Escaping…

Right now, I’m in “book jail”, as Jhenah Telyndru so wonderfully describes it: when you are working so hard on a project, and it’s pretty much all that you can think about. I’m currently working on my 7th book, and this one’s a big one for Llewellyn Worldwide.  However, today I thought I would get out and check on the progress of autumn in my area, because before you know it, it will pass you by! Sometimes it’s just nice to do something different creatively, so…

Here are some of the moments, captured on camera.

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A quiet moment in the beech wood…

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A crow going to join his mates…

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This year’s youngling!

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A proud mama…

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The last of the heather…

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A majestic hawk…

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A moment with the Old Oak

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The incredible autumn skies…

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Going for a canter…

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Harvesting the carrots

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Reblog: Autumn Equinox and the Serpent Energies of Albion

This is a reblog from my channel, DruidHeart at SageWoman Magazine’s section on the Witches and Pagans website.

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The autumn equinox is upon us today, and we stand on the knife’s edge, leaping, stumbling, tumbling or diving down into the long nights. I love this time of year, as many of you know. The scents of leaves decaying in piles on the forest floor, the brilliant colours and the crisp air fills my heart with such joy. It is a wild cacophony to the senses, one last “hurrah!” before the silence of winter descends.

 
I love the retreat back into the earth, feeling my energy sinking back into my roots. The crazy time of summer and festivals, camps, parties and revelry has passed, and now it is time of reflection. We turn ourselves inwards, away from the social gatherings and noise, and focus on our own inner selves and what we have achieved. We take stock, we sum up, we begin the journey down into the darkness where one by one our senses are lost, eventually dreaming into the winter and letting go during the peaceful rest of deep sleep.

 
During the spring months, when the earth was warming under the eye of the sun, I felt Brighde’s energy rising, a large white dragon/serpent beneath the land that connected all of Albion. Dancing in the energies of midsummer, she then slowly began her retreat back into herself, and now at the equinox I feel her pulling back into the earth, the wild ride of her energy sinking back into the soil, the serpent retreating back into the cool nourishing earth, preparing for slumber. I too feel myself riding these serpent energies, ready to dream big this winter with wonderful new plans awaiting me.

 
Brighde is ancient. She is, for me, the British Isles. She is the bones of this land. She is not a mother goddess. She does not follow cycles of maiden, mother, queen and crone. She always was and always will be. She is as young as the snowdrop and as old as the hills. She has no relation at all to the Bridget of the mixed, revealed Christian and Pagan mythos. She is not all loving, she is not a warrior queen, she is not human in any way. She is the land, in a vast and exceedingly simple but elegant way…

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To read the the full article, please click HERE.

Blessings of the Autumn Equinox!

Many blessings to you as we tumble into the darkness. May you find your roots and take comfort in the coming winter, resting in the twilight and preparing to dream. May your harvests be fruitful, and may you let go of all that is unecessary.  Joy and happiness to you all, swishing in the dry leaves and smelling woodsmoke on the wind! xoxo

A little autumnal photography…

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the colours, the smells, the feel, the light.  I thought I’d share some of my inspiration with all you lovely folks as I dusted off the old camera… model is my beautiful friend and fellow Mori Girl, Sarah.

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven www.joannavanderhoeven.com

© Joanna van der Hoeven http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com

Reblog from SageWoman: Samhain Approaching

My latest blog for SageWoman’s online channel: http://witchesandpagans.com/SageWoman-Blogs/samhain-approaching.html

Digital art by Ado Ceric, http://www.adoceric.com/Digital7.php

Digital art by Ado Ceric, http://www.adoceric.com/Digital7.php

As I sit here, writing this, the rain taps at the window, the wind howling down the street, carrying with it the scent of winter and the first of the autumn leaves. The sky is fast moving and furious – low dark grey clouds set amidst a backdrop of pure white/grey.  The central heating has been turned on.  The apples are juicy on the trees.  The starlings are flocking together. Welcome, Autumn.

My favourite season – as you may have guessed. From bright, sunny days where the sun shows the last of its strength, to watery, wind-filled days like these, it is a season of change like no other.  Quick, altogether too quickly, it is over, at least the Fall is, when the leaves change and drop to the ground.  After that, it seems Winter is here – only allowing Autumn a brief time of grace to shine in her beauty before all is blanketed under the dreamy cold slumber of Winter.

It is third week of October – and the hectic days of summer leading to the Equinox have long passed.  I feel I can almost catch my breath – almost.  The main bulk of the harvest is done – both agriculturally and in a personal sense.  I have worked hard this year, and the rewards have been great.  There are always disappointments – from the tomatoes that didn’t do well to the vagaries of life.  But Autumn, with her beauty, captures our hearts and our minds, our attention, and causes us to stop, to listen and watch Her before She is gone.

Samhain is just around the corner.  Time to let go of that which did not come to fruition. It is also a time to carry forth and collect the seeds of our new intentions – for we cannot throw these to the winds just yet.  We release the dross of our lives into the flames of Samhain fires, and protect the seeds of new ideas and next year’s harvest within the larder of our souls.  We cannot release everything – we must hold onto something to take us into the new year, something to sow our intentions with. It could be lessons learned, ideas that did have the time to grow, or ideas that came too late in the season to be utilised to their full potential. And so carry them over we must.

I hope your harvest has been bountiful, and that what you carry over be blessed as well. May the release of Samhain and the dreamy slumber of winter nurture you. May you find beauty and strength in this, the most inspiring and beautiful of all seasons.  May the Goddess of Autumn bring you joy as she does me. x