Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teaching Children the Craft: Every Friday

Every Friday, before "Friday Family Fun Night", we do a Red Meal with Rowan.
This is a rite where we make offerings to the gods of our Craft and the ancestors/Fae. We can ask for blessings, protection, or gifts for ourselves or others at this time or simply make the offering.
We do this at a tree in our backyard.

Getting ready for the rite.

Hootie the owl is joining us.

So is his "owl nut".

Outside, ready to begin.


Enlivening the area.

Until the horn cup gets a stand, we use the tree itself!

Afterwards, Rowan wrapped his owl nut in a leaf "like Totoro" and placed it on his altar.

After this rite, we go inside and start Friday Family Fun Night. My partner wrote a poem we recite (below), we light a candle, and spend time as a family. Sometimes we go out, but mostly we stay in and play games, watch movies, have dance parties, or do puzzles. It is needed decompression time. We touch base as a family unit and stop all work. In this way, it's like shabbat in the Jewish tradition.

All week long we toil toil
Weaving, spinning, singing, growing
So we set the cauldron to boil
And pour it out, Love ever-flowing

When Frigg's Eve comes,
one out of seven
Our work we set aside
And together, Kunnings Three, at home we do reside.

Hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart
we set the lights to mark its start:
Friday Family Fun Night!!!! (chanted over and over, usually holding hands and stomping a lot)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A West Virginia Lammas

For Lammas, my partner (who is also a Witch in my trad) and my apprentice headed to West Virginia to be with kin and friends for ritual, camaraderie, work with my apprentice, and more. (Rowan got to spend the weekend with his Nanny and Pap Pap and was spoiled rotten there- so we got some precious adult time ALL WEEKEND!)

We arrived on Friday, and enjoyed cocktails al fresco in a Witch's garden. My friend (with whom we stayed) is not only a Witch but an herbalist (we have so much in common!), too. I brought her some seeds and some jewelweed that I wildcrafted. She gave us a tour of her medicinal and decorative plantings. Her tiny town is a progressive artsy bastion in West Virgina, and this weekend was their "Literary Festival". We toured historic downtown and saw gorgeous art and then headed to the old cemetery in the downtown for a candlelight reading of Lovecraft!

Listening to tales of the Elder Gods...

Our friend HAD to show us this grave marker. As a child in that town, all the kids said that if you looked at it at midnight, you'd die. What's a Witch to do? You can't NOT take up a challenge like that!

She is spooky, no?
One of our number joked, "Don't blink!" (A Doctor Who reference for those who don't get it.)

Graveyard shenanigans!
Saturday, we woke early and I helped my friend at her farmer's market. She sells at her town's market like I do (and when she visited me, she helped at my booth, too!) She has some recipes that she has shared with me and vice versa. I was so happy to see she used my facial scrub and bug spray (and it sells in West Virginia as well as Ohio!). The market was really great- they had a live music jam session, organic food, and crafters ( jewelry, knitting, and amazing beeswax candles!). I was gifted a pair of gorgeous wrist warmers and bought a beeswax pillar candle for Lilith's altar at home.

Look at all that good stuff!

Lilith's gorgeous smelling candle.
After the market, we went and got food for our potluck feast after the ritual that evening. We made chicken tikka masala, and everyone else made wonderful Indian and Thai food, too. We went 45 minutes up a mountain from town to visit other Witches who live on former commune land in a gorgeous, hand-built artful home (where we had our Lammas ritual). Then we feasted.

Afterwards, my apprentice sat alone in silence in the woods for a couple hours. We were preparing him to meet his Fetch, and so we prepared a space for him to do so. Being out in the mountain woods where the animals noises are deafening in the dark was an amazing experience for him.

Sunday, we slept in. That was amazing. My apprentice and I went on a wildcrafting walk with my friends and we harvested red clover, yarrow, heal all, and mandrake. 

Wildcrafting in a nearby meadow.

Witches doing Witchy work.
We had a big communal breakfast after our hike. Scrumptious local sausage, organic fruit, potatoes and eggs.
Breakfast was yum!
The requisite silly picture.
The farewell pic.

(They also gifted me some nettles that they grew- so I left with more than I brought!) West Virginia is a treasure trove of plants!

We stopped in Wheeling on the way home to pick up a gift for Rowan: two turtles!

Today, we are getting to know our newest family members and letting them sun and graze outside. How did you spend your Lammas?