Vigil for the Dark Moon after Samhain

Words spoken as part of my Dark Moon devotion to mark the passing of Rhiannon:

By Orion’s light
At the dark of the Moon
Now the hawthorn tree is bare

As the Hunter’s spoor is laid tonight
A shadow passes through the veil
Of Annwfn on a Grey Mare.

Rigantona, roses wither on your altar;
As winter falls across the land
I’ll keep your vigil here.

More detail in my Devotional Diary~>



Elder Mother


{a continuation of Rhiannon’s Apples}


Elder Tree

Dark elderberries hang on twisted boughs
Unpicked and shrivelled,
Bare twigs twist to point the way
That turns upon itself a shadow veil
Shielding the world she is leaving behind
As she rides the grey mare
Fading to grey mist for a season
Seeking her fair form far away
Where he expects her, her shadow lord
Conjuring the woven ways
Through mists of his own making
Shaping a path through shapeless drifts
Each one receding through layers of world
Intricately dispersing
Wider to bring her to world’s end:
To not-world’s becoming.


Another watches her go as strewn leaves lie
On sodden forest floors
Bereft of shelter, mysteries
Of dappled green depth emptying.

Samahin Cover
Samhain Scene : from a cover for The Waxing Moon by Pat Blackmore






Midwinter Calendar


Gŵyl Epona

Epona’s Day, then darkness falls
Time is still, though in the deepest
Well of Night something stirs.


Solstice Night when the ebb
Returns to flow unseen
Far away from gleam to gleam.


With each gleam the light lengthens
From minute to minutes as a year strengthens
Out of the darkness into the light.


A new day, a new year
‘XV Kalendas Ianuarius Eponae’ (*)
So we count the days of Midwinter.


  • (*) ’15 to the first day of January [from] Epona’s [day]’ ;
    (An inscription from Cisalpine Gaul)

Lengthening Shadows

The woods this afternoon
The woods this afternoon

The shadows lengthen. But it is not yet dark. On the traditional date for Samhain kids are about in ghoul masks and the like but the seasons have shifted. It feels distinctly autumnal, but not yet the beginning of winter. In the woods the leaves have turned from green to gold. Though many have begun to fall, many are still on the trees. The way into the woods is blocked ; the ways are not yet open!

No way through?
No way through?

So I’ll wait another week until the Dark of the Moon before I mark the passing from light to dark. Today I placed what will very likely be the last rose of the season on my garden altar for Rigantona. Not yet does my focus move from the white horse to the brown whose wooden shape is slowly rotting into the roots of another rose bush.

Below the woods I visited the yew tree and here, in its deep shade, there was indeed a premonition of what is to come. And so a pledge was made to return as the Moon wanes away, to dwell a while in the dark place at the heart of this ancient tree.

yew sillouette 2