from the distance, I am standing

bear

There is a brick building facing a street and I am viewing it from the distance. I find myself by the water.. it’s still body surrounded by moss laden trees. Something is gliding along in the murky depths but I cannot see it.. gator, I think. I can feel its movement. I am barefoot in a loose white shift.. feet sinking into the muddy bank.

I find myself entering a shop.. is this the brick building? The girl behind the glass counter has long heavy dark hair and her face is painted like a sugar skull. I see an impression of the stag’s horns coming from her head and his skull flashes beneath her skin. She is of the old ones. The room is dark and hazy. I can smell Baba behind the fuchsia curtain that closes off a further room. She smells of warmth and food.. and a bit of death. I can hear her humming.

I am back at the water’s edge, crouching in the mud. It is sticky and humid. I can still feel the creature’s movement just underneath the surface. He wants me to join him. Bear is peering out from the trees across the way. Her eyes catch in the light and I can see them even from this distance. The mud smells like decay but I do not move. She is waiting for me to decide.

I am once again standing in the shop, covered with mud and I stink. My hair is dirty and there are bloody tears moving down my face mixing with the mud. I still cannot see Baba but she whispers to me in layers.. welcome home.. this is your home.. come home.

I had gotten up really early that morning to join the quiet. It was raining softly outside and so I opened up the workroom door to the garden while I smudged. I applied the ointment, lit the candles, and set the incense to smoke. I cradled bear’s skull in my lap, running my hands here and there over her while I settled my breath. My fingers danced over her nasal cavity and up her forehead. I stroked her there for awhile, whispering things I cannot remember. I explored her eye sockets and her remaining teeth. I noticed how the base of her skull was still slightly greasy, even after all this time.. and I continued to whisper to her.

The journey was not as usual. There was no slow methodical work towards where I was trying to go. I did not see the brown one or the white. I was breathing and stroking.. stroking and whispering.. and then I was just there gazing at the brick building full of windows. After I was done, I left offerings for those mine and the old ones. Then I left a something extra for bear and went to spend a few hours working in the garden.. and I brought the blackened coneflowers in for Baba.

deerjaw

.. this was some time ago last year and I have meant to post it many times but life and other found me putting it off. It was to be my last belated post of the year but seems to have found itself to be the post of the start of a new one.. funny that. So much has passed since and although I seemed to have put my journey work to the side for the now, I find myself quite busy. I have lost and gained so many friendships over this past year and greatly deepened some existing ones. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My tribe is yet again evolving and I have even joined in on a new group.. something I am quite excited to see the evolution of. It has been a long time. Lola and I continue to walk together in path and that relationship has brought so much to me. I gained a new name and cemented a relationship with a brother of path.. recognizing in spirit something we already knew. This I will carry with me always.

The solstice came with some work still needed and a deer jaw tied in silence. I spent the holidays surrounded by old friends. I caught a fleeting glimse of the shadow man and dipped my wrinkly toes into a few new things.. something I plan to carry forward into the coming year.

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what to do

y

I was constantly running a little late or a little early this season. The season itself just didn’t feel like the season and I seem to be completely thrown off. I made it to the altar quite past the Yuletide but then again, as you know, I never seem to be good at keeping schedules. I finally just snuck off to sit in some quiet one off day of no particular consequence amongst all the goings on. My brain was full and I’d had a sense of being under fire but no sense of where it was coming from.. I just wanted to take a breath.

Hello my lovelies.. yes, I know it has been awhile and I find myself heavy of mind..

I lit the room full of candles, making my amends for the long absence, and then I laid out my many offerings – whiskey, herbs, Florida water. Then I just sat in the silence for a bit.. what to do, what to do. I needed to sort out my thoughts and this odd unexplained feeling of the impending before I formed the question. I idly stroked Mother Bear, blowing the incense smoke in her direction. I had the random thought that owl had slipped me again.

Something is being put to my direction, I can feel it.. like a quiet stabbing. I just don’t know,  or maybe I’d just had enough festivities and was too tired to sort it. I felt a stirring, and so I lay the cards..

From the Wildwood Tarot..

Five of arrows, frustration..a goat with long curving horns and a wildly tangled coat leaps upward into the sky.. around it are four arrows, none of which strike it.. unfocused energy leads to the archer releasing inaccurate arrows or lashing out in an uncontrolled manner and missing the target.. if others are attempting to cause distractions, you will only feed their ego and help their cause by reacting and acknowledging their efforts.. take a deep breath and steady your mind.. see the futility of games played against you and go about your business.. frustration is ungrounded energy..

Am I the goat or the archer.. or maybe I am both??

King of stones, wolf.. comfortable in the dark and cold of winter, it was seen as the guardian of the dead on their journey through the night to the otherworld.. love of the natural world guides much of what you do.. security brings pleasure.. cocoon yourself away from outside influences..

I was getting distracted again.. falsely greener grass and somethings shiny.. but they are not true, or not my true I should say..

The Ancestor, placed at the nexus point between the passing winter and the coming spring.. the mornng is clear and frosty with the first glimmer of dawn shimmering on the horizon where the new moon hangs with the morning star, representing a new day and a reawakened soul.. the trees act as a reminder to follow the path..

I know what I need to do.. Bear has been whispering it all this time..

And in shadow, the Ace of Stones.. the labyrinth..

This card reminds me so much of a specific person that it is hard to keep it separate in my mind.. is it representative of them or am I just making that association from a snapshot in time.. the spirits seen that day and what potential could be or could be lost.. I am not the one to say.. that path is not mine to choose..