Sunday, December 20, 2009

30 Old crow woman – Highgate

Saturday December 19, 2009:


“In the dark, dark hart of the night, when all is still, when all is quiet, the earth sleeps. , Silently, she surrenders to the night, submits to the stillness that brings her deep rest that helps her recoup her energy for the time when the light will return.” I say as the company settle down to rest, all around me.

I sit in stillness. The drumbeat, a muffled heart-beat rocks me. The circle is quiet. Slowly, their breath unites to dance with the drum and the gentle rumbling snoring of someone who is too tired to dream

I call to dark mother to watch over us, to great mama bear to cradle us on her soft round belly, to fierce old crow woman to protect us from harm.

The earth holds me. I am still; in that place before it is time to grow. Conserving and preserving, I rest and wait.
“Deep in the earth,
Deep in her womb.
Cradled in the dark,
Resting in the tomb.”


I am in a dark cave. Far in the distance, a light flickers. Gold dances on the coal black walls, cracked and fissured in fine lines, like feathers.

I walk towards the light which dances beyond a great jagged black shadow. She stands before the fire, silhouetted against its leaping golden flames, her great beak cruelly sharp, and her black eye shining. .

I kneel before her, head bent. Silently, I make my request, the wish I can hardly name, so ashamed am I for having to admit it. But by voicing it, I make it real and my desire to change, with it.

“Trust”, she caws deeply and her voice bounces off the walls and comes back to me a thousand times.

“Trust … trust … trust … trust … trust” say the walls.

She stands aside and beckons me to the fire. I hold my hands out and dance with the flames. They move and grow as I shape the heat. As I weave the flames I resolve to let go of what I no longer need if I have trust. Brilliant blue flame leaps as though to snatch something from the air. The fire burns fiercely, consuming, transforming all.

The great dark figure turns from the fire and walks into the shadows beyond. I am drawn to follow her. The blackness swallows her up and I am left alone. Only my soft breathing tells me I am alive.

The softest of golden rays hits the shining wall to my right. It ripples with iridescent sparkling currents. I walk towards its inviting light.

“Light is returning,
Although it seems the darkest hour.
Nothing can hold back the dawn.”


“It is an act of will, an act of courage, in the darkest times, to affirm that light will return …” says the other priestess.

“… We call upon the brightness that will heal the earth that will whisper to seeds that it is time to put out green shoots that will warm the dead places in our hearts that will make newness, life, joy and laughter both possible and right. Because we have rested with the dead, we who believe in life must always be ready for the next rebirth. Because the times are difficult, we who believe in life must sing and dance to call the new light into being, knowing that it cannot be held back.” She continues.

I pick up the drum and begin to beat steadily. Throwing back my head, my heart filled with hope, I sing:

“Celebrate the birth of the sun,
Light the way O Lucina.
Dance around on Sabbath night.
Blessed be the great mother!”

I feel my body begin to move as the circle bounces into life. Voices rise in joy; we dance a spiral dance for the love of life. Smiling dances pass each other as they circle me and I am bathed in the warmth of the ecstasy of their dance. The sun is born. We are alive as the world is alive!

The song soars. Hands reach out and capture the energy and direct it down into the earth. She who has been betrayed by the farce of Copenhagen is given our love in hopes that it will help to heel her.

Laughing, we pass the sack of bounty. Together we feast an drink, blessing each other as hand to hand, we share sustenance.

And in the back of my mind, I see the old crow woman. I taste pomigrannit on my tongue sweet and rich. I savor the juicy fruit of the mince pie and I thank her silently for her wisdom. At the back of my throat, I feel air moving through my vocal chords and, Under cover of a raucus laugh; a quiet caw escapes in honour of her. I fold my hands across my breast and slightly bow my head, before reaching out and liberating a piece ofchristmas cake from a passing platter.

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