How is it with your aching heart, Witch? How is it with your slow-swelling soul?
Forgive my interest, but I just may have the moon-medicine you need now.
Do you trust me? Follow me through the heathen lands to the berry-heavy rowan tree, to that hallowed ground where the ghosts of our foremothers busy themselves around their spectral cook-fires and talk of the living as we talk of the dead, in poetry intoned with far more grace than we deserve.
They’ll welcome us, I think, these stalwart grandmothers, but they’ll test us to ensure our devotion is true.
“Tell us why you’ve come,” they’ll question with brows raised in skepticism, and we’ll need to pry open our ribcages and bid all our steaming secrets spill forth onto the moss.
We’ll tell them of our late-spring’s discontent, and we’ll share our need for a primeval mother-love we’ve known only in our fog-filled dreams.
We’ll entrust these old and salty hags with what little innocence we have left, and then, my sister, then we’ll honor them by sharing the ancestral cunning they gifted us by way of blood and bone.
It will go quiet while they converse in a whisper-hushed language you and I no longer speak, and they’ll say far more in those empty pauses and squinting scowls than they’ll say with words.
The sun will acquiesce to the evening mist, and we’ll wonder if our journey has been wasted, if we’ll be sent away to become wiser and worthier women, but at moon rise these wild crones will stand and make their decision known.
“Yes, yes,” they’ll nod in agreement. “You’ve much to learn, to be sure, but there’s a subtle longing in your stories, a truth-telling and artful way about your tongue that the Mother of Gods will appreciate.”
The sky will darken with the very magick that eludes us, assuring us with cloud-shadow that we’ve come to the right place, and those old altar-keepers will shed their maternal appearances, their aged faces suddenly painted with blue-woad warrioress symbols and their low-hanging breasts bare and stretched long by an ancient memory.
Our lives will change in that moment, my sister-in-lawlessness.
For all our psychic preparations and learned witchery, we will not see Her coming. Clawing Her way up from the rowan’s roots and howl-praying the oran mór, She’ll be.
Piercing through our so skewed, so solid understanding of time and place, that forked-tongued primordial Mother will remedy our ailing magick with the thick and bloody shadow-salve of her ruby gaze.
We’ll fall to our knees in a quivering body-prayer of reverence and kinship, and that long-armed Creatrix will gift us with the medicine of a most ancient manifestation, lancing those fluff-filled pink bubbles born of our law of attraction books and soft-skinned spells.
The Great One will birth a snarling beast of a lecture from between Her legs, telling us of memory, sacrifice, and mist-mysticism.
First, She’ll speak of the merit of memory, demanding we remember our will fulfilled.
“Remember your desire into being,” Mother Danu will say. “Remember the future to fruition.”
She’ll ask us to forget all we’ve learned about time’s linear march and trust that our flesh remembers the spiral dance of time.
“Somewhere, on some plane, what is yours is already in your hands,” She’ll say. “Know it as so, just as the rowan is at once barren and plentiful, just as the wolf mother is at once heavy with offspring and empty-bellied. Be full of faith that it is done, as it has already been done, as it will be again.”
That long-flowing One will speak of sacrifice then, bidding us to make room in our lives for the majesty we seek.
“Carve out all meaninglessness. Rid yourself of beliefs that are no longer yours. Strip away all that does not belong to you from your Craft, your ritual, and your ceremony. Drop your heaviest fruit. Spring-clean your Witches’ ways right down to their bare bones and move toward Solstice with lighter limbs and a sure-footed stride.”
Before She leaves us, my love, the Mist-Mother will gift us a final lesson, one that will surely haunt us until the end of our days, until we too stand here with these stone-faced grandmothers.
Mother Danu’s words will wrap spittle-web threads around our Craft so tightly our magick will never be the same, and we’ll have been initiated into the line of the ancestral mist-walkers.
“Come home to the twixt and tween,” She’ll say.
“Be at peace with the not-knowing, with the shadow-bridge spaces between this and that. Our Witchcraft is made in these liminal moments. Constant desire chars the magick. Stand in the mists, as you stand here now, after the future has been remembered and the sacrificial rites have been made, and surrender to nature’s flawless, fearless blooming. These ancient ways, this death-birth-death dance, has always been and will ever be perfect.”
Our cheeks will be wet, and our lips will tremble. We’ll be undone.
She’ll wrap Her great body around the rowan, becoming one with the heathen tree, her legs roots, her belly bark, and arms branches, and her red, dripping eyes berries.
The grandmothers will sink back into the Earth where their bodies are buried, and we’ll be left to make our own way homeward, granting that soil a final blessing with our blood and our spit and remembering what it means to be a Witch wrapped in ephemeral flesh.
And so it is.
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