On Saturday night, my family and I attended a lovely wedding held on a beach in St. Petersberg, FL.
We arrived a bit early, so to pass the time before the ceremony began, we looked for shells on the beach.
Almost immediately, my husband V found this shell, and thought to save it for me, as he pointed out that there was a rune on it.
At first glance, V saw Sowilo.
When my son K looked at it, he thought it was closer to Kenaz.
Meanwhile I saw Othala.
I thought that Othala was rather fitting, as we were attending a wedding, and Othala strikes me as a rune of family and heritage, of community and ancestral/spiritual wealth.
I thought it appropriate since a wedding is a family event, that involves communion between two families, wherein often guests (of perhaps several generations) gather to celebrate. (We briefly considered giving the shell to the couple and explaining its delightful appropriateness in regards to us finding it on the day of their wedding, but then I recalled that the couple were rather devout Christians who may not have appreciated runes as being significant -let alone a spiritual/ancestral blessing – upon their union.)
It was a pleasant and surprising thing, and upon arriving home, I posted a picture of the shell, asking others what rune they saw.
While most agreed with me that it definitely looked like Othala, one friend mentioned that she’d initially seen Gebo a moment before she noticed that it was Othala. When I told her about the circumstances in which the shell was found, she agreed even more so that the seashell was a sign of blessing of the ancestors upon the wedding — and truly a gift from the sea. ❤
I’m happy to report that, unlike past years, my Christmas/Yule holidays were surprisingly pleasant.
Usually the Yuletide season is both physically and emotionally difficult for me, as I have been usually prone to depression and physical illness in the final months of the year.
But not this year.
For that I am grateful and I’m trying not to overthink it.
Another aspect of this Yuletide concerned abundance of gifts that involved a particular image.
And that was Yggdrasil…the Tree of Life.
It began my purchase of prayer beads from Beth Wodandis Designs:
I’d had my eye on these prayer beads ever since they were posted. Perhaps it was the color scheme (I love the earth toned palette and the feel of the madre de cacao wood beads*) but I vacillated on which I preferred — the silver or the goldtone tree pendant?
As much as I’ve always felt drawn to trees – and the concept of the World Tree especially – my brain has always wrangled with the concept of working with Odin/Woden.
Perhaps it is because I am a Lokean at heart, but I cannot deny that I’ve definitely felt drawn to the Tree. I will not deny the connections that I feel with trees symbolically and spiritually.
So, these beads arrived on December 21st.
And surprisingly, the Universe seemed to answer to my tree connections – in spades – because I then received two other gifts that specifically featured trees – if not the Tree – outright:
A large gift basket from my oldest son – a ‘gourmet picnic basket,’ no less – that featured this frame among its various contents:
Even my son pointed out that the inclusion of this little frame seemed random, as every other item in this gourmet picnic basket** was food/beverage related.
This basket contained a pair of wine glasses, a standard-sized bottle of red wine, a small assortment of gourmet cheeses, a cheese knife, a cutting board, two plates, a box of fancy English biscuits, a package of assorted organic wheat crackers, a pound of fine dark chocolate…and what we all thought was simply an elegantly folded pair of linen napkins, tied with a ribbon.
The frame was folded within the napkins.
The basket was store-bought and obviously pre-made.
It was definitely an unexpected, if somewhat odd surprise.
Then, a relatively new acquaintance — who knows very little of my spirituality, let alone my personal preferences — gifted me with this delicate ankle bracelet
…featuring (yet another) Tree of Life.
*My Loki prayer beads feature palm wood beads.
**And speaking of picnic baskets, watching the BBC’s Doctor Who Christmas episode, there was a delightful reference to
I kid you not
A picnic in Asgard.