It’s part of life, yet when it visits we feel the sting.
On Samhain this year I sat in the field outside the Ring Fort. In the gloaming I breathed in and out, made offerings, and listened to the Land, the Ancestors, and the spirits of Place. A bull snorted. A cow watched, chewing. A lithe red fox leapt out of the hedge, glanced at me, then bounded into the Ring. The fort is named for the badger, Lisnabrock, but I believe there are fox dens in the SW corner.
As I walked the lane the other day, with a fresh spring feeling on the air, I passed by the Ring and paid my respect. I looked out toward the rolling fields, now filled with grazing dairy cows, and stopped in my tracks. Breath held. On the soft grass by the stone wall lay a lithe red fox. Ears erect, eyes open, hind legs crouched, but the gaze was into a far southwestern land. I stood immobile. Within sight of my house, across from the Ring, and on the first truly Spring-like day… was death.
How long I stood there, I do not know. Many emotions welled-up within me. From resignation of the cycles, the final kill of the Hunt, book-ending Samhain and Imbolc to…….. NO, the machine is not part of the natural cycle. The machine is the Orc, the mind of metal and corrupter of the natural world. In that rising anger a Charm sprang into my memory. The Descent of Bríd (re-imaginings of the original, which is found in The Carmina Gadelica:Radiant Arrow of Flame, Brigit, daughter of the Dagda, Dagda the Good God, son of Ethlinn, Ethlinn, daughter of Balor, Balor, king of the Fomoire. Every day and every night That I say the genealogy of Bríd I shall not be killed, I shall not be injured, I shall not be enchanted, I shall not be cursed, Neither shall my power leave me. No earth, no sod, no turf shall cover me, No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me, No water, no lake, no sea shall drown me, No glamour out of Faery shall oértake me, And I under the protection of the holy maiden, My gentle foster-mother, my beloved Bríd. ~Hilaire Wood Or…… Brigid daughter of Dagda, Brigid wife of Bres, Brigid mother of Ruadan, Radiant Flame of Gold, noble foster-mother of christ. We are under the shielding of good Bríd each day, We are under the mantle of Bríd each night, We shall not be lost in this shifting age, We shall not be thrown from our path, We shall not be abandoned, We shall not be beaten, Nor political corruption dismay us, Nor apathy delay us. No fire, no sun, nor star shall burn us, No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown us, No arrow of betrayal nor dart of deceit shall wound us. Bríd is our comrade, Bríd is our escort through danger, Our choicest of women, our guide, our Saint, our Goddess. ~ Traci Laird
And placing a coin beside the body, I walked to the crossroads. The words of a charm bubbling into my heart. Safe from poisons, safe from the wounding dart of the machine, safe from the flood. In the center point where the ways meet, in the heart of the crossroad, I placed the remaining two coins. One for death, and two for the Way.