Being your True Self – Welcome To StyleLikeU

 

SLU

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.

Kurt Cobain

I have been following the StyleLikeU Youtube channel for a while now. It is packed full of wonderful interviews with people living their lives creatively. It is run by a mother-daughter team whose primary focus is to empower people to accept and express their true selves. The whole idea of this has inspired me to share this project with you. I am yet to purchase it but they have just released, what looks like a gorgeous book packed full of amazing people –expect a review of that soon.

Over the years I have realised that fashion is only fashion if you follow. Your personal style isn’t fashion. It is an extension of your soul; if you ripped out my guts right now it would be dressed in black fringe, glitter and a demon leather jacket. I am just projecting what I feel inside. I am not dressing to impress, I am not showing off my wealth nor am I pretending to be someone else just to fit in. This is why I enjoy the videos so much, these people are unapologetically themselves and they tell us why. StylelikeU dissects the artist, the person, the bohemian in a way that only leads to self-acceptance.

My favourite video is of Stav Bee,  a performance artist and DJ based in London. She has a fierce demeanor that is so inspiring, I see a lot of myself in her especially when it comes to letting people into her life, formulas, being different and facing death.

“There’s no formula to love, no formula to be a human being, no formula to be a worker, and there’s no formula to how to live.”

I am going to share the video with you and hope you look through their other videos to inspire that soul to come on out and enjoy itself through the world of creativity.

An Interview with WytchenWood

Rowan Cross

Let me introduce you to some very special people. WytchenWood –  cunning-folk based on the Welsh borders who provide witchcraft supplies in the form of talismans, herbal charms, runes and much more. Every piece is handmade with their local ingredients. I was very lucky to be able to ask them a few questions about their work and what magic means to them.


You describe yourselves as English traditional witchcraft cunning-folk – what does this mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your everyday lives?

To us it means the continuation of traditional ways; traditional ways of working magic, of seeing our environment and landscape, of being a part of it as our families have traditionally been for generations.  Of remembering and continuing to tell the stories, legends and folklore of the land we are a part of, the knowledge of where to find certain flora and fauna and the stories that have built up over time concerning the areas in which they grow; these stories add into the ‘personalities’ of the plants and trees in that particular locale.

The term ‘cunning-folk’ is used by us to denote that we cannot be put in a box with a tidy, neat label such as ‘witch’, ‘druid’ or any other definitive and that we owe allegiance to no-one except our spiritual lineage, traditions, the Genii Loci and our familiars. That we do not follow a set doctrine, that our ways are adaptable to time and circumstances and that we will incorporate whatever works.

It is all naturally incorporated into our everyday lives through working as ‘Wytchenwood’,  helping people locally that come to us for either charms, divinations or healing.  It’s also in our way of viewing the world and interacting with it.  Also through spending so much time outside in the landscape in all weathers that determines our magical lives!

Why did you decide to start up your shop Wytchenwood?  What was your vision?

We started it because it had been said to us on quite a few occasions that other people might like to have access to our charms and talismans and then some good friends of ours, Lunaorbis, opened their shop in Tintagel.  They needed to add some unique items as stock and we offered to supply some of ours, which we did and the feedback on them was wonderful.  From there, the whole idea of Wytchenwood was born.  The vision was to keep it as authentic as possible, to keep it true to how we work and to allow a wider community access to what we do if they were interested or needed it.

Tell me a bit about where you find your magical ingredients and how it goes from the wild to your shop.

Thankfully we live in such a wonderful and magical area of the country that we don’t have to go searching for our ingredients; they are just there and because we know this landscape so well, we know exactly what grows where.  We are surrounded by ancient woodlands, open grasslands, dells and also watery marshes, so the proliferation of various flora and fauna is enormous.  Usually when we are out walking we just gather anything that we find interesting and lying on the ground; knowing that at some point, it will have a use.  We harvest wild herbs and plants but in such a way as to encourage further growth, never in a way that would diminish them.  Because we spend so much time in the great outdoors, we are usually near by when the seasonal pruning starts and so we gather up as much of the discarded material as we can carry and bring it home but because we live in a ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and of  Special Scientific Interest’, all seasonal work is done with the utmost care and respect, thus having no detrimental impact on the indwelling spirit of the materia magica.

For certain charms or talismans, the wood needs to come from a living tree and so we turn to our spirits and tell them what we need and why.  They will then lead us to a particular tree and after due payment and observations have been made, we are then able to take what we need; notice the word ‘need’, nothing more.

In the creation of our works, we work with our spirits from start to finish; they guide the form, the correspondences and the materials.  Once finished, it is left to come to life, charge if you like, in the cauldron; the belly that will gestate it and give birth to the living creation.  It is them ready to include in our shop.

Herb charm

Witchcraft is definitely becoming more popular with those who are sick of the world we live in and want to find magic in their own lives, as traditional cunning-folk, how would you define magic?

We would define it as being both a state of being and a tool to effect a change.  As a state of being, it is gaining knowledge of the patterns of life, the threads of the web, of being a part of something bigger than oneself and being aware of your place within the web.  It is about being a part of the land and the procession of the Mighty Dead; those magical ancestors that preceded you in walking the land, of honouring those same spirits of place, of adding to the corpus of knowledge that you are now tapping into and adding to, to being guided and taught by them and being a part of that magical web that has it’s anchors in the past but continues throughout time to the present through the endeavours and experiences of different people at different times and in different ways but in this same place.  This gives the ability to see through eyes that are looking to the past, the present and the future; enabling us to see the relevant from the irrelevant and enables us to make much more informed choices in our lives.

On a practical level, it enables us to effect changes; either good or bad, attract or repel, heal or hurt, protect or harm.

Winter Queen Blackthorn Goblins Cross

Can you recommend a book on witchcraft?

This is a difficult one!!  Our particular craft does not come from books as such but ones that I have read that I enjoyed because there were elements that strongly resonated with our own ways were:

Call of the Horned Piper by Nigel Aldercroft Jackson published by Capall Bann

Light form the Shadows by Gwynn published by Capall Bann

Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits by Emma Wilby published by Sussex Academic Press

The Art Of Change

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“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so? ” -Charles Bukowski

Get up at 6am. Force food down your throat. Get dressed. Get out the door. Sit in the office for 8-12 hours. Eat lunch quickly. Go home. Eat. Go to bed. Repeat.

“Sorry love, that’s life” says your Mother.

“Sorry love, it’s not” I say to my daughter.

OK, so I don’t have a daughter but if I chose to live my life again, I would tell myself that working just to live is the most soul destroying action a human can ever undertake. The only exception is if you have your dream job. If you don’t, then your life is wasting away as you constantly wish for Friday, you wish for payday, you wish for Christmas breaks…you are wishing your life away.

What if we were just to STOP? Just for a moment…

What if we were to take a long bath instead of that quick shower?

What if we made a delicious dinner rather than chucking something in the microwave?

What if we ignored the clock? YES, ignore the clock. Don’t watch the clock, listen to yourself, your human clock and let that decide what to do. Eat when you feel hungry, drink when you feel thirsty, go to bed when you are tired. When did we stop listening to our bodies?

It has been such an eye opener over the past couple of years; the media have been publishing articles on how to beat depression and anxiety. It is a huge problem because we live in a world that is moving too fast, too much is expected from us. We simply can’t cope – even if we look happy on the outside, we are crumbling inside. We ache for peace so we buy things we don’t need when what we have inside us is really the gift we should be buying ourselves – happiness. If only we would stop to let it out.

This year, on a personal level, I let it all out. The biggest frustration in my life was the travelling I did to get to work. I found myself missing the essential pieces of getting myself together in the mornings. Now, I have a ritual of mindfully drinking tea, taking in the air of the morning in the garden, eating my breakfast and reading my cards for the day. Now, I have control over myself instead of the other way around. I asked if I could change my working hours – they said yes. There is no shame in asking to move things around, if it makes you more productive and then why would they disagree?

This isn’t about being selfish, it is about taking control of your life from the inside. If you feel you need deep internal change then get to it.

Write out a list of things you want to change and move through them one by one.

Never assume people will say no.  

Just ask.

Remember what makes you happy even if you dance to your favourite song in the morning or wander on the grass without your shoes on.

Don’t listen to what you should be doing.

Ignore what “they say” you should do.

Listen to yourself.

Be yourself.

Love yourself.

 

Glengettie Tea

Glengettie

I have to say this before I go on with my review but…I am not biased when it comes to this tea. Yes, it is Welsh and yes I am Welsh but I had never heard of it before (shame on me, I know). I was told by my Mother that this tea, many years ago, was considered to be of a very high class of tea or for “the posh people”. After seeing it on the shelf of my local supermarket I needed to try it, it has been around since 1952 afterall. Talk about late to the party…

It is a delicious black tea that has become on of my favourites. It’s funny because usually they sell it in Wales but for some reason my local shop has it – is there a Welsh take over in England?

The tea itself is a full bodied black tea, it is rather strong but it is a really lovely wake me up tea and it has taken over my usual morning brew. I have to have a cup of black tea as soon as I wake up and this has been by my side for a little while now. The good news is that they seem to sell it under the Typhoo brand which means you can buy it online really easily. If you love your tea mellow tasting yet strong then order some of this – it is delicious.

Glengettie Tea Site// Typhoo Shop

Flowers from the Dead: The Animal Bones Divination Deck

 

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This is a rather pleasing looking pack of divination cards, their black and white images are rather primal and they are beautifully illustrated. There are 27 cards in the pack (it is now 37 with an extension pack available). On each card is a different animal and each animal represents a specific quality, so for example the wolf is known for its loyalty and family traits.

Like most oracle cards, there aren’t any lengthy meanings, in other words you won’t be left thumbing through a book. The cards not only show an illustrated representation but they have two words on each card that will help you to interpret them. The wonderful thing about any set of oracle cards is their ability for you to use your intuition whether you are reading for yourself or another person. There are a lot of wild stories to be told when using the Flowers From The Dead cards and I certainly love the natural world and how it is represented in this pack. If you are a wild woman/man then these come highly recommended.

You can buy them via the American Obscura Etsy Store

Be More Bohème

 

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Source: Aëla Labbé

Be More Bohème , that is my message but what does that actually mean?

According to the trusty internet a bohemian can be defined as a carefree soul that defies convention.

My definition? A bohemian is a magical being that moves through life sprinkling glitter with every gesture, they are always reaching for the moon and dirtying their nails in the earth. They appear as artists, Mothers, teachers, light workers, writers, witches, and mystical beings.

Bohemianism is a very romantic word; it conjures up images of starving artists at rowdy parties and caffeine highs in the cafés of Paris. This is, as I say, a romantic view but what does this mean today? From my observations and numerous conversations; we have become disillusioned. The world is moving faster than we can manage, more is expected of us and we feel like the art of creativity is “just a hobby”. We are not expressing ourselves enough, we aren’t allowing ourselves to live creative lives; we must embody the magic we were born with.

As a child I saw life as birth and death. Anything in-between was a day in, day out struggle. You were born to work and if you had a good job you were obviously more intelligent and better than anyone else (yeah right). I yearned for more, I knew there was more to this life and all these years later I have realised there really is and it is amazing!!

The bit in-between life and death is a journey and instead of trudging your way through it we must paint it with bright colours, throw glitter at it (I really love glitter) and understand who we are and where we came from. We need to explore ourselves and what is around us, understand we have the ability to heal ourselves and connect to our primal nature. We have lost that connection and being able to bring it back into your life will conjure up that sense of happiness we all wish for.

I believe the bohemian soul knows itself through and through and feeds itself until it wants to burst. You can feed it with long country walks, reading a book, sipping tea, painting, writing, dancing, playing games with children, eating a comforting dinner, cuddling up with your significant other, buying a warm blanket for the cold nights, dressing up, making pottery, filling your fingers full of rings, getting tattooed, lying on the grass staring at the stars, worshiping the moon, sowing seeds…this is food for the soul. We must learn to do what makes us happy and what makes our heart sing and not what people think we should do.

This blog was created to inspire. It is a continuous resource of inspiration and wisdom. Despite what has happened to us, what we are going through or what we try and plan for the future we must accept that this is all one big journey. We have two options; we curl up in a ball and live it in misery or we open ourselves up to the beauty of our journey. As soon as we open up, so does the world around us. So turn off the phone and tune into yourself.

Just remember one thing: you are magic my dear and I hope you can follow my journey and if you want, come on it with me.

Katie

The Artwork of Mystic Mamma

Mystic Mamma is a fabulous website that is packed full of thought provoking articles, wisdom and inspiration.

As a regular reader, I desperately wanted to feature her artwork on the blog. The artist behind Mystic Mamma is Mijanou Montealegre –  a mystic, an artist and a mother. Her combination of ancient wisdom together with clean and striking imagery makes it an absolute sight (or should I say site) to behold.

Her work (as featured below) are limited edition Glicee Prints of her Digital Art Collages. If she wasn’t amazing enough, she says she will plant a tree for every piece of artwork sold.

A truly wonderful soul. You can find her site here

 

SURRENDER B MYSTICMAMMAHEAL-MYSTIC MAMMA artVISION-Art by MYSTIC MAMMATRANSFORM-ART BY MYSTIC MAMMADESIRE-art by MYSTIC MAMMA

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards – Doreen Virtue

 

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I have been buying oracle decks from independent artists recently as I have never really been a fan of the mass market cards, I don’t always feel right with them but I stand corrected.

On the evening of the new moon I was part of a very special Wild Woman circle in London. The evening was spent meditating, journaling and setting our intentions for the coming months. Our group leader had set out a circle of oracle cards for us to choose as and when we felt drawn to them. The first card I pulled kind of made some sense to me and then I picked a second and the two interlocked. It was giving me a message – it was plain what I had to do. In this moment I knew I had stumbled on a fantastic deck of cards.

The Goddess Guidance Oracle cards are lovely. The back of the cards are a very sunny yellow in colour decorated with Celtic knotwork and a golden crown motif; a symbol of the priestess no less. There are 44 cards in a deck and each card is beautifully illustrated with goddesses from across all traditions from Celtic to Greek to Buddhist.

There is a guidebook but I am quite intuitive when it comes to oracle cards and to be fair; the meanings are stated on each card which makes it easier for the reader.

You can read up more on them via this link here and you can also find out about the other magical goodies that Hay house have on offer.