St Tiggwinkles


As part of my 40th birthday celebrations I went to St Tiggywinkles, which is a wildlife hospital in Britain.

As the name suggests, it’s well known for taking in hedgehogs, but it caters for all manner of wild animals.

I went round the pens and saw deer, a fox, red kites, a hedgehog, a heron and many ducks. Some of the animals are permanent residents as they wouldn’t survive in the wild. Some of them will be released when appropriate. They have a lot of baby hedgehogs who can’t hibernate because they don’t have enough weight to survive hibernation.

The staff were friendly and great and made sure that I saw the baby hedgehogs.

There’s also a museum that I went round. I was fascinated at the exhibits of animals skulls, but I wasn’t interested in most of the hedgehog museum. I like hedgehogs, but they gave my cat ringworm once, so I prefer to keep my distance!

The Way you Tread your Path


The other day I was reading an interview with a Traditional Witch called Gemma Gary. In it she was complaining that other witches wanted her to be sociable, when she didn’t want to socialise.
Socialising with others is only one of the ways you can tread your path. Like Gemma, you may not like socialising and prefer your own company. I have friends who have complained of wannabees and idiots cluttering up the social scene, so they don’t socialise much.

Another way is to read books, magazines, forums and anything you come across. With books I would advise you to stay away from the Mind, Body and Soul section of the bookshops as the books they have are either information for absolute beginners or usually have one or two pertinent facts and the rest is rubbish. I advise that you stick to the Myths and Legends or Archaeology sections.
Another way is to go out there and do things. Write rituals (if you’re solitary there is no-one to criticise, if you’re not there are people to help) and do spells.

Yet another is to meditate and go on shamanic journeys.

The last way is to go out into nature and observe. This can be useful if you’re following a nature-based path, but cannot be used on its own as you then have pagans who say they observe nature, but do not know that berries come from flowers.

I would advise that any witch or pagan use a variety of the methods above (and any others that seem best to them) to proceed on their path. Which you use and how much you use them are up to you. We are not required to be social animals or to be constantly observing nature, we are individuals and what works for one person will not work for another.

Burn Out


I haven’t been writing anything much about deities at the moment as I haven’t been reading about them lately. Two years ago I decided to take time off from reading about them. I’d been doing a lot of this and I was getting fed up of it.

I’ve read a couple of books since then and am getting back into it. If I had not stopped when I did I would have burned out on reading about deities.

It’s an important part of my path, but after I suffered from burn out in my former career I know that nothing is worth burning out for.

Samhain


Samhain was interesting but didn’t go at all to plan.

First I carved two turnips while watching “The Wicker Man”. I’m not a horror fan aficionado, but so many people had commented on this film that I thought I’d try it. The film was really good, but its themes were more suited to Lughnasadh. I blessed the turnips and set the tea-lights in them burning before doing the ritual.

For the first time I did a ritual naked. I wasn’t cold, even though the temperature was down to single digits. I was going to be clothed, but decided to do it naked at the last minute going back from the shops with supplies for supper.

It was a ritual to commemorate the season, honour the ancestors especially my mother-in-law who died last March and the gods The Morrigan and the Dagda who had sex on Samhain before the battle of Magh Tuireadh.

The circle went wrong. I forgot things and had to go back before I started. I had candles in jam-jars (this is part of an experimental new circle cast I’m trying, I’ll tell you about it when I’ve finalised it) and after lighting the first candle the lighter ran out.

Some people say about cutting a door in the circle and opening and closing that. I prefer to improvise. So I passed the one candle I’d lit in the jam-jar around in the motion of a circle to cast the last part of it.

After that, I did my ritual and unwound the circle. I was in a hurry to make dinner, but hubby came round and distracted me, so we ended Samhain having take-away.

There was so much I wanted to do with this celebration and didn’t. Next time I’ll make the turnip lanterns the day before, instead of leaving it to the day itself as the celebration was rushed.