Posts Tagged ‘Nature Spirits’
The blizzard in Northern NY stopped this afternoon and we had some time to go out and clean up. The sun even came out for a bit! Bee and I took advantage of this to have some fun in the snow. We made a big pile and, inspired by this fun post I found on Pinterest, made a snow girl with an offering of birdseed and corn in her arms.
Despite what the modern calendar tells you, winter is here in Upstate NY. We’ve received snow. An Cailleach is wide awake, shaking the dust out of her skirts and cloaks. While she has yet to show her full power, it’s coming. You can feel it in the chilly air. While the snow isn’t sticking for long in most places, it clings longer in the forest shadows. I went there today to visit and take in the sights and sounds.
The oak tree was bare save for a few straggling, brown leaves, clinging on for dear life. The forest seemed very gray today except for the hemlock and lingering ferns. Although the plant world is very sleepy, the animals who share the realm were quite awake! Some blue jays got into a shouting match while I was doing my devotional ritual. I couldn’t help but stop and observe. Smaller birds darted through the evergreens – one bearing some broken branches that could betray the position of a porcupine. In the distance, red squirrels tittered.
I left my offerings at the base of the oak – fruit, seeds, oats, and sweet red wine poured on rocks. I also left a crow feather I found on my way there. It felt right to give it back to Nature.
As I left, I promised An Cailleach some bread next time. UPG I’ve experienced the last few years I’ve made offerings to her have taught me that our regional winter hag loves fresh bread. Good thing I enjoy making it! What’s more, it adds some extra warmth to our home while An Cailleach dances outside.
If you live in America and have a Netflix account, you’ll be able to check out a Nature documentary called “Ireland’s Wild River.” It follows the narrator, Colin Stafford-Johnson, as he shares the beautiful Shannon River. I watched this recently on a lazy evening while my little one napped in my arms. The visuals are stunning and immersive. I caught myself wistfully sighing more than once as I imagined myself there. Many of the documentaries I watch about Celtic lands, particularly Ireland, are concerned with history. This program was dedicated to the plants and animals that live in and around the Shannon’s meandering waters. While we modern folk learning about Druidism in America must explore our own local flora and fauna, it is also important that we understand the land that our ancestors came from. We may find helpful similarities between our lands and the Nature Spirits that live here which may further inform our understanding of lore, art, holiday observations, and other folkways. Don’t expect a lot of depth, and especially don’t look for much discussion on the old magical beliefs of Ireland, though. However, it could be just what you need to inspire a new prayer for the Nature Spirits. If you need to relax and have 52 minutes to lounge, why not indulge in some beautiful imagery of Ireland’s lush Shannon River?
I’ve been really curious about rocket stoves. I see people interested in sustainability, survival skills, and camping post about them from time to time. Turns out, my father has been interested too. He’s more mechanically-minded than I am, so he made one using BPA-free cans (supplied by yours truly). I also helped him by gathering fuel on my most recent nature walk. He finally tried it and, for just a tiny test stove, it was really impressive! Before I got my camera out, the flames were quite large. My father feels confident that he could have boiled water with that.
I might not have a proper fire pit, but perhaps a little rocket stove could get the job done if I ever wanted a flame large enough to make offerings into.
Have you explored rocket stoves?