Autumn is my favorite season. As the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Alban Elfed approaches, I’m thinking of how this season has always carried a sense of magic and spirit… of descent into the sacred secrets of time… a place of reckoning, with a wise power that can see you as you go, while all the foliate cover falls away… a place where truth can’t hide. Truth is powerful and healing and terrible and cleansing and undeniable, and this is the cathartic season where you feast on it, and it feasts on you.
The Tangled Hedge: At home in the numinous wilds
An animist & spiritual naturalist Hedge Witch explores feminine spirituality... the hunter emerging from the numinous wilds to gather with her sisters.
Art by Susan Seddon-Boulet
"In the best known version of the Greek myth, Persephone is dragged down into the underworld by Hades, whose title is 'Pluto.' But in earlier, pre-patriarchal tales, she descends there under her own power, actively seeking to graduate from her virginal naïveté by exploring the intriguing land of shadows. 'Pluto' is derived from the Greek word plutus, meaning 'wealth.' Psychologist James Hillman says this refers to the psyche-building riches available in Pluto's domain. Hades, he says, is the 'giver of nourishment to the soul.'" - Rob Brezsny
This is the month of my mother’s birthday, and when I recently read this quote, it made the tale of Persephone and Demeter become mine, and I wanted to explore this new perspective in the context of my relationship with my mother.
I was never taken into the underworld, so the archetype as it is commonly known never really resonated with me, but that changes drastically if it is understood as a willing and self-powered journey of nourishing discovery! I'll be wanting to ponder this tale in its new light (thanks, Rob Brezsny!)
But first, let’s focus on Demeter.
I was taken by surprise when I realized that this blog is already a year old! A YEAR!!! The wheel has completed an entire turning and this blog has covered some ground!
Time has flown because school had me so preoccupied. I have loved the way time has slowed this summer, and I'm feeling like a floating blossom in the slower time-stream, rather than a twig bobbing madly in the faster one I had been in!...
"Boat Book" by Catherine Nash
At the approach of the full Rose Moon (AKA the full Strawberry Moon) I have finally found some peace & quiet, having finished school (for now) and begun the slower pace of Summer. I’m looking forward to a great increase in writing time, as I have discovered that writing is a full-on passion and will most likely be my medium of choice for my life’s work. This passion has grown riotously in the past few years, and it seems I get to have a Summer bumper crop to harvest, and I am very happy about that. I have stories and poems fruiting and ripening inside me, and I know that growth is ahead for me, as I cultivate them.
I hope to proffer green and supple sapling poems, stories, and articles which readers can water with attention, and be rewarded with shade in which to rest, fruits to nourish them, and seeds to carry with them that may bring these gifts farther throughout the beloved world.
In the midst of my studies and quickening social and family life, it has been a refuge to gather with the women at the monthly circle. Their energy is gentle and genuine, and they speak my language. In the isolation I found myself in for the past few years, I hadn’t realized that – besides the loneliness of my world being greatly reduced to my own household and family – I had lost having anyone to talk to who knows anything of magic and spirituality. For the first time, I was alone in those waters.
Well, I was kind of alone in them in my youth, but in a less lonely way, since I was in a more magical thinking type of society (though less spiritual than they’d like to think) than the society I’m in now. So the waters were broader back then, when I explored alone – I never felt alone.
This has been more like a small cave lake, where the spirit-fish are quiet, if present at all.
It is interesting to me that coming back out of the underworld, into the sunlight and warmth of new friends, and renewed dedication to mothering my family, and reconnecting all the connections, has brought connections to moonlight, as well.
It is a new year, and it’s time for this woman to focus on her quest of connecting with womanspirit, and to focus on this blog as the home base for the exploration of the feminine mysteries and sisterhood.
This year I will be attending the monthly Women’s Sacred Circle at my local Unitarian Universalist congregation, I’ll be making new friends and hopefully forming a coterie of women, and I’ll be starting a spiritual practice that will delve into the feminine mysteries to blend them with my animistic and solitary journey. I might even pray. :) I’m hoping music will have a part, too. In 2014 I am emerging from the wild hedge to dance in the circle of women.
I keep finding myself imagining Artemis emerging from the woods… not lonely since she lives with the animals and plants and moon and earth, but curious about the gathering women, and sensing a sisterhood she belongs to… and taking her place among them, contributing to their presence and magic, and helping to ground it in the earth and lift it toward the stars. Grow…
I wanted to post that I'm in the midst of finals and writing three big papers, but also starting to attend my local Unitarian Universalist church services and its Women's Sacred Circle. The UU church is a friendly place for people of any belief, as it doesn't demand adherence to a theological creed or prescribe beliefs, and many atheists and Pagans (etc.) find community there. I felt right at home in the Women's Sacred Circle, where we called the quarters and lit candles and shared ritual space. It was lovely.
I will write a proper post after finals are over (mid-December), and more regularly in the new year since I'm scaling back from full-time school to part-time. I have so many ideas I would love to talk about - not only from my anthropology of religion class, Native American history/culture classes, and philosophy classes, but from the wider world and inner world as well. :) Next semester I have a poetry class, so I look forward to the creative flow and more time to contemplate and write.