Wow - a very big 'Hello' to all you lovely people taking the time to read my blog in the UK, USA, Ireland - 'Dia Dhuit!' and Sweden - 'Hej!'
What lovely weather we've been blessed with this week in Kent, warm and sunny.This is the beautiful view outside my office. I managed to take this photo before the cherry blossom started to fall like confetti to the ground, appropriately enough for the ceremonies and rites of the upcoming sabbat of Beltane and the sheep well I surprised them with a impromptu photo shoot as I drove to an appointment last week, they seemed so typical of a Kentish Spring, if a little shocked!
Roots have been a recurring theme for me this week- literally, physically, historically and metaphorically.
First root first - the Cardoon is here! Unfortunately it didn't take too kindly to being uprooted and within the hour of arriving at work it had wilted despite all our best efforts to protect it.
I had to cut it right back to not much more than a root ball and pop it in a pot in my front garden
where I can make sure it has plenty of TLC to help it look more like it's glorious relative in the photo (courtesy of http://www.flowerspictures.org)
These odd plants were first mentioned in the 4thC BC and were popular up until the late 1800s. Will keep you posted!
Earlier in the week when I was researching the origins of the actual names of Ker, Kernel, Keridwen I realised that these roots are connected all over the world and that I needed to provide a little background for some of you.
Since time began each civilisation has a Goddess, sometimes a God that is the bringer of the corn or grain, usually seen as a Mother deity.
In Roman mythology Ceres seen left, depicted holding several sheaths of corn (courtesy of http://theinnerwheel.com)
is the corn Goddess and Demeter her Greek counterpart, both are identified as Mother Goddesses, both with daughters (Proserpina and Persephone respectively) whose abduction or fall into the underworld gives rise to their Mother's sorrow and decline of interest in their 'earthly duties' and hence the change of season to winter. In both stories their daughters return to earth signifies the return of life and the season changes to spring.Today, 19th April is purportedly Cerealia, the festival that celebrates Ceres.
The importance of grain/corn and it's mythical or divine origin is reflected around the world, to the Cherokee, Selu is the Corn Mother sometimes seen as an old woman who produces grain by rubbing her body or giving birth, persecuted and killed as a witch or sometimes as a young maiden below left (courtesy of https://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com)
Young Selu marries into an impoverished tribe, produces grain in a similar way before being rejected by the tribe. However in Hopi culture She is seen as a bountiful provider -The Blue Corn Maiden and Sakwa Mana watch over health, harvest and joy and to the Aztecs She was Chicomecoatl bringer of abundance, fertility and death - possibly representing the seasons. Every culture has a corn or grain Goddess, too many to tell you about in detail but Her roots lie in the very existence of woman/mankind.
Personally, I am very much enjoying working with the British retelling of the Mysteries of the Grain in Brigit's Isles as told by Kathy Jones in The Ancient British Goddess (Ariadne Publications,2001, p131-5)
In this version, Kernel the Maiden Goddess tumbles into the Middleworld whilst picking flowers for her Mother Ker - The Grain Goddess and has to live with her Grandmother Keridwen the Crone for a while, which plunges her Mother and the Middleworld into despair, bringing Winter to the land. She is ultimately found by her sister, The Lover Goddess Kerhiannon, and returns to the Middleworld after developing an affinity with her Grandmother and promises to return each year, completing the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of new life. A very potted version, I plan to expand on this in my next blog !
History and Anthropology lesson over... This week I have been very busy on my allotment. I am trying to plant in sync with the moon also known as bio dynamics, again I will talk more about this another time, before you all nod off!
This week has seen me planting mainly fruit and flowers as it is deemed to be a fortuitous phase of the moon for them, so raspberries, gooseberries, a plum tree and Marigolds to keep the black fly away from my legumes (Get me - I mean Veg!) have gone in this weekend.
Feeling braver then last week I took my candle and incense and was just about to set up an altar on my work bench when I noticed Poppies randomly growing, just a small sign from Ker! Incense and candle re-positioned instantly before offering up a happy prayer for guidance and then happily humming and singing devotions around my plot asking for guidance and blessings, as well as thanking Her for the signs of growth and Her fruitfulness. No incense loving dogs in sight today unfortunately, probably a good job with my singing!
More roots - My family have been born and bred in Kent for 100s and 100s of years, Mum has traced them back as far as the 1600s and pretty much all my ancestors on my Motherline have been involved in farming and agriculture. I did wonder this week, quite what they would have made of me having an allotment for fun and walking through fields,looking at plants and crops just because I can. Hopefully they would be proud, that what was the core of their existence so many years ago, still fascinates me and means so much to me today.
Final root, more of a funny sapling - my beautiful daughter Sophie is 17 and she often jokingly calls me a 'major hippy'. Last week she was chilling and sunbathing in a park some friends and her boyfriend,when she started waxing lyrical about beautiful trees and flowers there and seemed surprised when her boyfriend and best friend told her she really was her mothers daughter!
Have a blessed and fruitful week x x x
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