Dead of darkest Night in silent Wood,
Heeding the calling that stirs in my blood!
Sacred space swept, circle cast clear,
Soon we start, soon You will be here!
Heart and Intent aligned as One,
Now this Rite truly has Begun!
With Badger, Owl, Fox and Hare,
This Sacred night we do now share!
Calling Dark Mother to claim mine by Right!
As Daughter of Moon and Child of the Night!
Horned One approaches, feel him near!
God and Goddess, You are Here!
Calling You Forth with all of my Might,
Witch, Lord and Lady joined on this Night!
Connection shared with all around,
Honouring You on this Sacred Ground!
Listen hard, hear wind in the trees,
Owl's hoot, wonder what She sees?
Movement seen from corner of eye,
What is it now that we do spy?
Distant Voices half heard in Mist,
You know what I mean, You get the gist!
Working together past and future are seen,
With sight sharply clear and oh so keen!
Deeper workings now to do,
Intent aligned, us and You!
Yet all too soon tis time to end,
Energy sent, others to mend!
Libations given, circle released,
This Rite has now totally Ceased!
Clear the area before we Go,
What has occured here, none will know!
Suzanne Read 10th November 2010
Greetings once more Seeker, welcome and thanks for returning!
I'm conscious that I seem to have been focussing the blog on ecological issues recently, with 2 of the last 3 posts being about our wish to live a more ecologically sound livestyle and animal rights, so todays poem and post are a return to more spiritual matters.
I found myself driving to work this morning with numerous rhymes firing around my head, a vision of a Rite in darkened woods late at night (somewhere we've been so many times, somewhere that calls to your soul), it felt as if I was being 'told' to write about past experiences and those yet to come, as if I was being called to try and share the heightened awareness, that deep connection and the tingle of excitement that comes from holding a Rite in the woods at night!
I recall the first time we were asked to carry out a Rite in the woods at night, this was the first Circle Casting done with the given techniques whilst training with a Family Group, previously we'd done our own Rites in our own Sacred Space (a loft conversion in the old house, that we'd decorated and made special by our focus and the energy we shared in making it) and out of doors in daylight, but being told we had to go out at night, alone into the woods to cast a circle (and just experience the feeling of being there, all alone in the night) was something that caused a little concern, how would we feel, were we to be safe, and what sort of connection would we be able to find!
I shall share here some of what ocurred, written at the time as a part of the reports I had to complete for the Families training, which was back almost 10 years ago, I hope it is of some interest and use to you!
"Dark Moon, and finally I felt ready to go out and do my first circle, after having not felt the time was quite right for the past two weeks I finally found it right to go on the Dark Moon, surely not a coincidence? The night was cold, low cloud, windy at the house when we left and not as dark as we’d have liked (due to all the light pollution from Manchester and the works the other side of the Canal). We both wrapped up warm, packed a few bits n pieces in my rucksack and at 930pm headed off to the park that borders the Ship Canal, deciding once we had got there to use two separate bits of the ‘Beach’ area, Lee in the lee, myself on the headland. When I got up there it was to notice just off the corner of the beach a wonderfully sheltered spot underneath a tree. I made my way down to it to find the tree was directly to north at the edge of my circle area, and the canal to West, again right at the edge of my Circle area, perfect correspondances and representations in themselves! The woods felt peaceful, purposeful and more ‘alive’ at night than they did during the day, though whether this was due to my own senses being heightened by the darkness or something else I am not as yet sure!
There was a branch of the tree descending right to the left (west) of the center of my circle, which made a handy place to put my rucksack and supplies whilst I set everything up. I started by sweeping the area free deosil of any impurities, visualising it cleaning the area, (as although it was out of doors and therefore I felt shouldn’t need cleansing it was obviously an area that kids had played in recently). I then placed my crystal ball to north, just in front of the tree, my feather and incense to the East, the lit lantern to the South, and my chalice to West. In the center were myself, my wand (found late last week, it was a small branch I took from a tree Lee showed me, that I took to try and identify the tree, which was Hawthorn, and measured surprisingly (though maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at anything coincidental anymore! Lol!) exactly an Elle! and a small cake to share later.
I relaxed and spent some time just getting in touch with the surroundings, then taking my spare water I marked the boundary of the circle I was casting. I stood relaxed for a moment or two, and asked the Mother and Dark Father to witness my rite. I was relaxed, aware of every movement around me, the tree’s creaking gently in the wind, and felt somewhat connected to my surroundings.
I started at North, and with my wand traced the outline of my circle widdershins, chanting the Chalm of Making (Druidic, spoken in Welsh / Gaelic and has a rhyme that builds power for myself ‘Amal Nathras, Uthas Bethod, Dochyell Gyenveh’ – ok, I know it’s a bit theatrical, but it seemed to work for me!) I walked the circle edge chanting stronger with each repetition, a total of three times around, as this is what felt comfortable to me.
Next I stood facing North, and invited the Elementals, ‘To those who reside in the North, come forth and witness my Rite, lend me your presence and power’, backing this up with the suggested visualisation, and seeing the tree above and to the North of me in it’s stark beauty. I felt the cold and sure ground beneath me, and a sense of timeless ageless surety, firm, grounding, relentless, stability.
Then I moved to West, and invited the Elementals, ‘To those who reside in the West, come forth and witness my Rite, lend me your presence and power’, again visualising as suggested, and looking to the dark and still waters of the canal to my West. I felt fluidity, emotions coursing through me, a sense of being able to flow and change shape as required by experience and situation.
Next South, ‘To those who reside in the South, come forth and witness my Rite, lend me your presence and power’, Visualising the Sun as I stood facing that way, and conscious of the flickering candle light. I felt warmth, the feeling of protection one gets when in a Father’s arms, the warm glow of friendship and also more, the passion of uncontrollable lust, the heat of the furnace.
Finally East, ‘To those who reside in the East, come forth and witness my Rite, lend me your presence and power’, visualising the wind on my face as I looked to the East, which although it was a windy night wasn’t noticeable inside my circle! I could hear the trees being moved by the wind, creaking and branches squeaking as they rubbed together, but it was not something I could physically feel within the circle itself! I felt a cool moist breeze, the sense of a crisp morning in the mountains, inspiration and intuition, but also ordered thoughts, logic.
Then I stood in the center of my circle, eyes shut and visualised the circle coming above and around me, and my heart glowing as the diamond at it’s center, this felt true and good, as though it was more than any other circle I had done before!
After this I sat for a while on the tree branch, facing East, closed my eyes and meditated, in my eyes at first I could see purple / blue spots, but then I became aware of flickering to my right, and began to sense more of my surroundings, it was as though I could ‘see’ with my eyes shut! I stayed there for a few minutes, and then heard the metal gate at the edge of the woods bang violently, so opened my eyes and looked that way for a few minutes. It was soon after this I saw a light shine upon the grass, it appeared to come from the headland to my North, and was shining downwards onto the grass, though on telling Lee of this he says he didn’t hear the gate bang at all, and that he shone his light in the direction I saw the flash, though as he was below me and the land after rising up to a lip from where he was then fell away towards me, I am pretty sure the light source wasn’t him, as it would have had to shine through solid ground or be reflected 180 degrees for it to appear as I saw it! After I was fairly certain that I was still alone I sat on the floor in the middle of the circle, facing West, and closed my eyes to meditate once more. This time I seemed to float off somewhere else, time seemed to stand still and I have no visual clues to where I was, except it felt different, fuzzy, confusing and almost misty. When I opened my eyes and looked to the South (my left) it was to see mist surrounding the tops of the trees, and seemingly thick in between the branches, but to the West, North and East there was no hint of mist at all! It was almost a shock, it certainly surprised me, and Lee agreed it was strange too! Later when we left I noticed there was no mist anywhere else but around these trees.
After this I blessed the cake and water, ate a little and left an offering to the Old Ones, thanked the Guardians for their presence, ‘To those who reside in the East / South / West / North, stay if you will, depart if you must, thankyou for your protection this dark night’. I then took my wand and walked the Circle boundary deosil, saying ‘This circle is open, but unbroken!’
After this we both met up again, and walked home. Reflecting on the whole experience, it was more powerful and had more connection than I have felt before, and there were some parts that certainly made me feel and think more than I had before. Negatives, well, the area we were in was a little too bright for my liking, we are going to have to look further afield to find somewhere darker, and I think more preparation would be certainly useful next time!
In total we were out for 2 hours, it was 1130pm when we got home, yet it had felt like no more than a few minutes since we had left, time I know runs differently within Circle, and this night was certainly no exception! It was cold out, but neither of us felt it, both being extremely warm when we got home!"
Re-reading it again now it surprises me at how far I have come on from this point, the dark woods at night now hold no fear for me, be they familiar ones I am working or unfamiliar ones that I do not yet know, the connection I now feel has no need of Tools, nor for complex Rites, everything has been pared back to the absolute minimum I need, nothing within and without the circle tend to surprise me any longer, its not that I have become jaded, but more I can feel my connection and know when I am safe!
I may well choose in the future to share some of the other writing from some of the Rites we have done, possibly the first Full Moon Rite we did with that Family, although certain of the Family Rites that we attended I cannot post about, they are 'sub rosa', oathbound and cannot be discussed except with those that were present and only then if we are alone!
I hope you found the poem inspiring, and the writing of some interest! Return soon for more of my musings and some more poor attempts at poetry!