Happy Candlemas Sunday my folks! This morning Momma and I watched the Church of England’s fully BSL interpreted weekly service on YouTube, and we have also been getting in the mood for the traditional Druidic Pagan holiday of Imbolc, Feb 1-2 2024. As part of my preparation, I have been rereading the Imbolc section of what I refer to as my modern Pagan Guidebook, Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-centered Sustainable Practices. Last year it was my first book in my book club, and ended up being the only book 😂 what’s more, I didn’t do write ups for all of it anyhow. This year I’m making space in my life to include it alongside what I have planned already, so today I thought it would be fitting to reshare last year’s book club article on Imbolc. Enjoy!
This is the holiday which has just passed this early February, and the season we have entered. The season of learning.
“With the dawning of industrialization and consumerism, we’ve lost many skills and much knowledge; this is the loss of our human heritage of interacting and living with the land: the knowledge of root and stem, seed and growth, balance and restoration […] the lost ancestral knowledge isn’t just about how growing one’s own food or making one’s own medicine; it is also about how to work with each other, about how to build communities, how to raise barns, how to learn and grow. We live in those fragments.” (49) Sing it to the rooftops! I feel the traditional ecological knowledge from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass coming into tune. I feel my wildcraft Appalachian roots reaching out into deep water to drink heartily from this river of wealth that knowledge of skills is. I have to follow this path, where she goes I will go, and I will follow her where she leads. O’Driscoll writes about this type of knowledge as Deep “oak knowledge”, to call each animal and plant by its right name, to know how to draft the fiber. To know what it means to provide for and feed a whole family. To know what makes your best friend laugh. These things have a rich value I will not let go of.
I think a lot about the practicality of my creations. One thing I don’t do very much that I love is embroidery. I don’t see as much value in things that will only be decorations, they’re just not practical, so how can I justify spending my limited time on things like that? Maybe for the simple reason that they are beautiful and I love making them. O’Driscoll writes that, “Reskilling is about gaining the skills to live more regeneratively, which means being able to provide at least a few of the basic needs for ourselves, our families, and our communities. The broader reskilling movement is concerned with skills that help feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, provide daily functional items for ourselves from local materials, entertain ourselves, deal with our waste, keep ourselves healthy, create sustainable living Spaces, keep ourselves sheltered and warm, and create our own useful arts and crafts.” (53-54) Homesteading encompasses a lot more than just growing your own food, it is a whole life, and I am starting with the areas available in my life to grow from.
This season’s ritual builds upon the first by examining your journey and what you will need to start growing, learning-wise. She writes about learning the history of your home place, library magic, and creating spiritual practices out of physical acts—can these be seasonal too?
In all, I really enjoyed this first section of Sacred Actions, it was very inspiring especially for planning my year out and making room for the sacred. I hope you all enjoyed my insights—getting it all onto the blog has been a trick as it kept deleting during the upload process. Please feel free to write about your thoughts on this book, what you’re reading, or homesteading topics in general. Blessings blessings! August Lee
Disco Chicken of Love
sTate fair ready!
seed starting 2019
ky state fair quilt
A sustainability major at U of L, beginning farmer, crafter, and writer.