I dreamed this dream of wooded Wilds

I dreamed this dream of wooded wilds, dripping moisture in the grey air. The Earth’s many scents release when the rain drops onto pine needles and oak leaves. The pat-pat sound of the rain on the palmetto fronds is familiar in my mind.

I rise from my bed, surrounded by quiet and the familiar hum of the ceiling fan. It is early morning, the hour of in between twilight just before dawn, and I hear a voice. A man’s voice outside. From deep inside the dark cool trees, his voice travels out to me. I know that voice.

I wander out of the house, at odd morning hours. My bare feet padding down the lawn leading to the edge of the woods. I hear a crow, the rain, and his voice calling to me.

So I enter that wild realm of insects, birds, spirits. The wild god who waits for me.

He calls to me again, his voice warm and dark as fertile soil. My pulse thickens inside my skin. Shivers tremble up and down my spine, but still I long to find him.

I wander with soft steps on sacred ground. The smells inundate me, decay and life and rain. I weave through the thick trunks of ancient trees, winding thickets of brush and bole, over roots jutting out on my path.

And then I find him. He waits for me by a stream. The sounds of pipe and drum hit me then, though he holds no instrument in his hands.

His face is unmistakable, though I only ever see it in dreams. He whispers my name, and I approach his perch above the swirling water.

“Look,” he tells me. “Your strength is in this shadow, buried beneath the birch tree.” He smiles a cryptic smile, as a teacher might to his student who is working out the solution to something in her own mind. There are no birch trees here.

He reaches his hands out to me, and I take them in mine. His hands are warm and rough, mine cold and unsure.

He pulls me to his body, his warmth, his earthly knowledge. He smells of pine and soil and the decay of leaves.

His mouth covers my own, and I suck him in, all the scents and senses, the knowledge and heat.

Then I wake. I’ve had this dream before. It’s as if this vision, this dream message and messenger are begging for clarification. And I can’t seem to (or I’m not meant to) decipher it yet. But it’s always the same, always ends before the best part.

I like these dreams though, when I have them. They’re comforting and mysterious, as if my fate can be divined by some dream Being’s mood swings in the ephemeral world.

 

 

[Featured photo found on Pinterest]

Creation

It came of Frost and Flame, borne of the Abyss
Child of Chaos and strife,
solidity and cold determination.
It rose, pale and dark, against the blood red depths
of the Ironclad Earth
Ice and Fire and breath of dust…
…and rain, never-ending rain
Acid, poison, at first killing the weak.
Then the Ocean cleansed the Sky and birthed the Waves
Those that engulfed the Land
Tides of the Moon and Currents kissed by Wind
and Man, mortal Man, lumbers as the Land’s great host
Mountains will rise, and mountains will fall,
and it will be our story that the world will tell
The women, borne of the goddesses of Old, come to birth
the lines of succession

And we will rise, and rise again

 

~Líadan Rán

 

 

 

 

[Featured Image: Star-Forming Region LH95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud courtesy of HubbleSite Photos]

The Juxtaposition of a Warrior’s Way

I am a Warrior.

That much I know for sure.

I have not lived this life without conflict, resistance, or chaos. I have lived with peace, joy, love, and harmony. Yes. But the darker shades of being are always present. Always sliding in rippling music underneath my skin.

My blood carries songs of days long past, and I welcome openly all the senses these musings gift to me. Even those of nightmares.

Fear is a gateway to transcendence. It makes us aware of the unwants along our strands of the Web. Fear calls our instincts to action.

Do we fight or run the other way?

I prefer to fight. This can take many forms: fighting through the negative fears and doubts to get to the positivity; fighting through a personal dilemma to come to a solution; fighting through a tragedy to heal emotional (and sometimes physical) wounds. There are countless ways in which we fight every day. Sometimes we run away from it all.

But the key to fear is that we should not fight against it (usually the thought of fighting against something bigger than ourselves is what causes us to run from our problems), but rather fight through it. Fighting through rather than against is what helps us become more of ourselves. Fighting through that which we fear rather than against it is opening up to the possibilities of strength and growth. Fighting against something is futile.

Change is ever constant, we can always count on it, and change offers ways to evolve and become stronger, better versions of ourselves. Fighting against change is pointless; fighting through that change and attendant fear is where we give ourselves the opportunity to come out the other side…changed.

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Fear awakens our senses, our darker reptilian instincts that, in my spirituality, should be conquered. Fought through. Our base selves will call out to us: fight or run; and we must call on our higher selves to fight. To wage a war through the resistance that we don’t want. Fight to find the solutions, fight to overcome the fear of change, to fight through emotional doubts and challenges so we can become stronger and more ingrained in who we are, what morals we hold, and how we handle ourselves in future circumstances.

Never fight against change or challenge, but fight through it, and the obstacles will fall away.

 

 

[Featured image found on Pinterest]

I was born of the Sea

The Sea, she pleases me
Within her, I was born and am reborn again
Opened to the pulse and beating rhythm
Mating with the storm of a Sea god, vehement and vengeful
A protective embrace to spiral down around my salty skin
And I rode his currents and I bore the waves
I am born and reborn again
Hail! my Daughters, you who swirl and foam and crash
And I ride the tides and bare the Waves
I am whole, within the Sea
I was reborn and am born again.

 

~Líadan Rán~

Lyreleafs & Cloud Readings

Spring has sprung here in Florida, and with temperatures ranging from the 70’s to the 80’s, it’s been perfect weather for cloud watching and wildcrafting with some of the beauties right here in my yard and garden.

With spring fever behind us and hot days ahead, I’ve grown more and more interested in weather lore and other folk lore isolated to Florida and the Southeast. I have checked out some books on Florida’s climate and general weather patterns, but I want the old folk’s lore of weather and cloud divination.

 

 

I want to learn about the clouds moving overhead, about what those movements mean for my home and garden, my place in the local Land, and about how to perceive outcomes of various garden-related happenings when divined.

I want the magical and mystical workings of rain and clouds and fog. I want to gain and use my knowledge and experience of the weather patterns and learn how to read them with the purpose of divining future energies of all things home and garden.

So what does one do when one is looking for some divine guidance in seeking out the appropriate information about a spiritual topic of interest?

Invite the Ancestors to tea, of course. And a little bit of Lyreleaf Sage goes a long way.

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This sage (Salvia lyrata; other common names include wild sage and cancerweed/cancer root) grows wild in yards, meadows, roadsides ditches, culverts…you pick a spot, and these babies will root there. They’re hardy little herbaceous perennials and readily self-seed and spread like crazy in ideal conditions.

Which is good for me, because hey, if I can use it as an edible and a healer, I sure as hell will! And this little plant is wonderful as a calming tea at 10 o’clock at night, curled up with a good book. The fresh young leaves and blossoms can be used in salads, and have a very light and pleasant minty flavor.

While the Lyreleaf’s medicinal properties don’t pack as much of a punch as other species of salvias, Lyreleaf can be used as a carminative/laxative (a mild tea made for kiddo’s gassy tummy or constipation…hey, it happens), and for relief during cold and flu season. Lyreleaf sage also makes a relieving salve for cuts, sores (warts and zits and boils, oh my!) and minor wounds.

On the spiritual and magical side, sage is also a plant linked with divination, purification, protection, and psychic learning. I’ve come to connect sage’s otherworldly attributes to, well, the other-world. Ancestors can be invited when sage is burned.

Now, traditionally White sage, or Sacred sage (Salvia apiana), is the sage of choice for burning and smudging, but I’ve found that the edible sages work well for these purposes, too. So I decided to harvest and dry my Florida Lyreleaf for tea, as well as a bundle for smudging/incense.

Then we’ll see what we see.

I haven’t used this particular sage in an infusion or for spiritual purposes yet, but am anxious to have it dry so I can get down to business.

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Until then, I’ll keep reading my library books on weather and atmospheric phenomenon, and offer these lovely tidbits on my new friend, Lyreleaf sage:

 

 

 

 

 

[Close-up of Lyreleaf blossom photo: ©Mark Hutchinson for http://www.fnps.org]