Winter Solstice Song for my Sisters of the Drum

winter-woods

Let my drum guide you
with soft steady beat
As you move through the darkness
Into the deep.

Flow to its rhythm,
Dance to its song.
Its tempo will guide you
Its sound will stay strong.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Step with your purpose.
Step with your faith.
Step into the forest.
Open the gate.

Breathe deeply my sister
As light gently fades
Leave your sadness behind you
Step into the glade.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

The oak and fir branches
Will shelter your heart
The forest bed beckons
To share in its spark.

The earth opens slowly
You drift with the flow
The roots take you further
To deep earth below.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Set free your last worries
And let them all go.
Release and drop deeper
To darkness below.

Fear not my sweet sister
My drum beat is strong
Its sound will stay constant
And carry you on.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Your spirit spark travels
It enters the flow
You hear Gaia calling,
With words that you know.

Drift sure with my drum song,
Fall ever so slow
To the heart of the heart,
Let it love, let it go.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Dear mother will heal you
And soothe your deep strain
Her light burns in the darkness
She carries the flame.

And when you are ready
We’ll carry you home
Hear my drum softly calling
Know you’re never alone.

Come with me
Flow with me
Run with me
Know.

Let her love heal you
Let your heart sing
Let her open light’s door
Let the Solstice Bells ring.

Photo credit: WinterWoods XII by RealityDream

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Macy revealed

macy-revealed

They held each other in their under grounding,

And they sighed and they slipped within and without,

And they clutched and they spun below and about.

And when their skin and their bone seeped down through the stone their voices joined in a clear crystal cry that flowed to the deepest spark of the heart of the heart.

And when it was done, still attached, they drifted off to sleep while the warm-cold, damp dark and deep soil embraced them and filled every crevice and pore in their bodies with rich black loam and buzzing living green and growing peat.

And as their slumber deepened, gentle growing, pure white tendrils of roots and shoots caressed them and hummed the Mother’s deep and everlasting voice of love and longing.

Photo by Barbora Biňovcová on Fivehundredpx

Send in the crows

another-crow-by-kaelyceaIf the city folk had been more observant, they might have noticed it. But they couldn’t read the messages in the murmuration patterns of the starlings. They couldn’t hear the gossip of the sparrows who chattered about the sparks that moved through even the tiniest branches of the trees. And their hearts were not tuned in to the melodies of the songbirds who sang whole movements about each swirling eddy in the shifting energy flow that was all around them.

Yes, the birds could feel it and they echoed it in their songs and in their actions. But they chose not to question it because it didn’t seem to threaten their own sweet world of wind and trees and air and skies.

It simply was. A steady, innocuous, unobservable hummmm that flowed through the ground and up into the trees and along the streams and rivers and into the back of the peoples’ brains. It was like sound of a dryer running in the basement, or a fan in another room that goes unobserved until the very moment it stops.

Only the cleverest birds of all, the beautiful jet black crows and midnight blue ravens, wondered about it. They had heard it from the very beginning. They would cock their small dark heads to the side and try to  understand it. Their shiny black bead eyes would stare into the distance as they listened intently. They wondered about what it might mean.

During the day, the crows and ravens flew around the city, tending to their work; finding food and gathering precious trinkets: buttons and shells; bits and clips and little bells; rusted gears and green glass jewels; bone fragments, lost earrings, metal hearts; zipper pulls and other tiny pieces of art. They kept busy—as they always did—but they knew that whatever had begun to flow through their bodies and into their hearts was something important.

At first they didn’t talk about it much, but eventually it began to come up as a subject of conversation at their meetings.

Every day, about an hour before dusk they would gather together in the largest most majestic trees of the city. They would chatter and gossip and caw and titter about what they had seen during the day; bragging about their treasures; sometimes sharing where the freshest food could be found (and sometimes keeping that knowledge to themselves).

But once they began to speak about the hummmm, they could converse about nothing else. They talked about how they could feel it in the deepest depths of their hearts, how they could sense its vibration at the tips of their wings when they stretched them open and flew across the sky and how it buzzed in their claws after they swooped down and perched on the wires that were strung across the city.

They spoke about how the hummmm was all-pervading; and they argued about its colour. Some felt it as a deep shade of ultraviolet and to others it seemed like the whitest glow of a moonflower in full bloom. But one thing they agreed upon was that the hummm had begun to change. It was becoming more intense, more frenetic, it was higher pitched and growing stronger every day . . .

Listen to this song by Jo Mango about how birds speak to each other: https://jomango.bandcamp.com/track/send-in-the-crows

Image source: Kaelycea at Deviant Art: http://kaelycea.deviantart.com/art/The-Key-142161999

So, the crow. A bird considered sacred to Apollo, who turned the bird black (which was previously white) for bringing him the bad news that his lover Coronis was having an affair with Ischys.

I will take you under the ground

down

Macy moved forward, down along the dark tunnel. Feeling his presence behind her, hearing his shuffling rubber-soled shoes dragging, his breathing laboured and yet deep with occasional muffled grunts and sighs. And his scent preceded him, drifting into her nostrils—musty, sweet and fermented from immeasurably long hours of undergrounding.

She moved along without knowing — without awareness of the wheres or the whens or the whys. Stumbling forward without purpose or an end. And as she did, the damp stone walls seemed to breathe in and out as she traveled, pressing in towards her, opening up and then pressing in on her again.

Her eyes struggled to find focus, something that might be a beacon to blunder towards and yet there was nothing but darkness and the sounds and the smells of the cool damp underground surroundings.  And so they went on. . . down and down . . . into the ground, blood, stone and bone. . . alone.

As they moved forward into the darkness, the air became even more damp and cool. He began to sing the words to a tune that she seemed to know from long ago.

Steady woman won’t you come on down? I need you right here on the ground.”

He was so close behind her that she could feel his breath on the back of her neck and was electrified by the occasional light touch of his hand on her shoulder and lower back.  Eventually the incline of the tunnel leveled and she began to perceive the glimmer of a cool white light in the blackness ahead.

I’ve walked the outskirts of this town. Been terrorized by what I’ve found.”

Slowly they approached the light and as they drew closer, it flickered and sputtered off and then on again several times and she realized that it was set in the wall above a dark wooden doorway.  The tunnel widened at that point and he moved past her, fumbling with a set of keys.  She could see that he was nervous and distracted and realized that perhaps this was a moment where she could make a run for it and dash back through the long tunnel into the sunlight above.  But she didn’t.

Eventually he found the key he needed and the door creaked as it opened inward into the room.  He stepped into the dark room ahead of her and then turned to face her from within.  He grinned as she stood straight and still outside the door, his face etched by the harsh white light from above the doorway.

She knew that by following him into the room she would provide her tacit consent to enter his world.

She remained frozen.  Her brain screamed, “run!” and yet every muscle in her body quietly vibrated and she was drawn towards this murky muddy man.  He cocked his head like a dog, smiled and then turned his back to her, walking over to a long wooden table that ran along the length of the wall to the right of the entrance.  He struck a match, lit a dusty lantern and spoke again.

I saw a standing virgin bride where holy Dionysus died. She tore the heart out from his side and laid it there and there she cried.”

She was mesmerized.

“Whoa,” he muttered and sat down slowly on a worn wooden desk chair that swiveled as he turned. His gaze took in her entire body and he slowly licked his lips.

As he passed his tongue along his upper lip Macy took several slow steps forward and entered the room.  To her left she could see rumpled sheets on a cot along the wall to her left.  She walked over and sat down on the edge of the thin mattress and faced him in the chair.  She raised her hand and clutched her blouse together at the neck.  He leaned forward and she whispered,

Hello. I’m a monster too.  What poisons me is what poisons you. Into these animals we grew. But when we were young our eyes were blue.”

He continued to gaze at her intently. Then he sighed and closed his eyes.

“I take my medicine on my knee, twice a day but lately three.  It keeps the devil from my door and it makes me rich and it makes me poor.”

Eyes still closed, he pulled his chair closer to her.

“I’m a beggar in the morning, I’m a king at night. My belt is loose, but my trigger is tight.”

And it came without warning at the speed of light. He opened his eyes and she looked into his soul. She could see and feel the depths of his pain but she flew past it and found herself in a place where the earth began and his love was the beginning and the end of all that was true and all that she knew.

He whispered so softly that she could barely hear him,

“Make it shine so pretty, make it shine so bright.”

His shoulders slumped, his head fell forward and his long brown hair covered his face.  Then he lifted his head, shook his hair out of his eyes and looked directly into hers.

“I think I’ve come a long, long way to sit before you here today. They’re yours alone, the songs I play, to take with you or throw away.”

Swaying for a moment, he dropped to his knees in front of her and sobbed,

Oh, I want an angel to wipe my tears, Know my dreams, my hopes, desires and fears.”

She reached forward, brushed his hair back from his face with both her hands and touched his lips with hers,

We may capsize, but we won’t drown,” she replied

And they held each other as the sun went down.

*******

Jac and Macy’s  words to each other are the lyrics to the gorgeous and haunting song Beggar in the Morning by The Barr Brothers.

Image source: Image credit Josef Koudelka 

Skimming

skimming-witch

Since the lights went out, the business of living had become both more difficult and much easier.  When she thought back to her life before, Amber wondered why she always felt so busy and stressed when life’s essentials  were so easy to acquire.  During those bright, secure days she woke up in a warm bed.  When she got up, she turned on a tap and warm water came out.  She could straighten her hair with a flat iron and then get annoyed like it was her only problem if it rained and the humidity ruined her sleek long hairstyle.

Now, she brushed her wild curls out of her eyes and tucked hair behind her ears smiling ruefully.  Yes, things had changed for sure.

She settled behind the hedge at a spot where she could easily see through to the lake.  She waited for a very long time and then she saw it again.

At first she thought it was a bird flying across the dark water, but the flight was too steady and straight; the creature moved swiftly along just a few feet above the water about one hundred feet from the shore.  Amber parted the branches of the hedge and squinted her eyes to see more clearly.

It looked like. . . could it be?  It was a naked woman, seated on a broom, thighs tightly gripping the long handle and hands holding on behind.  The silhouette of her sharp nose matched the pointed outline of her breasts below and she hunched over, intent on maintaining her balance as she skimmed along, her hair flying behind her.

It was an unsettling sight to behold and yet Amber was not alarmed.  She had come to realize that since the lights had gone out, the magickal world that was once thought to be lost forever was slowly regaining hold and the artists’ brush strokes that once may have delineated the fantastic from the mundane were becoming less and less defined.

Image source: Unknown

As darkness fell

nad

Jac didn’t know how long he had lived in the hill but he figured he had been there since before the lights went out.  During those early days, he would limp up the path at dusk using a walking stick to take some of the weight off his injured leg. When he finally stumbled out from the woods and into the high meadow he would gratefully sit his bony ass on the cold ground and gaze out over the city below as darkness fell. His mind would settle as he listened to the low hum of traffic as it rose up and he’d watch the wisps of mist drift past, rolling down from the mountain top into the urban landscape below.

As the sun sank behind the spiny hills in the far west and the darkness enveloped the city he would count each street light as it flickered on. He would listen so intently that he learned to measure the sound of the traffic and he’d know when it began to ease up as the workers arrived home, parked their cars in front of their rickety gray wooden homes and trudged inside to eat their dinner and settle on the couch to blink at the flickering lights of their televisions.  Sometimes he would hear a dog bark or a mother shout to call her children home for their nightly bath.  And sometimes he would hear the whiney sound of a motorcycle as it revved its engine and sped along the ring road coming closer and then fading into the distance.

While he watched from the hill Jac found it easier to think about the time when he was a boy and had lived in his own small wooden house with his mother and his orange cat with the one blue eye and the one green eye. He would remember, but he forbade himself from weaving the story of his simple childhood together not because it made him sad, but because the weft threads that ran over and under the warp threads didn’t lead to a place where he found himself sitting all by his lonesome on the top of a hill.

One night he noticed that there were fewer lights on than the night before.  And sure as shoot’n, the next night he counted fewer still and then eventually he could see that whole chunks of the city had begun to go dark.  The hum of the traffic changed too.  It was no longer steady and reassuring, but began to vibrate with a frenetic energy; he could hear engines racing, tires screeching and car doors slamming. He could hear shouting. There was panic in the calls of the mothers as they searched for their children and the dogs’ barks were short and insistent and filled with alarm.

Finally, the night came when he climbed up the hill and all of the lights in the houses and buildings had gone out. He could still see the lights of cars but they were not headlights.  On that rainy night Jac sat on the hill and watched as long lines of red tail lights from the ass-end of cars snaked their way south and away from the pitch black city.

Image source:  Arthur Rackham