A Beltane Bodice-Ripper

A Beltane Bodice-Ripper April 27, 2016

If you don’t like romance-ish writing, homestead priestesses, and horny gods, just get right on outta here now. Cuz it’s about to get spicy…

Morning breaks on the day of my dawning. I have been awaiting this for so long! As long as I’ve heard the piping in the woods, gentle and clear. I’ve heard the music beginning to rise up to a sound that sets my limbs to trembling with a desire to dance like devils driving me. Then, always, always, it fades back to a sweetness that puts me in mind of a gentle hand caressing a child’s forehead to sleep. I have known, somewhere within me, that there is more to this music that sings me to dreaming. There will come a time when the notes that have come so close to frenzy will force their way through whatever is holding them back and will break on my skin like the crashing of the sea.

Each day, I listen, waiting for that time. Today I believe it has come.

How do I know this? Call it what you will, but today the Sun shines hotter, the Hawthorn trees have burst into bloom, the river’s sweet chattering is turning to raucous laughter. I am ready. Or so I believe.

The Old Ones have been watching me. I have seen them from the corner of my eye while I go about my daily chores. What do they see? A fine young woman, kneading the bread dough until it sighs with a sound that I have only imagined. Am I making that sound too? Is that why they watch me with such intent?  When I am pounding the clothes on the stone, until I feel my own sweat mixing with the wetness of the river, a feeling slides over me, like wanting to be that fine shirt, pounded and pummeled until I am clean and new. They know, the Old Ones do, as I know-today is the day- the day of my dawning.

No one has come to tell me to get ready. No one has spoken any ancient charm over me as I lay in my bed, restlessly moving my body against the rough blanket. There is no one to do that for me. I have always lived at the edge of the village, never venturing too close to the fires they light there. I feel as though I was never born – only sprung up, as I am now, tall and strong, dark and wondering.

dawn and quitoMy life is fine, as fine as my own two hands make it. Now and again, someone will come from the village, with a basket of eggs for small knowings, or even a whole chicken for a deeper question or healing. My two goats came from a Laird’s wife, wanting to know if the babe inside her would be born blond or dark. I suppose I saved her life by giving her pennyroyal, to bring her babe too soon to live. Life, death. It is all the same to me. But today, with this feeling in my veins, I want to live, to burst into blossom and fruit, to chase and be chased.

So I wait, quietly, for the sound of the pipes, and this time when It begins, I am filled with a longing so great, my eyes fill with tears. It is through this swirling wetness that I see the trees at the edge of my clearing begin to bow and sway. This is some trick of the light! Some mischief of the Old Ones, to turn my mind so I can actually see the trees dancing!

Then a path opens. The two hawthorns that act as my guardians move their branches to form a gate – a living portal of sweet smelling pink blossoms. The music I can hear now is reaching that place where it has always faded before, the point where it has always returned to a faint murmur. But this time it doesn’t turn gentle. This day, of all days, the notes continue to rise, filling the air like the sound of a rutting buck. The scent of deep wild magick fills the air and power spills into my garden in a rush of musk. I stand, still as a stone, but there is a tightening throughout my body, like fear and anticipation mixed together. All the mouths of me are full of desire to open and be filled.

I see a shadow step up to the gate formed by the trees and my eyes suddenly clear. I can see perhaps more clearly than I ever have before, and I watch the shadow take the shape of a man. Or is it? I have seen men before, bent and bowed with years of hard work, or straight as a sapling in the full bloom of youth, but never have I seen one such as this.

I start with his eyes that have held mine as he fair dances toward me. They are green, like the leaves after rain, clean and clear, yet full of a hunger I have never seen before. His full lips are pursed

My Beloved Husband
My Beloved Husband (not a goat, but…)

as he blows into this pipes, the source of all the music that has been haunting me these long months. His hair is long, his brown curls tousled around his face3, and at his forehead sit two small horns, barely visible through the tangled strands. The strength and gentleness of his hands is evident in how he holds the pipes, like a child, like a lover. His arms ripple with muscle, veins prominent. His chest is bare, covered in soft fur, trickling down his belly to…My eyes are tricking me again! For he has no breeches to cover the evidence of this delight in seeing me here. Instead of human legs, he dances on the legs of a goat, cloven feet and all! I should be afraid, but I am not. His eyes hold me captive like a bird in a snare, yet I find only wondering within me.

I hear murmuring around me. The Old Ones have come out from their hiding places, as if to bear witness to this moment. I see them almost clearly now with my new vision, flitting, dancing, stomping, changing size and color in a frenzy of movement and excitement.

He steps lightly out from the wood and I feel my whole life has coalesced down to this moment. He stands, garishly naked, his lips still moving sensuously over the pipes. I watch him watching me and a strange feeling begins to grow around us. Suddenly he shouts, “HA!” Even as the cry leaves his lips, the sky grows dark and rumbling. I hear my goats bleating in what sounds like terror. My chickens race around the yard, clucking, trying to hide; my single rooster chasing after them. Madness seems to descend on my peaceful clearing. I hear cries from the woods, snarls and screams.

He leaps in one bound toward me. I stand my ground. I have defended this space from wild animals before.

He circles me then like a hungry beast, sniffing the air around me, and I feel my humanity slipping away. I turn to follow his movements, a snarl reaching my lips. I an angry now! He has entered my space uninvited, if not unbidden. He has frightened my animals and now, me. I will not give ground. But as we turn, I cannot help noticing the ripple of the muscles of his hairy thighs, the animal scent of him. He has lowered the pipes, placing them in a pouch at his waist, but I still feel the music surrounding us. I feel it thrumming through my bones, calling forth…something… I hear a growl and realize it’s coming from my own throat. Distant lightning flashes, momentarily distracting me, but it is enough for his quick movement. He stands so close to me now that a deep breath would bring his lips to mine. A cacophony of sound surrounds us- the goats, the chickens, the wolves of the forest, all bringing forth an unimaginable noise. The echoing music of the pipes he no longer plays is reaching a crescendo as I am overcome. All reason is lost as I close the gap between our mouths.  Fear and fascination all twisted inside of me. The moment our lips touch, I hear what sounds like cheering. My eyes fly open to find us surrounded by the Old Ones. I see them in all their glory now, dancing on the ground, flying through the air, beautiful and terrible and filled with a lustful glee.

Faun_merseI press myself against his body with a need that seems to come from somewhere else. Surely not from within me, surely not. Yet, this moment seems almost familiar, as though I am answering some ancient call.

I feel his pleasure at my touch rising between us. Pulling back enough to see the first greening of the garden around us, I know what to do.

Suddenly all becomes clear. I step back and take his hand, leading him to a freshly turned patch of earth, virgin, awaiting the first planting. I lie down up on the cool dirt and draw him to me. The noise around us quiets as though the garden is holding its breath. He holds me eagerly, breathing heavily, but this experience shall occur in my own time. I look deeply into this eyes and speak what has been revealed to me.

“You are indeed the Lord of the Wild Things, an untamed creature yourself, and I do want you, and I will have you. My desire for you echoes the call of the Earth for the seed. Together we create all life, here in this garden, all over the land. When I open myself to you, it shall be as equals, no one above the other.  Now. Let us begin…”

He smiles at my words and rolls over on his back. I know by this that he has understood me. As I move into place over him, I see myself mirrored in his eyes, every bit as wild and untamed and untamable as this creature below me. I guide him in to me and a deep sigh escapes him. Resounding through the clearing, through the world.

The animals resume their riot of noise, lighting flashes and thunder rumbles as we move in and out of each other. As we twist and moan, I see his face change, shift, and I recognize that the energy we are dancing with is the same force that animates all things. That he is male and I am female no longer matters. We are the mountain and the valley, the bee and the flower, the carefully tended crop and the weed that rises between them. The madness that I felt earlier creeps up on me again and I see the depth of my own feelings evident on his face. Thorough some magick of his own, music begins to pour forth from him. I can almost see it, smell it as I bring my face close to his skin. As the pleasure rises the music grows louder and more frantic, filling me with a chaos of emotion and a single purpose. Reaching our peak we spill into each other, into all things, receive all things. And as our bodies separate, I notice that on the virgin earth, tiny green shoots are sprouting.

I know his place, running and digging and rutting among the beasts of the forest, their king and their servant. I have visited him there. Yet I always return to my place, this piece of land that is more mine now than ever. I feel the deepest love I can imagine for my home, my own work. I am the ruler here, and the servant, of my plants and my animals, the guardian and the healer of the villagers who seek my aid. And I am content.


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