I wanted to do something a little different for my birthday - I think it’s good to mark occasions by doing something memorable and so we decided to have a look up on Zennor moors.
When we first moved to Cornwall, some 20 years ago, my and my husband Darren were pretty obsessed with beaches and surfing and as a result didn’t explore too much of Cornwall’s inner secrets.
We had walked up Carn Galva a couple of times over the winter and so Zennor moors was an easy decision to make as it was the next Carn along. Thankfully there was a break in (major) storms for the day and there was a beautiful big blue sky with large clouds.
The walk was fairly steep and overgrown, but the views were worth it. The sea looked magical and before we knew it we had found Zennor quoit.
The stones are really impressive and certainly add to a sense of magic and wonder up on the moors. It is such a beautiful and expansive place. So hard to get to yet so full of history and remnants of people long passed away.
We could see what we realised was the ‘old Aleister Crowley House’ and that seemed like too good an opportunity to leave. I have always been fascinated with tales about him and spent a holiday in Morocco being entertained by his book ‘Diary of a drug fiend’.
He led a life of notoriety, travelling widely and outraging society with his promiscuity and sexual adventures with men as well as women. He wrote sex poetry which was described by one critic as ‘ the most disgusting piece of erotica in the English Language’. I wonder if this still holds true or whether he was a bit ahead of his time? I haven’t read it so I cannot judge.
He travelled widely and he wrote The Law of Thelema which he claimed was dictated to him by an ancient Egyptian spirit. This text outlined his philosophy which got broken down into the dictum ‘do what thou wilt’ which endorsed the pursuit of individual will that isn’t hampered by popular views.
Aleister’ s connection with the house on the moors seems to be a little transient with him not actually living there, but instead rumoured to have conducted Satanic rituals in the house and also a black mass down at Zennor Church. It seems that he left quite the impression though and the cottage now shows signs of vandalism and graffiti created by those that are curious in his legacy.
The house had an aura of sadness to it that comes with neglect and abuse. The place is in such a beautiful area with profound natural energy that it seems a shame that it is in ruin.
After our stomp and exploration we went to have a hot chocolate in the newly opened Moomaid of Zennor ice-cream shop where we learned that the property had been sold last year.
The new owners are certainly in for a challenge, but I hope they manage to create a home that is sensitive to the area. It could certainly be a dream house despite its somewhat lively past.
Read this fascinating article by Greg Martin for more details on the history of the cottage itself including tales of hauntings and visits by monks:
I’m a little new to journaling, but spending some time with my notebook and playing with colours is a really pleasant way to spend my time. The cold and the grey weather have been starting to get to me and even though I am out walking my crazy hound every day, it feels as though I am inside more than usual.
I’m enjoying exploring watercolour’s on the texture of the paper - there is a spontaneity to working this way - often with unexpected results. I didn’t exactly plan to do quotes (far too many letters to do!) but I was rewatching The Hobbit on Netflix and the quote just resonated with me so much that I had to write it down. The process was really meditative and it got me past my fear of lettering.
There are a lot of lettering artists that I really admire and I know that they have dedicated their work to exploring letterforms. I actually felt quite intimidated to explore this in my own way, but I have found it to be fun. It’s more enjoyable for me to use an actual brush for this - every time I have tried to do something similar on my IPad I have just got frustrated and given up. Using a notebook has helped to slow down my process and made me a bit more mindful. It’s actually very therapeutic.
I am curious about bullet journaling and how people spend time making these elaborate spreads for the week. I would imagine that the process is just as important as the information. I am just getting myself into the habit of using my diary effectively so I’m not too sure if I can make the time for this. I think it will come though as it’s great to spend time away from the screen.
How about you? What sort of journaling do you do?
This is the first piece of fan art I have ever done. I fell in love with this scene in particular when they had to do a ritual on the hare moon in order to restore the powers of the coven. The clothes, the song and of course the hare were all entrancing!
How about you? Did you enjoy the series? I’m looking forward to part 4 already.
My daughter looked at me in horror when I said I was going to have homework. I explained that I was actually excited about it, but I don’t think she could quite believe it. The truth though is that taking part in Winter School is a good remedy against the winter blues. Especially when the first assignment whisked us off to Africa.
I had signed up for the ‘intermediate’ track, with the others being ‘beginner’ and ‘advanced’ and my trend brief was ‘New Dawn’. You get plenty of visual inspiration as part of your course along with companies to research and a break down of the trend’s influences, ie earthy, abstract, layers etc.
To be honest I was a bit lost to begin with.
My head wanted to turn it into something more familiar. I like dense patterns, intricacy and detail, whereas this was sparse, architectural and abstract.
My head turned to surf trips in Morocco. I had visited some years ago and I loved the architecture and the earthy pigments that painted the buildings. The rugs and patterns were also a great source of inspiration, but this trend nodded towards the more simplistic and less decorative styles.
It was interesting to use space more deliberately and I started to appreciate how simple lines could actually do a lot of work. Things might look easy when it comes to this style, but everything is actually very deliberate and takes confidence to pull back and have restraint.
The second brief was a like an exhale of relief. Winter School has a strong community based Facebook page and after collectively struggling outside of our comfort zones - the floral based ‘open country’ trend was greeted enthusiastically. I took the opportunity to get away from my iPad (for a bit) and crack open the watercolours.
It was fun to do some painting before importing my flowers and leaves into Procreate and tidying them up. I then got a bit experimental and layered the flowers and messed around with some options.
You get some nice mock up images as part of the course - the image below being one of them - and I really enjoy seeing what my work looks like on actual products.
I’ve had a lot of fun working on these briefs and seeing how other designers have responded to them. Winter School isn’t just taken by wannabe designers, but also by professionals showing that there is much value in trying something new, no matter what your level of experience is.
There is a Summer School by Make it in Design which is the same format, just in the summer. I’m not sure whether I’m going to take part yet as I’m signed up for Florals and Nature - a Design Masterclass in March - also by MIID.
I have got a busy year planned for myself - shall tell you more about it next time.
Drawing on glass is such a lovely and simple way of updating a retail window display. I was kindly asked my the antique’s shop in Chapel St Arcade to make their windows a bit festive, but not overly festive in order that they could keep them up all year.
I used the song ‘The twelve days of Christmas’ as a very loose inspiration and so there is a window with a partridge and another with a French hen. I also included a peacock and a swan on one of the window panels. It has been a really fun project and I think it has helped to add some charm and elegance to the window display.
I get asked what pens I use quite frequently and I use the same pens that would get used for chalk board displays. They wipe of easily enough if you make a mistake, the only problem is creating smudges, which you have to wipe away without wiping out anything that you are pleased with.
The main thing you have to consider when working is that you need strong definite lines and so sometimes I practice the gesture I need to make in the air before actually doing it on the glass.
You can also place dots on the opposite side of the glass to give yourself a little reference in terms of centre points or anything else that you might find useful. It all depends on how confident you are in your subject matter.
I think that Christmas is an incredibly magical time of year. I’m a big fan of fairy lights and the feeling of enchantment that this brings along with the excitement of spending time with loved ones. The smell of cinnamon and a warming glass of mulled wine is enough to bring a smile to my face and the landscape dusted with frost makes me think of wild and fierce fairies.
I am lucky to have a family and a 6 year-old-daughter who is very much into the magic of Christmas and it’s special to be part of this. However I am not immune to the pressures of buying too much and joining in the general frenzy that the season brings.
It’s almost as though there is a collective energy that sweeps you along and I think it’s useful to pause and breathe.
More than ever I think it’s important to consider the environmental impact of our spending habits. There is so much waste. So much packaging. So many choices!
It’s the thought that counts
My creativity has been utilised for many years in making gifts and I think that this is a lovely way to give someone a piece of your heart and soul. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive.
I often think the greatest gifts are found in nature! I love finding feathers, acorns, leaves, pebbles. These things can be wrapped in tissue paper, painted on or made into a special tag to make the gift feel extra special.
Layer it up
Unwrapping presents as a child was somewhat of crazy experience. It was amazing and exciting and full of ‘wow’ and ‘thank you’ and then ‘next!’ which is unrealistic as an adult. You can’t keep recreating that experience (unless of course budget is not an option and you haven’t already bought these things for yourself).
Instead, I think you can replace that sense of wonder with a slowing down of the experience, by adding the special little touches. Sometimes it’s hard to think of something special to write other than ‘happy Christmas, or thinking of you’ and to be honest by the time I get to the tag writing stage I’m pretty tired!
This year I’m starting backwards. I’m starting with the sentiment, the hand printed wrapping, the tags. I’m going to use lyrics, jokes, quotes from Elf and collect little things to layer the gift giving experience.
For me this is the fun part. The part with magic and soul, where I hope the receiver will be able to tell that I love them and I think of them often even when I am not nearby.
I don’t have a lot of disposable income and so I have to think pretty carefully when it comes to planning my gifting. I start by writing down everyone’s name that I am buying for and then brainstorm potential ideas.
Obviously you know who you need to buy for, but writing it down and leaving spaces for gift ideas helps to get the process started. It makes it a bit more real which helps me feel a little more in control, which therefore leaves space in my head to enjoy the process.
I have started earlier this year as my business also gets really busy at this time and I need to be packaging up lots of orders too!
I am lucky in that I am really involved with the handmade community in Cornwall, after having a stall at the farmers market in Sennen and also helping to organise the FLAME Christmas event at the Acorn keeps me in touch with all the wonderful things that people are creating.
Buying handmade is a great way to spend ethically as you know that the money is going to a person that is passionate about their work and also part of your local community.
Craft fairs are a great place to find gifts as you often get original items, ethical goods and less packaging. This isn’t the cheap option. This is the artisan option, where the maker is valued for their skills and time.
It’s important that cheapness is no longer recognised as cheap... there’s normally a reason and the best one is that they can buy in bulk and therefore afford to sell at discount prices. The worst is that the conditions of the makers is appalling and they are underpaid and overworked. That’s not something that I want to support.
I’d much rather know that my choices are making someone do that happy dance.
Buy better not more
I have been thinking about this a lot recently. In order to avoid wasted gifts, you know the ones that just don’t get loved - no matter how hard you tried - sometimes it’s best to just upgrade everyday items. How about some amazingly packaged organic soap (you could even make your own!) Shampoo and shower bars from an ethical/sustainable outlet ( look on Etsy!)
With so much thought going into thinking of others I also think that the magic is within you and you need to look after yourself. Don’t get burnt out by trying to do too much. Take time to relax and dream about what you want to manifest in your life. It doesn’t have to be about things. I think there is something liberating in considering what you want for Christmas. It’s like you have the permission to think about what would make you really happy. Write it down! Breathe life into it. Become the you, you really want to be.
It was a couple of years ago now that I started paying more attention to the moon and it’s phases. I set my intention to live by the moon cycles, but at first I found myself losing track of whether the moon was waxing or waning and I felt frustrated because the moon wasn’t always visible to be able to check up on it.
I designed my first moon phase calendar so that I could see at a glance what was happening and also know the ‘old name’ for each moon. To me the names of each month’s moon, such as ‘hunter’s moon, cold moon and wolf moon’ all held their own energy that helped give me a sense of connection to nature.
This has been really useful to me and I want to share a bit about how I approach working with the moons energies.
What I like about paying attention to the moon’s phases is that it is a cycle, there is a beginning and an end. I think of it a lot in terms of yoga, where the new moon is the in breath, it is the beginning of the movement. Even before you make your first movement in yoga, you would connect to your foundations, become aware of how you are feeling and prepare for movement.
This is new moon energy, it is the moment before you step out into action. A good time to do some journaling and write down your overarching goal for the month. Once you have this clear in your mind you start moving forwards and taking action. The waxing moon has a feeling of new beginnings to me. It’s like a mini new year every month! You can start afresh.
I tend to use the energy for my art and my business, it’s a time for goal setting and planning and pushing forwards, but it could be used for all areas of your life. It all depends on your personal needs. Do you need to focus on health and exercise? Relationships? Diet?
You can then use the first quarter to check in with yourself. Are you moving forwards? What didn’t go to plan? What do you need to do next in order to reach your goal for the full moon? It’s important to remember that it only takes two weeks to go from a new moon to a full moon, so it’s good to be realistic!
The full moon has a lot of energy and you can feel it 3 days before and 3 days after the actual full moon. It’s a good time to charge your crystals and yourself! You might well be feeling a bit tired as your consciousness shifts through becoming more self aware and the extra energy available to you.
It’s also worth noting that each moon has an astrological association and this is something that I am still learning about. It’s worth following Kara Melendy and Jordanna Levin to get detailed reports on the particulars!
The full moon is also the out breath and it’s useful to take a pause and reflect and start to let go of your efforts.
I was listening to a podcast by Jessica Lively and she was doing a channeled session. Some of her words really stuck with me. She was talking about how you can have fun baking a cake, mixing the ingredients etc, but you are not the oven!
This is the feeling of the waning moon. You have put things into motion with your intention and action, but things don’t happen overnight however much we wish them too. So this is a good time for taking stock, cleaning your home, decluttering and self care. It’s restorative and reflective.
The process then puts you in a really good position for the new moon when you get to decide all over again what you want and what you want to achieve.
Now of course, things don’t always run like this! I have entered new moons feeling pretty wiped out and low on energy. We are all different and each cycle will be different. What I think is important is that this is a natural cycle that we can use to check in with ourselves.
It’s a tool for going deeper into our minds because the more we do this, the clearer our habits become. We can learn what our blocks are and we can also learn to accept the times when effort is not required.
So this is how I use the moon. Of course there is much more you can do, especially if you like working with spells/ritual magic and/or like to garden! I’d love to hear how you use and interact with the moon’s energies. Let me know in the comment section or follow me on Facebook www.facebbok.com/glitterandearth
You can also buy my moon calendars in my Etsy shop www.glitterandearth.etsy.com
It feels weird to say that I’m a witch. I’m not the biggest fan of labels and I think I carry some of the fear in my dna of witches that were burned or hung.
I’ve always been drawn to the esoteric though. My love of fantasy as a child made me continue to look for it as I grew older. It felt real to me and so I sought out books on magic, shamanism and astral projection as a teenager.
I practiced drawing a pentagram in my minds eye just like one of the books instructed, I threw crystals for divination, I visualised my chakras, attempted to leave my body and practiced my tarot cards.
Throughout my life I have noticed many synchronicities, moments of wonder and deep connection with nature. Spiritually however I found myself following a more yogic path and have taken much inspiration from Buddhism and shamanism.
It wasn’t until last Christmas though that I found myself creating my first true spell. I felt emotionally and physically spent and was running by sheer will alone.
And so I gathered ivy for resilience and strength, Rosemary for health and created a wreath with them. I surrounded this with some shells and crystals which brought me joy and placed a candle in the middle. I burned incense to purify myself and the house and set my intent for healing.
This practice came to me so naturally and it was exactly what I needed to do.
I have spent a lot of this year in appreciation of nature. Witnessing the unfurling of buds and leaves and feeling that essence within me. I felt the transformation that was happening outside was also happening to me.
I also noticed a shift happening through social media through the plethora of #witchy #pagan posts. These things were not longer in the shadows, but people were sharing and celebrating their path.
There were very few books on the subject when I was growing up and the ones that were available were pretty heavy in their language. Nowadays every type of witch is catered for with books for spells, moon phases, garden witches, hedgewitches, kitchen witches etc. It no longer has the aura of the dark and forbidden, but more of a reawakening of a sacred path.
It actually gives me a lot of hope to see this as I believe that as women we have immeasurable power. We have long been distracted by images of superficial perfection. Told a story of how we should look a certain way and behave a certain way too.
I have no doubt that the hundreds of women and girls awakening to their true potential as healers, empaths and leaders will rattle a lot of bars on the old establishment. And a good thing too. This is exactly what the world needs right now.
A few moths ago I went for a chakra session. I knew that I was out of alignment and I needed self care at a level that was beyond a hot bath and a few candles.
The session was pretty revelatory to me as I got in touch with my energy at a core level without my mind getting in the way. I felt my connection to the witch I was in a previous life and I saw the witch that I was becoming - accompanied by a beautiful silver hare. I was surrounded by silvery light.
It was days later that I was reminded of the phrase ‘drawing down the moon’. I couldn’t remember what that meant so I looked it up and saw how it is a full moon ritual whereupon the goddess is called into your body.
This is pretty much how I felt during the session. It was profound and incredibly healing and it has left me knowing that this is who I am.
I still feel the weirdness of the word witch. I still don’t really like labels, but I want to be able to reclaim this word because there is a lot of power in it. Women all over the world are rising up and I need to show up too. So here I am. I am witch and it’s a special thing.
It’s kind of funny how I always thought that I wanted to be a writer, but nowadays I find it so hard to start. It’s because there is so much to say, but strange times can make words insufficient. That’s why I like illustrating and printmaking. It’s easier to reach for the next line, shape or colour than the right words.
Here I am though, working through what it means to be human in the face of environmental chaos and trying not to lose my faith that things are going to be okay.
Many people have written about the shifts in consciousness that would occur in the 2000’s and if you don’t feel that then I would be really surprised.
I might not be marching with Extinction Rebellion, but I am with them in spirit and hope that their action wakes up the people that still aren’t aware of the situation we are in.
It’s tempting, I would imagine, for lots of people to ignore the protests and pretend it wasn’t happening. Waking up is hard, painful even. It’s creating a level of stress and anxiety that is close to unbearable. I have felt it, but know that I can’t sustain that level of feeling without breaking apart and I don’t want that.
This planet will continue to thrive in one form or another - it has already seen so much and I wonder what new creatures and inhabitants will evolve to find this earth a happy home?
Our future is on pretty tenuous ground though. It reminds me of the shamanic practice of keeping death over your shoulder. Our existence has never felt so precarious and yet simultaneously beautiful. The more I consider my own death, the more I consider the beauty of the current moment.
Of course I recognise the contrast, the people in power that are riding rough shod over this planet with only self interest in their minds.
I don’t understand how we ever got this far away from our spiritual practice and yet I feel that the shifts are happening. More and more people are reconnecting with nature, exploring the Akashic records, channeling intelligence from beyond our mortal existences. We are embracing the subtleties of moon magic, engaging with nature spirits and working on our own personal shit.
This world fascinates me - I love nature and all it’s manifestations with a passion and I think if more people felt this connected then things would be a lot more harmonious. But we are evolving. I am holding onto this feeling. That this current discomfort is like the dirt that creates a pearl in an oyster. Perhaps this is a necessary growing pain in the collective consciousness.
People used to ask nature spirits where they could build their homes. They used to put stakes in the ground and if they had moved during the nighttime then that was a warning not to build there. This loss of sensitivity to our environment has lead to our loss of sensitivity to ourselves. Nature heals us because we are part of it. No wonder we are in so much turmoil.
I see the pearls of goodness forming though and I think that these are precious and the beginning of a new time of communal growth. I have much hope that a future can be created where communities support each other and the land is cared for because we are part of it and it is part of us.
Every moment we have we can choose to be kind, to reach out, to learn, to let go, to embrace our true selves, to plant a seed, to love ourselves, to help, to think with love. Don’t give your power away to anyone else. The work right now is inside all of us - learning what is of value and learning to value what we have.
I value you. Thank you for reading my thoughts - I really do appreciate it. Sometimes they just have to come out. Now to get back to creating little pieces of magic.
Drawing is often a meditation for me - it gives me time to feel what I need to feel and focus on where my heart needs to go. I gave myself time to take part in Kara Melendy’s full moon Facebook tapping session and the words ‘soul aligned action’ really resonated with me. It reminded me of Eckhart Tolle and ‘The Power of Now’ - that there really only is the now. It’s so easy to push ourselves beyond what we need in the moment - we are thinking that we ‘should’ or we ‘need’ to do it. For me that manifests as working a lot and not taking time for myself. I am beginning to realise that if I look after myself, I am going to be much more effective when I do my work. Anyway, this picture helped me to set my intention and I intend to listen to my body and intuition a lot more from now on.