Saturday, March 22, 2008

The disorderly wind – Finsbury Park and Queen’s Wood Highgate

Friday March 21, 2008


Fragile blossoms dance on a breath of wild wind.
Blackbird sings loud in the teeth of the gale.

The weather forecast promised rain, snow, gales and more. But the sun was shining and the wild wind was chasing the clouds across the sky as we walked carefully up the uneven steps between the houses on to the Parkland Walk. Up top, the sun met us full on and the wind barged us rudely.

Blossomed trees shook defiantly, as though to say to the wind, “you won’t budge us, oh no you won’t.” All around us, poplar trees sang and swayed rowdily.

The heartbeat beat of the drum led our footsteps along the uneven muddy path. In silence we walked, allowing the wind, like an honour guard to urge us forward. I lifted my face to the sun and laughed to feel such warmth on such a tempestuous day.

In the park, adults, children and dogs ran about in the disorderly wind. At the edge of the lake, a goose honking loudly was taking a vigorous bath whilst ducks and pidgins mobbed the feet of the humans out to feed the fowl. We walked on, searching for a quiet place to make our circle.

Past the children’s playground, the boating lake, the neat municipal flower-beds, in a corner near the road, we found the perfect place. A secluded wooded glade complete with a magnificent magnolia tree in full flower waited. Daffodils danced amongst the grass, squirrels scampered in and out and all around pidgins, crows and a robin sang loudly.

A great shaggy many trucked pine offered itself as our alter. At its feet we laid our offerings both natural and human-made, cast a circle and called to the deity of the place and season to join us.

And in our stories, the hare came, symbol of rebirth, balance and intuition. And we sang to the day and the flowers dancing amongst the grass as we began to spiral round chanting:

“Dance with the daffodils, dance with the breeze.
Danced with the goddess, spring is here.
Dance with the daffodils, dance with the trees,
Dance with the goddess, spring is here.”

The robin sang back at us. Blowing kisses to him we remembered the Robin’s boy. Nearby woodpigeons cooed affectionately to each other as they flew with the wind. And the daffodils and magnolia flowers bobbed about as we spiralled round dancing into spring.

Beyond the trees a backdrop of sound, children, dogs and traffic mingled. A wisp of cigarette smoke drifted through the air. We thanked the deities who had come and all those who had danced with us in reality or energy and opened the circle and headed for warming food.




It was no good - the woods were calling. The queer spirit circle had optimistically decided to do an outdoor ritual, despite the threatening weather. As we arrived, the small hard rain which had just begun lost its purpose and gave up. We walked down the sharply sloping uneven path into the woods. The perfect place lay beyond a thicket of extremely prickly holly – but didn’t it always?

Operating on queer pagan time, it was some time before we were ready to light our elicit fire and begin our circle. Incense drifted across the space, crushed grass sweetly sour filled the air as the drums beat a jaunty rhythm. We circled and offered our purpose in this working and as we finished, the skies lowered and then fell in.

Hail the size of garden peas showered down upon us. Soon the ground was white AND CRUNCHY with their icy presence. Above, thunder cracked AND the trees shook in the wild wind. Laughing, we gathered up our belongings and tumbled out of our hiding space.

And wouldn’t you know it but as soon as we got back to the road, the hail stopped, the wind dropped and the sun thought about coming out again, then changed his mind. We had gathered to honour queer spirit but we were also hoping to take part in a world-wide ritual of healing for the earth. An ancient Otomi Prophecy says that when 8000 sacred drums play together, the healing of Mother Earth will begin. The Otomi's are Mayan Olmec and Toltec descendants. If we were going to take part, we needed to get to our dry space for the time of the full moon, so we’d better put our skates on.

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