04 November 2013

Samhaine In Circle

Morrighan by Mary McAndrew.
Original painting and prints available here.
No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.
~ Joseph Campbell

As the words of House Stark frequently remind us, winter is coming. Now, autumn isn’t much of an autumn here in Texas—it’s generally a few days of people wondering, “Wait, it was 100+ degrees last week, wtf happened!?” and then suddenly it’s wintertime, and by winter I mean cold, dreary, somewhat rainy and always windy weather that lasts until around Feb/March—but we are in the middle of the transition right about now. Here, when I tell people that autumn is my favorite season, they always ask me to clarify: “Wait, Texas-autumn or Eastcoast-autumn?” My answer, it should come without a surprise, is never “Texas.”

Mood: missing my two-up, two down (VA).

But at least the weekend, although all too short, was a refreshing step away from the stress and craziness of work and into the closest thing Texas has to a forest for another glorious camping weekend with my circle friends. We celebrated Samhaine by remembering our ancestors and dressing as some of our favorite deities if they were walking about in the 21st Century. I raided my own closet for a black wig, black leather leggings, black leather boots, a red chiffon dress and a black leather belt to represent the Morrighan, Celtic goddess of war, sex, sorcery, thresholds and general badassery. There was one other Morrighan in the crowd, as well as two Lughs, the Dagda, Brigid, Danu, Lilith, Isis, the Rainbow Spirit, Coyote, Mother Earth, three women who chose to simply represent the Maiden-Mother-Crone triad, and Kami (Shinto name for the life-spirit/force/energy/power that flows through and connects all of the universe). It was quite the gathering of deities in modern form. I’m sure I am missing a few, but those are the main ones I can remember right now. We each introduced ourselves and then hailed the deity we chose to represent.

Usually if I concentrate, quiet my breathing and focus inward, I can feel my deities watching over me along with any number of spirit guides and curious presences from the local landbase; however, while publicly calling to the Morrighan and inviting her into the circle, I felt almost as if I was channeling her words as much as I was inviting her, like she was already there and guiding me to speak what she wanted said. It was a pretty cool feeling. She may be a scary deity, but she protects those who can protect themselves, and she looks after those who please her. I count myself very blessed that I seem to be, as a whole, on her good side.

But anywho…now that the weekend is over, I’m back to the daily, stressful grind. As of Friday I will be stuck in the field again, most likely without internet for at least a few days and possibly the whole time. We should be coming back out just in time for Thanksgiving, and then I immediately start clearing my present unit. The closer I get to that magical date, the less nervous and the more disillusioned I appear to become. I really just want to leave, to just get it over with and move. I’m not leaving Texas—couldn’t be quite that lucky yet, perhaps next year—but at least I’ll be surrounded by my own kind again. Le sigh.

In related news, anyone know any good cat-sitters in the area? I can’t exactly take my kitty-cat with me to the field. I mean, I’m sure little kitty Hera would have a blast hunting ginormous crickets and snuggling up in my sleeping system at night, but she would get bored in the little 7x7 foot crew tent all day.

Not to mention the fact that I’m *not* allowed to bring her…

The cat-sitter hunt continues.

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