Bone Collecting

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Bone Collecting, so much nicer that saying I like dead things, sometimes without their skin.   but I digress a little.. Of late I have started to look at my wee bone collection and realise that I am a little bit of a bone collector, amongst all of the other things I do, like sewing modern tapestries of Ancient Gods and Magical Doorways.  It a Witch thing I am sure of it.  Samhain has just past here in New Zealand, so I figured that Bone collecting would be topical.  And it is time for me to begin awakening the newest bones to my collection, Albert the boar skull.

A few years back I obtained two English Leicester sheep skulls, from a friend who used to look after a flock of sheep for several months a year here in Wellington.  The woman who owned the flock was a spinner who grew her own sheep, and as happens on occasion some of the flock grown old or get sick and die.  There was a place in a small copse of pine trees where the bodies were left to return to the earth.  (Basically rot away)  My friend used to look after these sheep and knew where to find the good skulls and bones.

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Mrs Lester, the larger of the two skulls, was found with a very large and very scary bush spider in one of her eye sockets.  Luckily I have excellent hearing and could hear spider calling over that persistent squealing. .. … that might have been me.   *shudders* I might work with Grandmother Spider but I am not so fond of large scary looking bush spiders..

After carefully and politely thanking the spider for showing me which one, which involved quickly stepping away as she scuttled into the forest.. and then asked my friend who is less spider averse if she had gone yet.. Witchcraft not always as glamorous as you want it to be *coughs*

This was the beginning of my conscious bone collecting and learning of how you honour the spirit that once inhabited the skull and how you prepare it for a new spirit, entity energy, depending on what you are going to be doing with your new skull or bone.

I now have a growing collection of bones, skulls and animal skins that I have gotten to know and work with.  After Mrs Lester was taken to a Samhain ritual some years back she became the matriarch of my little bone tribe.  Lester junior was recently gifted to a fellow Witch to begin her bone collection.  And now it is time to start working on Albert the Boar skull I was given some years back by a fellow witch.

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Albert will become a part of my growing bone collection and a sacred housing for the spirit of Boar and all he brings with him.  For me personally it will begin a new understanding and insight of myself and where my path is leading.  He will be cleaned, scrubbed and painted with magical symbols to create a guide who will guide me into and through the spirit world, and other magical  places  And maybe he will be a mascot, a magical focal point, so to speak, as I take this next step with my art and turn it towards making a living.

But how did I come to this conclusion, and understanding? What is it that makes this skull an important part of my spiritual path and learning?  How do I know that it is not just a skull of a long dead pig?

Several things have led me to this understanding and they are difficult to explain and pinpoint.  I have read up on the spiritual and magical meaning of Bore’s via several books and card sets that I have.  I have used divination to ask questions about this skull and its meaning or path direction.  I have meditated and communed, and the biggest sign if will, is that it feels right, and that feeling of rignness  in regards to your spiritual work and path is impossible to feel.. but you know when you do.

Now as it is edging past the season of Samhain, we are well into the season of the dead.  Albert is languishing in a tub of water to soften the last remaining flesh that is still clung to the skull and hopefully near the winter solstice I will be able to remove the rest of it and he can degrease over the last of the winter.  And while this is happening I will also be working on the energy and magic of crafting him into a bone tribe member.  Like most things I have learnt with magic, oft times it is a long process and that process is just as important as the finished bit.

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According to the druid animal oracle Boar stands for warrior, leadership and direction which now that I am reading about it makes some strong sense.  As the seasons of autumn turns more fully into the winter, here in New Zealand, the ancestors are honoured and themes of introspection are becoming more prominent, I will be working with the energy and spirit of the boar.

I will put into action what I have learnt and hunker down to create and work on my art and business so that come this July after the winter solstice my exhibition will be and roaring success.

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The Autumnal Equinox

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The first of the winter storms

The Autumnal equinox is just around the corner  for us in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is the mid harvest festival on the Pagan seasonal wheel and this year for me, it is about Foundations. For I am starting a new business, one that I hope will grow into a strong creative path and living, but for that to happen I need to create strong foundations, both magically and physically and find the balanced between both.

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The Equinoxes are about Balance, but as I have learnt, it is not so much a static balance but more like fluidity of finding your balance.  Like the tilting and balancing of a tightrope walker when they cross from one side to the other. Summer here in the southern hemisphere is well over and we are now heading into the cold dark winter.  But before that can happen we must make preparations to store the things we have begun to harvest, if you will, so that we will survive the long winter.

For me the busy equinox energy as brought with it influx of creativity, that has been difficult to keep up with.  At first I wondered if it was spring fever, given that the energy was very busy and chaotic like.  And I have had two Lughnasadh’s in the last year, one in Canada at Kaleidoscope Gathering, and then one in New Zealand this past February. But as I began to create my new business, I realised that this was more of a foundational building energy rather than rising sap energy.  I have been designing and making fabric wall hangings, tapestries and banners for several years now and I have made a little bit of name for myself, but it was disjointed, and spread across several different social media sites under several different names.  So I have made plans to consolidate the various web sites and social media sites, which I have, to create a unified front, under one name.

Polly Lind artist and witch no boarder

This is a time of high energy which is similar to that of the spring, except the spring symbolism is about planting seeds, whereas the autumn symbolism is about gathering up the new seeds and storing them for the winter.  In modern terms this is a time when we find ourselves very busy laying the groundwork for the coming winter and winter projects. Sales are about and food is brought, and plans made for those long winter nights.

Here in New Zealand it is tax season, which can add whole new dimension to the energy of the season, a bit of chaos and a bit of stress, as businesses take stock of their financial year and plan for the next.  This can be a good thing if you are stocking up as many businesses will be having stock taking sales.  However if we are not careful at this time of year, the busy chaotic energy can be quite overwhelming, and more so if you are setting up a new business.  So I am being careful not to get carried away on the chaotic energy.    Instead I have a plan in place to launch everything in July with an exhibition opening which will coincide with the coming of spring.

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Soon I will be welcoming back the Cailleach, she who brings the winter, and all of that busy chaotic energy will die away, as the season turns from harvest to death.  And hopefully I have built strong enough foundations and laid away enough for the coming winter.

This post was cross posed to Pagansquare hooray