Here is the child of Spring reaching out.
Her happy heart light and gay.
Her bright colors sparking in the sunlight.
Poppy, you show how I feel
As I sense the birthing of life around me.
Embraced in newness,
I dance with joy and excitement.
Cardea, in your starry castle at the hinge of the universe, we call to you and your son, Eurus who echoes memories of new growth and springtime. You who looks forward and backward in time, blow your sweet breath upon us. Allow us to feel you on our skin, the gentle wind blowing on our faces as we open to you in the morning.
Cardea, in your starry castle at the hinge of the universe, we call to you and your son, Notus who speaks to us of the brilliance and warmth of the summer Sun. Remind us of the joy of children who skip along, hand in hand, swinging their arms, singing songs of summer.
Cardea, in your starry castle at the hinge of the universe, we call to you and your son, Zephyrus who sings of the Cauldron of Rebirth. Open the door to allow that which is no longer useful to us to leave. At the same time open us to the flow of life as we birth newness into each day.
Cardea, in your starry castle at the hinge of the universe, we call to you and your son, Boreas who whispers to us of Life-in-Death, and hints at the seeds within the fallen fruit. Ground us in the knowledge that we shall always find sustenance and renewal in the nurturing life on Earth.
Cardea, Mother, whose power is to open what is shut and to shut what is open, remind us always to listen to the winds.
Watcher sits just behind my left shoulder,
His disdainful look ever with me.
I asked him once what I could do to make his job easier
And he declared quite vehemently, “open your eyes.”
Hawks see everything below them
Soaring as they do on high
Their keen eyes missing nothing
In their search for predator and prey.
Solitary creatures by nature
Territorial, sharing only with owl,
Hunting by day as owl seeks at night
Allowing no other intrusion.
Soaring majestically in your realm
You have chosen to enter mine,
Offering clear vision for what I miss
In my narrowly focused world.
It is like having an added sense,
A keen knowing beforehand,
Of what is coming
Before my poor eyes can see.
Let me take up my drum
And climb upon your back.
We’ll visit new realms on wings together
seeing with wonder the land below.
Treasured friend, bonded brother
You offer this gift of sight
You are steadfast and loyal
As you for me watch day after day.
Brother in spirit, may I be worthy
Of your loyalty and love,
For your gift of vision and clear seeing
I honor you and trust you always.
We are creatures of water. Water is our original source as well as what makes up at least 70% of our bodies. It is part of every cell and fiber in us and is our essence. What if water were the common denominator weaving all of life (earth, animal, human, and plant) together? Is it what connects us all? It is pretty incredible when you realize that the water we have here on Earth right now is the same water that has always been here. Do you suppose there are messages contained within water? Do you think it is possible for our ancestors to speak to us through water?
When I think about water I am immediately taken down memory lane to the various “waters” I lived near or visited. As a child I spend several summers on Hermosa Beach in Southern California where the intertidal zone reaches far out, gently sloping to deeper waters. There is an abundant kelp forest off the shore there in the warmer Southern California waters. For a child, kelp was the food for imagination, as we dressed ourselves in it, becoming sea monsters chasing each other about! In addition, I found pleasure in popping the pods, which sprayed seawater upon bursting.
I most remember the sand crabs tickling the bottoms of my feet as I walked out to deeper waters. The feeling was often so disturbing that I could not walk any further but had to swim! What fun we had in scooping up great handfuls of wet sand as the waves receded and watching then squiggle and squirm to get away. We never hurt them but allowed them to bury themselves in the sand when we released them.
As a teenager, I lived in Carmel where the intertidal zone is different. There was very little shallow area as the ocean bottom dropped quickly. This caused very different and very dangerous currents for swimming. There, we had far less kelp. The kelp did not make it to shore because of the harsher impact tides against the coastline. The water was also much colder here.
As an adult, I lived for a while in Ventura, perhaps 100 miles north of my childhood home. My favorite beach to visit was at a spot where the river came down from Ojai Valley and met the sea at Sanjon Beach. The water, as it came onto the beach, was very slow moving, somewhat boggy and sadly, not very clean. Many seabirds loved it and found good fishing in those waters. Smooth river rocks covered the beach, which became sand over years of time. I did not swim there but loved to sit on an old log and just feel the salt air and watch the birds.
As a young teenager I lived next to a lake in Massachusetts. We were the only residents who lived there year round, the remaining houses serving as summer homes for families living in Boston. Also, all around us were wet boggy areas filled with grasses and cattails. In the winter, the lake and bogs froze over providing wonderful spots for ice-skating. If you walked though the boggy areas, you could find open clearings where the grasses and reeds prevented the wind from disturbing the surface. The ice was as smooth as glass – pure black ice. That is where I practiced my twirls and spins without fear of hitting bumps. If you walked out far enough on the lake, you could also find patches of smooth ice. You had to be careful of bumps and ridges coming out of nowhere. Along the shoreline the ice was frozen in waves from the wind hitting it as it froze. The lake and the creek running into it, provided homes for many grasses, water plants, fish, snakes, and turtles. In the summer, I would often swim out to the center of the lake with my rowboat tied to my ankle by a rope. There I could sit and sun, and read my book or fish for a while. At times I swam across the whole lake (about one mile)to visit a friend.
While living in Georgia, I lived in a log cabin out away from civilization on an acre and a half with a year round creek running beside the house and a pond in back. The pond was man made and I don’t think it had been there long enough to develop much plant life. It was however, a haven for insects and frogs! In the spring, the Spring Peepers put on a performance every evening, singing and chirping – peeping sound back and forth across the pond. About a month later, the American Toads joined them, sending beautiful tones out across the land. It was like a symphony between the Spring Peepers and American Toads!
One incredible moment was when a great blue heron flew in over the pond, swooping down and settling on the shore. He took my breath away!
Some mornings I would take my coffee down to the edge of the creek. There I would sit in my swing and listen to the rushing water. All along the banks grew talk grasses and in one place were beautiful yellow, water iris. I never saw any fish in the creek but I could not get very close to it because of the steep bank. The bottom was clear but there was moss on some of the rocks.
Here in Austin, right in the middle of downtown, we have Lady Bird Lake, a man-made lake created from the Colorado River. It is what makes Austin the lovely city that it is. Greenbelts and parks are everywhere. The bridges that span across it are the nesting grounds for the largest bat colony in the world. All along the shoreline trees come right down the edge. Most are Texas natives. The city stocks it with bass and sunfish. When I visit, I find ducks and other water birds, the most spectacular of which are the cormorants that sit high in the tree tops, diving into the lake for their food.
Water plays a huge role in my spiritual life, in that it calls to me to be close. I am at home in it and beside it. I learned to body surf with my father before I could swim. Later, at the age of fourteen, I began teaching others to swim. After attending the Red Cross Aquatic Academy, I trained water safety instructors for the Red Cross and lifeguards for the U.S. Army.
The ocean is my biggest love. For me it is the most nurturing and welcoming. It is not however, all peaceful but can also be terrifying! When I lived close enough, it was Mother Pacifica who took my pain into her healing waters.
Lakes can substitute but to me they are just not the same. A running river makes a better substitute. It is clear to me why so many rivers and seas are named for goddesses as they are most holy and nourishing places, teeming with new life. There are other water spots peppered throughout my life; these are but a few and those that standout the most for me. I am more than 10 miles from any water sources that I know of and those are very hard to get to for me. To my body, this feels like a loss, that something is missing in my life.
In Celtic spirituality, the spirit of the land is often embodied in water — in springs, rivers, lakes and later, the sacred or holy wells. The people associate the surface and underground waters of rivers and tributaries as well as all the lands drained by them, with goddesses. Local rivers are the mothers of the clans and the bestowers of health. In Her arms, She carries the overflowing cornucopia of the abundant, giving land.
From Living River …..
“Flowing like a river, like a river to the sea
Love flows through you, and it flows through me…”
I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to be in or near water. I am profoundly grateful for the spiritual connection it brings to me.
The water right now is the same water from the beginning. It holds within its depths all the energy since the beginning. Imagine how strong this energy is! The closer we can be to this energy, the stronger the connection. Is it any wonder then, why we seek this water? We yearn for the ocean as a child for her mother. When I stand next to a rapidly rushing river, I am thrilled. The clean cool surface of a pond calms me.
Water is a spiritually nourishing mother, a healer and a source for inspiration. The message is one of abundance and permanence. It is no wonder some call Her, Goddess.
A soft breeze gently lifts a leaf to float above the grass.
I feel the calm and peace of the breeze.
A light rain has washed clean any lingering disturbance in my space.
I am refreshed and renewed.
The sun lifts her face into the sky bringing warmth and light to my world.
She awakens all in her light of a new day.
Birds begin their songs and my heart lifts in the joy of the moment.
I breathe in the fresh morning air and know the calm of peace.
Bare Tree, here in the cold of winter,
I stand here and gaze at your branches.
You are so adaptable to the changing seasons.
Each year, as the days begin to shorten,
you prepare yourself for the coming cold,
your leaves turning color and then dropping to the ground.
Those leaves, so full of moisture
would freeze with the cold
and cause you grievous harm.
Your branches would grow heavy with ice and snow.
In your bareness, Tree, you show us your wisdom.
In this time of cold,
You are preparing for future growth.
You are readying yourself for spring
When you will send out new leaves and flowers
and begin the growth cycle again.
Would that I could feel this cycle more within my own core
and know when it is time to be still and to rest,
when to pull back and listen,
when to be still and stand, rooted in the ground,
when to drop what could harm me
and when to go within to ready myself for the new.
Thank you, Bare Tree, for showing me this lesson
Thank you for the gift of your knowledge.
Hadaig, you are so smart
With your large cawing voice,
Unique and patient in flight
Your compact body with
long-legs and thick neck
a heavy, straight bill.
with broad, rounded wings
and wing-tip feathers that spread like fingers
I am amazed at your fine body
you have not a speck of any other color –
all black, even your legs and bill.
you could teach us a lot about being with others
living in large flocks, sometimes of millions
how do you do that
when I have trouble with only a few?
you are inquisitive
and very mischievous, my friend
and so good at solving problems
I just don’t know how you do it
eating almost anything
… even robbing chicks from nests
Oh, bold Hadaig,
you are so aggressive
you often chase away hawks
I know you must surely be full of yourself!
I see you In fields, open woodlands, and forests
on lawns and in parking lots
you raid garbage cans and
pick over what we throw out
you are a great teacher
of cleverness and versatility
It is no wonder you are beloved of the Goddess
Holly trees are rarely allowed to grow to their full height of sixty-five feet and are instead trimmed down as hedges or ornamental bushes.
I am a Holly Tree. Many of us are Holly Trees. As strong women – women whose voices want to shout out to the world – women who have a really hard time being silent in the face of injustice – women who rebel at being the fairer sex – rebel at being trimmed down or at being ornamental bushes!
From early in life the process of being “trimmed down” begins. We are silenced – shushed – trained to be “good little girls” and not assertive – bold or daring!
I am a Holly Tree who has not been trimmed – a Holly Tree who has grown to her full height – a Holly Tree with full spiky leaves – sharp barbs – rich color – full and robust berries – a battle waging spear – who will not – can not – be silent in the face of injustice. A Holly Tree – strong and tall in service to Goddess!
you forced your way
through Her body
breaking layers of rock
penetrating Her surface
exposing Her under layers…
as a symbol
of raw power
so much still hidden
layer after layer
of what might be