Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Pagan Baseline

You know what I realized after looking over some of my blog photos? That a wreath is my pagan baseline. It made me chuckle a bit. Yes that's right - almost all my pagan celebrations come down to the same simple thing. Creating a wreath and doing something with it - sending it off into the water, wrapping it around a tree, or putting it on my head! I make wreaths of herbs for birthdays, wreaths of lilacs for Beltane, wreaths of random flowers for Solstice - anything!
So, I guess it makes sense that I add a wreath-making tutorial on here at some point. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dedication Ritual

Last night we formally designated the garden circle as a sacred space. Dedication rituals are usually a bit more involved since you only do them once. It made sense to me to wait until the next new moon, which is a time for setting new goals and letting go of old habits. I bought some candles and incense to help create that special atmosphere that fosters deep thoughts and sacred moments. We began our ritual by calling upon the elemental powers of the world.

The stone circle we created has four full moon shapes set precisely in north, south, east, and west. We took turns standing on each moon and calling upon the corresponding element. Then, we each placed a floating candle into the fountain.

There was no breeze at all, and the sweet smell of incense hung in the air. With the candles glowing against a darkening sky, we each said our pledge aloud. I pledged to care for the space, for the plants and animals that lived in and around the circle. I promised never to be petty or selfish or dishonest in the circle. I pledged to welcome anyone who wanted to be in the circle with me, and finally I promised that all communication in the space would be gentle and kind, resolving any conflicts with an open heart. Whew! When we finished our pledges, we each placed a final candle into the fountain.

With our ritual complete, we hugged and kissed and went inside for a drink! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Solstice and the Full Moon

Midsummer is such a special time. The days are long and the night air is warm. The hustle and bustle of spring subsides, and makes way for more relaxation and enjoyment of life. This year, the weekend of the summer solstice (also called Litha) was also the weekend of the full Strawberry Moon. I decided to celebrate both together. Actually, as I am typing this I realized I forgot to add strawberries to the wreath offering. Whoops! Anyways...

At home I built a small fire, adding some dried herbs and spices to makes it smell more magic-y. Then my partner and I held hands and leapt over it, making sure not to let go of each other. In some traditions, leaping over the flame ensures fertility of both self and crops in the coming year. In others, it grants wishes or keeps your current romance true and faithful. It is a fun and easy solstice ritual. I have heard of people leaping over a lit candle in their bedroom - you can make this as simple or as complicated as you like.

The final part of my celebration involved making an offering to the local lake. I spend a lot of time at this lake during the summer months, and this is my way of showing gratitude and sort of "opening" the summer lake season for our family. I made two large wreaths full of white flowers, put on a white dress over a bathing suit, and made my way to the lake.

Any time I do something in public, I am racked with self-consciousness! There were only a few people, but of course they were staring at me with confused-but-interested looks on their faces. I remained friendly and smiling. However, when I stepped slowly into the calm water, I forgot I had an audience at all. There may have been other people at the lake, but NO ONE was in the water. It was clear and still and warm. I filled my head with memories of summers past, and breathed deep to smell the water and the plants. Once waist-deep, I slowly pushed the wreaths out. They floated beautifully, slowly drifting further and further away.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Patio is Complete!

We did it - we completed the patio! And it doesn't look terrible. In fact, it looks amazing! I am SO proud of us for pulling this off. Huzzah!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013