Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Monday, 9 August 2021

Imbolc 2021


Imbolc seems to have settled on today to manifest itself.

Ignoring both the correct date of Saturday, and the alternate date of the New Moon, which was yesterday, today the bees are swarming around what a year ago was a baby peach tree. The air is gentle and warm-cool, and the sun startling in a solid blue sky. Spring has come again.

Not that the seasonal celebrations can ever be tied down to the human calendar; unlike sex, seasonal changes are certainly on a spectrum. There is a range of days over which the season changes from one thing to another. It's not as if it was Winter up until 7th August and then it wasn't. The coming of Spring forms a fuzzy corona around a few days in the first 10 days or so of August.

This year I have not been as welcoming of the cold as I usually am. Could be that I'm getting older, or it could be that, working from home, I have had to contend with keeping my extremities warmer at my own expense, rather than my employer's. Some nights have been so frosty and dry that the skin over my knuckles has split and bled.

And now the land is In the Belly once more. And I feel fine.

Happy Imbolc.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Time Passages

I see that I wrote the following just over 2 years ago:

As I come out of the bus station, winter-morning Sandton is chilly and still dark.

Sunrise is still more than an hour away, but the streets are well-lit and a few early birds or late-shift-workers are passing along the pavement with their backpacks snugged around them like thermal blankets.
Venus greets me as she has for the last couple of months, high in the gap between office-block constructions. As I turn left along West Street, she is on my right hand and the Moon is on my left..
 "Paradise on my right. Hell on my left, and the Angel of Death behind"
..a youngish office worker trots past me,steaming from her mouth in the cold air.
My stride lengthens a little and takes on a steadier rythmn than usual, as if the Moon and Venus have opened a ritual promenade before me, all the way to work.
Yule is for me the time of greatest thinning of the veil. The time when even I can almost apprehend another world all around me, for all I lack the visual,auditory,olfactory and tactile senses to do so at other times of the year.
It's this point, you see, Point III:

The nadir of the annual trip around the Sun, when the Ecliptic is furthest from the Equator and the term MidWinter really holds true.
At this time, too, I am far more prone to erratic psychic experiences.
A couple of weeks ago I dreamt that I was walking through my suburb along the roads in sorrow, passing a great oblong hole in the garden of one of the houses - it resembled nothing so much as an open grave, but I knew at the same time that it was actually someone's swimming pool. The next morning I learned that a 7-year-old boy had drowned in a pool that evening.
Since it is getting colder - for Joburg, not to be compared to the howling ice of Northen Europe in any way - we bought a minky blanket for Warren to use on the couch when he's up in the middle of the night. This blanket was draped across the back of the couch as I passed it yesterday evening. It's a pale-grey-and-cream blanket with vaguely leaf-like patterns worked into it. All of a sudden, as I was calling Scylla for supper, I saw another blanket in its place: a pale blue blanket figured with white clouds and edged in white bric a brac. Shevek's blanket from when he was a baby. And I saw it quite, quite clearly.
Oh, but I do love Yule; the sense of things becoming as deep as they ever will, with a simultaneous sleep-shrouded and nerve-opened feel to the soul. I can quite understand why fires were left constantly burning for this time of year, and why sistra were rattled in abundance, to chase away the disturbing spirits and warm our helpful ones.....

..that was slightly pre-Yule. Now it's slightly post-Yule two years later, and it's striking how little has changed in my morning.
Jupiter is now on my left hand as I stalk the predawn streets of Sandton while Venus remains on my right; there are slightly fewer optimistic Gautrain backpackers passing me and slightly more taxi passengers gathered on the corner of the Michelangelo; it is noticeably colder this year than last year. Very minor changes;would I even realise which year I was in if I shuttled between 2017 and 2019?
Oh yes. Yes I would. For in 2019 Scylla has gone before us, back to the Mother, back to eternal Spirit, back to herSelf. And exactly one synodic lunation later, Taranis followed her.
The devastating hole these departures have made in my life and Warren's is almost impossible to English.
So once again we realise that life is always in flux - that change and flow is its very nature - and that whenever we feel most constant, most static, most unlikely to take another road, that is the point at which we should be preparing our boots to get a grip for a change of direction.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

There are reports of a visible fireball being seen from the Cape yesterday.

Unlike the one I saw from Sandton in July last year, this one was sighted after 8pm - that's well after sunset - and was seen (and heard, apparently) by multiple witnesses.

I seem to have been the only person in Johannesburg to both see the mid-morning meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere on 12th July and report it to the Shallow Sky Survey although there were 2 more reports from outside Johannesburg of the object. That's enough for Tim Cooper to have triangulated a probable path for the incoming piece of space rock though:

So this morning I was wondering why the folks in the Cape are apparently more observant of their surroundings - including the sky - than the denizens of Sandton.

Yes, the Cape sighting was after sunset, and thus more noticeable. There was also some associated sound with that fireball which I didn't pick up on in the Sandton sighting. Although, you know, I'm getting along in age and my hearing is certainly not up to snuff.

But then I remembered this song from my youth:

Note that this is a song that I grew up liking and which has stayed in my mind for over 40 years.
That's the way I get most of my earworms - songs I know, some of which are on my portable way-back machine of a music playlist on my phone.

Yet on Sunday I woke up with the strangest earworm.

The song was Thoroughly Modern Millie.

I had no idea how that one had gotten stuck in my brain. But I let it go on for a while, play itself out and depart, as all earworms are destined to do.

However, I admit to being fairly surprised to learn on Tuesday that Carol Channing had just died.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Snippets From Dreams

"I'm glad somebody brought back the old curtains"

That was a character in last night's dream commenting on the improvement of a house I had recently moved into. Apparently I had restored some of its old credibility, unlike the previous owners, who had wrecked the place.

This dream, though, was noteable not for house restoration (which is a dream topic all on its own) but for the neon-pink-and-blue gel which glopped and glupped out of my head when I scratched a raised mark in the shape of a rat which had appeared on the side of my neck and was bothering me.

I remember feeling a sense of great relief as this toxic substance literally fell out of my head, leaving me clearer and cleaner.

Possible origins: mosquito in the bedroom, rat in the roofspace.