Wednesday, December 26, 2012

36 Devon fire workings

36 Devon fire workings
Friday August 10, 2012:
Am I still in fire? Staying for the weekend with a friend, I request fire
and am granted fire.
10 pm.
It's a lovely starry night though cool for August. . I put a fleece on and
am glad of it. I sit on a cushion on the long grass next to the little fire
pit. Beyond the lawn, the river sings. The air is misty with its dampness.
We light a small snapping fire. I reach out to touch the flames. Ah healing
fire.
By rights, my companion and I should be at a camp. But it's rained since
April and the campsite is waterlogged. Somehow the will to find another
place we can all go to, evaporated. Other friends are camping together in an
exclusive clique.
My companion and I work for the future of the camp and all that it has
brought to us over the years. Where else will we find such acceptance of
diversity, such support of difference, such love of who we all are?
We sit by the fire and sing, imagining our voices multiplied, weaving into
the august night as we sing to the moon, the fire, the stars, the land and
ourselves.


Saturday August 11, 2012:
Noon.
With only half an eye between us, my myopic companion and I set off
hopefully to walk on the more. The park by the river teems with children and
their adults. The town is en fete. It's a bright, bright bright, sunshiny
day!
I feel the sun's heat on my face. The river sings loudly for it is full. A
teasing little wind blows away the sun's kiss.
The bus winds up the narrow lanes and climbs up on to Dartmoor. We alight
somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Climbing steeply up to the top of the
moor, the wind is wild. It sings through my walking stick holes like a lost
whale or a high keening bird.
"ouuw-ouuw-ouuw" it sings.
"Ouuw, ouuw, ouuw" I sing back.
We walk through sun and wind along a stone lane. Then into the Merryvale
Stone circle. The grass is shorn within an inch of its life by herds of
hooved things. We have the space to ourselves. We cast a circle using the
birds of the place and settle back to dream.
I lie on my back under the sun and submit to the rough handed wind. Raven
comes a calling and a-cawing. He invites me to go with him. I am
reluctant. I don't want to see the future in case I will be disappointed in
myself. The horses come to chew the cud, so do the sheep. All of them urge
me to take this offer.
"Raven doesn't give this chance to everyone," they point out. I concede.
, I cling tightly to the raven as we rise high, circling the spinning world.
Here I am in a place in the future. I look down at myself. I look well and
happy.
So if I trust in spirit, god, goddess, this is what I can have. Rather like
the wind deflecting the heat of the sun, it's difficult to feel its touch or
in this case, see the image. I thank the Raven and he brings me back to the
stone circle.
Thanking the birds that have helped us dream, we get up and climb back down
to the road where we catch a bus back to Tavistock.
8 pm.
It's still light. The walk beside the river is lovely, if a little rough
under foot in places.
The river is singing loudly. It chuckles and tumbles over the
water-smoothed rocks. I feel light, listening to it. We brush past the
Himalayan balsam which grows like a weed everywhere along the bank. There
is a soft coconutty smell wafting through the cool air, I don't know if this
is our anti-gnat stuff or the balsam... We walk on.

Round the corner is a wider deeper place. Children are playing in the
water. They swing from ropes and one of them has a damp furry animal which
turns out to be a polecat ferret mix creature. I stroke its long wet hair
and it turns to bite me. I remove my hand in the nick of time.
Underfoot it's quite rough going. This is mainly on account of roots and
rocks. I am resolved to walk carefully and lightly on the earth. I am
feeling relaxed.
Here's a tree with a thick ivy stalk growing up it like a snake. It's
beautiful. It's kind of a gateway. We pass through it and squeeze by a
standing stone which also heralds the circle. And here we are.
In this space, where the stones seem to have been re-erected, it is still
and magical. The trees grow out at a forty-five degree angle. Perhaps the
effect of mining has created these phenomena. We make a fire and cast our
circle.
Our intention is many fold. There are loved ones to help pass over, our
queer pagan camp to release and dangerous habits to surrender.
Through the woods comes Cernunnus, his feet quiet on the soft leaf mould,
his essence strong and musky. Up on a branch, a blackbird is singing its
goodnight song. Soon, as darkness falls, it is replaced by the shriek of a
hunting owl.
We sing to move energy. I find myself singing the wood pigeon. Its
"droo-droo-droo-droo-droo" is soothing and comforting. I let it guide,
hold, and help release distress.
Something is squealing its last breath deep in the undergrowth. It's dying
is taking a long time. My face turned towards it, I listen, and want to
know who or what it is that is dying out there and why.
"We are here today to die to what no longer serves us," I think; and the
sound stops. Maybe it is dead or has gone away.
Suddenly, I find myself crouched over, my head down. I am submitting, in
humility in pain. I begin to weep. I can't do this work by myself. I need
to surrender control to a higher power.
Cernunnus stands before me like a jagged oak tree. I shelter between his
great hooves like a helpless small mammal. I admit my problem, surrender
myself to the god and ask for help.
Uncontrollably crying now, I hear the stillness as though something very old
is listening to me, taking in what I'm saying, with gravity and
thoughtfulness. It's as though he is weighing what to do. I don't know if
he'll help.
I lie low to the ground in utter abjection. Hands laid on my head sooth me.
I see Cernunnus in my mind, stern and tall and jagged like an old oak tree.
I could offer my prayers up to him, I think. Yes, that's right. I can ask
him for help. I can do this in my daily circle. I feel comfort in the hands
touching me.
Sitting up, I wipe away my tears. We finish our work and open the circle. I
stand beside the fire as we make it safe to leave. Now that it's dark, only
the fire brings light to the gloom. I hold my hands out to receive its
blessing.
Gathering up our things, we begin to make our way back. The mud, the result
of 4 months of pretty much nonstop rain, oozes and sucks at my boots.
Determinedly it tries to pull them off but I fight it, finding energy in the
battle, tugging away, resisting and winning.
"Ha", I say, "got ya!" Elated by a new sense of freedom, I stride through
the trees and back to the car. Water is clearly calling me, when will I
heed its song?

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