September & October 2020

As soon as the restrictions were eased in September we were out celebrating Autumn Equinox. It rained all night but the ritual was done, the Gods, the land and the season were honoured.

We were out in in the woods for Samhain, a wonderful evening, the clouds cleared around midnight and the blue full moon revealed herself to us, shining through the trees on to our fire.

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Midsummer 2020

A few of the coven met up for the first time since Ostara for our annual Midsummer Night’s vigil.

Getting back in our woodland circle was something we’d been look forward to for weeks so we built the fire even bigger than usual in order to stick to the social distancing rules and sit well apart.

The night was still, warm and inviting as we watched the light melt away from the wood leaving the trees in the special midsummer half light darkness.

Sitting cocooned in our sacred space we settled down to watch and wait for the sunrise. The dawn chorus began around half an hour before sunrise time, as the sky very slowly began to grow lighter.

We have watched countless sunrises and usually the clouds obscure the sun, this morning was the clearest we had ever experienced. The first rays of the rising sun hit the exact centre of our circle, we set the circle space up a couple of years ago and didn’t know we’d chosen the exact spot where this would happen.

Magic!

The sun lit up the tree trunks, the bracken, the grass and touched everything with golden light.

A truly memorable special time.

Celebrating Ten Years

We will be out and about celebrating our tenth anniversary this week, the coven began in December 2009.  Some of the original founders are still with us, others have joined over the years, others have left all adding their own unique energies and personalities. 

 

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We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved with us over the years for their contributions – friends, coven members old and new and our blog readers.

Looking forward to the next ten years…

Introduction to Witchcraft evenings

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We have developed our ‘Introduction to Witchcraft’ development circle to run once a month, in the evening, for three months and this is taking place again this year.

 It can be an introduction for those who are starting out on their own who wish to learn more the craft and develop their own personal practice.

 Also, for anyone looking at applying to become part of our coven it is an essential first part of your training.

We like to spread this over three months to give time and space for personal reflection, exploration and reading. The coven elders will be available for any questions that may arise during the three months.

The course is run by our coven and is based on our own tradition and our own personal views of witchcraft. We encourage everyone to explore and study on their own so please be prepared to do this.

 You need to be prepared to engage with the course, as it will involve discussions and practical work.

The Next Course Dates

Wednesday 10th May 2017

Wednesday 14th June 2017

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Cost

£20 for all three sessions, payable in advance.

Venue

Earth Spirit Healing Gardens

5 Stamford Street

Stalybridge

SK15 1JP

 Time

7.30 – 10.00

How to Book

Follow the link below for online booking or visit Earth Spirit Healing Gardens and pay in person.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-witchcraft-tickets-32797187270

Please Note

  • Places are limited and on a first come first served basis
  • If you do not attend or cancel less than 7 days before the event the charge is non refundable (This is because it is unlikely that we can resell your place so close to the event, this way, if people cancel, the course can still go ahead.)
  • Attending the course does not necessarily mean acceptance into the coven
  • You must be over 25 yrs of age
  • The course is based on our own personal practice and experience and is not intended as training into any other tradition.
  • By booking a place on the workshop, you are agreeing to the above terms.
  • Apologies for the notes but over the years experience has taught us many things about running events and thanks for your understanding

 

 

Imbolc 2017

We celebrated the early signs of the return of spring to our land with the goddess Brigid.

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Our broom swept away the old and we welcomed the light of spring into our circle and into our lives.

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We also said our farewells to the crone Goddess as she journeyed down to the underworld and to rest.

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The old ones were honoured, offerings were given to the newly awakened land, and so the cycle continues…

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Happy New Year

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2016 saw us out and about in the woods and wilds creating, celebrating, crafting, journeying, reflecting and generally deepening our connections with the elements and the other worlds.

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We had a break after our Imbolc rite and reformed at Beltane, transformed, renewed and optimistic and with a different name; Elderthorn.

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We watched the sunset and the sunrise at midsummer, honoured our beloved dead at Samhain and celebrated the turning of the seasons following our own ways and rituals.

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We marked our seventh anniversary on a cold, clear December night under the stars with sparklers cakes and elderflower wine.

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And we’re looking forward to another magical year in 2017.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy new year xx

Times Change

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Everything on earth has a time, a season and, as the saying goes, a time to be born and a time to die. After six and a half years it began to feel as though Blackthorn’s time was coming to an end. It was getting more and more difficult to motivate everyone, negativity was slowly creeping in and killing the magic and the group energies. It was becoming hard work. So it was time to let go.

In the inner world the Blackthorn name had become tired, unhealthy and was slowly decaying. This was felt by all the group even though they resisted the tide and were unwilling to admit it to themselves and to each other. So, it was down to the elders to make the final, difficult, decision to disband Blackthorn as it once was.

It was the time of year to sweep away the old, to create new beginnings and the powerful seasonal energies along with the keen east wind that blew us along for a week or so allowed us to feel that this was the time, the right time, to change and to move on.

So it was with huge regret and sadness that we disbanded the coven and let everyone retreat into themselves, lick their psychic wounds and decide what to do next.

After a few weeks the elders recovered, refreshed and reconvened. Some of us have been practising together for over ten years so it felt very strange to celebrate the Spring Equinox as solitaries. We needed to meet up and discuss the future.

Others in the disbanded group met up to celebrate Ostara and they too are looking to the future and where they want to go. Hopefully a totally new group will re-emerge for them.

The elders have decided to reform and practise in a different way. Everyone will contribute and everyone is totally committed and positive.

We didn’t want to lose the Blackthorn name completely as it has lots of history and a tradition attached to it so it will be kept as a teaching group, open to new members in February 2017.

We have long fought against hierarchy in the group but now see that in order to run a successful magical group there has to be some degree of separation between those with little or no experience and those with years of practice behind them. Mixing the two, for us, just hasn’t worked. So the elders have created a new, small, close knit, working group.

The new name is Witches of Elderthorn. A closed, private group.

Blackthorn Coven remains as a teaching/training coven run by the elders.

We send love and thanks and hugs to everyone who had been involved in Blackthorn over the years and wish them well with whatever that decide to do.

Samhain 2015

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On a warm and still night we made our way to our traditional Samhain circle, a long walk, we walked in silence contemplating our reconnection with this special place. 

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The sacred flame was lit and the circle created.

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We stayed out well after the ‘witching hour’ and celebrated the new year with our ancestors wandering round us…and plenty of homemade damson gin and feasting.

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