Our Wedding – 23/7/13

320_2013-07-24 164_2013-07-24

Last week I got married.
Where do I even go from there? Nothing I say here will even come close to explaining just how magical the ceremony was nor how amazing my now husband and I felt on that day. But alas, I promised a post about the ceremony so here it is!

What is Marriage?

To me and my husband, marriage is a stepping stone to raising a family (that doesn’t mean we believe it’s necessary for others but for us it’s important) and having a family has been one of my lifetime goals since I was a little girl. In fact, Brian and I have very similar life time goals, including raising a family, and this was the reason we decided to get married. Sure, we love each other and that’s a lot of the reason why we’re still together but it’s not the reason why we got married.

Marriage is how you say to the world “we’re a team and we will deal with everything together”. It’s a guarantee to our future children that there will always be someone there who will love and take care of them because we are bound not only by law to each other but also by our souls; in both inner and outer worlds so to speak.

We chose to hold the ceremony on the full moon as this is when I believe my power is at it’s greatest (plus it’s pretty).

The Spiral Aisle

Our aisle was created by our guests into the shape of a spiral. To me, walking into the center of the spiral signified entering into the inner world. Before we walked down the aisle we stood at the entry accompanied by our wedding party, while our celebrant explained the extent of the commitment Brian and I were about to make to us and our guests. He then asked us both separately if we were here of our own free will and accord. Our bridal party then walked down the aisle, alternating boys/girls, followed by me and Brian walking together hand-in-hand. We then conducted the spiritual ceremony in the center of the spiral.

222_2013-07-24

Blessings, Cleansing and Drawing Down of the God and Goddess

The inner circle of the spiral aisle consists of the Bridal Party, our family and then our friends around the outside. Once we have settled into the center of the aisle our celebrant asks our guests if we have their blessings. There’s a number of ways to do this but we chose to get our guests to yell it out all at once. It took about 3 goes to get a good loud response from everyone but it made everyone relax – with such an out of the ordinary wedding I feel this really loosened up the atmosphere a bit (and stopped me from shaking with nerves haha).

We were then cleansed and told to leave our worldly worries behind us so as we may focus on our wedding ceremony. We chose to use salt water but you could use anything really as long as you feel new and free afterwards. After the cleansing we called down the God and Goddess into Brian and I respectively. Our celebrant placed a crystal wand on one of our shoulders then starting with Brian said:

“Brian, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, let it come forth and shine. In you lives the essence of the Gods, the active force that has sparked and powered all life.You are he who has been worshiped and adored throughout the ages. You are husband, father, lover, protector, visionary, friend and confidant. In you is everything that anyone could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine mighty one and show to all the God within.”

“Amanda, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, let it come forth and shine. In you dwells the essence of the Great Mother and the divine feminine principle of the Universe. You are she who has been worshiped and adored throughout the ages. You are wife, mother, healer, friend, prophet, and confidant. In you is everything that any one could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine dear one and show your true nature as Goddess.”

This felt right for us as Brian and I identify with the qualities of the God and Goddess however it could be the other way around. It doesn’t have to be God=the man and Goddess=the woman. Nor does it even have to be a God/Goddess at all, it could be anything as long as it makes you feel strong and like your true, inner self.

272_2013-07-24

Exchanging Rings, Handfasting Ritual and the Vows

We then cleansed our wedding rings in water from the place we got engaged, again this can be done in any way. Wedding rings are still an important wedding tradition in modern times (if I could do it again though I would try harder to find Brian an engagement ring and plan a proposal for him). Our rings are in the shape of a circle which has no beginning and no end, a circle symbolises a continuing bond and the equality of the wearers. We chose rings that had a similar theme (mine is in the shape of leaves and his is inlaid with wood) which we believe links us and our common goals. Once they were cleansed we handed them to our parents to ‘warm’ – they infused good thoughts, feelings, advice, etc into them.

We were then given our rings to hand to the other if we chose to be wed. First Brian, then me. We put the rings on each other then said some standard vows.

296_2013-07-24

Our celebrant then called upon our mothers who were minding each of our handfasting cords (which we made ourselves). Our celebrant twisted them together and then tied them around our clasped hands.

317_2013-07-24

Whilst our hands were clasped we stated our personal vows. As a general thing I said what I believe our marriage will be about and promises that I intend to keep. I also spoke about what I wish for our future.

Removal of Handfasting and Blessing of the Hands

At this point we let our hands go, leaving the handfasting cord tied. A red sash was then draped over our holding hands again and a blessing was said over them.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today tomorrow and for the rest of your lives.These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these ARE the hands that, even in the twilight of your years, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

333_2013-07-24

After the blessing of the hands, we sealed our vows with a kiss then exited the spiral and went to do all the legal stuff. At this point we then walked back down the aisle to be presented as Mr. and Mrs. where our friends and family congratulated us on our way back out and rained rose petals over us.

380_2013-07-24

Conclusion

I think if I could do it over again, there would be a few things I would change. In saying that though I’m extremely happy with how things went on the day and it’s only in hindsight I have those thoughts.

Brian and I wanted to create a ceremony which reflects us as people and clearly represents the people who we aim to become. We want future generations to not be restrained to having traditional beliefs, ceremonies, rituals, etc just because that’s what’s expected. It was a hard journey as most of our family were very skeptical of what we had planned, but in the end it turned out beautiful and everyone was pleased and moved by how emotional it was.

Rituals are important to me, you just have to look back through my posts to see that. This one was one of the most important ones that I will ever have to attend and I’m glad we chose to personalise it as much as we did.

Note: Please don’t steal any of these photos. They are images of a very important and vulnerable time for Brian and I. We would appreciate your respect and understanding in making sure that if you want to share them, to keep the corresponding information with them. Thank you.

Advertisements

Death – 28/6/13

If you died tomorrow, how would you feel about the way your life is headed? Would you feel grateful for the people you surround yourself with? Would you feel content with the effort you made and the person you became? Is there anything you would change?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this since my friend Leah died in a car accident during the last year of High School. I think the reason why it battered a lot of people around so much was because it was so unexpected – a young girl of 18 dying while doing an innocent thing like getting a lift home from her friend.

Just think about that for a second though. Are you alive? Were you born?

Then you will die. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’re doing or how good/bad of a person you are.
Every.
Living.
Thing.
Dies.

You won’t know when or how old you’ll be when it happens or if it will be quick or painless. I kind of think this is a good thing that we don’t know how or when it will happen but why is it that in our culture it is so taboo to talk about? Why is it only old people that are expected to die and when do you even become old?

We have a lot of human rights issues happening right now regarding birth and pregnancy but death, and our rights regarding it, are just as important. If someone you lived with died and you were the only one in the house – would you know what to do? Do you know what the laws are, if any, regarding the dead body? Does your family have any specific rituals or rites of passage that need to be performed over the dying or dead person so that they leave this world peacefully?

I also find it coincidental that a woman’s period is also taboo (or even ‘frowned upon’). Any of you that have experienced a menstrual period can safely say that you have experienced a death of sorts. A feeling of being very withdrawn and down – maybe even mourning the lost opportunity of conception. Even miscarriages! Are women allowed a safe space to mourn for the loss of their fetus (if they so choose)? At that stage, in a metaphysical context, that fetus was apart of her. Did she feel the death herself?

These questions need to have answers because without death we can’t have life.

Pagan Blog Project #3 – ‘D’ is for Deity (or lack thereof)

I’m an Animist which means that I believe that “natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.”

Whilst a Deity is classified as:
1. A god or goddess.
2. Divine character or nature, especially that of the Supreme Being; divinity.
3. The estate or rank of a god: The king attained deity after his death.
4. A person or thing revered as a god or goddess: a society in which money is the only deity.
5. The Deity, God; Supreme Being.

[Definitions obtained from dictionary.com]

I don’t really worship any particular Deity as such. I acknowledge a God and a Goddess on my altar but they do not have names and are mostly a representation of the masculine and feminine energies present in us all. I’ve always felt that this idea of worshiping a being a bit dangerous – and maybe that’s stemmed from my experience of Catholicism and Christianity. I don’t think that any one being should be given that much power

I do however worship the Earth and maybe you would class that as a Deity. I hold extreme reverence for everything to do with the Natural world. We live in such a beautiful place that holds such wonder and amazement – I can see why people would assume some magical, all powerful being could be the explanation of it all.

Earth – or Mother Earth – is not a she nor a he, she is both and neither and everything in between and beyond. There is no classification or group, no feelings or thoughts or anything of that matter. Earth just IS. She is there, just being. Everything in the universe is just being and it is incomprehensible. We try to personify everything into these deities and giving them all jobs which leave it all neat, tidy and all packaged with nice little bows. For me, this isn’t how it is. For me it is all chaos; everything is created by complete chance and circumstance – our Earth and us included.

We were not created by anything or anyone, we evolved like everything else and by pure chance we developed the ability to think about ourselves and go beyond our instincts to question the purpose of everything. I believe that the reason for this isn’t metaphysical, I believe it’s the reason for every other adaption – survival and reproduction.

–> I’m going to leave it there for now as I feel I’ve said everything I can at this point in my studies (I also feel like going a bit off topic so will leave that for another post). Feel free to comment with any questions.

Also I’m sorry I’ve been a bit MIA. Check out my tumblr for an explanation and follow to keep track of my thought process.

pbp4

Pagan Blog Project #2 – ‘C’ is for Children (and Culture)

I’m ‘creating’ a culture for my children.

How do Children relate to my spirituality or to paganism for that matter? Well, my children and my children’s children continue to be the inspiration for a lot of the choices I make, including why I study Druidry and worship the Earth. It became important around the time I begun learning about Global Warming and the damage humans inflict on nature – how will that effect future generations and is there a way we can change our lifestyle now to improve that?

I’ve never really had much of a culture (unless you call bigotry and alcoholism a culture) and in my study of nature, culture seems to be a key element in achieving a sustainable and successful civilisation. It’s also effected me on a personal level as I’ve always felt out of place and that there was something missing – Paganism filled that void temporarily but the relocation of my bloodline to a place completely different from my ancestors and everything that I relate to spiritually continues to make me feel like an intruder. I decided that trying to lay an entire Earth worshipping religion over a land that’s completely different to the land where it was originally created is a band aid solution to a problem that needs to be fixed from the inside out – it seems to be the only way to permanently fill this void. In a nutshell; I’m personalising old traditions and applying them to a new land and set of deities. I will then use that as a foundation to ‘maturing’ the culture that we already have. White Australian’s do have a culture it’s just not very accepting nor is it beautiful – it’s rough as guts, intimidating, and exclusive (even if you were born into it, if you don’t like drinking ‘X’ beer, watching ‘X’ sport and just being a general asshole to people then you are excluded or tormented).

To me culture and spirituality should be intertwined but not to the point where we confuse fact and imagination. Spirituality and imagination aren’t bad things but they should be developed on an individual level – not forced down children’s throats before they’re old enough to ask the questions themselves. I want to teach my children about art, I want to tell them stories about mythical creatures and Gods/Goddess’, I want to teach them about dreams and how to celebrate without having the adults they look up to getting drunk. These things for me are spiritual but I don’t want to force my particular beliefs on my children and I don’t want them mistaking what I believe as fact because it’s not – it’s just the way that I see the world.

I want my children to feel like they have a purpose and that they belong here. I want to teach them to have respect and a reverence for the Earth that we don’t experience in our current culture, so that they can be conscious of how they treat her and every being that lives here. I believe that practicing a form of spirituality that regularly worships nature can do that – it’s not the only way but it’s the only way that seems fun to me. Then I can develop a culture, using those principles, that I will feel comfortable raising my children in.

pbp4

A Dedication to the Goddess’ in my Life

20130211-134643.jpg
If anyone follows me on my tumblr or my facebook you might have already heard me talk of VDay or 1 Billion Rising. It’s a movement against violence; specifically against violence towards women. The website for 1 Billion Rising inspired me to create my own event where the people I know and love can come together and communicate.

My goal for this is to see the elephant in the room and get women and men talking about the issues of marital rape, casual sexism, spousal abuse, etc which are more common in our society. Other issues such as forced female circumcision, rape and other horrible things experienced more overseas will also be on our minds and tongues.
After creating this event I got quite a positive reaction from those closest to me which then inspired me to create this altar. The jewellery box was given to me by my great grandmother, the incense holder by my mother-in-law, the oil burner is from my mum, the necklace is from my sister and mum (I wear it during my period), the jar is filled with coins and draped with fabric from my mother-in-law, a silver bangle from my nan surrounds the goddess statue I made from clay, the daffodil pin is from my other great grandmother, there are gold earrings worn by my aunty at my parents wedding, a book mark from one of my sister-in-laws and a key ring from my other aunty. Basically I made it as a dedication to the women in my life.

In the couple of days following the ritual I saw more people getting involved – even my grandmothers friends were excited and shared with me their stories. My relationships with women seem to be blossoming into something beautiful. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with other women for reasons I can’t quite pin point and I’m starting to believe that being comfortable with my sex is probably a step in the right direction to true equality.

Happy New Year – Dark Moon

20130211-134234.jpg
This weekend was the Dark of the Moon and lucky for me I got the weekend off work. My fiance and I went camping in the middle of the Australian bush next to a beautiful river that flowed down from the mountains. I saw this as the opposite of the first full moon of 2013 as it marks the end or beginning of the first moon cycle of the year (depending on how you look at it I guess).

Not much conscious decision making or planning went into this trip. I’d only gotten the weekend off maybe two days beforehand, we started packing at 10.30pm the night before which led to us forgetting a bunch of stuff and we hadn’t even really decided where we were going until we started unpacking the car. I must say though, it was one of the best holidays I’ve had.

The purpose of the get away, for me, was to celebrate the new moon but I didn’t take any of my ritual items a part from my diary and some herbs. In hindsight though everything I needed was there – Brian and I, nature, a fire, some paper and a pen. This year is a big one for us as individuals and us as a couple. Big changes are coming, our personalities will be tested and we’ll be pushed to our limits. Lots of decisions need to be made, responsibilities need fulfilling and experiencing life needs to be made a priority. We talked, contemplated, laughed, made love, feared and comforted each other. We learnt about each other as we always do whilst camping – it always leaves us closer together than when we start unpacking the tent on the first day (a clear sign is how much we fight when we’re putting it up vs. taking it down).

Before we were about to leave we washed ourselves in the river and both wrote down our wishes and hopes for the coming year. We read them to each other and they both contained the same basic elements – then we sent them down the river.

Welcome Nwyfre Raven-seer

Welcome Nwyfre Raven-seer

Firstly I’d like to say a big thank you to Moira from Ariom Designs for creating such a beautiful piece of work and allowing me to set up a payment plan.

Purpose and Goals

I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with stationery and I’ve always had diaries and journals that I keep my thoughts and feelings in. When I decided that I was going to be more serious about making my dreams of creating a culture a reality I thought it was only right that I obtain a journal that will reflect the important work I was doing – I also wanted it to last long enough to pass down to my children and maybe even my children’s children.

Welcoming Nwyfre Raven-Seer

I wanted to choose a name – I don’t like any of the words for books such as ‘Book of Shadow’ or ‘Grimoire’. I was adament on finding a name that perfectly describes the use of the book to me – I hope that when it’s passed on that it be given a new name and purpose.

*Nwyfre: (pronounced NOO-ev-ruh) is the Druidic concept of the ‘life force’ (or ‘neart’ in Scots Gaelic). The word nwyfre is a Middle Welsh word meaning ‘sky’ or ‘vigor.’ It was usually used to refer to a windy sky.
*Raven-Seer: I’ve seen the same pair of Ravens around a lot recently and Ravens have always been thought of messengers between the realms.

I wanted something full of power that was also humble – I wanted it to be truthful to me and to my roots. I looked up Indigenous Aboriginal names for things but I was never sure of the authenticity of the source and, quite obviously, don’t speak any of the languages of the First Australians (I don’t speak Welsh either but ya know). I feel this name gives a respectful nod to my ancestors whilst also being a true and modern representation of the work I’m doing.

SONY DSC

“No challenge given is more than we can handle… Some things we just have never done before!” xoxo Moi

The Ritual

The beginning of the ritual began during the day. When night time came I relit the incense and candles then set out my newly welcomed Raven to create an introductory page. I rolled a smoke consisting of cannabis, mugwort, lion’s tail and damiana to make the creative process flow more easily then I watched Judith Lucy’s documentary about her spiritual journey and also read a comic by Carl Sagan on ZenPencils.com. Both these pieces inspired me to use my idea for a tattoo as my front title page.  I listened to my Australia Day playlist which my fiance created for our Australia Day party that we had yesterday – it consists of only Australian artists (and I must admit that it’s gotten a lot better over the last 5 or so years). I got in touch with my breathing and floated down into the music – I let it carry me until the process became easy and gentle.

 

SONY DSC

Moon Cycle for Raven

I still need to fix up the background a little more and the sizes of the different moons are a little out of proportion but I thought I’d share with you anyway.

)O(

Happy New Year – The First Full Moon of 2013

Full Moon Ritual Jan 2013

Full Moon Ritual Jan 2013

Even though I still celebrate New Years on the 31st of December like all the other people I’ve grown up with, the first full moon in January is where I really get down to business. Thankfully it also fell on the long weekend – so I actually got time to plan and conduct a decent ritual (and document it!).

Introduction

Even since this post I’ve been feeling pretty good about the things I’ve accomplished over the last few months. At the risk of sounding completely cliche I felt like it was the beginning of the rest of my life. I’ve been really getting my butt into gear with documenting this stuff – even finally going so far as to buy a decent journal to write it in so I may pass it on. This ritual was basically about saying thanks and a celebration of allowing these things to happen – I also cleansed and blessed a few of my new tools and projects for the near future.

The Ritual

SONY DSC

The besom

I had the house to myself today so I got to use the living room – I felt like I needed a bigger table and a more communal place to work from as this is magic that will potentially effect all areas of my life; not just my spiritual side. I set up the space as I usually would (click here to view a basic structure of a ritual) and then used my besom to sweep around the outside to banish any negative energy that may effect the outcome of the spell/ritual. I then spoke to the God and Goddess and thanked them for giving me the opportunity to be creative again (I cast a spell a little while back asking for them to ‘Reawaken the passion, reawaken the creativity”). I then cleansed and blessed all the objects I have recently collected to turn into ritual and divination tools. I also cleansed and dedicated my new tools to the God and Goddess. I named my new Journal – Nwyfre Raven-seer  (click here to view the rest of the ritual for Raven).
After this was done I had something to eat, put some music on and celebrated the new year. I remembered where I’ve been over the last year and reflected on my accomplishments – I thought about what I wanted to achieve this year and beyond.

Structure of a Basic Ritual and Spell

Introduction

The most important thing for me when I’m performing a ritual is keeping an open mind and heart. I try to allow fluid communication between me and the universe, which means that I don’t usually follow a set ritual layout. I don’t have a series of step by step instructions complete with a rhyme that I repeat whilst I light certain candles in a certain order, etc etc. I try to feel what’s right for the purpose of the ritual because, of course, each ritual has a different goal. I don’t believe in deities or I don’t believe in human representatives of immortals – maybe there are groups of energy out there that can help in a certain task but I’ve never really bonded with any of them. I also find it hard to believe that they have a likeness of us – this is what I mean when I say on my ‘About’ page that I manifest my worship into a God and Goddess model for familiarity. I don’t think they would actually be a Male and a Female human looking creature of some sort – more of just opposite energies (similar to the Yin and Yang concept).
So this layout is extremely basic. Hopefully I can get into the habit of actually documenting more of my specific rituals and spells.
NOTE: I use the words ‘ritual’ ‘spell’ and ‘praying’ interchangeably. I can do a ritual without doing a spell but I can’t do a spell without doing a ritual or praying and usually a ritual always includes praying of some kind.

Beginning

I get together all the things I’ll need for the ritual or spell – usually this includes my god and goddess statues, candles/incense, lighter/matches and something to help me focus on the purpose of the ritual. This could include stones, sticks, feathers, tarot/oracle cards, flowers, personal items, paper, etc.
I also usually have some water, some food and my Meditation flower essences (White Chestnut, Wild Oat, Clematis, Cerato and Heather) close at hand. I have these things close by because I’m a dreamer and if I don’t ground myself well after the practice I can start feeling quite out of sorts – it’s a blessing as well as a curse. It makes it easy for me to slip into ritual and spellwork but not so easy for me to come back out again or to even be that productive in my day to day life.

Here's an example of a structure of a ritual - this one isn't my usual but it's got all the basic elements.

Here’s an example of a structure of a ritual – this one isn’t my usual but it’s got all the basic elements.

Usually I’ll have the God on the left, Goddess on the right and the incense/candle in the middle with the point of focus around the center. Where I put the point of focus object usually changes depending on if I’m using other things for the ritual (such as a wand, pentacle, cauldron, herbs, burning of paper, etc). I tend to make it look balanced and pretty – that’s the Libran coming out in me.

Body

Once I’m set up I meditate – I pay attention to my breathing and strengthen my personal boundaries. Usually this involves visualisation techniques which for me include roots extending from my tail bone/spine into the Earth, which I then use to neutralise my thoughts and feelings (negative into the Earth and positive into me). I also use this connection to strengthen my boundaries – this is called by a few different names and everyone sees (or imagines) it differently. I refer to it as my aura but it’s also my ‘bubble’ and it’s where my presence is outside of my body in space – my ‘personal space’. I do this so that I know where to come back to and to know that while I’m off having a journey my body is safe inside a strong barrier.
Whilst I do this I’m simultaneously sending out a ‘Hello? I’m here’ signal to anything that would like to communicate.
NOTE: I think it’s important to establish a boundary before talking to anything so make sure your boundary is bright and strong enough for things to come in only if you invite them.

Once I am happy with the state of my boundaries I will carry out the spell or ritual (Here is some examples of spells and rituals that I do) and here is where it varies. Sometimes I will light incense and carry out the spell imagining that the smoke is sending off my wishes to the universe, sometimes I will only imagine that once I’ve blown out a candle with the smoke off the wick – this depends on the purpose of the spell/ritual. Sometimes I will wear certain clothes or other objects to enhance communication with particular animal totems or other beings or sometimes I will just use a feather, a photo, an oracle card, etc as the focus object. Sometimes I will write what it was I want to achieve down but only if the words come to me easily. Again, hopefully I can try to document more of my rituals and spellwork.
Another great example of ritual would be my yoga practice. Some of the time it’s just exercise but a majority of the time it’s a spiritual event for me and I begin the same way I would any other ritual or spell.

End

The end is usually marked by a feeling of completion or the incense running out (but I have been known to light another incense stick or cone). At this point I blow out the candle and meditate again – strengthening my boundaries and so forth. I drink some water, have a little to eat and move around. I also find it useful to consciously identify objects (that’s a blue towel, I can hear a piano playing, etc). It’s also good habit to say thank you to whoever or whatever you were dealing with – I must admit I haven’t been all that good with offerings because I even forget to eat myself (see what I mean about being a dreamer!). I do try to leave some food out for the local birds because they usually accompany me but I don’t too often because I don’t want them depending on it. If I haven’t done the ritual or spell away from an altar space, I will leave the altar set up usually this includes spells or rituals to attract wealth, if it’s a ritual for the turning of the wheel or if I’ve done a spell for someone.

Goals for the Future
+ Try to hash out a basic structure to write in my journal.
+ Have two way communication with my animal totem eg. meditate with it specifically in mind and ask if it wants/needs anything, make some offerings to it specifically.
+ Come up with a more solid way to honor the God and Goddess. A short invocation at the beginning or end? Or maybe try to incorporate them into celebrations more. Leave offerings regularly.
+ Research some Aboriginal deities and see if any resonate with me.

27/1/13 – Weather Observation

27/1/13 - Weather Observation

It rained all day – literally I was woken up just before dawn and it was already raining. It wasn’t a drizzle or downpour but it was raining steadily. Generally this is an unusual thing for the 27th of January – my sisters birthday is on the 25th and we pretty much always had a pool party because it was so hot. It’s been a nice change though since Sydney has had the most days over 40C in 100 years this summer.
Haven’t heard much from any birds or other animals today. The corn is about ready to harvest, the peas are dead from heat and the beetroot has big leaves but not so big roots.