Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
For A Religion So Opposed to Paganism, You Sure Stole a Lot of Our Stuff!
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
Ostara...It's Not Just For Kiddies Anymore!
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Story For Autumn
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Samhain: Learning to Release
An Egyptian Wheel of the Year
A Celtic View of Samhain
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
The Oak King and the Holly King Revisited
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Best Thing About Death
A Summer Solstice Primer
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Theme of Mabon
Witches Lost in Halloween
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
Don’t Waste That Pumpkin!
The Samhain Experience
First Thanksgiving... in China
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Solstice Swim at Beach 69, Puako, Hawaii
Solstice of the Soul
A Samhain Dance
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
Beltane Beyond Sex
The Story of Ostara
Planning A Good Death: A Samhain Process
The First Yule
Season of the Blues
Yule...and Saturnalia Smurf Hats
Unity During Samhain
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Yule and the New Year
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
The Blood is in the Land
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
Easter is Pagan
Groundhog's Day is American for Imbolc
Preparing for Summerland During Samhain
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
A Midsummer Labyrinth Walk…Winding the Way Back Home
The Promise of the Harvest
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
And the Last Spoke is Mabon
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
The Call of the Crone
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
Article ID: 15264
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 192
Times Read: 1,956
RSS Views: 9,303
Author: Maire Durkan [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 11th. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,956
(Samhain 2012) I wake in pre-dawn hours, heart pounding. I'd placed photographs of my beloved dead on my altar, placed a welcome offering of my dad's favorite candy and whiskey, and lit a candle. I’d asked for a dream—contact with a message—and had expected something like the warm and loving messages I received during Audience With the Ancestors, a Samhain ritual performed by my coven (Grail of the Birch Moon) and member covens of the Assemble of the Sacred Wheel in three locations. I expected a message along the lines of “follow the way of love, ” but the Wise Woman, the Crone, had visited me in the darkness of night, in the waning of the moon, bringing the chill of winter and a stern message.
I have never been a lucid dreamer. So, when I find myself in my very own bedroom confronted by a messenger dressed in black who is--shall we say--brutally frank, I'm pretty freaked out. First, the specter makes sure that I am icy cold (which certainly gets my attention) , then she dissolves the headboard of my bed and tears chunks out of the door to a very real crawl space behind it while my father (who passed in 2008) tells me to "wake up."
This dream is not a nightmare—but its message is certainly stern. So, I wake to a room not quite as frigid as the astral room. When my heart rate dropped to normal, it was time to figure out my spiritual game plan.
As I’ve said, the crawl space is quite real and exactly where it was in the dream. There are a lot of things in that crawl space—old manuscripts, old books, old clothes, old memories good and not so good—things that I'm not quite ready to part with because they hold a part of me for good or ill.
As the space is behind the very large, very solid oak headboard of a behemoth of a bed, I can’t get at it without putting in a lot of effort. I put them there for a variety of reasons—nostalgia, the hope that they’ll be repurposed, and even (in the case of the manuscript) because I couldn’t bear to look at it but couldn’t bear to throw it away either.
Clearly, it is time for me to do some shadow work. But I don't want to! That's why all that stuff is packed away in an almost inaccessible physical space and in an equally inaccessible space inside of me. I have a hunch that the Goddess and my dad expect a New Year’s cleaning that involves more than sorting through the tangible junk that lurks behind that closed door.
As I do a lot when I’m working through “things, ” I take a walk in the woods and farmland around the Brandywine River Valley. Sometimes, the land and the beings that inhabit it, have lessons to teach me and sometimes the process of walking in the quiet countryside helps me find my way to an answer or at least help me pose questions that point me toward more clues.
The woods have turned towards winter. A cold breeze rattles bare limbs and dry leaves spiral down onto damp, cold earth. In the meadow, horses stand in groups, nose to nose. A maple tree felled by Hurricane Sandy lies across the path pressing down the electric wire around the fields of dun colored corn stubble. Its branches are filled with the tight knots of next year’s buds-- life and potential that will never be realized in its current form--although it will be transformed and used. Nothing in nature goes to waste.
Near the last unharvested soybean fields migrating robins chirp with alarm, then fall silent as a local red tailed hawk wheels overhead. I'm like the robin, chirping, alarmed. Then, silent...listening...watching.
The woods hold death and danger –felled trees, downed leaves, and the feathers left from a kill; this is a cycle. I must embrace this--for it is my story as much as the tree's or the bird's. But it was also full of life. In strong roots that held firm despite Sandy's fury. In the animals that are foraging or hibernating. In the last red clovers blooming low to the ground. In the Red Tail soaring high above crying its glorious “Keeyerr!” I whisper, "She changes everything She touches and everything She touches changes."
It’s time for me to touch, to draw out, acknowledge, and change. Nature is filled with harsh truths that I need to apply to my spiritual habitat. I have held on to old grief and hurt too long. I lock them away, unexamined, because they are too painful to acknowledge, but too much a part of me to easily relinquish.
It’s time to ground, center, pray for compassion and take them out of the darkness. It’s time to do the hard work of removing barriers that give false comfort and open the door to that shadowed place within myself.
Shadow work is as painful and healing as the nettle plant. Sometime the sting has to come before healing can begin.
When I get home, I know what I must do. This is my first task of the new year. Mastering my fear, I must open physical and spiritual doors, reach into the darkness, and bring what I’ve stored and hidden into the light to be examined, sorted, kept or discarded.
At fifty-two, (to paraphrase the Bard) , I’m a tree approaching winter. A tree shaped and weathered by many seasonal cycles. My roots are strong, deep, and I can withstand this shadow work. But I am still a vibrant, sexual, life-embracing woman. I acknowledge shadows and darkness and will to examine the things that I have hidden with care…but I will not hide there –I will open the dark door, embrace the Crone and embrace this new and powerful cycle of my life.
Location: WILMINGTON, Delaware
Bio: Maire Durkan is a member of Grail of the Brich Moon--the eleventh coven in the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. She is a writer, journalist, teacher, and editor. She reecently wrote and published Solstice Moon Solstice Sun as the first in a series on The Wheel of the Year. She hopes that adults and children will use these stories as springboards for their own adventures in nature. Much of her writing is inspired by the beautiful woods and farmland of the Brandywine River Valley where she lives with her husband Patrick and five of their children.
Other Articles: Maire Durkan has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Maire Durkan... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 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).