A Misty Autumn Morning

While lying in a sadness deep
I was awoken from that sleep
by sweetest purrs and softest fur
She gently bade me rise and see
the magical mist that called to me

With all haste I made my way
out into the newborn day
And to my heavy eyes it seemed
that still I wandered in the veil of dreams
where trees whispered within their shrouds
as I walked along in forested clouds.

Am I lost in this foggy Fall?
Is there no one to hear my heart’s call?
So much is now past, I know it well
Now long gone, simple memories
in countless tears that fell and fell.
Still they fall, still they fall…

 

 

Deirdre of the Sorrows by John Duncan

Deirdre of the Sorrows by John Duncan

 


“Celtic people, at their very core, are a water people. Within the various expressions of Celtic culture and spirituality there are hill people, shore people, and island people, but in each expression there is a deep and abiding orientation to the holiness of water. Something of the spirit of water has gotten right down into our souls, into our bones. Water has shaped us….In contemplating my own ancestors, I have arrived at the conclusion that Celtic people are not only a people of the water but also, and even more so, we are the consummate children of the mist.” – Frank MacEowen, “The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers and Seekers” New World Library 2002


© 2018 Meredith Everwhite (poem and featured image) All Rights Reserved

Welcome, Blessed and Watery Autumn!

Now we have entered autumn, the latter, darker half of the year. The Western Quarter, the Quarter of Water where endings begin. Days grow chillier, nights grow longer, and deep, aqueous contemplation pulls us into reflective silence. Or so it should. Don’t fight it. It is time to slow down, to breathe deep and to float and drift along the cycling currents of the seasons. The Western setting sun glows in the turning and falling leaves, reminding us all things end and transform. So sacred and vital is the West, to which wise ones from Paracelsus to Native American tribes assign the element of water. There dwells the Thunderbird, sending rains and thunder, indeed all water, from this darkening direction. Water reminds us that the only constant is change, and water itself, though ever welling and flowing, rising and falling, never dies but only continually moves and transforms. We are water, we are change, we are growth and transformation. We evolve, we grow, we must always learn to let go.

the-autumn-1896 Mucha

The Autumn by Alphonse Mucha 1896

The sacred trees into hues of golden fire now turn
past tears to dry, old woes and dross to burn.
While the wise Tiger of the West
Leads us into well-deserved rest
With his long-awaited and joyous return.

The cool and crisp air awakens and stirs,
The Goddess reminding me that we are all hers.
Even with thoughts of ends and death
I take in all nature with a hopeful breath,
As the line ‘tween this world and the Other steadily blurs…

 

 

see also last year’s: The White Tiger of the West: Autumn Equinox Oracle


featured image: Autumn Effect at Argenteuil by Claude Monet, 1873

© 2018 Meredith Everwhite (all original material including poem) – All Rights Reserved

Samhain Oracle of Persephone

Received on astrological Samhain, 11/7/17 at 6:45 a.m. (EST) using the Healing Light Tarot

The Healing Light Tarot draws inspiration from an ancient Celtic concept. It relates to the periods of Dusk and Dawn, where the veil between this world and the spiritual realm is at its thinnest. This is a time for visions, realisations and, above all, healing. The other main motif in this deck is the mandorla, the oval shaped portal created when two circles overlap and a symbol of the divine feminine. The mandorla is a healing gateway so I’ve placed one on each card. Where it opens, healing and wholeness can be found.” – Christopher Butler

Vesica_piscis


Evocation

Kore, Maiden of the Fertile Earth Above, Queen Persephone of the Dead, and Sacred Center of the Five Rivers of Hades…hear me this Samhain dawn and accept this offering of pomegranate juice. Hear the question of those who would seek your wisdom during this season of death and endings, and tell us how we may balance and integrate the above and the below; how we can learn from your story and your brave walking between the worlds of the living and the dead, achieving ultimate balance.

The Three Card Spread

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“You mortals see the light of a star for eons after it has collapsed and dissolved back into the void of its origin. The light has unspeakably far to travel and yet, even after its own origin has died, still it travels…still you see it even from light years away and for many years to come.

Death, a sacrifice, is present even in one of your most comforting symbols of hope, magic and dreams coming true. But it is the truest testament of what can and does endure after death, and what can only come about because of death.

How long have you watched and mapped the stars and yearned to travel beyond the borders of your planet? How long have you gazed up in hope and placed wishes upon them? How long have you seen your ancestors’ visage in the stars, and those of gods and monsters and sought to join them all in the celestial plane?

Yet still many of you fear and even demonize the gate through which this will be achieved: death. Death who is as sacred as life, for death feeds life and all life becomes death. Do not fear or force the cycles of nature or they will force you into them in a manner not of your choosing. You cannot and will not flourish if you are ruled by fear or discord.

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Fear will make you weak if you surrender too much to it. Instead you must be strong. One can feel fear and not be ruled by it, for strength and courage do not require the absence of fear. They require only that you overcome the fear and know that you are beyond it.

Know that many of the things and people you fear probably fear you more, like scurrying, distracting roaches. Or if you simply despise them, perhaps they despise you more. Too many of you are far too concerned with what the wrong people think of you and your personal truth, and this robs you of your strength.

And too many of you judge yourselves far too harshly and yet also everyone around you. This prevents you from building the foundation with yourself that you need to progress. To be rooted in strength is the only way to successfully grow.

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Let this hope and this strength spur you into action. A wand is a tool of power, a conduit, a source of inspiration and illumination, a means to penetrate the mysteries of life and death. There is nothing to be learned of life or death without a spirit of adventure, a willingness to not only speak but to do, and neither falsely.

For nothing can hide in the light of cosmic truth, or even in the shadows. They may conceal temporarily, but shadows only exist because of light and both are truth.

If you lead or teach no one else, you must lead yourself and you must know that in the end you only dwell in and only have yourself. You are a lone champion in a desert of ancient mysteries, and you may only save or control or enlighten yourself.

But, like the Star – even long after it has died – you, your actions, your truth, and the path you forged, even if only you were blessed enough to tread it, will echo and ripple through time and space, melding into the energy of the One, ever cycling within the unknowable cosmic dance of all creation.”

 

Dante_Gabriel_Rosetti_1882_-_Proserpina_with_Pomegranate

Proserpina with a Pomegranate by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

 

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

15º Scorpio: The Real Samhain, Part I

Halloween-Spider-Image-GraphicsFairy

Did you not get your fill of the Halloween spirit by the 31st? Were you not able to celebrate, visit a graveyard or do any ritual or meditating at all? Well you’re in luck because, astrologically speaking, the real Samhain (SOW-in or sah-VEEN) is never actually on the man-made calendar day of October 31st, but is in fact on November 7th this year. When the Sun reaches the 15th degree of Scorpio is when the true cross quarter holiday technically occurs.

This will be an especially watery and potent Samhain, as Venus will join the Sun in Scorpio and the waning Moon will be entering Cancer that morning. This could not be more appropriate or promising for the festival of Samhain; autumn, death, transformation, magic, feminine mysteries, the underworld and water are all intrinsically linked to one another. Together, they are also the essences of the energy of Scorpio.

F14.v._Constellation_of_Serpentius_on_Scorpio_-_NLW_MS_735C from National Library of Wales c. 1000 CE

Constellation Serpentius on Scorpio, from the oldest astronomical text in the National Library of Wales, written c. 1000 CE

I have been distinctly feeling the veil thin ever since Mabon in August, and I have felt more energy and even more thinning in just the past few days since Halloween and leading up to today’s full moon. The last two or three nights were heavy and strange and filled with restless, broken sleep. It will be on the 7th, with the Sun at the center of Scorpio and two other powerful, personal bodies moving into water, that the veil will be its thinnest this season.

Samhain’s Waning Moon in Cancer

 

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The Moon will be at home in the sign in rules this Samhain, which makes its influence especially strong. The waning phase is ideal for culling, resting, healing and planning.

The Sabian symbol for the first degree of Cancer (which the Moon will have just entered by 6 a.m. EST on the 7th) is…

On A Ship The Sailors Lower An Old Flag And Raise A New Onepirate+ship+vintage+image+graphicsfairy005d

I can hardly think of a more fitting image for the watery day of death and remembrance, of allowing the old to fall and decay back into the dust from whence it came so that the new and fresh may grow from the nourishing ashes. Everything cycles and must renew itself and Samhain, the third and final harvest festival on the wheel of the year, is a time to learn and celebrate how life perpetuates itself, and what sacrifices are involved.

A prominent symbol of an animal also connected with Scorpio and its energy is the Ouroboros.

The circular snake was sometimes shown with a half-light and half-dark body, alluding to the opposing principles of creation depicted in the yin-yang symbol of the Chinese Tao, which is yet another classic symbol of the One Thing”. – Dennis William Hauck, “The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation”

 

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.07287

© 2017 M. Everwhite

 

As Cancer primarily governs the home and family life, and since our homes are the very hub and center of our lives, this might be a particularly beneficial area to focus on balancing, clearing out, blessing, beautifying and preparing for the colder months ahead.

While we don’t really have to worry about the more extreme threats and demands of winter as many of our ancestors did, it’s still important to prepare for the seasonal shift mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

kitchen witch page

save or print this homey frame to record a recipe, kitchen spell or blessing

Creating sacred space in the home, whether for a ritual to honor and channel ancestors or just to create more loving and healing vibes, can be a powerful buffer against the other demands of winter we as modern humans do still face – financial burdens, the unfortunate busy-ness and commercialism of the holidays, manic shoppers, icy roads, broken heaters and thwarted plans to visit loved ones.

A great way to do this is to create a water-themed Samhain altar where you can place images and tokens of ancestors and other relevant spirits, give offerings to any underworld deities you may work with or wish to connect with, meditate on water, death and transformation or, again, simply welcome in the energies and vibrations of the cool, quieting and decaying season.

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 Photo by M. Everwhite © 2017

For example, here is the altar I created on the day of the full moon. There are several seashells (most of them black, an obvious color of Scorpio and the season, and which means they are especially old and spent unknown ages in sulfur deposits), the Death card from the Celtic Tarot, a young buck skull I found in the woods where my husband and I would later be hand-fasted, a contrasting onyx egg to represent rebirth, images of deceased relatives and others ancestors, gourds, guinea feathers and a couple favorites from my porcelain pumpkin collection.

Samhain_Autumn_Face

Here is an incantation you can recite at your altar or anywhere and anytime you want to connect with your ancestors this season, taken from Charlie Rainbow Wolf’s “Samhain Ritual to Appease the Spirits”, featured in Llewellyn’s 2018 Sabbats Almanac

I summon those beyond the veil
To hear my prayer, I shall not fail
To speak to helpers far and wide
To thank the spirits at my side
To know with you my life is blessed
When I’m awake and when I rest
My sacred smoke, I now send high
My words to carry through the sky
And summon those beyond the veil
To hear my prayer, I shall not fail.

halloweencostume3


Coming Up in 15° Scorpio: The Real Samhain, Part II…

– Venus in Scorpio
– Persephone and journeys to the Underworld
– Watery chthonic deities

and saving the best for last (and possibly as its own post), a Samhain Oracle reading featuring the new  Healing Light Tarot by Christopher Butler

 


© 2017 M. Everwhite

 

The White Tiger of the West: Autumn Equinox Oracle

Illustration from a Chinese Medical Book, Song Dynasty, Shaoxing Period, 1159 AD

Illustration from a Chinese medical book, Song Dynasty, Shaoxing period, 1159 CE

As the new moon grows and summer wanes to its end at Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, I welcome the White Tiger of the West – a celestial guardian of seven of the twenty-eight lunar mansions of Chinese astrology, and one of four symbols assigned to each of the directions and seasons. Autumn is the season of the West, and the themes of balance and light & dark that are related to Libra are also illustrated by the White Tiger with its black and white stripes.

While the element that the Chinese associate with the White Tiger and the west is metal, we in the western hemisphere associate water with the western quarter. I find this to still be fitting as tigers are in fact fairly watery creatures, being one of the very few (or the only) cats who actually enjoy being in water.

1137px-White_Tiger_in_the_wet by bjorn christian torrissen

white Bengal tiger, photo by Bjorn Christian Torrissen

Cats in general are frequently associated with water, however, and not necessarily because of any tolerance of or even affinity for physical water; it is their fluidity of motion, their subtlety, their keen sensitivities and awareness that makes them energetically watery.

I once read about a certain old folk belief that cats used to be serpents, which are of course strongly connected to water as well. If you spend any amount of time observing a cat – with their extreme flexibility, their sleek movements, speed and impressive senses and instincts – it is not hard to see the similarities between cats and snakes and, therefore, cats and water.

The energy of the white tiger, particularly the White Tiger of the West, includes that of change and adaptability. One of the most obvious themes of autumn is change and transformation, specifically the ending portion of such cycles – the opposite Sabbat on the wheel of the year is Ostara, the Spring Equinox and the birthing transformation.

Very appropriately, the waxing moon is today in the water sign of mystery, revelation and transformation – Scorpio.

This is also an aspect of water, constant change. As much as I can’t stand the rest of the wildly inaccurate and insensitive misfortune that is Disney’s Pocahontas, I can’t help but adore the main songs from that movie. The opening lines of “Just Around the Riverbend” are perfect and frequently echo in my head – “What I love most about rivers is: you can’t step in the same river twice, the water’s always changing, always flowing. But people, I guess, can’t live like that; we all must pay a price. Do we safely lose our chance of ever knowing what’s around the riverbend?

But even we, as people – humans who crave permanence and control – must at least try to live like that, to be more aware of change and cycles and being willing to be part of its natural flow. This newly waxing moon and now the Sun taking us into the golden equinox brings a wonderfully fresh breath of balancing, Libran air, peaceful endings and hopeful beginnings as a comforting reminder of the ever-turning wheel of life.


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Autumn Oracle of the White Tiger

The leaves turn and begin to fall, the nights grow longer and the air cooler, and the wise, regal White Tiger of the watery West slips gracefully and silently through the amber forest, bearing wisdom for the turning season…

Again, as for the new moon, I used the Shadowscapes Tarot to receive a message from the White Tiger, and drew the top card after shuffling the deck and cutting it once. I then felt moved to also select the card from the bottom of the deck – the shadow card. Fitting for the black and white tiger, much like the “Light and Dark of the Moon” spread used in the September Full Moon Oracle.

It is also fitting that we see, yet again, fire and water or…

Three of Wands and Ace of Cups

three of wands shadowscapes ace of cups

White Tiger Speaks,

Everything is about balance. Balance of life and death, of dark and light, of speaking and remaining silent, of the inner and outer world. The sun is now entering the sign of balance – Libra, the scales. Be still and silent here…take the time to balance your scales. To see what is both within and without. Is there harmony there, or only discord? Or do they both ebb and flow?

The message of the Eight of Cups in the last New Moon Oracle is reinforced by the Three of Wands – both speak of moving on, of discovering and growing, of travel, expansion and exploring the unknown. It is natural for you humans to fear what is not known or understood. Fear is the enemy of growth, and it is the enemy of understanding.

The river in the valley below the young woman in the Three of Wands flows from the Ace of Cups – it is her faith, her spirituality, her inspiration and magic. These are the things that help you stay in balance and that allow you to find your personal truths. She looks ahead, she plans ahead, she is a visionary and a pioneer.

While she knows that fear is her enemy, she also knows that she must have discernment and intuition to navigate her course. She even has her wise, feline companion at her side to remind her and guide her, as I am here to guide you through this season in which magic grows and the deep waters of the spirit flow.

It doesn’t matter if your cup is half empty or half full; either way it will stagnate. You must ever empty and refill it. May you find learning and comfort in both its fullness and its emptiness.

 

1280px-White_tiger_busch_gardens_2 cary michael bass

  chinese king symbol - wang
The Chinese “Wáng”, or “King” symbol, which can be found on the forehead of every tiger. The three horizontal lines represent heaven, man and earth, and they are unified by the vertical line, the king. Or the White Tiger.

 

 

Hattara_Sonja_with_his_white_tiger utagawa kuniyoshi

“Hattara Sonja with his White Tiger” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 19th century


May your equinox and whole autumn season be richly blessed
by the majesty and protection of the White Tiger of the West!

 

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved



References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Tiger_(China)
http://idp.bl.uk/education/astronomy/sky.html
http://yokai.com/byakko/
http://www.learntarot.com/top.htm
http://www.shadowscapes.com/

Featured image – English Birch at the Parc du Mariemont in Wallonia, Belgium by Jean-Pol Grandmont