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.
This is a time of rich nurturing and protection, learning and initiation, a time of loving and fertile relationships, both on the human scale and with the universe.
The Greenwoman mediates the sacred sovereignty of the Earth’s soul and can show the path to understanding of and communion with nature. But with this blessing comes responsibility. Remember this glorious, magnanimous and generous spirit can live through you, radiated by the sacred breath of life and given to others who need guidance and healing.
Learn from the abundant and joyous spirit of the Earth and be at one with the world and your true self.
The Greenwoman is she who blesses those that come through the gateway of life, with love, healing and protection. She is the spiritual and actual warmth of the midsummer sun, and gives the breath of life to nature, and the newly born.
Wild roses, symbol of an open heart, flow from her. Round her neck is a gold torc, a symbol of her sovereignty as Empress. Her golden cup is of amber, a translucent resin often called the teardrops of the sun.
The Greenwoman is also a tree in full leaf supporting many other species in its branches. She is abundance made manifest.
The Sheila-na-gig is the gateway of life. The flame on her third eye burns with divine intelligence and inner wisdom. She is also the oracle , voicing the heart of the land. She is the empowered heart, at one with herself, independent, creative, loving, stable, abundant, nurturing herself and others.
We had our Companion ceremony on Friday night. I’m still trying to process everything. It’s funny but I was really nervous before the ritual almost as nervous as before I was ordained or our first Brighid ritual when we birthed our coven so long ago. For some reason these steps feel very important and as if I have waited a long time for them without exactly knowing what I was waiting for before now. I just know that it is becoming more and more important.
I know it’s partly validation for everything that my grandmother taught me but it is also a lot more than that. I feel like something long forced closed is starting to open up. It feels so right.
I’m writing the first Bard initiation for Spring Equinox and I have so many ideas that they are colliding. I know I want to base it on the old Celtic ritual principles of Earth, Sea and Sky. Water was a gateway into Faery and the bridge to the ancestors. Fire was what represented the Sky World and Trees were the bridge between, particularly, Oak, Ash and Thorn. Ash and Thorn (hawthorn) don’t grow here in California in the wild but Oaks and Willows and Cottonwoods do and Sepulveda Basin does. I think we have to have our own sacred trees here distinct from what grew in Britain. California definitely has enough of its own trees that have been sacred and used by the native peoples here to qualify.
I also want to use the animals that symbolized Earth, Sky and Sea.
Here is my first go at translating the plants. Haven’t got them all and it’s subject to change at any moment. I know that redwood has to be in there somewhere because they are extremely magical trees.
ALDER White Alder
APPLE (Domestic) Manzanita
ASH California Sycamore
BLACKTHORN Ceanothus – California Lilac
BROOM Mock Orange or Oregon Grape
CEDAR Incense Cedar
FIR White Fir
FIR (SILVER) California Redwood
FURZE Wild roses
HAZEL California Walnut
HOLLY California Bay Laurel
OAK Canyon Live Oak
PINE Jeffery Pine