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“I myself have seen this woman draw the stars from the sky; she diverts the course of a fast-flowing river with her incantations; her voice makes the earth gape, it lures the spirits from the tombs, send the bones tumbling from the dying pyre. At her behest, the sad clouds scatter; at her behest, snow falls from a summer's sky.” ― Tibullus, The Works of Tibullus


Halloween

When darkness descends upon the land around here, everyone is already tucked inside.  Only shadows would linger, and only the witches of the night would go by your door to either knock on it, or just pass right along it...  


I am glad they all passed by our doors and not even one of them decided to knock this time...


A Happy Halloween filled with laughter and the power of imagination


Craft of the Wild Witch tales

Today, she's experimenting with different blends of summer wild berries and wild flowers in her muffins, and cakes. She's making Golden Saskatoon cookies, from the Saskatoon berries with goldenrod flowers found in the wild fields, and a batch of Rose Bay Raspberry muffins, from the raspberries with Fireweed flowers, also known as Rose Bay Willow herb, that bask by the banks of the river.  A mixed batch of both flowers and berries will be confectioned too.  


Later, she will laze around comfortably to the sugary scent wafting throughout her shack.  Her muffins turned out beautifully! And yummy and she really love how she can actually taste the goldenrod flowers pretty strongly in the Golden Saskatoon cookies...  


 "Good experiment!" She declares, as she prepares to turn in for the day.  Up early, she will be gathering moon soaked Yarrow before the sun hits.  


The witch who lives in my woods

Right behind my garden, way out past the hosta garden, by the creek that leads to the woods there's a place somewhere out there from which tales can be spun...


...Silly, fanciful, mysterious and creepy tales and fairytale dreams live there....  I remember the day I found this place...


Sweaty and parched after planting a new flowerbed, I walked over to the edge of the garden after a raven.  The raven flew into the woods, then waited for me perched on a stump.  Mesmerized by this creature, I followed him, but when I reached the stump where the raven waited, he spread his wings and — blink — vanished before my eyes... or so I thought.  


I was about to turn back to the garden when all of a sudden, overhead, a cackle was heard.  I looked up, and there he was, eyeing me from atop a privet tree!  The raven spread his wings and flew to another branch, always waiting, as if making sure I was following him... and this time I did followed him...   up the Golden Ragwort paths through the woods I followed him... 



Twisting this way here, going this way there...


Stomping and stumbling on twigs and fallen branches...


Bending this way 'round the wild Eglantine... 


The Sweet-briar and the Pasture Rose, common in thickets 'round here...


I kept walking, following the raven as he flew and waited and sang his crackled song atop the lower branches, always waiting for me, until I finally saw it... a shack beneath a twisted live oak tree all tangled up in wild roses... tall trees above me swayed gently with breezes and sunlit filtered brightly though the treetops, and beyond that... nothing but empty, leaden skies...


This was a bad omen, I thought.  And indeed it was!  But then, it was already too late... a faint cackle taunted me in the distance and I just knew right there and then I was standing on forbidden ground... what to do... oh what to do? Run, wait for the witch?  Perhaps wake up from a bad dream???



    

Into the woods


"She walked forward to the melody of branches and leaves crunching beneath her feet. Leaves to ash, ash to soil, repeating until the Earth took its last breath. The smell of sweet decay lingered, reminding her of life instead of death, of a world that had the courage to begin again, of a soul that could shed its leaves fearlessly without the fear of becoming nothing. She walked with the specter of Adam guiding her amongst these souls, standing tributes to perpetual destruction and rebirth, and she felt at home. Just for a moment."  (Meditations In Wonderland)
It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused. Waling on the forest, you could feel it: the air wishing it was water...


Caverns of sunset, falling, falling away—just a single vast gold air breathed out by beings—they must have been marvelous beings, those gold-breathers.


If you still believe in magic, 
you're subject to enchantment. 


I sat before my glass one day,
And conjured up a vision bare,
Unlike the aspects glad and gay,
That erst were found reflected there -
The vision of a woman, wild
With more than womanly despair.
Her hair stood back on either side
A face bereft of loveliness.
It had no envy now to hide
What once no man on earth could guess.
It formed the thorny aureole
Of hard, unsanctified distress.

Her lips were open - not a sound
Came though the parted lines of red,
Whate'er it was, the hideous wound
In silence and secret bled.
No sigh relieved her speechless woe,
She had no voice to speak her dread.

And in her lurid eyes there shone
The dying flame of life's desire,
Made mad because its hope was gone,
And kindled at the leaping fire
Of jealousy and fierce revenge,
And strength that could not change nor tire.

Shade of a shadow in the glass,
O set the crystal surface free!
Pass - as the fairer visions pass -
Nor ever more return, to be
The ghost of a distracted hour,
That heard me whisper: - 'I am she!' 

The Witch (1893)

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge


I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart’s desire.
She came—she came—and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.





I know of the leafy paths that the witches take
Who come with their crowns of pearl and their spindles of wool
And their secret smile, out of the depths of the lake. ~William Butler Yeats