In the spring of 2008, I scrambled down a wooded hillside path in the dark before the dawn, found a stand of three large trees, and buried a piece of myself between them, asking the Mothers, my Mothers, to set me right, to find my way back from the dark place I had lost myself in. What followed was…well, let’s say difficult. The undoing of more than seven years and the redirection of my life toward the cord of fate from which I had fallen was no small task.
Fragments of those wrong turns remain. You can’t destroy, only unmake, but in a strange way the unmaking of those years has been as essential to my fate as the cord I sought to rejoin, and it leaves me with a keen appreciation for the need to get lost, to lose and rediscover yourself to the spiritual work. Innocent hope must be lost, sometimes nearly destroyed, in order that a receptive vessel of proper experience can be forged.
These things I would not wish on another, but I would not take them away from another to whom they befell. That is the heart of Saturn for me. The Greater Malefic because its harshness comes with care and compassion. “I will watch you drown, but if you start to swim, my hand will find yours.”
I remember the dream of mice, their bodies broken, littering the floor, their blood smeared on the walls against which some great force had thrown them, and the words, “the deer are in the house” snaking along the surface, almost visible in their aural presence.
The deer seem to be one of the ways the Mothers run around these lands I’m on. Several quietly magical places have opened up to me along the deer runs, the little paths revealing themselves to me as if a veil had been pulled aside and an invitation sent.
The bones of deer wind their way in and out of my working, gathered from the roadside across which so many move. The bones of deer form part of the foundation for my work and one of my turning point workings occurred atop deer hide and highway bones. To be nestled now between two highways as they join and diverge from a common road is a bit like resting in the crook of the devil’s stang.
“You’ve seen her on the nine plains,
On deer hearts she’s been fed,
Our mother, Tlaltecuhtli.”
—”Song of Teteioinnan,” Mother of the Gods (qtd. in The Flower and the Scorpion by Pete Sigal, p. 152)
Over the course of this last year, the Moon has been more present in my practice, and beneath its cycles a wider arc of work has opened, the integration of the personal with the impersonal, the intimate with the cosmic. As Orion passes high again, his belt bright, I am made to recall how loudly those three stars danced last Thanksgiving, announcing a cycle of meetings with the Moon.
“Monthly, at the new moon, the gods of the Land gather around her (Inanna) so that the divine powers are perfected. The great Anunna-gods, having bowed before them, stand there with prayers and supplications and utter prayers on behalf of all the lands.”—Iddin-Dagan A, lines 27–31 (qtd. in The Sumerian Sacred Marriage in the Light of Comparative Evidence by Pirjo Lapinkivi, p. 120)
From the great to the small, and back again, a constant flow in which I strive to participate as best I am able, despite the limits of my understanding and my being. And in honor of this year with the Moon, I offer thanks and appreciation according to my fashion.