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Today is the Hari-kuyo the Festival of the Broken Needles

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Bright Blessings.

Today is the Festival of the Broken Needles, held every February 8th in Japan. This holiday is over 400 years old. During this day, women honor the needles that have given them loyal service throughout the year and lay them to rest at Shinto shrines and Buddhist Temples across Japan. Known as Needle Mass,

"women gather to offer a funeral-type service by laying the needles to rest in soft jelly cakes or tofu. This burial is meant to bring rest to the needles and wrap them with tenderness and gratitude. This practice reflects the animist belief that all beings and objects have a soul."

But in addition to this, is also honors the secret sorrows that women have. As a woman sews, her essence permeates that small needle with her energy and aura. The needles are believed to share these burdens, and take some of them into themselves, so this burial is a way to thank them and put these matters to rest.

This is a form of Animism that is similar to that of Eco and Neo Paganism. When a ritual is held to heal and honor the Earth, this too is a form of Animism. In the book "Handbook of Contemporary Paganism" edited by Murphy Pizza, James R. Lewis, the author observes rightly that

"In animist Paganism, the ebb and flow of relationships and all that they entail are best seen and most commonly addressed in seasonal rituals in selected locations"

This is an example of how that belief is put into practice across the sea.

Stitchers here can also participate in their own home ceremony from Hari-Kuyo: Laying our Needles to Rest, by Susan Elliott in her blog Plays With Needles. She even includes a poem called "A Needle's Lullaby" that you can use in your ceremony. Living in a realm filled with rivers, it should be relatively simple to find one in which to cast your pointy companions to rest.

Blessed Stitches.

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