The Hag of Winter

I’m the only practicing witch here at the Haven.

I have hopes for the younger minions; Peter Pan, Dark&Twisty and maybe even Dennis the Menace. The rest are doing their own thing.

Just because I’m the only witch doesn’t mean I’m the only one affected by the energy.

Both The Renaissance Man and The Princess are complaining about being tired and not wanting to do the Things. My reply is always, “Then don’t”. Unfortunately their work ethic compels them to defy my suggestion.

The weather finally turned cold here. The Hag of Winter flew through and dropped a few inches of snow, she’ll be back around this week, bringing bitter arctic, record-breaking cold. The local weather stations are dubbing this cold snap “Chi-beria” .  *We live just outside Chicago*

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There’s a reason Cailliech Bheur is depicted as blind, seeing only from her third eye; winter doesn’t discriminate. It drops its load anywhere it feel like with no regard to our schedules, plans, and to-do lists. It knows what the land needs, She knows what we need.

We need to stop, we need to reflect, we need to turn inward and review our life choices. We need to dream and hope and plan for warmer days. We need to bundle up in warm cozy blankets and fleece-lined wool socks. We need to daydream and find solace in doing nothing.

The land benefits from the winter freeze as well. A deep frost depth, or how deep the ground freezes, helps to keep nutrients in place, loosens the soil and kills off certain insects know to cause havoc on crops.

Yes, it puts a damper on our to-do list but maybe our to-do list shouldn’t be so long in the winter. Maybe this is the Goddess’ way of telling us to STOP!

The sky is gray
The sand is gray
And the ocean is gray

And I feel right at home
In this stunning monochrome
Alone in my way

I smoke and I drink
And every time I blink
I have a tiny dream

But as bad as I am
I’m proud of the fact
That I’m worse than I seem

What kind of paradise am I looking for?
I’ve got everything I want and still I want more
Maybe some tiny shiny key
Will wash up on the shore

 

This song has been playing in my head the past week. In my mind its the embodiment of January. It begs us to reflect, to open our eyes and take a good look at ourselves and our life choices thus far.

January is the month of resolutions. The month of starting new habits; the month of hope and possibility. *Capricorn influence*

By the end of January most people have lost their gusto, and that’s okay because we enter Aquarius which, in my observation, tends to be much more cerebral and altruistic.

An excellent time to think through these early year goals and evaluate if they’re the best choice we can make for ourselves and our world.

The Hag of Winter is here again, to remind us – to force us to rest our bodies and enter the realm of our mind.

So seriously, turn off Netflix for a little while, grab a cup of something warm, a notebook and pen and start writing – don’t think, just write.

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This is my second depiction of Caillech Bheur. I decided last month that I really miss making dolls and I wanted to spend this year exploring different forms.

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Caillech Bheur – The Hag of Winter

This is the first attempt at creating a polymer clay and wire sculpture. I blended blue clay with doll clay to get the deathly gray color fitting for the Goddess of Winter. She’s  been painted with a dry brush technique to give her a ‘frosted’ look.

I attached her to a wood block, which I decorated with modeling paste to give that rugged winter landscape look.

Her hair is made with Speckled Tweed recycled silk yarn from Darn Good Yarn. *my newest obsession*

Her cloak and pussy hat were crocheted with scrap yarn I had on hand.

Why a pussy hat? Because she’s an ancient and incredibly powerful Goddess. And she totally supports our movement away from the patriarchy. The path forward is always about finding and honoring the balance between the Feminine and Masculine aspects of our society.

Her staff, said to be covered with human flesh, is carved with ancient Celtic writing and Ogham characters.

Caillech Bheur is known as the Storm Bringer who, through bitter winds and blizzards, changed the landscape.

She is also said to be the  Goddess of Sovereignty offering us the right to govern our own lives. This offering is accompanied by cold, hard honesty that may be brutal and painful but is always necessary to our personal development.

Her themes relate to balance, cycles, overcoming struggle and rebirth.  She is said to have fostered many children and is the protector of wild animals.

I hope The Cailleach visits you as you take some time this winter to reflect. I hope she offers you guidance and sovereignty to become Ruler of your World.

 

It’s 2019 B!tches!

Yeah for the new year! Are you feeling feisty and ready to conquer? I am.

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a Spirit Doll. It’s been awhile since I’ve connected with any specific Goddess.

The last two years have been rough. I feel like I’ve been in constant contact with my personal guides and ancestors, begging them to help me process the anger and the outrage. Frustrated by my inability to make the big changes that the world needs right now.

Some artist excel in that kind of energy.

I don’t.

So no art and very little writing; most of that was scrapped because I couldn’t stop the venom from leaching into it. If I couldn’t contribute to the greater good, then I shouldn’t be adding to the collective misery. Those writings will stay private.

2017 is long gone and 2018 is over.

Welcome 2019 and this little swirly ball of hope and light; This warm tingly desire to create art.

So I sat down one night after the kids were asleep. I wrapped myself in the warm fuzzy blanket that my (soon to be) daughter-in-law gifted me, lit a candle and called in my ancestors.

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What do I want? I asked them, What is the potential of this tiny seed I feel swirling around in my magic?

(because you can’t manifest if you don’t know what you want.)

I needed clarity, I needed a picture in my head and a feeling in my heart.

I didn’t have to wait long. I felt the warm glow of hope. I visioned a pictures of dolls, fully sculpted and clothed in funky fibers, bright colors and pussy hats. Goddesses, spirits, and physical representation of energy and abstract ideas.

I felt my crazy Aunt Joy, who passed away last summer. She too, was a doll maker and jack of all arts. Her daughter gave me all her doll making supplies. Bright colors and radical ideas were kind of her thing.

Yes, this is what my soul desires. To re-connect with the hopeful parts of myself, to reach out and offer the world a little bit of my enthusiastic optimism.

Then we had a planning session. Because they know me. I was given strict instructions.

  • No more than 6 dolls this year.
  • I must have a clearly defined project design sheet before I can start.
  • I must log my time and materials.
  • No ridiculous deadlines that make me dread the making process

I’m also allowed only one alternate art type to clean my pallet.  They’re pushing for art journal. They tell me Art journals are needed plus I enjoy the process of making them. I have a tendency to let my creative to-do list get excessively long, try to do it all and then burn out in frustration.

Maybe because it’s January, or maybe it’s because it’s a rather mild winter, or maybe it’s just the Old Hag calling to me. I’ve decided to re-visit with Cailleach Bhuer. It’s been 5 years. I think she has something else to tell me.

Pictures will be coming soon, I’m taking my time, enjoying the process.

What are your big plans for 2019? What are your personal conquests for the year?

Drop me a note and let me know so I can cheer you on.