T’was the night before Beltane – Poetry month

This is what happens when the system goes down at work. Never let a pagan’s brain roam.


T’was the night before Beltane

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Well, Brownies chasing a mouse.

The Maypole was hung in the garden

With care

In hopes that the coven soon would be there.

The people were nestled all snug in their tents

Some of them dreaming of bonfires immense

And I in my sleep shirt and she in much less

And just settled in to state of undress.

When out on the lawn arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the doorway I flew like a fool

And promptly tripped over her mules.

The moon rose high over lawns green and dim

Gave luster to a man who was definitely not slim

Surrounded by Maenads it now did appear

That Beltane was going to be wilder this year.

With a great bowl of wine and a keg by his side

I knew that Sir Bacchus had now just arrived.

“To the Maypole, to the Maypole”, he cried

And I hoped that the cheeses and meat would survive.

The Maenads were dancing and making us dizzy

And I knew that the Priestesses would throw such a tizzy

They were being upstaged by the Maenads crazed dance

That only Radical Fairies even stood half a chance.

I feared for the children’s well dressing to last

The Maenads were sweeping along in the paths

The Maypole was leaning a bit to the south

While I just stood gaping with wide open mouth

He was dressed all in leaves, from head to his toe

With grape vines entwined thoughout, don cha know.

A keg on two legs was found at his heels

I could see that he hardly ever missed a few meals.

His face was so red and shined with a glow

The wreath on his head was tipping just so

He smiled with a smile just full of great glee

He was going to be our most favourite party crashee

He gathered us round and started the dance

We all then joined in for such a fine prance.

Morning came when the sun started to rise

He waved us goodbye from over the rise

“Drink plenty of wine!” He gave us his warning

“Happy Beltane to all and to all a great morning”.

By ElfKat ©2012

Today’s reading


The Shaman

Now you may hear the beat of a drum or the song of the wind. It may be the dancing of light on water or the midnight barking of the fox, but whatever awakens your desire to return to the wild,

The Shaman within you is ready for initiation into the mysteries. It may manifest itself in the form of a desire to study an esoteric science or philosophy and apply what you learn to the world. It may involve travel or even a personal sojourn for the sake of gaining confidence and experience. But however the desire to begin a new spiritual chapter emerges, you are now in an emotional and intellectual position to bring forth real change in your life for the benefit of everyone.

This process of focusing, mediating and applying wisdom and knowledge from the Otherworld to bring physical effects to everyday reality is the work of The Shaman.

Being a shaman, able to see the complexities of life and death, and acting on this knowledge for the benefit of all, can be a heavy burden to carry. (Responsibility, ten of wands).

The Shaman has a deep rooted balance within themselves, and can assume a place of status within society without compromising their integrity and losing sight of the higher purpose they are working for.

Bella the belly dancing bear

There once was a bear named Bella. She lived in the woods of the National Forest and she was very content except for one thing, she wanted to learn to dance.

Bella lived near a large campground. She watched large groups of people come and go all the time but one group came every year and this group intrigued Bella. The people there sang and danced all weekend. They sang to the trees and they sang to the sky. They sang to the animals of the woods. They sang and drummed at night to the stars and they sang to each other and they danced…

Bella loved to watch the dancing and she loved to watch the groups of women who danced wearing beautiful colours and sparkly gold discs and she wanted to be like them. The other bears near her thought she was nuts. They caught her deep in the woods trying to sway and move like those women and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t do it.

She decided it was because she didn’t have the pretty clothes like the women so she did something naughty. One of the groups of women liked to hang some of their brilliantly coloured clothing around their camp site so she took some.

She watched them from behind the trees and decided she wanted a bright yellow and maybe the blue one that was like the mountain sky. She snuck into the campsite while they were out on a hike but she got scared and ended up just grabbing a bunch from the lines and lumbering back to her den.

When she got there she spread them out to see what she had. She had one of those funny things the women wore on top but she couldn’t put it on. So she put it around her neck instead. It was covered in gold round things and made a tinkling noise. She found a paid of filmy bright red pants that were very stretchy and she did manage to pull those on and she was excited to find a pair of the chimey things the women used when they danced in the pockets.

She had grabbed several large scarves and she tied those around her. She went to the near by pond to look at her self and she thought she looked just like them.

She tried to dance again but it still wasn’t any use. She couldn’t do it. She tried and tried. She was trying to dance long after that group of campers had gone home. They had come the first week of summer and Bella was still trying to dance when fall came and it was time for her to sleep. This made Bella very sad.

She dreamed of dancing all winter long in her den surrounded by the beautifully coloured clothes. They now were a bit tattered and torn but still beautiful in Bella’s eyes. She knew if she watched enough she would be able to do it and she vowed next summer she would watch some more when they came again so Bella waited.

She waited through the long groups of loud kids that made her hide. She waited through the bird watching group. She waited through another group that sang to the sky and talked a lot about a book but they weren’t near as happy as “her” group for she now was thinking that the group was hers. She waited until the first week of summer and she was so scared. She was afraid they wouldn’t come but they did. They came with their laughing and singing, and their happy children and set up their camps and Bella was overjoyed to see that the dancing women had come again and set up their area with their sparkly shiny clothes and their drums and other mysterious objects. Bella put on the clothes she had taken, now a lot worse for the wearing and hid in the woods near by. Every time the women got up to practice Bella would try to imitate them. She finally sat down with a thump. She just couldn’t do it. And she put her head down and she cried.

What Bella didn’t know because she was normally very quiet was that the women had heard her trying to dance in the woods and a couple of them had been watching her try to dance. They hurried back to the other dancers and whispered what they had seen to the other women.

Now these women were very special women and some of them worshipped bear goddesses and they loved any one who wanted to dance and it had made them sad that Bella was trying so hard. Some of them were scared and didn’t want to be near a bear so they moved but the other women went to Bella where she was crying.

“Mistress Bear. Mistress Bear,” they whispered. “Are you alright?”

Bella looked up and saw all the beautiful dancers around her. She noticed some of them were shaking like they might be scared and she felt sad. She shook her great brown head and looked at these lovely women. She saw that they loved each other and that they were looking at her they same way they looked at each other. They were all different shades, some were her rich brown colour, some were pale like the morning sky before it turns blue, some were somewhere in between but they all looked kind.

They noticed she was wearing their clothes that they had missed the year before and they realized she wanted to be a dancer like them and it moved them.

One dancer spoke up, “Mistress Bear, would you like to dance with us?” This made the bear cry harder because she had tried and it hadn’t worked. She put her head down again and wailed. She felt gentle tugging then and she raised her head. The women gently pulled her to her feet and pulled her to their camp circle. A couple of them went to get their drums and started drumming softly. Some of the others went to the clothes lines and got new pieces of cloth and wound them around Bella. Bella stood shyly not moving and some of the women started to sway to the music and motioned for Bella to join them. Bella’s eyes grew round. They wanted her to dance with them! She didn’t know what to do so she stood there. Two of the women grabbed her paws and drew her into their circle. They were all swaying back and forth. She could do that! So she did.

One of the women bravely moved behind her and held her big waist and started showing her how she could move it. She couldn’t move it like them but she could move it as bears were able to. So she shyly started to dance with the women. This brought huge smiles to the dancing women and they motioned to the drummers to speed up and they did. This frightened Bella but she was so happy and joyful she kept dancing. She even tried some turns with the women. Soon the women had her weaving in and out with them and dancing as best as she could. Finally she was so tired she stopped and dropped to all four feet and women stood around her clapping and cheering for her. Bella was happy.

The women told her to come again the next night and she surprised herself and she did. The women brought their new dancing partner to the main circle which made some people run in terror but the rest joined in the dancing with Bella and the women and all their beautiful colours and shiny golden, gleaming jewelry and decorations and Bella too. Everyone danced and Bella was filled with joy. She could DANCE! When the dance was over the women led Bella back to their campsite.

She knew it was time for them to go to bed and time for her to go back into the woods. The women crowded around her and hugged and patted her. “Would you come dance with us again next summer?” Bella nodded eagerly.

“The women smiled at her. One laughed, “But you have to practice every day just like we do.” Bella nodded again.

“We’ll miss you until we will see you again! Merry Meet, Mistress Bear!” and Bella went to her den. She was so happy. She could Dance! She had made friends and she could keep dancing until it was time for the women to come dance again with her. She was going to practice every day to make them proud of her. Bella was happy.

Are you enchanted?

The reason I am a pagan is the same reason I got my degree as a Naturalist or quite frankly do anything worth doing is for enchantment. I’ve been reading things about how the modern world is disenchanting. That life has lost its sense of what is enchanting or mystifying. I can only say then they are not paying attention.

If life is not enchanting for you, what is the point in being alive? Enchantment is all around us all the time you just have to look for it. If you are going through your day with your head down and never looking up there is something very wrong. There is a seagull staring at you that you missed or a dragonfly whizzing across the parking lot in front of your eyes that you just missed. There is a ladybug on the 11th floor window looking in at you. Did you miss it?

Look up! Look around! Get your head out of whatever dark place you’ve been hiding in. Listen! Is that a bird? Is it a bug? What do you hear? Even someone singing just to sing for joy of the day is enchanting. Did you touch the fuzzy grass in the planter? It you touch the soft looking leaf? Did you crush that piece of rosemary and smell the sharp scent? Why not? Or did you quickly hurry by and ignore all the green things waving hello at you? Think they aren’t waving at you? Too anthropomorphic for you? That is just a big word to pull you out of enchantment and make you be sensible.

I can’t be that sensible, boring, non-imaginative person. And you may imagine yourself to be logical and scientific but if you are being that way you are no scientist. You are a fraud. No scientific discovery was ever made by a sensible and unimaginative person because it takes imagination and curiosity to make a scientific discovery. It takes some romance, it takes the leap of “what if?” to make a scientific discovery. That is the basis for all experimentation: what happens when I do this? It takes enchantment.

If you believe everything you are told to believe and never test it you will always be disenchanted. Taking things by rote is a cop out. It’s lazy and it makes you disenchanted.

I suppose I believe in pagan goddesses and gods partly because I’ve seen them and interacted with them both awake and in dreams but because I know they have the potential to interact and I expect it. I can’t predict it but I expect it. Their time table is not my time table but it happens and I wait in the expectation that it will happen and so it does and I’m enchanted just like I’m enchanted when one of my characters appears and tells me a new story about their lives when they are away. It has nothing to do with real or unreal because we make our reality just as much as we are responsible for our enchantment.

If life doesn’t enchant you then do something about it. You are missing the whole purpose you were born into that physical body. You are a spiritual being having physical experiences so why aren’t you having them?