Date: Friday the 13th January 2023
Moon Phase: Waning gibbous
Location: Lancashire (home)
Weather: Rain and winds, 5 degrees Celsius.
There is something about the way in which the wind rolls down from the Lancashire moors and whips, whistles, and howls around the nearby suburban houses, where I live, that truly fills me with quiet awe.
Since early childhood I have been drawn to nature in all its forms and elements.
Be it sunny days, snow, sleet, hailstones or pouring rain, it was always a job for my family to keep me indoors.
I remember my Nan’s dismay when it would heavily rain and I would excitedly gather up a book, torch, blanket, ‘raggy bear’, pens and note book, and run down the garden to what I called ‘the woods’ so that I could sit in the shelter of a nook I had made while lovingly experiencing the rain.
In reality, it was not a woods at the bottom of my Nan’s garden, but a huge overgrown elder tree that sat next to a gorse. Together they took over the bottom half of the garden and created so much shade that nothing else would grow around them. This caused one area to look like a tiny woodland behind the Elder, and a deeply arched nook between the elder and gorse. I had even spent time training the arch by carefully bending, weaving and guiding branches of elder in and out of one another. Ultimately forming a near waterproof little hollow large enough for myself to play and dream in.
I would sit there for hours and imagine the elder and gorse talking to me (and perhaps they were!) Even now, like many other folk witches, I commune with trees and other plant allies. If I was not doing this, I was watching the movements of birds, listening to their calls, observing shapes in the clouds, and connecting with the weather.
My connection to the weather and natural world around me has not much changed.
I have lived in many places during my lifetime so far. Surrey, London, Berkshire, Ireland, Suffolk, and now Lancashire. As well as this, I have spent much spare time in Dorset, Devon and North Wales.
Whenever I live in, or seek to connect with a place I spend a lot of time in, my spirituality and folk witch ways always provoke me to do several things as a way of connecting with the area:
– Watch the weather
– Understand local terrain
– Observe local wild and plant life
– Seek conference with the spirits of the land.
Each geographical location will always have a different fingerprint of identification, things that set it apart from other areas, and each will have aspects that sing the loudest.
When I lived in Suffolk, it was the rain and waters that sang to me. The rain smelled sweet and seemed to wash away all pains. I would collect rain water and use it in healings. If not this, I would travel to places such as Southwold or Aldeburgh to collect sea water, seaweeds, shells, or some of the many hag stones found on the East Anglian coastlines for one of my workings.
When I lived in Surrey, it was the earth that spoke the loudest! Growing up as I did high up on the North Downs, I would spend hours walking around local woodlands and Downs noting down where I had spotted bluebells, pocketing interesting stones, animal bones, or my personal favourite, seemingly having the knack of finding the most beautiful and ancient of oak trees.
Here in Lancashire, it is the wind who speaks to me. And in such a way that no other element has done yet. The wind blows through my psyche and core of being in such a way that each time a storm rolls through I am always left changed in some way.
The wind has a way of rolling down from the moors, or sweeping through my local woodland that it cannot be ignored.
Sometimes she speaks gently, in the summer she dances in the poplar tree at the bottom of my garden. Fluttering the leaves so that it looks like thoudands of silver green butterfleis dancing in the breeze, or spreading so much poplar seed that it looks like snow all over the garden!
At other times she has more energy and she playfully whips through the washing on the line and snatches and item or two and throws it to the ground!
Then at other times, like tonight, she howls.
The wind doesn’t just blow noisily, she bellows and thrusts herself through the land with such force it actually makes the front door rattle and the Cornish pixie door knocker gives a rat-a-tat as though the wind herself is demanding admittance into our home.
Where tonight she is noisy and fierce, she is not threatening. If anything, she reminds me of a frustrated mother who just wants “five minutes peace!” and is snapping loudly in order to let off steam.
Tonight she carries the message of “let it all out!” and “for goodness sake, scream if you have too! Just don’t hold it all inside”.
An apt message perhaps when so many people are struggling this winter.
At other times though, the wind has company…
Where at times she blows away the cobwebs and simultaneously freshens the air and our lives, sometimes she carries, with her, passengers.
I have known untamed and un-named spirits of the surrounding moorlands, fields and woodlands, be blown down into suburbia. Ancient and wild spirits of the land who are sometimes friend, and sometimes foe.
One such time was just after Samhain last year (2022). The night air felt thick with a sense of foreboding. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife, and, despite living in suburbia, it was eerily quiet. Like the calm before the storm, as though something was swallowing up sound and watching. Patiently… quietly.
And then the mist came in. It rolled out accross the field in front of our home. At first like a carpet covering the grass before it rose high into the air.
At this point, I stopped the occasional peek out of my front door to admire this somewhat Hammer Horror vibe occurring outside. Far from being spooky in a fun way, my intuition was telling me that something unpleasant was out tonight and roaming about in spirit.
So, I locked the door and settled inside. After all, inside there was nothing to fear. My husband and I use such a high level of psychic and magical protection that I knew whatever was outside would indeed stay outside.
And then the wind picked up…
Low at first, but quickly built up. It didn’t rush around the house with its usual swooshes and howls. Nor did it sigh, but instead made a sound around the houses that sounded more like intermittent screams!
And then the knocking happened. Three very clear and very precise knocks on our patio window.
Whatever spirit of the land out that night was clearly in the mood for mischief. Because when I pulled aside the curtains, no person or animal was there. And the side gate was still locked.
But far from being scared, I rolled my eyes.
“We’ll have to add a couple of charms to the garden”. I said to my husband the next day. “The house is well protected, but we should extend it to the garden up to the boundary line. Especially as (name) was woken up by knocking on the patio glass too when they stayed over that time”.
I wasn’t at all scared or disturbed by whatever spirit was stalking the local area the night before. They had moved on with the dawn, perhaps retreating to our local woodlands, or back to the moor.
Having spent my whole life working with spirit, I know how to communicate safely with spirit and how to protect myself, family and home. More than that, I know the landscape in which I live and understand how to work with it, how to respect it, and how to have mutual boundaries with its spirits of the land.
There is a reason why Lancashire is often referred to as “a dark corner or the land”, for as beautiful as it is, there is also a bleak expansiveness about it. When you look out across the countryside, it doesn’t matter how bright a day it is, there are still places where the sun doesn’t quite touch.
Places such as Pendle, Saddleworth, the Pennines, and parts of Rivington for example. There is a rugged beauty to the Lancashire and Yorkshire counties that rubs nerves raw at times, as well as astounds you with it’s beauty. It’s no wonder really, why the Bronte sisters use the atmosphere of the West Pennine moors (that cross both Lancashire and Yorkshire) to set the scenes for some of their hauntingly beautiful gothic masterpieces.
Note: the Village of Haworth where the Bronte sisters grew up, is only about ten miles from Colne, in the borough of Pendle, Lancashire and therefore shares a beautiful moorland landscape.
There is a wildness to counties that are lucky enough to have moorlands stretch across it’s landscape. Whether it be Bodmin, Dartmoor, or the West Pennines, they all have a very deep and very powerful energy. An energy and magick that is ancient, almost as though it is older than time itself. Places, in fact, where it feels as though time stands still, and you can be inadvertently pixie led if you’re not careful – which is a very real possibility and has happened to my husband and I once before in Spring 2022! But that’s an entry to share for another day.
And every now and then, the wind will carry this wildness with it. Either willingly or unwilling, I do not know. But she sweeps up essences from the moors and woodlands and drops them off wherever she fancies. Leaving them to peacefully explore or cause mischief at will.
I don’t know how long I will live in Lancashire for. I have had a close connection to it now for eleven years.
It is mine and my husbands hope to one day move to Ireland and live on a small farm and create our very own self sufficient homestead.
But these dreams are far off in the distance for the time being, and Lancashire is not only where I rest my head each night, but a place that holds my heart too. I resonate so much, not only with is wildness and darkness, but also with its light and coastline.
One day, when my husband and I eventually move to Ireland a new adventure will begin, and I will once again start the process of getting to know the land and its ways. Perhaps the wind will follow me? Or maybe a new element or weather way will arrive to teach me?
But if the day of moving back to Ireland ever does come, I know I will take fond and very powerful memories and lessons from the Lancashire winds with me.
You see, the wind and air, just like any of the elements, can talk to you if you know how to observe and how to listen.
For the folk witch, we instinctually know how to listen to the natural world, its sprits and elements around us without needing to be taught.
Mother wind speaks to me often, energetically that is. She has no speaking voice like you or I. She speaks intuitively, and as a witch I both listen and observe.
Tonight she speaks of a need for release, and that makes me reflect on my own inner emotions. What do I need to release? Is there anything I need to release? If so, how shall I go about it?
So, if you are reading this diary entry and have got this far through an eccentrics ramblings, thank you.
If you can, go and listen to the winds, let her rush over your skin, through your hair and in return, may you whisper secrets, poems, prayers and psalms to her, so that they be carried in her breath to where they are meant to be!
Through the time, mists, and distance between us, blessings from me to you.
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