Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice...

Happy midsummer  ♥

I have mixed feelings about summer and often refer to it as my least favourite season. Of course, like anyone, I love the long sunny days where we don’t have as many clothes to faff about encumbering our bodies with, where the abundant flowers give plenty for our eyes and noses to enjoy, where washing dries in a few hours on the line and eating outdoors makes for less time sweeping the floor under the highchair…

But it’s not always like that in Britain. Oh no. We get a lot of rain; a lot of damp, dreary days that are still warm so coat wearing just leaves you sticky and lethargic. With the other seasons I just feel I know where I stand and what to expect – and having the heating on even just a little helps to dry the laundry!

It seems that a lot of people have feelings of disappointment and anticlimax in summer; picnics and barbeques that have to be cancelled, holidays where no lying on the beach can be done. And it’s a heady time too with the heat, with the sun’s energy so strong, and with nature busying itself flowering and fruiting and pushing everything up and out and bigger and bigger. Heady with the energy of people’s hopes for their holidays and/or harvests. Heady with the energy of nature drawing us to focus on aspects of our outer selves; passion, partying, playing.

Attempting to grow food has brought another element to my relationship with summer, which is the busy-ness. This year, having just moved and knowing we may not be in this home for long, we feel busy. Figuring out what it’s not too late to sow, planning plant positions, planting out, keeping plants watered, battling the slugs and the cat poo, keeping things tidy…the days are full. Full but happy, for all three of us are at our happiest outside. Yet full, hot days in a week where both moon and sun reached the highest point of their cycles can be tiring, and tiredness can lead to shortened patience, to raised voices, to things said that aren’t meant.

Last week, I started feel just a little bit relieved about the approaching ebbing back of energy. The cooling, calming exhaling. The relief of birthing what has grown too huge and heavy to be comfortable any longer. How to celebrate? This is a question I’ve struggled to satisfyingly answer now that my desires and stage of life mean I no longer watch the dawn in from Stonehenge. I was still grappling with that question at 11a.m, sat in the garden, when the answer came; that in itself was the best celebration for me this year. To just sit, rest, look, listen, smell and enjoy. And maybe bake orange cake and light many candles later… ♥


New home blessing



On the day that we moved, my husband performed a little space clearing and energy cleansing on our new home, moving anti-clockwise around each room with a sage smudge stick and string of bells. As he did so he sprinkled water collected from a spring near Glastonbury Tor and set intention for any negativity held in the house to be left in the past so that it would be a wonderful home where we would be happy.

I wanted the blessing to take place after the new moon and after enough of the many boxes were unpacked that the house felt at least slightly like home. As with most things in my life, I got around to doing my little ceremony a bit later than planned. However, this meant that I sat down in a totally unpacked living room, able to feel calm, centred and not distracted by “oh this could go here” or ” once this box is unpacked I could do such-and-such”. (I’m quite easily distracted!)

I lit our oil burner with 3 oils; one that represented each of us and qualities that I hope each of us will bring to our home. With the oil burner, for me the oils represent Eartth and the scents air, the candle of course represents fire and the water is even more self-explanatory!

I sat contentedly in front of the burner, moon out the window behind me, and took some deep breaths. I eased into my feelings enjoyment already at living in this house, into my gratitude for the lovely house, into my hopes for our lives whilst we are here.I visualised the life we’ve talked about living whilst living here. I pictured each room of the house (including the garden) and brought to mind an image of us using that room happily. I felt the warm, smiley feeling through my body and sent that out through my fingertips and through the house. I opened my eyes and looked over at our shelf of books that we hope will inform our dreams of living more sustainably, creatively and spiritually. I visualised all the beautiful ideas and wise words in them flying off their pages and through the house. (Is that crazy?! Well nevermind!)  I remembered a motto that is written on a little china heart that my mum gave us and found myself repeating it and sending the energy created in that repetition through my body and through our new home:


Home-leaving ceremony that wasn’t

Ten busy days ago, we moved house. I planned a little house-leaving ceremony and to take some photos of the Box Chaos that the place had become. Despite many house/flat moves during my ten years in Bristol,  I think this was the first time that I’ve had to move out of a home, clean it and move into another home all in the same day. This was certainly the first time moving with a child (albeit with my mother staying to help out in marvelous ways).

I had so many mixed up feelings about leaving our home of three and a half years. The home we returned to after our wedding, after our travelling adventure and after our son’s birth. The home who’s walls saw intense, beautiful magic as well as an awful lot of tears. The home where we grew as people so, so much (and realised just how much growing we still have and want to do). The home where we never really felt at home.

I wanted to present to our buyers a home cleansed of all this uneasy energy. I wanted to chase all the horrible feelings I’d felt within those walls out and away with my sage smudge stick and Glastonbury water and jangly bells, the waning moon’s cleansing pull complimenting this. Of course, I wouldn’t tell the new owners about the ceremony in case they thought I was a little weird. I just wanted to wipe everything clean, physically and energetically, for them and for me. For a couple of weeks I’d gone through the house, washing every throw or cushion cover or rug before I packed it, vacuuming the curtains and wallhangings that too delicate to wash. As they were cleaned of dust or marks I imagined whatever else they had caught being washed away too. I didn’t want it brought to our new house.

On Move Day, once the removal men had put all but a few personal items (and cleaning stuff!) of ours into their van, I started vacuuming and wiping in the house. But, over 3 years, dust finds its crafty way in all these places you can never imagine, so I was still cleaning when our buyers arrived. They were far less fussed than  I was about the cleanliness and urged me not to worry. So I had to just let the sage-waving (and photo-taking) go.

What I reasoned was that the negativity I wanted to cleanse was negative stuff that we knew about. The new owners know nothing of these events. From the things they had said to me, to them the house holds positive meanings; their new home, the first house that they have bought. I guess their coming into the house with positive thoughts, hope and excitement is a kind of healing in itself. If they were into “energy stuff” and concerned about what history may be held there, they would perform their own cleansing.

Whilst there was no smudging ritual, there was a hug between my husband and I as we looked back at the house and thanked it for all the good times we shared there and all the opportunities it provided us with. I believe that with any ceremony or magic, the real power comes from your true intent, thoughts and feelings. I see the sage, the Glastonbury water, the jangly bells or whatever as being tools to physically represent and perhaps to enhance this inner force. And as I learnt ten years ago, in  leaving a geographical location you don’t automatically leave all your troubles there.  The real work, like the real magic, must come from within. ♥