I’ve experienced the turning of the year through small yet telling events. Yesterday I got up very early, by ‘mistake’. Awake, hearing traffic, misreading a number on a digital watch, I thought it was 5 a.m. when it was actually 3. I decided to get up any way and do my practice.
What was on offer, when I got to the lights out and sitting part of the work, was an especially strong felt sense of being born in the dark, of an ever-waking-now experience held by the nurture of the night. And my switching on of a lamp, when coming out of this experience, seemed like a natural next step. I could look at the world around me with fresh eyes, with energized attention, with a sense of a blessed awareness.
Later in the day I stood at the Severn Estuary. I experienced the wider world as latency rather than stasis. I was in a watery place at a watery time. There were currents flowing in both directions. The sky above was cloudy and grey, yet looking back to the ridge that I’d come from, I could see clear blue. There weren’t many people around. The energy of the environment seemed to have elements of stillness, of waiting and of gathering. For the first time in this season, I began to feel an onward pull, away from the still point of the turn, and on to what might be emerging.
In the evening I drew a DruidCraft Tarot card – a single card, to reflect the moment. I got the 3 of Wands. A young man looks to the horizon and a possible journey (or a possible visit). He seems at ease and is companionably holding a tree. His three wands have been planted nearby and are beginning to blossom. The path to (or from) an unseen destination (or point of departure) is clearly laid out as far as can be seen. He clearly has a certain confidence, and something to work with. And I thought: “OK”.
Finally, I remembered a poem by William Anderson in his ‘Green Man – the Archetype of our Oneness of the Earth’, a book from the beginning of the 90’s. The poem has 13 verses, each covering a four week period, each connected with an Ogam tree, and I’ve always run the first verse from 22 December to 18 January. By the time I went to bed yesterday I felt ready for that verse. So during this new period I’ll be conscious of:
“Like antlers, like veins of the brain the birches
Mark patterns of mind on the red winter sky:
‘I am thought of all plants,’ says the Green Man,
‘I am thought of all plants,’ says he.”
I wonder what these lines may inspire over the next few weeks. And for now – Season’s Greetings to everyone and warmest wishes for the coming year.