Inspiration on Rainy Days

A Rare Burst of Sun Through the Clouds....
Well it's certainly been a very bleak week weather wise here - how very British that must sound! Fortunately no flooding for us but day after day of rain has left vast pools in sodden fields and rivulets of clay coloured water have covered the roads, in fact the view from through the window wherever I have been all week seems to have been blurry.  Apart from one glorious morning, Wednesday I think where I had to stop to take a photo of the sun boastfully bursting through the clouds with ill conceived confidence, the photo doesn't do it justice but it was that spectacular that I felt the urge to pull over to capture it. Fortunately there were no passengers to witness my acts of eccentricity that morning, although many are now used to impromptu and bumpy swerves into lay bys. Brave daffodils, snowdrops even our passion flower and rhododendron appear to be fooled by the mild temperatures and making an early entrance, I fear they may be in for a shock......  
I've been contemplating the allotment and how I'm going to work with it again this year, trying to learn from my mistakes made and lessons learnt last year. These mainly being that I need to allow more time for it, need to prepare the ground better and to decide to grow fruit and veg that I need and will be used throughout the year, possibly planting with a better idea of crop planning, but hey you live and learn! Bearing in mind that we were pretty much beginners last year we had a fair yield for the time and effort we had put in. Reckon it must have been those incense sticks and whispered requests for blessings to Ker whilst I was planting, as it really wasn't my green fingers, so back to the very  start and prepare the land properly, that's going to kill me!

Without the Christmas tree the house
Ivy Clad Altar
felt so bare, I took the holly branch and mistletoe away from the altar, and have left it to dry right out, I'll use it for my Beltane fire  in May to link in the changing wheel of the year and to offer it back to the land and my Christmas tree will be cut into logs - hopefully this year they'll survive to solstice - one to made into a decoration of some kind and the others to be burnt at Yule, unlike this year where a certain pyromaniac husband 'may' have accidentally burnt them at a barbecue! As my altar looked bare I found some ivy in our garden choking another plant so decided to split them up. I had a reluctance to do it initially as it felt too
Altar Decorations Representing Ker
'christmassy' and then laughed at my thoughts that leaving Christmas decorations up past twelfth night would be bad luck! A lingering superstition from a happy christian childhood, a comment, not a criticism, all the while reflecting that my Goddess would love her altar adorned with her vines, like I do her fruit and flowers in the summer. It also occurred to then that I very rarely have  a Goddess figure on my altar, is that too a lingering nagging doubt about false idols? Very likely! So now I'll be on the look out for something that calls to me and reflects Ker and I already know it will the last thing I'll be looking for and somewhere where I least expect it! In the meantime I decided to add these pretty glass dishes and  decorated pebbles to my altar, I love the design on this one, to me it speaks of the returning light, the 8 turns of the wheel - all the sabbats as well as representing 

Making Use of the Fir Cones
the glowing colours of my Goddess in her summer glory, where I first met her. For some unknown reason I also searched for a dragonfly brooch and ornament I had to complete my altar. Knowing that this would be for a reason, I did a little research only to find that I was reading about connections to superstitions, change and self realisation - of course!  Just jumping back to my thoughts on having no Goddess figure as such on my altar, I've literally just laughed aloud at myself, what I have instead are stones and trees to represent her and as we now, girl do I love a tree or a stone! There you go, when I'm not looking for it...
Still inspired by the thoughts of decorating the house with what's to hand and what speaks to me of the land and Goddess, I filled a large wooden bowl with remaining pine cones, twigs and bark with a few drops of scented oil on them and placed the remaining candle from the holly wreath in the middle as a centre piece for the coffee table, why should fir cones with a sprinkle of silver  and a dusting of white not be a beautiful adornment later into the year? They too can join my Beltane fire...  
The Start of  Wheel of Memories
My journey with Ker has also made me look more deeply into how we treat the land, especially recycling and reusing things, I've been keeping ribbons, pretty boxes, bought gift bags that can be reused instead of wrapping paper and always recycle jars for my jams and chutneys, so as  I washed up a rather attractive coffee jar to reuse I immediately found the perfect home for it and have hopefully  set a new tradition in our house.... Facebook users may have seen a rather lovely idea for the new year to write down happy memories, achievements, gratitudes etc and store them in a pretty jar to remember next year, with my own spin on it I decorated the jar with the peeled off snowflake stickers

I had used on the windows and started writing memories to cherish at this years winter solstice - our first one being a happy memory of Yule 2015, my plan is to add at least a memory a week and to add a decoration of some kind to mark each Sabbat throughout the year, be it a coloured ribbon, sticker, charm or dried flower. This also means
Finally Being Used to Keep Memories Safe
I've brought myself to use a beautiful notepad that Sophie bought me back from a school trip to Germany about 5 years ago, that was too nice to use and has been waiting patiently for it's moment of glory on my bookshelf! 

Let's hope I have lots of wonderful memories and gratitudes to safely store in there throughout the year.

I'm off to my first ever wassail next weekend, before you know it I'll be planning one on my mini orchard of 4 trees on our allotment, wait... now that's an idea!

 Have a Blessed Week x x x

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