In late spring I got a package from a lovely lady I did a swap with, Lisa of Aranea Designs. She sent me a whole slew of ethically sourced animal remains and taxidermy {critters who have died of natural causes and completely legal transaction}.

She had sent me antler, hooves, teeth, leg and jaw bones from white tailed deer, a raccoon skull, bones from a magpie, as well as bones, feet and feathers from crows. She also sent a beautiful deer charm bag.

 The timing I got them was quite apt as I still had my Flidais shrine set up. So I set all the items I got from Lisa on the shrine, made offerings and did blessings for each item.

Lisa has an impressive gallery of bone jewelry, taxidermy and bones over at DeviantArt. She has a store on Etsy which she has told me she hopes to have stocked with new items soon. She is located in Southern Ontario, and sells some of her jewelry locally.

This is a very belated post about some of my observances for this past Bealtaine. I will be posting one for Midsummer and Lughnasadh separately.

On Bealtaine Eve the house was given a thorough cleaning and saining. I set up a shrine to Flidais, decorating it with botanicals from both the garden and the wild.

On Bealtaine morning I went out to collect some dew and rainwater from the garden, and left offerings outside for the Land Spirits. After I was done outdoors, I came back in to make offerings to the Gods and Ancestors.  I then extinguished my old hearth candle and lit the new one to be used over the coming year, saying a prayer for blessings.

A little later on in May I did a garden blessing, buried some charms for fertility, left offerings out for the critters, and made bee watering stations which were put to good use by the abundance of pollinators we had this year.

Towards the end of May I made a feast in honour of Flidais, mainly consisting of wild foods including a salad of greens and flowers, sautéed spring mushrooms, fiddleheads and asparagus, with a honey and sweet woodruff shortbread for dessert.

More to come!

A new post over at the Unfettered Wood Blog, Some Autumn Nature Craft Ideas
While I have pretty much neglected the garden this summer due to a crazy work schedule, the critters have definitely been living up to their end of the bargain. Hopefully now with a couple more days a week of spare time, I will be able to enjoy it before An Cailleach’s frosty breath freezes the ground.

Nowadays it seems like more and more folks are getting into honouring their own Ancestors, which is great. This doesn’t have to be allocated to just Samhain and similar holidays, but can be done on wedding anniversaries, birthdays, days of passing, or other days of note.

The 12th of August marks my Grandparent’s wedding anniversary; if they were alive today they would have been married for 71 years. They spent a life time together and being so devoted to one another, they both passed away due to unrelated health conditions within days of each other, just about a month shy of their 67th wedding anniversary.

I gathered flowers from our garden and made a simple feast for my family to share. What I made was simple “farm-fare” that probably would have been similar to what my Great-Grandmother would have made for her daughter’s wedding, being a farm wife herself. Potato salad with fresh veggies from the garden and our local market, peach crisp, along with ginger beer and ginger peach herbal tea to wash it down.

Even if Ancestor reverence was not such a big part of my spiritual path, I think that I would still observe their anniversary every year, celebrating the examples they lived by and the legacy they left behind.

Sláinte!

Laurel

Some of the pretties from this afternoon’s herb harvest in the garden.

Lá Lúnasa Shona Daoibh!

image{royalty free photo}
 
May you all be reaping blessings during this bountiful time of the year! For some ideas on how to celebrate Lughnasadh, you can check out one of my previous posts here. Goal Naofa recently released a beautiful and informative video on this time of year:
 
 
Lá Lúnasa Shona Daoibh/Happy Lughnasadh everyone!
 
Laurel
I have been making herbal oils, one or two at a time throughout the summer. Yesterday I was finally able to make a larger batch: comfrey, yarrow, lady’s mantle, meadowsweet, lemon balm and peppermint.

A Lovely Garden at the Edge of the Forest, more photos and videos of this enchanting place over at the Unfettered Wood blog.

Meadowsweet, a blessing in any garden! <3 It is so pretty, it smells beautiful, the bees love it and it is helpful in relieving pain and inflammation.

Meadowsweet, a blessing in any garden! <3 It is so pretty, it smells beautiful, the bees love it and it is helpful in relieving pain and inflammation.