On Saturday night, my mom called. My girlfriend and I were just settling into the new couch — I’ve had getting a real couch in my purchase plan for a few years, and it was finally able to be realized now that I was on PTO for the holidays — and my mom had figured out the Tetris of what she wanted to do for the holidays. She would be driving up on Sunday (the following day) and leaving midmorning on the solstice so she could make an evening solstice ritual back in Upstate NY and avoid the difficult winter weather later this week. Usually, the last-minute planning would have left me a bit harried, but the fun thing about already being on PTO is that I felt calm and flexibly able to handle last-minute guest arrangements. It helped also that I had scheduled the couch delivery for the first day of my vacation (the Saturday) so I didn’t have to worry about timings, and I also felt very proud that the couch was comfortable and a much better sleeping surface than what had previously been there — IKEA’s Balkarp is not comfortable, and it’s so low that I’m sure it hurts the knees of anyone over the age of 25 who sits on it … but now it’s gone, and the new item is comfy, of a decent height, and allergy-friendly. I figured my mom never complained about the Balkarp out of politeness.
We had a great time while she was here. We went to Scandinavian Butik out in Norwalk, CT. I stocked up on matjes herring, elderberry concentrate, and gluten-free Wasa crackers (and, yes, a few more tomtar …). We met up with my girlfriend and her mother for a late lunch/early dinner while in their area, visited IKEA so my mom could pick up vegetarian Swedish meatballs, and got some supplies for the Wiccan ritual my mom and I did on Tuesday night (for Sunna and Mani) — we converted my dining table to the ritual space, and I used a Kyrre stool to elevate the divine icons so we weren’t looking down at them. (My mom is a Wiccan priestess.)
She made some gluten-free cardamom bread (julekake), which we used for the ritual offering, and we paired that with some apple-lingonberry sparkling juice from the IKEA. It was very delicious, and the ritual went well (although I won’t go into the details). I took down most of the setup last night while cleaning up before bed, but kept the offerings up. We did gifts after the ritual.
This morning, I relit the candles before I did my customary sun salutations for the rising sun and toast from my morning beverage (usually matcha tea, but I woke up due to my cat Yoyo at 4 AM and had trouble falling asleep again due to some stress stuff with siblings … and thus used my instant coffee instead for an extra kick) and lingered at the table for a little bit with my laptop and the rest of the coffee. The photo above is from about 7:30 or 8 this morning.
I’ll do my own observation for Helios, Belesama, Sunna, Sulis, and the Daughters of the Sun later today or tomorrow morning, which usually consists of some short hymn readings, incense, and aromatics. I love reading a section of Parmenides’ fragments in addition to the individual praise-hymns.
☀️ Wishing you the all the joys of the season! ☀️