Magical Music ~ The Pagan Scene

Hello Folks! Welcome to the music page… where I will do my best to share with you some snippets on the Pagan music scene, who’s out there and what’s happening. Please bear with me while I familiarise myself with the blog and how to work it… I’m sure it’ll work out as I go along!

Morrigans Path

First up, I’d like to introduce my own band to you ...
We’re a five-piece band of musicians from deepest, darkest Essex and we’ve been together for three years. Our music is probably best defined as contemporary folk if you want to be formal or groovy folk if you don’t. Either way, it’s earthy and melodic, with fluctuating rhythms and soulful lyrics.
I write the songs mainly and play percussion and whistle, accompanied by my husband Ian on acoustic guitar, Jim on the bass, Mark on the djembe and mandolin and Lyz with drums/ percussion/guitar and backing vocals.

We launched our first album, Call to Avalon, in 2014 at Glastonbury and have continued to play at various music festivals and Pagan events since. All the while we’ve continued to write new material, record it and are having great fun with a bit of filming too. Our drummer Mark, as well as engineering and recording the sound for the Morrigans is a keen photogragher and has produced some great videos recently…of which, fingers crossed I will include in this post!

The Crossing of Paths

We’ve put on a couple of our own gigs too which have been great fun to do… One was a book launch party last December at the Blue Boar in Maldon and the most recent – a fundraising gig for a 7th century Celtic Chapel in Bradwell where Ian and I live.
It was a completely magical evening (a couple of weeks ago) where a few months beforehand we’d filmed a video for a new song – Not a Dream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DgGXLh7lG0
The chapel, built on the remains of an old Roman fort, sits just behind the beach, surrounded by land, sea and sky. I visit it most days with my dog Lola and it’s a great source of inspiration for my songs as well as food for the soul on every level. It’s my spiritual home, so you can imagine how excited I was to be playing in there with the band.

When I first approached the chaplain of the Chapel last year about the gig, she was very receptive to the idea. We were raising money for the roof remember… But we chatted over a cuppa and she said how she wanted to ‘see where our paths crossed’ as she was ‘sure they did’. Although I’ve experienced my fair share of negative attitude towards my craft and spiritual beliefs throughout my life, I said that if only we could focus on similarities instead of differences on a subject so many find insanely precious – then things would change. Yes, she said, they would…
So we found some common ground. I was not the wicked witch and she was not the bible basher – variations on the theme probably lay somewhere in between but it didn’t matter. Connection is key to good communication don’t you think?
Relationships depend on it.

So anyway, the chaplain went away on holiday (for months) and I was handed over to the church warden to liase with about the event which, to my delight, had been agreed. He was a lovely chap and enjoyed telling me about the history of the place, refering to it as a Saxon Chapel, pre-Celtic you know. Well, I didn’t know but I do now, thanks to him. You never stop learning!
David offered to print tickets, posters and flyers and arrange ‘refreshments at half time’ with a local lady from the next village… I was most impressed and greatly relieved as promoting any event is hard enough but when you are performing too – is a lot of work. Having someone to help me out with those things really made a difference, especially on the night.

I was nervous. We were playing in a stone building where the acoustics were amazing and it would have been idyllic to play completely acoustically but Jim was bringing his amp – as the bass needs to be heard – and if we didn’t sort out some extra sound I was going to drown under the instruments! I needn’t have worried as between them the guys worked it out. With no electrics, we relied on a battery operated mixer and candles for lighting. Perfect.

The evening was a success.
We sold all the tickets, raised £820 for the roof and got to play to all our friends in a sacred place, full of history and magic. For me, it was extra special as it’s the birthplace for a lot of my lyrics and I couldn’t imagine getting through it at first, without turning into a puddle. But I did and thoroughly enjoyed it.We played two sets, one of the first album and one of the very nearly finished second. Some of the newer songs we’d never gigged before…and one of those , Mark managed to capture on film.
Draw Her Down is a song I felt inspired to write from a Healing ceremony I did last year on the beach outside Bradwell’s nuclear power station. It was under a full moon with the battle queens and every guardian you could think of in attendance…On a night that meant so much, to birth that song was an amazing result. Hopefully it will work its magic every time its played. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rij4gUlLd8M

This weekend, we are playing at the Faerie Festival in Sussex (Sun 22nd) and I’m excited about that, singing with the band is a great way to get out more! There’s lots of other music on so I will be on the look out for who I can nab for an interview and a few pics…and hopefully I’ll have something interesting to report back to you shortly.

Until then, take it easy folks and if you are partial to some magical music…have a listen to Morrigans Path and enjoy!

Magical Musical Blessings,

                                             Sheena )O(

For more info about what else I do: http:// www.sheenacundy.com
http://www.witch-lit.blogspot.com
…and the band: https://www.facebook.com/morriganspath/

 

 

 

Jacqui Lovesey – Artist and Illustrator

Our featured artist this month is Jacqui Lovesey, whose work features witches (of all sizes), magical hares and an enchanting, animistic sort of reality

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Happy sun-turns! A beautiful new addition to the family…..:) # family

A photo posted by Jacqui Lovesey (@jacquilovesey) on

I have been working as a self-employed artist for the last thirty years in many different media.  I am not ‘formally’ trained, but have drawn and painted for as far back as I can remember, starting as a child, keenly sketching birds, animals, flowers and insects… My father was passionate on nature and instilled in me that same  lifelong love of the natural world from an early age.  However, having been brought up on a 1970s estate, I also longed to grow up, leave home and find somewhere in the contemplative quiet of the countryside in which to live and work.

And so my travels began…leading quite a gypsy life, moving many times but always finding each place had something new and inspiring to offer, an excitement I was keen to pass down to the younger members of the family.

But that’s not to say that it’s all been idyllic! Working as an artist has its ups and downs, mostly the making-ends-meet part, the main, familiar problem for most self-employed creative folk!  However, for me, the ‘ups’ easily outweigh the ‘downs’. Most importantly, you’re more or less continual master of your own destiny – who knows what amazing project or idea is just around the corner?

Then there’s the ‘motivation’ question I’m often asked – where do I get if from? I always reply bills are a pretty-good motivator – and that there are never enough hours in the day!

At present I am illustrating the Matlock the Hare trilogy of books with my husband Phil, a writer.  It’s been a four-year project of blind faith and dedication, only made possible with the support and loyalty of our many ‘Saztaculous Matlock folk’ who keep us going by buying the artwork, supporting our kickstarter projects and providing endless valuable enthusiasm and encouragement.  The books feature a green-robed majickal-hare who lives high in the Derbyshire Peaks, and have been a joy to illustrate, as I can create the images totally from my imagination – always fun!  Phil and I work well together, neither of us getting in the way of the other, as we have own roles within it. Besides, I’m dyslexic, and he can barely hold a paintbrush without breaking it, so it’s probably better we stick to our own skills!

With two feature-length novels in the trilogy already published, and the third and final instalment due out in October this year, it will soon will be time to put down the brush and go out blinking into the light with our  ‘baby’  and say to the world, “Hey! Look what we’ve done. Now you can all share this too!”  As an artist this is always the hardest part, as we’re almost always happiest creating, not promoting, and this awkward transitional time leaves you wanting to pid-pad in the other direction entirely. However, it’s  a vitally important part of the process and putting on a coat of creative armour to face any critics and naysayers is a given. However, at the end of the even’up you can always go to bed knowing that, if nothing else, your brush and pen are already waiting for you to take them up again all too soon!

Who knows what’s next? That’s always the most exciting part!

Happy hoppy Easter all!!!🐇🐣🐇 #easter #eastersunday #hare #art

A photo posted by Jacqui Lovesey (@jacquilovesey) on

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You can see more of Jacqui’s work and discover more about the ‘saztaculous’ world of Matlock the Hare at www.matlockthehare.com

Or, please follow her Instagram account for latest progress on her current artworks, exhibitions and forthcoming publication days at

https://www.instagram.com/jacquilovesey/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & UNDER CONSTRUCTION

We are waking The Pagan & the Pen up. New ideas and exciting things are on the horizon. Until then, though, please ignore the mess. We will be taking some time to do some much needed Spring Cleaning and Changes.


Kick off date is June 1, 2016. Don’t miss out on what’s coming.


New Twitter !!!!! Part of the old account? No worries! Just pop on over to the new. Link is listed in the tabs above!


New Facebook Page! Check the tab above for link!


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Cosmic Dancer reviews the Druids

A Legacy of Druids, by Ellen Evert Hopman

A fascinating book that will lead to discussions, a lot of the posts by Druids I don’t agree with (as a Druid myself), but is that not the point of this type of book? To read it and then discuss the points with other readers? I did struggle with the American contributors as I struggled getting to grips with making it more of an organised religion with people being ordained and such but that’s my opinion. I think this is a book that if discussed at local moots would lead to a good night of debate and conversation. A book well worth a read even if it’s just to see if what the contributors were hoping for years ago has come to pass(and some have).All in all I enjoyed it and whether I agree with the pieces or not I respect all those that contributed to it. I do recommend it.

 

Spirituality without Structure, By Nimue Brown

Even though it is only a small book, it contains such a wealth of information and insight that it makes you question yourself, which as a Druid is always a good thing. When you question your belief you stop taking it for granted. I also found myself agreeing with a lot of the content and finding that my belief is not a million miles away from hers.
If you are thinking of leaving the mainstream religions or have left and are in a bit of a panic then this book is for you (it also mentions cake).

 

 

Let’s Talk About Elements and the Pagan Wheel, by Siusaidh Ceanadach

It is mainly aimed at children , but I do feel that adults will enjoy it just as much. Each section has some questions and challenges set for children. A must read for all children, who wish to learn more, I’m sure they will come back to it time and time again.

 

 

 

The Handbook of Urban Druidry, by Brendan Howlin

As an Urban Druid myself I can agree with most of the things that he says in this book. For some Druids the thought of doing “Druidry” in an urban environment can be a bit hard to get their head round, as most are more used to a forest or woodland setting, but this book helps you come to terms and find a way to be a Druid no matter where you are. Lessons and observations are laid out very well and it is not a complicated book that you could get lost in. I did find it useful and it was good to know that another feels the same way about the cityscapes as I do. All in all a good read for those just starting on this path or maybe just want to look at their town and live in the same environment as the author.

 

Get out of my uterus! Fighting for women’s rights

This is the battle cry for women all over the United States that are fighting the invasion on their personal privacy. The right to choose contraception is something that shouldn’t be in the hands of the government or religious groups. In fact, as I as am writing this I thought maybe I was talking about Iran, not the United States.

From political candidates to committees made up of all men, the decision to use contraception is being forced out of women’s hands. Why?

I can’t help thinking that there is a more sinister motive behind this attack on women’s rights. Am I crazy or paranoid? Perhaps. But when I think of how much lives changed after the women’s rights movement, I wonder if there are some people that would like to go back to the time when women remained in the home to clean, cook and make and care for babies. Maybe there are some people that think women are taking over jobs that could go to men. Or maybe there are some people that don’t like the idea of women in the military.

Take away contraception and guess what happens—women end up pregnant. Pregnancy could delay a woman going off to college or taking that promotion at work. And yet, these same people make sure that men can get free supplies of Viagra. With all those erections walking around and no contraception, we are in for a population surge unless we can all learn to master the pull out method.

Impinging on women’s rights probably won’t stop with contraception. What rights will be taken away next? Will women lose the right to dress as they please? Will they be told when and how to have sex? If you still don’t think this is an important issue, read this quote from a 2006 interview with Rick Santorum where he talks about his opposition to contraception:

“It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” he said. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also, but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.”

Maybe I’m not so paranoid after all. Do we really want the government taking away contraception and telling us how a sexual union should happen?

Please, get the hell out of my uterus!

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating…Sensual…Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

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A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…

All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Child beauty pageants—Do they sexualize young girls?

I came across an article about child beauty pageants that kind of shocked me. I never really gave this much thought before and never watched the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras. From what I read and the pictures I saw, these young girls parade around in revealing outfits, wear tons of makeup and act in what I thought looked like suggestive behavior—winking to try and get votes.

These little girls look and act like Barbie dolls. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around this and there are many people that oppose these pageants. Some think that child beauty pageants attract pedophiles and teach young girls that all that matters is physical beauty. I can’t help thinking of Jon Bonet Ramsey, the little beauty contestant murdered by an unknown person, possibly because of the way she looked and dressed competing in beauty contests.

The description of Toddlers and Tiaras sums it up: This funny and sometimes startling reality series takes viewers behind the scenes of the shockingly competitive world of child beauty pageants, presenting a warts-and-all portrait of the wee contestants (wearing makeup, spray tans and fake hair!) as well as their fanatically driven parents.

Is this a healthy environment for impressionable girls? Personally, I wouldn’t do this with a daughter. Maybe I have a different view on this because I didn’t grow up wishing I were a princess waiting for a prince to save me. I made sure I could take care of myself. I can’t help thinking that once these girls grow up and they lose their cuteness, they will have a hard time getting along in the world.

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating…Sensual…Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

AS_HeckartKelley_Cat's Curse_EB_Final_print coverAS_HeckartKelley_BeltainesSong_EB_FinalAS_HeckartKelley_WintersRequiem_EB_Final-189x298

A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…

All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.

Killing wolves again

I thought the country was on the right track in the mid-1990s when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves in Yellowstone and central Idaho. Finally, the wolf had returned from extinction. But in April of 2011 Congress removed wolves in Montana and Idaho from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. It didn’t take long for hunters to start killing wolves.

Personally, this is heartbreaking for me to see a beautiful, intelligent animal murdered for no good reason other than for the enjoyment of killing. The opposition to wolves has made false claims like wolves carry a tapeworm that can be transmitted to dogs and humans or that the Canadian wolves that were brought in are a different species and will kill elk, deer, livestock, even humans, for sport. I have never heard of a human killed by a wolf except for in fables. Wolves are elusive creatures and prefer to stay away from humans. They will normally run from people.

Wolves have been painted as demons and witches in myths, fables and in books like Cotton Mather’s On Witchcraft. What I don’t understand is why. It might be because wolves killed some livestock and competed with humans for food, but I can’t see that happening today. The ranchers complaining about wolves attacking their livestock ranch on federal land. Big game hunters don’t want wolves reducing the big game population. Boo hoo. I don’t feel sorry for hunters that hunt for sport. Find another hobby that doesn’t involve killing something just for fun.

If anyone has any doubts about wolves and how they live, I suggest visiting the Sawtooth Wolf Pack website, Living with Wolves, and watching the videos on the Sawtooth Wolf Pack on youtube. See how wonderful these animals live, how they are loving, loyal and intelligent, far from the vicious beasts they are portrayed as by those that oppose wolves. After having wolves welcomed back from extinction only to see them vilified and killed off again, is tragic. We have truly de-evolved as humans.

Note: I want to dedicate this post to my Grandma Betty who passed away recently. She shared my love of wolves.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating…Sensual…Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

the enchanted meadow book cover_final

http://kelleyheckart.com/TheEnchantedMeadow.html

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http://kelleyheckart.com/BookShelf.html

Eclectic Articles Written by Pagans for All.

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