- A Feast of Another Kind
“Our people made supplicant offerings for the ascension of the sun. Birth Clans, immersed in their own rapture, danced their astounding anticipation of rebirth, virile and erect, sweating profusely. The Oak Clan women divined for protection and peacefulness. The Crones rejoiced over the apples that had remained steadfast against hunger, and gave their blessings to resume spinning and weaving. Most meditated for good fortune between the legs of our Life Givers and sprung from their worship would be another wave of newborns to our people.
The Greihound sat in the ash smudge peering with profound clarity into the world of our people. Their hearths burned with a cleansing fire while ours ignited the blue flames of the dreamtime. We reached into aching joints and congested chests drawing off the chill into ourselves and dissipating it into the smoke. The magicians of all clans worked long into the nights with us, divining for blessings of health, freedom from pain, and fruitful hunts. Although the sun had been born again the river remained frozen in the Winter Wait. Bread became a sacrament and fire pits became temples to the Ancient Ones. The creatures that had been sacrificed so that we could survive transmuted into the Divine Messengers of the Infinite Present. So too came the fever of love and we, nearly four moons into the depths of the Season of Dreams, became acutely aware that those not being consumed by winter waited it out together, perspiring in athletic embraces hidden beneath piles of deer robes. It was an excruciating temptation to steal into those passionate nests ourselves. No one would dare whisper the word “thigh” without risking being ejected out to the ledge.”
Excerpt from Ancestral Airs
- Have a Safe and Sacred Solstice
The Death Clans enter the spiral to celebrate the birth of the sun. Eagles, Badgers, Ravens, Owls, Lynx, Wolves, and Greihound dance the sacred for their people. The Mother moves their feet; they lift their arms awe-struck by Her power. Skins and feathers mix with guttural, rhythmic prayers. I drift into their dreamtime, Darkling Light prods me to stay alert, “Don’t watch the others, you stand for Moondog and Greihound.” I feel him stirring inside me like a wisp of smoke that rises from an extinguished candle. I watch it disappear. He comes again, growling, teeth bared. (I’m alert! I’m alert!). He licks my lips renewed to his sacrament. Grasping the need I stand for days, centuries, six thousand years, filling his tender belly with delicacies of my ether as he fills mine, dancing the rapture for all of us. Calvinist ancestors cover their eyes, others I catch peeking between their fingers, they realizing that savagery was never cruel.
Flesh Eaters nearly naked whirl in air so frigid the snow feels warm to their skin and melts into the Earth. Rhythmically they reach between their moving feet touching the soil, offering the traces on their fingertips to the sun, never missing a step, believing the magic will always work.
[Excerpt from Ancestral Airs].
- Cycles End, Cycles Begin, The New Year Comes Back Around To Us Again
“As the nights grew imperceptibly longer my visions of clarity and order of the dreamtime became more penetrating. The unifying forces of the sun and the moon moved me easily through the transformation that would mark my rebirth to the Death Clans. The harvest was in and my endless trips for wood were over. Guardian spirits had taken over to protect our effort, we again at the mercy of the Winter Wait. Last came the ritual slaughter of the boar, ram, and bull that had given over their lives that we might persist through it. Their death was sweet and and swift at the hands of those who claimed their blood. The tribe feasted on a small portion of the meat, putting up the rest in smoke huts. The last of the old mead was mixed with the new for the healing magic of a good harvest. We celebrated our success and joy, our long journeys and safe returns. We went to the springs to be reminded that there ran a thread of harmony and balance even in disorder and desperation. We played the last of the ritual summer games, giving over our lives to whatever rebirth we anticipated after the Death Spasm. Before my departure to the valley of the caves the tribe honored the twin spirits that allowed us to stand guard over the Winter Wait, and the Twilight Women who taught us to exist in two worlds. Accompanying my mother, we went to gather the bones, and feast with the Ancient Ones of Clan Oak. I also took in the blessing of the great rut of the Stag.”
Excerpt from Ancestral Airs
- Autumnal Equinox
“The blinding blue of fall urging us to harvest washed over me with shimmering anticipation. The land was alive with the Old Ones, their presence so clear it was difficult to distinguish between those who were of the flesh and those who were free of it. When all else ripened for the Winter Wait, I prepared to be awakened to the dreamtime, one of fifty to guard the sleep of our people. While they nestled into resolute patience we watched alert from the ancient birthplace. Only a handful of us clung to the Old Way out of which we were sprung and to which we always returned….”
Excerpt: Ancestral Airs
- First Harvest
Once a year the animal fraternities met at the Great Circle for the Showoff Dance. At first it appeared that the dance was the exaltation of the undeniable strength of Clan Male. Shoot after shoot came in to take its place on the spiral, filling the air with the thick odor of virile flexing. It was difficult not to admire the competition. The most extraordinary bodies of every group would be put up for the dance, clad only in paint, clan headdresses, and breechclouts designed more to reveal than protect. Our hot-blooded purpose sustained by the volatile energy contained in the drum would rise rapidly in our loins. Our scant attire insured that our prowess was displayed advantageously for the women to scrutinize to their heart’s content. This was no celebration of the Alpha Male, it was a harvest dance for the Crones. We were there to showoff in the often-desperate hope we would be plucked from the Tree of Life and devoured.
Excerpt from Ancestral Airs
- Summer Solstice
“The solstice ceremony marked the pinnacle point from which the year spiraled almost imperceptibly to the Winter Wait. The magic of the Life Givers rose to its astonishing essential and yielded to its natural passive flow. We were nothing without the sun, the river, and the blood of our people borne in our magnificent women. There were hundreds of bonfires spreading a warmth and security that permeated our villages, homes, beds, and hearts. In the grasslands torches bound together with nettle were lovingly placed in the fields and near the favored grazing spots of creatures that would give over their lives. Hills, rocks, and sacred places were anointed with copious amounts of holy oils sharing the abundance with the Mother who had brought us life…
The psalms born through the Consummate Artists played the heartstrings of all that we were. They moved us from measured intonation to dissolute fervor. We clung, cried, danced, prayed, and made love in inexhaustible joy. The women gathered in the last of the medicine plants, still vital with life but dying before us to the birth of the new cycle. As the sun reached for the horizon we stood in poignant stillness. I too waited for what could be my northern-most sunset.”
Excerpt: “Ancestral Airs”
- Letters to the Unborn: Embark on the Journey May 1
Letters to the Unborn is a diary that chronicles the journey through a long ritual for the moon. It recognizes the moon’s eighteen and half year journey, and requires months of preparation. We no longer observe rituals of such magnitude but Letters to the Unborn provides you the opportunity to be a part of one.
Rather than chapter numbers I have provided the dates on which the entry should be read, beginning with May 1. If you follow the journey you will experience how months of preparation culminate when a ritual commences. I highly recommend that you read the entries on the dates provided. If you do you are in for a treat, a genuine firsthand experience of the challenges and aspirations of a hunter-gatherer culture that knows that its time is passing into myth.
On May 1 just click on Letters to the Unborn in the main menu and have a fabulous summer journey.
- Mesolithic America
Did you know that most of the tribes in North America were Mesolithic when Europeans arrived a mere 500 years ago? No doubt nearly all of us have met the descendants, still alive today, of some of these cultures. It is commonly thought that the Mesolithic era is locked into antiquity and most of it has been lost to history. That isn’t true.
If you are European American knowing your own tribe is more problematic. The Mesolithic era there ended more than 5000 years ago and information about them is hard to come by. But it can be done, having been my quest for decades. The result of this long and arduous search is systematically being posted on this website.
Should you have an interest in knowing your European tribe or exploring the Mesolithic era I invite you to click on Essays and begin reading Introduction to Mesolithic Britain.