[The workshop leader] suggested at the outset that there was a spiritual aspect to this play. Just being at the sea, Mother Ocean, made it so for me. Mare – the Latin for sea, is thought to be the origin of the name Mary, one of myriad names for the Great Mother.
I let myself immerse in the elements. Air – the ever-present wind filling my lungs with the breath of life, the sea air with the magic of negative ions, and my mind with words to speak, to write, to say, say, say. Fire – the golden sun, rising and sinking, the warmth at its zenith, the golden hours early and late for the right angle of light for our marks and the all-important shadows. Water – the dance with the ocean tide, advancing, drawing back, filling and erasing all our work, leaving us with a smooth new canvas, lapping my bare feet, splashing up my legs. Earth – the million grains of sand, pounded by the waves to become the materia mundi, the earth in its minute form. We carved our marks, were pleased with the look of them, and then they crumbled, they faded, they blew away or were walked on by people and dogs. The sea took it all, careless of our art, again, again. Nothing lasts but the elements.
You should read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Nimue Brown is talking about the Autumn forest:
Autumn tends to be fungus season. In woodland this means that we get to see something of the life beneath the soil. Fungi live in vast networks, interacting with tree roots. Much of the life of a wood happens beneath the surface, where we can’t see it. The appearance of fungi in the autumn is a reminder of what’s there all year round. It’s easier to think about things and be aware of them when there’s some more tangible sign of them, and the fungi give us that.
It’s normal to talk about life pulling down into the Earth during the winter, but important to have a more specific awareness of what that means. Tree life certainly is more earth orientated at this time of year. Each living thing responds to the seasons in its own way. For the migrating swans, early winter is all about the skies and making huge journeys guided by the stars. For amphibians, the season can be all about retreating into water to hibernate. There is no one single, simple energy narrative for any given season.
What’s the narrative for you in Autumn?
Here’s a mini vacation for your soul.
Terri Windling is writing about the loss of childhood commons.
“But there has been a steady reduction in available open spaces for children to play. In the USA, the home turf of children shrank by ninety per cent beween 1970 and 1990. Similarly, in Britain, children have one ninth of the roaming room they had in earlier generations. Childhood is losing its commons. There has also been a reduction in available time, with less than ten per cent of children now spending time playing in woodlands, countryside or heaths, compared to forty per cent who did so a generation ago.
I’m sure that Life will find a way, but I’m not sure how we grow any new Witches in a world where children don’t have any place to be alone outside.
Picture found here.