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Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Fall is coming – though you wouldn’t know it by the temperatures outside. The light is changing, and the evenings are shorter. Soon they’ll be cooler as well, and my evening walks will be increasingly more pleasant as the seasons change towards winter.

It’s a bit odd, but winter here is so much more “pleasant” in general than summer, that Fall and Spring get a little mixed up in my mind. Not only do we plant again in fall, for harvesting in winter, but in Summer we tend to hibernate. The heat is so intense that you really don’t want to be outside more than you have to, and other than yard work and (for me) exercise, I stay in the house as much as possible, with the blinds drawn and the air conditioner running. (We keep it “warm” in the house – about 80 degrees – but it still feels cool and comfortable when it’s 105 outside).

Seasons are just a little different, but fall will always be my favorite.

I’m glad I’ll be finishing up my DP in this liminal time. It’s a very in-between sort of feeling, and that’s how I’ve been feeling about the DP. I’m working on my oath, and have only the one high day left to celebrate. (I think I’ll be doing two rituals, but haven’t decided for sure). I’m feeling both more secure in the idea of making my oath, and more insecure in my ability to do so “properly” (whatever “properly” means).

It just feels right to be finishing things up and starting new things at this time of year. Maybe that’s a tie back to my love of school, and how excited I’ve always been for the beginning of school. Even as an adult, I like to go back to school shopping, for new pens and folders and binders. (Or maybe I just have a thing for office supplies, who knows). Regardless, it’s all feeling like it fits together pretty well right now, and I’m glad for the DP to be coming to a close. I’m ready to move forward, to begin the actual work of Druidry, and hopefully to begin working as a DP mentor until I decide if I want to continue on any of the study paths. I’m drawn to the Initiates Path, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to commit to it just yet, so I’m going to wait and learn until I feel more secure.

I may poke around in some of the other modern Druidic traditions – I know OBOD just re-released DruidCraft as an audio book, and I will definitely be picking that up to listen to on my commute. Not that I’m dissatisfied with ADF – I’ll probably end up staying here – but because I’m just curious as to what else is out there under the Druid umbrella.

Endings and beginnings, exploration and rest, expanding and contracting – it’s a fun, in-between, liminal time of year.

I’m ready for Autumn – are you?

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I learned this charm from a former teacher. I’m not finding a source via a quick google search, though there are a few different versions floating around. This is the one I learned:

Look to the moon when she is round
Luck with you will then abound
All you seek for shall be found
In sea, or sky, or solid ground

I was taught to say the charm while turning a piece of silver in my palm and “charging” it in the moonlight; usually I use one of my silver rings for this!

Blessings of the full moon to you!

I got to see the full moon this morning on my drive to work (the full moon is surprisingly quite high in the sky at 5:45am), as well as getting to see the local bat colony in action around my neighborhood. My commute time doesn’t change, but the sun is changing in the sky, and it’s just the right twilight time now when I’m driving to be out when the bats are having their dinner.

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I’m always sad to see the Yule season end. I like the anticipation and the coziness of the season, and while it’s fun to ring in the new year with celebrations and champagne, I always find myself a little let down by the sudden wintry reality that follows. Not just back to work again after a break (which is always too short), or the putting away of warm and cheerful decorations, but the seemingly cold feeling of waiting for spring that follows the celebration of the sun’s return.

There’s quite a lot of waiting in the winter, and it feels strongest to me right around the beginning of January. Our weather is such that we dont have long to wait for spring, but it’s frequently rainy and chilly here right now, even if we do get warm days in between. Though the sun is returning, the light doesn’t seem to change quickly enough. It’s still dark when I leave for work, and almost dark when I get home.

I’m looking forward to driving during the sunrise again, in a month or so, and to the days warming up into spring.

This year, though, I am trying to pace myself and savor this time of year. This time of year is so quiet, and I want to take advantage of that. We know the sun is returning, and the patient waiting offers an extension of the time of reflection that usually follows Samhain. I can make plans for my garden, perusing seed catalogues and diagramming garden beds, but I can also take the time to meditate on the cold (or even IN the cold, for short periods of time).

It’s also a good time to enjoy the quiet in my house after the bustle that defines November and December. The early evenings offer more reading time and time to spend preparing my house for the busier times of year, as well as time for deep reflection and increased devotions.

Instead of always looking ahead, this year I want to try to really dig into this period of stillness before Imbolc and the return of spring in March. I will light candles, burn incense, cook warm and hearty foods, and keep the fire of my hearth bright and welcoming.

Then when spring does come, I’ll be rested and ready for growing things and being outside again.

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Buy (or even better, make) a wreath for each season. Celebrate changing the wreath as you prepare for and celebrate the High Days and the changes that occur in nature. Wreaths of greenery are available right now and are a good way to bring evergreens into your home. For Imbolc you might have a wreath of red, orange, and white bows, and then for Ostara a wreath with early spring flowers and colored eggs.

This works in a dormitory or a shared apartment as well – you can get little hangers that go over the door and hang the wreath inside! (I used to do this in the dorms at school. It always made my door stand out and look festive!) I actually use one of those hangers for my front door, since it has a large glass panel. You could also put a nail in the wall above your altar and make a tiny wreath as a rotating wall decoration.

For the Druid on a budget, check craft stores right around or just after the major holidays. Small grapevine wreath blanks are inexpensive, and once the major holiday is past, you can often get nice flowers and wreath decor for heavily discounted prices. I store my wreaths in an old packing box standing up on end with pieces of cardboard between them. Stalk the ribbon clearances as well!

If you’re lucky, you might even get birds nesting in the wreath! I watched a pair of wrens raise a clutch just outside our front door last year, and it was really very special.

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Fall is slowly creeping in here, with the leaves on some of the trees turning and falling. Many of the trees here are Live Oaks though, so they’ll keep their leaves until spring, when the new leaves will push the old ones off the trees. Our yard has mainly a southern variety of weeping Ash trees and a Poplar tree (plus palm trees of various types), so we’ll be dealing with fallen leaves for a bit longer. The grass is mostly dormant at this point, so we’re only mowing once every 2-3 weeks. Things are looking pretty dry, so I’m hoping we get some rain soon.

The monarch butterflies are pretty much gone by now as well – they pass through here on their southerly migrations, so we get a good number of them. They’re one of the reasons I really love my butterfly garden in the fall. Sadly my salvias don’t seem to be doing well – I will try giving the garden a good watering, but they just don’t seem to be making it right now. Which is sad, as they were huge and gorgeous.

We also had a cold front this week, so some of the less hardy potted plants are coming inside. We need to build a drape frame for our lime tree as well, since it’s now too big to keep in a pot, and will need to be sheltered if it actually gets cold. Our lows this week are in the lower 40F range, so some of the tropicals definitely need to join the dumcane inside the porch. This will be interesting with the plumeria, which has gotten so large that we’ve put it’s pot on a wheeled platter. I’m not sure it will fit through the porch door, but I guess we’ll find out!

The lizards know where the warms are and have been attempting at cost to life and limb to get inside the house or screen porch. Unfortunately the cats think they’re both fun and tasty, so we’ve found a few corpses and made a few rescues so far. That will likely continue through the winter.

It’s probably time to get the bird feeders up as well. (Or the squirrel feeders, really) There won’t be any more hummingbirds this year for sure; we only saw two all summer, which was sad. Usually there are tons. I wonder if the climate is affecting their migration, or maybe we didn’t have the feeders up soon enough or something. I love having birds in the yard, especially when it’s cold – we’ve had breeding pairs of cardinals and bluejays for a few years now. The wrens usually make a nest in the yard (or in the wreath on my door), but I’ve yet to find a seed they’ll eat. I think they’re more interested in the bugs living in my potted plants.

I’m not planting a winter garden this year, mostly because things were too crazy when I would have needed to get it planted. Instead, we’ll compost the garden plot with leaves and kitchen compost over the winter. It could stand to rest for a little bit anyway, especially since we planted corn this summer. I don’t think I’ll grow corn again, just because it takes up a lot of space for not a lot of produce in the end. Maybe one more try now that I’ve done it before, but I’m not sold on corn as a backyard crop.

The days are approaching their shortest now, and the sun has already set when I get home from work at 5:30. The sun is about 15 minutes shy of rising when I get to work at 6:30am.  Having it be dark when I leave and dark when I get home is hard, but at least I still get some afternoon sun on my commute home.

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