6/18/11

Contemplations and a compilation

Waning Strawberry Moon (18 days old)
Moon Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Mildly humid, seasonably warm, fair skies with light haze
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I have been busy with my garden and my children recently. The strawberry plants are getting berries on them. My oregano is growing like crazy and the new pot of thyme that my MiL got me is doing so too. I keep checking on my tomatoes and my pepper plant. I get nervous that they're going to be attacked by aphids or something. Every day, just about, I have been out among my plants. If I'm not watering them, then I'm pulling weeds or just checking them over to make sure they're in good health.

They're like another set of children, to be honest. Speaking of children, my boys are growing as fast as the plants. My eldest is in preschool and they asked me if there were any special family traditions or religious observances I wanted them to keep in mind. I was thrown for an absolute loop when they asked me that. I honestly don't know how to answer that question. A part of me says that it would be wrong to bring up our religion even as another part of me says this is a perfect opportunity to educate the general public about witchcraft.

To say the least, I've been giving it a lot of thought and prayer. I may even do some divination on this matter and talk to a few other witches. At the moment, I think I would have really loved to have Stargazer's and Rose's thoughts on this topic. They, however, are not about me at the moment but elsewhere on the Otherside. You can't exactly pick up the phone and leave a voice mail for the dead to call you back. It generally doesn't seem to work like that. They come and go as they do and on their own sense of time.

And then there is the other things I have been busy with. I've been writing articles about various facets of Wicca for the novice witch. My goal is to take the knowledge that I've learned and put it out in easily understood bites this way the young witches and seekers out there have at least one good source of information. Below is what I have done so far.

Wicca 101
Ancient Myths & Modern Man
Spiritual Self-Defense & Protection
Wicca 201
Divination

As I write more articles, I'll post links to them on here.

6/11/11

Musings on Spinning

Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (10 days old)
Moon Sign: Scorpio
Weather: Partially cloudy, seasonably warm & cool front just passed in the last few hours
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As I have gotten more involved with the ancient craft of spinning, I have been attempting to find out old legends, stories, and wisdom regarding it. This has proven frustratingly elusive. I suspect that this class of legends have passed out of the folk memory with the exception of a few that were written down (like the Fates spinning out a man's life as a thread or Frigga spinning the clouds). I believe that with the advent of modern machine oriented textile production, the old stories were lost. And that is something that makes me sad.

The more I use my spindle and distaff, the more I feel a connection to my female ancestors. The more I find I feel a connection with the Goddess. I have been spinning a lot lately. The fiber I have been using isn't long enough to merit using my distaff, but one of my small collection of distaffs has a prized place upon my altar. It is in part a tool of my age old domestic craft and in part a sacred object. (I'm very much a kitchen witch in that respect.) My spindles are either busily in use or waiting for use. They're not still long enough to gather dust.

And I feel that work is sacred. Not what people uphold as the dreaded four letter connotation - that soul crushing, mind numbing thing which has all the feel of slavery in it's grip upon mankind is most definitely not what I view as sacred. Indeed, that I believe could be argued as profanity. No, work is the life sustaining tasks we engage in. The things we do out of love and necessity for the sake of ourselves, our families, and that which we believe in. The man who has a job he feels proud of and feels that he is contributing to his life and the lives of others... that man is engaged in the holy form of work. The one who is just dragging himself through the day for a paycheck, he is suffering a perversion of that first form of work.

I suppose all of that makes one question where my 'hobby' of spinning fits into this. I have several reasons why I spin. First, I spin because I enjoy it and it soothes me. As a person who suffers with anxiety on a daily basis, it is vital that I have something that helps me keep my mind at ease. With out it, I can scarcely function, let alone be a good mother and wife. Secondly, I spin because I feel a sacred connection to my ancestors and the Goddess. To engage in a task so intimately connected with the lives of those who founded my line and so sacred that the Goddess herself engaged in it... it is an act of worship and meditation to do so. Thirdly, I spin because I then can make useful and helpful things from my efforts. I can take raw fiber and eventually have hats and scarves for my husband and children.

Sure, I suppose I could go and buy all of my yarn at the local WalMart. There's lots of lovely colors and synthetic yarn is a lot easier to care for. At the same time, however, I can't shake the feeling that it is ecologically more responsible for me to spin. I am not depending upon the labor of some person who is being exploited to run a dangerous piece of equipment in a fiber mill in some third-world country. I'm not adding to the coffers of businesses that poison the earth with their chemical byproducts in producing the raw material for those synthetic fibers used in those mills.

Oh, I still will get some of that synthetic yarn, but I am gradually moving away from my dependency upon it. I am doing my best to start using more recycled yarn. I am beginning to comb the second hand shops for sweaters and similar items to frog and fashion into new things. I have been collecting bits and pieces of yarn that are left overs from other projects I have done to use in things like scarves and baby blankets. The more I do along these thrifty lines, the more I feel better about what I am doing. And still I spin.

When I am happy, I spin. When I am sad or fearful, I spin. When I am inspired, I spin. When I am devoid of even a remote flash of inspiration, I spin. With each turn of the spindle, each twist of the fiber, and each moment of time I am spinning, I pray. I wonder if my prayers are the same as my ancestresses.

I pray for peace of mind. I pray for the health and well being of my loved ones. I pray for justice for the wronged. I pray for health for the world and for all people of the world to know at least one good night's sleep. I pray for blessings to be infused into my work to bring well being to the person who eventually receives or wears what I make. I pray that those who bring evil into the world are opposed and eventually put to rights.

I also secretly pray for more fiber to spin, at times. I pray that my spindles won't break. I pray that I will continue to improve in my efforts to learn this craft. I pray that I actually master the knitting techniques I have been stumbling and struggling with. I pray that the materials I am using will prove strong enough to be used for any future project, be it weaving, knitting, crochet, or some other textile art form.

It's a whole lot for a twirling stick with some fiber wrapped around it. Perhaps, just perhaps, I will get glimmers of what my ancestresses thought of and did as they spun. I know one thing, I am going to continue to pray and spin for a long time.

6/6/11

A thought on Prophecy

Moon Phase: Waxing Strawberry Moon (5 days old)
Moon Sign: Leo
Weather: Fair skies, warm
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I was emailing a dear friend of mine when I briefly touched upon the subject of the Sight. The Sight, also known as Second Sight, is precognitive visionary experiences. Everyone experiences it at some point in their life, even if they pass it off as deja vu. Some of us are afflicted with it much more frequently. It... It doesn't work like how some people would like it to. We can't predict winning lotto numbers or sport's scores. If we happen to See something pertaining to economic things, it's usually a very general thing because of how big the world's economy is. So, psychics can't really make a proverbial killing on the floors of the Stock Exchange either.

Sometimes, we see things about weather. Sometimes we see things about family events, be it a crisis or a happy occasion. Rarely do we See something pertaining to ourselves. Second Sight is really more of a burden at times then it is the stereotypical 'blessing' that it would popularly be assumed to be. Some of us live our lives in fear of being declared insane, so we keep our revelations to ourselves unless it is utterly necessary to express them. And when we do communicate what has been mystically revealed to us, it is usually to a small group of people, people we trust intimately.

Prophecy... Prophecy is different from the Sight. It is more then the flash of intuition or the brief vision. Prophecy is direct communication from the divine. It can be sublime and wonderful or it can be terrifying. Either way, no one comes away from the experience unchanged.

For me... For me prophecy is more frequently a frightening experience. As I described it earlier tonight, it is as though I am caught in a violent storm and threatened to be swept away by the wind and rising mystical tied. I feel my mouth fill with words. It is as though something heavy is on my tongue and yet... There are times where music seems to just burst from within me, though I don't know where it comes from. The times where I feel music bursting... those are blessed moments where I know that the prophecy is a happy thing. In either case, I tremble and feel as though my blood is afire.

I don't talk about when these things happen to me. I learned very early on that to do so was dangerous. People took these kinds of things very badly. So, I kept it secret for a very long time. It, however, is beginning to happen more frequently again. While I don't like the feeling that I'm going to be swept away, I know that prophecy never comes from a place of evil. It humbles me. It teaches me. And ... I suppose I am blessed by the experience.

I just fear how my fellow man will take the things that the Gods whisper into my soul.

6/5/11

Falling into old patterns

Waxing Strawberry Moon
Phase: Waxing (4 days old) Sign: Cancer
Weather: Clear skies, warm but seasonably so

It's been a busy last few weeks. This is the second weekend that I have gotten plants and did gardening. The flowerbed has yellow and orange flower seeds planted (marigold and nasturtium). I also have an orange-pink geranium (which seems to be doing quite well) and a orange snapdragon (which doesn't look too good right now). The neighbor downstairs gave me bulbs for orange tulips and blue hyacinth. I think I'll be digging up and replanting the paper-whites daffodils that never came up. I found that I missed some when I was working on transplanting them last year.

I'm going to try putting them into a deep pot and giving them some fertilizer. With luck, I'll get some healthy plants out of them. Right now, the poor things are so bedraggled and frail that you'd think they were just this side of dead. My Mother-in-law suggested that the problem is that they weren't buried deep enough last year (the ones in the flowerbed) and agrees that with the others it is a lack of sun. To say the least, I will be fetching another pot for these little dears and casting health related spells for them.

In the midst of my gardening, I repotted my wilted looking ivy. You could just about see the little thing perk up as I watered it. I also took my red miniature rose and repotted it too. I split the entangled roots apart, placed each plant into a pot, and watered them heartily. Over the next few days, I expect that they'll flourish. Goddess willing, these plants will do so. One of the three remains on my altar. Just over the last few hours, it has appeared to grown stronger and healthier. I think that the repotting was just what was needed.

I now have several herbs growing in pots along the wall beside the flowerbed. I have a pot of thyme which I honestly don't know if it's going to recover well or not. It was looking pretty close to dead when I got it. I have two pots of chives (gifted to me from my MiL and repotted because they didn't seem to be doing well in the big pot they were all in). I gave away a third pot of chives to my neighbor downstairs. He was quite delighted to get it and immediately started talking about how he had missed using fresh herbs in his cooking. I have a pot of basil that is doing much better then when I had initially gotten it. The basil looked as poorly as the thyme is when I got it last week. It gives me hope for the thyme.

In addition to these, I have a sweet green bell pepper plant in a generously sized pot. I have little tiny blooms on it. This makes me quite happy. I also have three strawberry plants. Two in one pot and one in the other. They are starting to get blossoms on them. I'm trying to decide if I should pollinate them with a paintbrush or if I want to wait and see if the bees will come by to do it for me. I have two pots of marigold growing on the back deck (where the strawberries are) and a pot with several ivy cuttings in it. I also have the cuttings from MiL's southern-wood and fuchsia back there in a pot.

I am flirting with the thought of repotting my houseplants. The African violet is looking unwell. It is a tough call as to if it is getting too much light or if it's rootbound. I need to do a little more research on that. I also have noticed that one of my snakeplants is looking a little worse for wear as well. I believe that some of this is because the pot is too small and some of it is because there's too many plants in that pot. I may do this bit of 'indoor gardening' later this week.

So, my title of this may seem odd when you view my ramblings about plants and such. I need to put it in to a little context here. First off, I have fallen back into the habit of doing things according to moon-phase again. I weeded and aerated the flowerbed during the waning moon. This was to cast out the unwanted influences on the planting that was going to happen. I've been doing my plantings with the new and waxing moon, to draw in the increasing healthful energies. Thus magically tying my plantings to the waxing moon and sun's energies.

My choice of herbs is a combination of culinary and magical. I won't go on about the uses of them. There's enough herbals out there to describe them. The use of the colors yellow, orange, and red in my choices of flowers (even the hanging basket- it has yellow pansies) is to bring vitality and life into my home and to bless us all with well being. I want to get a set of wind chimes to hang off the shepherd's crook to evoke the blessings of the Gods with each ring. I also want to place into the flowerbed subtle images that call to mind the Gods that I hold devotion for.

Many people have churches they go to. I have my flowerbed to use as my focus for prayer, meditation, and spiritual expression. I'm not ready to take on the shade bed yet. I may do so in a few weeks. Perhaps I'll be blessed enough to locate some hostas and similar plants within my budget or given to me as gifts. I'm not finished yet with my plants, but it feels good to work with them again. I haven't really done this much since when I was living down in Wellsville.