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Everything we worked for is at risk by Maya Horton

Source: Everything we worked for is at risk by Maya Horton

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Water

This month I am taking part in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month. The aim is to write a poem every day for thirty days. I know lots of people haven’t signed up here to get political poems and experimental wordplay, so I am not posting them here, occasionally a poem comes up that is relevant to Wizard News. For those of you who are interested, my Napowrimo poems 2017 will be put here. Eventually, I want this page to be a showcase for poets and storytellers who are writing from, or about Avalon and Glastonbury UK – so if that is something you are into, please follow AvalonVox.

This poem was inspired by a prompt from day five, to write about a natural feature that you know well. I thought you might like it.

Water has memory.
I thought it would remember me.
But why should it?
My insignificant brevity
in dedication to its purity
is just a drop in its millennial flow.

People come and go,
filling their bottles,
quenching their thirst,
tying their clooties so well.
In my memory,
restoring,
sacred space,
a temple,
‘For the Love of It’
I remember it well.

Swift flows of remembrance
when ‘Welcome home,’
trembles through the bones
because well, here you are!
Home.

People come and go,
filling their bottles,
quenching their thirst,
tying their clooties so well.
sharing a story,
a prayer,
a ritual,
or worse,
loud angsty rants.
I remember it well.

Velvet strips of remembrance
a swift tease by candlelight
reflecting times passing
where stone trembles
with tribal shouts of grieving.

People come and go,
filling their bottles,
quenching their thirst,
tying their clooties so well.
riding through history
a chance
to heal
disease,
a miracle cure.
I remember it well.

1539, when the Last Abbot was done in,
and the Abbey dismembered,
here they cleaned the bloody tools,
that’s worth remembering.

1751, a gentleman’s magazine states,
‘ten thousand people drink for healing.’
The Mayor of Glastonbury reports,
Matt Chancellor endorses the healing waters.
And so increases its fame.

1872, George Wright writes
of pretty caverns clothed with moss,
fairy dropping wells on Well House Lane
before the Wellhouse was built to contain the water
and pump into town the cure for cholera.
And what was Glastonbury like then?
I remember it well.

Still, the flow keeps flowing
and people keep showing up
with their love for the gift
that pure water gives.
Feeling uplifted,
many lives lived, many lives taken.
promises made,
broken and unbroken,
rites of passage softly spoken,
misunderstood intentions,
machinations and inventions,
and mistaken prophecies,
does it remember all of these?

Does it rise up in remembrance of every story?
If you froze one drop for a moment
and magnified it a million times,
would it form into symmetrical shapes of love
or twist around in agony?
Surely it remembers both sides of the story.
It doesn’t remember me,
it just goes with the flow while
people come and go,
filling their bottles,
quenching their thirst and
tying their clooties so well.

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NaPoWriMo 1 – Alfie you Fool!

It’s the first day of NaPoWriMo – National Poetry Writing month … now it has grown to include Global Poetry and we have GloPoWriMo.

Anyone can join in, from anywhere. The idea is to write 30 poems in 30 days. You can do what you please with your poems, share them, stuff em in a drawer, blog them and discuss, send to a friend.

This will be my third year participating, and there have been some outstanding gems among all the words. Some verses came out all shiny and ready to be performed, many more still sit there wanting to be tweaked.

I love the rawness of it, not spending days fermenting and editing, just sharing what inspiration comes each day- often I get a passable poem, sometimes I get poetry, and occasionally one will make it to the stage.

Today’s prompt from the website ( http://www.napowrimo.net/ if you want to join in) is to write a poem with short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.

This is a sad one because, this morning as I pondered the prompt and started to write, there was a crash outside the house. Our beautiful cat was hit by a car. He’s gone now.

Alfie was the most loving cat, his only loyalty was to the lap. We bought him as a ‘ratter’, his ‘Wanted’ poster on The Cat’s Protection website said definitely not a lap cat. How wrong they were. Alfie was a lap skank.

 

bardicat

The best cat
we ever had,
Alfie,
eternal fool,
crossed
the road
on All Fools Day
before mid-day.
All that’s left
is a whisker
on the mat.
Black and white
hairs on
my jacket,
where
he napped.
The haunting
fact,
his absence
in the garden,
magpie’s relief.
A world turned
monochrome,
rolled over
stained red.
Across the
road
a sign said
‘A361 Lighten the Load’.
I wish it was
a joke.

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Equinox Blessings – Into the Light

Look to the places where balance may be found. In yourself, in nature, in other people, and in your environment. There is harmony, duality, parity, proportion, symmetry, but are these not just projections and reflections of equilibrium?
This time of shifting tides can be unsettling. Balance itself is a transient thing. Everything is in flux – moving, growing, changing.

Does balance not bring stagnation? If we manage to maintain a perfect balance where would the impulse for movement come from? Like weighing scales with the same weight on each side, remaining still, the movement only occurs when we add or remove something from either side.

This transient, ever flowing dance of life is always in flux, ever-changing, and here is the paradox – the times of Equinox more often reflect where we are out of balance.spring equinox

To dance on the ebbs and tides of life, moving to a place where harmony is felt may be more realistic. A sacred synergy of life flowing together, not seeking or grasping an illusory concept of balance, but simple surrender.

Perhaps instead of seeking balance, we seek to go with the flow of these shifting tides. To acknowledge that imbalance is its own perfect force. To understand that transformation requires movement.

So as the days progressively transform towards summer, here is a poem about the increasing light.

Into the Light

If you’ve been hid away and feeling lonely
and no one out there understands your plight;
the grieving time is passing very slowly.
Now comes the time of equal day and night.

If you’ve been lighting fires with damp tinder
and every step has turned into a fight.
If you’ve been hiding in the dark all winter,
it’s time for you to step into the light!

If you’ve lost faith and clarity is drowning,
You’re beaten by the struggle and the strife.
If your feelings have taken a good pounding,
while dancing on the ebbs and flows of life,

Know warmer summer days are coming in now,
there’s more chance to find your heart’s delight.
It’s time to gather with your kith and kin now,
so all of us can step into the light.

Let’s share the treasures of the winter’s reaping,
let’s bring the light to truth found in the dark.
Together; in our laughter or our weeping.
Let summer sun ignite our youthful spark.

Now, all of us have taken some refining,
while healing all the wounds of what is done,
oh I can’t wait to see your eyes a shining,
reflected in the warmth of summer sun.

Lisa Goodwin, Bard of Ynys Witrin – March 2014

Happy equinox to you lovelies – please do get in touch, I love it when I hear from folk who enjoy the poems and musings.
Brightest blessings

 

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Pantheacon – For the Love of It

In February 2017 we flew to California and attended our first Pantheacon. Max and I were invited as guests to talk about the White Spring Sanctuary in Glastonbury and to take part in a Double Dragon Ritual with RJ Stewart. I was mega excited, what an honour!

“What, us? Really?” the playing small part of my brain said. Then reason kicked in and I remembered that we have been working with ceremony and magic for over 25 years, nine of which were dedicated to tending the White Spring. So, why not us? It felt like a gift for our time in service for the love of it.

swans.jpegWe set off on our journey to Heathrow early and as we traveled through Bath, two swans flew up alongside the bus and kept level with us. I made a little prayer that we might fly with such grace. It was my first trip on an airplane. I was like an excited child and my face was glued to the window for much of the ten-hour journey.

So we flew direct to San Jose and took a shuttle bus to The Double Tree Hotel which was practically across the street from the airport. RJ met us in the lobby and after dropping our cases in the huge hotel room we went to register for our talk.
We soon began to settle into a huge serving of ‘culture shock parfait’. Layer upon layer of magic and mysticism in a fancy hotel. It was like a big festival in a most unusual environment. We chatted in the bar while watching the delegates, hosts, and presenters arrive in all their vibrancy and glory.

beehive-carpetPantheacon is a magnificent gathering of pagan kith and kin, a heartfelt sharing of skills, teachings, and hospitality. The whole place is a hive of activity with beehive patterned carpets to reinforce the feeling of a great community working together. There were so many presentations and curiosities that it was hard to decide what to do.

The Double Dragon ritual went rather well. Robert is an accomplished ceremonialist and teacher. I knew it would be high quality – it was impeccable. We’d smuggled in the red and white waters of Avalon and a stone from Glastonbury Tor. The stone, the centerpiece of the ritual, looks more and dragons jen.jpgmore like a dragon each day. It is a large lump of sedimentary rock from the ancient seabed with traces of ammonites and clam shells evident on the surface. Stained red and white it will remain in the White Spring, taking its place in the holy of holies.

The double dragon image here is created by a wonderful artist and our new forever friend Jen Delyth who gifted us with t-shirts to bring home for the children. How we met her and her beloved, Chris Chandler is a great story I will tell you sometime. For now, check out her astounding artwork here.   http://www.kelticdesigns.com/
Robert asked me if I would do my Glastonbury Poem at his concert on Saturday night. Blimey, I would be sharing a stage with RJ Stewart! I was suitably whelmed, but I think the poem translated well. With hindsight, I probably should have said booger instead of bogey. My accent was morphing into some kind of American/Irish mash-up (what was that about?) I began to wonder whether I should channel Dick Van Dyke to help. It was funny to hear our co-celebrants

My accent was morphing into some kind of American/Irish mash-up (what was that about?) I began to wonder whether I should channel Dick Van Dyke to help. It was funny to hear our co-celebrants Sally and Jessika reflecting our English accents, they were less ‘gurt lush’ Somerset and more retro-cockney. We shared some wonderfully British phrases with Sally who delighted in writing them down.

The White Spring talk and meditations caused a few leaky eyes and I am taking that as a good sign. We created a community field and, safe within it, journeyed to Fae realms to meet with the archetypes of The White Spring. At the end of the class, Max gave the group a choice. We could have 10 minutes of Q&A or we could chuck water at them. They went for the water… hoorah! So with joyful abandon, we threw waters of Avalon around the room.
All of the talks that I wanted to attend and missed looked great; the ritual misa (mass) for La Santisima Muerte, Crossing Stony Ground, The Bawdy Divine, The Sock Puppet Scapegoat Ritual, Working with Difficult Gods, Into the Labyrinth, and The Magic of Grace. All remain highlighted in my Pantheacon programme as a testament to the fact that I must return next year.

Was it the drunken divination or the absinthe party that distracted me?

I forget.

arbol_de_la_vida-3.jpg
It definitely wasn’t Naked Kabala Twister; I had no intention of taking part in that and I wasn’t going to sit in and watch because that would be weird.

 

Seriously, there were such a plethora of quality classes on offer. The hospitality suites and temples that had been created in hotel rooms were great places to meet people and have a few deep meaningfuls.

 

Where are all the pictures? Well, Pantheacon has a no photography policy. No one can take pictures without asking permission first. The result of this was that I saw hardly any phones. All the connections were face to face and wholly human. What a blessing that was.

 
What is most impressive at Pantheacon is the attention to wellbeing. The whole place feels safe. There is guidance on keeping grounded and advice for those who might succumb to spiritual overload. Everyone there knows about ‘621’: For every 24 hour period, you must get a minimum of 6 hours sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower. Now Glastonbury Festival could do with having that little gem of wisdom out there … especially the shower part!

 
If anyone was still feeling out of sorts after taking care of their 621, there were flow charts to direct them to the right ways to get grounded. There was 24/7 support and plenty of volunteers ready  to help out. We felt safe, welcomed and nurtured for the whole of our stay there. Unity in diversity … it sings out at Pantheacon.

On Monday morning, as everyone was getting ready to leave, we were invited to have breakfast with Tiffany (Yes, I know). Tiffany is one of the worldwide Sisters of Avalon, benefactors and close companions of The White Spring. I really wanted to spend some time with her, so we missed the talk at 9am, ‘The Magic of Grace.’

On Tuesday morning, the presenter of that talk, Orion Foxwood, caught up with us in the lobby to tell us how he had observed how we all walk with such grace. He shared some of his teachings on grace with us before we left.  What a nice farewell from Pantheacon. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.

The United States of Amazing Grace.

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United States of Amazing Grace

An amazing thing happened out of the blue, as amazing things sometimes do.

We had spent 9 years tending the White Spring in Glastonbury, a beautiful water sanctuary beneath Glastonbury Tor. It was kept in true temple tradition, where no one was paid, and no one was charged. We renovated and loved the place with no expectation of reward or recognition, yet the blessings came. Trusting that we would have all that we would need, we dedicated our time and energy to this wonderful sacred space. Thousands of visitors came to visit from all over the world and we were supported by a huge global community.

Many of you will know the challenges and triumphs of this time.

A few years ago RJ Stewart and Anastacia Nutt moved into the little cottage above the White Spring.  Anastacia knew the challenges of holding such a place through her own work in USA and both her and Robert gave their full support to the work we were doing here in Glastonbury. We soon became great friends.

They told us about Pantheacon two years ago and suggested we go along. Well, I never thought we would afford such a trip so put it out of my mind until last year when Robert emailed with an invitation, to cover much of the cost and help us get out there.

pantheacon-header

I never imagined that I would visit America. It was a completely unexpected blessing. We were going to go to San Jose  California to speak at Pantheacon. WOW, what a wonderful adventure! Flying on a plane, going to a fancy hotel, attending classes, taking part in a fabulous Double Dragon ritual, presenting our White Spring talk, meeting new friends and soaking up all we could in the short time we had in the USA. We took a rock from Glastonbury Tor for the ritual, taking the magic of this land there and back again, like good little hobbits on a wild adventure.

One thing that struck me about this trip of a lifetime, and what I will write about next time, is the magic that happens when you do something ‘For the Love of It,’ with no expectation of reward or recognition.

For now, I want to share some words about the grace I found in America.

Over here in the UK, we see the politics, the news stories, whatever social networking wants us to believe and we make all kinds of assumptions about the country and the people. We found a warm welcome and so much love. We met wonderful like minded people, powerful community and big nature spirits in the United States of Amazing Grace.

There is grace in every embrace.doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-san-jose-_180520120956378469
It’s in a sacred space, well held
with diversity and magic in a Hilton Hotel.
It’s in the Doubletree with two dragons rising,
It’s over 2000 pagans gathering,
It’s in San Jose, where Pantheacon took flight.
Where we took a parking lot and put in paradise. It’s a gathering of kith and kin,
where reality checks out and the heart checks in.
It’s hospitality and nurturing,
It’s a whole community silently cheering.
It’s a sharing of skills and heartfelt teachings.
It’s in the sparkle, in the craftsmanship,
It’s in the once in a life-time chance trip.
It’s international geological sample smuggling.
It’s in the love I’m bringing there and back again.

20170222_091957Ritual connection leads to a reflection of wonder
And I wonder …
How much grace can be embraced?
How much more space can it create?
It comes in ceremony and circle,
in the drum beat, in the rattle and the Om …

beehive-carpet

It’s dancing on beehive carpets,
It’s riding the elevator to
drunken divination and absinthe parties.
It’s in myself, it’s in you
It’s in the hot tub, it’s by the pool,
it’s for the love of it on floor nine and floor two,
it’s in the far too much to do,
and the “I just don’t know what to do!”
It’s people taking care of the nitty gritty.
Where love comes to meet us riding strings of synchronicity.drunken-divination
Opening to grace.

There is grace in sacred space,
Where faery meets us dressed in jay feathers
and flygaric red and white.
Where a herd of deer 20170221_115421dip out of sight
and Taliesin sings, Awen in a redwood grove.
It’s where trees reach higher than high
it’s wild rushing waters, celebrating life.
Where salamander curls to rest 20170221_143637
and a spider drops his web,
It’s in the emerald glowing leaf,
It’s in that dewdrop glistening.
It is listening.
Remember.

Portals of water ripple through time,
Reflections of life, fleeting.
It’s a kiss
Where love comes to meet us riding a eucalyptus mist.
Opening to grace.

20170221_150028hotel-focus-sfo

Focus … There is grace in every place
It’s in a half-built hotel,
It’s the Sun King … King Sun, Beijing Buffet,
It’s eating gak from yellow plastic plates.
It’s there in the city streets.
It seeps through the concrete,
on the beatnik feats of folly and endurance,
and the deadhead days of acid and decadence.20170222_160103It’s painted on a wall in rainbow colours, ‘SERENITY’,
Where love comes to meet us riding a cloud of creativity.
Opening to grace.

There is grace in every face
It’s in good companions and well met forever friends.
It’s in lipstick smiling faces hurrying to Macy’s,
and concrete critters celebrating a trash can treasure,
craving cigarettes and talking to strangers.20170223_123347

It’s in the street poet on union square
with only 30 seconds to spare
to share his inspiration.
It’s in Achilles and Nike and Victory,
It’s on every face, in every story
of degradation and despair,
It pushes a life in a cart,
on a street where tents 20170222_150118are a luxury.
Grace is there …
It’s a pet rat in a box called Harry Potter.
It’s a cosmic crone on the corner of Castro,
wearing a nightgown and laughing about humpty dumpty
and his crack habit. It is spilled in the pantry.
It’s an event in a cage waiting to be set free
where love comes to meet us riding a haze of humanity
Opening to grace.

 

20170223_145622

 

There is grace in the soul of the land, It’s in the titans and divas,
It’s living in the living mythology,
It is heritage in the hands of the builders of the stories.
It’s cultivating a culture of life and decay, 20170221_131513
it’s embracing anarchy, it’s making history,
It is reaching for a better day.
There is grace.
It is right there, for those who would listen,
for those who would drop out and tune in,
for those who would dip their toes in the ocean,
and connect with the ancestors.
For those who would wish to know.

We don’t need to make America great again,
We need to make it grateful for the grace,
in every embrace, in sacred space,
in every place, in every face,
where love comes to meet us, riding time on threads of foaming lace.
in The United States of Amazing Grace.20170223_130029

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ancestors

Existence comes bounding

and roaring through creation.

Resounding over vines of time.

On every breath, a whisper.

They come riding on atoms.

Bear fruit – If they beget to be.

They conspired and begot me

to travel along the lines of infinity.

Manifested my glory

from a long line of ancestry.

Giant shoulder to giant shoulder.

Their power to stand upon.

Laying down their blood and bone,

foundations set for storyline.

Living mythology cultured in the

roots of our bloodlines.

Oh, hundreds came before me!

All those lives that collided to create me,

Love making lines in the webs of time,

Love made real by their design.

And when I lay down my bones

onto the timeless tale of descent,

my love will leave a sweet story.

My blood will bleed generations.

And I will journey on to be

a shoulder for the rest to rest upon.

I will dance in the wind

and you will hear a whisper

of your ancestor.

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