Tag Archives: tribal unity

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

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

 

 

Summer of dance

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13692988_10153561590635672_4965015085609723190_oTribal Unity

We began our summer, dancing at The Three Horseshoe Inn, Llangeitho. We were warmly welcomed and we thoroughly enjoyed our first dance outing.

13528430_10154418410354739_3392390366723899125_oAt the beginning of July, we were welcomed into the Wee Crafty Folk family at their Steampunk Extraordinaire, at the Blaenavon Ironworks. We danced in the sun 13559002_10153651712746700_6105772231861420128_othe rain and the wind 13592700_1758587191066436_4345694993005621029_n on a tiny stage 13582071_862262727212696_7293021555466940758_o and some bumpy ground. We made new friends 13528627_255460211502108_8729822987007473526_o13438956_10154326978680850_5101103827962123973_n13580516_748663858569317_4559449785190045217_o13528436_679809571849_581917443817173174_oand welcomed our newest Tribal Unity Wales performer! (She came to support us and Ashley had kindly offered to take photos so we persuaded her that it was a good day to dance:-))

Last weekend was the Lampeter Food Festival and the rain kept away again! 13693039_1363739183641733_703608656464810052_oWe danced two half hour sets in the entertainment tent plus audience participation and we loved every minute. 13701245_10153561592555672_7997562574212675563_o13765668_10153561595495672_2563386093820760471_o13731820_10153561600885672_335389288742989006_o13692978_10153561600715672_3681990756507417176_o13708338_1363739186975066_5349987637826492300_o13719506_10153561594605672_2555305949072770709_o13737576_10153561597910672_7474765846159049178_o

This Saturday is the Cardigan Bellydance Festival and we’re dancing at a birthday party on Sunday.

Classes are officially finished so my toe will have a week to rest (did I tell you I broke my toe? It’s been a painful month as well as a wonderful one!) and then I’ve two lessons to teach before the music festival on 13th August at the Brynog Arms in Felinfach. Tribal Unity Wales will be performing there between 3pm and 6pm and that will conclude our summer of dance…if the sun shines on a Sunday, of course, there will be impromptu dancing and picnicing in Cribyn!

For more information about Tribal Unity Wales, go to the Tribal Unity website. http://www.tribalunity.co.uk

You can message Deana for lessons in Essex via the website. You can message me here.

Enjoy the rest of summer and dance!

http://www.wendysteele.com has a Tribal Unity Wales page and you can view our performances via the Youtube page of Halo Quin https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAubabZ0MNYMtzHpCFqjM1A

 

Welcome New Moon

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Catching up with friends and family in Essex after Christmas was lovely but saying goodbye to my children is never easy, especially as I had no routine to return to.

With firewood stacked in the lounge, my partner set off for a job in Oxford and left me home alone.

I’ve always found the final week of the waning moon a challenge. Though my mind is keen to ‘tie up loose ends’, complete started projects and have something to show for my endeavours, I’ve found it difficult to apply myself.

Edits are going well on the third Standing Stone book, The Gathering and I finished one short story which you can read here https://wendysteele.com/2016/01/06/short-story-scratching-the-surface/ and wrote, edited and polished two more which I’ve submitted for magazines but my energy levels were low and I could feel the tears close to the surface.

And then Tribal Unity Wales came to my rescue! A suggestion of an evening get together gave me something to look forward to and catching up was just what I needed. Inspired by my ladies, I set myself the challenge of completing the lime mortaring/rebuilding of the wall up the stairs.

The tiny window was a later, hasty addition and needed my attention. I mixed one bucket at a time (3:1 sand and lime), pretending to be a cement mixer for ten minutes until the consistency was right. The old earth mortar needs to be scraped out and loose stones removed ready to be reset. All the resident earth mortar needs to be wetted to give something for the new mortar to adhere to. DSC_0195DSC_0197After half an hour, I use a damp paintbrush to remove excess mortar and to give a slightly smoother finish. DSC_0198This side needed a lot more rebuilding, finding suitable stones to fill the gaps rather than just mortar. DSC_0199Two hours on Friday and four on Saturday got me this far…and then I fell off the planet.

I was so pleased with my achievements but with rain pounding the windows, seeping up through the hall floor and leaking through the roof, I despaired that my efforts were worthless and my plans to commune with the new moon seemed hopeless…so I lit candles around the lounge and danced.  I danced hard. Breathless and exhausted I sat in the middle of my circle with Rosie Rabbit and the goddess Isis spoke to me. I scribbled on my pad, tearful but excited and once I was calmer, I turned to my Tarot cards and the future looked brighter. DSC_0160

Taking small steps works for me. Yesterday I set myself lots of small challenges and completed them all, starting this new moon phase with a clean tidy room, notes and plans for the new term of dance and lots of story ideas.

Everyone is different but if you are looking for ways to live with depression or you want to bring happiness to your life every day, my non-fiction book may help. Love, light and new moon blessings xx

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=la_B007VZ1P06_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354202723&sr=1-5http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Woos-Year-Pocketful-ebook/dp/B00AAVPXVU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354202865&sr=1-3

Summer Solstice…the build up

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Since the new moon on Tuesday, life has gone from chaotic to manic…and I’m loving it!

Tuesday is always a busy dancing day, teaching a Beginners class at lunchtime and a Beyond Basics for two hours in the evening but this week, classes were buzzing and we’ve two more events in the pipeline where we’ve been asked to perform. The amazing thing is, we are not a performance group and most of my dancers have only been dancing for a year. Let me tell you our story…

Barefoot Festival 2014

Barefoot Festival 2014

I had been dancing with Tribal Unity for four years when we finally sold our house and prepared to set off for our new adventure in Wales. My wonderful ATS® Bellydance teacher, Deana Lawman, asked me if I would like to be Tribal Unity in Wales. I was overwhelmed and delighted to accept such an honour so from August 2013 to February 2014, from tent life, to caravan life to a house with no heating, I planned how to begin teaching ATS® Bellydance. I found a venue, advertised in the local free magazine, The Grapevine, and began teaching in March 2014.

First Tribal Unity Wales selfie

First Tribal Unity Wales selfie

I met the most wonderful bunch of ladies! I planned to talk to them about dancing at the Lampeter World of Dance Festival in October, just one dance to show everyone how much fun we have in class but they way laid my plan by asking if they could dance at the Cardigan Bellydance in August…and we did! 10603378_10202597850844530_906991781996694645_n Everyone had so much fun they wanted to perform again…and again and again! ATS® Bellydance allows you as the dancer to bring yourself to the group and before my eyes, a Tribal Unity family was born. From May 2014, my Mum’s dementia worsened and frequent trips to Essex were exhausting and painful but these wonderful women supported me throughout and we danced together, for each other. Indoors at the Cellan Beer Festival Dec 2014 to outdoors in the park at the eclipse in March, we have been there and danced.

11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_nWe’re now preparing for the Lampeter Food Festival on 25th July and the Cardigan Bellydance Festival on the 8th/9th August. We’re dancing at The LongWood Open Day on 6th September as well as two performances in October, also confirmed.

And we danced together to celebrate the Summer Solstice, welcoming back the Holly King as he takes over from the Oak King, bringing in the harvest and preparing the Land for the winter.10346537_1624424897816000_5432437501420269489_n

ATS® Bellydance is an inspirational dance form, combining influences from Egyptian bellydance, Kathak (classical Indian), Flamenco and African Tribal. This unique style of dance is lead by a leader who gives cues to her dancers so there is no choreography to be learned, just moves and cues. It’s hard work! Our bodies get into bad habits so muscle memory has to be created and that means repetition but when you have as much fun as we do, nobody seems to mind. For more information http://www.tribalunity.co.uk

Our house is coming on…we have a roof now! The new thatch is holding up well to the rain but we still need to finish the ends of the walls so they meet the roof so, we need clom…clay, sand, cow/horse poo and straw.

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But first, we need a man with a digger and he has been booked for Friday and Saturday, firstly to dig out our clay (we’ve removed the battered shed and agricultural asbestos sheeting that was in the way…don’t ask!), mix with the straw we have left from thatching and poo we will collect from friendly farmer on Thursday night and secondly, to dig us a meandering pathway down to our riverbank. Last year we cleared Bramble Avenue so we could walk from one end of the riverbank to the other and this new pathway will mean easy access for the barrow and mower and a clear area to start working out from to plant our new trees (ash doing well, beech still a bit wobbly) for coppicing.

As well as all this excitement, I’ve been writing the third book in the Standing Stone series The Gathering, while editing the second book Silence is Broken, getting it ready for publication on 2nd July and guess what arrived in the post this morning?

DSC_1413I love it when plans start to come together after months, even years, of hard work. Staying focussed on what I believe, trusting in myself and sharing warm heartedness helps with those difficult days. Solstice Blessings to all my friends around the world.

Spring, hope and the sun

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I left my house in murky fog. Up on the hill road, I turned a corner and the sun was in front of me. I saw the first nibble from the disc.

11041844_1585014265090397_2718004587334536536_oFrost on the grass greeted us as we set up to dance in the park. The sheep and lambs in the adjacent field skittered and baaed, unsettled by the eerie light. As we raised the energy in the circle, silence descended. Sheep and lambs stood immobile. Birds ceased their calls.

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13373_1585014318423725_528174782061120311_nBefore the sun and moon we danced. We danced for my beech tree and the worms rose from the earth. We danced for Tribal Unity, those present and those absent and the shadows lengthened. At 9.25am we danced for the sun, his glorious smile captured beneath the moon.

11082364_1585014298423727_8986934141949935446_oMy feet were muddy and numb but I feel blessed to have been present, surrounded by my sisters, at one of the best natural wonders on earth.

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Welcoming the sun, appreciating the turning of the wheel of nature, is dramatic for me this year. The changing seasons are more obvious in the countryside. The sun’s path across the sky dictates our work outdoors. Once it dips behind the hill in the east, we lose light rapidly and the chill descends. Through the winter, we struggled to fit in outdoor jobs between the hours of daylight and the changeable weather.

Since October, when we’d been in our house a year, as the days shortened, my confidence, resolve and hope began to wane. Losing my Mum in November added to the sombre mood I wrestled with. Looking forward to the return of the light and a roof for the house, got me out of bed every day.

Snowdrops lifted me. First, a few clumps on the grass verges made me smile and then, they carpeted my lawn and blazed down the grass banks through the lanes. The crocus became my purple flame of hope, pushing up through the grass before opening to the light of a watery sun.

The first tiny bleats in the field, a new young life, awakening to its first dawn turned up the burner on my flame but not until I welcomed the sun on Friday, did I feel that spring was truly here.

Bright Ostara Blessings xx

A Lifetime of Experience

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At the beginning of this year, I went under the needle for my first tattoo. Four years I had waited, making sure I chose wisely before embarking on this piece of permanent jewellery. I chose a triskele. For me it represents the three stages of womanhood, maiden, mother and crone so, it was appropriate to begin my journey in Wales as the sum of all of me and my lifetime of experience.

Wales 2014 020I didn’t enjoy the ‘maiden’ bit, to be honest. My childhood and early teens left me naive and vulnerable, insecure and bereft of confidence. My children became my passion and I was happy to lose myself in their lives, supporting them through their childhood while my personal relationships crashed and burned. Though I had always written, heartfelt poems for my eyes only and accounts of where I’d been, what I’d seen and how I felt about it, it wasn’t until I was forty and I attended a two day writing course about characterizarion, that I knew it was part of me, who I am. Around this time, I discovered dance and the two combined filled an enormous empty hole in my life.

For forty years I was living on this planet for other people. Whenever I gathered my strength, put myself forward and asked to be acknowledged, I was squashed, physically beaten and verbally abused. I tried to fit in, be the daughter, sister, friend, wife I was expected to be but wearing a mask every day while I sunk lower into depression left me exhausted and miserable.

Regrets are unnecessary baggage, while lessons learned make us the person we are today.  Pocketful of Smiles is a good indication of how far I’ve journeyed and how much I’ve learned about myself, my world and how I choose to interract with the people around me.  Having the benefit of experience makes me the person I am today, promoting my passions, dance and writing and living my life with respect for the earth and all that life upon it.

This person, the real me, attracts people to her that enhance her life, providing opportunities and ideas for the future. For example, the lovely Cwrtneydd Scribblers have welcomed me and we’re planning our table for the Christmas Fayre at Lampeter University and I’ve been invited by one of the Transition Lampeter organisers to have a table at a ‘Make It’ day, a day of creativity in the Victoria Hall, to sign and sell my books and talk about my writing. He suggested I might like to consider running workshops to help new writers.

And my first reaction to the writing group and ‘Make It’ day invites? I can’t do it. I’m not good enough. I don’t have enough experience. My second reaction recognises these are past doubts, worries and fears and sets the third thought into motion insisting, why not have a go? What’s the worst that can happen? If I go, I’ll meet new people and, if they don’t want to buy my books, they might like to join a dance class but if I don’t try and I don’t face my fears, I will never know and be the old me, living in fear again.

In March, I had my second tattoo, an eight pointed star, the symbol of Ishtar, goddess of love, war, fertility and sexuality. To me she represents womanhood and I’m proud to wear this symbol as myself, the earthly manifestation of the goddess and as part of the sisterhood of Tribal Unity.

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Don’t let your past life be a burden but an inspiration for what you can achieve today.  Surround yourself with people who inspire, love and respect you and live every moment with joy and excitement. Open your eyes to the beauty of the world, to positive people who want to make a difference and to the happiness that can be found in the simplest of tasks. Be a human ‘being’ and be your true self every day of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circle of Life

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The countryside around where I live is getting quieter. From March until July, the area is buzzing with life as new lambs and calves add their voices to the sheep, cows and birds. As the trees become one great verdant canopy, life below is vibrant. Tractors are in abundance pulling trailers and machinery. Four vehicles were needed to turn our field into hay and watching them in action is like front seats at the ballet. Not only do you get to watch the machines dancing, turning, crossing and twisting but you get to smell the grass and fresh turned hay is deliciously sweet…no wonder the new calves love it.

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Lamby (aka Ben) was born in the spring with his brother Jerry, to an older ewe who sadly died. My neighbour Liz was helping the farmer with lambing and offered to take on Ben and Jerry and I enjoyed helping bottle feed them, though I didn’t have to get up in the night to them as Liz did! Sadly Jerry, the seemingly more able and aware lamb, died leaving Lamby, partially sighted and with learning difficulties.  Wales 2014 084 Flibbertigibbet (aka Jibby), a little white female cat, became a full time member of our family, moving on from the house Mike, my partner, built her in the porch. Once the wood burners were installed at the end of January 2014, Jibby decided to stay and made the most of the warmth of the house and it’s occupants. Wales 2014 079 Other new things started for me in the spring, teaching ATS® Belly Dance from the beginning of March and publishing Wrath of Angels at the beginning of June. Tribal Unity Wales is now flourishing in Lampeter and my students have already performed at the Cardigan Belly Dance Festival. It’s been a joy to teach them and I’m so lucky having the opportunity to make friends with such a lovely group of ladies. 10603378_10202597850844530_906991781996694645_n

My New Moon Book Promotion went well for Wrath of Angels and I’m in the process of finishing a novella, The Standing Stone – Home for Christmas which I hope to have available by November 2014. Wales to 21st June 2014 013

But as the evenings grow cooler and the mornings greyer, our little corner of countryside doesn’t bustle any more. Indoors, jam and preserves are being made in kitchens and vegetables are being bagged for the freezer, but outside it is quiet as most of the lambs are no longer grazing. It makes me sad, as a vegetarian, but the only reason the lambs are on the hillside is because of the demand for sweet, tender lamb for Sunday lunch. I’ve witnessed first hand how hard the farmers work looking after the sheep and how much they care but I can’t help my stomach flipping when the sheep trailers drive by.

And as the summer nears it’s end, we have lost a member of our own family as Olly, brother to Tiggy was helped to the Summerlands by the vet at our house on Saturday. Olly was the perfect cat. Found in a box with Tiggy and another kitten, who had sadly died, at just three weeks old, the kittens had had acid dropped in their eyes and on their paws so Olly was blind in his right eye. He loved his new home in the countryside and I shall always remember, when we were tent living, the first time Olly ran the full length of the field. His body at full stretch, he bounded like a leopard through the grass. Before he became unwell, he and Rowan our black tom cat, would roam the area together. I buried Olly in our field, next to the plum tree we planted in memory of my dad. Every day I carry stones to the field, building a cairn to keep him safe.

As the wheel turns and autumn comes into view, the circle of life continues.

Olly, Tiggy and Rowan camping

Olly, Tiggy and Rowan camping

Olly being king of the castle, Oct 2013, the day we moved into the house

Olly being king of the castle, Oct 2013, the day we moved into the house

Olly being Olly

Olly being Olly

Loved, missed and always in our hearts

Loved, missed and always in our hearts