by Danielle Dulsky
Circle with me ‘round this slow-breathing oak, ye creaky boned and sweat-soaked women.
Hush yourselves, and bid your ears be blessed by the ancient whispers of those horned and bemuscled deities from whom we’ve been taught to fearfully guard our fragile spirits.
Those primal ones hold a particular wisdom in their aged eyes, a certain and soulful secret we’ve all forgotten.
If I stroke and soothe the wounds of my childhood religion that throb and bleed every time I get too close to a broad-shouldered god, if I peer inquisitively into that forty-year-old ache, I suppose I can see the merit in a sacred, sunlit savior.
I suppose I can mourn for the hard-loving man who wasn’t even granted his right to stay dead and buried, who’s been locked out of the Underworld and away from the loam-breasted Earth Mother.
Oh, but fear not. I didn’t bring you all here to listen to me preach, and I’m certainly no silver-tongued prophet with a belly full of sinners’ parables.
This full moon is humming with the shock-potential of one million lightning strikes, with the brute force of every lost harvest god and every green-dwelling, holy demoness whose ancient hearts are hungry for prayer and devotion.
Let’s give it to them tonight. Let’s permit these long-tongued and starving creatures-of-the-mists be nourished by what word-witchery we have to give, by the warmth of our feeling flesh and that heavy-bodied hope only humans harbor.
Just for tonight, let’s be both humble animal and wide-winged angel, both quick-footed instinct and quiet-moving foresight.
Let’s carve out the dead and rotten to make room for that white-blue power, and let’s hold our arms moonward to invoke our ancestral birthright.
Strip away the bindings from your soft joints and let your bones breath. Lift your arms and join this oak-grandmother in her far-reaching posture, rooting down so deep the pulse-beat of the land wraps ‘round your joints and climbs your legs, drumming slow and low in every sparking cell and sending intermittent ripples through your blood.
Look to that summer moon now and whisper chants in that language you only speak in your dreams.
Somewhere in your psychic depths rests the memory of these ways, and those indigo flashes from above are the ancestors giving you the nod.
This storm was sent just for us, just to awaken what’s been buried, just to ignite that magick-poised fuel we keep boxed up on the dusty shelves of our bones. What are we waiting for?
Raise your arms, lightning women. Here it comes. Sing back through the spiral dance of time so loud your grandmothers’ grandmothers’ hear you then further still.
Howl to the burned women, to the exiled midwives, to the nature gods whose rites were outlawed and whose followers were slain, to the hag-goddesses and warrior-crones.
Call in the storm and be shocked from above and struck from below. We are the Witches incarnated into these hot and holy bodies, into these wild-moving shapes, just to call home the oldest ways and fuse together what’s been broken by god-greedy men.
Open fully to this initiation, and I promise you will be changed.
Bring this wild power home to your people, to your babes, to your kin. Hide no longer. The Old Gods are waking, and they’re waking through us.
Look for the storm and stand naked in the rain. This is no time to stay silent or small. This is no time to refuse the magick. Squint into the night and see what shadows are clawing their way up from the mud, what diamond-light bodies are sliding down the moonbeams.
Too much solitude can birth those twisted twins of apathy and melancholy, but we aren’t alone in this, Witch. They’re here.
Those ancient ghosts are all around us, begging us brew whatever salve we can for the wounds of this world.
Whatever wisdom gifted you by your blood and through your story, share it as if it’s the medicine most sorely needed then let it be a fire-starter and set it ablaze beneath the most insidious laws written in the name of a young sun-god who’s been dismembered, whose thorn-crowned head has been sent to the whitest house and lay bleeding all over the devil-fool’s desk, whose limbs have been carted away to be weapons of colonization, whose guts have been the binds of insidious individualism, and whose still-thumping and well-meaning heart stays beating in the hands of those whose rage has not burned their hope to ash.
What awesome power you are, lightning child. A cosmic storm has initiated you, and there’s no turning back now.
Best go where you can do the most good, be it by incineration or love, and never forget those ancient wild ones who haven’t forgotten you.
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