Country Romantic Fabric Quilted Tote Bag

Yule Conversation

yule altarI come to the goddess imperfect,
Wounded, dragging baggage behind,
Tears leaving streaks,
Through dirt on my face.
Heart weighted with black memories,
Options lost,
Connections ignored,
Heart weary,
Sorrow filled soul.

The goddess does not acknowledge,
Does not ask about the journey,
Does not ask about the open wounds,
Or the scarce healed scars.

She speaks with ancient knowledge –
I do not ask
I’ve felt each lash endured, self inflicted or not.
She gazes upon me, resplendent, whole,
Answers my unasked questions.

Daughter, while I felt your pain,
I did not let it linger
I felt each hurt and honored it.
Each a chance to grow.
Scars mold who you are
Learning molds who you become.
Know the past, but
You are not there.

What will you do now that you’ve arrived?
Your journey led you here
To the well of renewal.
Do not walk that path again
For recognition,
Walk beside me now.
We shall go forth healed,
The present will lead you forward.

Walk with me.
And I do.

Amy Dionne, December 2014

Country Romantic Fabric Quilted Tote Bag

Ritual of Mabon

There are few things in lif14 - 1e that resonate with me more than trees. Yesterday I was at a local apple orchard, an annual ritual with friends. The introvert in me decided to wander off for a few minutes alone. I wandered amongst the gnarled branches and trunks, touching the bark and selecting some of the multitudes of apples for baking into delicious goodies later.

Trees have always taught me about observation. As I nestled into the branches of one tree, watching the families meandering about the orchard, a few comments from the trees gently filled my mind.

These amazing organisms provide us with nourishment. They bear fruit to populate other trees and survive as an individual tree, but their fruit feeds creatures of all types. People and deer, birds and hornets. This one tree that grows from the ground can f14 - 3eed many.

The ritual of apple picking brings us together. Families with members young and old flock to the orchards every year. Those from the cities, and those that live in the country. Children interact with the trees, learning about how they bear fruit and how nature has to work together with water and nutrients. They get to see how the fruit is essential for life, as the apples are not only eaten, but preserved as jam or baked into pies and breads.

Communities celebrate the orchards and harvest festivals, some dedicated to apples. For this time, we reward the farmers and their hard work as they have lovingly tended their trees all year round. We spend our money giving back to support them. And the ritual of picking apples continues on.

Apple picking is a grea14 - 4t way to celebrate Mabon, (the fall equinox). The second harvest festival is lined up with harvesting the bounty from the earth. The earth gives us these loving gifts during the fall, and it is up to us to celebrate the life cycle.

Visit your local orchards. Take your kids, your families, and your friends. It is a small way of saying thanks to the earth for her generosity in sustaining our lives.

Blessed Mabon, and peace to all.

Country Romantic Fabric Quilted Tote Bag

Imbolc

Imbolc altar - simple and focused on the flame.
Imbolc altar – simple and focused on the flame.

February 1st, or 2nd depending on tradition, is the pagan celebration of Imbolc, which marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Groundhog day shares its origins with Imbolc – there are six more weeks before the start of spring, so using a cranky groundhog who just wants to go back to sleep for a while and runs away from his shadow is a predictable encounter. This article has a nice explanation for the origins.

Imbolc is a holiday that always slips by me. It’s quiet, subtle, and yet maybe I have missed that it’s one of the most effective. Imbolc turns up the heat inside towards spring. It banks the coals of a fire used to start the bonfire for Beltane in May. It holds all the memories of our hard winter, it pours all our intentions and desperation of surviving the cold dark nights into a solitary fire that needs our attention and care.

Imbolc is a time of quiet doing. It’s time to add tinder and fuel to the spark, to the coal that is hot to the touch but not giving off much heat yet. Those ideas, those projects thought about or hidden away in a drawer – now is the right time to nudge them, to develop those ideas, to build on the dreams and plans that lie within. They must be tended carefully so as not to smother it. Between now and Ostara, the spring equinox, concentrate on creating the fire that will not go out with a brisk wind. Protect dreams and hold intentions close. Move the fire if need be, if it started out in the wrong place, or if it’s too exposed. Now is the time to make adjustments, to experiment with how a direction feels – is it right? Building heart fires authentically, on solid foundations, and protect them from outside influences. Whatever the goals are, now is the time to get them right, without letting others dictate how to build the fire. Guard its small flames close. Burn within, and let it build.

I’ve had many around me commenting on the rush towards spring, escaping from the winter doldrums, calling forth the energy from the fire into leaping flames. Not yet, for me at least, my friends. The wheel of the year asks our patience a bit longer. Stay with the hearth and keep the fire burning. Tend to the home and loved ones. Don’t be so quick to escape into the cold, for winter’s grip still lingers.

Well, according to the wheel of the year, anyway. The groundhog’s kinda sketchy.