It’ll feel like work

Sunday evening, I sat down and did my Sunday evening journaling. After some meditation and writing, I did a Rune pull.

Pertho, Othala, Fehu, Dagaz, Ingwaz in merkstave, and Nauthiz in merkstave.

I will have a spiritual breakthrough and my ancestors will be behind me on the way. But it will be work and it will feel like work.

The universe gives signs. Whether you see them or not typically depends on your perspective, but they are there. I’ve been getting signs of 20 minutes a day for a few months now. Just this morning, I finally got to the post by Gangleri: a video by a priest sharing the story of how Steve Martin became a Grammy winning banjo musician. And how that can apply to any aspect of one’s life, including spiritual work. The priest spoke a lot about doing in the darkness what you also do in the light. The first comment is from a polytheistic perspective, where a Hindu leader remarks that you don’t “blackmail the gods” into giving you a good mood so that you will do their ritual. Rather, you do the ritual, especially when you don’t feel like it, to get into a good mood.

I’ve been working and getting much better, much stronger.

Summer vacation started, and I began waking with Hubby, rather than before him, and I would walk the dogs and then spend time with him. By time he left for work, I wouldn’t go to my morning meditations, because the kids would be awake and I’m now spending time with them. But I still need time with meditation, with the gods, with my ancestors.

Luke Cage season 2 is going to have to wait, as last night I officially shifted my meditation time from the morning to the night. Putting off something fun makes it work-like. Digging deeper makes it feel more work like.

I’ve been walking to this threshold for about a year now. I’m ready to step over it, to dig deeper.

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Practical offerings

Confession: I still haven’t gotten better at giving regular offerings.

I know there is a relationship I’m building and I know this one like all other relationships is a two way street. I know there needs to be a give and take. And I know I’m usually on a one way street with taking and no giving.

Thoughts, yes. Time, yes. Intentions, yes.

I have struggled with the idea of doing food offerings since I started my Path. Food offering to me equalled food wasted. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Sunday night I dreamt of making more consistent offerings. Yesterday afternoon as I checked the mail, a random thought came through my mind: our family regularly has to clear out the fridge of uneaten, spoiled food. It makes my heart sad every time we do it; yet it’s not something we have learned how to avoid. We have collectively improved in the past few months: buying less, cooking more of one dish at a time and planning for leftover meals on multiple nights. But we’re not there yet.

An offering of food is a real psychological sacrifice for me, yet it wouldn’t be much more than our food waste.

Of course both Monday and yesterday I forgot to bring the offering bowl to the table.

Starting tonight, I was determined to fulfill the dream and begin regularly setting food and drink offerings to the gods, good neighbors, and ancestors.

Since we had french fries with dinner tonight, that was our offering.

Specifically, in my dream, Witchlette made offerings to Skadi and Witchling to Heimdall. I gave to Frigg, Thor, Idunn, Odin, Bragi, and Sif. We all gave to our ancestors and we all gave to the good neighbors.

This evening, as I moved from the table to the blessing tree, I laid out the offerings and raised them out to beyond

To Frigg, Thor, Skadi, Heimdall, Idunn, Braggi, and Sif. To all of our ancestors, known and unknown. And to the Fair Neighbors who take residence in the yard which we now share.

Blessings to each and every one of you.

Leaving this offering was not as detrimental as I originally thought it would be. It is less than food waste we would have anyway. It made sense. And it felt right.

Ebb and flow

I’ve been on this account since January 2012.

Making a blog to document my journey and give me something tangible to reminisce with was the New Year’s Resolution for that year.

That’s over six years of being a public Pagan through writing.

I began officially walking my path 2006-2007. I was definitely a Baby Pagan at that time, but I was always more or less out- like now, open but not advertising.

I want to say I was a Baby Pagan until 2012. Starting this blog definitely helped me develop my spiritual roots. I was still trying to figure out exactly what my role is in this great thing called life until 2013- when Witchlette was born.

My ebb and flow with the Pagan community has been exactly that- an ebb and flow. When life’s other responsibilities get in the way, I ebb. I give up time from practice and I use that time towards other matters. I focus more on momming, on wifeing, on keeping house, and teaching…and lately on moving and settling. I try to put Magickal intentions onto everyday mundane tasks, but at times even those thoughts get put to the side.

It’s a habit, like everything else. And some habits take longer to form while others take longer to break.

Karmatically, though, I feel I am learning the same lesson over and over again. I keep coming back to the same spot. I keep coming back to instilling the same habits. Around the same time of year. I carry them through the spring and into the summer. I ride them high into the autumn, and I lose them through the winter.

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to go. Maybe I’m supposed to be in hibernation mode through the winter, focusing more on home life and keeping a balance through the cold. It is definitely easier to “be” Pagan when one can comfortably engage in Nature. And when Nature isn’t hibernating itself.

I can see in myself why my ancestors clung so closely to the Sun. Why Patrick was able to trick my Grandfather’s people into conversation by placing the Sun atop the cross and making the Celtic Cross. I see why there was panic over Ragnarok with my Grandmother’s people- how the shortness of days makes everything feel harder. It may not actually be harder, it just feels that way.

The lull between Yule and Ostara is probably the hardest part of the year for me. The joys of the dark winter time have passed, and it seems that more responsibility than normal is crammed into each day- perhaps it just feels that way with the shortness of the days.

Perhaps it was exacerbated this winter season when everything was compartmentalized and packed away. I can truly see why the first commandment in the Bible is having no images of any other gods. A physical presence makes for much easier spiritual work. I am so glad I have my altar totems back- everything just feels better when a physical presence of my gods are around.

 

Theory into practice

Witchlette, as I have shared before, is very interested in ancestor veneration.

This past weekend, on Saturday, we gathered with many of Hubby’s maternal side of the family. In the past year, Hubby’s 2nd cousin passed away. He, and Hubby’s great aunt, were honored at the dinner with a reserved empty chair and a plate of food for the ancestor and Fae. All week, Witchlette was talking about how excited she was to visit with D & S, our hosts, and all of the cousins. When we got there and she realized how many people were present, and how many of them she didn’t know, she clammed up.

As I read the ancestor welcome, L, the sister of the cousin and daughter of the great aunt, collected food samplings on a small plate and put it aside for their spirits.

To those who have gone before,

To those whose names live in our hearts and dance upon our lips,

To those whose names have been lost in the sea of time,

To those whose bones lie above and below the earth,

To those whose ashes have traveled on the winds,

We, the living, bid you welcome and entrance.

The plan was to leave the food by a tree towards the end of the night and formally bid the ancestors farewell. Over the course of the night, everyone became distracted and a formal farewell never happened. While watching over the moon before leaving, however, I said a quiet farewell to close the door to D and S’s home and keep none lingering.

Ancestor veneration

Witchlette is very interested in her ancestors. It started back with Moana and her favorite character, the Ancestor Chief with the pineapple crown. This is especially relevant in November, as everywhere there is discussions of family and heritage. 

For a school project, Witchlette is competing a family tree. We went back to mine and Hubby’s great grandparents. 

Both Witchlette and Witchling sleep with blankies made by Grandma Glory. Witchlette was making holiday cards for some family members, and Witchling made a card for Grandpa Chet. 

The ancestors are very much alive in our home. 

Inviting the ancestors

This evening at dinner, we invited our ancestors by discussing our Beloved Dead and our Forgotten Dead, and our heritates, and how all of it has led to Witchlette and Witchling. 

We raised a toast to our ancestors, both Beloved and Forgotten Dead. Witchlette called for a “Blessed Be” and Witchling answered my cheers with a “Skal!”

We left a plate of food for spirits to join us at our table. 

We have our jack-o’-lanterns lit on our walkway, just before the window where the plate sits at the Spirts’ seat. 

After dinner, we had some delightful trick or treating, including a few houses in our neighborhood that gave away whole candy bars to folks who made it through all the scary and to the front door. We made it to one!

Samhain Blessings

Last night, I rung in the New Year with some of my best gals. We enjoyed each other’s company, with tea and wine and divination well into the wee hours of the morning. I’m fully hoping this will be a new trend that we will continue year in and year out. 🙂

Tonight, the family will be doing an ancestors supper where we will include a plate for generations past to join our table. We will be talking about Halloween, Samhain, and Winternights.

Image result for winter nights heathen

Today, I began the day with teaching my English III class “The Raven” and I am dressed in full regalia today- purple cloak made by my mother-in-law, black and purple witch hat, black dress I bought specifically for Samhain last year…everything that makes me feel Witchy.

May your Witch’s New Year be plentiful.

May your preparations for the coming dark be fruitful.

Image result for blessed samhain

Image result for blessed samhain

 

Image result for blessed samhain