In the district dedicated to Columbia, the weather can turn on a dime. (OK, you have to go back to the 1800s to find Columbia on a dime and, even then, she's called by her nickname: Freedom. But you know what I mean.) Just last week, I was out in the bitter cold, covering up tender plants; today we had sunny weather and temps in the 80s. I've known it to pretty much skip Spring weather here and go directly from Winter to Summer.
Today's sun and warmth have literally been working magic on my tiny bit of Earth. Jack-in-the-pulpits that were not there yesterday evening when I took Hecate's deipnon out to the altar are now several inches high. My neighbor's deciduous magnolia is a waving magnificence of creamy pink. The tiny horns of hosta have poked through the Earth, looking for all the world like an invasion of some underground alien species.
I've known Witches who don't feel the need for a daily practice, but I find that I really need one. And a big part of my practice is communing with my bit of Earth, with Spout Run and the Potomac River, with my landbase and watershed. I need to be in touch with them to help me understand who I am. Because I am not separate from them. I am all wrapped up in the water level of the Potomac, the migrating birds hanging out on the Three Sisters as the sculling teams from Georgetown skim by. A part of who I am is the day upon which the fiddleheads (today, in the sunnier spots!) emerge from the soil and begin to gently dance open, a reverse Spiral Dance that moves within my own soul as much as it moves out in the woodland garden. I find out how trustworthy and gentle I am from the squirrels, and peanut-eating crows, and bluejays; I learn how much I truly believe in both the light and the dark when I watch the giant hawk perusing the morning doves at my feeder the way a hungry teen eyes the all-you-can-eat buffet. I need my fox to show up once in a while to re-enchant my garden. My own health is somehow bound up in the health of "my" homeless vet at the TR Bridge. And the weather that moves through Columbia's district moves through my moods and into my thoughts.
What speaks most to you in your landbase? How do you connect with it? How have you learned to listen to yourself by listening to it? If not today, when?
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 . . . ."