Writing fiction as a spiritual practice

A path

For the last two weeks I've been writing about how reading fiction affects my sense of a place. From that side of things, I see this as an extension of folklore and the way that we use mythology and legends as guides that hold hidden messages for us on our path. The messages may be about a place, behavior, or the ways in which we might interact with the deities and other spirits. But there's another side to this experience. Creating stories is a way to process those things that you "know" … [Read more...]

Distracting you with flowers

Purple rhodedendrons.

I don't have anything of meaning to write about this week. I've been completely distracted by children's birthday parties, meeting new people, my parents visiting, the dark moon, and the explosion of sunshine and flowers here in Olympia.Let me share some of my distraction with you. Here, have some flowers:All of these are taken at the house I rent. Rhododendrons are the Washington state flower. I adore them. In fact, I am pretty sure that if the fey get dressed up … [Read more...]

Dandelion Syrup: a recipe for sunshine in a glass

dandelion-syrup-18-500

And over that potato-field A lazy veil of woven sun, Dandelions growing on headlands, showing Their unloved hearts to everyone. -from Spraying the Potatoes by Patrick Kavanagh; 1940Our gardens are full of Bearnán Bríde - the sunny dandelion.  I like to leave them growing because the bees and birds love them, so.  I also enjoy making yummy things with their flowers, leaves, and roots.  Today I gathered a few bright heads to make Dandelion Syrup!Here in Ireland, as elsewhere, dand … [Read more...]

An unexpected way to meet a Goddess

Creative Commons image by Nigel Cox

It was 2001 and I'd been living in England for a year. My friend Matt moved to England with his entire library of beloved paperbacks and introduced me to many great books. He had an amazing collection of sci-fi and fantasy from authors I'd never heard of. Frankly, I never was much of a fiction reader before that. I'd enjoyed my fiction in the form of graphic novels or film, and consumed books almost exclusively for their non-fiction content. All of the books I read from Matt's library in 2001 … [Read more...]

Childhood, risk and ‘wild’ places

Harborne Walkway in its current, manicured state. Image by Andy Reeve, used under Creative Commons license.

When I came back from my travels recently, I spent a week at my mum's on the way back. It was an opportunity to revisit some of the haunts of my youth: the huge willow tree at the bottom of the road, still standing, and the old railway track which has since been transformed into a public path all the way from Harborne to Winson Green, approximately two miles of green, car-free paths winding through Birmingham's suburbia.The willow tree is an old friend. I and the little gang of pre-teens I … [Read more...]

Procession Photos and May Day

Some one dressed up as skunk cabbage! One of my favorite plants!

I couldn't have imagined a better beginning to May. Last weekend was the Procession of the Species parade and art walk. May first was celebrated by local anarchists with a picnic in the park. I took my kids to all of it. We played and drew and wove ribbons around a maypole in the spring sunshine.Below are some pictures from the Procession parade. Please click on this link to see many more photos of the weekend, as well as some video clips. [Note: this is not my site or my photos, but were … [Read more...]

Mí na Bealtaine! the Merry Month of May

Uishneach-337

Bealtaine heralds the Light half of the Irish year--and am I ever grateful for its arrival!  In ancient times, the custom was to count from the dark half: days began with sundown, and the year with winter.  This dance of dark and light was woven into the tapestry of culture.  We see it personified by Donn, watery god of the dead, and Fionn, a symbol of light as guardian of the living.  We see it in the two opposing bulls of the Táin, the Donn Cuailgne and the Finnbheannach; and in Don Fírinne and … [Read more...]


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