Friday, 16 December 2011

Talking to the Earth worksheets

Latest instalments of the Talking worksheets...originally published years ago, I'm releasing these on the blog for anyone to use, enjoy and make a mess with!

the original book and the subsequent Celebrating Nature are both still available....lots more activities there!Celebrating Nature and other books

Worksheet 17, String Marionettes: quick and easy puppets

Worksheet 18, Junk Puppets, uses similar ideas but lets go with scrap materials to improvise more....

Worksheet 19 Giant Puppets encourage you to get really ambitious and go for bigger and bigger puppets....and I have no idea why the scans for these have come up green!
this elegant Lady was made using similar techniques to those described below....

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Winter celebration (3)

Images arriving from our end of project procession on 3rd December at Calke Abbey

Setting the site...

a bird and a seed pod 

sun lantern catches the sunset

the procession assembles

and sets off...
the walk began in twilight but darkness gathered quickly....
at the front of Calke Abbey itself

at the end of it all, relaxing and enjoying the music
With thanks to everyone involved!

Drummers came from Calidiscopio, a lively, lovely group based in Derby!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Gordon's new book: The Wanton Green

Over the last year, I have been one of a team editing a book that has now been released. The Wanton Green is an exciting collection of essays from (mostly) British pagans exploring their relations to places

From the main Press Release:

From the lost magics and holy waters of London to bleak Staffordshire Moorlands; from childhood adventures in Rochdale to faeries in Devon and Cumbria, a new book, The Wanton Green, offers readers a different perspective on landscape

As our relationship with the world unravels and needs to take new form, or maybe to reconnect with an older pattern, The Wanton Green presents a collection of inspiring, provoking and engaging essays by modern pagans talking about their own deep and passionate relationships with the Earth. With contributions from 20 authors that range from Druids to Heathens, from Chaos Magicians to Witches, Shamans and Voudou Mambo, Wanton Green brings voices from the diverse and growing Pagan community of Britain to the environmental debate and promises food for thought and inspiration for the spirit

Contributors include Emma Restall Orr, Runic John, Robert Wallsi, Jenny Blain, Melissa Harrington, Graham Harvey, Maria van Daalen, Susan Greenwood and Susan Cross. (Visit the Wanton Green blog for tastes of the treats within...)

All the contributors have forgone their royalties, allowing any arising to go to Honouring the Ancient Dead 

Ordering copies
a) direct from me £ 11.99 a copy, + £2.00 P&P for first copy and £1 per copy after that (cheques to Creeping Toad, or I can invoice you - address
b) from Mandrake, the publishers
c) through a local bookshop or on-line store

The Wanton Green:
contemporary pagan writings on place
editors: G MacLellan and S Cross

Mandrake Books, Oxford, 2011
ISBN: 978 1  906958 29 9
Images that didn't quite get there - ivy and ice for the Lud's Church chapter 

Chapters and sections include
Personal journeys, intimate connections
Fumbling in the landscape,             Runic John
Finding the space, finding the words, Rufus Harrington
Stone in my bones,                         Sarah Males
A Heathen in place: working with Mugwort, Robert Wallis

By river, well and sea
Wild, wild water,                                     Lou Hart
Facing the waves,                                     Gordon MacLellan
The dragon waters of place: a journey to the source, Susan Greenwood

Exploring - mud on your boots, mud on your hands
Catching the Rainbow Lizard,             Maria van Daalen
The rite to roam,                                     Julian Vayne
Places of Power                                     Jan Fries
Art is natural magic,                         Greg Humphries

Step back and consider
Pagan Ecology: on our perception of nature, ancestry and home, Emma Restall Orr
We have no imagination,             Susan Cross
Crossroads of perception,             Shani Oates

Where are the wild places
Devon, Faeries and Me,                         Woody Fox
Lud’s Church,                                     Gordon MacLellan
Places of spirit and spirits of place: of Fairy and other folk, and my Cumbrian bones.                                    Melissa Harrington
A life in the woods: protest site paganism, Adrian Harris
We first met in the north,             Barry Patterson
The king who sites upon the water, Barry Patterson
The Ballad of the Tyne Plover,             Barry Patterson

Urban wildness
Museum or Mausoleum – A Pagan at play in King Solomon’s House ,                                                             Mogg Morgan
Hills of the ancestors, townscapes of artisans, Jenny Blain
Smoke and mirrors,                         Stephen Grasso
America,                                                Maria van Daalen

Standing at the crossroads: A beginning at the end?
                                                            various authors

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Moments of beauty

sagging into the aftermath of the Winter celebration project, I'm sure I'll say something more coherent soon but here are immediate reflections and some images
the toadstools always draw interest

a seedpod lantern

the company assemble

Moments of Beauty
a morning of stormwind and rain lifting into a cold, bright afternoon,
my mood after a sleepless night clearing with the weather,
seeing installations growing,
excitement brewing,

late afternoon sun catching a sun lantern

sunset and crowds gather,
come one, come many, and more
ten becomes twenty, becomes fifty,
musicians arriving,
fifty becoming a hundred and more

the first beats of the drums,
samba shaking the bricks,
echoes bouncing  off the old walls of Calke Abbey
a trail of lanterns through the trees
a hundred becoming two
too long a trail to see the end
but ti cherish the movement of lights through the trees

sunsetting behind old oaks,
the beat of the drums,
the sudden shift to fiddle and guitar,
the silence of  the company lining an avenue of lime trees
to the huskiness of a native flute,
a wonder of lantern ghosts and carriage,

to watch the company fall in behind
holding a moment poised between noise and wonder

the company

a ghostly lantern coach

even after the event, the toadstools were causing trouble