28 December 2005

Dark Moon Advice. Sort of. Well, not really...

As part of the walking the dark exercise I mentioned earlier, I decided, round about September or so, to do extra special work every dark moon, so as to fully experience all the dark moon had to offer.

Every dark moon evening, therefore, I take honey cakes (or some sort of equivalent; basically what's in the cookie jar is excellent, I think) down to the crossroads (which is in front of the house, a bit to the side, where a road comes in to make a "T" shape) and leave them there; then I go upstairs and slather myself in black clay from the Dead Sea (I consider this Fairly Meaningful), lie around in meditative fashion till the stuff dries; then get into the bath and scrub all the stuff off (using nice ginger skin scrub with glycerin), and then have a Trance, using the meditations in Gail Wood's Rituals of the Dark Moon as a base.

I expected these dark moon evenings to have a gentle slow effect on my life, one which would gently reveal to me the things I needed to know or have revealed, gently, slowly. Gently, as I say.

Well, not so much. The first month was all about revealing hidden things, and oh, wasn't THAT exciting, and wasn't I just OVERJOYED to have those particular conversations. Then, when I'd got over that, there was one that was about tidal waves or some such, and that was pretty damn exciting, too, and I'm just lucky that I was able to rebuild the relationships that got in the way of that one, which were still recovering from having All Revealed. Then I think there was one on creativity, and I ended up all of a sudden with a bunch more stuff to do, in creative fashion.

Gentle, slow, no. This moon, on Friday, is (I looked ahead) all about Power.

Oh, lovely! Can't wait.

I will say that pretty quickly I figured out that I was going to have to balance things out, so every full moon I'm having glitter baths, using products from Lush. I like these, cause then there's glitter all over the house for days. Very cheering.

And it's not like I'm going to stop, you understand. Hell, no. I'm going to do this all year.

Anyway, if there are various explosions over here (I'm figuring on the astral, not the physical, realm) on Friday night, you'll know why.

22 December 2005

Straw as Gold

So I spent all night last night sitting up in my little turret, spinning straw into gold, and here's the important thing I found out:

It's not that the straw gets turned into gold. It's that the straw is revealed to have been gold all along.


21 December 2005

Straw into Gold

Everyone else in the house has gone to bed -- well, except for the kittens; they seem to be up still.

So I'm on my own till morning; all my cohorts will be up before the sun, which doesn't rise till about 7:40 tomorrow, and then I'll get to bed soon after that.

I'm making a pot of tea to take upstairs, with my knitting and my books and my journal and my tarot cards. One of my buddies said that it's a good thing I'm on my own this year; I'm so much older than I was the last time I consented to stay up all night on the solstice, there's no surety at all I'm going to make it through. But if I'm on my own, he says, nobody will know.


True, the days are long gone when I cheerfully stayed up all night, after having first gone into the wicked cold Northern California piece of the Pacific. Long gone. I was getting pretty crabby there towards the end of things. Indeed, I distinctly remember having said that when I got out here, where it was after all going to be snowing on the solstice (which indeed it is), and not near any sort of ocean at all (which indeed it isn't), and where I was going to continue, unless I died, to age (which indeed I have), I was going to invent a new solstice night procedure, which was going to involve having a hot bath instead of going in the cold ocean, and then staying up a bit in front of the fire telling stories, and then going to bed at a reasonable hour and then getting up and having pancakes.

Much of that is going on tonight -- the hot bath, the stories -- but I'm NOT in bed at a reasonable hour, and we're having bagels and cream cheese and smoked salmon in the morning.

Still, there should be enough to do to keep me awake in a dignified fashion. (One could surely stay up all night, for instance, playing "Civilization III," but that wouldn't be seemly.)

And over the course of the next few hours, the wheel of the year will turn, and spin that golden sun back on out of the night. I'm hoping it will recharge my life. Straw into gold.

19 December 2005

Walking the Dark

For many years now, I've used, in difficult years, a magical technique I call "walking the dark," by which I mean, basically, that at the beginning of the turn into the dark of the year -- round about the fall equinox does nicely -- I throw myself into it. Sort of like Inanna storming the gates of hell, except I generally keep my clothes on.

This way, I figure, I can experience the dark as fully as possible, and learn everything I can from it, and then, round about the winter solstice, I can let the turn of the wheel start to pull me out. This is useful in hard times not cause it makes them easier -- no, no, no, no -- or because it makes them shorter -- alas, not that either -- but because it makes it much more likely that I don't have to go through the lessons again. I generally get it, believe me.

Well, it's intense, but as you can see it hasn't actually killed me yet.

This might be the year, though; I'll let you know later if I make it past Wednesday night.

To be honest, it's been longer than one year I've been walking the dark, this time -- I started the process three autumns ago, and then last year at the winter solstice worked some magic that was so intense that it's taken a year to stop materializing (note to self: try, in future, not to lose body parts in the astral realm), and may take several more years to work through.

I think, though, really I do, no kidding, that two years of intense work is coming to an end -- or, at least, the end of one loop of a spiral.

It's odd, though; I've been hearing from friends across the country that this is an intense dark this year; and this week, as we head into the solstice, there's sorrow, and grief all round; I'm not the only one having a hard time. (Also computers are messing up, which is annoying, though most of us, given the choice, would choose that over sorrow and grief.)

Well. I'm coming back into community, after 10 years as a solitary; that's one of the many outcomes of the work I've been doing for a couple of years.

And wouldn't it be lovely, if that turns out to be a piece of riding the light, rather than walking the dark.

Here's to the dark, a beautiful, deep thing, full of mystery and power and excitement and passion -- all those boxes full of lost things. And here's to community, and new beginnings. And here's to the sun, which comes back, always. Never forgets.