Although the weather wizards are calling for a bit more snow to fall on us, here in the MidAtlantic, where we're still not able to travel completely normally or to look outside and see anything but feet and feet of snow, if you "listen" with your body, you can feel the Wheel turning, sense the coming of Spring. The Sun's up earlier every morning and its light is stronger, especially, it seems to me, in the early evening when it hovers, more and more reluctant to go, on the Western horizon. The buds on the trees are bigger and bigger and, every few days, some new kind of bird returns from the South. It reminds me a bit of those moments when you're not quite awake, and, indeed, you could almost fall all the way back into a dream, but when you also know that soon you're going to wake up and start the day.
I think, and YMMV, that there's an advantage for Witches to being in deep relationship with a particular place, in order to appreciate fully the Turning of the Wheel of the seasons. And that takes time. It takes, as most relationships do, time spent with the beloved, both when it's pleasant and when it's not. It takes daily and hourly attention, not simply an attempt to reconnect 8, or 13, or even 21 times a year. It takes being open to the pain and degradation that the land has experienced and is experiencing, as much as it takes being open to delight in the blossoming of flowers or the warming of the soil. It takes turning off the tv, or the computer, or the cell phone, or your monkey mind, and, ok, it must be said: Going Outside.
Now, we all know, the problem with Nature Religions is, well, Nature. Snow and freezing cold in the Winter, rain and mud in the Spring, heat and mosquitoes in the Summer, wet leaves in the Autumn. And, so, one of the more practical parts of this religion can be learning how to be outside in each of those situations. Boots and shawls and Yax Trax in Winter, a mosquito repellant, discovered after trial and error, that works in the Summer. But if you're serious about being in relationship, then you have to do what's necessary to allow you to spend time with the beloved. And the rewards are substantial.
I was over at G/Son's yesterday, for the first time since the crushing snow that we got here, and he and his 'rents were showing me some v. large trees of theirs that came down in the snow. G/Son said, "Look, Nonna! Our trees came down, just like this!" and then he lay, face down on the floor, arms and legs spread out. The fall of those magnificent trees was too intense to discuss with mere words, it was, for him, a full-body experience. That's relationship.
May it be so for you.
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I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."