The Witch’s Bedtable


* At night, after I’ve put Jana to bed, I think about the letter I will write to Lotte. I’m not sure what she will think of the choices I’ve made, but one day soon I’ll write her. I also say a silent prayer for your nephew, that the shells will stop exploding in his head. Then I light a candle and stare into the flame until the walls of the room fall away and, with them, the miles that separate us. I stare into that flame until I can see your face. Until I can speak to you and hear your voice. I am no longer the shining girl you remember. You will see from the breadth of my hips and the way I stand with my feet flat on the ground that I have borne a child. But you will take one look at the hunger in my eyes and know that I have loved you in secret, that I have planted the seedling you gave me, planted it inside me. You will take one look at me and know that I love you far more than that girl in the blue muslin dress could ever imagine. You will take me in your arms, and I’ll cry into your hair. My soul touches yours, and in the place where our souls touch, a golden tree will grow. You said I was like Persephone. But who is Persephone now, and who is Demeter? You wander the world like a maiden, and I am a mother. I have prepared a home for you and planted a meadow of spring flowers. And you, like Persephone, will return.

~ Mary Sharratt Summit Avenue

* The salmon basked on the gleaming, transparent arc where the river met the air, languorously blowing bubbles, making no sound, scarcely even moving. The sun inched down from the distant peaks. When it was completely dark he said, “You are fortunate. I know where you can find this Mabon. And because you come from the greatest king to walk on earth since before the dawn of Christianity, I will be honored not just to share my knowledge but also to take you to him. Which of you will ride my back down the river to the place where he is incarcerated?”

~ Rosalind Kerven Arthurian Legends.

* [Discussing the rune ISA] Here the picture is of an element whose very beauty makes it more perilous, with the hard clarity of crystal. Its qualities are all in the extreme — overcold, immeasurably slippery. Ice is dangerous, but “fair to be seen.” One is reminded of certain images from folklore — the Castle of Glass in the Otherworld, where King Arthur seeks the Cauldron of Arianrhod, Snow White in her crystal coffin.

In the Norse and Icelandic poems, the images (as usual) are harsher. The Norwegian poem picks up the image of the slippery floor, but now it has become a bridge — bad enough when iced over, or worse still, an ice-bridge over a crevasse in a glacier, and even more treacherous when it is a blind man who much cross. However, at least the bridge is a broad one, so what might be meant here is a kenning for the earth covered over by winter ice:

Ice we call the broad bridge
The blind man must be led.

~ Diana L. Paxson, Taking up the Runes: a Complete Guide to Using Runes in Spells, Rituals, Divination, and Magic

* Come to Me West, Giant Wave,
Bring Me Skinny Dips and Puddles to Jump,
Starfish, Twin-Pops, and Fishing Piers,
Mud Pies, Sweat and Tears,
Come to This Circle
Hold My Hand

~Ivo Dominguez Casting Sacred Space: The Core of all Magical Work

Picture found here.

One response to “The Witch’s Bedtable

  1. I have many David Whyte books on my bedtable…

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