Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Plum Butter & The Goddess

Well, very early this morning I had my cup of tea and then went to sleep and here I am on a Sunday afternoon just finishing up a batch of plum butter. As I stirred the pot I remembered something I had written, in 2005 and posted to a group I belonged to, about another batch of plum butter. It was just
after Hurricane Katrina. I'd like to share it here along with pictures of today's endeavor.

My task today, which is no hardship really, is to make plum butter. The juicy garnet-colored orbs are truly a gift from the Goddess. I make fruit butters all summer, preserving them in faceted jam jars. They sit on a shelf until a gift is needed, especially at the Winter Solstice. I began giving homemade gifts many years ago. People so appreciate something homemade or handmade - it makes them feel comfy and mothered. Although not a mother to children, I still seem to do a great deal of nurturing through daily tasks.

I stood at the kitchen sink washing the fruit carefully, then slicing and placing the plums gently into my big jam pot. As I sliced then stirred, it occurred to me how much love I put into this act. A priestess of the harvest, lovingly preparing the gifts of the Lady to be gifts to those I love. What could be more nurturing than stirring love, and of course, my Reiki symbols, into the fruits of the Goddess.

This also makes me think of "women's work" - do we, modern women, feminists, dismiss certain tasks women do because we see it as patriarchal? Is it? I do embroidery which has long been considered women's work and dismissed as something negative or not worthwhile by some modern women. Is it really something that constrains my freedom, my creativity, my worthiness? Cooking for family and friends, does that restrict me? As I stir the plums, I consider how much love I gently stitch and cook into my various "womanly" pursuits; how I incorporate prayers, Goddess symbols and magic into embroidered samplers; how I stir healing prayers and love into my cooking. Yes, all these things I do with love - for those who receive my gifts, from the threads and the fruits themselves, and most of all, from myself to myself. Truly a lesson in the law of return.

My kitchen is filled with the sweet scent of fruit and spices, steamy and warm, a cat rubbing against my legs- how could this be anything but the greatest of pleasures?

Well, time goes by, four years since I scribbled and shared those thoughts. I am still stitching, making jam, baking and following where the Goddess leads me. I am still placing all those good things into everything I do.

Ya' know, life is really good!
Blessings nine!

(all photos copyright 2009, E. A. Kaufman)
(all entries copyright 2005-2009 E. A. Kaufman)

The Witching Hour

Luna, every woman's friend
To me thy goodness condescend
Let this night in visions see
Emblems of my destiny

~Mother Goose

Just after midnight, longing for a cup of tea. It was an interesting day. I resigned from my Pagan group finally. It has been brewing for months and I just did it. I feel peaceful, like a weight has been lifted - obviously the right decision.

As for Mother Moon, She is coming on full. A couple of friends will join me for ritual a week from tonight. We will gather around the cauldron and make welcome September. The year goes by and my beloved Autumn is almost here. I've already filled bowls with autumn herbs, leaves, twigs, mini pumpkins, broken cinnamon sticks, cloves, rose hips and other plant matter, topping them off with spicy essential oils that remind me of autumns past. A bit of fall decorations are ready to be scattered about as well.

Ahhhh.... all is right with my world. And now for that tea!
Blessings nine!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Witches, stitches, books & the color red!

Well, last week I turned 53 and my friends made sure I celebrated. While Mike and I celebrated quietly - my choice - I was taken out by friends for dinner & lunch four times!!! I am very blessed with my buds. My Mom sent some cash with which I bought a new witch for my collection - fell in love with this and couldn't resist. Thanks Cross Stitch Cupboard and Mom!

On the Everything Austen front, I have read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, which I enjoyed very much; very different and perfect for those of us who love Jane Austen and vampires! I know, it's a heck of a combination. I also read Jane Austen Ruined My Life and What Would Jane Austen Do? - both good reads too. I have yet to start the Austen sampler, but will get to it soon. So there I am with the challenge!

Stitching update: Haven't taken a stitch on the Nativity, but I am planning to work on it later today. The Strawberry House is coming along and it is very pretty indeed. So much to stitch and not enough time!

Stash Alert!!! New charts - Sampler Sisters of the Thread, which I am ready to start. I will be stitching it on 40 count pearl barley linen - love this! - Witches Nine and Cape Cod Girls, all three by The Primitive Needle, my favorite designer. I love that primitive look. I am making a small change color-wise on Sampler Sisters. The dresses for the three ladies with be stitched in red, old reds to be sure, keeping that primitive look, but I wanted some color. There is also another reason which I will discuss below. Received Witches Stitch Too by Homespun Elegance and Spellbound by Monsterbubbles which I will stitch on dark purple linen - yeah!!! Another addition for the witch wall.

Now for the color red. Tonight, well actually last night as it is three AM, the Sisterhood gathered for our Blood Mysteries class. All priestesses are required to attend this class along with the students so off I went in the Strega-mobile. We watched the film Bloodtime, Moontime, Dreamtime by Roberta Cantow followed by wonderful discussion and sharing of moonblood memories. Here is a link to watch a six and a half minute sample of the film: http://originaldigital.net/bmd/index2.html#
All women ought to watch this beautiful film. No matter if one still bleeds or not, it is inspiring and empowering. Most of the women in the film wore red as they were interviewed, many danced in red dresses and stunning red cloaks, reclaiming moonblood as something beautiful, sacred and powerful - NOT a curse or something dirty. As I sat pulling skeins of thread for the Sampler Sisters, looking at the subdued, primitive colors, it came to me that I should dress the three women in red, in honor of all women, our power and our sacredness.
Blessings nine!