Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wandering: Desperate Circus

Twilight over the Cook Inlet.
Twilight over the Cook Inlet.


With some trepidation I escorted my complicated companion to revisit the Place where Herne has made Himself recognized.

This was very much like a clown show or an early (or late) Trick or Treat: one behemoth of a Norseman "Pirate," one black hooded "Witch" & what might best be characterized as Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series.

Carrying three bottles of mead, a shillelagh, a very large Oath Ring (from a tug boat line) & a drinking horn, I confess that I felt a bit sheepish in the daylight as hikers & tourists looked upon us with complete confusion. As they should.

This was not the time for Herne-hunting. I knew this well enough, but sometimes people are so desperate for connection that you just hold their hand & do your best at the art of damage control.

Along the arduously disorganized & delayed trek, many trees were loved & libated. Many words exchanged that would soon be forgotten. Don Quixote himself may have been channeled.

This was a messy excursion by anyone's standards. 

As I squatted along the edge of the trail & listened to the one-eyed bear of a man extracting my slender, aching friend from the disappointingly vacant darkness of the forest, I could only say to myself, "This is not the Way..."

But what isn't one person's Best Night might be another's. Later, I found myself alone in the still silence, facing Twilight, admiring the expanse of Sea & Sky divided by the horizon, unsure which side was the real side. Really, it didn't matter.

And when I crept back through the dimming light to rejoin my party, I found them seated at the edge of the bluff, framed by sinewy trees & silhouetted against the golden horizon. From their deepest hearts & bellies they sang "Helvegen" in bittersweet harmony. I was enchanted -- it was just... breathtakingly beautiful. (Had it not been completely inappropriate, I would have secreted out my phone & filmed it.)  

I sat witness to this poignant scene until my legs cramped & my nose ran from the cold. I was finally relieved to see the Heathen's bulky shape rise & turn to me. Now would be the time to complete my own Work.

Down to the water we went, leaving the saddest member to wait on the bluff. He could never have managed the descent. The large man who followed me down the familiar trail was nothing graceful himself, sliding on the ice & crashing through the naked undergrowth. I could have managed very well alone, but we are trained as women in this society to distrust the condition of alone-in-the-dark (even when realistically, it might be the safer -- for everyone). 

The tide was high & the Ice ran right up to the water, dropping off abruptly. It made for awkward gyrations, but I did my cleansing & offerings as though atop an ice float at the edge of the smoothest Ocean surface imaginable. My dips made arcs which replicated across the water ad infinitum, playing the shadow against the last of the light. Nyx's starry cloak was surprisingly clear, in spite of the yellowing Anchorage glow. Perfect.

I was expedient, but not unceremonious. In general, I Work from the hip & this instance was no different.

In short time we returned to the bench on the bluff, only to find that our companion had disappeared, leaving the horn crushed, a bottle shattered & the Oath Ring cast aside. He was to have his own adventures, or misadventures, to which we (mercifully) would not be witness.

There is a very fine line between opening up & forcing the doors. Most of us have managed to err on the side of boorish & unproductive from time to time. Yet I find that the gods will still give us chances.

The trick is to learn from, not repeat, these mistakes & never to presume that we can force a "mystical experience." 


***

Today, idling in the chill winds of an incoming storm, I stood alone with my brooding friend in a different forest. In the aftermath, I recalled to him the events of the evening which had been hopelessly lost to him. As I mentioned his entreaty to Herne -- how he stopped at precisely the right place, poured his mead & entered his own lonely chaos -- he nudged me & said, "Do you see the moose?" Looking up, I spotted a long legged beauty, making her way around the Alder only a short distance from us. She watched us calmly, intently & we remained silent as she unhurriedly wandered around & away.

I looked up at him & said, "See, you just mention Herne & there you go."


The (sometimes desperate) path  of so many secrets.
The (sometimes desperate) path
of so many secrets.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Flow Moon, 2016


Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.
Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.

There is a powerful synthesis happening. Strands of my life way, my cosmology, my relationships, my body, which did not seem to connect now find themselves intimately woven in the most sensible ways.

Everything keeps making sense & that is just a bit freakish.


○○○


In the past, when asked about whether I would be willing to "teach," I replied, "I only teach my accident." It was a gentle way to decline. 

But strange things & strange persons happen. And sometimes, they change the rules. Or, perhaps they unveil rules you never knew existed. And in this change or unveiling, I began to teach. Of course, it has not been in the manner to which I originally consented or anticipated, but isn't that just the way of things?

Flow.

One of my True Loves is Sigil Magick. Yet being a critter of much privilege & little for which to want, my practice of the Arte is often lacking impetus. Perhaps this is why I needed to teach the art to others.

Here on this Esbat I find myself working out the last details of a traditional Golden Dawn style talisman for presentation -- but also for myself -- the pieces of which seem to be attempting to tie my worlds together. The focus of this talisman, in brief, is Flow. Hence the card for this Esbat, "Going with the Flow," the Ace of Water from the Osho Zen Tarot -- a deck I discovered while working on this particular project. 
Ace of Water, Osho Zen Tarot.
"The figure in this card is completely relaxed and at ease in the water, letting it take him where it will. He has mastered the art of being passive and receptive without being dull or sleepy. He is just available to the currents of life, with never a thought of saying "I don't like that," or "I prefer to go the other way."
Every moment in life we have a choice whether to enter life's waters and float, or to try to swim upstream. When this card appears in a reading it is an indication that you are able to float now, trusting that life will support you in your relaxation and take you exactly where it wants you to go. Allow this feeling of trust and relaxation to grow more and more; everything is happening exactly as it should." -- OZT

And isn't that just so very apropos for this Lunar occasion?

Concurrently, my studies in dance have been directed at this subject of Flow & somehow (ha!) this brought me to discover the underwater dance images of American belly dancer Delilah:


Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.


Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.


Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.Dancer Delilah (Flynn) crafting her Art, underwater.


Her flowing (quite literally) being so illustrative of a condition I seek to realize for myself.


Moma Fauna working on Flow


Not only in Dance, but in Life. (And are they not the same thing?)


○○○



This brings me to the poetry for this Esbat. In keeping with all the flowing & synthesizing & surrendering, I present a poem I have been sitting on (in my Poetry Foundation App) for several years now. The reasons for this I do not know, perhaps it was just not time. If I am honest with myself, I actually think I never quite understood it completely -- until now. 


[As if the moon could haul through you], by Neil Fischer


As if the moon could haul through you
Its tremor of light and stone,
Be cleared of sound. Plough
The mind's noise until it's a shine

In the purl of south-bending river that bears
Itself toward a blacker part of the forest.
If you hum, hum through the motes of air,
Perhaps your nerves will find at last

A tone to which they will succumb.
Be still. Be not so heavy-hearted
For a moment. All is not a tomb,
Blind sarcophagus staring dumb, thwarted

Pleasures nailed inside. These fireflies
Sweep their tracings on the evening.
Weep if you must, but board what falls
Away, abdomens flaring—

The brief, nomadic intervals.




Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wandering: More Lessons in Seeing & Perspectivism



Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
― Anaïs Nin, “Seduction of the Minotaur”

As the ice has begun breaking up so very early, we chose to resume our habit of wandering. This time, we ventured to Point Wornzoff & found an unexpected lesson in the art of seeing. Or is it understanding?

We descended the steep grade onto the beach & were taken aback by the number of people there -- it was uncharacteristically populated, crowded even. The voice of one of the Little Lad's friends chimed from below & a small hand waved about frantically from the relative throng. But a after a moment of focus, it became clear that more than half of the beach's population stood silent, unmoving & they spread far down the beach, away from where most humans choose to venture...


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016




Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


What I immediately noticed was that these frozen persons might have been more alive -- more real -- than most people that move & breathe.


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016




And I found myself absolutely captivated by the beauty & horror of this collection of persons. Completely faceless, yet so expressive it pained me.


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016












Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016




And of course, we had need to speculate on their origin, their stories, the meaning of this collection of personalities constructed of burlap, straw, concrete & rebar, lavishly strewn across the ice without explanation.

My husband felt they were post mortem sculptures of real people -- a most unusual memorial service.


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016




I could not shake the feeling that I was standing among the crypts in the Tarot's Judgement card & felt a curious need to move among them with caution -- never to touch their cold yet very alive bodies.


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures, Point Wornzoff, 2016


Whatever they were, are, they made their indelible impression. They changed us.

***

It wasn't until later in the week when I learned what these sculptures "really mean," or rather, what the artist intended for them. Across a steamy hot tub a friend explained in her chirpy Moldovan voice that they are the Faces of Depression...

I can see that. I even understand that.

I can also see a memorial 
& a Last Judgement 
& even a memento mori


I see much more than that, but I will keep that close, without further elaboration, as I prefer to leave the seeing & the knowing & the understanding to each person & their Selfs.


So much of the Magic of Life lies in the perspective of our Be-ing.


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016


Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016



Sculptures at Point Wornzoff, March 2016




Friday, March 4, 2016

Nyx Scraps: Installment II


It seems that my devotional pages -- "NYX, Νύξ, Nox: Primordial Mother" in particular -- have some benefit to people out there in the ether. Although I choose not to sculpt my writing to the tastes of others, I do maintain as part of my mission to promote human relationships with the Old Ones. So here I announce new additions to the Nyx page with updates to Hypnos & the Oneiroi to follow in subsequent days.

I am uncertain how I overlooked posting this version of the Orphic Hymn #3 to Nyx. This translation, by Apostolos N. Athanassakis is by far my favourite & is the one I use when I read Her hymn.


I shall sing of Night, Mother of gods and men.
Night- and let us call her Kypris- gave birth to all.
Hearken, O blessed goddess, jet-black and star-lit,
Whose delight is in quiet and slumber-filled serenity.
Cheerful and delightsome, O mother of dreams, you love the nightlong revel,
And your gentleness rids of cares, and offers respite from toil.
Giver of sleep, beloved of all you are, as you drive your steeds and gleam in darkness.
Ever incomplete, now terrestrial and now again celestial,
You circle around in pursuit of sprightly phantoms,
You force light into the nether world, and again you flee into Hades.
Dreadful Necessity governs all things.
But now, O blessed one, yea beatific and desired by all,
I call on you to grant a kind ear to my voice of supplication,
And benevolent, come to disperse fears that glisten in the dark.

-- Orphic Hymn #3 To Nyx, Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis, 1977


More works for the visually inclined:
(Note: while I prefer more the more traditional renderings of Nyx, I am slowly discovering & including nontraditional pieces which I feel honour Her in a manner fitting Her distinction.)



Allegoria de la Nit Artist uncertain. Palau de Cervelló, ballroom ceiling.
Allegoria de la Nit
Artist uncertain.
Palau de Cervelló, ballroom ceiling.
Wikicommons image edited by Moma Fauna.


Allegory of Night Joachim von Sandrart, German, circa 1654-1656 Oil on canvas. Vienna, Austria, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Allegory of Night
Joachim von Sandrart, German, circa 1654-1656
Oil on canvas.
Vienna, Austria, Kunsthistorisches Museum.


Noc Edward Okuń, Polish, 1903 From the Polish publication, Chimera.
Noc
Edward Okuń, Polish, 1903
From the Polish publication, Chimera.


Caption: THE MOTHER THEN WRUNG HER HANDS, WEPT, AND SANG.
Helen Stratton, British Illustrator, (1867–1961)
"...sing me all the songs you used to sing your child.
I am fond of those songs. I have heard them before.
I am Night; and I saw your tears flowing while you sang them.
"
From The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, courtesy WikiSource.


Allegory of Night Paul Aichele, German, 1859-1910 Bronze & marble.
Allegory of Night
Paul Aichele, German, 1859-1910
Bronze & marble.
Figure sold at auction via liveauctioneers.com.


Night Cesare Lapini, Italian, 1898 White marble. Night Cesare Lapini, Italian, 1898 White marble.
Night
Cesare Lapini, Italian, 1898
White marble.
Figure sold at auction via liveauctioneers.com.



The Night Natalia Drepina, Russia.
The Night
Natalia Drepina, Russia.
Purchase a print at the artist's DeviantArt page.


Nyx, Goddess of Night Yoann Lossel, France.
Nyx, Goddess of Night
Yoann Lossel, France.
Visit the artist's DeviantArt, Blog or Etsy pages.



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