Widdershins

Like Rain it Sounded Till it Curved

 

Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then I new ’twas Wind –
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as sand –
When it had pushed itself away
To some remotest Plain
A coming as of Hosts was heard
It filled the Wells, it pleased the Pools
It warbled in the Road –
It pulled the spigot from the Hills
And let the Floods abroad –
It loosened acres, lifted seas
The sites of Centres stirred
Then like Elijah rode away
Upon a Wheel of Cloud.

~by Emily Dickinson

Cold Iron

“Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
“Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
“What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”
“Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,
For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”

“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
“As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
“Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
“See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

“Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

“Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”
“Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

by Rudyard Kipling

Midsummer

Midsummer is here now,
The longest day of the year.
The sun is shining down
And springtime has now flown.
But soon winter will come
…And the battle will be fought again
To place another king
Upon his six-month throne.

~Raymond Buckland

Summer Invocation

Fireflies and summer sun
in circles round
we become as one.
Singing songs at magick’s hour
we bring the winds
and timeless powers.
Turning inward, hand in hand
we dance the hearth
to heal the land.
Standing silent, beneath the sky
we catch the fire
from out God’s eye.
Swaying breathless, beside the sea
we call the Goddess
so mote it be!

~by Trish Telesco

(This can be used as a chant, part of a spiral dance, or to invoke quarters.)

Kali Meditation For the Solstice

She is mad, Her lover is mad, and I am mad for loving Her!
This world is bewitched by the lovely Goddess.
No one can describe how lovely She is, how glorious,
how perfect Her gestures, how sudden Her moods.
Her lover, poisoned with love for her, calls out Her name
endlessly, singing Kali’s name over and over and over.
Life has its currents, cycles, tides which ebb and flow.
She looks upon them all with equanimity.
Nothing is opposite in her mind: not life, not death;
not love, not hate; not the self, not the void.
Your raft, the poet said, floats upon the sea of life.
It drifts up with the tide, and down with the ebb.
But the Goddess is there. The Goddess is always there.

~ Indian Poet Ramakrishna

On this day, when light and darkness are briefly equal, before the light grows and swells and carries the world into summer, it is good to meditate upon the ultimate falsity of all divisions. Kali, the fierce Hindu goddess, reminds us of that truth: that existence is not bound by our false dualities. There is no light, no darkness in Kali’s world. What she offers us is not a gray mixture of black and white, but a
paradoxical world in which both exists in all moments, at all points, in all ways. Life is both pain and pleasure, love and hate. Kali is beyond both, but includes both.

Meditating upon Kali is one of the great traditions of Hindu India. The paradoxes and mysteries she expresses are almost beyond words, though great poets like Ramakrishna have spent lifetimes trying. As the sun dances briefly in her perfect balance, let us join the poet in marveling at the power of the goddess.

From: Goddess Companion

The Folklore of Falling Stars

Some scholars speculate, based on common legends between various cultures around the globe, that the old practice of “wishing upon a shooting star” originates from a time when people believed that the gods would occasionally open the dome of heaven to peek in on what the mortals were doing on Earth. This opening of the dome released a star, and if one made a wish while there was still light, and before the dome slammed shut, the gods might hear and grant the wish.

In Switzerland, it was thought that shooting stars possessed the power of God and could ward off pestilence.

The Swabians believed a shooting star foretold a year of good luck.

In Chile, a shooting star is also an omen of good luck, but one must quickly pick up a stone to guarantee the luck.

In the Philipines, one must tie a knot in a handkerchief before the light is extinguished to capture the good luck of a shooting star.

Some people of Hawaiian or Japanese descent believe if you see a shooting star coming in your direction, you must open the collars/breast of your kimono to admit the good luck.

Also in Swabia, a person seeing 3 shooting stars in one night was doomed to die.

In Lithuanian folklore, it’s believed that a spinner spins a thread for each new life and attaches it to a star. At the moment of a person’s death, the thread breaks and the star falls to Earth.

The Seneca believed that pointing to a shooting star would reveal one’s location to the star, with ill effect.

Some Hispanic cultures believe that one must utter “God guide it” upon seeing a shooting star to avoid bad luck.

The Baronga culture would spit on the ground upon seeing a shooting star and cry out “go away, go away, all by yourself” to avoid bad luck.

In some parts of the Catholic deep south US, it is believed that shooting stars are souls leaving purgatory for heaven.

In Catholic Germany, it was believed that a shooting star was a suffering soul seeking prayers from those who observed it. If one recited “rest in peace” three times before the light extinguished, then the soul would be delivered from purgatory.

In some Philippine cultures, it is believed that shooting stars are the souls of drunkards which return to Earth at night to sing “do not drink, do not drink“. Each day they attempt to climb back up to heaven, but fall down each time.

Some Muslims believe shooting stars are fireballs thrown down on devils by vengeful angels.

Some old Russian cultures believe shooting stars are demons who were transformed and chased out of heaven.

In Austria, upon seeing a shooting star near one’s house, the children were brought inside and sprinkled with holy water.

It was thought in some Germanic cultures, that shooting stars were fire-breathing dragons, if you insulted or cursed one of them, they would rain stinking cheese and rubbish down upon Earth. Some believed in influencing the dragon with an offering, whereupon the passing dragon would leave a gift of ham or bacon. The fire dragon also carried money which it would sometimes drop, making people rich.

In Polish folklore, it’s thought that a falling star would drop one of three things – a treasure, a gelatinous mass, or cow dung!

Found at Telescope Reviews

This is June

“This is June, the month of grass and leaves . . . already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me. I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late. Each season is but an infinitesimal point. It no sooner comes than it is gone. It has no duration. It simply gives a tone and hue to my thought. Each annual phenomena is reminiscence and prompting. Our thoughts and sentiments answer to the revolution of the seasons, as two cog-wheels fit into each other. We are conversant with only one point of contact at a time, from which we receive a prompting and impulse and instantly pass to a new season or point of contact. A year is made up of a certain series and number of sensations and thoughts which have their language in nature. Now I am ice, now I am sorrel. Each experience reduces itself to a mood of the mind.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Words of Power For The Dead

In the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead is found a Chapter which was composed for the purpose of bestowing upon the deceased some of the magical power of the goddess Isis. The Chapter was intended to be recited over an amulet called thet, made of carnelian, which had to be steeped in water of ankhami flowers, and set in a sycamore plinth, and if this were laid on the neck of a dead person it would place him under the protection of the words of power of Isis, and he would be able to go wheresoever he pleased in the Underworld.

The words of the Chapter were:

“Let the blood of Isis, and the magical powers (or spirits) of Isis, and the words of power of Isis, be mighty to protect and keep safely this great god (i.e., the deceased), and to guard him from him that would do unto him anything which he abominateth.”

Isis and Words of Power:

From a number of passages in the texts of various periods we learn that Isis possessed great skill in the working of magic, and several examples of the manner in which she employed it are well known.

Thus when she wished to make Ra reveal to her his greatest and most secret name, she made a venomous reptile out of dust mixed with the spittle of the god, and by uttering over it certain words of power she made it to bite Ra as he passed. When she had succeeded in obtaining from the god his most hidden name, which he only revealed because he was on the point of death, she uttered words which had the effect of driving the poison out of his limbs, and Ra recovered.

Now Isis not only used the words of power, but she also had knowledge of the way in which to pronounce them so that the beings or things to which they were addressed would be compelled to listen to them and, having listened, would be obliged to fulfill her bequests. The Egyptians believed that if the best effect was to be produced by words of power they must be uttered in a certain tone of voice, and at a certain rate, and at a certain time of the day or night, with appropriate gestures or ceremonies.

In the Hymn to Osiris it is said that Isis was well skilled in the use of words of power, and it was by means of these that she restored her husband to life, and obtained from him an heir. It is not known what the words were which she uttered on this occasion, but she appears to have obtained them from Thoth, the “lord of divine words,” and it was to him that she appealed for help to restore Horus to life after he had been stung to death by a scorpion.

From Gods of the Egyptians (1904)

Litany For The Dead

From The Papyrus of Ani, we have this Egyptian litany for the dead:

Homage to you, stars in Heliopolis, men and women in Kher-aha, god of existence, more glorious than the hidden gods in Heliopolis.

Homage to you, o moon-god Iwen in Iwen-des, great god, Harmachis travelling with long strides over heaven, he is Harmachis.

Homage to you, who is the soul of eternity, the soul in Busiris, Wen-nefer son of Nut, he is lord of the necropolis of Heliopolis.

Homage to you, in your kingdom of Busiris, the double crown remains on your head; you alone perform his protection; you rest in Busiris.

Homage to you, lord of the sycamore, placing the boat of Seker on its sledge, warding off demons who do evil, placing the Eye of Ra to rest on its seat.

Homage to you, who is mighty in his moment, most great one in the Place where Nothing Grows, lord of eternity, maker of infinity, you are lord of Herakleopolis.

Homage to you, who rests on truth, you are the lord of Abydos; your limbs are brought together in the Holy Land; you are he who loathes falsehood.

Homage to you, in his boat, bringing Hapi from his caverns. His light shines on his body; he is in Hierakonpolis.

Homage to you, maker of the gods, king of the South and North, Osiris, true of voice, founder of the Two Lands in his benevolent era; it is he who is lord of the banks of the Nile.

May you give me a way where I may pass in peace. I am judged true; I do not knowingly speak falsehoods, and I do not act doubly.

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