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Amid the Storms Before Walpurgisnacht: A Benediction

The rumble of Thunder is the beating wings of a golden eagle; lightning is his radiating shriek. He storms through the sky, frightening away the spirits of cold and want and disease that cling stubbornly with frozen fingers, washing the land to make way for the witches of the valleys and mountains. Five nights from now, they will mount their animals and household implements and sweep over the land, blessing it with fruitfulness and power. Then the in-between time that began in March will end. Summer will begin.

The sun is drawing nearer. Heat is seeping into the air. The time for fireflies and campfire nights is coming. The slugs and worms know it; the birds and deer know it; the trees know it, too. We are all watching, listening, stretching our bodies to make room for all the life that will manifest through us in many ways.   Can you feel it all around you? The twisting and whirring, knots tightening and releasing in ecstasy? Existence is a swirling storm, roiling and flinging and drawing inward indiscriminately. We are the hail made by the rhythmic catch-and-release of time and space and memory.

Make your offerings. Pour beer, whiskey, rum, or fresh-made juices and drink it with the spirits you love and who love you. Feel it set your soul on fire and your spirits feast on the radiant power. Burn oak, ash, or pine logs in sacred fires (and all thoughtfully made fires are sacred). Sing the oldest songs you know. Open yourself to the darkly glittering night, to the rosy dawn, to the golden day, to the thundering storms and rain, to the lavender dusk. Let yourself have them fully, and let them have you, and discover what is made in the meeting.

 

Image by Arthur Rackham

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