Nice Girls vs. Kind Women

Woolgathering & Wildcrafting

This post is a bit of a departure from my normal blog material (namely— nature, plants, poetry, ecology and metaphor), but with the coming march on Washington this weekend, and the potency of so many women standing in their power across the county— proclaiming, in hard set voices and many-faceted hearts, that we will not stand by and see any section of the population belittled — has me thinking of the old ways that are ready to die. The tired ways of seeing that are about to expire. It has set me thinking, most particularly, about a concept in our culture that is utterly, and completely, worn out.

The nice girl.

You know what I mean. You might even be one yourself.

>> Nice Girls <<

At some point growing up I internalized the idea of needing to be a “nice girl.” It was never something my parents proffered, it…

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Summertime

I always say that I love each season as it comes, and I do! They’re all my favourite when I’m enjoying them. And right now, I’m in love with Summer.

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There’s been lots of barbequing, watering and weeding in the gardens, riding on the trail, and just generally enjoying being outside in the warmth and the green. Flowers have been blooming, lavender, a second round for the fuschias, hibiscus, and now the portulaca has begun to flower its many different coloured blooms. The strawberry plants are sending out shoots for new strawberry babies (which I think is telling me I need to plan a strawberry bed).

It’s so easy and peaceful outside right now. Sure, it may get a little overly-hot now and then, but that’s what a shaded deck and cold iced tea (or beer) is for!

I know I’ve mentioned my favourite place in the world, Kincardine, before, and we finally got out there yesterday to enjoy the beach. That place calls to me, and once it’s possible, I know we’ll be moving there. There’s nowhere else I’d really rather live. London was good, very tree-dense for an Ontarian city! There are plenty of different kinds of food to be had too. Vancouver was gorgeous, feeling like a small town with how many trees there are, and space between houses. The enormous, fantastic-smelling cedars, and the mountains, they are something I really do miss (not to mention the people <3). Moncton, I could really care less about. I was born and raised for a while there, but meh. I never found it appealing, to be honest. I could totally live in Nova Scotia or PEI, but not New Brunswick so much, unless on the coast.

But Kincardine. My love. I told my husband-man that I’m married to Kincardine. That when we move there, it’ll have as much priority as him, lol. In a sense, I’m probably not wrong about it though. It’s a place I actually want to go out into town and walk around. I feel safe there, and people are incredibly friendly (a woman yesterday sung happy birthday to my mom because she heard my dad say so at the DQ counter; I asked mom if they had known the woman when we lived there… nope!).
What I think also helps is that the town celebrates it’s Scottish heritage, which translates often to the old importance of hospitality. I find that’s something that isn’t really emphasised in North American places where there is not any sort of specific culture (even a North American culture). Plus I’m in love with all the Celtic culture that’s celebrated there. There’s a Celtic festival every summer, Highland dancers, Celtic musicians, and Scottish Games. And a bag-pipe band every Saturday in the summer.

The husband-man also asked if perhaps I was a selkie from around Kincardine. I said there may be different kinds of unseelie creatures there, from long before the Scots came to occupy that bit of land… but I wouldn’t put it out of mind that perhaps a selkie or few had come over and made their home there.

I don’t think I’m kidding when I say I’m in love with Kincardine.

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But besides all that being in love with a place, enjoying the summer with my gardens and trails around here has been good. I collected my first garden haul with my niece, so we’ve got snap peas, yellow wax beans, raspberries, three kinds of basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. The herbs will be drying, later harvests of basil will be made into pesto, and the rosemary thyme and sage into a healing salve with some plantain. But this little batch will be dried for spicing food.

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So as for the shop, there has been frustration with Canada Post and the Postal Workers’ Union being wishy washy about whether or not they’re going to have a service disruption. Looks like they won’t let that come to pass, so that’s good!
I have some tea ideas to be working on, and reworking some older recipes that need a quick update to my current tea making system. AAAAAAND… a very SEKRIT PROJECT! This is unlike what I’ve done before, and I am so excited about it, I. CANNOT. EVEN. 😀

And so, dear gentle reader, I hope you are enjoying your season, whether it’s summer or winter, and I offer many blessings of the wilds and waters.

Mia

YouTube Pagan Challenge – Week 6

A Month for Baldr – XVI – His Pantheon and Cultural Origins

Here we talk about how I feel He represents where He was first known to us humans, and His own pantheon.

In terms of the culture that first knew Him, I feel that Baldr fits quite well with the Scandinavian mindset. He was a fierce warrior, His name even points to that. I feel that Baldr was courageous, and a little overzealous at times with the things He’d fight for (Nanna, anyone?). Being a warrior was incredibly important to the northern peoples, as when you go a-raiding, you kind of have to be able to overtake other people. That on top of all the warring with each other… well, you likely know already.

On top of this warrior nature, there’s also that boisterous imagery we have of Vikings, of partying much, doing weird if not hilarious things to entertain one another. Baldr willingly allowed people to throw all manner of weapon at Him, entertaining many an Aesir. I can’t help but wonder if part of that was trying to ease fears from His family, and part of the role you take being a war leader, ensuring morale was high. Again, at the time of His death, I believe He was a wee bit more mature compared to that earlier, and rasher bout with stealing Nanna away, meaning He had likely been aiding His Father and commanding His own group of warriors in the Hunt and knew now what being a leader was about than being a bit of a spoiled prince.

These qualities transfer over to His own family of Gods, His pantheon. We see the Gods reflected in the people who worshipped Them, and I’ve no doubts that the Norse deities came from chaos and wildness before settling into and evolving as time as we perceive it progresses. I also think that the Gods reflected us a bit too in order to better suit the relationships between mortal and God. If you look down your nose on people, you won’t garner much respect from them, not to mention their aid for your causes.

I believe Baldr fits right in with His Family and Godly friends. When I think of the Norse Gods, I think of courage, hospitality, honouring your important relationships, loyalty, knowing when to kick back and enjoy life, and when to get to serious work. There’s a lot of celebrating of victories, of life, and Baldr has always shown me to live in the moment, experiencing each situation, each opportunity, with zest.

Pagan Blog Project – S is for Skyclad

Luis Falero - "The Witches Sabbath" 1880

Luis Falero – “The Witches Sabbath” 1880

 

Going to the Sabbat and getting skyclad is still something some witches fear. We have a very odd way of hating the human body, and enforcing that with all the ads of Photoshopped images everywhere of what the “perfect” body is.

However, whether or not you choose to keep your robes on in group settings, even if you’re just alone, there’s something to be said for the feel of the candles’ warmth, or the almost static of your sacred circle lifting the hairs all over your body, and the fact that you are in that moment, just yourself with none of the cultural and social expectations of what you should look like; it’s all very freeing.

I tend to be someone who balks at the obsession people have with appearing perfect all the time, and I relish the time spent in my circles where I can just throw away what the worry for clothing that will “flatter my shape”, make me sexy, make me demure, etc. It’s a time to adorn yourself with jewels that connect you with their purpose, or scents that resonate with your magic to be worked. You can even paint your body with images that will help you manifest the things you want in yourself, or help energy to move through and within you more effectively.

When the skin is involved in sensing the energies being roused in circle, it can help to solidify the effectiveness of what you are doing, and even intensify it. It’s completely sensual, and allows for us to get out of our heads and physically experience what we are doing magically.

I’m thinking you can probably tell by now that I enjoy working skyclad. If you’re shy about it, try it alone, try it a few times. You never have to do it with a group, but being skyclad is most definitely a powerful tool for witches.