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Blessings gentle earthlings.  This painting by John Waterhouse, called Veneris, evokes for me the inward mood of this magic season.  I feel like the groundhog that doesn't want to come out yet... is still content to hole up in the underworld and snuggle into the Dark Mother's arms just a little
longer .  I want to schmooze by the altar with a few close sisters,
reflect on the passing of the year,
think about the old vows I have
signed each February, signed in
blood... blood I now save in my
fridge, as I am past moonpaws.





The Goddess hunkers down, holds Her Self unto Her Self... seeks Within for the Inspiration to conjure yet another Cycle of Birth, Life, and Death.  She has Died and now is about to be Reborn.  She Re-Members all Her past cycles, and Muses upon future ones to come. 
She is the Seed folded in Her folds
Nurturing within Her the story to be told...
She is the babe
A-dancing in the womb
To dance upon the green earth
Soon and soon...

Inspiration is the primary theme I honor this holiday season; hence the name Musea for the Muse. (Pronounced "myoo-zay-uh")  She is the Goddess I have given myself to most of my life, devoted to cultivating Her blessings of Creative Inspiration, Limerant Love, and Deep Transformation. She is the Sapphic Aphrodite, source of divine ecstasy, Sarasvati, Voc, Brigid, The Dark Goddess, The White Goddess, The Faery Queen... Ariadne in Her Labyrinth, Persephone in the Underworld.  She has filled my imagination with poetry, myth, songs... my heart and breath with melody to make me soar...my body, my hands and guitar with rhythms and drones that vibrate the bones. 

I seek Her company... miss Her when she hasn't visited in a while.  Each year at this time I pray for the strength to keep on Her path...  to keep the music alive.  Patriarchy resists our freely creative spirits, and aging can add to the struggle.  So much conspires to silence us. 

Sister connections also come up this time of year.  The Nine Priestesses of Brigid once kindled and kept the Flame of this Muse Goddess burning at Her Temple in Kildare, Ireland... now kept by nine nuns at St. Brigid's Church at the same location...  Several years ago a witch sister lit a candle there, carefully snuffed the flame to preserve its essence, and brought it home to the states.  She lit many candles from its flame, and passed them on to other sisters, who did the same, until now there are many generations of Brigid Candles being passed from sister to sister across the world. 

Purification is another theme common to this time of year.  Many witches do their "spring cleaning" in anticipation of the coming Birth of new life and new manifestations.  Closets both inward and mundane come in for review and reorganization.  In our circles we have dressed in white, eaten white foods, decorated our altars in white.  I clear away the greenery from Winter Solstice, spread a fine fresh white cloth, and trim with sparkling silver...lay  the many white candles to be gifted to my circle sisters. 

Commitment and Initiation are further themes celebrated at this holy time.  We bring our vows on scrolls and our moonblood or blessed red inks and special magic pens to sign with...we witness one another's reading and signing.  Each woman makes the promise and commitment that is right for her, that she knows in her heart she is committed to by choice and true desire.  Some, like me, reiterate our eternal vows to be Her channel and Her Priestess forever.  Some sisters promise to study for a year and a day.  Some take new names and new identities as Goddess Women, as Witches, as Priestesses. 

We celebrate our Muses.  We share poetry, songs, dances, stories.  We retell the tale of Brigid, when She was Midwife for Mary as She gave birth to the  next Year Child...Or perhaps we take a Journey into the Sheilah na Gig, diving into Her open Yoni to find wisdom and teachings for the year past, or the year to come...  We leap across Thresholds, crossing over from one state of being to another, one cycle to another, one identity to another...  sometimes actually laying a witch's decorated broom before the altar and leaping over it to the cheers and encouragement of the circle. 

This is a deep and magical time... perhaps the most multi-layered of all the holy days.  There is something perpetually hidden about it, for we don't know "what the baby looks like" yet...  Still, we know we can have a hand in how things turn out, when we redesign our life's journey once again, re-commit to the things that are important to us, and re-connect with our Source and our Sisters. 

O Muse I but stand
Upon the brink
Of thy domain

My lips have barely
Touched the rim
Of thy cup of flowers...

Be It So

Blessed Be

-Shekhinah Mountainwater
Musea 10,004
copyright 2,004 Shekhinah Mountainwater