Saturday, 31 March 2012

Hecate At The Crossroads

A few weeks ago, on the full moon, I circled the forest touching base with my favourite spots. On the way home the three sided tree in the graveyard beckoned. Each gnarled facet is as wide as my outstretched arms. The steps up to the door are made of roots, large and daunting. The door itself faintly etched, but visible.

I anchored myself to the here and now by the cords I cast. I wound myself in to the tree, round and round three times I went with the sacred utterings. I sat and I knocked. I asked for it to open to me.

The opening revealed a wooden spiral flight going down. I entered into the darkness and descended. A desolate landscape awaited me. A silent wind roared. A land of grey ash and the occasional twisted skeleton of a tree. Ragged forms floating in the fog of dust. An endless plain of darkness as far as my eyes could perceive. The realms below the graveyard above. I had stepped, not into the Otherworld, but the Underworld.

I stood on the road on which I had come, with another stretching to the left and off again to the right. The place where three roads meet. And then she loomed right up to me with a suddenness that took me a step back. Her cloak of blackness whipped by the wordless wind and her hag face emanating a pure white light. Hecate herself at the crossroads.

She riddled me "What spoke without speaking?" and my reply " A wheel" came from somewhere inside me, I don't know where. On the road in the distance to the right a tumbleweed like dust cloud rolled, closer and closer it came as a large wheel turning slowly, until it stopped in front of me as high as myself. Hecate grabbed my hand and into it pressed three coins. Not wanting to be beholden to her actually tried to give them back. But she closed my hand around them and held it tight with bony fist of luminescent alabaster telling me I would need them.

Then quick as a flash I was atop the wheel in an invisible carriage where unseen horses pulled. Faster and faster they galloped noiselessly down the road with the big wheel spinning until the whole thing took to the air. At an intense speed I flew to near vomitting through the planes and my own head to find myself sat at the base of the tree in the dusking light.

I anchored and unwound, firmly to this world I grounded. Three pieces of mistletoe I found for me, fallen from a tree to the grass below on the way out.

Having reflected on my Summoning by the Goddess of the Gateway I've concluded that it is a positive thing. She is the goddess of our own of our own underworld, our unconscious mind. She is there for those who use their pain and darkness for transformation. She gives wisdom and psychic ability to those who are prepared embrace the shadow self. Having been on an internal journey of letting go, seeing things in myself and a period of deep withdrawal I shouldn't be surprised that Hecate has appeared on my path. Hecate will help with the inner work in the conscious and unconscious, but it is to the Underworld we have to go to find her.

One of her symbols is a flaming torch and she sheds her light on things we don't want to look at. She changes us, birthing us new and whole. She comes as the empowerer of the High Priestess who has already found her truth. She is of the light and of the dark, the gateway between the two. She is the midwife that births us to life and births us to death.

So for the time being I walk with Hecate. The coins she gave me burning into my palm until I work out what good I am to use them for. I can feel her presence, sometimes very close. She has given me strength. She is protecting me within and without. She shines her light for me to see more intuitively into the darker places and the hidden realms. Bless you Hecate, Queen of the Night and Guardian of the Primal Void.

The Dreadess xx

Friday, 30 March 2012

Chaos

I say to you ... one must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star - Nietzsch

All around me is disorder. Inside me I'm mess. I turn and spin in circles. Sometimes I must seem lost to onlookers. At times I seem lost to myself. Yet there is a method in this. This is the storm before the calm and the making of a new order. This is a necessary part of an ever evolving cycle. Form and chaos. Chaos and form. Hand in hand in a dance.

A wolf who has lost her way will run rapidly in small circles, turning on the spot, manically sniffing the air, scratching the ground until she picks up the clues from all levels and all senses, then off again fast, nose, ears and eyes attuned to the trail.

I spin in crazy circles, snatching at a bit of this and that. I'm finding my thing. Picking up the scent. Finding my pack. I twirl in the chaos. Don't worry I am fecund with a million ideas. I am a creatrix. I'm gestating a dancing star.

You too ... don't fear the chaos. Go in to the centre of the many wildly whirling forms and thoughts. Let them fly round and round. Giddy with excitement go gathering the bright colours as they whirr past in a blur. Have courage and trust that the clues you need are in the chaos and that chaos always comes before new form ... a new idea, a new you.

The Dreadess xx

Monday, 26 March 2012

Spring Has Definitely Sprung

I was truly blessed with a perfect weekend. It marked for me that move into the light, that we celebrate and so need, as the dark nights elongate slowly into long summer's evenings. This weekend was a wonderful taster of summertide promises to come.

It began with a Friday night invite to friends for food and drinks around their new and rather splendid cast iron fire pit complete with tripod and cook pot.

Then Saturday was defined by the Active Arts Spring Fire Gathering. These events mark the quarters of the year in a warm hearted swirl of fire sparks, drum beats, chinwag and chai under a canopy of trees and stars.

As usual I provided a seasonal activity to honour the new part of the year and the change within that it brings. This time I chose for us to make origami seed pots out of old newspapers into which a chosen rune was placed before planting a sunflower seed. We planted our runes and seeds with intent to bring new good things into our hearts, minds and lives.

The food was cooked with love by many hearts and hands in an open air kitchen. We feasted on soup, salads and cakes and supped chai and white wine punch steeped in raspberries, cranberries, grapes, lime, lemon and chamomile flowers. We drummed and we danced and we sang.

A real joy was listening to the melodic sounds of the hang from friends Lina and Barry, the Hanghang Duo, with Jules on tabla. What a treat.

Another highlight for me was when the men danced whilst we women drummed. A strong beat and the warriors stomped and danced and whooped. Obviously to be in balance we goddesses got our chance to dance to the men drumming. I have to say I struggled with not being able to dance as I would normally and only managed a short while before my foot and leg decided enough was enough. So I shook that shaker instead. It was lovely to see some of our youngsters dancing with a rare freedom to the drum beats and the firelight.

By the time we made it home, after unloading the drums and extra tea and giggles, it was about two in the morning and the clocks had leapt forward to three on British Summer Time. So Sunday we slept in late and pootled out lazily to the forest in the afternoon, to sit with ice creams looking up a the blue sky through the boughs of a huge old oak listening to woodpeckers and bird song. The animals were frisky too. The ponies were frolicking, the cows even stampeded through the trees and at one point a young stag ran across the open ground.

Spring has definitely sprung with all it's giddy excitement and vibrant energy. It is a time to get things planned and new ventures off the ground. May we all spring forward into lighter, longer days.

The Dreadess xx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Spring Equinox Blessings One And All

Blessed Ostara, the celebration of equal day and equal night, is time for finding and appreciating balance within and without. It's all about balance.




Since having my bad leg and the fall I've been forced to contemplate balance a lot, not only within my physical body but in my life too. As I relearned how to balance on my left leg again, I became very aware of my muscular core. To find my balance again I had to go deep into my centre and find the solid point. Only then day by day could I extend all the way down to my legs. I still have a few physical balance issues on uneven ground or if I turn suddenly, but I'm nearly there.

It was a similar process in my life too, I found I had to go my core, that quiet place within of doing very little, being still and alone. I very quickly realised a few things I was doing that was making me unbalanced and overly stressed. I've made decisions to offload certain responsibilities that were maybe more than I have inner resources for at this time. I took time out to centre myself, I almost felt as though I became a hermit for a short time. I'm still in a process of slowly reaching back out again from that centre, only adding in and doing what feels right. I'm trying to extend back into my life with reaffirmed inner strength, yet a deeper awareness of my vulnerability. As I do so I'm really aware of how much I was over reaching before. It was as though to offset the heavy load I carried in one hand, instead of putting some baggage down, I just picked up more in the other to try and find some kind of weighed down equilibrium. No wonder I got the big wake up call.

So it makes me smile that, at time when I'm personally being forced to contemplate balance, the universe reminds me of all the different ways to be in harmony in body, mind and spirit. Lots of little gems have come my way in the past few days but I want to share just two. It was so timely that a dear friend wrote a wonderful blog about balance in which are these wise words ...

"How a ripple in the mind will cause a wobble in the body, how a wobble in the body will cause a ripple in the mind and how a moment of balance, where the body and mind are harmonised (however fleeting) is a moment of confidence, poise, grace and dignity."

So true. How quickly an imbalance in the body or mind becomes an imbalance in eating habits, sleep patterns, perceptions and energy levels eventually leading to dis-ease if the minor wobble is left unchecked to become a complete destabilising of our own orbit, flinging us off centre out into some unknown dark space of the self. This time of year though, this time of temporary perfect balance between the light and dark is a reminder that all is in ebb and flow, for this time is at the half way point where dark is about to yield to the waxing light. We too can always find our way back to the light place within, no matter how far we fly off centre.

I remember telling someone about six months ago that balance is but a dance on tightrope with pole in hand, not walking in a perfect straight, unerring line, but dipping slightly left then right yet never falling. I confess I may have put my pole down somewhere, probably whilst picking up yet more baggage which probably wasn't even my load to carry in the first place, and suffered the consequences. I have gone back, offloaded a bit, retrieved said pole and am back on the high wire. I have also rather humbly requested use of a safety harness and a large net this time.

I also got sent this video by another dear friend which made me think so very much about how humans are the only beings on this planet who struggle against the harmonious flow of nature and our Mother Earth. In our collective desire to achieve, to have and to become we destroy so much. Now is the time to find our balance between evolution and destruction. Each of us in our own way owes it to the whole of humanity to live at one with nature and tread as light as we can with planetary consciousness and an awareness of our part of the whole.

So Ostara Blessings indeed. May the seeds we plant in the rich soil, loving hearts and open minds be fertile and grow strong. May we find the path of balance and harmony in this beautiful dance of life.

The Dreadess xx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Honouring The Mother's Tear

So on this Mother's Day I found this and I'm posting it here, not in honour of all the mothers who have been given the handmade card covered in glue and glitter or the tray of burnt toast and cold tea in bed for breakfast made by loving little ones, but for the mothers for whom today is painful. For the mothers that never could conceive. For the mothers who miscarried too many times. For the mothers who held their babes for only a short time. For the mothers who have had to bury their children. The tears you shed are the extent of your love. The tears that are always there behind the eyes and ever ready to fall. The tear that welled from an ocean of so much love.

WHEN GOD CREATED MOTHERS

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?"
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts ... all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said,
"Six pairs of hands.... no way."
It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."
That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees
what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front
that can look at a child when he goofs up and say.
"I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."

God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow ..."
I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick ... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger ... and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.
"But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure."
"Can it think?"
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
"What's it for?"
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."
"You are a genius, " said the angel.
Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.”

-Erma Bombeck

I'm grateful today for the friends I have who remember I am a mum of two precious children, not that today, Mother's Day, is really so important in the great scheme of things, but somehow missing Izzy here makes it seem so. I love my son with all my heart and as much as I am smiling today there is also a tear ... a mother's tear of joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride for my daughter.

The Dreadess xx