Monday, March 9, 2009

Searching for the Hidden Joy

Adar is a particularly interesting month. We are taught that Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B'Simcha, when Adar arrives our joy increases. Adar is about what is hidden, concealed and Adar is about potential. The potential to grow and to change darkness into light. It seems appropriate to have this month at the very beginnings of the spring when the earth is just beginning to wake from her long winter slumber. Seeds and plants that have been resting all winter are beginning to peek their heads up out of the earth and buds are appearing on trees everywhere. I suppose this why 'When Adar comes our joy increases', because the joy has always been there, it was just hidden. It was resting and nourishing that which it needed to and now the time has come for it to slowly spring forth!

The Hebrew letter that is associated with the month of Adar is kuf. The kuf is the one letter that decends below the surface and symbolizes that in adar the potential is there to go deeper. The letter kuf is the the proverbial "eye of the needle". It is the absurd difficulty before us, 'trying to get the camel, elephant, (pick your animal) through the eyes of the needle. The kuf also stands for "Kof" or monkey and symbolizes laughter.

The astrological sign of Adar is Dagim or Pisces. Have you ever gone to the river's edge and gaze into the water at first seeing nothing and then all of a sudden tiny fish appear everywhere! Fish live hidden beneath the waters. Fish swallow by their prey and According to the gemara in Esther Rabbah 7:11, "Fish swallow by their prey, but can be swallowed too!" It is a continual cycle of nourishment, of life and death and dark and light. All neutral and necessary.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Escaping with a Book

The past year I have been reading more fantasy type novels. This is not my usual habit, but considering the way I have been feeling it is good to escape now and again with a book. I have just finished a lovely and well written book by Juliet Marillier titled Wildwood Dancing. It a fairy tale of a young girl named Jena and her four sisters. Her best friend and confident is an enchanted frog that perches on her shoulder most of the time. Her most joyous time is during Full Moon when she and her sisters travel through their secret portal to the Other World for the monthly Ball. Although a well meaning young lady, she must learn that she cannot and should not control everything and everyone. When her ill father leaves their home to avoid the harsh winter, Jenica feels the full brunt. She is not the oldest but very much assumes the role of the oldest daughter feeling responsible for her sisters and the household. The story though is far deeper than the young ladies escapes into Other World and has many things are not as they appear. Ms. Marillier delves deeply into Jenica's struggles and wonderfully shows her growth. Of course there is a Witch, various magical creatures and the 'bad' guy. Although this book is geared to young adults I would recommend this book to all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Witch Ball

I have always wanted a witches ball. My sister has several and I always thought they were so nice! Well, today I was visiting her and she gifted me with a lovely cobalt blue witches ball! It is so special, just as she is. I hung it up promptly as soon as I arrived back home and I just love it.

I looked up the story behind the witches ball and this is what I found on wikipedia: "A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in 18th century England to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells or ill fortune, though the Witch's Ball actually originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing and these witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils.. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters) for a decorative effect. Witch balls appeared in America in the 19th century and are often found in gardens under the name "gazing ball". However, "gazing balls" contain no strands within their interior.

According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colours; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping."

Mine happens to be cobalt blue and traditionally they were either blue or green. The are mostly made of blown glass or stained glass, but can be made of other materials such as wood, grass, or twigs.

Mine is now hanging by my window and on it's thin filament string it looks as if it is floating in mid air. Quite magickal indeed!

As soon as I find my camera I will take a picture of my witch ball. The image above is what mine looks like. It is from Molten Spirit Glass Studio's Esty Shop.