Another Walk in the Woods
As I walk amongst the woods at night, I feel the barriers to life falling to the wayside. As I leave behind the confinement of man-made walls and artificial lighting, I find myself bathing in the glow of Mother Moon, poised high above like a beacon in the dark. I feel the comfort of the woods as it encloses about me like a warm shawl on a cold winter night. I become a witch not in just thought, but as one in deed.
As I turn my back on the din of humanity, horns blaring as tempers rise, sirens sounding a note of distress, neighbors quarreling with each other, I cross the threshold of a natural environment. A place where the concepts of ego and avarice and personal desires based upon artificial needs ceases to exist.
I enter a place where the realities now forgotten and ignored are once again awakened.
The sounds I hear there are ancient sounds of a magical world that is so often over looked.
But as long as a single witch listens, the thread that so delicately connects it to the foolish delusions of man remains in place.
What sounds are these you may ask, oh my friend, they are many.
There is the sigh of Grandmother Spider as she patiently watches the dewdrops form on the strands of her delicate web. Content with the knowledge that Father Sun will draw them away upon the morrow.
There is the furry bandit with his ringed tail, scurrying along the banks of a stream in hopes of a midnight snack, as he leaves his wiry prints scattered across the dampened sand.
If one listens and watches intently, you may notice a saffron colored moth performing an ancient ballet as she dances amongst the branches of the darkened trees. A mystical performance presented in the silence of the night. Her audience naught but an old witch ringed in by the ever watchful Dryads from out of the nearby grove of oaks.
As I mentally applaud such a grand performance I wander towards the woodland meadow which is framed by a halo of soft mist formed by the tears of pagans throughout the ages. For the woods at night, is a refuge for those who follow the pathways of the Craft.
I hear the sounds of field mice as they scamper about with nervous steps, furtively dodging their winged nemesis gliding about overhead. I stop and ponder on this scene, wondering if these creatures of the lea know that their journey from this realm to that is but a split second grasp of a gray talon from out of the midnight sky.
As I wander about this sacred ground I know that I am not alone. For all around, ancient spirits are walking about, ethereal sentinels quietly guarding the doorway, to an alternate realm. A solemn scene played out night after night and yet one seen by fewer and fewer passersby. For the detritus of denial and the blinding effects of ignorance has become a plague on the senses of humans. This in turn creates a paradox, for in time these same blind and deaf souls will take their place amongst the vanguard of spirits that walk this woodland nemeton. When their turn comes will humans be completely unaware of their presence? Will the slim thread that connects this realm to that one be severed?
As I wander back onto the woods I hear the rustle of brown bats careening overhead in their relentless pursuit of the insects that fill the nighttime sky. And then I think of the analogy between these creatures of the night and the similar actions of humans pursuing and devouring the beliefs of those that came before them. In the one instance it is a matter of survival and in the other it is a matter of unbridled and corrupted power. Oh the lessons that we forsake.
Walking back along the trail the rays of the moon guide my way. Suddenly I hear the tiny voices of some passing fey. And deep within comes a yearning to join them on their adventure. Such a foray comes so seldom these days as our worlds drift apart. Such is the sadness that comes with being a witch for knowledge leads to an awareness of loss. Sacred are the times when man and fey communed together. But those with impure thoughts in their hearts and minds have distanced our race from such moments in time.
And so with the passing of this moment I give thanks to the Ancient Ones for the experiences of this night.
And with heavy heart I return to the mundane existence that humans call life. But not all is sadness for as a witch I know that the experiences of this night will always be with me.
And besides, there is always tomorrow night…