It’s good to re-instate these words now that I’ve also begun to re-instate Mererid’s fountain by my garden altar as there is enough sunshine, for a while, to drive the pump from the solar panel, and the danger of the water freezing over has passed, for now at least.
I resolved to get the pump working again between Gŵyl Ffraid and the Spring Equinox, depending on weather conditions. Today was a trial run with a new arrangement. It seems to work well enough apart from some minor problems which I will fix in plenty of time to meet my Equinox target.
So the bubbling spring will witness each offering.
Between Gŵyl Ffraid and the following New Moon the cold strengthens: A bright day with sunlight on frost after a moondark night. At the edge of the shade of the three-boled yew tree, against the dark green of a carpet of ivy leaves, a brightness of snowdrops gathered where they can break through the ground shade: Light against Dark.
In the shaded space where the yew boles circle the ivied mound beneath them, a blackcap slips away into deeper shadows: sleek grey wings and a black poll appear for a brief moment before this small bird of shady glades is gone, like a glimpse of Spring.
Out in the open a few early primroses brave the day. Here and there a celandine. But mostly buds remain tight shut, waiting the warmth that will bring them into leaf and flower as Earth is aroused by the light of lengthening days.
As darkness deepens Epona passes the ways of transformation; identities wane to thinness and dissolve as she closes the paths of unbecoming, resolve as she opens the ways to new becoming.
This is a time of stillness, small glimmers of hope flicker in the gloom. A candle is lit to mark the nights to Solstice. Another will be lit for the Longest Night and the nights to follow. These nights are barely less long and dark, but slowly, by seconds and then by minutes, day after day light begins to return.
Out of the dawning of these new days a New Year is born. New life will follow. But for now we wait, watching the candles burn slowly as Epona passes the ways of transformation, awaiting the Longest Night and the nights to follow: each new dawn a gradual lifting of the veil, a revelation of becoming.
Visiting the garden altar on cold days late November it seems sad and desolate. I have cut back much of the vegetation behind it which exacerbates this feeling, but it feels appropriate as the days shrink towards Solstice. The fountain is still too. I have removed the pump as there is not enough sunlight to drive the solar panel and because it could be damaged if the water freezes. But Rosmerta’s cup remains in the upper vat and the cauldron in the lower vat is full with water from Mererid’s well.
For Rosmerta, I have written a poem which is posted on the Awenydd blog. Though her ancient iconography is clear, her mythos is till taking shape for me. It has been suggested that she is another aspect of Rigantona; though I am unsure of this I find I have associated her with Maponos in the poem and this may be step in the direction of defining an association.
I thought about passing standing by the altar with the rain falling, the wind gusting and the silence of Rhiannon’s Birds as she rode her white mare now her black mare through the mist and just then, as I was bidding farewell, a crow cawed, just once, and I smiled; even as she went her birds were not silent and I thought of the owl’s call on winter nights and so knew that echoing cry would be the echo of her going, and her wraith would remain through dim days and dark nights so her passing is an affirmation as the crow knew and I, hearing, know too.