First Flowers

Thick fog this morning. Drizzle and greyness. Winter. 

I had to push to get work done at first. But as I got on with jobs, they seemed to become easier, more fun.

By afternoon, the fog had lifted. The sun appeared, and the sky brightened into blue. My heart began to lift. 

I can still see my breath, but it’s 5pm and still daylight. I don’t need as many layers of clothing.

Then, in our little grove, in the midst of a stand of trees past the badger setts, are the first snowdrops. Just one patch, with the rest not quite there yet – but those white heads are here again. They made it. 

Spring is on the way. We can lift our heads and breathe…

Imbolc blessings, my friends.

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Wrapping

Many years ago, not long past the very beginning of my Druidry journey, I saw a priestess at work. Prior to a ritual of passing, she sat at a riverside, shawl draped over her head. Utterly at peace, preparing for what was to come.

I’ve heard of many modern-day Priestesses who do this. I usually wear a shawl or scarf of some sort, and have been applauded happily by fellow non-Pagan chaplains for being a woman with her head-covering prepared if necessary. It can be a sign of respect, but also an act of protection. Literally covering the head to enter the right ‘head-space’.

Last year, I was recommended a site called ‘Wrapunzel‘, which is run primarily by Jewish ladies who wanted to share their love of beautiful wraps and allow other women to practice their faith and not look dull while doing so. Nowadays, the Wrapunzel Facebook group plays host to women of all faiths and none, ladies undergoing chemotherapy or other illness… those who simply wish to stand in their womanliness while having their head covered. For whatever reason.

I’ve met lovely new friends on there, Pagan and otherwise, and while still exploring my own practice regarding wraps (ie still practising getting the things on and looking good!), I’ve found this so useful when alone and preparing for ritual – as in that original circumstance, back when I was witness only.

Many modern Pagans wear hoods on their robes. ‘Hoodies’ are common on the high street. The act of wrapping, whether tichel or hijab, can be a political statement. Or it can be a consolation, a ‘head hug’ (love that term!). Our ancestors did this, in virtually every culture, and now so do we.

Today, it struck me as inspiring. A woman wishing to add to her beauty and be proud. This video is a ‘How to‘, one of many on this YouTube channel, but made me smile so much this morning, just from the simplicity of the act but also how happy the lady looks once she is done and ready to face the day.

And then, in a local charity shop, I found a pretty glittery green scarf for £2. Perfect. Now to keep practising…

Pagan Community

Today was busy. From what was described as ‘stupid o’clock’, myself and a committed bunch of hard-working Pagan folk gathered for an event to honour the life and achievements of Patricia Crowther. This was organized and hosted by the Centre for Pagan Studies.

Pagan events are always a mixed affair, with guests rangng from the gorgeous goths to the venerable elders, and everything in between. This one, however, seemed more focused.

The entire room was filled with a general gladness, a happy vibe of people genuinely pleased to be there. Old friends were caught up with, new ones introduced, faces put to names from Facebook acquaintance… It wasn’t about the ‘Stuff’, it was about the relationships.

It’s fascinating to see the Pagan community as it matures. We’re several generations in now from the original Wiccan founders, and to see and hear the perspectives of those who were there right at the start is fascinating (and rather humbling). Many of those today have been walking their path for decades, long before it was even vaguely acceptable – and their strength of character, commitment and integrity is truly laudable. And they have some great stories to tell!

These are people I’m honoured to know, and a community that I’m proud to be part of.

Sometimes you have a day where you’re just glad to be living it, to be able to be part of such interesting times – in the best of ways. Happy memories in the making.