Thirty Days of Druidry 5: Pond-Rune   Leave a comment

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the pond earlier this morning

The fish-pond the previous owner built on the east side of our two and a half acres skews the elemental associations I inherit from my Euro-Druidry. So I read my pond-rune for its wisdom, in spite of the dislocation. Water to the East, the pond a surrogate for the Atlantic surging beyond it a mere hundred miles further off. Be ready to shift your perspective for what it can teach you, says my Druid guide.

Over-caffeinated this morning, I’m giddy as I try out this re-orientation, going for the literal first. Widdershins and we’re off, a banishing of the old order. Air to the North, then? Because nothing halts Canadian weather from turning intermittently south to us, troubling and training our meteorologists all year long to keep humble. It fits, too, because that first warm day of spring is air breathing its promise of new life, before the earth has quite let go its permafrost. Frost-heave warning signs still mark the worst of the bumps and dips in Vermont back-roads as the ground slowly gives up winter.

westgrove

the grove to the west, as the sky clears

Earth to the West, a tree-covered rise just across the road in front of our house. From time to time I build a dream-shrine there, or imagine it alive with some rite in progress, all without disturbing in the least the neighbor who actually owns the land. For three seasons the trees gather the light each day at sunset, their branches embracing orange and peach and golden afterglow, except for summer’s green crowding out all other colors.

And last to the South and Fire. Most immaterial of the elements, only you remain unchanged. I’m intrigued. The polarities work, too. Earth and Water, both traditionally feminine, face each other across the east-west axis, as do Air and Fire, traditionally masculine, across the north-south one. In fact, the realignment accords reasonably well with Mike Nichols’ article “Rethinking the Watchtowers: 13 Reasons Air Should Be in the North.” Here’s the second from his list of reasons:

PARALLEL CULTURES: Although arguing from parallel cultures may not be as convincing, it is still instructive to examine other magical aboriginal cultures in the Western hemisphere. For example, the vast majority of Native American tribes (themselves no slouches in the area of magic!) place Air in the North, which they symbolize by the Eagle. (Aboriginal cultures lying south of the equator typically have different associations, for reasons I will discuss next.)

Here’s a set of new meditations ready to hand: what follows from such a re-alignment? What new insights? What new ritual possibilities? As Druids emerge across the planet and walk their own lands, how do we adapt our practices and teachings, and what do the adaptations and changes teach us in turn? The pulse of our world is one, yes, even as each vein and artery flows with its own unique current and energy and direction, nourishing distinct organs and tissues. The metaphor’s merely another tool, and the question as always is: does it help us feel our way into accord with the spirits of the land where we dwell?

/|\ /|\ /|\

Oh earth of my bones, earth of my ancestors’ abode, earth that my feet and this house and our lives all rest on, I give thanks for breath and blood and day, the four elements in their shifting guises now complete. The fifth, Spirit Within, Spirit at the Center, hail and always welcome.

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