Category Archives: My world

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.

 

 

 

 

The road to Samhein

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The Sacred Wheel turns. The leaves turn to russet, drifting to the ground and swirling in eddies like golden dancers. As the end of the pagan year approaches, it’s time to look back, time to mourn, time to celebrate and time to remember. At this time of year, opportunities abound and while I try to decipher the emotions and challenges that battle in my mind, one rises to the surface. Fear.

dsc_0060Where does fear come from? I’ve battled it for years, surprising myself at what I can achieve when I can overcome it but now is the time to go deeper. My fears come from voices of the past…’You’re a fairy elephant! You can’t dance!’…’Ok, you passed nine but you failed one!’…’Where did that notion come from? You’re too stupid to have thought that up yourself!’… ‘If you can’t stand up and speak in a room of future teachers, how do you expect to be a teacher yourself?’…As I type, my throat closes up.

This week, as well as teaching my ladies and editing my first WitchLit novel, I’m healing myself. I’m going back to my roots, deep within the Root Chakra, Muladhara is where I came from and where these voices lurk and where I shall confront my past. I’m sick of fighting, whenever a challenge is put before me.

Healing is magic, bringing together the physical and the unseen, the body and the mind in balance with the Universe.

I want to be the ‘me’ I know I am, without these voices haunting me. This is not the ‘me’ of ego but of self. Time to start believing.

 

The BEAUTYof a Book Fair

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Love books but never been to a book fair? Let me tell you how much fun they are…

B is for books…one of my favourite dreams is finding myself in a room surrounded by books.14441101_928492490589252_1450220905486666353_nTables weighed down with glistening covers and colourful banners fill the hall and all you have to do is browse. It’s a wonderful spectacle and an exciting opportunity to find a book that transports you to another world.

E is for education…because you can talk with the authors, you hear the books synopsis but, more importantly, learn why an author wanted to share their story with you. 14492328_10153797841252327_6965602039928982529_n

We don’t just talk about books either…authors are real people. At Carmarthen Book Fair, I shared about lime mortaring and learned great tips on organic gardening as well as talking about magic. Often, there are talks and workshops where authors share their passion for their work and educate with tips on writing or opportunities to delve deeper into a specific genre.

A is for authors…a book fair is a great place for authors to meet, share and unite. Most of us are introverts by design, creating our stories alone in our own world of words, so book fairs are a great place to feel part of the writing community. 14462752_928492613922573_8779798483905616230_n

U is for universal…at a book fair, there is something for everyone, books spanning all the genres. They are inclusive events, often using the opportunity to raise money for charity. 14440912_928494113922423_5699407015268787620_n At Carmarthen, money was raised for Multiple Sclerosis with a raffle. Prizes were donated by authors and the local community.

T is for time…as an author, it’s time to be yourself and time to share the writing you love. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement yet there’s no rush…time to relax and share with our readers. 14449818_10210590035252262_8255655491257185578_n

Y is for you…we wouldn’t be there without you! Book Fairs give authors the opportunity to be there for you, answer your questions and inspire you to immerse yourself in the world of story.14463312_10153797841292327_4601279399998354486_n

Look out for local book fairs in the press and on social media. If you’re in Wales, I look forward to meeting you at Llandeilo in December.

Happy reading!

The Path to Success

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Life in Wales was to be just that…a life, not an existence. When the weather allowed, we wanted to immerse ourselves in the landscape and create a home, surrounded by our four acres of land. Self sufficiency was another aim, using the wood on the land and planting new trees for the future was the first step; creating a vegetable patch, the second. My card for this month is II Wands and I embraced its message, gathering up the spark from the ace, propelling me along my chosen path and fulfilling my dreams of my life in Wales…and then reality hit me like a truck, out of control on the ice road…my partner and I have to work as well.

1655477_912692688801104_1676088900175960390_oThough we’ve been in our house since November 2013, without a roof and with major work needed at the house (heating, bathroom, sceptic tank), setting up my partner’s wood floor business in Wales is in its infancy so working away is the only option. Without him here, I’ve done my best, but this weekend was our first opportunity to make a real difference. On Thursday, I borrowed a strimmer from a neighbour, keen to get a headstart as the weather was dry and sunny.

I trimmed as far as the lead would reach but no extension lead could be found in the house. I read about using a white vinegar and salt solution to kill weeds and decided to douse the grass and weeds growing through our decking. I carried the two gallon can outside five times, liberally dousing the area. The following morning, I checked to find it had made no difference. I cleared nettles, barrowed stones and filled the holes on the driveway. I burned half the cleared bramble, twig and nettle pile, until the ash in our tractor wheel fire threatened to seep from its metal safety and a few spots of rain began to fall.

DSC_0157My partner came home. I’d cleared away brambles and nettles at the front of the house, dragging out the beech tree branches ready for chainsawing, splitting and barrowing…and then the chainsaw refused to work.

My head said ‘Forget it, you’re both tired. Give up,’ but my heart said ‘No way!’

Our fabulous neighbour lent us a chainsaw. Between strimming the driveway, extension lead having been extracted from partner’s car, I moved a dozen barrows…until we realised the piles in the wood barn were not going to work and we needed to move the wood we were using now. ‘You’re tired!’ yelled my head. ‘It needs to be done, you can do it’, assured my heart. By the end, my biceps were buzzing, my back screaming but the resulting wood piles were magnificent…and then it rained.

We worked in the rain on Sunday morning. I cleared nettles from around half our apple trees, my partner mowing without the grass boxes on as they clogged every five minutes and still it rained, a thundery downpour forcing us indoors. Just after four o’clock, the sun came out and we cleared the final uncovered logs from the front grass and finished mowing around the house.

Returning our borrowed tools, we sat on the riverbank with a cup of tea. DSC_0132

 

Whether its people or circumstances, we get knocked and buffeted on our path. Doubts creep in, as does the fear, both of the future and of failing. Only you can commit. Only you can turn a dream into a reality.

 

 

Giving up is hard to do

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I’m giving up. I won’t be formatting my own books. Why is giving up so hard to do? Admitting one can’t do something is seen as a sign of failure by others but, for me, I’m giving up because it’s the right thing to do.

I’m a lucky girl. I live in an amazing place. DSC_013813083146_1733798136878675_2778952018034820534_nNow the weather is dryer, we’ve work to do on the house and byre. Last year, the farmer who bought the rest of the land originally attached to our house grubbed out the old hedges and laid new ones, dumping half the wood in our field. We’re working through that to keep us warm next winter. DSC_0155My partner chainsaws the wood and I follow behind, picking up the logs, stripping off the branches and loading them into the car. A drive from the field to our drying barn and then the wood is barrowed to its new home. Our beech tree had to be taken down last year and much of the wood became grassed over as we battled to get a roof on our house and save the byre. DSC_0157Stripping away the old grass and twigs for the bonfire and making piles for my partner to chainsaw has become a priority to stop brambles and nettles spreading across the field. Once clear and the old broken fencing dug out, this area can be mowed. DSC_0159We’ve old baths to make raised planters and an old conservatory to recycle into a greenhouse. On top of all this, I teach dance which I love and write the stories in my head that insist on being told and attempt to market them to readers to enjoy.

So is giving up and paying someone to format my books a sign of my failure? A month ago I read a blog post about what you need to do to be a successful writer and it made me angry. The gist of the post was that if you don’t give up your life, put aside the things you enjoy and spend every waking moment on social media, you don’t care about your writing.

12998745_1725523984372757_3935931874685187204_nMy life makes me the person I am, the person whose head is full of stories and who loves to inspire others with books and dance. Working on my house and land is a challenge and I’ve learned many new skills. So you won’t find me on social media all the time and I won’t be formatting my own books. I will be living my life, inspired by my environment and the people I meet and focussing on what I do best.