The Tangled Hedge

A hedge-hopping awenydd follows the Mother of Life's trackways and brings back what is needed, connecting the village with the numinous wilds.

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The Dark Mother

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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.

Then you journey deep into winter to rest and wrestle and plan, and in spring rebirth comes and you assemble yourself anew, incorporating your truth, with summer being the field to practice it on and cultivate its fruits. It’s a powerful cycle. It’s a part of life for us humans, whether we’re aware of the process or not. It’s nature, and we come from the Earth and her seasons - our psyches formed by our environment… our home... our mother.

    This is the time of the Dark Mother. The Crone aspect sees wisely, and brings death close to remind us of the dark half of life, and to thin the veil between worlds so we can touch the mystery and deepen the day with night, sharpen the light with dark. Balance is truth, and balance is beautiful. Darkness also holds beauty, and those who have a balance of light and dark and don’t see them as good and bad have valuable wisdom, and twice as large a basket to carry the harvest in.

    We may not find this aspect of our mother comforting or appealing, but mothers are not only for comfort. Mothers also protect and teach, show us fierceness, and make us reach. The role of mother is complex and vast. It is a microcosm and reflection of life itself. And life includes death. Life includes illness, aging, joy, fear, rage, contentment, loss, growth, and pruning. You lose your mother at some point, perhaps multiple times. And your father. And yourself. You learn to make your way, and to welcome rebirths of what is lost and found. You learn resilience and the way to balance, and you learn mothering and fathering and give that to others, and to yourself… and to the Earth - as you would your aging mother and father, or grandparents.

    Kali, Cailleach, Morrígan, Hecate, Lilith… give her a knowing smile (you know she’s giving you one) and tell her you’re ready this Autumn, among the brilliant and then bare trees, for truth… for balance… for wisdom… medicine and sustenance to store for winter hibernation and transformation. Embrace the process rather than fighting it, and see how powerful you become when integrating it. It is natural. Trust her wisdom. Of course she loves you. She is Mother. Become a vast parent as you grow and move toward joining her, someday, with a wholeness and balance of aspects, yourself. Parent future generations with experienced wisdom, and protect their Mother so She can protect and teach them. Work together with her, live together, and you will not move into death alone.

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Lia is an awenydd, writer, journal editor (A Beautiful Resistance), copyeditor (Druid Magazine), hedge witch, mother, musician, OBOD Bard, and anthropology major, living in the wild, enchantingly beautiful mountain west (USA). Her spiritual influences tend toward the ancient and indigenous, with a future-focused hope that humanity will return to a spiritually-rich and thriving sustainability.


  • donna
    donna Monday, 22 September 2014

    I too love both the light & dark times for they both bring their own unique gifts. Luckily, I've never had the fear of the Dark Mother.

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