Friday, 17 December 2010

At The Red Thread we came together last week for our last meeting of 2010. Amy came to see us and gave a talk on Bach flower remedies specifically for children which was really interesting and will definitely prove helpful over the ensuing season!

For the rest of the morning, there was playing, pom pom making and a delicious shared lunch of soup, breads, salad and raw apple pie to be enjoyed.

In all, a lovely way to mark the end of a year that we have been blessed to share as a group. 2010 has seen comings and goings; some of our original members left for pastures new and we miss them still and many new mama's have come to join our circle; we have celebrated Blessingways & Births; and started our "Mothers Only" Saturday circles, a really special, sacred space and a haven for us all to take time out in occasionally.

In the new year as the light begins to return, there is so much to look forward to, not least Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth and all of the love, preparation and work that we can't wait to pour into it. In the meantime though we will look forward to meeting up again in January. Knowing that we have the ongoing love and support of a group of wonderful Mamas like the Red Thread is an incredibly empowering way to meet the new year and I can't wait to see what other delights 2011 has in store!

Blessed Be.


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Gifts of the Solstice

Amid falling picture book snow and sub zero temperatures, the Winter Solstice approaches once again. With all the snow we've had it truly does feel like time to hibernate and dream ~ I just sometimes wish someone could tell my children that! 

The fire burning, candles flickering and the solstice tree brought into the house all mark the approach of the longest night for us. We are lucky to live rurally, but still the air of slight panic pervades even here, as people dash around shop-shop-shopping, giant santa claus' loom at us from buildings and there's not a parking space to be found in town when you need one! Every year I find myself feeling more and more uncomfortable with the consumerist nightmare that IS christmas for many people. 

It feels very counter intuitive for me, all this bustle and bluster at a time when the energy all around is calling for us to retreat and nest. Even the trees have sent their energy down into the roots, letting their leaves fall, and everything looks bare and stripped back. As a society we are so far from nature that we no longer take our cues from the land, but for those of us that try to live in harmony with the earth, a deep discomfort can arise. The discord between the wisdom and depth of the Solstice and the superficial tack and glitter of the average Christmas is painful on many levels.

The beauty and truth of this season is there for us all if we can find some peace and stillness in which to observe it. Light a candle and take a moment to connect with whats happening on the land and whats happening in your inner landscape too. Feed the birds, get out in the garden, feel the earth under your feet, settle and breathe into her. Grounding is a great antidote to the frenzy of the season if you find yourself losing your centre, which is easy to do. 

Be true to yourself and the heart of your family ~ celebrate in whatever way is personally meaningful to you and enjoy.

I wish for all of us, the blessings and promise of the Solstice Energy, and the time to savour it and snuggle with our loved ones. 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Nurtured Family, Nurtured Earth 2011

At The Red Thread Mothers Circle we have been busy planting seeds and incubating plans for next year. We are very excited about the results of this dreaming and planting; plans for a day event next year here in Surrey, dedicated to Holistic family life, called Nurtured Family, Nurtured Earth. 

"Our vision is that Nurtured family, Nurtured earth will be a day to Inform, Inspire and Celebrate Holistic Family life. A day of bringing together our individual lights, to shine into the areas of our lives that may need it;  maybe we need to remind ourselves why we do what we do, to affirm our choices; or maybe we need something to lift and encourage us, and to help us to strike out boldly upon the path that awaits us. Lets come together to support, educate and encourage each other... 
I love the attitude that it is a great honour to be incarnated now, with so much change going on and such great opportunities to make a difference, and this is the energy I'd like to bring to the day. 
Let it be a reminder that in fully and wholeheartedly nurturing the next generation, we are doing the same for our great Mother, the Earth; not just because of how lightly we tread (although that is also vital), but through the loving and whole adults of tomorrow that we are caring for today."

We are still in the early stages of planning Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth but it has taken on a life all of its own and is coming together beautifully. 

As guests speakers already confirmed we have Veronika Robinson, Editor of The Mother MagazineAnna Watson, founder of Arnica Parents and Patrick Houser of Fathers To Be International.

Activities planned include Childrens Story Telling, Healing Spaces, Music, Cafe and a market room.  We also have a beautiful outside space in which to play and  explore.

~ More will be confirmed as the day takes shape ~

If you think you might like to contribute in some way then please take a look at the dedicated page above, and do get in touch.

and please save the date ~ Saturday 4th June 2011~ and lets all take this opportunity to come together and celebrate our parenting journeys.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Harvest Moon

Can you feel the change in the air? A chilly edge to the wind, the taste of rain on the horizon, the smell of wet earth and damp woodlands. The rose hips bob in the hedgerows, almost ready, and the elderberries glisten, apples fall~ Autumn comes.
I am somehow taken unaware this year. Even though I knew that Autumn was here, the equinox energy is strong and flowing suddenly, like a river in flood, jolting me from my late summer reverie. "Change", she whispers on the strengthening breeze, "honour and let go….move with me, dance with me, trust in me"
With hearts open, there is wisdom and deep learning to be gained in the balancing of our inner and outer worlds. Equinox energy moves us to clear out our cobwebs, open the windows and let her blow through our hearts and minds one last time before we retreat, to dream the dark of the year.
Mabon heralds a natural pause; a time to ground and reorient ourselves upon the path. A time for gathering your achievements to you and honouring how far you have come.
A time to reflect; What have you grown this year? Where have you reaped your harvest? What are you most proud of?
Take this moment and celebrate every sacred part of yourself; growing and changing as you are, spiralling with the seasons.
Give Thanks; Take your morning tea out into the garden. With a prayer, raise your cup up to the windswept blue sky and the sunshine, in gratitude and acknowledgement, then pour out a libation upon the Earth to honour her part in all that you do. Bring that Earth and Sky blessed cup to your lips and drink a toast to yourself and your achievements.
The day and night are of equal length and beauty, and the full moon this week has blessed us with her magical light that bathes all areas of our lives. Her gifts of abundant creativity flow, and her light illuminates the paths of our lives to give us clear sight, far sight, both forwards and back. An opportunity to gain new insight and perspective. Meditate, pray, dream and Give Thanks in her presence.
Get out in the wet silver grass of the full moon garden and sing to her, tell her your stories of journeys made and mountains climbed, of joy and sorrow interwoven, of rainbows and muddy puddles, sticky fingers, dirty faces, new friends and days full of simple pleasures.
Ask for her blessings on the many adventures to come, that you may journey well, with Her good grace and a light heart.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Happy Birthday

One balmy Sunday afternoon at the end of July, the women of The Red Thread came together in celebration of our merry band.
We brought our children, our partners and lunch to share and spent the afternoon in the summer garden. There was much playing, exploring and bouncing on the trampoline (and that was just the Dads!)
walks by the pond, piano playing, duck watching, lots of picnic rug chatter,

really delicious food shared and not a few waspy friends joining in too... It was a truly lovely, peaceful afternoon spent in wonderful company.

I am ever grateful and in awe of the gifts that The Red Thread has brought in to my life and without doubt, the best of these is the gift of some wonderful friendships. Thank you all you lovely Mamas, for nurturing with me this dream of the Mothers Circle, and may it, like all our children, flourish and grow in our Love and care.
with bright blessings, Keeley x

Saturday, 10 July 2010

"Only when we stop reaching off balance for the light, and equally welcome the darkness of our souls, will we find the exquisite inspiration that comes from being rooted, nourished and blessed by nature. Open to the sanctity of nature's currents, can we then experience the vibrant flood of energy that is offered us as life, finding the deep resources of wisdom and fuel within our nature, and exploring the freedom of perfect self expression."
Emma Restall Orr, Kissing the Hag.
photo~ Pascal's Oak Heart, June 2010

Thursday, 22 April 2010

I am the sea
I am the mountains
I am the light
I am eternal
This confusion is fog
There is light beyond
I sense it and feel its warmth
I move toward it
but not headlong
I fear to stumble,
to fall with pain.
There are women everywhere with fragments
When we learn to come together we are whole
When we learn to recognize the enemy 
we will come to recognize what we need to know
to learn how to come together
I know the many smiling faces of my enemy
I know the pretence that is the weapon used.
I have been the enemy
and learned to know myself well.
The ones who talk only from the throat 
see only with two eyes
hear only with ears
but pretend to do more
are the enemy
I walked amidst shards
and fear laceration
I must dare to bleed
I must dare to cut myself
To amputate
the festering pain.
I will learn to mix medicine bags for those with faith
I will learn to chant the power chant
I will learn to mix
medicine bags for those with faith
I will learn to chant the power chant 
and play the healing drum.
I will not fear moss voices
water songs
 Small furry things with sharp teeth
 or my own hesitancy.
I am falling
I am falling
Past star
Past time
 through space
 and my own fragments
oh sisters the pain
I am scattered
I am scattered
gather fragments
weave and mend

scattered fragments
weave and mend
In golden light
I recognize the enemy faces
fear of our bodies
fear of our visions
fear of our healing 
fear of our love
fear of sister kind
fear of brother kind
fear of fear
Love is healing
healing is love
There are women everywhere with fragments

gather fragments
weave and mend

When we learn to come together we are whole
When we learn to recognize the enemy
we will know what we need to know
to learn how to come together
to learn how to weave and mend.
Old Woman is watching 
watching over you
In the darkness of the storm
she is watching
watching over you
weave and mend
weave and mend

Old woman is watching
watching over you
with her bones become a loom
she is weaving
watching over us
weave and mend
golden circle
weave and mend
sacred sisters
weave and mend
I have been searching 
I have been searching
for so many years
I have been searching 
Old Woman
and I find her
from Daughters of the Copperwoman by Anne Cameron

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Blessing the way to far far away...

This Thursday at The Red Thread, we held a Blessingway ceremony for Tracey, who is not only journeying to birth for the 3rd time, but is also travelling back to her native New Zealand to live.
This was a moving occasion for us~ our first Blessingway as a group for one of our beautiful Mamas and a fond farewell too. Tracey has been an inspiring and important part of our circle for a while now and we will miss her tremendously!
The Blessingway was a beautiful, heartfelt offering from us all; Marianne had crafted an amazing crown of greenery for Tracey to wear; Mel and Starr played an enchanting flute and keyboard duet; Lizzie sang a spellbinding birthing song which stopped everyone in their tracks, even the toddlers;

we each brought a bead for a birthing necklace and spoke a blessing for Tracey and her birth; we all held hands and wished her well.

As a part of the ceremony we bound our wrists with red yarn, symbolic of our connection to each other and to Tracey. We know that the bonds of friendship formed here will stretch as far as they need to, and that we all remain a circle in our hearts, if not in everyday-ness.
Over the years I have been blessed to have some truly wonderful wombyn touch my life, and until now, almost none of them have been close enough for regular cups of tea and hugs. So I know just how far our heartstrings can stretch ~ and it is forever.
Go Well Tracey. Go in Peace and Love on your path to birth and other shores, and know that we are cheering you on from chilly old England.

I would like to say a huge Thank You to all the awesome women who jointly create The Red Thread Mothers Circle, because without you and your open hearts, it would just be a 'lovely idea' rather than the vibrant and loving space that it is. I was honoured to share the Blessingway with you all.
In Circle Blessed x

Monday, 25 January 2010

The hyacinths emerging remind me that the land is stirring under the snow and grey skies, and that the days of winter are drawing to a close. The scent of hyacinth is said to ease grief and depression, and the sight of them shooting skyward in January always lifts my spirits and heralds the march towards spring...
This week the Red Thread came together again after a long break for the end of the year and then a snow imposed break at the start of 2010. Rather wonderfully, the sun came out to welcome us all back as it so often does on Red Thread days! Magical. Hyacinths sat on the central table of the circle as the children played all around and we reconnected over herbal teas and delicious home made snacks. Recently a dear friend bade me "Keep good company" and I am happy to say that within the weave of the Red Thread the company is indeed soothing and sweet ~ A breathe of fresh air to gently bear us into 2010.
Everyone brought something delicious to add to the shared snack and I thought it would be nice to share some recipes here. Thank you Mel and Marianne for contributing these recipes along with your glowing smiles, full cake tins and continuous support of the mothers circle.
150g oat flakes
150g whole wheat flour
150g mixed dried fruit chopped small
30g desiccated coconut
30g chopped nuts (I used pecans but could be hazelnuts etc)
30g sunflower seeds
100g vegetable fat spread
300ml apple juice (I also added a bit of agave and apple juice concentrate)
Mix all the above together, except for apple juice / liquid. Add juice and mix well. Grease non stick oven tray and cover with mixture pressing well down. Bake at 200 degrees until brown (approx 30mins).
Peanut butter cookies
1 cup plain flour (I use wholemeal or spelt, if using spelt use an extra ¼ cup)
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb
2tbs sugar (I missed this out)
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup peanut butter
½ cup maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs canola oil (I’ve never found this so have used rice bran oil instead) (Mel's note- I've used sunflower oil too which has worked)
Preheat oven 175 degrees.  Combine first 5 ingredients and stir. In separate bowl mix peanut butter with maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Add wet to dry and stir.  Pinch into balls and press down on tray with the back of a fork. Bake for 11 mins, until just golden.
Banana muffins
30g veg spread (I think Pure sunflower spread is the best for baking)
2 heaped tablespoons honey (or maple syrup or agave or concentrated apple juice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
150g spelt flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven 180 degrees
Melt veg spread and honey together with vanilla, then mash bananas into wet mix. Mix dry ingredients together then combine with the wet mix. Spoon into 10-12 muffin cases and bake for 25 mins.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Walking with you
Tonight as I walk
Past the moon in the dark, I realise I’m walking with you.
With millions of long walking women
With silvery, moon walking women
With willowy lake walking women
With you.
I know as I lose all sight of myself And I smile and I spy on the world,
I am safe in the steps of my infinite walk
As the long line of women unfurls.
I shudder in mists and in dusks at the lake but I’m strong in this line with you,
I wait and I watch and I wish in the dark
But I’m sure that I feel all of you.
As we walk on our own, in our boots and spare time, in our feet and our moods and our need
Remember the line
And how far it winds
Walk in strength
Past the moon
Walk as we.
I thank you for walking with me.
Sioux Patullo, 2001 from we’moon