The Guardian of the Lake

artist: Ernst Haeckel

It is the New Moon in Aries, the sun sign of my birth and the sign of spring, fire, action, courage and initiation. I drew a tarot card a few days ago, asking what my magical focus should be. “Temperance” was the reply. How fitting…for not only is the new moon in Aries, but also Mercury, Uranus, Venus retrograde and, of course, the Sun. This spring is already especially volatile, with so much Aries energy; some calming water, some balance and patience – some Temperance – are all certainly in order.

On that same day, we later confirmed the arrival of a powerful new guardian in the lake by which our apartment is situated. There are no coincidences in magic. Among other signs, he appeared just in time for the first new moon of spring, and the Temperance card clearly spoke of his presence and purpose. Who better to learn Temperance from?

So, this morning I decided that the primary goal of my new moon ritual would be to meet this guardian, and of course to use the sparking, initiating power of the Aries new moon to sow the seeds of my goals for the rest of the year.

I began with a cleansing ritual shower, and then created a sacred space by lighting a deep blue chime candle, burning a stick of cedarwood, and casting a circle with a selenite wand.

I sat in front of my altar and looked east, out the balcony door to the lake shore just yards away. Holding the crow-feathered, cedar spirit stick I handcrafted at the instruction of an ancestor guide, I played a custom meditation track of shamanic drumming, underwater sounds, frogs and peepers. It doesn’t take long to begin the descent…

turtle graphic

I am standing at the edge of the Lake. It is surrounded by myriad trees – longleaf pine, oak, cedar, mimosa, poplar, cherry, walnut, willow. The day is cloudy, damp and mild. I call upon the crow to guide me to his ally, to show me where to enter the Lake. He swoops down near the mass of black willows, and I wade out into the water, beginning to shrink as I slip down into the murky shallows.

I grow smaller as I swim deeper, moving through the silt clouds and hazy dappled light. Soon I see a dark shape ahead of me slowly emerge through the watery shadows and plumes of clay. First the slightly pointed head with the long, leathery neck, then the dark, piercing beady eyes, and finally the impressive, huge, faceted and painted shell.

The old Turtle moves languidly past me through the water, beckoning me along. He seems in no great rush to begin conversing, but continues swimming and so I follow. Not for very long do we drift until he settles himself and awaits an introduction.

“I am the Lady of the Lake,” I say. “Of this Lake.” I also tell him a more personal name.

When Turtle does speak, his voice is deep, many-layered and rolling. It reverberates strangely through the water and I feel it as much as hear it. Sound is so different underwater. But he does not often speak. He communicates more through sharing thoughts, energies, impressions but even many of these manifest his low, calm, ancient voice. He asks me what is my claim to the title.

“I have been here just over a year now, walking all around this Lake, meditating around it, scrying into it, I have poured countless offerings into it, I’ve wept and laughed by its shores and even cleaned them, and I’ve used it in spells and rituals. I have loved it.”

Turtle seems pleased and accepts my explanation with a slow nod. He tells me that my husband and I must come visit him frequently in the Lake, through journey and meditation of course.

He also tells me that I should walk by the Lake every day. Especially throughout the spring I should do my best every day I can to spend at least some time out by the lake. He encourages me to read more. To just sit and read.

The way we communicate is very fluid and relaxed, and sometimes a little random and stream-of-consciousness. He moves from one thought to another at something of a whim, but still coherently and sensibly. At times, he speaks “audibly” and directly, other times he shares emotions, energies and concepts intuitively.

Turtle is enduring, patient and strong. He knows, and he knows that water knows. He knows that water is a conduit, a channel, a medium, a receiver, and a recorder. Turtle’s wisdom and intuition are nearly unmatched, and the two only enhance each other. He is ancient and resilient.

He doesn’t hold with nonsense but he is benevolent, compassionate and, at times, humorous. He values truth and respect and expects vigilance, steadfastness, discernment and, of course, temperance.

Even as I think to request it, Turtle offers me the boon of his protective powers, which reinforce my own personal shields and those around our home. After other questions and reflections are passed, it is clear rather suddenly that the meeting is concluded. Patient and steadfast though he is, Turtle also knows the value of time and does not waste it once a decision is made and what’s done is done.

He slips rather more quickly back into the murky depths than he first appeared, and I feel the gentle push and pull of the water carrying me back up to the light and air, to the shore, to my conscious, physical form, breathing and meditating.

Turtle requested no other offerings for now apart from the planting of a seed of intention in the Lake. So, I took a fresh cage-free egg (should you try this, be sure to use a room-temperature egg or it will be very hard to write on due to condensation) and held it in my dominant hand while visualizing all the things I wanted to grow, accomplish, and improve, and I visualized the fiery, hopeful energy of the Aries new moon infusing the egg.

I then took a green permanent marker and wrote my name along with keywords describing all the things I had imagined doing, creating, sharing and gaining.

I went outside and walked along the Lake trail to the first bridge and as I began to walk across, wondering where exactly to cast the egg into the water, I looked up and saw a crow flying past and swooping down a little, roughly in line with the middle of the bridge.

I walked to this point and, continuing to focus the Aries energy and my optimistic hopes and intentions, I hurled the egg down into the water with a deep and very satisfying plunk and splash.

Even before knowing exactly what I would be doing for the new moon, it was still very obviously appropriate and encouraging to see that my husband’s rune-of-the-day earlier this morning was “Inguz”, a fertility rune linked with the god Frey and resembling a seed or egg. There are no coincidences in magic!

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plant the seed with intention, water it with faith and action, and it will grow! (photo by Aethiriel)

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

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