A Quiet walk in the Woods
As I step into the folds of the forest a sense of anticipation washes over me like the mist from a gentle rain. From what source these feelings originated I had no clue. I knew only that I felt a calling to walk about in the woods this night. The Sun had long since gone to rest. Up ahead of me loom several large Elm trees. Their limbs stretched out across the darkened sky like the gnarled fingers of a village witch from a distant past.
For a moment I thought of the cunning woman quietly giving of herself to those in need of her special skills.
High above these grand guardians of the path looms our Sacred Mother in all of her glory. While wisps of clouds hide her face, she keeps a watchful eye on those she calls her children.
Over the ages she has excited many a heartbeat as pagans have gathered beneath her silent gaze. Seekers of the mystical ways, they dance wildly about the blazing bonfire, freeing their spirits from its earthly bonds. They engage in ancient chants which rise to the dark skies above in acknowledgment of our Sacred Queen.
Solemnly I stand amongst the Elms and add my voice to the spiritual chorus that reverberates within my soul. Odd words spring forth which I understand not. And yet as I enjoin this strange repertoire, the Weeping Willows off to my right begin to sway to and fro as if engaged in a slow dance to a forgotten refrain. Their long graceful limbs are gently scraping the hardened ground below. This results in an eerie keening as if in honor of those who have passed through the silver veil. Alas the Willow is known as the tree of death, the "Ashen one" as she is known. She is the portal through which the souls of this realm will eventually cross as they return home from their brief journey abroad. As handmaiden to our Sacred Mother, such an honor is theirs to claim.
As I walk along in the light of the moon, I head down the hill towards a noisy stream. Just in the distance I espy a ring of toadstools, those midnight blooms our mother loves so dearly. As I near this sacred setting I can hear tiny voices from the direction of the fungal circle. Slowly I approach so as not to disturb the gathering of fey that I now can see are gathered within. From a short distance away I can overhear their excitement, for this very night
the Seelie Court is preparing to ride with the waiting wind. They are a wild host bent on magickal mischief. All are dressed in their finest hues of red and blues and greens and yellows. Each of them is wearing a Bluebell flower as a cap atop their heads. Strange looking moths are fluttering about just above their heads. A shiver of excitement rolls slowly down my spine. Oh what a special night of enchantment this is.
Slowly I ease away in order to keep my eavesdropping a secret. As I slip away, much to my surprise, I nearly trip over a young dwarf. His hob nailed boots catching my foot in mid stride. Without the beard so typical of his kind, he could easily be mistaken for a small child who is surely lost out here in the woods. As it turns out he was hanging out in the hopes of sneaking a draught of ale. With a sigh I mused to myself about the similarities of youth regardless of race. And with that we winked at each other and I silently headed up the moonlit trail.
As I was meandering along lost in thought I suddenly caught sight of a set of antlers moving about through a patch of sassafras saplings.
Their red colored bark, adding to the shades and hues of the woodlands as seen at night. Oh what a large and handsome buck that is or so I thought for a fleeting moment. But then I realized that that was no mere deer walking regally about on this moonlit night. The awareness of who this was caused me to miss a breath. And quickly I went to one knee in a deep show of respect and excitement. I could barely contain myself. For this was none other then Cernunnous himself, who was enjoying a midnight walk beneath the watchful eyes of her above. Barely able to breathe, I waited until he had wandered far out of sight. And then with a huge gasp I jumped up and very nearly peed myself.
This was far too much excitement for this old witches' heart to handle. With all of the wonders and sights of this night, I was giddy with a rush of adrenalin.
And so with that I started back up the trail from which I came. As I neared the edge of the forest I looked up the nighttime sky and as I stood there I gazed in wonder at the beauty of our Sacred Mother. All about her were the sparkle of miniature lights as the stars gathered about in a protective embrace. My feeling for her was without
description for no words could adequately describe the emotions which came from the depths of my soul.
After a moment or two I gave her heartfelt thanks for allowing me to be a part of this special night. As I turned to leave a voice came from the old oak tree that was just to my left. And the words that I heard were as such; "no
thanks are needed witch for this is your world as well. You only need to allow yourself to be a part of it."
And with that I smiled with a quiet sense of acceptance and headed out onto the street leading to my home.
As I was heading up the road to my abode a neighbor out walking their dog asked me "how was your walk on this moonlit night?" And I responded with a straight face; "oh it was quite uneventful, just a quiet walk in the night"…