A magical walk through the English Hampshire Countryside as told by a local White Witch and Healer.
Lady May lives and works in the beautiful English Hampshire Countryside. She is a qualified herbalist and witch. She follows a way of life that that has been passed down through her family for generations. She has taken the traditional three degrees of the Craft to become a High Priestess and is still learning. Lady May knows she has been Blessed and greatly honoured at having been taught and mentored by some of the country’s oldest, wisest Elders and followers of the Craft: Witchcraft in its truest sense as it has been practised for thousands of years, with the greatest respect for all living things.
As I wonder along the quiet country lane on a crisp winter’s morning, a smile begins to spread across my face. A bright beam of sunlight strikes the hedgerow awakening the sleepy flora and fauna and I know the darkness of winter is behind us.
Crow was right, the storm did come and then it just kept on coming. Since the end of last month and for many weeks now harsh weather conditions have re-written this island’s coastlines. Rainfall, the likes of which have not been seen for more than a century, leaves the countryside drowning and submerged in its deluge.
It’s December now, mid-winter and the landscape has been stripped bare. Standing shy and naked it’s vulnerability masking the powerful forces of Nature that lie within.
I am out collecting pine cones to help kindle my log fire and as I bend to fill my basket the heady scent of the tree reminds me of all things Yule. Winter Solstice will soon be here heralding the return of the Sun as minute by minute, each day, the Light returns and with it hope for all things.
Holly bushes bear their fruit of bright red berries and the birds are feasting well. Mistletoe hangs heavily high up in the branches of the apple trees waiting to catch a kiss and I smile at the merriment of the season to come.
Log burner lit and slippers ready warming, I put on my coat and step out into the fading light of a November afternoon. The cold air bites my nose and I pull my hat down further over my ears and head off up the lane. The days have been bright with winter sunshine, but the blue of the sky has somehow lost its vibrancy giving way to more sleepy, muted tones with a touch of greyness about them. But, at this time of day, Sunset, the skies are aglow with the fiery palettes of burnt oranges, deep soulful amber and blood reds.
I wend my way along the lane and turn toward the woods where I am met with a veil of tumbling brambles hung from the hedgerow like the dripping architecture of a gothic cathedral.
In an instant I am cocooned in a swirl of leaves blown from their branches and whipped into an encircling frenzy by the wind. I struggle to pull my collar up, tuck my scarf in and hold on to my hat. What a Blessing to be surrounded by such colour, such energy and yet in all the warmth of the shedding colours of Autumn, I feel the chill of Winter.
I am walking across the field toward the lane, the morning lit with the kiss of bright autumnal sunshine. Blue skies above and the busy chatter of birdsong to accompany me and my heart sings. Leaves tumble before me as they are whipped into a frenzy by the wind, twisting and twirling they weave their acrobatic dance and I am caught in their swirling vortex. I pull my coat tightly around me and hang on to my scarf as I push my way into the shelter of the woods beyond.
The trees continue their whispering above me as they bend and sway. Leaves cascade to the ground like confetti and crackle beneath my feet. I stop to admire the richness of the autumnal palette and the warmth in the hues of golden browns and orange, dotted with the ruby jewels of crab apples. My mind and body bathe in the delicious, sumptuous comfort of this autumnal offering, like slipping into a warm vat of honeyed treacle.