Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Lughnasadh, The Ritual
Samhain: The Ritual
A Celtic View of Samhain
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Summer Solstice Primer
A Story For Autumn
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Ostara Transformation
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Samhain Experience
The Theme of Mabon
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Yule and the New Year
Mabon Equinox. Circa September 21st
A Samhain Dance
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The First Yule
Unity During Samhain
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Ode to Ostara
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Hearken Now, The Darkness Comes! - by Lark
Article ID: 2207
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,920
Times Read: 16,818
Author: Lark [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 5th. 1998
Times Viewed: 16,818
Mists gather in the valleys and pour down the ancient riverbeds to the darkening sea. Gone the fires of autumn's glory, lost to the legions of cloud-swept days and chilling rains. Gone to wild geese flying southward, gone the last of summer's bounty. Mornings rimed with silver frost, evenings gathering gloom for sitting round the hearthfires glow. Hearken now, the darkness comes!
In the vale under the moor, the village speeds it's frantic pace.Thatcher's finish repairs on thick round roofs to hold out the nows ofwinter. Children bring in the last of the nuts and withered fruits from the woods. The wheat is threshed and winnowed on the chilly breeze. Woodsmoke rises from the hearthfires and axes ring in the clear air. Down from the moors come the cattle and sheep to the winter fields, come too the pigs from the forest glades. The smell of blood is thick in upon the air as those animals chosen for the slaughter are slain and cured against the winter's needs. The planting begun at Beltane is now the harvest. Hearken now, the darkness comes!
In the great forests that lie across the land, the leaves form a thickcarpet upon the ground, upon which treads the King Stag, velvet gone from his crown of horn, challenging all with his trumpeting cries. The bear and the fat squirrels seek their dens. The wolves stir in the cold, and their voices rise in songs to the moon. Now is the time of the Hunter. His shadow flies across the midnight sky, His horn sounds in the wind like thunder, His red-eyed hounds fly on before. Hearken now, the darkness comes!
She who stands guardian now is no longer the soft Maiden of spring, nor yet the fecund Mother full of the heat of summer. It is Cerridwen now, the Crone, the Hag, who stands without. In dreams and trance you see her, holding the cauldron into which all that live must go. Holding the cauldron that is Death. Gone too the young Lord of Spring, the Summer King. Now is the time of Herne the Hunter, wild master of the Winter's night. Harsh he is and full of fire, Lord of Death made manifest. Hearken now, the darkness comes!
And in the turning of the year, the walls of time and space become as air, until life and death are as one and departed souls walk again among the living. Here on this most sacred night, as the old year died and the new was born, around the fires the people gathered in celebration. There was wine and cider from the vines and groves, bread from the fields of winnowed wheat, and meat steaming from the slaughter. A great feast and celebration of life to take into the darkness. Hearken now, the darkness comes!
And as the earth moved onward into the darkness, the veil between the worlds grew thin, and strange beings walked upon the land. See now the pooka shake his tangled mane, the sidhe come forth from out the hollow hills, listen as the bean sidhe sings forth her terrible cry. And against this army of eldritch power, men did wield a greater weapon as fires sprang forth upon the hilltops and lit the standing stones and village greens. Dancing, swirling, leaping past the fires, the people held back the powers of the night with light and music until the dawn came once more. Yet still the darkness comes!
Turn and turn again the Earth did in its endless dance among the stars. Gone now the villages that lay beneath the downs and among the wolds. Gone the straight track and winding sheep path. Gone the King Stag and the shaggy bear. Yet still we hear an echo of that time and place as we sit to honor our blessed dead, as our children dress and monsters and play in the shadows. We hear the whisper of the Goddess in our hearts, and sometimes, late at night we hearken to the cry of the Hunt high in our crowded skies. Hearken, for the darkness comes!
And we, the spirit children of that ancient age, we remember. Though we labor not in the fields of waving grain, yet do we too now bring in our harvest. We gather to ourselves the fruits of our projects begun in the spring of the year and ready ourselves for a time of rest and introspection. We unburden ourselves with that which is no longer needful for our survival through the winter of the year.
We the children of this ancient age remember too our honored dead who speak to us again as the walls of this world grow thin. We pass the Cup of Remembrance as we think upon one who has gone before. We remember the good times and the bright things we treasure from their memories, and we allow them to fly free. We make our peace with She who waits for all.
We remember the fears of the darkness, and in our masquerade and games, we come to terms with Death and with change. For such is the meaning at the heart of the feast.
So prepare you now as the darkness comes. Ready the harvest of your hopes and dreams. Light the fires against ignorance and fear. For remember also, that the darkness is but one turn upon the Wheel, it is the darkness of the womb. And the Death we all must face is merely the doorway to the Life to come.
Location: Madison, Alabama
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lark - Click HERE
Other Articles: Lark has posted 3 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Lark... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).