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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Poetry for the Esbat: Cold, Snow, Chaste, Hunger Moon... When is the Quickening? (2013)

Tarot Priestess, by Jane Adams 2003.
Tarot Priestess, by Jane Adams 2003.
Image from her website janeadamsart, where she shares her varied artistic
& esoteric explorations -- a magnificent collection of imagery, a wealth of information.
Also, the only website I have found where both animism & Ida Craddock are discussed (!).

Ah, this February Moon. So many names that imply a state of waiting...

Last year, I wrote: 
"February's Full Moon, is called the Snow Moon, Hunger Moon or Quickening Moon. According to the Farmer's Almanac, it was often called the Snow Moon because February is generally the month with the greatest amount of said precipitation. Also weather related is the name Hunger Moon, pointing to the difficulty of the harsh seasonal conditions during this time. The name Quickening Moon, I believe (& feel free to correct me if you know otherwise), is a more recent name which makes reference to this Moon's proximity to the celebration of Imbolc, Lá Fhéile Bhríde & Groundhog's Day. It points to the stirring of the Earth -- the earliest reawakening after a long winter's slumber."
I can add to this the "Chaste Moon," moniker which some argue stems from the "chastity" of early Spring, while others describe it as referring to the purity & introspection of Pisces. I am inclined toward the latter, that of a thoughtful, self-protective inwardness. Either way, chastity in this particular case seems to be used to emphasize what has not yet happened, but is anticipated

But when?

Hunger Moon. Aren't we hungry by now? After months of navel-gazing & waiting, waiting for the Sun, don't we hunger for transformation?

Alaska is making us wait, but even here, deep in the snow, I see small signs of change. Last night, I stepped out onto the deck to speak with the Moon. I was barefoot. In the balmy 31° F air, the snow felt warm between my toes.

Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) waiting. Alaska's February birds.
Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) waiting.
Alaska's February birds.
Our birdfriends are moving about more too. I am utterly dumbfounded that tiny birds like Black Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) actually overwinter here. It seems like sheer madness to me. I believe they accomplish this feat by hunkering down, keeping quite still & waiting... But now they break the silence & shake up the stillness. They appear en masse, mobbing what is left of our edible holiday ornaments (strands of cranberries & popcorn, hung on the trees outside). They cock their heads & peer in the windows as if to say, "More cookie crumbs, please... & can we get a side of Sunlight with that?" I have seen many familiar faces & a few I do not yet know. I feel a fellowship with them -- we are all hungry & waiting.

The Changeling is waiting too. Waiting for his Moma to be done with the computer. With that thought, let me get right to the poetry. It too, is about inwardness, waiting, transformation & also snow, shadow & barbed wire fences which I find myself missing quite a bit right now.

Hunger Moon

The last full moon of February
stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position

until now, in the small hours, across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me, not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun of silence.

I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.

Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.


Anonymous said...

The birds are waxwings.

Moma Fauna said...

Thank you. Updated, species specified & linked even.

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