Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winterstide/Yule



We feasted on ham, peanut brittle, mead, honey buns, sweet red, manishewitz, tomato basil bisque, cherries and good times.  The gods and spirits ate and drank first, and then we ate, honoring the darkness.  The Hag and the Hunter's powers reached the fullness in the darkness of Winterstide, and now the spring rides in, the days grow longer and I look forward to the sacred precession of the Green Woman and Green Man.




The altar to the old dark gods was set out facing the black north, and my cards were ready to reveal whatever they may.  Some good messages, some bad- mostly, a whole lot to think about.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Smoke and Spice

. . . She, bride of the desert and black despair, fed on hate and vengeance, lo! she finds all these innocent creatures inviting her to smile. The trees, bending before the south wind, do her gentle reverence. All the grasses of the field, with their divers virtues, perfumes, healing drugs or poisons (more often than not one and the same thing), offer themselves, murmuring, "Gather me, gather me!"
- from La Sorciere by Jules Michelet


I am making tools, smokes and charms like crazy lately with what little free time I have.  Most of my stuff is gifts for friends or commissioned pieces (iron wood fertility charms and lenin ritual gowns).  The Cernunnos smoke is important for me because I made it with very specific instructions that I needed to follow... when the Horned One comes by on the crossroads with a message, I don't ignore it.  Sometimes I don't understand it at the time, but I always listen as carefully as I can.  For the blessing of wisdom, an offering of raw meat, spiced bread and honey wine is left for that old horned wild god.  Drink up, homie.


Cernunnos smoke blend- beautiful and hearty smelling 


From left to right: Cernunnos, Grey Veil, Rites of Spring, Dame Venus (2 packs)



Cernunnos oil, for the sacred rites of the Horned Father this Midwinter



Check out my rabbit pelt, isn't it lovely?  Multi-colored and soft.  Skull pendulum I made this week for my friend Vee



Cauldron Salt- an old remedy to guard the doorways of the home against unwanted peoples- salt rubbed against the rust of an old oiled cauldron. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Moleskin bags and jiggly goddesses





The woods are growing silent and bare.  Leafs are stripped from the trees but the forest is still alive and thick with evergreen trees.  Heavy, ancient pines and cedars tower over the gnarled apple trees in the dense forest and dwarf the new oaks.  The frost coats the grass and never seems to fully thaw.  The ivy seems undaunted by the bleak onslaught of cold and death.  That's her nature though; perseverance.  


I like the winter, but I do not love it.  I am a child of sunlight and springs' warmth. The winter, however, is the ideal time to listen and wait quietly, to hear the wisdom of the old ones and dark ones.  The Horned Hunter's hoof-beats can be heard echoing through the evergreen, and the veiled Hag of Winter beats her hammer about the forest, knocking frost from trees and beating down the last vestiges of life as she goes.   But they do not stay so very distant.  


Now is the time to throw open your shutters and doors and invite them in.  Invite the old woman in from the cold to sit by the fireside and whisper tales in your ears.  


Invite the Hunter to your land and ask him to bring his beasts with him, that you may hunt and eat with ease.  Welcome the spirits in, to be warmed and loved.  


Gather your boughs of cedar, pine, yew and ivy and look for the woodwose where he moves in the evergreen.  I leave offerings out for Elk Woman and Deer Woman, to welcome them back as spring draws nearer and nearer.  When the grass is green in the forest meadows, the herds will return and I will watch them and track them as they move.


I've been working on sewing up and wood burning my mole-skin bag. It's not the same as a medicine bag- in my family we believe the only real "medicine bag" must be given to you by an elder. This isn't a bag from my culture, it's a shapeshifting talisman that contains gifts that were given to me by master mole during my journey with him over the last year.    I have to finish branding the inside and sewing the sides with sinew.  The mole as a spirit and guide is a creature of deep earth and darkness, so the bag contains everything that would evoke the power of the mole during shamanic journeying or crossing.  Some believe that shapeshifting is best (if not only) achieved by possessing parts of the animal you are merging with. The bag has many things waiting to be inside of it, including powdered mole heart and nails from several moles, dried worm, quartz and specific herbs that I feel connect me to this spirit.  I'm excited to share it when the ceremony is complete.  ^_^ good vibes.


*    *   *
Me and Mr. Andrew have been in the midst of a lifestyle change.  After spending the last few years gorging on unhealthy food and going on benders, we've opted to pull a second try at going back to my original healthy behavior.  When I was in high-school, I was a bit overweight and had a lot of insecurity from it.  Andrew was just like me; insecure, bullied, ignored, lonely- the typical nerd in high-school.  When we met our Sophomore year (almost ten years ago!), we were both way too shy to get together.  By the time Andrew came to live with me as my roommate, I was just turning 21, weighed 170 lbs and looked amazing. I wore that size vvvverrry well (I am 5'8 after all, pretty tall for a girl) lol and I was excited to finally be a size 10-11 American. Well... nothing fattens you up like falling in love lol, so I plumped back up to my high school size.  Now, I'm on the freaking war path to getting back into those Arizona size 11s I wore to Canada three years ago at all costs.  I've ben living off of veggie wraps for weeks now o_O; it's maddening. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ram, Stag, Bull and Boar/ Hawthorn Beach

Just felt like sharing and musing on recent spiritual experiences...


I burned Cernunnos Smoke over black charcoal, placed the horns on my head, inhaled a deep breath of the vapors rising from the cauldron (fat stewing on the stove with wildcrafted herbs and entheogens), and began to Speak to the Stone. That night, I dreamed of the Horned Hunter, of wild beasts in every form on every land that embody the masculine, virile principle of nature.  I felt the piercing in my gut as I writhed in divine agony.  


The initiation of death and the terror of the otherside is as much a part of the ritual crossing as pleasure and delight.  Everyone must experience death in order to experience initiation- for nature balances all things in time, and there can be nothing gained without something lost.  If you look for wisdom about the dead, you must be willing to bare many forms of death within the mind and spirit.  The tusk of the boar, the toss of the bull, the crush of the ram and the blow of the stag.  I dreamed these things and awoke with a renewed sense of connection, laid open by spiritual bruising.


*    *     *


Down by the cool creek water, in the long grass, with slippery stones beneath my feet and my jacket zipped all the way up, I knelt by the hawthorn tree growing in the shade.  Her branches were bare, her berries were plump and heavy.  I poured a glass jar of milk out onto one of the bare roots, and then let honey slowly pour onto the base of the branches, then made a circle around the base of the tree with a mix of oats, grains, cornmeal and flour.  I left a little rowan cross tied in red thread hanging from the limb.  I sat down on a large rock uprooted from the soft wet earth and began singing ever so quietly to the melody of the nearby waves. 

 Sometimes, when I feel truly alone in the world, which is less often than I used to, I come down here to one of the sacred trees guarding a doorway between this world and the other. I sit and listen most times, imagining some wild feast taking place right on the otherside of the bark of the trees.  Sometimes I sing to the spirits who roam around the sands and creek, lonely like me.  It's good to embrace your feelings of emptiness sometimes, the silence is to be enjoyed as you contemplate the stark reality that isolation is an illusion, that we're all connected through life and death and it's okay to indulge in the quiet.