arts & crafts Tag - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! http://www.witchesandpagans.com/latest.html Tue, 23 May 2017 01:49:20 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Crafting a Valknut for Odin http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/crafting-a-valknut-for-odin.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/crafting-a-valknut-for-odin.html

Coming up on the one year anniversary as a Bride of Odin on June 28th, 2015, I asked Odin what he wanted for our anniversary, and he said he wanted something to represent him in my "shrine." I clarified with him what he meant by shrine, and he meant the glass display cases on the wall where I had recently starting putting spiritual souvenirs. So I made a Valknut. I made two, in fact, one for the monthly anniversary which is every 28th of the month, on May 28th, and one for the one-year anniversary on June 28th.

I made the first valknut from silk ribbon on a silk hoop. I made the template for it on the 27th and made the art object itself on May 28th. The paper template helped me put the points of the triangles in the right places. It was interesting making a val-“knut” (knot) as a fiber craft, with the lines of the triangles crossing over and under each other like a real knot.

For the June 28th anniversary, I made a Valknut on paper, with runes at each of the points representing the various names of Odin (Wotan, Wod), Honir (Wili, Vili) and Loki (Ve, Lodhur.) That day did not go as I had planned. The day before, on the 27th, I fell head first into 3 feet of water while cleaning the pool. I wrote about that in my post about attending the last Ravenwood festival in a wheelchair.

I managed to complete all the most important parts of my plan for our anniversary despite my injury. I made the paper Valknut with the runes while sitting at my desk, so that was no problem. I couldn’t hold it in my hands while using the crutches, though, and I had to stand up to get it into the wall altar, so I carried it in my mouth.

I still made a toast, too, but I couldn't stand up as I usually do because I couldn't manage to pull the cork on the mead while holding myself up with crutches. (This was the day before I borrowed a wheelchair to bring to Ravenwood.) The apricot mead I had saved turned out to be going slightly off, having saved it a little too long, and I felt bad because there I was, in a house and body I had only managed to clean up imperfectly because of the injury, doing imperfect ritual with an imperfect sacrifice. But Odin accepted it, and he accepted me as I was. Imperfection is the nature of humanity, and he accepts us in our natural condition. 


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erinlale@hotmail.com (Erin Lale) Paths Blogs Sun, 28 Aug 2016 02:28:00 -0700
Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... A Wand for Spring http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-a-wand-for-spring.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-a-wand-for-spring.html A wand is a magical tool, an extension of the power within your own hand, projected through the wand, to affect the world via your Will. The Yule tree was once a living reflection of the wand’s magic. It drew its own strength from the earth—it’s source—much as the wand draws its strength and direction from your Will, channeled through you. The Yule tree directed water and nutrients upward through its trunk, expressing these elements outward as branches, needles and pine cones. They, in turn, affected the world by providing shade, shelter, protection, food, and the seeds of a new generation. Therefore, at a time of freshly flowing sap, and the awakening of nature, a wand can be fashioned from the offering of branches of the old tree, copper wire to conduct energy, and quartz crystal to focus it.

The crafting of an Equinox swag carries the seeds of the Yule spirit forward. If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.

Materials

  • 5-7 slender flexible Yule tree twigs
  • 12-14” long with balsam removed
  • Copper wire
  • Quartz Crystal or other stone or crystal of your choice. Points work best, but tumbled stones can also be used successfully.
  • Glue gun
  • Optional: beads, and/or small crystals, shells and stones with holes drilled in them so that they can be threaded on the copper wire

Tips to make this a greener craft: When using recycled materials of this nature (especially articles of clothing) be sure that the material is clean and free of stains. Sprinkle with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it. Telephone, internet and cable service providers discard bundles of scrap wire—some of it copper—every day (the wire is often coated with a rubber in different colors and patterns). Check with your local provider for the availability of their scrap wire (some businesses will give it away); pieces that are too short for their use are perfect for craft projects.

Crafting

  1. Bundle the Yule tree twigs so that all the cut ends are together and even. Trim the bottoms of the twigs if needed.
  2. Cut a length of copper wire that is at least twice as long as the length of your twig bundle.
  3. Starting 1.5” - 2” from the top of the budding ends, weave the wire through and around the twigs. The small crystals, stones, shells or beads can be threaded through the wire as it is being woven through the twigs.
  4. When you are about 1” - 1.5” from the cut ends, wrap the copper wire tightly around all the branches until you reach the bottom of the wand. Trim any excess.
  5. Cut a smaller length of copper wire and wrap it tightly around all the branches about 2” from the top of the wand.
  6. Nestle the crystal in between the branches at the top of the wand, and secure it with a few drops of hot glue.

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Ritual

While sitting in a quiet Circle, light incense and a white candle. Take 3 pinches of sea salt and add them to a bowl or chalice of water. Stir three times dossal with your fingers. Holding the wand in your dominant hand, use the fingers of your opposite hand to bless the wand with the salted water three times. Next, pass it through the heat of the candle flame, at a safe distance, three times clockwise. Pass it through the smoke of the incense in the same manner. Finally, take a deep breath and blow down the length of the wand from the crystal tip to the end. Do this three times. Elevate the wand overhead, still in your dominant hand, then point it with both hands to the East, South, West and North, saying as you go:

Powers of earth, air, fire, sea

Bound now in this wand, and me,

Flow like magic, flow like sap,

Hand to wand – there be no gap.

Bless this wand and charge it well

For the purpose that I tell!

At this point, if you have created your wand for a specific purpose, such as healing, calling the elements/casting Circles, for blessing other tools, etc., state it aloud and clearly in the East, South, West and North.

Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)


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nataliezaman@gmail.com (Natalie Zaman) Culture Blogs Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:11:40 -0700
Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... Decking the Halls for Eostre http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-decking-the-halls-for-eostre.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-decking-the-halls-for-eostre.html The spring or Vernal Equinox is one of the two points on the agrarian calendar of equal night and equal day. The rabbit and the egg, symbols of Eostre (the Saxon fertility goddess honored at the dawning of spring), bespeak of the same sense of victory over death; in pagan belief, the “death” of winter. Eggs represent not only sustenance but also the potential of new life. Rabbits symbolize endurance and fecundity—a prey animal that still manages to survive, thrive and multiply. Beyond hard-boiled ovum and chocolate hares, the evergreen Yule tree can again lend itself to the festival of the season in traditional ways.

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At each spoke of the wheel of the year, it was customary to cleanse the environment. This would be a through sweeping of the house and barns, a replacing of straw and bedding, and “smooring” (or smoothing over) the fire in the family hearth and setting a new blaze. Finally, a token indication would be created to show that the homestead had been purified and made ready for the next Sabbat season. The most recognizable form of this custom was the “decking the halls with boughs of holly” at Yule, and the making of flower garlands and daisy chains at Beltane. At other times, special swags were created for over the front door (or over the altar), incorporating plants, woods and herbs sacred to the season. The crafting of an Equinox swag carries the seeds of the Yule spirit forward. If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.

Materials

  • 4-6 Yule tree branches, balsam on Note: If the balsam on your Yule tree branches is dry or has fallen off, bare branches can be used for this craft. Greenery can be added in the form of ribbons, and faux greens and vines which can be recycled when the swag is taken down.
  • 4-6 branches of spring time buds or flowers such as pussy willow or lavender
  • Ribbon (use whatever color represents Spring to you; wide, wired ribbon works best as it will hold its shape)
  • Floral wire
  • Optional: A small cup to hold flowers and water, or soil and seeds

Tips to make this a greener craft: Items such as feathers, shells and stones can be gathered in nature, and bring added energy to magical work. If you cannot purchase wired ribbon for this project, use ribbons recycled from gift packaging. Yarn can be substituted for ribbon. Use leftover yarn from other projects, or reclaimed from articles of knit clothing that are no longer wearable such as hats, mittens, and sweaters. When using recycled materials of this nature (especially articles of clothing) be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it. Cups to hold floral offerings or soil and seeds can be those that were previously used for drinking.

Crafting

  1. Divide the evergreen and spring branches into two equal piles on your work surface, laying the pussy willows on top of the evergreens.
  2. Line up the cut ends of each pile, keeping the spring branches on top of the evergreens, and wrap with the floral wire to secure.
  3. Trim any balsam or smaller branches if needed.
  4. Cross the wrapped ends and bind them together with pipe cleaners or wire. Your evergreens and pussy willows should now be pointed left and right, with the bare ends all joined in the middle.
  5. Make a bow with the ribbon and secure it to the swag to cover the wired portion in the center.
  6. Thread a length of wire through the ribbon at the back of the swag and form a loop for hanging.
  7. For further embellishment, a colorful bag of cleansing herbs, crystals, feathers, or other springtime objects can be incorporated into the swag. Bells can be threaded and tied on to the swag with thinner ribbon that compliments the color or pattern of the larger bow. Depending on where you intend to place the swag, a plastic cup or chalice can also be wired on to accommodate fresh cut flowers or soil and seeds.

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Ritual

Wherever you chose to place your swag, speak or sing these words to invoke the spirit of the season:

With ever-green, And gray-tipped bough,

I bid the Spring come to this place.

With light and warmth, With gentle rain,

Bless and cleanse this humble space.

If you have incorporated a chalice or cup to hold fresh cut flowers or to start a seedling, be sure to maintain it; keep baby plants watered and change flowers as they fade. Repeating the ritual spell as you refresh the swag renews the magic of its creation.

Up Next... A blessing for new trees

Artwork by Robin Ator (http://glowinthedarkpictures.com/tarot/). Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)


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nataliezaman@gmail.com (Natalie Zaman) Culture Blogs Fri, 11 Mar 2016 08:41:44 -0800
Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... An Imbolc Healing Necklace http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-an-imbolc-healing-necklace.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-an-imbolc-healing-necklace.html It was tradition for each member of the family to hang a strip of white cloth outside the window on Imbolc Eve, so that Brigid could infuse it with healing and protective powers as she walked through the village. These would later be used to cure headaches and tooth aches (tied around the forehead or from chin to crown), and as a special touch to poultices. Craft a modernized version of this folkway with the protective properties of the Yuletide evergreen's balsam. (If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)

Materials

  • 48” x 5” strips of white material (cotton is best)
  • Yule tree balsam
  • Small healing stones such as jade, clear quartz, fluorite, or stones specific to a particular healing problem (stone chips work best)
  • Black Pony Beads,
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • White thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors

Tips to make this a greener craft: Bed linens and clothing that is no longer wearable or usable are recyclable sources for the white material required for this craft. When using recycled materials of this nature be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it. Use ribbon recycled from gift packaging. Leftover yarn from other projects or recycled from articles of knit clothing that are no longer wearable—hats, mittens, sweaters—can also be used for this craft. Remember that when using recycled materials of this nature (especially articles of clothing) be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it.

Crafting

  1. Lay the strip of material on a flat surface and fold it lengthwise, then sew the long ends together so that you have a long tube. The tube should be large enough to accommodate the balsam and stones, but small enough to be threaded through a pony bead. If a happy medium between these two cannot be achieved, use ribbon or yarn instead of the pony bead to separate each “link.” Trim any excess and turn the tube right side out.
  2. On Imbolc Eve (February 1) place the tube outside where it won't blow away. Out a window is traditional, but it can also be hung off a clothes line, draped over an outdoor chair, or placed on a surface like a deck railing or picnic table with something to weigh it down. If you are doing this craft after Imbolc, you can place the tube 
  3. Bring the tube in on Imbolc and allow it to dry. Keeping in mind that when the necklace is complete the ends will have to be tied to close it, knot one side of the tube several inches (allow about 5-6 inches) from the end. Starting with the balsam, insert one or two full pinches of needles into the tube and push to the end; for this you can use a straw, chopstick, or even a pencil.
  4. When the material is compacted in the end of the tube by the initial knot, slide on a pony bead or tie a ribbon to make a link. Next, take a stone, or a few if they are small, and insert these into the tube, push to the end of the last link made, and slide on another pony bead or tie another ribbon to make a second link.
  5. Repeat the process going back and forth between stone and balsam until nine links have been made, ending as it was begun with the balsam. Knot the tube at the base of the last link, and trim the ends so that they are even.

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Ritual

As you are filling the healing necklace and forming its links, speak or sing the following spell to call on Brigid to invest your necklace with her healing touch:

Touched by Brigid as she did pass

On the eve of Candlemas

Healing power now dwell within

When worn by me or kith or kin.

Present the necklace to someone that is need of healing, or use it yourself. The ends of the tube can be tied together to form a necklace or bracelet. It can also be tied onto objects and plants.

Up Next... Spring Equinox

Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)


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nataliezaman@gmail.com (Natalie Zaman) Culture Blogs Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:24:09 -0800
Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... In the belly: the Brideog http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-in-the-belly-the-brideog.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-in-the-belly-the-brideog.html The Brideog, or “little Brigid,” comes down to us from ancient times. She was a corn doll (corn being wheat) that was fashioned into a female form and decorated with ribbons and shells. A bed of straw was prepared for her before the hearth in the home where she was assembled, and the young, unmarried women of the village would sit vigil with her on the night of January 31st. The next morning, on Imbolc, the girls would parade the brideog through the village to each home. There, the married women (or the female head of the household) would welcome the spirit of the Goddess. Create a modern-day Brideog using branches from your evergreen as a base, so adding a dash of Yuletide's hopeful energy. (Yule tree? But it's FEBRUARY! If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)

Materials

  • Two Yule tree branches. The length will depend of the wheat being used for this craft (branches should be half the length of your wheat stalks)
  • 30-40 Stalks of wheat. Soak the wheat in warm water for three to four hours in a container that will accommodate its length. Weigh the wheat down with a brick or stone so that it is completely submerged. When you're ready to construct your Brideog, remove the wheat from the water and pat it dry with a towel before crafting.
  • White ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Small shells that can be threaded through the ribbon

Tips to make this a greener craft: An often overlooked resource for ribbon—and other supplies—is gift packaging. Try to salvage all ribbon, wrapping, boxes, and packing materials so that they can be recycled for crafting. Yarn can be substituted for ribbon. Left over lengths from other projects can be used for magical crafting, but articles of knit clothing that are no longer wearable—hats, mittens, sweaters—are also good resources for yarn. When using recycled materials of this nature (especially articles of clothing) be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it.

 

Crafting

  1. Lay the branches on a flat surface so that they form a non-equilateral cross, the bottom half of the vertical piece being longer than the top. Both sides of the horizontal branch should be equal in length. Then cut a length of ribbon or yarn and bind the twigs together where they intersect to stabilize them. This will be the base of the Brideog.
  2. Divide the wheat into two equal piles and set one of them aside.
  3. Next, divide the remaining pile into two smaller ones. Lay one of these smaller piles on top of the left hand “arm” of the crossed twigs, heads pointed outward. With a short piece of white ribbon, tie the wheat to the arm, right beneath the heads.
  4. Align the other small pile with the right hand arm of the crossed twigs and, again, tie the wheat to the arm with a small piece of ribbon. The stalks of the wheat should be long enough to overlap the center of the crossed twigs. If the stalks are too long, trim them down. With two more pieces of ribbon, tie the stalks to the arms at the axis of the cross, left and right.
  5. Lay a piece of ribbon or yarn (about a foot long) on your working surface. Then take the remaining wheat and place it on top of the ribbon vertically, heads downward.
  6. Next, place the branch cross on top of this wheat, face down. The bottom of the cross should be even with the wheat heads. The wheat should be long enough that the stalks extend above the top of the cross. Fold these stalks over the top of the cross.
  7. Use the horizontal ribbon to tie the stalks in place at the back, anchoring the stalks to the heads. If desired, another piece of ribbon or yarn may be used to tie the stalks directly above the point where the two twigs cross.
  8. When turned right side up, the Brideog should now resemble a female figure, the folded stalks being the head, the horizontal twigs and wheat, her arms, and the wheat stalks and heads facing downward, a skirt. Fan out the downward facing wheat stalks for fullness.
  9. To add stability to the Brideog, wind a length of ribbon over and across at the intersecting point and knot it three times. Small shells representing Brigid's water element can be threaded onto the ribbon ends.

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Ritual

It was traditional to parade a Brideog through the village so that Brigid, in the form of the Brideog could visit every home and bless it. Bless and purify water with three pinches of salt and anoint the Brideog. Carry it, and the water through your home, speaking the following poem to invoke the blessing of Brigid for the coming year:

Welcome the spirit of Brigid

Welcome, to our hearth and hall!

With water and pyre

With dew, mist and fire

We welcome the healing of all.

Using your fingers, spritz the corners of each room with the purified water. When every space is so blessed, hang the Brideog where it can watch over you, undisturbed. At the Winter Solstice, place her atop the Yule log before it is set alight.

Up Next... An Imbolc Healing Necklace

Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)


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nataliezaman@gmail.com (Natalie Zaman) Culture Blogs Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:03:11 -0800
Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... A different spin on Brigid's Cross http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-a-different-spin-on-brigid-s-cross.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/broomstix/evergreen-a-year-of-yule-tree-crafts-and-rituals-a-different-spin-on-brigid-s-cross.html b2ap3_thumbnail_brigidscross_20160120-174336_1.jpg

Imbolc, coming up in less than two weeks, marks a period of quiet growth. Seeds are coming to life underground, the sun is growing in strength, and waters begin their mid-winter thaw, another indication of the flow of life to come (Brigid, as Goddess of healing, had many ancient wells dedicated to her. Those that are still extant remain sacred to Saint Bridget). As an act of sympathetic magic, hoops would be set afire and rolled down hills, or pinwheels (Bridget’s crosses) staved and set to turn in the wind. In this way, the return of the sun was encouraged.

Use a branch from your Yule Tree in a ritual of renewal. (Yule tree? But it's JANUARY! If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.

Materials

  • Imbolc Pinwheel (CLICK HERE for a free PDF to print out)
  • 12-14” long Yule tree branch
  • Two Pony Beads
  • Twist ties (from the produce section of the grocery store)
  • Construction Paper
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Tips to make this a greener craft: Use recycled paper (computer printer paper printed on one side), or gift wrap that is blank on one side to print or trace the pinwheel. Magazine covers are usually printed on a heavier weight paper than inside pages, and can be used in place of construction paper.

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Crafting

  1. Cut out the pinwheel, and color it any way you wish. Colors special to the season of Imbolc are red, gold yellow and orange for fire, brown for the awakening earth, and blue for Brigid's well.
  2. Glue the square to a piece of construction paper and trim any excess. This will reinforce the paper so that it will withstand repeated turning.
  3. Cut the corner lines down to the center circle, but don't cut in or around the circle. Each section will become a blade of the pinwheel.
  4. Take the corner of each bade where the text ends and bend it to the center of the back of the pinwheel and secure it with a piece of tape.
  5. Thread the twist tie through one of the pony beads so that the bead is centered on the twist tie.
  6. Using a gentle hand, make a small hole in the center of the circle on the pinwheel. This can be done by pushing the tip of a pen or pencil into the paper. Slip the ends of the twist tie through the hole, then slide the second bead on in the back. Make sure that it is secure, but loose enough so that the pinwheel turns when it is blown.
  7. Position the pinwheel near the top of the Yule tree branch and wrap the remaining lengths of the twist tie around it to secure the pinwheel to it.

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Ritual

Speak or sing the poem on the pinwheel. The poem, like a circle, can be started at any line:

Dear Brigid be with us as we turn the wheel,

Wells of blessed water to help us all heal.

A cross like a pinwheel to help the year flow,

Fire to Inspire, fire to grow!

Blow on the pinwheel to make it turn, envisioning healing and growth for yourself, loved ones, the earth or any special intention that you may have. Repeat the spell as many times as needed. If the pinwheel is part of a group ritual, pass it clockwise around your circle, with others present chanting the poem, and the one who has the pinwheel stating their intentions aloud. At the end of the ritual, place the pinwheel outside a doorway on the night of February 1st to welcome Brigid and the energy of renewal, taking heart that Spring is indeed on the way.

 

Up Next... In the belly: the Brideog

Artwork by Robin Ator (http://glowinthedarkpictures.com/tarot/). Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)


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nataliezaman@gmail.com (Natalie Zaman) Culture Blogs Wed, 20 Jan 2016 08:47:09 -0800
Connecting with Frigga through Fiber Art http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/connecting-with-frigga-through-fiber-art.html http://www.witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/connecting-with-frigga-through-fiber-art.html

Like all the heathen gods and goddesses, Frigga is complex and has many spheres of influence. One is traditional women's crafts involving fiber, specifically spinning and weaving, but also including all the fiber arts.

Frigga's symbols include a distaff or spindle. The constellation which the majority society calls Orion was known as Frigga's Distaff. A distaff is a staff upon which a spinner wounds spun yarn or thread. Spinning and weaving were associated with magic and prophecy. In addition to Frigga's spinning the clouds, the Norns were also depicted fashioning fiber into cloth. The threads represent individual lives and the cloth represents the community, or history, which is made of individual lives, or the world. We reference that idea when we use phrases like "the fabric of the universe."

About a decade or so ago, I spent a weekend at my local Renaissance Faire demonstrating spinning with a drop spindle. I did these repetitive motions all day, and after a few hours they became meditative. Partly like the state of flow of creating art, and partly like the repetitive motion meditation of drumming, the act of spinning opened my inner awareness and brought me closer to Frigga.

Once I connected with her, I found all types of fiber art can bring me closer to her. Before the Great Recession and immediately following Not-So-Great Depression started, I used to operate a custom fabric dyeing business. I specialized in silk, but also dyed other natural fabrics, yarns, and so forth. I make quilt tops, out of both my own fabrics and other fabrics. I find making quilt tops can be meditative the same way spinning was for me. I especially enjoy making the simple, geometric blocks of traditional quilts. Making them has both the repetitive motions and the artistic feeling from choosing fabrics and appreciating the fabrics as I see and touch them.

All fiber art can be a form of dedication to Frigga, if one intends it to be. Even if I'm making a quilt with a topic that isn't one of her particular interests, or if I'm making it for someone else, the act of making fiber art is still a way to draw close to her.

Image: a traditional Log Cabin quilt I made from various silk fabrics which I hand dyed.



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erinlale@hotmail.com (Erin Lale) Paths Blogs Tue, 12 Jan 2016 10:02:22 -0800