Guest Post: How Wrapping My Hair Saved My Mommy Self-Esteem

 

 

wrapped-breastfeeding

By, December Fields-Bryant

 

As I brought my son home to began healing from my cesarean, relished any short hot shower and wearing clothes that would eventually accommodate my deflated boy, I wondered if I would ever return to the woman I had been. Would I ever see the woman in the mirror who cared if my clothes were anything other than comfortable? Would I ever plan an outfit around anything other than whether or not I could nurse in it? Where was the woman who wore makeup without worrying if it might smear on my son’s head, and did something with my hair other than combing it with my fingers and throwing it into a ponytail. I hoped that she was still there, behind the tired eyes and spit-up breast milk on my shirt. I didn’t really worry about her until my son was 6 months old and my hormones and sleep schedule settled into something resembling normalcy. It was then that I began to look at my clothes, my hair, and the mess that was me as a mother. I felt depressed and completely cut off from the person I had been and, at the same time, I had guilt over being so shallow.

I was a mother after all. Everyone was looking at the baby anyways, not me. Shouldn’t my only goals in life now be based on the care of my son? Who cares if I live in nursing tanks and maxi skirts so long as my baby is fed and happy? Well, I cared and I was worried my husband cared too even though he told me I looked beautiful no matter what. “No matter what?” That was a blow to the ego.

I did what I could to feel better about myself. Losing weight and feeling how loose my pre-pregnancy clothes were on me helped but I still felt like a hot mess going anywhere. I couldn’t wear make up and no matter how nicely I dressed (complete with baby carrier and diaper bag accessories) I felt incomplete and bare. I tried wearing different shoes but anything other than a sturdy flat caused my back to hurt after carrying the baby around. I tried wearing hair accessories but my son assumed that, since they were in reach, they were for him to yank out and play with. I donned hats but they obviously looked like they were attacking me and made the baby scream bloody murder until they completely disappeared and I proved to be safe and whole.

Finally, I tried hair wrapping. Hair wrapping, head covering, or pagan veiling was something I’d been looking into for a while and drawn ever since being called into the service of the Goddess Frigga. I started looking at tichels (traditional Jewish style of wrapping hair in a scarf) and decided to give it a shot. Not only did my son approve by giggling and smiling at me (a great improvement from the earlier screaming over the hat) but I felt and looked awesome. I was simply amazed at what a scarf could do for my ego.

I found wrapping to be a great benefit to me as a busy mom. Didn’t have time to shower…again? Wrap my oily head up until later. Can’t find my hairbrush among all the baby stuff? Wrap my tangled mess up and pray it doesn’t become a rat’s nest. Cold out and no time to dry my hair after my rare shower? Wrap my head and stave off the sniffles. The best benefits I’ve found are that wrapping protects my hair from being pulled by playful baby hands and keeps my hair out of my face when trying to nurse and type and drink cold coffee all at the same time. Score!

Wrapping also completed my outfit. I feel very put together and confident when I go out with a wrap that matches the same colors in my clothes or brings together the colors I’m wearing that wouldn’t match otherwise. This confidence bubbles over in how people interact with me. I have had less people bustle me about in stores or at events, more people open the door for me, and less men in particular saying anything rude around me. Wrapping brings attention to my face, for better or worse. More people look me in the eye and respond to my polite smile with their own. It’s a strange rush to be treated with friendly respect even if it is only over a change in how I accessorize my hair.

My self-esteem has been bolstered not only by wearing a hair cover but also by joining a community of many women of all walks of life who also cover their hair. Groups, boards, forums, and more exist for women to share their looks, gorgeous selfies, tips on wrapping, and sales on scarves and wrapping supplies. A surprise among this community is the solidarity and support given. I’ve seen women of all faiths brought together to pray for a fellow wrapping woman as she escapes an abusive husband and women respond with vehemence against businesses who discriminate against women who wrap.

Being a part of this has reminded me that I am more than a mother. I am a sister to other women who wrap. I am a face behind the baby carrier and stroller and car seat and diaper bag. I am a woman who deserves self care even if it’s only in the minute it takes to wrap a scarf around my head before I face the day.

 

 

wrapped-breastfeeding

December Fields-Bryant is a Northern Tradition Pagan and earthly handmaiden to Frigga. Her magical life is blessed with inspiration from her little imp of a baby boy and her Viking blacksmith husband. You can read more of her work at www.Terrestrials.earth or on Twitter @TerrestrialsAK.

Resources for Pagan Veiling

 

Resources for Pagan Veiling

 

For some Pagans, especially those who follow Wicca, veiling or wearing a head covering is something they feel like incorporating into their craft. Some of these Pagans do it because they feel that their Matron and/or Patron have called them to do it. For some, it is a way to set themselves apart. Others follow a specific type of Witchcraft, such as Jewitchery (Semitic Neopaganism), in which wearing a head covering is more common place. A few do it as a way to protect their crown chakra. And for others, wearing a head covering is simply something they enjoy doing.

Several deities are often portrayed being veiled, but three of the more common ones are Hestia, Hera, and Persephone. The majority of the veiling Pagans that I have encountered usually have one of these Goddesses as their matron, or they are actively working with them.

If you have been a blog reader of mine all the way back when I was blogging under the name ‘The Crunchy Pagan Mom’, you’ll know that I have been a veiling Pagan for several years. Wearing a veil isn’t something that I do all the time, but it is something that I do most days. My reasons for veiling are numerous, but mainly because my matron is Persephone and I feel led to veiling through her guidance. I also feel more confident when I veil, as odd as that may sound.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing to be a Pagan who veils, there are resources out there for those of you who are looking for help and guidance. Below are a few of the Pagan veiling resources I have come across over the years. If you have written a blog post on the topic, done a YouTube video about it, or if you have a Pinterest board dedicated to Pagan veiling, please drop a link in the comment section and I’ll add it to the list!

YouTube

My Personal Experience with Pagan Veiling (Made by me over 2 years ago!)

Why Would Pagan’s Veil? Lilith’s Embers  

Lilith’s Embers (The majority of her videos focus on Pagan veiling)

Wiccan/Pagan Veiling Tutorial Lunar Paiges AWESOME VIDEO!!!

 

Pinterest Boards

Wiccan Veiling (My board)

Pagan Headcovering (A Shared Board)

Pagan Veiling December Fields-Bryant (A lovely blog reader. Check out her Pinterest page for more goodies!)

Pagan Veiling Grace Kellerman-McLean

Pagan Veiling Charise Clarke

Veiling/Headcovering (A Shared Board)

Pagan Head Covering Kathleen Mezgar

Covered Head Pagan Women’s Movement! Michele Smith-Martin

Pagan Monastic Garb Inspiration Danica Swanson

A Veil to Mark the Veil: Pagan Headcovering Antoinette Johnson

 

Articles

Pagan Veiling and Head Covering The Solitary Eclectic Pagan

Covered: The Pagan Veiling Controversy Beth Wodandis

Veiled Pagans Ria Bridges

Veiling: A Different Take on Pagan Womanhood Star Foster I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!

 

Facebook

Occulta Femina (Pagan Covered Women Support Group)

Sisters of the Veil

Spring is Upon Us

Spring is upon us,
Persephone emerges from below
Spring is upon us,
Demeter rejoices for her daughter is home
Spring is upon us,
Hades will mourn over his lost love
Spring is upon us,
Wildflowers emerge from their sleep
Spring is upon us,
Hedge Witches will forage and soon they will fly
Spring is upon us,
Hades awaits Mabon

spring upon us

Primordial Willow’s 2016 Reading List

 

Primordial Willow's 2016 Reading List

 

Howdy y’all!

One of my goals for 2016 is to up my reading game. I’ve always been an avid reader, but this year I really want to focus on reading books that are pertinent to the paths I am following (herbalist, doula, bad ass mom, etc.)  and help me grow in those paths.

Inspired by the Facebook page A Year of Books, I plan on reading a book every 2 weeks. Unlike A Year of Books, I’ll be re-reading some books that I’ve already read – I’ll also be reading older books instead of new releases.

So if you’re interested, join me in this fun adventure! If you do decide to follow along, be sure to post in the comments on this page, or leave a message on my Facebook page, letting me know what book you’re on and what you like/dislike about it.

Here’s my 26 books (1 book every 2 weeks) for 2016:

  1. Homebirth in the Hospital, by Stacey Kerr, MD.
  2. Herbal Healing for Women, by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin, P.T.
  4. Eve’s Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West, by John M. Riddle
  5. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler
  6. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, by Inga Muscio, Ph.D.
  7. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, by Ina May Gaskin
  8. Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, by Aviva Romm, M.D.
  9. The Male Herbal: Health Care for Men and Boys, by James Green
  10. The Official Lamaze Guide, by Judith Lothian, RN, Ph.D.
  11. Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, by Sheri Winston, CNM, RN, BSN
  12. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method, by Marie F. Mongan
  13. Los Remedios: Traditional Herbal Remedies of the Southwest, by Michael Moore
  14. Birth Over Thirty-Five, by Sheila Kitzinger
  15. Herbal Antivirals, by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  16. Childbirth Without Fear, by Grantly Dick-Read
  17. The White Goddess, by Robert Graves
  18. The Premature Baby Book, by William Sears, M.D., Robert Sears M.D., and James Sears, M.D.
  19. Aradia, by Charles Godfrey Leland
  20. The Attachment Parenting Book, by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears.
  21. Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra
  22. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, by Jack Newman, M.D.
  23. Medical Herbalism, by David Hoffmann
  24. Beyond the Blues, by Shoshana S. Bennett.
  25. Herbal Antibiotics, by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  26. When Survivors Give Birth, by Penny Simkin

P.S. Don’t forget, you can get used books from Amazon for as low as $0.01! Also, don’t forget to check your local library for some of these books. Happy Reading!

 

Our Yule Traditions with Toddlers

Our Pagan Yule Traditions with Toddlers

 

 

How to celebrate Yule always seems to be a huge topic of debate for many within the Pagan community. I’m in several Pagan groups on Facebook and all I’ve been seeing posted in them lately is how you should (and shouldn’t) celebrate Yule. Some people get into a tizzy if you celebrate Christmas, some people think Pagan’s shouldn’t do the ‘Santa thing’, and some just don’t celebrate at all (party poopers).

Personally, I like Yule. I also like Christmas. I think they’re both fun and a great way to spend quality time with family. Whether you celebrate either or not doesn’t bother me in the slightest. However, I do feel that you can celebrate BOTH Yule and Christmas without tossing aside your beliefs, without squashing other people’s beliefs, and all while having a great time.

Below I have listed what my family and I have planned to do this year for both Yule and Christmas. Some of these things we have done since Big A was born and others are new traditions we have added in.

I always try to incorporate some sort of community service projects for the family during the holiday season. I feel that teaching my kids about helping others and serving their community is one of the best gifts I can give them for the holidays (I do give them presents, too). As the kids get older, I plan on changing these up a bit, but for now, while they’re toddlers, this is what we do.

If nothing else, I hope this list can help some of you get ideas for fun things to do with your toddlers during the holidays. I hope you all have a Blessed Yule and a Happy Christmas!

December 20th – Eve of Yule

  • Leave gift of homemade banana bread outside for the elves and fairies (Servicing: The Fairies and Elves, duh. Perhaps some bugs, too.)
  • Put handmade gifts under one of several of our Yule/Christmas trees. (I can get rather obsessed with Yule decorating. Just look at my Yule Pinterest board and you’ll see what I mean.)
  • Decorate the Yule Log and light candles before going to bed to welcome in the rebirth of the sun. (We place dried leaves, cranberries, and such around the log. We also leave behind some pomegranate juice in honor of Hades and Persephone.)

December 21st – Yule

  • Wake up early to watch the sun’s rebirth
  • Cook an orange-themed (the fruit) meal for breakfast. (Oranges are a fun way to represent the sun.)
  • Open our handmade gifts.
  • Go for a walk and pick up any trash found along the way. (Servicing: Mother Earth)
  • Have a Yule dinner (Usually something Cuban, like what’s found on my Cuban Thanksgiving post.).
  • Watch the sun set.
  • Read Pagan tales about the sun.

December 22nd

  • Make pine cone bird feeders and hang them up in the back yard. (Servicing: The neighborhood birds)
  • Read stories about The Horned God.

December 23rd

  • Donate used clothes and toys. (Servicing: Fellow humans)
  • Read stories about The Goddess in relation to winter.

December 24th – Eve of Christmas

  • Decorate a tree for Christmas
  • Make cider and cookies.
  • Deliver cookies to our neighbors (Servicing: Community).
  • Read stories about Santa Claus (While some Pagans dislike talking about the big guy, I don’t mind him. In fact, I think he’s rather cool. I mean, the dude loves cookies, digs the color red, is totally not ashamed of his curves, he’s one of the founders of the ‘beards are hot’ movement, AND he gives out gifts. Hello? What’s not to like?).

December 25th – Christmas

  • Spend Christmas with relatives.
  • Give out homemade gifts to relatives.

Traditions We Don’t Do

  • Elf on the Shelf… *shudders* That little guy freaks me out, that’s all I’m going to say.
  • Nativity Scene… I have no qualms with the nativity scene, it just isn’t for me. As the kids get older, if they decide they want to do one, then we’ll do one.
  • Advent Calendar… I think it’s a cool idea, it just takes far more time and planning than I have to give at the moment. Maybe it’s something I’ll incorporate in as the children get older.
  • Listening to Christmas Music the Day After Thanksgiving Until New Years… No, just no.

Traditions I Plan on Incorporating Later

  • Advent or ‘Solstice’ Calendar… I think these are really cool, but I just don’t think my kiddos would be that interested in it right now. I’ll probably wait until Big A is around Kindergarten aged to think about adding it into our holiday.
  • Food Bank Service… Once the kids are older, I would love to have all of us volunteer at a local food bank. Right now, my kids are 3 years, 2 years, and 6 weeks old, so I just can’t manage it at the moment.

 

What are some of your family’s Yule/Christmas traditions? What are some traditions you don’t do/would like to do?

 

Our Yule Traditions with Toddlers

How to Save Money on Witchcraft Supplies

How to Save Money on Witchcraft Supplies  ~Primordial Willow~

Have you looked at the cost of candles lately? And don’t even think about looking at altar supplies if you’re on a tight budget – – – they’re outrageous!

If you’re like me, a Pagan on a very fixed income, trying to keep your religious supplies fully stocked can be nearly impossible. There have been times in which I have gone months without burning incense or performing a candle ritual simply because I couldn’t afford the supplies to do so.

Thankfully, there are ways to work around your tight budget and still get all of your Witchy goodies.

Dollar Stores: I love a good non-toxic, ethically gathered beeswax candles just as much as the next Witch, but I usually can’t afford them. Instead, I buy most of my candles at Dollar General or Dollar Tree. You can usually get a variety of candle colors, shapes, and sizes all for very reasonable prices at the dollar store. I like to keep a drawer fully stocked with various colors and sizes of candles to have on hand for whatever I might need them for. At the dollar store, you can also usually find very cheap supplies for decorating your altar.

The Crystal Fox: The Crystal Fox is where I like to buy my incense. They have very reasonable prices, the people that run the shop are super friendly, and it was my favorite place to shop at when I lived in Maryland. You can order from them online, or if you live near Laurel, Maryland, you can go check them out in person! Occasionally they will run special coupons for things like 10% off your order. I usually try to watch when they’re running deals like that and order a large batch of incense.

Bulk: In my opinion, bulk is the best way to go when it comes to herbs. I get a large portion of my herbs in bulk from a local health food store. The wonderful people that run the store grow most of the herbs themselves in a very organic setting. Another place I like to get herbs from (especially unique or hard-to-find herbs) is Mountain Rose Herbs. Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection of herbs for very reasonable prices. I also like to purchase many of my essential oils from them. Visit Mountain Rose Herbs website here*.

DIY: Most of my supplies I make myself. I make my own wands, altar sheets, seasonal decorations, smudges, oils, and more. What I can’t make myself, I try to find out in nature. Pretty much all of my seasonal decorations come from the seasons themselves. When decorating my Samhain altar, I used pine cones, acorns, pine needles, and other things that were in-season. I have several Pinterest Pagan projects pinned to my Pagan board that could help you come up with your own DIY projects. You can find the link to my Pagan Pinterest board here.

Amazon: Amazon is where I buy a bunch of my supplies. You can usually find great prices on Goddess/God statues, Pagan books, altar supplies, Witchy fabrics, occasionally herbs, and herbal candles. Usually I’ll use Amazon gift cards I’ve earned through Swagbucks* to purchase my goodies.

If you’re on a tight budget, the best thing to do is realize that you’re not going to be able to purchase the perfect cauldron, or the perfect athame, or the perfect whatever. Sometimes you have to just come up with your own thing that works best for you. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay!

What are ways you save money on Witchy supplies?



* This article contains affiliate links. I only work as an affiliate for companies that I truly believe in and agree with their practices. These are also companies that I have personally used and have had positive results with.