A new year

A new calendar year is approaching. As a druid though I have already started my new year at the time of the winter solstice when the light returned. But the calendar new year is also important. This coming year is also the start of a new decade.

2020 is coming. I am very interested in numbers and see 2020 as very important. It is the start of something new that will make people more aware of the way they live and the environment around them. People will I hope start to treat those around them with respect and love, caring for those less fortunate. I hope they will learn that everything is connected and whatever you do, say or think, has an effect somewhere else.

What do I hope for this coming year of 2020? I already feel energised especially since I noticed the shoots of the spring bulbs appearing in their pots and the new buds on the shrubs and trees. They give me hope. The natural world seems to continue on its way whatever we do to it. When forests are cut down it is not long before other plants start to germinate. Life is always there.

Floods and fires continue to cleanse the land clearing away unwanted energies from logging and the wrong ways of farming and other agriculture. Floods and fires also tell us that we are not looking after the land in the right way. But back to my thoughts and plans for this new decade of opportunities. 2020 gives us 365 days of opportunity. What are you going to do? I am going to live each day wisely and continue with my creative work as well as making sure I help others when needed. I shall also be looking after the plants and visitors to my garden. I shall be outside in nature as often as I can helping me to stay healthy both physically and mentally. I shall try to eat in a healthier way being aware of how my food is grown and produced. I shall also look at what I wear and how I furnish my home. Can I change anything here to make it more natural?

So what will you do in 2020? I hope you can spread peace and love around the world as well as hope for us all.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Some years ago I was asked to give a talk on the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, to people who may not know anything about them. So I put on my thinking cap and looked at things we did every day that if done with mindfulness especially, were a way of working with the four elements.

Each person was given a small booklet about these elements. It contained some information about the element and some exercises that could be done anywhere at any time, and also four small crystals, one for each element.

I was thinking about the Earth element the other day when I was working in the garden. I was doing some dead-heading and pulling out weeds. What a wonderful way to work with the earth. I found it very healing and therapeutic. It was a physical and practical act and to me this was so much an Earth element way to work. It renewed my connection with the earth too and made me more determined to do what I could to stop pollution and other things detrimental to our planet.

So now let’s look at the element of Air. If we were outside on a windy day my mother used to say the wind was blowing the cobwebs away from around us. Cleansing the aura as I now know. Air is connected to inspiration, new ideas, messages, movement, breath of life and new beginnings. Standing outside on a breezy day is a good way to connect with Air. Imagine yourself flying and see how that feels. Did you ever climb trees or walls when you were young, and then jump off? How did that feel? Just imagine that now though not do it practically!

I’m leaving the Fire element until last so now what about the Water element. I love to be near running water. I see it cleansing the earth as it moves along. It is receptive to my thoughts and I link it with compassion, trust, love and wisdom. When you take a shower, your are cleansing yourself and the aura around you. Think about it as you shower. You always feel better after a shower, or after walking by water especially running water or the sea. We often say ‘go with the flow’ when talking about problems in our daily lives. So flow like the water. You can imagine yourself floating on calm water with a night sky above. Then write down how you felt.

So lastly, the element of Fire. Fire can transform things as you can easily see if you burn something like a sheet of paper. So it changes things and cleanses. It is also about purpose and growth and rebirth. I like to think of our inner fire, the force that enables us to do things, to accept ourselves and to transform our lives when needed. I like to watch the flame of a burning candle. Try it and see how you feel .

Of course, this is a simple way of looking at the elements but it is a good place to start. The druid path takes you deeper into the elements and deeper into yourself but if you know nothing about them then start simply.

Sticks and stones and the water element

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’ is a well known saying but unfortunately not true as many well know. Words can hurt as they affect our emotional state and it is easy to let teasing words or words said in anger affect us. I know people who tease and keep teasing until the teasing becomes abusive. Some people do not know when to stop or when the person on the receiving end has had enough. And people often say things in anger that they don’t really mean but these can be hurtful all the same.

This ‘over the top’ teasing has happened to me recently, twice in fact. The first time the teasing definitely got out of control and became abusive then suddenly stopped possibly because someone else stepped in and complained. A week or so later more teasing from someone else but about the same occasion in my life and again, someone who did not know when to stop. It is easy to say keep away from these people but when they are part of a group that you are with it can be difficult. So what do you do?

Well, this is where the element of water comes in. Water is cleansing so a shower is good but with the intention that it washes away the negativity caused by the teasing. I also like to meditate using water sounds as a background and letting them soothe me and wash away all the bad stuff. I used to love sitting by a river or the sea and doing the same thing. Water not only cleanses but it refreshes and re-energises so that you are ready for another day. Smudging the aura with sage can also help. Do you know of other methods that you can use to heal the affect of abusive or excessive teasing?

On another note, this morning, the sun shone on the tree tops and chimneys but not on the ground. I loved it and tried to capture it so here it is.


Stormy weather approaching

Expect trees to topple and buildings to get damaged we are being told as a large storm approaches. It has been very blustery for the last few days and the leaves are falling rapidly from the trees. Some trees are already bare while others are still green but the garden is covered in leaves of many colours and the sycamore wings from a nearby tree. The fallen leaves provide homes for many insects and food for others so nature is working in this way too.

But what about the effects of storms on us, not just our property? I find that after a storm the air is clearer and the sky too. There is a brightness that wasn’t there before. We live in such a negative world that a storm clears away the feelings of negativity and leaves everything sparkling like new. I feel that storms should give us hope for the future. After devastating damage done by storms in the past, people have got together in communities and supported and helped each other to rebuild. But should we need a storm to make us do that? Why can’t we work together and learn to live together so that the world is a better place? Your thoughts on this are appreciated.


Dark dismal days

It is another dark dismal day with heavy rain. It has now rained almost continuously for over a day and is forecast for today and tomorrow. On a spiritual level, the rain is cleansing the earth and is much needed. It washes away negative energy left by us and our industries.

It also helps the plants to grow and again is needed for this. Our storage reservoirs will also soon be full again after the hot summer. I find that days without sunshine are sometimes hard to deal with especially in the winter. But it is that time of the year when animals think about hibernating and I feel that this is what I would like to do as well. I don’t feel like this every day but only the dark days.

How do these dark days affect you? What do you do during this time? As Samhain approaches we near the time of introspection, of deep inner work and of planning for the coming of the Spring. At the moment I am finding this quite hard to do. It may be because of the current upheavals going on in my life. How do you feel about the approach of the winter time? How do you prepare for this time of inner work? Does your creativity also go to sleep?



Staying hopeful in a challenging world

I hear so many people say that they have no hope left, that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But we need to have hope and see that there are positive things in our lives and that our lives can get better. This is hard for many especially after the kind of week that we have had. Many explosions occurred in several countries and two large earthquakes in others.

But if you look and listen carefully you can also see that there is hope and that better things are happening. Much of the ‘bad’stuff is a way of cleansing, clearing out and getting ready for the new. Look at how nature works. In the autumn she gets rid of things she no longer needs like leaves, and plants die down ready to sleep during the winter. But when spring comes, they appear again and sprout new leaves and bring flowers too. Look for the positive things that are going on, in nature, around you, in your country and in the world. There are many bright and hopeful new beginnings occurring everywhere but you need to look.

One day last week I noticed that my peony had suddenly grown about 8 inches almost overnight and when looking around the spare piece of ground at the back of my garden I found a cluster of beautiful yellow flowers. A sign of hope like the buds on the trees. What are your signs of hope?


Approaching winter

It is a very frosty morning here, white roofs and icy roads. But the sky is clear and the sun is shining. There is something about this kind of day, a clarity and a crispness. I love this feeling and it inspires me to write and paint.

Today is a special day here in the UK when we remember those who died in World Wars. Now we have peace in our world or at least some parts of it. It would be good to have peace everywhere but I think that will take some time. In order to have peace we need to work together and not always be wanting more. We need to share what we have with those who have little. Since the storm in the USA I have seen this kind of sharing going on. The community is working together as it should.

In our current material world, we all have too many ‘things’ in our homes. I was born during the second World War and remember rationing. We did not go without anything but we appreciated what we had and my father grew lots of vegetables in the garden. We were healthy and fit. Is there a message in this? Do we eat too much and take too much for granted? Winter is a time when we can think about these things and prepare for the coming spring.

My photo this week is of the local stream where it runs over a small shelf of rock. Like the water, we need to go with the flow, to let things we no longer need be washed away and to cleanse our lives of the rubbish we no longer need.

(photo taken by my son Warren Viggars)

Storms, cleansing, changing perception – my rambling thoughts on these

After the massive devastating storm which ravaged the east coast of the USA, many thoughts have crossed my mind. But a few words that someone said after seeing their home totally flattened stay in my mind. She said ‘It’s only stuff’. It is well known that traumatic events change peoples perception of the way they live their lives. They find out what is really important to them and change the way they live accordingly. We all hoard things we no longer need. I am as guilty as the rest here but this year I made a decision to give away a lot of things I no longer need or use. I feel much lighter now.

I was not surprised by the storm. Earlier this year I was reading a book which discussed what would happen in the near future regarding the weather and a great storm on this particular part of the coast was forecast. Looking at storms here in the UK, we have had more damaging ones than usual and more floods due to heavy rain. One thing that has always amazed me is that we persist in building homes on flood plains. No wonder we get flooded homes. We have not looked at the way our landscape works and listened to the ‘messages’ of the past. We, as humans, seem to think we are above the elements. But there are many of us who know that we must learn to live with this and plan accordingly.

We need to take a look at our lives and think about what we really need to survive. We need to think about the way we ravage our land and planet and change to a more loving way of caring for the land. Are there enough of us out there to make these changes work? I hope so.

I am not posting a photo this week. Take a look at the photos on the news pages about the storm and see the power of the water.


When I first moved into this house, the small garden was rather overgrown. After some severe weeding and pruning I found a buddleia hidden away. Pruning back other shrubs gave this wonderful bush room to grow and breathe. Butterflies love this bush and it is often called the Butterfly Bush. My son was here last weekend and was busy using my camera to take photos of the butterflies on the buddleia. They are so wonderful to watch, to spend time in contemplation, seeing how they collect nectar from the flowers. Nature never ceases to amaze me and I wish that all of us could see the magnificence of it all.

Butterflies are about transformation and this is what is happening to our world today. There are many changes afoot and many more to come so we must be like the butterfly, ready to change, to transform ourselves into something better, more caring and more aware of all around us. What do you see when you sit and contemplate on this photo of the butterfly?

Changes, upsets and weather

Lots of changes going on in the world at the moment. The energy around us is a bit chaotic to say the least. Everyone I know has had some kind of upheaval or upset in their life this month and we are only at the beginning of the month. There have been separations in relationships, illnesses and financial problems. But we must look at the positive side of all this. Any upheaval or upset makes us look at our lives in a different way. What is it that has brought this to us? What can we do to change our perspective? How can we live differently? All these questions arise when disaster strikes. We look at how we are living our lives and find ways to change. We make new decisions so that we live each day to the full. Every upset is a challenge to deal with and this is a part of life. The weather does not help when it is grey and dismal but yesterday we had three thunderstorms in the space of a few hours. These seem to have cleared the air for a short while at least.

When disaster strikes we need to take the time to find some inner quiet and listen to what our inner self is saying. It is hard to find time for the inner quiet but it is essential if we are to move forward to a new life. Take a walk in the park and sit under a tree. You’d be surprised how different you feel!