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Winter Solstice Ritual

Last night was the Winter Solstice and the first phase of the Full Moon so that meant I wanted to do something to celebrate. I have been seeing so many crafts that use dried out oranges strung together and I love looking at them, so I decided I wanted to do it myself. I got two oranges – I tried to pick ones that were hard and wouldn’t be great for eating but excellent for crafts – I sliced them up thinly and put them in the oven at 170F or 60C with a bit of nutmeg and cloves on top. It took me a really long time, about six hours, turning every two hours for them to be remotely dried out. After that I was so tired that I turned off the oven and let them dry out over night without any heat. While the oranges were drying and night had just begun to set in, so I went outside with my dad and we went out looking for some thin bendable twigs to weave together. We found quite a few and brought them inside, setting them beside the fire place to dry out because they were covered in snow. We let those dry out and the oranges dry out. I spent the night getting some weaving done – my dad decided to teach me a few techniques so that I can use my homemade loom (more information on that later).

Weaving with Radical Homemaker

Once the twigs were dry I began to weave them together… well I tried. In the end I got my dad to actually do most of the work because it is a lot harder than it seems and I definitely need more practice. We did our best to make a wreath and on the inside we decided to put a pentagram and make a pentacle. Sitting down and doing this I decided to ask them what goals and ideas they had for the next year. The Winter Solstice has great significance for rest and rebirth. Resting as this is a season that outside work lulls and rebirth as it is the longest night of the year. The longest night of the year gives birth to the sun and from now on we will have growing days. So for me it was a day of thinking about the goals for next year. Most of which surround my art and my growing interest in paganism.

Skeleton Wreath

This became just the bones of our dreams and ideas, as my mom termed it. As the oranges weren’t done that night so we couldn’t really decorate it. Instead we decided to make this a three day project. The first night was constructing the skeleton. Just telling our ideas and goals, allowing ourselves to voice what we wanted aloud. The next day was decoration and putting the flesh on the wreath. That was amazingly fun. Finally my oranges were dry, so I grabbed those and some cranberries while my dad made some popcorn and we sat in front of the fire place and began to make our chains. Each of us did a different pattern to our chain. At this point we discussed how we could make our goals happen. Rather then just talking about wants and needs, it was time to think about how to take action to make it happen. This was the energy going into the wreath. Our energy and thoughts becoming a physical manifestation. Maybe just as decorations but it was symbolic for our little monkey brains.

Winter Solstice Wreath

We wrapped the chains around the wreath and have hung it up on the wall for the day. The next day will be burning the wreath as it is the third phase of the Full Moon. Burning the wreath symbolizes our energy being released to be used actively towards our goals in the coming year. Sometimes we get a bit stagnate and we never look inwards about the things we actually want to accomplish. It all just feels like we are going through the motions/checklist of what society has laid out to do. And once we look inwards we can sometimes falter when it comes to putting that dream towards being physically manifested. Last night was a great time to do this. While it is good to do it all the time, using a holiday as an excuse can help us journey into ourselves on a regular day. It is practice and it is a celebration.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Check out my Insta for more art: @piercingmooncreations And I just got the Pagan and Wiccan Amino app which is great for getting information on anything Pagan and Wiccan. I also got the Witch Amino app, again, so much useful information. My username is Arwyn181 on both of those, my usual screen name on the Internet. Come check me and the apps out.

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Catching Up and Reflecting

It has been more than a few months since I moved to Quebec and so far I am loving everything about it. Although, I definitely need to hone my French skills. By hone, I mean develop them. Working in a French school I find myself learning more and more French, even if I work in the English/Languages Department and have a comfortable English bubble around me. The students and other teachers who don’t quite know me will speak to me in French. Even ones who do know me and do know my proficiency level in French often speak to me in French because they are trying to get me practicing. Learning a new language is nerve wracking and incredibly difficult at times. One of the largest barriers I find is that as a native English speaker I can be lazy when it comes to learning a new language. As English speakers we tend to just assume everyone is going to speak English because that is one of the dominant world and business languages. So, like with most things, we let others do the work for us. Honestly, I feel that allowing this to happen really hinders us, intellectually and culturally, while also not giving us a true access to the world.

There is a nervousness that comes with learning something new. We are afraid to make mistakes and sound stupid. We won’t learn if we let this hinder us. I have just recently been accepting people laughing at how I pronounce French words. I will say words and laugh when I make a mistake and try my best to fix it. The best way is to laugh at your mistakes. No one is perfect and especially learning a new language. Many of my students are so nervous to make a mistake but those who are able to laugh it off have been the ones who continue talking, they don’t hide within themselves.

While there is a huge divide between English Canada and French Canada, I have found many people to be accepting of my English. I do live in a larger city though. All I can really say, is that education of official languages has to be redone. It has to be looked at critically because in Ontario at the very least, French is not taught very well. It’s time to update and expand. We are cut in half and to be whole again we must be more accepting and learned.

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Always on the Move

My website, and unfortunately, my artwork has been on hiatus. After moving to join the rest of the Radical Homemaker Collective I was offered a job in Quebec, and I was not going to turn it down.

After some ups and downs, I realized it was time for me to look into other things that would make my life happy, and after one week in Quebec, I have felt significantly lighter. Now, as I settle into my new life, I am looking for ways to incorporate artwork back into my life. Piercing Moon Creations is an incredibly important part of my life and I want to continue doing it. That means setting deadlines for myself and actually following through – something that I never usually do.

Looking across the St. Lawrence Rive to Old Quebec City from Levis.

I am looking forward to finally finishing the rest of my Herbal Healing Tarot collection. Not just to sell but because I am looking to make them into an actual tarot deck. I have never felt aligned with tarot decks that are in stores. I look at them and I feel no significant connection. Creating my own deck, putting my soul into these pieces, I have felt a connection that will tie me to the deck. These pieces have been so important to me and I will finish them.

Living in Quebec, I have never felt so at home. The scenery is gorgeous and the architecture is even more brilliant. I look around me and I can feel the old energy that swarms this province. The energy, I believe, comes from before even the French colonization. Previously, the Kebec Algonquins called this territory their home. They had built their own civilizations and their own way of life. The territory was never ceded to either the French, the English and now, the Canadian governments. I want to acknowledge that I am living on their ancestral land and that through the work of some of my ancestors, I am settled on the land. It has given me opportunity and privilege, and that has come at a cost. I hope that while I am here I can learn more on the history of the area and the different cultures that are living here. While I cannot change the past and was not a part in creating that past, I hope to help build a future that is not built on the backs of others, while tearing down discriminatory institutions in the present.

Old Levis from the Ferry bus stop.

I feel stronger here. Following my dreams. Learning. Growing. Discovering myself. I am not perfect. I am only a person trying to do my best.

Wandering the streets of Old Quebec City

I hope you will join me on my journey.

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After a Move

Going Across the Province to Join the Rest of the Radical Homemaker Collective

Piercing Moon Creations was always a place for me to blog, but it has always been on and off. I have never really stuck to the blog side of things and now I begin again. Hopefully not to quit once more. I enjoy writing and am currently exploring some stories that I would like to share on my website, either as a small novel to purchase or as a short story of inspiration. That is what Piercing Moon Creation has always been about, sharing my inspirations that have turned into creations. Things that cannot stay in my mind any longer and belong in the tangible world.

Now though, Piercing Moon Creations has strayed into another more solid passion of mine, artwork. I love to paint with watercolour and every time I pick up my paintbrush a new idea strikes me and a new method of painting intrigues me. I paint as much as I can, whenever I have the motivation. Sometimes though, motivation eludes me and I have to push myself to draw or paint at least one thing.

Recently I painted a Blueberry Lizard. It was not my best work, it was not even an idea that had been stewing in my mind for a long time. It just popped into my mind and I thought, ‘This is it, paint now, just go and don’t stop’. So, I sat for a whole day and painted. I had not painted in a month and I had to push myself to get going. I am glad I did. I am glad I put the image of a Blueberry Lizard, inspired by a ball of yarn on my site, onto paper. I had never drawn a lizard, or any reptile for that matter, their beauty has been stunning me. Yet, I sat down at the art desk and I drew. The rest of the Radical Homemaker collective leaving me to my madness of blue and green paint covering my hands and arms.

Blueberry Lizard, based on Blueberry Lizard yarn

It is good to be back home in the Ottawa Valley. While I lived in Thunder Bay I learned a lot and I lived a lot. It was tiring though. Coming back home I felt some relief that I would have a bit of time to recuperate and relax. Although not to relax too much. As Piercing Moon Creations is not my main source of income I am looking to supplement my living cost as much as possible. In the end though, Piercing Moon Creations is what I love to do, it is what I want to do. It pulls me back anytime I am feeling emotional or sad. It gives me something to work with and it gives me an object that is solely mine. I made it, I created it and I can create other things. Piercing Moon Creations is a savior in many ways because it has allowed me to continue to express myself when words cannot do the trick.

Now I have joined with the Radical Homemaker Collective and taken them onto my site so that their voices may also be heard through the various homemade items they create. For all of us here, creating and working with our hands calms the mind, reconnects us to our spirit and allows us to express ourselves in ways that are uncommon but still vitally important in society. So, let us tell you our stories be it by art, fibre, clay or the written word. It is all here on the site and we are all working together.