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…many moments – one moment…

An autumn morning shimmers with colour before slipping quietly into the mist of a grey day, wet and sleek as a seal’s pelt. Seasons turn again… tides ebb and swell… moon and sun dance their eternal dance across the sky.

My favourite time as leaves change and fall. A wily wind lifts them in multi-coloured swirls of ebbing life and yet they will feed something else from their return to dust. I capture such moments with my camera but they do not stay the same in the real world so my photo is a memory captured in time; a moment and that leaf still exists in cells and particles somewhere and everywhere, because life is a moment and in that moment, all moments exist. Life can appear fleeting or be forever in full consciousness. There is no separation between who we once were in the scheme of things, are now or will be one day, for all is now.  

Complex thoughts, and yet not, unless one thinks in straight lines, past, present, future rather than in circles, and cycles of ascension and descent… expansion and contraction. There again, maybe that is the challenge – over-thinking. Does nature think, I’m a daisy, I wanted to be a rose. Does an amber-coloured leaf in autumn, wish to be green again? Does a seed pod weep for it’s spilled seeds or celebrate the release of its children.

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Observing nature, we see there are few straight lines, except those we create. Nothing is linear. Droplets of water constantly change shape to adapt and are a part of a greater body, ocean or small pond. If we understand everything is energy in constant motion, where there is a void space, something always rushes to fill it and there is no judgment in the process. 

When we become aware, strength lies in the allowance of emptiness and in not filling empty spaces. In this knowing, we can choose substance to fill the void, and in fact always do, even in not choosing. Waiting empty, gives us clarity to know what we truly desire. I speak not of having for the sake of it …because it’s the most recent fad or gadget, but more the awareness, being in emptiness can bring. It has its own taste, smell, sound, sensation and there is nothing to fear there except the proverbial, fear itself. feather

My waking and sleeping moments, fill with the rhythm and scent of nature’s cycles rather than the ticktock of the business world. Although that said, I am currently studying, run my own gallery, bookshop and reading centre… one still has to a acknowledge and live in the ways of a mundane world, but the key is to find the ultimate balance between the perceived mundane and the spiritual life …and there we have it – everything is spirit/energy, and therefore, spiritual. 

Whether at work to earn our living, pottering in the garden or soaking in a bath, changing a nappy or holding someone’s hair back as they vomit… whether it’s a perceived, inanimate object or a living, breathing tree, all is energy and thus spirit/spiritual.

toolsAll energy is in motion constantly, in waves and pulses, just as our body is in flow and flux, birth to death, with each waxing and waning moon. We are ultimately 78% fluid, and our body is at the mercy of those internal and exterior tides unless we can be observant, present in awareness as those tides turn. Thus, we can see ourselves not as helpless puppets, but empowered by those very tides, toward the shores of creative consciousness 

 

 

If we can reconnect to nature’s cycles, movements, brief pauses, breath held and let go… a beating heart, a pulse within myriad pulses, we simply become. Every cell becomes luminous with cell-wisdom-memory of everything experienced, and in the remembering, remembers Primordial Source, Sophia. blessedbe

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings from a wild spirit who lives beyond the gate…

…secrets of a wild spirit…

I find, living the way I do and especially if I have to leave my space, I crave the no-nonsense simplicity reflected in Nature. Subtle shifts of color in fading or growing light and the rudimentary beauty of swaying branches, tall grasses, bright mornings or days of persistent mist… in all of this lies a secret…

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Nothing fussy, just nature getting things done. No different to the moon rising without instruction, the sun setting on a sultry eve or the joy of finding little gifts; a feather or leaf, on my doorstep.

Magick is that way for me… and can be for you, if you know how to perceive it. It’s nothing about tools and regimented rites, other than the knowledge of how to keep oneself safe and how to build energy through intention, and repetition to create layers that recognise, where we’re going as much as, we recognise its subtleties of inflection and change. We are changed each time we perform our rites and so therefore, no two rites are the same.

A different pair of hands, a different mind-set and the rite is altered, but what is stored in the layers of intent that create something new with each change?

No matter how microscopic that change, the physical conduit is different each time, even the language in which the words are spoken will alter the layer of the original rite. Add to that, where do the words of a ritual come from and, if quoted by rote without fully understanding the consequences, they may be more or less redundant, unless quoted with authority and knowledge.

Layers, pyramids, circles may be built, adding memory and new data via the experiences of the individual or group memory, but authenticity can only be that of the participant, and every participant in a group rite brings something new and different to it, and each time… layer upon layer.

We can perform a rite over and over, but it will never be identical just because the words, tools, ingredients are the same. Mood, intent, moment in life, age, day, month, year, hour, season… all play their part in the alteration, to craft change.

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There are no places on earth holier than another… perhaps more memories are stored in certain places through and within the history of events, that rebuild or rework those energies anew, when an ancient memory wakes from sleep or a rite, re-woven. Nothing is exactly replicated because no two moments, even by intention, are ever the same.

With authenticity and courage… scribe your own words… craft your own rite. Bring to it all your own knowledge and power… don’t be dictated to, as long as you know yourself to be protected and safe and then the secrets may be revealed to you.

Forget your fussy tools… point a finger, pick up a stick, find the herbs in your garden, kitchen cupboard or a hedgerow,  a stone, a feather… a tiny something that can be utilised, to express your connection to the nature of your rite and to your Magicks.

Let loose, with harm to none… for you are the secret…

You are this
Your blood the hiss
Of molten lava over rock
Like a kiss
You are water dripping from ancient trees
You are the overwhelming prayer
That brings you to your knees
You are the bliss you seek
The knowledge you keep
The earth’s loamy soil
Even the molds that spoil
…uneaten food
You are the storms that brood
You are the secrets held in the ancient stones
Ancestral riddles in a cairn of bones
Soil reveals the DNA
Naked bones are on display
Secrets hidden for millennia past
Slow to decay… bones will outlast
All but the rocks
the bones of earth
and one day perhaps
Renew
Rebirth

…from a wild spirit who lives beyond the gate…

All content copyright Penny Reilly

 

…all things being equal…

The wheel turns again… Beltane is passed… the veil is thin but the Fae are probably wrapped in blankets by the fireside, rather than cavorting in the green countryside… and this Wild Spirit is in complete agreement! Hawthorn, here at the farm, is only just budding, whereas in other regions it’s already in full bloom. Did I pick the coldest place to live?

My Grandmother used to say… “No Hawthorn blooming by Beltane day… don’t put the winter-woolies away… I’m listening, and I guess it’s not yet Beltane!

One would think, beyond a cloud of colour and scent, spring would almost be over and summer making her debut… all things being equal. Not so… the weather Gods are elongating a wintry-spring and bringing fresh snow. Now, where do I live again? Sometimes, I have to remind myself it’s Australia, albeit the colder region, and yet, it never fails to amaze me just how European our weather trends are.

We can move from this…

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…to this… nestingraven - Copy

…in a matter of moments.

Life is slow in the garden… usually by now I’d have tomatoes, capsicum, basil and coriander, planted alongside all the luscious greens, carrots and spring onions, already producing. Not this year, even in the greenhouse the soil temp is only 12 degrees. That said, rhubarb is rampant and I’m cutting flower heads off every day to stop it bolting to seed. Dandelion and sorrel are ripe for the taking in the fields.

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Everything shifts and changes and so we must adapt… throw out the comfort of norms… embrace a new way of seeing… being in the world. Life can be a spontaneous joy, when nature’s signs are acknowledged… nothing is more delightful than the surprise of snow in November, in Australia.

Lightening storms and howling winds show us in truth, whose sway we are under. Flash floods, rushing streams and birds from other regions, appear to enjoy the lush green of this cold climate landscape.

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Purists cry, there should be no exotics in the wild, but which species are surviving the extreme weather of the last years? None other than… oak, elder, hawthorn, blackthorn, rowan, holly, mistletoe, beech, elm, silver birch, ash, plane, sycamore, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, crabapple, quince, apple and pear, cherry, plum and cold climate pomegranate are all adapted and grow wild in this part of the Southern Hemisphere… along with all the flowering bulbs you would expect to see in an English spring and all are doing better than many indigenous species.

Yarrow, tansy, chicory, cornflower, zinnia, buttercup, self-heal, lungwort, garlic, fennel, mullein, poppies… to name but a few, grow wild, cheek by jowl with native orchids, violets and native herbs, under ancient eucalypt and wattle… not once have I heard them complain about foreigners, refugees, interloper or feral… all things being equal…

That’s not to say I don’t adore the native species… quite the opposite but they seem to fit together well and I’ve yet to see the average Australian, living on nothing but Bush Tucker!

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Life murmerings are felt below ground longer than usual now… late-blooming yes, yet, daphne flowered from mid winter until just a week ago… adaption and survival is the secret to life. Letting go the confines of the prescribed, aforementioned norms, holds an exquisite Magick for this Wild Spirit, who lives beyond the gate…

I might disappear into these hollow hills…

Follow the Magick to the hidden realms

Dance with the Fae beneath the elms

Refuse to be normal

in this world that overwhelms

…the senses

…the mind

…the heart… until it stills

I might follow the music on winds that sing

Watch enchantments fly, on silvern wing

Overwhelmed by my senses

…not by word-born sting

Yes…

I might disappear into these hollow hills

…and so, I’ll walk the fields in layered clothes. Observe a high-flying eagle take a young heron out of the sky. Look into the gaping red maw of an abandoned raven chick… feel the eyes of a fox watching me, watching her… and witness a hare dance with his shadow in the long, lush grass.

Seasons come and go… things bloom and pass away, when they’re ready… all things being equal.

…beauty and rhythm in routine…

An adventurous Wild Spirit, sees no boundaries in change… seasons, continents, routines… all, appeal to the soul… food for the mind, body and spirit.

It’s Spring in Southern Hemisphere, autumn here in BC, Canada, where I’m currently visiting family, and I must admit to autumn being my favourite season. The light is soft, the colours crisp and clean… greens, wax to gold and russet leaves, spiral down to rest on the soil beneath. They will feed next year’s yield of fruit and soft berries, just as last season’s fed those, currently adding their tinge of red and deep purple to the rich pallet of nature’s colouring book.

There is a beauty in routine, even when our being yearns for other things, other places to, “do stuff”, more exciting than the everyday life, lived. There’s a beauty in a task completed that may have been put off, while work blurred the edges of our dreams.

A simple day, begun as any other, has a quality of magickal achievement, past and present… a bowl of ancient seeds and fruit for breakfast… a steaming cup of one’s favorite beverage… dishes done, lunch packed on a work day… and a load of washing hung to dry on an autumn-tinged morning, all add credence to a simple life, well lived, if we breath it in while our hands perform the tasks.

When we dismiss these everyday “doings”, we miss those moments, when being and doing merge. With our hands busy with simple tasks, our mind can drift into other realms, where dreams are reformed from the clay of shattered ideas and promises, that change the everyday to magick.

Seasons change without complaint, the wheel turns on in equally familiar cycles and at this time, all over the world, we are either sowing seeds or gathering-in the harvest. Being mindful, takes away any need to judge the process as anything but what it is… life, simple life, in all its colour, fragrance, texture and sound. Don’t dismiss your everyday as ordinary… even in routine, something new may catch our eye, spark your interest… the sheen on a handmade pottery bowl, not seen in the same light or with the same eyes, may find you wondering who the maker was… a woven rug, a quilted throw, showing textures not witnessed before. All the same things we see every day and yet, each day has its own routine, within the rhythms of change, growth and decay… just as both spring and autumn, spin on the same wheel… the same cycles, each with their own unique inheritance, gleened from the layering of time. We are in danger of dismissing these precious moments as ordinary… unexciting… even as the tides turn and our hearts beat in rhythm to the pulse of life unseen.

Her heart is silent

Her, wings are frail

She heals suffering and in turn will ail

But she will find the way

to the edge of time

Hearing the night calls

following the rhyme

and rhythm of life as it ebbs and flows

to the circle of stones

where the Magick knows

all the answers hidden

deep in her soul

She will find her way

to the edge of time

where the Crooked Path

leads her to her goal

Verse, from Unfurled, seasonal poetry and prose, copyright Penny Reilly 2015

Musings of the Wild Spirit Beyond the Gate

…nearly there… tell the Gods…

What chill songs the winds sing to the trees? The subtle fragrance of Daphne, hangs on the icy breeze. It tells me, soon, beneath the hoar-frost freeze, life returns and the colours bright, can bring me to my knees.

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Although, technically it is now spring in Oz, would someone please inform the weather Gods! Mother Nature appears to know, no one has to tell her! She’s sprouting and blooming, blossoming and popping colour, all over the place but the temperatures are that of the Arctic. Snow to 1200 forecast today. So! Weather elementals …please have pity and send us some sun.

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Contemplation …a week for writing, being still. Taking time to simply be a part of the landscape …merging with it …letting it absorb me …and then, it speaks volumes.

There is a quality to endless, streaming light

against the backdrop of the sky …the silver orb at night

There is a quality to a sad, haunting refrain

sweeter than the sound, on a parched day … of pattering rain

We cannot quantify, each moment deserves its time

Just as we must pass …in our individual, complex rhyme

…of liquid notes, their quality unsurpassed

Unseen footprints, across dew besprent grass

There is a quality if light, reactive to our mood

A time of grief, when in sadness we may brood

…on all that went before …and is now lost

Perhaps our brooding changes weather …if so I’ll pay the cost

…for today it’s windy, bleak upon my hills

Even in the sunlight, I am wracked with chills

Yet I trust the quality of life that feeds my hungry soul

…and replenishing, to overflowing, fills

There is a particular light at Beyond the Gate Farm, I haven’t seen anywhere else …ever-changing, moving …sometimes of split-second timing to capture. Well my trusty old Konica does, more often than not and the resulting moments, fill me with delight. It is this that grounds me back into my domain …my sense of belonging may still straddle two continents but home is where I am.

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Under windswept blue skies, continued rain with bursts of sunshine, nature awakes. Work in the greenhouse, finally begins to take shape …weeded, culled, primped and tidied, when the weather is fine, or writing reams, when the promised storms break.

A deep purple sunrise, fades to red

Rain soaks the soil in a garden bed

Pale blue skies, turn grey

on another windswept day

Magpies warble a sweet lament

Trees rustle softly, boughs pliant, bent

in supplication to the season change

until proudly, their green buds burst, to rearrange

the colours bright, in wood and field

giving promise to a year of growth, to yield

a garden of food and flowers bright

to store for the days of the long dark night

So on the farm, despite the continuing cold, life blooms in the fields and in the greenhouse as slowly buds stir and green fronds unfurl, in answer to the unheard call of spring and finally I can get grubby and muddy, even though my fingers and toes are numb.

I love a day of grubbiness

…all cares just fade away

I love the smell of muddy soil

…and the scent of aged mulch-hay

I love the sight, (and sound) of a snoring cat

…when she sleeps away the day

And the wild little dog, too fast to pat

…when all she wants is to play

Then, of course, there’s the ever-constant friend

…and the sound of the mechanical “snap”

as shutters whir and lenses blur

…on a wet and windswept day

…be blessed in all you do and please tell the weather Gods

…it’s supposed to be spring

A Wild Spirit at Beyond the Gate…

 

All photography, poetry and text, copyright Penny Reilly

 

 

…false spring…

I am wary. Spring has made a few attempts at putting on a show… today, I might be fooled.

Catkins wave at me… Kurrawong warble and whistle… and the swallows are back,  busily collecting mud from the edge of the ponds and copious puddles, after major storms and howling gales. 

Robins flash their scarlet plumage…

Still… I’m wary! We’ve had no snow, despite icy, subzero weather… and yet, today I heard the bull Koala, roaring from the forest edge. A sound that thrills and scares a little. They are fierce in the mating season, losing all semblance of placidity and liquid-eyed gentleness.

Earth is awakening… I feel her tremble in the warmth of a new day, when finally, the sun shines warm on both our skins and tiny flowers burst open under the canopy of, still leafless, sycamore, elder and birch groves…

Winds whisper secrets to the flitting Weebills, out catching, sleepy insects. Last season’s, dried grasses, rustle as small creatures pass and branches lift their heavy limbs to a duck-egg blue, sky…

There is movement on my peripheral… nothing of this world as the Wildlings stir… shifting shape like pellucid mist and then solidifying,  to be seen… twig limbed… green wings rasping, against woody skin. Imaginings… I’ll let you be the judge of that, but then you don’t see through these eyes…

…but I’m wary still… the trickster is on the prowl, coaxing us to forget winter’s grip… to relax and lift our faces toward the sun. Dare I trust that spring has sprung…

Greetings rom the Wild Spirit Beyond the Gate…

…Winter

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There are moments, I could get lost… leave my human self behind, at least the one who can limit experiences… make them less than they were in the moment. It would be easy to become a hermit… writing, painting, growing food… being present to witness opportunities as they appear… just as the image above, sprung from my connection to the Birch I was observing, and Robin’s, startling, appearance, melded the two into one.

Robin has been my constant companion, due to the grey-misted, frosty days and it seems, will be staying awhile. A female arrived… sparking his attention and causing him to dance and dart like a wee mad thing. He presented her with chopped worm and wisps of stolen straw from the greenhouse. He sang to her in a slightly off-key trill… wooing her into the depths of the Yostaberry bush to show her his nest creation. At least that’s what I think he was showing her! Fingers crossed, for little blue eggs and tiny hatchling in spring.

Meanwhile, in the garden, all was in stasis but, despite it being just past mid-winter, Lady Spring is showing signs of rebirth in the hedgerows. Crocus and Hyacinth have thrust juicy spears through the frozen crust of soil, and buds are showing, bright and shiny green in the Sycamore. Hawthorn and Willow, indicate returning life, in a sparkle of garnet-red tips. Plum and cherry flower, buds are plump with moisture.

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It’s been a week of icy frosts… then a little sunshine, mixed with heavy rain, sleet and high winds and hasn’t reached more than seven degrees, through the day. One day, three for most of it; the coldest was minus-six!

Life is slow and meandering… walks when I can. I’m knee-deep in photography, editing the next book and listening to recordings of my own moments of “downloads” from my inner-most muse.

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Everything is in flux… not only the shift of seasonal change, but the whole vibratory force of a changing world. Consciousness reveals, everything we think about… imagine, becomes real somewhere… so, therefore, we can balance how we see the world, not let destructive forces rule. Allowing consciousness to shift, elegantly. It takes more than just prayers and dreams. It’s also action that’s needed, it’s about knowing who we are and implementing it, despite challenges from others, who may be uncomfortable, because change is confronting on any level.

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…and so, on, clear-aired, frosty days… Ravens return to the farm. Already they’re raucous. Complaining of the least little disturbance, they challenge each other to duels-in-flight, showing off their acrobatic skills to the fluffed up females, sitting in the bare-branched, birch grove. Apparently unimpressed, they gossip in guttural tones of knowingness. Who knows why they do this, for Raven mates for life… perhaps, males being males… or just for fun?

I wait now, for a little warmth, a bursting snowdrop… the sun on my skin…

All rights reserved, including photography by Penny Reilly

 

 

A wild spirit lives beyond the gate…

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

My life is lived in fullness, Beyond the Gate… my spirit is free to roam, to be, and to encourage others to take the first step into freedom from the norm, society requests. Yes, like any other, I have to earn a minimum wage to pay my agreed contracts. Self-sufficiency is not without those… a tractor needs fuel… council demands rates… you get the drift, but that said, even this is more enriching, when earned with a passion.

Life as a wild spirit, goes beyond restrictions whenever possible, and will not be tied to anything beyond the notion of belonging, to that shared and gifted land. It is a symbiotic relationship and in 20 years, I have seen that grow… ebb and flow.

I have secrets to share about that relationship to the land… it is not to be taken lightly because it is a commitment. Where do I begin, to share these, my, truths? Well, like all magickal things… it will unfold, week by week, just as seed to shoot, to root, to leaf, flower and fruit, tread the cycles of nature.

Welcome to my world, Beyond the Gate.