Tag Archives: spirits

Shifting Tides, Time for Good-Byes

The time has come. Finally, it has come. And everything comes crashing down around me with the furry of a storm off the eastern sea. And yet it is not total destruction, it is simply the energy needed to shift the sands and shape the world anew. Our world. The sand beneath our feet. There is a tidal wave rising, swelling, pulsing within my chest, struggling to burst the seawall that it may wash over everything and cleanse it. Bringing with it new life, healing energy, and creation out of the destruction of the old it has laid waste to. Our old patterns, our old life, our old home, is being swept away. But it is being replaced by potential, new starts fresh out of the damp spring-sun warmed soil. It is being replaced by a new home, new plans (or shifting kaleidoscope images of old plans), new risks and new patterns, and new life.

Gifts from the sea~ Mermaid's Purse Skate's Egg, Crab Claw, and Sea Turtle Egg
Gifts from the sea~ Mermaid’s Purse Skate’s Egg, Crab Claw, and Sea Turtle Egg

For like the seeds stirring in the dark womb of the earth as the strength of the sun returns and the buds leap forth onto branch and limb, so to does life quicken within mine own womb. For so long I had fought it, for so long we toiled over the labor of preventing life, of keeping my dark earth barren. For so long I whispered to the dark– please, not yet. Please, not again. I made bargains and pleaded, asking for this or that to be in place first. And once the Universe finally dumped those things so unexpectedly into our laps, not a handful of days later did Universe also see fit to set life to stirring in my belly. I suppose I got what I asked for. Funny how those things go. But I am thankful. For it all. For the chaos, for the turmoil, for the sadness, for the joy, for the uncertainty, for the dreams, for life. I am grateful.

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Bradford Pear Spring Flowers with Sunset

 

And yet, as I look around this place that I have called my home for so many years, I realize that as much as I have fought and reached for a place beyond here… I have made roots here. They have begun to reach deeper into the earth here than I realized. Seeds had even begun to be planted and sprout here. This place is home, and yet now we must say good-bye. To Place and Land and Sea and Home and Spirits and Friend and Family… we must say good-bye. Honey and oil and milk and blood have been given here, we have awoken Spirits here who know us and love us as almost kin… and we must say good-bye. My heart aches with a pain I had not expected nor prepared myself for. My belly tightens with anticipation and fear, and uncertainty. And tears of longing and grief pour from my eyes onto sand and soil. How do you say good-bye? How do you prepare to part ways from a Spirit that has loved your child and protected house and land and has seen birth and death in your family, and stood sentinel for it all. How do you say good-bye to an ocean that has baptized you into mysteries still being unraveled, that has taken your whispers and tears and whishes to its depths, that has fed you and kept you as its own for so long… I don’t know. But it is time to say good-bye.

Drumming at the Beach
Drumming at the Beach~ Starting to Say Good-Bye
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Sea of Trees

Photo by Matt Clarkson on Flickr
Photo by Matt Clarkson on Flickr

The wind told me a story, this story blew in on a gentle night breeze, softer than the touch a luna moth’s wings and darker than the places between stars. It spoke to me of a land of the dead, and of music like none I’ve even known. Hear these words as told to me by the wind.

If you follow the path of the sun, follow it straight and follow it true to the place where it sets each day. There, through the fire and flame, past the dying light, is a forest. Well, no that’s like calling the Atlantic a body of water. If you follow the sun to the land where it dies there grows the Sea of Trees. It is exactly as it sounds, a forest vast as the open sea. Trees so tall that their branches grow to bracket the stars and their roots sink down to sip the stuff of other worlds. The forest belongs to the dead and the secrets they keep. The living should never trouble the dead. Of course what should be, and what is, often have miles of difference between them..

Grimoire and scrolls, books and stories tell of necromancers, those who would divine secrets from the dead. They detail incense and rituals to call up and bind the spirit, words to compel them, sigils to command them and hold them to the truth. In the Sea of Trees is their world, not ours. There the dead are not compelled by the living… Only madmen, fools, and those seeking to join their number attempt such a thing. They must be treated with, and in the long history of the Sea of trees there is only one thing they have ever been known to accept in exchange for their secrets or safe passage through their lands… music.

Now. Sam was a bard worthy of the name. With soft words he could charm birds down from trees. With a few bars gently hummed he could turn a mans heart. With his lute in his hand he could wring tears from a stone. Far and wide he was known as the greatest musician of his age. He wandered far, welcome any and everywhere for the gift of his music. He walked to the storm wall, and learned the music of the Everstorm. He tracked through Jackuracu, the burning plains, and learned the song of the desert and shifting sands. He traveled to the lands of giants, and to the peaks of the world’s end mountains to learn their music as well. Inevitably his travels brought him to The Sea of trees. On his first day he strode past the dying sun and where its flames leapt up to burn him and turn him back, he struck a note on his lute and intoned in a soft singsong:

“Peace , O flames of burning day, harm not your cousin made of clay.”

At his voice the fires parted before him and so he walked on. On the second day he found the edge of the forest. Before him trees and branches, vines and brush rose up in an impassible wall, sharp thorns and twisted growth rearing up and up and stretching on and on in all directions as far as he could see. At this he struck a chord on his lute and sang in a voice rich and proud:

“Where music flies there I will follow, through glen and forest, glade and hollow.”

Then, he looked hard at the wall of thorns and branches and he saw in it three notes of music clearly penned. He sang them out, he sang them hard and sharp and white as fire, and struck another chord on his lute. At the sound of that note, ringing out hard and pure and true the way opened before him and he walked on. On the third day, Sam found himself deep within the Sea of trees. All about him ranged the dead, in all shapes and sizes and forms both foul and fair. Many of them reached out to him some beckoning some demanding. Wisely he stepped aside– it is not a good thing for the dead to touch to living. At first he thought to continue on his way, but soon the dead crowded about him so thick that he could go no further safely. He stopped and looked and everywhere he saw the dead. He looked again and this time he saw the music in them, so he raised his lute and played that music, he played and sang it out in wild notes that shivered his soul, he sang it in mournful minor keys that set him to weeping, he set it free in leaping refrains that flitted about the trees in dazzling notes before flying off to dance among the dead. He wrapped himself in the song, wove it about himself in a glamour fit for the fae. At the sound of this music the dead stepped away and a path opened before him. Sam with the music burning in him walked on, he walked and he played for three days unceasing in the light of the sun, and for three days unceasing in the light of the moon. And on the dawn of the fourth day he saw a thinning in the trees and could see in patches the open sky. He sang on though thirst and hunger wracked him, he sang on though sleep blurred his thoughts and made his step stagger. A hundred yards to the end and he sang on though his throat was agony, fifty yards and he sang on, though he could barely remember why he was singing at all, twenty yards and he sang, though sleep was right there close enough to touch. Ten Yards and he sang.. even as a nightingale, a small thing flitting by overhead drew his eye. A small distraction, but that was all it took, there was a burr in his music a missed note…

His spell unraveled and the dead took him.

The wind says that if you follow the sun to the place where it dies each day, there through the fire and flame in the dying light you can hear music wild and otherworldly coming from the Sea of Trees.

Here Be My Gods

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These are my gods. The Lightning, the Mountain, the River. The bite of Winter’s Coming upon the wind, the Storm rolling in from the East, the Snow blanketing the Earth.

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I see pictures like this and my breath is stolen from my chest. Such beauty… our world is full of it. This is GOD, this is GOD-US. This is my church, my temple, my shrine. My bare feet in the dirt are my prayers, my breath frosting on the cool air is my offering. I may worship gods, I may work with spirits, but at the basis of my practice I am an animist. Land, sea, sky. Plants, rocks, animals, even the rain. Are all Divine. 

In the Dark of the Night

Originally posted over at Midnight’s blog, Storms & Spirits, December 14, 2012. 

I stand relaxed, swaying slightly, moving to my own inner rhythm. Slowly I stretch my senses, exchanging one sight for another as I close my eyes and let my other senses paint an image for me. More important than that I feel what is around me. I feel the faint sparks of energy, of life in the tree. I bow to it, fluid, formal, a gesture of respect.. I whisper to it. Lay my hand on it, long-fingered dark-skinned hand against rough bark. For a moment I feel the connection, I am part of something beautiful. ( I honestly cannot say more than that.. I have tried and nothing suffices. So since I can’t explain it well I will just say that it’s beautiful. ) I hear a pulse deeper, stronger than my own. Then I am myself again. Myself with something more, some faint lingering of the pairing, some residual connection. At the edge of my mind, another consciousness; the tree no longer so soundly asleep. Faint feelings of curiosity and other emotions, more and less than human rub against my mind. Herbed smoke wafts up from the coals, tongues of it wrapping around us with vaporous fingers. I reach down grabbing my bowl and with deliberate care empty the contents around the tree.  Circling again I bend low and touch the roots that stand above the ground. Words form in the back of my throat. Liquid, they flow from me. At last I sit amidst the roots and earth, herbed smoke and fallen leaves, and I laugh, long and clear.