The wheel is turning,
The season changing
As the door opens
and my path goes on
To new stars birthing
I am dancing the circle
Around and around.
... then comes the winter, a time of patience, of waiting, of opening to new growth, as seeds planted in the frozen earth begin struggling to reach the surface. After letting go of all that is worn out we rest, we renew ourselves, taking advantage of this pause, when the earth is still, to store enough energy for new growth with the returning light after the solstice.
I find myself slowing down, meditating more, and relaxing with the grey sea outside, rippling or roaring beyond the stark outlines of bare trees on the edge of the cliff, where winter seagulls hide in mist and wail like phantoms. But all this time my heart is ablaze, and vibrant as a robin’s breast, or ruby red and warming as mulled wine. I have learned to love the snow and its deep silence, when stars shine bright and warm in black ice skies above white landscapes so quiet I am lulled into their dreams. I feed visiting birds so they too may live to sing again in Spring.
Inner winter is not a sorrowful time whatever may be happening in the world outside. I am aware of the heart fire, heating the angel brew singing its inspiration in the magic cauldron. I locate the winter season in the north with the element of earth on my wheel of the year. Bright white stars in frosty heavens sometimes seem almost attached to me by threads of silver light. Winter is a season that evoke images of breath taking beauty through my inner vision. I learn to seek the hidden light, the lamp of the Archangel Uriel shining in the dark, illuminating the door that leads onwards to sun return and the promise of new life. I welcome it as a friend.
The moon has cast a path of light
Across the water straight and true
From shores of Wales to Somerset
In silver streams of peaceful dreams.
Taken from introductory poem to chapter 1, page 4, To Sing with Bards and Angels, Iona Jenkins, O-Books 2022
Step into the magic of a creative spiritual journey
As a child, playing on my maternal grandparents’ smallholding, or exploring woods and fields around my home, I felt comforted, and protected by a benign presence in nature. Today, as a writer, on the south coast of Wales, that presence still forms a conscious, integral part of my life and inspiration.
One full moon winter’s night, I lit a candle lantern by the door of my balcony, facing the sea and English shore. Soon, an otherworldly being formed in my mind’s eye, evoked by the landscape outside, and the moon painting a path of gold, that gradually widened to silver on the night rippling sea. I called this being an angel, my benign presence had assumed a form of light, in the magic of creativity.
Upon the luminous path, he appeared serene, tall as a tree, and pearly white with a halo of soft, colour flecked silver. I say he was male, though he exhibited a soft feminine quality, speaking through my heart, like a musical stream, flowing into words from my descriptive Bard’s voice, through pen on to paper.
“I am your Creative Wisdom,” the angel said, floating in a circle of candle glow, and pale rainbows. When wisdom is added to the ingredients of any potion of inspiration, be it great or small, so will that potion flow into projects that enhance life on this planet.”
The angel’s name was Astariel, and having accepted his offer, to step into the magic of a creative spiritual journey, my life became a poem, a song, a story, as his gentle wisdom lit up the pages of my book.
Nectar collecting, the bees are buzzing
In lush lavender bushes, purple tumbling
Summer scented over grey stone walls
The hives are alive and honey making.
Breezes flowing through silver birch leaves
A turquoise sky with the last golden sunlight
In France this time is known as the blue hour
Late afternoon, before the sun starts setting
I turn my face and thoughts towards the west.
Iona Jenkins 2022
A daily walk is an opportunity for awakening and refining the senses. This not only intensifies my experience, but often triggers a heartfelt expression of artistic inspiration. Since this awakening is inclined to light up both heart and mind, I often refer to these rambles as Wisdom Walking. I am forever delighted and surprised by the many new impressions I receive in familiar territory, at varied times of day, and throughout each season.
In summer I frequently pass by beautiful lavender bushes, so lush with flowers cascading over a grey stone garden wall. The scent comes first, strong yet soothing, for these flowers may be used to make sleep pillows and bath infusions. The purple colour flows soft through my eyes, nerve calming, clearing softening. Yesterday there were only five or six bees, but today has brought a hive, swarming over the tiny flowers which are now almost at the end of their season. Growing such wonder bushes in gardens helps to preserve a dwindling bee population, which deserves and needs all the help it can get.
I make my way through a local park, where I open my eyes for the first time, to a small group of silver birch trees. I have often passed this way before without really registering their presence, but today it is almost as though they are inviting me to enter their grove.
Walking with awakened senses, we enter into a relationship with the local landscape that nourishes us, we find richness in our environment in all its green seasonal magic, we discover our part in its legend, its life, its song.
Moving mindfully, I slow down, awakening to beauty and hidden mysteries. Following my Creative Spirit, I find my place in the world.
I am a storyteller, a dream maker
All my tales are a rich woven cloth
Of mystical thread I spin from gold
With dancing feet in the music of Earth
I will sing you her life song of passion
As my fingers draw down a web of stars
To light her chalice the sky reflecting
Deep cauldron of plenty overflowing
This potion of peace and magic growing
Bright flowers blooming colour scented.
"To begin my poetic journey, I connect to inspiration through my senses, from which I develop awareness of my place within my surroundings and the influence they have on me as a creative being.
Our early ancestors would have used their senses both fully and spontaneously like any other creature, because survival would have depended on their ability to do so. Today, however, in our modern technological world we can order goods and services in seconds on a mobile phone. We are now consumers instead of hunters and gatherers. We have many creature comforts, but alas, we are also a people with increasing mental health, environmental, and social problems.
So why are we not satisfied? Why does happiness elude so many? In losing our connection to the Sacred Feminine, we have gradually been losing connection to the planet which sustains us - our mother the Earth. We have come to believe that we are separate, more important, far above the rest of creation. In creating too many boundaries, we avoid the oneness of our reality, and we are lonely as a result. We could learn much from ethnic civilisations living in communities with powerful links to the natural world and a great respect for the land that nourishes them."
Iona Jenkins, poem and extract from p.58 and 59 To Sing with Bards and Angels, O-Books 2022
Embracing the Earth with respect, we can heal the fear that keeps us isolated, regaining our balance we can reach for the stars. It is then, we may also discover them shining within, illuminating all those deep space places, and singing soft in the language of angels.
May all beings find relaxation and connection in the warmth and light of summer.
I am standing on the beach
With waves washing my feet
This luminous threshold place
Where worlds mingle and meet
In a mystical magic of three
The earth the sky and the sea
Iona Jenkins, Midsummer, 2022
Now the wheel of the year has turned towards summer, I am spending more time outside, visiting parkland and green spaces on my way to the beach. The Celtic Ancestors, Druids and Shamans believe the shores and lakes of oceans to be thresholds, magical liminal places, where it was possible to glimpse the Otherworld and to receive messages. I can certainly see why, because after moving into an apartment overlooking the sea, my enthusiasm and inspiration to create through writing, has increased considerably. And it is true to say, that in this environment, I can experience spontaneous meditative states where pictures and words flood my imagination like the incoming tide, to be turned into poetry, philosophical meanderings, stories, or even simple life enhancing ideas, and truths I need to understand in my everyday reality.
We are influenced by the landscapes we live in as well as the landscapes we visit, but to really become aware of this, we may need to slow down a little and take the time to connect. My landscape gives me words, images and colours, inspiration that enables me to create vivid images with words rather than paint. People are creative in different ways. I paint word pictures, descriptive prose, which I hope may speak to the reader's own imagination and in turn help to awaken their personal creativity.
Summer Solstice Haiku
Sing in the sunrise
On Summer solstice Morning
The world glitters gold
Blessings of Midsummer to all,
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