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.

 

Advertisements

Ostara blessings!!

Today, in the Muggle world, was the vernal equinox. The first day of spring.

The wheel has once again turned and in the Northern hemisphere, it has turned further into the light.

This year, however, Ostara has met us with a spring shower and a cold front rather than sunshine. I have bulbs I intended on planting between arriving home from work and making dinner, but alas the rain did not allow for a good gardening day.

The weather is predicted to get worse with a wintery mix, so we likely won’t plant them tomorrow either. The next sunny day, however…that’s the plan!

That does not mean we did nothing for Ostara. Quite the opposite! We lost our main activity, but we continued to celebrate at the dinner table with an extended blessing.

First, we blessed our meal. Then, I lit our Sabbat candle to honor the day.

Then, we welcomed the spring by discussing the science of the season change. We recalled our observations of the plants in the front yard from last weekend and this morning and compared how much new life has grown from the plants. We have also predicted what color flowers will bloom in these plants, as we have never seen them in more than dormant brown!

Speaking of dormant plants, we shared the myth of Idunn awaking from her faint spell, and all the flowers budding and blooming around her, all the trees budding and blooming overhead. How, now that Idunn is awake, spring can happen.

We, of course, talked about Ostara and our Germanic ancestors from my mom’s side, and how important the spring was to our ancestors.

We are still surrounded by boxes, and have realized just how much construction prep we have before us until we will be fully unpacked and ready for this forever home. So, table blessings may be all we do for a while. The Little Witches are still excited for even the smallest bits of Magick, and that’s what matters the most.

Hail!

Lammas blessings

Lammas, loaf mass, is the first harvest in Northern Europe. But it’s still rather hot here and I am certainly not ready to look forward to the autumn. At least not until I return to work…

So, we are honoring the spirit of Lammas with baking galore, and including elements of the first harvest like honey and berries. 

Lemon blueberry bread- it’s super yummy!

Honey wheat bread

Northmensbrød

And, to top it all off, I decided to go with another loaf for dinner!

Turkey meatloaf!

Tonight at our table, I will be conducting the following ritual:

It’s the height of the summer. It is the time of the first harvest, when berries, honey, corn, and wheat are at their peak. 

Fruits are at their sweetest. 

What is your favorite summer fruit?

Solarly, the days have been growing shorter since Midsummer, but there is still plenty of warm sunlight where we are and lots of summer fun to be had. 

What has your favorite part of the summer been?

What are you still looking forward to doing before the weather turns cold?

The times of harvest are times for extra thanks to the farmers who tend to our crops. Who sow the seeds, care for the plants, and pick the parts to be eaten, then till the remainder back into the earth. 

Cheers to our farmers. 

Hail to Sif, Lady of the grain. 

Hair to Thor, whose storms give water to the crops. 

Hail to their union, making bounty each year and allowing us to be fed. 

Walpurgisnacht

Well…I’m going to go ahead and guess a whole bunch of folks. But not me, until just today.

May Day is Walpurgisnacht. The rituals happened at the same time, with different sets of rural farming peoples, who saw the world differently. Celts celebrated in the day and through the night. Northmen celebrated in the night and through the day. The point of the festivities was the same: Yay! Warmth! Sunlight! Our food is going to grow!

Depending on which text you read and from which area the text is derived, Walpurgisnacht is either driving away Witches (or celebrating Witches, as is the modern case) or purely the welcoming of the warm weather with Summer Finding or, another multi-night festival dedicated to Odin.

It is said Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil for nine nights to gain the knowledge of language and the Runes. Walpurgisnacht is then celebrated from April 22 (aka Earth Day) to April 30th. The Celts began their celebration on May 1st with Beltane.

This year, the family is going camping for Hubby’s tiny truck driving competition. We are going to be right smack in the middle of the woods on Walpurgisnacht. How beautifully fascinating is that?

We have sicks with ribbons and bells left over from a friend’s wedding which we will bring with us to celebrate the holiday as we pick a tree to dance around. Perhaps we’ll just dance around the whole camp ground.

Either way, I’m excited to continue to learn more about the Nordic Wheel and develop my craft in line with the gods who have chosen me.

Perhaps next year we will do all nine nights for the gift of the Runes.

Image result for nordic wheel of the year

Image result for nordic wheel of the year

Ancient Nordic time wheel: " the Wheel of the Year consists of four or eight festivals: The solstices and equinoxes, known as the "quarter days", and the four midpoints between, known as the "cross quarter days".

Image result for nordic wheel of the year

There are many variations, which will lead to lots of studying.

Poor me! I have to get my student on! (If I could make a living being a student, I would do so in a heartbeat!!)

Beltane Blessings!

Beltane, as I see it, is a fertility holiday. The phallic maypole is decorated to bless the phallus to give seed to the womb. Bonfires are lit and dances are had. Fire is clearly metaphoric for passion, and with passion comes sex and with sex comes the next generation. Dancing is also an aphrodisiac, physical, passionate, firey movements which ignite the senses to carnal activities.

Beltane is a look at “What is the point of life?” If we listen to most music and poetry, the point of life is love. If we look at biology, the point of life is procreation. Both avenues end in the same place: igniting an animalistic passion for the purpose of passing along a genetic code to sustain one’s species.

Blessed Beltane to all! May everyone enjoy the warming weather, the blooming flowers, and the sights and signs that Nature is again fertile and ripe.

Turning Wheel

Last night as I was falling asleep, I had a poem flow through me. I stubbornly decided I was awake enough at the time of its inception that I would be able to remember the whole thing in the morning. Alas…I had bits and pieces and one line from each stanza. What I remember: sunshine through the leaves, the word “canopy”, “birdsong in the distance”, “gold and auburn dancers”, “bare and barren bark”, and the idea and imagery of buds stretching and reaching towards the sun. Using that, here is what I have created:

Turning Wheel
 
Bathed in sunlight,
Look up to the canopy.
Full, thick, green.
Here and there come sunbeams
Directly to my face.
Birdsong in the distance,
Nature’s my embrace.
 
Bathed in sunlight,
Look up to the canopy.
Gold and auburn dancers
Flit and flutter down,
Circling round to rest at my toes.
Critters rustle in the distance,
Nature’s my embrace.
 
Bathed in sunlight,
Look up to the canopy.
Bare and barren bark is left,
No signs of life to see
As all is resting through the cold.
Silence ringing in the distance,
Nature’s my embrace.
 
Bathed in sunlight,
Look up to the canopy.
Buds explode, reaching for the sun
Excited for this new cycle
And new life that’s just begun.
Birdsong in the distance,
Nature’s my embrace.