A Highwayman, A Salmon Jacuzzi, And Samhain

                       “The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats, 
                               music by The Waterboys

I spent part of this morning with a group of lovely people, guided by a singing highwayman from the 18th century (Singing Historical Walking Tours in Cong, highly recommended!). We saw ancient ruins, a forest, abbey grounds with huge yew trees, and a clever salmon who used the little whirlpool-like current near the foot of a bridge as his personal jacuzzi.

When I chatted to our tour guide afterwards, I asked him where to get the best sandwiches in Cong and went to the little cafe he recommended. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, the food was that good! All of this happened in the brightest sunshine, which was like a miracle after all the horrible weather we’ve had this year. Samhain couldn’t have started out any better.

Along the way, I also picked up a recommendation of the “CongRegation” which I’m most definitely going to attend this year! It looks fascinating, like no other gathering I’ve ever been to. Sounds like the perfect place to exchange ideas with openminded people.

And it’s Samhain! Remember, if you will, to look beyond the commercial aspect of buying costumes, decorations, sweets, and make-up, to the roots of this ancient celebration. It’s the night when the veil between the worlds becomes thin and the perfect occasion to commune with your ancestors.

Folk used to believe that the fairies would steal children around Samhain, which is why they dressed up their kids in scary costumes, so the fairies would think they were soulless fairy children and not human, and leave them alone.

                    Come away, oh human child, 
                    to the waters and the wild, 
                    with a faerie hand in hand, 
                    for the world’s more full of weeping 
                    than you can understand.

I love the Waterboys’ version of it, and it’s one of my favourite poems. I was reminded of it today when we saw a heron on our walking tour (…“where flapping herons wake the drowsy water-rats”). What a great song for Samhain.

I’m all ready – the house is reasonably clean, a bowl of mini chocolates is sitting on the side table by the door for trick-or-treaters, there’s plenty of briquettes next to the fireplace, and I’m all stocked on good, natural foods, including the traditional Samhain apples.

Have a beautiful, blessed Samhain!

Please feel free to leave a comment below. It will be visible after approval and I respond to every comment, so do check back later!

My Magic Slippers

Actually, they’re pretty horrible. The house I live in now has wooden floors and I only have a few small carpets, so I soon realised I’d need slippers to keep my feet from turning into blocks of ice. My local Tesco’s stocks these soft, socks-like slippers which come in a pink girly print and an equally tacky navy blue pattern.

I went for the latter and they look truly terrible, haha! But I don’t give a toss, because they FEEL amazing. You see, this is part of me re-discovering true wellness, as in well-being and feeling wonderful. I just wrote an article about it, in fact, in my Coaching newsletter (which you can sign up for here), because it’s quite a remarkable journey.

Basically, I have gotten so used to being stressed and never getting enough sleep, that it took me a while to fully appreciate the happy, relaxed life I lead now. I know it sounds strange, after all I’ve been blogging about how great it is for the last five weeks, but the truth is, I didn’t actually fully relax into my present situation until fairly recently. A wise friend once told me that to arrive in a new place, the soul needs to arrive too, and it often takes a little longer than the body.

In my case, it wasn’t just the soul, it was my mind too. I had to get used to slowing down from the constant “to do” mode and replace it by an “I am” mode. In practice, this consists of taking a lot of deep, sighing breaths and consciously NOTICING how I feel.

How I feel is mostly wonderful. That’s where the magic slippers from Tesco come in! They are so very soft, it’s like walking in a cloud. Then there’s the absence of pain from the constant lack of sleep I used to have for years. I’m still tired, my energy levels aren’t back to where they used to be and I suspect they’ll take a while to recover. And yet, I no longer have any trouble staying awake during the work day and in the evening.

During the day, I sit at my desk (like I do in the picture above) and look out of the window at the beautiful landscape outside, where the leaves have just started to turn colour. I feel the warmth spreading in my stomach after drinking green tea or a mug of healthy hot chocolate from Magic Mayan. I snuggle into my clothes and those magical slippers and my body is practically purring. Oh! I also bought new bedsheets for the first time in 10 years. I’m telling you, it was a veritable celebration to slip into them for the first time, on one of the many blissful, quiet evenings.

I’ve always trained my senses, it’s part of my approach to paganism and my magic. My body, the physical world, are very important. So this new discovery of lovely sensations is beautiful, and yet so simple. My spirituality is making a return at the same time: I have replaced my rush-hour commute with a meditation and breakfast with the cutest in the morning, and my living room has lots of space (as well as a fireplace) for rituals.

I’ve tasted freedom now, and I’ll never trade it in again. I just wish everybody could experience this level of happiness!


Please feel free to leave a comment below. It will be visible after approval and I respond to every comment, so do check back later!