Monday, June 2, 2014

May in Pictures

1st of May is Beltane...the night before we had a bonfire and the traditional fire jump.In the morning I went down to the spring and collected some water for spell work then I made a special breakfast for the Minions, Dutch babies with fresh berries and coconut whipped cream. We went about or day and then as dusk was about to fall we made our way down to the Ancestor altar and sacred spring. Gramma had an antique mirror that has been in our family for many generations that she wanted to hang at the altar for scrying so we dedicated it as part of our ceremony.
The antique mirror that hangs at the ancestor altar for scrying
 King Connaher smudged us all and we began our ritual.
King Connaher smudging everyone
Bug leaving a candle at the spring to represent her offered prayer
Triple Birch
We call her our maiden, mother, crone birch and at her base is were we give thanks to the spirits of this land.
Offerings at the spring
 Offerings of incense, candles, prayer, coins, crystals, energy, drumming and song were made at the sacred spring to the Ancestors and the spirits of the land.
The boys in prayer
King Connaher sharing his energy with the spring

Mom drumming for the land
As darkness fell we drummed, rattled and played the singing bowl then sat in silence and communed with the spirits around us.
A couple days later we went into the city to celebrate the sabbat with our local pagan community at the Edmonton Beltane Fair 2014. It was a very chilly day but we still had a lot of fun.

Willowtree decked out in her Beltane finest
Bug got her face painted
Viking village
 There was a new attraction this year called Viking village with some awesome battle re-enactments.
The Knights of the Northern realms were there as well with displays and re-enactments and they are always a good time. The market was full of fascinating things and there were a few different dance troops to watch the Morris dancers are my favorite but this year one of the belly dance groups had a male belly dancer and I have never seen anything like was very mesmerizing. Our favorite Shaman Kriket told us a great story and we got to see so many friends and one that I hadn't seen in almost 15 years :) 

Filing into circle for ritual
We gathered in the field around the maypole and held ritual, then danced the maypole!
Maypole 2014
Willowtree and Zeds girlfriend dancing the Maypole
We are very blessed to have a large active pagan community so close to us. These community festivals are awesome and such a great way for the Minions to meet like minded people. Willowtree reconnected with an old friend this year and met a cute boy!! lol
My beautiful Zoe
New babies
Back on the acreage the baby bunnies we had in April are old enough to play with and one of our hens is brooding so we may end up with baby chicks, our fingers are crossed.

Our free range flock
For Mothers day I bought my Mom a beehive. She has always wanted to keep bees and Bug is very interested as well. It is an adventure they will learn about together.
Feast of Hekate
 The Full Moon in May is the Feast of Hekate. Our feast is usually Mediterranean inspired.

Petrified wood
Since the creek broke up the Minions have been scouring the banks for petrified wood, fossils and crystals. We also go down to the North Saskatchewan river often to rock hunt and hike. They are getting an impressive collection of petrified wood and have found, red and yellow jasper, calcite, quartz, jet and some seabed fossils. 
The girls helping to clean and sort dandelion leaves for drying
 Spring has finally sprung out here at Spirit Haven and with it comes the bounty of dandelions! Dandelion is a power packed medicinal plant that is 100% edible. The Minions have grown up wildcrafting and know very well the benefits of dandelion. The buds are harvested first and we use them in salad and stir fries but most are pickled. I used to do only a couple jars a year and used them like capers. This year we had so many tho that I decided to experiment a little and found a recipe that we really like a lot. I did up eight jars it should be enough to get us threw the winter.The young leaves are ok in salad and stir fry but can be bitter so we mainly use them in tea and tonic.
Dandelion buds
Two kinds of pickled dandelion buds. One is a caper recipe with caraway and the other is Asian style.
We seek out the big roots, chop them up, dry them and roast them for a coffee substitute, it is really good but I make a chai tea blend out of them that is AWESOME! Last year we put enough away to just get us just past Yule so this year we will be tripling the amount.
 The Minions know dandelion well and have studied it extensively with me and with things like the Herb Faeries learning series. One thing I showed them this year is its resilience. We all know how hard they are to eradicate from a yard. I showed them that even if you leave a tiny bit of root in the ground it will re grow and that even if they are uprooted and left for a day or two, put them in water over night and they spring right back to life.
First major storm of the year
 Daddy took a week of so we could go camping and it did we put off our trip till July, out of the week we had two days of sun and that was it and they weren't even back to back lol. We did a lot of yard work and played frisbee and soccer in the rain we even sat around the bonfire in the drizzle one evening.
Pretty pic of the rain out our front window

Crystals out soaking up the stormy energy
My scrying ball loves storm energy
We started building a raised bed. We decided to use the old notch method. We cleaned up the raspberry patch and put in new staking so they form to rows better and do not bend under the weight of the berries.We added more raspberries to the patch as well. There is a lot of research involved in planting and we are very thankful for the internet cause it makes it so much easier. A couple years ago we took a permaculture course and we are using a lot of what we learned.
Willowtree and King Connaher emptying one of our compost bins to put into the raised bed. 
new tidy raspberry patch
We planted blueberry bushes and if they do well we will plant more next year.
Bug planting blueberry bushes
We started building a greenhouse. We are masters of re-purposing and the property next to us is a satellite business, they told us last year anything they put on their burn pile was free game. They had two very large packing crates so we decided to grab them and use them to make a green house.
Willowtree building a greenhouse
We planted the garden
On the last weekend in May we put the garden in.  
Altar for garden blessing
This was my mother's day gift from the Minions. It is a little stained glass table that says Bless this Garden
 Bug using rattles to banish negativity and Willowtree offering smudge to the East
 Zed drumming the boundaries.

Beeswax candle for the nature spirits
Traditional offering of milk
We made a moon water gem elixir and all infused it with energy for fertility and growth. It was used to bless the tools and seeds and the rest was offered to the soil.

The candle and incense were left to burn out as we planted and the little altar table was moved to its permanent spot at the edge of the garden to be used as a garden altar.
 We plant like we do most things, as a family
Mom sharing her wisdom with the girls
 Now let the growing begin....
Bug making a bracelet on her loom
Weaving is something that Willowtree likes to do, she makes bracelets alot and knows quite a few different weaves, she does not use a loom. Bug has always been fascinated in it but could never get her fingers to work the way her sisters do. I picked her up this loom at the dollar store and she was so excited to be able to make bracelets like her sister does.