Imbolc weekend

This past weekend we celebrated Imbolc. Saturday we made Solar Crosses with pipe cleaners and Sunday we attended the Imbolc ritual with CotE.

I made two Solar Crosses. One in yellow and green, the Littles’ favorite colors, and one in red and black, Canes’ colors.

For the inner cross, I used two pipe cleaners, each folded over in the middle and one wrapped around the other. For the outer ring, I used three pipe cleaners, each folded over in the middle, and connected them at the points of the cross and to each other.

1) bend 5 sticks in half

2) cross two sticks over and wrap one stick around the other

3) attach the top of the cross to the end of one of the loose sticks to make the first part of the outer ring

4) pull the outer ring down to the left side of the cross

5) attach the second piece of the outer ring

6) bring it down and attach it to the bottom of the cross. It should go past the bottom

7) attach the final piece of the outer ring to the dangle past the bottom

8) attach the right side of the cross

9) attach the last portion back to the top of the cross

10) adjust the cross “seams” as needed to make them even

Here’s a pictorial step by step, using 5 different color sticks to make directions easier. The final product comes off as messy with the various weaves visible, but the steps are clear and that was the point here 😉

Witchlette watched me complete this project and decided to complete her own version. She only used two pipe cleaners, and she started with the outer ring then wove the cross into the middle. Here it is pictured with my originals.

It’s funny that she made something that looks like a heart rate monitor 👩‍⚕️

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Disablot/Charming of the Plow/Imbolc

The eve of Imbolc fell on a Friday, and it just felt more than appropriate to hold our Disablot on that night. It was on the night of the February Full Moon when Frigg made herself fully known to me. I wanted to honor both her and this time of knowing.

I gathered table supplies- Frigg totem, seeds to bless, horn of juice, silk flowers to place next to the snowflake candle holders to highlight the juxtaposition of this time.

First, we did our table blessing. Then, we each lifted the horn and completed the Disablot by giving honor to our female ancestors. At each of the kids turns, they honored their chosen gods. Witchlette made offerings to Skadi and Idunn as well as all the Fae and all the “lady gods” while Witchling made a boast to Ullr and Odin.

We enjoyed our meal together and were winding down when I started the Charming of the Plow portion. We talked about the plant life cycle and the seasonal life cycle; we talked about how we would plant some veggies at our new house. We each made offerings in honor of the new growing season, that we would find success.

Lastly, I made an open offering to Frigg by pouring some juice from the horn into the offering bowl. I then led the kids in a round I adapted from Nordic Wiccan. Since I made each line double, it became a call back that I led the the Littles responded: (to the tune of Are You Sleeping)

Spring is coming

Spring is coming

Full of flowers

Full of flowers

Idunn and her apples

Idunn and her apples

All is young

All is young

Corn will be golden

Corn will be golden

Hair of Sif

Hair of Sif

Thor is making thunder

Thor is making thunder

Rain pours down

Rain pours down

Fruits and bounty

Fruits and bounty

Gifts from Jord

Gifts from Jord

Frigg’s hearth and fire

Frigg’s hearth and fire

Safe and warm

Safe and warm

Wintertide

Wintertide

Skadi skis

Skadi skis

Ullr goes hunting

Ullr goes hunting

Ravens cry

Ravens cry

After bedtime, I returned alone to the dinner table altar and made an offering of milk to Frigg.

This morning, I took the offering bowl, and some seeds, and went out to the front garden to finish the Charming of the Plow aspect of the ritual.

Childhood doodles, Proud Mama

Witchlette came home with a coloring page which she didn’t color in…not really her thing. She likes to create her own art, not color in someone else’s picture.

Wow, Witchlette! I love your Solar Crosses!

My what?

These!

Oh, I just like to draw them.

Well, this symbol is called Solar Cross. Here is a picture.

Yeah, that’s what I made.

So…this…is where the symbol comes from:

Wow.

And that’s not just from the camera. The sun refracts like this and our ancestors made it into a spiritual symbol. It’s called the Celtic Cross and sometimes Odin’s Cross.

My daughter has been drawing occult symbols and didn’t even know it.

Super proud mama here.

Today I said it aloud

I’ve been holding onto a thought since October.

The modern enigma: balance.

Here, I’m not thinking of work-life balance. I thinking of inner balance.

The heavy thoughts started in October, as I ventured out on my one while camping, searching for a meditation site. And oh boy did I find it.

I meditated on the balance needed to function between wife, mother, teacher, and person separate from all of those facets.

I looked to Frigg. The mother, yes, but also the wife, master of the house, and standalone woman who is not defined by her relationships but rather by her meaning to society as a whole.

I have searched for and meditated on Frigg as the wife figure and while she wholly is, she is so much more pivotal as mother that even I have trouble reconciling her as both.

Confession time: I tend to lose myself in my relationships. I always have. Everything I am boils down to who I am in conjunction to X persona. Heck, I am where I am on my spiritual path today because of the ending of my mortal relationship with my sister. I am so head-over-heels with my kiddos that I often choose not to do other events when the kids don’t want to. Other times, despite not wanting to, I go. And I have a really good time. But I get home and hear stories of all that I missed that afternoon and despite enjoying the “my” time, I feel what has been missed to be worth so much more. There are times when I feel, real or perceived, that wanting to be with my kids is wrong. That I need to be without them to be whole. And so I’ve been riding this pendulum since I came out of the darkness with Witchling: All In Mama and Going Out Mama.

I keep swinging between being Mama is “my thing” and being Mama can’t be “my thing” because one day “my thing” will leave me, as it should be, and go stake their own claim and establish their own “thing”. The swinging, really, just left me with heartache and whiplash. Because I am a mom who works. I have “my thing” 6-7 hours a day. I love what I do and I have embraced being unapologetically good at it. It’s my thing, but not my only thing. Trivia night with other moms. Divination and Tea. Showing up late for book club but being welcomed anyway. Being a friend to those who both love my children and respect my want to spend my non-working time with them. Because frankly, my kids are fucking awesome and I have never bought into the mom culture of having kids to get away from them. I want to be around my kids.

I said this aloud to my friend G this evening: I am leaving the shame, real or perceived, from those who don’t have kids, or who have grown kids, over how I spend my downtime in 2018. I am doing what feels right for me and my family, even if it’s not in vogue. If an event is outside of work but before bedtime, and are either unable to attend and unwilling to attend, my chance of attending is decreasing. It’s what has been happening, but I’ve felt I’m doing it “wrong”. And I let what I perceive others to think of my actions dictate how I feel about my actions. I’m not raising them. I’ve got to tune in harder to what matters most.

Theology in Wild Kratts?

In Wild Kratts episode 134, “Little Howler”, the brothers come across a wolf pup stowaway in their backpack. They retrace their steps to return her to her pack.

During their adventure, they find a pack and notice how the wolves are almost always followed by…ravens!

I smiled at Witchlette and asked, “Do you think this is where our ancestors got the idea that Wolves and Ravens are both sacred to Odin?”

We kept watching, and later learned the cooperative behavior between the two species: Ravens act as a security system for the Wolves, and in turn the Wolves allow the Ravens a share of their kill. Wolves run at marathon speed for long distances, but Ravens flight speed allows them to keep up.

Witchlette and I agreed for sure that our ancestors were able to observe this behavior in the Ravens and Wolves of old and figured only Allfather could have a beast of land and a beast of air bond so closely. We’ll never truly know, but it’s a good conjecture.

Sunset meditation or A lesson on UPG

Every night, both kiddos request and receive a meditation before bed. Witchling has been on a Rainbow Meditation kick. We do a chakra meditation, teaching what each energy port controls, and how it works. I’ve woven an advancement to SPP to further go into where babies come from as well as solidified honesty and integrity in words. Witchlette has been exploring “trips”, meditative visualizations of different places. We’ve done the cliffs of Ireland as I imagine our ancestors may have seen them. We’ve done waterfalls, beaches, woods, gardens, fairy gardens, and outer space. Usually I add a pause for Elemental acknowledgement within the meditations: the sun, ocean, sand, and breeze while at the beach, for example.

She started a new trend last night: I want to see Skadi.

I led her on a meditation through a field that ended where the trees started, as she began an ascent up a wooded mountain. About 3/4 of the way up the mountain, the trees thinned as she came closer to the snow-topped peak. She got to Skadi’s hall, and found the door easy to open as she was welcomed in. And I stopped.

Tonight, she asked to go to Skadi again, but this time to actually see her. I explained UPG, and how I see the gods and how she sees the gods are different, and that’s not only ok, but good. We each have our own experience and it’s not my place to influence her experience with her deities. She needs to work with them in her own way as she sees them. She understood the “no,” but didn’t really understand the “why”. She decided she wanted to see Frigg, since I could take her all the way to Frigg.

Hubby jumped in and asked what color and length she sees Skadi’s hair. She answered white and long. Hubby asked me the same thing, and I responded gray and long- not old gray, but winter sky gray. Hubby then said, see- you even see her hair as different so you have to see her yourself. Having this concrete example (thanks Hubby!) Witchlette was ready to do a meditation with limited details of the deity she wanted to see.

But she kept her switch from Skadi to Frigg, now adding not to show Frigg to her as she sees her as a white puffy cloud.

I explained to Witchlette that Frigg, based on the Lore, lives at the beach near marshes. That’s not UPG, that’s what the ancestors left us. I asked Hubby what the land next to a marsh was called and Witchlette coined “larsh”- land marsh.

Here’s her meditation:

You are walking on a path of larsh. To your left, there are tall grasses, with many cattails. Behind them, you have a thick forest. To your right, a marsh with lots of lily pads, and a water lily adorning each lily pad. There is a crane in the water. He sees you, and you stop walking. He watches you for a moment, understands you are not a threat, and continues fishing. You continue to walking down your larsh path until you come to a small, sandy, rocky beach. A small runoff from the marsh babbles over rocks and towards the cattails and grasses, like a tiny waterfall.

You sit down and enjoy the sunset. You notice the sundisk in the sky and the one reflected in the water. You see white, wispy clouds about the sky, some of them over the sun, draped like a fine necklace. These clouds interrupt the perfect circle of the sundisk reflection. The sun comes closer to the horizon, to the line where the sky meets the sea.

The sun sets closer and closer, until finally the sundisk in the sky touches the sundisk in the water. There, where the two disks meet, you see a figure. A soft breeze blows. You hear the grasses and cattails click together behind you. The clouds move along in the breeze, around the figure. The sun sets further, until the sky and reflection sundisks are almost gone. Slowly, starts are visible. One here, then one there. The further the sun sets, the more stars are visible. The figure has gone, the sun has completely gone beyond the horizon, and the night sky grows darker and darker and starlight takes over.

Yule rewind

Our family tradition is the 12 Days of Yule boxes.

Each morning, the kids take turns picking out the box of the day, reading our given activities for the day contained within, and having a treat.

Some of the activities contained within are great for repeating yearly. Others…they need to be retired.

Yule Activity 2018 retiree:

Day after Christmas giving to the food bank

Reason: the kids and I started giving to the food bank regularly and this one lost its luster…which is a good thing! It’s so routine for us, that having it be a special activity felt like brushing our teeth was special.

Replacement: make homeless care kits to keep in the car: ziplock bags full of travel size supplies of toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, a water bottle, and socks. These kits will be kept in my car, and given to homeless on the streets throughout the year, and reported when the kids are not with me.

Reason: we regularly give to the food bank, but while we are in a place of excess, and in a way that we can give to our surrounding community members, I would like to do so, especially in the wake of getting so many gifts. We are very fortunate and I want my kids to recognize all they have. But also especially to be used after Christmas, as the “season of giving” is over, so folks suddenly stop when the needs are present all year long.

(Even though we didn’t do this with the boxes, I have a set ready to go now.)

Yule Activity 2018 retiree:

Ancestors, heritage, and lineage

Reason: This was done originally as a way to introduce the concept of ancestors and family ties. Moana helped a great deal, as did Coco. We talk about ancestors regularly, especially in the fall, and this year it honestly felt like forced overkill.

Replacement: Day after Christmas hygge prep

Reason: One Solstice, the family exchanges gifts, and everyone gets four. Santa comes, and leaves a few presents for each child plus a few presents to share. This year, Santa left six gifts total, plus some small trinkets from Odin in stockings. Grandparents, however, give dozens of gifts. Things need to be reorganized and either repurposed or donated to make room. Plus, while Winter Solstice has passed, the real winter is yet to come. We need to have a happy, clear space to huddle down for the winter days.