Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Mindful Spring Practices

I don’t know about you, but I can find myself feeling pretty restless at this time of year. The transition away from Winter can be a long one. The promise of Spring feels so sweet when it arrives. Those first warm rays on the skin and the sound of bird song lift my heart so much. And just as I am about to lean right in to the new season, Winter announces she isn’t quite done as she delivers one last blast…

I have noticed over the past few years that my mind can become restless at this time of year. My mood and energy feel as mixed as the weather. One foot planted amongst the hopeful wildflowers of Spring, the other hanging back in the heavy malaise of Winter’s end.

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Wellbeing

Lessons from a Primrose

After a shaky few days, taking my morning cup of tea out in the garden this morning felt like an act of restoration. Walking barefoot across the lawn, moving from the shade into the sun I came to sit down in front of a small patch of Primroses. I noticed that the petals of most of the flowers were wilting now, nibbled (not by me) and turning brown in patches as they were reaching the end of their blooming period here in the UK.

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Foraging

The Intuitive Art of Foraging

It has been an interesting foraging year for us. I have found myself feeling incredibly drawn to collecting certain plants – wild rose early on in the year, Mugwort throughout the summer and wild oats as the summer progressed. There have also been other plants that despite their abundance and potential, for one reason or another we didn’t forage many/any this year – elderflower and rosehips stand out as two.

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Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year

The wheel of the year is an ancient way of marking the changing energy of the seasons throughout the yearly cycle. The wheel consists of 8 festivals that fall every 6 – 8 weeks. These can be divided into 4 Solar Festivals or quarter points ( 2 Solstices and 2 Equinoxes) and 4 Seasonal Festivals or cross quarter points (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain).

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Botanicals

Abundance Smudge Sticks

In the approach to Lammas, as Summer reaches its height, we wanted to create a Smudge Stick that celebrates the rich abundance of the season. You may well have read my previous post about Goldenrod finding its way into my garden this year.

Goldenrod is extremely high in antioxidants and its Latin name Solidago translates as ‘to make whole or heal’. In folklore Goldenrod is believed to to bring luck and prosperity and encourage an abundant mindset. These qualities are believed to become more potent when the plant self seeds too!

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Wheel of the Year

Summer Solstice/Litha

The Summer Solstice (Litha) falls between June 20th and 23rd each year and marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of the Summer season in the Northern hemisphere. As daylight hours reach their peak on this day, we begin our transition into the second half of the year. Light after the Summer Solstice slowly wanes towards the Winter Solstice, where we reach the shortest day in December.

Transitioning to the second part of the year can lead us to wonder how the months have gone, perhaps even more under the circumstances we have faced this year. Us humans commonly have a preference for daylight (not to mention the warmth) so thinking of its retreat is not always easy. However the earth, if we allow it, can be a good teacher of balance. Year on year we witness Summer and Winter rise and fall, giving way to one another through the seasonal cycle, always moving, always changing and always returning.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss how we can use the energy of the season to cultivate inner reflection and set intentions for the second part of the year.

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Plants

Wild about Roses

I am never quite sure what draws me in first with Rose; the beauty captured by the eyes or the nose, (don’t worry the poetry stops here my friends). According to fossil evidence, the genus Rosa is thought to be 35 million years old and contains around 200 species and thousands of hybrids growing across the world. Roses have long held a rich symbolism of love and beauty and it is easy to understand why.

The rose plant offers us two key ingredients for our products. In the Spring and Summer we collect and dry the petals to infuse into facial oils, add to face masks, bath salts and teas. In the Autumn and Winter we collect the hips or fruits that we infuse into our skin oils, oxymels and dry for teas. For the rest of this post, I will be focusing on the benefits of the petals as we are currently collecting and processing them, plus rose hips deserve a post of their very own.

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Life

Welcome to Wild Fen

Welcome to our website. We are Nicola and Chris and we created Wild Fen to celebrate our love for the natural world and the abundance that she offers, both in terms of inspiration and resources. We have both been studying and enjoying nature for most of our lives. This has evolved in many ways including growing our own organic herbs and plants, foraging wild edibles, concocting natural products and capturing the beauty of nature through photography and artwork. You can read more about our journey here.

This site will be a space to record our recipes, sell our creations and share inspiration with others.