Sunday, December 13, 2015

We are here from love-winter sneaks in. When all else fails try again from the beginning

It was a dark dark dark night, with strong winds but warm.
Very warm, beguilingly warm,strangely warm.
The new weird weather,
don't plan, don't guess, just be flexible.

These days we have had real cold but mostly not so,
warmish in the sun, warm for December,

but frosty and magical after the late dawn.
We wake in the dark and it is dark so early, so very dark,
even high beams don't seem to lighten the darkness.

Giving thanks for each day walking the earth.
Each day together quiet on the mountain 
as the world and media go crazy with rage.

Stay strong, we are here for the long-term.

So then was very long ago, and I remember snippets only,
except for family and the joy of gathering together.

Well, it was after-work on a Friday
and pulling it together from there is effort enough,
and we didn't know really who was to show up,
many reply, 
many cancel
last minute,
others we didn't know could make it do.

It's all good.

We totally could not get anything to light 
before people arrived
and the pizza I brought home got mostly devoured also 
before people arrived
but it was Friday, which is the start of my weekend,
and it was all ok.

Setting up for ritual in the darkest of dark
with winds taking out our candles again and again
and sacrifice geared towards fire consumption
but adding in some liquids just in case.

I remembered the summer's peach puree
(which lingered on feet and pants legs and skirts ends)
but forgot the summer's last berries
(languishing near frozen in our over-chilled refrigerator).

We were barefoot for ritual.
Massaging my heels during pre-rit,
standing on the not-cold
earth for meditation,
clutching rocks with my toes,
giddy with warmth at summer's end.

A few arrived and then some more and we shared
a fermented root beer like liqueurs in small special glasses.

All the food out, because why not, 
and children always get to eat before ritual,
and we are all children,
children of our ancestors.

And while we waited for family who got lost,
women and girls gathered outside
with the candles and sweet popcorn,
talking among the generations.

And then she arrived, unexpected but hoped for
with a turtle for us to foster and tend to and love.
Giving home to more beings, sharing our home
with lots of folk, 
getting lost in the art and artifacts of this house.

Gentle guidance towards pre-ritual rant and explanation,
although time was late and we were ready
there was much to be said,
about the holiday, about ritual practice,
about our selves.

And though some had to leave early,
everyone was listening intently to Bryan
sharing the wisdom of the season,
weather laying on the grass or sitting in chairs on the deck
or off to the side or squatting on the ground.

I remember that the ritual was very moving and powerful,
that days later i was still talking about and feeling it.
I remember that with no hesitation our sacred fire was lit
and magically stayed blazing and bright and was not blown out
nor made dangerous by the strong winds.

I remember that,as often happens, food multiplies
and suddenly there were many full plates and leftovers too.

I remember that we are here to love and from love.

And that even in the darkness a light can shine from within.



Our Omens:

from the Ancestors we have Ingwaz, an expansive growing seed
from the Spirits we have Perthro, the lottery cup, chance, luck
from the Gods and Goddesses we have Fehu, fee- could be cash could be cost
for the Season we have Gibor, giver and giving, proper sharing and partnership

Thanks giving, giving thanks!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Equinox is like a light switch, Samhain approaches

Our Autumn Equinox was a few weeks ago
but literally overnight the environment changed from lingering summer to fall.
And now just a few weeks later we have tasted winter and know the chill of cold mornings and frosty dew.
This season we have been blessed and overwhelmed
by peaches and peach processing.
A single tree that lived in a pot on a terrace in NYC
for 25 years moved up here about 7 years ago.
Each year she produces more and more fruit.
Late season peaches. The sweetest.
This year we possibly got 2000 peaches or close to that. 
When there are so many you just have to stop counting
in order to keep up.
    a small part of our peach harvest        peachy
So Equinox was still summery and the gardens were still growing or at least still living. But the crispness had touched us, allowed us to sleep, to drag out a few sweaters and socks and layers.
Preparation of sorts, but you can never really be prepared for the seasons, for the on/off of autumn (or spring),
for the sharp color in the light and the brilliance of the skies. Equinox is not about the endless but about the here and now.
walkway in the sunlight walkway in the sun  walkway in the sunlight
we had three kinds of grapes
and always not enough and just enough at the same time.three grapes of goodness
5 circle fire pit
since quite a few folks were coming and some who had never been here, I thought to start the fire early and keep it smoldering for ease, but Bryan had it so nicely set and it was quite dry, so we just let it be with faith.    faded suzys
the art of ritual sacrifice,
especially after a day at work, is all about magic and love.
       sacrifice sacrifice     
So we gathered our goodies, and gathered ourselves,
old old friends, family friends, newer friends
and friends we just met and of course the teenage boy and processed altogether to the 5-circle fire pit
in our sacred tree circle near the remaining woods
and in the shadow of winter to come and surrounded by the summer that was.
honor the well sacred well flow within us   
honor the tree  sacred tree grow within us 

              honor the fire
                                              sacred fire glow within us
offering sacrifice   offering sacrificeoffering sacrificeoffering sacrificeoffering sacrifice
our gathered harvests as sacrifice
plus liquors and other combustible liquids
our sacrifice  our sacrifice   our sacrificesacrifice   ritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fireritual fire       ritual firefire between fires
sometimes I think about the distraction of the camera during ritual, but I am a photographer and a visualist, as is my son,
and just as I accept that the moment can never be captured
I also accept our joy and delight in attempting to do so.
So as has happened often before, when it is time for our personal sacrifice or prayers or offering or remembrance,
three women inadvertently step forward together
from different parts of the circle towards the fire
in the improv dance of spirit moving.
I love our growing group of humans and Kindred
who come to share the fire and holidays.
Family of the heart and soul, filling us long after we part. 
So incredibly grateful for smiles and hugs.
Many flower petals empty from my pockets in prayer.

We remember you all with a special shout out to you
who could not join us on this day or at this time or any more.

There is the memory of Autumn Equinox
as that time of passings, the season from now to Samhain it seems so much and so many die or move on,
and personally we lost some very dear ones at this season
over the years.
We are cautious in our unbridled joy of this colorful time.
We remember you all with a special shout out to you
who could not join us on this day or at this time or any more.
Sheaves from our corn harvest,
from grasses from years’ past,
from the gardens and woods that was
accept our sacrifice.
Hear and answer us, give us a sign.
We remember you all with a special shout out to you
who could not join us on this day or at this time or any more.
final sacrificefinal sacrifice   final sacrificefinal sacrificefinal sacrifice     final sacrifice
final sacrifice   the fire passes right through himilluminating his body and spiritfire pouring out of his heartfire caressing his bellyspirits accept our sacrifice     hear and answer us     give us a signsacred firebrilliancefocusspirit
pulling omens   omens for the season
smoke sky blue
Our Omens
from the Ancestors: Jera- a year, the harvest, completion of a cycle
from the Spirits of Nature & Place:Elhaz- attention, protection 
from the Gods & Goddesses: Fehu or fee, mobile property or capital
for the Season: Wunjo or JOY!
guiding lightSo we drank that in and we gave our thanks, all of it, and felt the earth and our breath and let it go in the cool and present moment of now.
Processing back with the gentle drum beat,
towards the light, with much joy, gratitude and kinship, making a full meal out of many small parts,
all coming together with love
and spontaneous music jams. 
joyful noiseour whole selves