Dame Habonde – a Lesson in Abundance

Dame Habondi

I recently received a request for a custom Spirit Doll from a client I’ve worked with before.

He asked if I’d ever heard of Dame Habonde.

I hadn’t but a quick google search netted me plenty of information of this little known goddess and peaked my interest.

In Celtic areas she was a Goddess of abundance, joy, fertility and luck. Her symbols are ale and fire and as such she was honored by dancing around a bonfire.

In Wales, She’s celebrated on the First Monday in July.

She’s also connected with the night riders, believed to creep into homes at night bringing prosperity to the occupants. She was eventually dismissed as a witch and almost lost. 

As a fertility Goddess it automatically puts her in the Mother section of the Goddess triptych. But I didn’t pick up on new mother or young mother.

I was feeling a seasoned mother, maybe bordering on crone-hood; a wise and patient mother.

And yet in contrast I was picking up on early summer, more of first fruits rather that first harvest that most abundance goddess are associated with.

And just for shits and giggles, Habonde kept shooting over visions of strawberries.

Now here where I live, Strawberry season is the last half of June and in my house it’s a big deal. We have a local u-pick that does a big festival to kick off its harvesting season.

The Renaissance Man and I drag the kids into the field to pick our share while they complain that they’re bored and hot and dying……then I spend the next 2 days processing strawberries; freezing, jelly-making and cordials.

I feel like this was her way of giving me a clear picture of her energy.

I worked with my client on the details; He pictured red braids and green/gold energy.

I added ruby in zoistite, emerald and rhodochrosite chips for the rich abundant energy and self love, because you can’t have one without the other.

And then a funny thing happened.

It’s my artistic nature to add more. More of everything. More layers, more fabric, more fibers, more beads. Just more.

But every time I tried, it looked wrong. I wasn’t feeling it. I got a little nervous thinking maybe I lost my mojo. 

I’d undo what I tried and try something else. Sometimes I’d walk away, hoping that when I came back, the next layer would be more clear.

After 3 days, I finally asked Her. “What else do you need?”

And she laughed.

Nothing. I’m perfect. Sometimes, more isn’t better, it’s just more!”

So she was photographed, approved and sent off to her happy home to work her magic and bring joy to the man who commissioned her.

Her words echoed in my head. A sure sign that there was a lesson to be remembered.

The eerie truth is that it’s exactly what I told my ex-husband years ago.

Sometimes, more isn’t better. It’s just more.

He was the poster child for 80’s culture. “The one that dies with the most toys, wins”

Remember that idea?

No…okay, I’m old.

He lived by that, filling our cape cod to the seams with crap he’d never use, leaving it up to me to figure out where to keep it.

In frustration, I spit those exact words at him and he laughed a nervous laugh that suggested I was right but he wasn’t willing to admit it.

He’s still a pack rat, but his house isn’t my problem anymore. I’m not as bad, I’ll do a whole house purge at least once a year. 

I find it odd that a Deity of Abundance and plenty would preach against ‘more’. Isn’t that what Abundance is about?

So, what is the lesson now, how can that idea be applied to our current situations? Am I more focused on getting more? Do I really need it? Does it hamper my ability to enjoy the now?

And of course because I’ve lived with a pack rat and currently live in a tiny little hobbit house….. If I do feel I need it, how often will I use it? Where will I put it?

I think Dame Habonde is pointing out that abundance isn’t about more. Maybe its about enough. Enough to sustain, enough to share, enough to not worry about the next week, the next month, the dark and scarce winter seasons….

Maybe its not about having ‘it’ squirreled away in the back of the closet ‘just in case’. Maybe its about having the faith that it’ll show up when we need it. Maybe it’s about paying it forward and providing our excess to people who need it now. Something to think about. 

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.

 

In the Spirit of Cailleach Bhuer

I’m happy to say that I’ve finished the Cailleach Bhuer Spirit Doll. Every spirit doll is a journey but the Goddess dolls are very interesting journeys.

*edit* I’m even happier to report that Cailleach Bhuer found  a home shortly after being listed.

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Cailleach Bhuer – the Blue-Faced Hag –  is an ancient Celtic Crone Goddess, said to have power over the winter. She was believed to blow in the freezing cold winds and snow. She flies through the air on the back of a wolf  or a boar, zapping the world with her freeze ray and dropping boulders randomly thus changing the landscape, making life on the surface unfamiliar.

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As the blizzard blew in last week, followed by the cold snap, or polar vortex, as the weather channel called it, I could hear the Blue Faced Hag whispering to me….explaining….telling me her message.

Change is inevitable. Life transforms, becomes unfamiliar until it’s familiar again. Have patience and faith that everything will work out better than you imagined. It’s important and necessary to shake things up. It changes the energy, clears out the stagnant air, removes that which no longer serves you. Change makes room for new empowering positive energy to bring you closer to the dreams.

If you’re not willing to make the changes yourself then the Universe, (Cailleach) will do this for you. 

Your personal  growth is that important! 

Not only to yourself but also to everyone you encounter. We are all connected. 

I was reminded of an experience.

A few years ago, The Renaissance Man lost his job. He wasn’t happy with the job. For months he came home from work complaining about everything. I would suggest he look for another but he never did.

Shortly (like 2 months) after the birth of our last child, his boss sat him down with a 30 day action plan that included parameters that were mathematically impossible. It’s not fair but it’s business. Working in his field, he wasn’t entirely surprised.

But he was angry, so angry that he wanted to quit right then and there. I suggested he wait it out. I’m not one for making permanent decisions while I’m emotional.

My logic was if he waited to be fired he could  collect his last paychecks and the vacation pay he was allotted, file for Unemployment Insurance and take time to find a job that he really wanted.

Inside, just behind the anxiety,  I was listening to the quiet voice that kept telling me, “Everything will be fine, just follow the path and see what happens next.” And that’s exactly how it played out.

It went against everything he believed in but we wouldn’t change it for all the gold in the world. During the time off work, while he was looking for another job, he took over as primary caregiver and I worked more at the restaurant and also looked for a better job. He had the opportunity to bond with the baby, experiencing all the firsts that he missed with the other kids, took up baking with our daughter and started an Ebay side business.

I gave up control of the house and kids, allowing him to take over. I pursued a whim, trying my hand at a new profession and worked the full work week for the first time in my life.

The landscape of our life looked totally unfamiliar; everything changed but through the experience of switching roles we both grew personally and as a couple.

This, I believe, is the message of Cailleach Bhuer.

And as I do with all my Spirit Dolls, I pulled a single Tarot card, Temperance, which I interpreted as finding a sense of peace amid the chaos of change. Keeping things in balance and seeing the lesson in the challenge and having faith that it’s all good.

Has the Blue-Faced Hag paid you a visit lately?