Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Avebury Birthday

On a misty April morning there are few better places to be in England than Avebury. In fact, take that for most days!

The only place where a village is contained within the largest stone circle complex in the UK! So I thought for my Birthday this year, I would like to spend it there. I've been a couple of times before, and each time has been magical and insightful in many ways. The first time I went, we were guided around by the inspiring and exceptionally knowledgeable Maria Wheatley and Busty Taylor, and the second time I went with the gorgeous Lucy Cavendish.

Avebury is not too far to get to from London, the train to Swindon takes about 50 mins, and the beautiful bus ride is only 20-30 mins through rolling countryside, where if you look carefully you can see a chalk Horse carved into the hillside.

Arriving in Avebury by bus, you get dropped inside the stone circle, yup I did say inside. Some divine inspiration no doubt, carved a small but very main road through the middle of the large stone circle.  Such is the respect for our wonderful megalithic past!

It's not too hard to imagine the grandeur of what the Avebury complex may once have been, (if you ignore the lorry going past you, and pretend that potentially hundreds of the stones had not been destroyed and/or made into parts of the village houses, walls, chapel, etc)

If only it was preserved more like it once was. It took our ancestors many, many generations to complete such an ambitious temple and processional works. Alas, despite the magical and majestic power house of energy of Avebury, it didn't take long for people to destroy it! Most of the stones were buried in Mediaeval times, perhaps from fear of persecution from the church, or  maybe to clear the land. Later in the 17th Century, worse still many of the stones were destroyed, vandalised and used for housing and church building.

Thankfully around the 17th/18th Century, some people saw sense, namely William Stuckeley who was responsible mainly for how we envision the Avebury complex now,
Here are some drawings images from Stuckeley and just after Stuckeley's time of how Avebury might have once looked:

The first time I went to Avebury, I learned how to dowse and tune into the powerful energy ley lines there. Despite the destruction it is still a place of amazing energy and astrological alignments.
Inside the outer circle there is temple to the Sun and the Moon, with alignments to different festivals and Solar and Lunar events.

There is a long processional way leading from what is called 'The Sanctuary', on the right of Stuckeley's area drawing above, which leads to the main banks and circles. The deep ditch/bank, which surrounds the circle would have been a lot deeper and higher when the temple was in use, with the chalk underneath gleaming bright white. What a sight it must have been, travelling through the processional way, with only torches and starlight to guide you, and seeing the bright white bank of the temple circle!

Back to the modern day, and back to the pub! Everyone who has visited Avebury will be familiar with the Red Lion pub -  a pub in the middle of a stone circle -  awesome. It's also thought of as one of the most haunted pubs in England. It can hardly escape having an interesting energy, considering where it's place. It also does fabulous grub and beer to keep you warm on a long day exploring!

We also walked to West Kennet Long Barrow (which is the first Long Barrow I visited a few years ago, and ever since I have become fascinated with them). A place of such astounding energy and history, where a deep respect for the ancestors flows through the earth. It is believed  to be around 5000 years old, and when using dowsers in there, they react very interestingly -  swinging one way then the other suggesting underground water activity there.

As we walked to the barrow you can't help but notice Silbury Hill, the only remaining man made pyramid/mound in the UK. Little is solidly known about the uses of the Hill, but we have a few ideas and theories....

Here are some photos by my partner the fabulous Gordon Burns of my Birthday day trip to Avebury, after you've looked at them go check out his amazing work!!! :)

Me at Avebury

Avebury Stone Circle

Silbury Hill

Me at west Kennet Long Barrow

Thank you for reading. x

Monday, 8 April 2013

Magickal, Mad March & April Part Two - A Deeper Healing

After the excitement and busy-ness of the wonderful Avalon Faery Ball and Stall in March we spent a little time on the following Monday morning finding solace in one of my favourite places Chalice Well Gardens.
Photos by Gordon C Burns

We originally planned to climb the Tor first, but the icy wind was so strong that we decided against it this time. In the more sheltered gardens we were still chilled by the incoming March snow, but I hardly noticed as the atmosphere and energy of the gardens is always perfect.

There is always a special bird which makes themselves known in Chalice Well, usually for me it's their famous personality filled Robin, who follow and keeps a curious eye on you -  a real emissary from the other world!

This time is was the magical and melodic Blackbirds who stole the day, scurrying around amongst the emerging green. The Blackbirds were acting like they owned the place at time of year. The Blackbird heralds the dusk and dawn -  the 'in-between' times (please see my video on Blackbirds for more info), and what more perfect bird to greet us in this true gateway between the worlds.

I love listening to the waters travel from the well through the gardens. I start my walk in the gardens via the gateway yews and walk up through the small gates to the healing pool. In late October last year me and two friends paddled (albeit briefly) in the healing pool (picture below -  of me loving the cold!), this was not going to happen this visit! Brrr

As I wander through the gardens up to the well and beyond I am at peace with the land, flowing like the waters, gentle as a spring breeze, deep as knowing.

The Red & White Wells of Glastonbury (the White Well is just across the road from Chalice (Red) Well) are places of absolute bliss and power. they both feel so different; one comforts, the other opens you up and allows you to let go.

The picture currently used as the background for this blog is from the deeply powerful White Well.

I always wear my Chalice Well ring, and as it picks up 'crap' from every day life it was good to cleanse it in the well waters...

My chalice ring looks quite happy here, after the cleansing!
My favourite place to sit in the gardens is a swinging chair, where you get a lovely view of the Tor. When I spent a few days in Glastonbury in September 2011, I sat sketching for a few hours on this seat, in the afternoon Autumn sun - I was kept good company by Dragonflies and Robins then. It's a perfect place to relax and wonder.

And then, alas it was time to drive back to the chaos of London, but I took a bottle of well water, as well as a more peaceful heart with me back to the big smoke.

The true healing power of water will be explored more in my next blog update, as well as the wonderful benefits I've been experiencing from Qi Energy Treatments.

Thanks for reading,
Laura x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Magickal, Mad March Part One - Fire & Faeries

In the first week of March 2013 I thought to myself, buckle up- this is going to be one hec of a month, and I wasn't wrong! It's been a wild ride through the elements and through magic, dance, art and healing.

The weather has been... well unswervingly cold, we've had snow, Arctic winds and blizzards pretty much from the start, and there's still not many sign of spring arriving -  apart from some brave leaf buds, catkins and seeds on the trees. But that hasn't stopped the onslaught of spring activity.

So much has happened that I'm splitting March into three blogs!

The bigger events of March started with the Avalon Faery Ball & Fayre on the 9th-10th March. The week before was a flurry of activity, I prepared arty goodies, some Badger themed ACEO' (Art Cards, Editions & Originals), Goddess & Faery Pendants (also available in my lovely Etsy Shop!), Canvases and Prints. 

On Friday morning we hired a little car (which we aptly named Moonstone) and rammed it full of  goodies (plus Gordon!) and headed down to Glastonbury. We arrived in the evening, a little frazzled after a long journey, but as soon as we checked into Ye Old Travelodge, we were delighted to bump into the lovely Esther Remmington (artist and all round craft goddess) and her equally talented (and lovely!) partner Martin Winckles, it suddenly felt like the magic of Avalon was beginning!

Esther, Gordon and I -  Photo courtesy of Esther Remmington.

The traditional Friday evening at the George & Pilgrim is always lovely, not many things can feel more like a faery home coming than chatting with fellow artist and creative types including Linda Ravenscroft and armourer extraordinaire Terry English.

Me and the legendary Terry English

The atmosphere at Karen's events are great, it's a big ever expanding faery family. Every one I saw had really up-ed their game, as it were and their stalls and art were looking fabulous. I'm honoured when people like my art and it's so good to meet new people, and talk about my work! :) 

Here is my stall... big thanks to Jenny Holmes for making the gorgeous bunting for me!

The Faery Ball was quite an event, as I ended up being the entertainment rescue team! Stepping in to model a BEAUTIFUL Mermaid wig for Ghoulia's Perculiars, was great, but we only had a minuscule amount of time to choreograph the wig model show. With the help of some other mermaids and Faeries we pulled it off though!

Next was the fiery hight-light of the night - the fire performance. I joined the faery talented Felicity Fyre Le Fay's fire choreo using Fire fans to dance to Sister of Mercy 'This Corrosion'  -  awesome! It was a real high and something I'll remember for a while to come...

Above, Me, Felicity and Aria dancing to 'This Corrosion'  - photo courtesy of Deborah J Ballantyne.  We even made the front page of the Central Somerset Gazette!

There were some amazing outfits and costumes at the ball, my partner Gordon had a photography studio there and captured some magical shots...

We danced away to the sounds of the Dolmen, and drank from the giggling Goblin Bar, Esther and I were swung around by Terry English  - he sure is a strong guy! :)

Here are a few more faery highlights in pictures -  pictures by Gordon C Burns for a (glorious) Karen Kay event...

Above clockwise: Me and my dancing faery pal Freya, the wonderful Martin & Esther launch their new venture Triba Mythica , Sarah looks GORGEOUS in a Terry English breastplate, and Michael Tingle looking mischievousness at the FAE stand! 

Finally, some of my treasure from Avalon, a lovely Ivy Necklace by Triba Mythica and a Terry English    armour necklace, modelled on Liam Neason's off cuts!!!

More magickal tales to follow! xx