Hedge Woman

2.3.16 Illuminating Yellow Sun Wavespell

There is a dark place in the woods. It is also a fresh place with stone cold rocks covered in moss, comfortable to sit with and rest one’s bum on a hot summer day.

All along the way, in the shadier spots, there are drooping stalks with two curved small green leaves topped with button heads that have swirls of purple whirling all around reaching toward light. In the sunny spots they appear as one here one there, the tops are tighter and grooved finer where the layers overlap, hairy. Nonetheless, the tops are one and all a fine top. The whorls meet there as lips smiling up at the world, hearts opening from the snug winding way that led there as does an eye, opening and closing under lids, blinking. Prunella. She whispers her name at first, then louder and more insistent. We get to know each other, and friendship blossoms. She grows all along the outer edges of the woods where the smell of apricots drifts up from below.

Here in filtered light are cheerful orange clothed beings on the forest floor. Chanterelles, old friends, welcoming me where they spread, scattered about peeking into the light from all around the door. The door between dogwood boughs and hickory trunks leads in to where I’m called, toward a stand of Poplar, to Cohosh from whom I received a summoning. Her alluring white plume waves me over into the thick of Fern and Moss and twig and bark and leaf litter where she makes her home. Every step toward her is writhing with what looks like snakes, oh it’s intimidating to make my way to her!

Walking to where Great Blue Lobelia grows is easy peasy. Follow the path past the Dragon, meet up with the creek, walk on and there you are with streaming golden rays radiating all around marking the space clearly. Black Madonna’s sit and sip nectar while in conversation with Lobelia, find them and you’re almost there. A clear path round trip, unmistakable to find and you can hear the water gurgling near by. It’s musical and magical both.

On the way back from a visit with Clear Eyes, a surprise awaits where Boneset grows in an alcove that’s in plain sunshine pulsating yet hidden and dark as an Edgewalker’s paradox! Boneset calling, Psst, pssst. As if that’s not enough to get attention, there in an alcove by the pond another cluster beckons, Psst come over here. I backtrack to the first, spiral over and away from the pondside Boneset to the alcove. This is a deep space, a pocket where delicate white petals crown the lancelike leaves that oppose each other where they’ve been speared by the stalk. Visiting here is freeing, unstuck by tradition and etiquette. Not like going to Cohosh.

Cohosh chuckling and challenging and offering up that flowering plume all at once. To receive the plume is to persevere through fear and doubt, stay the course steady with trust even when the path’s at its darkest, and to keep with what’s initiated. That’s what she’s offering. When I get to her::slowly, mincingly, wincingly, arduously, eyes upward to the open sky beseeching assistance then down to the ground watching feet pick their way around plants, I almost think about turning back but I’ve come too far, I urge myself forward to the meeting, stepping here then there in a dance that turns me Deer Woman::I arrive at the appointed place and approach her with excitement and relief, momentarily looking back at the return which looks as laborious as the getting there, only now I’m Deer Woman and I can hop my way back in moments! She chortles at my mixed exhilaration and listens to me breathe, absorb it all in, then bids me look at her base where to my disbelief is a singular translucently ghostly Indian Pipe.

Then we three have a conversation:: Cohosh, Ghost Pipe, and I, we do the Deer Witch Dance in a circle of equals. When it’s time to go, Cohosh gives me the plume, well earned. I bow with gratitude to both these Elders, and then carry the plume to a cup of water raised to the sun, an alchemical marriage imbued with energetics from a dark fresh place in the woods.

A place where old Rock sits in conversation with Fern, Moss, Chanterelle, and Poplar, and sometimes a witch like myself comes along and rests her bum, and we sit together for a spell.


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