Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Solstice Morning Sunrise

Notes and images from then,
which can never recreate what was,
only how we feel now remembering.

 The time warp of the end of the year
is days and energies
moving fast like rapid earthquakes or waves we have to surf.
It is also standing together in the dark outside, silently crunching ice.
And also the magnificent light of freezing dawns.

I remember making much fried chicken the night before and there were lots of sweets already,
and doing chores effortlessly and preparing for folks,
folks who we didn't know and those we did
and not sure of the weather.
We were being easy and gentle with our selves and our plans;
the heaviness surrounding us requires simplicity.

The morning weather was bad, not just a pounding rain but a cold & icy rain.
Roads were ok, other surfaces melting but not conducive to reverence and peace.
But we were warm inside and had plenty to eat and cleared space
and we decided ritual would be best in the living room.
Bryan brought up his world tree from his shrine in the basement.

She came early as Our Whole Grove
and we discussed structure and worship and groups and we ate.

 And people arrived and festivities began
with much merriment around each new guest.
And finally she arrived with a still warm loaf of freshly baked bread.
A full house of folks and family and food and feasting and refilling of plates.
round like the sun

 and now almost 4 weeks later I fry chicken again.
it snows and it will snow all night.
we loose track of days,
though there was extreme cold, then extreme warm
and then temperature drop of a whole season in one night,
ice breaking up the frozen bare earth,
now covered again in a blanket of white and silence.
We sleep a lot. The cocoon is strong.
Often memory plays tricks, it is a time of transition.

  So I started to break down our sacrifice of fir and dried garlic stalks and sweet grass
into small sprinkles for over the world tree rather than large bunches for spectacular fire.
  But the rain stopped and it was just above freezing.
He pleaded to make fire outside. And I made him ask Bryan, who skeptically said "sure".
I reminded him it was a sacred fire and a gentle fire
and then thoughtfully and gently
and with the fried fat soaked paper towels and dry tinder
a fire was born outside
in the mistfall of mid-afternoon.
We changed gears and gathered sacrifice and jackets and shawls and moved outside.
It is important to say what you need and want.
We are human and forget and need to be flexible.
well of ice

Meditation barefoot on cold wet ground until my feet burned.
Star-shaped cookies for the directions, up and down and to the glass in the center.
No things for the portals other than our focused attention.
Chicken fat for the outsiders, her and me halfway away nodding "yes".
Chicken grease for the Kindred.
Pine from our tree.
Sticks from her, unused at Samhain.
Her coin and song for Bridget. 
old fruits and berries.
Sour sweets too.
Our ash tree logs for the hot fire in the cold rain.

 Here's to the Truth.
And the Ho Ho Ho.
 songs of truth and silences of truth and prayers of gratitude for being here and for the future.
   and sometimes I do not know what happens or where we go, consumed by fire and smoke and opened like the portals.

our omens
from our Honored Dead: Laguz the rune of the Lake, drawing up from below. That which is quenching and nourishing. Thinking about what our Honored Dead are dredging up, thinking about what we we have been brought up with, thinking about what we can draw upon from our ancestors.
from the Spirits of Nature and Place: Perthro the Lottery Cup, chance or luck. Thinking about how lucky we are to live in a place of such beauty and bounty, thinking about the luck of being here now, thinking about the good fortune buried in the sleeping earth.
from the Gods and Goddesses: Mannaz or Self. Thinking about ourself and our selves and our humanness as opposed to Godliness and striving for our shining self.
for the Season: Hagal or Hagalaz, the rune of Hail of destruction, but perhaps disruption of an old path and the beginning of a new one. Thinking about this season of the return of the light disrupting the dark- displacing the dark and the fierceness of the new day. Thinking about hailstorms and the summer and snow in the winter and atmosphere and compression of air and water and spirit. Thinking about the unexpected and weather and storms. 

and with that in mind we share our cold waters spilling over onto each other and the earth.
 The fire ended as it began.
Bird songs with the final chimes.

This rite is over and let the feasting continue.
Our magical fire in the cold and damp burned throughout the night.
In the morning I thrust my hand into the ashes and found them not cold but not warm
but Bryan
with his focus and breath
brought the fire back to life
burning throughout the next day.

 I sat in the wintry air by the new flame from old and buried embers 
and wrote this story by hand on ledger paper.
So it's hard to take pictures and to be observational and there at the same time
and it's hard to remember too.
We continue through this cycle of seasons and years
lighting our fires, rekindling our flames after they grow cold,
again and again offering gratitude as best we can,
hoping not to forget, to love enough, to listen and to hear,
to share well and to be ok. 
I am unsure often and there is so much I miss,
but I know it was good and we are alive and here now.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


 Looking at the quality of light this morning,
Yule seems so long ago.
"The door swings open more and more loudly
even though it feels as if it is slamming shut."

Monday, January 1, 2018


Today is the first day of the new year.
It is cold yet beautiful in the sun.
The stream is completely frozen on the surface
but quietly running below.
The moon rises large and full and orange and then yellow and then white.
Reflecting off the snow, it is as bright as day.
Even though there is a deep silence,
birds' songs call out and the winds sing the chimes.