing and what an honour to be doing this. I also noticed that by giving the healing, it also benefited me, if I was on my period, it would also help my pain! Moon Mothers can also do this healing to themselves so I have given this to myself almost every day since the training. I gave another two womb healings in January (including my first fully paid one)! and have done one this month.

Also during December I hosted my first Worldwide Womb Blessing group with a small amount of women from my women’s circle. It went really well and it was the first time I had taken part and been able to send the energy as well as receive, and that felt so powerful! I’m looking forward to hosting bigger groups later in the year.

Last month I started doing the personal womb blessings on a gift or donation basis, again to get the practice before charging properly. I did two that were one day after the other, so the cycles for those two women have now come to a close. Both experienced a lot of tiredness, and one had a lot come up emotionally also. Despite being in two rebirth cycles, again, I was mostly okay but excess tiredness and some small things came up to be dealt with. I’ve done another two this month (one fully paid)! but they have only just begun, so it’s a bit early yet to know how it’s affected them, but the common theme for me is tiredness, and I have definitely had some small things coming up again so far. I also took part in the Worldwide Womb blessing for this month but not in a group this time, but Miguel joined me and took part in ‘The Gift’ which is a gift of divine feminine energy but for men.

Now I’m sure this all sounds a lot already, but actually there is more! I found out about Moon Mothers through taking part in Worldwide Womb blessings for about a year before, but I had never read any of Miranda Gray’s books. While I was at the workshop, there were of course some of her books for sale. On the first day, I bought ‘Red Moon’ , mainly because there was a third day of the workshop for a separate fee which I wasn’t attending but was based on this book, and Miranda had mentioned briefly about the archetypes that are used in the womb healing but said she would go into detail of those on that day, so I thought I would get the book, so that I could get this knowledge even if it wasn’t in the workshop format. I actually started reading it on the way home and it’s been life changing since! On the following day I decided I would buy another book, it was a heard choice as they all looked so good but I decided to get her newest book ‘Female Energy Awakening’ which also has become part of my every day life!

Before I read these books I did track the day of my cycle and what moon phase we would be in at each day but nothing else. Since reading them I have become cycle obsessed! In Red Moon, Miranda talks about how to track your cycle, in full depth about each of the archetypes, what kind of activities might be appropriate for those stages, and includes lots of little meditations and exercises to do at different times of the month. Since reading red Moon, I have made 3 moon dials ( a record of my full cycle, noting what archetype I’m in and more)so have figured out where the archetypes appear in my cycle and what suits me best at each time. I’ve done this by everyday recording what moods I’ve been in, any ailments I’ve experienced, what activities I’ve done, what clothes I’ve worn, when I’ve made love etc, and it’s really fascinating to see how it tallies up each month! I highly recommend you read Red Moon to get the full low-down but in brief the four archetypes of the cycle are the Crone (around menstruation) where you need to rest but is highly spiritual, Maiden (after bleeding finished roughly) more energised and social-able, Mother- around ovulation, where you are more caring to others, Enchantress, not long before bleeding, more self focused and can be a bit more impatient but again very spiritual

I discovered through doing this that my archetypes were not very balanced, (2 of them were taking most of the cycle up) so I’ve decided to make it my mission to make them more balanced through the use of womb healing on my self daily, doing the right things for my cycle and working with the female energy awakening book. Female energy awakening goes into depth about the womb blessing but also includes a 28 day guide for working with your cycle which is mainly aimed for after receiving the womb blessing but I have been using it daily and have been repeating it every month. This seems to be working as I noticed a difference with my last moon dial- hooray! All you need to follow the guide is 14 black stones and 14 white stones and 2 bowls. Everyday you either put a white or black stone in a bowl depending where you are at in your cycle, and make a pledge to do something that is good for that part of your cycle that day, then there are also other little exercises to do, like meditations or wearing a bracelet that week in a certain colour. Even if you don’t have a cycle, you can work with this by following the moon phases (and the book guides you to which archetype to which phase). again, it’s been sooo interesting to see how it varies each month and what comes up.

After I did the Worldwide womb blessing in December something very strong came up for me. That I need to change my contraceptive method, as I’m now craving to have my natural cycle. At the time I had 3 months of pills left, I now have one month to go and once they are gone, I won’t be getting more. I’ve been on them since I was fourteen (I’m now 32) so I’ve been on them a very long time so haven’t had a natural cycle for very long at all, I’m not sure how it will go, but I’ve made preparations for when that time will come, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the ‘real’ me underneath the hormone control. I am however grateful for all the years I was on them as I was lucky never to have any issues and they certainly have helped me and I have no judgement on other women who want to use them, but I feel it’s time for me to move on and try something new. So will be very interesting to see what happens to my cycle afterwards!

So finally I’ve wrote this long over due blog and it’s taken me over a hour to write! I hope you find it interesting and I’m always willing to discuss this if you want to find out more, it’s one of my aims to be able to teach women about working with their cycle, so I’m learning all I can right now so in future this will be something I can offer properly.

Now to see what will happen next on my journey as a Moon Mother….

Leave a comment »

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.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Purity and Grace- November 2016

Sorry for such a delay in posting this, I was on holiday last week and this is the first chance I’ve had to properly post!

My key words for the year: Knowledge, health, magic and self care.

In November, I finally completed my Moon Mother training, so I am now able to do womb healings and blessings (more info further in post) so this certainly counts towards ‘Magic!’ and ‘Knowledge’. I’ve been going to yoga regularly again too so ‘health’ also applies.

My goals/intentions

To cook more- still not really

To go to Yoga classes- I went to two classes, as on week I had to work earlier and the other Monday left I was away!

walk more often- did a fair bit while away!

not to be affected by other people’s stories/no expectations- not so good at first part but not too bad at not having expectations

manifestation skills- finally got to the Moon Mother workshop 🙂

new intentions set on Samhain

to step fully into my role as a healer- now have completed Moon Mother training, which I’m hoping will be a big thing for me

to have new experiences and visit new places- went to see some new things while in Portugal, did the Moon Mother training, went to a different animal sanctuary, went to the St Matthews meditation group for the first time.

to do more activism- took part in a volunteer day at an animal sanctuary

to do more of what makes me happy- went to a meditation group, did yoga classes, went to an animal sanctuary, Moon Mother training, went to Portugal, ran my circle

What I got up to

There is a monthly meditation group that takes place at a local church I’ve been meaning to go for ages and in November our friend Gareth was doing a crystal meditation with clear quartz, so I went along to that.

I went with my friend Rosie and her boyfriend, and another new activist friend I met on that day called Matthew to the Retreat Animal Rescue in Kent for a volunteer day. It was quite a cold, dirty and hard work day but also filled with beautiful animals, so it was very rewarding and special. Can’t wait to visit again one day!

retreat23

The Moon Mother training I did was a full weekend in London which I had booked in to do over a year ago and it finally arrived. The training is done by Miranda Gray, who does the Worldwide Womb Blessings. It was the first time she has taught in the UK for four years so it was very special to get to be there and become one of many Moon Mothers around the world. Moon Mothers can help to send the energy during the Worldwide Womb Blessings as well as conducting personal womb blessings and healings for others. I am the moment running through a few ‘practice’ sessions of the womb healing and then I will be offering to the public for a set price, and then I will be doing the same with the Womb Blessings. It was a very special and emotional weekend, and I really felt this is something I am meant to do. Have a look at the links I have provided (clickable on selected words in this paragraph) to find out more or you can contact me directly and I will tell you all you need to know. If anything, I would highly recommend taking part in the Worldwide Womb Blessing, it’s free and deepens your connection to the Divine Feminine.

moonmother

I went to the 2nd part of my ‘redoing’ of the Munay Ki initations, and I did feel the energy a lot more this time.

I ran my circle, which was a small one in November with only 2 women attending, and was on the theme of ‘Emotional Sensitivity and Empathy’ and went very well.

We went to Portugal on the 28th, so we were there the remaining days of November and the beginning of December. On the Monday we stayed with Miguel’s dad, so it was a fairly relaxed day as we had a very early start, and then from Tuesday onwards we went and stayed in an apartment we rented from Air BnB which was small but well equipped. On the Tuesday, Miguel met up with a baby sitter from his childhood and then we met his sister and got to see her new jewellery studio which was very nice and had a coffee. We were still quite tired so there wasn’t much time to do much else.

Wednesday we got up really early so went out and walked by the river and saw lots of stone statues which were pretty cool, it was raining but we visited the Tower of Belem, and briefly saw the outside of a chapel called the Monastery of Jeronimos but it wasn’t quite open when we got there and there was a lot of gypsies trying to sell umbrellas so we didn’t stay long! We then went to a famous cafe where they make the traditional portugese cake Pastel de Nata,(and have been for years and years) which obviously I couldn’t have but Miguel did. We then met Inge (Miguel’s sister) for lunch at an organic supermarket place with a restaurant attached. We went back to the apartment for a bit before going back out later and it was like the centre had come alive, it was busy, lots of street performers, and even though we don’t celebrate Xmas, we enjoyed the lights and even did some silly photos! Then we went to a restaurant called Jardim das cerejas which was an all vegan buffett, which was nice but could have been a little warmer.

Will tell you the last 2 days of Portugal in my next month round up! 😉

Poems in November

A Beautiful Candle Dances Eternally Faithful gathering Hope in Joy Kisses Like Mountains Never Opening Pages Quite Right Sunshine Time Universal Very Whimsical yet Zealous

A cauldron of possibility, fresh like the stars, cinnamon and spice, dreams of something nice, Lunar landscapes, hiding within diamond shaped rooms, welcome to what’s in my head, or at least that’s what she said…

When the rain clears, I will be able to see you again, for now I cannot face the pain, of what that might bring, the fears, the tears, of what might happen when you are near, I don’t want to be hurt, I need the sunshine to come, to know it’s okay, and it will happen one day..

 

Leave a comment »

Counter Culture UK Book has been released!

You may remember if you read my blog regularly that earlier this year I was working on a chapter about feminism for a book called Counter Culture UK. A couple of weeks ago the book was released and I was able to attend the event in London.

What an interesting evening, even before we got to the venue of the book launch. My husband and I decided to go into London a bit earlier so we could have some food and have a little look in London beforehand. First we went to Mysteries, a great spiritual shop in Convent Garden, where I got myself a ‘Stonehenge’ crystal, basically it’s made of the same stone as Stonehenge, and as soon as I picked it up I knew I had to have it!

Then we went to have something to eat, there was a place that was listed on Happy Cow as being vegan friendly on St Martins Lane, the same road the launch was at, so we checked it out, and we had a very tasty meal that was basically Egyptian street food.

DSC_0685

Then, we still had time to kill so we walked over to the nearby Leicester Square, and it turned out that the premier of ‘Suffragette’ was on, which itself was interesting enough but when we got nearer we could see there was a feminist protest going on. We stood near by and I had a look at the material they were handing out, the protest was by ‘Sisters Uncut’ and was about cuts to domestic abuse services. While we were there, it soon kicked off as they started chanting and setting off smoke bombs in Suffragette colours- purple and green. This part of the protest was quite far back but we later found out that the rest of the protest that was closer to the cinema, managed to storm the red carpet. You can read about it here if you haven’t already. I had to be practically dragged away as I wanted to join in the protest! The only downside was seeing another protest on the way back to St Martins Lane, which was anti abortion. But the Sisters Uncut protest was a synchocity, as it linked perfectly with my chapter!

DSC_0691 DSC_0694

We got to the venue which was at a private members club, we got given a token for a free drink and met our friend Helene upstairs. We sat and chatted for a bit before we got invited to come into a smaller room where first there was a brief introduction about the book before we were treated to poetry and spoken word from two of the contributors- Ben Graham (Chapter on Literature) and Penny Pepper (Chapter on Disability and Activism). I particularly enjoyed Penny’s performance. Afterwards we could just socialize and I picked up my copies of the book.

DSC_0697

I only got a few copies so I had to be very selective who I gave them too and obviously i would have loved to give a copy to everyone but I know a lot more than 5 people! Anyway, if you would like a copy, please go to Supernova and buy a copy there to support independent publishers here

Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your feedback 🙂

DSC_0698 20151007_194521

1 Comment »

Week 2 Goddess project: Pele

pele

So today marks Week 2 of my Goddess project and this week I have selected the Goddess Pele.

Pele is an Hawaiian Volcano Goddess, a Fire Goddess. She is very well known for her temper. She is a Goddess of destruction but also of transformation, creation and rebirth.

So this could be a very interesting week!

Leave a comment »

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:

Leave a comment »

March 2015- You tell me I’m exceptional and I promise to exploit you..

And another month has passed! This was an interesting one, as it was a whole month without social media! If you read my last few posts you can read how I get on, but put it this way, I have been super productive! But more detail lies within this blog post…

My Key Focuses for 2015..

FRIENDSHIP- Another quietish month. I still feel good about my friendships at the moment though. This month was more about working on my projects and looking within..

FUN- well, as said on previous post, I didn’t do as much socially, not that I didn’t do anything, but they weren’t about fun in the sense of laughing and letting the inner child. (and I know she is dying to come out and play)!

CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION- this is my focus I did the best on during March. As I suddenly found I had more free time, I actually worked on my book, I did the edit for the feminist chapter I’m contributing and I have put together a collection of spiritual poetry. A little more work to do but soon I will be ready to take the next steps and self publish.

Goals/Aims

Regular paying clients for my healing- again, not really my focus but I did have one again.

To be a supervisor- I’m now working on the study book for management, so won’t be long before I could take that position. I also passed my Product Advisor test, so now I’m a fully qualified associate for Holland and Barrett!!

To Finish my book- as I’ve already said, I did great with this! I’m now ready to have it proof read and then take it from there. It’s not long, but I’m happy with it.

To Visit Glastonbury, Three Wishes and Gaunts House- I think the only one that is realistically going to happen this year is Glastonbury. I have started putting money aside for it. I’m also on a mission now to get to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, so I’m hoping we will be able to combine it with a visit to Glastonbury. I’m telling as many people as I can, because we will find someone eventually that will want to go too, and then we will solve the problem of getting there easily!

To be better at birthdays- still a bit rubbish!

go along to street spirit- still haven’t been able to go.

spend less time on Facebook- well I didn’t spend ANY time on it in March!

reconnect with my pagan/witchy side- starting use pagan manifesting techniques..

go into nature more- only 1 again but I’m working on this, and trying not to let weather put me off, as this is really important to my path.

watch less t.v- yes I’ve been reading a lot also!

get into music again- I bought my first album of the year Paulo Nuttini’s ‘Caustic Love’ which I really like. I also heard Courtney Barnett on the radio and really like her 🙂

Things I’ve done this month:

I went to Million Women Rise for the first time in two years. I went along with some of the Essex Feminist Collective, so I met some new interesting people and it was a good day.

I went to a group called H.U.G.S that do holistic talks once a month, this was the first one I’d been drawn to go to which was about astrology and it’s impact on your health.

A mini fire ceremony at our friend Roberta’s house where I burnt notes of what I wanted to get rid of, and what I wanted to bring in.

I caught up with my friend Sue as I hadn’t seen her for months as she hasn’t got a car at the moment. I met her from her work for lunch and we went to a small cafe and I had stuffed peppers without the cheese which actually turned out to be really yummy 🙂

My women’s circle this month was about crystals, and I was going to hold it in a local park but the weather was so bad we had to change the venue to my flat where we would be warm! There was only 3 of us this month but we had a nice session including a small food share.

Another new group I went to T.A.G who also do talks once a month (they are run by the same people as HUGS but hugs is holistic and Tag is other spiritual and truth awareness topics) again this was the first one I’d felt drawn to and also Miguel wanted to go as it was by a shaman called Leo Rutherford, and it was very interesting.

My friend Lola came to visit and we had a good chat 🙂

for the spring equinox we had a fire ceremony at our friend Roberta’s again and it was really nice. We had about 10 people or so, and the energy was great. I have also noticed things coming true that I put into the fire since.

Finally I went to the brighton Vegan fayre for the first time in 5 years as I won tickets. The only problem was I work on Sundays so I could only go for the day and it was quite tiring as I spent 6 hours of the day travelling! It was packed but a good day overall. Bits I got: a ‘vegan’ necklace, cat earrings, a catnip toy for the cats, raw choc goji berries, vegan marshmallows, vegan wagon wheels, and vegan egg mayonaise! I also watched a talk about facing fears and living your dreams, and watched a cookery demo about quick and easy meals.

Leave a comment »

30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 22: My 10 Most Popular Blogs

The top ten posts on this blog! Just in case you missed something..

10. A Faery Tale (or what my 30th party was like)- (June 2014)I had a fantastic Fairytales and Magical beings party for my birthday this year. I decided to blog about it in a different way!

9.The HARP Cardboard Box Challenge-(October 2014) I recently completed a rough sleep for the local homeless charity HARP, I wrote about the experience.

8. I Saw the Sign and it Opened up my Eyes..(April 2013)- about being given ‘signs’ in everyday life.

7. Manifestation- The White Despacho Ceremony (March 2013)- I wrote about manifesting, and a beautiful manifesting shamanic manifesting ceremony I was part of.

6. The End of Pigtails and Army Boots- (September 2013)- I used to do a feminist radio show for quite a few years, it was great, but then it came to it’s natural end.

5. Good Things: Netherlands Special (May 2013)- I wrote about all the fab things we did on our holiday to the Netherlands last year.

4.The Singer of Courage (April 2013)– I wrote something about confidence and courage.

3. 30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 14- Proposed Lap Dancing Club in Southend (November 2014)- I wrote recently about the plans to bring another lap dancing club to Southend, and why I’m against it.

2. Feminism in London 2013 (October 2013)– I wrote about the brilliant feminist conference I attended last year.

and drum roll please…the most popular blog so far on here is…

1. Interview with Sue Denim (April 2013)– Not very surprisingly, my interview with former Robots in Disguise band member and now solo artist had the most hits ever!

Leave a comment »

dontbeanostrich

if you bury your head in the sand to avoid the rain youll never see the rainbow when the sun shines again

ThriveTrue

May we Thrive True, Open, & Free in Harmony

Wandering Wives

A Comedy Lesbian Travel Blog

The Vegan Lily

Because My Body Will Not Be A Tomb For Animals

artemis muses

It's all about the hunt

The journey of eclectic pagan teen

my experience exploring my path of an eclectic pagan and spirtuality

Pagan Approach

Discussing spirituality and the secrets of the Universe

Hike Our Planet - @HikeOurPlanet

Lee Hiller Photography - Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Katzenworld

Welcome to the world of cats!

The Next Chapter

Life is just a story. And I've got a pen.

wisermonkeys

poetry, prose and occasional thoughts.

Southend Soup

Chat. Connect. Create.

Catherine Elms

Dark cabaret singer-songwriter and pianist from Swansea, UK

Maral Cavner's Blog

Law Student in Portland, OR

Born to be Jetthead

It's not an obsession, it's a calling. :)

Spirituality Exploration Today

Delving into the cross roads of rationality and intuition

Eric Carlson (awolsurfer)

Building a Business While Still Having a Life...

My Long Dalliance

A writers journey