Knowing our places, inside and out

mop

T. Thorn Coyle’s book “Make Magic of Your Life” focuses on desire and making desires into reality, taking the reader on a journey with the four powers of the Sphinx: to know, to will, to dare and to keep silent, and a fifth power, the power to manifest. All of us are driven by desire: our desire to be, to know, to have and to do, one way or another, is behind all of our seeking, our journeys, and our choices. My pilgrimage of connection with place in my life is driven, fundamentally, by the desire to belong to something greater than myself, and to something greater than human. [Read more...]

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The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land.

snowyhills

When I connect to this land, I aim to connect not with a mythic, misty past made up of ‘the Celts’ or other such imaginary peoples, but with the real layers of life of which the land is made: the human lives which belonged to this land before me, in all their amazing diversity. [Read more...]

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The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Even though the slog of January, February and March remains ahead, it feels like a final end to the previous year, and a beginning in earnest of the new. My body and soul will still struggle through winter, each in their own ways, but my senses will tell me that the days are getting longer, the light stronger, the earth warmer. Depending on the weather, the first snowdrops will be coming soon, along with the sound of the oyster-catchers, peep-peeping their way back to their usual haunts, to poke their beaks into the softening earth. But until then, the earth remains asleep – Bride is still kept in drudgery by the Cailleach, Queen of Winter. [Read more...]

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Feeding the Sidhe

A full-grown elder tree Photo licensed under creative commons from

Back in 1998, before I moved to Scotland, I was a baby Witch living in Bath. I was reading all the gentle introductory books on Witchcraft I could find, and starting to put their exercises into practice. One of those books, I can’t remember which, suggested beginning a relationship with the Sidhe – the beings most people refer to as ‘faeries’. But for all my curtsies and silver coins, I didn’t really believe in faeries until I moved to live in the country, and then it wasn’t so much me believing in them, as them rushing up to me and grabbing my attention… [Read more...]

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Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting connection

beara

When our Place changes in ways we don’t entirely like, in ways we feel an unidentifiable sense of wrongness about, it impacts us deeply, both emotionally and psychologically. We feel sad, sometimes despondent and even angry. This is solastalgia in action. [Read more...]

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A journey through place

Carmel Beach, Haifa

When I was 27, I moved to Israel. People would ask me why. I’d joke that it was my Hebrew School brainwashing. “They told me that this is my Home, and I believed it too much!” They’d laugh or shake their heads with pity. What I didn’t tell them is how the Place made me feel. [Read more...]

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