athenagrey: (Default)
I've often though that the cross quarter days exist so that the passage of time can be marked.  The time between solstice to equinox is long, and it can be hard to see forward movement over such a long time. Marking the midpoint of these quarters gives us something to look forward to, and also a brief place to rest our thoughts before moving onward.

At Imbolc, we are on our way out of the tightest and darkest reaches of the spiral. Hopefully, we feel ready to embrace a time of growth and transformation. Hopefully, we are carrying inspiration with us. But what of energy and sustenance?

Snow blankets the fields and gardens for a reason. It warms and it nourishes the earth. It keeps the bulbs and seeds alive beneath the ground. Growth and transformation happen slowly and gently in a sheltered space. We can learn from this, and not jump headlong into what we are inspired to do. We can take things slowly and take advantage of the things that shelter and nourish us.

Take some time in this season to meditate on what sustains you. Who are the people who provide support?  What are the containers that surround you? What nourishes you, physically, mentally, spiritually? How does the Goddess within sustain you through this time of growth and transformation?

If you need a visual cue for your meditation, there is a beautiful divination that is appropriate to this season of fire and snow. Find a sheltered spot outside and light a tealight or votive candle. Let it burn until there is a small pool of melted wax. Pour the melted wax onto the snow. Liquid wax transforms to solid. Solid snow transforms to liquid. Pick up the interesting shape of wax and use it to guide your meditation.

Know that you are complete and that you have everything that you need to complete your transformation.

Consider planting some paperwhite bulbs at Imbolc. The spring bulb, complete as it is, and ready to flower in six to eight weeks, is a perfect symbol of your completeness.

athenagrey: (Default)
 The autumnal equinox is upon us. It 's a time of balance, and of resolute determination to finish what we have begun. The nights will soon overtake the days. We must hurry and finish what we have begun. We must reap what we have sown and nurtured through the summer. Have we provided well for ourselves, or have we let the opportunity of the year slip on past? Goddess has endless bounty to share with us, but only if we tend our gardens with love and attention. A bit of water helps, too.

I am content with my personal harvest. It has been a good and creative year. Yarn has been spun. Some has been knitted, and much has been woven. I have made peace with my loom and I have a vision for the way weaving should be.  I've created community out of nothing more than a bit of yarn and the intense hunger to being surrounded by people like me. I am taking steps to live more lightly on the Earth, and I have decided to take better care of this body, for it is the only one that I shall have in this life.

How is your harvest? Have you been fruitful?

Today, I walked on the headland. As long as this place is home, I shall take myself to the sea and celebrate the seasons. The wind was a bit sharp in its urgency. I let it blow away anything I no longer needed. I pictured the future blowing in. As I turn deeper and deeper into the spiral of the year, moving from the sunlight toward the quiet place in my heart, I am looking for practical answers. HOW will I make the Indigo Spiral Studio into reality? WHERE will I find the right piece of land? WHEN will this unfold? AM I following the right road into the future? These are the questions I will take into the darkness. All these are good questions while the Sun is in Virgo. All these are good questions to be pondered on the long evenings ahead.

Bring on the falling leaves, the cold nights and mornings. I am ready to turn inward. 

athenagrey: (Default)
It's nearly August, and this witch's thoughts turn to thanksgiving. Yes, we start our harvest festivals now.

We are approaching the festival of First Fruits. Some call it Lughnasad, and observe the ritual sacrifice of the God of Grain. This is a traditional chant:

Hoof and horn,
Hoof and horn,
All that dies
Shall be reborn.

Corn and grain,
Corn and grain,
All that falls
Shall rise again.

As a Goddess woman, this doesn't quite align with my views.

Goddess is abundance, generosity, sharing and nurturing. Where there is abundance, there is no need for sacrifice. We celebrate Her bounty and are embraced by Her nurturing. We use Her gifts joyfully, and joy becomes our gift back to Her.

This year I plan to celebrate by enjoying the abundance of the greenmarket, and by sharing the bounty with friends. The fruits of my creativity this year will be on the altar along with the fruits and vegetables of the season.

My personal harvest is beginning in abundance this year. I have seen once again that Magic works. I have finally found my artistic 'voice' as a weaver (and if you don't know about that, you haven't been reading my blog, Http://www.tromp-as-writ ).

I wish you the blessings of the harvest. May yours be as abundant as mine!
athenagrey: (Default)
Blessings on the first harvest.

Today is Lughnasadh, the first of three Wiccan harvest celebrations. Traditionally, this is the time to harvest grain and to pick the first fruits. This is the time to make bread and honor the sacrifice of the grain that keeps us well-fed. I will be making a simply delicious dill and cheddar beer bread from Farmgirl Fare.

In our lives, the plans we made in the darkness of winter should be nearing completion. We still have to pay attention to the details, but this is not an ideal time for going off in a radically new direction. This is the right time for making the absolute best of what we have in front of us.

My plan for this year was to have no plans. I promised myself some unstructured time to experience the joy of living in the moment. I sowed the seeds of randomness and impulse. What has grown from that?

I am growing a healthy crop of knowledge and appreciation for fine teas and tisanes.

I have made connections with the local Wiccan community. Sometimes it has been frustrating, and other times enlightening. That's how it feels to grow.

I am spending time with people who matter to me.

I am tasting joy.

Make hay when the sun shines. Make love when it rains. When you are fully present in the moment, you know what you should do.

What are your first fruits of the season? What are you beginning to harvest in your life?
athenagrey: (Default)

Keeping vigil for the sun wasn't planned,
but I could not sleep.
Gritty-eyed, stumbling and late,
despite sleeplessness,
I ran down the path to the headland.

Pale light rising in the east.
This is the false dawn.

I greet a swan on her morning glide,
and settle on the rocks to wait.

Slowly, the clouds blaze with red highlights.
It's beginning.
I pour a libation of clear, pure water,
and offer bread to the Sun.

Slowly, the sky brightens.
Red in the morning,
Sailors take warning.

I lift my hands to the light,
Seeing the symbols burning with power.
I know that it is joy that will lead me
from this sun drenched pinnacle,
back to winter's stillness.

I must carry gratitude's sweet lessons with me,
and keep the Sun at my center.
Compassion paves the path ahead of me,
and possibility is linked to accountability.

Know detachment,
let go of straight lines drawn in ink,
whispers Katiyah, and the Ancestors.
It will be as it should be.

It all comes down to courage.
Trust is not revealed, but integrity is.
I take in these messages,
knowing the meaning will be revealed in time.

Walking back from the east,
I regret that the furthest cove
only held memories of last year's encounter.

In the nearest cove,
I find her, the white egret,
like paper folded into impossible angles,
gleaming in the sun.

Solstice blessings.
athenagrey: (Default)
This is the shortest night of the year, Midsummer Eve. Tomorrow, Midsummer Day, is the longest day of the year.

Like the full moon is the monthly time to stand on the hilltop and take stock of where things are going, correct your course, and jump forward, tumbling downhill to a breathless finish, this is the solar time, the annual time, to do the same thing. Presumably with a higher hill, a longer jump, and a faster tumble.

Although I join other witches in celebrating the solar year, and use it to mark long passages of time, it is the monthly progression of moon from new, to full, to dark, that guides my everyday life.

A year is a long time.

I am disinclined to look back, because the hill was very steep, and I flung myself from rock to rock, taking the only path I knew. I left behind tatters of my mantle of grief, like a snakeskin painfully shed. I'd rather stand here and look to tomorrow. I"m wrapped in a better mantle right now, layers of satisfaction, accomplishment, promise and silence. Fancy threads. I must have picked them up without thought, to cover the raw nakedness of being. They suit me well.

I will pause briefly and look at the present. This is my fifth anniversary as priestess. The rhythm of the lunar calendar is now as natural to me as breathing. The solar calendar of sabbats is becoming familiar. Tonight, as the sun passes behind the western hills, I will light the sacred fire in my cauldron.

I am ready to look to the future, to chart the course that brings me back to the stillness of midwinter. I have The Project™, the challenge of doing something that I've never done before. I am bound to silence on this one, and the pent up desire to speak about it may be what propels it to completion.

Sunrise will find me sitting on the rocky headland, overlooking the Sound. There are answers where the water meets the sky.


May. 2nd, 2008 02:33 pm
athenagrey: (Draw Down the Moon)
I spent May Eve with my favorite bunch of witches, dancing out the season in Central Park. We met on a particular hilltop deep within the park, a place where the city is a distant memory. This is old land, gently tended and rich with stillness.

Ribbons and hopes fluttered in the wind. The High Priestess and High Priest knelt at the base of the Maypole, embodiement of Goddess and God, and we circled around them, We danced, weaving our magic and creating the fabric of community. Chants rose up spontaneously, acknowledging life, passion and the Divine. Ribbons grew short, and we ran, circling sun-wise around the Maypole. We tumbled into a heap at the base of the pole and set our energy free, watching the sky still spinning above us. Passion and joy are simple. You just live them. There is no breath for asking questions, only for chanting, laughing, and experiencing joy.

How different from last Beltane when I was a sad stranger at an uncomfortably formal ritual.

Beltane day was time for quiet joy. I arose and washed my face in the dew, and then walked the bounds of our land, greeting familiar trees and plants, and picking a few violets from the lawn. Later, at my altar, I thanked Goddess for getting me to a point where I could feel joy and passion again, and reaffirmed my gratitude for all that blooms in spring.

Then, into the city again to meet G. We walked around in SoHo, where they are filming Julie and Julia, with Meryl Streep. Talked about Julia Child, whom I had met in Cambridge some years ago. Drinks in our favorite bar, looking out at the film crew packing up for the evening. Dinner at our favorite restaurant, followed by a walk in the rain. Mmmmm.
athenagrey: (Default)
The spring equinox, Ostara, is my favorite time of year. This was my chance to go insane at the flower market, bringing home tulips, hyacinths, carnations, forsythia branches, everything and anything to turn the Aerie into a bower.

Out came the boxes of pysanky, decorated with curious symbols of the season and of fertility.

Out came a change of clothing, soft beiges replacing my usual black.

Wednesday night, thirteen of us gathered in the city to make ritual, to travel the ancient pathways to commune with She Who Awakens the Earth. Thirteen chanted and danced to turn the wheel of the year.

Then we dined, and planned a brighter future. Seeds were sown, fragile young ideas to be nurtured and tended.

Midnight found me walking alone through the city (really, it's safe where I was), still taking in the wonder of a perfect spring evening, breathing in the gentle dampness and somehow rising above pain and fatigue. I caught the last train home and tumbled into bed in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Thursday, I napped on the couch most of the day, but arose at sundown to make the traditional dinner of tender salad greens with flower petals, seeded bread and cheese, and potato salad with hard cooked eggs. All foods of the season. After dinner, more ritual at my personal altar. Impromptu ritual. Spoken out loud, with gesture and presence. All the things that this once reluctant priestess has come to love. Silly but reverent times with the Divine, leaving me knowing how a spring bulb BUSTS OUT(to be said with a shout) and knowing how to tickle the wind as it blows past my leaves. I mean my up-reaching hands.

Can't you feel springtime in all that? How has the season touched you?
athenagrey: (Default)
In the stillness of morning, I filled the red pail with milk. Wrapped in Jannie's wine-colored cloak and carrying a small besom, I went outside to bless the land in the name of Brighid.

To the East, Renewal
To the South, Warmth and Heat
To the West, Succulence
To the North, Growth, Abundance and Fertility

I give back to Goddess a share of her blessings.

Some years I have stood on snow to give this blessing. This year the ground was soft and moist beneath my feet. Last year, Jannie watched from the window; it was the last Sabbat she celebrated at home. Wrapped in her cloak, I can feel her love and kindness surround me.

Now, eight fat pairs of candles hang from their wicks, aligning themselves between earth and sky, cooling slowly and becoming strong.

A simple repast of bread and cheese awaits.

It is still the quiet time of year. Things are happening in nature, bulbs swelling into flower under the soil, tree buds growing fat in anticipation of flowers and leaves. Silent and steady, She awakens. Promises are whispered and acknowledged. Small stirrings are heard. It is a time of stretching, reaching, and preparing to unfold into motion.
athenagrey: (Athena Grey)

And so the Wheel of the Year has turned to Yule. Although the candles blazed in a riot of light, I am slow to turn away from the center and begin the spiral back out into the light. Don't wait for me. I'll be there by Imbolc. I promise.

I won't deny that this Yule is a strange one. Some traditions were imperative, like baking Jannie-esque ritual cakes and decorating the hearth. Others, like the dozens of small delicacies for the Yule Eve feast, didn't make sense for an evening spent alone.

One old tradition that I welcomed back was going out on the bluffs to watch the sunrise over Long Island Sound. It wasn't a dramatic sunrise. The sky changed slowly from iron to pewter to dull silver. The tide was rising near high, and the water pounded the rocks below me. A bitter wind from the east kept blowing my hood off and threatened to send my blanket aloft like a kite. An octet of ducks floated like corks in one of the more sheltered inlets.

Last night's tarot reading reminded me that this IS the bottom point. I've been here before, and I recognize the landmarks. This is the point where you realize that the fall didn't kill you and that you have solid rock beneath your ass. This is where you survey the damage and begin to put things back together. This is a point that is filled with hope.

The blessing from the reading was The Lovers. This card represents choice more often than it represents love. To be blessed by choice is a good thing, especially because other parts of the reading indicate that I have the wit to recognize which choice is right for me. It's not the one that the world would expect me to choose, either. *wink*

So, I wish you the blessings of this season, and remind you that it IS Saturnalia.


athenagrey: (Default)

June 2012

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