The weather this week has been damp. Everything in Atlanta is lush and green….you would almost think you were transported to the countryside of dear old Eire…if it weren’t for the concrete and traffic and buildings and smog. Add to the damp air the beauty of the summer cold….sniffling, snorting and hacking…I refused to be knocked out by this. I had too much to accomplish. So where did I head to in the midst of all of this…yep, that’s right….the woods.
Mosquitoes have been horrible during all this rain and I have been eaten alive. So first and foremost, I let the old hedgewitch come out in me. It was time to make my concoction of a bug repellent. I combined lavender essential oil with rosemary and citronella with a base of jojoba and combined it with a melted beeswax base. Into a tin it went and I had my own version of a bug repellent/ointment. I was the best smelling creature in those woods….best of all, not one mosquito bite! I wore my cloak….the damp just did not appeal to me…and of course the folks around here think I am different anyway. Some of the neighbors embrace my witchiness and others are repelled by it….kinda like coming out all over again. As I was walking Friz one night, a big storm started brewing….a neighbor called out to me over the thunder, “Did you call this in? I laughed and told her that I didn’t do it this time.
Wednesday night, I lay in the bed hating the coughing and snorting….my head pounded and I finally drifted off to sleep. The whole night, I dreamed about being in the woods with the wolves and crows. In the dreams, the wolves were teaching me to hunt and howl….the crows were teaching me to fly. If I close my eyes now, I can still see the faces of each wolf and crow. I remembered recognizing the two leading the shenanigans as the wolf who accompanies me to the woods and Mama Crow. “Get reacquainted with my wild side?” I remember in the dream dancing with my wild friends skirting in and out of the moonlight as the night overtook us….golden eyes shining back at me from behind trees….the rustling of wings in the air.
When I woke up Thursday morning, I already felt a hundred times better. Maybe all I needed was a little wild time and some animal medicine. Who better than wolf and crow to walk me through the healing of playing in the woods. I got Friz harnessed up and ready for a little trek out into the woods. Even though the clouds above were quite ominous and you could smell rain in the air, it was evident that we both craved this time. With a misting of rain escorting us into the wooded area beyond the condos, we both had a renewed energy about us.
I have been working on a new project lately. It is a wand made of blackthorn wood. It was something that deep in my spirit I felt compelled to do. I have worked with many woods before, but never with blackthorn. I did my research before receiving the wood from a friend in Ireland. I understood that it was a hard wood….and I mean hard. The wood itself has received many drops of my own blood. I researched the history of the ‘blackthorn wand.’ Blackthorn is a very magical sacred wood to Druids and the ancient Celts. Its magical qualities include protection, purification and the ability to repel all negative energy from both your home and your life. This wood has long been associated with the dark aspect of the Goddess, and also represents the waning and dark moon. It also has a strong significance with spirit work.
In preparation for the jaunt to the woods, I had packed the blackthorn wand and my knife into my backpack. Where better to work on this mystical wood than in the same type of element it was born into? As I shaped the wood with my knife and felt the knobs and places where sharp thorns had once been, I pondered over aspects of my own character. Yes, there are still quite a few thorns protruding from me, as well as the dents from storms that have come and gone….but I have become just as strong….just as powerful as the wood my fingers caressed. As I carve and smooth and mold this piece of wood into a magickal tool, I imbue it with all the protection, purification and power against negativity that I can push into it. I quietly laid this tool at the feet of wolf and crow watching them impart their magick into it….wisdom, cunning, and the mysticism that followed the shamanic ancients. I bundled up this treasure, put it in my backpack and picked up Friz and covered him in my cloak as we made our way back to the condo in the rain…..a soft steady rain. Every few steps a small black nose would peek from beneath the cloak just to get a whiff of the dampness.
When we got inside, I quickly changed into my pajama pants and a tshirt and Friz and I curled up on the sofa. He falls back onto me so that his stomach can be properly rubbed. He is so funny….not so much like a chihuahua, but in many aspects just like a wolf…a very small…likes-to-have-his-belly-rubbed wolf. He never questions the magick, but always relaxes into it….a lesson he is teaching me more and more with each trip to the woods or pond.
These four days I have had off have been very strong magickally for me. I have been making tinctures and tonics and wands and staves. I have felt the power and strength of bonds from miles and miles away. Today, I could have sworn I felt the arms of a dear friend or two wrap around me as I carved and sanded. I have very much felt the power of the ancients with me today. As I walked the complex this evening, I could hear the voices of the old ones in the trees. The frogs welcomed me as I moved toward the pond. I could feel the heartbeat of the earth beneath my feet.
In these hours as the sun goes to sleep, I will light a small fire in my cauldron, apply my flying ointment and journey. Where? Only my heart and spirit knows. Right now….I sit writing, watching a little blue dog asleep in the chair…my chair…the one I bought for reading but rarely get to use. He is tuckered completely out. This week has been full of magick for both of us….now is the time to rest in it. I am one contented witch.