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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Frigga's Day, New Moon and Spinning Spells of Protection

Yesterday was Frigga's Day. No, I am not going to entertain a debate on whether FRIday was named for Frigga or Freya or Freyr... I walk with Frigga, so in this house, it is HER day.  And while technically new moon was not until just past midnight last night, the moon was NOT in the sky to be seen all day or night so for me that's good enough. And new moon is the time for turning over new leaves, for change, for setting up protection, at least for this witch.  And busy I was.

Usually I spent time with Frigga in the evening, at my spinning wheel, and usually I have spent at least part of the day "at the hearth," or in this house, in the kitchen at the stove. I try to make it clean for Her each Thursday or if not Friday morning.  But this is Garden Season (you know that one... it follows close on the heels of Mud Season here in Maine at least) and there are seeds and seedling to get in the ground on a regular basis. Unlike many folks, I don't put everything in the ground in one marathon session on Memorial Day weekend. Like us humans, not all plants like the same conditions. Some of them, like me, prefer the cooler days of spring to put down their roots and bring forth their abundance and some -- like many of my southern friends -- prefer the warm summer days and comfortably warm soil around their roots keeping them cozy at night. Those are the guys, tomatoes and peppers and vine crops, still living most of the time on the
Tomato seedlings on the growing rack.
growing racks in the house. The vines are just now poking their little seedling leaf-heads out of the soil blocks and looking for the light, matter of fact, though on the warmer days we have had of late, many of the tomatoes have taken in the sun from a protected location on the deck for a few hours each day. Not this weekend though; cool and rainy (thank the Gods!) the weather has returned to seasonal norms for now.

On this Frigga's day past, my garden task was to put up the first part of my version 3.1 deer fence. Deer
If you look carefully, you can see the "invisible" deer fence
stretching into the distance near the center of the picture.
The pea row is to the left; stakes are in, but no trellis yet.
Potato rows need hand cultivation to remove weeds,
walkways have had shallow tractor cultivation.

love peas, and I am determined to have some to eat and sell this year, so yesterday found me walking the perimeter of the first pea row, pounding in fiberglass stakes. I was thinking about Frigga as I began installing the fence material: 6 strands (up from previous years' three) of monofilament fishing line. I was thinking about fiber arts and threads and spinning, as I started work, tying invisible knots in material that, it seemed, could neither be seen nor felt. As I wound the material around a stake to hold it in place for knotting, deployed it along the line to the next stake, cut the piece with a reasonable end to wind on that stake and tie off, I realized that I could indeed think of this line as a fiber. And that I could use it to spin a spell of protection, in addition to the physical barrier.

I naturally count things, so as I wound the fiber around the stake "one, two, three...." the spell was begun. My intent: to keep the deer "where they belong" ... in the woods and NOT in the garden... so that was voiced as I wrestled the uncooperative, stiff and all but invisible line into a knot. And with the completion of each knot. "by the power of three, let it be." There are many, many stakes as the rows are over 100 feet long and with each strand being a separate piece of line, lots of cutting and tying. and lots of back-and-forth to do 6 strands all around. Lots of reps, and the spell was spun. We'll see how well this works.

The theory behind the invisible deer fence is that they cannot see it and when they walk into it, it spooks them, like when we unexpectedly walk into a spider web. And for several years, three strands worked. But last year they defeated it. I am not sure if they were going under  or what but there were constant deer tracks in the garden and little produce left for us.

I have also read that one needs a double fence, because if properly placed they won't try to jump it. So I am going to be putting up a second, more visible "barrier" 3' inside the invisible fence this year. It won't be much of an actual barrier. I am going to put in fewer stakes and string the inexpensive, light weight nylon twine that I can get for cheap at a local outlet, around with two strands... just something to say" I am here, not a place to jump.

Garden in the distance, showing orange snow fence deployed
to discourage free range chickens and paper feed sack weed block
under brassica plants.
It would be fun trying to out-think these animals if it were not so bloody important!