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Ostara
jillianchan
Ostara or Easter has always been a big part of my life. I grew up in a semi-Christian home and thus had the Christ story of death and rebirth pawned of on me from an early age. I don't feel bitter about it, at least not in the Christian's stealing pagan holidays kind of way. Dying the eggs was almost ritualistic in how it was always done in the same mugs each year and always the same colors were used, dying the eggs and the glasses together. It was a family event and we came together for every year.
Ostara/Easter as a secular holiday is centered around children. The nuance lost is that while the original holiday did involve children, it was more in an abstract symbol of fertility and new life that they represented.
The lambs in the field gave birth at Imbolc but the spring equinox was a celebration of the continued health and growth.
The continuation of life after a hard winter was a theme of the spring but the equinox was when this reached its peak. The promise of Imbolc came to life at Ostara. Eggs are dyed bright colors to tempt the spirit of spring to come back after a long nap in winter.
It wasn't human life that was continuing in particular, it was the whole rest of the natural world that humans depend upon.

I dance in the dark
jillianchan

I've never been a fan of writing. I really think that my words should be concise and take as little time and energy as possible. I don't think this is a new idea of mine either, I have hated writing down my thoughts since elementary school, we had to keep a journal of some kind and all my entries are at most a sentence or two, no more.
I really don't consciously know where this aversion to the written word came from, but i have my suspicions.
I have a great hatred for being loud or even being noticed in a crowd or small group. I would be lying if i said I had no idea why. I do have some idea that it came directly or indirectly from the way I was raised.
My family is comprised of many females jostling like chickens in a pecking order that leaves the only male, my father, baffled. Being hen pecked wasn't just a turn of phrase, it was a way of life.
It kind of went like this: my mom was the chief hen followed by my sister, older by two years which might as well have been a lifetime. After they got thorough pecking the life and love out of each other, i got what was left. I was content with that, not happy though.
My sister had two settings, crazy and crying, and no off switch.
Sometimes I wanted to smack her hard upside the head to see if that worked, it didn't, but my mom did so I knew.
I still do, want to smack her. I don't though, mostly cause I think she's been smacked enough, the switch would have been found by now.
I think its funny talking about missing off switches but mine was alway easy to find. Almost too easy, my on button was what was hard to find.
I was never passionate about anything, anything 'cept the the written word. I was always turned on about that, at least other people's written word. Books I mean.
I loved and still adore them. I have more books than friends, always have.
Its kind of sad but my da always described books as friends, so I think he understood. More than the two pecking hens anyway.
We two had our own kind of connection, us and books.
He's the one who turned me on to Lord of the Rings, when I first heard that on the tape player I was hooked.
My sister was too, and I kinda fell away from books after she discovered them. The world of books lost its appeal, it wasn't mine anymore, I had to share. I don't like to share, I already get so little thats my own in a real sense I don't want anyone else to have them.
After that I kind of wandered through, looking for something I could grasp as my own.
The written word seems so much my sisters territory but maybe we can share or at least I can write down rules for how my words are written.
Maybe I'm not making sense but I'm having my say so, thats more important.

"I dance in the dark
alone, afraid
The time has come
My partner?
My friend?
Where are you now?
'stand still like ice
but be fierce flame'
My brow
sick with fury
flowing deep
Unfettered I stand
Terrible and damned

Oh daughter mine!
your hands, so cold!

Reaching
Grasping
Blackened
But beating
Slowly beating

Let us dance into the dark
together so terrible
but damned alone."



-Lauren Driver, February 2013

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Tags:

Write or Die
jillianchan

Nothing could stop me.

No thing could stop me.

No person would.

I hoped and I ran and ran and ran.

The rain was pouring in sheets and I was drenched but I didn't care.

It wouldn't stop and neither would I.

The rain was there but so was I.

I kept on running through the rain and the muddy streets.

Dodging the droplets as they pelted down I swam through the empty streets, gaining on the man I chased.

I would catch him soon.

Then I would stop him like he couldn't stop me.

stop his heart feet anything to stop him.

He would die and I would live.

Grinng madly, I would live.
-----

Why is she chasing me?

I hadn't even done anything...not yet anyway.

I had a job to do.

Thats all it was...a job.

Money wasn't what I was after.

No all I wanted was a few coins in my pocket and food in my belly.

Not much to ask really.

At least I didn't think it was...maybe she did.

I don't know her motivations but I do know mine.

She won't stop me.

Running through the pouring rain isn't my idea of time well spent but I need the job.

Yes.

Thats all this is.

A job that needs doing.

And that little girl....no little girl is going to stop me.

No.

Nothing will.

I won't let it.

Or her.
-----
Running through the dark streets...in this weather?

Not good enough reason to be out this late.

runs chills down me spine.

not happy with him is she?

No
Not happy at all.

wouldn't want to be him any day of the week
with the way that girls chasing him.

no way no how

I would trade places with the devil himself first

That I would
---

He's stopped...why?

Why after all this running did he stop now?

Is he letting me catch up?

Does he...yes he does.

he knows.

but if he knows then....bothernation!

He's turning around!

....does he see me?

yes!

I back up a step...he's coming towards me.

his hands are up in front of him...nothing is in them.

His mouth is moving...saying something I can't catch.

The wind is the only thing I hear and the pounding of my heart in my ears.

He's coming closer...his hands held up in... surrender?

What is he thinking?

I feel in my jacket for my...weapon.

Its there.

"Stay back!"

I yell it but I don't know if he hears.

---

I tense and stop moving.

I don't want to get shot...not yet....not tonight.

She yells something at me...probably telling me to stop.

I do.

we stand there not moving.

what else can we do?

I cant hear her and she can't hear me.

I need to find away to get her gone....but how?

I think about my gun but...I don't want to startle her.

she has the advantage...what to do...if there was just a little light...I could know what she's saying.

Maybe.

I'm not really a good lip reader.

The rain doesn't help either.

I cant say anything to her.

she won't hear me any way so why should i bother?

She doesn't seem the type to just give up.

Book Meme I nipped
jillianchan
* Grab the nearest book.

* Open the book to page 56.

* Find the fifth sentence.

* Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions if you want to.

* Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

" " "They like it when you rock the boat." Madeleine L'engle" "
A creative companion by Sarks

Once again...who needs enemies when you have family like mine...
jillianchan
I was just minding my own business, talking to a client on the phone and trying to hear what he was saying when I heard what I thought was someone leaving a message on my cell phone. Everyone in the office could hear it, my phone calling me sexy baby and asking if I wanted to meet up on saturday for a night of fun.
Now, if you know me you will also realize that I don't have anyone who would call me like that and leave that sort of message, I just don't.
So, embarrassed and red faced I put the client on hold and turn off my phone and continue with my day. My da, my boss, walks in and tells me I have to pick up my niece. I let him know what happened, and he promptly tells me that I should figure out who its from and he will call the DA to press charges to whomever it is.
I take my phone with me to try and do this, finding something interesting along the way.
It wasn't a message or  someone calling to say such obsene things, it was my ringtone that someone had recorded on my phone and set up.
So, I pick up my niece and drop her off with her mother, then head back to work.
I tell my da what I found out, telling him to wait till I figure out whats going on.
I have my suspicions but I really do hope I'm wrong.
In the months prior to this incident my niece, the one I picked up, has had issues with doing inappropriate things impulsively without thinking things through.
When I got home that night I listened to the recording again, and it confirmed my suspicions.
My niece had recorded it, it was really obvious.
I was and am still very distressed about this.
I took it very personal that the girl I had watched grow up and babysat for had done this horrible thing to me.
If I had been in any other job, I might have been fired, as it was if a client had heard the message my dad might have lost a client over it or been sued.
If I had been fired I would have been within my rights to charge her, and eleven year old, with at the least slander.
I'm still very pertubed by her behavior.
I had a great meditation and found a spot that I could do my nature awareness requirement and had real good day besides, but this kind of puts a dent in not only my day but my whole week.
I can't help but think it was some kind of attack on me, because of something I did.

Ostra or Easter
jillianchan
I went over to my usual tree, an older birch tree in a park near where I live. I brought headphones to drown out the sounds of the expressway. I was there for about an hour and got really good and centered...I don't think I communicated of anything but it was a good meditation session anyway. I think I'll take a friend of mines advice and try to merge with the earth first. I think there has to be some connection, and an exchange of energy because after a session I am really drained but not to the point where I can't function or anything.
My thoughts kinda drift towards Ostra at this point.
It kind of make sense, I was around growing things and that really is what Ostra/Easter is about really. The rebirth after the winter or the fruition of what was planted in Imbolc.
As a beginner I really have no set traditions around this time of year, beyond the usual Easter celebrations.
Easter doesn't show up till april though so I could actually do both.
My family, besides my one sister, does not know that I am breaking away from the church and beginning this spiritual path so I want to keep them as separate as possible for now.
My mother would disown me if she found out, she is probably the biggest reason I'm leaving actually.
Anyway, since this would be my first Ostra as a practicing Solitary I'm going to keep it simple and private.
I found a recipe for Naniamo Eggs, which are basically Oreo crumbs, sugar and chocolate all rolled into a shape of an egg and chilled until hard.
Sounds yummy to me, hopefully they turn out.
I tend to burn water.
Good thing there is no baking involved in this.
I'll make a batch and see how it goes.
Maybe I'll get my niece to help...Never know.
The ritual will mostly be a mix from the rituals found in the books I have, with a few modifications of my own. As it should be.
Ostra itself is on a Saturday so I should be able to set up in my backyard later in the day or do it at my altar in my room then take the offerings outside later in the day.
We'll see how it goes...I still need to set up my altar...so its all still in flux...not a big deal really.

 Heres the actual recipie for the Naniamo eggs:
NANIAMO EGGS

FIRST LAYER
2 Cups Oreo Cookie Crumbs
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans  I would try chopped walnuts for me, personal preference
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Melted Butter

Combine ingredienst, then mold them into egg-shaped balls. place balls on a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Refridgerate for 1 hour.

SECOND LAYER

2 Cups Icing Sugar
1 Cup Custard Powder( or a package of instant banana or lemon pudding)
1/2 Cup Softened Butter

Dribble milk into this mixture to make thick icing. Mold this around the eggs. Refridgerate for 1 Hour.

THIRD LAYER

Melt 8 squares of semisweet chocolate in a double boiler. Using two spoons quickly dip the eggs into the chocolate to cover. Refrigerate till hard.

------
Doesn't that sound yummy or what?
Can't wait to try it. I found it in this years Llywellyn's Witches Datebook...which has great recipes that fit the season scattered all the way through the year.


Man...she wasn't kidding....my head hurt...
jillianchan
Yesterday I went to my usual spot near my tree. I sat down and meditated. I was merging with the trees spirit, much like you would if your merging with the earth...just a little slower and more engrossing.
I was actually getting quite deep...or starting to at least when suddenly my cell phone goes off with a warning that a text message is coming through.
I am so beating myself over the head...why didn't I turn the darn thing off?
Or at least on vibrate mode....or silent or any number of other settings that would have made it less likely to disturb me.
Was I subconciously wanting to be disturbed?
Obviously my subconcious didn't realize the pain I would be in from the broken link.
It wasn't horrible really...but I shudder to think how it would have been had I gone any deeper...
I was warned that a quick exit would be painful.
I am now more aware of the consequences of my actions.
Next time the phone goes off.
Oh, and it wasn't even an emergency either...my sis only wanted toknow my BF middle name....for some obscure reason....grrrrr.
my head loathed her at that point...and I did have to drive home...in the rain.
bad night.
Anyway...once my head stopped hurting I did a tarot reading about certain things in my life that I am worried about...I got some interesting readings.
Not that they were surprising....just interesting.
Tonight I'm thinking of reading on the...Oh...last nights reading covered my spiritual path as well, in a roundabout way.
It said that in my spiritual path I need to push past mediocrity...which to me means that I have to break away from my current path, Christianity, and move toward something that really personifies what I truly believe and can get excited for.
It also said I should be sensible about things like money.
:)
Just before I bought a book that I really can't afford right now.
Funny that right?
 I'm actually quite dissapointed with it at the moment as well...It had a list of references....3 of which are dead links...not a good omen.
Also, some of its quotes contradict another book of mine, from a more reliable source.
Go Figure...I might just copy all the good stuff and return the book itself...
It does have a detailed stratagy for living as a solitary Druid though, I will give it points for that.
The rituals look good on the offset but I haven't tried any yet....time will tell if it is worth the 12 dollars I spent.


First Oath
jillianchan
I was supposed to put this out over two week ago but...if you haven't figured out by now, I am a bit of a procrastinator. I love to wait until the last minute and get things done. If not as well as I would like than at least done the minimum requirement.
I have actually been thinking it over for a long while, its a very important step to make an oath to someone. Be they Gods, Spirits or people you see every day.
On the scale of promises the oath is the most important, have vivid and deep consequences if not taken seriously.
Actually the best explaination of the importance of the promise, vow and Oath came from a story I read not long ago.
Yes its from a Fanfiction but it still rings true:
" Sarah sighed. "Her father had just left us, and she wanted to know how he could do that& there was this man in      the tale taking an oath to love forever∧ I had to explain the difference between a promise, a vow and an oath."
The Fae man listened carefully. "So you explained to a five year old child the differences? And you are so sure you know them, do you?"
"I just know there is giving one's word...which is often broken... and making an Oath,...which carried repercussions when broken." Sarah stated.
Jareth chuckled softly. "Mortals take words lightly. Much too lightly, wouldn't you say Sarah?" Reclining on the bed, he looked at the woman.
"Words have power," Sarah admitted. "In the modern world, they don't always understand that. Things move too fast." Her hands moved over the storybook. "But in the old tales, it's clearly written&One just has to see it."
"
Another reason this quote is especially poignant is that it mentions that if you were to look at the old tales, mostly celtic ones, you would see this lesson very clearly stated.
Another lesson promenient in this particular branch of Story, Labyrinth Fanfiction in case the character names didn't tip you off, is that words have great power. I really do believe this and it is part of the reason I am being so careful in how I craft my first oath, its a representation of what I want my path in Druidry to be about and I want to start off on the right footing, if only in my eyes.
This is the sample Oath found in OOD, revamped a bit.
I, Lauren,in the quiet secret place of my heart, declare myself to be a pagan, a seeker of the Old Ways, a worshiper of the Elder Gods.
With this holy oath I set my foot upon the path, the Druid's Way, and I vow to make my dedication plain.
I vow to seek virtue in my life, to do right by all of my kin; my friends and my community, I vow to make my Paganism real, by keeping the rites and works that call to me.
I vow to deepen my understanding of the Ways through study and to fill my mind with the Truth of the Elder Paths.

These things I swear to the Gods, and write like a prayer on my heart. So be it!

PS:Just to add on a note when I did do my oath these came up as my runes when I did the blessings section-Ancestors:Ing, Potential; Nature Spirits:Beorc, Purity and The Deities:Siegel, Victory.

These all seem to be positive signs of things to come and they make sense to me at least.




Camping out...the Druid way!
jillianchan
This past weekend I went camping with the Feather River Grove up near Chico, Cal.
 It was a long way home for me but not that bad a drive all together. I had company,great company actually, in a friend that lives along the way in Sacramento.
It was all together about a 400+ mile trip in my little miata two seater, an 18 yearold car that I absolutely love and adore.
I took lots of pictures, mostly of the baby that was there for the one night we stayed.
I am actually importing them as I type.
Beutifl campsite that used to be a ghost town but is slowly being converted into an Nemiton, if I'm spelling that right, for the Feather River Grove. Blackberry bushes are everywhere so you have to be careful about where you pitch your tent. Ours was HUGE compared to everyone elses, we probably could have had everyone in our ten and still have room to spare.
It was just the two of us alas, in the big tent so it was a little chilly in our sleeping bags, or at least I was chilly. Bonnie was just peachy, she slept in till around eleven while the rest of us were already up and having breakfast.

We did a ritual that I really would have enjoyed better had I not had a terrible headache from lack of hydration on the way up, in my convertable with the top down.
We got sunburnt and it took a few sips of mead to get the pain to go away.
I had brought my runes with my and was really looking forward to maybe using them but by the time came for the omen I was in so much pain I could hardly think straight...I was very dissappointed but N. did a great job with help from his mother S.
We went on a nature hike and found many edible plants such as miners lettuce and a plant that tasted just like asparugus when cooked. B. tried to eat it raw...but was stopped to her chagrin by S. telling her that it really tasted much better cooked.
We had a bit of a laugh about that.
Well, I did anyway.
Silly B.
I'm looking forward to going up to Sacramento this weekend for the official Beltaine Ritual with the Sierra Madrone Grove, again with B. as my co-pilot for some of the way.
I am so excited!


The first High Holy Day: An explaination
jillianchan
Beltaine is traditionally considered to be the beginning of summer and festivals during this time focus on asking for the blessings of a good harvest later in the year. Purification and the bringing in of blessings are a main theme during this time. The coming together of two powers for the creation of new life is personified throughout the festivities. The May Queen and King are married symbolically and the Maypole itself weaves together this idea.
Sierra Madrone had the Dagda and Boyin as patrons for their Beltane ritual, the all father and the White Cow Mother.
In Wales, May 1 is a holiday known as Calan Mai or Calan Haf, which means the first day of summer. Celebrations start on the evening before, known as May Eve, with Bonfires; as with Calan Gaeaf, the night before (Nos Galan Mai) is an Ysbrydnos, or "spirit night," when spirits are out and about and divination is possible. The tradition of lighting Midsummer bonfires happened annually in south Wales until the middle of the 19th century. It is the Welsh equivalent of the Goidelic Beltane.
  • On Nos Galan Mai or May Eve, villagers gather hawthorn (draenen wen, literally whitethorn) branches and flowers which they would then use to decorate the outside of their houses, celebrating new growth and fertility.
  • In Anglesey and Caernarvonshire it would be common on May Eve to have gware gwr gwyllt (playing straw man) or crogi gwr gwellt (hanging a straw man). A man who had lost his sweetheart to another man would make a man out of straw and put it somewhere in the vicinity of where the girl lived. The straw man represented her new sweetheart and had a note pinned to it. Often the situation led to a fight between the two men at the May Fair.
  • Being the time between Summer and Winter, Calan Mai would be the time to stage a mock fight between the two seasons. The man representing Winter carried a stick of blackthorn (draenen ddu) and a shield that had pieces of wool stuck on it to represent snow. The man representing Summer was decorated with garlands of flowers and ribbons and carried a willow-wand which had spring flowers tied on it with ribbons. A mock battle took place in which the forces of Winter threw straw and dry underwood at the forces of Summer who retaliated with birch branches, willow (helygen) rods, and young ferns (rhedyn). Eventually the forces of Summer would win and a May King and Queen were chosen and crowned, after which there was feasting, dancing, games and drinking until the next morning.
  • May Day was the time that the twmpath chwarae was officially opened. The Welsh equivalent of the Irish ceili is a twmpath. Through the summer months in some Welsh villages, the people would gather on the twmpath chwarae, (literally, tump for playing), the village green, in the evenings to dance and play various sports. The green was usually situated on the top of a hill and a mound was made where the fiddler or harpist sat. Sometimes branches of oak decorated the mound and the people would dance in a circle around it.
  • Dawnsio haf, summer dancing, was a feature of the May Day celebration, as was carolau Mai, May carols, also known as carolau haf, summer carols or canu dan y pared, singing under the wall (songs being often of a bawdy or sexual nature). The singers would visit families on May morning accompanied by a harpist or fiddler, to wish them the greetings of the season and give thanks to "the bountiful giver of all good gifts." If their singing was thought worthy, they would be rewarded with food, drink, and possibly money.
  • Common drinks during Calan Mai festivities were metheglin or mead. Sometimes it was made of herbs, including woodruff, a sweet-smelling herb which was often put in wine in times past to make a man merry and act as a tonic for the heart and liver. Elderberry and rhubarb wines were popular and the men also liked various beers.