Upcoming Workshops

During September and October I will be running a series of six creative writing workshops at The Edge cafe.

Places are limited, so please contact me to reserve a place.

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I have just set up new facebook page for Jean Dark to announce my newest blog-posts.

You can possibly see the page by clicking here

Please ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ Jean Dark if you like to know what I’m up to on my blog.

Gaunt's Labyrinth 2013

Gaunt’s House Labyrinth. December 2013.

 

Fasting with the Fool by Doc Gordon Tripp

Quotes from the article “Fasting with the Fool –  The Seven Progressive Stages of Consciousness Under Fasting.
By Doctor Gordon Tripp

“As a form of reality distortion the practice of fasting has a long and august history. Starvation was certainly twisting the minds of our Neanderthal forebears long before they hit on sativa, somniferum or muscaria.
Fasting is well established as a prelude or preparation for a whole range of spiritual practices across a panoply of religious and folk traditions.”

Some of Doc Gordon Tripp’s experiences:

“Exhausted with cold I crawled with chattering teeth into a vague half-aware sleep. Only to wake suddenly into silent darkness, not knowing where I am, I am wracked with hunger. I realise that I haven’t eaten since leaving Cambridge, who knows how long ago. The dreadful cold seems to have frozen the mechanism of my wristwatch. I rummage through my ruck sack again, searching for the large slab of Kendal mintcake.”

“Lethargy momentarily engulfs me and I wonder again how I could have got so lost. I struggle to my feet, stomach cramping, clutching the internet map, and begin limping through the thickening trees, in a direction I imagine to be south.”

“I was awake, immobile and cold, encased in all the clothing from the ruck sack, the djellaba, blanket and bivvy bag. I find myself to be suspended from a branch by my rack sack straps, dangling precipitously over a steep drop down to melt-water swollen rapids coursing through rock strewn channels. My head feels empty, gently throbbing at the temples. I don’t know how I came to be here…”

“I begin to fear for my sanity as a gross bubbling urge to chuckle inconsequentially grips me by my watery bowels. Like after a building and unrelenting urge to defacate, the released laughter splashes and splatters from my body. Am I laughing? Am I vomiting? Am I shitting? I can’t tell, my diary notes don’t say. I roll hyperventilating in slushy snow, pukie-crappa-giggling or somesuch. I am so hungry. I want to cry. I am lucid suddenly and astonished at the diversity of this terrain, I never knew Morocco could be so varied.”

“I am drenched in sweat or snow, I know not which. I fall into deadening sleep. I wander between snow-laden trees, the path I had cautiously picked out in the thick forest seemed to have disappeared, swept away by fresh snowfalls”

“I believe my failure to identify my geographical dislocation was partly due to having no previous personal experience of either Marrakesh or Mongolia…”

Read the full article here

Silver Wheel Journal 4

I was recently delighted receive a complimentary copy of Silver Wheel Journal 4 in the post. Silver Wheel Journal – a yearly “anthology of Craft, Druidry, Paganism and Magic”…(read more in Pentacle 39 – see below)…I am also delighted because three of my own pieces – “Alchemilla”, “Moon Shadows & Firelight” and “Walks with Mistletoe”- have been published here in issue 4, alongside Modern Witchcraft luminaries.

One piece of mine that wasn’t accepted or publication is this a house blessing/cursing channelled-poem I wrote about the specifically East-Anglian house-wights – the “Yarthkin”.

I am of Yarthkin, Hearth Sprite, House Wight. I live in your home, behind the fireplace, in the doorways, under the floorboards…more

This Week in Earth Pathways…

Vision of a Sacred Garden

 Back in February 2011 at a Pagan conference in Chester I had the good fortune to take part in a guided pathworking lead by Glennie Kindred, the author of the pagan primer “The Earth’s Cycle of Celebration” and part of the Moonshares Collective who annually produce the Earth Pathway Diary – a pagan “network and resource for Earth lovers, environmentalists, artists, writers and activists”.

On that winter afternoon in the dimly-lit hall Glennie Kindred’s soft calming voice and her drumming drew us deep into ourselves, where she encouraged us to discover and visualise our deep wishes and hopes. Some way in, I found myself immersed in green light, flickering around me like sunlight through pale fresh leaves, I drifted amongst branches creaking in the breeze, I saw and ran in a meadow, danced by a fire, lay back in long grass, gazing at ripe red fruits growing overhead. When I surfaced, still gleaming from my reverie I was handed a bowl of green slips of paper cut into leaf-shapes. I chose a leaf that looked to me like an apple tree leaf and wrote that I had dreamed of a green and magical place, a Sacred Garden to steward.

At the time I lived in a ground floor flat in a 1960s council block. Although it was a comfortable and compact apartment, it was also very square, plain and functional, a blank white box. The strip of garden was a lawn visible from the bedroom window, municipalised by default into an unexciting communal greensward. A twisty shady garden hidden away amongst thickets, like I had envisioned, seemed like a world away…read more

New Blog…New Name

This site is intended to focus on my writing as Mary-Jean Dark.

The name change to Mary-Jean Dark is to distinguish me from  denim trouser retailers, french-speaking prestidigitators and breeders of Dobermann Pinsers.
Try googling  jean dark and see what you come up with!

Or you could check out some of my evolving writing archive
here