Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Equinox

Today is the first day of Fall, or the Autumn Equinox, like it's sister the Vernal Equinox (Spring), it is  when the sun crosses the celestrial equator and day and night are equal lenghts.  The Autumn Equinox is known by many names, i.e.,  Elfed, the Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Night of the Hunter, Wine Harvest, and Witch's Thanksgiving. In druidism, it was  called Alban  Elfed ( Light of the Water), Mabon, it was the Second Harvest and the  beginning of the dark half of  the lunar year. A time of the Wine Moon and the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. Upon this equinox, the last corn sheaf or stock harvested was woven into the figure of a man/women, then dressed in fine clothes and burned in the fields to release the corn spirit.

Wicker Man
Wikimedia Commons
To commemorate this day I have written this poem.

Mother Earth yawns in ready for  winter's sleep,
Her children borrow and  forage--
the last of harvest's reap

 Day no longer than night,
 Night no longer than day,
Thus the cycle of Light ends
And  Darkness rules the way

All motion slows,
Trees shed their leaves,
Plants wither
Bees die--
In the cooling breeze

Soon Mother Earth will curl
Under winter's blanket of white,
Waiting for renewal,
The beginning of the Light

Welcome to the first day of Autumn.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sacred Trees

In Druid Tradition, trees were sacred and possessed  spiritual and magical powers.The following is an excerpt of my latest article, Sacred Trees, which is in Renaissance Magazine, Vol.16#4, Issue #80 which is currently available at newsstands and bookstores.

"To the Celtic druids’ trees not only provided basic needs of food, shelter and fuel for warmth, but were a source of great wisdom, magical power and a connector between our world and the Otherworld. Ritualistic ceremonies and meditations were conducted in sacred groves (nemeton) throughout the dense forests of Europe in homage, signifying their connection to Mother Earth and nature.
The Mother of all trees was the Yellow Cedar, for she was the Tree of Life. She represented the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, symbolizing our connection and harmony of nature. She was the median for the gods, us and the Otherworld. Her branches reached high into the heavens, her trunk was the earthly plane (our world) and her deep roots connected to the Otherworld. Planted in the center of the land she canopied all four corners of the Earth, giving shelter and nourishment to all life.
In druid tradition, all trees had some wisdom, spirituality or magic associated with them, some with greater or lesser wisdom or magic, thus a tree hierarchy was established starting with the seven most sacred, or chieftain trees, Oak, Hazel, Apple, Yew, Ash, Holly, and Pine..."