The Nurture of the Great Mother
There is a short, narrow pathway overhung with eucalyptus trees near my parents’ house where I grew up, and I have always been particularly fond of it. It winds its way around the back of several gardens, and it’s not particularly private – I usually pass someone else out for a walk when I go there. But it exudes this still, secret air. It is a place slightly outside time. And although there are walled gardens to one side of it, the stretch of land on the other side where the eucalyptus trees grow is wild and untamed, and seems to belong to nobody.
I walk out to this path in the morning whenever I am staying at my parents’ house. Last week, I had an amazing transpersonal experience while gazing up at those huge, sunlit, ghostly pale eucalyptus branches. It was a moment of pure pantheism – where I felt the immense divinity of everything, and at the same time realised it’s all me. “I” am just a tiny part of it, my tiny brain just one cell in the whole, one small conscious outlet for this vast Cosmos.
It was a moment of pure communion, in which I felt the Great Mother move inside me. This is a feeling that comes over me very often at this time of year – this time of nurture and growth, when the evidence of the creativity of Cosmos is at its most poignant. I feel it every time I see another patch of flowers coming to bloom, another bud forming on a tree, another spray of blossoms erupting on a cherry tree.
The Call of the Morrígan
Today I visited that path again, though this time I was not in such a deep, connected state or expecting anything extraordinary. As I walked along, I noticed a path – not much more than an animal track – leading up onto the hill between the eucalyptus trees, brambles and hawthorn bushes. Something drew me to start up the path. I reached a point where it became quite steep and overgrown, and I stopped, planning to turn back, as I was unsure why I had taken the path in the first place. But then I heard a crow calling just a little way along the trail ahead of me – and, wanting to see it, I continued.
I couldn’t see or hear the crow, and again I stopped after coming up against more and more brambles and branches blocking the path. But every time I stopped, the crow called again, still tantalisingly close but further up the path.
Eventually I reached a denser path of trees, in the centre of which was a small clearing, dark and secret and completely overhung with branches. There was the inevitable rubbish of cans and bottles and plastic wrappers strewn around the ground, but it still felt indescribably sacred – a temple, a cathedral even, hidden away in the undergrowth.
I stopped here for a few minutes, hoping to hear the crow and see it if I stayed still long enough, but this time there was silence. After a while, I turned to leave. Just as I reached the threshold something in me turned me back around. I stood at what felt like the threshold of that clearing, and spontaneously spoke the Call to the Morrígan that I recite every morning as part of my devotions.
Just as I spoke the last line, there was a loud caw and a rush of wings, and a huge crow flew right over my head. Seconds later, I heard what sounded like a raven calling further in amongst the trees – which, if it was indeed a raven, is very unusual in this area.
It was only as I turned and climbed carefully back down the path, pushing through brambles and scrambling under branches that I consciously realised what a precious and transformational moment this had been. While I stood in that circle of trees, it felt completely natural, and I felt no particular surprise that the crow had appeared when it did. It struck me on my way back down that the path itself was like a road of trials, a gateway of sorts between the worlds. Or, perhaps, like a birthing canal, leading me back to the womb.
Making a Commitment
This month has already been nurturing, transformational – the work I have been doing on the website and shop is nearing conclusion, and my spirituality keeps hitting roadblocks and then leaping forward over those roadblocks in ways I never expected.
I feel fortified, now, by the power of the Morrígan. Because of my Jungian take on deities, my understanding of it is that most of this power is coming from my own psyche. But this makes it no less Other – and I am also coming to understand the ways in which, for me, the gods really do transcend even the entirety of my mind.
I have been in transition for some time now, but I feel that this month is going to be particularly significant. This is when I will commit, when I will manifest. It is time to sow those seeds and nurture them into abundance. It is time to take a step and not look back.