Leavetaking

I’m facing a significant move in my immediate future, one that will return me to my childhood land and to my friends and loved ones there. For several years we’ve been apart, thanks mainly to an inauspicious, but temporary, relocation for work. Despite my best efforts, my time here has bonded me to this place, at least to a very small part of this place – a 21 foot diameter circle with an old forked elm tree at its centre – to be precise. Here I have worked magic and prayer, bane and boon, glimpsed beyond the veil, trod the wheel, worked the old rites, frozen my ass off in winter and been eaten alive by bloodsucking insects during most of the rest of the year.

The elm tree has been my ritual companion, its forked branches holding candle lanterns and smouldering incenses, corn dollies and herbs according to the seasons and receiving offerings for three turnings of the year. It grows close enough to my house here to beckon me frequently, but far enough away that I have never been disturbed there. The place of working has accumulated patterns of stones as well as spirits in my time here.

It is a personal life philosophy of mine to try to leave every situation in better shape than I found it.

To bid farewell to the Genius, I went to the elm tree bearing offerings: bowls for salt and water that I have used here, tied up with cords of deerskin and wool that I wove in the course of my solitary workings and buried among the roots of the tree. I offered a libation of twenty year old single malt, so that the bowls would not be offered empty. I trod the triple circle for the last time in this place.  At other places, I have painstakingly gathered up my energies or their residues I had left, winding them carefully back to their source. But this year the elm is having a hard time, with large branches dying off since the buds unfolded in the spring, so I left what I had to offer in place as I walked away from the old and into my new life to come.

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