Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making Wreaths Part 1

My neighbors have an abundance of grapevines. So much so, that the grape vines have taken over part of our yard.

So every year in the fall, they get cut down and tossed. But this year I wanted to make some wreaths. Why waste such beautiful vines when they can be used to make wreaths that can be enjoyed over and over again...
I went out with my garden gloves and my garden clippers and walked up to the grape vines. I thanked the Goddesses and the Gods for the abundance of Grape Vines, and I asked that they be blessed. Then I also stood gently holding one of the vines and I thanked the plant for it's sacrifice.
Then I harvested only the vines that I would be using.
It doesn't look like much, but I had enough to make two wreaths, a large wreath and a smaller one.
I picked up each vine (which was difficult because the vines were tangled together) and I started trimming off the leaves. I left on some of the curly tendrils because they make a nice curly decoration and they can also be used to keep the wreath together.
The vines ranged from 8 feet long, to little 3 foot long vines, but it was just enough.

First I took the longest vine and wrapped it in a circle (weaving it in on itself to help hold it together), just about the size I wanted the finished wreath to become. It is easier if you start at the thickest part of the vine and weave around using the thinner end to keep the vines together.
It looks rough at first, but as you add more vines the wreath will become tighter and nicer looking.
It's a good idea to use the thinner vines to weave in and out through the empty spaces so that the thicker vines are held together better. This will prevent your wreath from falling apart.
The more vines you use the nicer it becomes.
 Here is the finished product. I also made a smaller wreath using the shorter and thinner vines.

You can do the same thing to make larger or smaller wreaths. Just use longer vines if you want a larger wreath. The smaller wreath is easy to make with shorter or thinner vines because you can wrap them tighter and weave the vines in and out of the spaces more easily because the thinner vines are more flexible.

I used the curly tendrils to help keep the wreath together. I wove the tendrils into the empty spaces and let the natural curls hold it in place.
No wire or string is necessary to make the wreaths, but you can use it if desired. 

My wreaths are sitting outside in the sun to dry, but if the weather is wet or humid, it is a better idea to dry the wreaths indoors so they don't spoil.
When the wreaths are dry I will be decorating them. So stay tuned for part 2!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Element of Air

The element of Air:
Affirmation: "So Mote it Be"
Direction: East
Season: Spring
Zodiac Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Planets: Neptune, Mercury
Time of Life: Childhood
Time of Day: Dawn
Days of the Week: Wednesday 
Associations: Thought, Communication, Travel, Intellect, Abstract Thinking, Teaching, Divination, Freedom, Joy, Laughter, Beginnings, Imagination, Language, Truth, Knowledge, Ideas, Creativity, Soul, Breath of Life
Goddesses: Bride, Hepit, An, Aide, Hera, Hathor, Mut, Nut, Anu, Arianrhod
Gods: Zeus, Shu, Enlil, Aether, Stribog, Amun, Anhur, Khepera
Magical Power: To know
Magical Tools: Wand, Staff, Athame, Sword, Incense, Feather, Pen, Broom, Scourge
Types of Magic: Study, Visualization, Divination, Finding Lost Objects, Astral travel, Telepathy, Travel, Communication, Meditation
Colors: Yellow, Light Yellows, Sky Blue, Light Blues, Pastels, White, Light Greens (colors as translucent as air)
Musical Instruments: Flutes, Recorders, Panpipes, Oboes, Tin Whistles, French Horns, Wind Chimes
Animals: Birds, Flying Insects
Mythological: Gryphons, Gremlins, Pegasus
Trees: Aspen, Alder, Birch
Herbs: Anise, Lavender, Lemongrass
Native Plants: Mistletoe, Ball Moss, Cedar Elm, Acacia, Mimosa  
Stones: Mica, Pumice, Fluorite
Metals: Aluminum, Tin
Chakras: Heart, Throat, 3rd Eye
The Alchemy Symbol for Air

Positive Characteristics of the Air Element:
Joyful, humorous, communicative, intelligent, intuitive, diligent, kind, social, helpful, flexibility (with thinking), wonderful storytellers, analytical, intellectual, great conversationalists.

Negative Characteristics of the Air Element:
Gossipy, boastful, spendthrift, untruthful, selfish, fickle, inattentive, confusion, headaches, miscommunication, lack of emotion, depression, overactive mind, cold, superficial, vicious, insensitive to other people's emotions.

Air elements provide the very process by which we think, rationalize, and hold our memories. The air element can aid our ability to express ourselves and enable the clarification of the process. When making decisions utilize air to provide focus and reason. 
Air is also the element of New Beginnings. The direction East is where the sun Rises, bringing with it a new day and hope of new beginnings. Every morning we start fresh and we have new opportunities to learn and grow and we have a new chance to celebrate life.
The Element of Air is associated with Spring, also about new beginnings. Think of how cold and dead winter is, but spring brings with it new life and opportunities. Nature bursts forth with new life, baby animals are born and take their first breaths and first steps. Seemingly dead branches burst with delicate light green buds that will soon become leaves and flowers. I think you get the picture. :)

I am a Gemini and an Air Sign. I am talkative, thoughtful, intuitive, analytical, creative, logical, flexible with my thinking, hopeful, and I look for new opportunities and new beginnings. I love to research new topics, and I'll chatter on and on about my thoughts and beliefs (as long as I feel safe and welcome... or else I will be quiet and shy). I fully believe that every day is a new day and a new beginning, and a new chance to make things right in your life.
I love to sing and create, and I love reading and planning. I also have times of confusion, or coldness, as well as depression. The key is to stay balanced, and when I feel myself becoming unbalanced it is important for me to stop and step back. I need to look at my life and see the areas where I am unbalanced or being illogical. Mediation and deep breathing exercises are very helpful for me when I am unbalanced.