Danu's Cauldron: Wisewoman's Ways, and Wild Fey Magic

Living in a sacred landscape, walking between the worlds in the veil of Avalon Glastonbury. Where the old gods roam the hills, and the sidhe dance beneath the moon...wander into the mists with me and let us see what we may find...

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The Dark Journey

I love this point between the winter solstice and new year, a time of no time, when all activity is disrupted and the normal routines of our lives either slow down or cease entirely in the face of a huge cultural and seasonal wave. Nature tells us this is a time of stillness and retreat, although sadly the modern world seldom allows complete hibernation its onward rush never the less falters for a time over the holidays. The weather too has no interest in our daily schedules and need to progress, and will disrupt the race at will. This is a season when everyone learns, even just a little, that none of us are bigger than nature. That her cycles are applied to all of us regardless of our own ideas.

For me this descent into winters darkness began with a huge day of Samhain celebrations back at the end of October, where my husband and I participated in our whole town of Glastonbury ( UK) honouring our local hunter god, Gwyn Ap Nudd who leads the Wild Hunt- a team of spirits and spectral hounds that chase or guide the dead to the underworld. My husband the artist Dan Goodfellow embodied the role of Gwyn that day in a public ceremony probably not seen here in any form for over a thousand years. The power of all that ancestral presence was immense, the dead crowded into our circle along with the residents of our town. It was very moving, but it was not an easy ceremony to be part of- a dreadful sense of hope in the air, at deaths doorway, that while the end is inevitable, it will, after that dark journey, guide us all to the light one again.  

Winter solstice took me to Stonehenge, and a wonderful ceremony with private access with the Gorsedd of Cor Gawr.  We gathered at dusk as a moody sunset streaked the sky with fire below heavy clouds. I was struck by my own dark journey as the sun came to its lowest point in it's cycle, that after a year of so much activity, so many words...I longed for silence and the stillness of soil and stone. Last year at this time, I stood in that 

most sacred place and marvelled at the stars above us, perfectly framed by the sarsen dolmens, and I called in the spirits of the north with them fixed in my vision. This year the sky was cloudy, and my sprits lead me to remember those whose bones and ashes lie under the stones, in the silent earth. My back against one of the great megaliths, I curled down into the ground and managed to rest my brow against one of the bluestones, and felt the blessed depths, the endless spans of time within the earth. I know the winter solstice is when the sun ceases its decent and begins to rise higher and higher in the sky until summer, but I felt no renewal in that moment, not straight away, I felt only the blessing of finally reaching stillness, finally touching the darkest part where there are no words, nothing for the mind to hold, only the soul.

I wish you all that blessing, that you may find the treasure in the darkness. The light always returns soon enough.     




©danuforest2016  www.danuforest.co.uk      

with thanks to Dan Goodfellow www.dangoodfellow.co.uk

Nerissa Shaw https://www.flickr.com/photos/128232692@N05/

Glastonbury Dragons https://www.facebook.com/groups/1164343210264976/

Gorsedd Cor Gawr http://bards.org.uk/



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Danu Forest is a wisewoman in the Celtic Bean Feasa tradition of her Irish ancestors. You could call her many things- witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman. Danu lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of several books including Wild Magic, The Druid Shaman, Celtic Tree Magic, Gwyn ap Nudd and The Magical Year'. She teaches regular workshops and online courses and is available for consultations, including healings readings and other ceremonies.


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