Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dancing In The dark

Wednesday August 15, 2007 (Broadoak, Dorset)

Close to the small fire, we gathered. Beyond our circle, the dark night held us. The oil smeared on my forehead was aromatic and fresh. The juice of the fruits of the hedgerow, sweet and thick upon my tongue.

“Cernunnus, Cernunnus, Cernunnus come!”

The night was filled with the chant.

“Cernunnus, Cernunnus, Cernunnus come!”

I stamped my feet and started to rock back and forth.

“Cernunnus, Cernunnus, Cernunnus come!”

The drums kicked in. Urgent hands beat out the rythmthe insistently. There was no way to stay still.

Each footfall thudded damply in the mud-clogged grass. The earth yielded and held, supporting me as I moved.

I raised my head and smelled the night. The fresh green smell of the crushed grass laced with the dusty damp smell of the mud, merged with the minty oil and the sweet taste of the red berry juice.

The shadows shifted and a tall figure stood in front of me. Taller than a human, he watched me, his head held high, his horns dark against the black night sky.

I began to swing my body, felt my tail slap against my legs as I moved, in a dance of joy and worship.

Shrieks pierced the air, insistent and persistent, breathtakingly prolonged, filled with utter, utter wildness. Then I realised that it was I who was shrieking and I threw back my head and shrieked some more, riding the incredible sense of release that came with each cry.

And still he watched me as I danced in front of him. And the beat careered on, faster and faster.

As suddenly, the drums died away and my harsh ragged breath and rhythmical thump of my feet remained. I slowed and then stopped, falling like the night into silence.

Obediently, I moved when bidden back to the fire. Puzzled, I wondered where my tail had gone. I drew closer to the fire and silently thanked the night for my dance, a dance which confirmed the joy of living and the beauty of the natural world.

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