The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near


The Cailleach

The following - by Tony Kelly - is from 

And when the Goddess is old and haggard?  What of November when her hair is grey, when her bones are bare and the leaves are falling grey and sodden about her?  Who will love her then?  Old Hag of the hollow breasts and the withered arms, of the eyes that look only inward, of the empty hand, of the grasping claws that would take all, for only all will sate her...  We could not leave her if we would, and would not if we could, for as the tongue forever returns to the aching tooth and grief to the very source of pain, the plight of a Goddess bereft of her all is a pain we have no will to put aside.  She is fear, horror, abject despair and the withering of all hope; she is the pit out of which all that is lovely has fled and out of which meaning itself was dug.

The floor of our temple is the rolling plain, the pillars are the greenwood trees and our roof is the open sky.  Come Sun, come Moon, come wind and rain, come hail and sleet or snow, there in the heat of the day or there in the eye of the blizzard, are we and the gods.  Am I cold?  I am the cold.  Is the rain pouring down?  I am the rain.  I am the rush of the river, the noise of the storm, the heat of the sunshine, the lust of the May.  And the priestess of Mab the Beautiful, dancing there with the girdle of hawthorn leaves...  Will I remember her when she is old and the leaves are falling and she bears the elder wand and her girdle is of bones all whitened on the rain-lashed hills?  Yes, I'll remember, for she is closer than breath and the dance must go on and on.


Meditation for the Waning Moon

Light fades. It ebbs away under the dim shade of the forest trees. Darkness falls after the last blue glimmer dissolves into the stream, which carries it away. There is a hush, in spite of the rush of water through the stones of the narrow gorge. The watcher by the stones has taken a position with a view through the opening in the trees where the Moon will rise. She is waning and some time will pass after the setting of the Sun before she is visible. The sky is a deep blue-black where stars glitter, the brightness of some of them tracing familiar patterns: Orion, The Plough, The Giant's Chair. The white mist of the Milky Way recedes behind the visible stars and re-appears as a path for the watcher to walk by. When the left-handed crescent rises she appears enamelled silver-white against the sable of the sky.

The way is clear. The Otherworld wraps itself around him. He knows not where he goes, but his path stretches away in the path of the Waning Moon.

Knowing she will haunt the sky until long after the Dawn pales and herself fade in the morning light.

Somewhere between light and dark, between moonlight and sunlight, he sees a vision of a far-off land and knows that he lives there for a fleeting moment of time which is forever.

Returning, he sees the Moon reflected in the stream. The night is cold but only now is he aware of it. He touches the chill waters with his fingertips, then anoints his forehead. All is still. He blesses the night as the night has blessed him.