Monthly Archives: March 2016

ADF Dedicant Path: Sixth High Day Recap (Eostre)

Crocus_x_vernus_'_Pickwick'_3

Crocus Vernus – A flower that blooms in early spring

I celebrated Eostre with my grove on the Saturday before the equinox. It was our first outdoor ritual since Lunaghsadh. There was a snow storm the preceding day and the temperature was still chilly. The sun was out, but the shade of the tree where we held ritual was a bit too nippy for comfort. Because of this, the head druid kept the opening grounding meditation short.

We honored Frey and Freya as patrons of the rite for their association with fertility. In addition, I brought an offering for Hretha, the obscure goddess for whom the Anglo Saxon month corresponding to our March, Hrethmonath, is named. I feel that I have been called upon by this goddess to help remove her from obscurity. Making a public offering to her during her own month seemed like a good first step to this end.

I also had the honor of being one of the two ealu-bora (ale-bearers) of the rite. In our grove, we refer to the ealu-bora as Valkyries. In ancient Anglo-Saxon symbol rites, the ealu-bora were women of high status. The term Valkyrie is often used in modern rites due to the similar role held by Valkyries in Valhalla and to indicate the level of honor associated with this task.

The runes drawn for the omen were Perthro and Ingwaz. The head druid first drew Perthro (a rune of mystery, luck, and fate) and told us that it was best read in combination with others, so he drew again and got Ingwaz, which is associated with Frey (one of the patrons of the rite), fertility, peace and harmony. In conjunction with Ingwaz, this was taken to be a very good Omen.

We usually enjoy a potluck feast after ritual, but no one was in the mood to sit outside in the cold, so we all went to Denny’s instead. I was glad to be out of the cold, but also very happy to finally be holding rituals outdoors again.

ADF Dedicant Path: Sixth High Day Essay (Spring Equinox)

ADF and most Neopagans recognize Ostara (or Eostre) as falling on the spring equinox. The Anglo-Saxons, however, would have most likely celebrated the feast of Eostre on or just after the full moon following the equinox, which coincides closely with the Christian Easter holiday. Either way, Eostre is the festival of early spring and the deities of springtime, especially Eostre. Beltane too is a springtime festival, but the focus is slightly different. It seems to be the general consensus  that Eostre is for celebrating the fertility of the land, while Beltane is for celebrating the fertility of the people. Although some areas of the northern hemisphere start their gardens as early as Imbolc, Eostre is widely recognized as the start of planting season. By Beltane, the hard work is done and people can turn their attention to more personal festivities.

Eostre is also a popular time of year for clearing out clutter and ridding one’s house of stagnant winter air and energies. Spring cleaning that may have begun at Imbolc really gets going around the spring equinox. For busy Neopagans, the simple act of opening a window or bringing in fresh flowers can be turned into a meaningful ritual to wake up and rejuvenate a home and it’s inhabitants.

Common symbols of the season include colored eggs, bunnies, and flowers. There are many legends surrounding the association of bunnies and eggs with Eostre, but some claim the association came about in Christian times. Nevertheless, rabbits were associated with fertility in pagan times even if not specifically associated with Eostre. Don’t let the specificities keep you from letting the Easter bunny visit!

 

Time and Money and Life

Somehow I’ve managed to arrange my life such that I feel as if I have less available time than when I was in grad school. How is this possible? #timeywimeywibblywobblystuff.

I’m trying my best to prioritize the most important of my personal interests and activities. That includes piano practice, meditation, gardening, and my YouTube challenge videos. In addition to my Dedicant path work, I have assignments for the Kitchen Witchery course in which I am enrolled. I am paying for this, so that’s motivation enough to keep up. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for taking nearly a month to complete the first assignment when two weeks is the recommended time to spend on each. In my defense, though, energy work was a tough topic to start out with.

I am working part time too. A job I plan to quit as soon as my husband gets a better job. I am hoping very much that this occurs before October, because somewhere in my daily schedule I need to fit in serious preparation time for my Etsy store. I need to brush up my skills in crafts I haven’t pursued in years. Namely, leather craft. I used to be pretty good at it. Of course, I also wasn’t half bad at drawing back in the day either – but I fear that starting again won’t be quite like riding a bike. I want to sell hand carved leather journals (and/or journal covers among a few other things) and although my amateur work I was the talk of my high school so very long ago, I am sure that a marketable item will require better than high-school level skills. I have my tools, acquired a new marble slab since my father lost my old one (the one he regularly reminded me of every time he found it in the garage but can’t find now that I want it) and I have some dinky little kits and leather to practice with. But time, I can’t find time 😦 I’d like a good solid month or two to just practice and get an idea for exactly what I’ll be putting up for sale in the long run. I can’t do much more than practice for the time being anyway since I have absolutely no spare money to buy the supplies I need. Eventually, if not sooner, I’d like to look into my options for the most and eco friendly and humanely acquired (from happy and organically raised cattle) leather and I do not expect this to be a cheap option.

I started out this year really excited about my plans, but it’s starting to look like nothing is going to really get rolling until the end of the year at best. My divinations really weren’t kidding about this being my time-of-waiting. I’m doing my best to use my waiting time wisely. Lots and lots of planning. This way, when I am finally in a position to start, I’ll be able to do so efficiently. Besides my store, I also want to start an ASMR channel. I think I said this before, but my current youtube channel was to be preparation for this (practice, confidence-building, etc). I didn’t expect to get many, if any subscribers on my current channel, but people are subscribing (and I am very very happy for this). But this also means TheAspiePagan may turn into a bigger and longer-term project than I thought.

Speaking of my channel, I’ve uploaded some more videos since I last posted:

YouTube Pagen Challenge Week 9 (Journals)

YouTube Pagan Challenge Week 10 (Moon Phases)

YouTube Pagan Challenge Week 11 (The Sun)

ADF-style Charming of the Plough Ritual.

But back to my time issues: there’s the especially big problem I have with sitting down (or getting up) to do one thing and spending the next hour doing something completely different. I do this all. the. time. This very blog post is one such case. I sat down to write about gatekeepers in ADF ritual and ended up writing this instead. But, hey, it’s still a blog entry, so that’s something.

Energy Work and Auras

I have been stuck on lesson two of the Kitchen Witch course for, what, three weeks? I’ve lost track. It’s all about energy work. A tough subject to start out with, for me anyway. But I am glad that having a lesson plan has forced me into territory I have avoided before due to lack of confidence in my abilities. I have impressed myself with my progress so far, and impressing myself is a rare thing.

Although not one of the required homework activities, the lesson plan led me to attempt seeing my own aura. Most of the lesson is about feeling rather than seeing auras and energy signatures.

The first activity required feeling aura of another person. I have never tried this before, nor have I ever tried seeing auras. I also had no previous knowledge of aura color associations. I used my husband for this activity and I “felt” his color even though my eyes were closed. I also felt the physical energy, but I didn’t expect the strong color association. I attempted twice, in different locations, to see his aura with my eyes open and I definitely saw a fuzzy cloud of light grey.

Encouraged by this beginners-luck experience, I immediately went to work on seeing my own aura. At first, I got nothing. I almost got excited when I saw my own shadow on the wall – not that having a grey aura is something to be excited about, lol. But finally seeing my own color (around my head anyway) took some practice. At first it was not so clear and I wasn’t confident that what I saw wasn’t just a figment of my mind or the lighting. But then it happened. I saw it very clearly and then I tried again just to be sure. Yep, I have an aura! And I can see it! This is so exciting.

At first it looks almost bright white, but that seems to be what I see first as my eyes adjust to the input. It eventually turns into a very translucent mint green (or Celedon). Better than grey, but I am a bit skeptical as to how accurately this color fits me. I just wrote the following about my doubts on my journal in the KitchenWitch forum:

“I certainly wish I fit the description for this color, but i don’t know. A healer? A gardener? I’m only just this year trying my hand at gardening. My past is full of nothing but brown thumb experiences and many dead fish and one lizard Sad
Maybe my aura is green because of my current aspirations?
As for healing people, dunno about that either. I do think of myself as an empath, but I am not good with face to face interaction. I am blunt and can come across as rude and uncaring. I don’t know how to act when people cry. But I have a big heart under all the autistic behaviors. I wish I knew how to use it for the benefit of others. *shrug* dunno. Maybe I am seeing the color wrong. Or maybe I am slowly becoming the person I wish I was, but my conscious awareness of it hasn’t caught up with me. :o”

I really would like to believe that this color is indicative of my current efforts and life progress. I’ve also read a few interpretations of this color (and transparency) that aren’t all good, so there’s that too. But, whatever, I’m just tickled pink (or green :p) that I can see (at least part of) my aura. Woot!

 

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