Wednesday, December 8, 2010

7th Day of Yule: Bringing Meaning into the Mundane

The only difference between the magical and the mundane, it seems to me, is mindfulness and the ability to impart meaning and purpose into what you're doing.  Isn't the purpose of observing the Wheel of the Year to see the meaning in the ordinary passages of time throughout the seasons?

One of my favorite earth-based books is Circle 'Round, by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill.  It looks at the Wheel and other memorable occasions with an eye to how it might be observed within a family and brought to life for children.  Songs, stories and activities are included - and even if you have no children around, the book approaches things in a thoughtful realistic way (no 2 hour long rituals that require a van-load full of supplies and a football field's worth of private outdoor space at just the exact astrologically correct moment).

There are two activity suggestions for Yule included that really speak to me.  Once has to do with cleaning house before Solstice, sweeping the floors, shaking out blankets, etc, and says "When you empty the dustpan or throw out the vacuum cleaner bag, name some of the things you want to get rid of".  They then suggest steeping some rosemary and bay leaves and adding the steeped water to your floor cleansing solution - each of these are spiritually cleansing and protective herbs, so you are  replacing the disposed of sludge with protection for the new year.

I very much like the idea of using the most mundane task - that of cleaning house - as a tool for working magic in your life.  This is the kind of magic that works for me, so much more than elaborate 'high church' ritual.  I also think it creates a contemplative exercise that can be done by those of any religion - no matter what we believe, we all have cleaning to do.

The second activity I really liked was "Mother Winter's House" which turns the creation of a gingerbread house into an act of offering to the Goddess - choosing candy colors and decorations to represent the gifts of the goddess, so that the house is a symbol of abundance received and - by considering the emptiness inside the house - abundance yet to come.  Wouldn't that make for a nice conversation with a child while making the gingerbread house?

1 comment:

  1. these are good ideas. I will certainly remember the house cleaning one next week.