Monday, April 13, 2009

Blackbird Owl’s Sacred Avian Calendar

Ok, I ‘fess up! There is no rhyme, reason or rule for what I am trying to do this year. No great pagan avian calendar gifted by the gods and channelled by the great priestess of the birds. No old runic carvings to examine and decipher. Not even a gothic late Edwardian tome written by a bloke with slightly dodgy politics after too much sex, drugs and The Charleston! I’d like to say I channelled it whilst flying on the wing with some great migratory flock of golden birds. I’d like to say even, I had a conversation with the blackbird and the owl and they revealed it to me.

Last year’s trees were hotly disputed – so I plumped for what sounded right to me. I read a few books, which all disagreed with each other and went with my own notions of what sounded right – well until I got depressed and lost the plot, that is. This year, I spent some time trying to mix some kind of bird calendar with the slightly dodgy tree calendar I used last year. Well, didn’t I get my feathers in a twist! The trouble is, thirteen moons don’t necessarily fit into a calendar year. And from thence it was but a short step to confusion.

And in that confused state, I phoned a friend, my favourite witch, The Low Priestess. And by purely consciously mind and middle earth means, I ‘vet come to a conclusion – and that was actually most of the battle. I don’t care if it doesn’t fit in with myth (what myth?), it doesn’t matter it if it doesn’t totally work ornithological either. What matters is that it squares to me.
And with a scirring of wings in the coolness of the dawn breeze, here it is:

Blackbird Owl’s Sacred Avian Calendar.

Blackbird and the rest of the thrush family.
Blackbird begins to sing his triumphant song as the wheel turns through Imbolc. The first bird I connected with, one half of my name. Allegedly some druid thinking associates this bird with the forge and I associate the art of smith craft with Brigit and Imbolc is her festival.

Spring Equinox
Duck, Goose and other pond companions.
Come the spring equinox , the ducks are a-waddling and a-courting and doing all manner of rude things. The geese that stayed are a-strutting and those who’ve returned fill the skies with their rusty gate calls. Spring makes me happy and so do ducks.

Swans are the great lovers, mating for life. Although Beltane is more about sex, I associate these beautiful birds with late spring sunshine under the dappled willows.

Summer Solstice
Pidgin and his cousins the doves.
Pigeon, ubiquitous in cities like London, but also the sound of summer with their “Droo-droo, Droo-droo”. I hear their call and immediately I am sprawled beneath a shady tree on a rosy summer afternoon, snoozing gently.

Pheasant and other game birds
August is the season of game hunting. The plump pheasants, partridges and grouse fly in fear of their life, yet lead the guns a merry dance too. After the first harvest, summer begins to think of autumn and the game bird flies across the wide moor.

Autumn Equinox
Swallows and other migrants
Summers end and the avian summer visitors fly south. The swallows fill the sky on their journey to over winter in Africa. Of course birds migrate in and out of the British Isles throughout the year but the time when the swallow leaves marks the end of summer and the cooling of the days until winter.

Owl, raven and the crow family
AS we move into the darkness, the owl, the Cailleach and the raven the destroyer speak to me of the death of one thing and the birth of another, echoing Samhain as we die to what we no longer need, and are reborn anew.

Robin and Wren
Here are the twins at the time of the birth of the sun and the death of the dark. Robins and Yule are a common partnership. Wrens were hunted on St Stephen’s day. Together they sing.


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