Single New Violet

IMG_1144Near where I lie
blooms a single new violet,
virgin to human view.

Through branches tipped
with green beginnings,
I gaze at azure sky.

The wind plays the forest—
tree-creak musical phrases
sound at thrilling intervals.

At my feet, the stream
skips, and restores
my composure.

The earth’s heartbeat
pulses up,
resuscitates my being.

©Susa Silvermarie 2016

A Crone’s Coming of Age

Antiga - Herstory1 Antiga Herstory2Last Sunday at her Memoir in Music and Story, Antiga the beloved Crone of Asheville gave us the gift of her rich herstory. Born Mary Lee in 1932, she took her new name, Antiga, meaning next to earth, after she left her marriage at age 47. She came out, first as a singing Pagan then as a singing lesbian and finally as a singing witch. How did the Wise One teach us yesterday at her Musical Memoir? By singing us her lessons! “I am divine. I bless my long life… I am an aged crone. Between life and death, I provide a line.”

Unapologetic about any aspect of her far-reaching self, and in spite of her blindness and other life challenges, Antiga radiated satisfaction with her life. It was a pleasure to watch and listen to her tell her story with utter undefensiveness and simple honesty. Her posture and her open face held a noble elegance as she stood tall in front of her own shroud, the winding sheet stitched together from pieces she requested from her many friends.

Between songs, she narrated and answered questions from her eager audience. “Each time of life has its work and purpose,” Antiga said; “the maiden to begin things, the mother to create, and the crone, at her ending time, to tell the community what energies must stop…And so,” she continued, “the Dark Moon Circles I host each month are for hexing as well as singing.”

Antiga’s Musical Memoir performance was both an example of and a clarion call to transformation. Standing up to share her story at the age of 84 while she is in full possession of her amazing faculties challenges the rest of us to consider doing the same. A Crone’s coming of age, proud and public, reframes everything! If a Croning ceremony signifies an entryway to old age, then this public presentation by Antiga signifies a final crowning of old age. It was above all a bold event, a memorial service offered before death by the very one who is memorialized.

May this brand new rite of passage initiated by Antiga take root in our women’s culture and inspire other crones to pass our legacy forward in our own fashion when our time comes. The coming of age which is asked of us at this time of The Great Turning is not the first one of early adulthood, but the rich one that Antiga demonstrated, the authentic and final coming of age that can be brought forth only by the experienced Crone.

(photo credit with thanks to Sue Hibbetts)

Irish Roots and Spring Moon

IMG_0524Much to celebrate! Besides all things Irish, we honor the Spring Equinox on Sunday and the full moon next Wednesday. On the spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon,  the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping begins.

Now when political machinations in the US are increasingly macabre and the news we hear about the rest of the planet is mostly heartbreaking, it’s time to remember the sweetness of nature. And an especially good time to deliberately search for the stories of all the good being accomplished in the world, all the sweetness of positive change, new consciousness, and true human stewardship! Yes Magazine is one great place to find those stories and make a new spring start. So is Upworthy. I know that for every reported act of unkindness and violence, there are millions of unreported acts of kindness and peace. In the face of old ways crumbling, and at the time of the spring Sap Moon, let’s find every way we can to tap the courage flowing in our own veins.IMG_0522

Chinese Dragon Hike

High above the roaring Green River,
we trek like a Chinese dragon
with twenty-five sets of feet,
along the weaving trail.

At the top of a ridge,
a March breeze cools our sweat.
The scent of pine drifts rich
upon the twist of our hiking line.

Through bare trees,
winter views bring sentinel mountains
close to our steady-stepping dragon.
And all day the sky: cerulean, luminous!

Hours of crackling parade
later, our dragon,
footsore and surfeited,
concludes its winding steps.

Slowly we waft apart,
our dragon disconnecting
into separate entities again,
each of us, deeply content.

©Susa Silvermarie 2016