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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Though it’s snowing today in Northern NY, there is still new life all around if you just look. May you and yours have a blessed Spring Equinox.

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Basil reaching up to the sun. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2015.

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Seed, herb, and apple mandala. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013

Today is the fourth day of Three Crane Grove’s “Yule Along,” and I’m still following! Today is a day to honor the Nature Spirits. Here in Northern NY, it’s certainly a good day to do that. We’re experiencing a big ice storm. The ice casing everything outside is literally 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick! Nature is both beautiful and deadly. Many people have been or still are without power. (Thankfully, we still have power and a warm hearth and home… but the lights have flickered a bit…) Many trees outside are bowed over with the weight of the ice. Many are broken. The roads are slick and people are urged to stay in except in cases of emergency. Days like today give me pause. Despite the cold, the freezing rain, and the miserable conditions outside, Nature will persevere. The plants will be reborn in the spring, and there will still be deer, lady bugs, chickadees, and coyotes when the ice melts. How do they survive? It just amazes me.

As a small offering for any small creatures out looking for something to eat that isn’t encased in ice, I made a little mandala out of seeds, dried apples, and herbs. The act of making a mandala, however simple and rustic mine is, required me to take off my gloves to place the items. I stooped over for a few minutes to do this and, while it wasn’t that long, it was time enough to meditate on the survival of our brother and sister Nature Spirits.  I wish them strength and thank them for inspiring my own strength.

And just to give you an idea of the ice we have, here are a couple photos:

One of our potted trees, completely iced over. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

A spiral of ice. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

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As I type this, it’s 54° F outside.  It’s beautiful and feels amazing!  The frogs in the nearby marsh are awake and singing their little hearts out!  I was just puttering about my patio in a maternity t-shirt, emptying old pots of soil into bigger containers.  My plan is to bring a tarp to the patio and dump all the soil together, amend it with my compost, and some new soil from the local gardening center.  Hubby will help of course!  I have several large pots to drag out of the garage after all…  I’m just so excited for the new season!

A couple sad things to report.  The garlic I planted before the first frost was not successful.  I couldn’t find any growth and, when I dug deeper, only located one of the cloves.  It was slimy and rotted.  A bug was enjoying it.  I’m not sure what I did wrong but I plan to do more research and try again.  The beans we started indoors are not doing well.  They don’t appear to be germinating and, instead, are producing a mold.  The other seeds are fine, thank goodness, and are showing growth.  There’s no mold on them, so I’m not convinced it’s too much moisture and not enough circulation.  The beans are older seeds (I never wrote the date on the packet so I don’t really know how old) but I assume that has something to do with it.  It’s a real shame that I’ll have to go out and buy more seeds, but thankfully they aren’t expensive.  C’est la vie!  They were bush beans and, while they do well in containers, I would like to get a pole variety.  I had luck with pole peas last year in a container, so I know it’s very possible!

After clearing away some old growth, I found my chives and woad doing well.  This will be that woad plant’s last year.  I hope it produces flowers so that I can collect seeds for next year!  The cranesbill geranium is also showing growth and the lily of the valley I planted last year might be growing.  Fingers crossed!

There’s not a whole lot to photograph at the moment.  Things are just starting to grow, and I’m still in the process of cleaning the area up.  I put a few of my decorations out – a little welcome sign and a couple fairies.  My goal is to add a fairy garden this year so expect some fun updates on that!

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Ice on the car windshield. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

 

We woke up to any icy world. An Cailleach exhaled her frosty breath over Northern NY and made it glisten. The trees shimmered like glass and the grass looked sugar dusted. As I scraped the car, I noticed how the ice fell away, tinkling like marbles. Winter’s hold is weakening, but this reminder of its power also reminded me of its magic and beauty.

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“Balor Archery Target” painted and photographed by Weretoad, 2012

We spent Saturday with my grove mates to celebrate Lughnasadh.  It was wonderful to see them after staying with my family for the Summer Solstice.  We held our traditional Lughnasadh games!  They were more low-key and less structured this year. We had other activities planned this year and the heat was oppressive this weekend.  We spent a lot of time, including our business meeting, just floating around the pool.  The games we did have included archery, spear throwing, and Kubb.  Because nobody was really keeping track, we didn’t declare a champion this year.  Instead, everyone who participated charged a wreath which was given as an offering during ritual.

This year included a special women-only ceremony for one of our younger members, Dragonfly.  We welcomed her to womanhood and shared our words of wisdom and wishes for her.  It was very lovely and well-planned.  I know that, if I have a child, I would very much like for them to have a coming of age ceremony. I know I would have liked something like that.  What I liked best was that it was very personal and not connected to a spiritual mandate of some sort.  It was all linked to physical changes and her life.

“Artisan Showcase” – Photo by Grey Catsidhe

In addition to games, our Senior Druid felt it important for the artisans to show their work as well.  We did not compete – simply shared some of our recent work.  Painting, sewing, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, photography, and jewelry making were all represented!

One of my more recent dolls – “Dryad.”  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
One of my “Wee Greenman Pins.”  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.
“Lughnasadh Altar” – Photo by Grey Catsidhe 2012

Our ritual was held in the shade of several trees behind our hosts’ home.  As the sun set, the air became less stifling and we focused on the cooling waters our bodies and lands so crave.  At the same time, we acknowledged the searing truth that is high summer and the lessons it teaches.   We praised Lugh as champion – as the many-skilled one who inspires us to reach for our goals and work hard each day.  We thanked the Nature Spirits for the harvest.

After that – we feasted!

It was a good day with wonderful people. I’m looking forward to the Autumn Equinox already!

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I usually meditate to silence or my own drumming.  Occasionally I’ll use a recording.  If you’re like Chronic Awesome, you may prefer a natural recording to Eastern-inspired music.  I think it’s safe to say that most of us on an animistic path enjoy “live performances” by Nature when it comes to sound, but if you’re traveling or in a stressful, noisy environment (like a dorm room, city, office, etc), this may be for you!

RainyMood.com: Rain makes everything better. « Chronic Awesome.

 

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It’s Pagan Values month in the blogosphere and, while I’ve been doing my best to keep up on some of the contributions, I’ve stayed on the sidelines as far as participation is concerned.  I don’t know what I have to say that hasn’t been said.  I also don’t know if I could articulate it very well.  I suppose, if anyone is really interested in what I think, they can get an idea by reading my essays on Druidic virtues.

I was going through my reader this morning when I came across a link to a Pagan’s blog – an entry about suffering in regards to Wicca by Diana Rajchel.  Really, I found it to related to Druidism as well.

She begins by talking about the horrific things people do to each other.  I agree with Rajchel about evil.  Some humans have moments or lifetimes of evil.  My hearth culture has examples of possibly evil people or spirits.  Many cultures do.  It doesn’t have to be a devil.  So many Pagans throw up their arms in disgust about the concept of evil because they worry it brings them back to some form of Christianity.  Perhaps they are uncomfortable with the idea of evil…  Be that as it may, there are people out there who do horrible things such as rape, mutilate, torture, and commit genocide.  Those happen because someone is psychotic or makes a very bad choice.

But back to “natural” suffering – disease, tornados, tsunamis…  The things that Rajchel rightly point out impact everyone – humans, plants, and animals.  She states, and rightly so in my opinion, that suffering is a message to us that, to the powers that be, humans are not above the natural world.

The first time I remember thinking about suffering was when my 40 year old aunt slowly died of a rare form of cancer.  Now, I think of it whenever there are major disasters.  I think of it when I see animals on the side of the road.  I thought of it at the doctor’s office, scared that – maybe – something was wrong.  That last time was of particular interest to me because it was me.  My desire for an answer became more insistent.  I wondered what the point of life was if there would be suffering.  I watched and read a bit about Buddhism for answers since suffering is what drove Siddhārtha Gautama on his quest.  In the end, I basically decided what Ms. Rajchel states – that suffering is the price of life.  Perhaps it is part of some great cycle of reincarnation or a process of initiation into the Other World.  Perhaps it is just a price for existence and when the ride is over that is that.  Who really knows?  But suffering exists and life ends up being about how you deal with it and the beauty you find despite it.  The grace of my aunt as her body decayed around her is something that continues to inspire me.

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