Tag Archive | death

At the moment

By John McCutcheon

At the moment they brought me the message
I was oceans and hours away
Wondering what I was doing
The moment that you slipped away

At the moment I’m looking out windows
At a night that hold only one star
In the morning it’s gone but I know it’s still
Shining afar

At the moment we raised up our voices
And a bit of our soul was set free
I’m still humbled and awed by the beauty
Of the small part of you that’s in me

We laughed and we danced on the table
And confounded the silence with song
In the dark of this night still it echoes so brightly
And strong

I don’t look for reward ever after
For I hold this life much too dear
From what I can tell both heaven and hell
We create in abundance right here

When the fire that burned is but ashes
And the stories have all been retold
The heat and the light will sustain us
Long after the hearth has grown cold

And grief has a place at the table
For it’s part of what we are made of
And it’ll stay long enough to remind us its mother
Is love

At the moment our lives become memory
And all of our dreaming is done
We shed what it is makes us different
And we don what it is makes us one

What is memory but time rendered timeless
Some small proof we each live anew
I refuse to surrender that small part of me
That is you

Some mark their days by the hours
Some mark their days by the signs
Me? I look to that star and where ever we are
We will shine

Hymn to Osiris

Hymn to Osiris

The doors of perception open; what was hidden has been revealed. It is myself I see and a thousand colors swirling in liquid light. I am where the sun sets below the mountains. I am in this body. I am that star rising above clouds hung by a thread from its ocean moon. Hail myself, traversing eternity walking among gods, a shuttle flying across the loom through the thread of time. This is all one place; one cloth: a womans’ life endures. On earth flowers grow, snakes crawl and wisdom lies in the palm of a hand. All that is will be—hawks and sparrows, the thousand lives within.

I have come home. I have entered humanhood, bound to rocks and plants, men and women, rivers and sky. I shall be with you in this and other worlds. When the cat arches in the doorway, think of me. I have sometimes been like that. When two women greet each other in the street, I am there speaking to you. When you look up, know I am there—-sun and moon pouring out my love around you. All these things am I, portents, images, signs. Though apart, I am a part of you. One of the million things in the universe, I am the universe, too. You think I disguise myself as rivers and trees simply to confuse you? Whatever I am, woman, cat or lotus, the same god breathes in every body. You and I together are a single creation. Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you.

May we come and go in and out of heaven through the gates of starlight. As the houses of earth fill with dancing and song, so filled are the houses of heaven. I come, in truth. I sail a long river and row back again. It is joy to breathe under the stars. I am the sojourner destined to walk a thousand years until I arrive at myself.

“Awakening Osiris” translation by Normandi Ellis

Grief is the price of love and I will pay it

Sometimes I have to remember that I wouldn’t grieve if I didn’t love

Grief is the price of loving

Sometimes the price seems awfully high

And at the time when grief hurts the most

The price can be beyond what I want to pay

The price of being alive and awake to love

It’s the price we pay for being here

It’s the price for being able to wish on stars

It’s the price for seeing your love reflected in another’s eyes

It’s a price paid in hugs and smiles

It’s a price paid in tears and priceless words

It’s a price paid in the pain of losing and the pain of loss

I thank the Goddess for gifts of friendship

I thank the Goddess reflected in the faces of those I love

I thank the Goddess for grieving even in the midst of pain

Because it means I love.

Kat 2014

It’s Samhain and Hecate is here

I am ordained to three Goddesses, one of whom is Hecate. I don’t worship her. I work with her when she asks and when it is time she is there. I’m going to be doing it again very soon. It is an honour to be asked to priestess the death of a friend. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much. Life is full of pain and anyone who works with Hecate is a warrior. You have to be to face the veil. Being a warrior is painful, you have to suck up your pain and face it and go through to do what you need to do but you also have to acknowledge that it is hard and you really don’t want to do it because you know what the outcome will be and it’s a bit selfish because you don’t want to lose the person you love so much.

But you have to do it, she will not be in pain any longer. She will not be alone in her head anymore because that is all she has left. She will not have to struggle to communicate what she needs. But yet again her partner and we, her fellow priestesses have to find our way without her except as a memory or as a thought  or presence when we plan anything without her from now on. We know she will be there but losing her hurts like a son of a gun.

It’s not the first time I will do this and it won’t be the last and I won’t be doing it alone. I will be doing it with Di and I know Laura will be standing waiting for Mary on the other side. She will never be alone except when she passes through the veil. There are only two times we ever are truly alone in our lives, when we are born and come through the veil to this existence and when we die and leave this plane but on either side there are people who are waiting to greet us.

Working with Hecate is not for the faint of heart. The day she claimed me I realized she had always been there. Death has been a companion all my life but the day she appeared to me stands out and it always will.

We were up at the West Coast Women’s Music Festival in Yosemite. When all the witches around me  and myself started to feel this awful feeling that I still can’t quite describe and it was clear that person was dying and was terrified. A bunch of were distressed enough to call a friend from the pay phone that we knew had AIDS and we were sure it was him. What we got was a really pissed off high priest who was not dying and berated us mightily because that would not be the way he was going to go.

We were thoroughly chastened and still feeling whoever was broadcasting and broadcasting at the top of his lungs, there were 6 of us who decided to do a circle up at the campfire while everyone else was down at main stage. We sent my Catholic lover at the time away. She couldn’t figure out what the hell we were by that time crying about and was annoying the hell out of all of us. So the six of us went up and sat, 3 empaths and 3 grounders. We sat every other one so every empath had a grounder on either side and we grabbed each other’s hands. We started singing “We all come from the Godddess” to try and get some sort of connection and when we started the verse about Hoof and Horn we got the picture. Two gay men had gone off the road in their car somewhere in the mountains near us. One was dead and the one that was left was screaming to high heavens and every sensitive around could hear something. So we kept singing every soothing chant we could think of and sending energy and peace as much as the 6 of us could. All 6 were very experienced priestesses and that was a lot of energy. By nature grounders do not generally see things, they tend to sense but not see. The three of us empaths looked up and SAW. The campfire area was on the edge of a cliff. It was straight down into a gorge on the other side from where we were sitting and we looked up and saw a hooded woman in black from there. She came toward us and we knew who she was. She came towards us stopped and nodded in a slight bow of acknowledgement and turned and disappeared over the cliff edge. All the energy she we had raised and sent was gone and the broadcasting stopped. Every bit of energy we had was just gone but we knew we had done something special and sacred. It took us a long time to get together enough energy to get back to our campsite. Kate took my lover aside and explained what we had been doing. My lover besides being a staunch Catholic was also a scientist and her scientist brain went into overdrive. She wanted us to do it again so she could see how it worked. That was the minute I decided it was over and I was never going to date a non-pagan again.

The next morning we talked to all the pagans and witches we knew that were there. They had all felt it and some had gotten terrible headaches because of it but we 6 were the only ones to do something about how we felt.

For weeks afterward I searched the news but a car going off the side of a mountain is not big news. I happens every weekend down here in the Angeles National Forest and I can’t imagine it’s any different up in the Sierras. Most of the time unless it’s a really slow news day you never hear about it and I never found anything but it was pretty much pre-internet so it wasn’t going to be easily findable anyway.

That experience was why I became on call hospice clergy at the Pasadena AIDS Service Center.

Hecate has me when she needs me and this Samhain, she will really have me and stuff is already happening at home. Samhain can be so much fun.

The Littlest Druid learns about loss

Dedicated to Beth Van Dyke and Cameron Robb  and now Mary – journey well

Once upon a time the littlest Druid was sitting by the stream outside the village. It was the only place she could go where the water would drown out the sound of her sobbing.

She wanted to be brave and she wanted to look forward but at the moment her heart was broken. Her best friend was gone and she didn’t understand why it had to happen. She felt even more alone than she normally did.

When she had arrived at the Druid school two sun rotations before she had arrived at the same time as another student, Beith was the same age as Aisling but as different as night was from day. Where Aisling was red haired and freckled and with a fiery temperament to match Beith was cool and calm like the tree she was named for Birch. She was fair with dark hair and dark eyes but they might as well have been sisters. In fact, when they were allowed to pick a soul friend their first year, their anam cara. They had chosen each other. They were supposed to pick some one older who could advise them but they had chosen each other and their teacher and the Chief Druid had agreed to it.

No two spirits could have been closer. The two were together whenever their chores and studies had permitted and maybe if they had been allowed to do their assignments together Aisling wouldn’t have been so creative in the trouble she got into but that is for another time.

The spring before when Aisling and Beith were running together on the moors chasing the sheep, Beith had fallen suddenly and had had trouble getting up again. Aisling had to find the shepherds to carry Beith back to the village. Beith would never run with Aisling over the moors again.

For some awful reason she wouldn’t heal and there was nothing the Druid healers could do for her. They tried every herb they knew. They tried to sweat it out. They tried all the special rituals they knew but Beith got weaker and weaker and began to have trouble breathing.

They let Aisling visit all the time and never kept her out and they allowed her to be part of the rituals so she knew what was happening to the sister of her soul but nothing had worked. They finally sent a message to Beith’s parents to come and say goodbye. That was rather unusual because once someone joined the Druids, the Druids were their family but Aisling thought they had done it because Beith wasn’t a full Druid yet or they could have just been being kind but they had arrived a few nights ago.

Aisling was sitting alone with Beith when she opened her eyes the last time and smiled. “Don’t cry, I’ll be back,” she said and slipped away. Aisling had called for the healers but there was nothing they could do. Beith was off on her voyage to the Summerland and Aisling had lost the sister she had found.

So Aisling was sitting on the banks of the burn mixing her salty tears with the cold clear water when someone came and sat by her on the bank.

“Why are you crying?” said a soft voice.

“My friend is gone and I miss her.” Sobbed Aisling.

“Ah, the wee one who left for the Summerlands this morning,” The voice said.

Aisling looked up startled and saw a beautiful older woman with hair that looked soft like owl feathers sitting by her. She was dressed all in green and wasn’t much taller than Aisling was.

“How did you know?” asked Aisling.

“It’s my job to ken when souls need to leave on their journey. I saw you there. What did she tell you?” asked the woman.

“She said she’d be back and not to cry.” answered Aisling.

“And so you’re crying out where no one can see you or help you.”

“How would it help to be where people would pity me? We’re supposed to be happy when people die. They say they are happy now and not in pain. They tell us that they have been reborn in the Summerland and that they will come back soon. They would just tell me to be strong and happy.”

The woman sat for a moment and said. “I’m sure some would understand the hurt of losing your friend and anam cara. They’ve lost people too and loss hurts no matter how we tell ourselves it shouldn’t. Someday the pain stops and you just remember the love. Then it’s easier to be happy.”

Aisling looked up at the woman. “Do you think I should go back now?”

“I think maybe you should go hug Beith’s parents. They know she is on her journey now but it will still hurt them for her to be gone. They did name her for the first tree or beginning of the journey, you know. They will understand.”

“I guess,” Aisling whispered. She really didn’t want to go back.

“And when you’re parents named you, Aisling for dreams and visions, they knew what they were doing too. Be patient, wee one.”

The woman started to slip away and began to change into an old woman and disappear. Aisling heard the soft call of an owl in the twilight of the deep forest and it dawned on her that she had just had a chat with the ban sidhe and gave a shiver. Aisling got up and headed back to the village.

Today’s reading

image

 
 Death

It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. 

A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required. 

Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm. 

You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort. 

When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.

Today’s reading

image

  Death
It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish.

A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required.

Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.

You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort.

When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.

Today’s reading

image

Death

It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires.

Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required. Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.

You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort.

When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will
feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.