Meditation for Candlemas

Close your eyes

take a deep breath in……and release

and move your awareness down to the Earth beneath you

down and down

and tune in to Her energy

This time is known as Candlemas, or Imbolc

It is the time of the first stirrings

the first glimpse of Spring

Tap into that energy

The myth of Persephone and Demeter speaks of Persephone being the Queen of the Underworld through the Winter.

And it is Winter because her Mother Demeter will not let anything grow while her daughter is away…

and will only sleep.

So see now that although Demeter is still sleeping

we can sense that she is stirring in her sleep

preparing to wake at Spring Equinox to greet her daughter Persephone as she returns from the Underworld

So as she stirs

her breath touches the catkins on the hazel

and the branches of the pussy willow

and as she turns in her sleep , her movement brings forth the snowdrops and the crocusses

Feel that energy beneath you

and all around you in the breeze that is suddenly warm

and the sunshine that is suddenly brighter

and the days are longer

feel the energy around you and below you

Imbolc is one name for this time, and another is Candlemas

the single flame

representing the energy, the light

that will grow and grow

until  the bonfires at Beltane blaze

Feel that candle flame

feel that breath from Demeter

Let it reassure you

and strengthen you

and connect you to the changes going on all around you

take a deep breath in

release

and open your eyes

 

Advertisements

The First Stirrings

Its a beautiful morning here. The Sun has risen a bit earlier this morning and the light is bright. It sort of feels different. In fact, this whole week has felt different – even with the gale force winds and torrential rain, the energy difference has been palpable. Its almost like there is something in the air.

There is -its Spring! Although we have a while to wait, and February can be ruthless, we can feel safe in the knowledge that it’s on the way.

This time of year is known to some as Candlemas. Another name for it is Imbolc, which apparently means Ewe’s milk. Not growing up in a rural setting, that name doesn’t resonate with me personally, and for me the lamb is always associated with Spring Equinox. But the imagery of the single candle flame resonates deeply. The first small warming of the Earth, the first small brightening of the sky, the single candle flame reflecting the start of the fires to come later.

There is an official date for Candlemas / Imbolc and its Feb 1/2. I always feel it as a more general time than a specific moment. To honour it though, the beginning of Feb is a good time. I always look for the first snowdrops as a sign – ethereal in their beauty and full of promise.

We also have another Full Moon at the end of January – making it a Blue Moon. A blue moon is when there are two Full Moons in one calendar month – and a blue Moon is a wishing moon. Perfect to combine with the energy of Candlemas. New beginnings, the first stirrings, emergence – what will you wish for?

Meditation Magic

One of my favourite writers is Elizabeth Gilbert. I first heard of her from the TED playlist about creativity – I absolutely loved her talk about the tortured genius and the creative process so I looked her up. I discovered that she was most famous for her book Eat, Pray Love, which I still haven’t read. But I have read another two of hers – well I say “read” – I have listened to the audio books whilst travelling and painting.

One was The Signature of All Things, a truly amazing novel,  and the other was Big Magic.

A couple of the stories from her TED talk were also in Big Magic, but so was so much more. Its an amazing discussion of the creative process – and the magic that’s contained within. The one story that has always stayed with me though, was the one about the poet Ruth Stone.

The story goes that she would see poems racing across the landscape towards her and she’d have to run indoors to grab a pen and pencil to capture them in time. She captured most of them, some escaped to be captured by another poet , and some came in backwards as had just been caught ” by the tail”

It all just felt so incredible. I’m not sure I’ve ever forgotten this story, and mused upon it often.

It was pretty special moment when I realised that the meditations that I work with every week, be it in recordings or in person at our group, come to me in a similar way. Luckily they don’t dash ahead of me on the road, or make me chase them around the garden – but they come a long and sit, sometimes a bit like gremlins, inside my head until I let them out again. They often simply sit in the way of any other ideas or concepts, absolutely insisting that they’re this weeks focus.  However much I may want to change what meditations I’m delivering, they always tell me whats what – and it always works out far better than I could have ever imagined. The energy created is incredible – and often members say how much it meant to them , or that it was just what they needed. Those creative powers that be know what they’re doing – and part of my role is to simply trust in their wisdom.  It feels good to realise that your part in your work is part of your magic, and that your magic can also be big ❤

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes….

Untitled design

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. That liminal time between the Summer and Winter, when the energy changes. Changes that are similar to those of Spring, but in reverse. Those energies are creating, these are destroying. This is the time of storms and winds, of leaves dancing around your feet as you walk and the imposing fogs late at night engulfing all in a veil of death. The first frosts and the birdsong fading. A time of transition as we head into the dark, cold, stillness of Winter.

I always see this time as a time of endings , but also of beginnings. It is said that the reason for the phrase fortnight, is because a new day was begun at dusk. Contained within Spring and Autumn are the points of balance of the two Equinox’s, the equal days and nights,  which reflect the focus of nights in their name. Using this reasoning I can see how it fits that Samhain, also known as Halloween, is seen as New Year. A view to rest and recuperate across Winter while the plans are made for the active , outdoors time of year.

So changes are afoot at HedgeRose. I am , for the first time in my quite long life, embarking on a degree. I am at University! That’s not something that I ever thought I’d be saying. It exciting and daunting in equal measure. A voyage of self discover too , as I’m taking a degree in counselling and as everybody knows, if you haven’t worked on your own stuff, you can’t begin to help another. Hard work academically and personally – bring it on!

More excitement comes in the form of official studio space at HazleHurst Studios in Runcorn. I am sharing with Claire the Doodologist and flower wrangler at CR Pitt designs. She even shares her coffee with me sometimes which is really saying something. I can think of no one else I’d rather share a room with. More artwork is heading Etsy’s way soon!

And, because that’s just not enough to be taking on board, I am also launching my online meditation group at Samhain. It is New Year after all! It struck me that a lot of people just can not physically get to a meditation group – and those are people who may be in need of it. Carers, Parents, people in stressful jobs with long hours, maybe away from home. They could all benefit from online recordings to listen to at a time that suits them, and an online group for support. I’m currently testing it out with a very helpful and lovely group of volunteers, so we will be ready for launch soon. 🙂

 

 

New Website!

I’m very excited to announce my new website.

www.hedgerosehealing.com

It really is a dream come true! Sometimes its not easy to promote yourself, but with the wonderful numerical energy of 2017* , I decided that it was time.

I am so very blessed to be doing the work that I’m doing. I really love the fact that I get to spend such special time with people, and in such circumstances. And of course the fact that this kind of work is such a privilege. I am going to relish my opportunities.

More healing, more readings, more meditation, more workshops. More of the work that I love, meeting more of the wonderful people I share that time with. I will indulge my love of my artwork ( art college rejection means nothing folks!) and make more of my lovely incense. There is an exciting announcement coming soon too.

I am also excited to be starting a degree in September – so more study too! Yay!

I love this piece from Marianne Williamson:

Our Deepest Fear

(Image credit http://www.elementem.com/products/our-deepest-fear-is-that-we-are-powerful-by-marianne-williamson)

(* I’m no numerologist, but it is said that 2+0+1+7=10=1 so that this year is a year of beginnings. I like that thought, and it certainly feels that way to me)

 

Easter Energy

If you’re like me then on Christmas Eve you’ll feel the magic all around. I’m not Christian so for me it has nothing to do with joy at the birth of the Son ( I celebrate that at Yule and my Sun is spelt differently 🙂 ), and it has nothing to do with me thinking that Santa is coming down the chimney to bring me all those things that I had been hoping for, for sadly that sleighbell stopped chiming for me long ago. It may have something to do with the Sun beginning his ascent on the Horizon, and I think it has a lot to do with the Spirit of Mid Winter riding across the sky, playing his part in the Great Hunt. What I do think it has a lot to do with is collective consciousness. So many people , of varying ages, waiting expectantly.  The night will be magic, whether it is because those mince pies will be gone in the morning , or because those candles will be lit at midnight.

This collective consciousness also touches me at Easter. The Spring Equinox is often long gone with the moving dates of the weekend, but the energy of renewal is still all around us. With that in  mind sometimes its hard to acknowledge the deep dark sadness of Good Friday.

mountains-106880_1280

I always feel it. And I always revel in it. I feel a deep reverence for the sacrifice made, and the grief of His loved ones. I feel the collective grief pouring from the Christian mind. I sit in this stillness and I reflect.

What endings do I need to make, what sacrifices? What should I learn from this pause?

I feel it touch me and envelop me, and I stop, and I listen.

early-spring-2122419_1280

Then on Easter Sunday the energy is joyous. The voices from the Churches are happy and hopeful, and families gather together. Even if its simply a time of rest, the Sun is usually shining and the activity great. ( If you live where I live then there’s a definite gardening frenzy!) Love is all around.

This week in meditation group we are going to look at these two strong energies. The coming Full Moon has filled us with positivity , but with the planetary predictions for next week, the coming darkness will be a welcome time of introvertion, regrouping and rest. We will sit within that energy and imagine ourselves filled with the beauty of the night sky.

Then we will send LOVE and PEACE to all across the globe, without and within, to all who suffer, including ourselves.

 

What is Meditation?

What is meditation?

Meditation is active relaxation. It is a spell of time when you allow the body to be still but the mind is focussed. When you are meditating your mind may wonder but you recognise this and return it to your focus – be that observing your breath as it moves in and out of your body, a journey in a guided meditation, or a mantra. ( It can be a multitude of things) It allows you to observe your body and your mind, and a feeling of emotional stillness and energetic rejuvenation can follow.

What meditation is not.

Meditation is not something you do when you’re driving.  It is not when you sit and have a little bit of time relaxing with a cup of tea while your mind wonders over the days events. It isn’t listening to the birds and watching them flit about the feeder. It isn’t looking at your crystal collection. These are all things that I love to do – but they are not meditation. They are passive relaxation.

What meditation can do for you.

Regular meditation practice can improve your stress levels. It can give you a far stronger coping mechanism when times are tough. It can give you a healthy detachment from your emotional reactions – giving you the space to observe your emotions and understand  them rather than BE them. It can improve your focus and productivity in many areas of your life. It can help you to develop Spiritually. It can help you to think with clarity, wisdom and give you insight.

Again, what meditation is NOT.

Meditation is not a quick fix. It is a skill like any other that takes practise.

Meditation can give you so much , but you must be prepared to put in the time to help it along. It can allow issues to resurface too, maybe time for you to be aware of a physical ailment, but alongside that should be the strength to go forward with that issue – whether you feel that it is OK just to be aware of it, or feel you should get professional help. A lot of meditation is self awareness. Your body and mind may resist. A change in the status quo can be seen as dangerous by the subconscious, but please keep trying. It really is so, so worth it.