Thursday, 29 December 2011


New Year resolutions ... everyone is writing about what YOU need to do and what YOU should be doing, what they should be, what you can do to ensure success and so on.  And whilst yes I am an advocate of setting goals, making them achievable and using NLP and hypnotherapy and other techniques (see details), I am going to continue my theme of keeping it simple.
Prospect Cottage Dungeness

It is only my view, but when you keep things simple, success is more likely.  Okay okay, NLP does have some play in this theory, as essentially it requires being specific and to the point. But I digress as always ...

What is it that I am going to be doing? I love buying a bargain, I would go to Costa everyday (ask anyone who knows me) and I often end up buying said ‘bargain/s’ that are not always cheap.  So, as I have already been doing in November/December in order to economise as needs must, items will be sourced from sales, will now be homemade and the term ‘thrifty’ rather than Costa will now be my motto.  The aim is to save money, and although the paper does indeed grow on trees the monetary value does not.  I have also found that finding a bargain and homemade items have much more value to me than something from a chain store or bulk produced.

So far the following have been a real help:
Freecycle/freegle – childrens games and birth to toddler real nappy set already, and various items given away in return!
Kirstie Allsop on 4OD for ideas, whilst materials can be pricey, you can often find recycled items or substitutes!
Anything by River Cottage – the forums on the site are a mass of ideas and inspiration

Twitter is a fountain of information and ideas, take a look at:
@AndyRHamilton co-author if the self sufficientish bible – their tip about cling film for double glazing, tried and tested and fab!
@AlysFowler gardener, forager, yummy recipes and giving up plastic!
@BeeStrawbridge is another source of inspiration

These are but a few and when anything pops up I will add it to the blog or Tweet it – so make sure you are following me at elder__flower. Please please please let me know if you have a site or a hint/tip, add it to the blog or send it to me.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Festive Greetings

A quick message of festive greeting for the 25th to all blog readers and followers on Twitter/Facebook.

Don't forget, if you are not already, you can check out where Santa is at
May you all have a peaceful day full of peace, calm and love.

L x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Yule Blog Party - a gift x

So Yule has arrived, the Yule log is made, the decorations are hanging up, the telling of stories are in full swing and the walk in the woods has been enjoyed.  Meeting with a friend to partake in coffee and cake is essential, then later on we have traditional Yule activities such as story telling, collecting items in the woods, Yule log to make and generally connecting to nature and earth with a ritual later on.
The list could go on and on and on, but in line with my previous posts about Yule and keeping it simple and the Yule Blog party .... my gift ....

My gift, well 2 actually, 2 fabulous sites to go and have a look at! Seeing you are already online, there is no excuse not to click on the links and discover more ;)

So, firstly, for those that have not discovered her Glennie Kindred, go and look NOW!

Already an avid follower of Rae Beth, Silja and  Mrs Darley/Carole Carlton, Marian Green to name but a fraction of my bookshelves, Glennie Kindred has been an integral find.  In one book  my whole bookshelf can been condensed! Then to discover further publications -  a real joy, along with beautiful handwritten pages and illustrations. 

This is not the forum for a book review but Yule this year can be summed up by some key ideas by Kindred, the notion that whilst rebirth is taking place it is important to note that yes this is a new start, but it is a new start within a wheel or life that is already in existence. Reflecting on this, so many of us vow to make resolutions that often disregard what has already gone before on what is already going on, instead this is some major new idea or new start and then we often wonder while it has failed before we have even started.

So, stopping now, taking stock of your life so far and including that, what is it that you want to stop or change in order for a new aim, goal or belief to be taken up? What will you make room for in your life form this moment on? So with this in mind, working with the many wheels or areas of your life, be it work, personal, career, finance, what old areas do you want to stop and change and give new life to?  This Yule bringing the bright light energy of the increasing hours of light and energy with you, what is it you want to achieve or really do?

But this is not a life coaching session, this is Yule!

So what areas will I be strengthening and giving new life to, what old area will I be addressing and leaving dormant?For me it is about giving more time to my craft, as a Hedgewytch and a solitary I will be putting more time aside, working on my BofS and working with nature more than I have been over the last few years. 
One great way to achieve this has been my Yule gift to my children, membership to the Woodland Trusts Nature Detective club.

So, secondly, take a look at:

A great way to connect and get back to nature – you do not even have to be a member to enjoy the free downloads so take a look!

SO my gift this Yule,
Glennie Kindred and Woodlands Trust Nature Detectives a gift of sharing and disccovery.
I hope with the increasing days of sunlight you will all achieve and discover nature in her many forms and with it, tap into the many energies and ideas that can guide us all.
Yule blessings

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Elderflowery calm and well-being for busy people!

Fears, phobias, new year resolutions, goals, need for confidence, problems with anxiety, weight loss, smoking, events or event in your life holiding you back, just need to chill out and enjoy a 'virtual holiday', need better performance in your preferred sport, hobby, at work, study, presentation, just need some me time, or a gift for someone who has everything?

Well ...

With NLP, hypnotherapy, reiki, life coaching and more on offer, Elderflowery can suit your needs, budget and time frame.  How many of us would love to improve an area of our life but cannot afford it or find time to go and see someone? Well here at Elderflowery we not only offer our clients access to a beautiful clinic based in Sandwich, we can now provide a virtual solution working with clients over the phone and using Skype. Not only that, text and email support is also included for free.

By using Skype we can come to you in the comfort of your own home or workplace, not only does this reduce costs but our clients have told us that this has made them feel relaxed and less rushed.  No need to rush back to the car, no need to be at the practice for a certain time, just switch on, meet up on Skype and away we go.  For those that prefer, the previous services offered by Relaxed & Calm (our old trading name) are still available as always.

So, want to be at your peak performance at that business pitch, need to lose weight by a certain day, need help with anxiety and panic attacks or you just need a confidential listening ear - contact us today to find out how we can help you. Quote 'blogpromo' and get 50% off!

Further details to be added to very soon, including free offers and competitions!

Friday, 9 December 2011

It’s Yule, have a ball!

So getting the party started, if you have a ball, what do you need? Some Yule decorations of course!
Continuing my theme from the earlier post and also in line with my hedgewytchery roots, this does not mean spending out loads of money.  Instead, recycle and reuse what I have and see what nature has on offer.

So here are a few decoration ideas that I have used so far this year – total cost NOTHING!

Inspired from my son’s school – paper snowflakes.  Yes we have all made them before, and you can use any paper that’s on hand.  But how about stringing them together and cascading them from the ceiling as they did in their school hall!

So, we used old school newsletters!


Using old pieces of material or left overs from projects – create a Yule garland. The idea comes from Kirties Homemade Christmas, basically cut out the shape required, stuff, sew, add a bell and hang up en masse. Here is the link that will lead you to the episode in question


Now this year is my daughters first Yule, so a major craft for this Yule has been her pentagram. 
I collected 5 pieces of elder tree when out walking, then formed the pentagram and used coloured and recycled ribbons and strings. 
The items and colours chosen being relevant to her birth and journey so far. 
The use of bells not only being fun for a 3 month old to watch and listen, but the sound will help ward off spirits or unwanted familiars.

More pictures will be added over the days - so check out Twitter elder__flower and on here too.
Visit for all Yule Ball Blogs and posts!


Monday, 5 December 2011

Yuletide Cupcakery

When writing this blog post I had just heard an interesting item on the radio, it was about feeding a family and how in the current climate it is not so much about nutrition or ability, but cost.  Cost in terms of what is on offer and affordable, but more commonly, how much will it cost in terms of gas and electric.  Just to bake a cake it will require the use of utilities for water, drainage, mixing, baking and cleaning and so on. So with this in mind, I scrapped my plan and had a rethink...

With Yule, it is about celebrating energy and the time when the Oak King wins the battle again until Midsummer appears, the sun is reborn with the longer days of sunshine heralding the lifeforce around us – we need to make the most of our time and be out there enjoying it!  
To me Yule is also about family, spending time with my children and having fun.  I love baking and decorating cakes, but this is not always practical and children often want instant results. This is where practical hedgewytchery comes in! So, one thing we usually do at any occasion, sabbat, Esbat or other is ice biscuits. It’s perfect! Quick, cheap, simple and easy!

So what do you do?
·         Go to the cupboard, find a pack of biscuits or even a pack of fairy cakes if you have them.
·         Grab some icing sugar and add a little warm water to make icing.
·         Decorate the top of the biscuit, being Yule and wintertime try snow patterns and add other decorations you can find.
·         Then eat.

 Got a bit more time?
·         Bake some fairy cakes or biscuits
·         Prepare some butter icing and decorate with winter/Yuletide ornaments, use coloured icing too.

Want something a bit more elaborate?
·         Sandwich the biscuits together and roll in icing and sprinkles, ice the top and decorate.

You can have hours of fun coming up with different designs and  combinations.

Here’s what we have done:

Plain biscuits iced with Yule symbols – mistletoe, Holly for the Holly King and an Oak leaf for the Oak King.  All I used was a packet of biscuits and some tubes of coloured icing. No baking, gas, electricity or water required. Total cost economy pack of biscuits – 35p, icing was already in the cupboard – free! Total time – 10 mins.

Now who’s going to make it to the kitchen first to find biscuits, icing and sprinkles.....


Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmassy Yule?????

Almost every year I am asked the same question, and already on 2nd December it appears this year is one of them ...  ‘Yule’s the same as Christmas isn’t it?’
But, it is an understandable comment in light of Christmas cards interchangeably using Christmas and Yule on their greeting title  ‘Have a cool Yule ...’ 

Yule is celebrated  on 21st /  22nd December, the Winter Solstice, the shortest day with the longest night.  In Druidic terms it is also known as Alban Arthan.
At this time night is longer than day, and being the longest night, it is a celebration for when the sun is being reborn with longer days and sunlight to be enjoyed once again after this point.

Stories will vary amongst traditions, orders, covens and followings but in my household it is where the mighty Oak and Holly King had a battle. The Oak, symbolising light and the longer days of sunshine, won the battle and the Holly King disappeared to await his return to fight again at Midsummer. A good site well worth looking at is which also provides further details and activities for anyone interested.  

I recall some 26 years ago hearing The Holly and the Ivy in my first Christmas play, and knowing about the Holly King, and despite the Christian Pagan crossovers in the words, I remember sitting in the school hall imagining the kings having a huge battle, the Holly King with his crown crashing to the ground as the mighty oak won and ivy strewn about everywhere. Being young everything seemed theatrical and larger than life, I recall the hall being filled with greenery and shrubs, older children dressed as soldiers, girls with princess hats  and us younger ones dressed as foot soldiers with paper tankards. I also recall a very fetching red felt tunic with a blue cross on it, later recycled as a dog blanket! Ironic as 30+ years later my son is at the same place and I heard him singing the song in the very same hall, but alas the greenery is against health and safety, tankards would be a no no and the idea of anything other than Christian would not be allowed anymore.

So, what do we do then? Here are just a few Yule bits and bobs we do in my household:
·         Well, chocolate Yule log is a must! If I have time I do make my own Swiss roll and decorate and ice it, but, if not, a shop bought Swiss roll generously covered in chocolate butter cream is easy to do.
·         Candles, candles everywhere! Why? To show the support to the Oak King of course.
·         Plenty of stories too, I am an avid lover of ideal for fairytales, traditional tales and more.
·         The witchy window as we call it, will have evergreen items placed with it, and the altar will be decorated accordingly too. Often we will make decorations, using items found when out on a walk such as fir cones, pine needles, dried leaves and so on.
·         I also end up watching River Cottage, the earlier series before Hugh changed locations. In Escape toe River Cottage the Christmas special, Hugh enlists the help of a Hedgewytch to find the perfect Yule log. Homemade programmes too are good viewing such as Kirsties Homemade Christmas on Channel 4 OD. These touch upon the spirit of old ways: making things, living from the land, being thrifty and using your time wisely.
·         It is also a time for reflection and what to focus on for the year ahead, similar to how the 1st of January is regarded. With this in mind, it is helpful to note on your BofS any dreams or goals, also to carry out any spellcasting for ending something and starting something anew with the energy and light of the Oak King.
·         We will usually find a large twig and spray it gold, to then place it indoors and decorate with homemade or delicate ornaments.
·         Gifts of homemade items will be made and shared
·         A party tea, if I am organised enough!
·         Some people subscribe to the Wassail cup, the belief being toasting the trees and ensuring a good crop in the year ahead.   In my house it is good old cyder, and in my mind Wassailing is usually 17th January in line with the old calendars and as celebrated by cider making counties like Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. All the same, a good excuse to raise a bottle or two!
·         This year I will also be taking part in The Village Witch’s Yule Magic Blog Party taking place on the 21st, please visit her site for further details

So briefly and by no means in any detail or cement wording, that is how Yule is not Christmas!