The Journey Within

Mabon has slipped past, and the Solstice promises a return of the Light. In the Northlands the trees  no longer display the glorious colors of the Autumn Sun, the days are short and the chill crispness in the air has turned to cold.. But I am now a witch of the Southlands where the turning of the Wheel is more subtle. There is a hint of lightness in the air, the days grow shorter but not the deliberate darkness of the Northern mountains. And yet the energy, the vision, the flow turns inward, the Dark Times of the Dark Moon intensifies as the Dark Times of the Solar Cycle urge us to turn inward. My teacher once assigned a Dark Times Journal. From Samhain to Solstice, I looked into the Dark Mirror, deep within the Darkness, then I wrote: This night I gazed into the Dark and I saw…. Like the Dark Moon, the Dark Times encourage the journey to the hidden self and to embrace the inner light, connecting to what we know, connecting to our inner truth, releasing what no longer serves, and fueling that flame of Truth.  

The Dark Times are the time of the Crone…She who holds the wisdom of Her blood within. She tends the cauldron, She who holds the secrets of the cave, She who weaves the web of the universal forces…I begin these writings to honor the Crone, to speak of Her journey,  I was never sure where it would lead, but only that I was putting one foot in front of the other and following my heart.

My Croning was a celebration of Life and of my Path, It was joyous and full of love and possibilities. It was a transition but I was dedicated to Brigid, I did not see the Crone nor face her power. On the night of my Third Degree ritual, my teacher painted lines on my face, I had seen and embraced the face of the Cailleach…or so I thought until that night. Lined face I carried Her heavy stones, finally dropping them one by one as I approached the ritual circle.  That night, within that Sacred Space, I saw Her face, I heard Her call and Her voice was my own.

The face in the mirror now is definitely crone, the lines are no longer painted, they are earned, and so I write of my journey in these troubled times.  I have many role models, many who have gone before, many who walk with me now, many who will come after….witches all. Starhawk is protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline…she is witch, activist, crone… I see her face and I remember how long she has traveled this journey for the Mother,how strong her voice has been, how it continues to strengthen in the face of adversity.  We are people of power too long silent. Each of us can make a difference, As I continue my journey within I embrace the light of my next step…I encourage you to do the same, even if it is but a candle with a prayer for Peace placed upon your altar. Hold my hand, we walk together.N


Witch Whispers and the Cailleach

The Daring of A Dark Moon

There, in the darkness, it arrived. Nary a fanfare, no embossed design, no ancient calligraphy, no symbol of import. No ritual heralded its arrival, nor underscored its importance. No mystical fragrance hinted of lingering beckoning. It simply arrived, partially hidden in the candlelight of the Dark Moon, masking the face of the Empress as She  looked on from the Altar. The invitation was subtle but clear…teasing…urging…giving rise to the challenge….Begin.

Ah, but can the process be trusted? To step forward without expectation or judgment, to simply open the folded pages of the invitation, peel back the layers of the silken mist… release the possibilities of the Dark Moon and the Dark Sun….

to Dare…. To Begin.

                                                                     artwork by Poppy Palin