Sitting At an Altar, Somewhere Between Night and Morning

In my personal calendar, this is the last day of the old year. I woke too early for the day ahead, when there can be no nap to refresh me and I need to be sharp, alert, at my best. I’m doing a wedding later today for a family of whom I am very fond and, as you may have heard, it is the last day of the old year.

Last night, I facilitated a short Pagan ritual in honor of the days. We cut the ritual short and started earlier than the announced time because there is an on-going police investigation along the river and we thought it best to leave the area as near dark as possible. That was disappointing–shortening the ritual, making the event smaller than planned–but the ritual went pretty well. We’ve done ritual in that park off and on for many years so it is familiar ground, at a point where two rivers flow northward and away.

(The investigation involves the disappearance of two young women, which may or may not have connections to a murder earlier in the week. Information is sketchy at this point and we don’t know what to think or how to hope. So we wait and listen, and wonder.)

We invoked the Bone Queens and welcomed the new year. Though we had cut it due to time constraints, we added back a sweet spiral dance on the soft and leaf-strewn ground. Round and round in the darkness, chanting

We all come from the Goddess.

And to Her we shall return

Like a drop of rain

Flowing to the ocean.

Round and round, never fast enough for Snap the Whip, but fast enough to feel the energy rise around us and moving past us, flowing to the rivers and up the banksides.  Through us and away, taking bits of us with it, freeing us, clearing us.

It has been a long year, a hard year for many, eye-opening in its lessons, heart-breaking in its revelations.  We stand in this place of too much information and not enough wisdom, grasping to understand the level of change the old world is undergoing.  We try to discern the whys when we can barely grasp the whats.  The “news” is filled with old information, presented in  a new way, as though we had never heard it before. There is a species-wide forgetting, it seems, as we find it difficult to pass information from generation to generation, each group having to deal with the gob-smacking of living that others have been trying to explain for years.

I reckon we all have to feel the knife-edge of the betrayals, the anguish, the loss of innocence, the roiling grief for ourselves but must the basic information be lost and set aside as though it never was?

There is a bit of lightness in the east. “Selected Shorts” is on the radio. The last day of the old year has begun and we are in it, up to our necks.

Let the new year find us strong and worthy, and may the new year bring us some joy with all our confusing lessons, our rare delights, our spotty humanity.

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