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!
 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lovely Bones {& Other Pretties}

 
In late spring I got a package from a lovely lady I did a swap with, Lisa of Aranea Designs. She sent me a whole slew of ethically sourced animal remains and taxidermy {critters who have died of natural causes and completely legal transaction}.
 
She had sent me antler, hooves, teeth, leg and jaw bones from white tailed deer, a raccoon skull, bones from a magpie, as well as bones, feet and feathers from crows. She also sent a beautiful deer charm bag.
 



 
The timing I got them was quite apt as I still had my Flidais shrine set up. So I set all the items I got from Lisa on the shrine, made offerings and did blessings for each item.


 
Lisa has an impressive gallery of bone jewelry, taxidermy and bones over at DeviantArt. She has a store on Etsy which she has told me she hopes to have stocked with new items soon. She is located in Southern Ontario, and sells some of her jewelry locally.
 
Sláinte!
 
Laurel
 

Summer Rituals {Bealtaine 2014}

This is a very belated post about some of my observances for this past Bealtaine. I will be posting one for Midsummer and Lughnasadh separately.
 

On Bealtaine Eve the house was given a thorough cleaning and saining. I set up a shrine to Flidais, decorating it with botanicals from both the garden and the wild.


On Bealtaine morning I went out to collect some dew and rainwater from the garden, and left offerings outside for the Land Spirits. After I was done outdoors, I came back in to make offerings to the Gods and Ancestors.  I then extinguished my old hearth candle and lit the new one to be used over the coming year, saying a prayer for blessings.
 
 

 
A little later on in May I did a garden blessing, buried some charms for fertility, left offerings out for the critters, and made bee watering stations which were put to good use by the abundance of pollinators we had this year.






Towards the end of May I made a feast in honour of Flidais, mainly consisting of wild foods including a salad of greens and flowers, sautéed spring mushrooms, fiddleheads and asparagus, with a honey and sweet woodruff shortbread for dessert.
 



 
 
More to come!