Cosmology

A match is struck — the flare in the darkness, the smell of sulfur, the quiet roar and hiss that is the first whispered melody of the cosmic dance. Energy and matter, process and emptiness, fire and water, the dance of relationship. Each sacred rite begins this way. The match is struck. The world begins again.

I light the small white candle floating in the deep blue bowl. What was before this? Nothing and void, pure potential. The flame licks and eats the air, the waters beneath swirl and turn, the soft wax of the candle hangs suspended in between. The wax melts, shining and dripping into the waters. The wax evaporates, lifting in invisible currents into the air. The fire stretches and curls, its edges sharp against the darkness, its movements as fluid as blood or rain. The waters grow still, a hard surface like the mirror reflection of some greater night, infinite as space and full of stars. The Three Realms unfold, dynamic in their spiraling dance of self-giving and welcome. Land, Sea and Sky created and re-created again, the cosmos reborn with every prayer.

And through that dance, ten-thousand things. My eyes adjust, and the shadows thrown by that dancing light invade the corners of my mind, wave upon myriad wave of strange and foreign beings pouring, gathering, shuffling in to replace the dark. The almost imperceptible sound of a fire burning, of water sloshing, of the wax candle knocking gently against the curved, smooth side of the blue bowl. The smell of sulfur lingers, mixed with rising incense. The touch of firelight against my skin, the cool currents of air coaxing goosebumps, the prickling of blood as it moves through my veins. My senses are alive to ten-thousand things. I awake to myself as a body in the world, as an animal embedded in the thick sensory slush and swirl of the earth. I know myself as part of the mystery of ten-thousand things.

I open my mouth to draw a breath, drawn deep into the still center of my being. At the beginning of every ritual, at the opening of every moment, there is a song.


This post is part of the 30 Days of Druidry creative writing project.

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

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