Friday, February 23, 2007

Go West?

It is necessary to get some respite from pain. It was therefore with a considerable sense of relief and a slight twinge of guilt, that I took myself off to Wales for another pilgrimage to meet the goddess in wilder places. As I sat on the train, I set my intention to find some release from the sorrow I was carrying and which was connected with my father’s death. I acknowledged that I wanted also to get some space from the emotional ramifications for my relationship in the past and today with my family too. There had to be a way of settling into an easier space with it so that I could again function.

The Purple haired Druid (with locks now somewhat pinker) fetched me from the train and drove me off into Carmarvanshire, my base for the next few days. As we wound through the countryside, I felt my whole body relax and settle as I allowed myself to forget all the turmoil of the last few weeks and to truly arrive and be cradled by the soft hills, dark forests and jagged mountains of this very beautiful if somewhat damp land.

We had no actual plan, but a list of possibilities. We aimed for particular sites but were not fussed if we ended up somewhere else – something incredible always happened.

Badly needing to rest, I found myself consciously forcing myself to be in the moment, not worrying about what I would do but allowing myself to maintain some kind of focus for the primary purpose of my visit, to encounter the goddess wherever she chose to meet me.

And I found her! I found her in an old Yew tree, on a flat topped mountain which was standing in the path of a gas pipeline ripping through Wales. I found her in a burial chamber on a green surrounded by modern bungalows, as a majestic standing stone on top of another mountain, in the dancing wild sea and in a quiet forest by a bubbling stream.

Back now in the real world (or is it?) after 36 hours of frenzy, I have pushed aside my daily commitments to spend time here telling you all what happened. Slightly anxious that my memory will fail me, as it seemed to do after my father died, and frustrated that the tape on which I recorded notes of the different events lies somewhere else – in a car park in Carmarvanshire perhaps, I sit nervously before the computer. Time to cast a circle and ask the goddess to be with me as I do this. So that’s just what I’ll do.

The alter is set with the objects I bring on my pilgrimages. The piece of “devil’s toenail” stone sits next to the granite-like, slightly flattened egg shape piece of rock I sometimes use as a talking stick, in the North. The swan’s feather given on my initiation last year sits with the earthenware bowl holding the smudge and the stick incense in the East. A white candle, tied with a silver ribbon (a gift from the winter solstice) sits with the glass containing a tea-light in the South. Both dance brightly warming and perfuming the air. The blue spiral bowl of moon water sits next to the metal shell, also filled that is my travelling challis in the West. I’ve laid out the small purple alter cloth (a silk bandana,) put the egg shaped rattle, the ball of purple wool (used for tying offerings) and the small leather medicine pouch in the centre. All is ready.

I call the feathery winds of inspiration, memory and innovation, optimistic like the dawn light to come, be here now! I call the dancing flames of passion and intention, creativity and transformation to come, be here now! I call the flowing, shaping, caressing and embracing waters of self love and confidence to come, be here now! I call the rocks and stones, earth and plants, the power of manifesting, the doing that delivers to come and be here now! All above and all below and all connecting in air, fire, water, earth, bring to this place a remembrance of the magic of pilgrimage and let it flow onto the computer now!

So mote it be.

And I reach for the Druid Oracle cards, call for animal medicine to help me write this blog well, shuffle and cut the cards and pull out the Boar, the qualities of warrior spirit, leadership, direction and know that it's time to start and there is no stopping me now! I place the cards on the alter, between North and East, between manifesting and inspiring and open a new word doc.


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