Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The coming of the Harvest

   Though we are only halfway through July, the coming of Lughnasadh and the Autumn season has been heavy on my mind. I am getting eager and excited for the leaves to change and cool weather to come. For me, once the Fourth of July has come and gone, it starts to feel like the summer is on it's way out. (Though for us, we still have another good 2 months or so of the heat left....)

     The past 2 years have been pretty chaotic. Multiple lay offs for my husband, moving, searching for a house, losing out on 2 houses because of before said lay offs and then finally seeing all of our fighting, determination and patience pay off when we finally purchased our first home in October of last year.

   Though the first half of this year has seen many more problems still, my hope is for this harvest to bring change, fianlly, for the better. During the past 2 years I have also fallen out of step with my spirituality, though I have kept up with the turning of the Wheel and the festivals as they come and go, I have not celebrated like I wanted to. Stress can do a lot to a person!

   My goal with this Lughnasadh is to harvest hope, change, inspiration and determination. I am setting up an altar atop one of the book cases in our dining room, somewhere in the open where I can walk by and see it every day. I have  begun speaking and praying, not to any God or Goddess in particular but just aloud to any who are listening. I have asked for their blessings and their help in showing me my way, where they need to me to be and to help place me there at the right moment.

     Over the next few weeks remaining before Lughnasadh I will be sharing my preparations for the festival and the upcoming season change. Blessings, poems, rituals, household goals, etc. I would love for everyone to join me as I re-visit and rejuvinate both my spiritual side and this blog.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Goddess' Presence

 "I have too many fantasies to be a housewife"

   I actually stuck by that quote for a while, in my earlier twenties. (Not that that wasn't long ago... I just turned 28 in June). I imagined having a home and a career. My intent was to eventually make it to graduate school for Veterinary Medicine and run my own clinic. My mom was a homemaker all my life and while I saw nothing wrong with it, I just knew it wasn't for me.

   Fast forward 10 years later and I've worked no more than 6 months in the past three years since having both my girls. I couldn't afford graduate school so I tried community college and online classwork but got pregnant and couldn't finish. I now stay at home daily taking care of our daughters and trying to make our dated apartment into a home.

   But tonight, standing in our kitchen as I started making dinner, I realized I suddenly felt in my element. Where before I could run a graveyard shift of 3 people plus myself while juggling registers, drunks and gas pumps (I worked at a gas station for 3 years), I could now pick up the house, clean the kitchen, prep bottles, keep an eye on both girls as they played together while cooking dinner and getting rid of the dishes. Before, I ran on someone else's schedule and now I'm *sortakindanotreallybecauseofthekids* on my own time. I take care of them while taking care of the house, I run my own Etsy shop and have several craft fairs coming up. I've made some decent starting revenue this year and picked up some more business.

I stood there, chopping lettuce, and felt a wave of calm and at peace. For months now, I've been feeling like I've lost myself and life would never be more than the daily in and out of dishes, laundry, kids and meals.

     I glanced to my left and saw the image of Brigid and the Blessing of Gratitude frame I had made for a kitchen altar about 2 years ago:

   I believe now, in hindsight, that it may have been Brigid's presence that I felt while in our kitchen. It was immediate - I grabbed the frame lit the candle I keep on the stove, grabbed my fireproof cauldron and set up a quick, impromptu kitchen altar right in the middle of cooking.  (Vanilla Caramel because it smells like Fall and I can't wait for the seasons to change!)
   I recited the Blessing of Gratitude I had printed on the image, dropped in an offering of lettuce from what I was cutting, and continued on with dinner. Soon after the feeling diminished somewhat, as the baby started crying and the toddler came running, but for a while, I was a domestic Goddess and I felt more empowered than I have ever felt in the role of a mother, wife, homemaker, shop owner and last, but mostly importantly, a w.o.m.a.n.
   May you all feel this light, man or woman, and embrace your path. Slainte!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Happy Lughnasadh - A time of Harvest

   I have had so much to post this past month, but my computer was infected with some serious malware and it took me FOREVER to clear it out. Normally it wouldn't be so bad; just a couple of annoying flashing ads but this time it was the worst I've ever had. 3-4 different ads on each website I went to, it was affecting me being able to open any e-mails and even coming to post a blog post there was a huge ad right behind all my links for font, to post a picture, etc. making it nearly impossible to post comfortably.

   However, I am happy to report that between my husband and I, they are completely gone and I can re-join the blogging community once again!

  So, first off:

   It's the festival named after the god Lugh and the time of the harvest. Summer is hopefully coming to a close as we look towards shorter days, cooler weather and my favorite season of the year - Autumn. Though it doesn't feel like it yet here in North Carolina, August always brings with it good feelings of the coming of cooler weather, the start of school, cuddling up under blankets and the holidays not far behind.  :)
   With it being time to harvest, I am also crossing my fingers that we will be able to get some veggies out of the plants we've been growing all summer. I found a great idea on pinterest about growing a pallet garden and thought we'd give it a try.

   We started out with flowers along the bottom and veggies on top. The flowers lasted pretty long but in the other pallet I was growing herbs and this ridiculous NC heat killed what little grew or prevented anything from growing to begin with.
   However, we did have our green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers sprout and we're just waiting for them to flower.
  The beginning of our green beans....


Basil seems to be the only herb that can grow here. These sprouts are MUCH bigger as of today.

Our tomatoes. This thing is HUGE now. We have about 4-5 stalks and just noticed today that it started to flower. I'm thinking we might have to get another pot soon.
   I did mange to save some flowers however. We have 5 sunflower plants growing and my Lantana is a hardy plant and has managed to be completely dead twice and still come back!

   So hopefully, our harvest will produce some veggies to munch on. I plan on this month to try and start growing some herbs again once the weather cools off a bit.
  What do you plan on harvesting this season? Are you celebrating Lughnasadh now or waiting until the weather and season changes a bit more?


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Journey Through the English Ritual Year

  This was shared on the Celtic Paganism group I am a part of on Facebook. Great pictures and looks like fun times!