Monday, May 1, 2023

Martin Shaw in Truro, NS

When I first read something of Martin Shaw’s work, my body rumbled. I won't mention which book, but it wasn’t the only time I experienced a deep inner rumble while listening to the voice of an OTHER. Another time was while I listened to a conversation between Tyson Yunkaporta and his wife Megan Kelleher on the Future Thinkers podcast - Indigenous Thinking in Times of Transition. The deep convulsing of my unconscious self responded to these voices as if they were speaking with my own unheard voice. A version of myself that had absolutely had enough of not being heard, not being seen, not being acknowledged, was a potential in me that was not willing to stand another moment of being ignored. You see, I was under the spell gifted to me at birth (insert sad emoji face), by traumatic early childhood domestic violence, a dissolution of my barely established ego, that alluded I was not real, that what I felt and experienced was not relevant to the mainstream conversation that was happening in my home and elsewhere. And this REAL me, was not having another second of life under a rock. Not once it heard itself speaking in the voices of these two men and a woman.


My experience of Martin Shaw live and in person, at the confluence of fires of Beltane & Walpurgis was life affirming. YES, I was real. His voice was truly my forgotten sacred OTHER. The one hidden for decades under the accumulated dust of dying stars. The unconscious me that had rumbled loudly and thrown me out of my sad illusion of a disgruntled and deep contraindication of life on THIS earth, was also an animated growler of the angelic kind. One of the Sidhe, was HE. This new earth contained the old earth too. And it was as REAL as the one I was standing on. I even have a picture now to prove it (thank you SOM for posting it)… complete with bonfire between me and this enchanted OTHER, in the same local space (BTW, that is me in the bottom right of the image, in the wicker chair, in the front row under a blanket). Phew. I am so glad I have all the proof I need now. Thank you Old World Sir, for being so ROMANTIC in your storytelling, while being simultaneously GRUMPY about it, like an enchanted dwarf speaking riddles into my soft underbelly.

On the drive home from this affair I swore out loud You Bastard you awoke me from my slumber and now I want to change. FUCK GOD DAMN it you prick! Where were you when I was 7 and needed you? Where were you when I was 14 and tried to give myself away to any taker while I was still young and fresh and unplucked?

Oh, right, I had you buried safely under a rock and was quickly learning how to KNOT listen to you. The HOW was fast becoming a lie I would tangle myself in for years to come. So NOW you show up in stark clarity, the SUN to mirror my forsaken MOON and you politely decline my GIFTS of sacred mead (as was right for you to do)… STILL. I am so bloody wounded and OPENLY grateful to you for having finally come to my shore to grace me with your incredible GIFTS.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, said three times to honour YOU and the memory of HOW to be held by a resurfacing TRUST, an emerging and unfurling trust in the sanctity of LIFE. Thank you dear Martin for all that you stand for, for HOW you’ve stood for it, both privately and publicly, and most of all, with the GRACE in which you’ve stood steadfastly with it throughout your life, and for remembering what I could not. The TRURO show (the 2nd Truro to you!) was and will always be a truly beautiful treasure.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Wanderer

 The Wanderer

“How often the lone-dweller anticipates
some sign, this Measurer’s mercy
— must always must—
mind-caring, along the ocean’s windings,
stirring rime-chill seas, hands as oars
many long whiles, treading the tracks of exile—
the way of the world an open book always.” (1–5)

So spoke the earth-stepper, a memorial of miseries
slaughter of the wrathful, crumbling of kinsmen:

“Often, every daybreak, alone I must
bewail my cares. There’s now no one living
to whom I dare mumble my mind’s understanding.
I know as truth that it’s seen suitable
for anyone to bind fast their spirit’s closet,
hold onto the hoards, think whatever — (8–14)

“Can a weary mind weather the shitstorm?
I think not.
Can a roiling heart set itself free?
I don’t think so.
So often those hustling for the win must
clamp down grim mindings in their coffer,
just as I ought fetter my inborn conceit,
often wounded, wanting where I know,
kindred pulled away, how many winters now?
I shrouded my giver in dark earth
and wended away worrisome,
weather-watching the wrapful waves,
hall-wretched, seeking a center,
far or near, where they might be found,
in some mead-hall, who knows of my kind,
willing to adopt a friendless me,
though they be joyful enough. (15–29a)

“The well-travelled know how slicing
sorrow can be by one’s side,
short a struggle-friend, however dear.
The ways of wandering wind him round
not even a wire of wound gold—
a frigid fastness, hardly any fruits of the fold.
This one lists the hall-lads swilling rings,
giver-drenched in youngsome days,
in both furnishing and feasting.
Joys all flown, vanished all away! (29b-36)

“Therefore one knows who long forgoes
the friendly words of their first,
when sleep and sorrow stand together
clutching at the crestfallen alone.
Somehow seems that somewhere inside
this one enwraps his lord and kisses his lord,
and laps both hands and head
on his knee, when, once upon a year
blurry in time now, one thrived by the throne —
too soon rousing, a friendless singular
seeing all around a fallowness of waves,
sea-birds bathing, fanning their feathers,
ice and snow hurtling, heaved up with hail. (37-48)

“So heavy and heavier the hurt in heart
harrowing for the lost. Sorrow made new
whenever recalling pervades the mind,
greeting kindred joyfully, drinking in the look of them
fellowable and fathoming—
                                              they always swim away.
Gulls ghost-call — I don’t know their tongue too well,
much of their comfort weird. Worrying made new
to that one who must send more and more, every day,
a bleary soul back across the binding of waves. (49-57)

“Therefore I cannot wonder across this world
why my mind does not muster in the murk
when I ponder pervading all the lives of humans,
how suddenly they abandon their halls,
proud princes and young. Right here in the middle
it fumbles and falls every day — (58-63)

“No one can be wise before earning their lot of winters
in this world. The wise one, they stay patient:
not too heart-heated, not so hasty to harp,
not too weak-armed, nor too wan-headed,
nor too fearful nor too fey nor too fee-felching,
and never tripping the tongue too much, before it trips them. (64-9)

“That one bides their moment to make brag,
until the inner fire seizes its moment clearly,
to where their secret self veers them.

Who’s wise must fore-ken how ghostly it has been
when the world and its things stand wasted —
like you find, here and there, in this middle space now —
there walls totter, wailed around by winds,
gnashed by frost, the buildings snow-lapt.
The winehalls molder, their wielder lies
washed clean of joys, his peerage all perished,
proud by the wall. War ravaged a bunch
ferried along the forth-way, others a raptor ravished
over lofty seas, this one the hoary wolf
broke in its banes, the last a brother
graveled in the ground, tears as war-mask. (70-84)

“That’s the way it goes—
the Shaper mills middle-earth to waste
until they stand empty, the giants’ work and ancient,
drained of the dreams and joys of its dwellers.” (85-7)

Then one wisely regards this wall-stead,
deliberates a darkened existence,
aged in spirit, often remembering from afar
many war-slaughterings, and speaks these words: (88-91)

“Where has the horse gone?
Where are my kindred?
Where is the giver of treasure?
Where are the benches to bear us?
Joys of the hall to bring us together?
No more, the bright goblet!
All gone, the mailed warrior!
Lost for good, the pride of princes!

“How the space of years has spread —
growing gloomy beneath the night-helm,
as if it never was! (92-6)

“Tracks of the beloved multitude, all that remains
walls wondrous tall, serpents seething—
thanes stolen, pillaged by ashen foes
gear glutting for slaughter — we know this world’s way,
and the storms still batter these stony cliffs.
The tumbling snows stumble up the earth,
the clash of winter, when darkness descends.
Night-shadows benighten, sent down from the north,
raw showers of ice, who doesn’t hate humanity? (97-105)

All shot through in misery in earthly realms,
fortune’s turn turns the world under sky.
Here the cash was a loan.
Your friends were a loan.
Anyone at all, a loan.
Your family only ever a loan—
And this whole foundation of the earth wastes away!” (106-10)

So says the wise one, you don’t hear him at all,
sitting apart reading their own runes. (111)
It’s better to clutch at your counsel,
you ought never manifest your miseries
not too quickly where they well,
unless the balm is clear beforehand, 
keep whittling at your courage. (112-14a)

It will be well for those who seek the favor,
the comfort from our father in heaven,
where a battlement bulwarks us all. (114b-5)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Crude Astro Artistry

Just beginning a foundations course in astrology through AstrologosUK.

This is the first lesson, determining a planet's strength or weakness by sign in a natal chart.

Rulerships, Detriments, Exaltations, and Fall are derived from Medieval Astrologer's Al-Qabisi and Giudo Bonatti.

Crude Astro Artistry - Ink, Graphite and Waxy Pigment ©2023

Monday, March 20, 2023

New Moon in Aries

The mysteries associated with the tarot and the moon can be understood as being cyclical patterns representing basic contrasting patterns between light and darkness. The fundamental relationship between these two polarities, which define each other, can illuminate the principles which underly all of reality.

Using the solar cycle, the lunar cycle, and the first four major arcana of the tarot as the starting point, we can see how a framework of understanding can emerge from the fundamental relationship between darkness and light, and maybe, how to use it to create systems of awareness, both emergent and repeatable.

If we start with the ‘no moon’ phase, we may see that as a beginning. Even though in cyclic time there really is no beginning, we have to start somewhere. So here we are at the spring equinox and the celestial pattern representing this time-phase in the solar cycle is Aries (fire). We can start with that as a beginning of a new growth phase in the northern hemisphere, and correlate that with the new growth period of the new moon towards the first quarter, in a lunar cycle.

The first major Arcana card, the symbol of The Magician, and the number 1, would represent the entire solar season of spring, new growth, warmth (fire) and a renewal of nature after a fallowing period of rest, cold, darkness and decay (winter). This is a period of time that is emerging, not from nothing, but from the decayed remains of a previous solar cycle’s maturity and death.

At the first quarter, the summer solstice, the symbol of the moon in it’s ‘half full” growing phase (waxing), takes the form of the second major Arcana card, the symbol of the High Priestess, the number 2. Here there is clear definition of light and dark in equal parts and the relationship between them is observed by the astrological sign of Cancer (water). There is separation between light and darkness. There is promise. There is fluidity, softness, and awareness of the invisible.

The full moon phase, which lasts at most a few days, is represented by third major Arcana card, the symbol of The Empress, and the number 3. The astrological time period astrologically is marked by the autumn equinox and the astrological sign of Libra (air). Growth has reached its peak and the waning period begins. It is a time for letting go, for completion, for gratitude of the harvest. It’s also a time for knowing, defining and acceptance of limits.

The third quarter (waning) moon is represented by growing darkness and receding outward expression. The accumulated wisdom of the cycle is stored in an inner embodied awareness. The astrological time period is represented by the winter solstice and the astrological sign of Capricorn (earth). The fourth major arcana card, the symbol of The Emperor, and the number 4. It begins with the awareness of fallow times to come. There is a need to protect and remember the family, the home and the hearth. It’s a time for cutting away everything unable to respond to the endurance of darker, colder, drier times.

Each of the first four major arcana transcend and include the previous symbols and create the stable foundation of nature. The High Priestess contains both the symbol of the number 1 and the Magician, as well as the awareness of the number 2, the duality of separation, of past and present. The Empress contains the symbol of The Magician’s fire, newness, and uniqueness or oneness, the High Priestess’s awareness of duality, and the fecund fullness of connection all of nature, it’s oneness, it’s duality, and it’s regenerative capacity in both inner and outer realms. The Emperor, contains all the symbols of the previous 3, as well as having the capacity to transcend and include the full understanding of death as part of the regenerative cycle.

The tarot deck images are from the Druidcraft Tarot deck by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm with illustrations by Will Worthington.