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Wildlife 1

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There is a mystical ‘she shed’ at the bottom of a garden, in a place that is larger than a village but smaller than a town. It is neither rural nor urban, bordering on woodland with a river flowing through. It is not the sort of place where you might expect a witch to reside, but a witch cannot be defined by where she lives or how she expresses her spirituality. She is defined by her affinity with the natural world. Imagine a modern day Green Witch if you can; they exist in various forms in the unlikeliest of places. She identifies with the name Hecate (He-cah-tee), Goddess of the Witches, and she lives by the Rede of ‘do as you will and harm none’. Dedicated to the power of natural magic and healing through herbs and flowers, she is completely at one with nature. She knows the secrets of the earth, fire, water and air, and how to create spells, potions and healing teas. Her days on the planet follow a nature-themed calendar of solar and seasonal festivals, committing to their associated customs and rituals. In the evening the shed is illuminated with solar lights; she adorns the surrounding decked area with candle-lit lanterns, creating a temple-like feel. A beaded curtain swished to one side reveals a cosy seated area and hanging on the walls are pictures of woodland scenes and their wildlife inhabitants. She has drawn these pictures of her animal friends in stunning detail, for she knows intimately every feather, bright eye, whisker and wet nose they possess. Around the time of sunset through to darkness they come to her, not just for the food she provides, as they are capable of foraging for themselves. It is for greater reasons; they are animal guides, magical aids who love their Beautiful Earth Mamma. She awaits with anticipation the nightly arrival of Mr Truffles the Badger, Merle the Raven and Flareon the Fox. She would never, ever admit it but the fox is her favourite, the one to whom she is most spiritually connected. Closing her eyes in concentration, she senses that he is coming to her. Flareon is indeed first to call. He has left his woodland wild, slinking through the foliage and checking to see who is there. He is happy now because he knows he will be lifted into Beautiful Earth Mamma’s arms to be fussed and nuzzled. His loveliness makes her heart sing, his peppery brush tail is magnificent, his eyes are soulful and intelligent. They metamorphose into one another as he becomes entangled in her long red hair, sharing a sense of togetherness and peace. Soon they will hear the whispering of raven wings and the croaking call that announces the arrival of Merle. He flies onto her shoulder and makes himself comfortable there, delivering beaky kisses to her cheek. His feathers have a marvellous ebony sheen and his insightful, beady eyes perceive every detail. He is her trusted messenger who connects the material world with the spirit world's magical forces. Mr Truffles the badger leaves his set when he is good and ready. Only when the sun sets does he come out.

© Angela Craddock 2021-08-30

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