Thursday, 31 March 2016

Don't waste your time looking back, you aren't going that way.

Spring is in the air!

At least it feels as though it is - I can see the tiniest shred of evidence of buds on the trees, the ground is softening underfoot with the thaw, the animals are starting the inevitable beginnings of a mating dance. I'm certain we have more surprises on the way (more 'dirt' comin', as my mother would say), but it is starting to ease into the greening.

I always like spring. It is a season of promise, of hope. It is the end of something, and the beginning of another thing - like the regular cycles of life. Everything is new, green, fragile. All things have such promise.

This spring has been different. There have been some significant endings in our lives - for a variety of reasons that I will not get into. All things have their endings, and this was a natural end. Ostara was a marking of those endings, but with a focus on hope. And gratitude.

Hope is the seed of the new beginning.

My practice has been slowly edging more and more toward heathenry, though I dislike to label myself as such. I name myself as witch - it is what I am, and what I always have been, regardless of where my paths have taken me. That said, my husband and I have decided to work on a familial path, as a hearth.

Trevor at Heathenhearth says:
Together, all of these ideas should inform our perception of the fifth definition given above – “a household or group following the modern pagan faith of Heathenry.” When we apply this term to a spiritual group, it evokes these connotations of family, home, transformation, worship, and a link between the mundane and the divine. The term “hearth” in many ways seems more apt to the practice of Heathenry than the term “kindred” which, while an important concept in Germanic culture, was never applied directly to the practice of spiritual or religious rites. Moreover, it connects us to the now sometimes-distant concept of household and home in our hectic and disconnected world, and the idea of that spiritual practice and daily life should not – indeed, cannot – be separate, but are rather facets of the same thing. For me, the idea of “hearth” – my literal hearth, the kitchen and woodstove of my home, my social hearth, the group of friends and family members with whom I live and practice my tradition, and my spiritual hearth, my own connection to the divine – is a lens through which I see both my own practice and through which I invite others to look at the world they have constructed for themselves.

Our workings, our gods, and our paths are very tied together, so it makes sense for us to commit to working in tandem. Changes have allowed us the time to explore this new grouping - one door closes, a window opens. In death, life springs.

So after the outdoor offerings were made, we came back to our home. Our wards refreshed, our altars reconfigured, offerings made to our house wights and ancestors. The next number of weeks will be spent defining exactly what we want this to be, and how we wish for it to work, but it all seems very in sync and we're both dedicated to it, so I have hope.

I took a brief vacation home to visit some ailing relatives and dear friends, which gave me ample time to clear my head and think about all of the changes in the past year. It gave me time to actually sort through all of the feelings I have had tucked away. I also got some really wonderful advice from my very wise mother.

My mother does not suffer fools, and she takes absolutely no shit from anyone, including me. I am her daughter, but she still tells me what I need to hear, something I always appreciate, even if it's hard. I got to pour my soul out to her, to tell her my woes. I was nice to have her ear and her shoulder, and that did wonders for my state of mind. It's so funny, even in my 30's, I still need the comfort of my mother - but I don't take it for granted. She won't always be here, and I try and spend as much time as I can talking to her and being with her.

Soon it was back to reality, a short week of work, and a little bit of food poisoning. We're gearing to head into April. Maybe it's that Chariot energy from a few months ago, but I'm excited to see what's next! Forge ahead! I hope I'll have more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.