Paganism and crafting, a spirituality in hand

In my time living in Florida, I’ve had to adjust to a different seasonal flow than most other folks in the continental United States. When I first came here, I was familiar with the standard four seasons. I grew up in the midwest where the change of the seasons was as regular as… well, the change of the seasons. So it was a big adjustment to realize that the summer is generally too dang hot for keeping veggies alive, that autumn is the time to start planting and that winter is a time for peak activity!

Not only was this a big adjustment for me mentally, it was a challenge physically, for my body to adapt to… just when I was winding down, everyone else was amping up! Now, I’ve finally adjusted after many years, and I’ve come to know the summer months as the slow down period. It gets so hot out that people tend to spend more time indoors, focusing their mental and spiritual energy inward. This is how summer has become crafting time for me.

Let me preface what I’m about to write with the following: I’ve never considered myself to be a skilled person with visual media. Especially when it involves translating the beautiful images that are in my imagination into real world objects? Not so much. Thankfully, I’ve an amazingly talented and artistic partner who has an abundance of patience. She’s heard me groan for years that I have no talent for the visual arts. Rather than chasing me around with a shovel, as she has every right to do when I start whining, she’s challenged me to just try.

Just recently I picked up some clay and for the first time ever, used it to create something unique and spiritually relevant to me. The image at the top of this post is the result of my efforts (and my partner’s guidance), a sun wheel. Feeling the clay slowly loosen up in my hands and going from something extremely rigid to a pliable substance that could be shaped to reflect what I had in mind was both incredibly meditative and very empowering. As difficult as that was for me, the painting was even more challenging. Let’s be honest, we can all see that I’m no Picasso (though maybe an accidental Dali). My hands aren’t steady, I have never learned technique but challenging myself made it all worthwhile. At the end, I had created something, as our ancestors did… something symbolic (to me representing the Midsummer, the solstice and this time of year genererally). The sun disk will sit on my altar now for me to meditate upon as we begin the dark half of the year.

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