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Spring~From Imbolc to Ostara

Spring is a Magic Cat

So it's coming around again and the air is full of new life. This is for me is a wonderful time of re-incarnation, growth and change. I went to see Liz a few days ago and spent a sunny morning in her garden with my camera.
I like to get in really close - the more fine detail I can see, the more spiritual it all becomes.
From infinitely small to infinitely big. There is a consistent pattern in nature, from the smallest particle, to the full extent of the expanding universe - and we are all a part of it.
Liz has the garden laid out beautifully, with trees and bushes, plants and flowers - and a pond that is home to two frogs, who have survived the winter under the ice. They appeared last spring and have lived under the stones since then. I've only seen one of them, and that was just a leg frog-paddling from under a stone. But that leg was big (well around 4 to 5 inches) but it's quite big enough for here, if not for Texas.

Liz saw them, lying on the stones and basking in the sun last summer - So my ambition is to photograph them both when the weather gets warmer.
Imbolc commences at the beginning of February and goes through until the Spring Equinox, or Ostara.

Ostara is the Goddess and the womb of the earth. She is symbolised by the Easter Egg and her name derives from the same root as oestrogen - the female hormone. Beltane will see her meet and unite with the God. The old religion was earthy and worshipped life and growth in perhaps a more unashamed way than religious practice today. In those times, people lived closer to the earth and were more aware and vulnerable to the change of the seasons. Rural life depended on many hands to do the work and it was important that a new bride was able to bear children and that the bridegroom had fertile seed. In order to ensure the survival and growth of the community, the bedding and the first signs of new life, would often precede the wedding.
But Ostara is still young, she has only just met her suitor and together they dance, with eyes cast down...
...Until Beltane, when the May Queen is crowned and calleth her bridegroom.
The term 'Pagan' can cause people to shudder (or feel a frisson of excitement) as it's meaning has shifted toward that which is considered evil. Paganism actually embraces the veneration of the life-force, it's name deriving from the Latin 'Pagus' which means locality.
In the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, this is a time of new light and growth. A time to open windows in both house and mind and let the freshness of the new air, clear away old fears and habits. A new beginning.
In the locality of the Southern Hemisphere, the Goddess is now the bountiful mother - but her fertility is ending - She sings the truth of Lughnasadh and the harvest to come, as she slowly weaves the silver threads of Samhain into his golden hair...
In Australia, Imbolc occurs on August 12th, followed in September by the Spring Equinox or Ostara.

On our earth and beyond, endings are also beginnings. Gaia the Earth-Mother wears a patchwork dress of many colours.

A Good Omen

I have learned to listen to the whispers. Last summer, a cat turned up at my kitchen door and made friends with me. At the time I was writing about Midsummer and the approach of the harvest of Lughnasadh - so I called the creature 'Noone'. It seemed to fit, not only because the year was at it's peak but also because Noone was also No-One. It reminded me of a line from the poem 'Anyone lived in a pretty How Town' by EE Cummings
"Noone and anyone Earth by April - Wish by Spirit and If by Yes"

At that time, I had just written the following lines...
It is Midsummer and the Noone-Time of the Solstice has grown to the full heat of the afternoon sun. Leo stands rampant, with the orb of the earth and the sickle of Lammas within his grasp. The Goddess sings the truth of Lughnasadh and the harvest to come, as she slowly weaves the silver threads of Samhain into his golden mane...
...and Noone appeared.
I hoped that Noone would visit me often and I bought a tin of cat food, but that was the last I saw of the little creature, until last Sunday, when I was putting my first video together. I was thinking about Noone as I uploaded a photograph of the creature's beautiful green eyes...then...
Noone appeared around my kitchen door and burrowed it's head in my hand, purring and rolling on the floor by my feet. Noone stayed a while and then left, but not before turning and giving one last gaze with those beautiful green eyes and then leaving me with a smile.
(I shall wear it often)
ps: I've bought yet another tin of cat-food.
To read about my first visit from Noone, go to "Natural Spirit - Meeting Noone"
If your interested in natural spirituality, try and get a copy of "Paganism" by Vivianne Crowley. The Amazon link is here, they are temporarily out of stock - but order one in advance of the next consignment - it's a small, easy-to-read and beautifully written book (and it's only $12)
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Unknown said... 1 April 2009 at 11:16

Henry, I am glad you are ok and I love the spring photographs, I will have to wait until a more suitable time and come back to watch your video's. I am currently on a terribly slow connection! I too simply love this time of year, I struggle with winter!
So glad that Noone came back too ;-) Beautiful face.

brainteaser said... 1 April 2009 at 11:35

Hey Henry! You're back! It's been a long time, my friend. I missed reading your thoughts and having you around.

I so love what you shared. There was also a cat who I became friends with. Used to feed him. But I haven't seen him in a long time. Months... I miss her. I didn't give her a name, though.

I also love the photos, especially that one with a new bud. Simply lovely. It could inspire poetry! :-)

Do take care and see you around. :-)

Janet Gardner said... 2 April 2009 at 14:44

Hi Henry,
This post is so inspiring. It reminds me that it is time to shed the the cold and darkness of winter and renew my spirit in the early spring. I loved the pictures and the videos. I know about the connection with cats. My cat always knows when I need comfort. I feel this cat knows when you need a visit and I have never seen such beautiful green eyes on a cat. Thanks for the link to the book. I am going to get it, you have raised my interest in pagan world. Thanks for sharing
Janet xo

Lilly said... 2 April 2009 at 16:39

Endings are beginnings. Oh I wish I lived my life with that in mind. If we all did think this way wouldnt the world be a better place. Spring for you and Autumn for us. Beautiful pictures of Liz's garden. As for Noones eyes - they are mesmerising.

Liara Covert said... 30 April 2009 at 19:03

Henry, you may enjoy a book called, Soul to Soul (Communications from the Heart) by Gary Zukav. Among the early pages, he refers to the seasons as soulful subjects which evoke inter-connectedness with forces beyond the physical world. The magic you share in your word choices here empowers reader to reflect on transitions between perceived beginnings and endings. Thanks for giving readers this immeasurable privilege.

~carol~ said... 25 May 2009 at 16:59

Wow, so much to process here. All things great and small, especially small, have profound purpose. Now I need to go sit and digest everything you said. Thanks for making me truly contemplate.

Anonymous said... 17 June 2009 at 14:24
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Liara Covert said... 12 October 2009 at 23:32

Pets do have the power to touch our hearts and enrich our souls.

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