I want to sing in the darkness, like the nightingale, of beauty, of a path through the night, of a world beyond this one.
Of a sheer shimmering veil, so thin, moving in the breeze, letting through light and beauty, like snow falling through your window. One moment, a closing of the eyes and you could be there, appear as though by magic, standing by a streaming river, under autumn trees, and a sky like sapphire, whispering of more, so much more, of magic and wonder. A whole new world, a path through the forest.
Casting the Circle
She cast her circle under the full moon, by crystals glinting in the silver light, and knelt hugging herself, praying to the Goddess, calling upon the light, upon the angels, and the sacred power of the night. She brought her hands to her heart, and then to the heavens, seeing the moon through her window, floating in the sky, in the lake.
She got up and went to her cupboard, pulling out jars and wax, and sweet smelling oils. Her room was bathed in light as she worked, and she hummed softly to herself, chanting a melody of magic, a hum to the Goddess as she made her moon candle, strewn with gems and silver threads. She put her hands to her heart, then to the candle, blessing it, praying over it. She felt white magic going into it, and it seemed to glow, as though lit from within, or perhaps it was the moon playing tricks. She strewed rose petals and chamomile, and a little sage over it, letting the herbs blend with the wax, then kissed it, smiling to herself. Gently she picked it up and brought it to her altar, lighting it. She sang softly, knowing this was a magic of love. A flame burning for love of the true self, of the spirit, and beauty growing out of darkness.
Her chant continue into the night, and then she fell silent as the moon set behind the mountains, and the first grey of morning lit the trees.
Something filled her up, like the touch of rose, and she sat shivering, crying, salty tears running down her face. She felt the air was full of the fragrance of roses, of softly colored things, among autumn leaves and the first frost. She sat for a long time, afraid to move, afraid to leave the thread of peace that had been gifted her. She whispered thanks to the moon, to the Great Mother. She felt the Goddess smiling, – a warm glow at her core, in her heart, in her bones, and she remembered that she was a priestess, a daughter of the Goddess, and even though it was difficult, she wanted to live that way, it was the path she had chosen. But she begged for strength, for her wounds to heal, and finally closed the circle.
She went outside and breathed in the crisp morning air, and went barefoot across the field, in her white dress, kneeling by the stream, drinking deeply. Sunlight played in the water, clouds drifting overhead and she rolled over on her side, gazing into the sky, into a morning breaking forth, the last stars fading, the moon hidden by the day. She felt her wishes, her dreams, the magic of the night floating upwards out of sight, hidden, yet visible in the flowers soon to spring forth at the touch of the Goddess. She smiled, as though from relief. Her prayers had been received; she had drank from the potion of healing. The Goddess was with her.
I felt pretty down this morning, but I got up, and as the day drew closer it turned golden and green, and even the sky lost its greyness, painting itself a gentle blue. And I drew a deep breath, as though life was returning to me.
My dreams have been strange and murky, and I wonder if it’s because I haven’t been honoring them, haven’t been writing them down. The full moon is approaching and I’d like to prepare a small ritual for myself, put flowers by the statue of the Goddess, filling my altar with pink, red, orange. It is fall after all, and I’d like my home to reflect that, before winter, before a time of silver and white.
I’ve never truly honored the moon. I’ve looked at her from my bedroom window, but I’d like to bath in her glow, and call upon the Goddess, upon the angels, and to ask for strength, guidance, protection. I’d like to touch something sacred from my own small spot in the universe, to reach deeper, to see beyond the veil, to listen for whispers in the silence all around me. Blessings.
Light through my window, a gentle morning, warm with swirls of colors, pink and blue and white. The wind moving through the great pine, the lake dancing in blue waves, making me want to twirl outside, under an open sky, breathing deeply.
A little bit of warmth makes me think of spring, but I know autumn is here, has been here for a long time and is now leaning towards winter. Snow has already reached the high mountains. But there is a soft glow to everything today, the light tinged with orange, the sky shifting, dancing, changing, turning from sun to rain to wind, and circling back again. I look towards the mountain and see how the clouds have gathered there, dark and grey, and full of rain. Days like this makes me want to let go and run, dart through the forest like a deer in flight, racing away from winter, spring in my steps.
I’m sharing a piece of music with you. I like the sound of crows, which I seem to hear more and more of these days. They’re the sound of magic, of the dark season.
I walk and see leaves in the sky, fluttering high above me. Leaves everywhere. A pale water-colored world, golden around its edges.
Today was almost warm, as though the world had turned to spring, forgetting about winter. Rain was in the air, but the sun also, sometimes breaking through the clouds, always a bright glow behind them. I loved the wind, feeling it sweep through the trees, the grass. Everything felt sparkling and new, even as I felt the darkness gathering all around me, saw trees naked and bare, dark against the sky.
I felt a small thrill as we passed little white houses, and I imagined them iced with frost, gleaming with lights. I can’t wait for Advent, and the first snow.
I knelt by the stream today, on the wet rocks, cupping water in my hands, drinking. I felt wild kneeling there, as though I had crossed a boundary, and stepped closer to something both natural and sacred. I felt that walking along a gravel path wasn’t enough, that I had to kneel in the dirt, feel the earth beneath me to truly be part of nature.
I had climbed down to the rushing stream, because I was thirsty, and found myself wanting to stay there. I looked up at the autumn colors, the blue sky behind the trees. I stretched my hands into the air, wanting to pray, to worship something great and wonderful.
This evening I stood beneath the stars, sending a prayer into the night, feeling it was easier to hear the divine outside the four walls of my apartment. I wonder what it would be like to live under the open sky, always.
Golden leaves over silver grass, silently falling, the morning light inching closer, touching the tree tops. The lake silent and without a ripple, bathed in autumn colors, reflecting a clear blue sky.
I try to take the time to think and breathe, and to look at the moment, at each leaf as it falls. Winter is at my doorstep, and the world lovely, breaking apart and turning more beautiful with each passing day.
It’s strange how the wheel turns, how quickly time seems to pass. I love each season, especially when they are new or old, turning into something else, death and rebirth.
I read somewhere that our body holds onto emotions in different body parts, and I was surprised that it was scientific. It something I feel in myself. Like I’m holding onto something old, tears and anger that won’t let go.
I remember being a student and walking to my university, through the city and feeling as though my chest was heavy, as though something was pressing on it. I worried and went to the doctor, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with me.
So I tried to ignore it, leave it be, and eventually it went away, but tightened in a painful knot in my stomach, in my solar plexus.
I wonder if losing my dad, my mom and sister caused this heaviness to fall on me. There were just too many emotions to deal with, so I tucked them all away, without knowing I was doing it. In my family, we weren’t taught to show emotions, especially the negative ones, and I felt I had to move on, not feel so much and dwell on things, to not be a burden but continue with my life, be strong.
I watch the leaves fall, wondering if I can do the same, flutter to the ground and lie there, in the frost and sleep, relax, and let the world move as it will. Give up control and the need to be something special. Just let go and see what happens.
I realize now that I welcome the darkness. I want to rest. I want to sit inside and write, and walk the forest among naked, dark trees. I want to be calm and silent within myself. Right now the world is so brilliant and lovely that it almost frightens me. I feel this is something I need to learn also, to breathe in the moment, even if it’s like fire, even if it’s cold like winter frost, or as lovely as the wings of a butterfly. To be here, steady and strong, and silent, watching the world go by, loving it, admiring it, but without needing to hold on or control it.
So I look at the trees, the beauty of leaves falling, like golden drops to the ground, the pines trees breathing in light, the first of the sun on this slow, October morning. I see a few cars drive by, but mostly it’s quiet, still, the field frozen.
I feel melted inside, swollen and strange, like I’m crying and letting go, but all on the inside, like a slight tremble that might grow into something more. A wave tearing through, washing away old debris, making room for something new.
I walked along a black river, and saw autumn trees mirrored in it, saw the waterfall rush down rocks, the last blueberries cold in my hands. I saw the sun break through clouds for a moment before setting behind the mountains, and the whole world brightened and was alive, for a few minutes before it fade into shadows, grey and darkness.
I woke up in the morning with the sun on the mountains and the first frost silvering the grass. I remembered my night, how black it was, and the stars clear like crystal when I looked out my window. It was a sign of winter coming, of everything turning to ice, even the sky.
A Sacred Space
I want to walk in a quiet space, full of light and autumn colors. With silent snow falling, like a hush unto the world, leaving everything in a blanket of white. Where worries fall away like rain on an early spring morning, – the sun rising above the hill. I want to walk with the Goddess and forget all else. I want to kneel and touch the earth; I want to reach into the sky, and gaze at the stars at night, wondering what’s out there.
I want to be a daughter of the forest, of the waters, the lake, the little streams. I want to walk in the steps of the Goddess, following the path she has laid out for me, guiding me back to my Father.
This segment came to me as I knelt by the lake, feeling the warmth of the sun, knowing even autumn would soon come to a close.
Now I sit by my window and watch the sun set on this golden day, slipping behind the mountain. I see the pine forest turn to shadow, a dark green among the fires of birch and oak.
To walk with you Mother, that’s what I want to do, to walk with you in the morning light. To greet you in the cold air, among golden leaves and a dark pine forest. To hear you singing through the night, at the break of dawn, to see the mist at your feet as it lays covering the lake, the fields, the world.
I want to worship you and forget everything else. I want the world to fall away, crumbling into dust, leaving only a golden flame, my devotion to you.
I walked a dirt path and felt that to give up my will would be to shatter, like glass against rock. That I would become nothing and yet be free, a fire in the wind. But I shivered and felt afraid, and yet more than anything I wanted to let go, so I walked, struggling with myself.
I’m still afraid of what might be asked of me, so I keep my distance a little longer. I still hold on to the icy edge of a life I’m not sure I want, when I know I’m not who I want to be,
I felt some relief yesterday when I walked with you. It felt like darkness was creeping in around the edges, as night fell outside, and all turned to grey. I felt a sense of despair that I never fully understand, like a cold knot inside, and I’m not sure what it means, what it wants. But I held onto you, like a golden thread of light, keeping me from falling, from sinking into myself, from being lost. I felt that if I walked with you with every breath, in every moment, I could be strong and start to understand what is bothering me. Why it comes early in the morning and at night, why it gnaws at me from a distance during the day and don’t let go. Nothing is wrong, and yet it is there.
I don’t want to be alone. I walked and looked into the sky, grey rain falling on me, on my face and uplifted hands. I wanted to worship as I walked and was glad no one could see me, except my husband who is used to my strangeness by now. When I’m in nature long enough, everyday life and my troubles fall away, and I see what’s around me. I hear voices in the trees, in the wind. Everything is alive, and I don’t want to leave, even when it rains, even when the wind is cold on my face.
We came by a small lake among autumn colors still like crystal, its grass turned brown and red. I wanted to kneel by its water, but the ground was too wet. I wanted to contemplate what I saw, what I felt in that hidden away place, and melt into nature, to blend with everything that was, to feel it embracing and healing me.
I thought how everything is fading, dying, turning into darkness, and that I don’t mind. We walked and saw a cloud of black birds fill the air, and it felt like the magic of a dark season. I imagined a warrior riding through a naked forest, to see a raven looking down at her from trees encrusted in ice. I saw mist rising from the mountains, and there was a beauty to it, even in the rain, even when everything was stormy and grey, without the touch of sunlight.
Leaves in the wind. I gaze out the window at yellow leaves floating by and see the sun break through for a moment, shining from white clouds.
The days have been dazzling, sparkling, full of sunlight and blue waves, and fields turned to gold. I walked in the mountain among burnt orange and yellow, purple, even pink and saw a low-hanging sky and a sun setting beyond the mountains. I picked a few blueberries, but most had withered away or turned mushy.
I walked and felt almost a little frightened by the beauty around me, and wondered about the darkness coming, what it would be like then, with snow covering everything, making it hard to go places.
It feels like the last burst of color and sunlight before rainstorms and black nights. I watch the stars sometimes, now, when it’s still warm enough to stay outside for a bit in my robe, before crawling into bed. I like to stand there, shrouded in black, feeling the wind on my face, hearing the trees rustle somewhere above me. The veil is thinning they say, and I feel it too, can imagine it with everything dying all around me, the trees letting go, leaves being carried away into the night.
I feel the greatest wound left in me came after my dad died. It was just him and me for a time. My mom and sister had passed away, and my two much older brothers lived elsewhere. So it was just him and me, and it was nice. I’ve always felt really close to my dad, as though we shared a special spirit bond, and I loved to spend time with him. We had many talks just the two of us, about God, about death, about life.
But then he got sick. Some strange darkness came over him and I could not make him smile. He would lie in his chair and stare into space, and sometimes he would look at me, and I could almost read the thoughts passing through his mind, the guilt and shame he felt about many things. I would tell him it did not matter, but nothing could reach him.
He was put in a mental hospital and I lived alone for a time, in that big house, leaving the lights on at night because I was afraid. But I got used to it, buying food and making easy dinners, going to school.
I remember him showing up one day as I was resting after school, and I looked up to see him standing in my doorway. I was so happy to see him, but he seemed so dark, so cold, like there was no life in him. Whenever I hugged him he barely hugged back, and I’d look at him and ask him to smile, and he would, but it never reached his eyes.
It was heartbreaking to see him fall away from me, and that I could do nothing to catch him, to make it better.
I remember sitting on the floor, rubbing his feet because they were always freezing cold. I rubbed them warm, but they got cold again right away. He had come home to pick up some things, before they drove him back to the hospital.
I remember watching the Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and wishing the spell over my dad could be broken, the way it was for Theoden of Rohan. I fell in love with Eowyn, and felt with her as she held her uncle’s hand, speaking to him, and yet he did not hear her, being all withered, aged and grey from a dark spell put on him. But then it was broken, and he turned young again, was once more himself. He remembered who she was. I yearned for that so much.
I loved Eowyn. Watching her journey gave me a sense of strength, of purpose. I wanted to be strong and brave and to ride through my own darkness, break through it. She is still my favorite character of all time.
My very last memory of him was as I was getting in the car one evening, and turning around to see him looking back at me from the ferry that was taking him back to the hospital. He was drifting away and we looked at each other, and that’s the last thing I remember of him, how he slowly drifted away from me.
I got a phone call from my brother a while after, saying my dad had taken his own life at the hospital. I remember sitting down, my whole world crumbling.
I feel like crying as I write this, but no tears come. They never seem to come anymore, but instead they are stuck inside, like my insides are made up of tears. I miss him so much. I miss my family and the warmth we had between us.
But by writing this I feel something letting go, something releasing and I pray for it to be carried away and healed, because deep down I feel things are ok now. I feel he is ok, that he is happy. I feel we will meet again, that we’re still connected.
As the years passed it became harder to remember his face in detail, but I could always recall the feeling of his hand in mine, how callused it was from all the work he did outdoors. I remember slipping my hand in his as we walked up the dirt path to our house, talking, laughing about something.