Festive Cheer....

Just Some of the Cakes...
Well after a few weeks of frantic work activity preceding an audit, diploma drama and car troubles - just don't ask - I've had a beautiful and festive week!

First off, we had two Christmas charity coffee mornings at work which had both teams and all the service users (the PC term for our clients!) working very hard to raise money for a local charity and Shelter - raising over £215 between them - so many gorgeous home made cakes as well as pickle, lavender bags and tree decorations made by our groups as well as some chutney from yours truly - so very proud of them all! Interestingly both were held in church halls and we had a high percentage of local lovely parishioners support 
Pride of Place in
the Local Church....
us, many of them elderly ladies so there was a really high level of Crone energy flowing round all be it in a different guise! Some Crone wisdom and clarity here led me to ponder positively about the inherent spirituality that is within us, however we choose to praise or worship and just reminded me that old traditions and beliefs were overlapped and amalgamated by Christianity, all but written out by it,

but gossamer threads of ancient  practice and knowledge managed to quietly lace its way through history,  hidden and protected  and Goddess has survived and Her path walking openly besides others again..... bearing in mind that this is the church that still proudly sports four 600 year old Pagan wooden carved roof bosses of the Green Man on the doors to it's bell tower that I wrote about in April's 'Connections'  I don't suppose these lovely ladies would be too phased by my Goddess or general Paganism!

How many rucksacks can
you fit in Dave's van? 80!
This Friday and Saturday I was lucky enough to be involved in the 3rd Maidstone Rucksack Project  that myself and my lovely friend Sarah have organised and run to collect rucksacks full of useful items for local homeless and vulnerably housed people in Maidstone and then arrange to distribute them to local charities, churches, shelters and soup runs to make sure we reach all those that need help in a small way through the winter period. Yet again we were completely bowled over by the generosity of pockets, time and spirit of the local community - people gave so very generously despite many having to scrimp and save themselves.... We collected an amazing 80 rucksacks stuffed full with essential items such as fleeces, underwear, socks gloves, hats, scarves and toiletries and some treats - chocolate,sweets, books
Hand Knitted Gloves,
Mittens and Hats.....
etc as well as about a dozen black sacks of coats, clothes, shoes and additional toiletries and treats. People's kindness never fails to amaze me - as well as the people who willingly give up their time to sort it all through and organise the donations or to take a couple of hours out of their day to drive round and drop  it off! Lots of festive love for the whole community roaming around the town over the last 48 hours .....

So lovely to see when we are living in such testing times and there is so much bad news, acts of pure love and selflessness.
This compassion doesn't appear to sit easily with the traditional Crone energies at a first glance - for me at least, She speaks of clarity and wisdom, death and change, but a closer look and deeper thought revealed a softer side of the wise beloved Grandmother, someone who is a survivor after reaching  her later years, She will have faced heartbreak, loss, grief as well as love, hope and kindness which could equally become compassion particularly as we enter the festive period and Yule where the light begins to return to the land. The Crone also represents regeneration, rebirth  and transformation - all of which lends itself to the energies we were surrounded with during the collection and distribution for those who have so little this weekend - the energies of a benevolent Grandmother as opposed to the evil hag of myth, folklore and literature.
Yule Tree
So today full of festive spirit, well with minimal bickering about who put the tinsel in the wring place or just where the screwdriver was that had vanished into thin air we out up our Christmas tree - this year decorated in white and silver so that it can be a Solstice Tree too! Dubbed the Yule Tree it is decorated in icicles, snowflakes, pine cones, stars and hearts to represent our family and our celebrations - which will be a Yule Meal at Solstice as well as Christmas Dinner - what's not to like?! It's also the first year that myself and Mark have decorated it without the 'children' helping which felt a little odd to start with, but a least I won't be secretly re-jigging it when they have gone to bed for once - surely I'm not the only one? I have to admit it was lovely though to decorate it myself - (I'd relegated Mark to outside lights by then) and to enjoy the silence and clarity of what I was doing, thinking about the Solstice and
Candle Wreath
the turning wheel, it will turn round again and doubtless in years to come there will be more little hands to help me, there's that Crone energy again - never very far away! I've noticed I've really quite unconsciously embraced the theme of the lights returning at Solstice this year with a multitude of white lights around the house along with simple colours and natural decorations such as this candle wreath - I'd love to tell you I made it myself but I have yet to wrestle with some holly, a candle and a chunk of oasis to create that masterpiece yet! 

The eagle eyed among you will notice a spectacularly early post tonight, due to the fact that to finish off my weekend we are heading into town for our December Moot with Maidstone Pagans that I have become increasingly  more involved in - hopefully some faces old and new tonight! 

Have  Blessed and Light Filled Week x x 


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