HeathenrySustainabilityUncategorized

Spring Fever

It has been a few months since I last posted. I’ve been very busy getting garden beds built and planted.

Raised Beds
Raised Beds

 

Herb Garden
Herb Garden

 

Pea Maypoles
Pea Maypoles

 

Potatoes Growing in Bags
Potatoes Growing in Bags

My hubby and I also got four little chicks which will grow into laying hens.

Me and Lilly - She likes to get up high.
Lilly and me – She likes to get up high.

 

My four little Chickipoos a couple of weeks after purchase.
My four little Chickipoos a couple of weeks after purchase.

My flurry of spring activity is nearly complete. It will then be time to sit back and literally (hopefully) watch the fruits of my labor grow into an edible harvest. Some of the seeds I’ve planted have sprouted and are growing, while others never sprouted or sprouted and failed. So too are the metaphorical seeds that we plant in our lives constantly growing and flourishing, never really germinating, or withering and dying. To nurture and cultivate, to cut the diseased plant from the garden to protect the rest, to neglect and see the potential die – this is how we shape our wyrd.

My hubby and I went up to North Carolina a couple of months ago to celebrate Ostara with our friends of Berfuss Liut. We camped out in a nice park and enjoyed visiting with those good folk. One of the things their kindred does to celebrate is to have an egg toss. I had heard of egg tosses before, but had never seen, much less participated in, one. We each took a raw egg, stood in a circle and took turns throwing the egg high into the air and tried to catch it. The object of the game is to throw yours higher than anyone else and to catch it without breaking it. Sounds slightly disastrous, right? Well let me go on record saying that it is great fun! As the eggs inevitably break, the last person left holding an unbroken egg gets good luck for the following year.

I shared the tradition of an egg tree that I learned from Kveldulfr Gundarsson on one of my visits to his and his wife’s home in Ireland with the Liut. Simply put, you take a raw egg and poke small holes in both ends and blow out the egg (great for scrambling or adding to recipes requiring whole eggs). Rinse and let dry. Save up several (I start saving in January. Have at least one per person, or more if you like). Then before your Ostara ceremony each person draws or writes their wishes and prayers for the next year onto their egg(s). Run a piece of twine (something natural that will eventually degrade) through each egg and knot the bottom end, then hang the eggs on a tree. When the egg eventually breaks, the wish or prayer goes to the gods. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a great artist, as long as you are putting your intent into the egg the gods will know what you mean.

When I moved from Germany and found myself amidst the good folk of the Northwest Arkansas Kindred, I brought this tradition with me and shared it with them. The first year I had to cajole the big, tough men to dye and paint their eggs. We hung them on an old apple tree that had not bloomed in years. That spring the tree bloomed! Our spring rites, asking the gods, goddesses and earth wights to bless us and leaving our offerings in and at the foot of the old tree brought back its fertility! That’s how we all looked at it anyway. After that all the tough guys and gals acted like kids when it came time to dye our eggs. I’ve been looking for old photos of that Ostara, but I can’t find them. Now that I have my own land and have been working so hard to make it fertile, my hubby and I came home from Ostara with Berfuss Liut and drew on our naturally blue and brown eggs and hung them on various fruit trees and berry bushes that I’ve planted in our yard. We actually still had some hanging from last year, so those wishes and prayers still have not been heard (note: those were duck eggs which are a bit sturdier than chicken eggs… we used chicken eggs this year).

Most recently we celebrated Walpurgasnacht (aka May Day or Beltaine) with a young Heathen and his family. They came over and after we grilled burgers and visited awhile we got down to business. I had everyone write down things that they were having problems with that needed resolving. Then we built our need fire, hallowed the area and invoked the gods. I explained that this was the first of summer to our northern ancestors (there was only summer and winter in Viking times & climes) and was a time of celebration. In Germany it was believed that Walpurgasnacht was when witches danced on mountaintops and it was therefore thought that Freyja in her guise as Gullweg and Odin, both mighty in magic, held this holiday sacred. We then passed a horn of delicious mead (a gift from some of our Berfuss Liut friends) and gave thanks to the gods. I then asked everyone to place their need list on the fire and if they wished they could jump over the fire for luck in the next year. I’m happy to report there were no fire jumping injuries. LOL!

Just a reminder, as this is the change of seasons, it is time once again to ward your home. Spring is traditionally the time to clean out cobwebs and closets, but it is also a good time to clean out any old negative energy hanging about. Burn some sage to cleanse out the ickiness and ward your home to keep out any ill meaning wights or people. (See Change of Season, Time for Warding) I will be warding my home today. The lady who introduced me to Asatru ages ago used to also ward her home against bugs and pests. I need to try that this time. There are lots of creepy crawlies here in SC that I really am not fond of.

And for anyone in and around the Carolinas who may be interested, the 2nd Annual Carolina Moot is coming up in just six weeks! The dates are June 19-22. You can find out more info and register online at carolinamoot.com.