Blog Archives

Inspiration

It is the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal length.  We’ve had such odd weather I’m not sure if spring is coming or going.   I’m looking at the celebration of new beginnings and feeling like I need a little inspiration.

I spent the weekend going outward for inspiration.  I went to my writers group and listened to these amazing women talk about their plans for their books and their writing.  I left feeling better, but it was St. Patrick’s Day and that seemed to be what filled the air.

I also went to Paganicon, the local convention.  I saw old friends, attended a few workshops, and escorted Orion around.  I didn’t present this year.  He really wanted to go, so this year it was his convention.  One of the unique things about Paganicon is the exhibition of Pagan artists, sponsored by the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists.  There were some beautiful pieces this year.

I left the convention with some ideas about things I’d like to plant in my life this new year.  I just don’t have clarity about how I want that to work.  On the way home the weather turned again.  The sun was shining and it was 55 degrees out.  It really felt like spring.

I decided to follow an impulse and stopped to buy flowers.  I brought them home and put them around my house.  They are my inspiration.  They are a little sign that spring is really on its way.  They make me smile.

What is your inspiration?

 

Previous blogs about the spring equinox and about Paganicon:

Emotions

Happy Spring

Spring Fever

30 degrees

Paganicon Weekend

Paganicon

Grateful

 

Good Tired

20150926_184602I spent most of the weekend outside.  Winter is coming.  There aren’t that many lovely weekends left in the year.  Last weekend was definitely one of them.  It was warm, dry, there was a good breeze.  The evenings cooled off, but didn’t get cold.  Perfect weather for being outdoors.

Saturday was the community equinox ritual we often attend.  I’ve blogged about it in the past.  (AutumnDarknessHarvestBalance – Wow I’ve been doing this for a long time!)  I had Orion along so there is the additional piece about pushing him on uneven ground.  I used to have to be sure I had someone else there who I could count on to help.  Not so much this year.  I made all the trips from the car (Orion, Pot luck cooler, Pot luck crock pot, Lawn chair and blankets) all by myself.

ritual circle in the distance

ritual circle in the distance

It was good to catch up with some old friends.  It was also nice to have a community willing to share a dessert – so I could have a bite rather than throwing out most of a piece.  The buffet table is still a challenge for me, but I have found that if I fill one plate (with an eye for both Orion and I) and then split it into two at the table I do better.

We were there most of the afternoon and late into the evening.  Sat around the fire talking, watched the dancers and listened to the drummers in the background.  The moon was high, the night was clear and the wooded grove a pleasant cathedral.

stopping in the shade of the grape arbor

stopping in the shade of the grape arbor

Sunday Karina took me off to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.   We didn’t get there for the first cannon, that’s about the time she picked me up.  We didn’t stay to the last cannon (hoping that leaving 5 min. early would help get out of the parking lot.)  But we spent much of the day wandering around the festival.

The last time I was at the Ren Faire I was with a friend who was looking at knee replacement surgery.  Neither one of us was moving very far or very fast.  We took all day to circle the grounds one time through.  We traveled from one bench to the next.  This time was a very different story.   We did sit down a few times to eat, grab a drink, or see a show.  Mostly we were on our feet, back and forth across the entire park.

Minnesota Traditional Morris

Minnesota Traditional Morris

We had another beautiful day, warm with a breeze.  We saw friends working at the festival as well as running into a few just visiting.  Karina ate, and I nibbled off of what she got, so I didn’t struggle much with the food.  The highlight of the day was visiting with the Morris Dancers.  These guys are all friends of my daughters from when she was a waitress.  They are a warm and welcoming bunch.  They brought us up on the stage for one dance, and Karina even joined them in another.

Karina ready to dance

Karina ready to dance

We watched the full moon rising on our way home.  It was huge on the horizon (as the harvest moon often is).  When my Ex dropped off Orion he made me go outside again.  The eclipse was happening so even though I was exhausted I got to see that as well.

They are a friendly bunch

They are a friendly bunch

I was tired enough to go to bed when Orion did.  I ached.  My ankles were a little swollen.   BUT    I got to do BOTH things this weekend.  My ankles still look like ankles.  I didn’t feel like if I sat down I was never going to get up again.  I didn’t worry about walking or getting anything done all week.  Life is so different this side of the bariatric journey.  I am exceptionally grateful for good tired.

Shine on Harvest Moon

Shine on Harvest Moon

Autumn

PART_1411156911626_20140919_124335With the Fall equinox upon us I’ve started to notice the signs of autumn creeping up.   The leaves are just beginning to turn.  The trees that have been severely stressed by our odd weather are further along, but the majority are just hinting at colors.

That stress is definitely in the air.  One day the highs are barely above 60F  the next they’re well into the 70’s.  Mornings are cool, almost cold when they are damp.  There’s been hard frost further north and it would not be unseasonable to see some here in the city.  It’s difficult to dress for such unpredictable, changeable weather.PART_1411157001023_20140919_124008

.

.

.

.

.

The sun shines, equal with the darkness.  It still carries warmth with its light,  but that warmth seems more focused.  It gets hot in the car, if it’s in the direct sun, but the warmth doesn’t creep past the edges of the shadows of the tree line.PART_1411156928515_20140919_124253-2

I’ve had a fire or two in the fireplace, trying not to turn on the heat.  It’s difficult to crawl out of bed when the temperature in the house is below 65.   When I do turn on the furnace (because it’s impossible to get out of a warm tub when the air is that cold) I try to remember to turn it off again.  Sometimes I get to wondering why I’m so hot before it occurs to me I’ve forgotten.PART_1411156884393_20140919_124529

At least with the heat on the air is filtered.  The cool and damp is ideal for mold – one of my worst allergies.  It will get worse before it gets better as leaves fall into mulch.  Soon I’ll be begging for the hard freeze, but I wouldn’t begrudge a few more weeks of summer weather after. PART_1411156845480_20140919_124552

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

 

Previous Equinox blogs:

Darkness

Harvest

Balance

 

 

 

Happy Spring!

The only way I could see daffodils springing up out of the snow.

The only way I could see daffodils springing up out of the snow.

Last week was the vernal equinox, the official start of spring.  Dare I mention that we had snow flurries this morning?

.

.

.

.

.

.

A friend dyed these for Orion and me.

A friend dyed these for Orion and me.

Dying eggs is a big deal this time of year.  Whether you dye them for Easter or Ostara or just because it’s fun I have to wonder if part of the reason for dying eggs is just to put some color into the landscape.

 .

.

.

.

.

Running water in Minnehaha Creek

Running water in Minnehaha Creek

In warmer climates there are native breeds of chickens that lay eggs of different colors.  If you think about the climates in places  like the Ukraine, famous for their egg dying techniques, winters are longer and springs can be pretty grey.

.

.

.

.

Ice lace tunnel

Ice lace tunnel

There are signs that spring may indeed show up after this very hard winter.

.

.

.

.

.

We have had quite a lot of melt (honest).  There was running water in the creek and I even saw a minnow swim by in the icy water.

Melting sheets of ice in the river give new meaning to "ice dams".

Melting sheets of ice in the river give new meaning to “ice dams”.

.

.

.

.

This year we blessed our eggs for the strength to hold on through the thaw.  It may still be awhile, but it’s coming.

Sneak-tober

Storytellers

Storytellers

I don’t know why, but it seems October always sneaks up on me.  Maybe it’s that “start-up” thing I get going in September.  I never feel quite in the groove before October rolls around.  Maybe it’s that Orion’s birthday is in October (the second) so it’s not just the beginning the month, but an event that catches me unprepared.

This week, besides Orion’s birthday, I’m on Blog Talk Radio – The Priestess Show, talking about Ancestors.  (The first Friday of the month ALREADY?)  The universe is being particularly helpful to me on this one.  I was invited by a friend to attend the opening performance of the Black Storytellers Alliance festival.  This year’s theme “Leaning on the Ancestors.”

It was truly a privilege to participate in this event, and the audience does participate!  These were master storytellers.  Their stories come out of their experiences and their history, but they embrace and welcome the whole of the human experience.  The storytellers came from all across the country, and even (although he currently lives in Maine) from Brazil.

Drummers

Drummers

The event began with drumming, the drummers mostly children from the community.  They did impressive work, shared the spotlight and encouraged the audience to clap along with the beats.  Then libations were poured out to honor the Divine that has gifted us with our lives, our ancestors and our descendants.  This piece was beautifully done.  I’ve seen many versions of this and both my friend and I were impressed with the grace and eloquence of this little ritual.  But then, these are storytellers aren’t they.

There were family stories and old fables with new twists.  There were stories of imitation and of recognizing our own worth.  Every performance acknowledged the ancestors as a source of power and wisdom.  These are the shoulders upon which we stand.

Orion and I also attended a community equinox ritual.  This too acknowledged our history and our futures.  We made wishes for ourselves and our community.  We cast our coins into the wishing well, but then were taught that we are the well, the water the change makers.  We are the one’s with the power to make our wishes manifest.

Roman Coin

Roman Coin

Because making wishes has consequences we were also given charge of someone else’s wishes.  We each got an old roman coin (about 2000 years old).  So now I carry, not only my wishes, but the wishes of those who used this old coin to achieve their own desires.   Ancestors and Descendants.  I am blessed.

Darkness

100_4359As we approach the autumnal equinox I am finding myself torn.  On the one hand I feel this “start-up” energy that comes with the beginning of school and the bounty in the gardens.  On the other hand I recognize the shortening of days, the approaching darkness.

After this coming weekend our nights will be longer than our days.  This is great for romantics, evening walks in the cool sunset and not too late nights under the stars.  This is not so great for mornings, getting up before the sun makes getting up that much harder.

Spiritually, the dark side of the year is an opportunity to explore the “hidden” parts of ourselves.  This can be working with darker aspects that we don’t like to acknowledge or just spending more time in quiet meditation.  It’s a time to work through old issues and clear out the attics of our souls.

It’s also a time to nurture ourselves.  Those tender seeds sprouting from that fall planting need time to gain strength before they break through into the light.  There is the nesting that comes with the harvest season.  The gardens are put to bed, fruits and vegetables canned.   I have an urge to bake, keeping the house warm without turning on the heat.

This is my third blog on the autumnal equinox.  I’ve written about Choice and I’ve written about Balance.   This year though I am headed into the darkness.  I’ve reached an age where it’s important to me to be honest with myself about myself.  I have to look at making some changes to my lifestyle, pruning away the things that interfere with my ability to truly prosper and grow. 100_3493

These are small seeds I plant in my heart this season.  The dark is scary and compelling.  There will not always be a light to guide my way.  I’ve commented on several of your blogs how facing fear, taking the risk and moving forward is the best way to grow confidence.  Maybe I’ve been talking to myself all along.

Blessings on your equinox.  May the balance shift in your favor.

Harvest

Autumnal wedding cake (not mine) from http://www.saltytart.com

The harvest is upon us.  The first frost warnings are going out.  The equinox has past and it is officially Autumn.

There is something about September, about the harvest, about beginnings and endings that touches my heart.  In the whole of there year it is at this time when I am most aware that everything is a circle, a cycle.

Harvest celebration

We have much of the grains in,the apples are ripening each variety in its turn and after the frost can start on the wine grapes.  The pumpkins and other winter squashes begin to make their appearance in the grocery stores.  It is a time of bounty where anything is possible and everything is ripe and available.

But it is an ending time as well.  The summer is truly gone (although we need that frost to mark a true Indian Summer).  The leaves are beginning to turn and slowly fall from the trees.  This is the week from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur the high holiday of the Jewish calendar.  The New Year and also a time of atonement and forgiveness.

Truly harvest is about choice.  When do you gather in your crops?  What do you chose to use immediately, what to use soon, and what to pack up in freezing or canning for the winter ahead?  What do you keep for yourself and what do you let go, either back to compost, to seed or to sell?

What to do with all that bounty?

The metaphor of the harvest may have meant more when our culture was closer to our agricultural roots, but it is still applicable.  It is a time for review.  A time to make choices.  A time to review one’s live and to make adjustments to get on “the right course.”   It is time to rid yourself of excess baggage.  Throw away the summer clothes that are too worn to make it through another season, dust off the old winter coats and see if they were stored well or if they too need replacing.

The baggage comes in relationships too, and hence the Jewish tradition of asking forgiveness for one’s wrongful actions.  It is in September that we realize that summer romance isn’t going to last.  It is in September that we begin to fret about starting that diet in preparation for November’s feasting.

What treasures from the year are you choosing to take with you into the winter, and what things have come to the end of their usefulness?  What behaviors do not serve your greater purpose?  Where can you make “adjustments” to the course of your life?  Are there people that you have wronged that would appreciate an attempt to make things right?

Orion is my teacher in good natured acceptance. He will tell you that everybody thinks he’s great – because he is.

Beginings

Dandilions

We are fast approaching the equinox, the beginning of spring.  In Minneapolis this is generally a celebration involving getting the seeds started, indoors.  It might even still be a little early.  More often than not there is snow on the ground from the latest big blizzard.  It’s a good two months before it’s “safe” to put the tomatoes in outside.

buds

This year we have just gotten through a week of temps in the upper 70’s F.  Things are blossoming and budding a month ahead of “normal.”  Not that we don’t occasionally see a warm day in March, or an early spring.  But in the 51 years I’ve lived here, most of which I remember, I’ve never seen a spring like this one.

It is not unusual, given our weather extremes, to have a significant frost weeks after it appears the warmth of spring is here to stay.  With the growth so fast and so far ahead I can’t help but wonder what the impact of a killing frost might be on these young buds.

Soon to be apple blossoms.

Most of our natives can handle that kind of climate abuse.  The dandelion will spring forth again, as will the chives and the bulbs.  The bulbs may not blossom, but they will be back next year.  The lilacs may only see one blooming if they are hit with frost, a short season.  The apple tree will certainly survive, but will there be fruit?

Sticking out your neck, or your buds, is a risky business. Even if the early warmth holds the season may also have flooding or drought.  There may be huge and unseasonable storms, like the tornadoes we’ve already seen this year in the heartland.  Winter may come as early as the spring, so the seeds and fruits from this early bloom may not see there way to harvest.  Anything could happen!

bulbs

I’ve buried the lead here.  I’ve stuck my neck out.  I’ve written a book and sent it off to a publisher, where it has been accepted.  WOW!  YEAH!  Spring blossoms forth!

Contracts are being discussed, distribution is being debated.  There will be editing and formatting and cover art that I may have an opinion about, but no control.  Months from now,  maybe even next year, the book will hit the market and the public may choose to partake of the fruits of my labors, or not.

Lilac greening

In the meantime, I have to get used to the idea of calling myself an author.  I guess that’s a little different than a writer.  It sure feels that way.

Best wishes for a fruitful harvest from this brilliant and early spring!

chives

%d bloggers like this: