Old Nettle Woman

We are this land amara hollow bones
Image: We are this land by amara hollow bones

Old Nettle Woman finds me.
She comes to me in my deepest sleep.
She fills me with chlorophyll dreaming.
She whispers strength that flows from her fibrous roots,
and smiles the truth in the sting of her tiny needles.

Old Nettle Woman leads me to the creek side.
Her skirts rustle softly as she walks,
a delicate breeze in dark green leaves.
She settles on the bank beside me.
Her slender hands pull her prickly shawl closer,
and she gazes green on flowing water.

I bend my head to hear her soft voice,
and she spins a story of her lover the sun who courted her in the spring
by kissing and warming her tender maiden leaves.
She hums of crystal incandescent green and how she became so full of love for the sun,
that his light filled her and she unfurled her leaves,
And stretched her stems to reach for him in the deep blue summer sky.

Old Nettle Woman sits up straight while she sings of growing taller.
And then she smiles wickedly,
and weaves a tale of summer days when she pulled the sun so close to her
that the heat of their passion
burnt the tips of her leaves and left her panting in the dry dusty heat,
until the autumn rains came
and tiny droplets were succulent on her thirsty foliage.

I feel her scratchy seed clusters brush against my cheek,
and I strain to listen  more closely.
The heat of their passion is singing in the dusty mist of pollen as it is released.
Her tiny black baby seeds dance around her in the breeze.
Some settle around their mama and others fly across the creek
to live and grow in parts unknown.

All her children are beloved equally.

And I realize that she and I are the same.
The sun loves us and
our children fly in the breeze.

Old Nettle Woman bows her head.
She is of the water and the soil and the air,
and though her roots have begun to pull her back,
it is her passion for the sun that will most sustain her
when the winter snows begin to fall
and she sinks and settles into the earth below.

If you like this poem, listen to Bones and Feathers, a beautiful song by Emily Portman

 

Crone Mother at Calan Gaeaf

goddess of the western isleNow Winter is calling her.
The Western Gates are open,
And once again she stands in liminal space.
Not spinning, not weaving, not wondering.

She peers into the indigo depths ahead.
Straining to see in blackness that confuses her open summer eyes.

She pulls up her hood as shelter from the light,
And tentatively leans forward.
Still not sure if she wants to let go of the amiable warmth of summer.
She feels unclothed, light and airy,
Her diaphanous dress floating above the still green ground,
So full of light, so full of air,
Not ready to sink into the murky depths ahead.

She awkwardly and cautiously reaches forward,
And like the heliacal rising of Venus
she begins to shine as an evening star,
Brightest and retrograde, before her descent
and her triumphant rise again to the heavens.

Taking a deep breath
She pauses to seek the blessing of her Gods and Ancestors.
She whispers a prayer for those who have gone before
And those who will follow.
She blesses and purifies herself.

She allows herself to consider the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.

And as she stares, she can see the space between the light and the dark.
No,
She IS the space between the light and the dark.

She is the Goddess Inanna
Remembering a time when her confidence was strong,
And (not one to be taken by Hades),
It is she who chooses to descend into the darkness
and willingly offer her seven most treasured possessions.
From her root she offers her stability
And moving along her chakras she offers compassion, confidence and deepest love
Her voice, her vision and finally from her crown she proffers the deepest depth of her spirit.

And once again she is riding the edges of her dreams and goals.
She is navigating the world between normal and no man’s land
Stepping into her darkness,
Her soul a shining star in the heavens.

Image: Goddess of the Western Isles by Iain Lowe

And this:

Invocation (for Karen on her 50th Birthday)

Karen
By air and sky and deep blue mountain lake,
By sturdiness of soil and heat of passion’s flame.
By rough bark and strong trunk,
Deep roots and ever-widening branches.
By the wind and by the rain.

Shrug off your heavy cloak my darling,
Shake off the weight of your days.
Drop off your burden, slip out of your fear,
Release your inhibitions and go deep and deeper
Until naked, you step into this magical sphere.

Open yourself to our Mother.
Open to her pain and to her bliss.
Lean into the edge of her love and longing.
And fall forward into the deepest darkness of her kiss.

Drop down into the blackness
Slowly float into the depths of her devotion.
Experience the ecstasy of her grief and her glory
And let it take you to the magnificent river that will pull you
Into the truth of your belonging.

Now you are a wave rider,
Now you are the wave,
Now you are the force of love that will heal all wounds.

You must believe first,
And then remember this message:
You are deeply loved.
Your love is desired and valued.
Nothing will ever separate you from the sacred body of the earth,
Nothing will stop you from knowing her immensity.

With love from Amber

 

 

Image source: Unknown (with gratitude and apologies to the artist.)

For Artemis

The Archer

I noticed that your hand was trembling
last night when I held it in circle.
And it seemed to me
that you were wound as tense and tightly
as a bow string.

I knew then
that you were working so hard to
hold and care for all of our energy
and your own.

And I thank you for that.

But you are not a bow,
you are a beautiful archer
who must use that energy
to shoot the arrows of your divinity
into the sky and let them
fall where they must land.

 

Image: The Archer card from the Wildwood Tarot.

Crone Mother at Calan Mai

Ode to LiminalityNow Summer is calling her.
And she is leaning into that liminal space.
Not spinning, not weaving, not wondering.
Standing sentient, on this holy day.

She stares at the limitless light ahead.
Squinting her sensitive winter eyes.
Pulling her cloak more tightly around her.

She reluctantly raises her tiny foot to take a step forward,
Not sure if she wants to let go of the comforting depths of winter.
Not ready to walk through the fire
before she leaps into the dizzying height and heat of summer.
She feels helpless; heavy and weak.
Her bones crack; her joints creak; her muscles ache.
She stands old and alone.

And so, taking a deep breath,
She pauses to seek the blessing of her Gods and ancestors.
She whispers a prayer for increased fertility and good health for her land and her tribe.
She blesses and purifies herself.

And she allows herself to consider the possibilities that still lie ahead.

She awkwardly kneels down and begins to rub two oak branches together
until the sparks fly
and catch in the kindling of nine sacred woods.
Her breath feeds the flame;
Her fire begins to burn.
And she can feel the music play within her witch’s soul.

She struggles to stand, and looking ahead
She can see the space between the dark and the light.
No,
She IS the space between the dark and the light.

She steps cautiously and moves forward through the flames.
Remembering a time when her muscles were strong and lean
And she raced faster and faster,
Chasing her seed.
Swishing through the dry grasses — a greyhound chasing a hare;
Slipping and sailing through the waters — an otter chasing a fish;
Soaring boundless though the air — a hawk chasing a sparrow.

She is riding the edges of her dreams and goals;
She is navigating the world between normal and no man’s land.
And so she steps into the light
Her mind pregnant with possibilities.

Inspired by: http://paganbloggers.com/breathofninemaidens/blog/2017/05/01/beltane-portal-of-transformation/

Image source: http://www.durgabernhard.com/item.php?type=poster&id=37

Invoking air

girl birds

We are wings;
We are feathers;
We are feathered earrings;
We are arrows.

We drink the air, we taste the air;
we are floating
on currents of air.

Our breathing is in waves; air flows in, air flows out;
It becomes the oxygen in our blood.

Our breath is everywhere;
Our air is everywhere;
We breathe each other’s air;
We pass our air in and among, around and between us.
We breathe each other’s spirit.

We inspire, we aspire, we are spires.
We are delphiniums.

We are expanding in the air;
We are open to every possibility of the air;
We are carrying hope and healing on the air.

We are the music that flows on the air;
We are the air in the space between the notes;
We beat our rhythm on the air,
We are jammin’ witches;
Playin’ strange and beautiful music of the soul.

Welcome Air.
Welcome East.