For 17 years I have been blessed to live in gorgeous Cumbria. Although Australian born and raised, this part of the world has stolen a place in my heart. From the gentle bosom-like fells to the dramatic Lake District hills, forests, streams, tarns, lakes and meadows, this part of the world offers so many beautiful places for a couple to take their wedding vows.



Do you want to get married:

At sunrise on the Summer Solstice?
Beneath the stars on New Year’s Eve?
In an apple orchard?
Barefoot on the beach?
In an ancient woodland?


In a luxury hotel?
An old stone chapel?
By the fireplace in a converted barn?

In a candlelit labyrinth?
Inside an old castle?


On a boat?
In a wildflower meadow?
At a Druid’s stone circle?


As an independent celebrant, I am free to marry you any time, and at the place of your dreams.

Why choose me as a celebrant?

I offer personalised, heart-felt ceremonies created, written & officiated especially for you. I’m a specialist in ritual, & have been officiating weddings since 1995.

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a sense of respect for ceremonies and rituals which honour the human spirit. Having officiated across three countries, for more than twenty years, I am skilled at bringing purpose and intention to each ceremony.

My role is to seamlessly create a sacred space, and I do so practically and intuitively using a sense of craft and pace. I am there to hold the energy, and to offer structure.


I trained as a celebrant at Unity Church, Auckland, New Zealand in the early 1990s, and have officiated ceremonies in all manner of places, such as a Maori Marae in New Zealand, public gardens in New Zealand and Australia, Ironage replica roundhouse, bushlands, meadow, private gardens, by a river, public and private buildings, and a stone circle in Yorkshire.


If you’re planning to get married in Cumbria, but live overseas or in another county, that’s no problem at all. We can use Skype to ensure all your wedding plans for the ceremony come together seamlessly.


Ceremonies from the Heart

Veronika Robinson | Independent Celebrant

E: veronikarobinson (at) hotmail (dot) com


Member of the Association of Independent Celebrants
Featured on Easy Weddings


About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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The kitchen, that sacred space where we prepare food to share with and nurture friends and family, has long been part of domesticated human culture.



It’s a grey, wet day here in Cumbria. In my oven is a delicious bread, free of flour and yeast, but based instead on seeds and nuts and psyllium husk powder.


A glass bowl sits on the bench, with black beans soaking for dinner. I still haven’t decided what to do with them. They might become a Latin stew, or bean and sweet potato burgers. Maybe they’ll become a bean loaf or black-bean minestrone. I have no doubt the inspiration will come to me as the day unfolds gently before me.



The kettle has boiled, and I steep peppermint tea. The aroma fills the room and my heart melts as I listen to the classical music station play Pachabel’s Canon.

As a writer, many inspirational ideas come to me as I potter about in the kitchen. For some reason, my intuition kicks in and my mind is more receptive.

My teenage daughter has just made the most scrumptious lunch: chickpeas in a mashed base of sweet potato and dill on brown rice noodles.

For me, the kitchen is a place of visible sacred ceremony. It is here I come to honour and give reverence to the Earth and Sun and Moon for growing the plants which I’ll eat. Lovingly, I prepare my fruits and vegetables to feed my family. The kitchen is, for me, a play space, a work room, and a devotional altar to all that is good in this life.



Veronika is the author of the popular recipe book: The Mystic Cookfire, the sacred art of creating food for friends and family (published by Starflower Press). She is currently writing Love From My Kitchen (more delicious plant-based recipes!), soon to be published by Starflower Press.

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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This week is Womb Awareness Week. If you don’t already, maybe this is a good time to develop some healthy and healing rituals around your body.

The menstrual muse

Cycle to the Moon: celebrating the menstrual trinity of menarche, menstruation and menopause, is my contribution to female health. Pick yourself up a copy on Amazon, or ask your local library to stock copies.


This book is based on workshops I’ve facilitated called Cycle to the Moon & Sacred Cycle. It is designed to help you explore your beliefs around your body and its cycles regardless of where you are on the menstrual trinity, as well as giving helpful tips and practical advice to make your experiences around Moon Blood more comfortable and enjoyable. Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads.

Wise Woman Journalc2m3D

Art work by Susan Merrick.

Love, Veronika xx

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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If you’re new to the idea of celebrating Samhain, in the sense of honouring our ancestresses in a gentle, holistic way, rather than buying into the ghoulish commercial hype of fear-based Halloween, why not incorporate these simple ideas.

My favourite way is simply to take a walk in Nature. Here, all around us, is the story of birth, life, death. Nature returns unto herself. The leaves will once again become part of the soil from which they first originated as a tiny seed sprouting.

Breathe in the crisp, cool air. Smell woodsmoke. Listen to the sounds as your feet walk upon the leaves. What can you hear? How do you feel?

A Samhain Altar is a beautiful way to adorn your home with gifts from Nature. There are the obvious things like pumpkins, apples and corn, but you can also add acorns, plump rosehips and other gifts from your walk.


You could make a wreath for hanging over the hearth or at your front door.

Use plant-based or beeswax candles to bring light to the dark nights.

Collect photographs, memorabilia and heirlooms from your ancestors and ancestresses. You might like to include fresh rosemary stems to symbolise ‘remembrance’. I collect fresh rosemary from the garden, but also sprinkle the altar with essential oil of rosemary.

Light candles.









Stand with reverence before your ancestors. Say their names out loud. Express gratitude for their part in your life. The veil is thin at this time of the year. Stop and listen to the messages of loved ones who have passed over, whether or not you know their names.

When creating your dinner, leave a place for them.

This is the end of the earth-based year. Give thanks for all that has gone before. When reflecting on the past 12 months, what can you take from it as you move forward?

Declutter and let go of what you no longer need from your home. Release. Learn from Mother Nature. Let go. Start afresh. This is the time of transformation. Embrace it.

Create a phoenix ceremony. If you have space outdoors, create a bonfire or small fire in a fire pit/cauldron. Write down anything negative that you wish to leave your life. Throw this in the fire and see it being released. Let go. Move forward.



I love this time of the year for divination, and gather around me my many different divination cards as I seek guidance and affirmation for the months ahead.

The only way to counteract all the negativity brought into the world by false stereotypes around Halloween, is to be more visible in your expression of earth-based spirituality.

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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The stiff, British upper lip, and that need to be ‘dignified’ during a funeral, may, at last, slowly be giving way to authentic grief. Unexpressed tears become acidic in the organs, and are of no benefit to anyone. Funerals, when done with a personal touch, offer a way to bring family and friends together to share in mourning that is honest and uninhibited.



Template, cookie-cutter style funerals are, bit by bit, becoming a thing of the past as people start to realise that they can create a ceremony which honours their loved one and their beliefs in a way that is true to them. Most funerals last for about 20-30 minutes. It’s no time at all to sum up a person’s life, let alone celebrate it, and yet, in many cases due to the choice of venue, this is what we must do.

Bringing personal, heart-felt ritual to a ceremony is vital if we intend to support the healing side of grief.

A funeral/memorial is a major part of acknowledging that a loved one has died. Gathering with others, we face our grief. A funeral somehow makes the death ‘more real’.



That moment, always so painful, when the curtain closes or the coffin is lowered, confirms what we have been experiencing. Our loved one is gone.

Authentic grief is when mind, body and soul align to understand that our life has changed, and our loved one is no longer here (at least in the sense we understand it, physically).

When we are participants and witnesses in a personalised funeral, we are given space to focus on the loss and start the process of living with the change.

Grieving is a time in which we have to adjust to the change of status, in terms of the relationship we once had with the deceased, to living with memories. One of the beautiful things that can come out of a funeral is the sharing of memories. We each have stories to tell, and when we share these with others, it helps to build a fuller picture of the deceased and how they lived on this earth.



At my father’s funeral, I heard many stories about him that I hold close in my heart. It’s always special to have other people’s insights into a loved one.






As an astrologer, I am interested in Saturn’s recent ingress into the zodiac sign of Sagittarius, for this is the part of us which seeks meaning. This is where we ask the big questions: Why? What is the meaning of this? Why did this happen? What happens after death? Perhaps over the next couple of years, during this transit, more and more of us will be seeking the meaning of life more than we ever have.

I do believe the ‘why’ questions become an important stepping stone for the bereaved.

Having said goodbyes to several people in my life recently, it only serves to reinforce that old calling card of mortality. We are all dying. Some of us sooner than others. Having three friends with major health issues has only amplified this message for me, and the need to enjoy every single day.

Death, dying, saying goodbye. These are as important in life as birth, puberty, graduation, weddings, and so on. If anything, they remind us to hold life as sacred. Being able to grieve authentically, at a funeral and elsewhere, is vital to moving onwards.

When someone we love dies, there can be an inner voice that wants to yell at the world ‘stop! Don’t you know (name) has just died?’ A funeral is one of the few times in our grieving journey when the world, or a small part of it, does stop for a short time…long enough for us to say good bye. Our attention becomes focussed on this dedicated grieving ritual.



When my father was killed in a car accident almost four years ago, I flew the long-haul flight to Australia. I was looking forward, in amongst the pain, to seeing my mother who I’d not seen for years. Although my parents had been divorced for a long time, I knew she’d be there. After all, she had eight grieving children. The only thing was: she didn’t come to the funeral. Her phone went off the hook. It was only after the funeral that she made contact again. My mother hates funerals. She’s not alone there, of course, but she lost a few siblings in childhood in war-time Germany and spent much of her childhood crying. Grief hurts. There’s no denying that. And, to be honest, even the less vain amongst us don’t want to be seen with red puffy eyes and mucusy noses!

A funeral is a way of not only saying farewell, but of welcoming in those in your community so they can love, support and nourish you. Of course, we can never take away another’s grief. That’s impossible. We can, however, say how sorry we are for the loss. We can bake a cake or make a pot of soup. We can bring flowers. We can offer to do housework or errands. There’s no end to the support we can offer. And perhaps, in losing our loved one, we have moments of gaining more love from elsewhere ~ if we allow ourselves to do so. Our broken, wounded heart needs tending, and it is too easy to close ourselves off to the love that is all around us. No one can ever replace our loved one, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find succour in other types of love and affection.

At a funeral I officiated recently, I overheard one of the mourners say to someone, who she was surprised to see there: “What are you doing here?” (The funeral was quite some distance from where the guest lived). Her reply was simple: “I’m here to support you.”

And that is why we go to funerals. To support each other. To symbolically or literally hold another’s hand and say “I feel your pain.”




There is still such a fear and taboo around funerals. The tide is changing, though, and if you ever find yourself at a funeral where it has been personalised and officiated with reverence, you might just come to see how deeply healing and transformative such a ceremony can be.



About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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Tonight, sunset will be an hour sooner. It always takes some adjusting when the clocks go back.

The Sun, now transiting Scorpio, is bringing up lessons to do with letting go, releasing, decay, transforming, digging deep, sexuality, trust, and surrendering. Of all the zodiac signs, Scorpio is the one I have most respect for even though novice (and probably many experienced) astrologers are rather terrified of the sign.

Scorpio has grit. It’s the only sign to be represented by three totems. While Libra is all about charm and diplomacy, Scorpio says ‘to hell with the niceties, I want the truth!’ It’s the detective of the zodiac, and will leave no stone unturned.

A scorpion can go for three days without breathing. It can survive being frozen, and is the only creature to survive radiation. Respect.

In the northern hemisphere, we’ll be wearing much warmer clothes and shoes, and putting on the heating sooner in the day. As I type, my woodstove is on. Its crackle reminds me that there is life in the room. Fire is a transformative force which, when we look at in mythology, gives us the story of the phoenix: the mythical creature rising from the ashes.

We’ve passed the equinox (balance) and are being drawn down into the dark. What do we hope to find here? Not much if it’s not a conscious journey, but oh how rich the rewards are when we excavate the psyche to see what we have learnt over the past few seasons.

While we often talk about spring cleaning our homes, for me it is Autumn which sees the deep desire to pull everything apart and clean. This is the perfect season for decluttering, deep cleaning, and shipping off unnecessary things to charity shops for recycling.

As we watch the beautiful aubergine, mustard, claret and golden leaves flutter to the ground, Nature reminds us that nothing in life is permanent. The leaf knows when it is time to move on. And so should we.
I don’t carve angry or scary faces into pumpkins. Instead, I create a “lantern of love” as an invitation across the veil to the other world. This is a time to acknowledge our ancestors and ancestresses, and to honour that at this time of the year, according to tradition, the veil between their world and ours is thin, and contact is easier with our deceased loved ones. From our family room window, at Samhain, our pumpkin will shine light through those love-heart shapes ~ inviting passers-by to re-envision the season.

Can you feel Autumn wrapping herself around you as she carries you towards Winter? Has she shown you yet that the place of deepest nurturing is in the silence? Like a fallow field, gestation and soul growth occur in the dark. In spiritual circles, we are often applauded for our journey towards enlightenment, but ‘endarkenment’ is just as valid.

Autumn teaches that letting go is also a form of generosity.
Leaves fall, branches are bare. Trees are silhouetted against the Sun setting on the horizon. Nothing stays the same. Autumn teaches us, with her incredible beauty, that you can’t hang on to something that doesn’t belong to you.

What have you outgrown? That is what Autumn wants to know. She is leading the way, and showing you through her graceful dance, that letting go leads to another type of beauty. This is imperative to spiritual transformation.

Change is in the air. I can smell it on the wood smoke, geese on high, early sunsets framing the old sandstone church. Even the rain feels different. Consciously, I choose to let go of anything that doesn’t serve me.
Our ancestresses understood the real significance of Autumn: Nature teaches us that seeds must ‘die’ before they can grow. This is symbolic of our spiritual potential. Alchemists would see this as the divine fire, and destroying the ego.

Most ancient myths symbolise the descent into the underworld prior to the spiritual ascent. As we move towards the cave of Winter, we can go down deeper, deeper, deeper into the underworld. It is only our reluctance to do so that makes life difficult.

The death which Autumn teaches us about is much like the movements of a woman’s body in labour ~ it is preparing us for a new beginning: a birth.
What can you let go of? Relationships, job, clothes, bad habits, fears, worn-out excuses, procrastination? We all know, in our hearts, what doesn’t serve us.

Consciously Celebrating Halloween

At this time of the year, shops are filled with fake spider webs, witches’ costumes, cauldrons, rubber frogs and an assortment of ghoulish items from jelly eyeballs to skeletons, and the ever-essential candy. For many children, Halloween is associated with knocking on the doors of strangers and receiving sugary sweets. This ancient festival has become a time to ignite people’s fears about the Underworld.

Halloween, however, was traditionally a festival which honoured the wise grandmother, otherwise known as The Crone. The Goddess is honoured by her three aspects: maiden, mother, grandmother. At Samhain (Halloween) it is the Grandmother (Crone) who takes centre stage as she demands that we use this time of year to look back over the year and go inwards to learn what will make us a better person in the coming year. It is a time of reflection, transformation and renewal. As befits the season of Autumn, it is a time to let go and release anything that does not serve us.
What was beautiful and symbolic of the great feminine, such as the Crone’s cauldron representing the womb of the Great Goddess, has been bastardised into witches on broomsticks casting evil spells. In Britain, the tradition of children trick or treating originated with asking for donations to help the poor. In Celtic tradition, Hallow’s Eve (renamed as Halloween by the Christian Church) is the time which signifies the end of Summer (Samhain; pronounced sow en). For Celts, this is the beginning of the New Year. The Saxons called it Winter’s Eve.

Our ancestors were honoured at this time of year, and it was believed by many cultures that the ‘veil’ between this world and the next was thinnest and therefore an ideal time for communication between the living and the dead.

How can we teach our children to celebrate this tradition in a way which is symbolically rich and meaningful beyond the commercialisation of modern-day Halloween?

There are many ways, such as making a special meal and serving a plate for the unseen guests. It could be gathering unneeded items from the home, such as outgrown clothes, food staples, toys, and giving them to charity (the cycle of Scorpio is a perfect time for letting go).
Making a small altar with photos of your ancestors, and lighting a candle, allow yourself to create a focal piece in your home. I taught my children, when they were young, the origins of the carved pumpkin: Irish immigrants used turnips, and introduced this idea in the USA in the 18th century.

The law of attraction is very clear: we become what we focus on. Do we teach our children about fear and negative energies, or do we demonstrate love, and that death is a doorway to another world and that there is nothing to be frightened of?

We can educate our children (and friends) about the history of Halloween, and how it began more than 2000 years ago as a way of honouring the Crone as well as the end of the harvest season. Her archetype, after all, is that of: you shall reap what you sow. She asks us, our wise grandmother, to take responsibility for our actions.

A Samhain Altar

There are countless ways to bring Samhain to life in your home, but beginning with a simple altar is a great way to start. Use colours and symbols of the harvest season, such as orange and black. Those of us who celebrate earth-based spirituality, use black because it represents the cape of the Wise Crone, and the waning Moon. It is symbolic of the dark Earth―the underworld, a type of womb―in which seeds will gestate during the long dark Winter.

We make full use of harvest foods, such as apples, acorns, rosehips, pumpkins and corn, pomegranates and marigolds. On our altar you will find beeswax candles, a cauldron, and Autumn leaves. Our mugs are filled with apple cider or warm honey mead.

On your altar, you can add photos or heirlooms of your ancestors, and invite them to meet you at the veil. Of course, in some homes the ancestor altar is on display all year round.

Sharing the Feast

When creating your Samhain feast, include a place for your ancestresses. Just a spoon of food and a mouthful of beverage will suffice. It’s symbolic.
Some families leave a bowl of porridge by the hearth, or a candle in the window, while others place an empty chair by the woodstove. These acts are said to guide hungry ghosts to comfort, and that humans will be blessed by their interactions with these wandering spirits.

This is the perfect opportunity to teach your children about their family tree and ancestral history. If you have letters, photos or books from your ancestors, share them and talk about what they mean to your family. If you don’t have any items, you can write the names of ancestors on paper to place on your altar.

To contact your ancestresses and ancestors, close your eyes and be mindful of your breathing. Use this time to ask yourself: who am I?
We are a collection of cells passed down from many, many people in the family line. We have their strengths, their weakness, and we house their failures and their dreams. The Festival of the Wise Grandmother is a time to honour the past and the present.

I am the daughter of Angelikah and Albertus, and granddaughter of Minna-Marie and Liselotte. I come from a long line of people who lived in the cold of Northern Europe: Vikings, shipbuilders, seafarers, mothers, craftsmen and musicians. I come from men and women, some whose names I do not know, but I do know they were: strong, pioneering, loving, creative, and held family as sacred.

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Keep speaking aloud, telling your family story. If there are stories you know, verbalise them. You can ask the ancient ones to guide you on your life’s journey, and to protect you and your loved ones.

If you feel you’re carrying family wounds, ask to be freed from them.


If you wish to be instrumental in healing wounded archetypes in your lineage, then ask how you can experience and release these stories so that you and descendants may find and write their own script.

Not everyone in our lineage is someone we wish to be connected to, but with love and forgiveness we can move forward, and in doing so, we free the energy of that person, too.

Use this time to think about your life, and what transformations you’ve undergone. You might choose to meditate, use runes or practise divination with tarot cards. Perhaps you’ll write down your dreams, or take a solitary walk in the woods and listen to the night owl beneath the moonlight.

A phoenix ceremony goes hand in hand with any celebration of Samhain. Review, release and let go. That is the message from the Wise Grandmother. If you have a patio or garden where you can create an open fire (even in a cauldron or small contained pit), use this to write down old habits or negative things from your life to release.
Be clear: Samhain and Halloween are not meant to be negative, fear-inducing or about black magic, but quite the opposite. Perhaps those who were instrumental in changing its pure meaning were afraid of empowerment and the strength of women.

Do feel free to share your positive Samhain and Halloween experiences. Perhaps you could invite friends to take a mindful walk in woodlands near your home. You could make a journey stick, collecting seasonal items from nature, to share the story of where you’ve been.

Costumes are a popular part of the modern-day Halloween. According to Samhain tradition, to wear a costume or mask during this time would help to distract wandering spirits from calling you to the Otherworld before your allotted time. Tradition also suggests that it was a way of conferring the strength of the creature you were imitating. It was common, too, to make noise using hands or drums to interrupt daily noise. This created a portal to the Otherworld which enabled spirits to make contact and whisper messages to the living.

As a family, you could visit the local cemetery (even if you have no loved ones there), and leave an offering, such as water, herbs, flowers, seeds, bulbs or gemstones.

With your family, you can offer a prayer of gratitude:
Thank you dear Earth for all that you have given us so bountifully this season.

We open our arms to the Sacred Darkness.

Take your spicy mead or cider, and make libations to Mother Earth, as symbolic of the Wise Grandmother.

“We have gathered the harvest, and Winter is coming. We give thanks.”
If you have a Goddess symbol of the Wise Grandmother, place it on your altar. You might like to make ink art or create dreamcatchers as part of your Halloween celebrations.

At the heart of any ritual and celebration which honours the Earth, is the use of fire as a symbol. Samhain and Halloween are no different. Fire reminds us that we’re in need of light and warmth. It invites introspection as we draw nearer to the flame.

Celebrating Samhain with Mother Nature

Make a Samhain wreath using grain stalks, nuts, apples, leaves, conkers and rosehips, and place it on your front door.

Ensure your garden is tidy before All Hallow’s Eve so that it may rest peacefully for the Winter.

Honour the darkness by lighting candles or celebrating with a bonfire. The light of fire is enhanced by the sheer darkness of night. The light reminds us that there is life in the Underworld.

Press flowers in old books.

Plant bulbs. As you bury them in the dark, moist and fertile womb of Mother Earth, offer a prayer to the Goddess of the Underground. Write your wishes on paper, and bury them with the bulbs.

Harvest your produce, and store well.

If you are celebrating Samhain with friends, hold hands and stand in a circle around your bonfire. Invite the ancestresses to be with you. Feel the power as each of you verbalise your connections to the Otherworld.
Wear black during Samhain to celebrate the season and all it represents.
Make spirals from seeds and nuts.

Sit outside at twilight and listen for the voices of your ancestresses in the wind.

Take a solitary walk at night time to feel the sense of the season.

Practise ecological awareness, and give back to the Earth rather than using products made from crude oils or ancient sunlight.

Walk the Labyrinth

The ancient Celtic shamans would walk the medicine wheel, otherwise known as a labyrinth. If you are lucky enough to live near a labyrinth, use this to enhance your Samhain ceremony. A labyrinth offers healing and psychological courage and strength.

A finger labyrinth can give you a way to put your question or intention to the Universe. Begin with a focus, then using your finger, make your way around the labyrinth. When you make the outward journey, do so in trust that your answer will be revealed to you.

If the finger labyrinth doesn’t appeal to you, you can make one outdoors with stones, candles or sandbags.

Veronika comes from a long line of white witches: the ones they were never able to burn!

About Veronika

Veronika Sophia Robinson is the author of many non-fiction books and novels.

You can also find her on:
Facebook | Twitter | WattPad

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