Porcellanite And Prey

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This unassuming little green stone with delicate black etchings has a lovely tactile smoothness to it, so it is no surprise to learn that it is a wonderful cleanser and healer for connective tissues, ligaments, skin and intestines, mirroring everybody’s (well mine at least) wish for smooth and perfect skin, well-oiled tendons and a stomach that behaves itself.

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Perfectly smooth and soft Princess paws… 

Porcellanite feels smooth and serene to hold, the calm green colour giving strength and focus to your thoughts and feelings and how you wish to express them. The little black etchings within the stone act as markers and signposts of encouragement, inspiring and creative.

Speaking of creative… I know cats are inveterate hunters and killers of prey – it’s part of their genetic history and instinctual makeup, but Charlie, Ting and Tooty don’t hunt. Never have done, and I can’t see them starting anytime soon, although Charlie has, once or twice, presented me with a dead moth, and once a tiny live mouse, that I think she thought she could keep as a pet.

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Tooty’s more of a tree-hugger really… 

Like Ting and Tooty, who also lost their mother at an early age, perhaps they missed that essential part of their feline education, and their hunting instinct just wasn’t switched on. They are all keen birdwatchers, though, and Ting seems to have formed quite a close relationship with the fish.

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“Hi Bert, hi George, hi Alfie, hi Maureen, hi Hilda, hi Nemo… “

Not so Lily. Indeed, I’ve never known such a cat for hunting and bringing her prey home. She excelled herself the other morning… I am accustomed to the usual mice – two different species, sometimes live, sometimes dead, sometimes whole, sometimes… not – and the occasional bird… but the other morning…

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Butter wouldn’t… even dare go near her!

I heard her special “meow” and realising that she’d brought a gift in, leapt out of bed and rushed downstairs to take part in our shared hobby of early-morning mousehunt. (I’m actually quite good now.)

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Yep…o.k….I’ll leave you alone…

Lily had vanished. But on the doormat was a very large, very dead rat. You can colour me surprised, impressed, a little scared and rather sad… kind of brownish-purple, like an old bruise, I suppose…

I’ve had rats as pets, and know what gentle and loving creatures they can be, so I gathered up the body and disposed of it in the wild part of the garden, in a little hole. I say little…it was a very large rat, so when the Demon Huntress returned later that morning, I seized her and checked for injuries.

I did, out of courtesy, thank her for the rat, but mentioned I would prefer it not to happen again, only to receive the reply:

But why? You tell us it’s always better to buy in bulk when it comes to cat food!”

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And … Sleep!

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The night started reasonably enough, my mind filled with pleasant images of how to look after your roses, and the modern twist on cottage gardens, thanks to the lovely Monty Don and an hour of “Gardener’s World.”

I cleaned my teeth, spilled the cat water, and got into bed, the sheets freshly changed and smelling of lavender, the room pleasantly cool and dark and I dropped off into a peaceful slumber, for all of about three hours…

Then it started.

My partner came to bed, disturbing Charlie who demonstrated her displeasure by vomiting copiously under the bed. So, I got up and cleaned it up, grovelling about on my hands and knees at 3.30a.m. trying not to retch myself as you really don’t want to be dealing with catsick at that time of morning.

Meanwhile, my partner had got himself tucked into bed, wrinkling the sheets on my side and was snoring merrily away. After about half an hour of sighing heavily and thumping my legs about I lost patience and whisper-shouted: “STOP SNORING!!”

Still asleep, he rolled over and there was blissful silence.

Then I got the phantom itches. Have you ever had those? A dreadful, creeping sensation that leaves you convinced that there is some sort of bug in the bed with you… a crawling, that started in my hair, down my ribcage and finished at my left shin, leaving me itchy and so absolutely certain I had a horde of spiderlings in my pyjamas that I had to get out of bed and go to the bathroom to check that my flowery (not glittery) pyjamas were not actually infested with some kind of alien mite.

They weren’t.

Back to bed. My pyjamas then decided to act like a strait jacket, the top wrapping itself uncomfortably tightly around my chest, while the bottoms rolled up in such an engaging and amusing fashion they ended up as tourniquets around the tops of my thighs.

I gave up and got up, just as dawn’s tender fingers were painting the sky delicate shades of blush pink and apricot. Drawn irresistibly outside I sat down in the garden swing, watching the moths conclude the night’s partying chased by bats – “Come back! I didn’t get your number! Are you on NatureBook…?”

Soothed by the scent of petunias and the gentle trickle of the pond waterfall… I fell asleep.

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Ruin

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And so I find myself walking an unknown yet strangely familiar path – all around me there is a rustling and a fluttering of little birds in the trees and bushes, almost as if they are signposting the way, guiding me.

Along the little lane, surrounded either side by old trees, old country trees, oak, beech, ash and the witch’s own rowan, leaning over me. Along the verges, cow parsley, delicate and as frothily white as vintage lace, ramsons, smelling sharply of garlic and long lush grass, encourages me onwards; my feet responding to some old memory that leads me to an old wooden stile, battered but still sturdy enough for me to cross out of the cool green darkness and into the field beyond.

And somehow what I half-expected wasn’t there. I pick my way across the rough tussocky grass. And as if in a dream, I see it; I am approaching the back of the house, rising in red brick splendour, through the gardens, (the rough remnants, the herbs, the rosemary, the lavender, crushing under my feet and releasing their evocative fragrance) immaculately kept within neat boundaries of shaped box.

I am come home!” and this thought gladdens my heart as I make my way down the old stone steps, old even then, feet wearing away grooves and leaving echoes of lives gone by, and into the kitchen.

Cook’s let the fire go out!”

And feeling the bustling dogs, crowding about my knees, my hounds and her little dogs, my father’s wolfhound – I put my hand out, down by my side and half -expect to feel the soft smooth domed head of my favourite Talbot beneath my touch – heart wrenchingly disappointed yet somehow not surprised when she’s no longer there.

More stairs and into the hallway – grass underfoot now, crunching and dry – and with every hesitant step taken the picture is clearer, dark oak floorboards, rich paintings on the walls, a highly polished side table loaded with fresh flowers – she insisted upon fresh flowers for the house always – and linen fold panelling, gleaming with beeswax hiding the oubliette from long ago – but not now.

The curlicue of banister and wide stairs and a memory of small white hands – how proud she was of their dainty appearance, lavishly beringed, small yet strong enough to wring a dove’s neck, poised prettily on the turn of the carved finial. And a memory came then, of the last day, my father’s voice raised in anger, her mocking laughter – the blood and the pain.

It’s gone.

I open my eyes to the present day and find I am sitting on a heap of old red bricks, worn and unnoticeable amongst the tough old grass. The sun beats down, burning bright from the cloudless blue sky. Somewhere above me I hear swifts screaming and the clear bubbling song of a lonely lark. I put my hands to my face to wipe away the tears that suddenly, inexplicably are flooding my eyes.

Crystals, Community – And Cats, Of Course!

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My CrystalCats community is growing!

Sometimes when I’m talking to someone about crystals I’m asked “Do any of them not work well together, or cancel each other out?” A good, relevant question which I always try to answer honestly, on the basis of my own personal experience if necessary.

The whole range of crystals with which we have been blessed by Mother Earth can be directed to help with a particular ailment or emotion – rather like asking a plumber to fix a burst pipe and a counsellor for relationship advice. Everybody has their allotted role to fill within the community, providing cohesion, continuity and a sense of belonging.

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Ting and Lily… sweetly sleeping!

This is how I’ve found it works with crystals. For example, although Indigo Gabbro (also known as Mystic Merlinite) is a beautiful crystal with its sheen of Pyrite, it does make me over-emotional (no surprises there… just as long as it doesn’t give me flu…) so it needs to be balanced with some sort of Jasper, possibly red, for its grounding and clarifying properties. And also, one of my stock replies is that when choosing a crystal to work for you, there is no right or wrong – it is completely a matter of personal taste, trying the various crystals and their properties out.

Obviously as anyone with a little bit of crystal knowledge can give you basic guidelines – a crystal starter kit if you will – like Citrine for happiness and good fortune, Amethyst to ward off negativity and clear Quartz to amplify and enhance… but it is only through experimentation and experience as you build your own little crystal family that you find out what suits you best.

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Sister Scrap!

You learn to read your own body’s energies and feel what you need. If I am feeling anxious then I reach for the comfort of Smoky Quartz or Black Tourmaline. Rose Quartz – even though I don’t always carry my first original piece – is generally on me in jewellery, or in my handbag. I seem to be drawn to the green or clear crystals mostly, with the occasional pink or sparkly one thrown in because – well, just because.

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Old Faithful – Lotus Jasper

They provide balance, support and comfort – a sense of wholeness and unity, not unlike the whole ethos of the LizianEvents community. Alex and I have known Liz and Ian, the people behind this community for quite a few years now, but it is only really recently that I have become aware of and really understood the concept of “Celebrate Life – Become A Well Being”, the community manifesto if you like.

Liz and Ian’s carefully planned and thoughtfully publicised events are a pleasure to attend. The exhibitors have little crossover in their products, be it crystals, essential oils, reiki therapists or psychics, a logical decision designed to benefit and balance everyone. The talks and workshops are interesting and informative – I could go on and on, really, but please do go and have a look at LizianEvents News. I may sound biased but what never ceases to please me is the reality of the growing community, a wonderful network for the 21st century of people who want to explore alternative ways to improve both physical and mental health. Welcoming and friendly – if you’re ever in the area when a show is on I would recommend visiting.

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Tooty … getting in touch with her inner panther

I promised cats… didn’t I… and although cats and community are two words you don’t really associate with one another, living in a multi-cat household I see it in action every day. Ting doesn’t like Tinkerbell, our nearest neighbour cat, and will chase her unmercifully yet she flirts outrageously with the ugly black tom from across the park. Big Ears from the house opposite is allowed to come as far as the garden gate – but no further, if Charlie is on duty. All of these cats, however, will unite against the weird looking ginger cat that’s just moved in further up the street.

So even though all these cats – my girls included – are very different personalities, they all have their own little role to fill within the cat community of our street. And as I get older, I realise the importance of community and beyond that – friendship.

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Charlie says: “Celebrate Life – Become A Well Being!”

Maiden, Man, Death.

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She walked with grace in her step and the scent of summer in her hair. As she moved, the folds of her dress shimmered with the rainbows of rivers and moths and butterflies fluttered from it as she flowed along Mother Earth’s ways.

Trees leaned confidingly towards her and she touched them as she passed, with love and care so they blossomed. All the golds of this good earth glowed in her hair, buttercups and daffodils, ripe barley and goldfinches.

When she lay down to rest, the trees and grass enfolded her lovingly, protectively and wild deer showed their trust by lying down beside her. Every morning when she awoke she gave thanks to the Universe and Mother Earth for their gifts and generosity and as she sang her gratitude the little birds stopped to listen.

Her eyes were the clear blue of a summer sky, filled with gentle warmth for every living creature; no snake or spider or scorpion held fear for her as they were all Mother Earth’s children.

Indeed, scorpions curled their tails away to avoid stinging her delicate bare feet and snakes curled themselves in her hair and around her wrists, living coils of iridescent jewellery. The spiders spun silk to mend her dress and as she danced the soft breezes were her partner. Tiny white flowers grew in her wake as she walked.

He stunk. Chemically bad, industrially corrupted. He smiled and fawned, ingratiating, yet grubby in mind and spirit. He strode through life with every appearance of confidence and intelligence; yet inside, cancerous doubt and invasive fear lived.

He searched. He looked for something to fill the dark void inside him – he who had seen Hell sought to bring others to him and his understanding, baiting traps with soft words and gifts, anything to catch an offering for the gnawing hunger inside him.

Others slid uneasy from the clawing need, sensing with ancient animal instinct the corrosive burn of his interest. He dressed with care yet somehow always appeared slightly dirty round the edges, fingers stained and sulphurous, fingernails rimmed with grime that reflected his most secret desires.

Assuming familiarity with those around him gave him the courage. The darkness grew. And then he saw her and the fire burned higher and brighter till it threatened to consume him completely and he knew that only one thing could quench it.

She smelt him before she saw him. The dark smoke of his spirit invaded her senses, yet with her belief in the ultimate goodness of every living being, she turned to face him.

He smiled, invitingly, and on his breath she smelled her death. Fear rose in her throat and she turned to run, to fly, to seek refuge among kindness and understanding. He followed. He crept along behind her on slug-soft feet and she felt every step, his starving eyes on her back like poisoned knives, and the want, the terrible Want.

The darkness struck and took her down – gently, oh so gently, he reached out and clasped her throat, rejoicing as he felt the frantic pulse fluttering like a little bird.

And then he crushed it.

Ground out the beat in her throat like a miserly hand-rolled cigarette. She gasped and struggled as his stench overwhelmed her, but the Goddess was kind and she passed quickly, her life spark ascending as swiftly as a little bird, leaving behind only a faint sweet smell, like incense, and a tiny white flower..

Him? Mother Earth took him, for killing one of hers, drawing him painfully through a narrow chasm in the ground, cracking bones and squeezing flesh till all that was left was a yellow puddle, smelling faintly of urine and nicotine.

Father Sun came out and shone, burning, until even that was gone. And the Earth was cleansed.

Laryngitis. What Fun.

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I must apologise for my recent absence – for most of last month a scrubbing brush decided to take up residence in my throat. I know … I seem to have done nothing but whine about being ill lately, but I hate it.

Laryngitis has proved particularly disadvantageous – it’s the first time I’ve ever had it and to be honest, I don’t want it again. Ever. A couple of weeks ago I was helping out at Lizian’s and my voice gave out completely… crystals are the sort of thing you just have to talk about, so I spent most of my time hooting and wheezing and croaking like a demented hybrid of a frog and an owl. Finally I resorted to whispering, leaning forward confidingly to murmur crystal secrets into listening ears… and slightly puzzled faces.

I became a competent mime artist… pointing to relevant parts in the crystal guide books with a broad smile and happy gestures…all the time feeling slightly sick as I consumed yet another variety of antibiotic with chasers of honey and lemon.

I had an annoying ‘phone call with my mother, who is slightly deaf but won’t admit it:

Samantha – what do you want for tea?”

Huw – hee – wah!

What? Stop being stupid! You’ll have to tell me if you want something to eat!”

Eventually I hung up and just texted her.

The dogs thought I was imitating a squeaky toy for their amusement, leaping on me…

The girls, well, they were surprisingly sympathetic… unless they just appreciated my enforced silence…

My doctor – as you might expect, I’ve seen quite a lot of him recently – looked somewhat surprised when I hooted softly into his ear about my scratchy throat and lost vocal ability, but duly diagnosed laryngitis and handed over a prescription for some more antibiotics.

I collected them from the chemist and was somewhat taken aback at the size of them… and the shape.

Currently, my voice is still fading in and out like a badly tuned radio, but I do feel slightly less drained. Bear with me, friends, and I will catch up… unless I get plague in the meantime!

Mice And A Slice?

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Alex bought me this wonderful piece of Merlinite (as featured in the main picture) when he and his partner recently went to Bristol for the weekend, a possible location for them after university.

Now, I must say I’ve never actually been to Bristol but it sounds a lovely city, bustling and vibrant, right on the River Avon and just over the way from Wales. Alex found some amazing crystal shops and of course just had to go and investigate…

I’ve written about Merlinite before – it has a strong connection with travel and Wales, both physically and spiritually, as it can take you back to Arthurian times. It is actually part of the dendritic (to do with trees) Agate family – see the tree like pattern within the slice – and as such has a strong connection with elemental Nature and Mother Earth.

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This piece has a wonderfully soft and subtle feel to it, like fine porcelain, and the patterns within provide a great path for meditation and mind walks… it opens your mind to the spiritual and allows you to witness the dark magic of Dawn times here in our world so you can bring it into a balanced co-existence with your own current physical and spiritual life.

It can summon and manifest good luck and intentions… although I wasn’t aware I had put the intention out in the Universe that I required mice. One day, a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly rough, I got up at about 5 o’clock in the morning and went downstairs for tea, painkillers, antibiotics etc…

As I was sitting blearily clutching my tea, wheezing and snorting, Lily shouldered her way through the catflap meowing in that strangely mouth-full “Look what I’ve got” way that announces she’s caught something.

My reaction times were a little slower than usual as she made it to the front room. I sat up, slopped my tea down, seized Lily by the scruff of the neck and administered the “cough it up” tap to the back of her head.

Obligingly she spat a soggy mouse out at my feet. It glared at me, plainly not pleased to be seized by the Demon Huntress and dragged away from his mousely business –

“’Ere do you mind – I’ve got customers waiting!”

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Location location location… 

In one smooth movement I leant forward, pushed Lily away and scooped him up in my hands. Slight problem, I needed both hands to unlock the kitchen door, so I dropped the mouse into a cup and clapped my hand over the top of it.

I opened the kitchen door and ran out into the garden with my cup-a-mouse… Lily followed me. Ting was already outside –

Mum! Mum! Whatcha got? Ooh we’re running are we?!”

Tooty emerged from the hedge:

Oh no! What have I missed?”

Then of course Charlie, who’d been having a private moment in the front garden came to participate in my impromptu procession….

Morning prayers! Great idea – I’ll just follow along…”

So. There I am, running round the garden in my glittery pyjamas (yes, I have glittery pyjamas – they seemed like a good idea at the time) and fluffy pink dressing gown flapping behind me like wings, hands upraised with an offertory of rodent, coughing and roaring as the sun is gently rising over my garden, chased by four cats.

Just another day…. Nothing special. Really.

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