our morning circle

Mornings are not easy around here. Three rambunctious children and a Nana that doesn’t do mornings, at all, mean that I have my work cut out for me. I am thankful that my Sun is willing and able to get breakfast for himself and the girls on the table. I am thankful that most days, both girls are willing and able to put together an outfit and get dressed.

I am so grateful for coffee, because without I would probably be a mess of dishevelled hair and a grumpy frown.

When we first sit down to start our homeschool day, we just get right to it. I don’t like doing this, but with two ASD children, one with (diagnosed) severe ADHD, and the other who has more triggers than a hypochondriac, doing anything more structure than the little we have written down seems almost impossible. They want so badly to do school, but at the same time, they are struggling with getting really into it. I really want to make our school time magical, which means the time has come – and the resources found – for something more in our mornings.

Our first act, before we do anything else, will be to light our candle. A few years ago I went into business under the name The Gypsy Cauldron on Etsy, where I sold jewellery, astrology/numerology charts, and yes, candles. The candle we use is one of the last of the Purification Candles I had created, made with Soy wax, Clary Sage essential oil, and dried Purple Sage. The few times we have lit it, the candle has helped to cleanse the homeschool space and help us be a bit more reverent for what we have that others may not (electricity). But, after the first week, it sort of fell by the wayside in the hopes to streamline the Main Lesson time and get the kids done before they had meltdowns.

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Once we light the candle, the plan is to cast a circle. Yes, a circle. Being a Witch doesn’t always require circle casting, but in the end, it truly sets the stage for something magical to happen. Once the significance of casting a circle is known, and the words are memorised, it really means so much to ritual. And what else is school than a daily ritual of learning? Our circle casting will be simple:

To the East say: ” Lord of the Wind, come dance and play – Join us in sacred space today”
To the South say: “Lord of the fires, warm us within – so our magic can begin”
To the West say: ” Lady of Water, fill us with cheer – Cleanse and protect everyone here”
To the North say: ” Lady of Earth, reveal your spirits – let them join in this circle with us”

Once that is finished, we will hold hands and say a simple morning prayer:

I give you thanks for all you do,
For obstacles, and smooth roads too.
For challenges that make me grow
And all the pleasant things that show.
That you are looking after me,
I thank you, Ancients, blessed be!

My children can be a bit… ungrateful at times. I know that is terrible to say, but listening to ‘It’s not fair!’ and ‘Why don’t I have what so-and-so has?’ every day has worn down my patience and resolve. I have tried so hard to teach my Sun and my Moon that, regardless of what we have, we are rich as long as we have each other.

So, after our morning prayers, I have decided to have each of us say one thing that we are grateful for in our lives. We will start this part of our morning circle with a simple sentence, taken from Robert Emmons:

Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness where we affirm that there are good things in the world.

I am strongly considering turning one of my many mugs into a Gratitude Mug (instead of a Gratitude Jar), and writing down our daily thoughts on gratitude. That way we can return to it, should we choose to, during our days.

From there, we will work on our monthly calendars; the very first time we do this circle, we will be making the calendars. I am going to set up three books (Moon will have her squares pre-drawn by me) and we are going to sit down and draw out the lines, number the days, and discuss any special days that have passed as well as ones that are coming up. (Yes, I know, we are starting this so late in the month, but I really don’t care). We will do our lovely little Gnome of the Day (I will share a picture of our Gnome friends in another post), and then we will hear a seasonal poem and story:

September
by Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning
the grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

 

The Anxious Leaf
Once upon a time, a little leaf was heard to sigh and cry, as leaves often do when a gentle wind is about. And the twig said, “What is the matter, little leaf?” And the leaf said, “The wind just told me that one day it would pull me off and throw me down to die on the ground!”

The twig told it to the branch on which it grew, and the branch told it to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent back word to the leaf, “Do not be afraid. Hold on tightly, and you shall not go till you want to.”

And so the leaf stopped sighing but went on nestling and singing. Every time the tree shook itself and stirred up all its leaves, the branches shook themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and the little leaf danced up and down merrily as if nothing could ever pull it off. And so it grew all summer long, till October.

And when the bright days of autumn came the little leaf saw all the leaves around becoming very beautiful. Some were yellow and some scarlet, and some striped with both colours. Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the tree said, “All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these beautiful colours because of joy.”

Then the little leaf began to want to go, too and grew very beautiful in thinking of it, and when it was very gay in colour it saw that the branches of the tree had no bright colour in them, and so the leaf said, “O branches! why are you lead-colour and we golden?”

“We must keep on our work-clothes, for our life is not done – but your clothes are for holiday because your tasks are over,” said the branches.

Just then a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go, without thinking of it, and the wind took it up and turned it over and over, and whirled it like a spark of fire in the air, and then it dropped gently down under the edge of the fence, among hundreds of leaves, and fell into a dream, and it never waked up to tell what it dreamed about.

(from apples4thteacher.com)

So, this is what our special morning circle will look like. Hopefully. After the seasonal things are done, we will be moving onto our spiritual studies, but I will leave that for another post.

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