Changing Seasons

Posted On March 21, 2010

Filed under ritual, Uncategorized

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I created this blog a little under three months ago, and it already has over 500 hits! Thank you dear readers! I just included my e-mail in the About section if you have any questions or comments that you don’t want to write on here, or if you feel that something I’ve written is not correct(though you’ll have to back up your claim). I mentioned in my last entry that I would talk about burial rituals, but I feel that it is not the right time to discuss that with the beginning of spring here! Most of the spring festivals happen next month and the beginning of May, so I am looking forward to partaking in those.

Now that it’s getting warmer, I’m looking forward to going into the forests once again. You might say that I could go there anytime, but trekking through the forest in knee-deep snow isn’t always the most pleasant thing to do, particularly since everything that I could sit on is covered in snow. For the past few months then, most of my rituals have been done indoors. Many of those that I described on this blog already are easily able to do be done in any environment though, such as singing and writing poetry to the gods, ancestors, and haltija. As for food and libation, that has been a different story. Leaving food outside of my apartment would not be appreciated by others, and well, honestly I was too lazy to go out in the cold to pour out the libation. Quite bad of me, I know. What makes a good substitute is incense. I buy that which I associate with a particular deity, but I think scents found in the surrounding area are best. My personal favorite is juniper. I dedicate the offering to whomever I want to honor, say a few words to them, and often times I play kantele for them afterward.

On my actual altar, the left side I have items associated with family, and those on the right are dedicated to deities. All of the items with a couple exceptions are either gifts, found in nature, or something that I made. They all carry a particular meaning. On the left side, I have a seashell that was my grandmother’s favorite(called an Olive), a Jul decoration from Norway given to me by a cousin, a cute little furry Viking figure given by a friend, a stone from a ritual I went to, and a tail of a red fox given to me by my uncle who is a taxidermist. On the right is a tail of a coyote(which is one of my power animals), and animals that represent the main deity that I honor. Actually only one deity is represented, since my focus has been so much on my ancestors and haltija in recent times, but I would like to change that if I come across any special items. In the center, I have a bull horn that I cured myself, and an incense burner. It’s probably not the best example of an altar, but as long as the spirits are happy with it, that’s all that matters. I clean the whole thing every few months and add a different cloth on the bottom, which I would encourage others to do if you don’t already. I’m always interested in hearing about other people’s altars and what each item means to them.

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