Our biannual Womenspirit Faire was Saturday. It was a weird Faire for me. For one, I forgot my camera. I never forget my camera. I remembered it was still on the couch when I had already driven about halfway or to translate a half an hour in no traffic at that time in the morning. It’s a long way from Valley Village/North Hollywood to Long Beach so there was no way I could go back and still make it for the beginning of Faire. And once I got there I found out A hadn’t received my yes for doing a reading but there was a hour open with no entertainment after Gillian the inimitable storyteller so I was easily plugged in there.
We always start with an Opening Ritual and the circle is usually a lot larger but we had trouble getting vendors for this Faire for some reason and there were only about 4 of is LBWS/TOILA members there when we started. Usually we’re at least a ¼ of the circle but thankfully some others arrived later. I think the worst part of Faire is seeing Laura’s spirit at Faire and missing her so much. She really was the heart of LBWS/TOILA. I had many conversations about our beloved Heiromum on Saturday. We all had different relationships with her and she gave us each something different.
I went around with Tony M so he could get pictures of all the vendors that didn’t mind having their picture taken. There are always a few that don’t. And then my friend Linda Illes and her husband Jeff came. Linda is responsible for a lot of the publications and other things that go on in FOI and was appointed by Olivia, the last of the founders before she died last year. She is the one that consecrated D and M and I as Arch Druids. That was something we had worked so hard for and Laura died before we could have her do it. So we asked Linda and we were so honoured for she and Traci to do it.
There was a booth that was selling faery wings and they were calling to me something fierce, especially a pair of peacock wings but the woman who was selling them knew I was a Druid because I had read from the Littlest Druid stories and showed me her only pair of wings that were live oaks leaves. Love at first sight. So I was gifted with those by Linda. I wish I had had them before I read. I would have worn them.
I did my first videotaping this time. Gillian drafted me to video tape her story telling. I’m a still photographer so this was something very new to me. I’ve only done small video bits before not a whole performance. Hopefully it wasn’t too bad. I tried not to move the camera in a way that would make a watcher sea sick. I read after Gillian but not too long before I got an email from D about how M was doing and it wasn’t good so I made the mistake of reading one of my Brighid healing prayers first and kind of lost it a little but I got centered and read two other Littlest Druid stories and every time I tried to go to a different story, the Littlest Druid learns about loss came up about losing a friend so I read that one last, big mistake because I turned into a big nose running pile of goo, always attractive and snot faced me is all on camera, swell. Thankfully the people listening were people who were either friends or they seemed to understand.
The littlest Druid had finished her year of roaming and being a Bard. She had found out it had been so much more than she had thought it would be. She had thought it was going to be about just going around and sharing stories and songs and then she would be back in the village but she had wandered farther than she thought she would and that had taken longer than the prescribed year.
She had sung for the king and while she had been told all Bards were the king’s equal, she had found it hard to sing and pretend that she was. She had sat with the dying and soothed their passage to the Summerland. She had sung at festivities big and small and she had wandered over fields and meadows and through forests and over mountains. She had even soothed a couple of angry chieftains down and given them a solution to their problem, all the while being terrified they would think her a fraud because she was just a kid and might never make the rank of Druid. That had made her appreciate all the boring hours of memorizing those never ending laws and decisions but she was home now and the Chief Druid had her learning smithing! Why smithing? What did it have to do with being a Druid? She sighed.
Well, it really wasn’t just smithing, it was silver-smithing. The villlage’s smiths were all getting old and the Chief Druid decided that after all the returning Bards had finished their year they were too excited and not ready for more study quite yet so he decide to have them ease back into the learning mode and ease back into studying.
The silver-smith had been showing her how to make wire out of bigger and thicker pieces of silver, she was hot and sweaty and frustrated. The smith had left her alone in the smithy and went to go relax with the other craftsman in the village and she could hear them in the distance singing something and laughing.
She wiped her dripping forehead and winced when a drop of sweat got into her eyes anyway. Stupid stuff! Why did he need so much wire? Was this all smithing was? Whacking great hunks of metal into ever smaller pieces? She sighed again. This was so much less fun than singing for people or even sheep who wanted to hear her.
“Yes, there is more to it than whacking the metal.” A voice calmly said beside her.
Aisling dropped the heavy tongs she had been using on her foot. “EEEEEEEeeeee, Don’t do that!” she hopped and grabbed her foot and looked up. Brighid was standing there beside her and she was wearing a tunic and trews in green leather and heavy leather gloves and not the dress she had been wearing before. What???
Aisling stared at Brighid, “What are you doing here? And why are you dressed like that? And where were you when I was gone all that time. I never saw you once. ” Aisling spit out while hopping up and down. That had really hurt.
Brighid picked up the tongs and looked at Aisling. “I walked right beside you the whole time but you never needed me and you did just fine. We all are there when you need us and you should know that by now.” Brighid moved toward the draw plate and grabbed the metal point that should have been becoming wire and began to draw it through the plate slowly and surely. She hardly seemed to be working as the silvery metal came through the draw plate in a smooth shiny beautiful and perfect piece of wire. Aisling stared and couldn’t believe it. She had been pulling and yanking trying to get the metal through the plate and had just gotten chunks. She had either pinched it too tight and the metal had broken or she hadn’t pulled hard enough and the metal hadn’t moved at all and the scrap bin was full of ugly short bits of silver. This so wasn’t fair.
She stared at Brighid. “How did you do that?” she was angry and also guilty, how could you be mad at a goddess?
“Didn’t you learn this year that before you could do a good performance you had to center yourself and find your calm spot” Aisling nodded slowly. It had been better when she had.
“This isn’t any different. I know you have chants you learned to make things like childbirth or dying or even putting the fire to bed every night easier?” Brighid looked at her raising a very red eyebrow.
Aisling nodded slowly again. She was beginning to feel a little stupid.
Brighid looked her in the eye and began to fit another piece of silver into the draw plate and picked up the tongs again after adjusting her leather gloves. Aisling heard her chanting to herself faintly and the silver began to flow smoothly again in that beautiful shiny ribbon.
“All work is easier if you work with it and all work has some magic to it. You just have to find it. Imagine what this silver is going to be when it’s used. Will it make a lovely pattern that will hold the glass enamel in a brooch or a crown? Will it gently clasp a stone to hang around a friend’s neck? Will it be wound around the hilt of a knife or sword?”
“When you make it you can add protection to it, you can add peace to it. You can even add love to it for all people just like you can when you make a poem or a song.”
Aisling listened and was thinking really hard. At first, she was a bit exasperated. Does everything have to have some magic in it? And then she realized that yes, everything should have some magic to it. Aisling looked up at Brighid who had been watching her thinking. She knew her small Druid. She’d get there eventually.
“Now, I want you to try,” Brighid said and handed Aisling back the tongs.
“But I don’t know your chant?” Aisling whined just a tiny bit, she wasn’t someone who normally whined but she was tired, this was really work.
“That’s the second part, this time you have to make your own chants. Every smith has their own. That’s part of what makes the magic. Put your own heart and hands in every piece whether you know who the piece is for or not.”
Aisling looked at Brighid. She could hear a chant starting in the back of her mind. Was that why the smith had left her alone? She grabbed the end of the metal and started to hum and pull and the wire started to flow for the first time. The metal flowed just like it was supposed to and she turned around and Brighid was gone. Aisling smiled and kept pulling, maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.
You have made the leap and started a new cycle. Your instinctive spirit has felt it necessary to lead you to the gateway and a new path. You may have been reluctant or concerned at first, but whether you realize it or not a shift has occurred. You may feel wary of the unknown denizens that await you in the forest, but the ancient Ancestor within you will guide and reassure you as you relearn and greet new experiences on the path.
Trust your inner voice. Listen to your own instinctive and inquisitive nature.
Your own inner Ancestor is strong, patient and wise. Let him lead you into the forest with new eyes and a joyful heart.
The Ancestor is the guardian of all those who have walked these ways before you, holding the gentle wisdom of all ancestral memory. She is the creatrix, calling forth the four elements, (the Aces), and therefore the world itself, into being.
Drawing The Ancestor means a new start; profound insights, spiritual guidance, a feeling of being on the right path, being guided by means of dreams and visions. A spiritual blessing on one’s life.