Land


For me, the land that I live on is an integral part of my practice and my life.

I celebrate the festivals on it, my home is on it and since I’m a housewife I work on it.

It’s only polite to introduce yourself to the land that you live on when you take up residence there. Even if you’ve only moved to a different part of town, just introduce yourself.

The introduction can be as simple as going outside and saying “hi, I’m X” and giving offerings to it or it can be a full-blown ritual that takes ages. Whatever you feel is necessary.

Miscarriage


I miscarried on 12th June, but I am only now ready to write about it and how being Pagan helped.

I started bleeding several days before I miscarried when we were on holiday in Malta, where they gave me an ultrasound which showed the egg sac but not the baby and told me it looked like I was miscarrying but it could be that my baby might be younger than they thought, so it wouldn’t show up on the scan.

When I got back home I asked my ancestors and the land I lived on that if I was miscarrying could it please go smoothly. It was important to use the word “if” because the doctors hadn’t been definite I was miscarrying. If I hadn’t used “if” then my request could have pushed it into a miscarriage as we get what we ask for and not what we meant. I also gave a general call for help when I was in A&E, saying “my deities, please help me with this” which is roughly the form everyone uses sooner or later.

It did go smoothly; even when I was in Malta away from my land, ancestors and altar. In Britain you can get a free card to carry that is supposed to allow you free treatment in hospitals in Europe. Before we left we heard on the news that there were problems with Spain accepting this card. I got wheeled into A&E in Malta, they checked our passports and immediately said “you’re British, it’s free for you”. We’re still amazed by this, especially as it turned out that my card was out of date.

When I miscarried it went smoothly. I did have some drugs as I needed to get to sleep as it had all kicked off at 3 in the morning, but after the first lot of drugs wore off I didn’t need any more and I got through it without any surgery.

All the staff at Milton Keynes hospital were very positive about what was happening and kept telling me that the next time they hoped to see me was in the delivery suite and asked if I wanted to speak to a chaplain, which I did. In Britain hospital chaplains will not try and convert you; they’re there to help you with the situation that you find yourself in and if they’re available I suggest that you talk to them.

Unfortunately I am still off work as I’m not healing well. My doctor has diagnosed a vitamin D deficiency which is being corrected by going out (he says sitting in the shade will do) and eating fish. When I got back from hospital I did a tarot reading which said I would recover, so I haven’t used magic.

Belated Post on Beltane


It’s a bit late for this, but Real Life TM caught up with me, so I’m posting this now.

I celebrated Beltane by washing my face with dew in the morning. It doesn’t seem to have worked as a beauty aid so far (I have a face like a pizza) but it may be a bit early to tell.

After I got back from work I did a ritual celebrating the coming of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Milesians to Ireland on Beltane, striking the ground as they did to maintain my links with the land.

I wish I’d been able to decorate a May bush, but I’d planned this at the last minute. I need to keep to planning my rituals when the last one has finished and not leave them till later.

Midsummer


For some reason, I got the date wrong this year. I was half-way through the day itself when someone at work said it was Midsummer. So I celebrated on the 21st, as it would have been difficult to move the celebration.

I cast the circle and took a bottle of elderflower cordial with me. This time my husband had chosen to participate. He’s not pagan, but will participate if he’s around and since he takes the celebrations seriously, I’m happy to have him there.

First we celebrated the fact that it was summer, although we’ve seen precious little of it in Britain. Then we gave the cordial back to the land to reaffirm the connection between land and people. This would be better done on Lughnasadh, when the harvest is, or the Autumn Equinox when the nuts and berries are ripe, but this is the only time I make something which is from produce directly from the land and not from a supermarket. The produce of a supermarket could be from anywhere in the world, which would invalidate this part of the ritual.

Normally I celebrate under a weeping willow near my house, but we celebrated in the back garden because that’s where the elder tree is from which I took the elderflowers. I also added water from the water butt instead of using tap water.

I poured some of the cordial out, then my husband poured some out and then we both poured some of it out.

It’s also Aine’s day, so I lit a lighter (which substituted for a torch, as a torch of straw used to be lit for her) to honour her day. I thanked her for a year of love and happiness together with my husband and asked for another year. I also asked for health for us both, which is traditional, but I got this part of the ritual wrong as we were both ill the next weekend.

Beltane


Normally for Beltane I attempt to gather dew on a flannel and wash my face in it. I didn’t try it this year because I had to go to work and also because it has been raining so much lately I thought I wouldn’t get any dew. I had asked for rain at the Spring Equinox and since we’re in a drought condition it’s good to have it.

After work I gathered up my paraphernalia, went to the weeping willow and cast my circle.

Beltane is when the Milesians came to Ireland. They took over Ireland from the Tuatha Dé Danaan, eventually making an agreement that they would have the half of Ireland above ground and the Tuatha Dé Danaan would have the half of Ireland below ground.

When the leader of the Milesians, Amergin, set foot on Ireland, the first thing he did was to introduce himself to the land. Then he blessed the land with fertility and especially fish. So I introduced myself to the land, let some of my blood and asked for fertility for the land and for myself.

I looked at the ritual I’d written just before I was due to perform it. A lightbulb went on in my head and I realised what Amergin’s poems were about, so the ritual was a bit clumsy as I had to improvise at the last minute. Next year’s ritual will be better.

Every Day


On forums I have heard people say that they’ve gone a long time without doing anything for their path.  These are usually people who are new to their path, as we who have been there a while know that not a single day goes by without us doing something.

It’s a 20th century invention that people can separate off work, religion and home from each other, whereas all three affect each other.  For example, if you’ve slept badly because something in your home life is bothering you, then your work life will be affected.  Your paganism can be used to affect both work and home.  And if the boss has been on your back at work you will come back home grumpy and this will affect your interactions in the home.

Every day I do things for my path.  At the start of the day, I check my diary for which planets are transiting to my natal birth chart, which is the planets in the sky when I was born.  This gives me a forecast of what the day will be like and tells me where and when I need to be careful and what is best to do on that day.

At the end of every day I give an offering to the land, which is basically for any spirits/fairies/whatnot that happen to be there.  If miss doing this too often, then my telly programmes either don’t record at all or don’t record properly.

Between times I may work in the garden, or talk to trees or read a book relevant to my path or go for a walk in the wood or meditate.  It just depends on the time of year and what day it is.  Every day I usually have some messages to read on forums or message boards.

My view is that you’re not really a pagan until your paganism is integrated into everyday life so far that you can’t separate your pagan life from your mundane life.