Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wulpurgis Nacht

Walpulgis nightIn my absence as of late, I have tried to take some of my extra time and focus on myself and possibly widen my horizons and or mind. Some times this is fruitful. In reading my almanac the last few days, it urged me to explore what is referred to as Wulpurgis Nacht. Having a German background I knew it was of German origin and I have to say it heightened my curiosity.
I love how timing  plays such a key role in our lives.  I often think people do not realize this wonderful mystery of everyday life.  How the powers beyond give us messages at just the right time when we may need such words or nudges.  This urging I think was one of them. 
imagesCA0I1OMKWhen I started to research Wulpurgis Night, I learned that it is a name given to the manner in which Germans (and many other cultures) celebrate May Eve.  It is believed that on Brocken – the highest peak of the Harz Mountain in Germany – at this time a strange light can be seen - known as the Brocken Spectre.  Many think this light comes from the those who celebrate the pagan ways.  Of course with this explanation also comes those who relate it to evil sorcery, Satanism, etc.  But then anyone can find bad in something if they set their mind to it.  I have to laugh at the irony of that because it is just as easy to find good in something if they set their mind to it as well.
bonfireToday marks the eve of May Day, Beltane, and so on.  A time long ago when there were those who danced around fires and asked the spring time to hasten forth.  The bonfires were lit to ward off evil as well as lend a cheerful atmosphere to gather and commune with one another.    There will be many who venture out into the night this eve to once again keep the tradition alive.  Will you be one of them? 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sacred and Silent ~ The Everlasting Yew

On occasion we are blessed with an occurrence in our lives that touches us deeply.  I am of the belief that too often such opportunities are lost to us because of the multitude of noises we allow to clutter our thoughts and mind each day.  Such moments are often sitting silently not in the foreground but in the shade of life. 
Some time back I read “The Sin Eaters Last Confession” as well as “Walking With the Sin Eater” by Ross Heaven.  (Another such blessed occurrence in my life).  Although I loved both books tremendously, the one thing that seemed to stay with me more than anything from them was to take my time walking through nature (as well as life).  Tromping along heavy footed, not looking where you are going will almost always assure that you will step on something that you should have taken the time to savor.  I have implemented this act into my life and have been rewarded in so many ways.  From the tiny little blue flowers that cover my yard in the early months of spring to my wonderful experience and true introduction to the Yew Tree.
I had wrote about the Yew in my earlier Celtic Tree Lore series.  I had regurgitated all the attributes of it and its many forms of symbolism as well as uses etc.  Yet I did them without a personal connection to this wonderful tree.   I love how life has this wonderful little way of helping us to learn from our folly at times.  This was my experience with the Yew. 
mesquite closeOnce a people pleaser I think forever a people pleaser.  Even when you come to grip with the fact that you can not make everyone happy all the time, you still have a yearning to try as best you can.  This is somewhat my motto with my crafting of runes.  It took some time to come to a point where I felt I could actually craft a set of runes for someone else.  I have always felt that the crafting of ones own tools is best and infuses the strongest amount of strength into them.  Yet because of consistent requests I finally began to do so for others.  Still I wanted to help incorporate as much as I could of the one requesting them into my crafting.  This included an attempt to craft from any type of wood requested if I was able to obtain it.  My first experience with this was mesquite, which I was able to obtain via my son who was working in the Texas Panhandle near New Mexico, a place where Mesquite grows in abundance.  It was a lovely experience and likewise I obtained a special love for the wood. 
imagesCA4OKMNYMy courtship with Yew was a bit more drawn out and lengthy.  A set which was requested in October of 2012 and did not get filled until just this last month, a time of almost six months.  What started as a customer who did not know what form of wood she wanted took a winding road of decision until she finally arrived at the Silent Yew.  Her explanations for its choice via correspondence coupled with my own research on the tree would lead me on a journey of respect, admiration and a sincere adoration for the tree.  She eventually sent me a branch from a Yew she had in her yard. Upon its arrival let me say it was love at first sight.  A beautiful branch of almost 5 feet with foliage still attached.  
As I said earlier, it is always best when the experience can be a personal one.  The lessons seem to stay with one longer and the imprint and connection is that much stronger.  In the coming days, I would like to share with you some of the wonders I have come to learn from the Yew.  I hope you will come and take the journey with me. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Yew

yew and cemetary
The wind has sighed upon my leaves
Through many ages passed
A sheltered place for he who grieves
Beneath my branches vast

I reach above towards the sky
`Midst ancient slabs to dwell
O touch me and you yet shall die
Beware the tolling bell

Behold my splendid aspect fixed
Against the falling sun
As there I stand, alone, betwixt
All heav`n and everyone

(Magnificent her posture be
Her shadow softly falls
Upon all those now ever free
Laid down behind stone walls)

Enfolded deep within my boughs
I`ll bear your wearied soul
To carry you, not e`er to rouse,
Then meetly deem you whole

To thus transform and so renew
All set beyond this earth
Deliver each as pure and true
And grant e`erlasting birth
Valerie Dohren ~