Yielding time

It’s Imbolc and my garden is yielding flint. Rock is floating, resting on the soil that is sighing with its first breath… this time, so much is resting on the small signs. Life is here, it is happening and taking shape. That flint, heavy and cool in hand, is seeking the light. Flint, out of which we make weapons, with which we build shelters, by which we summon fire; is rising.

This moment, this year is like no other I remember, I have always hungrily awaited the brave blossoms and sweet tubers, succulent and vulnerable… And yet, I am harvesting flint. Strength, indomitability, promise that that which is emerging from the deepest part of our earth, ourselves, will be seen, will lend its gifts to the season of promise and of new beginnings. The darkness of deepest winter is behind us, despair and folding in, chaos in the dark. It is from this slumbering time which we must rise, upward, always focused on the Light. Resolute and propelled by the dark and secret earth, we move in trust. Faith informs action, ignited by the awareness that we must move forward; there is no going back. Though our creations are as yet undetermined, they are our own and we have an opportunity to shape our future.

Brigid is Mistress of the Forge and so she calls us to forge anew, to create a way of healing and new life. We live in uncertain times and life is demanding our presence, not as passive onlookers but as participants. The urge for new life is quickening and we have choices to make, weighty ones. What will we dedicate our energies to? What will we fashion from these gifts of earth and fire? imbolc-flint

Brigid’s Belly is Buckling!

There’s fire within and once again the stirring of the season is making the yearning for life known to us all. Brigid is tending the forge and though the crust is cool and the winds can be bitter, the life within is palpable.

New shoots, true signs that our season of slumber is drawing to a close; dark nights are receding and we are being coaxed into the light. Dreams hover ever more closely to the surface and we are gently ushered into wakefulness – potent and potential in the coming year.

It feels different than before, this year feels more pliable somehow, more elastic, promising change and growth in unexpected ways. Every new year has it’s unique promise and this one speaks to a sense of movement, quickening.

What withered husks must be shed in order for the fires of new life and inspiration to shine forth? We are urged now to begin those tentative steps toward the realization of un-manifest dreams.

Brigid guides us surely as she holds sway over the arts of healing, poetry and smith craft. Letting go of and surrendering that which no longer serves us, reveals a new level of vulnerability and of strength. It is a true kind of healing that reaches beyond mere restoration, moving us forward fearlessly into new versions of ourselves; a whole-r sense of who we are. The poet, echoing the voice of the mystic, seeing and revealing what is to become before it has found its final form. The words you choose conjure your next creation into being and you are being urged to listen muse and be inspired. Conversations with Spirit find their expression in many forms and most surely by the pen of the poet. What whispering have you been privy to in your wintery repose?

And now the final piece (they always come in threes!) The forge is fired and the hammer is calling for your hand… you are entering ‘the fashioning time’, wielding, wrestling, gripping and hammering the material of life into it’s new rightful expression.

Each of us is charged to renew our resolve, stir from our sleep and listen heart-fully to the yearnings of a creative spirit. It is no small thing to pledge yourself to creation, it will call upon all your resources and yes, you will  be changed!

Blessed Imbolc, may the fires burn brightly and light your way!New shoots

Samhain- The Veiled Door and That Which Abides

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Here we are hurtling forth, in descent, into darkness, into chaos and into the unknown of the underworld of long nights. There is no turning back, the harvest is gathered…the crops are in and the herds have been culled. Time now to examine our inner resources, to account for the growth of this last cycle and decide what we will sacrifice, let go of and what we will gather within to carry us through until the new growth of Spring reveals it’s possibilities. We cling to notions of who we are and what we do in the world as though they were the truth. In the news much of what we see or hear about is the crumbling decay of many of our institutions, public figures and our environment. We are seemingly on a collision course with the end-times. Given that so much energy is devoted to tending our bodies, staving off the inevitable, feeding our various appetites…paying taxes, organizing, striving, how do we succeed in NOT succumbing to despair and hopelessness?

Samhain or Halloween is the third of the harvest festivals in the Celtic calendar, it is a time when fears are made conscious; when the physical world is muted and the we are invited to glimpse beyond the veil. Contrary to popular belief it is NOT a celebration of death. In this feasting of the ancestors we have our opportunity not only to remember those who have ventured before us, but also a time for us to be reminded of the door between this human incarnation and a much larger experience of life. As with each of the holidays we consciously take ‘time out’ to release our grip on this imagined reality and glimpse something far bigger, this is the sacrifice that is demanded of us in this harvest…

Traditionally Samhain is where we ‘meet and greet’ our beloved ones who have passed away. We honour and remember them with stories and food – a welcome chair at our table. It is not just about celebration and remembrance that we gather though, it is a time to remember our own (im)mortality. The darkness is upon us and we in the northern hemisphere are certainly experiencing decline in light and warmth – a drawing in. Our awareness of our intangible and immortal spirit through the links we have forged and maintained with our ‘Gone Befores’ as we sit, feast, remember and commune with them is strengthened; we can, at this time, reach across and know the truth of endless spirit by the one true portal – that of loving connection. This festival provides us with an quiet space in which to reflect on what is real and what is imagined and that which abides.

Blessed Samhain!

Fair Harvest – Just Desserts

And so the Wheel turns and we approach Mabon, Autumn Equinox and the second of the harvest festivals in the year. It is the sacrifice of the animal, just as Lammas marks the harvest of the vegetative God, here we are confronted with the hard decisions that need to be made in terms of the herd…the old, the sick, the weak must be separated out and killed so that the community can eat, so that precious resources are not used to feed and maintain that which is not strong. It can be a ruthless sort of selection, one that is familiar for the Goddess. There is grief here too, for all that was sown and did not thrive. Seeds must be selected and saved, guarded carefully to ensure another year’s fruit. It is time now for reflection upon the harvest of our dreams and plans, winnowing of experience and savouring the blessings; mourning the losses.

Mabon is celebrated when the Sun moves to 0° Libra, like Spring Equinox, it is a balance point of the year. For the past month, Virgo has been transited and now we approach the changing time between very different energies: Virgo with it’s discerning, discriminating, critical and preparatory nature moving into Libra’s balance, accentuating harmony, appreciation of beauty, an emphasis on relating and the ‘other’.

‘Fair’ and ‘Just’ are words that are inherently Libran. Ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Beauty and of Love we can understand ‘fair’ in it’s context of balance, symmetry and harmony. Libra’s symbols are the Scales…the Scales of Justice, where every thing, act, and thought is weighed in relation to the ‘other’ and balance is demanded.

This moment between Virgo’s harvest and Libra’s balancing act is ruled by the element of water, a reflective element. It is also an element that is essentially always seeking its own balance. Water’s reflective quality offers us a mirror, to see our beauty and also to see ourselves as we are. This ‘still point’ offers us a bit of a reality-check, an opportunity to see what actions need to be taken to bring about balance and rectification, the active principles of Libra that will prepare us more fully for the descent into the dark part of the year.

The caution is that we don’t over-indulge in the newly realized wealth of the harvest, that we guard against collapsing ourselves into the warmth and moistness of the golden days of the season. These ‘Indian Summers’ can lull us into a kind of sleepy forgetfulness. Beauty, harmony and appreciation of the receptivity of the feminine can invite a certain indolence. Now we are bidden to move from the somewhat austere measures of Virgo to create a new-found sense of balance in our lives. There is so much beauty, such bounty, fair dues.

The Equinoxes and Solstices are magical moments that are out of time, a bridge between two seasons.

Peer into the water and take time to celebrate. Blessed Mabon!red-autumn-leaves-water

Imbolc – Exquisite Paradox

snowdrop shootsThe days are DEFINITELY longer and the earth is just beginning to emit her irresistible fragrance, JUST. Snow drops are appearing and gardeners’ fingers are itching and turning to trays of seedling hope in anticipation of a warming soil and softening in the fields. On this sunny day I look around and see evidence of the sun’s fire drawing forth the abundance of a sleeping earth. Hope surfaces, tentatively, tenderly. It is truly an exquisite time of year and in ourselves, new-born time.

All this fiery energy holds us in its thrall because of it’s juxtaposition to the vulnerability of newly emerging life. This is animal time, where an appetite for life is making itself felt in our deepest selves. Raw, not wholly formed; wet with the fluids of previous hidden existence, we are being called to show ourselves. We are invited by Nature herself to rise in consciousness and make a bid for life.

Commitment time, Imbolc is a dedication and initiation festival. Making a commitment is a radical act of courage and of hope. It must be tended with care, protection and loving nurture; a dangerous undertaking, worthy and requiring support. Commitment has had a bit of a bad rap in the past, alluding to constraint, bonds and limitations and yet it provides the vessel from which to grow, a stable and faithful promise to protect new life, nurture it and bear witness to its unique creations.

Brigid, the Goddess of Poetry, Smith-craft and Healing sings the heart’s song, creates the containment of a manifest vessel and heals the wounds found on the path of emergence. Feel the fire and tend your vessel with loving kindness, there is a promise of oh-so-sweet bud and flower and fruit for the faithful.

Hallowe’en Visitors

It’s Hallowe’en soon. My favourite ‘holiday’. Holiday being an abbreviated form of the words Holy day. Here in North America, children are getting pretty excited, the opportunity to get dressed up show off their ghoulish or glorious selves and to collect some of those much coveted sweets. Children aren’t the only ones who welcome this time of deepening shadows, shorter days and cool, if not frosty, nights.

It marks a time of drawing in our energies, reviewing the harvest and digesting the fruits of our efforts over the past year. It’s also a good time to compost the ideas and plans that did not take root, letting go of them to make room for new creations.

The origin of this celebration is All Hallow’s Eve. The 31st of October marks the beginning of the New year in the Celtic Calendar. The Celtic calendar actually consists of 13 months. The thirteenth month being a very short one…only three days long, occurring from Oct 31 – Nov 2. In the Christian calendar, All Souls Day and All Saints day follow on from Hallowe’en on the 1st and 2nd of November. This thirteenth month is also known to be a special time, a time when the veil between the worlds is very thin and the separation between the living and dead is almost non-existent. It is also known as the time that is no time; an opportunity to drop out of real-time and sample what it is to live beyond the limits of this world. For many it is a frightening venture because there is an element of chaos to it.

Many cultures around the world take time out to honour their ancestors and those loved ones who have ‘passed over’. This is a particularly potent time of year to create a ceremony of remembrance and to revisit a sense of contact with those who have passed on. In many traditions we are reminded that the spirits of those who have departed often like to draw near to us who are still embodied.

Now is a time when I stop and take a moment to remember, reflect upon and integrate my up-to-date self with my ancestors. A sure way to invite your loved ones closer is to make a gesture of welcome, I will be putting out some Licorice Allsorts for my Dad… oh and a pumpkin.   Happy New Year All!

Workshop – Creating Sacred Space

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A day-long workshop to introduce you to the basics of creating sacred space for ceremony and ritual.  There are many different uses for sacred space: space clearing, meditation, Blessings, Partings of the way, Healing, empowerment and charging of projects/dreams, and divination. All of these require safe and contained boundaries. The day will consist of an introduction to the creation of sacred space and the four directions.  We will plan and make a ceremony dedicated to clearing energetic ties and clearing our auras.  The day will include active participation and guided meditation.

10:00am-4:00pm

Cost: $75

Roberts Creek, BC

E-mail:  info@marlowpurves.net

Phone:  604-886-8257

Coming soon to the Sunshine Coast!

Homoeopathy for What Ails You:

A series of talks on different topics including:

Flu and Colds

Homoeopathy for Travelers

Pregnancy and birthing

Menopause and Midlife

Menstruation blues

Colds and Flu

Remedies for Parent and Child

Allergies and Hayfever

Accidents and Injuries

Each talk will be 2 ½ hours in length and offer practical advice and tips on how to handle these common complaints. There will be time for questions and remedy kits will be available for sale.

Cost: $25 per session

E-mail:  info@marlowpurves.net