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August 8, 2015

A peek at my deck collection, which includes eight Tarot decks and two oracle decks. I talk a little bit about my experience with each deck, but I will be making more reviews in future, and feel free to request a review of any of these, too.

August 7, 2015

witchy2

Something has returned to me in the last few days.

Every year, I forget just how much more potent and joyful I feel in the autumn months. Especially when we’re blessed with some glorious sunny weather in the summer, as we were this June, I can forget that a greater joy awaits. I bask in that summer sun and feel the joy at revelling in the garden in all its glory. The sunshine lifts me, and I start to believe that is the pinnacle of my emotional being. But then… as soon as August arrives, something else quietly slips into being with it.

I feel it as a small flame deep within. And I’m not quite sure what it is that coaxes it back into life. Perhaps it’s the later dawn, and being out for my morning walk closer to sunrise. Perhaps it’s the lower position of the sun in the sky, nowhere near reaching overhead anymore. Perhaps there is something hopeful in the wilting ready bounty of the vegetation – burst past ripeness, starting to golden at the edges.

Whatever it is, it tends to arrive sometime in early August. My heart flutters. And I remember again what it is to be me, fully me; joyful and content.

 

I was taking a different morning walk to my usual when I felt it again. It was the fourth of August, about the time of the cross-quarter, or the “real” Lughnasadh. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and the quiet hillside path I was walking on was deserted of its usual dog-walkers.

As I turned away from the sea, cresting a small hill between two larger ones, I moved out into a space that I have been walking through since I was a very small child, with a small wood to my right and a grassy area to my left.

The morning sun was streaming through the pine trees, making contrasted patterns on the pine needle floor. And all of a sudden, I felt this overwhelming sense of awe, of connection, of the pure joy of being a part of this moment. It was a feeling that brought me back in time to other Augusts and Septembers, the time of year when my spirituality most often shifts and solidifies and strengthens.

As I walked, in the back of my mind I was searching for a word to sum up this feeling, this sensation, this way of being. And what I landed on was: witchy.

 

Generally speaking, I don’t think of myself as a witch, and I have very infrequently referred to myself as one. And yet, the word holds a lot of resonance for me.

Being “witchy” to me is about self-transcendence and feeling attuned to nature. It is about blurring the boundaries of I and it, blurring the boundaries between skin and air. It is about feeling the wind in the leaves as a wind shaking parts of yourself. It is about deeply experiencing the present moment, the glorious spontaneous creativity of the natural world. It is about seeing those patterns that the sunlight casts on the forest floor and experiencing them, feeling them, embodying them, and being changed by them.

A magician works magic; and of course, a witch is generally understood to do so, too. But a witch draws her power from the earth, from her connection to cosmos and to all things. Who says this empowerment needs to be channeled into supernatural magic? Can the modern witch not simply be someone who taps into that truth and harnesses it a multitude of non-magical ways?

While the word Pagan conjures a lot of this for me, too, for some reason I find it to be a less evocative word or label. Through all its transgressive glory, witch is a term that can liberate and empower. It will probably never be a word that I use to describe myself to others. But it is one that I carry in my heart. And on days like these, it lights a fire of hope and joy within me.

August 6, 2015


My Lughnasadh celebration this year turned out to be very simple and understated… and the first time I haven’t done a ritual for a Sabbat in nearly three years. And yet, it was exactly what I needed. Throughout the two days surrounding the Sabbat, I shared some of my thoughts and experiences.

July 31, 2015

lughnasadh-wheat

Today I sat down to write a post about Lughnasadh, but all that came out were garbled and tangled thoughts – disjointed and unclear.

I wrote about gratitude – about how available it was to me in other years, and how difficult for me today.

I wrote about my growing dissatisfaction with my Sabbat rituals, and my Wheel of the Year celebrations as a whole.

I wrote about how these twelve months have been more challenging, frustrating, and confusing than any in my life previously.

And I wrote about how my desire for authenticity and efficacy has caused me to throw out original plan of using the same rituals for the Sabbats every year.

The truth is, I have nothing to say about Lughnasadh this year. I feel that tonight, the eve of the first day of August and the night of a blue moon, would be the most suitable to do ritual. But I feel no desire to do so. I am not sure I will feel any desire to do so in four or five days, either.

July 3, 2015

foundation stones

When I first restarted a spiritual practice, my greatest aims were to achieve a sense of connection and reverence. I had a deep desire to be able to tap into an altered state of consciousness at will; to experience bliss and union at every ritual.

For a long time, I didn’t think I was really making much improvement or achieving these goals. I became comfortable with the idea that usually, rituals don’t feel the way I wanted them to feel. At times I lost faith in achieving that feeling I so yearned for.

But last night I realised that change has wound itself into my spirituality so gradually I hardly noticed it. I realised that every time I sit before my altar these days, I feel something. And perhaps half of the time, when I sit to do my evening devotionals and meditation, if I can allow myself to relax and focus, I fall into that state of reverence and communion that five years ago I had only briefly glimpsed.

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Praise


Thank you again Áine. I very much enjoyed receiving the much needed direction and ideas you put forward in this 4-part reading. This has helped me think more deeply and and become more focused on what is important to me on my spiritual journey. Now for some action on my part and then I will be back to experience and enjoy some of your other spiritual mentoring :)
Áine's reading was insightful and meaningful. I could feel the love coming through in each carefully chosen word. What she had to say was true and real for my life and my situation, and I have made good use of her very concrete and helpful suggestions in moving forward in this situation. Sensitivity and a loving spirit know no physical distance or boundaries. I will surely be contacting Áine in the future. If you are thinking about having a reading done by her...please do not hesitate. A profound experience.
This reading was amazing! I absolutely love this format of tarot reading - this is a really unique service! I asked a question and then she did the initial reading which was very thorough. After I processed the first part of the reading, I emailed her back with thoughts and questions. This went on for 3 days! This reading really helped me with the issue because I was able to participate with the reading and bring my higher self into it as well. Áine really knows her stuff and offers a heartfelt reading that really helps you move back blockages and resistance. I highly recommend this reading for anyone for any issue or question!
This participatory reading has been incredibly helpful and inspiring. Áine has a true gift and she does indeed write for the heart, from the heart. She is also quite gracious when her querent is a bit forgetful. :) Thanks so much.
This is great! Nice readings, a lot of empathy and she really listens to your replies!
Áine's thoughts and interpretations were wonderfully apt, often spine-tinglingly so. And all her ideas and suggestions were extremely thought-provoking. ...But the best part of all was the ability to respond and continue the "conversation" process. It encouraged me to think more deeply about the cards drawn and to consider how this impacted on my original question. My thinking grew and evolved wonderfully over the three days and it was fantastic to be able to "talk" my ideas through with someone.
That is the kind of reading I like. Very down-to-earth advice. Thank you very much for the reading, Áine!