Friday, 28 May 2010

Got it!!!!

The long list of waiting for Allotments has finally shortened. Came back to find a message on my answerphone telling me we have finally got our allotment, So come Tuesday (its a bank holiday weekend this week) I am heading down to the council, paying my huge amount of £14.95 for my years rent and going to start digging! Almost free diet aid and toning up too. So you can guess what the posts are going to be about for a while.

Think I might need one of these

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Help!!!


Ok a friend of mine likes to set me challenges, in the form of Album art covers, I have to find out the band and the album name. Normally I win... this time he has got me stumped so I'm asking for help here, anyone know the answer? Please leave a comment if you do!!!!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Burley and Sybil Leek



Whilst wandering about the New Forest we came across a lovely little village called Burley. Stopping for a bit to stretch our legs we walked through the Mall which had the usual shop with incense and wind chimes. Not thinking much about it we turned the corner and were faced with 6 or 7 shops all selling Pagan and in particular Witch items. Pleasant surprise as where I am you’d be lucky to get two in the whole town that will have a corner on the subject. Still looking in all the shops I had no idea why there were so many until I got to A Coven of Witches, where they took the time to explain to me about Sybil Leek.

Sybil Leek (1923?–1983)

Sybil Leek was a witch, an astrologer, and a psychic who was born in England into a highly unusual family. Her maternal grandmother was a psychic lady and a follower of the Old Religion. Her father was an intellectual and well versed in metaphysics, but more inclined to a scientific investigation of a field of inquiry. Sybil's mother was a theosophist with an inborn affinity toward all children. Added to these were an assortment of aunts, cousins, and other extended family members.

Under the combined tutorial care of her family, Leek managed to escape the British public school system for many years. Each member of the family taught the child his or her particular specialty, as well as a diversity of other things. Leek learned about herbs, witchcraft, astrology, the general field of the occult, and the mystical Kabbalah. This unorthodox rearing was far from one-sided, however. Before the age of nine, young Sybil had "read through" the major classics. She had read the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, and many other volumes of Eastern religious and non-Western philosophies. Most of all, though, Leek learned from her grandmother, who taught her the Craft of the Wise. Once her preliminary instruction was completed, the young initiate journeyed to France, to the Gorge du Loup where Leek was initiated into the world's oldest religion.

In her book Diary of a Witch (1969), Leek described briefly the oath of fidelity that she gave on the night of her initiation:

"It is accepted as being binding forever, and no initiate can take it lightly. She accepts wholeheartedly all the tenets of witchcraft— the acceptance of the Supreme Being, the knowledge that good and evil are equal parts of a human being, and that she must personally strive to outbalance evil with good. She must not debase the arts which she has been taught, and at all times she must be conscious of the need to be discreet, not only in her own life but with regard to any other members of the coven."

Shortly after Leek returned to England the family moved to the New Forest, a large area that roughly extends from Southampton northward to the borders of Salisbury and nearby Stonehenge, and westward to Dorset. It was in this area that Leek widened her lore of herbs, nature, and human psychology.

Since the age of 15, Sybil Leek had been in and out of various media jobs, and when she began moonlighting as a roving reporter for Southern Television it was her task to provide material for a series using the magazine format of small documentaries, interviews, and highlights of the day. The show's producers were particularly interested in Leek's contacts with the Gypsies of the New Forest, and she was able to present several interesting and informative vignettes about her nomadic friends.

It was in December of 1963 that Sybil Leek's media relationship caused her to be, probably, the first person to be filmed in mediumistic trance. The incident began when parapsychologist Bennison Herbert, who wished her to accompany him to a twelfth-century mansion that was allegedly haunted, contacted Leek. Almost immediately after the group entered the old house, Leek began to feel herself slipping away from the laughing joviality of the others. The group reached an upstairs room of the old stone building and settled around a large table. Within moments Leek was in a deep trance. Sights and sounds beyond the normal senses surrounded the entranced psychic. She felt someone come in through the door, then felt seized from behind. Leek, enraged, shouted at the image of the ghostly woman standing in the doorway. The struggle ceased as the heavy table at which the group was seated suddenly rose into the air and traversed the room. Then, with vented fury, the table repeatedly threw itself at the heavy stone wall, chipping the surface. A door slammed and something was heard running down the steps. Leek came out of her trance and was told what had happened by Herbert, who had taken notes on all the strange happenings.

At this point the BBC crew could no longer contain themselves. They hastily set up their lights and cameras, hoping to catch more of the same phenomena. The crew was not disappointed. The table began to move once more, traveling across the room to fling itself with renewed vigour at the ancient stonework. An incredulous solid man, weighing 220 pounds, tried to sit on the airborne table, only to be tossed off as if he were a featherweight. The table assaulted the wall with such force that it chipped a two-inch hole through the surface. The footage received wide distribution throughout the south of England and generated tremendous interest. The tables were shown in almost complete levitation and the mark on the wall was quite visible.

After achieving a great deal of fame as the Witch of New Forest, Sybil Leek came to the United States, where she teamed up with psychic investigator Hans Holzer on a series of ghost-hunting expeditions. The two were often followed by an entourage of local, and sometimes international, media, eager to sniff out a good story. Frequently, movie cameras would roll while Leek was in a heavy trance state, but this never deterred the medium from obtaining solid material, which Holzer would then try to substantiate.

Leek never knew where their next jaunt was going to take them. Holzer usually investigated the cases brought to his attention, first affirming that the material represented a solid psychic case, worthy of being investigated. He would give Leek none of this information, to ensure that her trance information could never be accused of being the result of suggestion.

In addition to Leek's many talents as a psychic and her deep immersion in the Old Religion, she had yet another major field of interest that was with her all of her life. As she states in the opening lines of My Life in Astrology (1972): "Astrology is my science; Witchcraft is my religion." For Sybil Leek, astrology lessons began when she was eight years old. From her grandmother, she learned the basics of astrology, with personality traits and psychology stressed; from her father, she learned the painstaking technical aspect of casting a chart.

In her younger days the world of astrology was a glamorous one. Every summer the family would vacation in the Riviera, and Leek's skills were in great demand among the celebrities and nobility that would gather on the beaches. Among her notable clients were the elder Aga Khan, Queen Marie of Rumania, and author Somerset Maugham. Although Leek had nostalgic feelings for that particular time, her later life was to show her an even more exciting use for her astrological skills.

Sybil Leek was determined to aid in the understanding of witchcraft. Unfortunately, she found some of the gravest misunderstandings in her adopted country of the United States. The press persistently confused witchcraft with black magick and Satanism, but Sybil Leek was instrumental in bringing a greater awareness of witchcraft to those persons who wished to form traditional covens, and she never ceased using her wit and celebrity to advance the truth about Wicca, the craft of the wise. She became a major force on the psychic scene, and her rich and varied life consistently led her to prove the deeper meanings and interrelationships between all areas of metaphysics, and her vast experience prepared her admirably for the research and study to which she devoted herself.

So if you are in the area and can spare the time, take a stroll and have a look. An interesting and rather pretty place...
Sybil information: unexplainedstuff.com

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Been Camping, New Forest Style

Last week we headed of to the New forest for a weeks worth of camping. Lovely, no tv no radio, on a site run by the forestry commission so strict rules about behaviour, and lots of horses!

Shetlands and their Foals


I had been feeling run down for a while, busy all the time and without a lot of time to get back to nature and enjoy life without all the mod cons. So we had set aside this week (thinking May, weather will be nice) for some meditation, walks and fun with littleun and his aunt. Well we got it all except the weather, just happened to be camping when the coldest May nights for a long time happened. After the first night it was definitely a hunt for more blankets!

Our tent and Neighbors (yeah I know, really poor joke!)

If you have never camped in the New Forest before and you get a chance to then I really recommend it. Sitting by our tents the horses wander in front of you. The cows lazily move about, sheep bleating and the squirrels watching, and waiting... for the moment when you go out, having stupidly left the bread and crisps on the table. Came back to find they had raided the tent. Apparently not big fans of wholegrain bread, but they did love the packet of giant chocolate buttons my sister had been wanting all day!

"You cant find me..."


Littleun loved it, spent all his time playing around the trees, pointing out so many different things and for once actually managing to be quiet for more than a couple of seconds. He really is a lad who is most comfortable in the wild with nature. Even waited a day after getting home before finding the tv again!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Life is Good

Debra over at http://shewhoseeks.blogspot.com/ has kindly given me a "Life is Good" award. Which is very nice of her but means I have to open up and answer some questions. Those of you who know me know I'm not normally great at answering questions, took an avoidance course once....




1. What's the best decision you ever made in your life?
Ok a soppy one this, but having my Littleun! Yeah I warned you, soppy...
2. What's the worst decision you ever made in your life?
Choosing number 34 instead of 35 of the Chinese menu, really hate peanuts.
3. What's your favourite body part?
Oh heck I’m like the Michelin tyre man, don’t like much about me! So um, I’d guess maybe my eyes, Always got me into trouble!
4. Whose ass would you most like to kick?
Ha Ha I have to choose just one?
5. What's the first thing you would buy with a million bucks?
Some peace and quiet! Then maybe a lot of terry’s chocolate oranges
6. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Yuck Neither! Hate them as I was force-fed them as a kid. Now Terry Pratchetts Discworld on the other hand...
7. If you could BE a movie star, who would you want to be?
Vanessa Paradis, Not because she’s a great actress or anything like that but because she’s with Johnny Depp.
8. If you could DO a movie star, who would you want to do?
Um, did you just read the previous question and answer?
9. If you were about to be executed, what would you want for your last meal?
All and everything ever available to eat, take such a long time they might just forget to do the execution.
10. Who's your favourite superhero?
Illyana Nikolievna Rasputin, and if you have to ask “who?” then you don’t deserve the answer, hehe!

So now I get to nominate and ask the questions!
In no particular order:
Carrie Mae at http://creepycupcakes.blogspot.com/
Maluszeq at http://maluszeq.blogspot.com/
SeaWitch at http://musingsofaseawitch.blogspot.com/
Nydia at http://bringingupsalamanders.blogspot.com/
D.Suplicki at http://thewhimsicalcottage.blogspot.com/
Crystal at http://crystalrainbow-sparkleandshine.blogspot.com/

1.Have you ever been skydiving?

2.What's the worst excuse you have ever made to get out of work?

3.Skyclad or Clothed?

4.How many pairs of shoes do you own?

5.What's your favourite drink?

6.Name the title of the book nearest to you.

7.What was your favourite toy as a child?

8.Would you ever ride a mechanical bull?

9.What was your favourite subject in senior/high school?

10.Have you ever gone to the store in your pajamas?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Rhubarb Relish


The first of the Rhubarb is growing well and as it needs pulling I thought I'd make a relish. Lovely with cheese or a pork dish this is the best way for us to enjoy the abundance we have. The relish has a shortish life of about 2 months but if you are like us, that wont be a problem as we will have run out well before then!


To make you will need:


900gm Rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into equal small ish size

450gm Onions, peeled and chopped (I prefer red though either will do)

225gm Sultanas

340gm Soft Light Brown Sugar

2 lvl tsp Ground Ginger

1 lvl tsp Mustard Seeds

2 lvl tsp Salt

¼ lvl tsp Cayenne Pepper

570ml Distilled Malt Vinegar


Put all ingredients into a pot simmer for about 1½ hours stirring frequently, until relish is thick and leaves a clear trail when wooden spoon is pulled across base. Don't cook it too quickly as it will stick to the pan.


Spoon into clean warm jars and cover immediately with vinegar proof lids. Store in dark cool place and enjoy.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Jack is Slain! (and we're exhausted)

The Spirit of Summer has been released for another year. And the Gods and Goddesses must have been hearing our hopes as the weather although not a scorcher was an awful lot dryer than the previous two days.
(hello from littleun and me!)

An early start to the day as we got ready in our outfits watching the Sun shining, music playing and last year’s film showing on you-tube, before heading down to the meeting area for 9ish. You can feel the atmosphere as you get closer. The excitement as the people walking with you turn from ordinary folk out for an early morning wander to those wearing bright wonderful colours, rags and tatters fluttering in the sea breeze. You get the smiles from those who don’t quite know why you are dressed like this in the beginning but by the time you get nearer and nearer you get the hollers of “bogie” and bright welcomes from those who understand. It’s like a cheerful secret about to be shared, for a day, with the rest of our town.


Whilst waiting for our friends to join us, some from London some from nearer, we wandered around the crowd looking, congratulating and oohing over the wonderful outfits, giants and escorts that are gathering. Ourselves managing to hide at times from long time friends who didn’t recognise us under our masks, making them guess, till Littleun jumped out in playful moods announcing in his way who we were.


Before long we heard the cry, Jack was coming. The procession had started. Friends take their places and on the sides we take our photos, recording for another year the fun. The procession takes several hours to reach the last point. Not because its miles away but to give everyone chance to watch, join in, sup a pint or two. To have impromptu dancing and music, gather and swell the group. Eventually though He gets there. More dancing more music and suddenly He is slain. The crowd rushes to get a bit, to have the luck for the following year. The rest of us, in peaceful contemplation give thought to the Summer now coming, before heading off through the thousands of bikers who hold their May Day rally on the same day, for the round of crazy golf that the kids have been asking to play for several days! (to see more photos click here)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Still Raining, Still Pouring...

But the Old Man? He gave up snoring. Had too with this lot around!

Today was again blooming wet. So much so that the May Queen ceremony and May Pole dancing had to be moved indoors. Still a great time had and a lovely set of children entertaining with their routines.


For the afternoon the brave (mad?) drummers came out for their drum-off and the three sides gave a great, toe tapping, body jiggling set of rhythms for us to enjoy.


PS Would highly recommend not redying hair red when later heading out in the rain, doesn't matter how hard I tried, still got it streaking down my face!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Beltane and Hills and Rain

We should have been sitting on the Hill with friends watching the Dawn's rise, dancing with lovely music and in general having fun. Instead it is raining and I don't have the heart to make Littleun who is so very tired after last nights ceilidh go. He's in bed and I'm sat here having had time for reflection and some meditation with last nights candles lit around me. Hope your celebrations were dryer.


Some of our Beltane Decoration

video

Last nights Ceilidh



Blessed Beltane.