Sleeping on a coach in unfamiliar territory was not at all restful. Gracie seemed quite fine though. I guessed this was just a part of life that she had grown accustomed to. After working through half of the afternoon, Mabel told me that I was free to do as I wished; the store was slow and she could see that I was “puggled.” So, I used my afternoon to do a few things for myself. Before anything else, I filled all of my pots with water and put them on the wood-burning stove. Then, I took out my new spool of green thread and a length of the red ribbon that I’d purchased. My plan was to make a wreath that would act as a protective barrier to keep negative energies from entering my home. I picked out several of the longest pieces of my fresh rosemary and formed them into a large circle. I tied the ends together with green thread. Once I had a sturdy base, I tied in sprigs of rosemary until the wreath looked plump and full, and then I tied a piece of red ribbon into a bow on what would be the bottom of the wreath. It looked and smelled nice, but it wasn’t finished yet. I took out the basil and lavender, herbs that work well with rosemary, and poked some into the mix. Finally, I tied some string on the back so that I could hang it above the side door, under the overhang of the roof. Anyone who came to my door and saw it would think that it looked nice, homey, and welcoming. There would be no need to explain why it was there. I didn’t hang it just yet though; tonight it would decorate my Beltane altar.
In preparation for my ritual, I excused myself after supper, wishing all a good night.
Once in my room, I took out the piece of wood I would use as my altar and set it on the floor with the red cloth over it. I placed my candles, wreath, a cup of water, and a bowl of salt on top. After hearing Gracie and Mabel go up to their rooms, feeling certain that I would not be observed, I began. I got into my little tub and bathed in the water I’d warmed with a drop of lavender oil. It was nice and relaxing, if a little cramped, and when I emerged, I was filled with positive energy that I would use to perform my ritual.
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