Samhain, gateway to Winter

Celebrated by the Celts, Samhain is the festival that marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the darkening months of the year. At mid-point between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, we are now entering darker times as we journey through the last quadrant on the Wheel of the Year before the Winter Solstice when the light returns. The clocks went back at the weekend and I have noticed how the energy of the sun is now much weakened, like it is getting tired and ready for its last breath.

While I was out gardening yesterday ...

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Reflection and contemplation at the Autumn Equinox

The area where we live is rich in ancient woodlands and, at this time of year, it is a delight to witness our hillside change colours: the lush greens of Summer are now being replaced by the golden and rusty tones of Autumn. It is a beautiful scene that not only takes my breath away but also offers a wisdom to me.

This show of yellows, oranges and reds is an indication that trees are responding to the weakening power of the sun, the shorter days and the dropping air temperature. In preparation for Winter when there is not enough ...

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Winter Solstice

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Today is the Winter Solstice marking the point in the year when the Sun reaches its most southernly position, giving us the shortest amount of daylight. The Sun rises but barely makes it over the horizon at this time of year. I have been out most days at sunset over these past couple of weeks, taking hay to our sheep at that time, and on clear days, I have been treated to the most delightful show of pinks and light yellows.

Have you noticed the qualities of sunlight at Midwinter? It is pale, weak, fragile and hesitant. Not at all ...

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Autumn Equinox... an invitation to pause, reflect and reset

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Today is the Autumn Equinox, a celestial event when all points on the Earth, as it travels along its trajectory around the Sun, receive equal amount of day light and darkness. The long Summer days have gone and we are not yet at the time of long Winter nights… at the Equinox, we are in the middle of the Sun’s journey between Solstices. Our days are approximately the same length as our nights right now and with this, nature teaches us about balance and harmony.

During the Summer, our energy and focus tend to be on the world outside ...

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Summer, the season of abundance

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Yesterday, the Summer Solstice marked the shortest night and the longest day. Right now, we are experiencing a peak in the amount of daylight hours… We can still see some faint light when we go to bed in our West facing bedroom and the dawn chorus begins at around 4 am when the earliest of birds begin their singing and calling. Darkness has been squeezed out to a confined few hours which leaves plenty of time to connect with the fullness of Summer present all around us at the moment.

When I walk around our smallholding, all I can see ...

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Spring has sprung

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Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox making day and night of equal length. From now on, days continue getting longer till the Summer Solstice. Spring has sprung and it feels very good!

The last week or so has been bright and sunny, with still a little chill in the air. It has been a pleasure to be outside, to soak up the Spring weather and notice how it gives me renewed energy, enthusiasm and literally a spring in my step.

Birds are busy building nests: I have seen crows carry sticks and smaller birds picking sheep's wool and moss to ...

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From darkness to light

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Today is the Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day of the year and the start of a new season. From this point on, daylight hours increase slowly towards Spring. I have captured a few lovely shots of the Winter sunlight (where there has been some!!). Weak, hesitant, fragile and delicate light... yet beautiful in all its frailty and presence. A light that calls for rest, reflection and renewal.

I am very aware of a part of me seeking hibernation, wanting to stay at home and curl up with a book or a magazine, needing more sleep... I feel pulled towards ...

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