Monday, April 10, 2017

An update!

Yesterday was the first day that really, truly felt like spring. There had been some hints here and there, but yesterday had everything. Clear sky, warm-ish weather, a cool breeze, melting snow, the smell of wet earth, and even a few flowers on a shrub. I'm ready for longer, sunnier days.

Spiritually, I haven't been up to much new. I pray to Hestia most days at my hearth shrine, I light her oil lamp and make a small offering of myrrh into the flame. I am writing a new prayer for this little evening ritual. Oh, and I'm in a book! I contributed a prayer/poem(?) to "First and Last," a devotional anthology for Hestia that was recently released. If you are interested in Hestia, the book is available on Amazon.

I have also been working on a submission for a devotional to Eos and Aurora. Maybe even two, if I can get the second idea out of my head and onto paper. The more creative types of writing, prayers and poems and such, have always been harder for me. Also, this one will require me to watch a few sunrises, which is so not the time my body wants to be awake, but oh well.

I have moved Artemis' shrine into the kitchen for now, and moved Hekate's into my work room, as I lean back around to focus more on the craft elements of my practice. I might combine these two shrines into one, at some point...

I've been experimenting with making self-igniting incense powder. Mostly because it looks cool. Now that the weather is warming up I want to start on those videos, and I'll probably do one for an incense recipe once I get it hammered out.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

When is Imbolc?

I often see people asking about when, exactly, Imbolc is celebrated. The truth is the answer is a bit complicated. People see Imbolc listed in books as either the first of second of February, and figure maybe it moves around like the solstices and equinoxes do, and that's not always the case. For many, Imbolc is a fixed-date festival and does not move (although it does for some, more on that later).

I think part of the problem comes from the fact that the ancient Celts considered sunset to be the start of the new day, as several ancient cultures did. So, matching that to how we view our days, a holiday might start on the sunset of the 1st, and last until the sunset of the 2nd. (Or the 31st to the 1st.)

Another source of confusion comes from Imbolc versus Candlemas, and how the name is sometimes seen as interchangeable within neo-paganism. Imbolc is an old Celtic festival, and has strong ties to the goddess Brigid. Brigid became a saint in the Catholic church, and her feast day is still the 1st of February. On the other hand, Candlemas is a Christian holiday, which has ties to quite a few old pagan customs, and is still celebrated on the 2nd of February. Groundhog Day is another date that can be considered in all this, as weather divination would be popular around the time of Imbolc, and of course that is what Groundhog's Day is all about - which, again, falls on the 2nd.

To make matters more complicated, remember how I said the festival moves for some? Some choose to celebrate on the exact date between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Since the solstice and equinox shift from year to year, this means the date of Imbolc also moves when using this method. For those curious, this year that date is he 3rd of February.

Let's make things more complicated... some instead choose to celebrate on the full moon nearest the 1st, or when the first signs of spring actually show up, or traditionally with the blooming of blackthorn, or the beginning of the lambing season, which of course can all vary from year to year.

All this is a long way of saying that Imbolc is celebrated... well, whenever you or your tradition says it should be celebrated. Do you want to celebrate from the 31st of Jan to the 1st of Feb? From the First to the second? Just the first? Just the second? Or how about on the third, or the full moon, or...? It really comes down to the individual practitioner, and what makes sense for their tradition.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy 2017!

With the hectic travel and holidays of December over, I've finally been able to sit down and spend a bit of time thinking about what direction I want to go in, in 2017.

First and foremost, my health. I need to stay consistent with my meds, and I need to lose some weight (at least the bit of weight I gained last year, but more would be better). The first should hopefully help with the second. Health first, or else the other things will be much harder.

I want to spend more time honoring Artemis this year. She's my chief deity and her shrine has been sitting unattended for months now, for crying out loud! While I have been doing other rituals for her, the daily practice has lapsed. That's pretty unacceptable to me, so that needs to change right away.

I also want to dedicate more time to spirit journeying/spirit work. I've fallen out of that aspect of my practice a bit, and it's time to get back into it.

With my fancy new book, I want to work on transferring my information (which is currently mostly on the computer) to that. I want to have added at least 45 finished pages to the book, which is less than one a week, and should be doable.

Finally, I want to get out of my comfort zone a bit and do some videos on YouTube. There are several things I've wanted to write about, but I think would be easier to do in video. Might be interesting to do something different.