Tuesday 24 October 2023

Not At The Expected Time Or Season


While the northern hemisphere of this planet is descending into winter, here in South Africa we're on the upswing, coming steadily and heatedly into summer.

I've written before about how the Pagan holidays are mirror-imaged in the southern half of the world compared to the northern half, where most of the traditions I follow arose.

Thus, in this season we are approaching Beltane in Joburg, while in London and New York Samhain, with all its dead-communicating imagery, is almost upon them.

We don't typically expect to hear from our ancestors at Beltane - so it was with a great startle that I awoke from a midday nap - one foot in the dreamworld, one foot in the real world - and felt the unmistakable presence of a man I have loved deeply, madly manically...over 24 years ago, and him dead for the same period of time.

Difficult to English how I knew exactly, but there was no uncertainty. This old flame was indisputably here, now, with me.

As I further broke the surface of the dreaming, I sought to question it. How could this be? Nearing Beltane in Johannesburg?

I do not know. Some say the veil is thin at both Beltane and Samhain - we just don't notice those on the other side as keenly at Beltane.

But is it possible that the Old Ways as practised by my ancestors up north have such a consequence that the reverberations can be felt, half a world and half a year-cycle away?

Is Samhain not, as I have believed, geographically based, but rooted in the living and non-living consciousness of humans? And of plants and animals and all living things? Have I held my beliefs slightly incorrectly all these years?

Possibly so.

But possibly not; the traditions of Wicca and Paganism are traditions of the human mind at root. And the greatest mass of those human minds still rests in the northern hemisphere of Earth.

And so - I am deeply touched and greatly moved to have felt the spirit/soul/presence of a much-loved flame. It was just not at the expected time or season.

Image: Gwyneth Jones 

Thursday 19 October 2023

Like A Sand Spill In The Desert


Moonlight pointing the tips of the acacia, lighting the sparse low clouds sailing the early night sky.

Imprint of fabric on my left cheek, where I, breathing into my pillow, had counted out the minutes and heartbeats of my mortality.

Rough baked brick under my palm, leaning upon the gritty wall seat. Cabbages at my back, feathering their leaves down my shirt. 

And I, thinking only of that time when I will

Burst this ego-sac

And flow

Like low clouds sailing

Like sticky water flowing

Like a sand spill down the fissure in the deep desert

And merge once more

Into the All.

Monday 7 August 2023

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.