Sunday, March 24, 2013

equinox fire scrying

our fire was so alive,
these photos needed to be on their own.
Feel free to share your interpretations.

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fire portal 1fire portal 2fire portal 3fire portalfire spriteshorsewavewhorl

Recollections on this Spring Equinox

coffee cup holder heart art
The vernal pools may still or again be frozen but soon,
I trust,
it will all melt.
We pray with gratitude for this past winter,
real and long winter, but not too severe.
we are ready to move on.
Ever more rapidly lengthening days and brighter sun belie the cold and weekly or daily snow. The ice slowly melts today dripping louder, almost, than the stream.
Thank you for this land that is so far away,
where all we can hear is us and the land.
Thank you sun for shining warm and for casting such an inspiring promise of light.
The greenness of last week lay buried under a late season oddly unmelting snow with a layer of ice on the surface and a much thicker one covering the earth.
Under the ice plants grow.
ice crystals and clover
One hour exactly from the time of the Equinox we easily balanced our remaining two eggs on the mantle.
One of them lay down sidewise sometime during ritual.
And then while we feasted not long after it got dark,
a bright comet streaked across the sky,
unbeknownst to us
immersed in simple joys of food and friends.
equinox mantle
A bunny ran footprint-less across the land on the morning of our ritual. And we don’t really get rabbits up here.
Earlier in the week there was a lone bear,
maybe disoriented or injured,
lumbering along the stone wall. In the cold and snow.  There is a huge flock of turkeys that daily traverse their dance across the lower land, 
and though we have had few birds at the feeder,
I have seen Cardinals and Blue Jays.
On the day of the Equinox we saw a huge group of crows, a murder of crows, in the field in the valley,
and I have heard stories about Robin sightings;
but for me they are still a memory.
Weeks ramble by fast.
Like most of this time, days have blended
with incremental and imperceptible progress forward. Snow days, time off, lockdown, program changes, mercury retrograde reinventing reviewing season.
New life emerging from seeds planted long ago,
our ability to perceive and allow change.
Breathe in and hold that breath and exhale and pause.
All our sacrifice consumed.
Today warms a bit, enough to clear the rest of the driveway, to let animals leave their tracks, to start again.
Wishing Spring into existence, we sleep late and relax.
Shopping all week, each day something forgotten,
the last day for more coffee and beeswax and oats.
Hanging out with an old friend and reconnecting again, and then phone calls from Bryan’s long time Druid buddy and my long-time musician buddy. It must be Spring.
At the end of this day after,
the land is no longer endless white,
untouched snow covering hard and relentless;
the  sunny slopes and wetlands have melted through
and brown dampness and green life vibrate
under fiercely blue skies.
Evenings stretch to hours with time after dinner of sunlight.
Clearing the the close-to-the-house firepit,
for the first time in a full circle,
was a two-day effort of digging down the space and the center
and then chopping away all the ice and snow,
raked like a Zen garden.
By late afternoon it was bare earth.
day 1 dug down     zen ice garden  cleared
Layers of tinder, the reeds and sweetgrass and barks, stacked with reverence and intent by late morning.
We don’t have lots of wood left and everything is cold and across the ice.
We plan for a small fire,
we plan our sacrifice to flame and flare with ease,
we plan to start the fire at ritual,
and yield the plans for a bow drill or focused light fire.
1st layersmore layers   sacrifice construct

With the sun there is the illusion of warmth but it is not yet.
I love bowls of offerings, I love the circles of gifts,
sacrifice for our other worldly guests and friends,
gratitude as inspiration, feast for all the senses.
circles of sacrifice
Everything cooked, house cleaned enough, work done, sandwiches and cereal, another pot of coffee.
Calm and purposeful, warm shower or beverage,
hot liquids as guide to our centering.
Friends who are family arrive, and it is just us and them:
2 couples 2 children,
3 men and 3 women,
the even and easy 6.
Gathered inside until our coffees were done we ranted about schools and politics and art and the weather.
No talk about the season or ritual,
we segued on and up and got ourselves together,
moving around and outside and milling about.
Once we were all together it simply began.
I lit the smudge just as Bryan rang the gong.
We are here to honor the gods,
the blowing smoke echoing the ringing,
making space, instantly.
Our dear Earth Mother, circles of crushed ginger snaps
danced twice around.
Right into where we are, feeling ourselves here,
breathing in and holding that(which I couldn’t do),
exhaling and holding that(which I couldn’t do),
and again and again finding each our own breath
and what we could do here and now.
And then I breathed in and held that and exhaled and paused.
Offering the smudge to our directions, always first the East,
where I saw the sun rise in the morning,
through the gates of the nemeton,
direct and now.
And then our South, down the mountain,
And the West of the setting sun and our neighbors,
And the North from which was the Winter.
And the down and up and the center.
And in our center is the well,
shiny silver urn in the snow,
under our tree and around our fire.
Offering a coin to the well, and some oil to the tree,
and the smudge to the fire,
we centered ourselves.
It all went so simply, so easily, so natural and on cue, 
so gently, so normal, so beautiful. 
The fire built with care burned sweet smelling.
fire starts  fire circle

Lavender for Mananan
Olive oil for Bridget
Berries for our dead
garlic seeds for the spirits of nature and place
red pepper flakes for the gods
Beeswax for all.
Magical fire with its own life,
more than we expected,
completely full.
And the season- tamale bundles and sage and birch and the rest of the beeswax.
the fire consuming, alive with light and scent.
Only us moms offered to the fire, thanks and prayers
for clearing, cleansing, letting go,
for winter’s passing,
for our children thriving.
final sacrifice

Final sacrifice bundle
twigs and juniper and sweetgrass and bark,
burning with intent and strength.
fire of sacrifice
Our omens describe activating change.
from the ancestors: Os or Ansuz or voice- that voice from beyond or the voice within, listen and follow it
from the spirits: Uruz or Primordial Ox- the unstoppable energy of movement and becoming
from the gods: Hagal or hail or disruption- a change of plans but perhaps for the better
for the season: Eihwaz or horse or horse & rider- how we get there.
We are ready to take in those blessings,
though we all may not yet fully know what they are.
the waters of life
Wine glasses for water chiming as they move
the glass pitcher chipped sharp and yet still clear and strong.
No sickle, no sound, just the fire as hallowing.
waters of life

Not knowing how thirsty I was staring so long into the fire,
the water a welcome gift.
fire dance

The fire like laughter,
the fire like song,
the fire pulling us together
with its dance.
fire dance 2
All our thanks,
birch twigs from Imbolc tea
cream spirits from long ago Yule
red tincture from last summer.

the fire all different colors, deep and also ethereal,
surrounded by ever more blue cast snow,
this rite is now over and let the feasting begin.
frozen coin in the well

We eat a perfect meal together.