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Development of the garden shrine.  Contains white stone brought back from Cornwall about 20 years ago, and a stone with a spiral fossil I found on the beaches of Northumbria about 10 years ago.  I’m adding the little local flints as I turn them up in the garden, and continuing to make offerings here.

Today I got my carrot seeds in (FINALLY), planted out marigolds, weeded, etc etc.  The roses are bursting open – in a week or so it’s going to be an absolute riot of colour and scent. 

The Full Moon offering I poured out this month was Wychwood’s King Goblin, which is (supposedly) only brewed on the Full Moon. 😉

 

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One more cup of coffee for the road

One more cup of coffee for the road

Accidental, but this one just amused me

Rivers are also roads

Rivers are also roads

Through the door

Through the door

Garden Shrine

Garden Shrine

My little garden shrine. My mini-stang I had on my altar in Canada (local poplar, got a lot of my blood on it accidentally (“accidentally”, right >.<) in the making; a stone that I have used as my symbolic hearthstone and that comes from the first working site I ever had, some 20 years ago, on which I pour offerings of anything I drink in the garden (and yes I lugged that rock to Canada and back XD), and (hard to see in this pic) a small stone in the shape of a Cycladic goddess that was one of the first things I found in the garden. I make offerings of flowers here too.

Far views

Far views

from the top of the castle

Talking of crafts…

…I have always wanted to learn smithing.  I may have difficulty walking, but I have a lot of upper body strength (and hey, the Lame Smith is an ancient image/archetype/godform, right?) and I’ve always been drawn to it….  I just can’t afford to train.  ONE DAY.  (Thinking about this again after chatting with Mort from Firebird Forge at the country fair.)  Learning bladeforging in particular would be incredible.

In answer to queries

 

I got a couple of questions about where people could get something similar, here and elsewhere, so I thought I’d provide some more info.

 The stang was made by Peter Jones, a traditional wood craftsman and and stickdresser.  You can see him at work in the video here.  He does show up at a lot of country fairs, so it’s worth checking out to see if he or someone similar is going to be at one if there’s one near you.  A good place for those in the south to go generally for similar woodwork is the Woodfair at Bentley, which I’m really hoping to make it to this year. 🙂

As for similar work online, I found some vaguely similar work at walkingsticksonline, though those are a lot pricier than stuff will be directly from the craftsman!  Also you can try googling “thumbstick” and “antler” to see if you can find anything you like. 🙂  Good luck!

 

Stang

New stang, handmade by a craftsman at the local country fair, together with the edge of our dresser-cum-altar and a couple of my drums. Rowan wood and fallow deer antler.

Magic Beyond Nationalism

Puck’s Song

See you the dimpled track that runs,
All hollow through the wheat?
O that was where they hauled the guns
That smote King Philip’s fleet!

See you our little mill that clacks,
So busy by the brook?
She has ground her corn and paid her tax
Ever since Domesday Book.

See you our stilly woods of oak,
And the dread ditch beside?
O that was where the Saxons broke,
On the day that Harold died!

See you the windy levels spread
About the gates of Rye?
O that was where the Northmen fled,
When Alfred’s ships came by!

See you our pastures wide and lone,
Where the red oxen browse?
O there was a City thronged and known,
Ere London boasted a house!

And see you, after rain, the trace
Of mound and ditch and wall?
O that was a Legion’s camping-place,
When Caesar sailed from Gaul!

And see you marks that show and fade,
Like shadows on the Downs?
O they are the lines the Flint Men made,
To guard their wondrous towns!

Trackway and Camp and City lost,
Salt Marsh where now is corn;
Old Wars, old Peace, old Arts that cease,
And so was England born!

She is not any common Earth,
Water or Wood or Air,
But Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare.

– Kipling.

I grew up with things like Puck of Pook’s Hill, Kipling’s very real understanding of the magic of the land, and not his jingoism, his racism, his part in the colonial horror.  Both sides of that coin are real, and part of this nation grown from this Land.  I have little time for England-the-nation, for Britain-that-considers-itself-great, for the (dis)United Kingdom.  But oh, the land, the land and its past and people and Powers!

Fascists are invoking the name of England in the cause of horrors.  But the land itself is older than them, far older, and we who are here and work magic need to call that up as well, that ancient Isle of Gramarye that took in immigrant and invader alike and made them its own with its endless, welcoming arms, so that it can be a land for

…Men from both two ‘emispheres 
Discussin’ things of every kind; 
So much more near than I ‘ad known, 
So much more great than I ‘ad guessed— 
An’ me, like all the rest, alone— 
But reachin’ out to all the rest! 

We have work to do.

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