Sunday, April 05, 2009

Following the winged ones

I call now the element of air. Let your breath blow me onwards through the year as I fly with the birds. I will fly to inspire, and so that we may all know and love justice. Hail and welcome winged ones!

I have no text, no ancient lore to follow. I have only my instinct and my promise - to connect with the birds this year. In the helter-skelter rush into spring, and the busyness of my life, I have had time only to regret that I did not spend more time preparing. But Ostara has passed and I don’t yet know completely the calendar I will follow. Being a bit of a completer finisher, this irks me somewhat.

I wander round the garden listening to the glorious dawn chorus. Maybe I should align the birds with the trees? Blackbird is the bird of the threshold. He begins to sing soon after Imbolc. Let him companion Rowan then, I decide. The geese fly high in the white skies of March, let them fly above the naked elegant ash tree. How merrily the ducks paddle and play. Let them waddle and quack amongst the wet roots of Alder. How beautifully the willow weeps into the swollen spring waters below. Let them weep with the soulful swan as she glides beneath their shade.

I know that as the year casts her crone’s mantle that owl and raven will be there. The sacred twins, the robin and the wren will herald the beginning of the year in birch. All that seems right. But where to place the pidgin, for I must have pigeon? And as I think of this, the other birds begin to peck and squabble, clambering for inclusion.

The tree calendar is aligned to the moons. In 2008, birch began on the new moon which appeared on the day after St Stephen’s day. It seemed right that Wren and Robin companioned it. The month of birch next comes in the second week of January 2010, late for the robin and the wren. Now if I’d worked with birds this last year, everything would have fitted in beautifully!

So what about working with a bird for each festival? Blackbird would fit in with Imbolc, Duck with Ostara, Swan with Beltane. Owl and or Raven with Samhain and Wren and Robin with Yule. My mind boggles. I could just decide, but I can’t decide so I go off to talk to the ducks, because, whichever calendar system I decide upon, both agree that it is time for ducks!

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