Comfortable in the embrace of Mother Nature…
A witch will find solace in the electric energy of a storm,
Falling rain and the glow of the full moon evokes raw magick.
By the Light of the Moon
The moon is bright and full.
Her light washes over the earth in soft silvery shards.
We are recharged with positive energy.
Everything her rays touch are alive with the knowing intuition of a trusted crone.
Like an old friend… the moon whispers the secrets of the night urging us to sit in silence and listen.
Be still and listen she says… and we do.
We are the children of the earth. The children of the moon. The children of Old Ways.
We are maidens and mothers and crones. We are youth and warriors and sages.
We may often be hidden, but are no longer hiding.
We dance barefoot in the dewy grass.
We speak our intent into the wind and make offerings of sage.
We sing and chant and drum.
We jump balefires and burn parchments of spells into fruition.
We bathe in herb scented water to cleanse and purify our bodies and prepare them to stand in the presence of the divine.
We are alive with the power of the moonlit skies.
We are witches and we are everywhere.
© Bridey Lassair 2013
May this full moon find you feeling energized and full of the blessed light of Luna.
Last year for Summer Solstice I made my way to Hillsboro, Texas to participate in a Summer Solstice festival being held on the property where Middlefaire Renaissance Faire is held. Initially it was going to be a girls retreat, but many of the women invited weren’t able to come… it ended up being a mother & daughter retreat for mom & I. That’s how I sort of think that it was supposed to be. We needed the time away to reconnect and let loose a little together. Believe me, we did! It was hot as Hades out, but we managed to have a good time and tried to keep cool. It was our 1st Pagan festival in Texas & we were determined to make it memorable!
Much of our time was spent chatting with merchants & patrons there. I quickly befriended a musical group called Dublin Doubles comprised of Teresa, Trey & Lala. For 2 days they were our surrogate family of sorts. They were very welcoming and friendly so it was easy to hang with them and get the lay of the land… plus I really enjoy their music and it gave me lots of time to listen to them play. Next to them were the lovely couple Denise & Mel, who felt like kindred spirits to me the moment they opened their mouths to speak. Something about them just felt very familiar and comforting. Mom & I both bought some fantastic loose incense & burners from the business they run called Practically Magick. When we weren’t buying stuff and mingling with the people… we were off by the stage finding our spiritual groove…. in drum circle with a really cool guy named El Lobo. This was obviously not his first rodeo because El Lobo brought a bunch of drums and noise makers for everyone to play with. We spent hours both days we were there getting lost in the rhythm of the drum beats… it was a lot of fun and very relaxing.
This Summer Solstice when Akasha & Indigo started talking about what we needed to bring with us for ritual, I was excited to find out that we’d be drumming. On our Litha craft day I made a little hand-held drum to bring with me for ritual since Jay was going to be playing my doumbek. I’m not sure how long we drummed, but it was a fantastically freeing sensation. I felt very tranquil drumming and swaying to the beat. Prior to that we were encouraged to dance with abandon, Akasha described it as “mad monkey dancing”… so we did. Danced, spinned & jumped the fire. It was a lot of fun. Probably the most free I’ve felt dancing in circle in a long time.
The tone of the ritual felt very playful & fun… like the sort of ritual a faery would want to attend. What with the flowers, fire, drums, poetry & dancing… who could resist?
Here’s the poem I wrote:
‘Round the wise oak
Spin & prance
Rhythmic beat of the drum
Twirl and whirl to the hum
Summer’s warmed air
Flicker of fire
Cleansing water mists their hair
Energy grows with desire
Solstice sun high in the sky
Joy & merriment as they fly
Longest day has arrived
Blessed Litha they all cry!
We also went on a guided meditation to visit “Ancient Ones” who told us about whatever it was we were seeking. We were told to envision ourselves riding a white mare and when we came upon the opening in the rocks we spoke to the Ancient Ones who talked to us about perception. From our end it appeared to be an opening only large enough to peer through, but on their end it was an opening large enough for us to ride through on the mare. That meditation sat with me even after ritual was concluded, the concept of perception and the need to reevaluate how you look at things. I thought it was a really insightful meditation.
It has helped me focus some attention on some of the things I perceive in my life as “not right”… I have too little time, too little money, too many responsibilities, too many chores, etc. You know, when it comes right down to it, none of that is correct at all. Sure, I wish I had more time to do the things I enjoy, but with good time management I can do most of what I want with my leisure time. I wish I made more money, but who doesn’t? With good budgeting I can afford the things I truly need and even a few of the things I want. Responsibility is something I should welcome & appreciate because that means that I am trusted and counted on, things that only come to someone who is tried & true. I’d much rather spend my time visiting with friends, writing, crafting, reading… really anything other than doing chores, but they’re one of those evil necessities in life. What a drag to have to do laundry, dishes & vacuum the livingroom, but I’d much rather do that than live in a dirty, unkempt home. Perception is important. It helps you to look at the very same thing from a different vantage point to gain a broader view.
That’s what Summer Solstice was for me. Drumming until my hands hurt. Dancing with abandon like a “mad monkey”. Writing poetry. Leaping the fire. And reevaluating my perception. So, what was your Summer Solstice?
“Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.”
(1927 poem written by American writer Max Ehrmann)
That poem has always been a part of my consciousness for as long as I can remember. As long as I’ve been able to read, I have known this poem. It’s one of those unusual things in my childhood that left an impression. A long lasting impression. You might wonder why a school-aged child would be reading such an advanced piece and the truth of the matter is that it was an unavoidable focal point in my dining room for years and years. Written in beautiful cursive script on the clock covered in sunflowers… there it was just waiting to be read. So I obliged.
It told me a lot about the ideals & values of my parents. As I grew older, it helped to remind me of my own. When I started to write poetry and journal, I’d often reflect on that poem. It has been with me for so many years now that its meaning in my life surely surpasses the original intent of the author. And it resonates with me more today than ever.
I wonder if Max Ehrmann was a Pagan at heart. It seems as though his philosophy on life is a reflection of so many Pagans I know. There are so many worthwhile messages in this single poem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it, but I always found a message I needed to hear. It helped to let me know that no matter what life dealt me, I was equipped to handle it. When I read it, I see these messages today:
- Take comfort in silence despite turmoil and noise around you.
- Don’t bow down to others, but be nice.
- Be honest.
- Even dull & ignorant people deserve to be heard.
- Avoid loud/obnoxious people, you don’t need their drama.
- Don’t compare yourself with others, be happy with yourself.
- Enjoy making plans & achieving goals.
- Stay interested in your career no matter what it is.
- Be cautious, but open.
- Be authentic.
- Don’t pretend to care for someone if you don’t.
- Believe in love.
- Respect the wisdom of experience.
- Respect the innocence of youth.
- Nurture your spirit and be strong if you face hard times.
- Do not worry or fear unnecessarily.
- Be gentle to yourself.
- You are a part of the universe.
- Even if things seem unsure, they are happening for a reason.
- Be at peace with the creator/God/Goddess.
- Life is worth it.
- Life is beautiful.
- Be cheerful.
- Be happy.
Certainly these are messages we all need to hear and be reminded of. It seems too easy to focus on the negative things about life. Especially when we’re going through something rough. Woe is me is so much easier than brainstorming solutions or “looking on the bright side”. This poem challenges us to look at the positive things about life, reminds us that everything is connected and does so in such a soothing way that by the time someone finishes reading it they should feel counseled and relieved. I know I do.