New year, new blog!

Hiya guys,

I haven't actually disappeared, believe it or not. I am back, but in wordpress form, lol. If you are so inclined (and I sincerely hope you are), please pop on over from time to time, it'd be great to chat with you all again.

Much love,

Haley @

Hold On

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.

Recently I've been scouring the internet and books for prayers that really speak to me. This is because I will be getting my very own set of custom made prayer beads soon (more on that in another post =D), and do not feel quite ready to write my own prayers yet. Throughout my search, I discovered the ones that moved me the most where the ones of Native American origins. Their culture and beliefs were so embedded within the land that they lived, you could almost taste, touch, smell the earth, the rivers and the sky which so often feature in their prayers. To me, they're also so direct, they pierce straight to the heart of the matter. I love this prayer, especially the first and last lines.

'Hold on to what is good,
Even if it is a handful of earth.'

What a beauftiful, strong sentiment. That despite all the hurt, pain, and darkness that we may feel permeates our lives, all it takes is to stop - kneel where you stand and touch the earth. Even something as simple and mundane as a handful of earth can remind us of the potential for life and hope in barren lands. This reminds me of one of my most favourite movie quotes, from The Lord of the Rings:

Sam: Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going… because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

(Samwise rocks my world =D).

'Hold on to my hand,
Even if some day I'll be gone away from you.'

This line really speaks to me, as someone who struggles sometimes to open up and be vulnerable. To me it means that despite any hurt that loss may cause, even the briefest times of happiness, love and peace are worth being hurt over. It reminds us to cherish what time we do have, to 'kiss the joy as it flies'. Again with a quote from one of my favourite songs of all time, Love Song by Pink:

'I'd rather bleed with cuts of love than live without any scars.'

(Pink also rocks my world =D).

And I don't know about you, but this last line also twists the focus of the prayer at the end. Throughout the prayer, is if I was saying it I'd say the words in it as a reminder to myself, of what's important, to remain strong. But the last line, if I read it out loud and said 'Even if some day I'll be gone away from you', it switches the focus outside of myself, as if reading it for another person. It suddenly reminds me of my place in all this in regards to other people. To not only ask for strength for myself, but for strength for others too, and to be their strength in times of need. I dunno, maybe I'm over analysing here, but it's what I see.

To me, this is a heartachingly simple, touching, strengthening prayer. I hope you like it as much as I do, I simply had to share it.

Question: What part of the prayer most speaks to you? Or how do you interpret parts of it/what does it remind you of or to be aware of?

Confession time!

Hiya everyone,

Yes, I am belated in my belated return, lol. I really wanted to continue with the Witches Pyramid series I had going on, but I hit serious problems with the 'To Dare' part. I reached nearly half way through the post but abondoned it in frustration. I wanted to talk about openness and the willingness to be vulnerable. To talk about daring to truly connect with others, despite our own fears of rejection and our emotional barriers. What this really highlighted for me that I was talking about something that I hadn't really gotten to grips with myself - I could talk the talk, but do I really walk the walk?

So I've abondoned it for now. Who knows, maybe in time and when I'm a little more daring myself, I can feel like I can share my ideas about it with you. But until then, I'd rather admit that I'm struggling with it and need to work through it still than pretend I've got it all figured out. Hope you all understand that.

Saying that, I have really enjoyed thinking about the Witches Pyramid. And I've been touched by the response I have gotten from the 'To Know' and 'To Will' posts, and glad that some of my musings have struck a chord with people =).

Well, now I've got that out of they way I can continue with posting without feeling like I have to force through the 'To Dare' post, so expect to see me a bit more frequently now, lol.

It feels good to be back

Hiya everyone,

Phew, I've been away for a while. Which wasn't very convenient, seeing as I was in the middle of a quartet of posts for Pagan Values Month, lol. I can't really explain why I just stopped really, a lot of things were going on, final few weeks of the school year so my job was extremely hectic and tiring, as well as trying to do all the fundraising for War Child. The blog has just been pushed to one side. But, now the school year is finished for now, and I miss keeping in touch with you all! It's funny really, when I started this blog, I didn't know I'd become so attached to it and all the people I've met through it.

I'll be catching up with a lot of your posts, and I intend on finishing the PVM posts too. I'll just pick up where I left off, I guess! I look forward to getting back in touch with you all again =).

To Will :: Pagan Values Month

To Will is . . . to let the fire of your spirit shine to it's fullest, and in doing so act in accordance with your truest self to uphold all that you find worthy and good.

Will is the manifestation of your personal power. Just what is personal power? It's the evidence of the divine shining through the filter of your human personality (damn, I know that sounds corny, but I can't think of any other way to put it! *cringe*). It's that eternal, connected part of ourselves that expresses itself through our physical actions. On its way, it becomes altered by our human experiences - our hopes, dreams, memories, fears, talents, quirks, insecurities and relationships. This in itself is a complex and amazing thing - that all our power comes from the same, unknowable but deeply intimate and sacred source, yet is totally individual to ourselves and something that can never be taken from us.

When we let our spirit shine through our actions, we are acting from a place of honesty and integrity. We become living expressions of authenticity. Some people's personal power is shown through their kindness, their creativity, their leadership or their strength. There are myriads of ways through which people show their authentic selves. Sometimes these qualities of spirit seem buried beneth layers of social expectations, self imposed limitations or conventions, but they are always there burning inside waiting to shine.

Our Will is when we use these soul-traits to make postive actions in our daily lives. When we use our kindness to lighten a stranger's day, or our strength to support a vulnerable family member, we are using our Will to manifest happiness in our own and other peoples lives. We also use our Will to manifest our dreams or goals. Our creativity coul make art that inspires others to look at their lives in a different way, or our leadership skills could bring about a project that changes peoples lives directly for the better.

Our Will can achieve wonderful things, but we also have to remember that, as with all things, there are also darker sides to it. There have been countless historical characters who have used their charismatic power to manipulate people and bend others to their will. They have used their personal power for selfish and egotistical means, and that is something that we can all become susceptible to. Honourable use of our Will comes through remembering just where our personal power comes from - the source from which everyone's divinity and spirit is born. It is only made ours through the fact that it is everyone's.

One very important thing to remember is that by being our true selves, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. Many people feel that they have to be a certain thing, act a certain way, or achieve certain things. By letting our spirit shine, we set an example to others that there is a different way of being, which entails courage and risk, but rewards with letting the Will of our highest self manifest in our lives.To use our Will and our personal power is to honour our sacred selves, and to honour the Will of others along the way.

I envision Will as a staff which is carved from the wood of the World Tree, and upon which is marked all our soul-traits. It is a symbol of our personal power. Something that we can lean on to support us on our path. A tool that helps bring about the changes we wish to see in the world. A reminder of our role as upholder and defender of what we find worthy of spending our Will on, namely that which brings joy, integrity and compassion to a world that needs it.

To Know :: Pagan Values Month

To Know is . . . to accept, with our hearts and our minds that which is Truth, and with the responsibilty of that Knowledge act with humility, integrity and compassion.

Usually, when we think of 'knowing', we think of it in intellectual terms - who has the most general knowledge or who is cleverest. In my opinion as a pagan, knowing is something a lot more intangible and heartfelt than that. To me, knowing is interchangeable with understanding, which breeds humility and compassion.


But what is that we understand? It's the understanding that we are connected to the web of life, that we are not seperate from everything else in the world. That deity is both out there, in that web of life, and within ourselves - because we are a part of it. It's knowing that we are spiritual beings on a luscious, painful, achingly beautiful human journey. That's where humility comes in. How can we not be humble when we know that we are connected to all life, from incandescent specks of stars to tentative unfurling roots in damp earth?

A part of accepting this as our divine birthright is learning to accept that as a truth. When I wake up, all morning breath and bed hair, I certainly don't feel divine! This is a part of being on that human journey - to experience doubt, worry, insecurity, disbelief. To know is to have faith in our own truths, regardless of how far we feel from them.

Knowledge of our spiritual heritage can certainly be an empowering tool in our daily lives. What do we do with this knowledge? But what happens when we do not nurture that knowledge? When we do not recognise or practice our own truths?

When we forget that we are connected to all life, we can become self absorbed, and concerned only with our own egos. Our egos, without the guidance of this Knowledge and our Higher Self, can turn us into selfish, greedy, and rather ignorant people. We fail to see our part in the scheme of things, often not taking responsibilty for how our actions affect others.

But, when our actions stem from our own truths and knowledge, how can we not act with humility and compassion? When we can see the face of the God*dess in all who we meet, how can we not show empathy or openness? And, when during our everyday lives, we have a moment where we stop and realise just how amazingly complex and wondrous life is, how can we not be humble? This humility naturally leads to reverence and respect, not only for nature but for all who we meet on our paths. By taking up the Sword of Knowledge in our lives, we become upholders of all that we find good and worthy in the world.

Interviewed with Mel

Mel has done me the honour of interviewing me with 5 questions. How it works is that after I've answered my questions, I open the floor up to anybody else who would like to be interviewed! If you leave a comment on this blog saying you'd like to participate, then I will ask you some questions, and in return you will do the same for others! Anywho, here are the questions Mel has fired in my direction! =D

1. As an artist, you need to be deeply connected to your Creative Self. What kinds of things do you do to nurture that part of you?

Hmmm. Well, for a long time I was put under pressure to perform artistically (due to university). This totally damaged the connection I did have to my creative self. It's only recently I've been able to get back into art making, and that is due to having to be a LOT more nurturing and compassionate to my creative self. I've done this by trying to be very lighthearted, and just giving things a go - I've come to realise playfulness plays a large part of being creatively healthy. I also go for long walks or just spend time alone, solitude helps me to refuel, whether it be outdoors in nature or at home in 'my corner' listening to music.

2. What is your current favourite medium to work in and which would you like to further explore?

I'm a bit of a Jack of All Trades and Master of None when it comes to art I'm afraid! I've dipped my toe into so many things and liked different things about them all. I guess it must be watercolour recently, there's an air of spontaneity and uncontrollability about it which keeps it fun and challenging. Also, I just love all the colour! *drool*. I would've liked to explore ceramics more, but it's impractical for me. Instead, I'm about to embark on using metal clay (check out the link for some info). It's a relatively new, exciting material which means I can mould metal like clay (gold, silver, bronze and copper now!). I'm hoping to make my own jewellery with it in the near future, so watch this space!

3. From where (or whom) do you draw your greatest inspiration?

My spirituality plays a large part in my art making. I get really excited when I can make something so physical, so mundane and earthly take on an emotional and spiritual aspect. Like how a simple earthenware tea bowl can encompass ideas of honour, reverence, frugality and emptiness. So I guess my inspiration comes from the natural world and people - how a simple action or thing becomes a subtle and succint expression of the divine, like the crest of a wave, a faded tattoo, or the yellowed pages of a book. (Did that make any sense to you?!)

4. My borrowed question: If you could invite any three people to dinner - either living or dead - who would you choose and what would you be eating?

His Holiness the Dalia Lama would definately be on the guest list - I envision him as being so wise and warm hearted! And we'd have a really thought provoking conversation about the situation in Tibet. Secondly, I'd invite Taliesin, the legendary 6th Century welsh bard, who is believed to have sung at the court of at least 3 celtic british kings. He would regale us with his mythic tales, and would also teach me about celtic Briatin and druidry. Thirdly, the brave Joan of Arc. I want to know how such a young woman led the french against oppression - such an amazing person! I'd love to have dishes that correlated with my guests that we could all sample - Tibetan food, celtic meat, and french cuisine! Lol. That sounds like my kinda dinner party!

5. Since you've been working in a school environment, what do you like and dislike about the way that *art* is represented there? ie. how it's used or not used.

I certainly dislike the way it is underplayed within the curriculum. It is mostly considered a less important subject and doesn't get the respect it deserves. I also find it hard that the art work has to be levelled and graded for the curriculum, many kids are insecure about their creative skills, and this only makes them feel it more so. However, I am happy that it is a part of the curriculum - for those kids who are less academically inclined, it can be a welcome respite, and there is nothing quite like seeing a pupil proud of their own work. I'd like to see art become a more cross-curricular subject - it's often seen as being in it's own little box cut off from the rest of school studies, but it can have a very enriching effect on other subjects (i.e. maths - geometry and optics, science - life drawing, boilogy, nature, english - theatre, calligraphy, manuscripts, etc, etc). We as educators in arts should be willing to use it more imaginatively and flexibly within the school structure.

Hope that was interesting for you all! Right, if you'd like to be interviewed, feel welcome to leave a comment and I will deliver you some customised questions asap!

About Me

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United Kingdom
I am a pagan, special needs teaching assistant, BA Hons Drawing graduate, artist, amateur tarot reader, half-welsh, big sister, eldest daughter, lover, volunteer, bookworm, intense dreamer, nature and animal lover, over-protective friend, ex-barmaid, fledgling activist and general eccentric. Nice to meet you =D.

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