19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Three


The Holly King and the Oak King

Each holds sway and hand of might
Upon the year’s Great Wheel.

In each domain one shall be King
As wax and wane of Light
Move within nature’s cyclic plan.

Solstice Kings, though brothers, they
in battle determine solar fate.

The Oak King and the Holly King are part of Celtic mythology, and are often seen as aspects of the Green Man. They are usually considered “twin gods,” or sometimes two aspects or manifestations of the same god, often the Horned God. The Oak King rules the Summer (and is sometimes called the “Summer King”) and the Holly King rules the Winter (and is thus called the “Winter King”). The God in this form acts as guardian and keeper of the natural world through its cycles of waxing and waning light. He ensures that all will be well and all will continue and be sustained.

The Oak holds fast
To growing light as
Holly brings shadow near.

The time between held
In equinox Gate and season’s turn
Tips finely calibrated scales.

The Oak King is usually celebrated at Yule and heralds the return of the Light, spring and new growth and the Holly King reigns supreme and is celebrated at Litha, as the Light begins to lessen in preparation for harvest and winter. A battle is enacted at those times and the victor of the new season takes his place as guardian. They are twin reflections of an inner polarity of Light and Dark and the battle that takes on the inner landscape as we move towards acknowledgement and embracing of our own Divine nature.

The Light holds fast
The Oak marks time
Flanked by strength
And sundial’s grace.

The Holly answers with response
A dance of calculated pace.

At sunset’s call, he strikes his final blow
As Oak in silent acquiescence bows
And bends to Summer Light’s repose.

The connection between the Summer and Winter Solstices is one that calls us from the sleep of stasis. The balance of equanimity is more of an illusion than a truth particularly in application towards spiritual growth and setting one’s foot on a path of devotion. It was not that long ago that we basked in the strength of the Sun- the Oak King having reached his peak and we savored that last day where there Sun would remain the longest before night crowded in. And, the battle ensued and Oak King fell to the hand of his brother the Holly King and the much needed rest and introspection soon to be acquired in the illuminated darkness of the waning year.

His brother hails triumphant
As Holly King and
Upon rooster’s call
Shall next arise.

The waning of the year begins
With Oak King’s necessary demise.

We now stand awaiting the return of light filled days and the promise of Spring’s growth. But we should not forget the healing that has taken place in these days of darkness. The lantern of the Hermit has been placed in our hand and we have had choice of remaining without its light of inspiration. Give pause to think on this as we eagerly await the Solstice and offer up the space to embrace the wisdom of the Holly King….

For what lay sleeping within
The growing splendor of Holly’s
Fertile embrace is the promise
Of Light’s return at the peak of
Winter’s darkened and snowy face.

And, once again the two shall meet
Oak strengthened by slumber’s rest.
The end of darkness near.

The Holly King, his energy spent
Shall relinquish crown as
Oak King reigns renewed.

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Two

Today’s post speaks to the cycle of the sun and what is designated as the Light and Dark halves of the year. Take a journey with me through the quarter and cross-quarter days and find the place of return to the Light of awakening….

The Waxing Sun’s Light

The cycle of the Waxing of the Light begins at the time of the Winter Solstice. This is the space of our inner awakening. Through the energy of this cycle of rebirthing we have opportunity to experience the inner awakening of our own Divine flame. We light candles and wait in anticipation of the rising of the sun on Solstice morning and are uplifted in the joy of the Great Mother and her giving birth to the Sun King of Life. This Light of the Solstice is in process of renewal and what lay hidden beneath the shadow of the longest night and darkness is the time for reaffirming the light within and awaiting the birth of an awakened mind, heart and spirit ready to do the Great Work.

This inner light we have cultivated and called forth continues to grow and we welcome the fires of Imbolc as the sustenance of what the burgeoning of longer days holds as potential. The Goddess takes her place as new mother, fiercely protective of the light she has brought into being. And through the quickening of the fires of this light she begins the process of transformation and renewal as her energy shifts into the form of the Maiden. We guard and nurture the growing flame within as mother and anticipate with the fervency of the Maiden the maturing of what has been created.

We find ourselves now at the time of the Vernal Equinox. This is the pause of respite when there is equal balance of day and night. This is the point of integration and synthesis of the work and effort offered beginning at the Winter Solstice. The Vernal Equinox holds the product of renewal and the stirrings of the increasing state of awareness illuminated by the potential that is held within the fertile space of manifest form. We find the space of balance within ourselves and seek out the opportunity to shine that light more brightly as it has strengthened and we open to taking in more of the light that surrounds us. We begin the dance of enlivened exchange shifting eagerly between what has been and what will be.

This opening to receiving the downpour of the light of growth is the preface to the union of the polarities at Beltane. These take the forms of male and female, God and Goddess and are the positive and negative charges needed to generate sufficient electrical current of vibrant and pulsing Light to flow and move towards a state of overt Life. This is the time of procreation and as such the continuation of what has been seeded within is ready to be conceptualized and brought forth into manifest form. Like attracts like and we use the electro-magnetic attraction of our inner sun to create the cycle of connection and flow to the physical sun. We open to receiving and mirroring back the life giving properties as above, so below, as within, so without.

We continue this expansion of our inner light and reach its apex of form and intent at the Summer Solstice. In opposition to the longest night of the Winter Solstice, the brilliance of full sun and illuminated action holds the power of this outpouring. It is at this point that we have fully ignited our Inner Sun and it is now the time of full expression of the strength and power of its dynamic energy that will carry us forward into the waning light of the year. This lengthened day is the pivotal point of beginning to turn within. The light will begin to dwindle in outward expression and the need to cultivate, and nurture the inner space of light we hold at our core becomes the focus.

I stand in a fragrant field bursting with Summer’s flowers. The sun shines brightly overhead and I feel the radiance of warmth and the pulsing of vibrant light moving through me. I am a reflection of that sun and all that has been nurtured and tended within has grown into the abundant field of beauty that lay before me. I breathe deeply into these thoughts. Affirming my own strength and the longevity of my solar outpouring.

I breathe deeply into the inner space of warmth and see the flaming sun at my center’s core. As I continue to breathe into this truth, the sun begins its descent into the evening. The sky darkens and the final light of sunset retreats; the darkness moving in shadow and drawing this hidden light inward; moving through me as I stand strong and resilient in receipt. The time of the Solstice is at hand and the work of refocusing the brilliance of summer’s light becomes the breath of my intent.

The Waning Sun’s Light

The Waning half of the year supports the process of redirecting the inner light we have brought to its fullness and sending focus inward. We celebrate Lammas and eat heartily of the grain of life, cut down at its peak and offered up as sacrifice to fuel our hunger. As we move through this turning within the need to cull and harvest what will act as the fuel to sustain the brilliance of its fire is the task of intent. In the physical world we gather our food and energy stores and offer up to sacrifice those products which did not thrive in the heat of the spring and summer sun. We look carefully at what we think will nourish and sustain us in the dark months ahead and we choose wisely where we shine our light so as not to exhaust its outward presence.

If we have chosen well and have done the necessary work to maintain that which will carry us through the long night’s journeys those inner fires burn brightly at the time of the Autumnal Equinox. This point of balance offers another time of integration and rest from the efforts laid forth. We begin to settle in as the days grow shorter and the cooler air fulfills the promise of winter’s hold. We spend more time in reflection and stoke the fires of our inner hearth lights, feeding them from what we have brought into this inner space from our plantings during the waning light. The balance of light and dark is the fertile womb that begins the transition of what has been revealed by the inner flames and is ready to become the seeding of wisdom.

The growing darkness consumes the fullness of day and we look to our ancestors as the veils part at Samhain. The fires of the cauldrons and candles light the way for their return to this world in shadow and as specter; and our own inner light shines brightly as beacon to welcome their wisdom into our hearts, minds and bodies. This is the calling to the Midnight Sun and the deep transformation that will illuminate the way of the mystic. This is the sun that burns hot and intent-filled within the earth’s core. This is the hidden sun that although we may not see its face at the midnight hour in our geographical location, the sun has reached its apex of noon at the exact geographical polar opposite. This is the sun of the Great Work that glows its brightest within the fuelings of our will and intent. And, it is within this shadowy landscape that those parts of self which have eluded the sun’s full light are analyzed, refined and embraced as we clear the way for what will be birthed anew at the Winter Solstice.

This journey of Light is one that contracts and expands, much like the astrological retrograde of planetary energy. There is opportunity to reach back in time and space before turning full thrust ahead. And there is space for hovering in momentary pause, not stagnation, but dynamic pause during the balance of the Equinoxes. Each of the cross quarter days offers the point of flexible expansion towards the next contraction or pause. Each is a mini-birth of sorts of the refined energy in preparation for what lay ahead. We return to the Winter Solstice as the cycle begins anew, but we have been changed in the process. Our inner light has transformed every space it has reached and the you that stands waiting to call forth the Light of return emerges from the longest night blazing in full glory.

The night is cold and I stand facing the darkness; thick and almost opaque in its veiling. I think on all that has brought me to this point of the Great Wheel…..

To read more about the Witch’s Wheel of the Year and the Sabbats:
Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path (YAD)
Overview of Lesson Four

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day One

The Gift of the Winter Solstice
aka. Yule

Welcome to 19 Days!

Day One we take a look at one of the ways the Winter Solstice is celebrated. Yule, is a quarter day Sabbat on the Great Wheel of the Year. In these upcoming 19 days I’ll be sharing ideas, poems, audio and more as we stand ready to receive the gifts of

….The night is cold and I stand facing the darkness; thick and almost opaque in its veiling. I think on all that has brought me to this point of the Great Wheel and call to myself the memories of lessons learned and shadowy places uncovered needing nurturance and cultivation. Each memory is illuminated from within and I feel the heat of my Inner Sun flaring out from center’s core; extending light filled streams of connection to each treasured sensation and image.

Tingling energy moves across my back affirming my growing anticipation of the promise held in the rising sun as I await the dawning of the Solstice Sun. I think on the moments of waiting I have seen at this same cycle of time the many years before and how each has held its own joy of new expression. I breathe into these thoughts, envisioning the flame of sunlight growing within myself. I breathe deeply into the joy of being able to turn the focus of that light outwards as the sun gains strength in the sky above and I attune to that same solar cycle within.

I look ahead and see rays of filtered light flowing around and through me casting their long slim finger-like beams on the snowscape in front of me. The time is now. One more deep breath in affirming the strength of the dark that has come before, and I turn to face the rising sun. Dawn of the Winter Solstice has come and with its rising so too does the rising of my illuminated self; forever changed….

Snow silently fell
As the wheel it
Turned round.

Darkness cycled its course
The Light lay at hand
Brilliant flames of blue leapt
High from sacred inner domain.

As we celebrate the Winter Solstice and the blessings of the return of the Light that holds the promise of lengthening days we are also priming our Inner Light that has been in process of quickening during this waning half of the year. There are many stories that are woven through the cycle of the Wheel, the cycles of the God and Goddess primary among them. I would like to offer an interpretation of the Greater Wheel of the Year as a journey of Light that begins at the time of the Winter Solstice. We are all familiar with the concept of the Divine Spark, Inner Flame or Inner Sun said to reside within each of us. This is the aspect of our being that emits great light and connects us with the outer particles of light, in all of its forms, which surround us. This light serves as a beacon calling to itself the flow of Prana (the life force) that enlivens us and makes us identifiable by our own personal signature to all other beings of light. In rhythm with the outer movement of the Sun and its waxing and waning of energy from solstice to solstice we can attune to our inner sun’s rhythm and use the energy of the Wheel to quicken, enliven, sustain and renew its energy.

I like to use the analogy of a lighthouse, shining the brilliance of its massive light 360-degrees out over the waters as beacon and guide for all to see as they are carried on the waters towards the edge of shore. They have set their course and the light serves to offer up clarity and safety on their journey. We are the strength of that lighthouse and the beacon of light is that which emanates from our inner sun’s core. Each action we take from the time of that light being birthed and renewed at the time of the Winter Solstice is a step towards the brilliance of our own light radiating outward in dynamic outpour towards all whom we encounter.

At the point of its reaching its full spectrum of expression at the Summer Solstice, this light now begins its journey of turning inward. And, the fullness of this light now guides the way for navigation through our inner waters and landscape. It becomes the lantern of the Hermit as we move through the darkness of our fears and doubts and is fueled by those things we find in these spaces that are to be transformed and energized as seedlings of the greater light to be reborn at the Winter Solstice.

Day Two: The Waxing and Waning Sun’s Light

For a quick reference:
19-Days of Illuminated Darkness Index

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Mercury Transit 2019

Image: KHQAnews

November 11.2019

Today (retrograde) Mercury will transit the Sun in a rare and auspicious event. We are also in the aura of a Full Moon in Taurus (Nov. 12 @ 8:34a.m. EST), giving this already powerful alignment even more potential for communication between the physical and spiritual nature of our being….

Read Full Post:

Temple of the Cosmic Spheres

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30-Days Thank You!

Thank you to those who followed my posts. I welcome comments and feedback. What did you enjoy? What fell short? What would you have liked to see covered?

Many blessings on your chosen path…. Robin

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Hecate’s Call: The Silence of the Crone

Hecate’s Call
The Silence of the Crone

I wait for you at the
Dark waning of the Moon.

I wait at the crossroads
And, my silence reaches
Out to draw you back to me.

I have called to you as
The Maiden who knows
The power of her desire.

I have held out loving arms
To enfold you as only a
Mother can do to comfort
The child that has strayed.

And, now I wait in the power
Of age and wisdom that
Has seen all and can see
The truth or dishonesty that
Spills forth from seeking lips.

I am cloaked in the darkness
But those who have the
Courage to come to me
See the truth of my hidden
Light that burns brightly
With the lantern of time’s
Ancient mystery.

This pathworking is the last of the three about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. This is the final journey of the lunar cycle walking the paths with Hecate and seemed an appropriate ending to our 30 Day exploration of Samhain’s energy.

 

To Enjoy the Audio Pathworking
Hecate’s Call
The Silence of the Crone
available on BandCamp: Teachings on the Path with Robin

Final Thoughts:
I hope you have enjoyed these 30 Days and found some things of value for your practice. Aways be mindful that these Sabbats are not isolated events. Each flows one into the other and each becomes a stepping stone of revol(ve)utionary change if we hold their lessons near and dear to our hearts all throughout the year. As the veils close, may the blessings of this season and your ancestors be with you always.

Many blessings on your path…. Robin

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30 Days of Samhain: The Longing of the Maiden

Today’s post is the first of three aligned with the New Moon of today, the full moon and dark moons upcoming. I talked of the Goddess, Hecate’s energy during this season and these three posts offer a meeting at the crossroads with each of her selves. Let’s begin our introductions….

I call to you at the
Newness of the Moon.

I wait at the crossroads
And, call out in longing
For you to ask of me what you will.

I stand clothed in the promise
Of guiding you as I light the way.

I wait and there is only the
Sound of my own longing to
Enliven and stir within you
The drive and will that sets
You upon your path.

I am cloaked in the darkness
But those who have the
Courage to call to me
See the truth of my hidden
Light that burns brightly
With the Divine spark of youth.

This post is the first of three about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Hecate is the Greek Goddess of the Underworld; Queen of Magick and daughter of the Titans Perses (God of Destruction) and Asteria (Oracular Goddess), from whom she was gifted with rulership of heaven and earth. She is most noted for her place of guide at the Crossroads carrying the flaming torches that light the way for gods and mortals. My intent is not to provide a full history of the Goddess (there is a plethora of information to be found), but rather to provide my personal experiences with her.

As a Triune Goddess, she has come to me at various points in my life, despite my not knowing or identifying her by name and she has shown me her varied faces as I have needed prodding or push in a specific direction. At this time of the year, I feel her presence more strongly and align with her transformative energies with that of the New, Full and Waning Moons in the month prior to Samhain.

My awareness of Hecate’s energy has been building within me these last few months and I suspect this is in answer to my need to reclaim some of the intensity and vibrancy that is held within her form of the Maiden. Life circumstances have placed me in a position of having to fully step into the roles of Mother and Crone and I am rebelling at the necessary structure that is being placed upon me. I find myself in the place of having to release my attachment to children who have grown into responsible and caring adults and the growing need to assume more responsibility and care for an aging parent. I long for the youthful strength and resilience I once had to support these changes. And, I long for the freedom that time brings when seen from a youthful perspective.

I have always felt vastly responsible for the people in my life and their well-being, often with the neglect of my own. When I took up the mantle of spiritual service, this responsibility widened to include all that I interacted with, feeling that I must model by example and leave a positive footprint. So, I turn to this Goddess of Magick and remaking and call out to her as the Maiden to inform and enliven my way as I sit in quiet meditation.

I hear echoed back to me her response calling me to stand at her crossroads, tell her my story of lost youth and ask of her what I will. Tonight the Moon is New in the astrological sign of Libra. Libra is Cardinal Air, the beginnings of inspired and innovative thought that aspires to achieve a state of balance through refinement. I have spent too long in trying to mentally problem solve and not allowed myself the space to feel too much. If I allow my emotions to weigh in sadness and self-indulgence will make me ineffective and weak. I feel the need for balance and I know that Hecate will not allow me to stay too long in a place of self-pity and complaints. And, so I see myself standing in the darkness of the night and feel the cold chill of wind moving around me and know this is the stirrings of my own anticipation at being in the presence and potency of her energy as Maiden.

I see Hecate’s form rising up in front of me and I make vow to heed her words as I have done so many times before. The outcomes have often been unexpected and quite different from what I had imagined the original plan had been; but this is of no concern, for in the wisdom of the Goddess she has always offered what was needed not what were my imagined wantings. Hecate stands before me and I bow in reverence. She has the appearance of youth, dressed in flowing white gowns and a deceptively gentle energy that hides the great power and trinity of her form. This is no Maiden who is ingénue in experience; rather she is the promise of providing fresh perspective and insight that will stimulate and catalyze. Hers is a raw power, ancient in time and purposeful in whatever it sets its intent upon. Before my words are uttered she knows what is held in my heart and smiles an all-knowing smile.

I stand at her crossroads and the power of her presence swirls about me. I hear the gentle whisper in my ear and a hand of force that say “run”. I feel rejuvenated and filled with this desire to run, to be free, to feel the air moving through my lungs and the joy in movement I felt as a young woman dancing, soaring, expressing. I choose one of the paths and move, breath coming in short bursts and the exhilaration of air and dust, darkness and wildness all about me. I run in release of these stressful past months and for this brief period of time Hecate, the power-filled Maiden weaves her healing magick as she moves in and through me. The binding and weariness of maturity and responsibility falls away as I move faster and faster; blood pulsing, heart pumping in pure delight.

There is no thought of time, or task to be completed or places that I need to be. There is only enlivened air and darkness, magick and Divinity surrounding me. I breathe deeply and my pace slows a bit. I want to savor this environment and the feeling of being suspended in the stillness of eternal time. I breathe deeper still and I am walking briskly upon an unlit path, the faint light of what appears to be a lantern ahead in the distance. I breathe even deeper and each step affirms the strength of my body and the renewed life spark flowing through me. Closer, closer still and I see that the light is that of a flaming and brightly lit torch held at the center of the crossroads by Hecate. I come once again to stand before Her, and I am reminded that she has been with me at the beginning of my earthly journey and it is into her arms I shall seek refuge at my end. I stand illuminated by the brilliance of her torch, flushed from the exertion of my energetic journey and renewed by the blessing of the Maiden’s power. I stand with lighter burden and hear the gentle whisper that “all will be well and as it should be”.

I offer up gratitude to Hecate and offer vow to her that I will seek out her wisdom at the turning of the Full Moon. I will come to her crossroads and call to Hecate, the Mother. Until then, I will remember my promise to her to find the place of balance in attending to my own needs so that I may better care for others. To seek out the newness in the places where I have been stagnant and stressful. I am reminded to call upon my past joys and successes as inspiration, as I go about the repetitive and tedious tasks that are needed and to seek the beauty in discordant as well as harmonious action.

I breathe into the space of my meditation and am no longer at the crossroads. I have come full circle back to the place of my sitting with a renewed sense of purpose. The air is fresher, my vision is clearer and I know I am not alone.

Original Post found at:

Womb of Light: The Alchemy of the Goddess
Sage Woman Blogs
All rights reserved.R.Fennelly.2013-2017

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