Snow

Where does the snow come from?

Francisco Manoel: And where does the snow come from?

Euclides: You’ll see it out there! There’s always snow on the moon! That’s why it’s always white! White and cold. You have to look very carefully.

Francisco Manoel: And why is that?

Euclides: It’s because the moon.. takes the water out of the ocean. And when night falls… the tips of the mountains attract the snowflakes. But only as much as the salt we have in our tears.

Francisco Manoel: And here on earth?

Euclides: It’s very far away – you must keep going west. Four years on horseback… and ten on foot. And after that, there are high mountains. They rise higher and higher – right over the clouds. And then above the clouds, then you find the snow. It only falls in the night-time. Just like feathers. But it only falls… from above the clouds. And then the whole world turns light as a feather – and snow white! Even the lions turn white… and the eagles… the rabbits get a snowy coat… and all the animals in the world turn white! And when you’re walking through the snow… your feet don’t weigh anything at all. And the little snowflakes go flying up in the air… just like feathers.

From: Cobra Verde

The Snow Drift

My body was blue as Thine, O Beloved, when they found me. I was stiff as if held in a close embrace. Nor was I conscious of aught but Thee, till the small fires of Earth brought me back with an agony of tingling pain.

How came I to be lost in the snow-drift?

I remember how I had taken shelter from the blinding storm. The snow fell about me, and I waited, turning my thought to Thee.

Then did I realize how every snow-flake is built as a tiny star. I looked closer, burying my face in the white pile, as in Thy Bosom.

Mine arms embraced the snow-drift; I clung to it in a mad ecstasy. Thus would I have pressed Thy Body to mine, wert Thou not Infinite and I but as tiny as a star-flake.

So was my body frozen – as by the utmost cold of interstellar space.
It was blue as Thine when they found me locked in Thine embrace.

From: Hymns To The Star Goddess

Ice River


How do we get to travel beyond our own limitations and out and beyond the old barriers and cages of self? The ice river is a very ancient and also, a very well known way to do just that. It exists in many different permutations across the widest range of cultures; and it is a truly magical occurrence. Just as magical are the winter lands.

There is no accident in the fact that Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude” can be found at the North Pole, the palace of the Ice Queen and Father Christmas’s multi-coloured magical workshop “where all the toys in the world are made”. This is deep magic, very old, very powerful.

On this journey we do nothing but to scout these lands “beyond” and become more familiar with them, re-claim them as our own and begin to make a first connection to the magic which resides here and which truly, “cannot be found in any other place, in any other way”.

Many people spend a lifetime “looking for their magic” and this journey will show an aspect of this magic which is perfectly ours, perfectly our own and perfectly reachable – if we make the effort and seek it out with volition, get to know it and when the time is right, re-awaken it from its frozen sleep.

On a personal note, it was Ice River directly which taught me how to use my “night eyes” – to see the patterns of the energy world with a set of other senses than the physical eyes. What it might do for each individual of course, I cannot know – but I do know that I would like each person to at least travel there once and just make that first contact, so their own “north poles” are once again, a part of their world in awareness at least.

~Sylvia Hartmann

Ice River

Let’s transport ourselves for a moment
to a different place, a different time
of where the autumn turns to winter
scapes, a gentle merging as the sun
is low on the horizon and the air
tastes sharp and clear.

We would stand
in warming furs, well covered
snug within
and we would see ahead
a river white and wide
straight river, out into
the far perspective where
the banks have merged
before the low horizon
meets the single point
in distance.

And we would step upon
our starting point,
a frozen lake
so deeply frozen,
thickest glass
of white and blue
so solid now
beneath our feet
and as our feet
would quite without
our mind’s command
would now begin
to move and slide
and skate in
rhythmic pulses
left to right
and as our bodies
bend into the movement
and our arms begin
to reach as well
thus we begin
our journey
forward
upward
on the river white
and raise our eyes
to where the point
of far perspective lies
and we begin to travel

Faster, faster still
and lighter,
each forward pulse
increases the momentum
each forward pulse
adds speed and now we
seem to fly towards
the point of far perspective
where the land must
meet the sky and all is
one, and silent white,

pulse travelling
pulse carrying
pulse flying
as the point expands
and seems a light
that seems to grow
in brightness and
you know

the doorway
lies before you
as you keep your eyes
towards the gate of far perspective
as you approach
and it grows more defined
and clearer
in your vision

soft white
and pulsing with a beat
that is the same
that pulses in your body
that brings you closer
closer with each beating
of your heart

It grows
the doorway grows
and now it fills your vision
here it is,
here you are
here you have arrived
at the gate of far perspective
and another pulse or two or three
bring you into the white
and white is right
and all there is
and for a moment there is
nothing but the movement
on continuing and phasing

slowing from the impetus
relaxing down and slowing more
until you passed the gate
and you become aware and see: T

he winter world before you
and the river still
and frozen still it is for
you to travel glass and icy smooth
and yet it is a river and it turns
and loops through winter land.

Slowly and without the slightest effort
you begin to glide the Winter River
and you see all along
the banks on either side
fantastic landscapes, crisp and white
the sky so radiant blue above
and all is winter still
and winter reverend.

Gently you glide by
and you perceive
enchanted castles,
frozen wells
and there’s a knowing
that there’s sleeping things,
snug and safe
in timeless slumber
deep beneath
the sweeps and crests
of ancient ice
that lie a frozen ocean
stretching far
and further still.

Gently you glide by
and you perceive
ice mountains,
sparkling glass
fantastic sculptures
that are beautiful
and they are here
as they could be
not anywhere
but here

Gently you glide on
and know that this
is now a world
that others never seek
to seek, nor seek to
travel.

And as you travel,
and observe,
and as you travel
and you marvel at the beauty
and the clarity
the timelessness
and perfect beauty of the white
your world grows larger
and a part that has been
long denied
has taken and is taking now
its rightful place
at last.
And you can know
as darkness falls
and Northern Lights play
in the sky
beneath your closing arc
that there is magic here
that there is much
you never thought to seek
that you might think
of coming here again
to seek and find
to learn and love
to stand before
the vastness and the beauty
and you might find
the kind of treasure here
that simply cant be known
in any other way
in any other place.

Glide by
Beneath the banding lights
of dancing jade and purple,
celestial blue and green
in hues you’ve never known
you glide on by to find
the gate of far perspective
for your journey here
was one of recognition
and of admiration
and of re-connection
to a something
that you might have thought
you had forgotten
and yet that lives
and sleeps and breathes
forever in a beauty
that cannot be found
in any other place.

Beneath the diamond stars
in stillness you return
and close the distance gently
as the gate grows from the point
of far perspective
widening on your approach
and with a tiny sense
of deep regret
at leaving once again so soon
and with a small decision to return
when time is here and time is right
you move towards the growing gate of white
that takes you back and through into
your time of mind,
and back and through
into your time of here and now,
a gentle dis-so-lucian
of the magic and
a gentle drifting back to self
in thought, in mind, in
physicality
as your awareness of the here-and-now
comes back in gentle waves,
in gentle waves of feelings and sensations
here and now
and bright aware
retaining and remembering.

~Sylvia Hartmann

Snowflake

Snowflake is a Slavonic story from Andrew Lang’s The Pink Fairy Book, published in 1897. This Russian folktale is closely associated with the Russian Christmas which is traditionally celebrated on Jan 6, and also with St John’s Day celebrated on June 24.

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Once upon a time there lived a peasant called Ivan, and he had a wife whose name was Marie. They would have been quite happy except for one thing: they had no children to play with, and as they were now old people they did not find that watching the children of their neighbours at all made up to them for having one of their own.

One winter, which nobody living will ever forget, the snow lay so deep that it came up to the knees of even the tallest man. When it had all fallen, and the sun was shining again, the children ran out into the street to play, and the old man and his wife sat at their window and gazed at them. The children first made a sort of little terrace, and stamped it hard and firm, and then they began to make a snow woman. Ivan and Marie watched them, the while thinking about many things.

Suddenly Ivan’s face brightened, and, looking at his wife, he said, ‘Wife, why shouldn’t we make a snow woman too?’

‘Why not?’ replied Marie, who happened to be in a very good temper; ‘it might amuse us a little. But there is no use making a woman. Let us make a little snow child, and pretend it is a living one.’

‘Yes, let us do that,’ said Ivan, and he took down his cap and went into the garden with his old wife.

Then the two set to work with all their might to make a doll out of the snow. They shaped a little body and two little hands and two little feet. On top of all they placed a ball of snow, out of which the head was to be.

‘What in the world are you doing?’ asked a passer-by.

‘Can’t you guess?’ returned Ivan.

‘Making a snow-child,’ replied Marie.

They had finished the nose and the chin. Two holes were left for the eyes, and Ivan carefully shaped out the mouth. No sooner had he done so than he felt a warm breath upon his cheek. He started back in surprise and looked–and behold! the eyes of the child met his, and its lips, which were as red as raspberries, smiled at him!

‘What is it?’ cried Ivan, crossing himself. ‘Am I mad, or is the thing bewitched?’

The snow-child bent its head as if it had been really alive. It moved its little arms and its little legs in the snow that lay about it just as the living children did theirs.

‘Ah! Ivan, Ivan,’ exclaimed Marie, trembling with joy, ‘heaven has sent us a child at last!’ And she threw herself upon Snowflake (for that was the snow-child’s name) and covered her with kisses. And the loose snow fell away from Snowflake as an egg shell does from an egg, and it was a little girl whom Marie held in her arms.

‘Oh! my darling Snowflake!’ cried the old woman, and led her into the cottage.

And Snowflake grew fast; each hour as well as each day made a difference, and every day she became more and more beautiful. The old couple hardly knew how to contain themselves for joy, and thought of nothing else. The cottage was always full of village children, for they amused Snowflake, and there was nothing in the world they would not have done to amuse her. She was their doll, and they were continually inventing new dresses for her, and teaching her songs or playing with her.

Nobody knew how clever she was! She noticed everything, and could learn a lesson in a moment. Anyone would have taken her for thirteen at least! And, besides all that, she was so good and obedient; and so pretty, too! Her skin was as white as snow, her eyes as blue as forget-me-nots, and her hair was long and golden. Only her cheeks had no colour in them, but were as fair as her forehead.

So the winter went on, till at last the spring sun mounted higher in the heavens and began to warm the earth. The grass grew green in the fields, and high in the air the larks were heard singing. The village girls met and danced in a ring, singing, ‘Beautiful spring, how came you here? How came you here? Did you come on a plough, or was it a harrow?’ Only Snowflake sat quite still by the window of the cottage. Continue reading

Solstice Story

winter_christmas_hs165_90

There was the snow, and the snow fell from the heavens, slowly, thoughtful and deliberate, silent contemplation of a million spirits, crystalline and filled with logic, diversity infinite, and yet, each one did come to bless the child.

There was the night, and she was quiet, she was holy, as all nights are, and even when the nights were dancing, loud and full of whirling stars and northern lights performed for all to see or no-one there at all, and winds rush treetops and they tell their tales of night, of all the nights, and know so much, foreshadow even more …

There was the lake, and it was frozen deep and mirror smooth and mirror still, slow water, sleeping water, perhaps it dreams of spring or it may simply rest and think, and gather wisdom of each other, and of time …

There was a thought, a very special wind arose and it could only be right here, right now, and it came softly, lightly, it exhaled the finest mist of white, creates the forms and functions, sculptures in a living dance, they flow and they touch everything, reach into everything, make the connections, make something new, now hush and listen, for the time of magic is upon us, it is nearly here …

There was the child, it stepped in light and whitest shine into this night, and here, the snow did kiss its face, did kiss its hair, and laid itself beneath its feet to be a carpet, be a path, a path that leads in all directions, where you walk, there it becomes.

The night began to sing, so quietly, so full of admiration; the stars awoke and paid attention, sent their light and love to touch the child; the lake became the mirror for it all as now the wind did breathe the future into being and then the child began to smile – his welcome was the holiness, and holiness did enter into all the land touched by his light, it filled the world with hope, with beauty of a different order, the new, the unexpected, a newborn star of purest light.

And there I was, and there were you, and always, ever, always new, there is the snow for us, there is the night, there is the lake, there is wind, and always new, there is the child.

Source: SFX Solstice 2009

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