You held my hand Guided my steps And supported my dreams.
We did not always agree But eventually the paths Of our divergence met at The singular point of Love.
You possessed the wisdom of age And experience as the power of The feminine coursed through you as the Elder and first Mother.
This mantle was passed to you from Your Mother and hers from a continuous Line of strong and courageous women.
Each passing of this Queenship Made a little easier the road ahead And for me that easier road stretched Exponentially further.
Your life was hard so that mine Would be made easier and the Blessings I pass to my daughters Will be ones of a newly forged strength That has been honed and tempered in the Fires of pain and joy of those who came before.
You have found your freedom and In passing from this world left behind The mantle of Matriarch that I now Must take up as I find my way.
I am not ready but this is not a choice And I will take on this gift wearing it Proudly until my time in this world Is done....
I Am the Matriarch And in this naming I Set foot on a path all Women will one day walk.
Recent loss of my Mother has set me to thinking about much that I have claimed as my space of knowing about the power of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine. Our focus never wants to stray into thoughts of when the inevitable will happen, so we direct our claimings to those of identification as the lusty Maiden, the creative nurturing of the Mother and the prized wisdom of recognition as a Crone.
A few shots of whiskey in, an old friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and I decided to do a tarot reading on the upcoming US presidential election. We are both a bit obsessed, checking FiveThirtyEight (the website that focuses on opinion poll analysis) regularly (and I confess in my case sometimes multiple times a day). She has also been doing multiple divinations using I Ching and Runes. As is often the case with divination she never got conclusive answers much to her consternation.
Right now it’s the summer holidays, and in many places, the young people are home from school, and families are off doing the holiday thing. Or trying not to kill each other. It’s worth noting however that the origin of the summer holidays has nothing to do with having a good time, and everything to do with needing the young people to help get the harvests in. The norms of our school systems pre-date the combine harvester and other such devices.
You don’t have to be much of an etymologist to spot that ‘holiday’ comes from ‘holy day’ and for many of our Christian ancestors, the holy days were the only days off, if you were lucky. Servants tended to have to work on Sundays and over Christmas etc, but religious celebration has provided our ancestors with much needed opportunities to down tools and socialise. The pilgrimage is the ancestor of the tourist industry, and holy journeys and holidays have a great deal to do with holidays.
Every space whether it is your back garden, your living room, the city park or the middle of a field it all has its own unique energy and history.
I live on the edge of a large city in a terraced house.My house was built in 1920 but before that there was another house on the land and before that and before that.In fact as I also live near the sea, the city being a port it has attracted dwellings probably since man needed a roof over his head and somewhere nearby to catch food (i.e. the sea).The first recorded dwellings date back to the late 9th Century and we have apparently had Romans, Normans, Saxons and all and sundry living here.So the land itself holds a huge amount of memories and echoes from our ancestors, oh the tales it could tell…
I am more naturally conscious of ancestry around Beltain than I am at Samhain. Partly because there are so many traditional songs that start with someone roving out on a bright May morning. Usually to get laid, or to indulge in the kind of voyeurism intrinsic to folk music. And partly because of my grandmother, who loved the bluebells.
My grandmother was a keen walker for much of her life, having grown up with a mother who went walking on Sundays in preference to going to church. In old age, she could no longer climb the hills each spring to go looking for bluebells, and so this time of year became a source of grief to her. I have never driven a car, I was never able to take her out, but others did, and I’m not the only one to think of her when the bluebells are flowering.
This continues the story I began last week. Catherina is my 2x great-grandmother; Agnes is my 2x great-aunt; Johanetta is my first cousin, 3x removed, and my step-2x great-grandmother; Henry is my 2x great-grandfather. It is true that Henry had eighteen children with two wives. It is also true that Henry and Johanetta married and had a child soon after Catherina's death. Some of the other details came in waking trance as I allowed the ancestors to tell their stories through me.
Agnes Lattauer Sweitzer: I thought the day Catherina left for America would be the worst day of my life. I did not know I would see Catherina again. I did not know I would outlive my two little sisters and both of my brothers. I did not know what my daughter would do. I read Catherina’s letters from America through my tears. How I wanted to be with her on her wedding day. How I wished she had been with us when we buried our sister Johanetta. My heart nearly burst when Catherina wrote that she longed to take my hand when she gave birth to her first child. My mind contorted itself trying to envision her living in a big city, in a big building, climbing up and down stairs, her feet never touching the earth, her hands never working the soil. What kind of life was that?
Trends change rapidly in the Pagan community. We often see "an indisputable fact" ricochet to its exact opposite within years. These "truths" cause immense discord. How can we navigate these treacherous waters without disavowing our own personal wisdoms? We all find our way of doing it. If I share mine, perhaps that might make finding yours easier.