The Books of Poppy Palin
These pages will be updated and improved ASAP, please come back again soon
Above: Lian from 'The Greening' by Poppy
Poppy has written extensively about green spirituality, wild enchantment and spiritwalking. Her warmly inclusive work centres in Oneness - the interconnectedness every aspect of Creation and the unity and parity of all beings. She seeks to move us away from a human-centric 'consensus reality', encouraging us to to embrace all our relations, be they human or non-human, seen or unseen. We are one another - we are All-That-Is - and all we need do is remember our expansive, empathic selves and experience our true untamed nature. These books aim to inspire us to be infinitely conscious and compassionate creators exercising our innate magical power to make a beautiful world even more so...for the good of the All.
Here is a testimony to the worth of Poppy's writing and illustration by respected Hedge Witch author
Poppy has written and illustrated eleven published books
Season of Sorcery - On Becoming a Wisewoman
Wildwitch - The Craft of the Natural Psychic
Soul Resurgence - A Guide to Reincarnation
Walking with Spirit
Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot - Discover the Magic in Nature (deck and book set)
Craft of the Wild Witch - Green Spirituality and Natural Enchantment
The Greening - Rise of the Faerytide (fiction)
Green Spirituality (as Rosa Romani)
Spiritwalking - A Psychic Handbook
Wild Spirituality - Journey to the Green Heart of Being
The Everyday Enchantment Tarot - Finding Magic in the Midst of Life (deck and book set, due early 2018...please see tarot for more details)
She has also contributed a chapter to an twelfth
And has provided art and writing for two more, The Sacred Hare and The Greening of Man, both published by Slippery Jacks, now unavailable.
She has also written an (as yet) unpublished novel
A re-written,much improved, version of the Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot book is available now
Above: Stories of the Wild Spirit new improved version
For more about this tarot deck and book see tarot
Poppy's eleventh book, a collaboration with GREEN MAGIC is
Poppy's most recent book seeks to bring all her previous work together in one inspirational, challenging guide offering her latest thoughts on the way of the wild spirit
This is a Poppy Palin collaboration with Green Magic
PLEASE ORDER WILD SPIRITUALITY FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOK SHOP
To see all Poppy's illustrations for WILD SPIRITUALITY please go to illustrations
Below is an example.
All Poppy's profits from WILD SPIRITUALITY go to charities including Animal Aid
Above: It is vital to fund Animal Aid's investigations to stop cruelty
To get a copy of other campaign postcards and information contact
Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, KENT, TN9 1AW, UK
All Poppy's profits from her work go directly to animal welfare organizations.
However, Poppy now receives no royalties at all from six of the following books.
Her books to date are:
SEASON OF SORCERY- On Becoming A Wise Woman
WILDWITCH- Craft of the Natural Psychic
SOUL RESURGENCE - A Guide to Reincarnation
WALKING WITH SPIRIT- A Guide to Working with the Otherworlds
WAKING THE WILD SPIRIT TAROT - Discover the Magic in Nature
(Card and Book Set) ( Llewellyn Worldwide)
Above: The original first edition book
Below: The re-written (AND MUCH IMPROVED) second edition book
The first edition was published by
GREEN SPIRITUALITY- Magic in the Midst of Life (as Rosa Romani)
(Green Magic )
PLEASE SEE THE NEXT SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS!
CRAFT OF THE WILD WITCH - Green Spirituality and Natural Enchantment (Llewellyn Worldwide)
E BOOK NOW AVAILABLE
PLEASE SEE THE NEXT SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS!
THE GREENING - Rise of the Faerytide
PLEASE SEE THE NEXT SECTION FOR MORE DETAILS!
( Poppy contributed a chapter)
E BOOK NOW AVAILABLE
Seven talented Wiccans have joined together to produce this invaluable guide to the art of spell-crafting. Much more than a do-it-yourself magic manual, this guide to the craft emphasizes the responsibilities and ethical issues that are part of the magical life. The wisdom collected here is meant to inspire and empower beginners and less experienced magic users, so they may go on to safely and confidently customize their own magical practice.
Spiritwalking is based on Poppy's experiences with the unseen over the past 4 decades and is a guide to being a natural psychic/seer. It is hoped that it will help people walk with spirit more effectively and safely in the modern world.
It is published by
O Books - Change your thinking and your life.
All the author's proceeds go direct to Animal Aid
Synopsis of SPIRITWALKING
"Spiritwalking" is a practical guide to working with the 'unseen', including spirits, entities and energies, be they human or otherwise. Drawing together the wild craft of the shamanic practitioner and the wise counsel of the medium or psychic, "Spiritwalking" takes the reader through a practical course in becoming an effective, empathic spiritwalker; one who can look beyond our physical existence in order to bring healing, balance and deeper understanding. It includes examples of 'unexplained' or 'paranormal' events from the author's own life and offers ways that we may understand them whilst giving instructions for how to deal with similar situations. This book is a highly original 'how to' manual that will enable anyone to deal with unwanted psychic intrusions, balance inharmonious energies or welcome in spirits who can work with us for positive ends. The personal examples from the author mean that this book is not a 'dry' read but rather is entertaining as well as instructional. It will give the reader an opportunity to understand how we may work with the unseen in everyday life and will bring a deeper understanding of our 'otherworldly' counterparts who share our space, be that indoors or in the landscape of city or countryside. It is an accessible course which is suitable for anyone with an interest in finding more meaning in life; a reader need have no beliefs for here is a pure, fresh approach to spirit-full living which only requires an open mind and a sense of adventure.
Here is an article about the book
SPIRITWALKING - Living and Working with the Unseen
As with so many areas of esoteric exploration and self-realisation, spiritwalking contains a central paradox. The core premise of living and working with the unseen is comprised of two elements which may seem diametrically opposed yet flow into a seamless whole. These two components are:
1. Contemplation: Contemplation in its various forms is a deep communion, usually alone and in silence, with the unseen aspect of existence. This spiritual, or 'within', aspect of spiritwalking allows us to establish a conscious connection with the omniscient Source of Being. By so doing we also connect with the many expressions of Source energy that emerge from the centre of power - including, of course, our own eternal internal being. This re-union enables us to live more purposefully and care-fully in the manifest world.
2. Action: This denotes the actual living of a spirit-full life, engaging respectfully and perceptively with an apparently ‘ordinary’ seen physical reality - the walking part, or 'without' aspect, of spiritwalking. Our daily actions become informed by our inner realisations and so we have new insight into our sacred world and our particular place in it. With this perspective we are able to work with other beings...for the good of the All.
As we can observe from this brief introduction, contemplation and action form a loop, one feeding the other endlessly...as within, so without - and vice versa, round and round. These two fundamental elements of spirit-full existence merge within the transfomative cauldron of ourselves to create a more dynamic way of experiencing existence. They give us the opportunity to be more rounded individuals, growing in wisdom and compassion within the greater whole, and allow us to remember how to be fully in our power. The power we refer to here is power with, a collaborative and co-operative experience. However, before we consider spiritual contemplation and action in more detail we must first apply a procedure that is as essential as putting on a crash helmet when going on a motorbike. This procedure is psychic protection - the defence of our essential energy. All beings have this radiating animating force, be they animal or human, incarnate or discarnate, and consequently we are surrounded by ‘invisible’ external energies at all times.
To help us accept this we can refer to what we already understand about ‘invisible’ forces. We are now, wherever we may be, surrounded by radio and microwaves, as well as mobile phone and television signals - all of which are travelling around in the air, doing what they do regardless of us. We know that just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there as they make themselves known to us each time we make a call or switch on the radio. We do know that to expose ourselves to such forces may have adverse consequences. Similarly to open up to extraneous unseen energies during contemplation may have unwanted effects on our being, however subtle. So we need to anticipate this as a matter of course and to be safe.
Although what follows is a sketch of a much more detailed procedure, here is a quick means of psychic protection for primary use. It is a simple shielding.
1. Ensure that we feel our connection to our bodies and the Earth, experiencing our feet planted on the ground as we stand or sit.
2. Take three deep breaths through our nose, feeling the abdomen inflate as we take air in, hold for three, and then feel the abdomen as we release the sustaining air again.
3. Using our preferred method either envision in the mind’s eye (visualise) or describe (verbalise) a protective flexible seal that covers our body from head to toe. For example, imagine that we are stepping into a light rubbery all-in-one suit of vibrant sky blue. Experience this as a reality on the screen of our inner vision as we pull this bright membrane up over our knees, up further over buttocks and stomach, sliding our arms and puling it up to our neck. Or if description is our stronger skill then simply describe this process vividly. Finally imagine donning a full face cap of the same flexible shining material – a material like a second skin that allows us to still see through its diaphanous covering.
4. Now we experience this suit glowing, emitting pure white light until we are engulfed in a brilliant sphere. Either see or state this.
5. Whether we are seeing or speaking our procedure we should then assert ‘I am protected, may only those who come for my highest good draw close and may the rest turn back, unable to approach the cold fire (or kind-light) of my protection’.
Now we have a basic way of protecting ourselves can now consider opening up for contemplation. There are five core aspects to contemplating the unseen and exploring our relationship to the All and these are meditation, connection, chanting, prayer and affirmation.
1. Meditation: By this we mean entering the silence, safely shifting our awareness from the mundane to the Great Mystery without becoming ungrounded or confused. We can achieve this by use of controlled deep breathing as we consciously and systematically relax our body and still our chattering mind. We are creating a quiet pool within, an oasis of profound reflection where we may observe our thoughts as they rise and let them go. Continuing with this watery analogy we may use the sound of the sea as an aid to the process, experiencing the breath being taken in through our nose to the lungs as the waves being taken from the shore, held for a moment, and then released in a steady rush through the mouth with a sound akin to the rushing of the tide back to the shore.
2. Connection: From this place of meditative stillness we are able to centre ourselves without the distractions of ‘ordinary’ reality. Once we are centred within we can then ‘plug into’ the Source that is to be found at the Greater Centre. Without external or internal interference we become an unblocked conduit for pure life-force energy, allowing it to flow through us unimpeded. The invigorating and inexhaustible life-force of Creation will refresh and strengthen us, allowing us to be fully in our power – recharged. This union also allows for us to feel our importance as a valuable one within the One, thus making us more confident of our individual worth and aware of our relationship to all beings, be they seen and unseen.
3. Meditative chanting: Once we have entered the silence we may use chanting as an aid to focussing more deeply on the oneness of being. Although when we chant we are no longer silent (or entirely still) we are engaged in a repetitive act which becomes hypnotic, not distracting, carrying us deeper and facilitating our receiving that essential energy. A positive mantra, such as Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (dedication to the Mystic Law of life), or a simple resonance such as Aaaah (the sound found in so many names of worship (for example, Shivaaaah, Jehovaaaah, Allaaaah, Danaaaa, Krishnaaaa etc) can help us ‘zone out’ extraneous mundanities and become harmonised with the pulse of Creation. A rocking motion whilst chanting can help this hypnotic effect.
4. Prayer: This is a way of quietly acknowledging our personal power whilst in the silence of connection, using pure thought, word or visualisation to shape our will in the ether. Contrary to popular belief, prayer does not have to involve supplication to an outside force. Here we are not petitioning an externalised omnipotent being, an adjudicator who assesses worthiness and grants wishes. Instead we are offering a deep acknowledgment of the force that flows through all things, including ourselves. This force, as we personally understand from our contemplations, makes us a conscious creator as part of the greater Creator Consciousness. We have direct experience of our connection to every aspect of existence and so naturally our prayerful reflections on life, even if they focus particularly on our singular lives, will be for the good of the All.
We may use words to express gratitude and to focus on the positives, clarifying our hopes and dreams whilst we imbue - or charge up - the lyrical content with our associated heartfelt, soul-full feelings. A simple prayer of this type may be something like:
‘I acknowledge the beneficent Greater Spirit of which I am a singular expression and I feel the love that lies at the heart of Creation, and of my own created self. May this boundless love radiate ever outwards and may I represent it in all I do, say or think.’
5. Affirmation: When we affirm we select an aspect of our prayerful intent and establish it firmly in our consciousness by repetition. For this the affirmation needs to be succinct and impassioned. We don’t want we give energy to that which is not desirable and so therefore ‘no more war!’ may be a noble sentiment but ‘let there be peace’ is far more successful. In the former we naturally see images and feel the pain of violence and discord whilst in the latter we automatically feel the calm, loving essence of what we desire for all beings. Therefore a good example is:
‘Let there be peace and let it begin with me’.
This internal affirmation leads to action as we practically work towards what we want to see manifest in the physical world.
As we have just established, our contemplation will inevitably raise our personal energies and awareness to a level where we will want to integrate the extra-ordinary into the apparent ‘ordinariness’ of our daily lives – supporting the unseen desire of our will with corresponding deeds.
Integration of these energies can involve the following active aspects of spiritwalking:
1.Trance Journeying: Through continual rhythmic deep breathing we may intensify our state of meditative relaxation until it becomes a trance state. We may then use our inner senses, most prominently our mind’s eye and ear, to make an etheric pilgrimage to another astral reality. This we do by using our innate creator consciousness to fashion a landscape from etheric energy. This ‘astral office’ is our workspace in the beyond where we may have safe interactions with non-corporeal, discarnate beings – most notably our companion spirits who are our otherworldly guides through life. Once we have an established place of ‘work’ and have a firm relationship with our companions we may use this place as a base to move further into the beyond. What we do here supports and reflects what we do in our physical lives, it is a way of actively seeking unseen wisdom that can be applied to seen reality.
2. Receiving Guidance: This we do either by actively entering into informative dialogue with trusted spirits safely in the astral office space we have created. Alternatively we can engage in guided, or automatic, writing whilst in a trance state. The latter is like receiving ‘cosmic dictation’ and gives us a valuable set of notes to refer back to as we move through our daily lives.
3. Living in Awareness: This means actively participating in life from the new holistic perspective we have. This is ‘walking our talk’, being unafraid to acknowledge we are constantly interacting with other non-manifest realities, forces and beings. This realisation brings with it a new accountability to all Creation, be it physical or non-physical. Our relationship to matter and spirit can never be denied once it is experienced so deeply and personally and we will find ourselves to be far more responsible as well as leading a life that is truly meaningful and
4. Watching our Thoughts: With our awareness of energy, especially thought- energy and the power of the imagination, we will find that we now have a practical obligation to watching what we put out as ‘cosmic debris’. Our projected will, as a trained spiritwalker, must be concentrated on what we wish to create rather than dwelling on what we do not want to experience. This vital shift in consciousness and behaviour can be shown in the example of litter. We probably have always mentally berated those who drop waste in hedgerows etc. However, this adds more energy into the matrix of what we do not want. Instead we must actively represent what we do want by collecting litter uncomplainingly with the thoughtful affirmation ‘I am the change I wish to see, so may it be!’ By combining inner determination with affirming life-action we are part of the solution, not the problem.
5. Keeping it Clean: This means not adding in our energy into things that are degrading, cruel and divisive. As we have established, there is no division between our ‘harmless thoughts’ and the energy ‘out there’. When we are empowered we know the power we have and use it consciously for the good. This means that engaging with violence either ‘through a lens’ of the television, through the pages of horror fiction or through a computer console is no longer something we can do as ‘harmless’ and ‘not real’. Anything we engage in and give our energetic attention to for any length of time is real, either ether-real or manifestly so. Nothing exists that was not dreamed into being first! For a film, book or game to engage us there has to be a level of involvement and that is enough for us to experience the creation as powerfully as we would our own dreams, let alone our daily lives.
The vast quantity of undesirable thoughts that have been unleashed throughout the ages, either as part of an organised belief or simply as part of a ‘harmless’ engagement with a programme or idea, still cause us problems today. These concentrated outpourings of fear and anger do not readily disperse from the astral levels close to our own and can be troublesome for us. It is for us to turn the tide and to cease adding to this etheric detritus. When we are fearful of the bad stuff ‘out there’ we are disconnected and clearly disempowered. In contrast to the self-limiting and isolating way of being that is fostered by fear spiritwalking is about an intrepid expanding of awareness and a personal response-ability as part of a vibrant, burgeoning whole. Rather than live in ignorance and resentment spiritwalkers wish to see and know to the best of their own unique ability.
Seeing and knowing are the two primary spiritwalking skills. To see is to look beyond - to gain insights through inner visions (contemplative insight). To know is to trust these intuitions and insights and to integrate them accordingly into daily life (active application). With an awareness of infinite possibility we can keep the balance between wild fancy and profound understanding and so use our grounded approaches to make decisions. Here is an example of this sensible yet sensitive and practical philosophy as applied in daily life. It is a story I call Joshua and the Lightening.
When out walking I had found a local field that interested me. It was unlike all the surrounding fields and was left rough and unploughed. I would constantly find little things that revealed to me that in the past folk had dwelled here and worked the land – many clay pipes and bone buttons for example. Because my wits and empathy were heightened due to my constant spiritwalking practice I detected a sense of melancholy there and I often stopped to think about these previous inhabitants. I always kept my psychic sight honed so that I would be able to pick up any clues for the land and to witness the spirits of the place - be they human, animal, faery or elemental.
One sunny afternoon I was walking as usual when I was stopped by the figure of a middle-aged man in simple peasant apparel. He told me that he was called Joshua and that he had been struck by lightening on a spot he was still standing on. He told me how shocked he had been and of his not wanting to go away from his family and life in this place. He simply couldn’t move on, he wasn’t ready, it was too soon and too sudden. Yet centuries had passed and he knew all the people and things he loved were gone. Indeed, I was the only person to have witnessed him in over three hundred years. I promised to come back and talk to him when I could, hoping that I could convince him to cease his earth-bound existence and move on. Meanwhile I asked my companion spirits for their advice and kept myself open, yet well protected.
One day I was in the bathroom at home when Joshua appeared in the empty bath! He was in a state of great agitation. They were ploughing up ‘his’ field, he said, and it unsettled him deeply. I was the only person who could help him, wasn’t I, so could I escort him to meet his family? Now? I agreed of course and without ceremony I instantly shielded myself, accessing my wonderful companion spirits for their assistance in this delicate matter. Even though I was in the most undignified physical position I still managed to help this man leave this physical realm at last and to be reunited with the energies he knew as his family. Spirit is no respecter of manifest matters like modesty!The next day I went to the field. Sure enough there were several new furrows, one running through the spot where I had met Joshua.
Spiritwalking enabled me to be prepared and to work for the good, understanding the vital connection between all beings and all states of existence. Spiritwalking is functional and assistive, not prescriptive, offering us the tools and the framework, the means and the meaning. This is why I felt the need to share this with readers, both in my new book and in this article. With spiritwalking as a starting point we can embrace the in-sightful yet ‘self-centred selflessness’ that leads to peace, wisdom, creativity and a lasting fulfilment. Go well and walk with spirit!
ENDORSEMENTS AND REVIEWS
Poppy Palin's work has the rare ability to invoke a sense of deep enchantment. Her poetic imagery and profound insights convey a fresh and magical view of the world, empowering and life-affirming. Her books coax the intuitive, natural, wildish self to surface and be recognised and integrated.
Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, author and illustrator of Natural Mandalas and others
In an era blighted by professional mystics, mercenary magicians and dodgy gurus all jostling for air-time, Poppy Palin is the real thing. Her writing is fluent and uncompromising. You know that she is drawing upon deep levels of earthly and unearthly wisdom. If I needed help and guidance I would turn to her. You can trust her - and what she writes - completely.
Alan Richardson, author of The Inner Guide to Egypt and others
Poppy's writing evokes the realities we have experienced, but not ourselves been able to put into words. She gives meaning to things not understood, opening our eyes to things we have looked at, but not previously seen. Jill Smith, author of The Callanish Dance and Mother of the Isles
Poppy Palin's work on psychic techniques is imaginative and fresh, yet grounded in traditional practices. Rae Beth
SAMPLES FROM POPPY'S BOOKS AND SELECTED EXERPTS.
Above is an image from SPIRITWALKING and below a few excerpts
We need to be protected psychically, or spiritually, every time we open up to unseen forces or extraneous energies. There are beings who dwell between worlds – in other energetic realities, or etheric levels to the one we are currently in – who have codes of conduct that are distinctly other to our own. This does not mean that they are
necessarily better or worse but rather unbeneficial to us, just as cat hair is unbeneficial to a person with an allergy. As we all know, cat hair isn’t inherently evil yet it will be a problem to some none the
less. When we extend our energy beyond our own tried and tested material boundaries we will always encounter other spiritual sources and forces that are unlike our own and although we cannot say that the astral levels are full of nasty, vindictive presences we can categorically state that it is best to be protected just in case our own
essence does not respond well to another it may encounter. Protection is rather like being inoculated before going to a country unlike our own with its own ailments to which we are unaccustomed. We are physically unprepared for a virus or disease that may attack us when we engage in foreign travel so we take precautions. These precautions are not fatalistic rather they are sensible and can be undertaken with a light-heart as we will know that we are far more able to enjoy our experience abroad if we are not sick. Likewise, on returning to our own country we would not appreciate having brought a foreign virus back with us and would no doubt in retrospect wish we had taken the time to inoculate ourselves adequately before we went. So it is with psychic protection. It’s just a sensible precaution that will make our travelling in the unseen realms far more enjoyable and ensure our daily life between astral journeys is untroubled and psychically healthy. Like inoculations,psychic protection certainly isn’t here to frighten anyone, rather to give confidence. Although it may seem to take up time initially, in the long run such an outlay of effort is well worth it.
WANDERING IN CIRCLES
‘Identification with our bodies can be as non-sensical as identifying ourselves as our car or our house whilst on this
earth. We are not this thing, this generous collection of cells that holds together for the duration of our experience – instead we are rather like a hand inside a glove puppet. Once a puppeteer’s hand withdraws from within a puppet body the audience does not mourn, rather they accept that the thrilling show is over and so they go on their way filled with gratitude for enjoying a good performance. Identification with the body after death, and denial of the supreme animating life-force that wore it but has left it, is as futile as lamenting the limpness of the puppet after the show is over. Nothing beneficial can be gained by our forgetting our essential nature or mistaking the temporary show we witness as the full reality.’
About Poppy's Other Published Books to Date
Above: Poppy's self-published, not-for-profit 'teaching' novel THE GREENING - Rise of the Faerytide
PROFITS FROM THIS WILL GO TO ETHICAL CHARITIES, NOT TO POPPY, SO PLEASE SUPPORT IT!
THE GREENING - Rise of the Faerytide
Written, Illustrated and Published by Poppy Palin
This is a non-profit making work dedicated to the resurgence of a magical, harmonious way of being with reverence for the natural world at its wild heart. The book is 518 pages long and took over three years to write. Any slim profit will go to ethical charities and if you buy direct from Poppy you will increase the possibility of profit and get the reduction in price she is able to give when she sells direct.
Please contact Poppy if you wish to buy this book
Below is a review of THE GREENING
Poppy Palin’s style of writing is unique and unmistakeable. Her words have a poetic rhythm that creates beauty whenever they are read – and this book is no exception. In fact, in many ways, this is probably her best to date. Weaving the magic of everyday life into a wonderfully crafted novel she tells us the tale of characters linked through both time and place. And within that tale there is a sense of the containment, the lack of awareness and the lack of confidence we all feel in our lives from tie to time. We follow the struggles of the characters to discover who they really are, and who they can really be as they face the everyday problems and issues that many who follow an ethical, spiritual path will be familiar with.
Yet at another level this book contains the potential to teach those who read it some of the ideas and techniques that are part of the Craft which Poppy practices. It is an exquisite book, full of detail and beauty, and her love for the environment, and her relationship with the spirits shine through these pages.
And the end of the tale, for me, seemed like a beginning, as I turned the pages so the wheel turned, and so it seemed with the characters in this book – finally awake to all around them, their story lay before them…..
Paperback 515 pages (March
Publisher: Wild Spirit
To order your copy direct from the author please contact Poppy Palin at email@example.com
Review by Vixen of the B.D.N
Personal website: www.crystal-visions.org.uk
Grove website: www.penarddun.org.uk
Tarot website: www.tarot-visions.co.uk
And here is a longer excert from the book...
The Little Foxes
The woman swept the leaves.
Sweeping was good medicine she always thought; the rhythmic action was familiar and reassuring and it helped to soothe the unnameable anxiety that gnawed at her guts this day. She did not know it yet but there were leaves in the tangled skein of her hair too, russet against the frosted strands which looked more like a mass of moonlight now, no longer the shining raven’s wing of years gone by. Everything was change; the years had somehow slipped furtively past and left Alicia Owens old, stealing her bright vigour and leaving her a silvered shadow of herself. Such was the curse, and the blessing, of life in a human form. In such a fast-flowing mortal world only the motion of sweeping remained constant. For decades the same gesture each autumn into winter; the gentle brushing of swirling leaves, saffron, gold and cinnamon, the measure of the seasons marked by a prayerful gesture with a favourite besom.
The colours in the swirling leaves reminded her of strange exotic places that she would never see, not in this life. She saw the leaves as spices, heaped on the market stalls of Marrakech. Oh, there was much she had not done, so little time to accomplish all there was to do in one incarnation! The rhythm of her besom could take her to places unseen though; the motion rocked her to that waking dream- world where everything was possible. That otherworldly realm was the place in which Alicia had always been happiest. If only she could slip away there now.
But the nagging sensation in her solar plexus remained, unsettling her.
Alicia was a woman given to a slow pace and to mellow moments, to wistful dreams of souks and spices. She was an autumnal creature, as were all the ancient Shining Ones; it was their secret season of sorcery. She usually revelled in the drifting mist, the visible shifting of the veil between the worlds, yet on this day...
On this day she was drawn to look up and see the girl that stood alone at the bus stop across from her garden wall. For a moment her heart lurched painfully, frighteningly, and then settled. Her broom ceased its sweeping. Alicia’s faded chambray eyes widened and she shook her head as if to clear her vision. How could the girl stand out as if in relief from her background without anyone else noticing? Everything, the road, the ordinary houses, the muddle of litter crumpled in the gutter, all of it became sepia toned and unfocused compared to this girl. This girl was separate, thought Alicia, this girl was other. She was compelling, terrible, like a road accident fatality who wandered the highway as a tormented wraith, unseen by passers by. Yet she was just a girl; a girl wearing a faded and torn black velvet frock coat, its worn collar studded with tears. Alicia saw her in minute detail, as if the girls own tears were somehow magnifying her, making her sharp and shining in her misery. Oh, she was so alone!
Some forty years ago, Alicia thought, pin-sharp and precise, I was just like her. And, under the sagging skin, she knew that in so many ways she still was.
Alicia had once shared the striking physical presence of this poor young woman as she had shared the pain that made her flare, bright and cold, in the careless lilac miasma of an autumn afternoon. This girl had tallow skin and angry hair which exploded around her waxen face, crowning it in fiery glory. Her eyes were strange, strangely familiar, emphasised by the streaks of black make-up she habitually wore; black which now, unbeknownst to her, had left tear-trails like tribal markings on her cheeks. She was not tall but held herself rigidly straight, perhaps through pride or maybe as if she were perpetually braced against any eventuality. She was not rumpled or forlorn, despite her weeping, she simply emanated hurting.
Alicia felt an overwhelming urge to call out to her whilst at the same time as experiencing an inner dread, worse than before. Her stomach knotted and her teeth clenched against the desire to reach out to the waif in the velvet coat. A girl with hair like wicked tongues of flame. As she gazed at that shock of vermillion-hued hair Alicia could smell burning, a sickening stench like cordite, and perhaps something worse, smouldering. What was real? This was the problem with autumn, it robbed rationality and replaced it with layer upon layer of memory. Past, present, future, swirling like dead leaves. She shook her head again, more vigorously. Images of normality, of autumn bonfires in back gardens, merged with a scene of stark horror, a market square, a blackened stake at its centre...
Alicia came to her senses in slow motion. The girl was still there as before, solid enough against the bare scratched metal of the bus stop. Alicia was torn, she longed to invite the girl in to share her sorrow and yet oh to hide and lock the door against her! The Faerytide was unbelievably strong in this fiery woman, too strong for this world, and it made the mortal Alicia reel. If her energy affected Alicia in such a way what would it do to other mortals, those without her seeing and knowing? Alicia in her faded floral smock and baggy cardigan, an elderly woman living alone with clothes hugged threadbare by a dozen other needy girls, felt her human-self fighting her spirit, forbidding her to touch this kindred. Her soul cried out even as her body rebelled...
(Go to her now....no, stay away!)
But she needs me, just as they all need me, but more...much more.
Oh yes, Alicia had certainly helped stray girls before; she had given them tea and healing, maybe a very basic tarot reading, nothing too scary, just words and images of more comforting futures maybe. Sometimes she had offered them no more than a hot bath, a warm bed and the benefit of her unobtrusive hospitality. Had it ever been safe to take in these drifters, these misfits? Right now it felt like the most perilous, and yet the most obvious, thing.
No matter how much her human-self struggled Alicia could not tear her gaze from this sight, nor extricate her heart which had been moved beyond words by the plight of another woman, of another Fey. This was indeed no usual or ordinary girl, no runaway, and no hapless, hopeless misfit. A strange woman who was almost incandescent in the afternoon mist, a woman who was weeping, one who looked as familiar as...
The crow flew at Alicia, cackling, and her torpor was broken. Instinctively she swiped at it with her broom but it still came close enough to brush her cheek with its iridescent oil-slick wings.
“I hear you, shining brother,” Alicia acknowledged and lowered the broom in shame. The crow was her harbinger, the bringer of news, and it spoke most oftenly of death. It had an unpleasant job to do and it did it without balking; Alicia had no right to swat it away. The winged darkling was always true and was bringing her the clear knowledge that the girl, the blaze of woman-ness before her, was going to kill herself this day...
Alicia spat and made the sign, an involuntary action even though she had long since learned to honour death. Old superstitions from days of fear, long since passed, lingered in her depths, ready to surface at the slightest provocation.
The crow landed on the fence and bobbed its head, a beady eye fixed on the oblivious girl with her coat lapels studded with early stars, jewel bright tears of an unspoken grief. Apart-ness radiated from her; a young woman somehow physically removed from everyone and everything, from the whole world. This girl was as Alicia had been before the crow became her friend, before she had re-membered. She was a pariah, an enigma...in danger.
Alicia opened her mouth and stepped over the fallen broom towards the crying girl. The word came out as a croak and the girl did not turn. How could she hear the pathetic voice of an elderly woman above the torrent of her own grief? And the bus was coming around the corner. The girl was focused on the bus but she had to be stopped. If she went away to her fate...
(Holy Mother, help me now!)
The girl had to be stopped but Alicia was frozen, gripped by a residual mortal fear of coming too close to one so powerful, so...doomed. Yet the Faerytide rose up and almost drowned her.
It was said louder this time, beseeching, but the girl was moving and the noise of the bus’s brakes were more obvious than the sound of an old woman’s plea. The bus stopped and the girl stepped on. Alicia thought, even above the hiss of the doors opening for her and the hum of the engine, that she heard the girl sniff. One of the sad tear-stars on her collar broke free and made a celestial ice flow down the back of the tattered coat. Alicia saw...
(or did she feel?)
...the girl square her shoulders, defying the bus driver to notice her pain, challenging him to comment upon it. The driver was lost in the cab, shadowy in the October afternoon half-light.
(‘It’s always worse in October,’ Alicia’s mind chattered, ‘always worse for those with the seeing and the knowing.’)
The girl with the seductive spangles of misery on her velvety coat, the girl who had chosen to die rather than bear this burden of being alone, was getting away.
Alicia broke free of her dream-like torpor once more and lurched stupidly towards her garden wall, on the other side of which a bus was closing its doors against her; a bus taking the girl to a fate more certain than any other. Alicia reached out, knowing she looked ridiculous, knowing nobody cared. The girl was going down the bus aisle now towards a seat, the bus was pulling away. The crow with eyes like asphalt after a car wreck, slick and shiny with a myriad of colours swirling on black, was cawing. Alicia wanted to scream at her ineffectual actions, the whole of her life condensing down into that pin-prick of feeling, that moment between choosing and letting go.
She turned away from the sight of the departing bus and ran for the house.
Craft of the Wildwitch -
Green Spirituality and Natural Enchantment
Below: CRAFT OF THE WILD WITCH
Here is the 'blurb' for the book...
A Magical Path off the Beaten Track
Greet an old friend, one who seems silent save for the whispers of her silvered leaves, and hear the subtle messages present in the touch of your hand on her rough bark...
Leave an offering of milk and honey for the sweet-toothed spirit who guards a favourite hill...
See a special stone in a vision, know you will find it on the beach today...
Feel the eyes of the Fey folk upon you as the sky spins above you and you dance in celebration of the Greening on a May morning...
Such is the way of the wildwitch, the solitary spirit-weaver whose life is filled with natural enchantment.
By having an ongoing dialogue
between Earth and sky...a meaningful relationship with the spirit of the land
on which we live and an openness to the profound teachings of the Unseen worlds
all around us...we can practice a form of witchcraft which is both natural and
free. This wild craft deepens the love and respect we have for the magic inherent
in the natural world while developing a deep inner knowing based on our personal
interactions with the more ethereal levels of being. It is a green spirituality
with great relevance for today, a path which has it’s roots in the rich
soil of the past and it’s branches reaching up towards the bright essence
of existence. By working in a disciplined yet flowing way, with an understanding
of the tides of life, the wildwitch acts as the living wood that connects the
beautiful Earth we live on with the mysteries of the eternal All.
Covering all aspects of safe and effective communion with the wild within and without, including spell-weaving with the seasons, creating a working partnership with companion spirits and living a life of natural enchantment in a modern world, Wild Witchcraft is both a source of inspiration and a solid guidebook which can be used by anyone seeking a more meaningful communion with the sacred in all it’s many poetic guises.
And what follows below is an excerpt from chapter one...
The Magical Life
Sun-warmed bark under work-rough hand,
Dry grass swaying on the shifting sand,
Smooth worn stone wreathed in dew-clad
Wildwitchery is all about a weaving of celebration,
invocation, visualisation and our heartfelt intent into our familiar practices
while respecting and recognising the spirit inherent in each part of creation
and the ebb and flow of the seasons. The word craft used here in wild witchcraft
is about translating that magical spark into grounded and ordinary tasks, bringing
the enchantment to bear in our household chores, childcare, handiwork, relationships
and leisure pursuits. It is true that spell-craft can be practised under a full
moon in robes but it can also be worked whilst baking bread, shelling peas,
watering plants, combing hair or painting a room. A wildwitch can create formal
spells in a controlled way but chooses to do so not as an isolated, occasional
act but rather as a part of an integrated magical life in which every thought
or deed can become an act of devotion or enchantment. The key is to see each
moment as magical and each act as a prayer, in potentiality.
The wildness gives our
practice an unpredictable element, making sure we are ready even in the midst
of the most tedious aspects of life, like doing the laundry or cleaning, to
interact with our surroundings magically. The craft of it ensures that we have
the skill, as regards knowing how magic works and what is safe procedure, as
well as a knowledge of the energies, the spiritual attributes and seasonal meanings
of all that we chose to work with. When we work magic we weave these energies
into our manifest practices. The ‘witchy-ness’ comes in to the equation
by means of our starlight vision, our ability...and our will...to perceive these
energies, that which is of mystery, and connect with that which is considered
With complete commitment,
awareness and a sense of fulfilling a vital role in a modern world, a wildwitch’s
whole life can become an unfolding, ongoing spirit-song of dedication to healing,
harmony and wholeness. Wild witchcraft is, therefore, not only something that
you practice when the occasion calls for it but something that you live from
minute to minute. Because of this there are no ordinary, dull moments, only
a seamless flow, a merging of magic into life.
You may find that the role of the wildwitch and your own nature are inter-linked, entwined and bound by promises made long ago, by understandings gained in the time-before-time. Consequently it may seem entirely natural to weave magical understanding into the very fabric of your daily existence...to become an enchanter, or enchantress, who sees themselves as actively being enchantment. Is it then surprising to hear that to be a wildwitch requires much commitment and dedication? Because it is a process of becoming, as full of primal power as the sea and as bound by the cycles of the moon as the tides, it is essential to give of yourself fully or else the experience will only be like dipping a toe in the water rather than diving with dolphins. It is vital to give of our true selves with ease yet with much personal application, putting both human heart and eternal soul into it for the duration of this incarnate life. And, perhaps, beyond.
This reference to an incarnation acknowledges our existence as both a temporal and temporary human being and as an eternal spiritual essence finding human expression. Such an understanding is pivotal to a wildwitch’s work as it gives relevance and reverence to both the manifest and the ethereal aspects of all that is. The duration of our incarnation is something we shall refer to hereon in as the ‘Earth-walk’ as for a wildwitch it is important to end the separation between human existence on this planet and our generous host, the Earth Mother. ‘Earth-walk’ suggests a partnership, a relationship between manifest beings and a complex living organism that chooses to support their continued existence. The whole ethos of walking as a wildwitch revolves around this end to ‘apart-ness’ and so it is vital that we state both verbally and symbolically, as often as we can (although without contrivance) how we honour this connection.
Wild witchcraft is a balance, an interaction, between Earthly (apparent) appreciation and spiritual (intangible) understanding which is both simple and effective. We are all of us souls that need to develop and grow as well as being humans that need to find meaning in life and we should consider if we are energetically compatible, as souls, with a path which empowers through a love for the Earth and working with the waxing and waning tides of life for magical, healing purposes. There are many ways to walk toward truth and this is but one of them, a way that will resonate profoundly with those willing to commit to a process that not only strengthens and nurtures us as spiritual beings but also gives us an opportunity to act for the environment, and our fellow creatures, in a more physical sense. It is a way of living well...
REVIEW: Craft of the Wild Witch by
Moon Shadows Magazine, October 2005
Reviewed by April Rose
The Craft of the Wild Witch will allow you to explore the green spirited path through a poetic and compelling journey of one wild witch’s experience. If you are free-spirited and have a passion for nature and the magical path, or you yearn to express yourself more fully, this book will inspire you.
With her poetic enchantments and free-spirited nature, Poppy Palin takes you on an enlightening journey into the practices of wild witchcraft. Within each chapter you are taught the practices and rituals of becoming a wild witch. You’ll explore the history and the free-spirited philosophy that embraces this nature of being and you’ll be guided and enlightened within the journeys that take place.
Poppy Palin shares her remarkable knowledge of rituals, Fey and otherworld companions, sacred intent and safe practices, herb helpers, tree meditations, spell weaving and much more. Every chapter reveals in-depth the green-spirited path and you’ll be taken on a personal journey of growth and development as you read through this book.
There is a true essence
of beauty within magic and the wild witch ways and if you have a poetic soul
and a love for magic and nature, I highly recommend this book.
Reproduced below is part of the introduction to this challenging yet gently lyrical book.
A Journey to the Wild Heart of Being
There is often a reluctance
to express our true spiritual nature, and the values and behaviours that stem
from that nature, openly in modern Western society. If we chose to do so then
our actions and expressions can be interpreted by others as something bewilderingly
nebulous at best or downright embarrassing at worst and so either way we become
unworthy of a sensible response and the appropriate measure of respect. Alternatively,
a spiritual impulse and the actions that stem from this can be mis-read as a
statement of religious allegiance of some kind. The latter is the more usual
response, as it is easier to explain away spiritual expression in conventional
terms than it is to explore any other possibilities that lead to unfamiliar
territory. Therefore our authentically profound, and completely natural, spiritual
impulses are usually pushed into the shade of the nearest convenient religious
umbrella and any uniquely wild and joyful experience of the divine is so tamed.
To separate out religion
and spirituality is something that the majority of us rarely do, yet if we begin
by engaging in that process now then we will be better served to explore the
more balanced way of expressing our soul-selves that this book shares. It is
a process that will enable us to make the journey to the wild heart of being
that green spirituality inspires and gives us the ability to discern what is
wholesome, instinctive and free and what is a synthetic construct. It allows
us to identify that which gives effective shelter yet insists we live in its
So, what is the difference
between religion and spirituality? Well, we could state that religion is something
that has been fashioned by men, for men…it is a construction that categorically
answers a basic human need for meaning. Even if it is claimed that it is based
on the word of God it has still been filtered and moulded by a human source,
built upon or added to like an ancestral home over the ages until it dominates
it’s surroundings with its impressively imposing solidity. Religion can
certainly be quantified immediately as something tangible like bricks and mortar
and because of this robust familiarity we may establish an easy allegiance to
it, a tie. Indeed, the root of the word religion in Latin is in the verb ligo
meaning to bind or tie, which then becomes religio meaning god-fearing. Such
a description is in itself enough for us to perhaps understand the difference
between religion and the organic, free-flowing soul-expression that the words
‘green spirituality’ suggest.
Religion is a fixed proposition
that promotes an unshakable adherence; it is not about resurgence or growth
in a natural verdant sense but about continuity and steadiness. It has little
of the spontaneity or unpredictability of a living spirituality; rather it is
a rigid structure that shelters us from other more unrefined ways of being.
It may have its basis in truth and contain a measure of the original dazzling
vision that inspired it but essentially it is a yoked and plodding donkey as
opposed to a glorious white mare pounding through the surf at twilight. It has
been domesticated and certainly won’t do anything astonishing. And indeed
many do prefer a sturdy workhorse to a flighty and charming one.
Religion requires us to be similarly domesticated and give over our personal autonomy to the belief system or master. Moreover, it does not link us directly to the divine but instead ties us into a chain of command by which we may communicate with the sacred…these we call priests, rabbis, imams etc. We are roped, like men on a mountain, to the next highest figure, in a line of such figures continuing upwards out of our sight. We only know that the furthest invisible being is up there above us as we are kept from falling by the chain that stretches out to them. We are kept safe yet effectively disempowered, unable to observe for ourselves what may be above us, or all around us. It offers a structure with reassuringly solid walls and obvious boundaries, not a flexible framework which allows us to peer through.
Religion certainly makes
life easier for us in many respects; it offers us a means of unwavering support
in a changing world that can be very reassuring. If we are willing to accept
it’s ethos wholesale then it provides all of the answers for us and we
need not tax ourselves by looking any further for ‘the truth’. Therefore
it is possible to be protected and comfortable but never to be a pioneer or
explorer in a religious sense, there is nothing to seek as someone else has
already found it for us and will offer us the map that will lead us to life’s
treasure with no surprises. The price of the feeling of security we gain from
it means that we must put the exotic blooms of our spirit in a tiny plant pot
on someone else’s windowsill.
Through religion we may keep our spirit’s foliage nurtured to some degree even if we cannot then flourish, as we should. We can rely on being watered and offered a little sunlight at least. The real problem with religion is that when we, as living energetic beings, grow too big for the pot that it’s belief system has placed us into we will simply find ourselves transplanted in a slightly bigger pot of exactly the same design rather than be dug directly into the rich loam of the land. This is where spirituality comes in; it allows us to choose our own type of soil and to use our own knowledge and instincts to pick the best sort of positioning to allow for our growth. We may not have the security of someone else providing us with water but when the rains come we feel twice as refreshed.
Spirituality has little to do with the tenets and laws that bind with their security ropes and has everything to do with individual exploration and personal feelings. It is an experiential way in which we can feed directly from that which is sacred in order to reach our fullest potential and so blossom accordingly. One may be a spiritual seeker where it is not so easy to be a religious seeker as we may only ever seek truth within our religions framework. This can make our search for enlightenment rather like taking part in a treasure hunt in a small fenced and cultivated field when we could be out on an open heath turning over every lichen patterned rock with wonder. Pre-ordained religious parameters provide us with a foregone conclusion whilst with a more flexible spirituality the quest is ongoing. Religion both protects and restricts whilst spirituality has wide-open spaces that challenge us with their unfamiliarity. Spirituality is, by its nature, gloriously limitless and unconstrained.
There are no firm universal beliefs that one must subscribe to in order to be spiritual, spirituality is more about having an active faith in the existence of the sacred than in a hard and fast belief in it and a desire to label it conclusively. Faith, perhaps, is about hope and searching whilst religious belief already knows and feels safe to shut the door on other possibilities. Faith knows that it does not know but has a willingness to learn. When we believe, in a religious sense, we are all too ready to draw lines in the sand which say ‘us and them’ or ‘right and wrong’. Good and evil are the artificial divisions which polarise us, for and against, using limited criteria to judge others and elevate our own positions in accordance with a religious doctrine that gives us full permission to act in such a manner. Such divisions are the tools of separation, not of ongoing transformation. Faith is a gentler concept that speaks of broader truths as well as personal ones in a way that allows us to be wiling to amend our views. Therefore there can be a fearless interchange and colloquy…a free-flow of ideas and feelings, an ongoing soul-poem, a natural unfolding. Spirituality speaks not in complex concepts but in our daily lives, when man-made or intellectual constructs end there can be a constant stream running through our days, a stream bubbling up from the cool depths of ourselves, unpolluted.
Another fundamental difference may be this…that religion is usually linked to the State or with patriotic fervour whereas spirituality is aligned with liberty and choice and is a matter of personal preference that sits well with us at a deep level, regardless of race etc. Spirituality of any kind may the way of the freethinking non-conformist who values the right to change and grow unhindered, like a wildflower. Their only limits are self-imposed, those of personal integrity and acquired empathy, the result of unhindered personal interaction with the sacred.
In its simplest form,
spirituality is about acknowledging spirit. This starts with our own eternal
spirit and ripples out in an understanding of the spiritual nature of other
people, be they living or currently discarnate. Part of spiritual exploration
may be working with these latterly mentioned ‘unseen ones’ who we
ourselves can learn to perceive through various techniques as well as via a
natural ability or openness. Perhaps, in some cases, it is this innate ability
to ‘see’ (or look beyond that which we are told is ‘real’)
that drives us to nurture our spiritual impulse. From there we may gain an acceptance,
by direct experience, of a greater unseen spirit, a motivating quality in our
daily lives, the life-force energy or Creator energy. It is wholly up to us
how we attain communion with spirit, as there is certainly no one there to mediate
or correct us if we are simply seeking our own truths. Perhaps this is why so
many folk today class themselves as ‘unspiritual’ (or, more usually,
non-religious) as the whole area of spirituality can be perceived as rather
vapid and insubstantial, an area without the blessing or security of conventional
authority, with no hierarchy to monitor it. However, the burgeoning interest
in a wide array of practices loosely affiliated to the seeking of truth beyond
conventional or customary ideas, practices such as divination, healing, clairvoyance
etc., reveal a thirst for greater meaning within the general populace.
So how may we quantify
spirituality at all, how are we even able to name it? Well, spirituality is
open hearted and has a wide embrace, we cannot spot it by its doctrines or creeds
but rather by the authentic compassion one person may show to another, by the
level of attunement a person has to the subtler emanations of a situation. When
one is unafraid of revealing one’s spirituality there is a genuine expression
of interconnectedness, of a deep union with all other beings who are soul-kin
under the skin regardless of temporary boundaries imposed by gender, age etc,
and a sensitivity to the energies that unite us all. A spiritual life is one
with kindness at the core, a boundless benevolence that comes from that faith
in the life-force energy that runs through each of us and is a gift born of
the greater spirit.
To live a spiritual life
can include active service to the world alongside prayer and mediation, retreat
and contemplation, as can a religious life. This is what spirituality and all
world religions share, the desire to be a more compassionate and contemplative
human being. But once again we can observe the difference, there are no masters
in a spiritual sense, as all people act as our teachers and life itself is the
temple. The only bonds in spirituality are to our enspirited brothers and sisters
on Earth, in service of the spirit that created us all, with love, in peace.
It is blending the faith in that unseen energetic aspects of being with purely
manifest acts of kindness and care.
So, where does green spirituality
take us that pure spirituality does not? Why do we need it?....
WAKING THE WILD SPIRIT TAROT AND BOOK SET
THIS BOOK/DECK SET IS NOW OUT OF PRINT AND ONLY AVAILABLE FROM THE AUTHOR
This section will be updated when the new book and limited edition book/deck set becomes available
Above, the 336 page tarot guide book and a sample of the 78 cards. The book is unique in that it tells the story of each card in the characters voice, i.e. The Fiddler (The Devil in traditional tarot decks) or The Wandering Minstrel (The Fool) tell their own whimsical yet wise tales in the first person. In this way the book aims to allow those who don't absorb dry facts easily to understand the energies of each card in a more gentle, lyrical fashion. The tarot deck and book are based on Otherworldly faery-tale images and energies, allowing divination (or profound contemplation) to occur through magical fiction and accompanying illustrations.
Above: The tarot card's back...very 'psychedelic' when the cards are swirled out!
Note: This card/book set was never meant to be a traditional-style tarot...The Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot was only really named a Tarot by the publisher for sales purposes! Instead it is more of a divination set, following the framework of tarot but adding its own unique twists and turns to the formula. However, if you are willing to work with its quirks and foibles it is more than capable of serving you as a tarot!
COME BACK SOON FOR UPDATED MATERIAL...THANK YOU