On my way to visit Na Morrigna this month, I stopped by Bé Chuille’s place (as I often do), and before she let me walk down the forest path that leads from there to where I usually meet Na Morrigna, she tossed a bucket of cold water over my head, drenching me. But also, effectively removing some of the cloud of malaise and anxiety I’ve been fighting through lately, between the heat and the state of the world, as well as some more personal situations. And then she pointed to my ankles, and I saw ticks and mosquitos feasting on my blood. “You’ve forgotten to cover your feet again.” she said, in a tone of resignation. “You can keep those off if your shields don’t cover your feet. You can’t balance your energies with the earth if your shields don’t go down to your feet.” She’s right, of course. My shields don’t just keep things out, they keep me balanced, they keep things flowing properly — some of the layers are like membranes, taking in what I have a deficiency of, and keeping out what I already have enough of. But they can’t function properly if the bottoms are ragged. In my recent struggles, I had once again let the bottoms get ragged. It’s been a perennial problem in my life — some people have difficulties with shielding their back or their head, and I have trouble with my feet. So, that’s my personal piece of advice to ya’ll this Dark Moon: if there’s a part of your shields or wards where they seem to wear out faster, go check in on that, and repair or rebuild as necessary. For myself, I removed the bugs and repaired my shields, and once I had Bé Chuille’s approval, she sent me out the door, down the forest path to her foster-daughters, the three Morrigans, the Daughters of Ernmas.
I knew as I approached that it was going to be time for poetry again, this month, but I didn’t feel ready. I had drawn a few tarot cards, requesting touch points for this conversation, because I knew I was close to the physical limits of my body. My schedule allows for a few days to pass between the dark moon and the posting of the message, but I knew I was looking at days with less energy as we went into the weekend, not more. Using tarot cards as conversational touch points helps keep me focused when my body desperately wants more sleep instead, and it gives me an idea of what questions to ask. Sometimes when I go see Na Morrigna they have a clear message, and the conversation becomes one of turning the imagery and phrases into sentences that make sense as a paragraph. Other times, it’s a more meandering conversation, and then they tell me to summarize it. In either case, as I leave deep trance to sit at my computer in a lighter trance (which allows me to type), I can feel them reading over my shoulder, and I sense their approval or disapproval as I choose a word or a phrase, trying to find ones that taste the same as the images I was given. Lately, that process has been involving Irish language dictionaries more and more, as I try to get a sense of what the Irish word might be for a concept, if I’m struggling to find the English one, and then I choose one of the common translations for the Irish word, seeking context the way I often did when I was in college, writing essays in French analyzing historical novels. I expect I’ll eventually be asked to learn the Irish language, but at the moment I think They and I both know there is too much else on my plate to learn more than a few phrases.
All that to say — the cards I pulled as touchstones this month were the Five of Cups (reversed), the Seven of Wands, and the Herald (page) of Wands, reversed, all from the Archeon Tarot Deck, which is the one I normally use for Na Morrigna. Three cards for three parts of a message from three goddesses. I wrote down a few keywords in my notes before going to the journey, but that process is more for my conscious brain to remember which cards they were, than to decipher the message. Instead, when I saw Na Morrigna around the Cauldron, I asked something to the effect of: “For the first part of your message, the Five of Cups reversed, what message do you wish me to convey?” I was shown and reminded of the Supreme Court rulings and other recent happenings, and how myself and basically everyone I know has had feelings of anxiety, grief, and overwhelm about those, and how that’s been spilling into other aspects of our lives. Those feelings, I know, are part of the meaning of that card when upright, but they clarified that as a reversal, what they are asking us is this: Put your grief aside. That phrase was very very clear. Put your grief aside, for now. There is work to be done. And that is the Seven of Wands: courage, determination, strength. Most of the Crows, they said, have gotten back to their feet. Our warriors are not so easily defeated. But that, too, seemed to be in the past, so I asked for clarification — why is the Herald reversed, then? Is that not the present? No, no, I was told, and they were amused. The reversal is a delay — the farther future. You only drew three cards — which cards are between the Seven and the Herald? I was not expecting that, and hesitated, and they showed me the Eight, Nine, and Ten. Tapping the Eight, they said: this is the now, the month that is beginning. And this is the focus of your message for this month, and the topic for your poetry. I looked at it, and though I recognized the card I did not feel like I could see it clearly, so I asked if I might pop out and find the physical card and then ask more, and they agreed.
The Eight of Wands, especially in the Archeon Tarot Deck, is a card of Bliss. So, I went back to speak with Na Morrigna again. Bliss? I asked. Joy? Are we echoing the recent message from Loki? They smiled — yes, but also no. It is an important message, but they wanted me to use different words: Lúcháir, and Elation. They wanted a triad from me, and so last night I spent a long time looking at triads and receiving imagery, and searching and choosing and changing my mind about words until I was satisfied — and so were they. (At least, with this one. For now. I am still early in my training and I am very aware of how much further I have to go.)
Three Pursuits of Elation:
Leaping into a new passion project;
Soaring into a new opportunity;
Falling into a new love.
Happy Lughnasadh to all, and I’ll see you here next dark moon, on or around August 27th!
[This blog was originally posted to the new squarespace page.]