Thursday, 25 June 2015

PDU - Yule

Lucious, ripe Firethorn

I always struggle with Yule at this time of year. It’s not really cold enough for me to think ‘winter is here’ – not to go all GoT but winter is coming, just not yet. It’s very cool, yes, and being that I’m a soft touch, I have a water bottle, flannie sheets and a very warm doona but still, I think winter won’t show until July proper. I’m looking forward to it, I like the cold, I like to curl up with a hot water bottle and a book. I like an excuse to have those few extra minutes in bed simply because it is too cold to get up and the cocoon I’m in is so cozy.

Winter is also interesting where I live; it’s unpredictable from year to year. Some years we get high rainfall, other times biting cold, even the very occasional bit of snow (which tends to melt before it hits the ground). We have dewy mornings, frost – some years ‘black frost’ which tends to kill everything that is sensitive. Last year we had a black frost, it temporarily killed off my Jacaranda (a surprise) yet the things you think would die off didn’t. But no two winters are ever the same. This year we’ve had relatively decent rainfall, no frost as yet and the cold is obvious in the morning, but hit mid morning it’s brisk but not cold. The coolness doesn’t start setting in til about 3pm or so, depending on the day. Some days we have lovely warm sun at 4pm – our verandah is a good place to be sitting when it comes. Even our Oak was late to the party; she’s still hanging on to some of her autumn leaves.

I didn’t celebrate Yule on the 21st of June, I likely won’t be celebrating yet for quite some time, I would rather have a meaningful connection with it and have it make sense than to enact a hollow acknowledgement to it. I will know when it’s time because the Cailleach will be breathing down my neck, her icy breath letting me know that it is now time to pay tribute to Winter, to see the season in it’s full glory and revel in the highs and lows that come with this season. Winter is my quiet time, my reflection time, my planning time and my indoor herbal madness time. I have plans for this season and I’m looking forward to enacting some of them.

Like cheese-making.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

PDU - The Element of Earth

For my PDU entry this fortnight, I thought I would share some of the photos from my trip to the cemetery. It might seem like an odd choice but a cemetery to me is almost the epitomy of Earth, for when we pass it is where we return to - it is what we become a part of. The great heartbeat of Mother Earth and those who lie upon and within her, serving her in some capacity as stewards, keepers and creators.

 "Eternal slumber long and deep
Returning to the Mother
As the Earth spins and spins
Life is life is death is again
Lying below, lying above
The trees whisper, taking root
Part of all and part of none
Changing, evolving, growing
Into a spirit of Earth"

© Stacey Carroll

Monday, 1 June 2015

PDU - Underworld

The dirt beneath my fingers, the earth calls to me. I lay within her bosom and I hear her heartbeat.

A breeze touches my mind
And lends to me its strength
As I walk into the darkness
Of a forest hidden in shadow

I feel the earth tremble beneath
Its power so potent and strong
The energy rises inside me
To meet the challenge to come

I walk further into the darkness
To find the cavernous heart 
Nature is my spirit twin
My heart beats to its rhythm.

For the magic held within these woods
Is older than the oldest
Primal and ancient it calls
I heed, I join, I know.

Embraced within her natural womb
The darkness is no longer frightening
As I meld my mind and spirit
I feel its call to me, its pull.

To be within this earthy womb
Is to feel like coming home
To know that within this place
I will find who I am.”

© Stacey Carroll

This poem speaks to me, it came from a hidden part of my mind long ago (I may have even published it here on the blog before), it reminds me of the path we all walk, from the surface, to the Underworld and back again. It’s perhaps not the most traditional imagining of the Underworld but for me, as I walk the hedge witch path, the Underworld is not necessarily the domain of Hades or some dark, mysterious place but another realm on a journey, another place to seek knowledge, to walk with spirits and talk with those who know of things that I do not.