A Wise Word:

Witchcraft is all about living to the heights and depths of life as a way of worship. --LY DE ANGELES

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Growing Friendship

My beautiful friend the Crab Apple Tree. 

Making friends takes me a long time. I am friendly and I like people.  I also believe that people like me, but making friends is not something that comes easily for me.  In fact, we have been in this town for a little over a year now and I have made a grand total of two friends: the lady who owns the liquor store down the street Miss Busy charmed her our first day in town and the lovely girl I am going to tell you about today.  There is also a potential new friend I met today, but that is still to be decided.

So, just at the end of our block lives a very lovely lady.  I walked right past her many times through out the late fall and winter with out taking a second glace.  I said a customary "hello," but took no special notice.  Then spring came and this little lady started to take on some beautiful color that I just couldn't help but comment on.  She accepted my compliments quietly at first perhaps more accustom to being overlooked, but eventually begin to respond with a gentle nod or a smile. 

As her buds started turning to leaves and her pink blossoms turned into hard green fruits, I grew to love her more and more.  I looked forward to our warm greetings as I undertook my daily walk and watched with great interest as she continued to grow more beautiful.  I often thought that her progression into summer and fall, laden with zesty little apples, mirrored my own amply pregnant body. 

When her fruits were at the peak of ripeness, I could resist no longer.  For months I had wanted to deepen our relationship, but had often felt a reserved shyness about her.  One beautiful afternoon, just before Mabon, I had to take the next step. 

I gently laid my hands on her bark and begin telling her how glad I was to have met her and how much I appreciated all that she had quietly added to my live.  She received me which was a relief, I was honestly very nervous that I would frighten her and it almost seemed as if the air around us grew warmer as we spoke. 

After a few moments I was moved to ask her if she would allow me to pick a few of her fruits for my altar.  She responded with a rush of gratitude, telling me how sorrowful she had been that nobody had appreciated her efforts for many years.  Once, long ago she had been appreciated, but now the only ones who took any heed of her dainty little apples were the squirrels and birds and even they seemed to prefer the offerings in the nearby bird feeder. By this point Miss Busy was getting antsy in her stroller.  I wrapped my arms around her scarred trunk and held her for a few moments before taking all of the fruit I could carry.

Back at the house, I arranged the offering of fruit on the altar.  Having an abundance of the tart little fruits, I also set a few in the fruit basket for munching.  Crab apples are tart and drying, but I ate each of these little treasure with relish.  I found such joy in knowing that I had not only been given a gift, but at the same time had been able to give one in return.  Since that time I stop to chat nearly everyday and returned to take some photographs.  She absolutely adored the photo session. 

***When I started writing this yesterday, it was before our afternoon walk.  During our walk, an exciting event unfolded.  As we approached this dear friend, Miss Busy begin yelling excitedly and waving.  When we stopped under her now golden boughs, my little girl reached up lovingly as if to embrace her.  I pushed the stroller up close to her trunk and Miss Busy stroked her bark, jabbering excitedly for several minutes.  It is beginning to get colder and the breaks in our walk are kept shorter, but this was an experience I would not have missed for the world. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ceremonially Inspired

Embroidered Glacia Gown from Anthropologie

As of yet, I have not adopted a special ceremonial garb for rituals.  I practice most spell work in the kitchen wearing blue jeans and for special rituals I put on a swishy skirt that makes me feel "witchy."  Although I am usually very good at designing situational appropriate outfits it's what I studied in college after all this time I have been a bit stuck.  I didn't want cliché witchy, but I certainly want something to distinguish ritual times from the mundane.  Then I found this dress on Anthropologie the other day and I knew it was exactly what I wanted. 

This dress is nothing less than magnificent  the price reflects the fact.  Each piece of the tiled/tribal design is velvet that has been hand appliqued (the description calls it embroidery) to a polyester chiffon overlay.  Superman was all for tossing it in the shopping basket I'm spoiled like that, but a quick glace at the size chart ended up keeping a few extra bucks in our bank account.  Like many beautiful, higher end designs it simply doesn't come in my size.  Even if I wasn't currently up a few bra sizes due to nursing, in it's largest size this gown still would refuse to accommodate my bosom.  Oh yes, the reason why I usually avoid shopping and just sew what I want.  I had forgotten about that for a brief moment. 

There are both advantages and disadvantages to creating my own clothing.  The big advantage being that it actually fits.  The big disadvantages being that my time is a limited resource and I have to travel over 200 miles to find a fabric store.  Still, I'm going to hold on to this image and use it for inspiration.  I am thinking that maybe a more earthy pallet would be better for me and a simplified applique pattern or even substituting embroidery in a elemental design.  Plus, true to my personal design ascetics, I will use a natural fiber like a cotton lawn or handkerchief linen in place of the poly. It will be both easier to work with and wear.   

What do you wear for ceremonial garb?  I'll keep you all posted on the eventual progress of my own gown. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

From Stalled Out to On a Roll

Hunter's Moon altar 2014

Ever since Little Bitty Baby made her appearance nearly six weeks ago and the entire third trimester of my pregnancy if I were to be completely honest I really haven't been feeling very ambitious.  The wheels are turning and the ideas are there, but both the time and energy to execute them has been absent.  This lackluster feeling effected every aspect of my life from routine chores to art projects and spiritual activities. 

The Harvest Moon came and went.  I wrote a beautiful baby blessing, but just didn't have the energy to set up an altar or cast a circle.  Superman and I just took the little one out in the yard to meet Her and called it a night. 

Mabon was going to be my new start.  I planned a ritual, collected crab apples and leaves to adorn my altar, and then cared for a new born and a teething toddler all day.  Once the girls were in bed, I sat down on the couch and didn't move until I could respectably call it a night myself. 

The Hunters Moon almost snuck up on me, but the unperformed baby blessing was starting to eat away at me.  Two days before the big night I started making plans, but true to my nature didn't finish pulling together a ritual until the last moment. 

Once all my notes were in order I set up the altar, laid out my Elemental stones, and then nursed the baby to sleep.  Having come too far and put in too much effort to stall yet again, I prepared myself and cast the circle. This being the first time I had cast or participated in a communal circle I fumbled a bit.  I didn't raise as much power as I do in my solitary working circles due to nerves, but I am sure that will come with practice.  As comfortable as I am with my husband, I have to admit it felt a little odd having an audience while I worked. 

When the circle was cast, Superman joined me with our sleeping baby and we read her blessing while she slumbered.  It was a beautiful experience and I believe we both were a bit misty eyed before it was over.  Although we often discuss spirituality and have fully compatible beliefs, this was the first time we celebrated those beliefs together in an official capacity.  It was a bit unnerving at first, but the feeling of closeness and contentment that followed was exhilarating. We also found it quite fulfilling to know that we had finally started a new spiritual chapter for our family. 

Now that I have resumed a magical practice and we have taken a step toward family spirituality, I feel like we are on a roll.  In the past few days we have been sharing more thoughts about Paganism, witchcraft, and the deities who may be playing rolls in our lives.  Not surprising, we both feel a special affection for Hela.  Also, I have already started making plans for Samhain.  Maybe I won't be finishing up at the last moment this time.