Category Archives: My world

The Music and the Magic

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Following a successful day at the Narberth Book Fair last week, where I gave my talk ‘Magic, Witchlit and a vote for women’s fiction’ for the first time, an idea for a short story arrived in my head.

Within hours, I had a beginning, a middle and an ending. The next day, I began to write.

This time of year, after the autumn equinox, wending our way to Samhain, it is time to look back and reflect on the year that has gone but also to be open to new ideas and change.

The story that emerged from my pen, The Music and the Magic, reflects these changes, not only in my protagonist’s life but in mine, yours, our local community and the world.

We live in an ever changing world, political decisions seeming beyond our remit to influence or change, but in our own way, in small important ways, we can make a difference. By supporting and being active to promote kindness and thoughtfulness, we can change our world for the better.

It wasn’t the story I’d intended to write but I allowed the story to unfold, trusting in the magic. I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMcZbl4K2E

 

If you’d like to hear more stories, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon for Tales from Pan’s Grotto from my riverbank in Wales.

 

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Connecting with the stars…and ourselves

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There’s a lot going on in our solar system in August…a full moon and partial eclipse today, peak of the Perseids meteor shower on the 12th and a new moon and total solar eclipse on the 21st. “So?” I hear you ask, “What does that mean for me?”

Continuing my blog posts about finding magic in your life, connecting to the universe is an easy way to begin so let’s begin with the sun… the sun is the star at the centre of the Solar system, made up of hot plasma, whose diameter is 109 times that of the earth, consists of hydrogen and helium plus a little oxygen, carbon, neon and iron and whose mass is about 330,00 times that of the earth. Wow! A huge, almost spherical ball of energy, 149.6 million kilometres away, is the main source of energy for life on earth. And you know what? Carl Sagan said that we are made of star stuff, the death of ancient stars helping to create us.

Whether we like it or not, we are linked to the universe. We are made up of the same molecules. The universe was there before us, creating and uncreating until all the elements and conditions were aligned and life began on our earth.

Our ancestors understood their connection to the universe, you’ve only to look at the legacy they left behind to see it.

Stone circles and avenues, temples and pyramids were created and aligned, markers of the sun, moon and stars. Our ancestors linked to the past and the future, making themselves a part of a cycle of life that sustained and informed them. They knew about the seasons and the best time to plant and harvest; their link with the universe was life giving….and so can ours be today.

Tonight, like others on this amazing rock we call earth, I’ll be taking a few minutes to connect with the stars. For me, it’s about focussing on a bigger picture. We get hung up on the minutae, the earthly problems we face each day (I did it yesterday attempting to file my tax return!) and forget to look wider…we are part of a world family on a beautiful planet, abundant with diverse wildlife and we have our own star to thank for giving us the opportunity to be here in the first place. Attempting to comprehend the universe, we may be a small speck on a little planet but inside each of us is the potential to create and to open our hearts and minds to compassion, love and warmheartedness. We’re held back by the ‘old stories’ we carry, causing doubt, fear and anxiety when we attempt to break away and try something new yet, we all have the capacity to write ‘new stories’ for ourselves, living our lives full of hope, creativity and love. For me, the inspiration comes from the universe, above me, and my connection with the earth, below me.

Join me at 8.08pm for 8 minutes, linking yourself with others on the earth and to the stars from which you came.

Connecting with the stars, we connect with ourselves.

Magic Matters

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People say to me ‘Magic isn’t real though, is it?’ My last blog post https://wendysteele.com/2017/06/06/a-magical-life/  was about being ‘present’ to experience the magic. ‘Magic Matters’ takes this idea one step further.

One of the definitions of magic, according to my trusty, yet rather battered Oxford Concise, is ‘an inexplicable or remarkable influence producing surprising results’. In order to experience this, however, we need to be connected to ourselves, the planet and the living beings upon it. Why? Because so much of our lives take us away from this state. We live in a dream supported by those who want to control us and who want to sell to us.

In so many ways, we don’t live our own lives. We perform the stories dictated to us by others. Taking back control is the magic. Here are a few ways to rewrite your own story and live a life full of magic and love.

1 Connect with the planet and the universe

We live on an amazing planet within an awesome universe. I’ve recently been inspired by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, helping me to understand the cosmos from both a scientific, as well as personal perspective. Human knowledge at this time gives us a tiny hint at the enormity of the universe, a glimpse of where we came from and the planet on which we reside.

We can play our own part to stop global warming and the rape and destruction of the world’s resources. Recycling and being choosy who and where we buy from keeps us connected with a world community who love their planet too.

The media wants us to buy more of everything, even if we don’t need it.

I’m lucky to be able to stand barefoot on grass or in the river circling my home. I can light a fire on my pebbly beach and feel the breeze chilling my skin while red kites perform their circle dance above me. I used to live in a town but on day’s off, I sought woodland walks or trips to the sea and spent holidays camping beneath the stars. Those moments of connectivity helped sustain me and I invested regular time revisting those happy moments in the natural world and thanking the planet for its sustenance.

2 Family and friends

One good quality of social media is the ease in which it enables us to keep in touch. The huge downside is how it drags us in, wasting our time looking at a screen. Communication has changed but, speaking to our loved ones or preferably hugging them, is far more rewarding. During the second year of our move to Wales, we spent months trying to get a new roof, rebuilding, knocking concrete off walls and remortaring with lime, clearing rubbish and brambles as well as working at our ‘day jobs’. Everything seemed to go wrong, take forever or land us with costs we hadn’t expected. Short of time and funds, we hardly saw our family. It wasn’t a healthy time for myself or my partner. I was a functioning but empty shell. I recognised what was lacking, started a ‘weekend away’ fund and have booked time to see family and friends on a regular basis ever since.

3 Animals, birds and other wildlife

Caring for the planet means caring for all living creatures. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twenty two and moved onto a plant based diet last year. When my children started school, talk between parents often moved to ‘what are you having for dinner?’ By sharing tasty, nutritional but meat free recipes, friends started adding one or two meat free meals to their repertoire each week. The production of meat, especially beef, is unsustainable. Vast areas of land and millions of gallons of water are used, resources that if sustainable crops were planted, could feed the world.

Other friends only buy their meat from local, organic farms and have switched to free range eggs. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but if you fancy trying some new recipes, have a browse on YouTube for inspiration. Cheap Lazy Vegan is funny and her recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Veganlovlie is adorable and her recipes are scrummy.

4 Caring for the world family

I love leading Tribal Unity Wales out to dance for our local community but in the past year I’ve arranged impromptu haflas (belly dance parties) to raise money for people who need help around the world. We’ve helped Wales Air Ambulance, Smalls for All and Hafla for Humanity and are supporting SHARP, Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project at the moment, raising money with a hafla and collecting donations of clothes from friends and family and adding one item of toiletries to our weekly shop to put together a box to be delivered to SHARP at the end of this month.

It isn’t about the amount you donate. When I shop, I add one item for the local food bank and one for SHARP and I think of those mother’s desperately trying to feed their children and keep them clean and well.

I’ve been criticized for my views on helping others but I refuse to judge or exclude. We are one family, the family of humanity. ‘Do as you would be done by’ is a good creed to live by in my humble opinion.

 

So where’s the magic?

Living in tune with the planet, loving friends and family, caring for all animals and wildlife and supporting the human family is the first step to magic and these lifestyle choices will change you. Why not give them a try? How bad can it be living the life you choose?

The next step is all about you so I hope you’ll join me and discover more about magical influence the surprising, exciting results???.

Keep sharing the love.

Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

A Magical Life

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We all experience magic in our lives. There is no need to be pagan or a practising witch. All you need to do is ‘be’.

We believe we live in the present, this time, now but often our minds have wandered to the past or the future and because of our lack of being rooted in the present, we miss the magic.

Sitting on my riverbank is magic…sunlight trickles through the leaves blessing my skin with the warmth of the sun…water rattles and skates over rocks and stones…dipper tips his wing and skims across the water.

Dancing in the rain is magic…clouds bursting their blessings on the earth…the wind blowing up the valley…music, friends and smiles.

Time with my children is magic…catching up on news…sharing success and new ideas…supporting them taking adult steps into the world.

Time with animals is magic …snuggles with a rescued lamb…warmth and love for a rescued kitty.

Looking into the eyes of a new born baby is magic…Dancing together to raise money for those in need is magic…Sharing my stories is magic…Decorating my home to welcome in the light is magic…The first flower of Spring is magic…Walking on the beach and paddling in the sea, whatever the weather, is magic…

 

I write about magic…real magic…the magic that fills our lives with moments of inspiration, hope, understanding, empathy and love.

Join me for stories on my Welsh riverbank https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

or find my books on my author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

or for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

Make time in your life to ‘be’ and enjoy every magic moment.

 

 

From Samhain to Spring Equinox

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Living my life by the Sacred Wheel of the Year, my new year began after Samhain with dance workshops and performances and meeting up with an old friend. There’s been book fairs and fairytale fairs, my long awaited tattoos and happy family gatherings in our farmhouse in Wales.

I write every day but in January I began editing my first Witch Lit novel and writing dance workshops. Learning new recipes to enhance my plant based diet has been both exciting and challenging. I’ve made new friends, meeting and supporting authors and welcoming new ladies to my dance classes. Tribal Unity Wales hosted a wee hafla for S.H.A.R.P. Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response project and raised £170 and gathered boxes of clothing donations.

I’ve cut back brambles and nettles, clearing my land to allow the plants and my apple trees to breathe.

My second Witch Lit book is written in first draft and the spring flowers are brightening up my hill top.

It’s been a long, cold, wet start to the year but it’s all been leading to today, the launch of The Naked Witch, a Lizzie Martin story, dedicated to my amazing daughter, Jasmine and written for all the strong, beautiful and amazing women out there. Bright Spring blessings to you all xx

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

and for my friends across the pond

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref

The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas

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Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow

Home for Christmas is the first book in the Standing Stone series, linking together Rachel, Candy and Fern. Each woman lives there own life, though they share the same earth, just in a different time and space.

This morning, I’m sharing an extract from Home for Christmas, the first time all three women meet.

Though the feeling only lasted moments, Rachel likened it to being trapped inside a raindrop, a myriad of colours swirling with cool wet air, while the drop joined with others and spun and swirled like eddies in a pond. She landed on the grass with a bump and lay back, breathing heavily before sitting up.

To her left lay a small woman in a shiny metallic suit, her long auburn hair matted across her face. Rachel crawled over as the woman stirred but before she reached her, a scream from behind her ran down her spine. Another young woman, wearing scraps of fur and bound cloth, knelt at the stone and stared in horror at the sky above her.

Rachel crawled over to her, discarding her coat. The air was warm though no sun shone.  Above them, the sky gleamed cerulean but as Rachel scrambled up off her knees, beyond the green hilly mound was pure white nothingness. She put her arm around the young woman’s shoulders, her screams having lessened to shaky, gulping sobs.

“It’s okay,” she said, gently, “You’re okay. I’m Rachel,” she added.

“F-F-Fern,” said Fern, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. Looking over Rachel’s shoulder her eyes widened and she pointed, “Who…she?”

Candy stood in a dark blue jumpsuit, her bio suit discarded on the grass, refastening her hair band and knotting back her auburn dreads.

She smiled at the other women as she walked over. “I’m Candy,” she said, “And I think I’ve just escaped from the Dome.”

Begin your journey to the Standing Stone today!

http://www.amazon.com/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00OCPBVV6/ref

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Standing-Stone-Home-Christmas/dp/150272278X/ref

 

Author. Wise woman. Goddess

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For most people, when the year date changes a new year begins. They look forward to new beginnings, better luck and a change for the better.

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My new year began at the winter solstice and I welcomed in the light. Every day gets a tiny bit longer even though the wintry weather is only just taking hold and I look forward to waking to that light and the rebirth of spring.

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The title of this blog is the title of my website but both could be replaced by ‘Me’. ‘Author’ is the easy bit. Under ‘Wise woman’ is my spirituality, teaching dance and healing but all those descriptions would fit into the ‘Goddess’ side as well. ‘Goddess’ is my personal journey, my family and my partner.

My plans are underway for the first two terms of teaching dance this year, including three workshops for my ladies, structuring my lessons to give them the best tuition and support I can. We’re going to dance more and perform less, bringing dancing to drums into our lessons and music that inspires.

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Collaboration has begun with my good friend, Peter Jones (writer, speaker, actor), to publish my first WitchLit novel ‘The Naked Witch’ and I’m excited *happy dance* Work on the next book ‘The Orphan Witch’ is underway.

Kind folk have been sharing my Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, also the name of my publishing company, where I read my WitchLit short stories and I’m thrilled. Being able to deliver my stories through such a powerful medium is a privilege and I’m looking forward to telling more stories as the seasons change on our Welsh riverbank.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

The announcement of the Literature of Wales bursary is in February. If successful, my work will focus on writing the third book in the Lilith Trilogy ‘Angel and Demons’. (Now you know why I’ve needed to make plans early!)

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The past year has been hard work but memorable. Author, wise woman and goddess finally merged together in my mind, showering me with ideas and possibilities. I’ve surprised myself in many ways. Out of these surprises has come confidence but also fear so this year, to redress the balance, the goddess will be embraced. My personal spiritual journey will come higher up the priorities.

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And I started 2017 with a sale on my pixie coats! My dad worked for Horne Brothers, Men’s Outfitting. He could tell your collar size just by looking at you. He always maintained that Horne Brothers had a proper sale, discounting the stock in the shop while other, less creditable sellers in his opinion, brought it ‘rubbish’ for their sales. ALL pixie coats, short or long length, are on sale at £25 with free postage to the UK. Dad would have called it a proper sale.

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I wish you all Bright Blessings for the coming year xx  Share the love and spread warmheartedness wherever you are xx

 

 

Tales from Pan’s Grotto

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wales-2014-058This past year, I’ve been writing and submitting short stories. Having had over a quarter of them published online and in anthologies, I decided to start my own Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, and read to you the WitchLit stories emerging from my pen right now. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

I began at Samhain with a slightly longer story, Granny Hickson’s Blessings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjBDk9eogZQ

This week’s story is called Lucky and is perfect for a tea break viewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNRDQMuBv3U

If you enjoy the stories, please like, share and subscribe to the channel.

Bright Blessings xx

 

The Veil of Secrets

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Upon the road to Samhein, I’m facing my fears. Working on my root chakra, Muladhara, the fears of the past haunt me less.

1655477_912692688801104_1676088900175960390_oI am no longer a child. Little Wendy met her fears in the safe place in the faery wood. They were part of her once, a constant reminder but now, they are abandoned. She leaves the wood a woman. Little Wendy is still there but she is more than that now. I have followed my dream, to live, write and teach in Wales. This bravery is new. This courage is inspiring.

As the Sacred Wheel turns, Samhein beckons, the time when the veil between the worlds is thin and the future, a step away. What secrets lie beyond the veil?

‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you’, written in 2012, I suggest you take time to declare your intent….

“81: Declare your intent
As we draw towards the end of October, the summer is over and
before us, the long months of winter beckon. This is the time for new
ideas and new plans and, in my experience, choices.
Our ancestors used the coming months to preserve and conserve food
for the winter and organise themselves for the coming spring and we
too can follow this example by conserving the ‘seeds’ of ideas and
plans that proved their worth, burning those that didn’t and beginning
a new seed bank of our own.
A few years ago, two aspects of my life were taking off, writing and
dancing, but I didn’t know which to pursue. I sought advice from a
dear friend, a wise and wonderful lady. Her words have stayed with
me and I use them when making all my life choices.
I gave each of my plans an intent. To writing, I gave ‘to write a novel’
and to dancing ‘to share my love of dance.’ Both ideas developed but
at a different pace. Phoenix Bellydance was born and, in the five
years I taught Egyptian Bellydance, I introduced over 300 women
and girls to the dance. I wrote my first novel over three years while
waiting in the car to collect my children from school.
Write down your ideas for your future on coloured cards and place
them where you can see them (March). You could carry a small
version in your wallet or purse. Decide the intention of each idea and
add that to the card. If you plan to do something to make money, that
is your intent. If you want to help people, that is your intent. My
recent novel was published because my intent was to share the story
with as many people as possible.
Take your time. There’s no rush.
Enjoy this time of new ideas and choices and, by the end of the
winter, be ready to declare your intent.”

The secret beyond the veil is your intention for the coming year.

I work on my land, cutting back brambles and clearing away dead leaves and weeds. I work on my home, rebuilding, lime mortaring and white washing. The fear is gone. I allow my mind to realise my intent. On Samhein, I will release it to the universe.

 

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You can find all my books via my Amazon author pages:

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

Dance to the music of your soul

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You know the feeling. A song drifts into your ears. Your heart begins to race. Your toes twitch. Shivers fizzle down your spine. A connection is made with the music and your soul. But do you dance?

m_100_1396 As a child, I was surrounded by music. Dad loved to sing. He came from a musical family sat around the piano while Mother played and each child would perform their ‘party piece’. I learned piano from the age of four but was chastised by my teacher (and even during piano exams) for my lack of ability to pitch a note and dancing was out of the question for a ‘fairy elephant’. It didn’t stop me immersing myself in music though and at forty years of age, I joined my first dance class.

I teach dance to inspire women to dance now.

What music inspires you?  I adored Indian music before I started dancing and once I began, discovered Arabic music  for the first time. I’ve always loved a choir and now, in Wales, when I attend book fairs and Christmas fairs, I’m filled to bursting by the luscious lilts and bountiful harmonies of Welsh choral music. Beethoven piano music awakens feelings in me, filling me with a sense of awe and joy while a simple, gentle chant to the goddess can carry me away to the sea.

I encourage my ladies to share music they love and we dance to it together in class.

What about the music of nature? Standing on my hill in the chilly hours of dawn, the birds awaken the day, their song ricocheting between the trees like a greeting echo. The river sings many songs. Sweet, cheerful music tinkles between the stones when she is low but in full flow she bursts like a geyser between the rocks, bellowing her song and her powerful intent as she hurries to the sea.

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Dance anywhere and everywhere! Dance in the rain DSC_0307 dance in the park DSC_0005 dance on the beach 11167955_1610750972516726_7729406917342820848_n dance in your front room, dance on a grassy knoll 13528430_10154418410354739_3392390366723899125_o dance with friends 11053065_1610337169224773_4219450298485072431_nand dance alone 10556448_727027910700917_1801320681454343591_n

Listen to the music…and dance.