Monday, October 22, 2018

Autumnal Equinox Balance

I don't remember what pre-dawn birdsong sounds like.
The blessing of a sunny day is literally heartwarming. 

Winter approaches with the reminder to tidy up and pare down and get any remaining harvest in.
There is a vague loss, like the occlusion of clouds, in our bones and memories. 
Maybe it is just the cold damp.

The last few days have not been raining, just autumnal and brisk,
but it seemed like it rained for months. At least weeks.
Mold and mushrooms abound.

molded peach
  I longed for an extended warmth, to savor the summer I felt absent from. 
The trees had all been moved and planted and changes continued ever more rapidly. 
Time always flies through the seasons, but this year even more so.
Dreams and waking reverie intertwining with schedules and suddenly it is late October.
Back then day was long compared to now.
Trying to get up early to catch daylight, but just wanting to cocoon.
Is this balance?

Back then winter seemed distant. 
Back then there was more time. 
Back then there were still flowers.
It was a weekend of high magick, synchronicities, convergences,
spontaneous breakings and coming together just in time. 
Small feathers and cold rain.

She had come to visit and to complete the cycle of his passing;
the many blessings from that time are still washing over us.
I need maybe another lifetime to understand it all.
But suffice to say there was not much sleep and lots of talk.  
Gathering with people sharing a deep closeness. 
Gathering with intent and focus is a super glue and a super solvent at the same time. 
Each time we gather together to honor our kindred we make those connections stronger. 
We are very much blessed. 
Thank you family and folks who come and worship with us. 
We wondered where to be.
We wanted big flames because he would have loved them, 
but most wood was wet and also there was wind.
We thought about the Nemeton, especially since it is oriented to the Equinoxes,
but people have a hard time with access and comfort.
We settled as we often do for the simple and the easy,
the close-to-the-house fire circle. 
 But first we processed past the Five-Circle FirePit and over the stream and through the woods and 
into and around the Nemeton, our sacred enclosure surrounded by the stream.
Bryan lit a small fire there, she went back to get his ashes, we heard birds.
Laughing at magic and dancing like children, we followed each other out and back. 

 I love those walks, the processional, the moving meditation, unintentional choreography of random. What shows itself
in the moment is so much,
where does it go? 
This time we were eight Womyn and one Bryan and a happy little dog,
but also with us were husbands and partners (otherworldly and otherwise), 
and our children gone off to college, 
and our friends still at work.
 I remember the on-point of the directional offerings, East exactly is where the sun rises, 
up and down together.
I remember the last of the hummingbird sugar offered to the Outsiders
sucked up by the Earth 
with vigor and desire and speed.
I remember the rose petals flying among the embers.
I remember offerings of seeds and flower heads.
Offerings of candy and playing cards.
Red brick dust from another place and time.
Ashes and ashes
and ashes in ashes.
There was a lot to see in the fire, to feel in the air, to hear on the wind.
It is about being present.
Cold or warm or wet or dry,
on-time or a bit late, alone or together,
old or young.
We must show up in our lives and be here now.
Is this balance?
 Our stories, our heartsong, our prayers and wishes.
Our tears, shed without knowing we are crying.
Dancing, humor, cackling.

Is this balance?

Our Omens

From Our Ancestors:Wunjo or JOY! Fellowship, camaraderie, people getting along with one another.

From the Spirits of Nature and Place: Berkanu or Birch, new beginnings, a spiritual birthing.
From the Gods and Goddesses: Othala or Odul, the Sacred Enclosure in particular protecting things, to keep things sacred is in some ways to keep things to yourself, to hold close what it is that you treasure.
For the Season: Sowleu or the Sun! The regulator, the super-giver, non-terrestrial energetic light.

From what do we know of the renewal of life?
The waters of life,
with some fresh mint.
After we drink in those blessings 
it is always thank you thank you thank you.
Not as a rush to end but in a fullness of gratitude.

the busyness of many women.
perogies and apple pie. 
comfort food and a dog licking fat.

This is balance.

 And the day after rekindling the fire from the heat within.
Returning to the Nemeton and finishing that fire.
Placing ashes with reverence. 
Learning truths, trusting self, finding lost things.
So much love is this balance.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Lughnasah Rememberances as Seasons Change

It is a cool and grey day nearing Equinox, the eve of the new moon before.
Then, it was still high summer, garden full of colors of flowers and butterflies.
I don't think we have seen the last of the hummingbirds, but soon.
Soon, too, will our fruit ripen and then leaves will change.
But at Lughnasah, all this seemed far away.

It is totally dark now at 5:30 in the morning and the days rapidly grow shorter.
This crispness brings apples and memories and a desire to gather in.
It had just started then.

For me, Lughnasah was the first coming back after going through so much
and I set up a weekend of celebration.

Which was kind of overload but important and seasonally appropriate.
And also so fun.

It is great to be alive and full and to be hot and languid in the summer,
just as we welcome sweaters and stews as we inch towards autumn.

But back then, there was much plenty and plenty to do.                       
There was lots of food and color and flowers
and also lots of love.

Artists and Musicians and Astronomers
and Recent and Long-Time Friends,
creatively gathering in the damp mist and near the fire or inside in the cool room.
 and then we rested and then it was Lughnasah ritual day and we started again.
We were us 3, her and her and the two of them,
them and 3 or 4 friends of theirs, and her friends who came just as we began. 
More people is cool but also more and sometimes hard to keep whole,
but the fire always keeps us focused.
I can't really remember our Lughnasah ritual all that much, I have been trying to just be more present and taking less pictures and letting the afterglow of the day wash over me
without feeling like I need to take notes for this blog.
Even though the notes, like the photos, are always helpful to remember.
Historical poetry of trans-dimensional time.

We have started the ritual of lighting the fire before ritual,
Our Whole Grovemates together.
But sometimes that doesn't happen and that is ok too. 
I know we had a fire the day before and into the cool night and then we continued it again, 
first a small fire and then the pyrotechnical shape-shifting sacrifice that Bryan crafts.
I know I honored the directions and I am sure I brought out the outsiders offering,
and I believe I was offering sacrifice to our Kindred as Bryan called upon them
and then of course there is always his final sacrifice. 
 There are often bird calls.
The smoke was powerful and spoke volumes.
All kinds of sacrifice and prayers from all around the circle.
Digging deep into my pockets with gratitude
for endings and new beginnings. 

This season has been a transitional time of great change.
I remember that it had been high-summer hot and had cooled down to perfect
and then back up to heat advisory days and now we welcome fuzzy socks.
I remember that after much dry weather we had a week or more of rain,
a mostly gentle ongoing rain keeping our newly planted trees watered.
The thunderstorms of Lughnasah came and now we await hurricanes.
I remember time rolling fast like a wheel downhill
with us trying to keep up.
I remember rising to many challenges,
whether too hot or too tired to too sad or too hard,
grateful each day and for each other.
Crying a lot like the storms.
Laughing a lot like the sun.
Our Omens
from our Honored Dead: Wunjo or Joy, the good company of people, the heart uplifting feeling and the sharing of the joy of being together. Everybody has a tough time of being a human but apparently we all get to have some happiness too. And it is nice to be reminded of this by our Ancestors.
And joy is always a good place to start from.

from the Spirits of Nature & Place: Fehu or Fee, mobile wealth or fluid capital, the whole cash movement and circulation thing, it also has associations with cost, the notion of cost and care. The exchange that we have with the Nature Spirits, the ties between us. Expectations and investment and interrelationships.
I think the garden is reminding us of the cost of it's harvest and beauty.

from the Gods & Goddesses: Isa or Ice, so here is Bryan's Isa rant- as much as he avoids the polarities of things, with the portals of the fire, well and tree we are playing with the vertical aspect and the well and the fire as being opposites. If the well is taken to the extreme it becomes ice in the sense that it becomes cold. It is the opposite of the bright, it is the cold, wet, dark that has been made solid. But it is also pretty and has been made transparent with its solidness. So there is a clarity there. And in that way it is the opposite of the radiant, the bright and warm thing. It is about a contraction. Again it does not suggest a flexibility or a fluidity, nor is it about the stormy disposition of atmospheric water. Ice is locked up and is static, it is hard.
And in the heat,ice refreshes, maybe the Gods are trying to cool us down.

for the Season: Sowehlu or the Sun, that dynamic outward expansive energy and it is also about the regularity of each sunrise, it is the symbol of the new day and the day is when you get all of your work done. It represents the non-terrestrial energetic distant ability to touch and change.
The sun brightens all around it and reminds me of Lugh.

Drinking the cool waters and taking in the blessing is easy.
Offering our thanks is easy.
Grounding is sometimes easy.
Loving is always easy.
So much life has happened this season.
Maybe that is always how it is.