Monday, December 31, 2012


delightful snow falls gently and fat today. Before long it will be Imbolc. Bridget waits framed with the first real winter blast.

Winds whipped the snow in large sheets but now there is a simple constant stream of individual flakes. 
Good packing snow.

Wow so much event this season.
the end of the world as we knew it.

Meteor showers.

We changed the date of our ritual to the 20th, the Mother’s Night, celebrating the re-birth of the sun.

The first of 12 nights.
It is now the seventh.

Strange up and downs but a certain anxiety is gone. A nervous undercurrent of wyrrd seems put to rest.
The end of the world or something.

Trying to get through the holiday crawl of sending out packages and ordering packages and planning and preparing all with no focused spirit, just an obligatory calendar drawing one forward. On this day this and then that. Fortunately weather held off and things got done.

And the strangeness of the automobiles.
First the electric haywire flashing lights death and rebirth, and then the headlight out, summonsed, fixed, rechecked, and then left on to dead battery. And then the other car with a headlight out. And then all fixed. phew.

And the strange discomforts.
Lyme, pained joints, almost fevers or chills, fatigue. Real physical challenges messing with our normal balance.

And now it is the 12th and final night. 

Holidays have come and gone and we wait until midnight for the new year.

We need this new year, a new start, a new life. To live true, true to our art, true to our heart, to make it all work, to make our work our art.

Somehow the days have once again drifted fast. Hard sometimes to share or retell the time- the space of ritual, how we come to ritual and how we come out is doable, but the place we go into during ritual is framed only by the fire.

Quietude in the morning making food and cleaning as always, but this time alone is rare and sacred.

Slowly stacking sticks in trios and diamonds in the fire pit by the house, newly re-dug with all the old branches and sticks removed. Empty and clean like our spirit.

Lighting the fires with 4 matches as prayers in each of the directions,  and a final one which brings it all to flame.

More about the ritual proper on the morrow, the new day, the new year, but suffice to say that our fire burned strong and clear and through the late night snow and flooding rain until the wee hours. Magical glowing light in the long night.

starting fire     flame   small fire  wolf flame    faces in the flamereaching flame  drawing flame      growing flame          growing flamebright flamescrying flamefire in the snow  world flame  the glowfire late night 1                   fire late night 2   fire late night 3

burned through

Friday, November 9, 2012

Time Out

frost every morning since ritual and we wait now for the first winter storm. The snowstorm after the hurricane
wind storm. And then the weather should be warm again.
Winter light
Evenings are dark early this end of daylight time, time after Samhain, timeless time, time of darkness, time of silence.
Until the wind blows.

No snow for us this storm either but downstate is once again hammered. People are cold and without power.
Electrical power.
There has been much heart flutters and twitching muscles for what seems like weeks or maybe a season.
Electrical impulses, press and release, fear and wait. Power.
Electoral cycles, earth cycles, life cycles.
  last light   stormy sky
Winter is clearly here, summer has ended
and I rarely want to leave the house.
Energy conservation and hibernation.

When yesterday was today it was the day after and we all breathed.
We clapped and danced by the wood stove
our main energy source
in the center under the pyramid.

Taking out the last food sacrifice,
closing a week of dumb suppers
offered to passing dead
to comfort their travels,
its bioactive hissss a promise of beginning:

Powerless until we had power,
covering and planning for dark or light,
We cooked some food and wandered, slightly lost,
once again normal with electricity.
sunlight in the willowFinally the first sunny day in forever, or at least from the time of days filled with hurricane from anticipation to aftermath, dawned earlier through the end of daylight savings, though there is rarely any extra sleep anymore.

Rising easily prepared to clean,
now with no worry of running out,
we plan for no other people, but
Electronically communicating we find ways to connect.

Crafting the fire, with many leaves to control, we set up ritual space.
Sun shines strong, but far in the south at what would have been noon the day before.

Boy outside half-hidden in the branches of bare shrubs and our friend arrives wearing sweaters and coat and gloves and hat and boots and 2 pairs of pants and a scarf.
Bryan is barefoot.
We all get barefoot.
The earth is actually warm-ish.
feet mandala
Forgetting things we get ready and get ready more, we eat our dessert first, and make more coffee.
Powered up.

sacrifice assembled

We are already here, in sacred space with the fire. Begin.

Be- with our feet feeling the earth and roots going down holding firm to the ground and the sun streaming into our heads going up and the in-between.
Birds sing.

A whole jar of milk for our Earth Mother, the cream removed from the top as sacrifice for our dear Bridget.
Pomegranate quarters for the directions. The East- the new day and that energy of light and power but not where the sun rises now in these ever wintering days; the South- where the sun is now at midday, the flowing energy of our emotions and caring, our environmental lessons (hello Hurricane Sandy); the West- place of our neighbors, the direction of the setting sun, that introspection and death, the brown bear and our hibernation, the peach tree; and the North- oh winter, place of winds and of healing and nor’easters and the white and purple and quiet.
and the above and the below and the center.

That which goes down and is the place of gathering below, where the waters all go to, that well.
The vertical and that which goes up,
flexible like our spine, sacred tree.
And the center, our fire, place of transformation and consuming energy.

Beer for Mananan, thanks for keeping the gates,
for guiding those between the worlds.
Cream and dried herbs from our garden for Bridget,
our concord grapes for our Kindred.
And some extra beer for our honored dead,
ancestors we are here because of you.
Thank you.

Each of us two women making our offerings cycling through the gates
from fire to well to tree
from tree to well to fire.
consuming sacrifice
Final thanks and sacrifice of the rest of our concords and all the spent seeds, package by package, their pictures of flowers or veggies slowly consumed by the flame as the grapes swelled and shined with heat.
 flame in the air   pole beans   cabbage
popped corn, steamed grapes, smoldering smoke
Taking pictures & taking omens & the corn popping out
of the fire. What we see and what we don’t see.
Hidden images and messages dancing above and through the gates. As the veil is thinnest. Pay attention.
fire omen #1- faces   fire omen #2- faces  
fire omen #3- faces
  Runes & Ogham & Virtue Cards, especially at this season.

from the Ancestors   from the Spirits of Nature & Place
  from the Gods & Goddesses  for the Season
omen casting
the Virtues
But also the scrying, the light through the orb.
There is no real way to capture that spirit, that energy;
in the same way that I cannot recreate the moment of ritual in words moments or days or weeks later.
But we try anyway.
scrying in the East the East
scrying in the South the South
scrying in the West the West
scrying in the North the North

There was really only light and life in the north/south axis, the east/west has harder to see.
And between the South and the West, more people arrived, a friend and her 7 year old daughter who immediately took off her shoes at the circle and walked in the stream to our sacred well.
The augury of barefeet, of light, of power and energy.

our omens
from our Ancestors-Eihwaz, the death’s crook, the spindle, often the yew tree, the axis on which everything turns
from the Spirits of Nature & Place-Perthro, the lottery cup or chance, luck
from the Gods & Godesses-Ehwaz, the horse, the partnership and the ability to do, horsepower, vehicle
for the Season-Raido, communications and travel, traveling of a circuit

the Ogham was Saille or Willow, our sacred tree, the only one still with leaves, still alive and flexible through the storms

for the Body the virtue is PIETY
for the Spirit the virtue is COURAGE
for the Mind the virtue is INTEGRITY

Hallowing and sharing our waters,
mothers sharing glasses with their children,
always joyous and refreshing.
cauldron emptied
Thanks with a jar of coffee and can of beer.
Hugs all around.

Too many women in the kitchen for the guys who cycled through the snacks whenever possible for brief interludes. We ate our cheeses and chutney and apple crisp together.

Saille - the Willow, our sacred tree
pumpkins 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Samhain approaches- a perfect storm

Samhain card

With the coming of the first frost, the harvest is ended.
In this ending is our New Year’s beginning.
We see our future rooted in our past,
as life grows out of death.
Our reverence for life brings us to honor the dead as we enter the dark half of the year.

Come celebrate summer’s end, the season of Samhain, passings and our dead.

After the storms, after the parties, before the elections
we will gather on Sunday November 4th 11am
to put a close to the holiday
to share our harvest
to offer our gratitude
and to begin our New Year.

potluck to follow ritual
please RSVP for more info & directions