As I sit here with the Feast of Saturnalia almost upon us and in the full throes of the Christmas season my mind turns to our horned God and the importance of this time of year and this year in particular. Tomorrow we will have an eclipse and later on the 21st a grand conjunction. The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, the great benefic and great maleific are combining on the Winter solstice in a way that has not been seen in almost 800 years. Only time will tell how this will affect the course of our world but I am sure it is significant. On the 14th we will have a solar eclipse in Sagittarius and this particular alignment has not been seen since 2002. The question astrologers are asking is what were you doing in 2002? What was important then and significant to you then because that energy will be here again? For me it was the beginning of my study of Feri and my life was changed forever. I cannot know what it will bring for me now and perhaps you do not either, but big changes are here and here for all of us.
|"The Harvest" by Eugene Maslovski|
On this rainy day I contemplate the turning of the wheel. The start of the Hunt at Samhain when the horned Master rides forth collecting the souls of the dead as he and his Host jump from gate to gate and eventually culminating on Solstice with the sacrifice of the Holly King so that the Oak King may be re-born. Sorry, I don't subscribe to the revisionist history that these Spirits are lovers. It denies the arc of this mystery from the Paleolithic to our pale reflections of it from Jack-o-Lanterns to Santa Claus. The King must be sacrificed for the land. The new King must be reborn as lover to the Lady. The power of the oak and holly wax and wane through the year. The Hunt is now. Now is the time to feast and to pay homage. To listen and see if we can hear the horn of the Hunt Master and the baying of his hounds. There are tales of hearing the Hunt even as recent as the 20th century. There is one legend from Shropshire, England where the horns of the hunt were heard in 1939 so loudly and terribly that they foretold the coming of the second World War. A huge reaping to be sure. Saturn drank long and deep from the bloody cup.
I wonder how the the horns are blowing now as we sit writhing in this pandemic? Such a death toll to be sure, especially in nations with failed leadership. A true reaping during the time of Saturn in the dark of the year. Saturn always takes more than Mars, always. I have felt the Hunt at times past and I know that while I am about as far away from the regions that these Gods and Spirits hail from I believe we take our linage with us in our blood, memories and customs. The Hunt is here. So too is the Holly King and the Oak and The Magister of the Crossroads and Gate. Native to Northern California are the Valley and Live Oaks, different than Quercus Robur (or English Oak of the Driuds) but proxies and analogs. So too is the Native Toyon bush or Californian Holly, which is what Hollywood was named for. Another analog. Our own Oak and Holly. Now the Toyon, an important food for animals and the Indigenous people, is ripe. Bearing it's fruit in the dead of winter. Such a loving bounty. I plan on wild harvesting some on the Solstice to make jam to celebrate the bounty our land gives to us.
So while we shelter in place during this reaping my thoughts turn to the Old Ways, they turn inward and I try to listen to what the Spirits are saying. The tradition of Misrule seems to be upon us strongly as everything is turned on its' head. I hope for great changes but I know that I can only change what is within myself. This is the true path of Iron. I am my own forge and hammer. I honor the Mark of Cain and my ancestors.
I hope you can find time for feasting and reflection during this pivotal year. I hope the Host does not reap too harshly from those you love and may you walk in power and wisdom into the New Year.