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.


Anonymous said...

Breathtakingly real and familiar. I too have the map to these places and feelings -- less icy terrain but the features echo. I really really enjoyed this!

Anonymous said...

Clicking the follow up box :-)

Moma Fauna said...


There are these peculiar moments I have from time to time when writing about particular happenings. It happens that I thought of you repeatedly throughout the day as I wrote this one, my intuition telling me that you would very well recognize the desperate circus. I could not back up that feeling at the time -- in fact, I tried to explain it a away as possibly a Martial Arts association as my desperate friend is a practitioner of Baguazhang. It is good to have a positive test on the psychic antennae from time to time. ;)

There was something healing for me in this experience, being the Don Juan to the Carlos Castaneda, sitting back and watching, assuring some semblance of safety but interfering as little as possible. I realized that there was no shame in this apparent train wreck. Not at all. It was just, what it was -- an ungraceful & ill-prepared attempt to make a connection. It was so honest, raw & ultimately quite painful, but there was no need for shame. On the occasions when I followed that desperate path, I found a deep sense of shame in the aftermath.

I think the key was in the companionship. My past blunders were invariably with people who thought I was being bat-shit cRaZy, people who did not understand how powerful that desire can be. So I invariably came out feeling shamed.

It is nice to know that the following day I could tell him gently & with understanding what occurred. He would not receive mocking, judgement or disapproval from me. (Nor do I expect he got any from his Heathen pal.) I came prepared to give him suggestions, but he already recognized his judgement errors. I did make one suggestion: that he take his talents as a musician & write a piece of music for Herne. Then, return to that Place and revisit that moment of song on the bluff, this time in honor of Him.

Anonymous said...

You thought about me? I'm so flattered -- and impressed by your spot-on radar powers!(he blushes, puts hands in pockets, shuffles feet, changes subject)

One learns little from successes. It's the biggest failures that teach the most powerful lessons. Every day is opposite day. When you feel like you have to hurry, that's the time when it's most important to slow down. When you're too cranky, hurried and out of sorts to meditate, you *really need* to meditate, etc.

And so your friend the martial artist must know that best way to learn proper defense is to get hit in the face (which is kinda what metaphorically happened). And it's also best to practice with friends hitting you in face instead of evildoers (which kind of also was the case because he was with friends). So really, it was kind of best-case scenario. Lessons learned.

Good job being patient and understanding, and great suggestion to write a song! More effort = more power. I once made an offering of a hike to a high peak to burn incense, and it was probably the most powerful working I ever did.

Off topic, but I seem to recall that you're into belly dance. My mother was too. She passed away on Jan. 13, rest her soul. I put her old Super 8 home movies on my blog. They're silent, but you can see her doing veil work at 11:40 and 17:00 of the following video: (by the way, I'm not the short kid on the bike, I'm the one with the giant ears in the white shirt who's smashing his cheeks in and making ridiculous faces at :49).

Can I just say that you are better than S'mores? I love our conversations!

A said...

Such a tender post. Thanks for sharing.

Moma Fauna said...


I love our conversations too! I had been thinking about you recently also because I met your doppelganger. It's pretty freaky -- he's a bit younger, but otherwise... @__@ He attended the O.T.O. Equinox of the Gods via association with an A.M.O.R.C. member who is also O.T.O. -- I believe he is trying to establish a pronaos here in Anchorage. Anyway, decidedly peculiar experience for me because I felt like I knew him and couldn't shake it. He probably thought I was altogether too friendly. >.<

And yes, what-you-said, he got smacked (or abandoned - still, a smack) and I believe that he fully understood the natural consequences. Speaking of martial arts, is there any way to get a print on demand copy of Cabal Fang? Or is it only in E-format?

Oh! I saw the Super 8 post but was interrupted before I could watch anything, but I would LOVE to see your mum with a veil! Especially since I enjoy old movies and also have spent much time with the veil recently. I will trot back over when I am not phone pecking. Thank you for thinking of me.:)

Moma Fauna said...


I am sure you know the critter I am refering to in this story. Over the months I have come to see that tenderness is the only way with this animal. Perhaps it is the only way for anyone. <3

Anonymous said...

Cool, please do take a look at mom's moves when you get a moment. She was a piece of work, let me tell you. Whenever you put the camera in my father's hands, as far as he was concerned she was the only suitable subject on the planet. 51 years married those two, resting now in peace together now.

I have about a dozen copies of the original 2010 edition CF book left. Email me ( your address and I'll send you a freebie. The new and improved, expanded update -- 100,000+ words, 300+ pages! -- is prebooking now and will release on 9/1. I'll send you one of those too when they're ready. What are friends for?


Moma Fauna said...


Trotting over to your corner of the ether now. Planning to steal some of your mum's moves. ;)

I'll get you a message via email soon too. :)

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