* I know this is a tad late… Sorry.
Now, I said some time ago that I was going to have a six-sided calender. I had the idea pop into my head years ago, and after getting to know Dver, and more working with my own Bear Mother, it concreted. So, this year I began with the feast of the bear – Candlemas. Granted, it isn’t the best name ever devised, but it’s what I’ve got until I’m either told something else, or I learn of a truer name for it.
So, upon an old wooden shield I still have, I placed my bear skulls, bear statuary, a wooden carved figure of Arta, witnessed by Grandfather Raccoon (a distant relation to the Bear after all), and worked an indoor rite in my own black-bearskin, and bore witness to the Bear’s majesty and power.
I don’t see the bear as many do, but I simply shrug and go on with things. It’s what I’ve been shown, and what I know. It ain’t perfect, but it does actually work.
I was surprised this year. I had not realized how cold my blood had become from it’s damn-near boiling normalcy. It had stilled, gone cool. The sting of tragedy, heartache, sorrow, and despair had put out the flame entirely.
On the verge of a deep trance, I heard a familiar sound of steel on steel.
“Rise,” was what reverberated through my bones.
I continued my work, my chants, and my songs. My drum began to take a different sound to it, almost like a heart-beat in it’s bass depth.
Rise. Out of the den with you.
I felt a fire in my head, that made my ears feel as if they were going to melt off. I felt the hot flush in my cheeks, and I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. I couldn’t stop drumming; I ached for it, I itched for it, I craved more heat.
Arta was putting the fire back into me, I realized.
I sat still for a moment, panting from the slight motion of near-dancing, and drumming ferociously. I felt it. A stirring I hadn’t felt for so long, like a scratch that wasn’t a scratch – a growl that made no noise, like fingers opening a lock. It felt like the front door was opening, and the brilliant light of the outside world blinded my indoor darkened world.
I felt it. Make no mistake, I felt it. I continued drumming, and chanting. My entire body was covered in sweat, but I couldn’t have enough heat. I felt desire again, I felt passion, I felt anger, I felt pride, I felt… Well – I felt.
I was in joyful tears in the end, and sang happy praises to Her as I closed my ritual.
I now feel the fires of spring, even though snow still lingers. I feel it for a change.