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
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.
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!
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.