Some things I learned from blackberries

blackberries

  Green as glass White as snow Red as blood Black as coal What am I?-Traditional riddle "The Hermetic tradition defines three magical works: the black work of deathlessness and destruction; the white work of illumination and rebirth; and the red work of power over the earth. This ancient color triad...corresponds to the first three colors to be defined in human languages. But the next color to be defined in language is green, which is the complement to red as white is … [Read more...]

Can a human being be the spirit of a place?

My Marie Laveau altar for St. John's Eve

 Marie Laveau has been on my mind of late.  Ever since I went to Mardi Gras, actually, and visited her (reputed) tomb and left a token there among the offerings left by tourists and other pilgrims. I do that sort of thing fairly often, actually, usually at the grave sites of writers I admire. (William Faulkner and Eudora Welty both like bourbon). When I went back to New Orleans recently, I stayed in a hotel, the Inn on St. Ann, that according to legend was once run by Marie Laveau as a … [Read more...]

The Queen of Fair Elfland

American Elder

             True Thomas he took off his hat, And bowed him low down to his knee: “All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven! For your peer on earth I never did see.”“O no, O no, True Thomas,” she says, “That name does not belong to me; I am but the queen of fair Elfland, And I’m come here for to visit thee. A couple of weeks ago, I made some elder flower tincture. I have done this off … [Read more...]

Home.

Today, I was going to write a long post. About how happy I am to be home after two years of rebuilding. About what home means. About how good it feels to walk around 'our' land and know each plant and bird and critter by name. About how happy those beings seem that we're back -- the non-corporeal ones, too. (I'm sure the sweet things I left in the trees and the little "Happy to be home!" song I sang helped with the latter.)But as happy as I am, I'm surrounded by boxes, the house smells of … [Read more...]

Dionysos in a Paving Stone, Brighid in the Broken Glass

pic1

I stood on the corner of the street, waiting for a bus to take me from Seattle and saw a friend.  It's been awhile since I'd seen them*, and I'd never been where I was about to go, so they were a welcome sight.  After a brief embrace and a few words, we'd realized we were going to the same place, taking almost the same route.They'd never been either.  Both of our first times."Were you at Mayday last year?"They nodded.  "Yeah--last year was my political Beltaine, this year's my spi … [Read more...]

Wishful Ducklings

Mallard mama and ducklings

I thought I'd begin my sojourn as a writer for A Sense of Place with a bit of discussion of the particular place I find myself in now, and how I wound up here...Recently John Beckett asked "Where are you from?"  and relatedly, "where do you feel at home?"  I'm from north Georgia, just across the state line from where he grew up, and like him I find that glorious southern Appalachian landscape stays with me wherever I go.  But as for where my home is now...well, that's a story.Almost a ye … [Read more...]

A Light That Never Goes Out…

St. Mary's

I saw my first Beltaine fire in a Paschal flame.Eighteen years ago now, I think, though I do not trust my own accounting.  My friends had returned home to family but I remained, for my family was far away and I wanted, instead, to wander the long rock outcroppings and listen to the sea.I went for a time to a Christian college in Cape Ann, Massachusetts.  This is not that story, for there is little to tell: a young, awkward, secretly gay guy, raised in abject poverty, given a massive s … [Read more...]


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