Monday, 28 February 2011
The bright sun in the morning sky gives subtle hints of the coming spring as I rise from the restful repose of the night. Birdsong adorns the air as the radiant star of our home seems to make the catkins dance in a golden hue upon the hazel trees of our country home.
Lucifer's warmth brings great strength and heals the soul from the trials and tribulations of the mundane world, stealing brief moments throughout the working day to recharge beneath his brilliance, to gather the spirit together, to make strong that which others would attempt to tear apart by their cruel ignorance, and careless actions.
Life is good in the land of the Cunning man, there is much to be thankful for and many to be thankful to, the fruits of labours past still sweet upon the tongue and the seedlings of the future reach evermore toward the light.
Dragons now are easily slain, those greater plans that conspire against us all in our everyday lives, a large target is easy to hit and there is much truth in the old saying "the harder they come, the harder they fall",and fall they do, with ease together with a greater resolve and not a little cunning.
Yet elf shot does come in many forms and from many places, forcing small wounds upon the individual that at first go unnoticed, if ignored, these may become the fatal cuts and pustulating sores that will indeed still bring us down, those straws that are one by one and once again placed upon the camels back, until the beast is slain.
Action due to circumstance or prior knowledge of certain outcome may be an impossible task and therefor other methods must be brought into play, the bitter curse is not to be employed, repercussions are too severe and the distractions that will ensue only serve to make us wander from a path that is often hard to follow as it is..
Love is a divine gift in all its forms, emotional, physical or platonic, this is the tool to employ in these awkward times.
We need to draw in that feeling, to grasp, not in desperation but to seek out the flow of the wyrd, for the healing that this power can bring, as a dear friend said to me "to eat it as if you were the hungry man at the feast".
The love that you feel within the solar plexus of your body, it emits this perfect emotion yet it gathers it also, as those ignorant asses stretch your being to its very limit it is this divine love that can pull it back to the confines of your earthy form, gathering, stitching together the torn pieces and making you strong once again, no longer stretched to breaking point but like steel, forged anew, each time is like a rebirth, a fresh start and we become more formidable than before, somewhere within the arms of Hecate, safe and untouchable, a bright star that shines between the horns of the master.
These are the true gifts that we are given, us would be priests of the faith, this is the true magic and thankful this one has become for it's influence.
The sun has now set on this beautiful day, there were no dragons to be slain and the rats who gnaw at the bonds of my life are no longer able to bite through forged cables that bind me to the world, I shall me mindful of their presence as I know that soon they will come again, but next time they may have bolt croppers and action may yet be necessary, for now the Blackthorn stays under wraps, as this one is safely wrapped up himself within that divine blanket of virtue and love.
Flags, Flax and Fodder.. Tony
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
The wild wind blows with great force beyond the comfort and warmth of the Cunning Man's home. I lie upon my bed listening to the sounds outside as the hunt rides the sky beyond these walls of stone, I long to travel with them as my spirit awakens to the thrill of the chase, and then something of a different nature is born.
Like mist that clings to the fields and farmyards in the early morning a form takes shape, rising from the very pores of my skin, it gathers itself together, it becomes.
Slowly, it composes itself, rising above me, it has no eyes, yet I know it can see, no hands to feel, yet it can touch what ever it wishes to touch, I in turn feel and experience the quintessence and it's sensations, it's emotions as it tastes freedom for this first time, we are one and the same, I am he and he is me and we together are both separate and whole.
Dancing above my horizontal body in ways that I could only dream of, spinning, turning, flowing from shape to shape, unbound from the restrictions of this mundane form, love feeds our world as we enjoy this moment, distracted from the events outside we experience our meeting instead, we get to know each other, myself meeting myself, a form no longer restricted by the ego, An absolute pleasure, an absolute love and trust, we embrace and become one.
It was a pleasure for Me to meet me, and one I shall treasure.
On and on the wheel turns as we charge headlong into the year, seeds that were planted at the Candlemass have burst forth, both in reality and metaphorically, our dreams and passions slowly become the fruit of our needs and our longing, the food for our journey.
The blessings, curses, pitfalls and boons are mapped out before me, to be forewarned is to be forearmed, times of woe and times of great joy await, to know aids the decisions of the future, the snares and traps that lie along the crooked path shall not come as a surprise to this one, with guile and cunning they may be avoided completely, yet in turn those precious moments shall be welcomed with all the pleasure they deserve, love and companionship, meetings of minds and the forging of friendships all shall pass along this road that once seemed to be such a lonely one.
Once more we found ourselves amongst our kin of the north, Derbyshire although shrouded in cloud and mist gave us the welcome of family and friendship, a beautiful county full of marvelous people.
Meeting family for the first time, instantly recognisable as such and this fact alone never fails to astound, even those who were unable to make it were noticeable by their absence, time and space separate the bodies of our strange dynasty yet at some greater level we, like the spirit that danced above me are whole, we are not bound by those "natural" laws, we are together and could never be confused with strangers.
Faces were put to names and names put to faces, the pagan community of that northern land stands as a flagship to all who would be of that ilk, pleasure comes in leaps and bounds as we meet the Piebald Corvid and his own kith and kin, kind words from kind people bring great strength to my beloved and I.
The Derby Witan a success indeed, I did not see all there was to see, but the words and wisdom of one who's voice filled the auditorium with a flow and grace that comes of no surprise, still flow within, I am sure that if the divine feminine has a telephone then Shani Oates has got the private number to the hot line.
So, a Cunning man returns along many a crooked mile to his Crooked house, his Crooked cat and he carries with him a Crooked sixpence, a gift from another whom I am proud to call Friend, more upstanding than this Crooked man, we shall continue our friendship long into the future, meetings shall take place, as part of my heart now belongs to that blessed county and to those that dwell there of.
Flags,Flax,Fodder and Frigg(for the magpie) . Tony.
Friday, 11 February 2011
Venus gazes down from high upon the rested figure of this would be Cunning one, stirring from a light slumber I stand to greet the soon to be rising sun, dusting the morning frost from my clothes something deep within my soul is beginning to awake.
This is no mystery to me, as only a few hours earlier, beneath the cloak of darkness a divine gift began to emerge, in a smaller way, struggling to exit this spirit shield that is my own body, myself not allowing this part of me full passage into the world for fears known and unknown, preconceptions and misunderstandings.
As the sky toward the east begins to take on the colours of the coming day the song emerges , it is not what I expected it to be, yet it belongs in this moment, sounds flow from the core of my being, permeating through every fibre of the self and out into the wyrd, at first it takes the form of elation, the cry's of the newborn as it is thrown out to the waiting world, then it becomes something other, the wyrd itself, one with the heartbeat of all things at that time, the song of the rising sun, the earth at my feet, the waves that caress the distant shore and the cold winter wind that bites at this one's face, it unites gathers all the parts of my shattered soul, I am the flame, I am the rock, the wave and the sky, I am all and all becomes I in that precious awakening time, I am whole once again.
This is no delusion, I have waited patiently for sprit to find sound my whole life, only I was too caught up in minor distractions to realise, to have enough faith to give birth to this voice, tied down by my own preconceptions.
The chants heard at the festival fires have yet to speak to me, they are of the world and beautiful in their own right yet not on my own frequency, there have been only few occasions when I have heard this sound (one most recently), yet often these are not within my own cultural sphere and I have foolishly not considered the value of such as something that could even possibly belong to me.
I know now that culture or religion have no influence over the song, it transcends all those superficial barriers with ease, it permeates and flows through all things, it should not have come as a surprise to hear the similar sounds flowing from my own lips to that of a First nation American or a Mongolian Shaman, for whoever we are or where ever we may be, the Song is the same and will remain so, it still has an individuality that reflects the spirit that has formed it, yet if two of us from opposite sides of this planet were we to sing together there would be perfect harmony, for we are the vessels through which the world sings.
Perhaps one day my own song may have words, but for now the sounds are enough, it has taken some time for this feeling to settle, the Ritual hangover has now properly subsided which has allowed me the time to consider this gift, I hear the song at all times and know that that will always be so.
The rites of winter still have legs as it were, there is yet much to do, the seeds have been planted but there may still be time for germination to take place. What does the future hold?
For me, well who can tell, there are changes afoot, people to meet and rivers to cross, I have the tools and some knowledge, I look forward to continuing along this path for the rest of my days, grazing on the fruits and fungi I might find along the way.
There is a saying in the world that states "The rich get richer while the poor get poorer", I as have others seen this to relate to financial wealth, that may be true yet it can relate very much to our own world of Gnosis and the gathering of knowledge, to love and companionship, each step along the road to wisdom and friendship brings riches I had never thought possible and continues to do so, within this mundane world there are reflections, my own kin exceed expectation, we are far from financial security but rich beyond the reach of many others.
Travel well my friends, for you truly are a wealthy bunch indeed, I look forward to sharing a fruit or two with you in the future, perhaps fermented in some water for a while before consumption, may the coming tide bring all that you need and take away that which ails you.
So here's to love, life, knowledge and travel, the spirits of the past and those we are yet to meet.
Just don't ask me to sing about it, as my own song may well sound like a tortured goat to normal folk..
Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg.. Tony(the cunning man(well getting there)) Macleod
Thursday, 3 February 2011
The world sleeps.
Night workers and Hedgeriders are all who move within the perfect dark, the cloud clears to reveal the celestial splendour of the heavens while the candles of my compass illuminate the shadows of this sacred liminal space.
The fire springs into life and I enter the realms that to some appear separate from their own, across the bridge and into the round I walk, I stand on sodden turf , Watchers beckon from the quarters, the old ones gather near my oss and the marker is set, this hallowed ground prepared for the work ahead.
Upon my wrists are the fetters of my own failing, upon my ankles the chains of restriction, this prisoner has the keys to freedom within his fingers, wyrd woven and gold in colour, shining, ready to give flight to this wing clipped bird.
Around the circle bright this mill is trod, the sound of Hecate sharpening her sickle ready to greet the coming month is almost audible, yet her weapon is not to be seen on this night, though there is a death of sorts upon the breeze.
The grinding stops and the fetters are thrown into the fire, this charm chokes the flames as smoke pours skyward, panic sets into the heart of this one until the realisation that this is a pact kicks in, I need to do my part, it is not for she alone and I must prove my worth, together we work and in a short time the fire returns to it's radiant beauty, the bounds of my own captivity are consumed by the fire, Sins eaten by flame, chains become ash.
In the distance a Cock crows, not usual for this time of night, the blade must be sharp as this maiden moon steps into the world renewed, work turns to celebration, the mill moves again yet now she turns with the sun, small lights of many colours flash within the trees and hedges, sparks of inspiration to bring in the year at the time when the seeds are returned to the brown earth of this land, for love ,life and knowledge, for family, friends and future the tiny jewels are placed back within the womb, John Barleycorn will be reborn once again.
This rite is complete, though there is far to go, as unfettered I walk the few miles up into the hills and dwellings of the ancestors, accompanied by my oss and those others who would care to join me.
The walk is but a short one, trees and bushes take strange shapes within this black shadowless realm, while night creatures call to each other, I can see why this world could scare those who were perhaps a lesser part of it than I, yet this is my way, a blanket to bring comfort to this traveller, the realm of the dark wanderer is my home.
I stop at the crossroads and make a prayer to our lady, then up the hill to my destination, within the dark the steep sides of this small summit do not seem a chore and it is not long before I see the walled enclosure that was once home to a happy band of folk, stopping at the entrance I seek permission for my vigil, the wind blows at my back and the ancient place welcomes me in.
I take my position to the east of this village, upon the rampart and above the ditch, climbing into the confines of my bedroll I make my rest and await the coming of the candlemass sun.
Sleep takes me to wondrous places and I am reminded of those who slept upon the fairy mounds of our blessed Isle, although the place I now lie is not a place of death but very much one of life.
I am awoken at the sight of Venus, bright herald, the morning star and know that Lucjfer's own rising will not be far behind, cold morning air bites at my face as I raise a glass to one who remains with me, together in this place of ancient wonder the light of day creeps slowly across the waking world Stirring all the seeds I planted earlier to life.
The year is complete, blessed we are indeed.
Blessings of the season to all you and all yours.
Flax,Flags and Fodder.. Tony.