Yesterday marked the first day of June, which in the past marked painful past memories and sorrow. Now I have made the changes for it to be a joyful, muggy, productive month. I had felt the nudge from Loki to offer Him something different, and was guided to hard apple cider as something He wanted me to offer Him.
I normally don’t drink, or buy alcohol, so purchasing some was both a financial sacrifice, as well as a personal one, part of the offering was that I would share a sip of it after I offered Loki the portion in His cup. So I poured out a serving for Loki into His cup (a metal shot glass) and hailed Him, sharing a sip from the bottle.
My husband had also made an offering with part of the bottle, mixing it with apple juice to try some himself, then pouring out the rest for his Gods. Both of us didn’t like the taste much, and figured that we could save the remainder of the bottles for offerings only. After we made our offerings there was a heavy rain storm followed by a warm fog that lingered outside all night as I typed this portion up before bed.
I had my husband set aside the metal bottle cap for me to add to my collection as a symbol or sacrifices and offerings. I had hoped that I would find some unique object with esoteric markings, but it was not meant to be.
On the topic of changes in appearance, I got rid of all my hair. I had been growing it out for about a year (including 1 purple dye job and 2 super short spiked cuts) and it had reached the limit of my tolerance yesterday. It was able to touch the tops of my shoulder blades at its longest parts, and hung down to the middle of my cheeks in the front.
(Just to give a visual of where I was)
I had my husband shave everything off so that I only have fuzz about 1/2 an inch long at most. I couldn’t take it being long anymore, between the 80-90 degree weather and stifling humidity of living in Maine, my patience for having it grow out was gone. The weather is still the same, but the lbs. of hair slowly roasting me is gone.
Some people write opinions about hair online, and my opinion is that whatever works for you is fine, but I have found I am not meant to have long hair. Ever since I was a child I loathed the knots, snarls, weight, level of care needed, and the heat generated by having my hair long. I have memories of people mistaking me for a boy because I would always have short/”buzzed” hair. As an adult I had a number of hair styles ranging from shaved off, spiked, long, almost waist length, and then shaved off again.
I felt strange being around people who were expecting me to have longer hair as a child, but nowadays I am relatively unconcerned with other people’s ideals of what I should look like. Plus now that I have short hair the hat I got for Mother’s day fits better, and I can wear it while hiking, gardening, doing my “walkabouts”, and not worry about my hair coming unpinned and getting in my eyes or laying across my neck like a boa constrictor made of sweaty fire.
Lastly, I have been slowly working on my collection bag, sewing seams here and there during small windows of free time, hemming raw edges and envisioning the details I want to add later. I wanted to find some kind of lining, a piece of fur, leather, or soft cloth for my collection to rest on, but had been unable to find anything that seemed right.
Until a trip to the store led me past the automotive wash/care section, where they have these incredibly soft leather cleaning cloths. Reading the label informed me that they are made from sheepskin, and treated with fish oil to create a supple leather for detail work on a car. I might have squeed and danced with excitement when I found it.
This reminded me of part of the Clan of the Cave Bear series regarding the group of people known as the Sharamudoi, who were two groups of people interrelated through family ties and livelihoods. The Shamudoi were hunters of mountain goats, sheep, and had a detailed understanding of how to build boats , and the Ramudoi were river people, living in large boats and small houses along the river, their knowledge extended to weathering the rives in all Her moods. Each group needed one another to create the things their lives depended on, the river people needed the hunter’s knowledge, as the hunters needed their river navigating cousin’s knowledge as well.
Anyways (I tend to geek out about this series, it is one of my favorites), the soft leather reminded me of a leather that this group made using bog myrtle and fish oil in a secret recipe for trade goods and leather crafts. I knew I wanted to get a small piece of this leather to use to line the bottom of my bag, as well as using the remainder for my drum, a pouch to wear, and other leather items I wanted to make. So I traced around the bag and sewed in the lining, placing 3 pieces of dried Mugwort between as a boost to my intuition, and because it is an herb I feel close to.
The bag now has this lining inside it, and I plan on using fabric paint pens to draw sigils, Runes, animals, and other symbols on the inside of the bag to protect my collection, bless Them, bind them to me, and to better utilize Them. I used a small scrap of the sheepskin leather as a test patch for the paint, and they work beautifully. I started out just drawing lines, but it morphed into a Pine tree or a stylized Fish skeleton and tail, with dots beneath it. Not sure which, so I dub it as both, that leather scrap will be wrapped around part of the lacing on my drum to cushion my hand. Another piece of the leather will be painted with various symbols, animals, etc. then I will wrap it around the circumference of the drum, and sew it into place.
For now, I am content with imagining what I will do next, and restringing my sacred jewelry onto a new cord, the old one became worn, so I will be incorporating it into my bag’s draw-sting instead of discarding it. My sweat and skin oils, as well as prayers have been infused into this cord, and I want that bond added to my collection as well.