Musings of a Village Witch - December and annual review - by Ness

December 1st - December brings fog, mist and a definite chill has descended upon my village here in the South of the UK. Leaves blanket the footways that are now quite muddy due to a distinct lack of warm sunshine. Trees are very bare - their branches reaching towards the sky like spindly fingers. Thoughts of Yule invade my mind bringing with them, hope and a sense of positivity for the year ahead.

December 2nd - A grey skied day and rather dull. No sunshine today to, perhaps, warm the bones and put a little warmth on my face as I take my walk around the village.

December 7th - Mother Nature has decided to coat everything in a beautiful sparkling, glittering feathery frost. The patterns on my windscreen are breathtaking – perfect swirls of patterns like feathers. The grass glitters in the weak sunshine. Underfoot is a little slippery and I see my breath form white clouds as I breathe out. Winter is well and truly here!

December 18th - the rains are here again. Temperatures have risen again a shade and everything underfoot is soggy. The leaves that have fallen to the ground are brown and mushy and squashed together by the many feet that walk across them. The hedgerows are bare and there is a general ‘untidiness’ about them. Ivy berries are starting to ripen and there are berries on the holly. Mistletoe can be seen on the bare branches of the trees – hidden from view in the summer, but now their bright green alien looking leaves that differ so much from the tree that they are holding fast to, are stood out in bright bunches!

This month, I thought I’d look back on this year. I had an idea this time last year about really taking note of my surroundings, watching what happens in nature through the seasons – in particular each month, where I live. I have discovered so many new species of plants, insects and birds – it has been quite an eye opener. A lot of the plants I had heard of and it was a joy to discovering them on my walks and times out in nature. Some were new to me and it was fun to research them, find out their names, their properties and magical correspondences too! I enjoyed working with what was in season at that time, researching recipes and crafts corresponding to that particular month, applying how I felt at that time and working magic in the kitchen and around my home and garden.