“All through autumn we hear a double voice: one says everything is ripe, the other says everything is dying’. Gretel Ehrlich. The solace of open spaces.
The land is in transition. Exploding with colour, a last blast, a fanfare before winter. The trees are shouting their silent celebration of everything that this ending cycle has provided. Such points are great times for reflection, and as the leaves swirl I’m just finding my feet as the dizziness (that’s crazy mood swings) subside I begin to feel a little more rooted.
Autumn is my favorite time of year, it holds promise for so much potential. As small creatures store food for the coming winter I store the half made plans and, half baked ideas. Some I plant in the soil, some i stuff into holes in trees and others I hide amongst clouds. In the dead of winter I will dream of them and birth them into life a little more. I feel the urge to go lie down in the forest and sweep up carpets of leaves and wrap them like blankets around me.
I have made my migration from the West coast of Scotland which is a far more unsettling process than I could have imagined. So much work in preparing and ticking things off lists yet I forgot to write that list which cared for the body, the spirit and the soul. Yet the only constant thing we have is change and slowly Cailleach Bheur is coming alive within me. She is the blue hag, the goddess of winter. She comes into being at Samhain (Celtic new Year) and as the fertility of the land begins to wane she returns to the whirlpool of Corryvreckan to wash her great plaid. Wringing it out to dry she shakes it spreading it out over the mountains of Scotland which are then dusted in the first sprinkling of snow. She is our very own Kali, my Baba Yaga a needed goddess who brings death as without death neither ourselves nor the land can be cleansed and be able to make new life.
Since I was a kid and each year as the whole family sat down to watch ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Christmas I can remember having nightmares about the wicked witch of the west which continued up until around march. Baba Yaga terrifies me. Yet with Cailleach I have an understanding. We have a relationship her and I. I know it’s a part of me i have to somehow embrace. Just beacuase I got rid of a flats worth of ‘stuff’ I think I’ve a diploma in letting go. Not so. With the Cailleach and I will work to let go, to let things die allow a cleansing over this winter until she returns to Tir Na Nog (The land of eternal youth) and with a sip of those flowing waters she emerges as Bhrighde (and she’s another story).
So here’s to a years end, to Samhain (Halloween), to letting those things that fester finally die…let’s be cleansed this winter and allow cleansing for new life to flourish.