Friday, February 02, 2007

Celebrating Imbolc

Yesterday and today we've been celebrating Imbolc/Brigid. When Emily came back from tai chi yesterday morning (having charmed all the old ladies with her new hairstyle, rofl) she settled down to produce a pagan wheel of the year poster complete with astrological signs. During the last few weeks in particular, she's become heavily interested in astrology, chakras, tarot, moon phases, wicca and psychic abilities. If she carries on at this rate we'll have a fully fledged witch by the time she's a teenager:-)
This morning, I went with Jon to a diabetic eye check up because the eye drops he had to have meant he couldn't drive. Left Emily behind with my Mum, busy making salt dough and shaping it into serpent shapes to honour the goddess Brigit and the concept of rebirth. Once we got back, Emily and I settled into reading about Imbolc and its history, customs and traditions. Emily wanted to make her own candles and I'm ummed and aahed about shelling out for a candle making kit, but in the end we went very DIY, lol. Emily melted down some white candles in a pan, added wax crayons for colour and poured the hot wax into yoghurt pot moulds, adding a wick once it had started to set. The resulting candles were really lovely and burn very well indeed. She's very keen to make more, so next time we're going to make some salt dough moulds of our own.

Next up we made seed chains to decorate our festival tree. Well, kidney bean chains anyway, do they count?
After lunch, we made a garden of light - the idea here is that you write down things you want to start or initiate in the coming 12 months (since this festival is partly about new beginnings and metaphorically planting seeds). Then those little scrolls are buried in earth and each place is marked with a candle. As the candles burn, you concentrate on your hopes and aspirations and let the flames "fire you up" with enthusiasm and plans. Here's Emily concentrating very hard, lol.
Next up it was time to spray paint the snakes and serpents Emily had made with my Mum from salt dough. She wanted to paint them green, yellow and black, but time was the enemy as ever so we had to settle for gold and silver spray paint instead. After that we just about had time left to make some paper candles to hang on the tree, before we had to dash out to tap. It was a bit of a rush, and we didn't have time to make the rain stick we wanted to do, but Emily enjoyed tap and wouldn't have wanted to miss it. Found out the dates of the tap exams today!

Here's our festival tree with its decorations and Emily with her homemade candles.
Oh, and here's the rest of Emily's altar, currently dedicated to Merlin with his photos and cards, various Egyptian gods and cat models.

And the patient himself on the way to partake of yet another tablet. The alarming looking gap along his front leg is where he was shaved before Christmas for a blood sample - it even predates his operation anaesthetic and the fur still hasn't regrown. It's not regrowing very fast on his operation site either, nor on his flank where a urine sample was taken before Christmas. Still, at least his front leg actually has some flesh on it now, a little - it did look literally like bare bone until a week ago!

It's been a lovely couple of days, although I confess to being extremely cross with Jon's Dad at the moment. My husband, despite being in my not so humble opinion the loveliest and most talented man on the planet, has no self confidence at all. After much deliberation and heartache on his part, he finally agreed with me that he'd sign up for this Magic of Mediumship Residential Course in April. That's a really big step for him and one that's taken him a lot of courage. The decision hadn't been made five minutes before someone overheard and started being incredibly rude and insulting about it and about Jon's abilities in just about any damned thing. Not content with that, he then came back about an hour later to belittle Jon again, in front of Emily this time. How can a parent do that?? And more importantly, why???? My patience with this situation is at breaking point just now. I have to keep the peace, and Grandad does have problems with his health, so I feel I can't tell him what I feel about his nasty behaviour. But I can't tolerate Jon's self-esteem being so spitefully undermined much longer. Families, eh?

Jon says he's now not going on the course because he feels stupid. I say he's going. And as we all know, my word round here is final!

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