Tomorrow is Lammas or to some, Lughnasadh. This sacred time of the grain harvest is a time of sharing. For my family, it’s a time to gear up for the fall and the upcoming holidays. It’s also a time of reflection to see what we’ve accomplished the first half of the year– both good and bad. For our meal, I’m making homemade bread as well as fixing some grain dishes– most will be gluten free, since I have to be. The family has become used to the fact that though we do separate out for the most part– I make two kinds of spaghetti and such– whenever possible, I do try to make GF for the whole family. (Ask them about the Chocolate Chip Cookie incident from this Sunday. Yes, ask them about that.) Continue reading →
Today is beautiful outside where I live. It’s not too warm, not too chilly, but a perfect day for me and Shango, my Siberian husky to go walking. We walked around the 6th hole of the golf course we live on twice today, which is good exercise for us both. While doing so, I reflected on what it really means to celebrate this holiday for me. Being a pagan, it’s not always easy to reconcile Christian holidays with pagan holidays, though I try to respect them all. Last night, my male and I had our Valentine’s Day meal- marinated steak, mashed potatoes, peas, green beans, homemade bread, and some Keel and Curley wine- Strawberry Riesling. *grins* We exchanged gifts- we normally keep it simple by getting each other chocolate. (It’s the best way to keep us both happy!)
For me, Valentine’s Day has been a day to celebrate love for love’s sake. It means telling my family I love them with all I have. It means spending time with my male showing him how much I adore him. But it also means not forgetting the other 364 days a year that love needs to be shown often. I laugh when people talk about not liking Valentine’s Day because of the gimmick, and yes, in fact, the original ideas that we do today stem from Victorian times when postal rates were cheap and sending love notes was simple and easy! But more than that, this is one day you can reiterate whole souled about your love for someone and no one will accuse you of blathering or trying to get into his pants or what-not. Today is a day where love comes first– something we as individuals, as groups, as nations, as a world– sometimes forget to do. It’s a day not about hatred, but about loving ourselves and each other– regardless of beliefs or where we stand on the political fence.
So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! May Cupid hit you right on the butt cheeks with the love of your life!
For me, Imbolc is a huge holiday coming up– in fact, it’s celebrated on February 2nd. On the 3rd of February, Chinese New Year begins. For me, it’s an auspicious time because I love Imbolc. It’s one of the first pagan holidays I ever celebrated as a pagan and it holds a special place in my heart because of the meaning. It’s time to clean out the things that don’t help me and to prune down the excess in my life. What does that mean for me personally? It’s declutter time! So, starting February 1st- I’m decluttering the entire house. I’m paring down my print books (the goal is to get rid of 30%), to go through my clothes of what fits, what doesn’t and what just needs to be tossed, and to pare down to essentials in the kitchen and living room as well. For me, it’s a great time to reflect on personal issues as well while I’m doing the physical.
Chinese New Year is always fun for me because I love celebrating new beginnings. Plus, the Chinese have created some beautiful practical artwork and items over the centuries. Plus, I love the story of how Chinese New Year began. Don’t know it? Check out The Holiday Spot for their tale on Chinese New Year.
I’ve created my Yule altar and I’m loving it. My covering is dark blue because I love the colour and it really makes me think of this time as the dark time of Cerridwen. On it, I’ve got my snowflake crystal ornament, a pine cone, my incense burner, my candles, and my rune and tarot holders. As I go by it, it reminds me to stop and think of the meaning of this time of year. It’s the dark half of the year to the Celts- a time of reflection and of determining what is really meaningful to me.
Yule is not just about presents and about homecoming in my eyes. It’s about family and about pruning away the things that don’t work anymore. It’s a time where I look into the ice reflections and ask myself, “Where am I going and where do I want to be?” I normally do this using a bowlful of water with a sprinkle of salt or with a hand-held mirror. I concentrate on seeing me as I am now and how I want to be once springtime arrives. I see what is surrounding me– what things clinging to me that are holding me back and what things would move me forward– but aren’t because of those clinging vines.
During this time, I also start putting together my recipes for the holiday. One of my faves is my apple cranberry sauce. This sauce is great for Thanksgiving or anytime of the year when you can get fresh cranberries and apples. I’ll post it later next week.
Yesterday was the true cross-quarter day for Lughnasadh. I spent the day mostly at work, then I came home and got some time in with my friends online. I also used the day to work some ritual spelling and managed to do a couple of tarot readings. What’s really nice, I was able to cook and spend some time walking with my dog outside, enjoying how lovely everything looks around here.