Sunday, December 2, 2018

Samhain(part 2)Summer's End-Winter is here

Again it was cold and bright and then warmer and grey.
Now we are surrounded by cloud, 
which seems appropriate.

I think this surrender of and to time is what we may call life.
So it helps to do so with love.

Looking at the pics, I realize there were still leaves on the trees then.
Now we are in the long season of bare tree limbs framing the sky
and evergreens.

Not sure how this wheel of the year keeps turning without us falling off, 
but grateful to still be standing. 

Already I can sense the lengthening of the light approaching, 
even as we are in the darkest of nights. 
We anticipate forward and look back.

So then was before the election and at the end of the harvest.
The rush of autumn blowing through us like the winds and the wyrrd.
Senses of dread and fear bolstered by acts of kindness and fortitude.

The wholeness of all of our ancestors coming for a visit. 
The wholeness of deep sleep.
The finality of the end.

I don't have lots of notes from ritual and the whole idea of documentation,
like hosting,
was hard for me then and maybe still is.
According to my notes it is something I needed to think about then and maybe still do.
What is this setting the table and the land to welcome and to honor the Kindreds?
What is the dance that we do not know we are doing?
What does it mean to be open?
 We made a fire before everyone showed up, which was good, since we had so much rain.
We had lots of food but few pictures of it all.
We had 3 very different Elizabeths,
and children and teachers, and children grown, and childlike grown-ups, and parents of all kinds.
Many folks who had never been here and many spirits all around.
We had boisterous laughter and keening sorrow.
There was the wandering of lost souls and our fire to guide the way.
There was an ungroundedness which caught in my belly and made me suddenly weak.
She went to the garden and gave an offering to take from the Gods that which I needed,
now part of their harvest, and brewed tea. 
There was note pads for letting go and origami to unclutter the mind.
Feasting before feasting and drinking all around.
There were no birds, no wild life interruptions.
There was a sonic dissonance in the air,
at first.

And then we began, most folks crowded in the North-West of the circle
with the wind blowing into the South.
The fire roared for all our dead as we mourned what had left us.
And also for the doors that will open.

And at the end of final praise offerings- is there anyone else who has praise for the season?-
a car has driven up and 3 people come down the walkway and they are standing in the circle of light from the motion-sensor bulb and they don't come to the fire and maybe they are spirits
but I run around the circle because I can only go one direction when inside and go to them
and they ask for my son, who does happen to be here, but no one comes by our rural road in the dark looking for my kid and he comes out of the circle and it turns out to be canvassers making sure
he had a plan to vote.
And that was a powerful omen.

So even though there was much sorrow we had a lot of giddy laughter too. 
Nervous energy of the day turning into night.
Sparktastic fire igniting our heart.


our omens
from our Ancestors: the Horse or Ehwaz, the connection between horse and rider, that empowerment, the ability to travel and do things and that partnership with another life form.
Mobility, before engines and the whole automobile thing, where we were at was the horse. 
And today with our mechanized robot menaces.
it is that kind of partnership with how things were done before.
from the Spirits of Nature & Place: WUNJO or JOY! Joy to the world! And particularly the joy of the company and coming from the spirits it is one of simple enjoyment and finding joy.
from the Gods & Goddesses: Tir or the Spiritual Warrior, having to do with truth and justice and balance and direction and upward and upright, guiding directive.
For Bryan it was the whole North Star thing.
for the Season:Thurisaz or thorn or Thor's hammer, protection, a prickly outside, lock on the door.

Go boldly forward with joy and truth and safety.
I'll take it.
The sky had gone from bright to deep blue.
We took in the waters.
We gave our thanks, 
the rest of everything.  

We came back and feasted more.
Otherworldly interconnections like a dream.
Energies of passages.
Folks in the dark.

Compelled later to burn sweetgrass and sage
throughout and around the house.
There is never enough that can be offered in gratitude
and it is important to also offer that gratitude to the self.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Samhain(part 1)Summer's End-Winter is here

  It pours and pour and pours. 
But we still have a bit of snow.
From when we got a bunch of snow and then it was really cold.
The River called Hudson is at flood stage and we may get more snow tonite.

It is here, this transitional time of closings and ending and renewals.
Winter is in the air, winter is in the frozen and unfrozen ground,
Winter is in the silence and in the short days. 

Though it is still a few weeks until the darkest days, 
it seems like there is already a bit more breath
and a bit more life.

 Somehow we have rolled through these days of concern and sorrow and towards the joy.
Work far from done, we are finding new ways to cope and to dream.
Again so much has filled this time that it is hard to remember then. 
An instability much greater than these weather patterns surrounded us
and was somewhat indistinguishable from the wyrd or the restless large bucks in the woods.

Dumb suppers for many many days. Everything from the fridge and from our plates. 
It is never enough.
How can we properly thank and honor those who have gone before, 
those who know this struggle of life and death?

What can we do to support each other and how can we make a real difference?
Does our vote or our voice or our vision matter?
How can we stay alive and awake and aware?

Sometimes the enveloping darkness is the answer.
Even though it may be scary.

Soon I will write more about our Samhain ritual, to share my notes and pics
and my memories of that time.
But the days are short and we are busy and it is hard to sit and write.

The season is a doorway that we approach and pass through and now we are here.

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.