Monday, March 21, 2022

The Key-Holder as Sacred Feminine

Morning thoughts:  All the Ostara/Happy Spring stuff on the internet combined with a rant my friend Mischa went on last night about how dirty, messy, fiery, bloody and painful spiritual growth is has me thinking about femininity and magic.  Our culture likes to separate feminine magic out into tropes like the scary witch doing the bloody magic (good or bad, maiden or crone), the unconditional love Virgin Mary petting lambs and holding babies, and the sexy fertility goddess. But our modern pagan concept of "the feminine" ignores the reality of running a household, the woman as key-holder.  This role, obvs, isn't inherently gender-specific.  My issue is with how patriarchy separates femininity specifically into the binary of "good and nurturing life" vs. "scary and dealing death".  How the two are combined in woman-as-key-holder is barely mentioned.  This is woman as field marshal, manager, organizing tasks and personnel to make best use of assets. She is the last resort - if there is no one else to perform a task, it falls to her.  She makes life and death decisions for animals and people: who can we feed? And this is where she is vilified:  the same woman who comforts a child, might decide under extreme circumstances to leave another to exposure.  The same rosy-cheeked woman who  tends her flowering herbs in the sunshine also may be found elbow-deep in entrails at another time.  She isn't secluded in her cottage having tea with forest creatures nor creeping out townsfolk who visit looking for potions.  She does the dirty magic: getting the work done through anger and sadness and joy and love.  Holding hands to comfort, holding bloody wounds in service of life or death, holding her lover, looking in the eyes of people she cares for or has to work beside every day.. on their worst days and their best days. And on her worst and best days.   I guess this is maybe where Frigg energy lives... the Freyja part makes the best stories... sex and war.   The Frigg energy is the everyday life and death: building relationship with plants, fate played out in dumb games at family reunions, the dynamics of long term marital partnership of individuals with their own aims and goals, the chess of long-tern strategy for guiding generations. 

My stream of consciousness has run out of steam so I guess I'm done.  This is what I'll think of whenever I see all the various pagany springtime memes this year.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Okie Wheel of the Year: April 12 2021

The Iris-ening Begins!
Happy New Iris Storm Moon! That is my name for this moon because I could not decide between “iris moon” and “storm moon”. Irises explode into bloom around the state this time of year and in many places are finished by Beltane. Most of the state’s average last freeze dates are before April 12, except for the panhandle, and severe weather season ramps into full gear over the next few weeks. Some places have already seen storms, but according to the most recent USDA crop report much of the state is running a little behind on rain. Wheat, oats, and rye are growing, canola is beginning to bloom, and corn and soy planting is beginning. Just about everything is getting a slightly later start than last year. That’s no surprise. All the blooming things appearing in my FB memories show that my plants are lagging a little, too, but knowing it’s not just me gives me hope for the stragglers.

baby blackjack oak
The oak trees are leafing out.  I love how the tiny leaves start out fuzzy with a pink tinge.  Oak trees are often one of the last trees to lose their leaves in fall and sometimes they can be one of the last trees to sprout new leaves in the spring.  This year some of the elms in more exposed locations are still working up energy they used staying alive through winter though and the oaks are budding out first.   Although I live in the Cross Timbers ecoregion, the land was cleared of any trees decades ago.  Faster growing trees have returned over the years, but now I scout baby oaks this time of  year as the leaves return but before the grass covers them over.  With enough protection from lawnmowers and other trees, eventually the blackjacks, post oak, and maybe chinquapin oak will return.  Blackjack oaks specifically help give the Cross Timbers the reputation for hard living - if you see a squat gnarled tree with missing limbs and few leaves on a desolate prairie hill, it is probably a blackjack.  They'll be the last thing standing after an ice storm-wildfire-tornado!


For the first time, I've finally been able to grow passion flower and I'm watering the heck out of it until the spring storms finally come.  Whether I'll get any fruit remains to be seen.  That's the gamble of the harvest.  It it such a unique looking flower with an important history as a food and medicine plant for humans and pollinators.  The internet says the plant is special to the Cherokee.  That may be true.  I'm in no position to know one way or the other.   I do know that if you live on top of a hill made of red clay and sandstone, it's hard to grow plants that like growing in ditches.... but not impossible! 

baby Chinquapin oak?