This Sparks Joy! May 2021

person holding lighted sparkler during nighttime

Earlier in the month I participated in an online poetry workshop run by Alice Tarbuck, whose book A Spell in the Wild I recommended in my last A Year of Reading Frugally post. It was titled “Waking Your Inner Witch: Spell-Poem Workshop” and it absolutely sparked joy for me. Spending an hour and a half with nine like minded people talking about enchantment, escape, charms and Isobel Gowdie (amongst other things) was just what I needed after an incredibly busy week.

I’ve completed workshops hosted by Alice before as she’s one half of Toil and Trouble (Claire Askew being the other half) who run some excellent witchcraft courses. I cannot recommend them highly enough, especially if – like me – you’re mostly solitary in your witchcraft practice but would like to expand your knowledge and witchcraft acquaintances in a welcoming and completely inclusive environment. They normally share links to upcoming courses via their twitter accounts; Alice can be found here and Claire here.

The thing that sparked the most joy from the workshop, though, was that I ended it with a short spell-poem of my own creation. These four stanzas are designed to take you out of your normal head space and help you enter a magical mind space for spell work, shadow work, or meditation:

Sit you down and close your eyes,
breathing soft and slow.
Let the world around you fade
and let your senses grow.

Feel the sun upon your face,
the wind lifting your hair.
Feel the moss beneath your hands,
hear birdsong in the air.

Listen as water tumbles down
and splashes in the pool.
Taste the spray upon your tongue
so fresh and pure and cool.

As you sit inside your head
know that you are safe.
Let your heart feel what it will
in this your magic space.

Please feel free to use this yourself if it would help you in any way.

Other things that have sparked joy this month are:

  • finally getting on with my yearly spring deep clean.
  • pictures of my friend’s new puppy arriving by text every few days.
  • the scent of wild garlic pervading the western end of the wood as the whole glade is in full flower.
  • making tentative plans with my friends for later in the year when we should be able to meet safely.
  • and fledglings, fledglings everywhere!

Finally, last but by no means least, I bring you a most glorious short story:

Two Faces of Winter” by Lyndsey Croal has been published on the Cunning Folk website and I’d urge anyone with an interest in folklore tied to the personification of the seasons to read. The story I recently completed and submitted to an anthology (which I spoke about in my April roundup) was written about the same character and I really loved seeing an entirely different imagining of her life.

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