If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
A recent prompt from Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Hecate class urged us to look into the palms of our hands and consider our ancestors. Having already given a lot of thought to my more recent ancestors in this course, I felt my attention turn instead to the unnamed thousands of time and space who brought me to this place...
The wheel turns. Our youngest son turned one yesterday. His pregnancy and birth was so closely aligned with the wheel of the year and my pregnancy with him was an incredibly generative time for our business (I wrote and published the Womanrunes book as well as sculpted more than twenty of our sculpture and pendant designs while pregnant with him). I can hardly believe he is one now! Instead of leaping right into my to-do list when he was napping, I sat with my cards and my Divination Practicum workbook. I’m really enjoying the many ways the course I am currently teaching dovetails with the prompts in the 30 Days of Hecate course I am currently taking. Yesterday's assignment was to do a tarot reading using Joanna’s “Elder of Fire” layout. I did it with the Gaian Tarot combined with Womanrunes. I felt like doing this layout was exactly what I needed. I’ve been feeling scattered, drained, touched out, and stressed lately. My kids are all sick and we’ve been what feels like nonstop busy and I’ve been craving down time, solitude, and space to think. My list is a mile long, but I made space for this work first instead of saving it for the oft-elusive “later.” This Elder of Fire layout feels like a really, really powerful layout to do at this time of year and I encourage you to try it yourself this weekend! I was also very interested to see that the rune of the day for me was The Cauldron and then The Cauldron was also the first card for my Elder spread. That is very Hecate-riffic.
She who changes She who expands and contracts She who stretches her limits She who digs deep She who triumphs and fails Every day Sometimes both within a single hour She who tends her own hearth She who comforts and connects and enfolds She who opens wide…
I recently finished reading Under Her Wings: The Making of a Magdalene, by Nicole Christine. A theme running through the book was the concept of “As Above, So Below and As Within, So Without.” I read this book as part of my research for my dissertation about contemporary priestessing. I posed two questions based on this book in my dissertation research study group, but I’d like to invite other responses and experiences as well.
May the sunset cloak of shorter days enfold you May you dance with the patterns of crimson and gold leaves May you sing with owl and coyote in crisp moonlight May you savor the orangeness of pumpkin and yam and feel the sweetness of honey on your tongue. May you listen to the dreams of seed corn May elderberry strengthen you with stored sunshine May persimmon grant you a fleeting hello May the poignant flare of an October rose kiss you with hope. May your rooms be wreathed with smiles. And, may you remember the grace and wisdom found in both gathering and releasing.
Nine fruits and nine flavors to preserve my soul in peace this day...
— Caitlín Matthews
I'm enjoying Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Harvest ecourse. This week, one of the photo prompts was about savoring autumn fruits. While thoughts of apples were also on my mind, I took the prompt metaphorically and went for a walk with my baby to identify nine “flavors” of autumn in my own back yard.
Persimmon for patience, raspberry for reflection, dogwood for dreams, rose for enchantment, aster for starshine, polk for color, oak for mystery, and cucumber for salad.
Items from nature for a collaborative nature mandala: leaves, stones, acorns, seeds, twigs, feathers, and other items from nature (mindfully collected and ideally found on ground). If a group ritual, ask each person to bring a quantity of something to add to the mandala. If it is a family ritual, go out together before moonrise to collect your items. Note: Depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.
Paper leaves (can be simply cut out ovals using scrap paper) or dry, fallen leaves + markers to write on them.
Optional: drums, rattles, or bells
Optional: a candles for each participant (place around outer edge of nature mandala)
Before the ritual: ask each person to respond to the prompt: “my bounty is” and collate the responses into a collaborative bounty poem. If you are working alone, respond to this prompt on your own and form a poem for yourself (example poem)