Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Bring on the Blackthorn!

This wild and weird winter. It has been coldier and snowier than usual in Ireland. And what snow we got was POWDER, instead of the wet stuff that automatically turns our lane into an ice rink. Normally, winter is - should be, OUGHT to be - a time of going within and hibernation. But not the winter of 2018! This first quarter has rocketed. It has jetted through time zones and international datelines.

That's a metaphor actually. I have strayed no further than county Mayo at March New Moon. It's just been very, very busy.

The energy weather - as astrologer Palden Jenkin aptly describes it - has been peculiarly active. Even this Mercury retrograde has felt less stop and start than usual. Except for the green growth of spring. The fields are still looking straw coloured instead of lush and green. Silage bales are transported up and down by tractors to fodder cattle. The blackthorn, which usually blossoms around vernal equinox, is barely in bud. Driving up the eastern shoreline last Saturday, my friend and I spotted the first blossom. Down my lane the buds are resolutely staying schtum.On a brighter note, friends in Carrick to the south, and Dromahair to the west, have heard the cuckoo. Ours generally does not pitch up until April 22nd. So something seems to be going to schedule. Neither too hurried, too early, or too late.

I don't think it is just me. Or even just what is happening in Ireland to friends, as if a cyclone (or anti-cyclone) has parked itself over the Emerald isle. It seems to be a more celestial and universal pattern.

So how has the winter been for you?

It has been an uncharacteristically hectic winter for me. My normal mode is to have a burst of activity in February for Imbolc and then a slow glide into spring, when there really is a quickening. This year it started happening from 4th January.  I staggered around much of February in a post-viral state while delivering workshops weekly. Which was a good experience, except it felt far too frantic for winter.

But this may serve me right for choosing FOCUS as my word of the year.

Respite is on its way. Next week I shall be winging towards the sacred sites of southwest England for Bealtaine/Beltane. My next post will include photos from Glastonbury, Stonehenge, and Avebury. Let's see how British pagans do it!

I just hope I don't need to wear thermal tights and a fleece as we march around a Maypole!


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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


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