Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oíche Shamhna Shona Duit!


May you feel your loved ones from this world and the otherworld at this time! Blessings to you all this Samhain!

Laurel

Monday, October 27, 2014

Summer Rituals {Lughnasadh 2014}

{This is my third and final post about seasonal rituals this past summer}


This was one of those seasons where many of the edibles that I grew ripened late, but because our summer berries were ripening on time, I decided to start my Lughnasadh observations for the beginning of August. I chose August 5th, which was the first Tuesday because I actually had that day off from work and because reaping blessings are traditionally done on a Tuesday. 

I spent a good part of the day in the garden, where I did a reaping blessing, harvesting what was ready, which was mostly herbs and flowers, and some veggies and berries.









The later part of the day was spent baking and cooking some of my earlier harvest. I made some wild berry tarts, lavender shortbread, bannocks and a summer stew. 

This year a few Gaelic Polytheists were suggesting that we do prayers for peace during Lughnasadh, which I decided to join in on. After making my offerings to Macha, I recited Badb's Prayer for Peace {found over at the Gaol Naofa Youtube channel}. After some time in prayer, I did some crafting of charms and oils for prosperity, contracts and peace. 






Towards the end of August I got together with a lovely friend for a day of going to the country for some adventures and wildcrafting. Our first stop was meant to be Simpson Hill Farm to pick up some elderberries, but we ended up missing our turn off the road and a had a happy detour into Restoule.

We ended up stopping into Board's Honey Farm to get directions to our intended destination, and while we were there we did some shopping {I had to stock up on some honey and beeswax anyways}, tour their lovely gardens and beeyard.


Since we were already in Restoule, we stopped by to visit one of my Aunt's to go out and have lunch and to visit my our family cemetery


We eventually made our way to Simpson Hill Farm for our elderberries and then set off to my friend's home in the country. 


Her home is surrounded by acres of lovely woodland and obviously happy flora and fauna. It is always a real privilege to spend time there. 




 

On our way back into town we went to one of my frequent wildcrafting spots where we left offerings and harvested quite a few pretties including some goldenrod, staghorn sumac berries, lamb's quarter's, daisy fleabane, sweetfern and rowan berries.





********* 
Sláinte!

 Laurel

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beautifully Gloomy October


Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. 

~Hal Borland











Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Summer Rituals {Midsummer 2014}

{This is my second post about my seasonal rituals this past summer.}

 
Midsummer morning I went down to the lake to greet the rising sun, and sent out a little vessel of offerings dedicated to the spirits of the lake. This for me was a newly adopted tradition, which was inspired by some fellow Gaelic Polytheists who carry on a Manx tradition of "paying the rent", usually dedicated to Manannán mac Lir. Given that I am not a devotee to Manannán, and I do not live in a region associated with him, I thought that it would be more suitable to make offerings to spirits that are hosts of my area. The vessel was made of woven twigs and lined with leaves {it did not float for too long, but I wanted it to be made of something that would not disturb things too much} and filled with flowers, which were finally popping up everywhere in the garden.
 
 
 
 
A good portion of the day was spent in the garden assembling a critter hotel, installing a couple more bee watering stations, and toad houses. The rest of the day was spent simply relaxing in the garden with an outdoor supper. It was nice to be outside around all of our flora and fauna friends, especially after such a long winter.
 
 
 

 





 
 


 
 

A couple of days later I got a small amount of time off work which was busily spent once again in the garden, this time mostly for harvesting. This was first kicked off by decorating our seasonal shrine with flowers and herbs in honour of Airmid.

 

 
During the harvesting process I of course did plenty of drying but also made various herbal oils. I also did quite a bit of crafting during this time period, such as experimenting with new incense blends, teas and herbal bath salts.  
 


 
I also did a lot of cooking with herbs, including making a little feast of wildflower salad, bannocks with thyme and chive butter, various herbal drinks, lavender and chocolate mint shortbreads, lemon balm cookies, strawberry and rhubarb crisp and meadowsweet sorbet.

After making my offering of herbal goodies I started a rather healing ritual that took place over a period of nine days as well as crafting items for healing.


 
 


 
One more to go!