Bride, made from rosemary and pine branches, wrapped in yellow silk, resting in her ivy-wreathed bed
There’s a local modern stone circle near me, and four times a year a very good Wiccan friend of mine holds an open ritual there, which I try to help out with. This year I was tying white ribbon around sprigs of rosemary (from my garden, always so chuffed when it’s something I’ve grown/made/cooked that’s required), and making some almond riciarellis for the ‘feasting’ bit, and taking two thermos - one full of hot Oolong tea with vanilla pieces in, and the other with hot elderberry cordial with rosehip syrup. I should have fucking known things weren’t going to plan when on the morning of the ritual I woke up to the period from HELL (precisely eight days early; damn my perimenopausal hormones) and freezing temperatures. So I got all the ritual stuff to the circle, but had to go home to my hot water-bottle, fluffy blanket and sofa to wallow in self-pity.
Never mind, the following morning I woke up feeling better, only to discover Witchlet Two was going down with a vomiting bug. After a cup of tea, it transpired we both had it. Neither of us could keep anything down for twelve hours, although we both felt fine in between puking episodes. Witchlet One helpfully ran a temperature so he could stay off school with us. Finally, forty-eight hours later, normality returned. Food was consumed and not regurgitated, temperatures stayed within normal ranges, and I decided it was time to bake Bride her snake bread offering. Ok, here’s a tangent for you: if you have Witchlets of your own I SERIOUSLY recommend “Circle Round” by Starhawk et al. It’s great for ideas to bring into witchy practice with your mini-witchkin. The Bride Snake Bread Meditation is in the Imbolc section, and it had been pecking away at the back of my mind as THE RIGHT THING TO DO (and I’ve slowly learnt to take that pecking-type-thought process bloody seriously.) I’m not going to post it here; if you really want to do it - buy the book, or borrow it from the library. It’s basically a soda-bread type dough, with jam/jelly and raisons in the centre. There is a meditation to go with it, which I did faithfully (I do sometimes follow book instructions, you know) for the first one, and then Witchlet Two and I made two more.
I should have REALLY FUCKING REALISED THINGS WERE NOT AS THEY SEEMED…. when the fucking snakes came out of the oven and looked like albino turds with eyes. Or as my lovely Twitterpeeps eventually decided - Phallic Turd Loaves. Even decorated with ivy and hyacinth flowers, it still looked like something a sick Great Dane had produced. Nevertheless, I placed it carefully under the forsythia, next to the snowdrops, to honour Bride and to welcome back the spring.
Less than sixteen hours later, the Old Woman dumped six inches of fucking snow on it.
I had to build a snow-witch, didn't I?
Apparently Winter was not over, I’d jumped the fucking gun and she was not happy. It took a week for the snow to melt enough to expose Bride’s Offering.
Bride Snake Bread/Phallic Turd Loaf looking a bit worse for spending a week under the white stuff
(I’d got tired of waiting for Old Hag to leave, so I decided to take matters into my own hands, put the last of my good malt whiskey outside the patio doors, packed the Witchlets off to their Grandmother for the weekend and shagged The Hubster senseless.)