For Broom Closet Witches: Imbolc – Watching for Signs

by Claire du Nord

The World in Pastels

Have you ever noticed how brooms look like over-grown paintbrushes? Or how, at this time of year, the world seems to be awash with pastel colors? Welcome back, Broom Closet Witches, to the eighth article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” column. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition. As the Wheel of the Year turns to the Ostara season, and spring flowers are in bloom, pastel colors can be appropriate choices for a witch’s Altar, even for a Broom Closet Witch!

I love Color and Sound Magick, probably because I come from a family of artists and musicians. My grandfather, the Norwegian, (mentioned in Article #6), studied music in Leipzig, Germany and was a music teacher and orchestra leader. His children, (my mother being one of four), all played the violin. Seven years of piano lessons for me was a “typical” part of a young person’s upbringing in my family, if the interest was there. So, it is not so surprising that one of my cousins was the lead vocalist in a rock band.

As an adult, my own mother was first violin in an orchestra and played the piano, as well. She was also an artist. Her oil paintings hung in art galleries and were featured in art shows and newspapers. Our living room was pretty much an art gallery – every inch of the walls was covered with her paintings. During the few times I was allowed to watch my mother paint in my growing up years, (when I wasn’t playing outside at her insistence), I loved to watch her mixing her palette. She never spoke while she was painting, and I was in awe and amazed at how she would use a special tool, called a palette knife, to achieve just the right colors by mixing and scraping this color with that color, filling her palette with small, individual blobs of colors.

Even though I have moved over 25 times in my life, I still have the book I received for my second birthday, The Color Kittens: A Child’s First Book about Colors, by Margaret Wise Brown. This book explained to me, in simple words and beautiful pictures, what my mother didn’t explain as she was painting. From this book I learned about the Color Wheel, Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, as well as Pastels.

My favorite part of any hardware store is the paint section, especially the display where you can pick up paint color cards for free. I have a collection of them, and any time I am at a hardware store, I always spend time looking over the cards, choosing some to add to my collection, (even if I’m not planning any painting projects)!

Okay, back to Ostara. It is common practice to surround newborn babies with pastel colors – layettes and nurseries in pastels – just as the stores seem to fill to the brim with pastel baskets of toy eggs, chicks and baby rabbits in nests of pastel-colored imitation grass – at Ostara time. No wonder, as during Ostara, a celebration of rebirth and new life – “gentle”, “soft”, pastel colors are appropriate for new and gentle eyes, hearts, spirits and sensibilities – not “well-worn”, “wise to the ways of the world”, and “rough around the edges” colors.

But what is it about a pastel color scheme that seems “right” for a newborn’s tender eyes, heart, senses, spirit, and sensibilities, and indeed, those of adults, as well? There is a branch of psychology called “Color Psychology” that I find fascinating. It is all about how color affects the human mind and behavior. Pastel colors are said to bring about a sense of peace and calm, in addition to uplifting one’s mood. For those who may not know, there are such things as Sound Therapy, Chromotherapy (Color Therapy), Music Therapy and Art Therapy. Color and sound can also be linked for some people – (Chromesthesia). These are all outside the scope of this article, but mentioned for further research, if interested.

I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –
Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again!

Ostara Blessings,
Claire du Nord

Temple of Witchcraft