Seasons are like tides which ebb and flow seamlessly from one to the next. Upon these tides, waves of high days and holidays rise and fall which we as practitioners of the magical artes may exploit, riding the crest allowing the currents to take us to new found awareness, wisdom and dare I say ‘enlightenment’.
Do not therefore be confused by the title of this blog for Good Friday and Easter featured highly in my spring celebrations a great deal this year , Spring is after all a season, not a day. It is another tide (often the strongest) and the Equinox, Lady Day, Good Friday and Easter are all but waves which I personally like to make the most of. Granted these days have come to mean a great deal to Christians across the world over and Christian festivals they may be, but to anyone out there who would happily close their eyes , put fingers in ears whilst shouting “La La La La” at the very thought of Easter I say to you this… don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, for there is power in a story of Death and Resurrection, no matter who’s it is…Let us not forget that JC was a King, a sacred King who sacrificed flesh and blood for the good of his people and earned the right to return. You could say he conquered Fate…something we as Traditional Witches strive for on a daily basis with each flowing tide and rising wave. Odin the All Father did much the same as did Osiris…these are but masks behind which shines forth a greater truth. Owing in large part to some personal work I am currently undergoing, Good Friday and Easter held a special significance for me this year… And with board waxed and at the ready I made good use of the truly ‘gnarly’ waves this Easter weekend seemed to bring in abundance.
Good Friday brought with it perfect weather, unusual for a British Bank holiday weekend. The day kicked off with a walk in our usual area. Life literally buzzed all around…bees, birds and butterflies also out to exploit the seasonal bounty of flowers emerging from the darkness. Bluebells, Narcissus, Wood Anemone as well as Blackthorn, Apple and Cherry blossom adorned the woodland. The woods were a veritable riot of sound and colour. The first order of business was to gather the young fresh tips of Nettle and Goosegrass for lunch along with a few leaves of wild garlic to throw in the pot. I also gathered more pine resin (the most amazing stuff which produces the most ‘Horny’ scent ever) as well as Oak bark for a new woodland incense blend I have planned. We also stumbled upon what looked like a snail cemetery…littered with shells which I gathered for use at a later date.
We sat at our favourite clearing, under a solitary yew tree, listening to the natural spring waters trickle by… the land pulsated and throbbed beneath and all around us, the green spirits were stirring…never has the phrase “morning wood” seemed more apt!
Back home I cracked on with Nettle soup…an acquired taste and something I have never tried. It’s actually Nettle and Sweet potato soup which I served with Holy bread and Elderberry wine from last year, now matured and tasting divine. Hot Cross Buns were in the oven, daffodils adorned the Hearth Shrine, a candle was lit and lunch was served.
Out in the garden my little baby belladonna plants were transplanted to their final home. Like a doting parent I have been checking on the every morning… they have been a labour of love and to see them growing little by little every day is such a joy. Rosemary cuttings were also planted out (as is traditional for Good Friday) along with Lavender cuttings. More seeds were sown…Basil, Sunflower, Sweetpeas and Mandrake and Henbane now free from the cold of the fridge. Let’s hope they do as well as the Belladonna! Hopefully they will thrive here amongst my Phalenopsis Orchids, now in full bloom and looking magnificent.
Once the sun set, a bright full moon rose in the sky. This night demanded nothing more than a simple sacrament of more holy bread and vivid red Elderberry wine. Simple is often mistaken for slapdash…don’t be fooled. Awareness of the process is what makes ritual…not the process itself. Tuning in, riding the wave and experiencing that crash as the energy hits the shore line is something I can only ever truly feel when it’s kept simple. Bread and wine was shared between me and my God, a sacred exchange I had only an inkling of before which thanks to the season took on a new freshness and profundity. As bread was laid upon the earth wine was poured over the sacred stones which ran swiftly over the cold grey rock like blood over an altar soaking the bread back into the earth from whence it came.
There was only one way to finish off a spring festival as special as this…
Nothing makes me happier than being in a room full of revellers, spirits raised in unison to a common beat, some of us aware, some of us oblivious to the truly primal sprit moving amongst the sweating bodies, smiling faces and tapping feet…He is waking up, Beltane is coming…