Wednesday, December 26, 2012

41 Winter Bears and the fire of hope.

41 Winter Bears and the fire of hope.

Saturday December 22, 2012:
Call the sun from the tomb of night.
The cold earth turns toward the light!
Wake! Rise up from that death-like sleep.
Hail! New Dawn, new day, new life!
The bear comes slowly moving through the space. Sniffing at the floor, the
air and at us as she passes, I hear her growling low in the back of her
throat. I'm not sure if it's a growl I should particularly note as a
threat, a warning or a promise. I decide to simply note that she is
growling.
She is many goddesses and gods, all bears and warriors, primeval, powerful
queenly and kingly. Fierce-clawed, her paws are also velvety padded. Her
great mass is also a soft big belly on which to sleep. I want to reach out
to touch her but I feel she might think this to be impertinent; after all,
she's not a teddy bear!
I growl in the back of my throat in greeting and honour of her. She seems to
like that. I feel a bit bear-like myself and that feels good. I think of the
bear called to watch over a dying mother in New York State and to comfort
her waiting daughter. I send a special soft growl over the ocean to bring
comfort to the watching one. May her mother find release when the time is
right, and may the watching one find comfort on her ongoing journey without
a mother?
I say: "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.

Journey into the dark. Find that place of stillness, of deep rest.
Sleep, cradled in the arms of the great mother.
Wait to feel the turning of the earth,
the warming of the air
that tells of the sun's return
and our time to wake."

I go down to the fire via the wooded walk and the hidden cave behind the
bush. At the bottom of the great spiral is the guardian of the fire and with
her, the wolf. She allows me to burn despair. I watch it turning the
flames red, orange and yellow, slowly curling up and shrinking and
shrivelling until it has all gone and only the fire burns brightly and
cleanly.
I walk through the chambers and meet the great mother as a large bear. I lie
down resting my head on her stomach. I ask her what I need now for the next
part of my life's journey.
I dream. IN my dream I am doing something else and feeling very happy. I
don't know what it is I'm doing but it is making my heart sing. I wonder
what this is and whether I ought to do this instead of what I do now or as
an antidote to the stresses of what I do now. This is not yet resolved. I
trust that I will know when it's time.
I take the memory away to think about it. The fire guardian presents me
with dark dense shiny coal or petrified wood, which she tells me, will soak
up all the negativity. I think as I take it, I can wear black stones to help
me do this to, but maybe I'll carry petrified wood and jet with me when I
can.
I climb the stairs back up to the day, my body feels lighter.
"Deep in the earth, deep in her womb,
Cradled in the dark, resting in the tomb."
But hey! The light is returning!
I sing:
"light is returning, although it seems the darkest hour.
No one can turn back the dawn."
Voices join in. I feel my heart shift with hopefulness. I know I want to
retreat to the dark and sometimes it provides the answer. I often say we're
too eager to search for the light without working on what is dark within us,
but maybe I have stood in the dark of my depression too long.
I lift my voice and feel my heart shift with joy and hopefulness. I am
letting go of negativity, and , of despair. I am embracing joy and hope
for the future.
"It is an act of will, an act of courage, in the darkest times, to affirm
that light will return! Another reads the words written by a former member
of our group and to which, I have added.
"We call the sun from the tomb of night.
Come, wake! Rise!
Rise once more, new born and shining from that long sleep of death!
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.
We call the sun from the tomb of night.
Come, wake! Rise!
Rise once more, new born and shining into a new dawn, a new day, a new
beginning.
THE place is ablaze. I sing so joyfully of the return of the sun, my throat
swelling with passion, other voices around me join in to lift the roof.
"Celebrate the birth of the sun,
Light the way o Lucina.
Dance around on Solstice night,
Blessed be the great mother!
WE dance and raise the roof. I feel the bears dancing with us, not just a
great magisterial bear but lots of different bears. I am like a bear,
stamping and dancing and I smile, muzzle in the air as I sing.
The song moves to a wordless tone. I jump up and down with excitement. How
old am I?
"I am as young as the new born sun", I say to no one in particular and reach
out a paw to feel the heat from a candle.
The bears go. Everyone thanks everyone and we feast in a manner redolent of
a teddy bears picnic. I hum under my breath and think rather incongruously
of Pooh Bear.

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