Maypole

Way behind on any posts on here. I have been posting on my other blog Turning Wheel Farm though. I am growing herbs, veggies, fruit, chickens, eggs and likely some other things this time of year. My focus has been on planting things and harvesting them as well as planning a little bit ahead to sell at a backyard market and to expand to a 2-5 acre parcel the end of this year or early 2013.

This year we had to get a new Maypole because the old one was falling apart and had lichen growing on it. It broke in half and ended up making a good kids’  Maypole which we did for Beltane this year.

The weather actually cooperated and everything worked out well inside and outside.

E is for Eggs

This time of year is of course about eggs and since I have chickens I wanted to give a little pagan perspective on them.

Most years the chickens stop laying and they moult right in October around Samhain. This is when the year ends in the pagan calendar and begins anew so I like to think that’s part of what they are doing as they shed their old feathers, look bald for a week or so and then grow in lovely new feathers.

Two of my chickens are Ameraucanas which lay the colored eggs. One lays pinkish and the other lays olive green. One year one of them laid blue ones which is what I had hoped for but the green really represents life I think.

The chickens stop laying at Samhain but most years they also start laying again at Imbolg. I was so excited to find my first egg of the year from one of the hens on Feb. 2. The light triggers the egg laying in chickens and so as the light returns so does fertility and eggs!

Paintings

I applied for a bunch of jobs and then of course decided to start painting again. I wonder if it’s a fear of getting stuck in a bad job where I can’t be creative? I actually j
I mostly finished Brighid today and then started on a painting of a unicorn for Melody. I guess I blocked in the color in the background a little bit. I also did three sketches last week. Here is one of them.ust need something very part-time so I can buy a farm/land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New things

I took a class in InDesign to learn how to lay out newsletters and such recently. I found it so easy to use and spent some extra time playing in Illustrator and designing a logo or two.  I have had the intent over the last few months to get a part-time job so that I can buy land to have a small farm. Most recently I have applied for two jobs that I am very qualified for so we shall see.  Although I stopped creating art for awhile I am trying to finish up a few paintings that were never completed.

We also have a new batch or two of baby chicks that are keeping us entertained.

This morning I saw a robin in the backyard and I am hopeful Spring will arrive sooner rather than later!

 

D is for Dog

It would seem that using the letter “d” for dog would be more in preschool terms but I actually thought about this for a few minutes before deciding.

We have a miniature schnauzer named Odin and he is black and full of good energy. He has always participated in ritual even when we really don’t ask him too. He fills in whichever direction is empty and even if he doesn’t get a treat he, for some reason known to canines, likes to participate in what we are doing. I used to put a dog treat on the plate of cakes to bless and then we ran into the problem of him eating the offering for the Goddess. We now stick it higher up so he can’t get to it and rarely give him a treat for participation.

I remember a Samhain in 2006 I think when Odin wanted to do the ritual with us outside. It was windy and we raised a lot of energy while the wind blew the leaves around the field. He ran around in circles barking for several minutes.

When Melody was little he was protective of her but preferred napping with her really. When Willow was a baby he had to be on the same side of the couch where she was in her baby chair. If someone else sat there while visiting he would bark or be on their lap so he could guard her.

I like to think that he is a protective energy in our circle when he participates with us. He seems to know what we are doing and not participate for a cookie which is funny. He rarely gets one now and I sort of think that would be the same as giving candy to the kids for participating. They generally go in and out of the circle and are playing with the fountain or something else outside while we are doing the ritual with Odin.

Odin is also into crafts and although I don’t usually do runes which would be very Odin like I do tarot sometimes on the floor and he likes to step back and forth over the cards at times.

The new Dick Blick

The new Dick Blick store in Portland opened this past week and so we went on a field trip to check it out!

I didn’t even look at half the store as we had the two girls with us and a friend and I was so overwhelmed. I ended up getting those things that I really “needed” which were pencils, a couple pens,  paper and tempera paint for the girls.

Melody is so into peacocks and they had a lot of peacock  things so she got a few including one on her face! They also had free cotton candy. It was like a wonderland of fun for Melody and Willow because they have so many cool art supplies grouped by color plus we were in the city and then they got free goodies! I tried to explain that it’s not like that all the time it’s just a special grand opening thing they were doing.

C is for circle and coven

A coven is a group or circle as I call it of witches that meet to honor the deities and celebrate the turning of the wheel together. In general terms they meet for the 8 holidays and 13 full moons a year but also may meet at other times too. Many covens keep a limit on the number of witches that are in the group and it’s usually 13. I have been in a group as large as 13 and as small as 2 and it’s very different the bigger the group gets.

Covens and circles are usually by invitation only and have a 3-degree system of ranking if you will. I was in a coven for three years and went through second-degree initiation and did all the requirements including papers and tests beforehand! When starting my own group in the tradition I was from in 2001,  I set it up exactly the same. After a few years of people coming and going and then realizing that there was too much paperwork from classes and attendance, I changed the coven structure a little bit. I looked into why we do the things we do. This led me to my belief that what is important is the relationship between the people in the group and how they are getting along and forming friendships in a circle with love and trust. I didn’t feel the need for degrees and a strict heirarchy that some groups have that technically makes me a high priestess but I prefer the term “leader” as I don’t think of myself as above everyone else in the group. So we don’t do the set rules, initiations with degrees and that kind of thing. We do celebrate rites of passage in each others lives including births, deaths, members leaving or special blessings if someone has reached a certain point or achievement. The circle is in effect a group of people who like to honor the pagan gods and goddesses together and work on furthering their abilities together rather than solitary.

I am a solitary person and don’t fit what would be the typical coven member I don’t think. From when I was first in a coven in college I realized that I got a lot out of my spiritual experience by being able to share with others and to talk about things and celebrate those things that we all have in common with each other. If I have set times scheduled for things then I am going to participate rather than let it pass. Covens used to be more sparse especially in some areas of the country but now it seems you can find covens or circles in every town. The West Coast is very pagan friendly in my opinion and so it’s sometimes easy to find others of a like mind. Our circle meets for the 9 holidays we celebrate plus every Sunday and sometimes a field trip somewhere. A circle has no beginning and is never ending and even if there are two people or 13 together in a circle it is still a sacred thing.

B is for

I don’t know if I am supposed to be on the letter “b” or the letter “c” this week.  My “b” word is beauty. I was told once that the way that I see beauty in nature comes through in my photos. This also relates to my appreciation of nature and honoring all spirits which is part of my faith.