This series began with childhood memories of chilly winter nights. As a kid, I remember how the cold seemed to contract around you, drawing you closer to loved ones, making your world seem small enough to hold in the palm of your hand... There was a comfort in having nowhere to go and nothing to do, but also a restlessness and excitement to know that outside, a winter storm was raging.
Birches have long been a symbol of new beginnings -- they're a pioneer species, one of the first to regrow in an area after a natural disaster, and their bark contains oils that make it especially good for kindling life-giving fires in the hearth (and heart) during the coldest, darkest months of the year.
Pagans like to say, "What is remembered, lives." Memory is re-membering, the act of giving life to the past through rituals of witness.
When it comes to questions of how to respond to the cultural demand to "honor the soldiers who died for you" -- what should my honor look like?
It is enough to show up to this act of intention. Without the need to grasp what cannot be grasped. Without the need to name what cannot be named.
To hold my heart like a candle wick, steady, upright, held open to the presence of my gods.
The first morning in autumn that I wake up to find the land crisp with crystallized mist clinging to each blade of grass, edging each fallen leaf... that is a sacred morning.
Some modern Druids and Celtic polytheists celebrate Samhain on the day of the first frost. And so the first morning in autumn that I wake up to find the land crisp with crystallized mist clinging to each blade of grass, edging each fallen leaf... that is a sacred morning.