Wiccan Wishes – An Online Celebration of the Wheel of the Year

Wiccan Wishes

Nature is ever changing – interweaving its sublime tapestry through our physical and spiritual lives.  From ancient times the movements of the sun and moon, the migrations of animals and the growth and decay of crops and wild foods have all been marked and celebrated in some way or other.

Solar events such as the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices were marked and honoured by our Ancestors.  There is also evidence to suggest that the cross quarter days in between these solar events were also celebrated.  In Celtic traditions these cross quarter events became known as fire festivals – Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. They were often celebrated in conjunction with a full or new moon and a public bonfire and were of great significance to the people.

As well as reminding us about physical survival – sowing seed, reaping the harvest etc., these times also marked a shift in the veil between us and the Spirit World – they became a time of magick *. A time to honour the faeries, the nature spirits, gods, goddesses and of course the Ancestors.  In short they were sacred times.

Many of us now seek to remember and draw upon these traditions once again for spiritual nourishment as modern society disconnects us from our Souls.

The Wheel of the Year – the turning of nature through the seasons – from the soft, sublime first shoots of Spring into the heat and abundance of Summer, moving into the fiery reds and oranges of the Autumnal displays to the dark and cold of Winter nights – it is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death and renewal.

Working in conjunction with the turning of the Wheel – a conscious celebration – aligns us with the natural rhythm of life – allowing us to walk in our Ancestors’ footsteps and to experience the magick and wonder of life all around us.

Celtic Spirituality was much like animist traditions such as Shamanism.  It recognises the spirit in everything – the trees, rivers, stones, mountains, lakes, sky, sun, moon, … all have spirit. The Celts saw gods and goddesses in these things and honoured them accordingly. In Shamanic traditions we honour Great Spirit in everything and understand that everything is a part of the Great Spirit.

Despite this culture and viewpoint waning with the expansion of the Roman Empire and the introduction of Christianity, in Ireland and other Celtic areas such as Brittany, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man, the traditions persisted. The gods and goddesses may have been reduced to saints or faeries but the mythology and traditions of ceremony and magick are still practised – even in Christian households.

For example, the Christmas Tree is actually an ancient pagan tradition of celebrating Yule by bringing in an evergreen tree and decorating it with wishes for the new year, bells to attract and welcome the faeries, and lights to welcome the return of the Sun.  Easter also has pagan roots – it is based on the celebration of the Spring Equinox, called Ostara in the Wiccan calendar. This is named after the Germanic Goddess Ostara – the Goddess of the Dawn. It is believed that eggs were ritually eaten and exchanged in her honour. Eggs are symbolic of creation and represent the cyclical rebirth of nature.

Another Goddess linked to that time of year is the Saxon Goddess, Eostre. She is the Goddess of Fertility and it is believed that rabbits were sacred to her. She is associated with dawn, rebirth and Spring. Even the name Easter appears to be derived from the goddess’ name, Eostre.

It is easy to see therefore that these Pagan traditions have found their way into our modern celebrations of Easter, with the Easter bunny and Easter Eggs! It is also interesting to note that in the Christian tradition Easter is a movable festival, depending on the moon (sounds very Pagan to me!) In 325 CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. Easter is delayed by 1 week if the full moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover.

The more you look, the more you see – we have not lost our old traditions, they have just morphed into “Christianised” holidays.

As we move through the Wheel of the Year from January to December we celebrate 8 major Sabbat festivals – Imbolc in February, Ostara in March, Beltane in May, Litha in June, Lughnasadh in August, Mabon in September, Samhain in October and Yule in December.

Alongside these 8 Sabbat festivals are the esbats or celebrations of the 13 full moons of the year. Each moon has a name and a particular theme and throughout the year ritual plans will be offered to you as suggestions if you decide to join us on the course.

Crafts and recipes for the time of year will also be suggested alongside visualisations, ceremonies and much more.

If you want to –

  1. Discover magick with seasonal blessings, charms and spells;
  2. Re-discover the gods and goddesses, nature spirits and faeries and call them into your life;
  3. Work with the ever changing heavens – the stars, moon phases and sun cycles;
  4. Enjoy magickal crafts and herbal remedies; and
  5. Deepen your experiences with rituals, ceremonies, celebrations and visualisations;

then this membership course may be for you!

The content is currently being created and finalised but I’d love your input. To register your interest for the new course and to help put your stamp on the content please click here.

You will be taken to a sign up page (no obligation or payment details needed) – you will simply be asked for your name and email address and then you can log into a private area where you will be asked to answer 5 short questions.

Once you answer the questions you will receive an email with a free Ritual Planner in it as a thank you for your time and you will then be the first to be offered a spot on the course when it goes live in January 2020.

This course will be a monthly membership course at £9.99 per month which you can cancel at any time if you decide it is not for you. For those who wish to remain on the course it will have fresh content added each calendar month to help you work in alignment with the Wheel of the Year. Bonus content will be unlocked each month and you will also be invited to join our Wiccan Wishes Facebook Community – a private group where you can connect with like-minded souls and enjoy support and guidance.

Register your Interest.

Blessed Be.

* Note the spelling of magick with a ‘k’ separates the magickal practice of Wiccan tradition from the circus magic acts or TV magicians.

How well do you listen?

Can you hear me?

Tell me this … how well do you listen?

Let me give you an example to think about – a little story …

She woke up that morning after a disturbed night’s sleep. Her dreams had been weird and vivid in the short, snatched moments when she did sleep. At times she was too hot and at others frozen to the core, tossing and turning through the night. Only finding the perfect comfortable spot a few seconds before the alarm went off.

She groaned and rolled over, feeling her body protest as she tried to stretch out her aching muscles. The tightness in her chest and the niggle in her throat was still there – it had been there for days now.

‘I must get up and go to work’, she thought to herself as she forced her exhausted body out of bed and into the shower. As the hot water coursed over her body she felt a little better but still not 100%.

‘In an ideal world, I’d stay in bed today’, she thought to herself. Her shoulders cried out in pain as she got dressed but on she went. Her neck stiff and sore as she tried to look over her shoulder reversing the car out of the driveway and into the traffic.  She popped another couple of pain-killers – ‘it’s just my age’ she said to herself as she joined the morning commute.

Arriving at work, she took a moment to paint a smile on and entered the office. ‘Hi everyone, how are you?’ she asked as she plonked herself down at her desk. The usual responses came in – ‘Fine thanks’, ‘Not bad for a Monday ta’, ‘OK – you?’

She responded ‘Oh I’m fine, just a little tired that’s all!’ but this was a lie. She was far from OK. She had been fighting a virus for the last week or so, staving it off with echinacea, water and essential oils but her body was screaming for sleep and rest, to give it time to heal.

She wasn’t listening to her body. Nobody else was listening to theirs either – sound familiar?

Standard response we all give – ‘I’m fine.’

Take a moment – check in with your body right now and listen to it. What is it saying to you? Is it really ‘fine’?

I’m the girl from the story – all last week and over the weekend I have known a virus was working on me and yesterday I finally listened to my body and took a full day to give myself some self care. Today, I am currently on my sofa, wrapped in a blanket, giving myself some time to sleep and rest. If it means taking tomorrow off work too as well then that is what will have to happen.

As a society we all push ourselves too much. We keep going, not listening to our bodies, not giving ourselves the time to rest and recuperate when we are under the weather – thinking it is some kind of weakness to rest. It is not weakness. It takes strength to say ‘I need a break – help me.’

As a wellness consultant it is important that I practice what I preach don’t you think?! I just need to learn to ignore the annoying little voice in my  head that is trying to make me feel guilty for doing so little – but you know what? Me lying on the sofa, resting and taking time out, is what a wellness consultant looks like, who is taking care of herself so that she can then take care of you.

Listen to your body and listen well. Rest and nourish yourself for you are so important and so needed – love yourself enough to care.

Namaste

What is holding you back?

Ball and Chain

You feel it in your chest – the tightness and the frustration. Your head is swimming, full of thoughts, ideas and plans but yet you can’t quite nail them down.

You go from being motivated and excited at the thoughts and plans that are formulating in your mind to being overwhelmed, anxious and unsure about how to make them happen.

Your head starts to pound and you feel tired – mentally exhausted and physically drained. You wonder if it is even worth the bother to try and make things happen. Maybe you should just stay put, in the job/the relationship/the lifestyle … whatever it is you are wanting to change.  Better the devil you know – right?!

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Your soul is being stifled – you want to break free (cue Queen lyrics!) It is time to make the changes your soul is demanding.

It is time to move beyond the fear and anxiety and make lasting changes – one small step at a time.

It is time to live the life you have dreamt of – the life where you feel free to be completely yourself, to work in the way that suits your lifestyle, to have the time to do the things you want to do and to have the financial freedom to do them.

But how? What is holding you back from doing just that?

For some of us, it is simply not really knowing what we really want – not being able to pin that down. For others, the desire is there but we hold back out of fear of change or we tell ourselves it costs too much to make these changes.

Tell me, what is holding you back?

Are you scared to make the changes? Do you feel trapped because of financial concerns? Are you worried what others may think?

What if I told you that it costs nothing to start making the changes you need to make – would you raise a sceptical eyebrow?

What if I told you that by getting clear on your desires and needs you have taken the first major step in changing your life – would that spark an interest?

What if I told you that a simple mindset shift can make all the difference to your world – would you get on board and start making the changes?

You can do all these things – but first you need to ask yourself – what is holding me back?

I’d love to know – tell me what your hopes and dreams are – and what is currently preventing you from making the changes that you know you need to make.

You can comment below this post or connect with me via Facebook and tell me – I am here to listen and help – after all, we are all in this life together, so let’s work together to make it better.

 

Spiritual Prime ~ Personal Shine

Woman's silhouette in sun

When you develop spiritually you allow your inner light to shine brightly – and this gives other people permission to do the same. When you see someone living their best life, shining with an inner brightness and radiating happiness, strength and patience – you want to do the same – right?

Spiritual Prime ~ Personal Shine is a new programme of personal and spiritual development which I have put together to help people who want to either get on board the self improvement bus or to help those already on board to more fully develop and grow.

When I started out on this path it was crystals and Reiki that first sparked an interest. I quickly realised that meditation and disciplined practice was also required but I wasn’t sure how or where to begin. I also noticed that there were so many options for development out there that I was in danger of starting lots of new things but never actually seeing any of them through.

This is why I have put together this new programme.  The idea is that the people who join the programme can work through a series of workshops and events together as one group over the course of a 3 month period each time. This allows students to grow relationships with other like-minded people and to have support both from me and the other students as they open up to the world of spiritual and personal development.

For beginners, it all starts with an in depth class focusing on meditation, breath-work and the basics such as chakras, auras and energy.  This is then followed up with a level 1 crystals workshop and a level 1 Reiki workshop and attunement.  Even if the person has perhaps touched on these subjects before, they are sure to learn something new.  The beginner’s package also includes 2 Tarot workshops to introduce students to the wonderful world of using the Tarot for self-improvement and a private one to one healing session together with closed Facebook group support is also part of the deal. This 3 month programme kicks off in September and runs through until November – dates are on the website.

For those who may have already made a start on this path, or for those who complete the first series of events, there is an intermediate package available which takes the learning up to level 2. Students again start with an intermediate level Development Class which then leads to level 2 Crystals and level 2 Reiki – the practitioner level.  2 more in-depth Tarot workshops are included as well as another private healing session and on-going support in the groups. This package runs from January to March.

The advanced package includes Reiki Master attunement & workshops, Crystal Master workshop and Advanced Tarot classes alongside the usual private session and support. This advanced group will meet from April to June.

So – is any of this for you? Here are some questions to consider before you decide if this is for you: –

  • Are you already on a path of self-discovery?
  • Have you started out with some kind of self-improvement – self-help books etc but you want a more spiritual outlook?
  • Do you know there is something bigger out there and that there is more to life than meets the eye?
  • Do you have an interest in the paranormal and maybe have experience of Spirit contact
  • Do you have an interest in the concepts being raised in quantum physics and energy healing?
  • Are you willing to step outside of your comfort zone in order to make the changes you want to make?
  • Do you have a thirst for knowledge and want to develop your intuitive abilities and sixth sense?
  • Are you a creative and independent thinker – able to look at things from different perspectives?
  • Have you perhaps tried things like the Law of Attraction/The Secret but struggled to make any lasting change in your life?
  • Has mainstream religion has lost its appeal and you want the deeper meaning behind life rather than blindly following the masses?
  • Are you ready to discover exactly who you are and are you brave enough to look into the dark hidden corners of your psyche in order to find out?

If you have answered ‘Yes!’ to most of the above questions then these new packages are for you.

What if you have already done some of the stuff included in the packages and just want to dip in and do the parts that are new for you?  Well, providing there is space, you can certainly do just that.  Priority will be given to those who have signed up for the full package and there are only 10 spaces available on each programme.  If 10 people sign up then unfortunately there will be no spaces left on the individual workshops but if not, then you can certainly come along! I am running a registered interest list for this purpose.  Contact me by email – debibarr@rocksnrituals.co.uk if you want to ask about individual workshops or joining the programme.

Joining the programme is by far the best value – it is significantly cheaper to join the full suite of events than it is to just book and pay as you go. It also means that you are guaranteed a place.  Once the 10 spaces are filled then the programme will be full and you will have to wait until the following year before you can join – so please do not delay if this sparks your interest.  get in touch with me today via email (debibarr@rocksnrituals.co.uk) or register your interest here.

I’d love to hear from you – where are you on your journey of personal and spiritual development? When you were starting out what would have helped you along the way? Leave a comment below or contact me via Facebook.

It breaks my heart …

Light at the end of the Tunnel

She can’t just “be” – she can’t find peace – always on the move, always busy, always feeling put upon – thinking that is her lot. She feels a deep layer of sadness because she can’t be who she wants to be – in fact maybe she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. Depression or anxiety starts to creep in, life becomes routine and boring, no fun – no love for herself. Putting walls up to shield her sensitive nature from the world – all the negativity and harsh environments around her become unbearable so it is easier to just block it out with a wall – a wall of “busyness” or a wall of alcohol or a wall of silence or a wall of blocked emotions … anything to help her keep out the troubling thoughts and emotions that remind her that she is inherently powerful, she just needs to be brave and allow her emotions to surface and to shine her light.

She feels she always has to give to others always has to be in survival mode. Unable to shine her inner light – unable to inspire herself and others to shine brightly – afraid of her own power – thinking she has no power and she is powerless to change things.

She feels alone and separated from everyone else – the illusion of separation. She has lost the bigger picture and the concept that her thoughts are things, her energy vibration is constantly attracting and repelling things to and from her, she has forgotten that she plays an integral role in the web of life.

This breaks my heart because I have been that woman. I have been there hiding behind walls, shutting out emotions until the bottom of the wine bottle made them all come pouring out. I have been the busy career girl with too little time to meditate or be aware of my own essence. I have been afraid to express myself – scared to use my voice, scared to spread my wings and fly – scared of my own light and my own power – held back by limiting beliefs and society’s conditioning.

This breaks my heart because I can identify with this woman – I can understand and I know how she feels. She needs to let go of being busy all the time – she needs to learn the art of self-care – she cannot give from an empty vessel. Knowing how it feels is important because this connects me with her in a unique way – we have shared experiences.

From these shared experiences we can then learn that we are all connected. We are all playing vital roles in this thing called “life”. We are all intrinsically linked – our thoughts and energy vibrations create the world around us and as we learn to shine our own lights, we give others the permission to do the same, and so the ripple effect begins and we create a new world where respect, love and understanding are valued more than consumerism, greed and hate.

It breaks my heart to see people feel that they cannot live the life they were born to lead and that they feel they have to play small. Life is such a gift – we are immensely powerful souls in our human form, having a physical experience and learning emotional life lessons – how wonderful would it be if we all felt we could shine our lights brightly, express our emotions without fear and live truly authentic lives – in tune with each other and in tune with Mother Earth.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end. If this spoke to you and you would like to be kept up to date with my work and find out about services that may help you then please join my mailing list here or connect with me on social media.

The pain that just won’t quit …

Woman in pain

It’s just there … every day. The constant nagging pain that won’t quit. Some days are better than others but it is always there. The twinge in the back, the tightness in the joints, the utter exhaustion of having to cope with chronic pain, day in and day out. You paint your smile on and you try your best to go about your business – people don’t understand or care really. Nobody wants to hear you talk about pain. You don’t want to be seen as a complaining bore-bag so you keep it to yourself and struggle on.

Any time that you perhaps do mention it, people look at you and say things like, ‘But you are too young to have pain like that!’ or ‘OMG are you saying you’ve arthritis at 44 – wise up!’. So you stay silent and carry on … all the time screaming inside.Sound familiar to anyone?

This is my daily life – I have lived with chronic pain for more than 15 years and today is just one of those days were it feels like I’ve had enough.  I get them quite often but over the last few days I’ve just had a big flare up and to be honest I am feeling like utter crap today. Yet I’m in work, sitting at my desk, trying to get on with it because I know that if I lie down and let it take me, I may never get up again.

I have found that the more I complain about it, or the more I focus on how crap it is to have pain every day, then the worse the pain gets. Sometimes I try and talk to the pain – I ask my back why it is so sore, or my knees why they are so inflamed … sometimes that works and by breathing healing energy into the sore area and acknowledging it, the pain seems to fade for a while.

I know that my current flare up is because I have not been really looking after myself properly – when I don’t eat well my body starts to complain. It used to just be IBS which is crippling in itself at times but nowadays it is full on joint and bone pain.  The problem is, and I’m sure many of you can identify, when you are feeling sore, tired and down it is hard to eat healthy food because you crave comfort food – yet you know that this won’t help.

I know that I need to try and move my body – get out for a walk, put my bare feet on to Mother Earth and ground the energy, go for a swim or just simply do some moving meditation work like qigong but when I am feeling like this, it is so damn hard to make myself do it – can you relate?

I know that I need to swerve the biscuits and bread and focus on the foods that my body actually wants, like fresh vegetables, high quality protein and fresh fruit – but I just want black coffee and chocolate to give me a lift, which then comes crashing down round me twice as hard.

I know that I need to drink more clean water and lose the tea, coffee and alcohol but it’s hard to swap out the hot comfort of a coffee for a cold water on a dark, dismal wintry day.

I know I need to meditate and find time for self-care – this one I do no matter what, but sometimes I just can’t turn off my internal dialogue that says ‘You aren’t good enough’. Particularly as I work with energy healing and other methods, I feel sometimes that I am not good enough since I am suffering myself – but then I remember that’s why I got into this business in the first place – to try and help myself and others who are in the same boat.

I felt the need to put this into words today because it can feel so isolating and depressing going through chronic pain. I wanted you to know that you are not alone and sometimes just by reaching out and talking about it, you can perhaps make the difference to someone who is struggling.

I don’t have a magic wand or all the answers – if I did, then I would probably be very rich and no doubt wouldn’t be writing this blog just now! All I can say is that there are several things that can help and if you can just find the strength to take one of these steps then you just may find enough relief to get you through the day.

  1. Take your focus from your internal pain to something external and see if you can find a reason to be grateful – if may be simply that you have a roof over your head and are sheltered from the rain.
  2. Have a glass of water and imagine it cleansing you from the inside.
  3. Have a warm bath or shower and allow the water to wash away your sadness and pain.
  4. Do something nice for someone else – this helps shift the energy and makes you feel good.
  5. Put your bare feet on a natural surface – sand, stones or sand, and feel the energy of Mother Earth rise up through your feet. New scientific studies have shown that this helps to reduce inflammation in the body when done regularly.
  6. Listen to your body and give it the food it actually needs, not what you are just craving.
  7. Meditate or listen to a guided relaxation sequence to help your body relax.
  8. Ask for help – you don’t have to do it all by yourself.
  9. Talk to someone – get your feelings out. Write them down if that’s easier, but get them out of your head and into reality where you can deal with them.
  10. Stick to a regular sleeping routine – much as it’s tempting to want to stay in bed all day, this will make you feel worse, so try to stick to regular bedtimes and wake up times.

I hope this perhaps helps in some small way to get you through the day if you are feeling sore, tired and low. I’d love to hear how you help yourself if you suffer from chronic pain or fatigue – what gives you the best results?  Leave a comment below or connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Happy New Year! ….. and breathe …

Happy New Year

Wow how fast did the last half of 2018 go?!  For me so much has happened over the last 4-6 months that I have barely had time to catch my breath.  I changed jobs, re-modelled my business and moved house … phew!

This is the first day in a long time where I have had time to re-connect, re-group and get back into my writing and creativity.  I’ve just spent time catching up on some Tarot readings that I promised people and once I write this short blog I intend to spend some time painting and creating a new art piece.

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  2019 I feel will be a year where we can manifest our true desires – depending on how much work we put in last year.  I found 2018 tough at times – there were many times where I had to face my fears and my shadow self in order to embrace change, heal on a profound level and start to live the life I want to live.

I completed my advanced Shamanic Practitioner course last year and I am so excited and blessed to be in the position to lead a wonderful new course with a super bunch of students who are all keen to work with Spirit on their own personal shamanic journey.

I also switched jobs and whilst it has been tough to juggle my business demands with being back in full time work, it was necessary in order to make the changes needed to my home life.  I am now settled in a lovely new home with my partner after 6 years of us juggling two houses – so it is fabulous to now all be under one roof finally.

I am already feeling the difference in the energy of 2019.  There is a subtle excitement in the air – a feeling of “anything is possible” – and so it is.  Anything is possible!  Next weekend I am running a Vision Board workshop.  I run one at the start of January each year and it is always so inspiring to see everyone’s boards take shape.  It is also wonderful to then keep in touch as the year goes on to see those visions taking shape in reality.  Have you ever made a Vision Board?  Tell me in the comments – I’d love to hear your story.

I don’t set resolutions as they make you feel like a failure.  Instead I am setting intentions – I intend that 2019 will be a year full of love, laughter and healing journeys. I intend to hold space for my shamanic students and to be the best teacher I can be for them. I intend to continue to volunteer for St John Ambulance to give back whenever I can for the abundance in my life. I intend to create more art, more writing and to not let the corporate jungle swallow me up …. watch this space!

Happy New Year to you and I hope it is everything you need and want it to be.

Blessed Be x