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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Poetry for the Esbat: Time To Spring Moon 2013

Traveling by boat in the Crazy Northwestern Sunlight.  Nighttime in Homer, AK.
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.
Common Loon (Gavia immer),
seeking fish off the Homer spit.
Once again, the Sun insists on riding the horizon 'round & 'round. With such an enormous nightlight, I know the birds are either back or simply back in gear because they sing nearly all night long. I leave the window open just a wee bit so that I might listen. On the Kenai, the bird migrations are in full swing. Great flocks, some in swaths, others in chains, all on their way somewhere, swinging low over the glistening water.  The loons, unflappable birds that they are, already dodge float planes & dive for fish as if they never left.  

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.
Waxing Moon in a sort-of-Spring sky.
Lady Moon is now full swing into her Dance of Obfuscation with the Sun. Best time to see Her is in the afternoon or evening, when the Sun has wandered over into the Northwest corner of the heavens. There is no bathing in the Moonlight, or watching Her light reflecting on the water, but it is fun to play a game of hide & seek in the latter part of the day.

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.
18. The Moon.*
From the Dion Fortune Tarot.
Image & deck can be found at
Deep Books, Ltd. Tarot Blog.
While perusing the shelves in the community library I also found a copy of Dion Fortune's The Sea Priestess. As I have mentioned in the past, Fortune's writing has been one of the keystones of my esoteric philosophy. It may seem that the poem I chose is a bit of a non sequitur with all this discussion of Spring. Probably. Maybe. I chose it because I keep thinking about all the change about to happen, the transition to a different place, climate, context, culture. I do not transition all that well. Or rather, transition itself is difficult for me, but the adjustment once the transition has passed is usually brief. So, I keep thinking about the Moon & how She is always there & always has been, no matter what the changing conditions. My faithful guide. So too, in a way, is Ms. Fortune.

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.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...