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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hunting Moon

Yesterday I wrote:
The primal world is close today. Wind, which I normally enjoy, even howling 'round the eaves, has a fell edge about it. (And my words are writing themselves, for I had started to write "has a FEEL of...") The Hunt was riding by, for sure; the goats, who normally take to their shed overnight, awakened me with many loud yells, though no mortal predator was about, for even the guardian dog stayed quiet and in his hut. K was up (getting ready for his early appointment) and had lit the fire, so I arose. I huddled close to Firelight, in the dark, with Frigga's candle burning on the altar and my Yule Fuel cup in hand, awaiting the rising of the sun. Even the kerosene lamps were hard to start this morning (you know, I think, that I do not use "man-light" in the hours before the sun); I did finally get a couple lit. There will be wick trimming and refilling on the list today, as well as other mundane chores. I hope to take advantage of the cold in the back room, as I need to complete re-sorting of the contents of the freezers; it will be easier to do this on a cold day, when I can easily open them all at the same time and make sure one holds meat, one "boughten" foods and the large one has all our fruits and veggies. It is time, as well, to soak the stalks for making the Yule Goat!

I feel sad for those who are so tied into the modern life, so divorced from the seasons and the natural world, that they must go about life as if today was the same as yesterday and will be the same on the morrow. Perhaps some feel a bit -- unsettled -- and wonder why. Most likely they attribute it to that extra bit of food or drink last evening, or the stress of the holidays, or working in retail, if they take note at all. Maybe a few might consider the chance of a disturbing, though unremembered, dream.

We throw up lights everywhere in this season, but no longer remember why. We light streets and yards as if to shame the sun into shining day and night, and forget the need for balance. We manufacture scary stuff for October's end, and never feel the real spirits flying by on the winds that only begin with summer's end.
 One theme that keeps returning to my thoughts, as I seek to walk in harmony with the natural world is Balance. You have likely seen me write that balance is dynamic, not static. There is the cycle of long nights/short days which morphs through a time when the light and dark seem the same length (but on they day of most equal balance, here in my neck of the woods, there is 1 minute difference on March 17 -- day is 12h1m and night 11h59m -- and even though the most even time in September, the 25th, shows both at 12h, I am betting that to the second, there is a difference) and then to the opposite as the summer give us short nights and longer days, which are most appreciated by this busy farmer. So over the year, balance. And in each day, both light and dark and in the world, both light and dark, especially when we can leave behind the human artifices. In the day, we can find shadow in the woods and in the night, there may be a moon or even when he is dark, with good night vision, one can see the path by starlight.

The changes of the dynamic balancing act can work to fuel us, as the universe pumps us up and down like we might work the handle on a well pump. It can also work to recharge us, as happened to me last night/this morning, when I very uncharacteristically slept a full 12 hours. "You must have needed it" was something I heard more than once, and I guess I did, for try as I might, I am still a bit more connected to the never changing times that the modern world dictates.

I am feeling more and more called to be inside once darkness falls, and mostly I managed it. Mostly. But not completely, for Nautical twilight, the time when most stars can be easily seen with naked eyes, and hence, "darkness", arrives here just after 5 pm here these days and at the very least, I go to collect waste food at 4:30 once a week. Which means, at the earliest, I am headed home AFTER dark. And which will continue to happen, but I am consciously working on keeping my away missions to the daylight hours this winter to see what changes that will bring.

So why did I title this article "hunting moon?" Deer hunting season has ended but seasons are still open for much of the smaller game but that is, for better or worse, not part of my current world. Instead it is the Wild Hunt, the energy of which I felt yesterday, and my Livestock Guardian Dog having bagged a rat that most stick in my mind at this time. Were I living in a different time, or even a wee bit of a different lifestyle, I WOULD be hunting, though. The snow having fallen makes tracking easier for me. I have been keeping tabs on the "rat trails" as I plan to put out deadly bait for them and I have checked on other footprints coming near the fowl pens, easily determining they are from our own domestic cat and dog and not wandering neighborhood beasts, or wild ones, in search of sustenance.

This moon cycle ends on Dec 29, so soon I will be hunting up all the things that need new homes, as well as collecting our trash for the dump. With the mundane holidays affecting schedules, I make note that we may not have an open dump day on Saturday, which is the eve of their Christmas and that the next scheduled open day, Dec 28, may be my only, and will be my last shot at "letting go" for this moon cycle and this calendar cycle as well. I will need to allow time, if Wednesday proves to be the only option, as the "first dump day after Christmas" always stands as a testimony to the gross level of conspicuous consumption of our general culture and as such, dumping my single can and droppin a bag of materials to be recycled always involves sitting in an extended line.

As we move into the peak craziness of this time, let me take a moment to urge you to open your senses to the dark, and yes to the spirits that ride the wind... to spend quiet time inside by the fire... to douse your lights and truly feel.