Mabon Blessings and the Autumn Equinox

Mabon blessings, my friends! Autumn has officially sprung here in the UK, and with it we have all sorts of unrest and changes to deal with. Politically there is the Brexit debacle – I won’t even go there. Then we have the collapse of Thomas Cook, a heritage holiday brand, and that has left at least 9000 people without a job, with a wider community around the world. I have heard from some of the staff involved, and they are devastated. And then there are more domestic matters to concern ourselves with. It is almost a year since the death of my friend’s mother. My friend is still living with the grief whilst trying to continue normal life, and all we can do is take each day as it comes. I am still grieving for my dog, Baxter. Life goes on.

Mabon Blessings and the Autumn Equinox

On a more cheerful note, we are having a multi-fuel stove installed in our living room, which means that the fireplace is being knocked about to accommodate it, and the whole thing is looking better already, now that we are back to bare brick and have removed the old 1980s botch-up pipework and remnants of the old back boiler. This is part of moving on, making positive changes to a house that has been well loved but that needs bringing into the 21st century. Whilst I hark back to more simple times, and I like to furnish our home with antiques wherever possible, I think we are settling in to a nice compromise (after all, my husband lives here too, so I suppose I should allow him a little say in how we decorate!) I look forward to setting up the new fire when it is finished, sitting in my rocking chair before the flames, and contemplating events of the past year, and events that are still to unfold. My Mabon celebration is all about hearth and home. How about yours?


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For the Love of Dogs

It has been a month since our beloved family dog died. He lived a long, happy life after we found him in a local dogs’ home. We have no knowledge of his origins, only that when he came to us, he was very nervous, and he had a terrible reaction to loud noises like smoke alarms and timer alarms. He would literally have a panic attack, and we would have to calm him down. Baxter was terrified of water when we first brought him home, but with some gentle coaxing from my husband, he began paddling in the river near home, and he adored visiting the coast and swimming in the sea. He even went for a swim in Lake Bala in North Wales once upon a time. We have so many precious and wonderful memories of our boy, but now we are lonely.

For the Love of Dogs

I have found it incredibly difficult working from home every day and being so alone. I miss the tinkle of his collar as he trots around the house. I miss watching him in the garden while I work in the kitchen. I miss him walking by my side along the canal path and the riverside. I miss our nightly cuddles on the sofa, after we get the children to bed. I am lonely, and our house is far too quiet. But are we ready to bring home a new dog? I don’t know. Part of me wants to go out and adopt all the local Staffies that nobody will have. But we have visited a few animal welfare homes during the past few weeks, and we are not quite ready. Our next dog (or dogs) is out there, somewhere. I think I am ready to bring them home, but my husband needs a little more time. Let us see what autumn brings.

Baxter and Mummy 2011

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Perfect Gifts under £100 at Wedgwood

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Tea Garden Blackberry & Apple 3-Piece Set

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Vera Wang With Love Treasures Aquamarine Seashell Treasure Box


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Vera Wang Love Always Photo Frame (Photo: 8x10inch)

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How Modern Witchcraft includes Holistic Care

During my research about modern witchcraft and holistic care, I have realized that the two subjects are quite closely aligned. Popular culture sees the witch as a mythical old hag or a woman who is cast out from society for being different. Perhaps she lives alone, is unmarried, or has a physical deformity. Maybe she can no longer provide support within her local community, so she is banished to a hovel in the forest. That is the stereotype I grew up with. But the modern witch has evolved into something far more complicated, becoming immersed in society, and even turning him or herself invisible. That was me. Maybe that still is me.

How Modern Witchcraft includes Holistic Care

I do not have time to learn everything about herbs, spell-casting, runes, symbols and everything else you find in modern witchcraft. I do not identify with a particular strand or belief system. I suppose you would call me a polytheistic witch, believing in different systems and traditions based on my instincts. I have a particular interest in Celtic history, and this may be ancestral memories, I don’t know. My life is busy because I am a wife, mother and carer. The caring mostly involves my husband, children and pets, but it also includes our wider family and friends when it is needed. Since I qualified as a reiki practitioner, I have received many requests for treatments, but so far have not been ready to take on everyone and their problems. I will approach my offer of reiki treatments slowly, because I am mainly working on myself. I cannot care for others if I do not care for myself, at the end of the day.

Holistic care can include so many aspects that align with modern witchcraft. There is the practice of reiki healing, which is essentially the use of energy magic. We use aromatherapy oils to relax our bodies, ease muscle pain and fatigue, and many other ailments. We resort to fresh foods, herbal tea, and a specific diet to combat the effects of a society raised on processed food and artificial ingredients. For me, providing holistic care can simply mean holding space for a person. Life is so busy and hectic that people are often wrapped up in their own drama. I recognize how important it is to sit with children for at least half an hour in the evenings or on the weekends, not talking about schoolwork or chores. And I know that my husband would like to have time where he doesn’t need to worry about work, finances or the challenges of adulthood. I also try and make time for my retired parents, in-laws, and friends that need support. There are a lot of people that need help! This is the work of the modern witch. She might be a nurse or professional carer, she might be an early years teacher or childminder. She could simply be a housewife, those women who are perceived to have the easy life. The witch could also be a man, let’s not forget. Modern witchcraft is everywhere. We just need to recognize that it doesn’t always involve a spell book and a black cat. Blessed be.

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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How Chronic Pain Impacts on Life

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice earlier this year because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic pain. Today I have written a post using the September link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.

How Chronic Pain Impacts on Life


Having been diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disorder at a very young age, I grew up not knowing I was different from other children. I mean, yes, I had a lot of time off school to attend hospital appointments and to have surgery, but my parents never made a big deal out of it. It was just part of my life, and part of me. As I grew older, I found that I was different from other people. I slowly began to recognize that something was wrong with my eyes, and that perhaps I should speak to the doctors about it. But they never seemed to understand my chronic pain. They simply dismissed it as unimportant.


When I got to university, I decided I should try and learn more about my eye condition. I wanted to know if other people had the same condition that my brother and I had. It took until my late teens to get an official diagnosis from the doctors. They knew what they were treating when I was a child, but they seemed reluctant to tell me the name whenever I asked. I gradually learned that I have a condition called Lymphodoema Distichiasis, but I also have severe Dry Eye Syndrome and chronic Blepharitis, all connected to my genetic condition where I grow a second set of eyelashes on the insides of my eyelids. I bought some books about eyes, and tried to learn about my condition, but all I could find was reference to Dry Eye Syndrome. Even now, in 2019, I have not found a single other person aside from my brother and my dad that has Distichiasis (double row of eyelashes).



I have been with my husband for nineteen years, married for ten. Back in the early days of our relationship I regularly had hospital visits for eye treatment. I remember him bringing me flowers after one of my routine eye surgeries. He was still trying to impress me! Nowadays there is none of that. I even have to drive myself to hospital for check-ups because he can’t possibly take time off work for me… But still, I don’t remember my eye condition affecting my ability to date when I was a teenager. I think back then I was largely in denial and I simply tried to get on with my life, living with the pain and ignoring it as best I could. Mostly when I meet new people, they are unaware that I have a chronic pain condition until I tell them. But I am still self-conscious about it.


I’m currently battling with my demons about the amount of single-use plastic I consume with my medication. While I don’t need drugs specifically, I do rely on artificial tears, ointments and lotion to sooth my eyes and ease the pain. My minims come individually wrapped in plastic packets, and while my husband says they are recyclable (he’s a Chartered Waste Manager), I am still unsure how they are processed by our local authority. My Hyabak eyedrops are in small plastic bottles that I can put in the recycling bin, my Xailin ointment comes in a plastic tube which I think is non-recyclable, and I also use a bottle of lotion called Blephasol, which again I recycle when it is empty. I suppose all I can do is be mindful and reduce and reuse where possible.


September Link Up Chronic Voice


Wow, reading all of that reminds me just how time-consuming my eye condition can be! I suppose I never really think of it as something to deal with. It is simply there, my body doing what it does, and I have learned to live with it. But I can recall lots of events throughout my life where my eye condition has restricted me. For example, there are many careers that I couldn’t pursue because of my eyes. I have to limit my driving sometimes when I am struggling with the pain and discomfort. During the past few weeks I have been in excruciating pain because I cried a lot when our dog got ill and subsequently died. All the crying irritated my eyes. And now I have lots of very fine, small eyelashes growing inwards and scratching the surface of my eyes. Life goes on.

British PNR by Catherine Green

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Posted in dry eye, dry eyes, eye health, eyes, mind body spirit, pagan mother, Random Musings, rare eye condition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

NEW! Twinings Tea Cold Infuse


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Shamanism and the Modern Witch

Several years ago, I discovered the world of shamanism. Before then all I knew about it was the stories that came from Native America, and they were few and far between. I assumed that shamans were simply Native Americans. I was naïve and knew nothing about our world. I still don’t fully understand shamans, but I have reached the conclusion that I can be a shaman here in the UK. Perhaps British shamans have been assigned different names. Perhaps they are druids, pagans, or an ancient people whose history has died out through generations. Perhaps shamanism lies in our blood, and those of us who feel the call will find our way.

Shamanism and the Modern Witch

How could I call myself a shaman when I don’t practice ancient rituals, when I don’t have a mentor or teacher, and when I haven’t officially been inducted into this deeply mysterious and spiritual world? That is what I thought when the voices began calling me home. It was the same when I began to identify as a witch. I had never been in a coven or met a priestess, and I was unfamiliar with anything besides history and Hollywood stereotypes. It took a long time for me to call myself a witch, but I know that I felt it from a very young age. I just didn’t know how to express it. And now it is the same with shamanism.

I recently watched some online discussions as part of the Shift Network Summit, and one speaker struck a chord. She is a shaman from somewhere far away and seemingly far more exotic than England. She has a world of life experience that I could never imagine. But something she said resonated deeply with me: We as shamans learn to accept all elements of the world, and how to integrate and separate where necessary. I can be a shaman. I am a shaman. I am simply finding my own path and doing it my own way. Sometimes I might speak silently to the trees that I walk past. Sometimes I sit in meditation and converse with my spirit guides. Other times I get together with friends and enjoy a night of drinking and dancing. It is all part of being a shaman, knowing when to let go of control, and knowing when to step away from the human world. We learn to adapt. And yes, we can be shamans in the UK. Come forward and join your friends. We are waiting!

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Trapped in the Housewife Hole

I feel trapped. When I had my first child, I made the decision not to return to work after taking maternity leave. The job I left wasn’t a career. I simply worked part-time as a retail assistant (in a high-street store that has now closed), tiding me over while I tried to make it as a freelance writer. Seven years later I have had another baby (now at school), and I am still trying to make it as a freelance writer. I have attended online training courses. I joined a government funded initiative that would teach me how to build a business, but it was completely irrelevant to my needs. I have no trade skills, no official business knowledge. I have what was once called a “burger-bar degree” because it gave me no prospects. A regular job is a distant dream for me, though not for lack of trying. I dread to think of the number of jobs I have applied for during the past fifteen years, and still I cannot find something secure that will fit around school and allow me to find suitable, affordable childcare.

Trapped in the Housewife Hole

And now I am trapped in the role of housewife. On the one hand I know I am incredibly lucky to have had this time with my children. I have friends in successful professional careers that have missed out on special times with their babies. But then those friends have the satisfaction of work and the prospects of financial security to balance it out. Nobody will pay me for being a housewife. My husband pays for our household expenses, and I cannot even buy myself a car, which makes me feel humiliated. I hate having to ask for his permission to buy something. What happened to the confident, independent woman I always saw myself as being? I am still confident. I am angry. Why doesn’t the world recognize the skills I bring to the workplace? Why can’t literary agents and big publishers see the potential in my fictional work? Why do I even bother trying?

RotVH Book Blurb

My days are taken up in caring for my children and husband (who has a severe mental health disorder), supporting family members with their own health challenges, applying for jobs, networking in a vain hope that I might sell a few books, and keeping the house clean, tidy and safe. Oh, and I do the grocery shopping, help with school trips, deal with extra-curricular activities, arrange play-dates, organize birthday parties, keep the wardrobes up to date so that our children are properly clothed and clean. And now I am embarking on a program of home redecoration to modernize the house we bought last year. But none of that matters. Nobody cares. And it certainly doesn’t earn me any money so that I can be independent. Life goes on, in all its ups and downs. Some days I am grateful for my situation. Other days I hate it. And always I am applying for jobs, trying to better my prospects, trying to feel valid in a world that doesn’t care. Thanks for listening, folks (or not!). My pity party ends here.

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen 

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Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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Back to School, Back to Mindfulness

My children have returned to school after their summer holiday, and finally I have some free time for myself. I tried to find ways of being alone during the school holiday, but it didn’t quite happen the way I expected, as these things rarely do. It seemed that whenever I had an hour or so without children, I had other more important tasks to complete, and meditation fell by the wayside. Today I am making time for meditation. I have a session to attend as part of a year-long course I am taking, and then I will visit my mother-in-law to give her a reiki treatment. It will give me the opportunity to practice reiki on myself without the aforementioned kid interruptions.

Back to School, Back to Mindfulness

This week I am taking a step back, not worrying about my to-do list, and I am practicing self-care. I need to process the loss of my beloved dog and adjust to life without my companion. I need to rest my eyes, since all the crying has triggered my chronic condition and I have been in constant pain and discomfort for the past three weeks. I simply need to be quiet, still and peaceful. There are other life challenges looming ever closer, and I know that now is the time to prepare, if we can ever truly prepare for loss and grief. Take care of yourselves, my friends. We only answer to ourselves, when all is said and done.

Witchy Wednesday SpookyMrsGreen

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Posted in eye health, holistic health, mind body spirit, pagan mother, Random Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments