So with my Moon in Taurus, I’m no chaos magician. My Gemini Rising may love the idea of chaos (It does; drop some gossip here, spread a rumor there, make an argument over in that place, see what happens! It’s exciting! It’s fun! You can make a story out of it!), but I’m an old hedge Witch who likes her incense and herbs lined up in orderly cabinets and her spells neatly inscribed in a tidy, dry Book of Shadows. I need knitted sock on my feet when I do my morning meditations, a clean-swept floor around the fire pit.
But Hecate claimed me long ago, and She’s the Goddess of liminal spaces. You know, those places where change occurs, where things mix up and new formulations occur. Landscape Guy always reminds me that the space between dry land and swamp, that place where reeds grow, frog spawn articulate, snakes slip, shore birds turn minnows into eggs and muscle, and algae devours petroleum waste — that space is where Hecate lives. That ancient graveyard claimed by kudzu and honeysuckle, stones tumbling and shadows cast. That’s liminal. And what makes it magical is that no one knows what may come bubbling out of that messy mixture. Ground and center; do your magic; Hail Eris! Hail Discordia!
A few weeks after the election, G/Son was standing in my kitchen and he said, “Nonna,” in the way that lets me know we’re going to have an important discussion. And, so, I took some shortbread out of the oven and put it on a plate, poured him some cider, sat my old bones down on a kitchen chair, picked up my knitting, and grounded. The poor child has grown up in a family of lawyers, political activists, people who argue. So I wasn’t really surprised when he began to try to articulate his thoughts, going back and forth, hands grabbed together in front of him like a singer. He was worried because, on the one hand, he didn’t want “Our President” to fail. That would be bad for the whole country. But, on the other hand, he didn’t want Trump to succeed, because he knew that what Trump wanted to do would be bad for the county. And, so, in his ten-year-old way, he was wrestling with those concepts and needed a grown-up to listen to him work that out in words, the way that people in our family have to do. It’s all well and good, but until you can put it into words, well, the magic’s just nascent and half-formed.
I did my best.
I was thinking about my G/Son last night, as news of Trump’s latest disaster (revealing state secrets to make himself look important to some Russian spies) spread across the internet. And I thought, suddenly, of Hecate, reigning over liminal spaces — the swampy edges where things change, where one thing becomes another, in the Mother, in the Mother. And I thought about chaos magicians, harnessing the energy of discord in order to make changes according to will. The only thing that will rid us of Trump is the very chaos that Trump creates. He has to fail, and fail badly, for America to succeed, as I think G/Son grocked, in his ten-year-old-way back in Nonna’s kitchen last Fall.
We may have to live through more madness in order to get through this. I keep remembering Adrianne Rich’s poem that says:
No one ever told us we had to study our lives,
make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history or music, that we should begin
with the simple exercises first
and slowly go on trying
the hard ones, practicing till strength
and accuracy became one with the daring
to leap into transcendence, take the chance
of breaking down in the wild arpeggio
or faulting the full sentence of the fugue.
– And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on everything at once before we’ve even begun
to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin
in the midst of the hardest movement,
the one already sounding as we are born.
Here we are, will we nor nill we, in the midst of the transcendence, taking on everything, the full sentence of the fuge, before we meant to do so, in this moment that, although we didn’t know it, was already sounding when we were born. But, as Byron Ballard would say, we were born for these Tower Times.
Don’t wish for things to settle down. Don’t wish for the Tower to hold. Wish for all of us to be able to swim in choppy waters.
Eris! Discordia! Bring him down!