Leaves blaze tawny and russet
with bright beauty in this last fall of light.
Seedpods thicken on wild grasses,
elderberries shake fistfuls of dark rain,
quinces shine treasure brighter than coin.
We give thanks for Gaia’s storehouse of plenty,
for this true wealth, as she gives and gives of her body:
berries, squashes, beans—
more and more we request and receive.
Eat, she says, to all creaturely life—
this is your being.
Honour Gaia’s nature
by refusing to squander or disrespect her.
Learn to need less and waste nothing;
find ways to create sustainability and
safeguard the magnificent diversity that is
the body of the Goddess.
We are living in the Sixth Great Extinction,
losing our beloved creatures and plants.
Take time to care for something that is other,
and in need;
from garden bird to snow leopard,
all ecology is linked directly to our hearts.
We may grieve for the lost summer of the world
but change is our certainty:
the balance of all future abundance
is in our hands.
Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013
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Leaves blaze tawny and russet
The hag, or the cailleach as she is called in Scotland and Ireland, has been much in mind this past year. Partly this is because I am getting into stride with my own inner, physical and emotional, crone. But in the way that these things happen,the micro is just a reflection of the macro world. I am increasingly called to address the hag goddess and to evangelize acknowledging this dark side of the divine feminine.
I am reminded that everyone loves the springtime maiden aspect of Brighid. They revel in the bounty of the maternal Brighid. But little is written about the encounter with the fierce hag aspect of Brighid. The gloves are off with Her; She is well capable of giving you the proverbial Zen shove and bitch slap if She is ignored. Shortly before I turned fifty I cried out for Brighid to get me out of somewhere. In the manner of 'be careful for what you ask for' she complied. What came was a tidal wave of painful change, a demolition of my ego, a period of depression requiring medication, and a recalibration of everything I thought about loss and power. It transformed Everything. But it also set me on the path that I reckon She wanted me to take but that I had resisted. (The ego is often the enemy of our highest good.) I actually prefer the life that Brighid forged for me out of the ashes and pig iron leftovers, but the transformation was a scorcher. But, like the goddess Brighid herself in Ireland's culture, I survived....
Image: Carnegie Museum of Art: Terpsichore by Antonio Canova (1821)
This is the Fifth posting of the (en)LIV(en)ING with the Muses Series
Terpsichore has been with me longer than I can remember. I was born to dance and the pure joy and thrill of moving through space, weaving energetic patterns and being so completely absorbed by the music are all of her gifts as you open to her magickal inspiration....
I've been doing a series this week on the Wooden Tarot, a self-published deck by A.L. Swartz. You can see the full series here.
What a fabulous card we have for our last day of the Wooden Tarot week. Don't despair. I am sure I will turn to this deck again. It has hooked me despite the few small quibbles I have.
Whether you want a teacher of magic, marketing, or anything else, here are seven helpful hints:
I have a postcard on the window frame above my computer. It's an artwork of a small iconic mountain in Northern New South Wales and the road that leads into the town. This is the view you see as you drive into town. The postcard has the words coming home written down the side of it. The sunset sky behind the mountain, the greens leading up to it and at its base, the black road with the white dividing line - they tug at my heart. I have it there to remind me, to let that mountain and that view of home call to me.
But that's not where I live. I haven't lived there for years. I live a thousand kilometers to the south, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Even though I adore Local Magic - both the concept and the living engagement with it - I've hesitated to make a commitment here, to this land. I spent three years living on the edge of the city, next to the ocean and felt a wild belonging to the sea and the air that didn't seem to feel the need to be tied down. But since I've been living on this vast plateau, in the last year, the land has called to me....
Yesterday I had a delightful swim with a friend in the cool Aegean Sea. In in the evening I met two dear friends at an open air restaurant for a delicious meal and good conversation. Last night a beautiful moon rose over the sea and a soft breeze caressed my skin. All of this made me very happy. However, the state of the world does not.
Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. The Ferguson police. Hold your ground laws. Bombing in Gaza. War in Ukraine. War in Iraq. War in Afghanistan. War in Syria. Wars that are not on my radar. Rape as a part of war. Joe Biden threatening to chase ISIL “to the gates of hell.” Citizens United. A rash of laws restricting voting rights. A rash of laws restricting abortion rights. Police brutality. Police brutality that is racially motivated. Young men being sentenced to prision for minor drug offenses. The brutality of the prison system. A woman with children being paid $8.50 an hour working at McDonalds and not even knowing when she will be called in to work. Open carry laws allowing Americans to walk the streets with loaded weapons. And that’s just off the top of my head this morning.
When I was young and protesting poverty, racism, and the War in Vietnam, I thought that it would be a relatively simple matter to change the world. It turned out that I was not only wrong: I was very wrong.