Williamson Park


Spring has arrived in Lancaster. Thank God. To celebrate this (and get out of the flat, which has almost run out of oxygen), I made the steep ascent up to Williamson Park. Signs of spring are everywhere now – and some seats have even managed to stay dry enough to warrant sitting on!

I sat up at the Temple Shelter, from which there is a marvellous view of the upper levels of the Ashton Memorial. I got some lovely photos but I want to use them for something else, so you’ll have to make do with a view of the Memorial as I entered the park…

In the wood - Memorial in the distance


Sadly I couldn’t go to the Butterfly House as I’m skint, but I will have to soon considering it’s been er, 20 years since I went!

I also found the pool where my brother had his wedding pictures taken (It was in summer so it looked a bit nicer than this…)

By The Pool


It’s always nice to have somewhere tranquil to escape to, though I did get some odd looks from the mothers-with-prams as I pottered around with a notebook and camera…

View from the path leading up to the Temple Shelter



Standing on the Edge of Something Beautiful (but not my sofa)

Really frustrated with everything today. Overdraft is rising with no sign of any paid employment on the horizon – as much as I want to be a writer, I’ve been thrown in at the deep end since I lost my job, as I don’t have a lot of experience behind me. Being out of work again has really given my self-esteem a knock too, so I don’t go out much. Fortunately my attempts at submitting my writing to publications have gone well so far, which gives me a few flecks of gold in the bottom of my bucket filled with horse poo.

Every so often I’ll get out my angel cards, as they are usually spookily accurate. Today I enlisted the help of Trent, my guinea pig to pick a card out of the fan. Since he has no hands, he instead selected one for me by chewing it. And it was the card I keep getting – Omega. This apparently means my desire is coming to fruition, and everything is happening as it is meant to be. Which is comforting, but doesn’t pay off my credit cards just yet. I wish I wasn’t so practical sometimes…

Anyway, I love Lancaster, and I want to write about it, so I better get some article ideas going. The sun is beginning to descend and I can hear the announcer bloke at the station waffling on about something, so no doubt the trains are delayed.

I’m going back to The Secret website to try and wheedle out all the negative thoughts in my head. I might keep the book by my bed to remind me of the Laws of Attraction (and that I shouldn’t be so bloody pessimistic at 24 years old).

I am off to cook a curry.

The List

I’d like to think that I will gain success from this business of writing. I’d also like to think that I’m a very organised person, but er, turns out I’m not really. It’s been four weeks of unemployment now, but not that much output. More feeling sorry for myself, cleaning the flat and blog surfing, which to be fair, has given me some really useful information.

Last night I came up with a list. I like lists. It is a list that tells me what I should be doing, and when. Today I have wrote 1000 words (oh, even more now I’ve wrote this, ha ha!) and got the mince for tea before it rained…

All thanks to the list.

Time to Recharge

The last couple of days have seen a lot of turmoil in my personal life, leaving me both emotionally and physically drained. At times like this it’s important to look after yourself, so here’s a few of my ideas for the afternoon;

  • Add a few drops of Clary Sage essential oil to a bulb ring, to diffuse around the living area
  • Run a bath, adding 2 drops of Frankincense oil, 2 drops of Jasmine, 2 drops of Sandalwood, 2 drops of Ylang Ylang, 1 drop Rose oil and 1 drop Ginger oil
  • Put some Rose Quartz in the living room
  • Burn some candles, put some ambient music on and chill!

Genealogy with Google Maps

This is my initial attempt at plotting the Tomlinson line of my family tree using Google Maps…I suppose when I have more information on them, I’ll make a better quality one, like this one featured in Family Tree Magazine. It’s useful to see where each generation was throughout their life, especially if they were inclined to travel. I pity my children/grandchildren if they decide to do this for my life, as they will probably run out of markers…

Witchcraft For The Young

Came across this post on Suite 101…

Teaching Your Pagan Faith to Youths: Resources for Pagan Parents and Community Leaders.

If only I’d had this when I was growing up, instead of the same 5 hymns from ‘Come and Praise’! Luckily for me and my brain, I grew up with my nose in a book rather than plonked in front of the TV, so when I wanted to find out more about witchcraft, the bookshop was the first place I went.

I think I was due a birthday present or something, so I picked out Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide , much to the amusement of my mother (she thought it was yet another facet of my ‘Gothic’ period). I still find this book useful today for correspondences, plus if anyone asks you silly questions like ‘Do you worship the Devil?’, you can quote from the book instead of having to explain why the question is wrong on so many levels!!

I’d just bought a bookcase, but having one book on it looks bad. I cured this problem by filling the shelves with bottles of vodka that had been drunk, and by buying another book – Spells For Teenage Witches. It’s full of spells that young people will find useful, like ‘Revision Spell’ and ‘Notice Me Spell’, and the objects used aren’t too hard to come by either.

Those were the first of many books I own that helped me to get where I am today (Hmm, maybe I should have concentrated more on the prosperity spells than the love ones…)

How to make a Book of Shadows

A Book of Shadows is an essential part of any witches’ toolkit. It provides space to record spells, rituals and correspondences, as well as doubling up as a magickal journal to record thoughts and experiences along your spiritual journey.


The format of the book is entirely up to you; a decorated exercise book may suffice, or if you really want to stay organized you could try a ring binder divided into appropriate sections. This way, you can file your notes in plastic pockets, which will prevent any spillages from damaging them. I have a notebook divided into three sections, so I can quickly find what I need. However, if you choose a blank book, you may find it beneficial to leave a couple of pages at the front and back to compile contents and index pages. As your Book will grow with you, you’ll find that these keep it organized and save you time searching through several filled books.


Nowadays keeping a written book isn’t the only option – a word-processing package on your computer can provide a flexible way of keeping a Book of Shadows, using different fonts and graphics to make it really personal to you. The benefit of this method is that sections can be added, modified or deleted as you progress, saving you having to re-write entire pages. A computerized Book Of Shadows can be saved to hard disk, or burnt to CD; many people also print out a hard copy to use during spellwork (after all, you don’t want to run the risk of getting candlewax or wine all over your high-spec laptop!)


However, you may find that the traditional method of keeping a handwritten book suits you best, as this way you more readily absorb the information you are copying, it will fill with your energies, and you will have a strong connection with the book.


There is no hard and fast rule to what has to be included, but below are a few ideas of things that will generally be found in a Book Of Shadows, as well as being useful for reference.


Rules – If you’re part of a coven, it’s a good idea to write down the laws you abide by. But if you’re a solitary witch, you could write down what personal rules you follow, or simply copy out the Wiccan Rede;

These Eight words the Rede fulfill: “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”.


A Dedication – This could be a few paragraphs explaining your journey so far, or simply a sentence of dedication to the Goddess.

Correspondences – Your Book Of Shadows is the perfect place to keep essential information for spellcasting. Some of the most useful are Phases of the moon, herbs, stones and crystals, colors and days of the week – all have different meanings and purposes. This gives you a quick reference guide to help you find the right times and objects for your spell.

Rituals – Perhaps you could include rituals for the eight Sabbats of the year, drawing down the moon (invoking the Goddess when the moon is full) and anything else you find useful, such as casting a circle and invoking the elements. 

Recipes – If you’re feeling creative, try making and recording blends of oils, mixtures for incense, and recipes for celebratory food and drink.

Spells – Any spells you perform can be included in your Book Of Shadows. It’s a good idea to organize them into sections of purpose (eg. Love, prosperity, healing), or time of year if they are ritual-based. You should also include information on when the spell was performed, as well as anything significant that occurred during or after it.