September 21

[Darkling Light]

I am so weary-worn I feel like a vaporous spirit drifting down a creek. As I struggle to reach the bank I watch my ancestors move as masked dancers through my dreams. Their whispered secrets shimmer like ripples in a moonglade and resound with the cadent melodies of sacred songs. I weep inconsolably, longing to feel their embrace again, hear their laughter, to make prayers with them, to once more break bread and sit in ceremony with them. Oh, what a blessing that would be. My stalwart charade crumbles to detritus in their presence. I mourn the passing procession, the litany of a dying cycle and know this heavy heart of mine must stream away with it. I am stranded here, as Moondog is stranded by his nature, and Gobetween by her people. We whirl together like pebbles in a burl rattle, at once beyond control while contained in the divine instrument of life, each rhythm harmonic with the inexplicable mystery of passion and despair.

We are buoyant tonight, anticipatory as we await Burning Grass. He is as consummate an artist as ever lived, singing the roundel rhythmic secrets of our Mother’s megaliths, a master magician wed to the wind. You would find Burning Grass an enigma among our people, a mythological giant, as dark and sparkling as the basalt columns he safekeeps. He is a man replete with infinite joy, ecstasy so profound he can dance the harmony of our Mother’s creation and disappear in the fiery beginning he conjures. I can see him moving this way, head and shoulders above all else, made extraordinary by the tall, pointed hat crowning his glorious head. Although lost from view I know that his lover Laughing Moon walks arm and arm at his side, she the keeper of dreams for the immortal blood of Clan Eagle. They are as love-matched as Moondog and Gobetween.

Looking away I can see that the Fire Society has a good burn ready, a construct of ash strength and hazelnut responsibility. They strike the blaze just as the drum sounds and Burning Grass emerges into the ring, the syncope of spirit and smoke. Pouches of medicine magic suspended from his belt swing and sway to his intimate, invisible dance, synchronic, synodic, sacred. As the drum aligns itself to the holy harmony singers start up and Burning Grass plucks a pouch from his belt, dumping its contents into his massive hand.  We are concurrently spellstruck by the magic of lady’s seal.

We find ourselves in attunement again, insightful, perceptive to the essence of Creation. Our missteps are re-aligned; light cast on our fanciful flights of fixation now forgiven. Made whole again, our medicine is good, our prayers potent. Burning Grass blesses us with sweetgale whispered songs, our grief has been soothed; all dark spells reversed. Reunited with our Mother’s secret syncrasy, a synaxis of spirit permeates our life. A sea green of beneficence glistens in our art-minded, magical melody. Flocked in tansy mustard moments, pent up sadness flows away gathering up the debris of broken hearts and spirits now swept from life.

Owl swoop into ring, touching down on sacred soil, striking the rhythm of sustained trust. Displaying the nurturing nature of our Earth, Burning Grass moves obstacles away from our hearts with the blessing of bur marigold, crystallizing our objectives as singers dispatch the pact. There remains not a single shade of maleficent intent, once concealed in fire, fog, or sunlight.

We soar with the heart to heart revelation of secrets as a pause allows mediums and music makers to dress their instruments anew with wild parsnip. Granted healthy and prosperous lives we are assured the viability of our people, shrouded in monophonic mystery again. Our Mother makes the magic with which we resonate, refreshed to purpose. Our babies quietly sleep in the intellectual spell of currant wafting from the fire. The divinatory Owl are wed again to the ambiguous Bear, the decorous Dog Clan squares itself to the capricious Butterfly; bathed in the bruisewort blessing of perfect peace. Water purslane has pursued impaired protection; we have outrun adversity with chamomile cloaks. Earth smoke has purged away trifling trepidation, the mountain everlasting of clarity, and the yellow rattle of vision and potent prophecy. We sanctify and celebrate the beauty of diversity, the genius of our Mother’s magic.

Burning Grass has cast the blackwort blessing of prosperity, repaired the cleft in our nature with clemency of spirit, halting the attrition by which we could simply dwindle away. Elm is set to the burn, enhancing our endurance and heightening our empathy towards the needs of each other. Our people, reborn, are the tinder for the fire of new life, the combustion of compassion measured out in the simmering symphony of tepid harmony. We tarry in the throws of a mistletoe deathblow even as the expectant holly anticipates our arrival. Infused again with the wise one of bracken we are reconciled, invisible to dangerous places, manifest to all else.

The Fox tiptoe with wily eidolon wearing reconciliatory gloves as they hand over our unsuspecting spirits to the catalog of ancient wisdom. Demure as diminutive mousetail they aggravate away those left determined to cast conflicting spells. Our actions are as confident as our dreams are empowered by the pennywort protective promise of hope. We are the keepers of signs, the collective power of ritual life and compassionate expression. Our resolve is the reflection of a poplar prayer bundle shaken to the cyclical imperative of rebirth, well balanced, harmonically sanctified. We cling to our Mother like a ground moss cape of potency, safe passages expedited into new lives. As a people the cinquefoil blessing of euphonious exaltation resets our spirits.

Dancers spin by, emblazoned in golden pollen, shaking bundles of reedmace to the rhythm of the drum. I am no longer certain if they are flesh or ancestral, quenching our thirst for revival. They step into the void and bring back the delicate threads of pondweed attaching itself to powerless malevolence and washing it away. We are the tools of empowerment, the self-same agent of comfort that resides in yellow lichen. Mallow medicine cleanses away stumbling steps from an uncertain path that yawns before us. We sway to and fro like floating sweetgrass captured in a delicate seep. Our stitchwort studies are long concluded; we open up to receive the seed of visionary propensity, the health of sea heath consumes all of the life that surrounds us.

The worrisome wormseed has at last dismantled the spirit of deterrent, and sea blite lures that thing of ritual essential to walk the new trail with us, arm and arm. Our life’s medicine bag is full. It contains the love-lure charm of cotton sedge, and the gateway breaker to the dreamtime, sea milkwort, amidst the magic maker of shining club moss. We are divine by nature, the telltale spirit of ecstasy. Our path is good, our vision rekindled by lichen tinder, our singers are blessed off with mayweed. The wild teasel has restored our sight, we read the signs, and all is well. The spirit of mourning is gone, its place taken by clarity. The cacophony of mystic magus steps into the ring, cleansing the instruments of dissonance in a great vat of mugwort tea. In doing so the opening snaps closed against the opportunists waiting to leach into our chaste, anticipated world. We embrace a sense of hawks-beard abundance without fear of the unknowable, attuned to the mystery that cannot be solved. Our songs have power and our dreams are beautiful again.

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Responses to “September 21”

  1. Angela Cheetham Wilkinson September 26th, 2013 - 7:59 pm

    Although the opening of the chapter is full of longing for the past and its people, and the storyteller seems lost and alone, the mood quickly shifts to one of greater optimism.
    Those present are drawn, very skilfully by the commanding presence of Burning Grass, into a clearer future – or, at least, they are imbued with those feelings through the power of the ritual.
    Yet the reader knows that the future was not to be clearer or smoother and, with this knowledge, the reader feels less positive about the path ahead than those who have been so deeply cleansed and blessed by days of exhausting ceremony.
    I shall absorb this before I move to the penultimate chapter.

    • Our reflection and knowledge of history gives us an entirely different view and it isn’t a pretty one. We know that these people were driven into extinction, but remarkably they still speak to us. Thank you, Angela.