Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentines Day meets Candlemas

Irritatingly enough, Candlemas/Imbolc doesn't really correspond to a holiday celebrated widely in US culture. Valentines Day is about as close as it gets. But, Valentines is closer than you might think in terms of symbolism.

Like most modern witches, I don't live an agricultural life, so the gestation process of ewes celebrated by Imbolc is not so relevant to my experience of the season rooted in my locale. Early February is cold here, and grey. The promise of rebirth is still hidden. The symbolism of spare, wintry decor, plus candles and kindling fires resonates. The importance of focusing on loving relationships also resonates. Not in term of greeting card romance and shiny gift-giving, but in terms of the sort of warmth that comes of caring relationships with family and friends. The heart theme of Valentines Day makes seasonal sense to me both in terms of valuing relational warmth during a cold time and also because both the color red and the symbolic link between the heart and the element of fire point to the themes commonly celebrated by Pagans between winter solstice and the spring equinox.

In this spirit, I made this crazily simple heart ornament. The wooden ornament itself was picked up on clearance after the winter holidays. Making this ornament involved just a few steps. First, I painted the heart a dark, cool espresso brown. Once it was completely dry, I painted the heart red. Using a light touch, I let some of the brown show through. Vintage sheet music was torn into a heart shape and glued on. The whole thing was lightly sanded to add a bit more tattered wear.

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