Saturday, 27 June 2015

The magic of rose petals


I have collected a huge amount of rose petals so far this year and they really are packed full of magical power for all sorts of uses - medicine pouches, candle magic, witches bottles, herbal tea and for casting circles in ritual.

Rose
(Rosa spp)

We must all be familiar with the rose, whether it is as a bush, a climber or in a bunch of flowers. It is a perennial with more varieties and colours than you can shake a stick at. The flowers bloom between May and September and are followed by rosehips. You can also find certain varieties growing in the wild. I have several rose bushes and climbers in my garden and dry all the petals, which is incredibly easy, I sprinkle the petals on a large tray and leave them to dry in the conservatory.

Rose is a good herb to use to represent the Mother and also for any workings where mysteries need to be delved into.

Use rose in any workings for love, psychic powers and knowledge. Rose petals are also good for dream work and moon magic.

Roses and the petals have long been associated with love so they work well for any kind of love spells, use pink for friendship, red for passion and white for peace.

The rose has sharp thorns so use it in protection workings. It is also a very feminine flower so can be incorporated into any spell or ritual work that requires feminine energy.

Rose also had a connection with death and rebirth, the plant appearing to be dead during the winter months but coming back to life in the spring.

Sprinkle rose petals in your bathwater for a balancing, relaxing and love filled bath.

Use rose petals in workings for luck and abundance.

Rose petals also work well for casting the circle at handfastings.

Rose Magical Properties:

Love, psychic powers, healing, luck, protection, peace, mysteries, knowledge, dreams, friendship, death and rebirth, abundance
Ruling planet – Venus, Moon
Sign - Pisces
Element – Water
Gender – Feminine



Thursday, 25 June 2015

Stonehenge...personal thoughts from a Kitchen Witch

There have been some quite heated debates on social media this week following the open event at Stonehenge on the solstice...so I thought I would add my 'two penneth' for what its worth...

For each large event that happens whether it is the solstice at Stonehenge, Glastonbury Festival (any festival actually) or any large gathering of people it seems to be followed by photographs of the empty site afterwards strewn with litter.  It doesn't seem to matter where or when the end result usually seems to be the same...a site full of trash.  It is horrendous, it is disgusting and it is heart breaking but then look at what humans have done to the planet as a whole, I don't know why we are then surprised at litter?

I am not sure what goes through a person's mind when they throw litter, whether it is dropping their beer cans at a festival or throwing a cigarette packet out of the car window onto the verge...it is wrong whatever way you look at it.  There is a simple solution...take it home or find a bin to put it in.  Yes there are clear up crews at large events but really why should there be?  It is sad that these crews have to be put in place.

Anyway...back to the stones...

I can remember being taken to Stonehenge as a child before it was fenced off (which happened in 1978 I believe) after that we would stop on our way to the west country and look through the fence.  I have also visited several times as a tourist, walking around the outside of the fence.  However I have also been lucky enough to have been inside the stones for rituals with private access, I was even initiated at Stonehenge a few years back.

The irony is that when pagan groups are given private access there are strict rules - no food or drink is allowed in the stones...

There was a blog post this week that got me thinking, the link is here http://quantumphoenix.net/2015/06/23/stonehenge-debate-has-it-gone-past-the-fall-by-date/

One of his points was about new buildings, why don't we see new structures as spiritual places?  Why is it only old sites?   And I agree... perhaps we should start looking at new places.

He also suggests that maybe over the years of tourists and damage and disrespect perhaps the stones have lost their original power and the only power there now is created by those that dance around them...food for thought.

Personally I love the individual stones, each one seems to have its own character but I have to be honest here (and don't smite me...I am entitled to my own opinion just as you are) but I think Stonehenge may have lost a lot of its magic.  It has mystery in that we don't truly know what it was built for and probably never will but for me it is a tourist attraction not a sacred site.

There are many, many other places where I feel connected, sites that I feel are truly magical and they include my own house and garden, my local forest and standing on the beach in front of the ocean.  I visited Dartmoor a couple of years ago and standing out there on the moors was seriously special connecting with the energies.  I have been part of rituals at Knowlton in Dorset, the site of a Saxon ruin...it has the most wonderful energy.  Every time I cross the border into Cornwall I get hit with the powerful energy that it has to offer.  All of these places are special, all of these places have powerful and beautiful energy.  I don't need to visit sites that are deemed 'sacred' all I need to do is step into my own back garden to connect with Mother Nature and the energy of the earth.

Again I have to be honest...standing in my own garden surrounded by beautiful plants and listening to the birds and the bees is for me far more spiritual than being packed into a field with 23,000 people all drinking, dancing and jostling for space...but then that's maybe just me being grumpy...

For me as well a ritual is made up from the energy of the people in circle, it doesn't matter where you hold the ritual if you have lovely people there with you.

Do we visit Stonehenge for a spiritual connection or do we visit it because of the hype?  Because a whole load of people say that it is 'the place to be'? I wonder...

But please don't take this as a slight to anyone that loves to visit the stones, it is a very personal experience and if you love going and feel the magic then that is fabulous.

Stonehenge as I understand it is owned by the Government and managed by English Heritage - they have every right to decide who gets access and I don't blame them for fencing it off, something that was done as a measure to preserve the stones which were under attack from graffiti artists and people chipping lumps off to take home as souvenirs.  We are humans...as a race we do that...

Monday, 22 June 2015

COMPETITION TIME...


Facebook competition to celebrate the launch of A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food this week...

1. Hop on over to my facebook author page 
https://www.facebook.com/RachelPattersonbooks

2. Like my author facebook page (if you haven't already done so)

3. Like the competition poster status on my fb page

4. Share the competition poster link from my fb page to your facebook page

Remember to share the poster link as 'public' to your page otherwise I won't be able to see your name to be able to put you in the draw.

The draw will take place next weekend and the winner will be able to choose any one of my books to be sent to them - open worldwide.


Full details of all my books can be found on my website www.rachelpatterson.co.uk

Thursday, 18 June 2015

It's OK to have a melt down once in a while...

It seems to have been a very long few months for the Patterson household sometimes life just loves to chuck heap loads of 'stuff' to deal with at you...

At this moment in time I am fighting with my inner self, the jealous, attention seeking, selfish, Scorpio one that wants to jump up and down and throw myself on the floor in a complete all out tantrum...what about me? what about me?  

When you start a relationship with someone you are usually the main focus of their attention, the first priority on their list and they on yours...but then children come along...and the priority has to shift a bit...I was ready for that (almost), what I wasn't ready for was caring for elderly parents and children being very poorly being thrown into the mix and all the other worrying life stuff that happens and seems to occur all at once.

Today saw the signing off of a very worrying journey with our youngest.  Some while back our dentist discovered a lump in his mouth and referred him to the hospital...long story short...it was a large cyst that was growing very quickly and had to be operated on to remove.  Thankfully today he was signed off as all clear (the C word having been mentioned) and all healed nicely.

On top of that my mother in law fell a couple of months back and broke her hip, she is thankfully well on the way to recovery and back home now but the weeks that have passed have involved hours each day, every day of hospital visits (mainly for my husband after a full day's work) and weekends spent visiting too.  Now we are into the territory of a strong willed lady that wants to stay in her home (which I do understand to a point), a big three bedroomed home...with her not really able to clean and care for it or herself properly if we are being totally honest.  Not open to home help, home care or meals on wheels it is down to hubby and his siblings again to deal with it all.  Now...I am not being  a meany poop head here...she is family, you look after your own but...we both have work, we have our own children and lives to sort too and it has actually really all been a bit overwhelming.

Yesterday hubby and I managed to catch our first date day together in what feels like forever.  It did start with a trip to the dental surgery to drop off MIL's dentures to be fixed...but after that we had a very lovely breakfast in a nice cafe, a short trip to the seafront and a walk around the rose gardens. We also found a great place for lunch...although as soon as we sat down to eat hubby got a text from a sibling saying MIL needed some assistance could he go?  Thankfully it wasn't ultra urgent and we managed to eat our lunch first but it did put a bit of a downer on it because then you worry as well.  (I must add that the visit to MIL was made later that day, assistance provided and shopping done for her as well).

I do want to shout and scream and say...what about time for us?  And it has to be perfectly honest been very difficult.

Add on top of the already on top of I have been in remission from Ulcerative Colitis for the past year or so, probably longer...until last weekend when I got hit with a bad attack.  In the old days (pre children etc) I would have just folded and retreated to my room with a duvet and a hot water bottle but as a working mum you can't call in sick so I have had to deal with the UC attack as well, thankfully it seems to be responding to a very, very restrictive diet...

Oh and don't forget the lovely period that Mother Nature decided to treat me with...worst one I have ever had...

But...and here's the thing...yes I am feeling sorry for myself and having a bit of a pity party for one but then I am reminded that actually there are a lot of people, a whole heap load of people that are dealing with much worse things than we are...I should be thankful for what I have, and I am, I truly am I do have a wonderful husband, children, family and friends but human nature says that everyone has a breaking point and I do believe I hit mine this week.

I don't usually put this kind of thing 'out there'...but somehow it wanted to come out and I had the feeling that it might help others to know that everyone has stuff to deal with, that even what seems to be the 'perfect life/perfect couple/perfect person' may actually be dealing with a truck load of life experiences (not that I am calling myself perfect of course... far from it).    You just have to get on and deal with it in whatever way you can but you also have to know that it is OK to not be strong all the time...occasionally you are allowed a melt down.

For me it is about adjusting, changing and being a bit more flexible with how we run our daily life. There are other priorities now and they have to be accommodated.  I don't necessarily like it, that part of me that says "I should be the most important person" just doesn't want to shut up...but it will have to get used to it.    I worry because it is my MIL...but it is a whole lot more worrying for my husband as she is his mother.

It did also spark a conversation between hubby and I yesterday about retirement (a way off yet...) but we talked about once the children move out and we retire that we would look for a smaller more manageable house before we were too old to get up the stairs (or fall down them) so that life once we are in our golden years would be easier not just for us but for our children.

We have talked about a warden assisted apartment for MIL; smaller and easier to clean, no stairs, more manageable, home help on hand and meals delivered daily but I don't think the idea was too pleasing...it sounded good to me, I'm thinking of going instead of her...

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Spot the Dog versus works of Shakespeare...

I have had the fabulous opportunity of writing essays for several collaboration books put together by my publisher and I am very proud of the articles that I wrote especially the one about Maiden, Mother, Pensioner in Naming the Goddess oh and being asked to write the forward for the Witchcraft Today 60 Years On was a complete honour.

I recently had the offer of writing for another collaboration *not leaking any secrets* but this one has a political slant from a pagan point of view and initially I said "yep count me in"...until the other very talented authors started suggesting their subject titles...

Now I freely admit that I don't 'do politics' not in any way shape or form, I think all politicians are pretty much as bad as each other.  Although I did put my cross in a box in the recent election it was a choice made along the lines of "best of a bad bunch".

Anyway...I digress...when I started to read the subject suggestions the other authors were putting forward I started to wibble...quite a lot.   I am not stupid by any means, I was in the top stream at school, I gained plenty of O levels and was signed up for college to study art, english and business studies, I was even set to go onto university.  However in the summer holidays before college started I was walking to secretarial college one day (on my way to a shorthand course) and saw a job advertised in the Job Centre window...I went for it and got it...30 years later and I haven't been out of work for a day.  But I obviously never made it to college or university.  I have for the last 24 years held the position of Personal Assistant to the CEO of an international consumer electronics company (albeit for the past 7 years part time and from home) and in my 30 years I have worked for directors, organised company functions and parties, planned, organised and co run stands at Chelsea Flower Show, planned, organised and co run consumer electronics fairs in big London hotels and all the other stuff that you do out in the big wide world...not so shabby.

But the thought of having to write a grown up political essay of 1500 words threw me...completely.  I have to admit I put my hands up and confessed "sorry chaps but this one isn't for me".  My thoughts went along the lines of my essay looking like a Spot the Dog book for 2-5 year olds alongside works of Shakespeare...I don't need to feel that kind of embarrassment.

Now that I have released myself from the obligation I do feel relief but there is that little spark that says "could I have written it?" I suspect I possibly could have done if I had really put my mind to it but..and here's the thing, it's not me, it's not my genre, it's not what I enjoy writing about so I reckon that I made the right choice.

Sometimes in life you have to know that the right decision is not to do something and the key is to be brave enough to say no and then to feel good about what you can and do achieve already...