|Traveling by boat in the Crazy Northwestern Sunlight. |
Nighttime in Homer, AK.
My observations tell me this is a pivotal point in the seasons. A week ago today, we were experiencing a snowstorm which made weather "history"-- human recorded history anyway. Today, it looks as though the birch tree hanging over the greenhouse is pulling up its socks, readying to/for Spring. The grasses look like they are dressing themselves in chlorophyll green again. No leaves on the trees yet, but no snow either. Along the asphalt-warmed roadsides & building edges one can see weedy species & the ancient, self-possessed, horsetails (Equisetum spp.) of the Paleozoic already emergent. Finally, we see overnight temperatures that do not demand our toting the little plants in & out of the greenhouse every evening.
|Common Loon (Gavia immer),|
seeking fish off the Homer spit.
This coming week also kicks off the official tourist rates in town, so don't travel to Alaska until after Labor Day if you are on a budget. To me, this implies Summer. So Spring, I presume, must be manifesting in the next day or so because there is simply no room to dally. If Spring does not spring asap, it will have to forfeit this year. Summer is nearly upon us.
|Waxing Moon in a sort-of-Spring sky.|
In an effort to find some apt poetry for the Esbat, I wandered down to the community library & took a peek. In a book from a notoriously questionable source whose writing chronically lacks citation, I found a curious list of Full Moon names for this month. The text refers to May's Moon as the "Hare Moon," but it also offers the following alternates: Merry Moon, Thrimilcmonath (Thrice-Milk Month), Sproutkale, Winnemanoth & Planting Moon (isn't it a bit late?). Some of those names I hadn't seen anywhere else, so I figured I should include them here, despite the questionable source material (see: Conway, "Moon Magick," published by Llewellyn).
Last year I chose the "Flower Moon" moniker. It was most certainly appropriate for the high desert bioregion of our other home. I had thought perhaps I might call this Moon the "Horsetail Moon," but really, what we need is for Spring to spring, so I settled for "Time to Spring Moon." It is a bit of a double entendre for me because soon, very soon I will taking our children by ferry across the water, back to the desert. Migration cometh, at the squirrely backward time of June 1st. We ready ourselves to spring.
|18. The Moon.*|
From the Dion Fortune Tarot.
Image & deck can be found at
Deep Books, Ltd. Tarot Blog.
Thus, this Esbat I offer up a piecing together of connected excerpts from The Sea Priestess. I do not share Ms. Fortune's views regarding the nature of deity (a monotheistic monism?) -- she uses aspecting, I don't -- but her expression of the rhythm of being & All that is... well, it is so spectacularly beautiful. I am including some of the prose with this set of evocations in order to provide framing & context for the poetry.
Selected excerpts from The Sea Priestess, by Dion Fortune:
...She stood for a long time looking out over the moonlit sea till the shadow of the down drew in to her feet; then she turned and looked up at the moon with the moonlight full upon her. She was like a statue, so still and so perfectly formed. Then she raised her arms to the sky till they looked like the horns of the moon, and began to sing one of her strange songs that she had been singing to me on and of? For the last few days, and that had, I think, contributed not a little to my restless and disturbed state, but this time she was singing with the power of evocation--
"O Isis, veiled on earth, but shining clear
In the high heaven now the full moon draws near,
Hear the invoking words, hear and appear--
Shaddai el Chai, and Ea, Binah, Ge."**
Impelled by what power I do not know, I rose and walked towards her, and as I got close enough to see her face in the moonlight, I saw that it was not Morgan Le Fay at all, and that' the eyes were strange and wide and inhuman, not even the eyes of the sea-priestess, but of the sea-goddess herself. She I raised her arms like the horns of Hathor and she sang to the moon and the sea--
"I am she who ere the earth was formed
Was Ea, Binah, Ge
I am that soundless, boundless, bitter sea,
Out of whose deeps life wells eternally..."
...I felt that this peculiar tidal rhythm was in all things, like a great breathing. And I remembered that the Moon was called Our Lady of Rhythm and the Ruler of the Tides of Life. There rose to my mind one of Morgan's songs with which she had plagued me with an all too sweet torment:
"I am that soundless, boundless, bitter sea.
All tides are mine, and answer unto me.
Tides of the airs, tides of the inner earth;
The secret, silent tides of death and birth.
Tides of men's souls, and dreams, and destiny--
Isis Veiled, and Ea, Binah, Ge."
Isis Veiled, I knew, was Our Lady of Nature, just as Isis Unveiled is the Heavenly Isis. Ea was the soul of Space and parent of Time, older even than the Titans. Binah, the Dark Sterile Mother of All, was the Great Sea whence life arose, the female principle and pre-matter. And Ge herself was the magnetic earth that is like an aura to our globe and in which move the tides that the Easterns call the Tattvas. These things I knew, for Morgan had already told me, and I realised that I was now watching them...
...Then she sang, and I knew that this was Isis, unveiled and dynamic:
"I am the star that rises from the sea--
The twilight sea.
I bring men dreams that rule their destiny.
I bring the dream-tides to the souls of men;
The tides that ebb and flow and ebb again--
These are my secret, these belong to me--
"I am the eternal Woman, I am she!
The tides of all men's souls belong to me.
The tides that ebb and flow and ebb again;
The silent, inward tides that govern men--
These are my secret, these belong to me.
"Out of my hands he takes his destiny.
Touch of my hands confers polarity.
These are the moon-tides, these belong to me--
Hera in heaven, on earth, Persephone;
Levanah of the tides, and Hecate.
Diana of the Moon, Star of the Sea--
Isis Unveiled and Ea, Pinah, Ge!"
Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.
* As I understand it, Dion Fortune had no involvement in the development, design or production of this deck, but rather it was inspired by her works. Would she approve? I do not know. But, it seemed an appropriate compliment to this Moon's poetry piece.
** Pronounced Eeah, Beenah, Ghee.