The Seed Moon – A Time for Ritual and Reflection

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Guardians…

Early Sunday morning the moon will be full and if I am fortunate I will be able to watch her rise over Red Willow River… a river that I have fallen in love with… (I did)

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I think of the Indigenous peoples who have marched in Washington in protest of a pipeline that if completed will pollute their drinking water. The political situation has never seemed more frightening than it is today.

Water is Life – simple and profound.

Every spring I honor the rising waters… and the importance of this element to all living beings. All sentient beings including humans are made of water.

In Maine where I come from, the dreaded white gaze of a March sun is reflected on heaps of snow. The noonday star hurts my eyes and brings on another round of depression because of the ongoing drought… every single year.

Here in Abiquiu I feel joy and I think about water because there is so little rainfall over all. Even desert plants need water to thrive. Each day I see that at the base of many plants there is new growth. I have already seen diminutive wildflowers in bloom. At the monastery big sage has 4 inches of new growth and the scent of this plant is intoxicating.

Two of these big sage plants sit outside my door listening to the river’s song.

Last weekend I saw an Indian man rub the sage onto his hands and body like a prayer. I repeat the gesture with big sage, giving thanks for the changing seasons.

This is the month to celebrate the rising of the waters. This is the month to pray for rain… Here in the southwest I don’t feel alone because the Pueblo peoples have ceremonies that call down the rain gods every year beginning with the Katchinas that arrive around the Winter Solstice, but remain invisible until First Light, when they appear as part of the purification process…In March the night dances dominate, and these are secret ceremonies that no doubt have everything to do with water. Next month the dam will open, and the acequias will be cleaned, so that the precious river water can flow into the ditches to irrigate the fields in this valley. How can I not be aware of how critical water is to all life…?

The Redwing blackbirds have just arrived. Robins are singing from the cottonwoods as talkative and clown-like magpies in black and white coats swoop down from those same branches. I don’t know if the redwing blackbirds will move on, but I hope not. I long to hear the songs of these black robed women with wings… The desert floor is covered with tiny bird prints – bird hieroglyphics – towhees, sparrows, juncos, nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees, cactus wrens, scurry around drinking water, swallowing seeds, pecking fat, seeking temporary safety and shelter in the prickly shrubs and vines. The shining rust colored feathers of the relentless redtails soar overhead hoping to spot an unwary avian relative. Yesterday a kestrel flew into the thickly branched tree (whose name I don’t know) scattering well hidden white crowned sparrows. Interesting technique!

I am happier here than I have ever been…I have a life with Nature, with her flowing river waters, her white moon, her wild birds and with her people – I am not alone – even the politics of this place seem to suit me.

 

  • So let the desert and the moon and stars know than I feel gratitude flowing through me on this Watery Full Moon. I give thanks for my beloved dogs, for Lily B who is napping on his perch in our bedroom, for finding good and generous friends…I call out greetings to a white moon who rises in the east and brings the birds home…

 

  • I ask to stay with the process I am in… to be present for myself.

 

Keep me honest with myself… to keep listening to the truth of my body…

 

I honor Grandmother Moon and her grandsons. remembering my own beloved grandmother, thanking her for loving me fiercely.

 

I bless each of us with water from Red Willow river and thank her for bringing us to this place.

Guardians, thank you for your presence here…IMG_2878.JPG

The Turning of the Wheel

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Guardians…

I invoke the Wild Goddess who comes to me through the Lady of the Plants.

The Fall Equinox is the time of “the gathering in” and this year I long to gather the pieces of myself back into one as we move into the dark of the year. This coming to the desert has been a time of wonder and wandering but also filled with difficult practical adjustments all having to do with this little stone/adobe brick house that seems to have problems with locks, broken windows and screens with holes, videos, and more serious, a gas leak. Having lived in Guadalupe’s house for six weeks I feel detached from “Her,” no doubt due to the fragmented parts of myself that struggle to regain grounding, and some semblance of balance and perhaps because it isn’t yet “Her Time.” (?) For the past couple of days a strange depressed state is pushing down hard on me. Oh no, someone cries out – not here too. This, with all this beauty around me, the little red or golden hills, the stark reptilian mountains that weave layer after layer of depth into the whole… Tiny whiptail lizards are scurrying about. Yesterday I saw the first male sagebrush lizard I have seen since Shadow’s death with his shimmering cobalt blotches regarding me with interest while sitting on the rock wall. Shadow’s sagebrush (fringed) that I planted did survive; little green sprouts push up new leaves and I feel like this lizard lives on in me! Yesterday new friend took me to a “Lizard house”… a possible future rent. I picked up a piece of chert (stone) and brought it home with the intention of creating a thread to this lovely house. Today I went to El Rito and met an artist I liked ever so much and she too has a little studio in the trees – no view but much less rent.  I brought home chert from the artists house as well.  Someone else may also have a place to rent. I have nothing to lose by looking for another place for the future if not now but my favorite is the Lizard House facing my favorite Sierra Negra mountain range…

I scattered many wild seeds yesterday while picking up more! Many wildflowers are seeding up and I have spent joyous moments encountering exquisite mounds of lavender a bouquet of which was given to me as a gift. Deep purple, magenta, lavender and pale blue wild asters line the washes and back roads. The buttery yellow chimisa, and blazing stars stun me with their beauty; all of the latter are just coming into bloom even though the fall equinox is upon us. The snakeweed is fading like the sun. Best of all last night it rained (and rain continued through the turning with lightning crackling through the inky blue  skies). I think Nature is blessing the desert because the air is unbelievably sweet and fresh, permeated with wild sages. I have seeds everywhere in the house! Pinion nuts and pine cones, and bean shaped beeweed pods, and the prickly pods of Sacred Datura. This little house is also filled with Artemisia frigida, the sweetest sage of all …and I lit a smudge stick that I made to purify and cleanse the air of this baffling dark energy that swirls around me.

I think of the ancient wild goddess Artemis and her precedents who live on through the telling of Her Stories…. Artemis’s love for animals, women, and the wild stag in particular seems like a powerful influence that may guide me now as it has before. I long for the presence of this ancient wild goddess’s healing power… When the fringed sagebrush called to me I heard the call but didn’t know what it meant. I cry out especially to the fringed sagebrush Artemesia frigida because this is the one I first fell in love with…I trust that she will help me sort through the tangle of dream threats and possibilities that are materializing before me.

The quail and rabbits are a joy as are the canyon towhees and the mourning doves. Yesterday the bird – bath was on the wing with astonishing cobalt western mountain bluebirds gathering for a drink. Later a deep blue pinion jay also visited. The hummingbirds have left except for a few stragglers. Less wondrous is the heavily spotted fat ground squirrel who finally found us and devours seeds like a hoover vacuum that can’t stop running! I watch for the stars to rise in the night sky waiting eagerly for the velvet curtain to drop suddenly as a glowing orb slips below the horizon. Venus is a jewel in the western sky.

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Although a southwestern exposure is hard on my eyes I have fallen in love with these sunsets. I have also become attached to Guadalupe’s house in spite of the many problems that she has with her structure. I really don’t want to abandon her now; but my vision is clouded and I must allow the future to guide me. I don’t understand how I could have been so sure about coming here when this house has been such an issue, and boundary violations have been extreme. Perhaps trial by fire is part of some kind of initiation? Perhaps I relied too much on what I wanted and needed? Perhaps all of this has nothing to do with me at all? … Perhaps it’s both. I discovered that no one has ever inhabited this house for long and that may be part of the problem too. However, the desert has been kind and oh so generous with her bounty. One day last month I finally felt I had turned a corner and then Shadow died, smashed in the door by an aggressive woman, followed by the deaths of a hummingbird and a number of finches. Continuous stomach issues remind me that my poor body is still protesting.

Lily B’s attack was bizarre and terrifying; yet Debra took me to a wonderful vet who saved his life and now he is flying free and bathing in the afternoon warmth that spreads through this house… I have made a few friends, and most people seem kind in this small community where there really are things to do. A couple of days ago I had a sharp momentary sense that all the problems would eventually work themselves out and that I can stay here after all… because as upsetting as they might have been most are being resolved – even the gas leak is scheduled to be worked on – but then that feeling faded… I may be stuck in an overreaction? (equinox dream suggests no – the threat is real) I don’t know how to trust myself because I have to live through something to understand it…I will be 71 in a few days. I swing back and forth between the usual extremes without clear vision.

On the night of September 17th a dream told that Lily would sing again, and the next morning he cooed. It felt like a miracle.

I have acted out this seed gathering time in a very satisfying way feeling as if I am participating in the ancient ways of the Grandmothers whose gathering of seeds, whose weavings, whose pottery created the first peaceful culture without weapons or war…If it happened once the pattern is there to be lived through once again. I continue to act out this story, choosing to believe in Her…even as I give thanks for this last day of equal light and dark. The wheel is turning towards the winter night…

I remind myself that balance is an illusion. Even the Earth stays in balance for just a moment before  turning…

May She Bless Us All.

Guardians….