I have spent many years photographing nature. Not just hanging out in the forest, but at the beach or other beautiful places. My photographing skills is not much to brag about, but I enjoy it, and I think that is what matters. I’ve been looking through a lot old photos lately, and so I thought it would be fun to post one photo that I have saved from the woods from each year. The first one is from 2006, and the last one is from earlier this year. I hope you like them 🙂
Do you know the name of the full moons? I have read different names in different places. These are the ones I have noted down:
1. The Wolf Moon 2. The Storm Moon 3. The Chaste Moon / The Seed Moon 4. The Hare Moon 5. The Dyad Moon / The Cohesion Moon 6. The Mead Moon 7. The Herb Moon 8. The Grain Moon 9. The Fall Moon / The Wine Moon 10. The Blood Moon 11. The Snow Moon 12. The Oak Moon
And if there are a second full moon in a month it is called The Blue Moon.
I know there are different names for the full moons, and I would love to learn some. And I would also like to learn more about myths and beliefs about the full moons. I think it is such an intriguing subject. Do you know any names of full moons? 🙂
I’ve been meaning to write something here for quite a while now. But the thing is, I am not sure what to write. I feel like I want to and need to express myself, but what I need to express is the sense of not knowing. And how do I express that?
I feel like I am at a crossroad. I wish I knew which road to choose. I feel sort of lost. I sounds like a cliche, but it is true. And I imagine a lot of people have been her before me making it a cliche over time. I think about the poem I posted here earlier, and remember that I have felt lost before, and found comfort in that poem. And I found comfort in spending time with nature. I think that is what I will have to do again: Head to the woods.
Today is one of those days that just will not be light. It is 9.40 in the morning, and as I look out the window I see darkness. I can se the contours of the trees in our ‘forest’, and a sort of black-grey sky behind them, but nothing more. The clouds are so thick, the sun is so low on the sky.
On days like these, I can easily see how the old beliefs came to be. It makes sense, the stories about dead spirits walking the earth, because is does not seem to be anything living out there. It is, I know. I just met tree deers on my way home from walking the children to school. But it is so quiet. As if all of nature is holding its breath. Waiting and waiting for time to pass.
How did it come to this, that we, in our modern lives, still go about as if nothing has changed since August? It is like we pretend we cannot see the signs Mother Nature is sending us. To be still. To rest. To burn wood in the stove, tell each other stories, eat casseroles and knit and mend woolen clothes. It there anything else that can make sense on days like this?
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here. And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this space around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two bushes are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, You surely are lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you.
– David Wagoner
I love thispoem so much, and I can’t really explain why. I first read it many years ago, as I was spending a lot of time on pagan forums on the internett, searching for all things magic and mysterious, and hoping that the world indeed would contain of more than meets the eye. I was struggling with my very secular surroundings, and was carrying this naive and childish (secret) wish for the world to truly be magical. This poem contributed to my understanding of the world as a magical place, for those who knows where to look. 🙂
I am sitting by the fireplace today, warming up after a walk. It is cold outside, winter is definitely here, except for snow. But the ground feels hard under my feet when I walk. It is getting ready, along with everything else in nature, for the big sleep.
I have three knitting projects on the needles, and also some plans that still is just a vague idea. I have started a Riddari Sweater. I made one last fall, and although I was very happy with the choice of yarn (Lett Lopi) and the colours, I made it too big to fit myself. I gave it as a gift to a dear friend, and I hope it brings joy and warmth. Now I will try making almost the same sweater all over again, a wee bit smaller this time.
In the first sweater I changed the sleeves and the neckband from what the pattern said. This time I am going to knit it according to the pattern (although I usually somehow end up changing something…) The yarn and colours I have chosen are the same as last time (because I love the combination so much) but I will change what colour I am using where (just a bit).
I am also making socks for my husband, and trying to make a checkered pattern, for the first time. I think it is going pretty well, although I had pictured to colours looking a bit different together than what they do. BUT he doesn’t really care about that as long as the socks are warm. Apparently I am just to much of a perfectionist… 🙂 The yarn is new to me. A combination of 80% wool and 20% nylon that I was recommended to chose for socks at the yarn store. At this point I am not sure how I feel about it. It feels like knitting with cotton, something I never enjoy. But I have decided to wait and see the result before I make up my mind about it.
A long time ago (about it seven months?) I started a sweater in a nice orange alpaca yarn that I had laying around. At first I thought I was going to make it in one colour, but I have changed my mind and decided to have some sort of pattern at the yoke. But the body and sleeves are knitted together in raglan, so I am thinking hard about what sort of pattern would look nice. I would like to use Selburose or something similar (that is a traditional Norwegian pattern) using white yarn, and perhaps an acanthus swath (Link for knitted jackets with acanthus swath in the pattern) or something else that would frame the Selbu Rose in a nice way. I am not sure how to make this fit into the decreases, though. Hum… I will have to think about while I finish knitting the Riddari and the socks.
A completely different subject, but to me just as exciting. Several years ago, while searching through old notebooks, letters and photos that belonged to one of my great-grandmothers I found a book with recipes. But one of the pages had a list over something other than ingredients. It was a page with a list of the names of the full moons. Nothing more or less. This was a very intriguing discovery to me. I have not found any more information about this in my family, so it is still a mystery to me. Maybe it meant nothing. It was just a list with information that she thought was fun to remember. But could it mean something more? I will never know, but my interest in the symbolic meaning of the full moons was aroused. I hope to write more about that some other day.
Now it is time for me to leave the computer screen and spend time with family. We are going to make som food, enjoy the heat of the fire, and maybe I will get some time to knit done during the day as well? 🙂
I hope you enjoy your day, and that you find joy and peace in this dark time of the year. ❤
We are celebrating Halloween in our house for the fifth time this year, even though it is not a tradition to us, and a pagan Samhain celebration would be closer to my heart. But our kids easily pick up new ideas with big enthusiasm, and they are masters at half “force”, half lure us to embrace new impulses. Now they claim that celebrating Halloween is a tradition in our family.
Parents in our neighborhood or at school have pretty different approaches to the celebration. One of our neighbor takes her kids and escape from the neighborhood and into the woods, to the movies or to an old and much loved grandmother that unfortunately (or should we say luckily) does not celebrate Halloween, and happens to be so old that the kids does not bother to try and teach her.
An other neighbor invites “the whole gang” of boys and throws a Halloween party while serving things such as “clipped witch fingers” and “eyeballs”. Their garden is filled with plastic things that will scream or laugh a typical caricatures witch laugh as you walk by.
We have taken a sort of in-between position, where the kids get to decorate the house a little, dress up and go trick-or-treating. We buy candy and opens the door to whoever rings the door bell. At the same time we try our best to teach the kids about the origin of the Halloween celebration, the original traditions around the holiday that was important long before the polyester witch costumes and plastic spiders were presented as essential accessories for a successful celebration.
It is nice to have a celebration at this time of year. It is dark, cold, and wet most of the time. We are all longing for some time off school or work, and to have a bit of fun “just because” is nice enough. But I do wish for something a little more mindful, simply because I like things that are done with intention. Halloween as it is in Norway today is celebrated with the intention of shops making money. And that is not good enough for me.
Halloween is originally a catholic tradition. Norway was once a catholic nation, even though that is a long time ago. The name ‘Halloween’ derives from ‘All Hallows Eve’, the evening before All Hallows Day, which was celebrated November 1. It was created somewhere between 900 and 1000 ad. and was a catholic holiday until sometime in the 19th century.
But Halloween have roots even further back in history, to the celebration of Samhain, which was the Celtic new year celebration. The beginning of winter was considered as a very dangerous time of the year by the Celts. The barriers between the human and spirit world would break down during Samhain. The spirits could enter the world of the living, and the living could enter the spirit world and for instance see their future. The Celtc made food – and maybe human – offerings on large bonfires to appease the spirits.
In a christian context this offering was made into soul cakes or soulmass-cake and given to the poor who would go from door to door and trade a cake for a prayer for the giver, their friends or their late relatives in the purgatory. Eventually the custom disappeared and youths and children started to walk from door to door just for fun. Today my kids, among others, are playing spirits “from the other side” (a dead soldier, a pirate-ghost and a Robin Hood fox (scary for the affluent at least)), and they scoop in a massive amount of candy to “be nice” and do no harm.
The story behind the pumpkin lantern is also about a dead soul . A scammer named Jack had no respect for rules og boundaries. He fooled absolutely everyone, even the devil. So when he died he was refused access to both heaven and hell. But he did get a few glowing pieces of charcoal with him from the gates of hell when he was refused. He put them in a cabbage root. And that was how he made the lantern that now lights up all the dark places in the no man’s land he is stranded in, somewhere in the middle of heaven and hell. In the USA this cabbage root turned into a pumpkin.
Halloween is much about the positions in between. The purgatory in the catholic tradition, the Celts New Years Eve, the no man’s land in the story about Jack. We thematize the relationship between security and fear, order and chaos, life and death. It seems easier to play the paradoxes in life than to explain them rationally, like the contradiction that in facing what we fear the most, we often find foothold. A child could play the scary monster under her bed, or something else that is the scariest thing in the world. Kids need support to dramatize their most fearsome and groundbreaking experiences. Halloween is a good way to do just that 🙂
Blessed Celtic New Year and Happy Halloween and Samhain. ❤