Well, Mother Winter is certainly making Herself felt in the east. Even in South Florida it is chilly - well, for those of us living here for many years, our blood has thinned and if the temperature drops below 72 we feel like we have to pull our sweaters and jackets, even turn off the A/C!!! I have had the windows opened since yesterday and it is a bit brisk in Toadstool Condo - a perfect excuse to light a fire, make a cup of tea and plan the day.
Last night I spent a lovely evening with witchy friends - there were seventeen of us - celebrating the solstice with ritual, potluck and gift exchange. Thanks to Betty for the wonderful book, Homo Necans, The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual & Myth (Burkert) which was on my Amazon wish list! I also received Pandora's Daughters (Eve Cantarella) from Ruby. Looking forward to a long sit down to read. We had a beautiful fire as the center of the ritual, weather cooperating with its chilliness, and afterwards sat, many of us just gazed into the flames, others were chatting. The best of evenings!
On the agenda today is a cookie decorating party and then baking, baking, baking, candy making and a few other little projects! Gifts are to be given this week and I've got to get down to business. In addition, Christmas Eve with the Pagans and Jews - Pumpkin Tira Misu, lasagna, dips and snacks and of course, dusting and polishing Toadstool Condo. Generally, the toadstool is a clean and comfy haven, but with needlework projects, misc. crafts and books scattered about. I have the infamous "in progress" reading pile as well as the "don't put this away, I'm researching" reading pile and then there are the books and project I simply like to keep out so I can admire them! So... everything must be tidied! What a week this will be!
And... in honor of the season, a little something from Diana Paxson, a modern invocation for Mother Holla!
Holy Holla, in the heavens,
A snowy featherbed you're shaking -
Bless the earth with your white blanket.
Moist the mantle you are making.
Holla high above come riding,
Your wagon rolls through winter weather;
Turn away your face of terror,
Bless us as we bide together.
Holy Holla, here we gather,
Send us skill in all our spinning,
Huldrefolk* to help in housework,
Wealth and health with your aid winning.
* Huldrefolk - gnomes