Gillian Monks

'Making Fairytales Come True'

Category: Musings of the Hearth (Page 1 of 2)

Walking In The Woods With Merlin

Greetings!

This is just a brief reminder that the new July module of Walking With The Goddess is now ready for you to purchase and download.
https://www.earthwalking.co.uk/checkout/

Sycamore up hillThis month, Merlin the Magician is the divine archetype who will guide you on your journey through the Wild Wood. In this time of Covid-19-fuelled fear, grief and uncertainty he will help you to identify how you can improve your situation.

Discover the new world you wish to birth, which is hidden deep within your subconscious, and how you can begin to create this new reality by working in partnership with the powerful energies of this revered Old One.

Join me on an adventure into our woodlands where you will learn about the amazing relevance of tree in or history and our current lives. You will also be taken step by step through the process of how to identify the energy of a tree, and how to connect to and communicate with a tree of your choice, developing a working relationship with it.

There is so much loveliness and hope being channelled through these monthly excursions into the divine realms of spiritual potential. Don’t miss out on this next encounter with all that is positive and joyful.

Those interested in this sort of work are advised to work through the month of July as the August module lays the foundations for the work planned for August – which centres around working with the Goddess Don and journeying to discover which element (fire earth, air or water) you will be establishing a relationship and working with closely for the foreseeable future.

And please do remember, if you have any questions or queries about any of the work in the modules, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Similarly, if you have encountered anything which has upset or disturbed you within the contents, please do let me know.

The course is only £5 for each monthly module, but if you are suffering financial hardship which is making it difficult for you, please do get in touch with me – I am sure that we can come to some alternative arrangement.

May you all stay safe and well. Take good care of yourselves.

With my love,
Gillian.

All You Need Is Love

Tree Dorothea Easter

Springtime is full of loveliness and makes unconditional loving easier.

The pop group The Beatles certainly had it right when they sang those words all those decades ago. When we have done and said and thought all that we can and our backs are up against a wall, (as they are now with Covid-19), all we have left is to show our love. I have just read something written by a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) which says that they view the empty towns and villages, the deserted roads and streets as a huge act of love – love and consideration of humanity for each other in taking care not to put each other in more danger at this crucial point in our history… in other words, our very absence demonstrates our true presence and intent.

We can show our love for each other and the world around us by any number of mundane and seemingly inconsequential actions but the sum total – and the effect it has on both giver and recipient – is incalculable. For love is not simply a transient emotion; it is a very real and potent energy… the absolute best.

With our modern predilection for having things demonstrated I can prove it to you. In 1992, Bruce Tainio, of Tainio Technology, a division of Eastern State University in America, determined that the electrical frequency of the healthy human body is somewhere between 62-78 Hz (Hertz). Everything has an electrical frequency, including diseases which resonate at a lower rate than a healthy body. For instance, colds and ‘flu have an electrical frequency of 58 Hz. A human body under stress or exposed to pollutants can easily drop in resonance to 58 Hz or below. Perhaps a correlation between Covid-19 and the worst effected industrial areas of the world may be noted here? The literal danger our health carers are in equally becomes more apparent as their state of exhaustion and stress results in a drop in their energetic resonance and leaves them vulnerable to the infection they are attempting to protect everyone else from.

However, the particular point I wish to make here is that a human body experiencing emotions or mental states also resonates at an equally identifiable frequency. Such feelings as gratitude, empathy and compassion can be measured at the massive resonance of 200 – 350 Hz., but for someone expressing the emotion of unconditional love, the resonance is off the scale – it is so high that it is immeasurable.

So here is something that absolutely everyone can do in our universal time of need. Balancing intellect with emotion, we are all capable of sending out loving thoughts… to other people… to those working on our behalf (and that also includes all the other services and key workers, such a delivery drivers and shop workers)… to the beauty and bounty of the natural world. We can do it anywhere, anytime… sitting in our favourite armchair, lying in bed, having a bath, peeling the potatoes. But the love must be unconditional – no fear or grief or judgement attached – the kind of unrestricted and pure sensation we experience when we see a little kitten or puppy, or a new born baby – that complete gush of joyful and wholehearted emotion; a sensation of giving of oneself, totally.

For those of us who are lucky enough to live with family or friends, a good way of boosting our own resonating energies is to give – and receive – hugs… good strong, long hugs which last twenty seconds or more. A warm and generous hug acts upon the vagal nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system which has a beneficial knock-on effect on all the major organs in our body and stimulates our immune system. Such a simple action. Give yourself and someone you care about a tonic this minute; find a member of your household and give them a good long hug.

Many of us live solitary lives, but, whether we realise it or not, we are never truly alone. We are connected to every other person on – and off – the planet at a higher level. We are also connected to the world around us by similar energies. Send out your loving good wishes… to someone or something specific or simply to the ‘world’ as a whole. Tap your chest over where your heart beats and imagine a beam of pure, gentle light pouring out of you. Add your loving emotion to it. You will discover that one of the side-effects of this incredibly simple activity is that you, yourself, become altogether calmer.

Alternatively, if you have difficulty with the concept of unconditional love, try feeling gratitude instead. Look around you and acknowledge all that you can feel grateful for and give deep thanks for it. Yes, we all have a very great deal to be thankful for; if you don’t believe me, try writing a list and include everything, from the roof over your head to the clothes on your back and the food on your plate. Look around you. Don’t just stop there… be thankful for the sunshine, the wind and rain and the birds and animals, the earth and the flowers and all the insects which pollinate them… and the fact that you can see and hear and feel… and that you can breath, unlike thousands of other unfortunate souls who have been – and still are – battling to do just that. Eventually, you will find that your appreciation deepens and starts to become something altogether more loving and joyful – go with it and give it your all, for this is the beginning of unconditional love and the ultimate answer to all our woes and difficulties. One of my favourite sayings is that we cannot always be cured, but we can always be healed. Love is healing. Love is transformative. It is portable, mobile, able to be sent out and directed by beings of all ages and abilities. It can change your world… our world… the world. You have the answer in your own hands… in your own heart. Make the most of it today, every day. All you need is love…

Practical Action – Walking With The Goddess This April

Gorse and Mountain, Cae NonWish to take back control of your life? Ready to try something new? Want to heal the world around you? This month I am introducing the power of sound and the miraculous effects it can have on stones which you will be shown how to use in the healing of all the major chakras of the Earth. To support and guide you, we shall be making connection with Taliesin – the famous magical Welsh poet, and Melangell – the Celtic saint based on ancient belief and practices.

All the work I introduce in these modules is completely fresh and new and channelled from the inspirational divine sources quoted each month. I sometimes feel that I cannot take responsibility for what each month contains as it has been given to me direct – I work in partnership with these ancient archetypes… they tell me and I simply work with it… explain it… write it down…

As the spring flourishes around us, the April module of Walking With The Goddess is ready for purchase, it is only £5.

To buy direct: https://www.earthwalking.co.uk/

To read more about it or purchase previous modules: https://www.earthwalking.co.uk/walking-with-the-goddess/

Come and join us for something completely different, inspiring and satisfying. It might also prove good therapy in these challenging times as it will also help you to feel personally empowered and healed too.

 

Happy Distaff Day!

Me stating writing againI must be one of very few people who was actually delighted to return to work on Thursday… in fact, I could hardly wait! When I refer to ‘work’, I am actually talking about my writing and I have been desperate to begin work proper on my next full length book for months, but had to see ‘The Alternative Advent Calendar’ birthed out into the world first.

‘Spring In Your Step’ follows directly on from ‘Merry Midwinter’ so begins at this most grey and uninspiring time of year – January. Memories of my singular childhood are tumbling onto my keyboard along with lots of ideas and observations as to how we can all really enjoy these otherwise quiet, dull days and the true relevance of this first month of the year. As in my first book, there are also ‘Comments from Joan’ and one or two recipes per chapter taken from her manuscript cookery book… hearty sustaining casseroles, comforting hot, sticky puddings and delicious treats to sustain you through the winter weather, whether you are playing in the snow or struggling to work. And there will be more ideas for little seasonal craft projects along the way. If you would like to know more, I will be putting an extract on my blog in the next few days, so watch this space!

Some people are only returning to work on Monday, 6th January (which, ironically, is actually when ‘Old Christmas Day’ would have fallen before the change in the calendar in the 1750’s) but many have already returned in the days since we celebrated New Year. Why bemoan the fact? If you do not actually enjoy what you do for a living, at least be thankful that you have got a job to go to. (Although I have to admit that in these days of zero hours contracts and gross abuse of workers I can well understand why this might not be the case but this is a different conversation for another day.)

Distaff Day is variously placed on different days around the beginning of January and in times gone by was used to celebrate the return of the women to working life after the Christmas revels (as if they had been sitting twiddling their thumbs while all the feasting and celebrating had been going on – who was supposed to cook, bake and provide it all?) Some people refer to it as Saint Distaff’s Day but in fact there is no such saint – it simply refers to spinning (work traditionally performed by women using a distaff, hence the reference in family ancestry to the ‘distaff line when referring to the mother’s or female side of the family). On the other hand, in the agricultural communities the men returned to work on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany, when their work tools would be blessed, the farm horses dressed up and all manner of joking and hi-jinks entered into.

So celebrate your return to work… or the fact that you have had a good Christmas… or that Christmas is over and you can be left in peace… or that we might get snow in the next few weeks… or that we haven’t had snow to further complicate our lives… but celebrate something. Midwinter and Christmas isn’t the only opportunity to celebrate – if you look hard enough you can always finds lots of wonderful things to be thankful and happy about… celebrate LIFE!

 

A Very Merry Midwinter!

Flying Above Clouds

Seeing the winter sun set from ABOVE the clouds – perhaps this might be the view seen by Odin, or Mother Holly/Frau Holle or even Father Christmas!

To all my valued readers and very dear friends – both literally and electronically – greetings!

The time is almost upon us… it is the Solstice! Longest, darkest night and shortest day… the turning point when we plunge into three days of darkness before re-emerging to the re-birth of the Light on the morning of the 25th. (Although the natural world has preempted us – as it so often does – and the birds are already singing at the start of their new ‘courting’ season!)

Draw close to your loved ones and savour each precious moment. This is the time to stand still… just as the earth ‘stands still’ – and fully appreciate where we are, what we have got and just how lucky we are.

I wish you all a wonderful Solstice full of peace, enlightenment, joy and love!

Politically Correct?

November Day

Sprinkling of snow on the mountain opposite my living room window this time last year – today everything is very green, wet and windy… but when it comes to a question of black…?

If the use of the word ‘black’ is now seen as politically incorrect (as in the instance of Saint Nicholas and his companion, Black Peter, in the Netherlands), how come everyone is now being allowed to use the term ‘Black Friday’?

Personally, I think that disallowing the use of the word ‘black’ is quite ridiculous and actually draws unnecessary attention to colour prejudice and highlights the problem rather than the reverse. I am not here to debate this question – simply asking why one reference to an ancient custom is no longer allowed (when it harmlessly had nothing to do with race) but is allowed when it concerns making lots of money.

I view Black Friday as very black indeed – appealing to the most base instincts, responses and emotions of humanity – avarice, greed, selfishness, arrogance and acquisitiveness not withstanding.

I love to give. I am delighted to say that on Black Friday, we actually gave away, not fifty, but seventy-six electronic copies of the ‘Alternative Advent Calendar’. I hope that all the recipients enjoy our gift to them and get a lot of fun, satisfaction and pleasure from them.

Meanwhile, it is a very blustery, stormy morning here, although not as cold as it was this time last year as the photo above illustrates! It is the second Sunday of Advent and, as I was in Germany for the first Sunday of Advent, this afternoon I shall be making my wreath and as a family we shall be sitting down by the fire and singing carols around the two lit candles.

Blessings of peace and anticipation to you all – have a really lovely day!

Happy Hallowe’en!

To all my friends, everywhere, I wish you a deeply peaceful, nourishing and joyous Hallowe’en/Calan Gaeaf. The autumn is rapidly drawing to a close and winter is impatiently waiting in the wings. It is time to withdraw into our homes… into our selves… and take some time out to rest, re-evaluate and regenerate our energies, just as the natural world is now doing.

As the seasons slip from autumn into winter and we enter this still dark time of ‘in between’, remember that this is also the time when the veils thin between the worlds… beings from other levels of time and place can now come among us which means that this is also the time when our loved ones and more distant ancestors can once more draw close to us. This is a good time to remember those who have gone before us… to bless them and surround them with our love and gratitude.

Go gently… do not disturb!

Soul Cakes

As promised in my newsletter, for those of you who would like to try out my recipe for Soul Cakes, here is a photo of a batch I made this afternoon, ready to distribute to merry little Hallowe’en revellers tomorrow.

For those of you who don’t receive my newsletter and would like to get the recipe for these delicious, buttery and sweetly spiced traditional ‘cakes’, just go to my website www.gillianmonks.com and sign up!

Add A Little Sweetness…

Luscious golden globes of infinite tangy sweetness!

Ah… back to more normal reality! Seeing both my books published and republished and celebrating that fact has been immensely exciting, but now it is time to turn my attention back to the more usual seasonal tasks for this time in October – and also some domestic activities which should have been seen to much earlier in the year!

For instance, the candying of peel. I usually complete this in the summer when we are enjoying lots of relaxed breakfasts with the doors and windows all thrown wide to the soft mountain breezes or sat in the sunshine in the garden. Then there are copious quantities of grapefruit  and orange peels left over. Rather than simply consigning them to the compost bin, it is far better to preserve them for use later in the autumn and winter.

This is really simple – even though it takes several days to complete. It is a process of boiling the peels in an increasingly sweetened sugar syrup and leaving them to marinade in it for days in between. (For anyone wishing to try this for themselves the recipe is included in ‘Merry Midwinter’.) I can really recommend it!

The crucial point comes at the end of the procedure when the peels are lifted out of their syrupy bath and left to drain on a wire cooling rack and then placed in the bottom oven of the Aga for several hours. The trick is to allow them to dry and set in a gentle heat for just the right amount of time so that they are dry and handleable but still soft and moist. The length of time to achieve this varies from batch to batch, depending on the size of fruit and exactly how hot my ‘cool oven’ is at the time, and no two batches of peel are ever the same.

I did actually candy a batch of grapefruit several weeks ago, but it was right in the middle of the time we were getting ‘The Alternative Advent Calendar’ ready to go to print… and I forget them. Rather than the two or three hours in the coolest part of the oven, I only remembered them twenty-fours after first placing them there to dry out. When I ran to retrieve them, they were a deep brown in colour – otherwise known as burnt – and so rock hard they could have shod a horse! Sadly not one of my finest moments!!! But sometimes these things happen. You either laugh or cry and it is by far better to laugh about it.

I prefer to candy grapefruit peel – which produces lusciously thick sticky slices of decadence – and which adds real luxury and fresh, fruity zest to home made Christmas cakes and puddings. This year I have also candied orange peels too. they give very distinct flavours and both can be sliced and dipped in melted dark chocolate for the ultimate experience with freshly brewed coffee at the end of your Christmas dinner.

Why not try it for yourself? It is really easy to do. One of these days I might even try candying whole small fruits, like clementines, which were my mother’s favourite and which always used to arrive packed in wooden boxes from Fortnum and Mason. I can strongly recommend it. You end up with a far superior product full of gorgeous sweet tangyness rather than the drier, more tasteless bought version.

Oh, and if you have any left over, it is absolutely delicious baked into Hot Cross Buns for Easter. Candied peel made this way will easily keep in an airtight container for at least twelve months.

Be adventurous! Have a go – and make something which will really set your Christmas baking apart this year.

Lammas Greetings!

My Lammas Loaf, specially baked in the shape of a sheaf of wheat

Dusk came early to our valley this evening. Throughout the day there has been thick cloud obscuring the mountains after all the rain, but now the rumbling, flashes and downpours have ceased. All is calm, still and quiet. As the light dimmed I went to our front door and rang my tinkling little bell and called to the  fair  folk, the Tylwyth Teg, to come and bless my home. I left offerings of crusty home-baked bread spread with sweet thick honey, a bowl of milk and a glass of home made oak leaf wine for them to feast upon in the dark hours when prying human eyes are tightly shut in slumber.

For I am writing this on Lammas eve. By old beliefs and the natural calendar of the land this is the time when true summer begins to draw to an end and we enter early autumn. Be mindful that this is the beginning of the main harvest season – the grain harvest – although we have already had the hay cut and been gathering fruit, herbs and vegetables from the land for several months!

This is a good time to ponder on what we have gained and what we have sacrificed of ourselves over the light, bright season. Our own actions mirror the bounty and sacrifice which the Earth constantly enacts to sustain all the life on this planet.

This is also traditionally a good time to reassess or appraise relationships, contracts and agreements, and to enter into new ones too. Historically this was one of those times of year when people came together… a brief respite in the gruelling farming calendar between one lot of harvesting and the next… but still a time of light evenings and good weather when picnicking in the fields and boisterous games allowed the young to safely let off steam and the more sedentary to gossip and catch up on news… to discuss business and strike new deals… to come to fresh understanding with one’s neighbour.

There is something here for all of us to take away and think about… and to also put into practical action! It matters little where you live and what your daily occupation and employment is. Perhaps you might like to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and become more aware of who and what is around you… of what you have to be thankful for… of what you need to improve or make new arrangements for… to decide what you have so far achieved and what you are willing to do or give of yourself in the coming months. And to reach out to your friends, family and neighbours in friendship and understanding.

A very merry,  prosperous and joyful Lammas celebration to you all!

 

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