News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.
Due to queries for more information about my MOOD Bowls—Manifesting Our Own Destinies—I have put together some Sets for sale. While deciding what elements to include, it struck me that each one coming to me connected somehow to our Mother Earth. This, of course, excited me and added just one more layer of importance.
The bowls themselves are crafted of clay that originated in the soils beneath our feet and speaks to me of the firm ground that yields such bountiful nourishment for us all. If we garden, most of us don’t particularly love the clay we come across in our work outdoors. How perfect is it that those pesky bits of clay find their way into our ceramic endeavors for practical use?
My bowls are also crafted with the help of the gourds I love to grow. I carefully add a spiral of life to each bowl, giving a nod to the interconnectedness of all the living things we walk among and the way we often come upon ourselves as we travel the journey.
I wrote about the trees included in the Sets in an earlier blog post. Their connection with our planet is very direct and obvious since they created from crystals. An added layer of connection with these trees is that each gemstone is affixed by a friend who lives on her earth-friendly farm not far from me.
The sweetgrass has so much meaning to me that it’s difficult to fully explain. I’m thrilled that my bed has multiplied in size several times over since it was planted from three small starts several years ago. During last year’s scuffle with the Village, I remodeled my sweetgrass bed so it’s free to spread in all directions at will (see photo below).
You know that I’ll be cheering it on all season long. I’m serious when I say such things. I honestly do cheer my plants on and shower them with gratitude and blessing as they work their hardest to thrive and grow. Because I view my sweetgrass as especially sacred, I also spend time thanking the Creator and Mother Earth for helping it multiply.
Throughout harvest and beyond, I utter blessings and set intention for the sweetgrass, hoping that it will help whoever becomes its keeper. This lovely, sweet-smelling grass is such a pleasure to work with and comes with such pure intentions that I can’t help but find a peaceful solitude during each of my interactions. It’s easy for me to reach a meditative state when spending time with this amazing part of the earth.
The photo below shows one cutting of our sweetgrass drying on the altars in our Sacred Fire Circle. I harvest my sweetgrass like this 2-3 times a year. After sitting out in the sun (where it curls neatly into long, tube-like strands), I wrap it in newspaper and take it indoors for future use. Two of the other photos show the dried pile before separation and the two piles of grass after being picked through.
If you look closely at the larger pile in the photo, you can see errant leaves from our river birch along with volunteer (other types of) grass. This part of the process involves removing the ephemera (which goes into the compost pile), separating the strands that originally grew together in one shoot and dividing the grass into groups of long and short pieces. The longer strands will be used for sweetgrass baskets or arting, the shorter become my mini-braids or are burnt in ritual.
The sweetgrass is briefly soaked in warm water so that it’s pliable enough to use without breakage. If the water is too hot or the length of time soaked is too long, the grass will turn prematurely brown. After soaking, another cull takes place. Those sneaky non-sweetgrass blades show themselves more obviously as do the weaker pieces of sweetgrass.
During the process of braiding, the intentional blessings become more specific. I thank the Creator and Mother Earth once again for their gift of this wonderful resource. Then I pray for positive support and guidance for whoever becomes its keeper. My requests are broad and general in scope but specific in intention.
In these times more than ever, I believe in the importance of willfully active and positive intention. As I mentioned above, everything in these MOOD Sets is connected in some way with Mother Earth. I am honored to be able to offer this way for others to bring about those things they wish to manifest in their own lives.
Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe , and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.