Your points of light
glow in grave darkness.
Hecate’s Moon was red.
The raven sliced the sky into shards.
The river caught shivering stars.
We remember our First Mother…a She Bear
we return broken parts to the Whole.
See the Wolf who hides behind the Tree?
Welcome her in.
Only then can we begin…
Last night I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine that addressed the non- generative aspects of darkness. Just in this last week we have covered the problems of both envy and hatred. Yesterday I spent much of the day struggling with negative feelings, knowing from experience that these would pass. Sometimes, we need permission from others to feel what we feel, and validation that our feelings no matter how fiery are temporary.
When my friend’s partner (who is called Mr. Bear) heard the wolf singing, he came in to get her and she went outdoors with him to listen to the iconic cry of the wilderness. It was All Hallows Eve. Later I learned that when she heard the wolf howl, she howled back, and also howled for me!
Both generative and non generative aspects belong to this dark time of the year which in some traditions begins with the Feast of the Dead, the honoring of the Ancestors, and our own journeying through the dark. Late fall is an uncomfortable time for many.
The above poem was written last year at this time to acknowledge the importance of creating space for the wolf in us and her wild wolf feelings, both positive and negative. Animals incorporate both positive and negative attributes without fear and live out their lives in a state of wholeness that we humans can only imagine.
To think about what it would be like to feel naturally whole I personally am drawn to the ancient image of the Great Bear who circumnavigates the skies, and whose son provides direction helping humans to navigate the dark and the unknown. The celestial bear meets the bears on earth who are preparing for hibernation underground or under the snow. In January, mothers will give birth to cubs, beginning a new life cycle. Together these earth and sky images of the Great Bear offer comfort and remind me that the cycles of living, dying, and birthing are One.
Is this why the Great Bear was worshiped by Neanderthals at the dawn of humankind and later by other humans? These peoples looked to the stars and saw patterns that helped them navigate, and could easily see the shifting seasons on earth mirrored by stars in the sky. More than 50 thousand years ago bear skulls adorned cave walls in Europe and elsewhere. Although we continue to speculate how bear skulls, bones, and later bear effigies were used (in spite of Marija Gimbutas’s scholarly work), attests to our refusal to align ourselves with the Power’s of Nature as wolf, bear, bird or frog. I wonder about this obsessive need to substitute a human image for an animal when it comes to the divine. I think it reveals the terrible split that allows humans to cry out for peace and continue to wage war. We are a broken species that has lost touch with our bodies and that of our mother, the Earth.
(Lupita, by the way, translates as Little Wolf in Spanish.)