I do wish a Gute/ Frohe Rauchnact/Rauhnact to you all.
Rauchnact/Rauhnact means ‘rough nights,’ ‘raw nights,’ or ‘hairy nights (according the Middle High German),’ because I believe that this time of year the hairy spirits are abroad with the Beloved Dead, and ‘rough,’ because it’s cold, dark, and leaves us huddled indoors. This night in yester-years would have been joyous, but hard because winter can be a killer, from fevers to food rations. Some think it has to do with the furs that were worn, and traded this time of year. Others think it has to do with the ritual fumigation of home, hearth, barn and stable.
With these twelve days, the spirit world is within easy reach. I’ve been doing extensive dream-work with the Bear Mother and other spirits, watching and listening for the Hunt, watching the birds…. And it is a peculiar custom that animals talk during this time of year. If you’d listen in the dead of night I was told, as a child – you may hear your cat, dog, parrot, cows, horses, etc., talking in human tongue of the future.
The Hub’s and I have been listening – but it’s been fairly quiet. It’s what is said, anyway.
It is also a time to approach a crossroads. I have, and will keep doing this for six more nights. You never know what will happen on the 9th night.
So many are joyful, some sorrowful – I’m left being thoughtful: For this year has been hard for me; far, far more than most. I took a moment to look at this year, with the Wild Hunt at it’s apex, the guise’d spirits abroad… I will don my bearskin again, and dance with the spirits once more. But I took a moment, to just think back.
I have a medical condition in which I cannot safely have my own children. I simply can’t. Facing that inevitability has been extremely difficult, angering, and deeply wounding. There are people I wanted to scream ‘Shut the fuck up and quit bitching!‘ but I didn’t, because it’d be spoken in anger. It isn’t anyone’s fault, just my fucked luck. I don’t know how to face these people, because I still want to scream at them. These people who have what they always wanted, I just wonder why can’t they be happy with that?
I lost the truest friend I ever had. A dog that has been through homelessness, abuse, torments, abandonment, loss, joys, triumphs, and victories with me. After 11 years that dog was no ordinary dog – it was my companion.
Financial disasters thanks to the IRS. Need I say more on that?
A roller coaster year, from frightening news, to deliriously good news, but 2012 has been a real bastard of a year for us. Fuck you 2012, you didn’t end the world, but you sure did fuck a lot of people over.
I’ve learned a lot this year. I learned to be a spirit worker, or shaman, it isn’t about you. Never was, and never will be. It won’t be about ‘how much can you take?‘ or ‘How far will you go?’ but an impossible task that is set before you; and if you will conquer it or not. No, it isn’t fair. Not hardly. But that’s why these people like me exist, they are the cynical jaded folk who have seen true evil, hardships, agony, and survived it. It isn’t about limits, there is no comfort zone, there is no ‘forbidden areas.’ Everything is out there, all pink and naked – and therein lies a true lesson: honesty. How many of us are willing to live, and be, that honest with ourselves? I faced it, and I’m forever changed by it.
So, with my building of the ‘Old Man of the Year,’ if there is something you want banished, or just ‘gone,’ shoot me an email to email@example.com and I’ll add it. I’m not the only one who’s had it hard this year. Why not just banish it the old fashioned way?