"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Circle of the Silver Strand Column Spell

Well, my soul mate spell candles are burning good and strong, are yours?!  Hope my Web Weavers are enjoying tonight's circle spell and feeling the energies...do email me via my blog profile or Spirit&Destiny magazine if you have any interesting and romantic developments to report.  Good luck everyone...may true love find you and light up your lives.  Happy casting!

Samhain Blessings
Marie x

Friday, 28 October 2011

BOOK NOOK; Scottish Witches by Lily Seafield

In the spirit of Halloween I have been reading Scottish Witches by Lily Seafield.  This fascinating book digs deep into the witch trials that went on throughout Scotland during the 16th and 17th centuries.  Unlike other books on similar topics Seafield does not sensationalize or romanticize the witch hunts, nor does she turn this tragic period of history into a grim fairytale.  Quite the opposite in fact, as Scottish Witches looks at all aspects of witchcraft from the superstitions and the magical nature of witches, through to how those accused of witchcraft were taken to trial, prosecuted and what ordeals or tortures were commonly used to bring about a confession.  This is a somewhat harrowing read at times as unlike England where witches were hanged, in Scotland they were actually burnt at the stake or in a barrel - the witch trials is where the phrase 'to have someone over a barrel' originally came from.   Seafield explores weather witching, elf bolts, agricultural charms, counter charms and poppets before going on to detail the trials of specific people such as the North Berwick Witches, Isobel Gowdie and the Paisley Witches to name a few.   Seafield also looks at how witches and witchcraft are depicted in art, literature and poetry.  She ends the book with a final chapter on modern Wicca which does lift it to a more positive level.  Though it makes for uncomfortable reading at times, overall I did enjoy the book and I shall look out for more titles by this author.  I actually bought Scottish Witches when I was in Strathspey in the Highlands but I have checked and you can get it on www.amazon.co.uk

Friday, 21 October 2011

PC Night Shift

For keeping the streets safe so that single girls can sleep easy in their beds at night - we saltue you!
Hope you like my blog; post a comment or email me from my profile if it made you smile.
Take care,

Thursday, 20 October 2011

October's Nocturne...music of the night!

 As Samhain draws closer my thoughts naturally turn to all things phantasmagorical.  I decorated my house a couple of days ago and now I have ceramic pumpkins gleaming at me in all the rooms and a skeleton hanging in my kitchen...its good to get into the spirit of the season!  While Samhain itself is a sacred ritual night, I do enjoy a bit of a build up during the month of October and this is when I enjoy the 'Halloween' aspect. I watch spooky films by candlelight at midnight, and I enjoy all the Gothic drama that this time of year has to offer.

There is something magnetic and soul-stirring about the nebulous beauty of the Gothic genre.  From literary classics such as Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles to the romantic artwork of Victoria Frances and Anne Stokes, immersing oneself in all things eerie and spine-chilling has a funny way of brightening the day!  My favorite Gothic band is Nox Arcana and I have been listening to their albums all month.  The ones pictured here are the albums which are most suited to Samhain; ghostly melodies and eerie, mournful dirges are perfect background  music if you are having a special gathering or even just a kids Halloween party.  Grimm Tales tales has a dark, fairytale quality while Shadow of the Raven is inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe... listen out for the cries of a man who has been buried alive at the end; spine-tingling stuff!  Listen to samples of their albums at   www.NoxArcana.com

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Autumn Indulgence

I just love this time of year!  Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons and I love the mists, the rain, the howling winds and swirling leaves fluttering to the ground.  I know that some people begin to feel depressed as the nights draw in and summer is long over, but for me this is the best time of the year, when a cosy winter waits around the corner and the amber glory of autumn is under way.

It is dark before 7pm now and soon the clocks change - I can't wait.  I seem to get more energized through the darker half of the year; I get more done; I feel more productive as the early dusk inspires me to be even more creative.  I wrote the whole of my first album Moon Chants (which is a pagan musical journey through the seasons)  at this time of year and I think that the autumn and winter tracks came to me more easily because I was tuning into the season around me.  These shorter, colder days certainly inspire me to spend more time at my piano as it situated in the warmest room in the house! And with the windows closed I practice my vocals more too!

Autumn is a time of great activity in nature, and this has an effect on us humans too...we feel the need to spruce up the house and make it as warm, secure and comfortable as possible, knowing that we will be spending more time indoors as the temperature plummets.  We tend to stock up on comfort foods, take more hot baths rather than a quick shower, and dig out winter woollies.  We are certainly encouraged in this as we walk down the high street - shops are filled with gift ideas ready for Yuletide shoppers, and it is a great time of year to treat yourself, especially if the darker days make you grumpy.

This need to indulge in comfort and warmth is a natural reaction to the drop in temperature, and treats need not be expensive. Magical goodies can be found in most supermarkets if you know where to look.  Tonight for example I indulged in a long hot bath fragranced with Bededas bath gel, which is made from extract of horse chestnut and smells simply divine...it smells like autumn in a bottle and the fragrance is so powerful it has wafted right through my entire house...making me feel like I am living in the middle of a woodland glade.  Magically speaking, horse chestnut is associated with healing and promotes good energies, while any tree which casts nuts or seeds is said to bring prosperity and abundance.

At the same time I was sipping on Tetley's Chai Tea which I love!  Its a dreamy blend of autumnal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove...all of which are linked with prosperity.  So there I am, indulging in good vibes and bathing in the waters of abundance, both within and without.  Magic made easy!  Try it for yourself - next time you are in the supermarket see what magical things you can pick up and indulge in a spot of  simple enchantment.  If you want to hear samples of my album Moon Chants  go to www.paradisemusic.co.uk

Friday, 14 October 2011

BOOK NOOK: Hiding from the Light by Barbara Erskine

As I am such a blue-stocking book-worm I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite reads with you.  So any post with the header Book Nook is a review of a book that I am reading.  I always have two or three books on the go at any one time; something inspiring, some poetry and a novel is the usual mix.

So in the spirit of October I have been reading Hiding from the Light by Barbara Erskine. IMHO this is one of Erskine's best novels.  It is beautifully crafted and each page is filled with spooky atmosphere.  For those of you not familiar with Erskine's work she writes time loop novels, where the past and present intertwine in a supernatural way, whether this be by a standard haunting,  a past life or an ancient artifact.  In Hiding from the Light we meet Emma, a top London business women inexplicably drawn to an old cottage in Essex.  On buying the cottage and moving in Emma begins to have unsettling dreams and it soon becomes clear that she is being haunted by the ghosts of Mathew Hopkins, Witch Finder General, and one of his victims.  The novel reaches its climax on all Hallows Eve when all hell breaks loose and it is up to Emma to fight the good fight!  Bear in mind that the Wiccan aspect is fictional.

This is a really great book to curl up with on a chilly October evening, while sipping on a glass of red wine  - which is exactly what I have been doing.  Erskine has done a fantastic job in capturing the spirit of autumn's fog and mist and weaving it into a rich and detailed novel.  I greatly enjoyed reading this book and you can find in on http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Mercury Moon

It is the phase of the full moon and Mercury, planet/god of communication, has just moved into my sign of Scorpio so I guess now is the perfect time to begin to blog.  Its something I've been putting off for years, digging my heals in and saying its just not for me, but now that I am up and running it's actually not that scary! I quite like it.  I am surprised by this as I was lead to believe that setting up any kind of Internet page is a massive learning curve, but I found it to be surprisingly easy and I did it all by myself...I deserve a gold star!

The wonderful thing is that I have been invoking Mercury for a couple of weeks, and now here I am communicating with my Circle members and readers in a completely different way to anything I have done before.  Magic can often be that way...once you invite the gods into your life they shed a new light on things and you might find yourself doing something entirely unexpected.  These subtle coincidences - which are not really coincidence at all - are a sign that magic is afoot.  Mercury certainly has a few surprises up his sleeve, so who knows how many exciting new things he has lined up for me?  I invoked him and he is answering the call.  You can take advantage of his energies too...whether you need a boost to your social life, confidence for a presentation at work, or the chance to meet up with an old friend, simply call on Mercury and state your need aloud...then wait for the phone to ring and expect the unexpected.  Enchanting!

Merry Meet!

Welcome to my brand new blog!  First let me say that I am a certified technophobe so I'm not sure how this is going to work out...it could be that in a few weeks or months I break up with Blog in one of those "It's not you, its me" moments.  We'll see how it goes.

For those of you who don't know me I write for the Mind, Body and Spirit genre or New Age as it is also known.  I write for top UK publishers and magazines, both as a columnist and a freelance features contributor.  My specialist subjects include all things magical and pagan, from angels to zen, but I have also written for equestrian and home decor publishers as well.  Some of you will already be very familiar with my work.

Here readers can get to know me a little better... find out what I have been up to, what projects I am working on and so on.  I will also post spells and poetry and fun stuff for you guys to try out, including tips on how to put more enchantment and glamour into your life...we all need a glamour ritual every now and then!
Of course this blog will feature my other interests too - its not all all about magic and charms as you can find that in my other work.  I will also share creativity tips for those with artistic ambitions and other random bits and pieces.