Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse Yule

A very special solstice lunar eclipse Yule blessing to you all!

My post this Yule is dedicated to Gemma
she inspired both the painting and poem
thanks lovely lady!

She walked wrapped against North Wind’s bite

Watching ice flow by snow softened river bank

She froze transported by transcendent light

A Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse Yule

Her thoughts flew


When is this place?

At first of dawn or last daylight in the darkest of long night

Through seasons turn with old river’s churn and marching trees

In all her greens through bracken copper to silvery whites

Bathed in Sun Moon Wind Rain now Snow Ice

Here the veil is thin

Ancient voices pour


In this ever changing timeless never changing place

Here in the faithful turning of The Wheel



The Solstice Eclipse 2010

photographed by Foggy who braved -14, in his dressing gown!

Have a fabulous Yule and otherwisely alternative festive season - off to re-light last years Yule log!

Love and Light

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Music from Rob - Don't Remember

Here's another great song from Rob

I've added Damien Hirst's image "Under the Table"

Just seemed like the thing to do!

Thanks Rob - got these toes tapping again

Have a great Yule over there in the Orient!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How lovely to introduce a beautiful illustrator and fellow blogger
 I asked her to share some recent work with us.
She's made me revise my thoughts about ballet
This is beautiful!
Thanks Alexi!

With early Winter upon us, I feel that there's a magic in the air that
makes me want to dance! I would love to share my recent illustrations
inspired by a "ballet" video I found on Youtube."

Polina Semionova and newspaper dancers

I didn’t realise I liked ballet so much until I stumbled upon a youtube video of Polina Semionova dancing when I was looking randomly for dance videos. It entranced me so much I had to keep playing it over and over again. I’ve been a fan of Sylvie Guillem and seen Carlos Acosta, but I’m not normally a fan of traditional ballet – it seems so unnatural to be up on pointe. I’ve changed my mind now, I’m a fan, so I’m posting this youtube video and have used it to make some sketches that I did on old newspaper. I like the texture created by the newsprint and the way that it looks transitory and transparent. But I know I haven’t done Polina justice!


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Walking the Mist

More snow...and freezing fog as well

Makes me want to stay in by the fire and read

this is one of my favourite celtic books at the moment

Walking the Mist
Celtic Spirituality for the 21st Century
by Donald McKinney

anybody got any other recommendations?

please add yours to the comments looks like i will be staying in for a while!


Friday, 3 December 2010

Winter Solstice, Yule and SNOW!

A reminder that Yule is a few short days away and, for a presently shivery, incapacitated, snow bound UK, the days will then start to lengthen and soon we will have beautiful snowdrops to lighten our hearts. 

Let us know how you spend this festive season by sending your photos, paintings, words, music or any other arts and crafts or activities.

Look what the snow made me do!!!

Wolsingham Walk
Snowy Pink Dawn

Warming love and light to you all


Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Month 'til Yule

Oh yes, just a month to go and we will be deep in the festive season and our first set of visitors arrives next weekend - the party starts! 
Here in the UK snow is predicted for the end of the week, I don't know about you but we're stocking up the cupboard, have hauled out the snow shovel, got in the salt and are just excitedly (OK and somewhat shiveringly) waiting for the countryside to change into her silver and whites.

I thought I'd share with you some images of Sally's fantastic workshop last week in the beautiful and mystical Forest of Dean.
Sally showing us how, Ian (brilliant digital artist btw!) recording the event and me recording the recording of...

Already, exquisite detail emerges

I learnt so much, painted, was inspired, uplifted and motivated by the workshop, by the new techniques we learnt and from the sensitive, clear feedback dealt out with lots of beautiful nurturing support. Thanks Sally!
I want to show you something that I've painted since coming home. 
I hope this warms you all up!


Love and light

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Samhain 100x120cms

this my samhain painting...the turning wheel...the glorious autumn colour...and thanks to Ian for his inspiring photo below
the stitching influence in this piece is clearer if you click on the painting to enlarge it
and i've written a little more about that on my own blog summerland

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Germanic Rune

An image of Samhain from Ian -thanks m'dear I love the spiral, colours and texture, it is a multi- layered and symbolic image of the turn of the Wheel!

This image seeks to combine Germanic Rune "for completion of the cycle", year, harvest (take your pick, grins!) and Autumn/Samhain ... and about a thousand other things! The concept of permanence is explored in this image, the rock as background, foundation and the plants continually rebuilding, growing and reproducing offer a different style of endurance.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Samhain Weekend

A photo diary of an amazing couple of days.......

in this beautifully restored eco barn

(A bit dark but you get the idea)
The (fabulous, diverse and comprehensive) creative writing workshop lead by
Elizabeth Wilson of Infinity Development

this is what I wrote....

Dove Valley Peace

Old wood creaks pen scratch laptop tap coffee smell senses feed

Soft Samhain sun falls in waves entices calls

Sound spirals thoughts curl words shape

Then to paper fall drip ooze or leak.

Barn sits square in stone oak lime and time

Soft greens thread the stony holy peaks

Long ploughmarks write the land with ancient song

Stone walls old castle earthworks cattle sheep farms

Life remains

Dove Valley



Sows seeds and peace

Spiral treasures from Rwanda

More information here
about Elizabeth's recent visit there

Apple Pickle

The best use for a cauldron, or was that the Bombay Potatoes?

and that night, in the stillness and calm
I honoured those who passed before,
placed this beautiful mica clad, ages old, air bubble
here, on my shrine, on top of the loo.

 I like to keep a sense of perspective!

Happy New Celtic Year

Love and Light

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Severn Journey

Here's a lovely poem from Roger - a thoughtful journey.....

Thursdays are early mornings for me
I get a train at 7-58 that hurtles me into Gloucester

leaving behind the nature of the Forest of Dean
but feeding me with the pleasures
of the ever-always-changing River Severn.....

Where my eyes fail
My dreams arrive

Sparse trees making their slow way
across fields chopped flat

birds clip a xylophone of leaves

some things to remember
some things to do

Mist-cloud-fury of fading dawn
and water curling in its own danger

They threaten windmills
nothing could steal this show

Each word measures my journey
prolongs my memory

Pays back the cost of my ticket
and beckons the day closer

best to all
will send some pics



Saturday, 16 October 2010

Samhain Approaches

If you're having trouble viewing this, please double click on the title (Samhain Approaches) then it may work! Sorry folks - some Blogger anomaly I think - it works Ok through the dashboard!

Squint your eyes and choose to see

I hope that fired you up! 

Samhain is a fortnight away and is the start of the Celtic year. 
The Wheel has turned full circle, the harvest is home and larders are well stocked, the trees are rapidly shedding leaves and drawing sap into their hearts ready for the winter's rest.
This festival is honoured in many different ways, with fire and feasts, with stories of long ago, with rituals and in "All Hallows Eve" pursuits.
It is a time for remembering departed spirits, their deeds and ways, one of the gateway between the worlds, when the veil is thin. 
A time to bring your sheep and cattle (figurative or real) down from the high summer pastures to safety for the spring or to slaughter to sustain us through the dark winter months.

Dunk your apples, feast with friends
Reflect on the year just passing and plan for the next
Light your fires and in them cast your offerings or prayers 

Share how you celebrate Samhain by sending your contributions to celticyeartwo@btinternet.com
Love and firelight


Friday, 8 October 2010


Hi all

Just wanted to say big thanks to Ian for the changes he has made to our banner.
His original art work and Liz's words compliment each other so beautifully.
The words were originally as a spiral around the art and can be seen here


Nobody But Me

Here a musical contribution from Rob that's sure to get your toes tapping and your empathy engaged!

My apologies for the video but Blogger can't cope with music formats - unless any of you know differently....please..do let me know!

Yay! Thanks Rob and welcome to the Celtic Year

P.S. Rob lives in Japan.....

Monday, 4 October 2010

Norton Woods

Taken on his way to get the biggest and shiniest conkers he had ever seen
 in Norton Woods on the way to Clumber park from Bolsover, Derbyshire.

I love this atmospheric, beautifully lit, elegantly framed picture so much
 I'm walking through it.

Andrew, thank you  for letting me post it and welcome to the Celtic Year!


Friday, 1 October 2010

Abnoba and Autumn Equinox views of Lumsdale


A slip of a breeze over her dark cloak

She emerges in cool grey ripples

Green foliage skids on the pond

Mouldy squashed berries

Migrating geese rise

 Bracken spores float 




Feasting from the fruit of her forest

She dances to a harvest moon

Fly-ing over spiders’ webs

Through hedge, where rose hip twines

Lying by the brook

Under the stones

All alone

Now she


On the bank, a greedy little dog

Eyeballing the daft, dabbling ducks

The crunch of human foot steps

Concealed by the trees

Abnoba she hears

Poises to fight

But instead
Turns and


Abnoba was the Celtic Goddess of the Black Forest itself, a mountain in the Black Forest, childbirth, and a number of rivers; the river Avon is thought to be a variation of her name


There are more glances of Lumsdale (at Imbolc) here

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Derwent Dams

Here are some wonderful photos and prose from Helen, her first contribution to the blog. Welcome Helen!

The shower broke, a plumber was called – ‘3 November is the soonest I can come’…….’did I give you a date? Sorry can’t make the 3rd, next week looks better, ok the 9th’

The 9th dawned; thick fog, dismal, gloomy. The prospect of heading for the hills was unappealing but the plumber needed a dog free environment.

The higher I drove, the clearer it became until I emerged into the most perfect autumn day!

The air was pure

I wanted to fill my lungs

I greedily inhaled and felt the cleansing effect course through my veins

I wallowed in selfish solitude but wanted to share the experience

The beauty I could see

The freshness of the pine resin I could smell and taste

The all consuming silence I could hear; and

The springy earth I could feel

The calmness of the day gently warmed by the distant sun was reflected in the mirror surface of the untroubled water of the dams and I began to reflect on the blood, sweat and tears lost in the creation of this incredible feat of engineering, the loss and sacrifice of the former residents whose village was laid to rest in the hidden depths of the flooded valley, the provision of water that is taken for granted by those supplied by the dams and the almost guilty pleasure that this day had given me

Derwent Dams
Derbyshire Peak District

When I returned home, the water of the dams was again flowing through my repaired shower!


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Long Meg and her Daughters

Saturday was a beautiful autumnal day crossing the Pennines across high moors via the cobbled streets of Alston and the impressive Hartside Pass to visit Long Meg and her Daughters (this link has Wordsworth's thoughts about the circle)

The Lake District from the top of Hartside Pass. I love the fading colours.

Long Meg watching over the circle, oh yes and the cows. These pilgrims paid their respects and left. leaving a stillness, a peace, no human sound, a panoramic sky, the evidence of our ancestors and a buzz in the centre that would not be denied.

Long Meg, silvery lichen highlighting the stern planes and etching the wrinkles of her timeless face.

One of the spiral markings on her side.

More photos to be seen here , ironically we used sat-nav to get to this amazing ancient place, the co-ordinates are NY571372 !


Mood: Connected!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Green Man's Autumn Equinox greetings

This amazing sculpture is deep in Hamsterley Forest, one of my favourite haunts, it is place of beauty, peace, wild spaces and provides wonderful walking meditation for me. I wrote the poem a few years ago now but it still reflects how I feel about walking in nature - although, these days, with more creaks and groans from both me and the forest I think.


The physicality of motion
Hips harmonically playing
Striding stretching, bending
Feeling every muscle working

The sensuality of action
Skin glowing, sliding, heart pumping
Optimum function, oxygen flooding
Pleasure centre responding

The practicality of reaction
Through thought, muscle patterning
Feet, legs, body, head all following
Mind appears aimless, meandering

The freedom of distraction
Unconsciously sorting, clearing, storing
Shoulders relaxing back straightening
Peace, balance, tranquillity affirming

The release of emotion,
Earthy walking potion
Body, soul unification
Sanctified inspiration 

I'm hoping to go and see Long Meg and her Daughters at the weekend, so watch this space!


Thursday, 16 September 2010

A reminder that here the autumn equinox is a week away, enjoy the turn of the seasons!

Harvest Home

Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, or simply
this wild season of winds and gathering for the days ahead,
this time of changing colours and  low late summer sunlight,
this time of preparation, of clearing and sorting, of equal day and night.

Breathe in this deepening light, the summer work is done,
the winter's tasks ahead, dance, sing, feast and play,
reflect on all that's past and plan your winter crafts
treasure the Harvest Moon, tend the home fires, honour the Green Man

The Wheel turns on with wisedom, healing and rest.

As some of you will be aware, I became "blog mistress" last Samhain and Sally has proved a hard act to follow! If any contributors would be interested in taking on this interesting task for the next Celtic Year it would be great to hear from you! e-mail me at celticyeartwo@btinternet.com  also I'd be very interested to hear your views about the blog, whether we should continue into year 3, how it could develop, oh and, of course, to send your contributions. These could be photos, crafts, painting, writing, music, videos.....don't worry about the Celtic connection - it is worldwide and in our very bones.

Greens, browns, reds, orange and yellows!


Friday, 3 September 2010

Harvest Time

Another month has passed and we can now feel the hints of Autumn in the air, summer has been such a busy and happy time, so apologies for the lateness of this post.
Since Lammas I've been watching the changing landscape and the greening of the cut hayfields. I wanted to share with you this painting and poem, written for my lovely young friend to remind her of summer.

Magic Meadow
Under summer evening sun in the time after haymaking,
Climbing from greening fields she reached the fairy mound
then sat serenely amongst fantastic flowers.
She connected with black cat who watched
Brownie as he tumbled and laughed.
All silently seen by Heron.
Each at ease in a magic meadow spilt from nature’s book.

and some detail

Enjoy this turning of the seasons, it is less than three weeks until the Autumn Equinox, already my blueberry bushes are changing into their reds and golds and I'm looking forward to more amazing colours from nature.



Friday, 30 July 2010


Standing, I turn the tap
And the river runs through me
Bathing my fingers in cool serenity

I recall sitting sublime on our riverside
Talking in the balm of a breathless July evening
Fingers trailing

Dusk’s midges rose from the almost still water
Fluid black clouds
Threatened pin prick bites

You laughed as creeping cigarette smoke
Hastened their retreat to munching bovines
Lethargic in summer’s lolling haze

Led inevitably into cool darkness
The conversation drifted, meandered, echoed our companion
Yearning for an ocean to wash our souls clean

The shooting star distracted us
Its death igniting a different passion
That waned too with the fading moon

I recall my digits, invisible in the darkening murk
Of night hidden river
Slowly numbing in the chill water

Shocked, I turn the tap clockwise
Ceasing the flow
Enough is enough


Sunday, 25 July 2010

Lughnasadh/Lammas/FirstFruits/Brón Trogain

Hi all

Just days now until the celebration of the new harvest, this is a time for gathering and collecting the fruits of our labours, a time for sharing the work and the harvest with others, a time for seeing and planning for what is ahead. Not always easy to achieve I know, the way is often shrouded. This painting is called "At MistRise The Way Appears" and expresses this challenge for me.

Lugh is the Celtic deity of the Arts and of Science and he decreed that a feast should be held at first fruits time to honour his foster mother Tailtui, a royal lady of the Fir Bolg who died of exhaustion trying to clear a forest for planting grain when ordered to do so when defeated by the Tuatha De Dannan. The feast celebrated the harvest and Tailtui's life and games and contests of skills took place. It may be that the Olympic games themselves were started to commemorate fallen heroes and comrades of battles, offering a portion of the harvest to the gods is commonplace in many religions throughout the world, we all give thanks and honour to nature's bounty which sustains us all, on many differing levels. This idea of sacrifice is clear in the Wicker Man, Green Man, Corn Man concepts, the sacrifice to ensure more in the coming next year, this "death" acknowledges the coming of the winter months, but we don't want to dwell on that overmuch just yet, there are many summer days ahead, days for gathering in, for storing and for creating!

I love to try new art forms so here is a small batik with fire, sorry the images have not been tidied up in photoshop -on the wrong computer! Unusually for me, this is untitled as yet, suggestions would be very welcome!

Let us know how you celebrate, I can't wait, lovely friends are joining us for home made pizza (our Celtic 21st century version of bread) and we will have fire, drink and joy!

Summery hugs with love and light


Friday, 16 July 2010

alentejo solstice

Mothers and Children

I was tasked to produce a pot after Henry Moore's theme, Mother and Child, this is my take, two mothers, two children with a lovely creamy vellum glaze.
Love and light to you all